Dragon’s Dogma 2 review for PS5, Xbox Series X, PC

Platform: PlayStation 5
Also On: Xbox Series X|S, PC
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Medium: Blu-ray, Digital
Players: 1
Online: Yes

It’s not often we’ll see a sequel to a beloved game come out nearly a decade after the original, and even then it’s less likely that the sequel would manage to capture the magic of the first release. Thankfully Dragon’s Dogma 2 doesn’t have that problem. It’s a fantastic action-RPG set in a thriving, beautiful world filled with danger, secrets, weird quest lines, giant monsters and a whole lot more. 

Dragon’s Dogma 2 doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to the original game. If you’ve played Dragon’s Dogma at any point in the last 12 years, you’ll likely be instantly familiar with a lot of the mechanics, both combat and exploration, found in Dragon’s Dogma 2. This very much feels like the game the developers likely set out to make originally, no longer hamstrung by older technology, and with a wealth of other similarly minded games released in the past 10 years to help refine the experience here. If you’ve never played the original game, I don’t think you’re missing much by jumping in with the sequel. It does a good job of onboarding new players, and while some modern conveniences are notably absent or limited (fast travel), it won’t be that difficult for people familiar with Dark Souls, Elden Ring, or other games in that genre to wrap their heads around. 

As far as combat in Dragon’s Dogma 2 goes, it does feel largely unchanged from the original game. There are new classes to unlock, but a lot of returning ones as well, and even some abilities on those returning classes will feel awfully familiar. On the plus side combat is still as engaging as it was in the original game. Whether it’s small scuffles with goblins and raiders, or larger battles against Manticores and Ogres, most fights will manage to keep you on your toes, and force you to utilize the various weapon abilities you have at your disposal. There’s also plenty of opportunities to use the environment to your advantage, including the option to guide enemies onto shaky rope bridges, and then collapse the bridge causing them all to tumble to their doom. The physics work in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is pretty amazing overall, and much like the original game leads to some serious “wow” moments throughout your adventure. 

Likewise, exploring the vast world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is also very exciting and fraught with peril. The ongoing day/night cycle found in the first game returns here, along with all the danger that comes with trying to travel at night. There’s very little ambient light to help guide your way, so you need to be equipped with a lantern, along with fuel for said lantern, in order to have any hope of seeing a way forward. Even then, your view will be extremely limited, and various foes are likely to jump out from the dark at any given moment, making it ultra perilous to forge ahead under cover of darkness. That said, being able to see your foe during the day doesn’t necessarily make things easier. You’ll often encounter larger, difficult monsters, sometimes in completely unexpected moments, which will have you scrambling to either get away or figure out how to survive the encounter. You’re more likely to encounter these moments when straying from the main road, and there’s plenty of good reasons to do so. There’s also a whole lot of alternate paths, shortcuts, caves and other structures to explore, giving you ample reason to take on those tougher fights in the hopes of finding better loot or other secrets. 

For me, it’s the exploration of Dragon’s Dogma 2 that helps elevate the game in comparison to other open-world action-RPG’s. There’s very little handholding, and while there are plenty of side quests to encounter that’ll help guide you to some of the far out places on the map, even those side quests can be difficult to find at times. You’re really forced to search around, speak to NPC’s, and check every nook and cranny of every city you find in order to squeeze everything you can out of Dragon’s Dogma 2. That might not be for everyone, but it’s very much something I enjoy doing, and there’s plenty of it to do here. It also helps that the combat is amazing, and while your Pawn party members could be a little better A.I. wise, when they do come together and mesh with your combat style, it feels immensely satisfying. 

I’d wholeheartedly recommend checking out Dragon’s Dogma 2, whether it’s a game you’ve been anticipating for the past 12 years, or you’re just curious as to what all the hype is about. It’s an extremely fun RPG in a year that’s already seen a number of excellent RPG’s, which is really saying something when you look back at what’s come out since January. Definitely give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed. 

Note: Capcom provided us with a Dragon’s Dogma 2 PS5 code for review purposes.

Score: 9

Dragon's Dogma 2 - PS5

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