Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen PC impressions

dragons-dogma-lgooI absolutely enjoyed the re-release of Dragon’s Dogma, dubbed Dark Arisen, when it hit the 360 and PS3 nearly 2 and a half years ago. Combining the already excellent base game with additional, worthwhile content, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen remains one my favorite RPG experiences from last-gen. Ever since the PC port was announced, I’ve been eagerly anticipating experiencing the game all over again, and having now spent a few weeks with a preview build from Capcom, I can happily report that this is shaping up to be the best version of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen you can buy.

dragons-dogma-demo_3While the base mechanics, questing, looting, and action-focused gameplay were certainly highlights of Dark Arisen back in 2013, the weird decision to letterbox the game, along with somewhat frequent framerate issues, were not. Those are two things, among others, that have been fixed here. The letterboxing effect is gone, without any noticeable changes to aspect ratios, stretching or any other adverse effects to the visuals. And the framerate? Well, you won’t be disappointed. Playing this on a relatively modest PC rig, running a 750ti and i5-4670k, I’ve had virtually no issues with most settings on high while running in 1080p, maintaining 60 frames per second throughout. Even in some of the dense, forested sections, encountering larger enemies like the Chimera, Dark Arisen on PC doesn’t seem to hitch up at all. I’ve been suitably impressed by this build thus far, and ideally this will carry over to the final retail build.

dragons_dogma_dark_arisen_3I’m also amazed at how quickly I’ve allowed myself to be engrossed by Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen once again. If you’ve played either the original release, or the Dark Arisen re-release, you likely came away from that experience as a fan. I’ve not run into a whole lot of people that have actually spent time with the game and then hated it, and that’s for good reason. But, if you have yet to check out Dragon’s Dogma, this PC port of Dark Arisen certainly seems to be the version you should keep your eye on. While an actual review of the game will be forthcoming a bit closer to launch, I have little doubt now that Capcom will deliver an excellent port here. I look forward to playing more as the release inches closer, and I’d urge you to give serious consideration to checking the game out when it launches on January 15th.