Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review – High-Fives and Monster Slaying

Slay dragons and claim your throne in Dragon’s Dogma 2, Capcom’s newest RPG and the latest release in a series spanning over ten years. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a single-player experience that cleverly includes advanced AI companions and the echoes of other players’ characters into a truly immersive world packed with giant monsters and deadly encounters to sink your adventuring teeth into.

One of Dragon’s Dogma 2’s features that gained the most attention was the character creator. This is due to the character creation engine that was released not too long ago, ahead of the game’s full debut, which gathered a lot of appraisal on social media, and for a good reason: Dragon’s Dogma 2’s character creator is probably one of the most in-depth I’ve personally touched in a while. Beyond just giving players a bunch of options to fiddle with facial features, it also has some facial generation system that sees you combining three types of heads multiple times to make a genuinely unique-looking character.

I really can’t explain how it works, but my first character ended up looking like Dante from a Devil May Cry reboot if he was hitting the protein, and I appreciate that.

Dragons Dogma 2 Dante
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The impressiveness of the character generator goes beyond just making your characters look pretty (or utterly horrifying, if that’s your thing). Still, it continues to amaze when you get into the game itself. No matter how well put together, custom characters often tend to fall apart once a game starts animating them for cutscenes. However, Dragon’s Dogma 2 makes your character look like a human being in motion. It also has such finely tuned animations that I truly believed my Arisen was a natural, breathing person reacting to the world around them.

This might seem insignificant, but in a game all about role-playing and adventure, you really appreciate seeing your character with all the life Dragon’s Dogma 2 gives them.

Dragons Dogma 2 City
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

In addition to the playable character is your main pawn, a trusty sidekick you also customize from scratch early on. The game may refer to them as a pawn, but they are anything but in practice. My pawn swiftly became my best friend and best ally as I fought off goblins, harpies, and anything else the game threw at us as soon as we set foot on our adventure. This character provides information about the world, gives gameplay hints, fights alongside and buffs you, and, most importantly, gives you the firmest, most satisfying high five after every combat encounter.

I literally could not imagine this game without my pawn. They are the best aspect, and yes, most of my reason for loving the pawn feature is due to that crisp high five I just mentioned. There is nothing quite like slapping five with your sidekick after putting down a goblin raiding party. Beyond your party, the game can lose some of its immersive nature regarding NPCs if for no other reason than lackluster localization, which causes most of the dialogue to feel a little stiff.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 also has the particularly frustrating habit of forcing you into lengthy dialogue without your say in the matter. I’m not talking about cutscenes, and I don’t mean narratively important exposition. Walking down the road in any town (or even out in the wilderness), you will often be accosted by NPCs who drag you into long conversations, utterly halting your progress like a Pokémon battle without the fighting.

I understand some people are going to want to explore the world and its characters fully, but not everyone talks to every character in an RPG game. It would be nice, at least, to have the agency to choose who we get locked into dialogue with. The game does this with quest givers and hireable NPCs, who will stop you on the road to tell you the same dialogue you’ve heard from the last one.

Dragons Dogma 2 Monster
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Dragon’s Dogma 2’s combat is something between a hack-and-slash and an MMO, with all of your attacks being some form of RPG-style ability bound to various keys. Each class takes on combat in its own way, and while relatively simple, it can be exciting and flashy if for nothing more than the stunning animations and audio stimuli when you strike a foe in their weak spot.

Overall, I’d call the combat fairly balanced. You will get mobbed if you don’t engage carefully and will die if you ignore tending to your health bar after each encounter. Still, overall, you feel pretty capable of defending yourself from goblins and Medusa. A well-balanced party is definitely needed, though, because you will have trouble taking out flying enemies like Harpies without a ranged pawn with you.

The big, exciting draw to Dragon’s Dogma 2’s combat is the ability to engage with giant monsters, like Dragons, Cyclops, Medusa, and more. The game throws a series of fun tools at you to take on these huge foes as just a little guy; don’t just hack at their heels! Throw rocks, collapse the environment to whip them with a flood or a falling tree, and most excitingly, climb up their back and slash at their head. If ants or bees have ever swarmed you, you know just how some huge monsters in this game can feel when mobbed by the Arisen and their cohorts.

Dragons Dogma 2 Cyclops
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

A review of Dragon’s Dogma 2 wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning how much I adore the monster designs. They’re gritty, nasty, and creative, unlike anything I’ve seen in other titles that use similar source material for inspiration.

My final comment on Dragon’s Dogma 2 is that the game feels pretty focused on optimization for consoles in its pre-launch state. The PC controls are all right, but you can tell that the game was designed around a controller, with menus that can be a bit slow and awkward to navigate without. Despite the power of my machine, I also struggled to reach over 30 fps at any stage outside of the menus. Whether this is an optimization issue or something on my end, I don’t expect it to persist past launch or exist for console players.

The Final Word

Though PC players may face some optimization issues, Dragon’s Dogma 2 impresses with stellar monster-slaying action, incredible immersion, and satisfying adventures with NPCs you can’t help but call your friends. You’re sure to get sucked into the world with an incredible character of your own making as you claim your throne and face off against the intimidating beasts of Dragon’s Dogma 2.


Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Dragon’s Dogma 2 is available on Steam, PlayStation and Xbox.

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