The Evolution of Affinity in Dragon’s Dogma 2

The Evolution of Affinity in Dragon’s Dogma 2

In the original Dragon’s Dogma, players had the opportunity to unintentionally develop romantic relationships with NPCs through the game’s Affinity system. NPCs would become attached to players as they interacted with them, performed tasks for them, or simply gave them gifts. Towards the end of the game, one NPC would be selected as the player’s “Beloved” and subsequently kidnapped by a dragon, leading to a quest for their rescue. While some characters were clearly intended as romance options, the beauty of the system was that players could build Affinity with virtually any character in the game. This feature has been expanded and enhanced in Dragon’s Dogma 2, according to series director Hideaki Itsuno.

Itsuno has revealed that the Affinity system in Dragon’s Dogma 2 will be more intricate and pronounced than before. The game’s open-world design is largely influenced by this system, as it will impact various events and relationships within the game. Affinity levels with different NPCs will determine the outcomes of certain events, and even relationships between NPCs themselves will play a significant role. For instance, raising Affinity with a child’s parent will also increase Affinity with the child. Conversely, it is possible for NPCs to become estranged from each other. Itsuno emphasizes that the Affinity feature has been greatly enhanced in the sequel, promising a wealth of new possibilities and interactions for players.

In perhaps the most controversial aspect of Dragon’s Dogma 2, NPCs are not only complex emotional beings but also susceptible to death. This aligns with the series’ core premise of creating a realistic fantasy world simulator. Itsuno explains that NPC deaths are a normal occurrence in the game, adding a layer of realism and challenge. Players must now protect their favorite NPCs during battles or even physically carry them to safety. If an NPC meets a tragic end, players have the option to resurrect them using valuable Wakestones. However, Wakestones are a finite resource, and Capcom hopes that this added risk will encourage players to approach the game with greater care and responsibility.

Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi underscores the importance of death in the game, highlighting its impact on player actions and decisions. Hirabayashi suggests that the fear of losing beloved NPCs adds weight to the gameplay experience and encourages players to adopt a more cautious approach. Itsuno echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that death should be a meaningful and irreversible event in the game. He argues that the fear of death is essential in creating a sense of adventure and urgency for players. The development team is focused on maintaining a balance between risk-taking and careful decision-making, driving players to navigate through challenging scenarios with the understanding that death is a real consequence.

While the concept of death may seem grim and daunting, the developers of Dragon’s Dogma 2 view it as an integral part of the adventure. Itsuno stresses that the fear of death enhances the feeling of adventure and keeps players on their toes. The prospect of failure and the need to avoid death serve as the driving forces behind the gameplay experience. Itsuno reveals that the team’s shared belief is that the fear of death adds a layer of excitement and tension to the game, elevating the sense of accomplishment when successfully overcoming obstacles.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 offers a more immersive and challenging gameplay experience, fueled by a complex Affinity system and the threat of NPC deaths. The developers have strategically integrated these features to create a dynamic world where player choices have meaningful consequences. As players embark on their journey filled with adventure and peril, they must navigate through a rich tapestry of relationships and risks, ultimately shaping their own narrative within the game. With death as a constant companion, every decision becomes a crucial aspect of the gameplay, driving players to explore, strategize, and ultimately conquer the dangers that await them in Dragon’s Dogma 2.

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