This title was reviewed on PS4, but is also available on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
I was pretty keen to see what Dreamworks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders had to offer. As a child, I played games such as Toy Story 2, Trazan, and A Bugs Life which have a special nostalgic place in my heart. I really enjoyed the How to Train your Dragon films and was excited to see if they could capture that essence and give me the nostalgic feels of playing a game based on a film series. I don’t know if I’m a bit too old to get the nostalgic feel now, but I won’t let this affect my judgement, so check out below what I thought of the game!
You play as Scribbler, who has forgotten his past. He finds a dragon egg that hasn’t hatched, which later into the game hatches and is named Patch. Patch is a hybrid dragon, or better known as a “chimeragon”. Together you will encounter dragons that have been turned aggressive by use of magical orbs, which you must destroy to set them free. Patch is also being hunted by the evil Eir, who wishes to recapture him for reasons yet unknown. Along the way, you will also come across your favourite characters from How to Train your Dragon, such as Hiccup and Toothless. Together you and Patch will uncover your forgotten memories throughout the game.
As Scribbler you are able to attack with your sword, and block with your shield. You can also dodge roll during combat to avoid enemy attacks. You will encounter enemies which are best described as Barbarians. Once you acquire your dragon Patch, he will start to help you during battles by using his ever-evolving move set. First of all, this is an ice attack, and later on he learns electric and fire (hence being a “chimeragon”). He will also grow as he learns new moves including the ability to fly over the world map.
Once you learn to fly, you can visit side islands to explore, which are very small and linear with only a few hidden areas for treasure chests etc. On these islands you can either receive materials (used to upgrade Scribblers weapons), or you might find a captured dragon. To release the dragon, you must fight its captors and break the cage it is held in. By doing this, you will then gain the ability to call on these dragons to assist you in future battles. They all have their own unique abilities, and some are best suited for support or just plain ol’ attacking. These islands help provide a little diversity to the game, but unfortunately the combat doesn’t feel very integrated as every battle feels like it’s a repeat of prior battles with no change in style or difficulty.
With the inclusion of Patch also comes the introduction of puzzles to the game. You need to use his different elemental attacks to be able to complete these puzzles. I found these to be the most entertaining part of the game, but they are very straight forward and simple, providing no level of difficulty.
As mentioned in the story section, you will sometimes encounter dragons which have three glass orbs attached to their bodies. These seems to contain a poison-like substance which causes them to be aggressive. You will have to battle these dragons and destroy the orbs (which will break during combat), which means the dragon will be free to fly away happily ever after.
Level design in Dreamworks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders was very similar, even though there were different biomes. The graphics were quite blocky in style, which was disappointing as I was expecting a similar graphics style to the How to Train your Dragon movies. The sound in the game was pretty general and isn’t worth noting on.
Dreamworks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders doesn’t add anything new. As with most games based on films, it seems to be more of a gimmick to keep the fans entertained. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of thought put into the making of it, and it certainly doesn’t add anything new to the genre. In saying that, this game is probably quite suitable for the younger players who are fans of the How to Train your Dragon films.