Our Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn review will guide you through the final goodbye to one of the best JRPGs of recent years.
Tales of Arise was a triumphant return to the Tales series in 2021. Both fans and newcomers celebrated Bandai Namco’s critically acclaimed JRPG to the series and the genre. It also became one of the best games of 2021 with its rich world, well-developed characters, and enhanced graphics.
Furthermore, it successfully blended the best elements of the Tales series with innovative JRPG features. Even though it was rough on the edges and had some awkward balance issues alongside dull story tropes, Tales of Arise became one of the best JRPGs we would cherish in years to come.
Two years after its release, Tales of Arise is preparing to welcome us again with its first expansion, Beyond the Dawn. This time, we’re on more of a personal journey as we also get to see the epilogue of the saga in Tales of Arise. Without further ado, let’s dive in and see what Beyond the Dawn offers!
Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn Story
Unlike the astronomic scope of the base game’s story, Beyond the Dawn offers a smaller venture filled with the elements of a more personal story. It revolves around a girl of noble blood called Nazamil. She carries both Renan and Dahnan blood, as she is the child of a former Renan lord called Vholran and an enslaved Dahnan woman.
In a sense, Nazamil is the bitter result of two clashing civilizations and is a walking manifestation of Renan abuse on the planet of Dahna. For this reason, nobody wants Nazamil, and she ends up being banished from her town.
After she is kicked out, the cast of Tales of Arise, led by the brave Alphen and his band of heroes, encounters Nazamil and accepts her into the gang. This marks the beginning of the Beyond the Dawn expansion. The story then expands upon the personal journey of Nazamil while also uncovering other mysteries regarding Renans and the planet of Dahna.
Nazamil is a well-developed character the DLC focuses on. But she is not a playable character and doesn’t fight alongside your team.
In short, Beyond the Dawn’s central narrative is about a mysterious new character that bears the mark of both the oppressor and the oppressed. This rather personal story often plays out great throughout the expansion’s playtime despite its pacing issues.
Bidding Farewell to Tales of Arise
Beyond the Dawn also serves as an epilogue to the lengthy journey we completed in Tales of Arise. It wraps up the character relationships and offers a ton of new subquests to spend some more time in the game.
Bidding Nazamil’s conflicting portrayal also adds to this epilogue. Seeing how Alphen and Shionne will brave another adventure together is also great. So there’s no lazy writing here.
Similar to the base game, Beyond the Dawn also takes an evocative approach to its story and slowly unravels it. This approach works great at times. But due to its 8 hours of playtime, Nazamil’s transformation as a character feels a bit rushed. Despite that, she is of the same quality in terms of writing and development as the cast of Tales of Arise.
That being said, a few of the final missions also wrap up the expansion’s story and allow you to bid farewell to Tales of Arise. In that sense, Beyond the Dawn is a much-welcomed revisit to the JRPG we love despite some of its glaring shortcomings.
Is Beyond the Dawn worth it?
Tales of Arise was certainly a daring entry in the series with its rich combat and impressive story tropes. It is difficult to say for the expansion pack, though. Not only does Beyond the Dawn trust the legacy of the base game too much, but it also has a much higher focus on the subquests that are pretty much the same as the others.
The side content does offer a glimpse into the new society of Dahna. It is also great to see character interactions while delving into this content. But the objectives in these quests are nearly identical and offer nothing more than fetching items and slaying monsters.
On the other hand, this is Beyond the Dawn’s one of the few features that will keep the player in Tales of Arise more. If you enjoy being with Alphen’s gang and want to spend more time in the game, the story even adjusts in pacing to let you focus on the side content.
What Beyond the Dawn Lacks
In a world where the DLC standard for a JRPG is set by Xenoblade Chronicles, Beyond the Dawn is severely lacking. While it boasts a thrilling story, it doesn’t come with the content you want to see in an expansion pack on that price tag.
That content would consist of new artes, skills, playable characters, or new regions. Unfortunately, the DLC lacks these and doesn’t even update the current regions in the game in a major way. It only adds three new dungeons that are not quite memorable.
That said, other elements that made us celebrate Tales of Arise are still there. From dungeons to skits, Beyond the Dawn continues to keep the bar high set by the base game. But it also just doesn’t push that medium forward one bit.
There is nothing that especially shines when it comes to Beyond the Dawn except for its subquests. Certain quests like Reconstruction are refreshing, though. That’s because they let you see the actual impact of your actions in the base game. But that’s it.
The expansion pack also allows you to carry over your progress from the base game. But this progress doesn’t include the hours of grind you’ve poured into your characters. Beyond the Dawn is not a sequel but acts like one, forcing you to learn everything from scratch.
On the other hand, there are some progress bonuses you can grasp if you transfer your saves from the base game. But they don’t have a major impact on the story or the gameplay. The bonuses consist of thousands of Galds, 1000 SP, and various amounts of CP. While that’s not recommended, you can also jump right into Beyond the Dawn from the main menu.
Tales of Arise – Beyond the Dawn Review: Wrapping Up
In the end, Beyond the Dawn is a decent expansion pack only if you like what the base game offers. If you want more ways to enjoy Tales of Arise, Beyond the Dawn might be a DLC you should buy if it is on sale. Its 8 hours of a new story with a lack of new artes, playable heroes, and new regions to explore doesn’t justify its price tag as well.
That’s because it lacks the refreshing and innovative touch of the first game in many aspects. However, it might not be fair to wait for similar value propositions from an expansion pack. Before the Dawn fails at delivering new and exciting features that will draw you back into Tales of Arise unless you are a really staunch fan of the base game.