Dragon’s Dogma 2: A Familiar but Promising Sequel
Eleven years ago, Dragon’s Dogma burst onto the scene as a refreshing and unique open-world action-RPG that broke away from traditional genre conventions. With its innovative Pawn mechanic, dynamic combat system, and thrilling battles against giant monsters, the game stood out among its peers. Fast forward to the present day, and Dragon’s Dogma 2 aims to build upon its predecessor’s success by refining and polishing its core elements to perfection.
One of the standout features of the original Dragon’s Dogma was the Pawn mechanic. This system allowed players to recruit AI-controlled companions from a network populated by creations from other players. In Dragon’s Dogma 2, this mechanic returns with even greater impact. Pawns now contribute more noticeably to both combat and navigation, making their presence feel essential. The melee combat has also been improved, giving it a more impactful and weighty feel. Exploration through the seamless open world is both rewarding and dangerous, offering an immersive experience for players.
While Dragon’s Dogma 2 excels in these aspects, there is a sense of déjà vu when it comes to fighting familiar enemies. The demo showcases combat against the usual rogues’ gallery of goblins, cyclops, saurians, harpies, and bandits, with occasional encounters with the formidable Griffin. While the combat mechanics remain largely unchanged, a new hit-stop effect has been added, indicating when an enemy is vulnerable to a powerful attack. This addition enhances the brutality and impact of combat, creating a distinct and satisfying experience.
One notable departure from traditional RPG mechanics in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is the absence of a melee lock-on mechanic and dodge roll, unless tied to a specific vocation. This decision may not sit well with everyone, but it adds a unique flavor to the combat system. Players must rely on careful positioning, awareness of enemy positions, and exploiting weaknesses, as well as their trusty Pawns, to succeed in battle.
Exploration in Dragon’s Dogma 2 offers a diverse and immersive experience. The seamless open world allows players the freedom to roam wherever they please, with Pawns providing helpful guidance along the way. The demo showcases different encounters and environments, each lending a sense of freshness to the experience. Whether facing unexpected battles with iconic creatures or stumbling upon treacherous bandit-filled caves, players are constantly reminded of the dangers and rewards that exist within this richly crafted world.
Overall, Dragon’s Dogma 2 promises to deliver more of what fans loved about the original game, while refining and enhancing its mechanics. The demo’s hour-long playthrough showcases the game’s strengths, from improved AI for Pawns to impactful combat and immersive exploration. However, the lack of entirely new content leaves some longing for more innovation and surprises in the sequel.
As a fan of Dragon’s Dogma, I can take comfort in knowing that Dragon’s Dogma 2 will offer an upgraded version of what made the first game so enjoyable. With its improved gameplay elements and attention to detail, it has the potential to stand out in the genre once again. While I may have wished for a greater sense of novelty, there is no denying the excitement and anticipation that Dragon’s Dogma 2 brings to the table.
Mitchell Saltzman is an editorial producer at IGN. You can find him on Twitter at [@JurassicRabbit](https://www.twitter.com/jurassicrabbit).