Capcom recently announced Dragon’s Dogma 2, the much-anticipated successor to 2012’s underrated RPG. The first game, despite largely being a standard high-fantasy RPG, had many things going for it. Like the battle and pawn system for example.
Considering the original game is on sale across all platforms, is it worth checking out for new ones? Especially those who are eagerly waiting for the sequel? Here are five reasons why Dragon’s dogma still deserves attention. However, there are also areas where it falls short in 2022, so let’s take a look at five of them as well.
Dragon’s Dogma is a Familiar But Fresh Experience and Here’s How
1) The combat is one of the best of its era
If there’s one thing Dragon Dogma is known for, it’s combat, for a 2012 game, it’s surprisingly versatile and fluid. The core loop is a hack and slash, of course, with magic and ranged elements. Maintaining a well-rounded party is also vital to victory over enemy encounters. Taking cues from their own Monster Hunter games, players can also capture larger animals to deal damage.
2) Unique magic system
Magic is another highlight of an already excellent combat. The game includes various elements such as fire, ice and lightning. All of these can be cast by Mage class characters, however, it is not as easy as pressing a button. There is a lock-on system for casting spells and players must actively choose the target and/or body part to shoot.
The typically longer cast time ensures strategic placement of magic users as they can be hindered by enemies. Throw in unique abilities like leverage that can aid in the quest and it’s a vastly different experience from other RPGs.
3) Simple online integration in single-player games
While Dragon’s Dogma isn’t a multiplayer game, it manages to engage online in a wonderful and organic way. As a ruthless human called Erisson, players must take down the red dragon that stole it. For this journey, Arison will have to enlist the help of an NPC named Pawn.
In addition, these are human beings that serve Erisen and can be summoned from a portal. Said portal allows connectivity to the Internet for browsing pawns made by other players which can be called upon to assist host Arison at the cost of points called RCs. In fact, there is nothing else like it.
4) pawn system
Pawns are interesting in their own right. While any party can have up to three other members, only one can be created by the player. The other two must be chosen from the pawn list or may be members of the in-story party. But to keep things brief, players can change everything about their pawn, from cosmetic customization to classes (also known as vocations) and orientations.
The latter are parameters that define how a pawn will behave in combat and even aid in exploration such as collecting loot. The pawns will also act based on the player’s own fighting style and inclination. Overall, Dragon’s Dogma has some great companion AI – at least to an extent.
5) Amazing enemy design
Throughout the adventure, players will encounter a variety of demonic bosses such as hydras, griffins, and dragons. These are often larger than life encounters, allowing Erisen to take full advantage of his powers and showcase his potential. Most of the bosses are well-designed, challenging and memorable, demanding both mastery of the game’s mechanics and a tactical sense.
Unfortunately, the game isn’t flawless
1) Dated View
This is to be expected from a decade old game. While some aspects such as the character model (especially unique enemies such as the main red dragon Grigori). Otherwise, despite the updates made to the Dark Arison version, the color palette is quite monotonous even when strolling through the lush forests.
2) Bland Open World
The open world of Dragon’s Dogma is small by today’s standards, but still packed with a lot. There’s little to find other than crafting materials and a few enemies that will spawn. Most of the time will be spent traveling from point A to B, collecting some herbs and looting a few boxes for potions. Effective combat can only take the game so far.
3) Poor balance and design
Make no mistake: Dragon’s Dogma is a challenging game. Especially in the beginning. Stamina can rapidly deplete when attacking, and brief breaks between recoveries can leave players vulnerable.
Add to this the fact that a lot of enemies can be very tanky (especially bandits and other human enemies) and have a large number of spawns on top of that, things go further downhill.
In such situations, if the number of players is large, they can easily remove the pawn. The fact that there is only one save slot (sometimes for decision-making RPGs) is a major drawback as well as autosave will often save right on the player’s manual save.
4) Poorly explained game mechanics
Dragon’s Dogma has fairly intense gameplay mechanics, but many won’t be explained clearly. For example, for the first time players will face a tilt when making their pawn. There are many of them and the game leaves no clue as to what any of them do.
Players also receive Discipline Points for unlocking new occupations and learning new skills, but the basis on which these are awarded is unclear even to newcomers. In addition, enemies have fixed levels and do not scale to the players, but there is no level indicator to depict this information.
5) Repetitive nature of the game and tedious mission design
As good as the fight is, it can only go on when the foundation is mediocre. The battles eventually become either a slog or just a hindrance. Most side missions involve fetch quests to grab a specific amount of material or kill a certain number of enemies.
There are also some escort missions – nothing really hard, but rather dreary efforts that the barren world hasn’t made any better. Also, with whom to begin the joy of escort missions?