Status: Completed first branch
Most Intriguing Idea: Inverting Nier‘s reveals.
Best Design Decision: The moments that puncture RPG tropes.
Worst Design Decision: The shmup bits.
Drakengard 3 features a thoroughly unlikable person going around killing her thoroughly unlikable sisters and taking their thoroughly unlikable
perverts male slaves, aided by an immature dragon that pisses itself in its first appearance. That Zero isn’t likable isn’t necessarily the worst problem in the world, but she’s also unrelatable. Her motivations are not fleshed out in the first go-round, she seems horrible, and I didn’t feel any pull at all to make her succeed. My understanding is that subsequent branches make it clearer that she is not entirely evil, or maybe even paint her in a sympathetic light. This would invert the process of Nier, which was mostly heroic in its first go-round but made the actions of its heroes more sinister in the second. An interesting idea, sure, but one that falters due to Zero’s loathsomeness. Her one redeeming factor is a tendency to short-circuit some JRPG tropes, but since her method is always violence it ends up being rather one-note.
Why did I look up the other branches rather than play them? Well, actually playing Drakengard 3 isn’t any kind of fun at all. Its framerate is deplorable, which is all the worse because the environments and characters aren’t all that great-looking. I would describe the action as “competent” except for the many times that the camera becomes completely useless. Zero hardly ever has the opportunity to call on the dragon and when she does the segments are often fairly awful shmup bits. I don’t enjoy the characters or the action so there’s not a lot to draw me forward. Oh well.
Verdict: Not recommended