PS5 dragons dogma 2 review

Published on April 7th, 2024 | by Branden Zavaleta

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review (PS5)

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review (PS5) Branden Zavaleta

Summary: Uniquely exciting, Dragon's Dogma 2 will be beloved.


Fantastic Fantasy

Dragon’s Dogma is a cult classic. Half because it’s so silly— you can make your companions charge into battle sounding like they’re high on helium— and half because it’s a cool fantasy world with battles like a fighting game. But the game was only part of what creator Hideaki Itsuno (Street Fighter Alpha, Devil May Cry 4), and his team at Capcom envisioned for the world. Since his school days he’d been building up the idea of a fantasy game without the boring grinding or turn-based combat— he wanted something engaging and exciting. Dragon’s Dogma got 70% of the way there, but due to time and hardware restraints, mechanics were left unfinished, and the world was unpolished— there’s a reason it’s a cult classic, not an outright classic. 

Over a decade later, Itsuno has tried again. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is more of an expanded remake than a sequel– it’s the Tears of the Kingdom to the original’s Breath of the Wild. The team’s focus was polish, rather than reinvention. So if you played the first game and thought it was too quirky, stilted, or frustrating, you’ll find Dragon’s Dogma 2 to be prettier but pretty much the same. But if you love those quirks— you love being able to throw NPCs over your shoulder to carry them around like a sack of potatoes— Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a gem and an evolution. 

Revamped in the RE Engine (Resident Evil Village), the game looks great. Dense foliage, rich textures, raytracing, wonderful sound design, and some stunning vistas make it a visual treat. You and your band of adventurers can run through golden fields of wheat, cross bubbling brooks and explore damp caves by torchlight. Its beauty isn’t as consistent as an enclosed experience like Capcom’s recent Resident Evil games, but with a map far larger than the original, you can forgive the occasional blocky shadow and reflection. 

One of the biggest changes is that there are no more loading screens. You can just run through doors, into caves, and across the world without interruption. Sure, that’s standard practice for most open world games these days, but if you played the original, you’ll know just how liberating the feeling is. Even so, this isn’t a modern open world game. There’s no climbing, or sliding, or reloading saves, or even easy fast travel— you need to use ox carts or valuable “ferry stones” for that. What’s most frustrating might be that there’s not even autoplay for conversations. So if you’re the type to play with minimal HUD elements, you won’t have the subtitles to tell you when you need to press a button— a silly moment happens when a miner finishes his sentence with “What’s that?!” and the rockslide politely waits until you press continue. And sadly, it’s inconveniences like this that’ll keep Dragon’s Dogma 2 as another cult classic— whether it’s part of an intentional design or not. 


Still, the game is a fantastic treat for those willing to forgo some of the luxuries of modern power fantasies. There are new races, new monsters, and new vocations to master. Your companions will celebrate a win by giving you a high five or pumping their fists, and there are so many nice surprises— My favourite was when a harpy carried me into the sky and dropped me. Just when I braced for impact, my companion caught me and said “Got you!”. 

And for double the fun, you can make your companions look like anyone— I’ve seen Leon Kennedy, Kratos, and Ice Spice turn up in the rift. As much as it’s a challenging fantasy adventure, it’s also a game that lets you have a lot of fun doing silly things– the first town you visit has a ballista that you can use to rain chaos on the citizens. If you like messing around with the NPCs in Skyrim or making traps for the Bokoblins in Tears of the Kingdom, Dragon’s Dogma 2 will make you laugh hard— Anytime a local gives you guff, you can pick them up and fling them off a balcony, that’ll learn ‘em.

Hideaki Itsuno has said that this kind of freedom and unscripted gameplay was key to the game’s design– what they call “emergent gameplay”. You can walk in on a horde of goblins fighting a camp of bandits, or help a traveller beset by harpies, or collapse a bridge with a cyclops on it and watch the poor devil hold on for dear life.

Final Thoughts?

Ultimately, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is an odd combination between Skyrim, Elden Ring, and Tears of the Kingdom that scratches a very unique itch. It might not be for everyone, but it’s certainly for someone, and it’ll be exciting to see what kind of DLC Capcom have planned for it. 

About the Author'

Branden Zavaleta is a freelance games writer from Australia. He loves Breath of the Wild, Disco Elysium and Dragon Quest VIII. And aside from games, he loves hiking, playing tennis and a visit to the movie theatre.

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