Tales Of Arise

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: RPG/Action
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Release Date: Sept. 10, 2021


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PS5 Review - 'Tales of Arise' Beyond the Dawn DLC

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Nov. 16, 2023 @ 12:15 a.m. PST

Tales Of Arise is the latest chapter in the popular Tales Of JRPG franchise bringing new storylines, gameplay dynamics, and worlds for players to explore.

Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn opens up about a year after Arise's ending. The world has been irrevocably changed by the events of Arise, and the Renan and Dahnan people are now moving forward as a unified group. The heroes of Arise come across Nazamil, a young girl of mixed heritage who is under a vague threat. Dungeons known as Mausoleums have appeared across the world, and the group is working together to conquer them before they become a greater issue. All of these issues come together, and figuring out Nazamil's mystery is part of the path to peace.

Beyond The Dawn's plot is mostly just there. Nazamil isn't a particularly memorable character. She starts out as unlikable, and by the time she opens up and gets better, the story is almost done. It doesn't help that her plot is something that's been seen multiple times in the Tales franchise, so it isn't exactly thrilling. Beyond that, the focus on the integration of Renan and Dahnan people is neat to flesh out the world, but it feels only skin-deep since there wasn't the budget to create a notably changed world setting.

Beyond the Dawn's core problem is that it's a thinly veiled excuse to spend more time with the characters but without the depth to justify it. The basic premise of exploring the united world is neat, but the game doesn't do much with it. It's a neat way to add on to Tales of Arise's ending, but as a full-fledged DLC coming out two years after the original game, one has to ask, "Why bother?" Other Tales games have done something similar to this, such as Tales of Graces F's Future Arc, but they are usually a port or re-release, and they have more going on than merely revisiting the world.

For example, combat is functionally unchanged in Beyond the Dawn. Rather than adding something new to switch up the mechanics or addressing complaints about the combat from the original release, it's more of the same, right down to a lack of enemy variety and reused bosses. I enjoyed Arise's combat system, but returning to it after two years isn't exciting on its own merits. There needs to be something new and fresh to make the DLC shine.

This is what sets back Beyond the Dawn when compared to other similar offerings in the franchise. I can't help but compare it to Grace's Accel Mode or other cool changes that make the new bits of combat stand out, let alone full-fledged sequels like Tales of Xillia 2. Instead, it's more of the same, and for a 50-hour JRPG that you need to have played to completion to justify the DLC in the first place, that isn't exactly a winning proposition.

The game seems to expect that players want more of the same. The bulk of the content consists of side-quests akin to those in Arise or Mausoleums, which are small (and mostly linear) enemy-filled dungeons. I think the DLC would go a long way if the Mausoleums felt like tightly designed and interesting areas, but they don't. They feel slapped together and unmemorable. Beyond playing with favorite cast members again, there isn't much of a reason to go into the dungeons.

At the end of the day, Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn is the chance to spend more time with the Arise characters, and the experience is wrapped up in a lengthy DLC package. If you loved the cast of Arise enough that it's worthwhile to chill with them some more, then Beyond the Dawn may have its value. Beyond that, it doesn't add anything to the experience, especially with the hefty $30 price tag. If it were more tightly designed and more creative, it would've gone been more appealing, but as it stands, it's something for Arise faithful only.

Score: 7.0/10

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