4 to Love and 1 to Hate Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

8 May

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I hate Dragon’s Dogma. I hate it more than what Activision has done to The Walking Dead franchise. But, then again, I love it. It’s hard to explain. It’s kind of like that cute little puppy that chews your furniture to pieces, but it’s so damn adorable that you can’t help but forgive it. Well, Dragon’s Dogma is kind of like that. But substitute cute little puppy for gigantic monsters and change chewing on your furniture to chewing on your bones. There are few RPG’s about at the moment that achieve what Capcom have managed with Dragon’s Dogma, it even outshines Skyrim in some aspects. But, with every game, players can find reasons to both love it and hate it. So here we go – five reasons to love but hate Dragon’s Dogma.

1) The graphics are incredible. The new Dark Arisen disk has brought with it an HD update for the game and it makes it, well, it makes it look gorgeous. The colours are sharp and the lines are smooth. At night, monsters lurk in the darkness and all that lights your path is the dim glow of your oil lamp. It all helps create an atmosphere to the game that is truly hard to rival. The game world of Gransys, with its wide spanning forests and open fields, seems idyllic, making exploration and travelling between objectives seamless and enjoyable. It’s rare to find a game that’s so pretty that you’re not fussed over the fact that fast travel isn’t an option.

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2) The combat system is possibly the best around. Dragon’s Dogma combines real time combat with tactics based play. Stand from a distance and pep the enemy with arrows, draw closer and cast powerful spells or stand toe to toe swinging your long sword, this game caters for every and any playing style.

3) The monsters are just freakin awesome. Fight ogres and dragons, trolls and wolves, lion part goat part snakes … Snagoations? (Sounds about right). These beasts not only look cool, they’re also incredibly fun to fight. If a little frustrating. The combat when fighting these animals is inspirational. The player can literally mount the beast, climbing up their limbs and backs and slicing away at various parts of the animal in an attempt to decapitate them, and avoid being eaten.

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4) The character customization options are endless. You can change anything from their voice, to their beard, to the length of their limbs. You can create a true reflection of yourself, or some hunchbacked hobbit with long arms and short legs. It’s completely up to you. You can also create your own personal pawn (nothing dirty here, pawn as in follower) who remains by your side through your noble quest. The creation options for this character are exactly the same. But, choose wisely, as their class and abilities will really affect your success in the game – planning is everything.capcom_13200996864658

5) But, it’s not all fun and games. Dragon’s Dogma is by far the most frustrating game that I have ever played. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve died, how many times I’ve become lost, how many times I’ve been eaten by the various monsters that lurk in the shadows. Even though the pawns that follow you are pretty handy, they die a lot, just like you. Really, dying is a theme that runs through this game. This fact, coupled with the real lack of checkpoints and auto-saves, will leave you tugging at your hair, grinding your teeth and yelling at random members of the general public through sheer frustration.

So, if you like a good RPG, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is for you. This edition of the original game includes the Dragon’s Dogma title, some well needed patches, more character customization options and another 10 – 15 hours of game play. But, if you’re easily annoyed or have a habit of ‘rage quitting’ a game, avoid Dragon’s Dogma like the plague.

By Alecs Pilik

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