Capcom releases a few more Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen details

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, the expansion Capcom announced back at the Tokyo Game Show, finally had some more info divulged in this week's Famitsu magazine.

According to the Famitsu preview, Dark Arisen is set in a place known in Japanese as "Blackcurse Island," a mysterious isle the Arisen is invited to travel to. "We made it into a vast underground world," explained director Kento Kinoshita, "sort of fusing action-RPG and mystery elements together. You're going deep into this alien world in a literal way and figuratively as you try to get to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding the plot."

"The story has a lot of riddles to it," added producer Minae Matsukawa, "because we're trying to show off a new wrinkle to the game world that wasn't in the previous title. It's a sort of alternative conclusion that users can pick up on if they notice it. Also, Dragon's Dogma was set up with the idea there was only one Arisen, but this island has already seen several Arisens come to it and lose their lives there. That's how eerie and alien this place is, and you'll have to unravel all these riddles before you discover how it all connects to the world as a whole."

Not a great deal of concrete info was given on Dark Arisen, although the preview includes a few suitably dark-looking screenshots and some character art for new monsters, including Death, a Prisoner Cyclops, and a couple of new goblins.

As Matsukawa put it, however, there are gameplay improvements in the works, including an expanded character-creation system. "We're also preparing new and deeper functionality to jobs," she said. "These jobs will also serve to connect to the new things you'll acquire on this island. It's also an easier place to get rim crystals, so you'll have more of a a chance to borrow Pawns at your level, which is something I hope you'll try out."

"The way you proceed through the has also changed a bit," Kimura added. "Instead of going through one quest after another, instead there's a more overall unified theme of trying to solve the mystery of the underground world you're in. Of course, we still have a lot of intricate quests set up to help you explore every corner of the world. Your weapons and armor are also powered up from the previous title, and I think we'll have more to say about that and more in future updates."

Dark Arisen is due out for the PS3 and 360 sometime next year, with Matsukawa promising to announce a more solid release date shortly. No price has been announced yet.

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