The Dragonsplague of Dragon's Dogma 2 could've been in the first game, but 'limitations of the PS3' pushed it to the sequel

A kindly looking woman holds up her hand, mainifesting a magical light
(Image credit: Capcom)

Dragon's Dogma 2 director Hideaki Itsuno has shared that the game's most devastating feature was being considered as early as the series' 2012 original.

Itsuno confirmed as much in a recent interview with Automaton Media, explaining that in-depth systems like Dragonsplague - as well as featuring two massive countries to explore - simply wasn't feasible on seventh-generation hardware.

"In Dragon’s Dogma 2, we were able to introduce the two countries Vermund and Battahl, as well as 'Dragonsplague,' the contagious disease that infects Pawns," says Itsuno. "These were also ideas that we were not able to implement in the previous title. AI behaviors, which had been simplified due to the limitations of the PS3 at the time, are simulated more realistically in the sequel."

Hardware improvements of the current generation also allowed Capcom to populate Dragon's Dogma 2 with a greater volume of enemies and larger creatures. Itsuno explains: "In [the original] 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."

A horrible night to catch the plague

If you're not in the know, Dragonsplague in Dragon's Dogma 2 tests a player's ability to really keep an eye on their party of Pawns. The plague itself can infect them, something that's given away by the reddish-purple hue developed in their eyes. 

If an infected Pawn is left to their own devices, they can grow aggressive and refuse to follow orders. Eventually, if the plague isn't 'passed on' to another Pawn, the infected one has the potential to quite literally wipe out an entire city's populace. And yes, that includes plot-crucial and quest-giving NPCs.

It's a mechanic that I personally enjoy greatly, and it lends an element of danger to your everyday adventuring. It's far from unfair, as the game gives you plenty of warnings in advance. But even still, the consequences for inaction can be dire, especially with Wakestones (items used to revive deceased NPCs) being somewhat rare.

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Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.