I love dragons. In fact, I love dragons so much that I can’t play Skyrim because the whole dragonborn aspect of it bums me out too much. For me, killing dragons has never been some epic act of heroism. Instead it has always felt empty. There’s just something about killing a creature as majestic and beautiful as a dragon that breaks my heart. That said, I’ve always wanted a game in which I could play as the dragon. While I have yet to find that game, today’s Kickstarter game comes close with Dragons of Elanthia by Simutronics which is a fast paced, aerial shooter in which you choose your dragon and its rider before venturing into combat. The way I see it, if I can’t be the dragon, joining one is the next best thing!
Dragons of Elanthia is, in a way, everything I wanted Dragon’s Prophet to be. The key difference of course is that this is a shooter and Dragon’s Prophet was an MMORPG, but while Dragon’s Prophet’s relationship between dragon and rider felt awkward and insincere, in Dragons of Elanthia the bond feels so much stronger.
Little is known about the story at this time and, to my very great surprise, I don’t honestly care. For the first time in a game the gameplay and overall concept have me more interested to play it than any aspect of story or character. I would not be surprised if there is no plot at all (except perhaps some backstory for each character) and for once I won’t mind. I am so interested in just hopping on my dragon and going on the offensive that I don’t need a story to make the game feel worthwhile.
Wow. That’s a first.
Basically what the game feels like to me is something of a fighter or like an epic Super Smash Bros. It’s not about the story. It’s not about who the characters are (especially since you’ll probably switch between characters fairly regularly). All this game is about is having a great time blasting other dragons and riders out of the sky, and that sounds brilliant*.
For me to be interested in a game without a story you are probably assuming that the gameplay is fantastic. You would be right. While I haven’t had the opportunity to actually give the game a go and see how it feels I can say that the information they’ve given and the gameplay footage they have shown looks nothing short of brilliant.
Essentially, Dragons of Elanthia is an aerial shooter with strategy elements. The strategy comes in the form of dragon and rider combinations. At present there are 36 different dragon rider combos you can create (and this number is expected to rise with time), and each combo will give you a different playstyle.
Each dragon and rider has three abilities: two active and one passive. The Kickstarter explains that typically this will mean one attack, one utility and one unique specialty for the passive. At present I have my eye on the Lightning Dragon. Not only is it gorgeous, but it’s quick, nimble and great for evading. One of its super cool skills is Flashforward which will allow it to quickly escape any potentially fatal encounters. On the off-chance that the Lightning Dragon does get hit, its passive skill, Hypercharge, kicks in by reducing all cooldowns.
Pretty cool, huh?
Not only can you choose how you want to combine your dragon and rider, but once you enter a match there are a variety of roles for you to fill. You can capture various locations to give your team the upper hand, buff or heal your teammates, or beat the crap out of the opposition. These choices in addition to the different types of dragons and riders allow you to create the experience that is most rewarding for you. Options: this game has them.
Dragons of Elanthia will be available for PC, Mac, and Linux and will be Free to Play. The team appears to be highly professional and have the experience necessary to make this game a success. But to keep the idea their own they need the help of the community to get it done because, let’s be honest, most big name publishers would ruin the brilliant vision of this game.
You can vote for them on Steam Greenlight here. For more information and to sign up for the beta, check out their website. And if you think that this game looks as awesome as I do and would like to back them or spread the word, their Kickstarter can be found here. They are looking for $200,000 by November 27th, 2013.
You know the drill! Donate if you can, spread the word if you are unable to. Let’s get this game funded!