Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

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Making our own adventures in Dragon's Dogma

How the cult RPG's character creator changes the game.

The fantasy world of Dragon's Dogma is pretty darn unremarkable isn't it? It's a collection of Google image results. You want a griffin? Here's one exactly as drawn on a fantasy novel cover from when you were a kid. Cyclops? Just like the one in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. There's so little of the Dragon's Dogma world that feels unique or standout. It's as if everything was borrowed from the most typical version of itself. The world has a name but it might as well be called Ye Olde Fantasy Place.

Here's how Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Remastered looks

Dragon's Dogma is headed to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the first time this year in the scaly, fire-breathing shape of a new, remastered version.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Remastered, to give this version its full title, now has a 5th October release date in Japan.

Dark Arisen was the director's cut version of the initial game. Now, it has been given a further lick of visual polish for current-gen consoles.

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Is Capcom about to announce a new Dragon's Dogma?

UPDATE: Well, that didn't last long. Capcom isn't about to announce a new Dragon's Dogma, it turns out, with the announcement instead pertaining to a mobile app aimed towards young girls. A leak on Famitsu, picked up by Siliconera, helped clear up the situation a little.

ORIGINAL STORY: Is Capcom going to announce an all-new Dragon's Dogma next Tuesday? A teaser for the enigmatically titled 'Project Palm' has just emerged, and the single-shot of a light-scarred hand has been enough to get some hopes up over on NeoGAF where links have been made to Capcom's much-loved action RPG which recently got the remaster treatment on PC.

There's certainly reason for some hope - the pawns within Dragon's Dogma, emotionless characters that follow the player character and are central to the game's plot, carry marks across their palms that look awfully similar to that featured in the teaser image - but as ever it's best to exercise some caution. After all, mobile games also fit perfectly in the palm of your hand, so this could be far from a full-blown Dragon's Dogma sequel.

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Dragon's Dogma on PC is a HD remaster in all but name

Digital FoundryDragon's Dogma on PC is a HD remaster in all but name

Digital Foundry's verdict on the PC version of Capcom's RPG.

Dragon's Dogma finally comes to PC three years after the game first hit Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and arguably Capcom needs to deliver more than a straightforward port to justify such a late release. Previously, we've seen high some high profile Japanese titles poorly converted over to PC, with resolutions capped below 720p and frame-rates limited to 30fps - an experience well below the standard expected for a PC release. Thankfully, none of these issues are present with Dragon Dogma: Dark Arisen and Capcom delivers a largely excellent conversion that fits the bill as a full-on HD remaster.

Rather than seeing a straightforward port, Capcom has taken the time improve much of the game's texture work, along with reducing the aggressiveness of the level of detail (LOD) set-up, resulting in a more refined presentation that manages to hold up in 2016. Of course, resolution plays a large part in providing a substantial leap in graphical quality over the 720p console releases, and on PC making the jump to native 1080p and higher with decent quality anti-aliasing delivers a substantial increase in sharpness and clarity across the game's medieval-styled visuals. In this case, choosing the FXAA3 HQ option provides excellent coverage and doesn't smooth over texture details. By comparison, the 720p last-gen console versions appear rather murky by comparison and this isn't helped by the use of a low quality post-process AA solution that introduces visible blurring over the artwork.

The PC version is a substantial step up in this area, and the boost in resolution helps to bring out as much detail as possible from the revised assets. Rather than simply roll out the console artwork here, higher resolution textures and normal maps are deployed across characters and the environment throughout the game. This adds more intricate details to clothing and brickwork, along with more incidental objects that are scattered across the landscape.

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Capcom expects Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3 to sell 1.2m

Capcom expects to sell 1.2 million copies of Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3.

The figure was revealed in a document released alongside the Japanese company's financial report for the first half of the financial year ending 31st March 2014.

The 1.2 million figure is below lifetime sales for previous games in the open world zombie kill 'em up series: 2006 Xbox 360 game Dead Rising shifted 1.8 million, and 2010 sequel Dead Rising 2, which launched on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, has sold 2.7 million. It should be noted, however, that as an Xbox One exclusive launch title, Dead Rising 3 has a limited install base to sell to.

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Capcom may shed half its European staff

Continental belts tightened as core titles underperform.

Capcom is preparing to slash its European operation by more than half, according to the UK trade magazine MCV. "More than half of the European arm faces redundancy, with a number of jobs set to merge," reads the report.

Dragon's Dogma title update may corrupt your save, Capcom warns

Dragon's Dogma title update may corrupt your save, Capcom warns

Copy data to external storage device or the cloud.

The recent title update for open world fantasy role-playing game Dragon's Dogma has been found to corrupt game saves, Capcom has warned.

In some cases the patch caused Dragon's Dogma and Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen save date to become corrupted, meaning the game will no longer save or load progress, the company wrote in a post on Capcom Unity.

It suggested players copy their existing save data to an external storage device or the cloud whenever possible, "especially if you are picking up the game for the first time in awhile or switching over to Dark Arisen for the first time".

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Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen review

Gransys, the green and not-so-pleasant land through which players hacked and thwacked in last year's grand fantasy adventure, Dragon's Dogma, displayed a certain anonymity despite its rugged handsomeness. It had to do with environmental cliché: those blanketed meadows, weathered cliffs and sinister forests stretch across all fantasy fiction from Middle-earth to Westeros, a tradition that Capcom's game all too eagerly followed. After 60 years of landscaped tributes to Tolkien's imagination in books, film and video games, there are few hills and valleys you could scatter with orcs that wouldn't feel wearyingly over-familiar.

Bitterblack Isle is a cove that leads to a cavernous underground network of halls, runnels and spiral stairways and the heart of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Capcom's part-expansion, part nip-and-tuck of 2012's blueprint. It isn't a cliché in the same way, but it is nevertheless familiar.

It's in the ghostly messages that sound out when you walk past the smoke-gripped corpses that punctuate its hallways, offering mortal warnings of what lies ahead - or of what, for that particular cadaver, lies behind. It's in the rangy skeletons that lunge at you with cricking knees and the hollowed knights (seemingly quickened by their demise) who hop and jab with rapiers. It's in the curious helpers you meet along these mossy, cobbled pathways, who speak in off-kilter regional English accents and who will happily sell you useful herbs and armour, yet never quite convince you of their trustworthiness.

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