Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen Review

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen Review

Great news for action-RPG enthusiasts: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen has finally come to PS4 and Xbox One. Dragon’s Dogma truly is a cult classic, much like the Dark Souls series. While the original game was great in its own way, the relaunch comes with some long-needed improvements regarding performance. Keep reading to find out more about this one-of-a-kind RPG game and determine whether or not it’s your kind of game.

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Arise and Shine

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen will take you on a peculiar, but exciting journey. The game borrows ideas from several popular RPG releases such as Skyrim or Dark Souls, and it is more similar to the latter. One of the things I can really appreciate about Dragon’s Dogma is the originality. It doesn’t just clone a particular game, it borrows ideas while doing things its own way.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

The intro features an epic struggle between a knight and a fearsome dragon. Players take the role of the knight, which is referred to by other characters as Arisen. Similar to the “Unkindled One” from the Dark Souls Series, the Arisen is the chosen hero. He’s the one who must fight his way through the hordes of unrelenting aberrations.

A Pawn Among Many

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a single player game primarily, but there is an online aspect to it. And I’m referring to the pawn system of course, perhaps one of the coolest features of Dragon’s Dogma.

Players are able to recruit pawns that assist them on their journey. These pawns are basically AI characters that can fight alongside the Arisen and they are fully customizable. Pawns can earns experience just like the player does and they can carry various weapons and equipment.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

The online aspect comes when players can basically trade pawns with other players ingame. Players may have up to 3 pawns in their party at any given. The pawn you create will basically be copied and other players will be able to use it, just like you can use other pawns as well.

The great thing about the pawns is that they’re pretty smart. They can adapt to most fights and know how to play their role, whether it is wizard, warrior, archer and whatnot. Furthermore, they gain knowledge as they explore the world alongside players, and may use the knowledge they gain on future encounters. Unfortunately, death is permanent for pawns. In the sense that once one of your pawns dies, you can’t summon him again.

A Remarkable Experience

The combat of Dragon’s Dogma will certainly remind you of games such as Dark Souls or Bloodborne. More often than not, you’ll face foes at least ten times your size. For handling such enemies, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen features the monster-mantling system. This allows players to basically grab hold of these massive foes and strike them at their weakness. The battles truly feel epic, the music certainly helps to create that particular heroic atmosphere, and every boss encounter is unique in its own way.

The story is somewhat lacking, as it somewhat unfolds as the player explores the world and there’s little direction given. The dialogue could be better, so could the voice acting to be honest. As far as graphics go, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen looks alright. It’s not particularly great in that sector but it’s not ugly either.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Fortunately, the relaunch fixed most of the performance issues the game had on previous gaming consoles. There were times when the game would just drop below 10 fps, which was not acceptable and frankly quite annoying.

Our Conclusion

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a pretty distinct action-RPG that brings some interesting concepts to the table. The fights are challenging and taking down titanic foes is always exciting. While it still has some issues, such as the clumsy storyline, I’d say Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is certainly worth at least a few hours of your time.

My rating: 8 out of 10

Publisher: Capcom

System: Ps3, Ps4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows

Price: $29.99 (subject to change)


  • Unique concepts such as the pawn system
  • Challenging encounters
  • Exciting combat


  • Dialogue and voice acting aren’t that great
  • Lackluster storyline

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What are your thoughts on this game? Let us know in the comment section below.

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