Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review

The chaos and charm of Capcom's latest RPG.

By GamesRecon

Imagine if Evil Dead 2 wasn’t a sequel but a sort of do-over with a fatter wallet—that’s sort of what we’re dealing with in Dragon’s Dogma 2. Capcom’s original cult classic has gotten a facelift, but the sequel sticks closely to the original blueprint, sporting the same enthralling action design and the rich, though often cryptic, world that fans loved. Just like the classic title, this isn’t a game that holds your hand. From the get-go, it throws you into the deep end with tough creature fights that demand you learn fast or die trying. And yes, it’s a bit janky. The game’s various systems feel like they’re held together by duct tape at times, making for some odd, sometimes frustrating moments that somehow add to its charm. You’d think it’s all going to fall apart, but it never really does.

This time around, we’re in a new, wide dark fantasy universe. It’s a bit different from the previous, but it’s just as filled with secrets and hidden areas that only reveal themselves to those adventurous enough to stray off the beaten track. What struck me the most was how each conversation with fellow players unearthed something I had completely missed in my initial playthrough. It’s that kind of depth that makes exploring Dragon’s Dogma 2 as dangerous as it is intriguing—wandering through its lush forests and craggy peaks is no Sunday park stroll. It’s clear that the developers want you to feel the intensity of every battle, and boy, do they succeed.

DD2 feels familiar yet fresh, with enough old-school toughness to satisfy hardcore fans and enough chaos and unpredictability to keep things interesting. Venturing from one quest point to another can genuinely feel like a perilous journey. The terrain plays a crucial role in the gameplay, challenging you at every step. The enemies, especially, deserve a shoutout. They aren’t your typical RPG fodder that waits around to be picked off. These beasts are really cunning; wolves, for example, don’t blindly come at you; they strategize, separate you from your team to turn you into lunch. The game doesn’t ease you into these threats but throws you in, expecting you to adapt and overcome—or perish.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is, without a doubt, one of Capcom’s most ambitious projects to date. This game isn’t just big; it’s dense, filled with opportunities to explore, fight, and get utterly lost—in the best way possible. The game offers ten different vocations, or classes, each bringing a unique flair to the gameplay. Whether you want to crush skulls up close or cast spells from a distance, there’s a style for you. The character creator and pawn system returns from the original game, allowing you a deep level of customization for both your character and your AI companions.

However, not everything in DD2 shines brightly. For starters, despite the power of the RE Engine—which has delivered stunning visuals in other Capcom games—the graphics here can be underwhelming. You might find yourself squinting at textures that seem a decade old or grimacing at frame rate drops during crucial battles. It’s a bit of a letdown, especially when you know what the engine is capable of. The design feels a touch old school, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless you’re craving something that breaks the mold. The game doesn’t handhold, and its systems can feel clunky and unforgiving. Some players will revel in this—it’s a challenge, after all—but others might find it more frustrating than fun.

The story in Dragon’s Dogma 2, which, frankly, is a mixed bag.

At its heart, the narrative is about control—both losing it and seizing it back. You play as an Arisen, a chosen individual marked by destiny after a dragon steals your heart (literally, not romantically). The storyline weaves through the kingdoms of Vermund and Battahl, where you find yourself smack in the middle of royal intrigue and power struggles.

The start of DD2 storyline

The plot kicks off when the queen, fearing the loss of her power, wipes your memory and throws you into a prison camp. As you escape and begin to get back your lost memories, you uncover and attempt to thwart the schemes of the queen and other power-hungry figures. It’s a classic setup with a nice twist: exploring themes of free will and predestination, thanks to the unique dynamics of the Pawn system—beings who can hop between universes and are bound to the Arisen.

However, where the narrative stumbles is in its execution. The game leverages the RE Engine, which you might recognize from some other visually stunning titles like Resident Evil Remake and Street Fighter 6. Unfortunately, Dragon’s Dogma 2 doesn’t seem to get the same graphical love. This is particularly evident in the cutscenes and character animations, which can feel clunky and outdated. Bad facial visuals and awkward cinematic framing can pull you out of the moment, making it hard to connect with the characters on screen.

Despite these shortcomings, the storyline does have its moments, especially when it throws difficult choices your way that can affect the outcome of your game’s journey. These decisions help reinforce the themes of autonomy and influence, giving you a sense of agency that’s deeply satisfying in a game about control. While the narrative might not be the sleekest or most cohesive, it does provide a rich backdrop to the game’s world. The plot might take a backseat to exploration and combat for some players, but for those who dig deeper, there’s a rewarding story about reclaiming power and shaping the fate of kingdoms, punctuated by moments of personal choice that can feel all the more powerful amidst the chaos.

Character and Pawn Interaction

One of the most intriguing aspects of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is the interaction between characters and pawns. This system is both a unique feature and a talking point among players for how it shapes the game. First off, pawns are not your ordinary companions. They’re more than just helpers; they’re central to the gameplay and the narrative. These characters can be summoned from other realms, and bring distinct abilities and traits to your party. The cool part is that you can customize your main pawn deeply and recruit additional pawns created by other players.

Dragon's Dogma 2 pawn companion

However, despite their importance, pawns often feel a bit… flat. They’re functional, sure—they fight, they cast spells, they heal—but they lack the personality you might expect from such a pivotal part of the game. They repeat the same lines, and their interactions can feel robotic compared to the more dynamic companions you might find in games like Baldur’s Gate 3. There, companions like Karlach, and Shadowheart bring rich backstories and personalities.

In DD2, while it’s fun to play dress-up and skill-set with your pawns, the emotional connection can feel lacking. It’s like crafting a very elaborate chess piece: impressive in function and form but missing a spark of life. This isn’t to say it’s not enjoyable to create and interact with them—there’s a definite joy in seeing a pawn you’ve customized from scratch perform perfectly in battle—but the bonds formed are more strategic than emotional.

Yet, this system has its advantages. The very fact that you can shape these pawns so extensively allows you to craft stories of your own. Each pawn can become a hero in their own right, depending on how you equip and use them. While the pawns in Dragon’s Dogma 2 might not tug at your heartstrings, they play a crucial role in both the combat system and the game’s overarching theme of control. If you’re looking for guys who feel like old friends, you might find this aspect a bit wanting. But if you appreciate the tactical depth they bring to the table, you’ll find plenty to like here.

World Building and Exploration

Exploring the world of DD2

Dragon’s Dogma 2 serves up a sprawling, beautifully chaotic world that’s just begging to be explored. It’s a journey across two vividly realized lands—Vermund and Battahl—each brimming with its secrets, dangers, and stories. Vermund is lush and mountainous, dotted with dense forests and hidden caves. It’s the type of place where you feel the crunch of leaves underfoot and the mysterious rustle of the trees above. It’s an explorer’s paradise, with paths that twist and turn, leading to unexpected encounters and hidden treasures. Battahl, on the other hand, is starkly different with its tough deserts and sparse vegetation, presenting a brutal challenge with fewer places to rest and more enemies lurking around each dune.

Travel in DD2 isn’t just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about surviving the trip. There are no convenient rides to speed you on your way. Fast travel is only if you can find the limited resources to make it happen, or if you dare to hitch a ride on an oxcart, which could be attacked with creatures at any moment. Every step outside the safety of town walls is a gamble, and that’s what makes it a more tough adventure.

Just like prepping for a D&D session, I was investing heaps of time getting my character and pawns ready for whatever Dragon’s Dogma 2 threw at us. I knew we were bound to bump into some serious dangers out there, but being prepared made all the difference. The game lets you pick from 10 unique vocations, each with its style of play, which spices things up. My go-to was the Mystic Spearhand—a killer mix of magic and melee that let me stun my foes before landing a devastating blow. Plus, I had other tricks up my sleeve like boosting my health or even going temporarily invincible. It’s all about using the right skills at the right time.

You have to plan each expedition carefully, considering everything from which pawns to bring along to how many healing items you’ll need – preparation is key to survival. Each journey feels massive, fraught with potential danger and reward, making even simple quests hard to survive. The world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is not just a backdrop for action; it actively participates in the narrative. The environment challenges you, surprises you, and sometimes, even overwhelms you. This dynamic interaction between the player and the game world enhances the sense of realism and urgency in every task you undertake.

If you’re looking for battles that feel like they have weight and consequences, you’re in for a treat.

The combat in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is tactile and kinetic. This means every clash of swords, every dodge, and every spell cast feels grounded and real. There’s a visceral pleasure in the physicality of the battles. You can almost feel the resistance when your blade meets armor or the shockwave of a powerful spell. The developers have done a tremendous job of making each encounter feel like a life-or-death struggle, which is exactly what you want in a dark fantasy world teeming with dangers.

The combat in this game makes each battle come alive. Imagine you’re up against a dragon and there’s not a boulder in sight. No worries! You can magically create an ice wall, smash it to pieces, and chuck those icy chunks at your foes. It’s pretty awesome because every monster fight is an opportunity to try something new. Plus, the quick and simple change between your vocations and swapping in new pawns keeps your team dynamic and fresh.

Beating a monster by climbing on it in Dragon's Dogma 2.

The Archers—they’re super precise, easily targeting the vulnerable spots of enemies and then swiftly dodging danger. Sorcerers are like wielding the power of gods, whipping up huge tornadoes, or crafting those ice walls I mentioned earlier. These can strategically give you the upper hand like creating high ground for a dramatic jump-and-stab attack. And if you’re all about melee, there’s nothing more thrilling than clambering onto a giant beast and finding the ultimate weak spot to hit.

The game pushes you to get creative with your battle tactics, mixing up your skills and the environment in ways that keep the gameplay exciting. However, it’s not always super smooth. Some encounters can be a bit awkward, especially if you’re used to more polished action games. But hey, some might say that’s part of the game’s unique charm and challenge. Just something to keep in mind if you prefer more streamlined gameplay.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a stunning release that mixes incredible new ideas with some old annoyances. It brings back the dynamic world and stellar combat of the 2012 original, complete with a cleverly integrated physics system that adds a lot of depth. However, it also revives some less beloved aspects: the AI can be a bit of a headache, climbing feels awkward, the camera sometimes chooses the worst moments to spin out of control and the fps tends to stutter. While Dragon’s Dogma 2 struggles with some technical aspects, the game still manages to create a compelling world worth exploring. Yes, the graphical and performance issues are a setback, but they don’t completely overshadow the creativity and depth that the game offers. For those who can look past these technical shortcomings, there’s a rich and engaging adventure waiting in the wings. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the heart of a game lies in its ambition and scope, not just its polish.

Dragon Dogma 2

Dragon Dogma 2

Dragon's Dogma 2 is the new chapter in an epic open-world RPG adventure, filled with quirky companions and massive monsters.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review
Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review
Amazing 9
Our Score 9