Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

Having made its debut this time last year, Dragon’s Dogma was met with significant critically acclaim upon release with many citing it as one of the biggest surprises of 2012. Electronic Theatre found the videogame to be a hugely entertaining endeavour, both deep and progressive […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageHaving made its debut this time last year, Dragon’s Dogma was met with significant critically acclaim upon release with many citing it as one of the biggest surprises of 2012. Electronic Theatre found the videogame to be a hugely entertaining endeavour, both deep and progressive despite it’s relatively lacking technical clout. With the release of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen billed as an expansion pack some might be miffed at the inclusion of the entire original release, but though who invested early need not be dismayed as there is enough new content in this new retail package to warrant a budget-priced second purchase.

Players of the original Dragon’s Dogma will receive a number of bonuses when transferring their save data into Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen in the form of rift crystals, outfits and other bonus items – in amounts that are not to be sniffed at – and of course you can jump straight back into the experience at whatever point you had previously resigned. The Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen contentElectronic Theatre Image isn’t available until you’ve reached an appropriate point in the adventure; but then anyone who’s experienced the original Dragon’s Dogma will be aware that it’s not wise to do so until you’ve reached an appropriate level anyway.

Ignoring the huge amount of content included from the Dragon’s Dogma, which you can read about in Electronic Theatre’s original review, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen offers a brand new area, and a brand new adventure to engage players. The Bitterblack Isle is an underground realm structured slightly different to that of the original. Appearing as though it may simply be one single dungeon, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen actually uses a hub system to deliver dozens of new missions across an expansive area. It is limited in appearance however, giving the impression that the designers have been working to aElectronic Theatre Image writ more in-keeping with BioShock’s relative monotone as opposed to Metroid Prime’s universal ambition, but Dragon’s Dogma was always a videogame that favoured substance over style and Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is no different.

Of course, the core gameplay experience of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is largely the same as that of Dragon’s Dogma – a high quality, innovative role-playing game (RPG) experience – but new content doesn’t begin and end with this new area. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is made for high-level players, and as such the new content is designed specifically to cater for an experienced audience: new skills, equipment and augments will only be of benefit to Electronic Theatre Imageyou once you’ve reached the required level, and new pawns will aid you significantly when facing the new, extremely difficult enemies. Fourteen new types, in fact, helping you face-off against more two dozen new enemies.

Available with Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a new high-resolution texture pack which does include the quality of ten visual significantly, but only so much as to keep it fresh a year after release. There’s have been substantial improvements across the board, so Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen’s tidy-up keeps things pleasant but is never going to redefine Dragon’s Dogma’s standing overall. Furthermore, the included Japanese voice-over is surely an Electronic Theatre Imageappeasement for the core audience, an optional extra to please a small group of fans who already have invested in Dragon’s Dogma as opposed to a selling point for newcomers.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen could well have been offered as a large downloadable content (DLC) pack, but given its size it would be unlikely that it could be offered for any less than the very reasonably priced retail release. It’s a shame so many frown upon Capcom’s practices in such regard, as doing so will simply mean that fans could miss out on the opportunity to experience fresh content for a highly regarded videogame. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen doesn’t reinvent the Dragon’s Dogma wheel, but it’s a confidently produced expansion that more than warrants a return to the unique and addictive RPG.

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