You can’t trust Dragon’s Dogma 2

When you boot up Dragon’s Dogma 2, you get all the standard boilerplate warnings, a Capcom logo, and then the game’s title screen. Except it’s technically not the game’s name, because it’s missing a 2.

Do video game follow-ups sometimes ditch the numeral? Sure, that’s why we need to specify which God of War we’re talking about. It’s a ploy that ensures you satisfy long time fans with a new game without scaring away new comers. It can also signify that a game is more of a remake or reinterpretation.

Except none of that really tracks for Dragon’s Dogma 2, because that’s the name of the game! It’s just strangely missing the 2 on the title screen.

Why am I so preoccupied with this? Is it because this “Dragon’s Dogma” title card is missing the absolutely banger Into Free, as performed by Japanese rock duo B’z?

Well, yes, but that’s not the fault of Dragon’s Dogma 2 specifically. Every game should use Into Free as its start menu track.

No, I’m preoccupied by this title card because Eurogamer asked Director Hideaki Itsuno about this missing “2” during a preview event and his response was that “nothing in the game is unintentional.”

This little quote was hanging with me the entire time I played the game, and it helped me to notice that it wasn’t just the title card that was suspicious — because you can’t trust Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Over and over again, the game focuses on simulacrums, and duplicates, and fakes. There are faux dragons and pretend Arisens. The master forger returns from the first game, allowing you to build nearly any item in the game. There’s even a new Trickster class that’s all about confounding and distracting your enemies with “simulacrums” of yourself.

Even if you avoid duplicating or lying yourself, you’ll still encounter quest givers that will deceive you or turn out to be hiding their true selves. Even the pawns you thought you could trust may be carrying an invisible but apocalyptically dangerous contagious disease.

All of this paranoia and friction makes you engage with Dragon’s Dogma 2 in ways wholly unique in video games, and I get into why I think that’s a good thing in the video above. Be sure to check out the rest of our YouTube channel for more on Dragon’s Dogma and others!

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