Dragon’s Dogma 2’s Magick Archer class makes me want to solo the game


At the very least, it helped me unglitch a griffon

Dragons Dogma 2 15 6246878
Image credit: Capcom

Yesterday I banged out the first in a torrid trilogy of Dragon’s Dogma 2 features, centring on hands-on time with the game’s Mystic Spearhand “vocation” or class. Look out for parts 2 and 3 over the coming week. During the hands-on, I also spent 45 minutes in the shoes of another advanced Dragon’s Dogma 2 class, the Magic – sorry, Magick Archer. You might remember this vocation from the original Dragon’s Dogma; then as now, it combines relatively straightforward bow combat with various breeds of enchanted ammunition, for a surprisingly technical skillset that is enjoyable to faff around with.

The Magick Archer can Quickfire bursts of magical arrows from the hip, which flit and scatter about like butterflies and are thus best deployed at close range against groups. You can also draw an arrow and aim down the shaft (100% no euphemisms detected) to paint enemies with bullseyes, then launch a bunch of homing bolts in swift succession, which is great against larger, flying or smaller, agile monsters. There’s a Conversion skill which, if I’m reading my notes correctly, powers you up and lets you paint more bullseyes on enemies. Rivet Shot, meanwhile, embeds an arrow in the target which detonates when struck. And then there’s Flamefang Arrow, a slow-to-launch, slow-moving explosive projectile which you can pilot remotely by holding the trigger.

Hqdefault 3297135Dragon’s Dogma 2 – Vocation Gameplay Spotlight: Magick Archer

All of these abilities are a blast in the hands and fun to experiment with, especially when the simulation goes a bit loopy. At one point in my hands-on, for example, an attacking griffon managed to get stuck under a bridge, preventing us from completing the encounter. Disaster! But thankfully I was able to dislodge the monster and earn the everlasting appreciation of Capcom’s PRs by flying a Flamefang Arrow under the bridge and catching the griffon square in the privates. Just like in Ghost Recon.

My favourite Magick Archer skills so far, though, are Remedy, a sorcerous defibrillator arrow that can be charged up to revive the target from KO, and Ricochet Seeker, which spits out a flurry of purple shards which, as the name suggests, bounce from the walls and roof and pierce the target repeatedly. Remedy arrow revives require you to hold still and avoid interruption while readying the shot, which is gratifying when you time it right, and potentially ruinous otherwise. Ricochet Seeker, meanwhile, makes the Magick Archer even more capable within the theoretically archer-unfriendly confines of caves. At one point, I used it to melt a jumpy, tunnel-dwelling rat-ogre boss, despite only having one pawn ally character as back-up.

While you could probably say the same of most Dragon’s Dogma 2 classes, I feel like the Magick Archer will lend itself to entertaining pawn-less playthroughs, both because it is fairly flexible and because it has obvious limitations – fewer melee-range skills or defensive moves – that are satisfying to work around. One possibility I’ve yet to investigate is: can I remote-pilot Flamefang arrows into bandit camps and carry out very noisy assassinations? Can I use Flamefang for reconnaissance in dungeons? It reminds me of The Pathless, in which archery is of a piece with movement, and of joyfully gimmick-driven double-A affairs like the ancient 2000 AD adaptation Rogue Trooper – world’s finest 7/10 game – in which you have a single gun that can be modded and transformed into all of the guns.

It also makes me think, obviously, of Hawkeye. I don’t want to wish another Marvel videogame upon the universe, but perhaps there’s grounds for a Hawkeye game here?

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