Dragon's Dogma 2 Review

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It’s been quite a while since the last Dragon’s Dogma game. The game became a cult hit among fans and was a great surprise to me when I first played it. I honestly got the original game for Resident Evil 6 demo access, but Dragon’s Dogma itself wound up being far better than RE6 overall. Now, 10+ years later, we finally get a sequel! Dragon’s Dogma 2 is an open world action role-playing game (RPG) developed and published by Capcom. Overall, the game really hasn’t changed all that much, but if you’re a fan of the original, you’ll love this game greatly!

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – dragon battle

For starters, you already know there is a graphical improvement the moment you turn the game on. This game looks absolutely fantastic. Character models and backgrounds are greatly detailed. Sadly, just like the first game, the game doesn’t run at a smooth 60 fps. You can either lock the game at 30 fps or choose a variable framerate that will go up and down depending on what is all on the screen. Capcom, you really need to optimize this game for a 60 fps option in later updates! Even with this flaw, your eyes will still adjust to it eventually and you’ll be on your way to exploring this huge game.

Just like with the last game, your character (main character) is a custom character and you can also customize your pawn (your main partner). The customization is way better in this game and it looks so very detailed! You can choose between a human and a cat-like race. I made up a human main character and a cat-like pawn, just to experience both. Both options give you a good amount of customization. It’s quite impressive the level of detail that Capcom went into for character customization in this game. It definitely gives games like WWE 2K a run for their money. Honestly, Dragon’s Dogma 2’s overall created characters have MUCH more detail than a WWE 2K superstar.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 character creator

After making your main character, you’ll be thrown into the story. The story places you as the Arisen once again – a human marked by a dragon that must eventually stand up to the darkness and face the dragon. The overall story is much like the first game. Once again, it’s quite impressive for a game with a custom character as the main character.

Just like the first game, you’ll choose your vocation from the start and then unlock more as you keep gaining experience. Many of the vocations from the first game return in this game. Some of them have been renamed, such as Strider and Ranger now being Thief and Archer respectively. There are also a few new vocations, such as Mystic Spearhand and Trickster. As you gain experience, you’ll gain new skills with each vocation. You can choose vocations for both your main character and your pawn.

Once again, you’ll have of party of yourself, your pawn and two other pawns of your choosing. The other pawns are created by other players and you can enlist their help with the use of rift crystals. Go to a rift or find pawns in the open world to enlist them into your party. Extra pawns do not gain levels, so you’ll want to release them as your party gains experience and then find other pawns that are around your own level. Pawns that are above your level will cost more rift crystals. Once again, you can control them with a set of commands mapped to directional pad directions. There are some unique animations where your pawns will congratulate you after battles – there are quite a nice addition.

The game is composed of main quests and several side quests. There are many fetch and retrieve missions, missions where you’ll have to defeat a certain foe then report back and also escort missions. Escort missions are just as annoying as they were in the first game. If you are in an escort mission and happen to get into a fight with a big enemy, you’re likely going to fail that escort mission. Enemies are around the same types that you’ll find in the first game - goblins, harpies, big trolls, chimeras, gryphons, etc. Once again, you can climb bigger enemies and stab them in their weak areas (usually the head) or knock them over to where you can hit them and take more damage. It has a slight Monster Hunter feel to it once again.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 battle scene

The game still has a day and night cycle. Night can get really tough in this game! Exclusive enemies come out only at night and you’ll often find more enemies when it is dark. You can easily get swarmed by enemies at night if you’re not careful. You can carry along camping supplies to rest at certain areas and pass the time. Time can also be passed at inns or by simply sitting down on a bench. Wakestones can once again be used to travel in between towns (basically a fast travel).

There are still many caves to explore and chests to open. The game has a great deal of hidden areas. Speaking of areas, this game’s open world is freaking huge! The main map is said to be four times bigger than the first game and I can definitely see that. It’s so easy to get lost in this game if you don’t use a map, and sometimes even with a map (thanks to the landscape cutting you off at times). Big towns can feel like mazes in this game. Some towns are so big that I had to constantly use markers just to find certain areas even after being through the town numerous times!

Dragon’s Dogma 2 archer

Just like in the first game, you can only carry a certain amount of equipment. Everything has a certain amount of weight to it, including armor and weapons that you equip. This can get quite annoying at times. You can’t run around and pick up everything you find. You have to constantly drop items, put them in a chest or give them to your party members to make room for other equipment. As you continue to get bogged down with more equipment, it will add weight and cause your character to move slower.

Overall, this game is very much like the first game. The main thing Dragon’s Dogma 2 has going for it are its visuals. It has slight improvements here and there and some additions, but overall, the gameplay is nearly exactly the same as the first game. This isn’t bad at all though, considering the first game was so good. If you like the first game, you’re going to love this game, but if you don’t care for the first game, this one will not change your mind. Capcom played it safe with this game, which is really fine with me – it’s better to not change what isn’t broken. I do have some of the same complaints with this game that I did with the first game, but they are overall still minor (see the minuses below). If Capcom would give this game a 60 fps option, that would please me the most.

The Good:
+ Major graphical improvement over the first game
+ Flashy combat and abilities
+ Fully customizable characters (even the armor)
+ Tons of quests and overall content

The Bad:
- Very basic partner control (just 3 commands)
- Escort missions
- The game needs a 60 fps option

Final Rating: 80% - If you like the original Dragon’s Dogma, you’ll like this one. If you don’t like the original, this one won’t change your mind.


Note: A review code for this game was provided by the publisher.