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Dragon’s Dogma 2’s New Game Plus Mode is a Complete Let Down

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a sprawling adventure that takes some time to get through. I completed the game at just over fifty hours with the majority of the quests done and all the additional vocations unlocked. My main goal was to get to this point while also prepping my character for a second playthrough of the game.

The additional vocations meant I could do this second playthrough with a different play style and perhaps level up my gear to take on even more fearsome foes. Sadly, Dragon’s Dogma 2’s new game plus mode is a complete waste of time. Enemies don’t scale to your level, gear and inventory management is boring and worst of all, the game’s gear-enhancing system falls flat.

Nothing Scales to New Game Plus

Keep in mind that Dragon’s Dogma 2 kind of wants you to replay the game. Without spoiling anything, the game immediately kicks you into playthrough two once you complete the main story. As a result, you begin at the start of the game with most of your gear, vocations unlocked and your current level. So naturally, one would think that like most RPGs, you would need these advanced skills and higher-level weapons to get through the content. Sadly, that isn’t the case.

The same fodder enemies you find in the first playthrough are present in the second one. There have also been no adjustments to the density of these enemy groups nor have they been tweaked when it comes to health bars and damage output. So you’ll run through the game as a level 50+ character killing enemies in one hit because they are scaled to level 10 characters.

The same thing goes for larger enemies like dragons and trolls. These so-called “mini-boss” fights lack excitement because they too haven’t been scaled to suit your level. Dragons especially become pushovers and die in just a few hits. Trolls can be one-shot with certain spells and killed within a minute by pawns attacking it.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review

I don’t know why Capcom could not simply load up an enemy file in the New Game Plus and just add 30% to its damage and health. Maybe double the groups of enemies around the game or increase the number of goblins that hound you at night.

No Challenge Makes Everything Feel Pointless

Given how much the game relies on combat, Dragon’s Dogma 2 fails to up the antics the second time around. This then feeds into everything you do. Exploration becomes a slog as you’re forced to retrace the same steps again but without the looming threat of deadly enemies in the distance.

Even exploring the world at night, which is usually quite a daunting task, becomes a walk in the park. Skeletons are still pretty weak and die instantly. Wolves and goblins can be knocked around and killed in a single hit. The only time things get a little intense is when a larger goblin hits you and ends up stunning you. But this isn’t because it is a stronger enemy. It is simply because the game’s stagger system guarantees it will knock you back in a single hit.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Review

The same goes for groups of wolves that can drag you across the ground. These enemies don’t deal more damage or provide a bigger threat. They can only perform these grapple moves because they are programmed to. In the end, these attacks get more annoying than anything else because they stop you from slaughtering the group of enemies while you’re being dragged around or stunned.

Enhancing Equipment is Dull

Dragon’s Dogma 2 already had a questionable gear upgrade system which you likely never touched in the first playthrough. Different blacksmiths upgraded your gear across various stats and required different materials to do so. However, the entire system felt a bit one-note in comparison to RPGs on the market.

For example, one blacksmith would require gold for Tier 1 then gold and a Griffin Feather for Tier 2 and then gold and three feathers for Tier 3. Throughout my entire first playthrough, I never once went on a search for a certain material to upgrade my gear because I didn’t feel like I needed to.

This is even worse in the second playthrough. Not only does the game shower you with materials you have no idea what to do with, but the lack of challenge makes this entire system feel pointless. With no tougher enemies, why would you upgrade your gear? Why would you go on the hunt for Dragon Scales when you’re already destroying dragons in a few hits?

Dragon's Dogma 2 10 Things to Know Before You Start

Essentially, this ruins the idea of character builds. Gear simply becomes weight in your inventory that you don’t need and all these upgrade materials become a waste of time at your storage chest because you constantly need to sit and transfer it all into the box every time you’re at an inn.

Keep in mind that this entire gear-enhancing system was already quite dull in the first place. The game’s materials outweigh the systems’ purpose. You are forever getting horns, feathers, gold ore and even much rarer materials. Sometimes your Pawns will even gasp at the rarity of a stone you collect. Sadly, none of this matters in the long run because there’s no pressure added to your min/max build.

Enemies don’t get tough enough to provide a challenge worth seeking these upgrades for. This is even more true in the second playthrough when things are copied and pasted from the first.

Let’s Blame Modernizing

I was completely let down by Dragon’s Dogma 2’s end-game/new game plus mode. The original game put a large emphasis on its difficulty and forced players to seek out better gear and upgrade it in order to take on these tougher enemies. The sequel, however, suffers from the usual “modernization” we see across the industry these days. Things are made easier to please the masses.

This has resulted in entire game systems completely falling flat. It means that you’re only replaying Dragon’s Dogma 2 in order to complete some missions you might have missed the first time around. Without the challenge, this became a real chore. I hoped Capcom learnt something from the hardcore DD fanbase on what made the originals so great. Especially in post-game. That isn’t the case in Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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