Dragon’s Dogma 2 Feels Even More Magical the Second Time Around

A whole new world.

screenshot from Dragon's Dogma 2

After more than 60 hours with Dragon’s Dogma 2, including finishing its mind-blowing endgame, I thought I pretty much knew what the game was. I’d slashed my way through Vermund as a Thief, pounced on my enemies as a Mystic Spearhand, and stood toe to scaly toe with dragons as a Fighter. But once I beat the game, I knew I wanted to go back and try the vocations I hadn’t used yet. That’s when I slipped into a comfy Mage’s robe and realized that tackling Dragon’s Dogma 2 as a magic user makes it a completely different game, and it’s all thanks to one of its simplest abilities.

Like in the original Dragon’s Dogma, Mages in Dragon’s Dogma 2 have access to Levitate — an ability that lets you float a short distance to cross gaps or avoid damage from falls. In the first game, this lets you float a fair distance like a staff-wielding Mary Poppins. For the sequel, it’s been revamped to raise you slightly higher into the air before you start descending. It’s this small tweak that’s opened up the world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 for me on my second playthrough.

Mages’ spells make them powerful on and off the battlefield.


Having played the first Dragon’s Dogma multiple times, I expected to find a good number of secrets on my return to Dragon’s Dogma 2. With multiple runs of Dragon’s Dogma behind me, I still discover new things every time I play, and it was clear while playing the sequel that it’s hiding even more in its winding woods and dark caverns. I just wasn’t expecting it to happen quite so quickly, or so often.

You don’t start with Levitate. You need to gain a bit of experience in your chosen vocation and purchase it like other abilities. So for the first hour and change, my Mage playthrough was a little underwhelming. Sure, I could shoot fire from my hands, but as the squishiest member of my party, I spent more time running from enemies than lighting them ablaze. My Pawns probably didn’t appreciate how often I let them perish in battle, either because I was too busy dodging the goblins flinging themselves at me or I just flat-out forgot. But by the time I got to the capital city of Vernworth, I could afford to buy Levitate and the game opened up in a way I wasn’t ready for.

One thing you learn quickly about Pawns in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is that they absolutely love ladders. I don’t know why, I just know they can’t resist pointing out every ladder we come across with the glee of a child staring at a pile of birthday presents. Since my mission with this playthrough is to find as much as possible of what I missed the first time, I listened for once and climbed the ladder to the top of a building on the edges of Vernworth’s merchant quarter and realized that I had stumbled upon a treasure trove.

Mystic Spearhands are cool, but nothing beats flying.


Criss-crossing the roofs of Vernworth are a series of planks and walkways forming a hidden world all their own. You could probably reach most of them using the Thief’s double jump or the Mystic Spearhand’s teleporting slash, but as a Mage, floating from ledge to ledge feels as natural as walking. Plus, there’s just something satisfying and altogether magical-feeling about drifting like a leaf between rooftops.

I spent almost the next hour exploring this secret second city. Most of the time, I would float across the city only to land on a sloped rooftop and slide right off, but along the way I discovered treasure chest hiding on balconies and in towers that I’d passed dozens of times before. Far more valuable than any of the loot I stuffed my pockets with was the knowledge that this was even possible, and the likelihood that Vernworth wasn’t the only place bursting with secrets for someone capable of flight.

There’s a surprising amount left to discover the second time through Dragon’s Dogma 2.


From that point on, Dragon’s Dogma 2 totally changed for me. As much as it’s about combat and discovery, it’s about jumping now. Every boulder I can’t see the top of, every chasm too deep to survive a fall into, every gap too far to jump across — these are what I’m seeking to conquer now. Within hours of buying Levitate, I nabbed a treasure chest I’d spotted in my first playthrough but was never able to reach. I opened paths I suspected were there based on the map but couldn’t find my way into. Even combat has changed, both because I think it’s hilarious to lazily float away from goblins wildly swinging their swords at you and because being able to leap where no one can reach you to rain lightning down on their heads is a fantastic way to win a fight.

The sense of discovery is one of Dragon’s Dogma 2’s biggest strengths. Every trip feels like an adventure, and every step could lead you to something totally unexpected. I worried that a second playthrough would lack some of that magic, but thanks to my Mage’s supernatural hops, it feels like a totally different game from the one I played the first time and I can’t wait to see what other discoveries I can float my way into.

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