Dragon's Dogma 2 looks primed to fulfill the promise of the original
For most fans, the most important thing that Dragon’s Dogma 2 could deliver wasn’t any specific change, but rather more of what made the original game so great – denser environments, more interactions between you, the world, the enemies that reside within it, and your pawns. Unsurprisingly, Capcom’s latest foray into the Action RPG genre delivers upon this promise in spades.
Our first thought upon starting our demo with the game was the sheer density of the environments. Dragon’s Dogma was well known for how dark that nights could get, necessitating the use of a lantern - but with the sequel, even heading into the canopy of the forest will immediately see the scene dominated by the shade of the trees. It feels like a proper extension of the world design from Dragon’s Dogma.
Through road and rock, the path forward through Dragon's Dogma's world can be even more complicated than ever, but ever still landmarks populate the surroundings, allowing players a means to keep their bearings. As ever, Pawns will pipe up to offer their thoughts; whether in combat, to suggest where to go, to remind you of specific quests, and so on. Many of each classes combat skills remain the same, with slight variations; controls have of course been tuned, but with the exception of some new shortcuts for quick healing and stamina replenishes, Dragon’s Dogma 2’s core gameplay feels remarkably similar to the first.
During a chat with the game’s director, Hideaki Itsuno, we were told that this was all intentional, with Dragon’s Dogma 2 envisioned as a sort of reimagining of the first game. While we can’t be sure how the plot diverges from that of the original so far, we can say that what we have seen suceeds in painting the picture of Dragon’s Dogma 2 being everything the original game; just “more” of it.
To that end, one thing we wish we could’ve experienced with the preview session was a chance to experience some of the more advanced classes, much like the ones from the original Dragon’s Dogma. Being able to set a magic orb that would act as a gatling gun when struck with a weapon as a Mystic Knight, for example, was a highlight of the original game – and we weren’t able to test out a magician at all.
Still, from what we had the chance to test between the three classes available, it’s undeniable that Dragon’s Dogma 2 is shaping up to be exactly what we could’ve hoped from a follow-up; all the promises of the original hopefully delivered upon. The world seems larger, denser and more dynamic than ever – the new main city fulfilling the promise of a massive, bustling city, and the seamless world design allowing for such dynamic reactions as drawing enemies to an encampment and watching as a fight erupts in the streets between man and beast.
We only had just a taste of Dragon’s Dogma 2 during TGS, but what little we had a chance to play of this early build fills us with anticipation for the full release. Itsuno has had his chance to revisit what is arguably his magnum opus, and I for one can’t wait to see what has come of it with all the time, budget and technical advances under his belt. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is shaping up to be one of the most promising RPGs of 2024.