Dragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGs

In this review we will analyze Dragon's Dogma 2: the highly anticipated sequel to Capcom's RGP action

When they announced Dragon's Dogma 2 (almost two years ago now) we were among those who took a small leap on the gaming chair. We had in fact discovered the first chapter, in its “Dark Arisen” version, only years after its release, driven by those videos that celebrate the hidden gems of the gaming panorama. And it was love at first sight.

Although not free from defects, the first Dragon's Dogma contained unique peculiarities in the panorama of RPGs, characteristics that had bewitched us. For this reason, we wanted to take all the time necessary to review this sequel, aware that haste is the enemy of those who wander in the immense lands of Dragon's Dogma 2.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGsDragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGs

Let's take the first steps | Dragon's Dogma 2 review

Dragon's Dogma 2 opens with an aura of mystery: the Arisen (the protagonist) wakes up in an underground prison, without any trace of his past. From here we will have access to character creation. With care and attention, we will be able to shape our alter ego in a very thorough waydetermining their sex, race and customizing their aesthetics to our liking.

Once the Arisen has taken shape, we are faced with a short tutorial that accompanies us in the first steps of this new adventure. And facing the first monstrous creatures, we begin to discover the secrets of this enigmatic world. As we fight for our survival, clues to the Arisen's past will emerge, fragments of memory that thread their way into her consciousness like thin threads of an intricate puzzle.

Without giving away major spoilers, we will play as the Arisen: a chosen hero whose heart has been stolen by a dragon. According to legend, only the true Arisen can reign over Vermund (the kingdom in which we will live our adventure), but an impostor sits on the throne, supported by a dark conspiracy. Some faithful to the true sovereign, recognizing the power of the Arisen, will lend us their help in order to unmask the usurper. From here, main and secondary missions will branch out to advance the plot.

Unfortunately, the latter struggles to involve the player. Uninspired dialogues and a slow narrative pace do not encourage you to delve deeper into the story. Despite the potential, the narrative remains flat and devoid of bitealso due to unmemorable characters.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGsDragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGs

The gameplay | Dragon's Dogma 2 review

Let's move on to the fulcrum of the title, the real reason that will push the player to spend hours and hours in the lands of Vermund: the gameplay. It's all about well 10 vocations available and, the peculiar feature, is that we will be able to change classes as we continue through the game. The game has a pure action setting and, therefore, we will be able to physically attack enemies with fluid combat and a role-playing component reduced to the bone; this is summarized in some orders that we can give to our pawns.

Just like its predecessor, Dragon's Dogma 2 boasts a Truly unique pawn system. On our journey we will be accompanied by 3 pawns, one of which is the main one who will follow us until the end. The other two pawns are interchangeable and, even more interestingly, are created by other players. Although artificial intelligence is not perfect, the pawns will give us useful advice on how to reach chests or special events discovered during their previous gamescreating a sense of sharing and belonging to a vast universe.

Each vocation we will choose has its own list of skills, of which we can select 4 at a time. These will be unlocked as we accumulate experience. The progression is quite rapid, which suggests that we will soon feel the need to move to a different class. Unlike many other RPGs, Dragon's Dogma 2 it does not force us to remain tied to a single specialization. In fact, we will be able to experiment with all the vocations and master them to the maximum, increasing the variety of gameplay and making the adventure even more fun.

Another feature, also present in the first chapter, but which has been slightly refined, is the boss and mid-boss climbing system. In short, there will be a way to climb onto the giants to launch targeted attacks, for example, on the head or other critical sections. The boss fights resulted, at least in our case, in exploiting this mechanic as much as possible. The main reason lies in the fact that the fightingrather than being difficult, they are extremely long-lived.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGsDragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGs

Difficulty | Dragon's Dogma 2 review

Let's talk about difficulties now. We said that the combat is certainly what shines the most in Capcom's title. Players who have already completed the first chapter may not find the difficulty level sufficient. If initially the fights seem quite balanced, as we have accumulated hours of gameplay we have realized that everything is summarized in repeating the same key combosor spam a single attack, in order to end the battle.

An aspect to underline, in fact, is the discrepancy between the most tactically efficient approach and the most fun one. Often, the winning strategy translates into repetitive and less satisfying actions, such as the excessive use of a single skill that is particularly effective against a particular enemy.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGsDragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGs

General atmosphere | Dragon's Dogma 2 review

Exploration in this Dragon's Dogma 2 embraces an open-world approach that is vaguely reminiscent of some successful open-world titles, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What makes it all engaging is his ability to push the player to wander around the game world without a specific destination, often finding themselves discovering new places and secrets without even realizing it. It's easy to get lost in the expansive scenery, forgetting the passage of time as you let curiosity guide your exploration.

There is, however, a big “but” that interests me dungeonThat they fail to convince in any way. Many of them offer only brief challenges without big rewards, feeling more like quick detours rather than true adventure paths. Even the more elaborate ones seem to lack the complexity and immersion you'd expect from a top-tier dungeon crawler. Furthermore, we were sorry to soon discover that the loot obtainable is almost identical to that which can be purchased from the various shopkeepers in the city, drastically reducing the desire to explore them.

Some open areas, however, stand out for their ability to convey a feeling of challenge. The presence of enemies has significantly increased compared to its predecessor, helping to make everything more appetizing. It happened, for example, to face several mid-bosses at a time and see that the latter fought against each other. As the hours passed, we asked ourselves why not use similar events to diversify the experience.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGsDragon's Dogma 2 Review: the Baroque of RPGs

Technical sector | Dragon's Dogma 2 review

Our test was carried out on a PC with an NVIDIA RTX 3070 video card, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and an Intel Core i5 12600K processor, with 1440p resolution, DLSS and ray tracing active.

The gaming experience turned out fluid and enjoyable outside the cities, where the frame rate remains stable and the graphics are detailed and pleasant. However, within inhabited centers, performance drops significantlywith drops in frame rate and stuttering.

In general, the optimization of the game is not excellent. Despite that, we cannot define the graphics as bad, but rather dated and not up to today's standards. The effects and the sound sector they have us But, convinced. The animations are fluid and the visual effects spectacular, while the immersive sounds help create an immersive atmosphere.

Let's sum it up

Dragon's Dogma 2 presents itself as a missed opportunity, an ambitious work that fails to fully hit the target. The aura of charm that surrounds the title, fueled by solid gameplay and an evocative setting, is dampened by a lackluster plot, banal dialogues and a progression that, as the hours pass, proves to be rather bland.

In other words, we could define it as “the Baroque of RPGs” which initially enchants with its rich and promising façade, but once you cross the threshold and enter the heart of the adventure, you discover an internal architecture that is less elaborate and profound than you might have expected. The plot struggles to take off, lacking bite and epic nature, while the dialogues, often superficial and soulless, fail to emotionally involve the player.

Dragon's Dogma 2 therefore leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, of unexpressed potential and unfulfilled promises. A title that, while not lacking in merits, fails to rise above mediocrity, resulting in a missed opportunity to create a memorable RPG experience.

Points in favor

  • Solid and engaging gameplay
  • The token system is convincing
  • Suggestive atmosphere
  • Vast and rich open-world game world to explore

Points against

  • Poor plot and banal dialogues
  • Progression that slows down over the course of the game
  • Uninspired dungeons and unsatisfactory rewards
  • The difficulty level is quite low