Tales of Arise is undoubtedly the best entry in the critically-acclaimed RPG series, which is something I was happy to emphasise when I reviewed the game back in 2021. The combat, the storytelling, the visuals, that quirky Tales of charm… it had everything you could want from an RPG, whilst also utilising the unique strengths that the series is known for. And now, over two years on from the game’s initial release, it has a new DLC expansion in the form of Beyond the Dawn that extends the epic adventure.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Taking place a year after the conclusion of the base game, Beyond the Dawn’s narrative focuses on the coexistence of the people of Rena and Dahna following the fusion of their worlds into one. And, as you’d expect, it isn’t going perfectly, though protagonist Alphen and his allies are making an effort to ease any conflict by helping out where they can. There are also peculiar Mausoleums that have appeared across the world that need to be uncovered in order to ensure the fusion of planets is perfectly performed, whilst Alphen also encounters a young girl named Nihalim of both Renan and Dahnan origin that has her own special abilities. So yeah, there’s a lot going on, and despite the base game having a happy ending, there’s still work to be done to keep the world in a peaceful state.

Beyond the Dawn showcases the results of your efforts from the first time around, with its epilogue-style setup making for an endearing return to the story. It’s nice to see just how much the world and your party have changed over the course of a year, whilst the unpredictable nature of Nihalim’s situation adds a more emotional and personal touch to the grander sense of unease between the Renan and Dahnan people. The stakes aren’t as high as before, but there’s still enough going on to keep players invested in the storytelling.

“I still had a great time playing Beyond the Dawn and re-visiting the world and characters… I just hoped for a little bit more from it, especially since it has taken over two years to actually release.”

When it comes to the gameplay, Beyond the Dawn maintains the strengths of the base game. Combat is fast-paced and offers plenty of diversity across your party’s varied abilities and strategic teamwork, whilst the world looks absolutely stunning and is a treat to explore. Nothing is re-invented here, so if you enjoyed playing through Tales of Arise the first time around, you’re sure to have a good time here.

It is worth noting that you won’t be using your setup from a completed save file or anything though, with Beyond the Dawn instead giving you a preset buffed up party loaded with plenty of powerful abilities and useful gear to ensure your prepared for the challenges ahead. After grinding out some levels in the base game to clear its tougher challenges and ensuring I had ALL the best stuff, it was a little bit disappointing that I couldn’t take everything I earned into this, but I suppose it makes sense from a difficulty balancing perspective. Having to unlock old skills and Artes again, though? That was disappointing.

Check out some screenshots down below:

What’s also disappointing is the lack of fresh content in Beyond the Dawn. There are no new characters to add to your party, no new Artes to unleash in combat, and no new regions to explore that flesh out the world, with a lot of content from the base game being re-used. Admittedly, some of the areas you’d have explored before have been revamped to showcase new sights following the merger of worlds and there are some new dungeons to traverse through (which are well designed and fun to conquer), but there was a massive feeling of familiarity playing through Beyond the Dawn – especially after spending around sixty-hours exploring the world the last time around. At least there’s some additional equipment to find and there are some new enemies to face off against, but even those are minimal with some foes simply re-skinned monsters from the base game.

It made my time with Beyond the Dawn feel a little underwhelming. I expected something exciting and refreshing, but instead, it’s more of the same that I’ve done before. And that’s fine, especially since Tales of Arise was SO good to begin with and it still maintains that high standard of quality and design across the board. I still had a great time playing Beyond the Dawn and re-visiting the world and characters… I just hoped for a little bit more from it, especially since it has taken over two years to actually release.

Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn Review

Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn maintains the high quality of the base game, but lacks the new content to stand out as a substantial expansion. Don’t get me wrong, the storytelling is great, the combat is still fantastic, and the world looks amazing, but the lack of new playable characters, Artes, and areas to explore does leave it feeling a little underwhelming.

I’d still highly recommend playing Beyond the Dawn if you enjoyed Tales of Arise the first time around (and it still gets a good score because it’s a really fun experience), but maybe keep your expectations in check if you were hoping for something that evolves and expands upon what made the base game so good to begin with.

Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Website: https://en.bandainamcoent.eu/tales-of/tales-of-arise