|Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen|
|Genre: Action | Role Playing Game|
|Platform: PS3 / Xbox 360|
What the heck is Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen (Now being called DDDA for short because I just can’t type that out each time)? It is DLC for Dragons Dogma but it cannot be downloaded, which sucks. But it can be bought on disk format and includes the whole game plus the extras which is cool. It is also much cheaper than the original game (£20 in the UK!) and fixes a lot of the small problems Dragons Dogma had but is not referred to as a “Game of the Year Edition” so what gives?
Let me start by saying that I loved Dragons Dogma. I got the game the day it came out and played it for weeks on end just losing myself in the world figuratively and literally. I honestly enjoyed it so much more than Skyrim as its fast paced yet challenging gameplay and more interesting premise drew me in. So when I heard about DDDA I was hyped, less so when I found out I would have to buy it again (As most players would be).
However, I actually think it was a very clever choice to sell the product in this way. The price is very much worth it for Dragons Dogma fans as it adds tons of new content that can be very challenging while also extending on the lore of the land. It also still manages to draw in new players with the cheap price tag and “complete” version aesthetics.
Don’t worry though, if you already have a Dragons Dogma save file DDDA will load your game save(s) with all the new DLC and award you some nice little extras, 100,000 rift crystals, unlimited ferrystones and an armour pack full of new costumes and gear for you to try out.
Death’s a… you know.
When you first start to experience the new areas you will notice that a lot of the assets from Dragons Dogma have been reused to good effect. Sometimes when games do reuse lots of assets it can make the world feel rehashed and players can notice which causes the immersion level to drop, in DDDA’s case, however, it makes the world feel off and out of place. This may seem like a bad thing but this is very obviously the feeling that the strange Bitterback Isle wants to force on you while playing. This isn’t to say it is all done well, some of the “New Enemies” are just re-skins of old ones with some stat boosts or size changes which is a shame and it can be quite odd to see a set piece from the land of Gransys in Bitterback Isle.
The first thing you will notice when venturing through Bitterback Isle is the change in tone, a combination of a more dark and dank setting with some seriously negative undertones will have you worried to go around corners and explore. This, combined with the increase in strength of the local monsters, will make you start playing DDDA more like Dark Souls, constantly scared of death. However, in this games case, this is also an actual boss to worry about. Death himself, scythe and all, is wandering around the Isle and yes, before you ask, he can kill you in one hit. You can kill him but it will take more than one try and, trust me on this, it will take a while.
Some areas really look quite amazing.
This “travelling boss” aspect is frequent as you explore Bitterback Isle; if you slay a large amount of creatures then you may attract powerful foes to your area such as undead dragons or even the aforementioned Death. While this does add to the tension it can be really unforgiving when you suddenly have a super hard boss monster dropped on your lap just for killing a few wolves.
A new feature included is the ability to upgrade your gear even further, even if they have been dragon forged thus meaning your most powerful armour will get an even bigger boost. Bitterback Isle also has over 100 new pieces of equipment to re-equip you character as well so even veterans will want to be grinding this area to make sure they have the best stuff they can.
This lady is very important and is one of the few interesting characters you will be meeting.
DDDA is a lot of fun to play through but while playing you will have the niggling feeling that you should be attempting the extras a bit differently. The most appropriate way would be to play the content alongside the main game storyline so whenever you feel like the world of Gansys is becoming dull; you can just jump over to Bitterback for a change of pace so the game remains fresh and different throughout.
DDDA is a great addition to Dragons Dogma, it refines the game, adds hours of content and is very affordable. The difficulty is also ramped up and is actually a solid challenge to play through as well. I have barely scratched the surface of what Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen holds but I am sure if you pick up the game you will thank me for it as the experience of playing this game is awesome.
|Strange difficulty spikes|
| Tons of new content|
|One-Hit-Kill stalking Death|