Divinity: Dragon Commander is set in the same world as Divinity 1 & 2. Both previous instalments were RPG games that focused on either becoming a dragon or helping rid the world of evil.

Dragon Commander takes on the world from a different perspective, giving a more leadership approach to the player with the duties of interacting with governments and fighting wars on several fronts. Trust me when I say, the tutorial at the start of the campaign is but a walk in the park compared to what you face later on.

Story

The story is weaved between the many characters you interact with, making different decisions can often lead to different outcomes throughout your play-through. Allowing several petitions through that target a specific race often hampers your progress further than if you spread the good and bad between races. Without a lot of support you’ll often find it harder to win certain territories or battles.

Story

One thing that helps the story along well is the superb voice acting you’ll find within the game. I can’t say I recognize any major talent among the voices but the quality is still remarkable. Everything is clear, well said and often done so in the correct manner which often trips amateur voice actors up on non-AAA games.

Gameplay

The gameplay is split into three different sections. War Map, Ground Combat and last of all, Governance.

They all play their part towards a successful game.

Combat on the ground allows you to lead your armies of pre-built and freshly created units straight into the fire. Capturing settlements to increase your recruitment rate of average joes, taking turret points and factory spots to increase your building capacity and your ability to protect them. During this phase is also the only section you’ll get to play as a dragon. Before battles you get the option of who will command the battle, if you select yourself, (providing you haven’t commanded another battle somewhere else in the same turn,) you’ll be able to assist directly with the command of troops, production, building and fire-breathing terror. Otherwise your generals will take over the battle and it will be auto-resolved.

One of the more unique things about the combat is the victory conditions. You don’t have to annihilate the enemy base to beat him. Each battle draws a number of recruits from the local area. Once that stock pile has been exhausted and recruited into your resource pool, you’ll have to watch your supplies. If you run out of recruits completely, you’ll lose the battle. So, playing defensively against a nasty enemy can give you victory, but only if you can kill a larger number of his units while losing a smaller number of your own. A small side note to that, if your winning or losing, the bar at the top changes to your or their side. Once recruitment stockpiles have been exhausted, whoever is winning the battle in general will start receiving  recruits who abandon the enemy side.

On the war map you’ll be able to position troops, fleets and see the overall situation as a whole. Who owns which territory and where your next target is etc…

This is also where you produce the main supply of units and where cards are used for good or bad. Every now and then you’ll unlock cards that will help your forces in some way. Whether it gives your dragon some extra abilities in battle or drops the enemy taxation of gold by half for a turn in one country, they are completely randomly acquired and very useful once in your hands. Choose your moments wisely though, use them when you must to get the best effects as getting more can be long and tricky.

Last but not least is the governance of your people. You’re an emperor after all.

On your warship you’ll find more than just your war map. Ambassadors of all the worlds races gather on-board your vessel for when you need to discuss important issues or they need your vote on an important decision. Choosing who to support can be tricky if you want to keep friendships high with each race, though some decisions will often be down to your own tastes in politics and religion.

Once married you’ll find your wife on board in your own bedroom, often there to aid you in tough decisions and of course to help in any way she can. Choosing a wife from one of the races also helps boost their friendship with you as an emperor.

Research and dragon abilities are unlocked by speaking to two characters on board who’ll help relieve you of any research points you’ve gained. Unlocking new gear is vital to successful battles on the front lines and enhancing your dragon can often help turn the tide of a close fought battle.

Research

The only big issue I have with this section is it often gets in your way. I’m a head smasher, a warmonger in any war game I play. Although I’ve enjoyed the governance section of the game, I often felt it took too much of my time away from the conquering that I wanted to get on with. Why make allies when I can take what I need, kill whoever disagrees and spur on my own dreaded armies. This is more a personal touch from me, this is how I play and will definitely not affect everyone in the same way. It would have been nice to see an option that allowed even a smaller campaign without the extra’s but then the game probably wouldn’t be as unique as it is.

Graphics

The in-game characters are some of the best looking you’ll see in a strategy game without the developers rounding up some cheap actors for a couple live action shots. The overall colour scheme used within the game keeps everything light and magical, even when the shit hits the fan, helping to keep you immersed while not dragging your eyes into continued darkness.

Although characters on board your ship look fantastic, the same can’t be said about the general units in combat.

Ship

This isn’t going to be winning any awards for superb textures or well-shaped models. The game uses its beautiful landscapes and characters to tell a story, the combat is adequate to enjoy while fighting but isn’t anything special compared to other games in the same genre.

If you into strategy games for graphics than I’d take a peak at gameplay before hand. For most of us though, the lack of ground combat detail is easily overlooked by the enjoyment of the game.

Controls

The controls in combat and on the other menu’s you’ll likely flick through will never really get in your way. Controlling your dragon is simple and quick while menu’s work as intended, no sluggish responses or tired fingers.

The only issue I would raise is controlling troops while in dragon form can be cumbersome. You’ll often have to remind yourself of what keys tell them to do what and producing anything while flying can be even more stretching while dodging and weaving the enemy attacks.

Sound

Music in Divinity: Dragon Commander is sweet and fluid. Each piece often matches the environment or situation and never really gets boring or repetitive. It’s often rather soothing to listen to, which is exactly what you need after a last-ditch battle defending your capital.

While music is great, sound can often break a game. Voice acting is one of the best parts of the game, often in my mind, out doing many other AAA games of late with the superb quality. Sound effects in general though never really go beyond decent. They never excel and just allow the game to get on with its self, which can often be better than an annoying repetitive sound every time something dies or a message is received.

The game is available on Steam now.

Defeat

Divinity: Dragon Commander Review
Although the game is a rather different to its previous titles, the game uses the worlds lore to pull you into a warring world that needs a leader. That man is you. You'll led armies to battle, govern people with your own choice of policies and make the kingdom a safer place for all five races. The governing bit can often get tedious for those of us who'd rather smash some heads in, though it gives a different approach to some situations and often allows you to toy with often nation changing decisions. Not only does the game tell a story well, it has a great story to tell in a world full of wonderful things to discover. I've often found the Divinity games to be undervalued due to bugs or lack of publicity, but in the end, the developers of this game know what they have. A hidden gem amongst the many dull copy cats out in the world.
Story8.8
Gameplay8.5
Graphics7.4
Controls6.8
Sound8.6
The Good
  • Superb Voice Acting
  • Exciting and Unique Ground Combat
  • Good Replaybility Value
The Bad
  • Bland Unit Designs
  • Hard Difficulty For Beginners
  • Governance Can Be Intrusive
8.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Alexander Bradley

Alex was born a geek to a geek family, so he has a passion for anything sci-fi related. He runs AGR in his spare time. Gaming, reading and writing sci-fi stories means he has very little spare time, though he makes it a point to get back to every comment, if possible.

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