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Dragon’s Dogma II PS5 Hands-On Preview: A Beginner-Friendly Sequel with Stunning Visuals and Unique Combat System

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Dragon’s Dogma II PS5 Hands-On Preview

Capcom has a long list of cult favorites that never quite reached the level of public recognition as games like Resident Evil or Street Fighter. Dragon’s Dogma is one of those games. The original title was released in 2012 for PS3 and Xbox 360 and offered a unique take on the traditional fantasy-RPG genre with its Pawn system. Pawns are not just simple AI companions; they actively assist you in combat, provide hints and tips, give advice on where to go, and even ask for your help when they’re in trouble.

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Introduction to Dragon’s Dogma II

Dragon’s Dogma II is the highly anticipated sequel, and we had the opportunity to sample an hour of gameplay. As someone who had never played the original Dragon’s Dogma, I found the sequel to be beginner-friendly. The preview allowed me to choose from three classes: Archer, Fighter, and Thief. I started with the Fighter, expecting a character who excels in close combat. While that was true, there was more to it than just mashing buttons. The Fighter had various moves available with the face buttons, and holding L1 opened up even more attack options.

The Fighter’s moves included shield bashes, high leaps with an upward stab, and a powerful sword thrust into the enemy’s gut. I quickly realized that using different moves was essential to overcome various adversaries, such as airborne Harpies that could not be hit with regular attacks. The Archer, on the other hand, was proficient with a bow and arrow and had a useful kicking move for dealing with goblins. Each character felt distinctly different, with the Fighter delivering devastating blows and high damage, and the Archer excelling at long-range combat and agility.

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The Impressive Pawn System

The hands-on preview also showcased the Pawn system, with my character accompanied by three AI companions: Max, George, and Sara. The Pawns were helpful and provided constant banter and dialogue that enhanced the sense of camaraderie. They offered assistance by buffing weapons, guiding the player, and suggesting detours for hidden loot. The Pawns never let me feel isolated or overwhelmed, and I could easily command them using the D-pad.

The medieval realm I explored during the preview was visually stunning, with sprawling forests, gloomy caves, sparkling rivers, and bustling towns. The Archer demo focused more on the story, as I picked up quests in town and ventured to the recently burned settlement of Melve, attacked by a dragon. Engaging the dragon required circling around to its back and scaling it using the R2 button (which also worked for larger foes like trolls). The Fighter demo was more open-ended, allowing me to explore the beautifully designed terrain.

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Final Thoughts on Dragon’s Dogma II

Overall, Dragon’s Dogma II is shaping up to be an epic adventure. The combat feels satisfying and responsive, the Pawn system is impressive, and the world is gorgeously designed. Although an hour of gameplay only scratched the surface, there are high hopes for the full game. Dragon’s Dogma II is currently in development for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X/S, with a release date yet to be announced.

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