Dragon's Dogman 2 review: a low-key RPG

Published and developed by Capcom, Dragon's Creed 2 is a massive RPG with the intoxicating aroma of grand adventure. But it turns out to be a little too strict and insufficiently controlled in some places to please everyone. Our review, without spoilers.

I played about 20 hours on the Dragon's Creed 2. During that time, I have fought with fearsome dragons. I have slain majestic hippogryphs without fear of death. Added some ogres to my hunting list. I traveled miles by the sweat of my brow, sometimes taking a cart that was about to be attacked in the middle of the night. Dragon's Creed 2 it gives the impression of participating in a vast saga, with struggles, encounters, quests, exploits and failures. But also disappointment.

Dragon's Creed 2 it's in the form of an adventure at its most beautiful – achievements, you name it, there you have it – and the most painful – so much gravity and friction in the gameplay. It's a massive and lean RPG whose basics and philosophy need to be digested. We also experience emotional elevators, between the satisfaction of having escaped a confrontation with a giant creature and the anger of dying stupidly after falling on a common stone (ok, I'm exaggerating). Dragon's Creed 2 it is a game with disproportionate ambitions, and which above all would require more resources to be more successful.

Dragon's Dogma 2 // Source: Capcom

Dragon's Creed 2 fascinates with imperfections

No targeting

This is a move worth making: Dragon's Creed 2 does not allow you to target enemies. This is quite rare in video games. It's a trick you have to do, just like you have to accept hitting the void if you don't manage your time properly.

In Dragon's Creed 2, we play a character with an incredible destiny, the Rebel, who must find his place after a usurper emerges (ie, shedding light on the truth). The story is meant to be simple to put the storytelling in the hands of the player. It's up to you to forge your own story after spending hours perfecting your protagonist's appearance. To deliver on this promise, Capcom opted for the most organic structure to guide as little as possible. Unfortunately, upon closer examination, we realize that solving situations often requires dark scenarios.

Dragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 CaptureDragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 Capture
Spoiler: we play a character who is connected to a dragon. // Source: PS5 Capture

This complete freedom is beneficial, even liberating when compared Dragon's Creed 2 in other more general open worlds. But often we go around in circles, looking for that stranger to tell us what to do, that note written on a piece of paper that turns out to be crucial, that whisper from a fellow traveler… Sometimes the time of day has an impact on continuation of a mission, without really knowing why.

Wanting to be opaque while maintaining dusty designs on the common thread skeleton, Dragon's Creed 2 he's losing us. And it disappears. It tries to do more than it really can, which results in a hardcore experience, not in its difficulty, but in its approach. By the way, there can be major annoying bugs if there is too much script overlap: I saw an NPC I had to follow get stuck in a building because he thought he could go through the wall.

Everything is worth a little

Added to this are a number of limitations that make the game less fun. It's simple: exploration is boring. First there's the stamina meter, which melts like snow in the sun once you've sprinted a few meters. Then there's how fast travel points work. They rely on rare items that are prohibitively expensive, forcing them to be used sparingly. There is an alternative: convoys pulled by an ox, praying they are not attacked along the way. And, of course, don't rely on a base to move faster. There is no horse shadow inside Dragon's Creed 2 (either in a frame or decoration). In short, everything is somewhat worth it.

Dragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 CaptureDragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 Capture
The call of the stranger. // Source: PS5 Capture

A big RPG, with content

What about the interiors

Dragon's Dogma 2 takes place mostly outdoors. And that's a good thing: in tight spots, the camera struggles to follow.

From there, we find all the hallmarks of an over-the-top RPG. Progression with level up, class choice (you can change at will to unlock passive skills), crafting flair to create potions, a hint of cooking (the influence Monster hunter), arsenal that can be improved, options – somewhat – systemic… Dragon's Creed 2 adds pawns or allies we can recruit to help us. They prove necessary to move forward with peace of mind, knowing that one of them is our official right-hand man. This means it can be customized (pick a mage to heal you, that's a tip) and will never go away.

Dragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 CaptureDragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 Capture
Meat lovers will love the aisles where you can cook. // Source: PS5 Capture

Dragon's Creed 2 As such, he has real qualities to show, starting with his fights, which are truly epic. Fighting a large creature is exciting, especially since the developers offer incredible variety in the gameplay. A mage will be able to heal and cast powerful spells, while a champion will punish enemies with heavy attacks, slow for sure, but terribly damaging. Here pawns are also important and are the key to success: it will be necessary to create a flexible team that can respond to all forms of adversity – a champion, very anchored to the ground, will struggle by example when faced with flying creatures . The AI ​​is pretty good, despite the erratic behavior in aggression. In terms of support, I haven't faced any issues.

Dragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 CaptureDragon's Dogma 2 // Source: PS5 Capture
Yes, sometimes it is unreadable. // Source: PS5 Capture

Visually, Capcom's title is based on the RE Engine graphics engine introduced in 2017 with Resident Evil 7 Biohazard and has been used by all of the Japanese company's games ever since. The result is uneven. Some textures are particularly beautiful, others are hard to see. We especially miss the fluidity on the more powerful consoles, with no display option to prioritize technical performance over fidelity. Fortunately we benefit from great visual effects (spells, for example), even if readability suffers, and an advanced physics engine. There can be some hilarious clips as some of the consequences make no sense. Finally, note that Dragon's Creed 2 pinpoints where you hit enemies very well, with real-time area degradation and adaptive damage. This was already happening in Resident Evil. This realism makes the conflicts even better. We'll point this out though: large monsters have endless health bars, which adds tension to the experience.

The verdict

You have to know what you're getting into with Dragon's Dogma 2. Those looking for an accessible experience can go ahead. Capcom's RPG is lean and constantly puts painful obstacles in our way. It's adventure in all its glory and all its annoyances. The barrier to entry is huge, a bit too much for a game with a poorly controlled structure.

However, if we ignore these flaws that can seem crippling, Dragon's Dogma 2 has some great things to offer. It is a rough diamond that needs polishing to achieve what it does. As such, it's intended for an informed audience who can be content with hard-nosed mechanics and be forgiving of an organic structure that's overtaken by the scenarios. Dragon's Dogma 2 seems as far as it can go.

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