Dragon Dogma Two party of one (Picture: Capcom)
GameCentral gets an hour of hands-on time with the long-awaited sequel to Dragons Dogma, and its AI-simulated co-op action.
As you’re aware, this hasn’t really been the way to progress through video games. This is probably a new franchise because it was Japan’s fastest-selling new IP. That probably says more about the other contenders (or the lack of them) than about Dragons Dogma, but after the apparent success that it got in the past had some extended editions, a free-to-play spin-off, and, most recently, a Netflix anime tie-in.
The fact that it took too much to achieve a proper sequel is a mystery but, as ever, it was a better delay than always. The game released a nine minute video trailer last week at the Tokyo Game Show which saw the game playable as a 45 minute demo. We still have the same experience for an hour. If the game wasn’t the entire map, though the Capcom reps remain at a distant place, and if we didn’t go where we would not be able to, the map is so big it would have taken too long to walk where we shouldn’t have.
Although it came out in 2019, it was a long time since we played Dragons Dogma and our memory was numb to what was said about the entire story (and why it’s a terrible name). The basic set-up is as an open world player that works like a two-player co-op title without actual co-op. Instead of other three characters, they’re all computer-controller pawns, one of which you get to define as much as your main character and the two of the two more interchangeable ones.
That’s almost the same as the sequel; your allies will talk like real people, both of whom will be honest. There is hardly much repetition in those talks, but while the dialogue itself is relatively unremarkable, even with its pseudo-medieval lexicon, the voice-acting is very cheesy. Everybody has a British accent, so it’s hard to speak what it is actually actually intentional because its doubtful any British who participated in the development but one of our pawns was mading it up so amazingly surprised you can’t see what the bite marks are in the scenery.
Perhaps its just our love for Resident Evil, but we really liked the character that this game gave, and the pawns give you a high five after a battle or criticise you for losing. It looks like its AI was very useful, so they all work in a fight, and beyond that, more than in melee, combat. The magicians used to be very nice for themselves and others, but also useful, even to try to be less precise. Everybody tried to help when youre injured.
While we were told that recruiting a few more pawns can function the same way as the first game, at the same time when we went to the portal and making selection potentially yell to other pawns created by other online players we didn’t realize a lot of neutral characters are wandering around. Those monsters will fight and can be recruited into your party, as the result is the best of all.
Many cannon-fodder opponents are typous goblins and wildmen, but one of the games’ big selling points is the large, almost opulent, colossus-style creatures. Some of these are bosses, but many of them just wandered around and the one we spotted was a giant cyclops who immediately came under the sea to take action by crashing into the forest behind us, toppling the trees. All the larger creatures tend to hit their own head or other vulnerable pieces, but it doesn’t cause bad looking wounds, but its huge trick is to grab all the bigger creatures and let them loose!
This is especially critical when fighting a gryphon, which could easily fly away with you on it. We knew this trick of old, but was given our caution when it flew off our pawns still attached to it, who began hung on for a little more, then went to the ground and quickly lost their grip and smashed onto the ground with perfect comic timing. Despite being dead, we got to them in time to revive them.
The other gameplay elements are generally the same as those of modern players, with many different levels to choose from when you start (arser, fighter, thief, and a mage planned for the final game) and other games, such as a magic archer, are available in combination with the same sort of games as you expect from a modern actuary game. There’s also a very involved crafting system where pawns help collect ingredients. I did not think that you should figure out the recipes, but since one of the more powerful health products was essentially a mince pie, we got our immediate approval.
The game is a success even with pawns. Every part of the game was very beautiful. It’s some of the realistic, beautiful scenery we ever saw in a game. It seems a very odd choice, although we can’t go in the water, there is an invisible tentacle monster in every river. It was that way in the original but it definitely was something that should have been dropped in the sequel.
Dragons dogma 2 night time exploration is very dangerous (Picture: Capcom).
In fact, the whole game feels more like a remake than a sequel, with very little that’s totally new even if the relative uniqueness of the first game means that its less of a problem than that might be. The map is 4 times bigger than the original, but because of the years that have passed since we last played it, the memory of the first game gets along with the reality of the new game, which is a common problem with remakes.
We want to overstate what an exciting game it is, even at night. In reality, though most open world games only involve two day and a night cycle, colour is shifting slightly; in Dragons Dogma that’s much more realistic. Night in a forest, far away from civilization, dark. If you cannot turn on the lamp, you could flip into a cliff or run into a giant monster.
This is the same as the caves and while you simply sit down and sleep till morning, a real thrill for exploring at night is built on one of the few specific horror elements. Ghosts that wander at night, and those that don’t exist during the day, as time, of light you spy through the trees becomes a hope for salvation or a second, unnamed horror.
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You could really enjoy your enjoyment in the environment.
In a definite way, the extended play will make more changes, but the other negatives of the demo are that it seems that its quite early on, and the sound well in the movement is a lot of problems in the collision detection. Sometimes climbing monsters didn’t work and the camera felt too wobbling on its feet, especially because there wasn’t an automatic lock-on.
We don’t want to criticise Capcom for that although it isn’t very rare now that any publisher show off a game before its almost complete because they know the internet will tear it apart, like a finished product. The Dragons Dogma is clearly not that, but we can wait for it to again play it because it is unique enough that even after all these years the sequel still feels fresh.
You can download the Xbox series X/S, PlayStation 5 and PCPublisher: CapcomDeveloper: CapcomRelease date: TBA.
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