Tales Of Arise: Beyond The Dawn Review - A Glimpse Of Brilliance
As if the excellence of Tales Of Arise wasn’t already enough, Bandai-Namco determined that supporting one of 2021’s finest games was a worthy endeavour, even if the additional content wasn’t to arrive for 24 months post-launch. Building upon the already exceptional foundation that was Tales Of Arise, Beyond The Dawn picks up shortly after the conclusion of the core game, as the world grapples with the consequences of Alphen, Shionne, and their party’s choices. With the two-year gap between launch and DLC being larger than the time jump in pieces of the story, players might have some headaches getting back up to speed, but if they can overcome that jarring onboarding experience, they’ll quickly find themselves in love with the worlds of Dahna, and Rena all over again.
Alphen and Shionne have been lone-wolfing it for a while since they saved the world a year prior, but when the offspring of a Renan Lord emerges, that the party is brought back together once again. Ever since the Renan homeworld was eclipsed and their race displaced onto Dahna, there has been understandable friction between the two groups, especially considering the newly-strugging Renans were once those who had the whip hand previously – so the emergence of a powerful Renan child, one from the bloodline of a formerly powerful lord, certainly thrusts a significant cat amongst the pigeons. Alphen, as the one wielding The Blazing Sword has had unreasonable levels of pressure and expectation already placed upon him as the one responsible for bringing the worlds together and both the good and bad that has come from that, but now has even more to contend with, given the emergence of Nazamil.
Beyond The Dawn isn’t nearly of the same exhaustive size as the the core game, with most players seeing out this additional journey in the realm of ten hours, plus any time you spend on side-quests. The plot itself isn’t especially riveting, with everything depicted lacking in consequence, relative to all that the party has already bested, but it is nonetheless an engaging journey that takes players to many of the key locations from the main-game, re-ingratiating themselves with a stunning world.
As a combat experience, Beyond The Dawn adds a few new skills and a new tier to characters’ boost attacks, but is otherwise exactly what players of the main game will recall from two years prior, and thankfully, that experience well and truly holds up today. You’ll have new equipment to collect, and some leveling to do with the game stripping much of what you acquired or earned from the core playthrough. Beyond The Dawn is a standalone story piece, despite it requiring players to own the core game, akin to The Last Of Us: Part Behind in its mode of delivery.
Beyond The Dawn is a glimpse at what made Tales Of Arise so exceptional to begin with, but doesn’t possess the narrative substance, to match the quality of the core game, nor add enough that is new to feel essential either. While revisiting the lives of Alphen, Shionne, and the broader party was certainly enjoyable, this is only going to be a compelling addition to those who were utterly enthralled by the core release or have the time to do some YouTube deep-diving to refresh themselves on all that has transpired previously.
Tales Of Arise: Beyond The Dawn was reviewed on PS5 with a code kindly provided by Bandai-Namco Australia