Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Xbox One

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Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen (Xbox One)
Also for: PS4, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (GB)
Released: 3 Oct 2017 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+
Connectivity: Live online enabled


Dragon's Dogma was a bit of a surprise when it became such a runaway hit for Capcom in 2012. Avoiding taking the path of DLC, Dark Arisen is instead a full-blown disc release expansion pack for the original game, containing both the original game and the additional dungeons of Bitterblack Isle.

Right off the bat, Capcom has sweetened the pot a little with a bonus bundle of loot for players of the original game. Perhaps the best item included is the unlimited-use ferrystone that lets you warp between important locations whenever you like, cutting down the travel times that sometimes dragged down the original game. More mundane, but still pleasant, rewards include a batch of special costumes and a swathe of rift crystals to recruit higher level pawns into your party.

There are some incredibly deadly foes lurking in the depths of the island's labyrinthine underground. The guiding principle behind Dark Arisen seems to have been that bigger equals better; you'll soon be taking on oversized ogres and Cyclopes in some of Dragon's Dogma's typically awesome mini-boss battles. Minotaurs, for example, combine awesome brute strength with bursts of speed. And many of the chests found throughout the dungeons are home to deadly man-eating mimics who are very capable of quickly devouring one of your party whole when disturbed, leaving you a man down in the ensuing battle. And most deadly of all is the Grim Reaper himself, who stalks the island's tunnels and can appear seemingly at random to do battle with you.

It's not like you're just thrown you out to the proverbial wolves however. Dark Arisen gives you the tools to defend yourself against these deadly new foes in the form of powerful new skills and equipment. Rift crystals, for example, are used for hiring powerful pawns and in exchange for a number of services. Cursed items found throughout the island can be purified into more useful equipment and high-level gear can be enhanced even further than before.

Dark Arisen packs in a lot of content and offers a new generation an opportunity to take the plunge.