It’s nearly been a
year since Dragon’s Dogma was released; a fun, action filled
RPG with a strong combat system yet lacking technical polish. Now we
have Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, an ‘enhanced’ version of
the original which promises brand new content for fans looking for
more adventures with their arisen.
A cheaper price tag
may attract a new audience to the game but is there enough in here
to warrant a purchase from its die-hard fan-base? Unless you’re
willing to play through the entire game to get the most of the new
content, the answer is no.
Fans may be
disappointed at how similar Dark Arisen is to the original
when they first start playing. Everything is pretty much the same
except for the inclusion of new weapons and side quests, however a
newly implemented quick travel system is a greatly appreciated
biggest selling point is the new Bitterback Isle location not
present in the original, which features a dark and creepy atmosphere
that’s extremely well executed. It can be accessed anytime during
the game however I strongly recommend playing through the whole
story before even thinking about tackling the new quests.
What you will find
in Bitterback Isle are some of the most difficult and unforgiving
challenges in a game this year; even players who import their
high-level characters from the original game may not stand a chance
against what awaits them. I appreciate a game giving me a challenge
but when it forces me into a rage of frustration I wonder whether or
not such a dramatic spike in difficulty was the right choice.
From a technical
standard Dark Arisen looks and sounds a lot like its
predecessor. The game’s environments are still very pleasing to the
eye and the creature design is often stunning but where the game
lacks polish is its audio. Throughout your adventure you are
assisted by ‘pawns’ that you summon to help you complete quests and
fight enemies. As you traverse the landscape your pawns will talk
and interact with each other depending on what they see. It’s a
great way to create personality for artificial intelligence, but
it’s been poorly executed.
Pawns do not stop
talking, at all. I don’t have kids myself but picture it as the
equivalent of having four kids in your car screaming ‘are we there
yet?’ over and over again despite your several attempts to shut them
up. They constantly remind you of what your quest is, what they’re
doing, what they’re going to do and what you should be doing. It
almost makes you want to stop playing and tell them that they’re not
getting any McDonald’s on the way home.
It doesn’t help that
the dialogue repeats itself constantly, and you’ll want to mute your
TV but there’s just so much story that you can’t afford to. This was
the main complaint with the original Dragon’s Dogma and it
hasn’t been fixed, so releasing an ‘enhanced version’ without
listening to feedback is a bad move by Capcom.
aside and unfair difficulty in some quests don’t stop Dragon’s
Dogma: Dark Arisen from being an enjoyable and exciting RPG.
While fans of the original may feel ripped off with the lack of any
game changing enhancements, a lowered retail price suggests that
Capcom is reaching out to newcomers who will get the most out of
this release. To those newcomers I strongly suggest giving it a go.