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Review

Review: Dragon’s Dogma – Dark Arisen

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2012’s release of Dragon’s Dog­ma was an abso­lu­te sur­pri­se: action-packed com­bat, a com­plex and espe­ci­al­ly fun class sys­tem and uni­que design decisi­ons ele­va­ted this game from the con­tem­pora­ry mar­ket stan­dard.

If you want to inform yours­elf exten­si­ve­ly about the main game, read our review of it. Here we focus our­sel­ves on the added con­tent in Dark Ari­sen and the gene­ral per­for­mance on next-gen con­so­les.

Dark Ari­sen was released in 2013 as an add-on and brought new qua­li­ty of life impro­ve­ments aswell as a huge new dun­ge­on to the table. The most use­ful addi­ti­on was argu­ab­ly the Eter­nal Fer­ry­stone which allo­wed the play­er to quick-tra­vel back to the capi­tal or the star­ting area, as many times as nee­ded. Apart from that the­re were four addi­tio­nal Port Crystals hid­den in the game which used as means to quick-tra­vel. Both of the­se mecha­nics hel­ped shor­ten the long ways even though your jour­neys by foot still were pret­ty long.

Dark Ari­sen also intro­du­ced an Hard Mode in which mons­ter deal dou­ble the dama­ge but you can also gain more gold.

The main attrac­tion cer­tain­ly was Bit­terb­lack Isle. This dun­ge­on offe­red the toughest chal­len­ges in the game and awai­ted with ple­nty of new bos­ses, mons­ters and other dan­gers to be dealt with and was the­re­fo­re aimed at hig­her skil­led cha­rac­ters.

If you wan­ted to face death in its purest form, you get what ask for but be pre­pa­red to expe­ri­ence some los­ses on the way.

From a tech­ni­cal point of view we honest­ly expec­ted more. The game wasn’t pret­ty back when it was ori­gi­nal­ly released, so we can­not under­stand why it doesn’t run in 60 frames per second. None­theless tex­tu­re qua­li­ty slight­ly impro­ved but cer­tain­ly isn’t sta­te-of-the-art. Over­all the remas­ter could’ve used more fine-tuning.

Even after all the­se years the lack of the visu­als isn’t that cru­ci­al con­si­de­ring the fan­tastic ani­ma­ti­ons. Woun­ded mons­ters begin to limp and grif­fins flail wild­ly befo­re rising majes­ti­cal­ly into the air. The dyna­mics of every fight shift dra­ma­ti­cal­ly and make us for­get the blur­ry tex­tures.

The sud­den pop-in of enemies is annoyin­gly noti­ci­ble and dis­turbs the atmo­s­phe­re sever­ly.

[In a short while you’ll find here a video com­pa­ri­son of the Xbox One and PS3 ver­si­ons of the game.]

Con­clu­si­on: Dragon’s Dog­ma: Dark Ari­sen is a spe­cial tit­le which goes well bey­ond con­ven­ti­ons and goes its own way, all to the frus­tra­ti­on of the play­er in cer­tain parts of the game. Nevertheless even after com­ple­ting the game sever­tal time, the grip­ping mons­ter hunts keep us glued to the screen and are espe­ci­al­ly fun becau­se of the dyna­mic com­bat. If you’re wil­ling to go along with this uncon­ven­tio­nal deep adven­ture, you should do so wit­hout hesi­ta­ti­on.

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