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Dragon’s Dogma 2 – Review After 250 Hours

In this Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review, I want to talk about something I mentioned at the end of my first Dragon’s Dogma 2 review. Dragon’s Dogma 2 could have been the Game of the Year, but it probably won’t be. I want to go into that in this video, as I’ve played almost 250 hours of the game now.

Is Dragon’s Dogma 2 The Game Of The Year?

Let me just start by saying that I absolutely enjoyed my time with playing Dragon’s Dogma 2. It’s easily the best game I played this year, probably the best game I’ve played in quite some time. It is a fantastic game, but it has a lot of flaws at the same time. Some of the game’s flaws can easily be overlooked, but others can be quite disappointing. For instance, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is one of those games that just gets better the more you play. The more hours you sink into this game, the more you realize the complex mechanisms and how they impact the game. It can take you quite some time before the game clicks for you. Once it clicks for you, you can absolutely fall in love with it.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – Troublesome Beginning

When you first start playing Dragon’s Dogma 2, it’s not going to be that fun. There’s a lot of running back-and-forth to quests because you don’t understand that exploration plays a huge factor in the game. Factors like weight management and inventory management. Even enemy variety at the beginning of the game is abysmal, as you won’t be running into a lot of big monsters until later parts of the game. This is kind of a double-edged sword, as even though the game gets better, the beginning can turn a lot of people off. If they don’t stick around to the point the game clicks, they’re not going to enjoy this game that much.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – Fast Traveling Issues

Another hot topic in this game is fast traveling. In my opinion, fast traveling becomes less and less of an issue when you get further into the game. Once you have enough gold to buy ferrystones regularly, port crystals set around the map, fast travel becomes a non-issue for the vast majority of your playthrough. However, at the beginning of the game, it tends to be a sore point for some people. You can hardly fast travel at the beginning of the game. When you can, however, you have very limited items and ferrystones, so you’re not likely going to use the fast travel mechanic as much as you could. This will result in a lot of running back-and-forth, which a lot of people understandably don’t enjoy. This is only a problem early on in the game, which can detract new players from enjoying their experience with Dragon’s Dogma 2.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – Exploration

In my opion, exploration in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is phenomenal from a pure exploration POV. There’s so much hidden everywhere, things hidden all over the map. Sometimes, you can even walk right by things and don’t see them because it’s dark or you’re not at the right angle. Frankly, Dragon’s Dogma 2 has some of the best exploration, as you’ll be thinking if you should check that ladder or fly towards a random pillar in the middle of nowhere to see if there’s treasure. 95% of the time, you’ll find something when you explore.


On the other side of that, critics of the exploration of this game are finding that there is not as much loot to find when you explore. There’s a lot of consumables, gold, that can be found in obscure places. There’s an argument that there’s not a lot of loot in terms of weapons, armors, rings. There isn’t enough for how much exploration there is, and it’s hard to argue with that point. Particularly when you’re playing a certain vocation, like a thief, and you find a staff, it doesn’t really improve the progression of your character. Even though you’re finding some of these things at a regular rate, it wouldn’t apply to the vocation you have chosen most of the time. This makes exploration not as rewarding as it could be.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – Itemization

I love items that have unique features, like daggers that tell you where chests are, or staves that can silence enemies. There’s a shocking lack of these kinds of items in the game compared to what there could be. Even though there is a good foundation there, there just really isn’t quite enough of these items in the game. From my experience, I haven’t noticed any armor that have special effects despite the flavor text. This feels like a missed opportunity, as one of the things people love about Dragon’s Dogma 2 are the obscure mechanics that are discovered as they play through the game. There’s not a lot at all, and there could have been, given how much time this game was to develop.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – Combat

I really enjoy the combat in Dragon’s Dogma 2. It’s fun, not particularly challenging for the most part, but it’s fun. It has a good backbone of mechanics for combat, and I just really enjoy how it plays. I like that the stamina system kind of ties the exploration and combat together by making you create a character that has to manage stamina and equipment weight outside of combat, so they can perform well in combat. Dragon’s Dogma 2 doesn’t have the most innovative combat I’ve played in any game, but I like how they’ve done it here.


However, just like every other point I’ve mentioned so far, there will be cons. The combat of the game suffers because the enemy variety is poor. Most of the enemies in Dragon’s Dogma 2 were in the first one. There are very few new enemies, and the enemy variety is poor in the vast majority of the game. You’re going to fight the same monsters throughout your playthrough. Even though there are variations of these that can make the game a little more refreshing, it feels very repetitive when you’re fighting those enemies over and over. Especially when you’re 2 hours into a playthrough, you’ll notice this and wonder why there aren’t more enemy types in this game. They had time to improve this from the previous one, yet we basically have the same enemies. It boggles my mind why there weren’t more enemies in this game.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – NPC Mechanics

Something that sets Dragon’s Dogma 2 apart from other games is the way that NPCs feel alive in the game. They have their own schedules. Traveling merchants, and even important NPCs will be moving around the game world. You have to find them, figure out what they’re doing, win their favor in order to get specific items. It makes you feel like you’re part of a living world, compared to having NPCs that are constantly in the same place that are there for you. You feel like you’re part of their world, rather than they’re part of yours.


On the negative side of this, there is a lot of complexity and confusion involved in this. Sometimes, you can’t find the NPC while knowing what to do, which can cause some frustration at the same time. I generally enjoy the NPC system more than I dislike it, but there have been times where I’ve been very frustrated by it. For example, an NPC would be in a specific spot yesterday, but they would just disappear the next. I’d be spending a good amount of time finding them, which would be frustrating. This is compounded a little bit by the way the fast traveling system works in this game. You can’t fast travel as much as you want to early on in the game, so you’ll be running all over the map looking for an NPC, which can be quite frustrating.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – Quest Lines

Another thing that I enjoy about Dragon’s Dogma 2 that’s kind of a tangent with the NPC system is the quest lines. These are not the most complex quest you’ve ever seen in an RPG, or not even the most interesting quests I’ve ever done. However, the fact that many of them will intertwine and the outcomes tie to other quests is really refreshing. I really love how making a decision or doing something in one quest might screw up a different quest. This makes your decisions important, and you’ll be taking the time to listen to what’s going on.


You’re going to mess up quests the first time that you play. If you’re a perfectionist, that can be a little frustrating for you. Maybe you’re somebody who wants to get every quest outcome perfect, which is very difficult to do in this game without using the wiki, or saving at your inn regularly so you can reload if you mess something up. I really like that more than I don’t, but there will be frustrations in there for people who want to get these quest lines right.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – Game of the Year?

There are a lot of things I love about the game, while also having things to be frustrated and disappointed about. Things like enemy variety, itemization, could’ve been better. This isn’t to say anything to touch upon the performance of the game, which is obviously less than stellar. Even the microtransactions that people were ranting about how terrible they were. I have personally never felt the need to buy any of them. Those are also factors in whether this game could win Game of the Year or not. Adding together all of these missed opportunities for Dragon’s Dogma 2, I don’t see this winning Game of the Year.


However, what’s really interesting about this game is that when I look at other games coming out this year, there aren’t too many games that are going to compete for it, in my opinion. We’ve been having discussions about it, with the Elden Ring DLC coming out in June. But if you look at the Elden Ring as an expansion, and not a new game, so it really doesn’t count. There are great games coming out this year, but I’m just doubtful of these games winning game of the year. If you look at the games that Dragon’s Dogma 2 is going to be compared to, even with all its flaws, I still feel like it’s at least in the conversation even if it doesn’t deserve to win.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 – Final Thoughts

I really love Dragon’s Dogma 2, but I feel like it could’ve been better. It could’ve been one of the most special games ever made, but they just missed out on it by not doing certain things. I feel like they got all the difficult parts right, but fumbled on simple parts such as enemy variety, itemization, and performance. That’s where other games tend to focus on but can’t get the X-factor feeling of the game right.

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