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Drakengard 3 is the worst gaming experience I’ve had in a long time, in almost all aspects

DISCLAIMER: I don’t have a PC. I have a PS3 but an off-brand controller so there was some delay going on whenever I pressed anything. This obviously has a pretty big impact when it comes to parrying and the final boss.

I wasn’t going into it expecting a Nier game, I was open to whatever they were gonna throw at me. I was, however, expecting a game that was at least enjoyable. I originally bought D3 several months ago and played a few missions, but quickly stopped because of the abysmal frame rate. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, and I had just finished Nier: Replicant and the FFXIV Nier Raid, which reignited my interest in D3 and made me want to give it another shot.

Once I stated playing it this time, the frame rate wasn’t nearly as big of an issue for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was still horrible whenever I used intoner mode or called Mikhail for help. But I must’ve exaggerated how bad it was in my mind because it didn’t seem as awful as I remembered. So I kept playing, quickly realizing that this games issues go far beyond the technical side of things.

I’ll start with the story. I guess I just wish there was more of it presented to you in game? Dialogue between Zero and the disciples hardly ever adds anything to the story, it’s mostly all sex jokes. I’ll admit I laughed quite a few times at first, but later found myself getting annoyed that nobody had anything to add to the conversation besides “lol let’s fuck tonight” or ~insert threat/insult~ “UGNHHH” (I HATED Decadus so much by the end of the game). Even when we did get pieces of story, like how the sisters treated their followers, or the relationship the disciples had with their intoner, it was almost always followed up with a stupid sex joke.

Moving on to the combat, it was okay at first. Like I said in the disclaimer, my controller likely had a negative impact on my ability to parry so I spent most of the time dodging. The thing is, dodging isn’t nearly as useful as parrying. There was one enemy in particular, the centaurs, who would absolutely rock my shit, no matter when I dodged, due to their large sweeping attacks. Clearly the game prefers that you parry over dodging but that just wasn’t a viable option for me, between the frame rate and the controller’s delay. This led to some pretty frustrating battles over the course of the game, to the point where I was dreading boss fights and praying I got to fight them while flying on Mikhail.

Once I got to the later Branches, I was honestly having a miserable time, mostly because those bullshit archers were constantly knocking me out of my attacks. This was especially frustrating in some of the side missions. Most, if not, all of those are timed so you can’t really waste time killing every enemy if you want to complete it, but you can’t complete it anyways if you keep getting knocked out of your combos. It’s honestly the least enjoyable combat system I’ve experienced in a long time, maybe ever. But I just wanted to power through and finish for the story.

Which brings me to my next gripe, to unlock the last Branch of the story, you need to collect every weapon in the game (seems to be a recurring theme in Yoko Taro’s games). In my honest opinion, this is such a horrible way of making a game longer. The grind for weapons wasn’t nearly as bad in Automata or even Replicant. However, gold in D3 isn’t easy to come by. If you want to make money, you have to go do 3 side missions for an area to unlock a “Payday” mission that locks again upon completion until you finish another 3 side missions for that area. This is such a boring and frustrating process that I broke one of my personal rules and edited my save file with max gold, just so I could buy the rest of the weapons and finish the game.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t even do that. I made it all the way to the infamous final boss, not really sure what to expect. I wasn’t as worried as I should have been though because I found the boss fight right before fairly easy, surprisingly. So I thought, “how bad could it be?”. Now, I love rhythm games and I’m a huge music nerd. Me not having rhythm wasn’t the problem. Hell, I might’ve been able to pull it off if I wasn’t using an off-brand controller, since the frame rate was smooth for the fight. I only made it as far as Two appearing from the flower before the rapid button presses were too much for the controller to handle. I maybe could’ve tried to power through if they didn’t make you start the ENTIRE 7 MINUTE SONG over every time you mess up ONCE. I still think the fight would’ve been difficult if they put at least one checkpoint somewhere in there. You do literally nothing while the sisters are rising from the flower, perfect spots for checkpoints. I understand that lessens the difficulty, but I didn’t play through this mess of an action game to end up getting constantly fucked over by a rhythm game, especially when that’s the first time they make you do it. I ended up watching a YouTube video to see the end of the game and was so glad I didn’t play it, because if I had missed that final note that gets sent out when the screen is completely black, the tempo is slowed and Mikhail is talking, and had to start over, I probably would’ve had a stroke. It honestly feels like they didn’t want anyone to finish the game.

The last thing that annoyed me about D3 is the DLC. I could make a whole other post somewhere else about how much I hate what DLC has done to a lot of games in terms of companies not selling complete stories anymore, but I won’t. I’ll just talk about the fact that there are 6 story pieces of DLC for this game (one for each sister, including Zero.) After the myriad issues I had with this game, there was absolutely no way I was willing spend nearly $36 on DLC for this game, even if it did add to the seriously-lacking story. It honestly infuriates me that they would sell additional content for this game and NOT update the game itself in any way to make it more palatable.

All in all, this was an experience I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. I’ve heard people have fixed the frame rate on PC, but the other issues I’ve talked about are still there, so I’m not sure if I would be willing to give it a 3rd shot once I can get a PC. Maybe my overall perception of the combat is skewed because of the controller as well, but I still had problems with D3 that had nothing to do with that. The music in this game slaps, and the lore is still so interesting, but it wasn’t worth the multiple headaches, in my opinion.

Just wanted to put my thoughts out there and see what others think, even if you disagree with me. Maybe you’ll have an insight I haven’t thought about that’ll convince me to try again, because I really wanted to like this game.

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