Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title
Published Title Score Editor's Choice
Published Title Score
Editors's Choice Mar, 2023

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review

Echo Apsey
20, Mar, 2024, 15:00 GMT
Reviewed On PS5


  • Satisfying gameplay rewards exploration and curiosity
  • Vast open world filled with secrets & mysteries
  • Gorgeous, immersive visuals
  • Engaging combat, with a lot of flexibility and customization


  • Frame drops during more intense sequences

Final Verdict

Read Final Verdict

It’s rare for a game to feel daunting to me at this point. I have played countless RPGs, typically hundreds and hundreds of hours long and packed with secrets and surprises, but Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a formidable example of the genre in almost every way - from its story, to its exploration, to its far-spanning world, to its treasure trove of secrets that have been left for you to find.

Set in the lands of Vermund and Battahl, Dragon’s Dogma 2 sees you take up the role of a recently-escaped prisoner, landing on the coastline of Vermund. Hearing word of a dragon attack in the local village of Melve, you make your way over there post-haste, only to fall victim to the winged beast and having your heart stolen. This act sees the player reawaken as “The Arisen” - a fabled individual who has been chosen to challenge the dragon by way of their own destiny. However, there can only be one Arisen, and Vermund’s is currently sat in the Venworth Palace.

With destiny now calling upon you to slay the dragon that has so violently made you, so begins your odyssey, one that will see you travel the lands far and wide - from the bustling streets of Venworth, to the deserted plains of Battahl, to the capital city of Bakbattahl, and the ancient ruins of those who came before.

Having lost your heart to a fearsome dragon, you are The Arisen, and must slay the beast to reclaim it

The epic story in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a sweeping tale that covers the length and breadth of an enormous world. Across the dozens of hours I have spent scouring each and every location every for chests and items - creeping through elaborate cave systems, climbing treacherous cliffs, traipsing through dense forests, and uncovering hidden secrets and rare loot - I still feel as if I have barely scratched the surface of everything Capcom has packed into this imposing map.

However, whilst it is certainly vast, the truly captivating element of Dragon’s Dogma 2’s world is how it has rewarded my enthusiasm to explore. While quest markers would eagerly push me toward furthering the plot, every trip I took would inevitably see me spotting or hearing something curious in the distance - like a bridge leading to an enshrouded set of ruins or the sudden shriek of creatures amongst the trees.

Whenever I followed these distractions, I would always find something exciting. Sometimes it was a fight with a giant Griffin circling its nest, other times it was an entire treasure trove of secret chests filled with loot, gear, or lore-riddled documents. Occasionally, I would even encounter mysterious characters, each of which would have their own story of survival to share or perhaps a quest for me to complete. Dragon’s Dogma 2 goes far to reward those who walk off the beaten path, giving it a sense of genuine adventure.

Dragons and other stoic beasts lurk among the caverns and riverbeds of Bahattl

The fantastic sense of player discovery Dragon’s Dogma 2 offers goes beyond simply wandering its world and is imbued within its main quests and story beats too. During one quest, I was asked to investigate a small village on the eastern edge of Vermund. However, as with most objectives in the game, you are only given a general goal, such as “investigate this person’s whereabouts”, rather than being told to talk to this specific person or search this specific building.

So, upon visiting the village in question, I grabbed all the information I thought I could find about this individual, exploring every house, finding clues in the form of a letter, and speaking to everyone. However, before I gave up the search, I had one last look around the village and discovered a well, hidden amongst some bushes. The well then led to a treacherous obstacle course and a mysterious locked door.

After a few fails, I finally completed the course, opened the door, and discovered a faction of thieves who had convenient information about the quest that I could have easily missed. This mini-adventure offered genuine elements of investigation and reward to the quest.

Ocasionally you may stumble upon something fascinating that takes you completely by surprise

Later on, while exploring an abandoned ruin, a cutscene played showing a mysterious statue located somewhere in a hallway. As I continued exploring the ruins, I rode an elevator which took me into a huge, ancient castle, where I could see the statues, but was seemingly unable to reach them. Once I returned to the ruins’ entrance, I discovered that the route back to the statues was now closed - suggesting that whatever secrets were lurking within those statues would remain secret to me.

These are just two examples of moments of small moments that lead to huge discoveries. And while you may find something as simple as a piece of new lore, or some handy loot, you could uncover new vendors, offering unique gear such as the powerful Unmaking Arrow - which will instantly kill anything it hits. You may decide to return to a town you have already visited, only to discover it in the midst of a devastating dragon attack. And after that fight concludes, it will bring its own reward, such as a skilled fighter teaching you a new style and unlocking a new class.

Characters within this vast world will teach you their unique fighting styles

All of these side-adventures and small-but-notable moments could go unnoticed and, as such, award the player for their initiative when it comes to exploration and investigation. You might hear a rumor of an ancient spring, or a legend of a lurking Medusa and then decide to chase that rumor for 10 hours, perhaps leading to an incredible boss fight or even an entirely new district, filled with its own treasures. If you set out at night, you will be treated to a terrifying pitch-black trek where danger lurks around every corner and you can’t see further than your own feet, making each path you venture down a risky one. Not since Elden Ring has an RPG given me the same immense satisfaction and sense of awe that I’ve found in Dragon’s Dogma 2.

The long road back to your stolen heart isn’t free of danger, of course, and you will find yourself in endless battles as you make your way from objective to objective, quest to quest. Thankfully, the combat in Dragon’s Dogma 2 feels as robust as every other part of the adventure’s experience - a fantastic blend of precise, tight combos and player flexibility that can be found in Capcom’s other franchises, such as Devil May Cry and Monster Hunter.

When facing down this array of beasts and monsters, Dragon’s Dogma 2 offers fast and frenetic action. Much like Devil May Cry, you can perform dazzling, powerful combos, bolster your attacks with special abilities, and bring about an end to the battle with brutal finishing maneuvers. Of course, this being an RPG, you also have the depth and breadth of choice and customization that you’d see in a title such as Monster Hunter, with a huge array of armor and weaponry, and just under a dozen different classes to choose from - each specializing in different areas of attack and defense.

The sound of hitting a beast’s weak spot is incredibly satisfying, especially targeted with a flurry of attacks

Whether it be ranged attacks, up-close hack ‘n’ slashes, spellcasting, or unique tricks, (such as conjuring up a clone of yourself to distract your enemies while you and your pawn attack from an alternate angle), each class is markedly different from one another, with further unique abilities spells unlocked as you hone your builds, upgrade your weaponry, and purchase new armor to strengthen your defense.

During my own playtime, I found myself switching between classes frequently, as every one of them is a blast to use, especially when you nail some of the more complex and advanced builds. In between myriad smaller battles, you will regularly run into huge bosses with multiple meaty health bars - these encounters will see you lock horns with all manner of classic fantasy creatures, including the aforementioned fire-breathing dragons, the spell-conjuring Chimera, and the giant, defense-heavy Golem.

The combat in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is as robust as every other part of the experience - a fantastic blend of precise, tight combos and player flexibility

These fight are complete spectacles. You and your pawn stack attacks, combining your abilities and elemental effects - even throwing the beasts off balance by clambering onto their bodies and thrashing them into trees and rocks, knocking them down and wailing on their weak spots. Each encounter is brought to life in stunning detail, and I was left particularly impressed by the visual clarity of these monsters’ fur, scales, and skin. Though these giant beasts tower above you, the fights never felt cumbersome or unfair. The camera is typically capable in these battles, while powerful enemy attacks are finely telegraphed - allowing you to dodge, jump, or otherwise prepare for any heavy hits.

The one key issue I had during my time with Dragon’s Dogma 2 was seeing the frame rate frequently chug a little bit during some more intense fights. While disappointing, these moments of slowdown would stop after a few seconds, and was never bad enough to cause me to lose the flow of combat. Thankfully, the visuals hold up throughout the entire experience, with Capcom’s splendid RE Engine bringing life to the world through its use of stunning lighting, beautiful night skies, and impressive character models.

The atmosphere stands out each time you venture outside, especially at night

While an incredibly ambitious game, Dragon’s Dogma 2 delivers on almost everything it sets out to do. Every facet of the adventure works together to create a stunning, harmonious experience that nails story, exploration, sense of discovery, combat, and surprise. I rarely play a game that impresses me this much and - despite the few performance issues I had on PS5 - I can’t remember the last time a traditional RPG felt this original. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a tour-de-force of design and left me captivated from beginning to end.

This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.

Final Verdict

An Outstanding Odyssey

With Dragon’s Dogma 2, Capcom continues to solidify its reputation as one of the industry’s premier developers. The sequel delivers an incredible, continent-spanning odyssey filled with monsters to battle and mysteries to explore - rewarding player discovery and backing up its captivating sense of adventure with refined, enjoyable combat. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is one of the best fantasy RPGs of the modern age and will no doubt prove a strong contender for game of the year.









Value Rating:

Buy this game now:
Dragon's Dogma 2
Shop Now


With over five years of experience in games media, much of that spent authoring guides, Echo joined Gamer Guides in 2024. After getting their start at PlayStation Universe in 2018, they joined The Loadout in 2021. They went on to become Guides Editor at The Loadout in 2023 where they built a four-person guides team and led the website’s guide production.
1 Comment
User profile pic

Great write up! This game is getting stellar reviews all over the place. Let’s see Rise of Ronin’s card….er…review.

Back to top
User profile pic

Great write up! This game is getting stellar reviews all over the place. Let’s see Rise of Ronin’s card….er…review.

Back to top