New to Dragon’s Dogma? Just pick up Dark Arisen? This might help!

Image from 2012, no video game came close to clocking in as many hours with me as Capcom’s first venture in to the western-style RPG genre, Dragon’s Dogma. In a year full of big name, AAA titles, the part-action, part-hack n’ slash RPG stood out from the crowd with its phenomenal combat system, punishing difficulty and innovative PAWN system–Enough so to earn it 2012 Game of the Year honors here at Cheap Boss Attack. I personally put well over 200 hours in to Dragon’s Dogma–DLC included– and made a few blog posts here at Cheap Boss Attack in an attempt to help out those of you who were either late to the party or struggling to make sense of the game’s mechanics. If there is one thing the game didn’t do, it’s hold your hand and explain things. So whether you’re new to the series or need a refresher after picking up Dark Arisen, here are all of my Dragon’s Dogma posts in one location.

First off, if you’re on the fence about picking up Dragon’s Dogma, you can check out my review here. Don’t let the overall Verdict score fool you, though! It’s a massive game that has its fair share of flaws, but if you’re a fan of the action RPG genre, it’s worth the time investment.

If you’ve already purchased Dragon’s Dogma or Dark Arisen, but want to know more about the available DLC, check out my detailed post here.

The PAWN system is as innovative as it is confusing. If you’re looking for more info on getting the most out of your own PAWN or what to look for in recruiting one online, check out my Building a Better PAWN -or- How Not to Suck at Being a Virtual Pimp post.

And finally, if you’re struggling to stay alive and think that you might be going about the game all wrong, check out my 10 Steps to Stop Sucking post filled with starter advice.

Looking over my traffic details, I’m getting a lot of hits concerning this question so I’ll go ahead and answer it now.

Q: Do I need to own Dragon’s Dogma to play Dark Arisen and/or is it available as DLC?

A: No. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen actually contains an “enhanced” version of the full game, containing more items, an improved fast travel system and the option to install more content for 360 owners (thus helping render textures, etc., much faster). It also contains the Dark Arisen expansion, which will not be available as DLC. As far as I know, the original release for Dragon’s Dogma was not coded to receive a full-fledged DLC release aside from additional quests, therefore a re-release was needed and as a “thanks for re-buying the game”, Capcom tossed in a few extras to make quality of life a bit easier.

Also, if you have any questions at all about the game, from vocations to specific bosses, or even for a PAWN exchange, feel free to ask in the comments. I’ll be diving deep in to Dark Arisen tonight (PS3 version) myself and hopefully we can help each other out. Shoot a friend request my way to PepperedSnoot and just put Dragon’s Dogma in the subject line. I’d be happy to help!

Kind of off topic as well, I’m always up for building my reader base and I know a lot of you run gaming blogs yourself. If I ever post a review or anything you’re interested in re-blogging on your own site, go for it. You have my permission to re-blog anything on Cheap Boss Attack as long as there is a link back to my original post and I’m given credit somewhere in the re-blog.

12 thoughts on “New to Dragon’s Dogma? Just pick up Dark Arisen? This might help!

  1. Hey, I was just curious about the expansion part of the game. I have a friend claiming that (according to a PSN review he read) the physical copy comes with some kind of download code for the ‘Dark Arisen’ section of the game, and that the digital copy just expands your regular Dragon’s Dogma. This contradicts the information I have been able to find absolutely anywhere else, so I have been trying to find someone who actually has the game so I can get confirmation. Is this true, or do you install it from the disc, or do you just load it up and play?


    1. I picked up a hard copy of the PS3 version and it does not contain a code at all. It’s just the disc that has the expansion built in to it, basically giving you one full game with Dragon’s Dogma and the Dark Arisen expansion. So just to be clear, the disc has the original game AND the expansion on it. I’m not sure about the digital copy, but I’d assume it’s the same exact thing – an enhanced version of the original game that has the expansion built in. There is no separate start screen, you just play the game as normal and to visit the new Bitterblack Isle zone you have to visit the Cassardis Pier in the middle of the night and boat over on a ferry.

      Hope this helps!


      1. Just bought Dark Arisen without playing the original DDI know that if you never played the original DD you have to buy all the DLC with game money, my question is… do you need an original DD file to get the Strider, fighter and mage ring sets? or do I have to buy them someplace? please help. Ive been searching for them a nothing.


  2. I just bought dragon dogma dark arisen on Xbox 360. When I put the disc in it said that I need to upgrade my system to play the game so I done that. And then it said that I need install data disk to play the game. This game cost me 50 dollar and it doesn’t even work. Please help me so I can play the game. Thanks


    1. Your Xbox 360 may have required a system update and the game itself may have required a data install. If it doesn’t work after that, I’d try returning it for another copy. I played it for PS3 and had absolutely zero problems.


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