Occasionally here at Player2.net.au we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Dragon’s Wake
With no present dialogue and relatively primitive audio, visuals and gameplay, Dragon’s Wake on paper sounds like the sort of game you might want to pass on. Despite all of this you might be quite surprised that (especially given its rock bottom pricing) it’s quite a challenging and engaging romp. Dragon’s are dying, and you, as a newborn Dragon are confronted by the threat of death almost immediately as you find a particularly large Dragon dead at the hands of a warrior who now has you in his sights. Escaping the area you now have your sights set on revenge, but it’s not so easy, with many dangerous encounters ahead as your Dragon grows, matures and becomes much more lethal.
Throughout Dragon’s Wake you’ll improve your flying ability, allowing you to glide further, you’ll be breathing fire before you know it, and you will feast on the carcasses of your slain prey to grow further. Though it helps if you plug in a controller, your ability to control your flying ability is lacking regardless of what input device you use. The handling is a tad too finicky and this results in you regularly overshooting the small strip of terrain that you’re aiming for. The challenge of the game largely stems from this poorly executed platforming element, which is a shame given that this is a facet that could have been easily tidied up allowing more development time to be spent on improving other areas of the game.
Make your first port of call to turn up the settings of the game to 100% because there’s nothing extravagant about the audio/visual component of the game. Very simplistic 2D sprites making up the flora, fauna are the building blocks of this world, there are quite nice hand drawn images that mask loading screens which pad out the story of the game a bit further. The sound effects are very primitive with canned sounds that don’t sound particularly genuine playing when the dragon eats or breathes fire, the music on the other hand sounds as though it belongs in a fairy tale, and synchronises itself well with the action.
There’s nothing fancy about Dragon’s Wake, nor any astoundingly redeeming features, but it has heart. You can feel the years of time, effort and patient work that has been extracted from the one man team that is Stephen Ashby’s Brainbox Software. The game can be finished in a single sitting, but is worth the time that you give it. In spite of its deficiencies, Dragon’s Wake is a game worth exploring.