Dragon’s Dogma 2 Makes You Take Your Time, And That’s Great

One of the first searches you start dragon's dogma 2, Capcom's new action RPG, sees you travel from the city of Melve to the capital city of Warnworth. this is a slow travel Which starts and stops multiple times on winding roads leading to your final destination. You'll have to dispatch the ghosts that make the road dangerous, rest at a campsite to refill your health, and when you finally get access to a bullock cart in which This will give you a chance to sit and relax during the trip, keeping things from moving too fast unless you end up dozing off to pass the time. Much of this quest is a quiet story of walking from one place to another.

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When you finally reach Wernworth, you'll likely be tasked with returning to Melve soon after, at which point you'll have to make the long journey again. like the coveted promise of Skyrim, dragon's dogma 2 Presents you a huge open world in which you can climb virtually any visible mountain. But in this game, you eventually have to climb back up that mountain. This means that most of your time in the game is spent moving, and it's in those seemingly mundane moments dragon's dogma 2 Is at its best.

the road less traveled

dragon's dogma 2 There is absolutely no shortage of ways to fast travel, but they're a far cry from the super-convenient, endlessly reusable options present in many other games, which has generated a lot of buzz in the days since the game's release. Some have criticized the game's approach, saying that it creates too much friction, is unfriendly towards players, or is downright boring. But game director Hideki Itsuno believes that if players actively avoid traveling in your game, there are bigger problems with the game. “Is traveling boring? That's not true,'' he said in an interview ign, “It's only an issue because your game is boring. You just have to make the journey fun.”

A bullock cart travels on a sunny path

image, capcom

Fast-travel mechanics often serve to smooth out a player's experience of the game world, making it easier to ignore its actual terrain and the act of traversing it. In more traditional open-world RPGs, you typically have to travel to a city once, then gain the ability to battle there at will in the future. As playthrough progresses, you can teleport at will over long distances to keep the game action going. even like sports breath of the wild, tears of stateAnd alden ring That avoids the oft-derided Ubisoft open-world design of the last decade, still allowing for relatively player-friendly fast travel.

And while these critically acclaimed games don't always shy away from player discomfort and friction, most of the friction emerges in combat. That friction may have a purpose, such as how Soulslikes uses it to give the player a real sense of accomplishment after taking the time to learn enemy patterns and defeat a difficult boss. However in most games, combat is used as a way to fulfill the fantasy of power. Even the most dangerous enemies will become bait if you level up enough or find the best gear.

Two knights high five in front of a fallen enemy

image, capcom

The feeling of challenge, the feeling of losing or defeating an enemy in battle, is the most common type of friction among players. In opposition to this, dragon's dogma 2 Reserves the majority of its friction for non-combat systems such as travel. This is something you can't eliminate. Even the game's more standard fast travel option, Ferrystones, relies on the limited resource of Port Crystals. Every player, no matter their strength, will still have to deal with the reality of traveling long distances.

Despite protests by some players on social media claiming to the contrary, the trip is being made dragon's dogma 2 Really fun. But it's fun in an unexpected way that reflects the game's larger design ethos, an ethos that deliberately focuses on friction. “We've put a lot of work into designing a game where you can bump into someone and have something happen, so if it involves fast travel it's OK, we decided to design the map that way That the journey (itself) happens. Can be enjoyed,” Itsuno explained.

The joy of cooking (and hiking)

To rely on cliches, in dragon's dogma 2 It's about the journey, not the destination. Traveling across the hills and valleys of the game world is a recipe for thrilling moments. You might encounter an NPC with a strange job, or you might find yourself spending hours off the beaten path, delving deep into the caves scattered across the map. Your unique, expressive personality is there with you, all the time Pawns, member of the game's NPC party. Thanks to their companionship, the game's casual fun during the journey can come not only in the form of combat or quests with direct payoffs, but also in narratively emergent moments that deepen your connection with its characters. Are.

Characters sit around campfire and tent at night

image, capcom

That's why, even though you can take a nap while riding a bullock cart to shorten the journey, I often choose to spend time sitting and looking at the surrounding scenery. I want to make sure I don't miss a potential gift in the form of a literal treasure, but I also want to hear the chatter of my pawns and the gossip about my Arisen as well as their previous masters. Seeing the view when I do this is an added bonus.

The game's approach to health also encourages you to take a moment to relax and spend time with your party. As you are killed in battle, your maximum health decreases. The only way to restore it is to rest. The quests that task you with traversing the map can result in the game taking several days. And every time you relax, you'll want to eat good food thanks to helpful buffs. For this you have to find the right monsters and cook the appropriate dishes.

Freyen and Fern ride next to each other on a carriage

image, Madhouse/Crunchyroll

These are the mundane moments that define dragon's dogma 2, Sitting in a bullock cart with his footmen and cooking food on a high fire. As I played the game, I couldn't help but constantly draw parallels with two of this year's best anime: Freeren: Beyond the End of the Journey And Tasty in the dungeon, Both are traditional medieval fantasy stories centered around a party of adventurers slowly making their way around the world in hopes of accomplishing some ultimate goal. Much like Arisen's journey dragon's dogma 2However, the story is more about the mundane of how these travelers get where they are going.

Tasty in the dungeon specifically implied Dungeons & Dragons The mechanic of characters needing to rest and cook food to sustain themselves on their journey. For the poor adventurers of Tasty in the dungeonThat means killing and cooking monsters in ways that make them look more appetizing than they have any right to look. dragon's dogma 2 You also need to scavenge and hunt your food, but players are rewarded Great video of the best piece of meat Being cooked on high flame. Just like in real life, after hiking, there's nothing better than a good meal.

The characters sit around a large pot of food inside the dungeon

image, trigger/netflix

related to freeren, much of the anime is spent simply showing the characters walking on the streets or sitting in trains. They struggle against the weather, monsters, and sometimes each other. But through that simple act of traveling together in such close proximity, when so much time is spent on mundane tasks like cooking or walking, we see relationships blossom. The titular Friarren's main struggle is learning how to connect with the people around him. Her lifespan as an elf is long, and she lives it with disregard for the people who come in and out of her life in the blink of an eye. Throughout the show, Fryren works to overcome this failure by spending time on the road with a new party of companions whom she hopes to understand.

Being on the road makes Mary Arisen grow closer to her pawns, companions, whom you slowly grow to love over time. Despite being inferior in comparison to my hero, I have held on to a particular piece again and again, unwilling to let them go because of the bond that has formed between us. But like Freren throughout his longevity, saying goodbye is an ever-present part of life. It is important to appreciate every moment you spend with someone.

true sense of adventure

Much of traditional modern Western fantasy itself can be traced to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, fantasy games like dragon's dogma 2 and like anime freeren And Tasty in the dungeon inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, which is itself directly inspired by Tolkien. And while most people think first Lord of the RingsI am more interested in this the hobbitTolkien's 1937 book that would later serve as a prequel to his more famous trilogy.

A detailed view of a bullock cart going into a big city

image, capcom

the hobbit Tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, who is plucked from his boring life in the idyllic Shire and sent on an adventure that takes him a total of 421 days to complete. At that time, he joins up with a party of dwarves on their way to the Lonely Mountain, and returns home a changed man. The full title of the story is The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, Bilbo's story isn't just about reaching a climax with a dragon and various armies in the world; It's about the ways the world changes through exposure to new things during this journey. This is why Tolkien's reputation for detailed descriptions of seemingly ordinary parts of the world is so valuable: it is Bilbo who changes the world. “Coming back again” is as important as getting “there.”

A seemingly friction-filled mentality. dragon's dogma 2 Forces you to connect with the living, breathing world in which your characters and their companions exist. Just as you are a force of change in the world, the world is a force of change in you. While this happens in the exciting moments of launching a deadly attack on a giant monster, it also happens in quiet conversations with your party. It is a narrative structure of hills and valleys that reflects the hills and valleys over which you travel, and in those hills and valleys, entire journeys take place. For dragon's dogma 2“There” and “back again” are valued in equal measure.

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