The original Tales of Arise released in 2021 and was one of that year’s best JRPG titles. It featured a gorgeous aesthetic and a very heavy storyline that dealt with extremely complex issues ranging from slavery to literal space racism and much much more. Distilling it into that sentence in itself is quite something since it misses a lot of the nuance present in the game. Seriously Tales of Arise is a title that you really should play if you’re a fan of story driven JRPGs.
Fast forward to this year though and we have a DLC that nobody saw coming. In fact, when it was announced, people were assuming that this was going to be a sequel rather than a DLC. Especially given the two year time period between the base game’s release and this DLC release. So ultimately does Beyond the Dawn do the main game justice? And should you pick it up?
Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn
The base Tales of Arise game was incredibly gripping. If you’re a fan of stories that don’t shy away from dark topics, Tales of Arise is certainly going to appeal to you. Heck, the game kicks off with slavery and a revolutionary uprising taking place in the world of Dahna. 300 years ago, Rena, a world with advanced technology, attacked Dahna and subjugated its people. The Renans divided up the world of Dahna into five distinct kingdoms, each ruled over by a Renan Lord. Fast forward to the present and not much has changed with the Renan’s still ruling over the world. That’s where you come in playing as the main protagonist Alphen. Without spoiling the base game, a lot of intense things happen throughout that will keep you entertained for upwards of 40 hours.
Tales of Arise did a great job of world-building with a lot of lore and story fed to you via in-game conversations and interactions. The game features a lot of the usual JRPG trope-filled writing though so do be warned. Beyond the Dawn is no exception to this and is set after the events of the base game. Some minor spoilers follow so avert your eyes if you want to go in blind.
Beyond the Dawn
After the events of the main game, Alphen and Shionne encounter a mysterious young girl by the name of Nazamil. She’s the daughter of a Renan Lord and Dahnan, and was effectively kicked out of a town. Upon finding Nazamil, Alphen and Shionne decide to help her out, but little do they know that there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Beyond the Dawn slowly drip feeds you information just like the base game did. You’ll learn more about the happenings in the world and about Nazamil as you progress throughout the story. Upon entering a Mausoleum, a structure from the Old World of Rena that’s appeared in the New World destabilizing things, Nazamil turns invisible and goes missing. This is where things really get going and DLC kicks it up a notch.
The entire plot of Beyond the Dawn revolves around Nazamil and the mysterious powers that she possesses. It’s all very JRPG trope-filled just like the base game was but it’s done in a way that fans of the game will certainly enjoy. If you dislike stories that deal with friendship and camaraderie at their core, Beyond the Dawn’s writing will grate you at times. There’s a lot of banter between characters and it often times dips into the sickly sweet and awkward given how everyone in the party have become best pals over the course of the first game. Beyond the Dawn deals with the world after certain events have happened in the first game and it’s good to see how things have changed but for the most part, a lot more could have been done to expand upon the storytelling.
Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn suffers from a couple of flaws that will infuriate some gamers. First and foremost, it’s set up as a completely separate adventure to the base game. So if you maxed out your level in the base game, you won’t be able to take your characters through to this DLC. Instead you start at level 65 and with a tonne of SP available to select your skills. This essentially levels the playing field and introduces an incentive to keep playing the DLC. However, since the game does this, you will lose access to some skills and abilities that you previously had if you maxed out your characters in the base game. Additionally, you also won’t have access to your items or gear.
The next major caveat to the DLC is the fact that there’s barely anything new here. A lot of the areas were featured in the base game already and so too were the enemies. And speaking of enemies, the monsters (Zeugles) in the DLC are quite literally damage sponges. It feels as if fighting some them goes on forever and this artificially inflates the length of this DLC. The base game already had issues with some enemies being able to soak up tonnes of damage and this DLC continues that trend but felt like it was exasperated even further.
Graphically, Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn still looks beautiful. The art style used in the game is top notch stuff and the effects are still great. The soundtrack is also good and the game’s voice acting is also fine. You might get a tad bit annoyed with character’s screaming the names of their attacks but you do get used to it over time. If you’ve played JRPGs before, this is honestly par for the course.
Tales of Arive Beyond the Dawn is more Tales of Arise. There’s been some perplexing design choices made here and the DLC shouldn’t have been made stand-alone but this does allow people to jump right into it if they want to. Doing so would be a terrible decision if you haven’t finished the main game since you won’t know who the characters are or what’s going on and would just confuse yourself but the option is there. Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn is also quite expensive and given the artificially inflated length of the DLC, it feels a bit overpriced. Grab this when its on sale if you’re a fan of the original Tales of Arise game. It doesn’t do anything special to warrant an outright immediate purchase.
A Review code for Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn was provided to Gameblur by the Publisher
- More Tales of Arise
- Nazamil as a character
- Some good story moments
- Recycled locations and enemies
- Barely anything new
- Trope filled writing
- Damage sponge enemies
- You can't carry over your levels, gear or abilities