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Capcom had a playable demo of Dragon’s Dogma 2 at Tokyo Game Show 2023, and we had a hands-on session with it.

Official website: https://www.dragonsdogma.com/2/

The demo allowed the player to choose from one of three classes, each with their own missions, and we went with the Thief. The Thief’s version of the demo starts the player at the outskirts of a town with three Pawns, and we headed out into the wilderness.

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The area outside the town was mostly populated by goblins, hobgoblins, and harpies. As the Thief character in the demo did not have access to ranged attacks, the harpies were especially a problem, since the Thief has almost no attacks that can hit them in the air, and they would also constantly cast sleep spells while flying about. We did try to grab them when they got close to the ground, and when the player successfully manages to grab one the attack buttons are replaced with commands to get the harpy to fly higher and descend to the ground, and we tried several times to pull them down so that the Pawns could hit them, but they never did and we always just ran out of stamina and had to let go.

The Thief has twin knives and skills that include a running slash, a huge spinning jump slash which was useful when fighting the harpies, and also traps which we unfortunately did not find much use for in our time with the demo – This was probably mostly due to us rushing forwards due to having limited time; traps would probably be very useful if one had ample time and wanted to set up ambushes.

Also notable is how the world is very populated: Random NPCs can be found just wandering around outside, and will even run to come help in fights.

Most other players trying the demo chose to go with the Fighter class, which does seem to run into a Cyclops pretty easily, but unfortunately, we did not encounter any large enemies during our time with the demo as the Thief. What we did manage to experience, however, is how guidance from Pawns seems to work even better in Dragon’s Dogma 2.

After wandering about for a bit, our main Pawn suddenly informed us that they knew a shortcut to the nearby dungeon (a mine), and started to lead us to climb up the side of a mountain using ledges that did not in any way stand out and probably would not be obvious to a player going through the game without this guidance. This lead to a large hole with platforms on the side which we jumped down, putting us midway into the dungeon at an advantageous position behind many of the enemies, and we were able to fight our way to the entrance of the mine getting the drop on all the enemies with their backs turned to us. In some cases going backwards also meant dropping down off ledges: Going the “right” way and having to climb up while being attacked could probably have been tough, but the Pawn’s shortcut to the middle of the dungeon mitigated that entirely.

The lighting system of the first game is also back: Parts of the dungeon were pitch black and required use of a lantern for anything to be visible at all.

In the first Dragon’s Dogma, Pawns would lead you to the next step of a quest, and while this may not be fundamentally very different, being led to an alternate, more advantageous method of ingress to a dungeon has a very different feel to simply being led to the entrance: It felt like someone in the know sharing a secret with us, rather than just having an AI companion lead us to the front door.

That being said, Pawns are still very much Pawns: The one that led us to the dungeon also fell off a platform and died while we descended into the dungeon, and on the way to the dungeon a different pawn started talking about how he knew of treasure nearby (since our time with the demo was limited we ignored him). And while Pawns would come to wake the player character up when put to sleep by a harpy, it was pretty common for them to come running right in to a sleep spell’s AOE and also get put to sleep.

In any case, from what we saw, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is very much more of the same: If you enjoyed the first game, 2 should be something to look forward to.

 

Keep up with our TGS 2023 coverage here:

https://www.frontlinejp.net/2023/09/20/tokyo-game-show-2023-games-in-motion-the-world-in-revolution/

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