Capcom's gameplay trailer for Dragon's Dogma 2 landed during the PlayStation Showcase, giving us a good look at the swords-and-sorcery action RPG – packed with as many dragons, beasts, magicks, and AI-powered 'pawns' (friends?) as you could ask for.
It's a follow-up to the well-received Dragon's Dogma (2012), and its updated Dark Arisen edition that's done the rounds on PC and console over the past few years, amassing a growing and passionate fanbase as they clamor for a worthwhile sequel on more powerful hardware. And with game director Hideaki Itsuno returning to help the new game, and a release set for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X, they look set to get their wish.
Dragon's Dogma has evolved into a big property over the past decade, as evidenced by a seven-episode Netflix TV adaptation, a Dragon's Dogma Online MMO, and the fully-fledged sequel shown off in Sony's latest live event. The Dragon's Dogma gameplay trailer showed off a number of impressive beasts and action scenes, as you cast spells, coordinate AI allies, and take on sphinx-like monsters and dragons in a medieval fantasy world. There's no release date as of yet, but the trailer's in-game footage suggests things are pretty far along.
Regardless, we're in the curious position of knowing almost anything showcased these days is still likely to launch ahead of Elder Scrolls 6, despite Bethesda's fantasy action RPG having been announced five full years ago, back in 2018.
Elder and elder
Dragon's Dogma doesn't quite have the following of Bethesda's long-running Elder Scrolls franchise – whose open world triumph Skyrim launched back in 2011, and is these days even running on smart fridges and Amazon Alexa, not to mention many millions of game consoles. But with Bethesda spacing out its flagship games, and Starfield coming later this year, it's clear that Elder Scrolls 6 could still be a long time off. Is 2026 too much to hope for?
For fans of sword-and-sorcery games, things aren't entirely dire. We have Avowed, Obsidian's Elder Scrolls rival, likely landing in the next couple of years before the actual Elder Scrolls franchise can beat it to the punch. And now, of course, we have Dragon's Dogma 2, which looks set to do the same.
Dragon's Dogma's setting will feel similar to anyone who's played the likes of Elder Scrolls or Elden Ring. You play a customisable, third-person hero who picks a class (Fighter, Mage, Warrior, Assassin, Sorcerer, the like) and explores an open world full of magic, monsters, diplomacy, and quest lines to be solved. A powerful dragon looms over the land, attracting as many enemies as worshippers, and the story will inevitably take you into battle with it as you attempt to fulfill your destiny.
What's somewhat unique is its grab mechanic, which lets you clamber over enemies – even clinging to the neck of a high-flying griffin mid-combat, as you'll see in the trailer. A medley of AI-powered 'pawns' are also on hand to assist you, either with in-game advice and tips against your foes, or simply to join you in battle, giving you something of a backup squad, compared to the more solitary questing of similar games. There's a bit less character work and branching questlines here compared to Skyrim, being more of a hack-and-slash RPG – but it scratches a similar fantasy itch, having been explicitly inspired by the likes of Elder Scrolls and Fable II, with slightly more of an action bent, given the strengths of Capcom's developers (Devil May Cry, etc).
There's more appetite than ever for these kinds of sword-and-sorcery settings too, especially after the massive launch of Elden Ring last year; a hunger for magic and combat in sprawling fantasy worlds, where you take on massive mythological foes in increasingly jaw-dropping acts of heroism. Dragon's Dogma 2 also has the benefit of seeming pretty far along in its development cycle. A launch doesn't look imminent (I imagine we'd get an actual release date with the trailer if that were the case) but given the only Elder Scrolls 6 trailer we've had was the initial teaser announcement, it's clear which game is coming to consoles first. And for those who've played Skyrim to death, and somehow made it through Elden Ring's punishing boss battles, the question will always be what's coming next.
Here's hoping that Dragon's Dogma can arrive fast enough to tide us over – without having to compete with the franchises that inspired it in the first place.
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