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Screenshot: Capcom

Disgruntled Dragon’s Dogma 2 players question what exactly was Itsuno’s vision

Itsuno's vision is apparently not what we thought.

Hideaki Itsuno, the developer of the Dragon’s Dogma franchise, had said that he could finally actualize his vision for Dragon’s Dogma 2. Considering the previous entries were incredible feats of creation, players were misled into expecting so much more.

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The discourse surrounding Dragon’s Dogma 2 has seemed to finally settle

The community discourse surrounding Dragon’s Dogma 2 has been turbulent, to say the least. Upon release, the game was review bombed and the Subreddits were brimming with complaints against the DLCs and certain design choices, like the single save file.

Then came the surge of players actually enjoying the game for what it was, as the majority of players were spellbound by the mechanics and Vermund. What would feel like euphoria blossomed over these players and the Subreddits were flooded with praise and hype.

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We’ve reached the final stage of the discourse, which is full of old Dragon’s Dogma fans and newer fans overcoming their honeymoon phase to agree on one thing: Despite Dragon’s Dogma 2 being incredible, is a step back from the originals and seems to set itself up for something it’s not.

A major factor in this upset and critical discourse is “Itsuno’s vision.” Players are using it as an argument and a defense, and many don’t seem to fully understand what it is. If we are to understand Itsuno’s vision, then we may be able to understand Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Where is the vision in Dragon’s Dogma 2?

Itsuno promised that Dragon’s Dogma 2 would live up to his true vision for Dragon’s Dogma. The originals were already ground-breaking and incredible experiences, so to hear that time and budget limited them made players assume that Dragon’s Dogma 2 would have several improvements.

A deeper story, deeper characters, more expansive exploration, more Vocations, more enemies, and a generally richer experience is what all Dragon’s Dogma fans had on their bingo cards for the much-anticipated reimagining of one of the greatest fantasy RPGs of all time.

However, that didn’t exactly transpire.

Dragon's Dogma 2 New Game Plus: What carries over and what you lose
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Plot points and characters didn’t impress many, and lots of quality-of-life features were removed, including but not limited to:

  • Placed Portcrystals are removed when entering NG+.
  • Now must be near a Pawn to access their inventory.
  • Can’t sell, gift, or change gear/items from storage.

Why would a product, no longer limited by budget and time, take steps back and not dig deeper into the many already established and enticing plot points and characters?

This by no means makes Dragon’s Dogma 2 a bad game, however, it confuses and upsets the many misled by Itsuno’s usage of “vision.”

So what exactly did Itsuno mean?

Itsuno’s vision was different to the players’ vision for Dragon’s Dogma 2

To better understand Itsuno’s vision, we first need to recognize the differences between Dragon’s Dogma, and Dragon’s Dogma 2.

For one, NPCs no longer respawn, and will permanently die unless revived in a morgue. Dragonsplague was never present in the original. The sequel also benefits from two new Vocations, although they aren’t as impressive. You couldn’t play as Beastrens in the original either, adding a whole new race to the game. Not to mention the bigger map and Oxcart travel.

Dragon's Dogma 2 Oxcart
Screenshot: PC Invasion

There are of course many other changes, but these seem to be the most significant. When you think about it, there isn’t really any theme between these changes. The combat is slightly expanded, more options are available for character customization, and the stakes are certainly raised.

It seems that his vision wasn’t for a deeper and incredibly richer experience. His sights were set on widening the game instead. As Dragon’s Dogma 2 is more of a reinvention of the franchise than a sequel, it does make sense that Itsuno was focused on adding features that may have been cut from the original.

With the increased budget and time, Itsuno could finally add the features that couldn’t make it the first time around.

Although this seems to make sense and certainly adjusts what we should expect from the game, I know that many will still be left feeling unsatisfied. This is understandable: such a statement of vision from someone who made one of the greatest games would inspire thoughts of unbelievable quality.

And although Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a thoroughly enjoyable game that I’d recommend to everyone, it certainly doesn’t hit the highs that Itsuno suggested it would.

Even though this may be true, it’ll never stop me from enjoying any combat encounter with my Thief.


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Author
Aidan Lambourne
Aidan Lambourne is a contributing writer for PC Invasion, with almost a couple years of experience in the industry. He has written about Roblox extensively, although has keenly covered new releases and indie games. A passionate writer and gamer, he still can't really believe he gets to indulge in both for a career.