Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Capcom Ruined the Game of the Year

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Dragon’s Dogma 2 is an incredible game that could be one of the greatest of all time if not for Capcom’s disregard for its dedicated fanbase.

As a passionate gamer, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of Dragon’s Dogma 2, the sequel to the groundbreaking original that captivated players with its unique gameplay mechanics and immersive fantasy world. The original game, released years ago, was an epic not rivaled by many other games of its time. It introduced groundbreaking gameplay mechanics, such as the online pawn system, which would later inspire FromSoftware’s acclaimed Souls series.

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In Dragon’s Dogma, players create their own pawn, a customizable NPC companion that aids them in battle. These pawns can be hired by other players from Rifts, where they gain knowledge and experience to better assist their creator. It’s a genuinely innovative system that adds depth and a sense of community to the game.

The gameplay mechanics themselves are a delightful blend of Monster Hunter and Shadow of the Colossus, resulting in an experience that, in my opinion, surpasses even the immersive fantasy world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Needless to say, I was incredibly hyped for the release of Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Dragon's Dogma 2 character creator
Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Capcom Ruined the Game of the Year

However, my excitement was tempered by the steep AUD$120 price point for the standard edition and the revelation that the game would include microtransactions. This left a sour taste in my mouth, as the presence of microtransactions in a full-priced game feels like a greedy move by Capcom.

Despite these concerns, I can faithfully say that Dragon’s Dogma 2 is one of my favorite video games of all time. The monster hunting and combat system is an absolute joy, with epic moments where giant creatures battle each other while you engage in the fray, hoping to claim the loot and experience points for yourself.

Amazing fantasy world
Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Capcom Ruined the Game of the Year

The pawn system has been refined, and I’ve grown quite fond of recruiting the same pawns repeatedly. They remember our previous quests and even engage in discussions with other pawns, adding to the game’s immersion. The lack of a level cap on gear is another welcome feature, allowing players to use top-tier weapons regardless of their skill level. The community’s generosity shines through, with players gifting each other powerful items and Wyrmslife Crystals (WLC), the game’s most valuable currency, earned by slaying powerful Drakes and Dragons.

Why does Capcom hate us?

However, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is not without its flaws, and many of these issues can be attributed directly to Capcom. The inclusion of microtransactions in a game that already costs AUD$120 is borderline criminal. While these microtransactions are not necessarily forced upon the player, their presence leaves a bad impression and feels like an unnecessary cash grab.

Performance issues are another significant problem, with the game struggling to maintain a stable 30FPS even on the powerful Xbox Series X. The world map can be confusing to navigate, and the menu system is minimal and unhelpful, often leading players astray. The user interface is also dated and clunky, reminiscent of classic JRPGs but lacking the innovation and user-friendliness expected from a modern game.

Microtransactions
Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Capcom Ruined the Game of the Year

Perhaps the most egregious issue is Capcom’s decision to implement anti-cheat measures in a single-player game, likely to protect their microtransaction revenue. This move effectively kills any potential for modding, which is a massive disappointment. Modding communities have been instrumental in keeping games like Skyrim relevant and enjoyable for years after their initial release. By denying players the ability to create and share content, Capcom is cutting off a vital lifeline for the game’s longevity.

After digging a bit deeper. It seems as though the Denuvo Anti-Cheat system only prevents game file tampering and editing. There are mods on Nexus. However, people have reportedly been banned for simply deleting their save files. This will lock you out from playing a single-player game you paid full price for!

It’s clear that Capcom is its own worst enemy when it comes to Dragon’s Dogma 2. The game is an instant hit, oozing with passion and potential, but is held back by short-sighted decisions and anti-consumer practices. If Capcom were to remove the microtransactions, address the performance issues, and embrace the modding community, Dragon’s Dogma 2 could easily become one of the greatest games ever made.

The game it could be…

Imagine a Dragon’s Dogma 2 where players could freely customize their characters and pawns with rare loot and unique outfits, earned through special events and battles against legendary dragons and drakes, each with their own rich backstories and personalities. Picture a game where players are encouraged to explore and experiment, not just with their character builds and combat strategies, but with the very world itself.

Pawns in the Rift
Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Capcom Ruined the Game of the Year

Customizing your pawn is already a significant draw in the game, but as players progress towards the end game, many pawns start to look the same, wearing the same powerful armor sets. Capcom could dedicate more development time to creating a wide variety of special armor pieces and clothing options, allowing players to truly make their pawns stand out from the crowd. Implementing a dyeing system for armor and clothes would add an extra layer of customization, giving players the freedom to express their unique style.

But why stop there? Dragon’s Dogma 2 has the potential to be so much more than just a monster-slaying action RPG. The game’s rich world and immersive gameplay mechanics could easily lend themselves to a captivating survival experience. Imagine being able to marry your favorite NPC and establish a farm in the wilderness, far from the safety of the cities. You would need to protect your home from marauding monsters, hunt and farm for food to keep your spouse happy and healthy and gather resources to upgrade and maintain your homestead. This added layer of depth and immersion would give players a reason to keep coming back to the game, long after they’ve completed the main storyline.

Farming and marriage
Dragon’s Dogma 2: How Capcom Ruined the Game of the Year

Furthermore, modders could be given the tools to create new quests, creatures, and challenges for the community to enjoy, keeping the game fresh and exciting for years to come. Imagine player-created dungeons filled with unique treasures and terrifying boss battles, or seasonal events that introduce new monsters to battle and gear to collect. The possibilities are endless, and the passionate Dragon’s Dogma community would undoubtedly rise to the challenge, creating content that rivals even the base game.

This is the Dragon’s Dogma 2 that could be, a game that not only respects its players’ time and dedication but actively encourages them to become a part of the world, to shape it and make it their own. A game where the only limits are the player’s imagination and the strength of their sword arm. If Capcom would only embrace this vision and trust in the creativity and passion of its fanbase, Dragon’s Dogma 2 could easily become a game that is celebrated and played for generations to come.

As it stands, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a flawed masterpiece. It’s a game that I will undoubtedly sink hundreds of hours into, but one that will always leave me wondering what could have been if Capcom had prioritized the player experience over short-term profits. If Capcom can learn from its mistakes and make the necessary changes, Dragon’s Dogma 2 has the potential to be a game that is played and celebrated for years to come. But if they continue down this path of anti-consumer practices and disregard for the community, they risk squandering the incredible potential of this beloved franchise.

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