SgtT8ie's April game review/playthrough: Dragon's Dogma - Dark Arisen

So for April I thought I’d change my focus a little bit & give my primary attention to a single game. My thought is to rather than pushing through a few smaller indie titles this month, I’ll take a good old bite out of a long fantasy epic & give a good old hard chew & spit out some impressions.

So Dragon’s Dogma - Dark Arisen here I come; it had been sitting on my wishlist since it was announced & then on my backlog since it was delivered via Humble Bundle. Now I finally get to experience it & share my thoughts.

First off the bat is, obviously even though it’s a remaster for PC… it’s showing it’s age.

Look at those Copyright dates 2012,& 2013 were the original releases of the game with the latest version (i.e. PC) coming out in 2016. Unfortunately there are some points where the age shows through, and character design is one of them. Despite my best attempts at generating my normal Amazonian warrior princess rogue/archer (in this game the role is named a Strider) I’ve ended up with what appears in cutscenes to be a most unattractive (possibly) male stunt double for Xena.

The large monster models though are great & look epically fantastic and are large enough to clamber up & hack away at. I believe in comparison though to the Dark Souls series this one would be more about party management and button mashing than timing & dodge rolling.

I’m hoping that as I devote more time to the game the shortcomings will be transcended by the story & gameplay.

So I guess I’m off to vanquish some beasts :slight_smile:
Thanks for reading.

OK 25-ish hours in, though a bit of that time was spent idling & time for some more feedback.


  • The solid “thunk-squish” sound you make when your character falls a long way is cringe-inducingly perfect.

  • Now that I’ve worked out how to change Vocation & become a sniping Ranger, I’ve worked out how to pick enemies off at a distance & feel like I am the embodiment of the “finger of God”.

  • The way you can chain attacks & juggle enemies is fun.

  • The Pawn system works nicely, with only your main character & personal Pawn being able to level up any other members of your party need to be contracted with regards to their level & prowess. As of yet no-one has hired my Pawn, probably due to low numbers of players.

  • The large enemies are cool & being able to clamber up them, to slice & dice is well implemented; add on to the fact that you need to monitor your Stamina & each enemy having different areas where they can grab you (the feeling of “uh-oh, I done F’d up” when a Cyclops reached over his shoulder & plucked me off his neck was pretty cool).

  • You can Fail non-focused quests with no warning - gives the impression that you are part of an live world.

  • The game teaches you offensive skills before defensive - subtlety is over-rated


  • Can’t find a Quick Save option - the tedium of having to Pause -> Save&continue is awful.

  • Exiting the game is even worse - needs a Save &Quit option in game. As it stands it goes “Save & Exit to Title” ->Press a button -> Quit Game.

  • Inventory management is bad for a PC RPG, but probably about right for a console.

  • As an archer it needs the ability to quick swap ammo & I’m sure other classes would need different inventory quick slots too.

If you asked me to compare this game with another I would suggest Kingdoms of Amalur, but more party focused. Both of these games have their issues with optimisation for PC.

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I wish they’ve spent money on a new Dragon’s Dogma single player game and not on the Online thingy. I feel betrayed because I played Dragon’s Dogma on PS3 like crazy. :’(

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