In a gaming landscape filled with the likes of The Witcher and Dark Souls, it would seem implausible that an open world hack and slash style RPG would find a viable market, but here is Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen still accruing widely positive praise four years after its original release. With the arrival of the PC port last month we put the game through its paces on different graphical settings to see how well it matched up against its competitors using an MSI Radeon R9 380 2gb, Intel i7-5820K processer and 16GB of RAM.
Initially the graphics seem fairly dated – the game looks more like Dark Souls 1 than 2, however considering the original date of release for the game this isn't too surprising. Movement feels and looks very fluid and the framerate throughout was consistently well above 60 making for a very smooth image during play.
The difference between the game set to the lowest and highest settings isn't initially as obvious as newer games that push the hardware a lot more which is obviously due to the age of the game. The textures don't vary in quality too much however things such as foliage, lighting and water effects can be seen to have a pronounced improvement over the lower settings.
Most gamers won't have any problem achieving a steady 60fps and for an action RPG what else could you ask for? Even put on the maximum settings the game had to offer, the framerate never once dipped below 60fps which really helps to distract from the age of the textures and some of the character models and animations.
The main things that seemed to impact the quality of the graphics in a game session was the number of NPCs and animals on-screen at one time and dynamic lighting effects. At around 1:32 in the video, one of the NPC allies moves off-screen which instantly gives 1-2 fps increase which is fairly small but could lead to slight drops during combat involving lots of rendered enemies and allies. From 1:12 onwards during the direct comparison, the frame rate drops around 20 on the highest settings and 10 on the lowest which is quite significant but still not enough to bring the game below 60fps.
Only very discerning gamers are going to feel the difference of lower graphical settings outside of the things mentioned previously and as you can see in the video, the game is full of open spaces which don't often involve too many assets that are likely to reduce performance. The Radeon R9 380 had no trouble whatsoever with the game on every setting ,which suggests that gamers even on older rigs will still be able to push the graphical settings. Don't forget you can check how well your rig will run this game directly on our website.
If you're a fan of Dark Souls, The Witcher, Elder Scrolls or anything in between then this is most likely the game for you and considering it's half the price of a new AAA game, as well as the fact that it comes with some considerable praise from the gaming community, it's hard to see a reason not to pick this game up.