In its best moments, Dragon’s Dogma 2 looks and plays like a 10 out of 10, in its worst moments it is at least annoying, and sometimes just mocks the player. And it’s not just the microtransactions that were added right after the game launched, or the poor optimization, but the small moments that often spoil the experience of the game and sometimes even make you mad.

Game Dragon’s Dogma 2
Genre action/RPG
Platforms Windows, PlayStation, Xbox
Languages English
Developer Capcom
Publisher Capcom

Rebel and friends

Dragon’s Dogma 2 takes place in a parallel universe, but with the same prerequisites and rules of the world as in the first part, and here they are quite simple. From time to time, a dragon will appear, stealing the heart of one of the lucky ones – you – and labeling it Arisen (literally “Resurrected” or “Risen”). The main task of the Arisen is to find and kill the dragon. The hero is assisted by Pawns, human or animal aliens from other worlds whose only purpose in life is to serve the Arisen.

While the events of the first part begin to unfold immediately after this visit from the dragon, in the second part we start with a dungeon in a quarry. It turned out that the Queen Regent cursed you, erased your memory, and threw you into the quarry, and put a fake Rebel in your place. Everyone around you, including you, thinks you’re a Pawn. But then the quarry is attacked by a monster, you feel the power of the Rebel in you, and after a short fight you escape on the back of a griffin and find yourself in the first settlement. This is where the game begins.

In addition to creating your own character, you must also create your main Pawn and choose one of the vocations, or local classes, for him or her. The other two Pawns in your group can be recruited at specially designated locations called Rifts. If you are playing online, you will have access to other players’ Pawns, while offline you will only have access to the Pawns generated by the developers. Your Pawn can also be hired by other players. There are no drawbacks to this system: while you explore the world with your main Pawn, the game simply creates a copy and lends it to other players. You and your main Pawn gain experience and level up, while the rented Pawns cannot, so it makes sense to visit the Rift periodically and hire new, higher-level ones.

As your Pawn travels with other players, it gains experience with item locations and quests, so that it can guide you through your own quest. You can also hire Pawns with certain skills, including elven language if you want to interact with elves.

Pawns also have aptitude and specialization. Aptitude determines behavior on the battlefield – from more aggressive to more supportive. Specialization is, for example, foraging – the Pawn will mark resource collection points on the map, or logistics – the Pawn will deal with inventory and crafting items. If only it was possible to set separate rules here so as not to clean the inventory every two hours.

In general, Pawns have been improved. They have become smarter and really help, and sometimes directly destroy enemies when you open another chest. While I was testing one of the callings, the Pawns did all the combat work for me. They did it slowly, but they did it anyway.

But there were some curiosities. There are not enough fingers on both hands to count the number of deaths from falling into the abyss. The funniest one was when I had just spent rift crystals (a currency that is obtained in the game and spent if you want to hire a Pawn of a higher level than yours) on two Pawns, only to have them drown thirty minutes later during a routine jump over the abyss.

By fire and sword

There are four vocations available to you and your Pawn from the start: Fighter, Mage, Archer, and Rogue. After completing one of the tasks at the beginning of the game, Warrior and Sorcerer are also available. Mixed callings, such as Trickster or Magic Archer, also need to be additionally searched in the game world and are available only to the player.

Each vocation has two basic attacks and up to four abilities. Passive abilities, once learned, can be used in any vocation, so the game motivates you to try new vocations from time to time. When you change, you will be given equipment of your level, so you can safely change the class if you do not like the chosen one.

The main callings were almost one-for-one from the first part. The Fighter plays like a Fighter, the Rogue, who replaced Strider, also almost completely copies the mechanics from the first class. The warrior, in my opinion, has become slower, which, together with frame rate drops, sometimes turns the game into a slideshow.

There are only two completely new callings in the second part: Trickster and Warfarer. The Trickster’s weapon is a censer and illusions. The Trickster himself does almost no damage to enemies, but only makes enemies look stupid and helps allies. I tried to play as the Trickster, but for the first few levels of the vocation, all you do is lazily wave the censer – a kind of perspective when you can play as the same Rogue and quickly move from enemy to enemy to wreak havoc and death.

For example, I didn’t like the warrior at all. Basic attacks have become slower, and many abilities require the enemy to stand still. Except for large and clumsy ogres, cyclops, or slime, all enemies in the game are constantly moving and running out from under your attacks. The wolves annoy me the most, as they also tend to run away when they smell something fried.

I began to enjoy the game the most when I changed my vocation to Mythic Spear, who has magic and a two-sided spear and replaced the Mythic Knight from the first part. Here you have a quick dash to the enemy, magic that fixes the enemy in place, and a shield for the whole group.

A goblin, an ogre and two dragons

If you played the first part, you’ve seen 80% of the enemies in the sequel. The vast majority of the time you will fight wolves, goblins, harpies, saurians (lizard-like monsters), and local bandits. Sometimes you will come across big enemies – bosses. Ogres and cyclopes are more common, griffins, dragons, and chimeras are less common.

Boss battles were used very actively in the game’s promotional materials, and it’s clear why. For me, they are the best aspect of the game. Once again, I’d like to point out (and you’ll read this phrase more than once) that there are almost no changes compared to the first part, both in the bestiary and in game mechanics and killing methods. Each boss has several health indicators and different levels of interactivity. You can, for example, attack an ogre’s leg to knock it down, or sometimes even off a cliff, or climb on its back to hit its head. Such battles do not get boring and are a very exciting experience every time.

In Dragon’s Dogma 2, the lion’s share of success in battles depends on your level and equipment. Can’t defeat a specific enemy? Take a walk in the surrounding forests and kill goblins, come back and try again. Again: nothing new compared to the first part. However, it was very funny to see how the same blow with a two-handed sword tore a goblin from the first location into molecules and took about twenty percent of the health of a similar goblin when moving to the second.

That is, you won’t be able to complete the game on your skills, no matter how much you want to. Of course, how you assess the situation on the battlefield determines how much healing potion you will use and whether you will survive at all, but very often there is such a cacophony of effects on the screen that you can only run around in circles to figure out where you are relative to the enemy.

I also recommend that you choose your Pawns and your abilities wisely to be able to shoot down harpies. Otherwise, battles with them will turn into running around in circles while waiting for a mage from your group to hit with his spells.

Our open world is the most open of worlds

During the announcement of the game, the developers noted that the game world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is four times larger than the world of the first part. In fact, this is exactly what it looks like, but the structure itself has hardly changed: the game world is open, but you will move along roads that resemble corridors with small branches to the left and right. There are open locations, but the lion’s share of the world map is made up of the aforementioned corridors.

It’s not that there’s not enough content here, on the contrary, there’s more of it, but Dragon’s Dogma 2 suffers from the scourge of all open-world games: the world isn’t worth exploring. You rarely come across anything really interesting, but you spend an inordinate amount of time exploring the surroundings. It all boils down to the fact that sooner or later you open an interactive map and look for something that would be interesting to you, whether it’s a weapon, collectible coins, or a unique boss.

The local teleportation system also complicates the exploration of the world. In total, there are several (three, if I’m not mistaken) points in the game where you can teleport. To teleport, you need a special stone, which you can either find or sometimes buy not very cheaply from merchants. You can also place your own teleportation point by installing a special item, the number of which is also limited. Therefore, most of the time you will simply move around the map on your own. Add to this the rather tedious inventory management and the fact that items weigh down both your character and the Pawns, and you’ll have to run back and forth often.

On a positive note, the world has become more lively. There is always someone going somewhere. These can be Pawns, ordinary merchants, or carts with oxen. If there is a battle nearby, they can help you or ask you to deal with the enemies. Any character in the game can die, even the quest character, but fortunately they can be resurrected in the morgue.

Was there a plot?

Many people play role-playing games for the story and quests. Baldur’s Gate 3, one of the best games of the last year, raised the bar so high that I don’t think we’ll get a game of similar quality anytime soon.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 has a story, but it doesn’t even try to be good. And as much as I would like to write it again, it largely repeats the sequence of steps from the first part. You arrive in a big city, you’re given several tasks, including killing monsters, sneaking somewhere and eavesdropping on something, and so on. And to avoid spoilers, I’ll add that the ending is also similar to the previous game in some ways.

There are not too many additional tasks either. There are both the beloved “fetch and give” and support tasks. Often the game does not tell you directly what it wants from you, and if it does, it means something completely different. In one of the villages, I received a task to save a boy from wolves. The search process itself was quite interesting: first, I had to interview the villagers, then follow a trail of flowers that glow at night. After I found the boy in the cave with the wolves (we won’t ask how he didn’t die there before I arrived) and dealt with them, the game informed me that I needed to notify the boy’s grandfather, who had given me this task.

Glad to be able to return quickly and get the reward, I ran back, only to realize that by “notify” they meant “bring him back.” I had to go back and literally drag the kid out of the cave, which for some reason he did not want to leave. Fortunately, the ability to move objects also works for characters.

Every time I have to interact with NPCs in the game, I get anxious because almost every time someone either stops walking or runs into enemies from whom I have to save them every time.

Tired of running? Pay up!

Immediately after the release of Dragon’s Dogma 2, it was met with a wave of criticism and hundreds of negative reviews on Steam. In addition to the terrible optimization for PCs (consoles also have problems, if anything), microtransactions were added to the game without any warning from Capcom. Naturally, players were outraged by this, and to be honest, they have a reason to be.

I won’t justify Capcom, but I will note that it is a normal practice for them to add such purchases even in single-player games. In Resident Evil 4, you can buy ammunition.

Questions arise when games start to be designed around microtransactions. Every time I died and didn’t have enough crystals to resurrect, or when I needed to teleport, I remembered that I could just quit the game, go to the store, and solve this problem for some 34 hryvnia. Of course, to get these purchases, you first need to return to the city, and no one has yet offered to resurrect over a cup of coffee on the screen of death, as is often done in mobile games. But who knows what tomorrow will bring?

In any case, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is perfectly playable without any purchases, but the very fact of their existence in a single-player game can cause negative emotions.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 can hardly be called a sequel. The game has become better, but it is not a sequel either in terms of story or gameplay. There are a lot of improvements, but there are also a lot of drawbacks.

The excellent combat system is overshadowed by the low variability of enemies and the weakness of some callings, the beautiful game world by the corridor structure, low variety of content and additional content, the unique Pawn system by their sometimes strange behavior and tendency to repeat phrases.

Based on the rather critical text, we can conclude that I didn’t like Dragon’s Dogma 2 at all. But in this case, the criticism is related to the untapped potential. The game could really be something more than the first part, and in fact it is an improved version of it.

I recommend waiting for patches to fix the optimization and discounts.