My impression of the Larian team after our E3 meeting is that they're absolutely in love with what they do. I was so wrapped up in the constant smiles, passionate board game discussion, and Belgian beer that I nearly missed the opportunity to see one of the craziest games at E3: Dragon Commander. Lead Designer Farhang Namdar isn't showing a lot of new stuff (don't worry, we've got a bigger preview coming soon), though he did tell me that they plan to release the game in the first quarter of next year.
Nevertheless, I walked away with too many thoughts to not organize them into something with words. Here are five reasons Dragon Commander is one of the most interesting and strangely compelling games I saw at E3 this year.
You control a dragon. He wears a jetpack and can slow down time.
This has been one of the most talked-about features since the game was announced, but it deserves reiteration. When you're not setting waypoints and attack orders for your units, you're fighting alongside them as a giant dragon with a three-nozzled jetpack.
The philosophy that putting one improbable thing on another improbable thing makes an infinitely awesome thing can sometimes dull the impact of everything. Sticking a cliché on a cliché isn't usually very funny or crazy. This however, looks right, because the dragons have a good reason to shoot flames out of their backs. They're not being poked at by spears and arrows -- they've got to blow through Roman formations of airships and ravage bases while dodging turret fire.
They're Supermarine Spitfires piloted by Max Payne, and they spit fire. I can't pretend I'm not charmed by that, and it's not even the craziest thing -- hit the next slide in the gallery for more.