'Dragon’s Dogma’ rises from the dead

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
Remakes, remasters, reboots — the gaming world is awash in nostalgia.

Sometimes, there ends up being little point rehashing an old game. Sometimes, a remake really hits the spot. Sometimes as is the case with this under-the-radar RPG romp — the situation lies somewhere in the middle.

I vaguely remember Dragon’s Dogma from when it launched on the previous generation of consoles just over five years ago.

It seemed fine, a perfectly pleasant little role-player that did not exactly blow your socks off, and was not exactly Skyrim, but was a decent effort.

Later, an enhanced version called Dark Arisen was released. It featured some extra content, and some bells and whistles. Now, that version hits the modern console era.

It opens with a scene that indicates your character is, well, dead — a dragon ripping out your heart will do that to you. But you are soon back on your feet as an ‘‘arisen’’, a sort of chosen one, and the quest begins.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The best thing about Dragon’s Dogma is its offering of co-op play without having to go online. You get to recruit ‘‘pawns’’, up to three humanoid companions to help you discover, learn and battle your way through a large open-world setting.

Your main companion can be customised; the other two you get to recruit (and change in and out) along the way.

The pawns are not mere cannon fodder, either. They offer a regular stream of advice, assistance in battle, and healing, and managing your squad (the pawns level up with you) soon becomes a key part of the game.

Otherwise, it’s fairly standard fare: hack and slash your way around the map, follow the main quest or pick up jobs on the side, pick up loot.

The inventory system is a bit clunky, but gameplay is fairly smooth but repetitive. And while the game is now showing its age, it does not look awful.

There are still a lot of hours of questing on offer, so this one is worth a look if you are an RPG fan and have not seen it before.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
For: PS4, Xbox One
From: Capcom
Rating: (M) ★★★★+

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