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Dragon's Dogma 2 - Video Review

Capcom's massively anticipated RPG is here and we've been working our way through the fantasy world, slaying monsters and helping townsfolk, all while working to find and defeat the dragon that stole our Arisen's memories.

Audio transcription

"Talking about Dragon's Dogma 2 starts by having to talk about an adventure that predates even the original, but because before Capcom and Hideaki Itsuno's 2012 work, we witnessed the release of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, a game that completely opened the roleplaying and adventure genre to the general public, even more than its predecessor Oblivion had already achieved."

"We are talking about Skyrim because the truth is that, saving the distance of the time between that and this and the technical aspects, the best compliment we can give about Dragon's Dogma 2 is that we felt the same sensations of curiosity, amazement and desire to continue exploring as when we first ventured into the cold lands of Bethesda."

"Interestingly, the story of Dragon's Dogma 2 begins as these stories often do, in a prison.
Here, our character, a mysterious individual who has lost his memory, works in a forced excavation camp until a monster attack causes them to escape, and a mysterious stranger reveals to them that they are the Arisen, the Dragon's Chosen One, and urges them to seek their destiny in this world. They must fight against destiny and to do so, must make their way to the Kingdom of Vermund, where, in addition to trying to recover their memories they become involved in a complex political conspiracy that involves overthrowing a false ruler and preventing a new war between two neighbouring kingdoms."

"Apart from that, our character will have to travel a long road populated by all sorts of creatures and bandits while fulfilling quests and errands that the village require.
But although the fate of the Arisen, and therefore of the player, is that of the most important person in this world, the Chosen One always has a small group of companions who rotate throughout the adventure, called Horns, to assist and serve them with total loyalty."

"Your character creates a Pawn that you can customise and you have to upbraid them, alternating their class and combat style to suit your own. Creating a balanced team that fulfils as many eventualities as possible, whether through healing, ranged attacks, magic or even melee, is essential. Fortunately, Horns are never a hindrance unlike most companions in other single player titles, and you will often appreciate them pointing out nearby objects on the map, or leading you directly to the mission objective, which they already know because they have completed it in their world."

"Enemies, while generally not a big challenge if you encounter them in isolation, when they increase in number, it can get complicated very quickly. There are a lot of big monsters to take down for precious experience, gold and equipment upgrade materials, and if you don't have a skill, spell or weapon to match, the battle can become a living hell. And there are no save slots, you either replay or you resign yourself, there are no other options."

"With the Arisen, it's called to be the ruler of the people, and for that, you must win the people over. It's not just to kill the dragon, you have to help the population with their thousand and one problems. It is in these quests and in the sheer act of wandering around this gigantic map between the realms of Vermund and Batal that Dragon's Dogma 2 shines most as a whole. Every path, every forest, grove, hill, cliff or cave is packed with things to do, loot to loot and enemies to defeat. Even at the deepest level, it may connect in some way to future quests, or lead you to discover secrets about, for example, secret vocation techniques. In short, it is the expression of pure adventure."

"To top it all off, Capcom has managed to create a world so beautiful, detailed and well designed that you'll never get the feeling that two paths look alike, because even each area has its own flora, materials to collect and native monsters. And minor details such as grass swaying in the wind is a visual spectacle. Another of its good moments and strengths is the day and night cycle, because while during the day it is pleasant to wander around the world, at night, everything becomes deathly dark."

"But of course, as great as all this is, and as much as there are literally dozens of hours and miles of map to discover and find, all this can fall apart if the rest of the systems don't work. It's still not entirely clear to us whether this approach of observation and discovery that they've chosen in Dragon's Dogma 2 is the best fit for a totally open world, where player involvement and interaction is the important thing."

"Each mission objective requires almost total player involvement. There is no guidance system, the objective will not appear directly marked on the map or at a specific location to which you simply head with a large icon marking where you must look or interact.
No, here you must be guided by curiosity and pay attention to all the details and handwritten conversations or mission guides in order to find and accomplish them. This is a double edged sword because on the one hand, it gives you the feeling of being fully involved in the narrative, but on the other hand, it also relies too much on events happening as designed and this is where the problems come in."

"And this is where the wonderful house of cards shakes the most, because the other big problem is the artificial intelligence of the non-player characters, which is truly awful. Most of the supposed thousand NPCs just seem to wander around without much else to do, except for serving their purpose in some quest or story at the right time, and sometimes whether that quest encounter happens or not just depends on luck."

"All in all, we think Dragon's Dogma 2 is a great proposition for the RPG genre and a title that delivers on many of its promises of great adventures for players. But despite its many good things, its interesting story and the wonderful feeling of exploration and living a truly unusual adventure, the game has those technical issues that fail to deliver a product as well rounded as it can be."

"So, if you're interested in learning more about Dragon's Dogma 2, be sure to subscribe to our channel. We hope to return to its shortcomings in time, and we hope to return then to fully explore its world, much of which we know we have left undiscovered.
Thank you for watching!"

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