Dragon’s Dogma 2 Will Need Much More than Good Combat to Be GOTY

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is coming out on March 22, 2024, and it’s already being hyped up to become the next Game of the Year (Baldur’s Gate 3 won the award last year). Having played Dragon’s Dogma extensively, I can confidently say that the game features one of the best action combat in the RPG genre. Knowing Capcom’s history with game development, it’s safe to assume that Dragon’s Dogma 2 will feature similar or even better combat mechanics.

However, Dragon’s Dogma also had many prevalent issues, and if they carry over to the sequel, it will lose a big chunk of the active player base, as the first one did. The last few years have produced some of the best open-world RPGs with amazing combat. Games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ghost of Tsushima, and Elden Ring have become the new gaming standards, and they provide a lot more than just good combat.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 needs many changes from its prequel to be considered a GOTY competitor, and I have some ideas. Here is everything Dragon’s Dogma 2 must improve to be considered the Game of the Year in 2024.

Good Stories and Exciting Missions Make or Break a Game

Games with good stories tend to become Game of the Year. Baldur’s Gate 3, The Last of Us Part 2, It Takes Two, and Elden Ring all featured outstanding storytelling and depth.

Compared to that, the first Dragon’s Dogma had a decent story, but terrible execution. Much of the story felt like unconnected events without any in-game repercussions. The sequel should focus on improving the coherence between the events of the game for a continuous flow without making a too tedious task.

Big Story Events Should Have In-Game Repercussions

Dragons Dogma Missions

For example, one mission in Dragon’s Dogma sends the Arisen to jail for fooling around with the Duke’s wife, but after breaking out, you can run around the palace without any reaction from the Duke or the guards.

Another time, Arisen breaks out the Princess from her imprisonment, and again, no one gives any reaction to the events. Occurrences such as these are common in Dragon’s Dogma and ruin player immersion. On the other side, in games like Elden Ring, your decisions impact the world and your relationship with other NPCs.

But that’s okay as long as the missions are good, right?

“We Love Doing Escort Missions for the 15th time,” Said No One Ever

Escort Missions Dragons Dogma

More than half of the missions in the first part of Dragon’s Dogma were either task list, fetch, or escort quests.

Bring 50 Rabbit skins, 20 flowers, and a snakeskin purse (with no details about its location)“, or “Escort this person to this area,” or “Slay 50 Bats and 20 Rats.” The escort missions should at least give lore drops on the characters being escorted, which it doesn’t.

These missions are not any fun and should not make the majority in any game. The only enjoyable missions in Dragon’s Dogma were related to combat. This includes The Griffin’s Bane, Wyrmking’s Ring, Watergod’s Alter, and Deny Salvation, which all had good high moments, but they also have one big issue…traveling.

Exploration Should Not Feel like a Chore

Ghost of Tshushima Open World

Exploration is the most significant highlight of playing any good Open World game.

If traveling doesn’t feel right in an Open World game, that game should not have been “Open World” in the first place, which is why Bitterblack Isle is the best part of Dragon’s Dogma.

Games like Breath of the Wild, Ghost of Tsushima, Elden Ring, and Marvel’s Spiderman made traveling as enjoyable as possible. Compared to that, traveling in Dragon’s Dogma is simply painful.

Exploration Should be Rewarding in an Open World Setting

Good open-world games have maps filled with points of interest and quest-givers. Discovering hidden bosses or finding that one hidden questline (like the Thief Guild missions in Skyrim) in the corner of the world map are things you expect from a good Open World RPG.

The first installment of Dragon’s Dogma failed to deliver these expectations in many aspects, and I expect a lot more from the upcoming sequel.

The majority of the world felt empty despite the occasional Chimeras, Cyclops, Griffins, and Wyrms in different areas, which were fun to defeat, but it can get boring quickly after you keep finding the same Cyclops or Chimeras around the map.

Bad Story Telling in Dragons Dogma

Where the game majorly lacked was quest and reward distribution across the map. Most quests are given from two primary locations in Dragon’s Dogma when quests should be spaced out throughout the map.

There were only a couple of quests around the map, like the Miner’s quest outside the Quarry and the quest from the Bandit leader, but that’s just about it.

This forced players to take quests from the central city, Gran Soren, head out to finish it, come back, and do the same thing over again. And this doesn’t sound bad, but it felt terrible due to the bad fast travel mechanic.

Don’t Complicate Fast Travel, Keep it Simple!

Dragons Dogma Map

Fast traveling is the most simple mechanic in any game. It allows players to save time and quickly jump to an already discovered Point of Interest around the map to save time. That’s it!

But, Dragon’s Dogma complicated it too much. Instead of going as per the norm, Dragon’s Dogma had Port Crystals, a limited item attainable through Story missions, which could be placed around the world to create fast travel points.

Sounds good, right?

No, it’s not. The first playthrough only had five port crystals in total and players could even miss picking them up due to their remote placement. On top of that, one port crystal is locked behind a limited-time quest, which is hard to trigger for first-time players.

Portcrystals Dragons Dogma

And if you did manage to get all of the (5) port crystals in your first playthrough, they don’t even cover half of the map in the game. Placing them strategically is the best players could do, which is especially hard for new players who have no clue where the missions will take them.

And that’s not all! The Port Crystals are pretty heavy to carry around, and being ‘Heavy‘ decreases the movement speed, making traveling feel even worse.

Terrible and Unfun Game Mechanics Destroy Player Experience

Talking about inventory weight, Dragon’s Dogma had some of the worst game mechanics, which should never exist in any game.

Equipment and Inventory Weight Must not Exist Together

Weight, in general, is a pretty terrible gaming mechanic. But I understand why many developers implement it in their games. However, no good game ever implements equipment weight and inventory weight together.

Either you have equipment weight, like Elden Ring, or inventory weight, like Valheim, or have neither (which is the best way).

Dragons Dogma Inventory

Dragon’s Dogma had implemented both at the same time, which made the characters unbearably slow after wearing heavy armor and carrying a few vital items.

Simply carrying 15-20 potions (they weigh a lot) with heavy armor would make the player walk slower than a snail. The weight of items needs heavy tuning for Dragon’s Dogma 2, or it will continue frustrating old and new players of the franchise.

One Primary Character Slot Makes No Sense

Everything aside, Dragon’s Dogma is a fantastic game that can be played in multiple different ways. Games with this much customizability in classes generally let players create various characters to continue enjoying the game from numerous viewpoints.

Starting New Game Dragons Dogma

But for some reason, Dragon’s Dogma only allowed one character slot at a time, making it impossible for players to play with multiple characters.

Why such a feature will be implemented in an open-world RPG with so much customizability is beyond my comprehension. Hopefully, it’s not the same in Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Nonetheless! Is Combat Enough to Make Dragon’s Dogma 2 the Next GOTY?

Dragons Dogma is amazing

Everything I have said above won’t stop me, or players dedicated to the franchise, from playing and enjoying Dragon’s Dogma 2 in the same way they did with Dragon’s Dogma. For us, combat is the most crucial element in a game.

And being able to slay giant monsters one after the other will always be enjoyable for us, even with 50 other bad mechanics. But I want Dragon’s Dogma 2 to get the recognition it deserves, which the first didn’t. Solving the above issues is the only way it can become the Game of the Year in 2024.

No, it’s not. Dragon’s Dogma 2 needs to improve in many segments to even be considered a GOTY contender in 2024. The game cannot carry over some of the same terrible mechanics present in the first part, as it will alienate the majority of the gaming player base, again.

Dragon’s Dogma only had 1 million sales in the first year of its release, and Dragon’s Dogma 2 can be limited to the same result if they don’t fix its storytelling, offer better missions, and remove the terrible game mechanics that ruined the fun.

comment Comments 1
  • Sho Rembo says:

    The first one was rushed, and not even completed.
    As for save slots, that is to keep a player character having only one main pawn, otherwise the player just makes four or more characters and hire all of their own pawns the whole time.

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