You are the Dragon Commander. Your mission it is to reunite a broken empire and become the new emperor. Success depends entirely on your ability to efficiently rule your empire, build invincible armies and lead them to victory.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (20 reviews) - 55% of the 20 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,211 reviews) - 76% of the 1,211 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 6, 2013

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Reviews

"Colourful, fun and memorable, its elements mesh surprisingly well." - 85% - PC Gamer

"Delightful merger of role-playing, strategy, and action...Dragon Commander is a gem." - 8/10 - Gamespot

"Divinity: Dragon Commander came out of nowhere to become one of my favorite games of the year. Swift, brutal dragon combat paired with large RTS battles works way better than I ever expected it to." - 8/10 - Venturebeat

"Proper strategy, like mama used to make... its loveable nature and repertoire of charming tricks absolutely wins the day." - Rock Paper Shotgun

"Dragon Commander manages to combine all of its different gameplay elements and delivers one cohesive experience that's highly worth playing" - 4/5 - Gamesradar

"Larian has created a unique, engrossing combination of strategy, political choice and rapid battlefield command." - 8/10 - Incgamers

About This Game

You are the Dragon Commander. Your mission it is to reunite a broken empire and become the new emperor. Success depends entirely on your ability to efficiently rule your empire, build invincible armies and lead them to victory. Your secret weapons: your tactical insights, your leadership skills and your ability to turn yourself into a dragon.
Dragon Commander is not just any strategy game - it seamlessly blends real-time strategy gameplay with turn-based campaigning, role-playing an ascending emperor and controlling a formidable dragon.

Key Features

  • Real time strategy: Command your sea, land and air forces in real-time. Combined operations and knowing where and when to hit are crucial elements of any victory.
  • Dragon Combat: During real time strategy mode, you can turn into a dragon to support your troops in combat and obliterate the enemy using your formidable dragon powers.
  • Turn based campaign: Direct your conquest on the turn-based world map; plan several moves ahead, build formidable armies and invest in the right technology or magic upgrades.
  • Rule your empire: You are the emperor and you make the decisions! But beware, political balance is easily upset. Each game is different and you'll find that a Dragon Commander needs to make really tough decisions. Feel the effects of your decisions on the battlefield as the war progresses.
  • Single-player, multiplayer and co-op modes: Play the single player story-driven campaign or test your mettle against other Dragon Knights, online or local via LAN. Start your own multiplayer campaign with or against a friend. Or duke it out on a skirmish map.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP SP3
    • Processor:Intel Core2 Duo E6600 or equivalent
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 GT (512 MB) or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 4850
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:15 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX9c compliant
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7 SP1
    • Processor:Intel i5 2400
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 550 ti 1GB ram or or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 6XXX
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:30 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX9c compliant, 5.1 surround sound
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (20 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,211 reviews)
Recently Posted
Gilafax
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
It's a fun yet shallow experiance.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lavendar
( 21.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Absolutely amazing game.

It has RTS, civ5 like map painting grand strategy, politics, waifu simulator, and dragon action where you can personally take part in battles.

With balls that big, it's a wonder how this game fit inside a mere 12gb space
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Virose
( 16.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
You are a dragon.

10/10
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Lancer
( 19.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
Buy it on sale.

Dragon commander is a fun mix of Grand strategy, RTS, and RPG - but it does none of them well. Don't come in looking for an in-depth experience in any of those, but for a neat, well-polished if on the simple combination of them all. I love the game, but I expected too much of it when I first bought it and that lead to disappointment. Think of it as a neat side game to the main series that combines elements of multiple genres into a simple, well-polished package.

If it's on sale, it's definitely worth the pickup.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Farshad
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 17
I have a couple of dozen games that were so bad I've created a garbage category (garbage is polite) and stopped playing them in minutes. Some I can't review since I haven't even put in the required 5 minutes they were so bad.

The actual Divinity came is one of my FAVORITE games ever, even with its aging graphics. This... nope, not so much.
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Mac Like-a The Potty
( 16.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
Eventually got around to completing the campaign after having it in my gamelist for over a year.
Now I can say it's pretty dull and feels like an unfinished game. Lacks all kinds of meaty bits to make it worth buying.
The political descisions are just boring. All they do is give a slight buff to certain areas like money, tech or approval. I prefer my choices on potentially world changing decisions to impact more than numbers on a spreadsheet.
A large portion of the characters are impossible to like since they go out of their way to make sure you understand you can't do anything right no matter what you choose. Halfway through the second chapter I stopped caring who I ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off since they are all forgettable. They aren't there to enhance the immersion, the story, or the gameplay. They're just there to yell at you when you choose option A over option B or visa versa, makes no difference in the long run.
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dgreek18
( 12.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
Horrible map and strategy if you compare to say Civ 5. The political decisions are sooooo stereotypical and bland. The RNG for quick resolving battles either completely broken or it is meant to unfairly cheat to cover up the utterly dumb AI. The demon-thing is straight ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (I never used him or sacrificed to him ever and he somehow is suddenly powerful enemy despite being told by the game that he was in a powerful spell). The generals are again, pure stereotypes of a radical feminist, macho man, stuck up prick, and confused lesbian.
Overall this game can be best described as game that tried some interesting things but fails miserably and when it doesnt it lacks any sort of depth.
Maybe buy it for $5 max.
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Awesomo 2000
( 10.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
It is an RTS, also tactic turn based strategy, adventure, and dragon flying action simulator all in one. It may seem weird at first, but slowly you will really get into the world and story of the game and will like it. The overall story might not be one of the best, but conversing with characters and revealing their personal stories is interesting, interacting with diplomats from other nation, deciding new decrees, trying to please your wife (who is either elf, dwarf, lizard or undead) is just topping of the game. Then you get into RTS battle and everything changes, it is fast paced and not that you are ordering dozens of troops around, you also fly around as almighty dragon spewing your fiery rage on enemies. Oh yeah.
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GronkJuice
( 30.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
This game took alot of joy and pain when i played it.
let me explain quickly why you should get something else.

1) the single player is too short with zero replay value
2) the RTS parts of the game are basicly ended before you can use the dragon, or if you cant multi task you can esially loose when your in dragon form.
3) the game is too repetative to really play for long periods of time even multiplayer.

points explained
1- with only 3 campaign fights in the game, and even on hard settings the AI is way too defensive and slow at building troops you can esially win with steamrolling. battles can be auto or you can play them, but in the end I always ended up autoing them due to it was too slow and uninteresting.

2- Dragon form takes about 2 mins before you can summon and the AI sends in units and you have to send units to fight them, so unless your starting units can fight and have at least a standstill you will loose before you can use your trump card and the selling point of the game.

3- Seems like there are only a handfull of maps and they are all the same, a few lanes lead to bases that you fight for control its really just a summon as many units as you can and when you kill the enimies wave you push for 1 base then setup defense again.
Multiplayer does add the enimies having dragons as well, but still just the same battles just one more aspect to them.

I really loved the game when I started it, the non battle antics of your fallowers are amazing. as well as the well thought out princess paths. Only down side is that it tends to be either slow or repetitive so once you play the game a few times you basic will only keep playing for achievements. Also since the game was abandoned early after release many of the issues where never addresses, and no real DLC was released. I love Divinity games, but this would have to be the black sheep of there releases by far. So much potential waisted.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
Fun turn based strategy game. I enjoyed playing it when it didn’t crash. Fun characters and choices. Issues in game are similar to real life issues (ex: legalizing weed, gay marriage, eco-friendly issues, etc..) and you get to make whatever choice you want. You even get to choose a bride. Fun fun.

However, the one big negative draw on the game is that during turns you can play only one battle regardless of how many are on the map. So if on a turn you invade 2 provinces and get invaded in 1, you have to choose which to play and hope the computer can take care of the other two. This sucks a lot because like most turn base strategies with RTS maps you do way better than the computer. So either you hope when the computer plays you way outnumber the other team so your percentage is up. You can also let a general help in one battle regardless of how many generals you have. Even though I have 6 generals only 1 general gets to help in 1 battle and the other battles get no general at all. The other 5 generals just sit there I guess. This puts a kink in many strategies because you really have to prepare before you do a major offensive.

Even though that was a long description, which I am sure doesn’t make sense, the game is still pretty fun. However, for me the crashing became too much and I didn’t finish it. I recommend the game if its super cheap. Other than that you could probably get a better game which is similar (minus being a dragon) for a better price.

Pros
- Customize the dragon you play (i.e. pick your spells)
- Fun choices
- Cute characters
- Fun achievements

Cons
- Game crashes a lot
- Can only play one battle even though the game may have several.
- Overly simplistic battles (personal preference)
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
The game is difficult to recommend, due to its really subpar RTS component (which is really 50% rock-paper-scissors, 50% zerg rush), but man the dragon component is really satisfying and overall the game has an enormous amount of character and flavour (politics and negotation was really fun). If that component was brushed up, this game would be just about perfect. I had a lot of fun with it, but I don't really see myself revisiting it very often. I'd recommend it only on the caveat that you're willing to overlook its glaring flaws in the RTS side of things, because they've done everything else exceptionally well.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
this was supposed to be a total war-like game with an rpg twist but went quite wrong.

the only pros here are graphics and the general idea of commending your troops as a dragon while fighting the enemies.

cons
the strategy map is way too simple, there's no building or social managment involved at all and units management is clunky and rather uninteresting, there's is a card system which should bring you advantages/disadvantages but they reveal to be quite unrelevant especially later in the game.
the rts part resembles the strategy one, very simple, no different factions to choose from, very low unit type count, just a few maps to play on, you'll end up basically repeating the same battle over and over again. dragon controls and ui design it's ok but it's almost impossible to avoid anemy attacks.
the rpg section it's useless. they used it to bring on the story, the characters are good but there's no point in interacting with them; they'll ask you to decide on various aspect of your empire's politics (stuff like gay marriage, criminal deportation, military politc etc...) which will earn you their favour or their antipaty, but with minimal impact on the game itself.

so it's a game with potential but it's too simple to be interesting to play
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
19.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
Buy it on sale.

Dragon commander is a fun mix of Grand strategy, RTS, and RPG - but it does none of them well. Don't come in looking for an in-depth experience in any of those, but for a neat, well-polished if on the simple combination of them all. I love the game, but I expected too much of it when I first bought it and that lead to disappointment. Think of it as a neat side game to the main series that combines elements of multiple genres into a simple, well-polished package.

If it's on sale, it's definitely worth the pickup.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
30.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
This game took alot of joy and pain when i played it.
let me explain quickly why you should get something else.

1) the single player is too short with zero replay value
2) the RTS parts of the game are basicly ended before you can use the dragon, or if you cant multi task you can esially loose when your in dragon form.
3) the game is too repetative to really play for long periods of time even multiplayer.

points explained
1- with only 3 campaign fights in the game, and even on hard settings the AI is way too defensive and slow at building troops you can esially win with steamrolling. battles can be auto or you can play them, but in the end I always ended up autoing them due to it was too slow and uninteresting.

2- Dragon form takes about 2 mins before you can summon and the AI sends in units and you have to send units to fight them, so unless your starting units can fight and have at least a standstill you will loose before you can use your trump card and the selling point of the game.

3- Seems like there are only a handfull of maps and they are all the same, a few lanes lead to bases that you fight for control its really just a summon as many units as you can and when you kill the enimies wave you push for 1 base then setup defense again.
Multiplayer does add the enimies having dragons as well, but still just the same battles just one more aspect to them.

I really loved the game when I started it, the non battle antics of your fallowers are amazing. as well as the well thought out princess paths. Only down side is that it tends to be either slow or repetitive so once you play the game a few times you basic will only keep playing for achievements. Also since the game was abandoned early after release many of the issues where never addresses, and no real DLC was released. I love Divinity games, but this would have to be the black sheep of there releases by far. So much potential waisted.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
I learned about Divinity: Dragon Commander when I was talking to a friend about Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. I loved that game, but it won't run on modern hardware. I really wanted a new game that combines a turn based strategic map and a real-time strategy. This has that. It also has political elements, and you can turn into a dragon. Plus, it's Steampunk, so I was 100% sold.

So I loved the setup and the execution almost lives up to it. Because there are four different games in one, each version isn't as in-depth as it would be if that were the sole focus of the game. I really like the RTS game and the turn-based strategy helps with researching more units / upgrades, or getting cards to swing close fights. However, the actual strategy map is rather simplistic. I would have liked it if I could have more control over the starting setup for the RTS by building more buildings on the strategy map, for example.

On a side note, there were some things cut from the final game due to deadlines, like more dragon customization (You still get to pick from one of three starting dragons.) more princesses, being able to play as a female dragon, etc. I really hope the game sold well enough to warrant a sequel, because I would love a more in-depth version of this game.

That said, I recommend buying it.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
393 of 436 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
A good game... Just one that is so strong in one part... And so weak in another two.... I find it difficult to recommend.. I think some will really love this game, and others will bounce off it. I am somewhere inbetween... And after 8 hours, I just felt like I'd had my fill.

There are three parts to this game, the RTS battles where you can take the form a dragon to rain down fiery terror on your enemies while commanding your forces about and building a base... the strategy map where you move your forces around in a turn based environment, very much like the board game RISK.. and the part of the game that I call the Emperor simulator.

For me, the RTS part of the game is the weakest, and ultimately what made me run out of steam and stop playing. I spent most of my time in RTS battles and to be fair they are half decent. The graphics are competent, the AI is good on Normal difficulty and although the units all kinda look the same they are varied in their functions and what they can do. You have land, sea and air units and coupled with the ability to change into a Dragon to help out a crucial time or go on a daring raid to destroy a key building is fun! ....... For a while.

It just becomes stale, at least in my opinion. Granted, I am not an extreme RTS player so maybe I don't have the grizzled veteran stripes that would see me through, but I have finished a few in my time. World in Conflict, a few C&C games, Starcraft 2, Dawn of War.. and similar games... so I feel qualified enough to say that the RTS element of Dragon Commander stops being fun and ends up repetitive and at times... a grind.

Fighting so many similar battles, often on similar maps, repeating similar tactics over and over eventually erodes the fun for me and facing X amount more hours of it isn't something I relish. Most of the time selecting all your units and pointing them to the enemy base tends to work as a tactic, as long as you time it right.

The strategy map is half decent, knowing where to spend your turn by turn income and when to commit your forces is crucial to success... and that part is engaging. No real complaints .. or specific praise about the map. It is clean, functional.. and works. So.. good!

By far the best bit of the game however is playing Emperor. In between battles and troop deployments you will move around your command ship (a big airship powered by a demon) and speak with your generals, learn what makes them tick, settle disputes and do your best to people manage your commanders who are all very different and clearly have different ways of thinking and fighting. You'll also need to manage to needs of the people... in the form of approving or rejecting policies your council proposes.

Things like a national health service, conscription, gay marriage and censorship of the media. The choices you make have direct influences on the war, impacting finances, morale and available troops.

On top of that you also pick a princess to marry from one of the 5 races (I think) in the game, each have their own story arc, wants and needs and of course who you pick and what happens with them throughout the course of your game influence your standing with that particular race and how the others view you also.

It is well voice acted throughout, the characters are well written and they are animated to be full of life and colour. It was a real pleasant surprise!

I feel like I am just scratching the surface on this part of the game, but this facet of Dragon Commander is great... and for me..if they could of attached it to a more fulfilling game... like... well... I'm not sure.. .perhaps a fantasy kingdom manager in the mould of Anno 1404 or something? Rather than this repetitive RTS game... then I think this will have been a classic for me.

Thumbs up ... because it isn't a bad game... however whether you'll fall in love with it or not... is difficult to say.
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158 of 171 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
34.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 7, 2014
What do you expect from this game? Because if you are looking for a good RTS and turn based gameplay, Divinity Dragon Commander isn't the game that's going to scratch that itch for you, even though it employs those mechanics. But if you are looking for a conceptually interesting game, with emphasis on story, character and choices, then I dare say that Divinity Dragon Commander might be worth checking out, if and only if, you are willing to be patient with it and accept the shortcomings of the action phases, meaning the RTS battles.

Divinity Dragon Commander is divided in three parts of gameplay: story and political decisions, turn based Risk-like movement troops on a military map and real-time strategy confrontation during which you can control a dragon. The three phases of the game influence each other in a delightful way: the political decision you make have an impact on all the areas of the map, and the level of bonuses you get from them, depending on the faction to which each county belongs. For example, if you are popular with the elves, your elven controlled regions will grant you more money and will also be more easy to defend. At the same time, it will be harder for the enemy to hold on to those elvish districts. Obviously, should you be less popular, those bonus would become penalties, making the game actually very difficult, even in the RTS sequences of the game, where the number of recruits, and thus units you can build, is tied to your popularity.
But on that point, it needs to be said that the whole game is pretty difficult if you don't know its workings. The learning curve is all over the place. The game doesn't explain the consequence of your political decisions and the nefarious effects of a popularity of zero percent with one or more factions. Worse, going against the wishes of the undead faction, which is blessed by the gods, actually gives you a penalty during automatic battle resolutions, which is bound to happen sooner or later since you can only manage one battle per turn personally. This battle penalty can go pretty high as I found out, up to -26% apparently. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that particular experience. The RTS phases are a lot easier if you compromise you political stance and try to accommodate most of the factions, at least some of the time.

The problems during the battles do not only spring from what the game doesn't establish in mechanics, but also from balancing issues. At the start of the game, you can choose from three dragons, but the differences aren't obvious: the mage-like dragon has more health and better mobility but deals the least amount of damage, whereas the biggest, fastest dragon has the best damage output, but the less health and mobility. The starting skills of each dragon are also different, but since you can unlock every talent for every dragon, it's really a none issue. The problem is that the mage-dragon deals so little damage, that it takes ages to kill anything while the enemy has no problem pummelling that particular dragon to death. Sure, in multilayer, it might make a difference, but for the story campaign, I see no point in going down that road.
Also, on the turn based map, it is possible to build local improvements which in turn grant you cards that you can play before a battle to improve your odds of winning, or granting temporary bonuses to counties. But, from all the dozens and dozens of different cards it is possible to get, very clearly the tavern, which grants you mercenaries, is the best way to go. All of a sudden, you can attack an enemy, one unit against ten, and then just summon a whole army of mercenaries to take care of things.
Besides these balancing issues, there is also the fact that it is possible to carry over gold between acts. There are three acts in the game, and while you are limited in what you can take with you between act I and II, there is no limit between what it is possible to import to act III. While the game puts an emphasis on rushing down opponents, it is well worth waiting a dozen turns at the end of each act to maximise the treasure, the research trees and the cards, stacking up on mercenary ones. The worst part is, winning or, at least for me, enjoying the game, seems to require using these exploits to gain the upper hand against the IA and avoiding most of the dreadful RTS sequences.

Because there is no way around it, those sequences aren't well made. That they are functional is about the only good thing I can say about them. The RTS aspects of it are rather simplistic, and the tactics are seldom more developed than surviving, building a large army and dumping it on the enemy. The fact that it is possible to play as a dragon during those phases is refreshing, and it is nice to fly over the battlefield, helping you troops and raining down fire on your enemies. But this makes it almost impossible to control you troops, managing your army, buildings, etc. So it is constantly necessary to switch back and forth between dragon and RTS controls.
As a balancing issue, -again!-, the speed of the game is a huge problem. It is possible to determine how fast, or slow, the RTS portion of the game can run. This means that everything can happen either twice as fast, or only at fifty percent of the speed. Here is the kicker: the dragon you control isn't influence by the change in pace, meaning that he still moves and attacks at the same speed, regardless of the speed of the enemies. This is completely broken since it means that enemies can dish out twice as much damage to you on higher speed, but only fifty percent on the lowest speed, which makes it also much more easier to dodge. So turning the speed to “slowest” during the RTS section is almost a vital necessity.

But if, on paper, one third of the game is worth rushing through, the rest of it must be that much better, to compensate, right?

From the start, Divinity Dragon Commander pulled me in: the introduction sequence, and it's music, set a refreshing tone for me, as well as the first contact with the generals under your command. The personality, characterisation and style really shines through during those moment. It is the most polished part of the game and the effort shows.
The characters feel almost larger than life, straight out of a play, going through individual arcs with their quirks and personal demons, down one path or another, depending on your guidance. The voice acting is just perfect, I couldn't even think of one thing to improve on in that regard. It hits every mark! The dialogue made me think, it made me laugh, it completely mesmerized me. There is so much personality here, even in the background of the scenes where you make decision (like the amazing skeletal barmaid).
The opinion of the player is asked constantly over subject which are sometimes trivial and funny, or very serious. It is sad to only have two options as choices, no matter the subject, but it does make things more straightforward. Although, you would be surprised how often the obvious choice isn't always the right one. I liked it a lot, but I suppose it requires a certain interest in political issues, if only to catch the jokes, the nudges and the parodies represented here.
I was also very surprised by some of the different issues you get, depending on what you decided earlier. Turning down the imp faction looking to build a giant bomb will result in them coming back with a super soldier project, whereas agreeing in the first place, will only ask more and more of you in the search for the “biggest and badest explosion ever”. Each faction (of which there are five), each general (four in this case) and each queen (again, four) has one of these quests with a lot of multiple branching.

Still, although I enjoyed my time with Divinity Dragon Commander, I cannot justify its full price tag, for what content I liked amounted to not even half of what the game had to offer.
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87 of 92 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
63.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2015
The single-player mode in Divinity: Dragon Commander sets up a decent plot about a being who can transform into a dragon who is disputing with its other, equally crazy siblings. The story portrayed through the cutscenes is certainly well told, but serves as more or less a justification to go from one map to the next.

Though the tutorials don't do much to explain this, Divinity: Dragon Commander is a mix of boardgame-style territory control (a la Risk) and real-time strategy (RTS) battles. The majority of a "match" will have players moving pieces around a game board in an attempt to control and dominate as much of the map as possible. The biggest problem is that the tutorial doesn't even attempt to explain any of this.

After watching the multitude of tutorial videos, it's easy to assume that the game is only an RTS game, as it doesn't touch on any of the mechanics associated with the boardgame portions of a match. When first confronted with the board, some tooltips are displayed to help explain things, but they are incredibly insufficient. The tutorials for the RTS elements are also insufficient, as is the case with just about every non-interactive tutorial. There is a "Training Ground" that allows players to screw around as they please, but it does little in the way of actively teaching anything.

The boardgame portions of the game take place in turns and require a "big picture" type of thinking in order to play effectively. Two types of resources are up for grabs: gold and resource points. Occupying various areas on the map will add to the amount of resources gained per turn, the exact amount being displayed on the territory itself. When a battle occurs, the player has the option to choose a specific general, each with their own playstyle, to auto-simulate the battle and play the odds, or they can control the Dragon Commander and head into battle themselves.

The battles play out like many other real-time strategy games, but with one twist: the player can take control of a jetpack dragon and partake in the battle themselves. Doing so is somewhat limited; there are a couple of minutes in the beginning of the match in which the dragon cannot be spawned (it takes resources, which you don’t yet have, to spawn the dragon), and there is a brief period after death in which the dragon cannot be spawned. The dragon has specific abilities at its disposal as well, each with its own separate cooldown. There are also three different dragons to choose from, each with their own abilities and playstyle.

Playing as a dragon is like playing a third-person shooter; it's very action-oriented. When doing so, however, it is important not to forget about the troops on the ground. Battles will be fought in tandem, as the player commands the dragon in the sky while their troops march beneath them into battle. There are limited army commands while in dragon mode, so it is possible to command an army while simultaneously breathing fire on enemy scum. Mastering these army commands is a hugely effective way to get a leg up on an opponent, since it's incredibly easy to forget about a ground army while soaring through the air and toasting fools.

As for the non-dragon RTS mechanics, battles consist of vying for resources called Recruits. Recruits are gained over time as long as the player has Recruitment Centers built on top of certain locations around the map. These locations are neutral in the beginning of the map, and need to be captured by having at least one unit nearby. The beginning of the match is incredibly important as players have limited units and must try to capture and hold as many build locations as possible, both for Recruitment Centers and unit-producing buildings.

The RTS controls do feel a bit clunky when compared to the standards of the genre. Intermediate tactics like control groups can be utilized, but most units move way too slowly to micromanage effectively. In addition, the camera is constantly shifting position when going back and forth between RTS and dragon mode and it can be quite frustrating to constantly have to re-adjust the camera.

The true highlight of the single-player campaign is what happens in between turns, aboard a ship called the Raven. This is where the diplomatic elements come into play, as a group of five diplomats will constantly bug the player with proposals and recommendations as to how to run a country. Each diplomat represents a specific race: Undead, Elves, Dwarves, Lizards, or Imps. Making certain decisions will alter how each race feels about the player, so balancing the favor of each race becomes quite the juggling act.

The Raven is also where players will spend their research points. These points, accrued each turn, can be spent on new units and unit abilities or on new dragon abilities. Deciding where to spend research points is no easy feat, as doing so can drastically alter a playstyle. One player might want to spend heavily on their dragon, making each player-controlled battle that much easier, while someone else might want to focus on their army and let their AI generals auto-simulate the battles.

It is, of course, also possible to take the battles online against honest-to-goodness humans. The Raven doesn't make an appearance in any multiplayer mode, since chances are people would spend forever in between turns, but its absence is made up by the presence of dragon-on-dragon battles. There are two game modes: Campaign and Skirmish, the latter of which is a single battle in the RTS-style of gameplay, without the boardgame map. The former is just like single-player but without the Raven.

The dragon battles are the clear highlight of multiplayer. Battles are no longer instantly won once the player decides to command their dragon, because the enemy player can do the same thing and fight back. The strategy shifts dramatically when a player knows that a dragon can emerge at just about any moment. Anti-air units are way more valuable as most of them, when grouped up, can take out a dragon pretty quickly. The dogfights, er, dragonfights, that can happen in the air are intense and are a true test of a player's focus, as it's even easier to forget about a ground army when using skills and dodging.

Each area and NPC looks unique and beautiful, both in terms of technical graphics power and character design. A pretty big issue for some players, though, is the lack of a colorblind mode, as the default colors of the single-player campaign are red and green. This issue persists on both the overworld map as well as mid-battle. During the battle, enemy units are labeled when far away from the camera with a red icon, but the icon goes away as they get closer for some strange reason, reverting back to the reliance on color differentiation.

The voice work of Divinity: Dragon Commander deserves special mention. With so many different characters aboard the Raven, the voice acting was immediately a cause for concern for me. Luckily, each character performs well and it is a joy to talk to each and every one. Sure, no one character's voice actor stands out as particularly amazing, but the sheer virtue of not having a single character grate on the nerves is not to be understated.

Divinity: Dragon Commander is a prime example of a game being bigger than the sum of its parts. The RTS elements are a bit rough, but at least it's possible to control a dragon with a freaking jetpack to blow stuff up, while the boardgame-esque territory map requires players to think of the big picture. Talking to the colorful cast of NPCs aboard the Raven in between turns in single-player was easily one of my favorite non-dragon parts of the game and really highlights the writing and wit that the Divinity series has come to be known for. The tutorial needs a lot of work and the game isn't very friendly to colorblind players, but Divinity: Dragon Commander will certainly unleash the dragon strategist in all of us.
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85 of 90 people (94%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
27.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 31, 2015
Divinity: Dragon Commander is a pretty great mix of real-time straetgy, turn-based strategy, political simulation and action-packed third-person dragon fighting ^^

You are playing as dragon commander and your task is to defeat your evil brothers and sisters and conquer Rivellon.

"Raven", your flagship, is your base of command from where you can access different rooms to plan your next steps.
On said ship there are also ambassadors from different species (like elves, dwarfs, reptilians and the undead) and they will ask you every now and then to do a political decision, which also has a little impact on reputation, earned gold etc.

Then, after you are done with talking to everyone and you want to start conquering, there is the world map, divided into several "countries" (ever played the board game "Risk"? Then you know how it plays). Each of these "countries" can be conquered with your units and you can buy and build one of several buildings on it. Some give you more gold, some will grant you cards, which you can use to get extra units or other advantages in the combat.

Once you bought your units, placed them, used your cards and you want to attack another country, then you will jump into real-time strategy part.
The strategy part is rather simple. You have several fixed spots on the map, where you can build buildings on. First, you have to get your units there and wait a bit for them to capture them, only then you can build there.
Over time, you gain points (i think they are called citizens) which you need in order to build your attack units and buildings.

The one big diffenrece and fun thing here is, once you collected enough citizens, you can transform into a dragon, fly around in third person and attack the enemy, buff your units or debuff the enemy units.
You are pretty powerful and can turn a seemingly lost battle into a victory, but you are not invincible.

On your flagship you can buy new buffs, debuffs for your dragon, new units and upgrades for your units.

It's a very well done mix, although it plays very simplistic and doesn't have the depth of other RTS games.
The maps itself are also rather small and will repeat quite often.

The characters are pretty well done, and also the political debates and decisions are quite fun. Most of the time they are split in half, wether they like a decision or not, so you can't please everyone always. But the impact of the decision isn't that big.
Speaking of the political debates, the humor is quite good as well, the dialogues are fun and i found myself to have more interest in these, than in the rest of the game ^^
Pretty early on, you are also given the choice to marry a woman from one of the species. The dialogues with them afterwards and the choices you make there are also pretty great and hilarious.

The game itself is a great mix of different genres, which plays pretty good, although being rather simplistic, but still fun enough to entertain a lot, especially when you are soaring through the air as powerful dragon, crushing all those puny enemies ^^

Can definitely recommend this to everyone even slightly interested in real-time strategy games. A very refreshing and unique game in my opinion, don't miss out.
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