Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen (Video Game Review)

Developer and publisher Capcom released a brand new series to the world last May with the release of Dragon's Dogma for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game cast you as a warrior who awakens as a powerful being known as the Arisen after a dragon attacks the hero's village, ripping out his or her heart and killing them in the process. As the Arisen, the player would have the power to summon otherwordly companions to fight alongside known as Pawns, and with deep and intuitive gameplay that featured classic fantasy enemies and sprawling landscapes, the game easily exceeded gamers' and critics' expectations to become one of the best and most surprising games of 2012. Capcom is a company that often releases enhanced versions of newer and older games, and not even a year later, the company has announced the release of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. The new release includes the complete original title with plenty of new features and content that may not be worth it if you already own the first release, but it is the best way to play the game if you've yet to try this modern masterpiece.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen takes players to the dreaded lands of Bitterblack Island. After meeting with a lost and lonely spirit, the player and party are transported to the island to discover its secrets and battle against a darkness that has appeared and is quickly sweeping across the land. The new content is very much an expansion on the original game with a new storyline, a massive new dungeon to explore and conquer and plenty of ways to upgrade your character, even if you have already mastered the original release. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen's new dungeon will take even the most experienced player several hours to fully explore, and there are plenty of new enemies and other characters to encounter and progress the game's storyline. Fans who owned the original game will automatically unlock plenty of new content for Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen including 100,000 Rift Crystals, unlimited Ferrystones for use in transporting around the game world and the Gransys Armor Pack with six additional outfits unlocking in-game. In addition, downloadable performance packs will have the game looking and playing better than ever before with less frame rate drops and other graphical issues occurring during play, faster loading times and other enhancements. All of these improvements work towards making an already great game an even better experience.

There are plenty of reasons to pick up the new release of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. The game now allows players to progress characters even further than the original release with over 100 new pieces of equipment, plenty of additional augments for Pawns, and most importantly, the all new third level skills that unlock powerful new abilities never before seen in the series. Players will now have new abilities such as levitation, an ability to summon powerful elemental attacks and more, and there will be plenty of new monsters to test newfound powers out on. Some of the new enemies include a massive eye and tentacle monster known as the Gazer, gigantic troll monsters and Death fully equipped with a magic lantern and scythe. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is still features some of the most unique enemy encounters in video game history that allows you to stun enemies to get in hits while they are in weakened states or jump and climb up enemies' bodies in order to find and attack weak spots. Players will earn and find plenty of new loot throughout their journey on Bitterblack Isle, and though these are some of best items ever found in the game, most will be cursed and will need to be brought back out of the dungeon to have curses removed from the equipment before use. The massive dungeon included in Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is a fun level grinding experience that relies on perseverance, and coupled with bonus Easy and Hard difficulty settings can be as simple or difficult as the player wants.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is one of the most rewarding experiences of this console generation. The game continues on the rich history and addictive gameplay offered by the original release and gives plenty of new reasons to play through the new release. It may be difficult to convince veteran players to shell out another $39.99 to pick up the new game, but it's by far the best way to play the game and does offer plenty of in-game rewards for those who have played both releases. If you're a fan of the Dragon's Dogma series, you owe it to yourself to experience all that Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen has to offer, and picking up the game for the first time is a no-brainer with the new release. Fun gameplay mechanics, massively entertaining battles and a compelling story make this one of the best and most overlooked releases in recent years. Capcom has found gold with the Dragon's Dogma series, and there has never been a better time for gamers to try out the game than with Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. Pick up your copy today on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360!

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $39.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Full Original Release Plus Additional Content
  • Online Leaderboards and Share Pawns
  • DLC Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Supports

  • Game Information:
    Developer & Publisher: Capcom
    Platforms: PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
    Release Date: April 23, 2013

    Score: 9 out of 10


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