A Dragons Dogma preview gifted to me by Capcom 11th May 2012 with pictures of me in the Capcom office gaming room, Metro building, Hammersmith, London
I can tell you that this game conforms to genre type and expectation right off the bat from the first weapon you pick up after the prologue, a rusty sword, to the broken skiff, beached and to be found full of gold on the shoreline after you leave your home town with the treasure chest just placed out of view from the road near it. The enemy A.I. is fine but the friendlies aren't so helpful, they still take all of the glory from any battles leaving you to poke at your foes when you can in much the same way that they try to take it all in the Demo.
The combat in the game plays perfectly if you're willing to put the effort in. Not to the extent that you were expected to for Two Worlds but still if you just hack away all sense of realism is lost from the game as your sword sweeps through you allies leaving them unscathed before dropping your foes to their knees or pushing them backwards in groups if you lunge. I was only able to play the fighter class for an hour and a half on the day but I did notice that some of the spells used by the wizard class seemed to require some complexity in target selection to deploy. I got to see plenty though, enough to be able to say quite comfortably that this game is better than Risen and more fun to play than Two Worlds with a better combat system than any of the Fable games but it isn't entirely free roaming. I found myself playing through zones of sorts being constrained by watersides, cliffs and fortifications which the game designer used to funnel me into set pieces.
I was very impressed by the A.I. of animal foes which attack in groups before backing off to attack again so they're lethal at night jumping into the effective radius of your light source, attacking and then dropping into bushes so that you can't see them. That just happens but when the undergrowth is rough these smaller foes are more deadly than the large set piece enemies.
There are plenty of objects to find and there is a crafting system although I didn't use it all sorts of things can be picked up including some things that you might not expect to need as an adventurer but there are nowhere near as many things as in Oblivion. Some item are hidden but most of them can be found in crates, they consist of herbs, potions, useful items and gold. What's really nice about this game though is not the depth of it or the quantity of items available but that it plays really well and is the most realistic adventuring game, with a uniquely lovely combat system, available on XBOX. The sword slashes feel real while it's just arcade enough to be fun and is heavy enough to put a sense of the ominous into the dungeons in it and to give a sense of opportunity to the wilderness areas it provides all in graphics which are very good while being fully rendered all of the time. Get it if you like Risen, Fable or Divinity II and you really want a thrill when your favourite FPS or third person action game is off. It's a brilliant second choice for the mainstream and a must for the roleplay niche limited to only playing games on XBOX.