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Dragon's Dogma 2 | REVIEW | PS5

''EVERY DOG HAS THEIR DAY''

 


Developed: Capcom

Published: Capcom

Genre: Action Adventure

Release Date: March 22, 2024

Platforms: PS5/Xbox Series/PC

Review copy provided to me by Capcom


Dragon's Dogma 2 is the long awaited sequel in the Dragon's Dogma series and it is developed and published by Capcom. With over a decade since the last entry, anxious fans like myself have been starving for a new entry to see where the series goes next and now here in 2024, we get our wish. But, was the long wait actually worth it? or was this a flash in the pan IP that should've stayed at one entry? Only one way to find out, so lets go!


STORY:


The story begins in an underground gaol where the Dragon's voice echoes in the fog of lost memories. Ascend, Arisen, and best me, in accordance with the dogma of this world. Betwixt the domains of human and beastren, A hero must fulfill their forgotten destiny. What dogma does your heart see through your eyes? ‘Tis a tale of one who shall slay the Dragon and claim the throne.


''SO MANY PLACES TO THROWN PAWNS OFF OF''

 

GAMEPLAY:


Quick question. Why has it taken so long to get a sequel to this IP? That's the million dollar question myself and many others have been wondering for the past 12 years. With all the games Capcom has put out and sequels they've made, taking this long for a franchise that has become THIS popular is a big ''what are you doing?'' moment. Then again... this is same company that teased us for years with the title Deep Down, which had as all hyped and then completely abandoned it, much to my disappointment and my tears. But were not here to whine over spilled milk, we'll leave that up to the Twitter and X fandom, were only here to talk about the comeback of Dragon's Dogma and its highly anticipated 2024 release, as well as determine was the long wait even worth losing sleep over. The world this go around in Dragon's Dogma 2 is actually pretty insane as far as scale of the world goes and its overall detail, while I loved my time spent within this large world finding all the hidden treasures, visceral encounters with mobs I didn't stand a chance versus but chose to fight them anyways by harnessing my inner Leroy Jenkins and charging oy my death, gorgeous caverns that offer up more exploration and mysteries, with its pretty structured and straight forward narrative that lets even environment and scenario you enter feel more dynamic, even with that, I still felt more energy coming from the world of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, as far as open worlds go. But the one thing that Dragon's Dogma 2 has over anything that was encounterable in the overworld of Rebirth is the destructive nature of the level design that you end up running into. Running around mind your own business, then looking at a cliff wondering how the hell do you get across to the other side? you got a quest, dangit!, oh but then you see a nice, safe looking bridge and think to your safe ''ahh surely nothing can go wrong here, right?'' Nope! now its time to scream your head off as an enemy Cyclops comes running at you and either launching you off the bridge to your death, knocking you in the air or completely shattering the bridge itself, breaking your only path to the other side. WHAT A FREAKING JERK. Luckily, you can cut his achilles heel and trip him up to make him fall in the bridge gap to ultimately make your own form of a bridge using his stupid body. Then for laughs and giggles, be a complete A-Hole to him and poke him in the eye so he falls down to his death. TAKE THAT CREEP, EYE'LL SEE YOU LATER. Sorry, bad pun I know, but he deserved it.

This is the part that makes Dragon's Dogma 2 so dang memorable, enemies having really good AI, using environment to your advantage and being a jerk to your own Pawns because they're basically like your little sponges to do with as you please. But besides being a jerk to your pawns by throwing them off a cliff because they didnt heed one of your commands, another significant draw to this title can be laid at the feet of the overall questing and how these quests related to NPCs. When adventuring through this big world, NPCs will approach you and each character will have a specific dilemma to solve with something really dumb, like ''really bro? you want me to do THAT?'', while others require more urgent matters that related to dangerous mobs and realism pertaining to ''real time''' events taking place within the world. By the developers utilizing elements of dynamic environments, competent AI that leans on the fly, a real time of quests that take place, when those are all combined together, you get a sense of realism that makes you feel like you need to prioritize a characters rescue, rather than be me and go on a fishing adventure for 5hrs like I do in other games. What? the worlding is ending due to something catastrophic? hang on, let me snowboard down a mountain. Nope that is definitely not allowed here. While that may seem like a bummer to some people, due to the fact it makes you feel like certain things are a mandatory responsibility, here in Dragon's Dogma 2 however, it makes sense within the world that was built and never feels out of place and actually ADDS to the immersion, rather than take from it. A Simple reason for the immersion is that questing in general feels like an intuitive action, meaning, the quest mechanics that are implemented into the game allow for quick decision making, easy to obtain essential quest information without having to look up a guide for a general location of objectives and then once you start figuring things out may a little TOO quickly, its like the game knows and takes just a little bit away to make you yourself figure out how to navigate around a situation. It feels like a great ''give and take'' balance here for the content provided and made you want to seek out more quests, rather than skip them in favor of the on going storyline. One of the key upgrades from the previous entry into this franchise.

 


''SIR, EYE'LL NEED TO SEE YOUR REGISTRATION''

 

But what would adventuring across a vast land like you're The Fellowship Of The Ring if there weren't more ways to get around the land. Sure its pretty and its fun to run around in, but it can get tiring as well, like any other open world game. Just walk and stop being a wuss? ''No, I don't think I will''. Luckily for me and the rest of the industry that has become accustomed to quality of life features such as Fast Travel, this feature does return in this game, but... at a cost. You're extremely limited on the amount of fast travel options you have, which seems a tad bit shady after you learn about the DLC, as this seems like something that is deliberately done when all things are considered, however if we ignore it was done just to sell DLC, we can see what the bigger picture to what they were aiming for and once again, its exploration. Exploration is a gigantic part of this game and you're encouraged to climb and venture through the vast landscapes in between the specific locations of fast travel, they WANT you to travel with your Pawns and make you feel like you're on a legit adventure, rather than just on an Point A to Point B field trip. Honestly, while I havent fallen into the hype that other players have fallen into, they journey to me did feel worth it when exploring due to all the unique encounters with NPC's, seeing battles taking place out in the open and just grabbing popcorn to see who wins between various creatures and then blind siding the winner just to be an ass to them. BONE CHECK FOOL. As you can tell, I loved the exploration of this game because it didnt feel soulless like some open world titles have been in the past, heck I can say I enjoyed exploring and hanging out with my Pawns in this title far more than I even liked the main story, which I honestly found kind of underwhelming. Nothing is more fun in this large world than taking on HUGE boss fights with a diverse gameplay style that utilizes classes to enhance your overall take on combat itself that provides new and returning mix of classes that adds more variety to gameplay, giving a more flexible to how you approach combat, should you be a mid ranged fighter, long ranged, or close ranged fighter, whatever your fighting style may be, you have more choices overall to approach how you will allocate your stats for specific classes, which in turn, makes every playthrough you do, feel like a totally different experience overall, increasing replayability. Trust me, this isnt a case of the Blockbuster Video days where you rent something over a weekend and then return it and be done with it, nope, you ARE going to want to do multiple playthroughs or have multiple characters because overall I feel you're going to want to experience everything this title has to offer, because its quite a lot... just like my food intake when I go fat mode and pull a Kirby and inhale everything in my path.

Big world, great NPCs, fantastic world dynamics, diverse gameplay, replayability, that's cool bro, but what exactly is this ''extra'' stuff to do that goes beyond combat and supposed to MAKE you want to keep playing long after the credits roll? simple, the tapestry of activities that you may partake in that moves away from normal activities and instead places you in various Stealth scenarios where sneaking around is key to stealing something or completing an objective, using detective work in conjunction allows you to fix problems and make it feel like you're doing community service for a fellow civilian in what feels like more realistic scenarios than what you find in other RPGs. For instant in FF7 Rebirth, you can go and lure a chicken with a tin can to a location or pick up a moogle and put it in its pen, while those are fun and all, here in Dragon's Dogma 2, it feels your actions for specific quests are more ''lifelike'' and has political ramifications at certain times to the world around you due to it being a more interactive world that is influenced by your actions and the choices you make. Well, as long as your choice is not to have a jumping off a cliff contest with you and the rest of the squad to see who takes less damage or dies first. Yeah you already know I did this, I always abuse NPC's any chance I get in games, sorry not sorry. Whether its the ''fan'' from Oblivion that I would lure to the top of a mountain and throw him off or tuck his body under a bridge or if I'm walking past an RPG in any game of any genre and they happen to lip off to me? really bro? REALLY?, followed by me ending their existence because how dare they talk about the main character of the story like that. Bro I'm SAVING the world and your scrawny butt, have some respect!


''GIVING THEM A DOSE OF NIBELHEIM''

 

OVERALL:


At the end of the day, Dragon's Dogma 2 ends up being a flawed but fantastic experience. Yes there are issues with the story losing its way halfway through and never fully recovering, some later NPC's having a more limited interaction compared to early game, some questionable bugs that have you get suck in a environments and TONS and TONS of questionable DLC choices, however I feel with the interactive world, engaging combat that makes class choosing more of a strategic decision over an aesthetic one, upgraded Pawn system that learns your play style over time and becomes a strong asset rather than a hindrance and fun questing, etc etc - does make the positives far outweigh the amount of negatives. Did I buy into the hype before the game released? nope, do I buy into the hype of the game now that I've played and beaten it? uhhh, nope. Don't get me wrong, this is great title and extremely fun, but I'm not seeing a ''masterpiece'' here, as the game does feel a tad bit rushed in a lot of places, which in my opinion comes down to Capcom trying go get it out intime for Japan's fiscal earnings report. So my not thinking of it as a ''masterpiece'', would I recommend this people? are you kidding me? of course I would. If you loved the original Dragon's Dogma, then I feel you NEED this game, 100%. But if you havent played the original? then this still remains a must play title of the year, no question. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW




 

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