The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
After a very long hiatus, I've finally returned, to write my review for the game I got the first day it came out, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen! Alas, I have not actually completed Dark Arisen. The part of the game I have played through, however, is the main story! Right now, I am working diligently to complete Dark Arisen(I have to go towards the end of the main story AGAIN before I'm ready!), and I'll make sure to get a review for that up as soon as I can.
Without further ado, I present to you my review of Dragon's Dogma!
The first thing I would like to note about this game is the gameplay. The most important part of the game, in my opinion. If it has bad gameplay, it's unplayable. Fortunately, this game is very playable, due to an achieved balance of relying on yourself and pawns(your group/team, if you will). It's simple, really. If you go alone with your main pawn(Who can't leave your company), then you'll most likely fail in achieving anything, unless you choose a very certain vocation for them, along with very specific skills that allow you to succeed.
It's much easier to just enlist pawns so that taking down large enemies is much easier.
Aside from teamwork, you'll also see yourself relying on your own power(Since the AI isn't exactly the best). One mechanic in this game is climbing. Not mountains or cliffs, enemies. Much like Shadow of the Colossus, but without ledges on the large enemies. You'll find yourself climbing bosses frequently trying to find the weak spot to do more damage, or just deal damage(Some enemies have rock hard...rocks...).
(I've never encountered this thing during the day)
Movement in this game is great, as long as you aren't carrying too many items. Unlike Skyrim(There's the reference), carrying more does slow your movements. This forces the player to either store or sell items that are just burdens.
A less important aspect about the game, the graphics. While graphics don't make a game, they do certainly change it. Having different graphics changes the game, for good or bad. In this game's case, graphics were great. One aspect about the graphics sets it apart from most games, though. The lighting. I have to say, the lighting in this game was phenomenal. It was what made me feel like I was really walking through a thick woodland, or in a dark cave.
Using your lantern is essential to navigation, especially during night. In most games, if you're walking through a chasm during the day, you'll see plenty of light, even if the sun isn't directly overhead. In this game, if the sun isn't directly overhead, you'll need a lantern, or you'll barely see anything. Much less so at night. Even with your lantern, I'd estimate you could only see 5 feet ahead of you(I'm terrible with measurements).
Enough with the lighting, I'm sure you guys(and gals) want to hear about the things that I personally don't like. Well, honestly, I can only think of one thing, and really, it's just a love/hate thing.
Travelling. If any game were to represent the Lord of the Rings movies(other than the actual games), this would be it. Walking is pretty much 40% of the game. "What about fast travel?" Well that's in the game, but you're given these items that allow you to fast travel, called ferrystones. They aren't the most abundant item in the game, either, so you're forced to walk most of the time. I've always wanted a game that made you feel like you're actually going on a journey, so I like that, but I'm not always in the mood to walk, so I end up using ferrystones from my last playthrough(about 10 total).
I really like the game, but I guess another thing I'd change is warning of quests cancelling. With as little spoilers as possible, I'll warn anyone buying this game of the quests that are cancelled, and when. "Lost and Found" is cancelled upon completion of the Everfall, and "Duchess in Distress" upon completion of "Deny Salvation." Fair warning.
I personally think this a great game, and would definitely recommend it.
A little side note: It took me about half an hour to finish a particular boss.
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