Dawn of the Dragon is the proposed epic conclusion to the fairly cinematic Legend of Spyro series; however it fails to live up to expectations set from all previous Spyro iterations.
The game picks up right after the conclusion of Eternal Night with Hunter arriving to assist Cynder and Spyro. The story then progresses at a relatively slow pace with Spyro and gang travelling around saving villages and cities from disaster caused by the games villain Malefor. The story is relatively basic and uninspiring and there is a severe lack of humour compared to what Spyro is known for, instead it is replaced with a dark and broody story and the villain, Malefor, barely makes an appearance until the concluding fight and even then is a boring ‘bad guy’.
Gameplay wise the game feels like a kid friendly God of War, however it doesn’t do it nearly as well. The fighting is okay, with a variety of moves and elemental combinations however I found myself relying on only two of Spyro’s powers unless a specific puzzle required it. The battles are also long and frequent which often had to be repeated when you die despite battling for several minutes. The puzzles are pretty simple but many of them went on for far too long with finding 8 of this or 8 of that taking too much time. On occasion they included frustrating elements which resulted in going back to the start of the puzzle.
The platforming can be extremely tempermental with a dodgy camera which doesn’t always move when you want it to. This is coupled with a new two player option, you can switch between Spyro and Cynder at will or have a second player jump in and join you. This could be fun but the short tether that is attached between the characters means that unless you are very close by then there is a lack of independently exploring the worlds.
The worlds themselves are very nice to look at and are very colourful and different with solid graphics for the most part, there were a few instances where large armies where onscreen and they movements where very stuttery with some of the models looking 2D.
All in all Dawn of the Dragon plays well but the slow and boring story was a huge let down considering the build up from the previous games. The absence of humour and focus on darkness took the heart out of this game when it should have had it in spades.
+ Decent varied combat
+ Mostly nice graphics with colourful locations
– Unnecessarily long battles and puzzles
– Tethered co-op a frustration
– Dodgy camera