Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen

  • Release date: April 23rd 2013
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Estimated time to beat: 37 hours
  • My time: 19 hours 6 min.
  • Date beaten: 4/26/2019
  • Achievements: 15/50 (185/1000)

Dragons Dogma feels like Fable had a baby with An Elder Scrolls Game. Yes it’s open world, but it’s somewhere in between the two. You have the freedom to roam the open area without load times, but often times there is only one way to get to a particular location. Which would lead to the feeing of being forced down an open air hallway. I admittedly B-lined through the story, and didn’t give myself much time to meander about the world. So there may have been something I was missing.

The combat feels solid and very deliberate. I played as a Warrior class. So I was rushing head long into battles except for the times I wasn’t. There is a climbing mechanic that allows you to scale larger enemies to reach their week points. This is good in theory but I often felt like the climbing was more of a suggestion than a command. I’d be fighting the camera while the enemies thrashed around which would then make my character climb the wrong direction. Sometimes a ranged character felt necessary for certain enemies. Thankfully the games pawn system is there for exactly that.

You can create a pawn to be by your side through your the adventure, as well as recruit two others. This gives you the option to create a well rounded party of 4. (Not the prequel to Party of 5.) I elected to create a second Warrior while my other two were a mage and an archer.

While rushing the main quest down I couldn’t help but feel like either the game wasn’t meant to be played that way, or they built in a lot of artificial length by making you walk back and forth to locations over and over. There were times I just wanted to be where I needed to be and not have to trek across the map only to return where I just came from. Especially at night when the enemies are more difficult and you require a lantern to see where you’re going. The game does have a fast travel system, that is much better in the rereleases, but in the original version it requires you to place a crystal at the location you think you’ll want to teleport back to. To use this feature you must also have a currency that is spent to fast travel. This would be great if I knew ahead of time that I was going to have to return there.

The music is as expected for an open world Action RPG. Sweeping scores that change when enemies are nearby. Which was helpful, but also didn’t seem to matter since I ran past most mobs to get to where I had to go. The game allows you to switch classes, should you choose to. I probably should have toyed around with some others, but I didn’t feel the need to since my party was perfectly selected.

The story is a fun twist on the classic trope of finding out you are the chosen one. Without giving anything away, I enjoyed it all the way up until the final battle. There were certain characters I didn’t care for, and times when I either missed it or they didn’t explain themselves very well. This caused me to be thrown in a dungeon on multiple occasions.

Overall I think if you have the time to kill, then I’d recommend picking this up on the Switch where they’ve included some much needed quality of life improvements, and enjoy running around the world. You won’t regret giving this at least one playthrough.

  • Eye feel: 7
  • Ear feel: 8
  • Hand feel: 8
  • Mind feel: 7
  • Overall feel: 7.5