Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen$9.39
Core Gameplay (Combat, Action, etc)10.0/10
Story & Characters9.0/10
- The best combat system of any party-based Action RPG
- One of the best implementations of large creature battles
- Excellent soundtrack, music that adds to the epic feel of battles
- Deceptively interesting story (if you give it enough time to develop)
- Pawn companion concept is a fun, unique approach to AI partners
- I wish the world felt more alive, more full, like some of its peers in the genre
- Aside from early in the game and the expansion dungeon, the game becomes much too easy even in Hard Mode
- Monster spawns become predictable in the over world
- Pawn "inclinations" are not well implemented (hello, Guardian)
I’ll get this out of the way from the top; Dragon’s Dogma is one of my favorite games of all time. But it’s not without flaws. The combat is phenomenal and is what I wish other games in the genre would use as a template for their combat systems. The skill setup, classes, and gear have significant depth and are implemented well. The pawn concept is also really well done. But some might find the world a little sparse compared to massive fantasy games like The Witcher 3.
The story is very bare-boned and there isn’t much in the way of character development. But, the mythology and storyline have some interesting twists, so it’s actually solid…just not a deep narrative. The monsters are also fantastic Dungeons and Dragons-inspired types, but I do wish there was some randomizing of spawns in the world. Also, the game sometimes feels a bit empty (only two real towns). In terms of music, the soundtrack is amazing and complements the gameplay extremely well.
The key for me is that this game is just so FUN to play. When you’re roaming around the countryside with your party, it has a real “build your own adventure” feel to it. If they could just get everything from Dragon’s Dogma into a world the size and scope of Skyrim, I would probably never play another game.
Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen is basically an all-in-one, definitive edition that includes the base game and expansion. It’s available on PC via Steam (my preferred route), Nintendo Switch, PS4, XboxOne, and the legacy platforms PS3/Xbox360. I’ve linked the PC version via CDKeys via the “Go Check it Out” button in the review, with the console versions above in the Amazon box.
From the Manufacturer:
- Release Date: April 23, 2013
- Dynamic combat experience – Cut off the four heads of a Hydra, climb atop griffins and fight airborne, or defeat dragons and other creatures by finding out their weaknesses.
- Tons of content – Includes all previously released extra content, DLC and the Dark Arisen expansion content. Features the highly praised combat experience and rich customization, plus a huge underground realm to explore with terrifying monsters.
- Customization options galore – Nine different vocations for players to choose from with a variety of skill and magick options for each, armor that can be upgraded and enhanced, plus Pawn companions that can be trained to fit your desired combat style.
One Thought to “Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen”
Just a brief word on pricing. With Dragon’s Dogma, a lot of the console options on Amazon still hover around $30 or so. But if you go with the PC version, the price is usually around $10 (use the “Go Check it Out” button). Obviously a much better price to play it on Steam, but you also have the opportunity to add some quality of life improvements via Nexus Mods.