Mixed or average reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 55
  2. Negative: 8 out of 55
Buy On
  1. The strong story spans ninety levels and offers plenty beyond the main story. Make no mistake, Drakengard is not groundbreaking, but coming from Square-Enix it’s a welcome piece of variety, and a fine game as well.
  2. None of the game's various segments is better than the source material that inspired it.
  3. Two nice game styles, both of which are nice enough to warrant addictive gameplay, yet both suffer from a very shallow nature.
  4. If you manage to at least enjoy killing hundreds of people in Drakengard’s world, you can enjoy killing thousands to make it to its end.
  5. One of the most important factors of gameplay is the layout of the controller. Square Enix has done an excellent job of making all of your tasks simpler by utilizing the DualShock 2 efficiently and naturally.
  6. netjak
    If you dig "Dynasty Warriors," this is a must buy for you. If you dig "Panzer Dragoon Orta," this is a possible buy for you. (there are less Dragon specific sequences than there are DW style sequences.) [JPN Import "Drag-On Dragoon"]
  7. While overall you have a typically slick Square-Enix production, fighting is too simplistic, with only one button to perform most attacks. Also, despite the enemies themselves looking terrific throughout, the backdrops for the aerial battles are no match for "Panzer Dragoon Orta."
  8. Neither of its two main gameplay modes are the best in the industry, Drakengard does both well enough to be a pleasant experience.
  9. 79
    What it isn't, though, is the second coming of the "Dynasty Warriors" series, nor is it the RPG that all the advertisements make it out to be. It's an action game pure and simple, and one that succeeds and fails on multiple levels.
  10. The dragon gameplay makes a good gimmick, and the story is strong, but for gameplay, it only has a Dynasty Warriors hack and slash system backed up by good experience gain.
  11. While the game has at least a good 30 hours of gameplay, I don't see this as a title that many will come back to beat again once they've gone through it one time.
  12. In small doses Drakengard is quite fun. The best way to play it might be like the novel you read on the subway on the way to and from work. Read a little bit each day as you ride and you eventually get the whole story while being entertained during the mundane task of getting to work.
  13. Yes, it's simple and not terribly original, but it does provide plenty of fast-paced action and some solid visuals. As action games go, you could do much worse. [Mar 2004, p.100]
  14. 75
    Got a spare 20 to 30 hours, and a hankering for mindless medieval bloodshed? Not been pressing the Square button enough? Go on -- give this an intense weekend rental.
  15. One of my biggest annoyances when playing Drag-on Dragoon was that I couldn't save my progress in the middle of a stage. This can be frustrating if after 40 minutes of leveling up your character you die because of a silly mistake. [JPN Import]
  16. It seems ironic that in Square Enix’s attempts to make a game appealing to fans of two genres they have actually created a game that features pretty standard gameplay and may not attract its intended audience.
  17. The core action that dominates the gameplay is highly repetitive and not particularly interesting, but Drakengard is still worth a look from those intrigued by the game's strange theme.
  18. Truly, I did not want to finish this game. I found it to be as endearing as The Phantom Menace (which does not even warrant an underline).
  19. The RPG elements keep the game from getting overly repetitive but at the very basic level, the game is a monotonous task of defeating enemies to progress further.
  20. Thanks to the three modes of play, Drakengard remains fairly fresh because the actions always seems to sway right when it should.
  21. While Drakengard doesn’t possess any glaring faults, issues regarding the game’s combat balance and the lack of an action ability system prevent it from being entirely engaging.
  22. 65
    Though the storyline is unique and satisfying and the musical score is nothing short of brilliant, the overall gameplay elements that make up Drakengard are tedious and irksome, leaving you with a game that you may never actually finish.
  23. Just isn't fun enough to keep you playing. With repetitive missions, no multiplayer and mediocre gameplay, it often devolves into a chore.
  24. The robust gameplay will keep you coming back. All three level types are totally engaging, and a wealth of secrets (hidden stages, dragons, and weapons) means that a weekend rental won't be nearly long enough. [Apr 2004, p.120]
  25. While developer Cavia has done a fine job of aping what makes "Panzer Dragoon" so much fun, the "Dynasty Warriors" elements of the game are sorely lacking.
  26. 52
    All in all, a much better effect could be achieved by saving forty dollars, renting Dragonheart and playing through the Adventures of Link -same premise, only with game play that is actually entertaining.
  27. Fans of the movie "Dragonheart" and people who like games that run in the same vein as the "Dynasty Warriors" and "Panzer Dragoon" series' will enjoy Drakengard to the fullest while others will recieve a solid, yet short and lacking, gameplay experience that won't leave them completely satisfied.
  28. Right now it’s average in quality, and what should be amusing feels like a chore. It’s hard to make dragons unexciting, but somehow Drakengard manages to do it.
  29. 48
    Drakengard is not shockingly bad, just unadventurous and frankly quite dated.
  30. 45
    The predominant problem with Drakengard is that it's boring to look at. The level designs don't seem designed much at all.
  31. The good things about this game were only so-so, and the low points could almost redefine low. For all the effort I put into playing this game, in the end I was left very unsatisfied.
  32. The simplicity ultimately ends the enjoyment prematurely. It only takes a few hours for the combat to grate, and as it’s the only thing you do, it’s the worst thing for an Action RPG to end up doing.
  33. With a superb story, three challenging modes of gameplay, plenty of side quests and missions that can climb to almost an hour apiece, Drakengard could easily consume up to 50 hours of one’s time.
  34. Despite its lousy gameplay, Drakengard's story is what makes me absolutely hate, hate, hate it...Just try to like any of the characters. Impossible. [Mar 2004, p.98]
  35. If repetitive gameplay, pop up, fog, and a corny story are what we're to expect from the Square Enix merger, they shouldn't have bothered. The game reeks first generation, and the failed attempt to mix genres only added to the game's overall sloppiness.
  36. If you want to fly high above and put yourself into unique and highly intense battles that are actually fun, go try "Sky Gunner" or "Panzer Dragoon Orta." In the meantime, you can probably look at this title and see how not to make a good game.
  37. While Drakengard combines two distinct gameplay styles, neither works well due to the awful AI and severe repetition. Enemy pop-up and some slowdown don’t help either.
  38. It takes many of the flaws from "Dynasty Warriors" (i.e. repetitiveness and pop-in), and makes them much worse.
  39. Edge Magazine
    If there is a criticism, it's the essentially unvarying mission objectives. In the hands of a lesser developer, it might have resulted in a monotony over the game's long life span. That it never does is a testament to Drag-on Dragoon's excellence. [Dec 2003, p.98; JPN Import]
  40. PSM Magazine
    Definitely a cut or three below usual Square Enix standards, but hack-and-slash fans will still find plenty to love. [May 2004, p.39]
  41. I'll say it again, if the game had had the guts to end after the first ending it would have been great.
  42. A title that showed promise, but was hampered from soaring primarily because of its static, somewhat limited combat and graphical issues. This is a pity considering the solid storyline, numerous weapons and multiple endings lend themselves to a large amount of replayability.
  43. It just feels like Drakengard could have used a lot more polish, such as no frame rate issues, a better draw-in distance, and better AI.
  44. Cheat Code Central
    Don't expect it to be packed with excitement from start to finish since much of the gameplay is repetitive, but there are some decent moments which make wading through the lean times worthwhile - almost.
  45. Perhaps if the developers had spent less time trying to blur the lines between roleplaying games and action titles, they could have focused their efforts on compelling combat – something that should be important in a game all about slicing and burning everything in sight.
  46. Two genres thrown together that don’t really try to be better than the games that they’re based on, descending into a mundane exercise in repetition.
  47. It's uninspired and pretty ugly.
  48. What started off very promising ended up taking a bit of a nosedive – it doesn’t do anything better than the games it draws from.
  49. 70
    The music, sound effects, and voice acting make up for some of the problems, but they ultimately can't overcome Drakengard's problems with graphics and slow controls. [Mar 2004, p.65]
  50. Drakengard is a lesson to game designers everywhere. Variety and color are not things to introduce gradually. Difficulty, sure, but we need fun throughout.
  51. 60
    Optional chapters, multiple endings, and being able to replay stages amount to a game that's certainly lengthy, but they multiply an already great repetition factor. If you're willing to sacrifice depth of gameplay for depth of story, you may find that Drakengard is a worthwhile purchase.
  52. 50
    The formula has merit, but if Square expects to launch a dynasty, it should have escorted the game out the door armed with more than a white belt and Etch-A-Sketch graphics engine.
  53. Far from perfect and a mere shadow of its potential, Drakengard gives players only fleeting glimpses of brilliance and these are spread far to thin for this game to carry with it any real merit.
  54. Computer Games Magazine
    The most glaring error in the game, however, is the pop up. Enemies appear out of nowhere because the engine is unable to draw them close enough. [Apr 2004, p.7]
  55. Play Magazine
    The main problem with the game is that it gets old really fast. [Apr 2004, p.64]

Awards & Rankings

#48 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#16 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 94 out of 113
  2. Negative: 14 out of 113
  1. Apr 4, 2013
    I voted 10 because it just is my favourite game of all times. I know it has its issues and if I was professional reviewer, I'd probably loseI voted 10 because it just is my favourite game of all times. I know it has its issues and if I was professional reviewer, I'd probably lose my job right away, but I don't really care. There is just something that makes me play this game even after all those years. The most interesting thing about the game is definitely story especially thanks to the unique, mostly completely insane bunch of characters that are far from your everyday heroes. I don't want to spoil much, but let's say our party consists of mass murderer that enjoys killing above all, cannibal that eats children, pedophile, and racist. Oh well... Now about gameplay. Most of you probably know that this game is combination of Panzer Dragon and Dynasty Warriors and it's pretty spot on description. There are 3 types of mission Dungeons, where you have to fight alone, in the air, where you fight airships with your dragon and combination of both, mostly on some plains where you are given choice to either fight on foot or from the back of your dragon. You can get down and call for her anytime. Ground battles are the part of the game I found most fun. During the course of the game you come across many many weapons (around 60), everyone can be leveled to level 4, gain unique combos and more importantly magic, which by the end of the game gets really devastating and quite satisfying to use. Then there is fairly interesting chain system that gets you hooked up during longer battles since you get more experience, buffs, health orbs and other bonuses, the higher is your combo count. Air missions have less variety if you ask me, but it's not really bad. Dragon can shoot homing (weaker) fireballs as well as huge fireball with manual aiming. And just like Caim, she has MP gauge that fills up after certain number of kills, which means you can use overdrive. But like I said it is the story and overall atmosphere (I guarantee you, that music in this game is nothing you have ever heard anywhere else and it's awesome!) that keeps you interested. The game has 5 endings, to which applies simple rule They get more and more crazy. This, along with weapon collectibles and leveling, kinda ensures fairly long playtime and high replayability. Just give the game chance and maybe you will like it. Be prepared though. It's definitely not for everyone, that's for sure. Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2017
    ah oui c'est vrai j'avais oublié que yoko taro il sait pas faire des jeux ils sont tout chiants et tout bugués mdr xddah oui c'est vrai j'avais oublié que yoko taro il sait pas faire des jeux ils sont tout chiants et tout bugués mdr xdd . Full Review »
  3. Jun 5, 2017
    I'm amazed this unplayable garbage has a positive score. Worst spent time in my life.I'm amazed this unplayable garbage has a positive score. Worst spent time in my life.
    Full Review »