The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is an action-adventure game which is the third and final installment in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, as well as the tenth anniversary game of the series. It was developed by Étranges Libellules and published by Activision in North America and Vivendi Games in the PAL Regions for the Wii and Nintendo DS.
Tantalus Media developed the Nintendo DS version. It is the end of the second Spyro continuity, with Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure serving as the second reboot of the franchise after Vivendi Games merged with video game publisher Activision to form the Activision Blizzard holding company on July 9, 2008.
The gameplay is more advanced than previous titles in the series. This is the first Spyro game that allows a player to fly at any time they want (free-fly mode). The game also features a co-op mode with Cynder. The co-op feature allows players to have the option of completing the game as either Spyro or Cynder, along with giving them the power to switch between Spyro and Cynder, giving them more freedom to explore the world in completely new ways.
The environments are much larger than in previous games, and a majority of them have a bit more exploration to them. In previous titles of the Legend of Spyro series, Spyro must travel through the level and defeat enemies in a linear fashion. This time, however, the game has more freedom by exploring larger areas and collecting items in order to progress through the game.
Spyro retains his command of fire, electricity, ice, and earth (all of which he now has access to from the start), while Cynder controls poison, fear, wind, and shadow, powers that were given to her when she was controlled by the Dark Master. Cynder is faster but weaker than Spyro. Along with the standard power ups that gems will bring, Spyro and Cynder can both equip pieces of Dragon Armor that they find. They also have another feature called melee combos. The more times the player hits the enemy the more Blue Gems the players will earn. Blue Gems power up Spyro and Cynder, allowing them to upgrade moves. Along with Blue Gems, there are also Red gems, which restore lost health. The green gems give the dragons magic, allowing element attacks. The Fury Gems from previous titles have been removed (replaced by dark crystals that can drain magic if they're not destroyed), and the Fury Meter now goes up depending on the number of times Spyro or Cynder scores attacks on enemies. In addition to normal enemies, there are elite enemies, which are enemies that are stronger than normal enemies. Their masks make them invincible to normal attacks. The player must use an element of a designated color that matches that of the mask in order to knock the mask off. Once off, normal attacks and other elemental powers will be allowed.