Do you need to play Dragon’s Dogma 1 before Dragon’s Dogma 2?

Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen header

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is finally here, and it’s absolutely incredible – trust me, I’m the one who handled our review! But what if you never played the original game? Do you need to have played Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen to enjoy Dragon’s Dogma 2?

To cut to the chase: no, you don’t, but you should!

What’s the story with Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Arisen?

The original game already has a fairly large fan base, thanks to originally launching on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012 and having just enough time for Capcom to drop a swift enhanced release into our laps with Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen before the next generation arrived, adding the Bitterblack Isle end-game dungeon. Despite its fans clamouring for a sequel for far too long, that could have been the end of it. Capcom thankfully saw sense a few years later and ported Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen to PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, before finally greenlighting the full sequel!

Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is still a fantastic game, but it’s not essential to play before the sequel.

Should you still play Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen first?

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a separate story within this world, and while you don’t have to play the original before this sequel, we do think that you should if you want to get the full amount of enjoyment out of this stunning sequel. Aside from the lore, which is very heavily established in the original and not as heavily initially covered in the second, there are also a fair few little nods and references throughout that you’ll get more fun out of if you’ve played the first game.

You don’t need to do everything in the first game either, as just getting through the story will suffice. However, we can safely say that the more familiar you are with the first game, the more little bits you’ll pick up from the second one. It’s not necessary reading, but we’re going to list it as recommended reading, because of all of the reasons listed above.

It’s also generally on sale for very little money – it’s usually around £4! – and if you’re looking for a game that you can spend an ungodly number of hours in, then you’ll get great value from this. It’s also on just about every system imaginable, and is a great way to enjoy your Nintendo Switch if you’re looking for an excuse to dig it out and play something that runs well on it!

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Jason can often be found writing guides or reviewing games that are meant to be hard. Other than that he occasionally roams around a gym and also spends a lot of time squidging his daughter's face.

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