Much has been said about Dragon’s Dogma 2, especially with new previews and a free Character Creator going live last week. However, the scale of the experience is still relatively unknown, especially given that the world is four times larger than the original. Speaking to Automaton-Media, director Hideaki Itsuno discussed certain feats possible on current-gen hardware.

Despite how impressive the first game is, there were “many technological shortcomings at the time in terms of creating a proper open world. For example, when entering a densely populated area such as a castle or dungeon, there had to be a brief loading time to switch from the data for the distant view to the detailed data for the interior, which prevented a seamless playing experience.”

In Dragon’s Dogma 2, all dungeons, towns and house interiors are “seamlessly connected,” echoing a previous statement about the lack of loading screens while exploring. Other new features include a “dramatically higher” number of NPCs (over 1,000 confirmed during Capcom Highlights Day 1). There can even be more bosses on-screen at a time.

“In Dragon’s Dogma, if we had two large boss monsters appear, we would struggle to get the ‘small fry’ monsters in there too. But in the sequel, even having three large bosses at the same time is no problem, so the player can experience stumbling upon the next boss while running away from the previous one. Running away will now come with a risk, adding a dose of realism to the chase.”

More realistic AI behavior is another big jump over the previous game, but it’s also interesting to hear about the new race, the Beastren. Planned for the first game, the team “struggled to include a large number of fur-covered characters. We were not able to implement it.” The sequel features the race and their nation of Battahl while allowing for Beastren Arisen.

While that doesn’t affect the main story, Itsuno confirmed, “Attitudes towards Beastren differ greatly depending on the country, so we have made this difference visible in some aspects. Also, certain strategies for progressing in the game may develop differently depending on whether the Arisen is human or Beastren.”

Dragon’s Dogma 2 launches on March 22nd for PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Head here for more details.

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