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The impressive world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is enchanting but dangerous

I was at it for over a dozen hours Dragon dogma 2 when I found my first cable car – a transportation system that would potentially save me time traversing the game’s vast open world by taking me to the skies. I turned a crank to get the cable car’s wooden gondola moving, then passed the task to one of the pawns in my party. I was quite pleased with myself for discovering this new way of traveling and decided to enjoy the view of the vast desert below me until the end of this trip.

Then a giant, pissed off griffin crashed into my gondola and completely destroyed it. My party and I plunged to the valley below and were killed instantly. Man plans and Dragon dogma 2 laughs.

The griffin incident is just one of many similar stories I experienced in 30 hours with the cruel prankster god who Dragon dogma 2. I’ve been attacked by bandits while clearing a bunch of goblins and thrown off cliffs by harpies. I have been stabbed, shot, poisoned, frozen, and burned by every type of fantasy creature. It’s a challenge, but Capcom’s fantasy role-playing game is so steadfast in its design ideals, and so layered into intricate, interlocking game systems – it’s both fascinating and grueling to play.

It presents a world that feels like it has existed for centuries before I ever set foot in it. It feels unconcerned about coddling or even welcoming me into its dangerous world and fraught medieval politics. From lore to gameplay mechanics and even how the non-player characters function, Dragon dogma 2The game’s lived-in world feels believable, as if you were transported here as an outsider and dared to survive the harsh conditions.

Image: Capcom

In Dragon dogma 2I am an Arisen: a chosen one whose heart was torn out by a dragon and who, according to tradition, is therefore the rightful ruler of the kingdom of Vermund. But there is a usurper to the throne, a false Arisen who has been given ruling power as part of a shadowy conspiracy. Fortunately, some citizens and power brokers in Vermund quietly recognize my power as the Risen One and help me on my journey to discover the truth and expose the impostor.

Accompanying my quest are computer-controlled characters known as Pawns, a kind of second-class citizens who fight alongside me. I have up to three pawns at my side at any time: one permanent pawn of my own creation and two others that I can hire as part of Dragon dogma 2‘s faux-multiplayer component. As I play the game, I can encounter new pawns as I move through the kingdoms of Vermund and Battahl, or I can go shopping in locations known as Riftstones, where other players’ uploaded pawns seek temporary quests from Arisens in parallel worlds.

The Pawn system contributes to the organic, living-world feeling of Dragon dogma 2, where the game’s non-playable denizens generally live their little lives. As day turns to night, shops close and more powerful monsters roam the landscape. Fruit and meat ripen and rot in my inventory as the days pass. Throughout my journey, Pawns communicate with me and each other, sharing details they have learned from other worlds and other Arisen masters. They tell me the location of the treasure chests they have come across in their worlds and guide me there. When I make a discovery, one of my pawns promises to share that news with other players. Pawns will even gossip about their former masters; one amusingly wondered out loud why her Arisen only hired women to join his group. Pawns come and go, and they can easily be swapped out to build a group that meets my current needs, but they all add to the feeling that this world is bigger than my save file.

A pair of harpies attack an Arisen and their pawns on a cable car in a screenshot from Dragon's Dogma 2

Image: Capcom

I’ve also become quite attached to some of my pawns. A mage I met early on became my favorite healer, but she lagged behind me and my main pawn, a cat-man archer I created and named after my dog. Ultimately, I had to say goodbye to my mage in favor of a stronger wizard, but later reunited with her, only to find that she had become incredibly powerful and had changed professions.

Dragon dogma 2 features 10 vocations – character classes, actually – that offer a variety of play styles, starting with archer, fighter, mage and thief. As I progress and develop my calling, I unlock new abilities and new calling variations, including the ability to use new types of weapons, both traditional weapons and magic at the same time, and more unusual options, such as the trickster. The Last Calling – Brand New Dragon dogma 2 — does not engage in one-on-one combat, but instead wields a censer to summon illusions, causing enemies to fight each other, and supports pawns to make them more effective in battle.

The Imposter is just one part of game director Hideaki Itsuno’s vision to create an “online single-player party action game” where players can “experience the fun of playing as a group” without joining or relying on other players. people. When simulating the feel of a game like Final fantasy 14 or World of Warcraft from a single player perspective, the rogue fills the role of a healer or support character.

But I’ve always preferred a more hands-on approach in action role-playing games like Dragon dogma 2the Monster Hunter series and FromSoftware are doing well Elden Ring. Therefore, I mainly stuck to the sword-and-shield gameplay and opted to be in the middle of the battle while being supported by pawns. Trust is crucial to success in this game, thanks to the sometimes muddy combat controls; there is no hard lock-on targeting system Dragon dogma 2and I found myself smelling a lot of attacks as my pawn allies picked up the slack.

A dark-haired male mystic spearhand Arisen slashes at a trio of goblins in a screenshot from Dragon's Dogma 2

Image: Capcom

Combat encounters are exciting, despite that looseness, thanks to the many sword fighting tools at my disposal. As a fighter, I can equip skills that allow me to take to the air to take down flying succubi, or bash bandits to take them down, then finish them off with a powerful stab. Different types of enemies require different tactics, especially the game’s gigantic enemies such as cyclops, golems, drakes, and dragons. I can climb on top of these huge beasts, a la Shadow of the Colossus, to target weak spots or unbalance them to overthrow them. Battles like these are full of drama and hard-fought action, and often happen organically. During my journey I have often been attacked by an ogre or other large monster while simply wandering through the landscape. Sometimes I have to run, or the monster I’m fighting will flee when it realizes I’m not worth the effort.

Travel through Dragon dogma 2The world is dangerous and often annoying. Fast travel across the game’s massive landmass is virtually non-existent. A few towns I’ve been to are home to portcrystals, a landmark that I can teleport to using a very expensive and rare consumable stone. Otherwise, I regularly set up camp in the wilderness to nurse my party back to full health. I travel on foot or in ox carts, which move at the speed of a glacier ox cart and only leave for specific locations. (There are cable cars that offer shorter routes, but you already know how those trips can go.)

And Dragon dogma 2‘s story, a mix of core storylines and side missions of wildly varying significance, requires an enormous amount of travel. Players who, like me, don’t enjoy long walks through monster-filled lands will find the reliance on this form of travel annoying. Others may find it soothing to walk through the woods, see what lies beyond that hill, or simply enjoy the rain. But fair warning: this is a game that respects your choices but doesn’t care much about your time.

However, the emerging stories that happen along the way sometimes make those journeys worth it. Even as I somehow discovered the plot about the false Arisen, the dragon I must face, and my attempts to reclaim my deserved throne, Dragon dogma 2I can still vividly remember the battles, surprising encounters and even the smaller stories of townspeople I interacted with during my journey. I’ll still see the game’s story through to the end, and I’ll get there at some point – as fast as my feet can take me.

Dragon dogma 2 will be released on March 22 on PlayStation 5, Windows PC and Xbox Series