What is it?
Hack and slash fighting game where you get to fight as a knight, viking or samurai in 4v4, 2v2 or 1v1 dueling battles.
Initial release date: February 14, 2017
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Designer: Jason VandenBerghe
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Genres: Action game, Fighting game, Hack and slash
Ubisoft definitely spotted a gap in the market for the type of fighting game we’ve not seen for a while. It’s also a clever move for them to capitalise on all assets and IP they’ve already developed in titles like Assasins Creed and The Division. Graphical Design is of the usual high standard you would expect from Ubisoft, as are the fluidity of movement and controls whilst playing.
As expected, it was the 1v1 duels that I find the most enjoyable when playing this game but its worth pointing out that once I felt more comfortable with the controls I decided to try out the 4v4 and 2v2 modes and have to admit that there is a lot of fun to be had in Dominion if you play on a team that has half an idea.
It’s also worth pointing out that Ubisoft have given players as many options to play as possible when choosing what sort of FIGHT they want to hop into. In addition to playing multiplayer games against other online teams of 4v4, 2v2 and 1v1 you also have the option where you and 3 other players see how well you fair against the CPU or “AI Bots” as they are referred to. Maybe this abundence of choice is not generous, maybe its actually an attempt to hide the fact how content-lite this game is, who knows?
The control system or “moveset” has obviously had significant thought and testing behind it and once you get the hang of it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable battle making attack and defense as important as each other and making you think twice about which type of warrior you decide to fight each Battle. There’s plenty of opportunity to get to gets with the controls since the game offers a mixture of other online players to choose from or “bots” should you decide to practice your moves by playing the CPU.
Like we saw with The Division, the pairing up of players in the multiplayer lobbies is both rapid and robust, however in today’s age of established inexpensive cloud servers coupled with real time analytics of how many people are installing the game on their consoles, there really is no excuse for a game developer not having enough server capacity to deal with how many people end up wanting to play on them.
What doesn’t work?
This is a multiplayer game and should have been priced accordingly.
This is a multiplayer game and multiplayer games require dedicated servers to work.
Not only are there no dedicated servers, the server side of things is not even managed by Ubisoft??
The result, the best part of a mediorce game, namely the multiplayer, doesn’t work because the developer is too tight to invest in a suitable network environment to host everything on. As they say in America, go figure.
In terms of content, this game falls foul of all the same problems as many other Ubisoft titles; looks and plays great but you quickly work out there is no substance to any of the characters and the gameplay is going to be formulaic and repetitive
Looks and plays great in the awesome multiplayer (when Multiplayer actually works) but terrible single player experience.
Ubisoft and EA Games may have the biggest releases but they are both guilty of causing the biggest problems we all experience with gaming today. We need game publishers that put the fans first and invest a couple of years making (and testing) a game so it stands the test of time. Good examples are the likes of Rockstar (GTA V) and Naughty Dog (Uncharted, The Last of Us) who care more about the final experience and the legacy of the games they create for players rather than simply churning out title after title that perform well on release but dive in sales shortly after.
Its clear to me that the only reason Ubisoft tacked on the Single Player mode was to ensure they could qualify in the top tier of AAA game sales. There is no denying that for Ubisoft making money is as important, or maybe even slightly more important than making good games. There is so much focus placed on getting you to sign up for Ubisoft Club or getting you to care about the games currency system of “Steel” all in an attempt to rob you from even more of your money, despite already getting you to pay more than you should for this game.
All that said, the Multiplayer does actually make this a worthy purchase since its addictive enough to keep you coming back to play again and again which defeats any problems I may have had with the following niggles:
the cretinous plot of the single player
the dodgy menu system
the joke of a multiplayer game lobby system
over the top, melodramatic voice acting….”I am Apolyon” LOL.
Suggestion: This game is worth playing but not at the current price tag, suggest giving it a go in 6-12 months once all the DLC has come out and can be bought in one purchase.