Dragon’s Dogma – Sequel Suggestions
With the release of it’s PC port imminent, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen director Matsukawa Minae hinted at the possibility of a sequel to the 2012 action-RPG during a recent interview with PC Gamer.
At release, Dragon’s Dogma was a flawed but enjoyable title that mechanically drew inspiration from cult favourites like Shadow of the Colossus and Dark Souls, along with a whole mess of DnD references. The expansion, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, addressed a few of the concerns felt by players of the initial release whilst greatly expanding the level of content. As it stands, DD:DA is probably one of my favourite titles of the previous console generation and while the fact that PC gamers can now enjoy it with revamped visuals and a solid 60FPS is reason enough to celebrate, it’s the possibility of a sequel that truly has me foaming at the mouth.
I liken Dragon’s Dogma to another venerable title that has recently resurfaced on the PSN, Dark Cloud. Now considered a cult title that received a warm reception on its 2001 release, I couldn’t help but enjoy the varied gameplay Dark Cloud offered despite some flaws with the combat system. However, in making it’s sequel Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2 for those in North America), developer Level 5 took everything that worked in the original and both expanded and refined it – to this day, Dark Chronicle is regarded as a high watermark of the PS2 RPG library, which is no mean feat. If Capcom can do for a Dragon’s Dogma sequel what Level 5 did for Dark Chronicle, I can see many late night gaming sessions in my future.
Thinking back on what niggled at me during my time with Dragon’s Dogma, I’ve got a few suggestions I’d happily pass on to the development team (please send all cheques c/o Player2):
- Increase dynamic encounters – While the world of Dragon’s Dogma was a joy to trek through for the first dozen hours or so, it quickly became repetitive given that quest objectives were always as far away from your current location as possible, especially on escort missions. To make matters worse for these lengthy expeditions, monster locations were static. That band of goblins you had defeated on your last run through a mountain pass would suddenly reappear the next day, keen for another beating at the hands of the Arisen. While this works for resource farming, it becomes incredibly dull when questing or exploring and detracts from the overall experience. Varied enemy sets and locations would serve to make every trip into the wilderness feel like an adventure rather than a re-tread.
- More variety in Pawn actors and lines – One of the most enjoyable elements of DD is kitting out your team of Pawns and taking your merry band on the road, conversation flowing as they remark on anything fleeting thought entering their feeble minds. What isn’t enjoyable is hearing those same lines ad nauseum in one of six voices, especially when I’ve already engaged the bloody Harpies my Pawn keeps warning me about vociferously every time we go through the area that is always full of Harpies (see Point 1).
- Make sidequests that are engaging – Thanks to The Witcher 3 I have no doubt this is a critique every future RPG is going to have to address. Simple escort missions and fetch quests aren’t good enough anymore without some extra story layers wrapped over them to give weight to action.
- Further environments and monsters to suit – Surely as the developers of Monster Hunter you saw this coming Capcom. While forests of varying density, swamps and rocky mountains are all well and good, I can’t help but feel that desert and snow environments would gel beautifully with the gameplay of Dragon’s Dogma, not to mention all the location specific monsters that could be created for such areas. If you want to really blow me away, how about some compelling underwater combat while you’re at it?
There you have it, Capcom – follow these guidelines and I can guarantee you at least one purchase of any Dragon’s Dogma sequel you develop. Better yet, how about you rip off pay homage to my 2015 GOTY, Bloodborne, and get to work cranking out Dagon’s Dogma?
It was whilst toiling away in the bowels of the now mythical Australian Gamer forums that Stephen’s attempts at writing were recognised by then up-and-coming Matt ‘Hewso’ Hewson as “not terrible”. Since then he has contributed to such sites as The Age’s now defunct Screen Play, the now-long retired Black Panel and currently serves under Editor-in-Chief Hewso for Player2.net.au, at least until the pattern of decline obvious in his previous engagements is picked up on by Hewso and he is exiled from games journalism forever.
Writes on Yugambeh land.