Dragon's Dogma 2 director on giving players a fighting chance against the RPG's giant enemies: "You have to have ideas for gameplay that goes beyond basic one-to-one combat"

Dragon's Dogma 2
(Image credit: Capcom)

Ahead of Dragon's Dogma 2's launch next month, director Hideaki Itsuno has revealed how the team at Capcom went about giving players a fighting chance in battles with the RPG's huge enemies.

The original Dragon's Dogma offered a thrilling adventure in a beautiful fantasy world filled with all manner of fascinating and ferocious fantasy creatures. As we've seen from the recent Dragon's Dogma 2 showcase, with the sequel, Capcom is aiming to take all the things that make the first so enjoyable and make them bigger and better, with a map four times the size of the original and foes that tower over our hero and their merry band of Pawns. 

Having battles against such sizable enemies certainly adds to the spectacle, but as Itsuno discusses in the latest issue of PLAY magazine, implementing them in a way that doesn't leave the player hopelessly overwhelmed is no small feat.

"It is very difficult to design the gameplay for the player fighting a massive enemy while letting them feel they are on an equal footing," Itsuno says. "So you have to have ideas for gameplay that goes beyond basic one-to-one combat.

"We consider a variety of factors," he continues. "Including the kind of behaviour that can be imagined or expected from an enemy's appearance, the patterns and tells it will have, the balance between when the player will be able to judge enemy behaviour and how long it will take on their part to react appropriately to it, and how many different types of behaviour the enemy has."

If the idea of tackling hulking creatures has you quaking in your adventuring boots and you're looking for an easier approach to encounters, then Itsuno has some advice when it comes to choosing your class. "For players who struggle with direct combat, I would suggest a magic-based vocation instead," he says.

We've already seen some of the biggest foes we'll be up against in Dragon's Dogma 2, as well as some of the creative approaches to dealing with them. The bronze giant Talos, for instance, is resistant to damage unless it's dealt directly to the crystals growing on its head and body. Options for bringing the big guy down include using the nearby ballistae or clambering up the creature, Shadow of the Colossus-style, to reach those weak points. There's also the Sphinx, a giant Medusa-like boss with a penchant for riddles, though you may well beat the game without ever encountering it

You'll find the full interview plus plenty more on Dragon's Dogma 2 in PLAY #37. Print and digital subscriptions are available via Magazines Direct.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.