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Two Free Hours Isn’t Enough Time With 2024’s Most Rewarding RPG

Get a small taste of your next RPG obsession.

key art from Dragon's Dogma 2
Capcom
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Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC may be the game of the moment, but it’s not the only giant action RPG that’s worth your time this year. Just like Shadow of the Erdtree, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a challenging fantasy adventure set in a sprawling open world — and it also kicked off an excruciating round of discourse about its difficulty on release! Whether you’ve finished Shadow of the Erdtree, you’re still trying to best Messmer, and you’re avoiding it entirely, now is a great time to give Dragon’s Dogma 2 a shot, thanks to a limited time free trial.

From now until July 18, you can play Dragon’s Dogma 2 for free on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S, but there is a catch. Whichever platform you pick up the trial on, you’ll only get to play the game for two hours. For a game like Dragon’s Dogma 2, which is all about going on long journeys and trying out different classes, two hours is basically a blink of the eye, but the game is also 20 percent off on all platforms. If you do plan to give the trial a shot, you can also use the standalone character creator so you don’t have to waste your precious in-game time crafting your main character and Pawn (which you could easily spend the whole two hours on).

You could spend the whole two-hour trial making your character look cool as hell if you’re not careful.

Capcom

Fortunately for anyone who plans to take advantage of the sale, the very thing that makes the Dragon’s Dogma 2 trial a bit underwhelming is also what makes the full game great. Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a game that’s made for long sessions and deep immersion in its world. In just two hours, it’s hard to get a sense of the world, other than that it’s big. And more important than the map’s size is how the game demands you move through it.

Fast travel is extremely limited in Dragon’s Dogma 2, which is one of many things that sparked some players’ ire around launch. Rather than warping your way around the map, you need to spend a lot of time either hiking through the dangerous wilderness on foot or hitching a ride on an oxcart and making yourself an easy target for bandits and monsters. While that makes Dragon’s Dogma 2 a slower-paced game than some players were expecting, it means that every time you venture out is another opportunity to discover something new and get more familiar with the world’s geography.

Wilderness in Dragon’s Dogma 2 feels truly wild. Walk just a short distance from the road and you may find yourself deep in thick forests or rocky foothills full of wandering monsters and other surprises. It’s easy to get lost when crossing the map, which is incidentally the best way to play. Getting lost in Dragon’s Dogma 2 means one more chance to find a hidden cave full of treasure or a wanderer beset by goblins. The best way to enjoy the game is to give up any notion of things going as planned and embrace the stories that emerge from the unexpected.

Exploring Dragon’s Dogma 2 character builds is just as rewarding as exploring its dense open world.

Capcom

Likewise, exploring the options for building your character is more rewarding than sticking to a defined path. You can change character classes practically any time in Dragon’s Dogma 2 (as long as you’re near a major city), and swapping them often is usually more rewarding than picking one and sticking to it. Swapping to a different class means you might discover a playstyle you enjoy more than you expected, and you can also take some of the skills you learn when you try something new. Like the game’s world exploration, crafting the perfect character is a long process that only gets more rewarding the longer you spend with it.

So sure, two hours with Dragon’s Dogma 2 might not give you the full picture, but it will at least give you a taste of what makes the game so special. It’s not the kind of game that’s thrilling from the very first moment, instead getting better the more time you invest in it. The world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a hostile place, demanding patience and preparation to succeed in. If you haven’t experienced it yet, now is the best time since release to dive in and see what adventures you find there.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is available on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S, with a free trial until July 18.

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