Dragon’s Dogma 2 is the best game of 2024 and perhaps forever – Reader’s Feature

Dragon’s Dogma 2 – the best game of 2024? (Capcom)

A reader argues the best game of the last six months is Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma 2 and it’s AI-powered co-op action.

I read with interest GC’s feature this week, on their favourite 20 games of the year so far. It was an inspiring list because I didn’t really think there’d been that many good games, but once you start to count them up there has actually been a lot. Naturally, I haven’t played all of them but it looked a good list that I couldn’t really argue with, except in one instance: Dragon’s Dogma 2 was not number one.

It’s not a surprise, as their review didn’t rate it that highly and I got the impression they weren’t that keen on the original either. That’s fine, I know a lot of people that don’t see much in it, but for me it’s one of my favourite games ever. I’ll try and explain why I think that, but part of the answer is that sometimes a game just clicks with you and there’s some part of the appeal you just can’t explain.

For those that don’t know the game, it’s an action role-player not a million miles away from something like Elden Ring or Skyrim, except with a more specifically medieval setting, especially in terms of the fantasy creatures which have old school versions of things like griffons and cyclopes. I really like the aesthetic, especially the really beautiful landscapes and forests, which look like they’d be a great place to have a picnic… if it wasn’t for all the monsters.

The big gimmick of the game is that you have three ‘pawns’ following you around and helping out, which works like AI human co-op players. It often surprises some people that there’s no actual co-op options but that’s overlooking the game’s best feature. My problem with playing with real people in something like this is that they never take it seriously. Or at least never act like the game is real to them.

By that I mean that, as far as the pawns are concerned, they’re fighting for their lives and trying to defeat evil. Play with a human and they’re just as likely to run off and do their own thing, or start chatting about the match last night, as they are to play the game properly. I don’t want to come across as anti-social but playing with AI is a lot more immersive and reliable than actual people.

I love a good co-op or PvP shooter but in terms of something that’s more of a serious adventure I think the pawns work perfectly. They chat to you (in character) like real people, they help outside of combat by spotting things you need and giving advice, and they also help each other out, which makes you feel like a proper team.

The whole game has a great sandbox feel to it, with lots of emergent gameplay, that feels both slightly old-fashioned – because most games don’t really have that anymore – and kind of next gen in that you can utilise your items in unexpected ways and how you get around the landscape kind of like Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

The classes are really varied and customisable too, allowing you to upgrade both your character and the pawns in great detail, which I find very satisfying. You’ve got control of everything and there’s no right or wrong way to do anything, which I really appreciate. It’s like an easier Elden Ring crossed with Zelda and a party-based role-player.

Apparently it’s not for everyone (none of my friend even seem to have heard of it) but I love it. Not only is it my favourite game of the year so far but it’s in my top five off all-time, if not actually number one.

By reader Lemmy

Dragon’s Dogma 2 – pawns are your friends (Capcom)

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