Game review: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen arrives on Nintendo Switch

During the day it almost looks like you’re holidaying on some peaceful Greek island, but you’re told by everyone you meet that venturing out at night – or into any of the many dungeons and caves – is near suicide. And when you first start that’s very good advice for although Dragon’s Dogma doesn’t go to quite the extremes of Dark Souls it’s not afraid to punish the incautious.

But while Dragon’s Dogma mixes and matches its influences with impressive skill the game world is nowhere near as intricately designed as either Dark Souls or Skyrim. It lacks personality and, at least in daylight, atmosphere. And with no memorable characters and inevitability repetitive quests your interest begins to wane more quickly than any of its would-be peers.

There’s a solid foundation in Dragon’s Dogma and we hope that these constant re-releases (and an upcoming anime series) will finally lead to an actual sequel, something which Devil May Cry 5 director Hideaki Itsuno has hinted may happen. A flawed original is always the best justification for a sequel and there’s a lot to build on here.

We always liked the old school bestiary, filled with mythological oddities such as wyverns, hydras, and chimeras, and the pawn system seems ripe for expansion – while adding some form of co-op seems like a no-brainer. None of Dragon’s Dogma’s problems are difficult to solve and its best ideas are too good to waste.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

In Short: Despite borrowing so much from so many different games Capcom’s Western style role-player remains very much its own game – with plenty of interesting ideas of its own.

Pros: Weighty, exciting action with some great boss encounters. Pawn system is odd but interesting in its implications. Hugely involved customisation options. Good port.

Cons: Game world and story lacks character. Combat and quests do get repetitive. Weak dialogue and poor voice acting.

Score: 7/10

Formats: Nintendo Switch
Price: £24.99
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 23rd April 2019
Age Rating: 18

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