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Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen (Xbox 360)
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- Platform: Xbox 360
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Platform: Xbox 360
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is the next exciting chapter in the Dragon’s Dogma franchise delivering a huge brand new area, missions, enemies and more, plus all of the content from the original game. Those brave enough to travel to the cursed Bitterblack Isle will discover an underground realm, complete with new terrifying foes to face and incredible treasure to find as they embark on an all new quest. For those that missed Dragon’s Dogma the first time around, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen provides the opportunity to start their journey from the very beginning before tackling the all new content.
Owners of the original Dragon’s Dogma will be able to export their existing characters and all other saved data, to continue their journey as the Arisen and face this new threat that has emerged from the cavernous depths. Players will be able to take their characters to new heights, with brand new high-level skills and augments as well as all new weapons and armour sets.
And there’s more:
Top customer reviews
This game reminded me about everything I love in gaming. However, the game is so large that every secrtion needs to be covered individually, as there's no way to just summersize this unexpectedly large game.
SCENERY / SETTING
Absolutely stunning. The whole word of Dragon's Dogma is just beautiful with a vast expanse of land at your disposal to explore. If you're a fan of RPG and adventure then this is for you, as the amount of land that is explorable here is insane! And (what I consider better, but your opinion may differ) there is no easy fast travel system. As you progress through the game you can get what they call Port Crystals that you can place around the world, and use Ferrystones to transport between these crystals. Ferrystones are expensive for beginners to the game, so travelling the land is the best option. As you explore you can stumble upon interesting artifacts, areas of interest and ever dangerous beings and bandits with a taste for blood, so you are never left bored as you explore. This can get tedious when you have quests that require you to go back and forth to areas like these, but thankfully the experiences on the way will always differ.
Hands down this has one of the best character modifications system I have ever seen, taking my personal title away from Saints Row IV and Skyrim. You can modify a huge array of aspects of your character, and unlike some games it hasn't got any quarrels with what may make some uncomfortable. You can change your skin colour, weight, hair, face, the normal business with editors. However, Dogma takes this a step further and lets you customise your height (even to child or teenager, or basketball player level of height), breast size for females, stances (Do you want to be dainty of Brienne of Tarth?), voice (the kids voices are a little creepy, but whatever floats your boat) and even specific measurements such as stomach length. The hair options were extremely lacking in the original game, but with Dark Arisen you have a dizzying amount of choices now, with all hair styles available for all genders. They range from bobbed cuts to huge locks of hair! Not only do you customise your own character, but you main companion too, so you can easily burn a few hours making your perfect character.
Completely unqiue to DD is a pawn system. Pawns in the game are fighters who are assisting you in your plight whom have come from different planes of existence. The same world, but the fighters are shared between existences. You are given a 'main pawn' to serve as your permanent companion for the game, and you can hire two more pawns to join your company. All the pawns in the game are 'main pawns' from other people's worlds, so the two pawns you've hired to join your quest have been created by someone elsewhere in the real world! If your main pawn gets hired in another world, they will share their knowledge and experience with you whenever you sleep at an Inn, and the player may even give you a gift when your pawn leaves their service!
Combat is a weirdly successful combination of Dragon Age, Attack on Titan (PS2) and Dark Souls. When you design your player you have a choice (changable all throughout the game) of what you want to specialise in. The class you choose dictates what weapons you can weild, what skills you can learn and what abilities you will strengthen while training such class. For example, if you choose to be an archer you can equip daggers for close range combat, and a bow as your main weapon. This will train your stamana so you can run bigger distances and fight for longer, but your magic defence will falter as you are not training it. Such happens with all classes that you have to weight the pros and cons of each class. Of course, always bear in mind you have pawns to accompany you who will ideally act in place of your weaknesses. The foes in Dragons Dogma can range from being small pesky wolves, to huge giants that can withstand lots of damage. The game gives a great mechanic for these fights that lets you actually grab on to a foe and attack them in a specific place. For example, fighting a flying beast? Grapple on to the leg and shuffle inbetween the wings and it will have difficulty swinging you off, so strike there until you become too worn out to hold on anymore! This definitely gives the game a unique edge as it allows for enemies to be much tougher than some games by requiring complex team work and tactics to take down larger enemies. This is also where the Dark Souls element comes in, in that this is one of the only games I've ever played that you actually NEED a plan. Many a time I have jumped straight into a fight, and within seconds the enemy has killed me (in one case, I ran directly towards an enemy to strike and it actually ate my character). Once dead you have to reload from your last save, which can become extremely annoying if you do not save frequently.
This is where the game stumbles. The story is unique and entertaining, but it is not engaging. You will also find there are a lot of moments that will leave you scratching your head as they don't make sense or simply badly timed. Surprisingly however, this is one of the only games I've ever found to have a significantly satisfying end that does not leave on a cliffhanger yet ends the story perfectly. This will leave you bewildered at best, but not frustrated.
Your pawns can be such chatterboxes it will drive you up the wall. They tend to treat you like an imbecile and point out just about everything in the universe ("I see a goblin" NO WAY IT'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME I DIDN'T NOTICE IT). You can control your main pawn's level of 'assistance', but your other two pawns will require their respective Arisen's to control their level of assistence in the same manner. Off the top of my head, that's all I could think of.
This is definitely hands down one of the best games I have ever played. I whole-heartedly recommend this game to anyone who still uses the Xbox 360 and PS3 who enjoys Action Adventure games. I believe you will enjoy this game if you have previously enjoyed any of the Elder Scrolls series, Dark Souls, Attack on Titan for the PS2 and medieval sword-fighting games in general. Well done Capcom, this is an amazing release.
Dark Arisen adds Bitterblack Isle, which is essentially the level 60-200 part of content Dragons Dogma left out. It will keep you entertained for a while, and depending on your type of playstyle (completionist/bruiser/gamerscorewhore) will still provide quite a lot of gameplay.
You should grab it for your collection if you're into Action-Adventure RPG's, it really is a credit to the genre.
A lot of reviewers have compared Dark Arisen to Skyrim and Dark Souls, particularly the latter. It open world and the scenery is beautiful, and a few of the aesthetics are similar to Dark Souls, but this game is very much its own. I have found the game far, far more accessible than Dark Souls. It is not as open world as Skyrim. However, combat is much better and the landscape and dungeons don't have that 'cookie cutter' feeling you often get from the Elder Scrolls games (I love the Elder Scrolls games, BTW). In fact, the combat in Dark Arisen is brilliant - combat moves are customisable and upgradable, and feel meaty. Climbing up a huge monster's back to start swinging your sword is great fun and doesn't feel gimicky at all.
The pawn system is also very good. You have a party of 4. You control only the main character, but you build and can customise fully your main pawn, who levels up with you. The two other pawns can be recruited and replaced at will. You can set your main pawn's behaviour and moves and you see the behaviour/moves of the pawns you recruit before you hire them. This means the party behaves just as you want them to, and combat strategy starts right from the moment you pick your party. The AI is generally very good. The pawns can be relied upon to do their job in combat, and they also do things in combat which are genuinely helpful, for example augmenting your weapons, or grabbing enemies and holding them and calling out to you to come and finish them off.
I very much like the way that leveling up and skills work in Dark Arisen. When you go up a level, your magic and hit points go up but that's more or less it. However, you also have a character class (of which you can have more than 1) which increases in level separately and you receive 'discipline points' to spend on combat moves or spells, class augments and so on. On top of that, equipment also provides you with bonuses and extra things - armour generally increases the armour stat, for example, but it often also confers some particular resistances or weaknesses to particular types of damage, so your choice of armour or equipment is not simply a matter of which item has the best armour bonus.
What is just as exciting for me is that, even after a week, I feel as though new things are opening up to me as a player all of the time.
It has some quirks, but I heartily recommend this game to anyone. Capcom should be commended and encouraged to make more games like this and develop them further. At £16 or so on Amazon - or £20 in the shops - you really cannot go wrong if you buy this game and I've confident you will be as pleasantly surprised as I have been.
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