Dragon’s Dogma 2 on PC / Steam – The DVDfever Review

Dragon's Dogma 2Dragon's Dogma 2 Dragon's Dogma 2

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is finally here! This is one I have been watching and waiting for what seems like an age to arrive!

Hold that thought โ€“ I need to go and play Dragon’s Dogma 2. Don’t go anywhere dear reader I will be back shortly (maybe)….

Okay so I am back, all jokes aside.

The original game launched way back in 2012, for PS3 and Xbox 360 to much fanfare, and has become a bit of a cult classic albeit with a few design niggles. I received a copy for my birthday on PS3, and still have it and cherish it to this day. Then, a year later, Dark Arisen launched on PC and, later still, on PS4 and Xbox One, fixing quite a few of the player issues with the gameplay, as well as incorporating the DLC and various other changes.

Here we are in 2024 and the dragon is up to no good again, taking the heart of your character, making you Arisen. It is time to set out and save the world, or so it may seem.

Yeah, like that goes smoothly! You end up in a prison, and this is where you will take a pre-generated character style, or can create one from the ground up, with a metric ton of customisation options, similar to what you will see in an Elder Scrolls game. There are two races to choose from, being Human or Beastren with both male, female and other non-binary choices. With regards to the Human choice, you can – if you wish – add pointy ears, so you look more like an Elf if you so wish.

You’ll then choose from one of four classes to start, being Warrior, Archer, Mage and Thief, before unlocking more classes shortly after, making it to the first major city, but cannot be fully dual-class when selecting a new class, so your mage can’t become a healer crossed with a sorcerer (Battlemage). Or as a fighter after unlocking archer, you cannot use a bow unless you change to the archer class, but then you are locked out of your fighter skills and not able to use sword and shield, which is a bit strange.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 – Gameplay Walkthrough FULL GAME (4K 60FPS) No Commentary – Shirrako

The story tells that of a false Arisen, going to take the throne who has been put there by the previous Sovereign’s wife, so he can be manipulated and controlled. There are plenty political games afoot, but also folk in the towns that need help.

Picking up these side quests is a lot different to anything I have seen before. You will usually find that, in towns, you have to talk to anyone and everyone or discover stuff while out exploring. It is that or looking at the map, and there are quest giver icons dotted around everywhere, or folk walking around with a marker above their heads. With Dragon’s Dogma 2, though, folk will randomly approach you and ask for help.

Some of these quests will have a time limit, and do have fail states. As an example, rescuing a child who has been dragged away to a cave by wolves. If you leave it too long once you get to said cave, you will find him dead. Thankfully, in your quest log, these quests do have a flashing hourglass. Another great thing is that you aren’t fully-guided to where you need to go. It is not like the Gothic games where you get a description and direction and that is it. Most quests will have a map marker, and when you get near a search area, shows on the mini map. In cases like the missing child quest, you learn in the text that you can follow a certain plant to his location, rather than there being any map marker. It is very thoughtful of the developers how they have implemented this system.

On top of all that, you have the pawns, and if one of those has been hired who have completed a quest already with their master, they will attract your attention, and you can tell them to lead the way, which is handy. Additionally, if you do something that they haven’t done already, they will say they need to let their master know what you have just found. You will create your own pawn in the same way you create your main character, and they will stick by you at all times. Then decide upon the skills they have, and they’ll automatically use them. It is just out-and-out fun having a total of threepawns adventuring alongside you.

A new thing they have introduced with the pawns which I do find irksome, is a plague that can spread between them. Your own pawn – if hired by someone who is using an infected pawn – can find it spread to your world if your pawn gets it, and then onto any other pawns you may hire. Or even hiring a pawn which is already infected. The signs you need to be aware of don’t show in the rift, so you have to be paying attention when out exploring. If you don’t remove a pawn from your group which is infected, or in the case of your pawn throw them into the sea, you will wake and find devastation will have occurred. The pawn, literally, goes on a rampage and will kill everyone at whichever town or outpost you have slept!

Thankfully, after a week or so, in-game folk will start to repopulate the town or, if you have enough resurrection stones, you can bring key characters back to life in the mortuary. These stones can be a bit hard to come by, and you tend to find shards which require three to make a full stone. You have to be selective who you help โ€“ like I said, this plague is irksome at best, and damned annoying if it reaches its peak.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 – High Action Thief Highlights – PC Gameplay – Swifty Unknown

Visually, the game very much reminds me of the classic 2006 Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Long view distances, idyllic forests and lakes and a whole raft of places to find and explore. Quite simply, if you see something interesting off in the distance, you can stop what you are doing to just go and have a look. After all, what is the worst that can happen?! (curiosity killed the cat, or so I am told!)

For all the beauty and sprawling vistas, there are nice, large towns with European style castles and strongholds, with folk getting on with their lives, and it does require some grunt to run it. In all fairness, before I talk about performance, I generally get a steady 60fps (I’ve locked it to 60, manually), in most cases, barring the main first city, where 60fps can literally start jumping all over hitting lows of 30. Watching the frametime graph with MSI Afterburner, the main city sees it continuously spiking and dropping. What I have found is that DLSS barely works, but FSR3 does help a bit.

Additionally, no matter what settings I change and running either 1080p or 1440p, I always get around the same performance when unlocking the framerate. The mad thing is, though, as an example: Horizon Forbidden Dawn on PC looks roughly on par with Dragon’s Dogma 2 using similar settings, but no upscaling tech, and it is running buttery-smooth in cities and battles with numerous critters. HZD now has had numerous patches to fix day 1 issues with performance, so it did take a little while to fix. Dragon’s Dogma 2’s world and cities are very similar in scope with NPCs etc, and the world itself has the stunning long vistas. It is rather strange that modern PCs are struggling with this title. So, this by the look of it, is just poor optimisation on PC, presently.

However, in all fairness to the developer, you can just lock framerate to 30fps until more fixes are rolled out, and your experience will still be great. Thankfully, other than the stuttery higher framerates, the game is exceptionally playable even prior to the first patch, unlike Jedi Survivor, which still isn’t running right, nigh on a year after launch on PC.

As you can probably tell, I absolutely love this game. There has been nothing since Oblivion and Neverwinter Nights before that, which I have pro-actively wanted to play, due to it getting under the skin! There are a few things though that can go from Hmmmmmm you what now?! to bothersome and then to damn this is doing my nut in!!

My personal main issues are as follows:

  • There is no steady fast travel system. Yeah, I get it that the developer wants you to explore the created world,but running back and forth from the main city to Melve or Le Havre takes a good while, and some quests say head back in a few days to see how things are.
  • There are only 2 permanent Port Crystals which you can use a Ferrystone to fast travel to and that is Vernworth and Le Havre. You can acquire Port Crystals which you will place yourself, but they are very limited (3 or 4 in the entire game and the map is huge).
  • Then there are the Ferrystones themselves; they randomly drop, or are given at the end of a quest, but they are a limited resource (they can be purchased from some vendors also at quite a high price).

There is another option which is using Ox travel, for which you pay a few hundred gold to use, and if you select ‘doze off’ instead of watching the scenery go by, you will all but instantly arrive at your destination. Again, though, the destinations are limited. In the opening area you can only travel to either Melve or the Borderwatch Outpost from Vernworth. There are no links from the outer destinations to other areas.

There can be issues with this also, since the doze off the screen goes black, but then you are awoken and being attacked by bandits or worse. Another issue is that if anyone of the NPCs, pawns, yourself or an enemy so much as gently taps the carriage it gets destroyed. What are these things made out of? Balsa wood and sticky tape? I get it if you get attacked by something big like an Ogre, throwing rocks and punches or a Griffon, swooping in and landing on it. A stray arrow or hitting it with a sword should not destroy it. It is REALLY annoying if it is a long journey and this happens halfway to your destination, more-so at night when you are constantly attacked by ghosts n’ goblins (see what I did there ๐Ÿ˜› !!) and other things that go bump in the night.

Finally for me, again, comes down to travel and traversal. Walking is actually faster (walking, not actually running or sprinting) than the Ox travel, if you decide to watch the scenery go by and cross the old fingers and everything else you don’t get attacked. Why isn’t there any horses or other animals you could possibly ride? Have the dragons, griffons and ogres (oh my!!) decided to cull them or eat them? Has there been a huge extinction event to wipe the species out?

Fair enough like I already mentioned the series creator wants you to explore and discover this amazing world, but hindering travel speed in the various ways above when other 3rd person RPGs (Witcher III, Elder Scrolls and so on) all have multiple options for travel.

I have clocked in 30+ hours over the past 2 weeks, and have genuinely loved every minute so far even though, at times, it can be a little frustrating. Performance has generally been okay for me and not put me off playing at all. There is a bit of stuff going on with micro transactions, and some folk really going batty over them, but you don’t need to even look at them if you don’t want to. Not once have I needed to purchase anything outside the game.

Overall, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is absolutely superb on so many levels. If you love RPGs with a huge scale, this will keep you entertained for many hours and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I just hope they do what they did with Dark Arisen, and you can get an unlimited use ferrystone, and maybe put a port crystal in every town.

So back to the game now that this is done. This is my next big thing so will catch y’all on the flipside!!

Thanks to our friends at Capcom for the review code.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is out now on Xbox Series X / Xbox One, PC / Steam and PS5.

Important info:

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Players: Single player only with Interactive cross world pawn system

    Dragon’s Dogma 2 โ€“ Launch Trailer