Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is one of the most unique third person action RPG’s of the last few generations. While not developing much wide spread attention, it did attract a fervent and loyal following that swear by it’s pawn system. This article is an in-depth review of Dragon’s Dogma, it’s story, gameplay systems, and it’s DLC expansions.
|Type of game:||3rd Person Action Adventure RPG|
|Multiplayer/Co-Op:||No Multiplayer, Limited Co-Op|
|Total Play Time:||40 hours for the Story, 110 for Completionist|
|System Requirements:||CPU: Intel Core i5 660 CPU or equivalent
GPU: Radeon HD 5870 or equivalent
RAM: 4 GB
OS: 64-bit Windows Vista or newer
HDD Space: 22 GB
|Price Range||From $14.99 to $29.99|
The World of Dragon’s Dogma
From the unique setting and it’s numerous denizens and beasts, to the post game content that reaches the furthest nether regions of the underworld, there are numerous locales to visit and discover. The rest of this article is going to take a look at the setting, characters, and other features of Dragon’s Dogma. The game is rated Mature for it’s depictions of violence and adult themes.
Atmosphere & Location
The atmosphere of Dragon’s Dogma is an interesting mix of medieval and banditry. From the small fishing village full of poor fishmongers and several poorer characters, to the bustling capitol city of Gran Soren, there are several types of locations represented. The player will find themselves traversing catacombs and sewers and dense forests in search of materials to craft new armor and weapons. The music is similarly themed and fully orchestral. From the moving, simple traveling music to the deeply moving and thrilling boss battle themes, the music plays a large part in setting the tone and overall mood of Dragon’s Dogma.
The weapons and armor all have distinct physical appearance changes that make the main player character and pawns stand out in different ways. The class system plays a big part in what a character can and cannot equip so a physically weak magic user cant equip heavy platemail, and a fighter can’t equip speed improving greaves. The customization of the main character and their pawns allows for copious amounts of different skills and looks to be achieved.
The combat is heavily inspired and influenced by other action games and traditional rpgs. The combat is relatively simple to learn but incredibly complex and tough to master. One of the unique aspects of Dragon’s Dogma is the ability to climb most monsters in order to hit them in several different special hit spots. There is a leveling system in place reminiscent of most role playing games, but with a twist. The more a character uses a specific class, the more they earn discipline points. Once enough of these are collected, skills can be bought and applied to create and buff specific character traits.
The main character of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a fully customizable player unit dubbed the Arisen. After a dragon steals your heart, you gain the ability to summon pawns from another world that will hopefully help you regain your heart and defeat the dragon. Starting off in the lowly fish village of Cassardis, the Arisen undertakes n immense journey to save not only themselves, but to save the realm from the damage of the Ur-Dragon.
While the player is always accompanied by their own, main pawn, they have the option and ability to summon two other pawns from other universes. This pawn system is the cooperative system and what many of the players love. Anyone who plays the game can create a pawn that can be summoned by any other player. Not only do they receive special items, but the pawns can be rated in usefulness and other factors and be used by numerous other players. A virtually endless customization aspect means players can create all many of distinct looking pawns, from small elf girls, to burly, hammer wielding giants.
Along the players journey, they will run into many characters and diverse personalities. From the Duke and his new wife, to the insane court jester who loves to give out party hates, there are numerous people the player will interact and save. A rich background and world is waiting for the players to interact with. Traveling merchants will from time to time sell wares and have quests that not only further your main quest but give you access to secret areas and powerful items.
Waking up one day to find the fishing village you reside in under attack from a fearsome dragon, you and the other villagers rush to defend your living. Not only does the defense go awry, but the dragon steals your heart! This gives you immeasurable power to summon pawns from a different realm and powers over death so that you can eventually kill the dragon. After you wake up in the village several days later, you set off for the capitol to meet the duke and find out how to undertake your quest to kill the dragon.
On your way, you meet Ser Mercedes and her guard from the capitol city of Gran Soren. Not only are you ambushed by a Hydra, but you manage to slay one of it’s heads and escort it back to the capitol as proof of who you are. Along the way, you will stop at several places learning about the state the rest of the continent is in, and various ways you might help.
The duke decides you might be worthy to slay the dragon and enlists you to his elite wyrm hunting corps. Undertaking several missions to defend the realm, you slowly uncover a sinister plot to not only overthrow the duke, but to usher in a new era of strife with the dragon who stole your heart as the leader.
Learning who is behind this sinister plot and becoming powerful enough to slay the dragon are your key quests and will make you traverse the entire continent in the hopes you can end the suffering of your people.
DLC & Expansion Packs
A DLC expansion was released entitle Dark Arisen. This content not only expanded several central storylines, it added a whole new end game and bonus dungeon. After this pack was released, every new version has come bundled together in a definitive collection. Also included are several quality of life enhancements like infinite fast travel, as well as new bosses, and weapons and armor. The Dark Arisen expansion greatly enhanced the base game and created an almost never-ending well of content to play and growth to find.
Also released were several free weapon packs and item packs that added powerful gear that many players used to get a foothold early on.
Dragon’s Dogma is an excellent action adventure that will test even the most stubborn fighter. From learning the ropes to effectively take down massive monsters, to helping the everyday folk with their day to day problems, you will have an adventure to remember. Some of the quests have multiple endings and outcomes so playing through the story several times is worth the effort! This article touches on several of the factors that make Dragon’s Dogma an excellent game and a worthy addition to anyone who enjoys not only a challenge but a story of redemption and political intrigue.