(Credit to GAF member dragonzdogma for the updated "Time","World", "Story", "Pawns", & "Vocations" graphics)
Genre: Action-Role Playing Game
Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
Director: Hideaki Itsuno (Rival Schools: United by Fate, Devil May Cry 3/4/4SE, Powerstone 2 and more) Twitter
Size: 19.2 GB
Store Links: PSN | Xbox
(Digitally preordering on PS4 includes DRAGON'S DOGMA: DARK ARISEN DYNAMIC THEME)
Differences from previous console release:
• Full 1080p resolution (Including PS4 Pro support), also the removal of the black bars featured in the original
• Improved textures, draw distance, and a stable framerate (30fps)
• Includes all previous DLC, as well as the addition of nine new achievements/trophies
• Also adds changes from the PC release, mainly in that arriving in Gran Soren will unlock the following: An Eternal Ferrystone, Set of Fop’s Trek Wear, Voldoan Armor, Priest Vestments, Lady’s Trek Wear, Queen’s Clothing, and Nun Vestments.
A mighty Dragon rips the heart out of a villager during an attack on a coastal fishing village. Mysteriously, this poor soul survives the encounter and despite being left heartless, is alive. Upon awakening it is revealed you are the prophesized “Arisen”, hero to the people of the fantasy filled land of Gransys. Now, embark on your own adventure along with three loyal companions, exploring an unfamiliar world and fighting all manner of fabled beast and foe, all in a quest to return what’s rightfully yours.
• The world of Gransys is filled with dangerous enemies, but also home to a lively cast of characters for you to interact with as the Arisen. You will quickly find yourselves dealing with the local merchants for elixirs, upgrading your armor and weapons with the local blacksmiths, or taking up missions bodyguarding people who wish to cross the dangerous open world. Different NPC’s will respond to your behavior towards them, so it’s important to nurture those connections when present, if desired.
• As you explore the world around you, you will find many treasures, weapons, armors, materials and all sorts of things to pick up and save. Even the most basic item could have a use as an ingredient, or can be combined to make something completely new, or could be used to upgrade a weapon, etc... Since this encourages a lot of scavenging, keeping an eye on your weight will become vital. Pick up too much, and you’ll move like a block of concrete is strapped to both of your legs. Note that each member of your party has a fully accessible inventory as well for you to take advantage of, just be wary of giving important things to temporary guests. Deposit your acquired goods at your storage available at every inn often, as you will also find some of the heaviest materials falling from the corpses of your enemies, and there will be a lot of those.
• And on the subject of corpses, combat takes place in real time and at a brutally fast-pace, and finds you mixing up between a variety of basic attacks and powerful skills specific to each of the games vocations to dispatch a wide variety of enemies. Certain classes have access to powerful Magick skills capable of destroying battlefields or saving lives, and I could spend paragraphs on this subject alone, but what it boils down to is that DD is RPG combat done right, and magic users are no exception here. Players will also often find themselves against foes much larger, and to aid in this endeavor, DD provides players with the ability to mount (or simply pick up in the case of smaller) enemies at the press of a button, scale to any position, and attack, with several skills devoted to this mechanic for those wishing to make the most of it. That said not all enemies are humongous, yet will still be more than capable of killing your entire party. Overall, it’s incredibly important to stay stocked up on various curatives (or have/be a mage) as enemies hit hard, hit often, and don’t mind using deadly attacks to dispatch you quickly.
• Passing time in Dragon’s Dogma has consequences. Some quests have limited windows in which they can be obtained/completed, some involve finding characters who move around throughout the open world (NPC’s in Dragon’s Dogma have their own schedules, they wake up, go to work, and often travel from location to location either for story/quest purposes or because that’s what they do, like traveling merchants), some require you to be at specific places during specific times, and some items have altered properties as they change from age. To help with passing time inns, or in some cases campsites are conveniently located and cheap to use, passing 12 in-game hours, saving, and fully restoring your party every time you rest.
• Shortly after starting, you will gain the ability to summon “Pawns”, a group of mysterious and souless beings that can be pulled from an alternate dimension called the “rift” (including from your friend’s worlds!) to serve and assist with whatever obstacles that may face the Arisen. You will be able to fully customize a single pawn, known as your “main pawn”, to your liking, choosing their appearance, their gear, their classes, and most importantly: their behavior. An often-overlooked part of pawn creation, your pawns inclination determines their A.I.’s behavior in combat. When creating your pawn, you will be asked to answer questions based on how you would like them to respond in each situation, and these answers determine your pawns specific actions when fighting enemies. The available pool of actions the A.I. can pull from in a given situation is also determined by their experience with the specific enemy your fighting. The game admittedly does a very poor job of explaining what these questions and really this mechanic in general means, so I’ve linked a page here (http://dragonsdogma.wikia.com/wiki/Inclination) to explain it in much more detail for those interested.
• Vocations are the class system in Dragons Dogma, providing nine unique playstyles separated into three categories: Basic, Advanced, and Hybrid. Basic vocations will be available upon creating your character, while Advanced and Hybrid vocations will become available after reaching Gran Soren, the games major city area. While playing as one of these classes, it’s important to distinguish between the different leveling mechanics at play. You need to level your character to increase your core stats (Health, Stamina, Strength, Magick, Defense, & Magick Defense), meanwhile you level your Vocation to access new moves for that Vocation. Purchasing these moves cost discipline points, or DP for short, and that is gained by defeating enemies. That said, what vocation your using determines the rate your core stats grow when you do level your character. For example, leveling up while playing a Warrior results in more of an increase in HP, Stamina, and Defense, while playing as a Mage puts more weight towards your Magick and Magick Defense.
Equipped with a sword and shield, Fighters offer a good balance of offense and defense and serve on the party’s front lines.
Primary Weapon: One handed Sword
Secondary Weapon: Shield
Defense: Fighters offer a variety of defensive abilities that allow them to serve as a veritable “tank” for the party, allowing ranged and offensive classes to deal damage from further away.
Offense: Fighters possess a variety of deadly sword skills ranging from dashing attacks that allow fighters to quickly close the gap on an enemy to skills that allow them to skewer enemies safely behind their shields.
Combat Utility: Fighters can launch characters into the air to grab flying enemies with their Shield Toss skill, making them invaluable allies when fighting winged enemies.
Wielding dual daggers and a shortbow, Striders deal damage with quick speed and deadly accuracy. Striders also have trap abilities and trick arrows that allow them to confuse and disorient enemies.
Primary Weapon: Daggers
Secondary Weapon: Bow
Quick Damage: Striders serve as fast damage dealers, quickly moving around the battlefield with speed and agility and striking at enemies with their dual daggers.
Range: Thanks to their many bow skills, Striders are able to rain down arrows on enemies from long distances and can shoot down airborne enemies with ease.
Acrobatics: The Strider class is able to grapple and climb large enemies longer than any other class, allowing them to freely strike at an enemy’s weakest areas
Masters of elemental magicks, Mages rain down fire on their enemies while keeping their party alive with their restorative magickal abilities.
Primary Weapon: Staff
Offensive Magick: Mages possess deadly magickal abilities allowing them to control the elements. From walls of fire to deadly ice storms, mages are truly a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
Healing: In addition to their offensive abilities, mages possess healing magicks, allowing them to heal their party’s wounds and cure debilitations.
Enchanting: Mages can use their mastery of elemental magicks to enchant their companions’ weapons, allowing the party to exploit the elemental weaknesses of enemies.
Favoring brute force over subtlety, Warriors charge into combat head on. Equipped with massive two-handed weapons, Warriors fearlessly take on all foes, crushing enemies with incredible power and soaking up damage on the front lines so their ranged party members can punish enemies from afar.
Primary Weapon: Two Handed Weapons
Frontline Offense: Warriors are a force to be reckoned with on the frontlines of any battle and can deal out massive damage to enemies.
Impressive Reach: With their huge two-handed weapons, Warriors are capable of dealing devastating damage to multiple enemies with a single strike.
Staunch Defense: No one takes stands up to enemy punishment like a Warrior. With their heavy armor, Warriors are able to stand up to all but the deadliest attacks without being knocked down.
No class is deadlier from afar than the Ranger. Equipped with a massive longbow, Rangers deliver punishing arrows from a distance, taking out enemies before they’re able to come near. And thanks to their dual daggers, Rangers also make capable opponents up close.
Primary Weapon: Daggers
Secondary Weapon: Longbow
Longbow Expert Marksman: Rangers are the only class able to equip longbows, which allows them to do massive amounts of damage from safe distances.
Debilitating Arrows: Rangers possess a number of trick arrows that allow them to stun or pin down enemies from afar.
Capable Melee: Rangers also make for tough opponents up close as they also possess a number of dagger skills as well.
Schooled in the arcane arts, Sorcerers deploy the deadliest of magicks in battle. From meteor showers, massive ice spikes, and deadly necromancy, Sorcerers are truly an awesome force to behold and should never be underestimated.
Primary Weapon: Archistaves
Devastating Magicks: No other class is capable of harnessing the near cosmic magickal forces that Sorcerers wield.
Powerful Enchantments: A Sorcerer’s enchanting magicks can turn the tide of any battle, powering up companions weapons with deadly magickal effects.
Crippling Debilitations: Sorcerers poses a variety of debilitating magicks, ranging from petrifying enemies, summoning noxious miasmas, or blinding enemies, making Sorcerers invaluable companions.
A shadowy master of covert attacks, the assassin wields all manner of weapons to get the job done. From a near-surgical level of precision with bladed weapons, to a mastery of explosives and poisons, Assassins are truly an enemy to fear.
Primary Weapon: Sword/Daggers
Secondary Weapon: Shield/Bow
Weapon Masters: Assassins have access to a plethora of deadly weapons, making them a deadly jack of all trades.
Deadly Toolkit: Wielding paralyzing toxins, deadly poisons, and devastating explosives, Assassins use all the tricks of their trade to eliminate their enemies.
Silent Killer: Masters of stealth, Assassins utilize their shadowy abilities to move in to place and silently take their enemies out.
Equipped with magick bows, the Magick Archer is a class that weaves sorcery into every shot from their bow, ensuring that they always hit their mark. Magick Archers also blend sorcery into their daggers as well, making them a deadly class up close or from afar.
Primary Weapon: Daggers/Staff
Secondary Weapon: Magick Bow
Magick Arrows: Magick Archers have fused magick into their very bows, allowing them to fire magickal arrows without the need of a quiver.
Seeking Shots: The enchanted arrows Magick Archers fire are capable of tracking enemies and moving through the air, following their targets no matter where they run.
Mystical Daggers: Magick Archers are able to weave their sorcery into their daggers, allowing for spectacular magickal attacks that destroy their enemies.
Masters of sword and sorcery, the Mystic Knight deals devastating damage to foes on the battlefield with their enchanted weapons, while also defending against the most ferocious attacks with their magickal shields.
Primary Weapon: Sword/Mace
Secondary Weapon: Magick Shield
Battle Magick: Mystic Knights are able to cast powerful magicks while wearing heavy armor and wielding maces or swords.
Stalwart Defense: Mystic Knights carry large, magickal shields with them in combat, allowing them to defend against all but the most punishing attacks. The shields can also be imbued with magickal energy, providing a deadly surprise for any enemy that dare attack.
Deadly Enchantments: The Mystic Knight is the only magickal character capable of enchanting the entire party’s weapons at once, making them invaluable support characters.
Aw, why not 60FPS?
No idea. That said, it’s a rather substantial upgrade for those coming from the previous console release, which was quite bad.
What about Pro support?
Yes, but at this point in time what exactly that is still up in the air. Regardless, the screenshots below (courtesy of GAF member Nemisis0) were captured on PS4 Pro while in the games photo mode and show a resolution of 2560 x 1440.
Is there a PC version available?
Yes, available on both Steam and GOG.
What is “Dark Arisen”?
The original game, simply titled Dragon’s Dogma, received an expansion after release that reworked some of the more negative aspects of the original and added in a heap of additional content, mainly including the dark and difficult Bitterblack Isle. That version of the game received the subtitle “Dark Arisen”, was released as a separate product containing the original game, and is the version of the game both the PC port and this port are based off (with some minor adjustments).
Have they added in any of the content that was removed from the original release?
No, both the Berserk manga inspired armor sets as well as the original song used for the opening menu “Into Free” are still unavailable, unfortunately.
PS4 / XB1 Trailer
30 Second Spot
Comparison Video #1
Comparison Video #2
Comparison Video #3