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There’s Plenty To Glean From the ‘Dragon’s Dogma 2’ Trailer

A cat knight, looking very serious.

I hate to be all “Not Like Other Girls” here, but while everyone’s been going gaga for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Spider-Man 2, and other high-profile upcoming game releases, I’ve been sitting here quietly vibrating over Dragon’s Dogma 2. It’s been ten years since the first game released, and alongside some other waylaid franchises I love, I just assumed we wouldn’t be getting the sequel anytime soon.

What folly! Now we have a full, gorgeous trailer for this game, and though some of our readers might not be familiar with this game, I still want to break it down for you all. On the one hand, maybe you, too, are quietly vibrating with excitement and need someone to share that with. On the other hand, maybe this will help get newcomers excited for the game, too.

Really, truly, I love this franchise and am SO thrilled by what the trailer presented us with. So, let’s get into it!

Dragon’s Dogma 2 brings us Gransys 2.0

Gransys, with new graphics!

Immediately, the trailer reacquaints us with Gransys, the world within Dragon’s Dogma. We open with a griffin, one of the most memorable enemies from the first game (both because of the quest associated with it and the many fun ways you can fight it, including riding it into the air), soaring over the ocean. This ocean then gives way to a cart, a nod to one of the first major quests of the first game, where you escort a cart through the mountains, carrying the head of a hydra you slayed. Finally, the camera pans out, and we see Gransys in its entirety, including the kingdom of Gran Soren. It’s beautiful, refreshed, and wow, for a game with such a sparse story, you wouldn’t anticipate how good it feels to come home.

Indeed, a lot of the trailer looks very similar to the first game, but with a much-needed touch-up. The returning monsters still retain their old designs, and the costuming is largely in the same spirit as the first game (so, similar armors, robes, and so on). It would seem that Capcom is still devoted to the world of Gransys, and honestly, I’m intrigued to see how they expand upon it!

Most, if not all, of the original classes seem to be making a return, such as my personal favorite, the Magick Archer—the one where the bow hones in on a target and lights ’em up with magic. However, they’ve definitely added new combat mechanics, as evidenced by the scene where a fighter uses his shield to launch a rogue into the air and onto a giant. What!? Way to make a fun game even more fun, Capcom, smh. Part of the appeal for Dragon’s Dogma is the inventive ways you can combine classes and explore different combat styles, so I’m excited to see how they expand upon that even more.

And speaking of inventive, I am so curious about the cat people! At various points in the trailer, we see NPCs that look like Khajiits, yet unlike The Elder Scrolls, beast people have never been a part of Dragon’s Dogma. To me, this speaks to a broadening beyond Gransys’ borders: We got snippets of context regarding conflicts and negotiations with other nations in the first game, but this game seems to be attempting to expand upon that context and bring it front and center, which I’m so down for.

As big as Gransys was, the lack of knowledge surrounding it could make the game feel oddly lonely. Yes, it’s fun to use your imagination to fill the gaps, but all that quiet traveling from point A to point B could get tiresome.

What I’m perhaps most excited about, however, is the implication of increased interaction with your pawns. That little high-five? Hell yeah. More of that, please.

The story & characters of Dragon’s Dogma 2

A mage pawn saluting the Arisen.

The core story looks to be following a similar-ish story from the first game: Your heart is eaten by the reborn dragon Grigori, thereby making you an Arisen, the “chosen one” during the dragon’s cycle of rebirth that will either kill the dragon or strike a dangerous bargain with it. As Arisen, you command Pawns, a strange, mysterious group of people who lack history, emotions, or desires. Their purpose is to serve Arisens across space and time. In other words, they are companions you create yourself, and you can hire the creations of other players to fill out your party.

It would seem that the short-haired girl at the beginning of the trailer is our starter pawn, as her introductory cutscene mimics that of Rook’s (the starter in the first game). Also like the first game, we’ll be dealing with a despotic ruler—but this new guy, with his nasty purple-glowing necklace, looks to be a much more formidable foe than Duke Dragonsbane. The frightened young man (who vaguely resembles Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon) in the following scene could be his son or, at the very least, a concerned member of his court. His outfit almost makes me wonder if he’s Barnaby, a helpful pawn from the first game, but with a next-gen-console glow-up.

As far as the other characters featured, it’s still too early to say. So many characters from the first game were constantly sidelined, so I truly have no idea who will be important enough to definitively note. However, the captions on the trailer do name some characters, and I’ll be assuming who they physically are based on who is onscreen when their dialogue plays:

  • Ulrika, the ranger woman at the beginning, whom we save from the dragon
  • Pathfinder, the ethereal, mysterious being with glowing eyes
  • Wilhelmina, the gothy sorceress I am already in love with who alleges we are not the true Arisen
  • Menella, a cat woman in service of an Empress Nadinia
  • Brant, a religious knight who follows “the Sovran of Vermund”

Altogether, I can make a rough guess regarding the plot, but take my word with a grain of salt. We save Ulrika from the dragon, and something happens that causes us to lose our memory. As pawns begin to react to us, we assume that we are an Arisen, and so we do as Arisens do and head to Gran Soren for further instruction. However, it quickly becomes apparent that we might not be all that we think we are, and that there are more sinister machinations going on beneath the surface.

Or something like that. Honestly, this series has never been known for its concrete storytelling, and at this point, I’m endeared to it. Dragon’s Dogma was a pretty vague, odd little game, so my standards aren’t exceptionally high. I just hope it’s as fun, mysterious, and engrossing as the original, and it seems like it’ll already meet that mark!

That’s all we have on Dragon’s Dogma 2 thus far. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments!

(featured image: Capcom)

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Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).