(http://www.dragonsdogma.com) Rated M for Mature by ESRB. Capcom has a few tricks up their sleeve, none of which are from key franchises in their portfolio. Dragon’s Dogma was a surprise hit of 2012, and for very good reason. The game was absolutely brilliant. Now, just a few months post launch, the world of Dragon’s Dogma has expanded in the form of a new disc based expansion (sic. Re-release). This is not a new concept for Capcom, but can Dark Arisen rise above the feeling of shovel-ware present in other Capcom properties?
Capcom has a few tricks up their sleeve, none of which are from key franchises in their portfolio. Dragon’s Dogma was a surprise hit of 2012, and for very good reason. The game was absolutely brilliant. Now, just a few months post launch, the world of Dragon’s Dogma has expanded in the form of a new disc based expansion (dsic. Re-release). This is not a new concept for Capcom, but can Dark Arisen rise above the feeling of shovel-ware present in other Capcom properties?
What Is Different:
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen plays the re-release game safe, with a very simplistic outward change. A new box-art, a new menu screen, and a new theme song greet players at start-up; but under the new venire is almost the same game entirely. Visuals have been tweaked and upgraded with some smoothed out animations and slightly more vibrant colors in certain places. With the exception of the handful of new songs in the soundtrack, the overall sound design remains the same. The plus is the addition of a large number of new items, quests, narrative and abilities. Further, the world has been expanded to match the continuing narrative.
While core gameplay remains mostly untouched, Dark Arisen can and should be viewed as a balancing patch with DLC content included. Enemies, enemy stats, and locations have all been tweaked to provide a more advanced challenge. In order to arm you against this challenge, Dark Arisen provides countless stat based fixes and adjustments for the player and their arsenal. For those who are new to the game, or those who didn’t make it so far in the vanilla version of Dragon’s Dogma, the changes will go unnoticed but those of us who have experienced the greatness of this new franchise are glad for the updates.
The additional story elements and areas to explore are fantastic and deep, adding a second wind to the already remarkable gameplay. While gamers who prefer slightly more linear, objective based adventures will not find anything new or interesting in Dark Arisen; those who love the ability to endlessly roam and hunt will be provided nearly endless entertainment value. New enemies like Death and a few dragons fill the new areas and should give even the strongest Arisen a run for his money.
While a large portion of the additional contents are hardly noticeable and minute details, the sum of the parts is a much better game. Fans of western fantasy and rpgs are still being given a great experience, while hardcore stat counters will find a lot of new content to sift through. Dragon’s Dogma has garnered a lot of attention, and if Dark Arisen is any indication, Capcom seems prepared to give us a lot more of this franchise in the near future. Honestly, that is an incredibly alluring idea as Dragon’s Dogma is by far the strongest game in Capcom’s current portfolio. Those who missed the original version have no excuse to not pick up Dark Arisen, especially at the $40 price tag. Those who have already killed a few Dragons should not miss out on the continuing adventure.