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Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review: Monster Hunting Masterpiece?

Is Dragons Dogma 2 a huge leap forward for Capcom’s monster-hunting action-RPG? Check out our review.

Jeremy Proome

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Dragon’s Dogma is a series that has gone from a relatively obscure yet brilliant first game into a multimedia franchise, with comics, a Netflix show, and remasters filling out the fantasy, monster-hunting universe. Twelve years since the first game, the sequel is here but does Dragon’s Dogma 2 live up to the hype and deliver a quintessential action-RPG experience with the homerun that Capcom is currently on?

As an elevator pitch, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is essentially a third-person open-world action game set in a fantasy world where dragons, cat-people, and other mythical beings roam a number of different kingdoms. The catch, however, is that this is a lot faster and more agile than the likes of Skyrim, allowing you to leap onto monsters and enemies and climb your way to reach weak points, much like the PS2 classic, Shadow of the Colossus. Throw in the ability to use AI-controlled teammates to help your hunting party take down these massive beasts, and you’ve got the recipe for fun.

And the game delivers on that (admittedly fantastical) promise. You’ll go from climbing a gargantuan cyclops to fighting a giant griffon, after looting a hideout commandeered by some small goblins, before heading to the local town to restock for the next big fight. There is no shortage of ‘wow’ moments in Dragon’s Dogma 2, and from the moment after you create your own character, you’re treated to a visual splendour with each and every enemy created in gorgeous detail.

On top of the great eye-candy, what makes each of these fights so captivating is the room for creativity. There are some pretty interesting weapons in the world, and depending on how and when you approach quests and missions, you can tackle these challenging monsters in a variety of ways. Whether you want to climb aboard a giant and stab its head, or perhaps use the head of a medusa to turn it to stone (if, of course, you’ve found one), taking on the enemies feels like a bit of problem-solving session, which is a lot of fun if you invest the time and patience into the game’s many mechanics.

You can use the environments around you to take out enemies, whether it be collapsing a rope bridge or bursting a dam, which adds some interesting game-changing moments to fights; so while some of the action may not be as choreographed and scripted as in other games, the randomised chaos is incredibly fun, albeit a bit janky. So, whether or not your well-planned strategy to take down a Gorgon works or goes bottoms-up, it’s always fun.

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With that said, some of the hiccups emerge in the same place where the original fell short. The general combat and movement feel great, snappy, and responsive, and the climbing mechanics are fun, but it all still feels a little clumsy. You’ll fall off of big creatures for no reason, animations will stutter, and you’ll get stuck on the environment at times — they’re not game-breaking moments, but ones that’ll have you throwing expletives around.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 really is the massive, dense, and Clash of the Titans-level spectacle you’d hope it to be, but it also has some rough edges that will need to be looked past to really enjoy it. The world, enemies, and unpredictable combat encounters make it stand out, and if that’s what you’ve come for, it’s got those in spades.

Dragons Dogma 2 is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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