Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen Review

So I picked up Dragon’s Dogma last week. This is one of the first times I have bought a game with little to no understanding of what the game really is. It actually feels kinda good. The only impression of this game is that it is ‘sorta like Dark Souls’. Whether this is an accurate statement remains to be seen. If it can deliver an adequate challenge, deep looting system and interesting environment it will be a solid purchase.The screenshots I have seen look very nice graphically. Ill hit this up with a more in depth impression after the drop tomorrow.



Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen launched beautifully. All I had to do was simply finish the preload(basically install) and press the play button. NO hassle whatsoever. My initial reaction to the game is mixed. Certain things are done right like the environment and the uncapped framerate, but the character models look old and the combat has yet to really grab me. Another thing that seems strange to me is the lack of multiple save files, which is strange given that many people like having multiple chars in different roles for these types of games. I’m also getting less of a Dark Souls vibe and more of a Dragon Age/Kingdom of Amalur feel to the game. While not a bad thing as both games are good in their own right, I guess it just tempered my expectations. To those with Steam Controllers, this game worked well right off the start. These initial impressions are based on about 20 mins of play time so take that as you will.


Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

There be Dargons in this


So I am now about 12 hours into DD:DA and I am actually starting to really enjoy the game. While I would definitely concede that the game is immensely flawed. The story is laughably bad and uninteresting, the characters themselves are flat and one dimensional and there is a great deal of pop-in textures and enemies. However, overall the gameplay is fun. My character Enricess has hit level 25 and I have been doing every quest I come across. Running into a giant beast like a cyclops or griffin(?) is a blast. Determining how to kill them, whether by climbing(Shadow of the Colossus style) or through range combat is immensely satisfying. The weaponry/gear I have stumbled upon has been a touch underwhelming, but a few of the ‘sets’ are pretty unique. Lastly I will touch on the pawn system. This system is arguably the most well known and beloved aspect of DD. Creating a sort of meta game within DD which adds a new twist to the gameplay. Creating and outfitting your main pawn is a blast as friends and strangers can then rent that Pawn out for their own adventures. I will say that hacking has already begun and the daily pawn leader board is basically broken with 100+ level pawns already existing. This is a bit unfortunate, but also to be expected.

What I Liked

  • The Pawn system is a blast(sending out, borrowing, speccing)
  • Combat
  • Uncapped frame rate
  • Price point(~$40 CAD)
  • Interesting bosses and boss fight mechanics
  • Robust crafting system
  • Quest system

What I didn’t Like

  • Pawn audio/most of the voice acting
  • Loot is pretty uninteresting
  • Fast travel system
  • Storyline


Arbitrary Rating:  7/10


Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen


Pick it up here


Enricofairme is the founder and lead writer on holdtoreset.com. He has been creating content about video games for the past 6 years. You can follow Eli on Twitter @enricofairme.

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