Varied equipment, beautiful world, savage combat, and good character customization.
Some class design choices make no sense (looking at you no maces for fighters) Pawn AI can be rather spotty and targetting can occasionally be a problem with some skills.
Have to say it's a beautiful game, I like being able to see places across the massive bay and wonder what they are and when I'm going there. You don't need to be told you've entered a forested area, as it's obvious by the sheer number of trees. The entire game is filled with attention to those kinds of details.
Combat is a joy unless you bite off more than you can handle. The Pawn AI can sometimes get in the way, with mages starting and stopping spells midcast or others just following you around watching as you fight. When you fight larger creatures, it actually feels like you're trying to take on something massive and intimidating... so in that regard I am truly awed by the work the devs have done.
The sheer array of equipment is impressive, and gets even more impressive if you grab the DLCs for the game but some of the choices for who can equip this stuff gets a little weird. I cannot fathom why a fighter cannot swing a mace, but a Mystic Knight can... Or why said Knight must wield a staff to cast spells.
One word of warning... this is NOT a happily ever after kinda game. In that it's like the real world where people fight and die instead of complaining about their latte.
Dragon's Dogma really wants to be Skyrim. You play a character who's home is ravaged by a dragon and has to kill said dragon because all the villagers insist you are destined to do it. You traverse a large open world killing monsters of all sizes and becoming stronger so you can get better skills and take on more powerful enemies. Yes, Capcom, we get it, this time you aren't the Dragonborn, you're the Arisen, which is completely different, but it sure feels the same.
The problem is that, in a direct comparison, Dragon's Dogma loses on almost every level: graphics, crafting, upgrading, storyline, sound design, immersion, gameplay, variety, character design, streamlining... Skyrim has it beat hands down.
It's got some neat concepts though. Primary and secondary skill sets get mapped to the R1 and L1 buttons and face buttons so you have up to six specialized skills accessible at any time. Also, you can choose to change your vocation, even take a cross class if you want. But the main innovation in the game is your pawn, your companion character who you customize at the start of the game. You can recruit two other pawns that come from other player's games and they can recruit yours as well. This is like a multi-player component to a single player experience and it's one of the best parts of the game. Also, you get the wandering boss battles, but they quickly become more annoying than exciting, either because it makes conflicts too hard early on or just keep you from getting to your destination at higher levels.
But the big problem: no fast travel. Every time you want to get back to your home village you have to walk there! There's a reason every other RPG created fast travel, because it eliminates the boring parts and gets you to the good stuff. It's not like anything mind-blowing happens on the fifth trip from Cassardis to Gran Soren, Capcom. Of all the things you could have learned from Skyrim, why wasn't this the thing? My pawn was quite upset!