Well, in my opinion at least.
As you might have seen, I’ve already reviewed Dragonflight. I also made a video about it on the SPUF of Legend. Since then, nothing has actually changed with the game, apart from the fact that I did eventually complete the one and only mission in the game. My flying has become a lot better, and I love doing awesome loop the loops. Most of my time is spent in the Free Flight mode, so I don’t have to sit through the opening slideshow.
First things first, more levels. Lots more levels. Having two levels is a bit silly. What the levels are, I really don’t mind, they could all be “Destroy the castle!” for all I care, but you need something for people to do once they’ve completed Breaking the Covenant. Also, add free flight for all the levels, unlocked by completing each quest, so that people can explore the maps better.
More options are always a good thing to have. Currently, you don’t have many options, mostly just sounds and sensitivity. In the future, it’d be nice to be able to remap controls. For example, I’d like to put hover on Shift or something like that, or move Autopilot to literally any other button. Graphics options are also a must as well. I have a pretty standard laptop, but I do get FPS drops. The ability to increase/decrease the field of view and render distance, change texture and particle quality and reduce the amount of flying physics objects when destroying objects would go a long way to expanding your player base.
Up next is the HUD. I do genuinely like the HUD, your health, stamina and map are all pretty neat. There’s a few changes that can be made though. Power ups could do with having a duration on them, perhaps rather than having the yellow flashing bar, your stamina bar is tinted yellow and the bar drains as the power up runs out. I’d also like a toggle for the autopilot to be shown on screen, so I can see whether it’s off or on, rather than having me sitting around wondering why my dragon is doing things it shouldn’t. Quest markers might be a nice idea for later quests but that’s completely optional. Also optional would be a crosshair. I know dragons don’t have crosshairs and I’ve learned to not need them, but it’d be a nice thing to help out newbies.
Then there’s the more in-game things. The developers have already promised us different dragon models, attacks, animations and the like, but there’s one thing that does need improvement. When you crash into a wall or into the ground, animations would really help keep you immersed in the whole thing, rather than the current situation where you bounce off everything. Melee attacks would also be really good, especially an eating animation. For ranged attacks, fire blasts and fire balls are pretty much all you need, but elemental abilities (water spray to stop fire arrows, picking up and throwing rocks, ice blasts to slow and freeze enemies, poison breath that deals damage over time and weakens structures but doesn’t damage them are all good examples) would be wonderful.
As well as you hitting the terrain, it’d be nice if the Balgon Horde were more appreciative of flying into walls. Normally their AI is alright, although they can do some very unnatural twists and turns at times and only ever seem to chase you unless they spawned ahead of you, but when they crash into walls and stuff, they don’t seem to do anything. Dragon physics in general is a bit wonky, I’ve found myself not getting stuck in terrain (although I did have a castle fall on me), but instead bouncing off the terrain and sometimes through the terrain. Great if you’re in a situation where you’d otherwise be stuck, but it looks weird when I’ve kamikaze’d myself into a castle wall and gone through it with no damage on the castle’s end.
Speaking of Balgon, it’d be nice to at the very least distinguish between ‘threats’ and ‘elite threats’. As far as I can tell, there’s no difference, one just has more health and/or flies better. More enemies in general would be nice. Model-wise, the dragon model is great, and for those who don’t want a wyvern but a traditional 4-legged dragon, you could just add an optional pair of T-Rex arms and the problem is solved. But for the love of the Light, do not add human riders, especially to the main character. Dragonflight right now is pretty special as you’re flying a dragon and you ARE the dragon. Pisses me off no end that you have these gigantic, fire-breathing monsters being tamed by random humans, as if they were horses or something. If you REALLY want to add riders, add them to enemies and just have them throwing spears occasionally or something.
That being said, the lore for the game does look promising. There’s not much to it, but I feel it could be nicely expanded into a whole world. Would be worth making a world map and adding where all of Vermithrax’s prisons are, or something like that. And maybe explain why our little dragon buddy is taking orders from some mage. Pretty sure Malkin (who totally reminds me of the wizard guy from The I of the Dragon) is going to betray us and try and control Vermithrax or something.
Finally, different modes might help spice up gameplay. Perhaps you could have a survival mode where you see how long you can last against a Balgon horde? With the lovely flying controls, an obstacle/racing challenge would work really well, and you can’t say no to a “how many castles can you destroy in 5 minutes?” challenge. A completely free flying mode, with no enemies, no attacking castles, just destructible terrain would be absolutely amazing.
I have really, really high hopes for this game. I really do. I want Dragonflight to leave early access and become a great game. Please don’t let me down.