Have you played the Dragon's Dogma demo yet? I absolutely loved it. It makes it even harder to wait for the game's release in two weeks. As we wait, Capcom has been teasing more bits of the game. This week is the Ur-Dragon.
Dragon's Dogma is a single player game with a unique online mechanic. The worlds of all the games being played are connected which allows your character to recruit the NPC party members of other players for your own party. It's not true multiplayer, but it's a fantastic way to encourage community input from within a single player game.
The Ur-Dragon takes the previous idea to the next level. Capcom describes it as thus:
The Ur-Dragon encounter in Dragon's Dogma will take the form of an asynchronous, ongoing online encounter, where players and their parties from around the world can compete online to take down the Ur-Dragon. The effect and damage done by of each of these parties will be combined until the creature is defeated. This will take multiple encounters, but all players who inflict damage on the Ur-Dragon will receive great spoils. The person who inflicts the final blow will receive the greatest reward of all, and all slayers of the Ur-Dragon will have their names and play times recorded in the hall of fame for bragging rights. Meanwhile, offline players will still be able to take on the Ur-Dragon alone, but will receive different rewards at the end.
Capcom is remaining tight lipped as to where we can find the Ur-Dragon, but rest assured, I'll be aiming to take it down myself. I just love the idea of this kind of massive cooperation on the scale of a single-player game. This is the kind of multiplayer that single-player fantasy epics need, not some cheap WoW clone that's only hoping to cash in on a slowly dying trend.
To perhaps make you more convinced that the Ur-Dragon is not just some cheap gimmick, here's the trailer for this massive beast. I can't wait to take it on when the game launches on May 22 for the Xbox 360 and PS3.