Category Archives: DD2

DD2 Status Report

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a gorgeous game. It is also bewildering and strange and you really don’t want to play it without a controller, as I now have to concede after 6 hours of playtime. The PC port still struggles with other optimization issues but I’ve experienced little in terms of bugs myself, the odd clipping aside or blurry textures. It’s worth looking into the various guides for graphics optimization depending on the system you’re running – or better yet, just play it on console if that’s an option.

Playing hunter for my main class right now, I’ve not been able to get used to Dragon’s Dogma’s intricate combat mechanics just yet. This is partly due to the abysmal keyboard controls and me just being unsure about which vocation to go with. Fortunately switching class is simple and also encouraged in this game. I will probably end up playing some type of wizard, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my excellent main pawn’s abilities; Raistlin is a formidable companion and has already saved my ass many times. I love the fact that I have him along for this ride and I chuckle every time he is being rude or sarcastic to the other hired pawns.

Raistlin the mage

Gameplay mechanics aside, Dragon’s Dogma’s biggest pull is undoubtedly its world, the harsh travel and exploration. The game feels like a wild marriage between the formulaic JRPGs of yore that would make you earn your passage dearly and the magic of Skyrim’s endless sky. I’m loving every minute of it while I’m out in the field. Everything takes time: preparing for travel, preparing for quests, hiring new pawns as two of them don’t level with you. Inventory is tight and so is daytime when you lose sight of it – beware of the night!

Having a party of three NPCs along doing and saying different things is also quite rad and I love how it harkens back to the classic JRPG party setup. Only in DD2 you don’t command your pawns in some slow round-based battle, you adjust to the dynamic play-styles of each class and hope for the best. Banter before and after special fights can be really hilarious and it’s useful to actually listen to what your pawns have to say, as I found out the hard way trying to attack foes beyond our skill set.

Having arrived in the main big city just yesterday, I can’t say much about DD2’s main story line just yet. I find myself constantly straying off the path exploring or then following some side quest. The game’s horizon feels absolutely vast; there are things you must do but just as many or more things you can do. There are quests that are timed and can be lost forever, there are quests you can solve in a multitude of ways. There are optional storylines, optional classes (this is wild!), optional bosses. I feel like I haven’t scratched the surface of this world and for now I really like it that way.

Review-Bombing on Steam

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is out today and has already received some considerably negative reviews on Steam. While the game seems to have some optimization issues right now, the primary reason for the review bombing is that Capcom, most likely on the publisher’s side, added micro-transactions to the game which allow players to purchase optional items (like fast travel) which make the often harsh gameplay more trivial.

While I am no fan of micro transactions myself, much less in a premium single-player RPG, much of the current review bombing on Steam is based on misinformation and not entirely fair. As veterans of the older title have pointed out, optional items were always a thing in Dragon’s Dogma and more importantly, the ingame world also offers opportunities to receive the much coveted items, albeit on more difficult terms. If you want to play DD2 the way its director of development, Hideaki Itsuno intended it, you will ignore the optional items and enjoy this RPG world for what it is. If you prefer shortcuts, you have to pay extra.

Much of this initial outrage seems fabricated or at least very knee-jerk to me and I feel a little sorry for the development team who likely had no say in the matter. I also wonder what some of the hot critics who are unfamiliar with the franchise will say once they discover all the other warts of this new title. Dragon’s Dogma has always been rough around the edges and decidedly less mainstream than Skyrim, for example. Newcomers should probably watch videos like this one by Gameranx first which very accurately describes what you’re in for, should you decide to give DD2 a go. I still look forward to playing it this coming weekend, anyway.

DD2 Character Craze

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is only 5 days away and I mentioned briefly last week that the character creator has already hit Steam. Having spent a few hours on it myself over the weekend, I second that the customization options are pretty impressive. It still has its limitations in some departments though (height, hair, eyes, colors…) which is a deliberate choice to fit the overall world building and lore, I believe. To start off, the game lets you choose from 3 different races which are the humans, elves and beastren. You then get to create your main character, aka the Arisen, as well as your main companion, aka your Pawn. The game lets you have up to three of these AI companions which are essential to group combat in Dragons Dogma. The other two pawns will come through accessing the game’s online network called Riftstones and they will have been made by other players of Dragon’s Dogma 2 which is a really cool feature.

Booting up the client on Saturday, I meant to only have a quick look and erm, riiiight….you know how these things go! In the end I created an Arisen for myself and two more character models. The game lets you export these pre-made characters to official release, so at least it’s not like you’re wasting your time completely – and a lot of time it is! I spent around two hours learning different sliders and submenus for my Arisen after which I decided I was going to model my main pawn after the better half. This was a good laugh and I dare say he approved of the final result!

Raistlin from Dragonlance

Having browsed the Steam community page which is naturally overflowing with doppelgangers of famous actors and fictional characters, I also decided to give Raistlin from Dragonlance a go for a mage pawn. I got lucky that the customization options mostly agreed with me and other than lacking a wavier hairstyle as well as the option for golden skin and hourglass eyes, I dare say he turned out pretty alright. However, this now puts me in the difficult position of having to decide between the better half and Raistlin Majere, Master of the Past and Present, for my future main pawn – a real quandary I tell you!