Since Elden Ring, no open world has excited me as much as Dragon’s Dogma 2

Since the release of Dragon’s Dogma 2, MeinMMO author Christoph Waldboth has been fascinated by one thing in particular: the open world. Here he explains why he thinks she is great and what she means to him.

A new morning begins. I stand on the edge of a cliff and look down into the valley. To the left and right are my vassals who accompany me on my foray through the large open world of Dragon’s Dogma 2.

We tear ourselves away from the sight and pack our things. We follow the narrow path and meet a group of mean goblins. We immediately knock them down and suddenly I discover the entrance to a cave behind their camp. A boss enemy is waiting there, completely unexpectedly. I grab his treasures and at the end I leave the cave through another exit.

I spot a village in the distance. Should I go there next? Or would you rather go to the hill in the east, where there is a large statue and a… a griffin?

But I could also follow the river and fight the dragon that sleeps on the bank. So many possibilities. What should I do? Oh and the main quest is still waiting to be solved. Not to mention the side quests.

Yes, Dragon’s Dogma 2 gives me a lot to do. After several hours of playing the game, I see the open world as a clear highlight. I would even go so far as to say that Dragon’s Dogma 2 has the best open world since Elden Ring.

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An open world that is truly free

Dragon’s Dogma 2 throws me into a fascinating open world. However, especially compared to Elden Ring, it seems almost realistic, not unlike our forests, meadows and barren deserts. Sure, the dragons, ogres and cyclops still make Dragon’s Dogma 2 a fantasy game.

But it’s not nearly as crazy as Elden Ring in terms of world and enemy design. As a friend of From Software, that didn’t bother me, on the contrary.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 seems very grounded to me. I can easily get lost in the world. The immersion is right. A good example of this is at night. When I see the sun setting I get nervous. Quickly find a campfire to rest there. Because at night the opponents are much more dangerous.

My vassals and I sit together by the fire. I’m already planning the next day in my head. I wanted to explore the valley next door, and I know it’s usually worth it. I almost always find some exciting discovery.

Fast travel can remain stolen from me

Because I’m notoriously afraid of missing out on something exciting, I walk every corner of the game world. This works well because I can reach almost all the places I see. On foot, of course. I only want to use the much-discussed fast travel option in the rarest of cases.

I would miss out on so much cool stuff if I did. I only got to the capital of Vermund, Vernworth, after about seven hours of play. I could have gotten on an oxcart relatively early on and been fast-traveled there.

Instead, I set off on foot and quickly got distracted. The game world is designed to suck me in. She wants to be discovered. Capcom’s microtransactions, which want to undermine this important part of the gaming experience by purchasing fast travel items, seem very out of place.

They contradict the design philosophy of Dragon’s Dogma 2 and can therefore be safely ignored. Twitch streamer Maurice Weber has a similar opinion.

What, there are quests?

At some point I got back to the main quest. At first it led me to the same, narrow castle again and again. I want to get out into the open world, I thought to myself. And then I did exactly that.

Once again I forgot that I am the Awakened One. I preferred to cut through groups of opponents, find cool loot and climb the career ladder. I combined ingredients and made sure the food was replenished. I sorted through my inventory and made sure I wasn’t over burdened.

My vassals often showed me the way to hidden places. They also fit organically into the open world and made it come alive. Short: I became part of the game world, not just a guest.

I had and still enjoy all of this so much that I came to the conclusion: The open world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is so good that it doesn’t actually need any quests.

They’re so open anyway that I can’t avoid exploring. The solutions to quests are rarely lying around along the way, but rather need to be found. There aren’t a thousand quest markers that I stubbornly walk through, completely oblivious to the world around me. I have to look closely, observe my surroundings, and only then do I notice how beautiful and organically designed it is.

I like this kind of thing, but I also understand if other people are annoyed by it.

The journey will continue

Sure, at some point the fascination of the game world will wear off when there are no more new areas to discover and I’m just running in circles. Then I use ox carts and sometimes a travel stone. And yes, the opponents are already repeating themselves too often.

All in all, the impression is very positive. Other players feel the same way as me. On Reddit, users like SnickleSauce write about how lost they are in the world.

Similar to Elden Ring, Dragon’s Dogma 2 also manages to create a feeling of freedom with its open world that is second to none. The world is authentic and believable. In contrast, Skyrim or my personal ESO favorite Oblivion, for example, where there is a quest giver on every corner, feel almost constructed and artificial. This is of course complaining at a high level.

I’ll be spending many more hours in the free world of Dragon’s Dogma 2. How do you feel about that? Do you like the open world of the game? Or do you long for more player guidance? Write it to us in the comments! You can find various guides for Dragon’s Dogma 2 on MeinMMO.