Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragon's Dogma (Japanese: ドラゴンズドグマ Hepburn: Doragonzu Doguma is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Capcom for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game features an open world fantasy setting, in addition to hack and slash and survival horror gameplay elements, and was released in North America on May 22, 2012, in Japan and Australia on May 24, 2012 and in Europe on May 25, 2012.
The player is able to select between various types of the vocations: Fighter, Strider, Mage, Warrior, Mystic Knight, Ranger, Assassin, Sorcerer, and Magic Archer. Gender choice and appearance settings are also available. The vocation, or class system, changes gameplay and tactical options available to the player, as with the Fighter having abilities focused on hack and slash combat (with a move-set similar to Capcom's Devil May Cry) and the Strider being skilled at climbing large enemies (like in Shadow of the Colossus).
One of the game's main innovations is the "pawn" system. While the player's party is exploring the world, the three party members who accompany the main character are controlled by artificial intelligence, but the player can issue orders to them, including "Go," "Help" and "Come." One of the party members is a non-playable character (NPC) and belongs to the main character's world, while the other two party members are NPCs borrowed from other players by connecting online or are locally generated by the game. The party members, referred to as pawns, can talk, seek the main character's help, and provide information about enemies. The player must work on strengthening the main character and the party members. The pawns are vocal, yelling out useful hints and strategies, which are often vitally important to surviving tough boss encounters and dungeons. The pawn system also features social networking features.
The game features a "grab" action, where the main character can grab or cling to enemies, objects, or NPCs. The player can use this feature for more advanced attacks. For example, the main character can either grab on to a griffin's legs and attack it directly, or climb up to reach its head for a more lethal blow. "In a lot of action games, with big enemies the tendency is just to have you hacking away at the shins. You don't get the full effect of fighting a giant boss," Hideaki Itsuno, the director of Dragon's Dogma, said. "With this game you can climb all over it. If it has a body part, you can attack it." The ability to climb enemies has drawn comparisons to Shadow of the Colossus.
The game's large open-world environments have drawn comparisons to Capcom's own Monster Hunter series as well as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In addition to the large open world, Dragon's Dogma features a large city environment with over 200 non-player characters (NPCs) who move about according to their own schedules. The player is able to communicate with the residents in full voice. The game features a persistent world with a day-night cycle; this affects the gameplay as at night the game takes on a more survival horror feel reminiscent of Capcom's Resident Evil: Outbreak.
The game's art style and character movements have been likened to Dark Souls, and the hack-and-slash combat elements have been compared to both Devil May Cry and Dark Souls. Some of the fantasy elements are reminiscent of Breath of Fire, and the combat and party systems have been compared to Monster Hunter.
The game is designed to be playable even by those who are not skilled at action games. These types of players can recruit strong NPCs and let them do the fighting during combat as they watch over the battlefield. Players can expect roughly 40 to 50 hours of main quest play and up to an additional 70 hours or more of side quests.