Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn DLC Review | A sequel worth experiencing

The Tales of Arise sequel we needed

It’s been two years since the release of the latest mainline title of the Tales franchise: Tales of Arise. Given how great of a title that was, us Tales fans are definitely blessed to be getting additional content via this meaty DLC! Of course, fans are asking – is Beyond the Dawn worth getting? Let’s talk about it in this Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn DLC review.

Please be warned that this article contains spoilers for the main Tales of Arise story.

The short and quick answer is — YES, it’s definitely worth every penny. 

Even comparing to all DLCs I have played for the past few years, Beyond the Dawn is one of the biggest and most expansive DLCs I have ever encountered. I spent more than 22 hours playing it so you can rest assured that this is definitely a meaty piece of content. (My experience is yet to be fully complete even –since the DLC provides a New Game+ option and other customizable difficulties) 


An Extensive Plot

So, what is the Beyond the Dawn DLC all about? This game expansion takes place a year after the union of the two worlds of Rena and Dahna as a consequence of what happened in the main game. Our main protagonists, Alphen and Shionne, are traveling around the New World with a mission of their own: sealing Mausoleums. 

Mausoleums are structures that appeared after the two worlds merged. They contain sleeping Helganquils and trace remnants of Renan architecture and technology. Alphen and Shionne are sealing the Mausoleums with their powers as Sovereign and Maiden, because these Mausoleums are destabilizing the New World with their existence. During their journey however, they encounter a young, silver-haired girl called Nazamil–the featured new character in this expansion.

Nazamil possesses both Renan and Dahnan bloodlines and is apparently the daughter of a lord. Because of this, she has been terribly ostracized by the townsfolk to the point of violence. She is saved by Alphen and Shionne and they invite her to join their party, aiming to give her a new life away from her isolation and abuse. Nazamil’s case is but one of the many turmoils of racism and social discrimination between Renans and Dahnans after the world unification which makes sense as it’s not easy for both to immediately co-exist, most especially when the latter has had a history of enslavement and cruelty under the former. 

The plot seems pretty straightforward but, like all Tales games out there, there is more beneath the surface – and a lot of surprises and twists lie in store for you as you go further along the DLC. You will definitely experience a lot of “but wait, there’s more” moments while playing the game. 


A Clever Expansion

Most DLCs I have played were standalone, did not affect the current saved data of the base game, and had an  almost, if not a completely, different mode of gameplay or fighting mechanics. I can’t say the same for Beyond the Dawn. While it is still separate and standalone from the base Arise game, it does make use of your existing saved data. The DLC gives you bonus CP to unlock skills, costumes, and artes since the game begins at level 65. 

It somehow feels like a New Game+ mode to me with all the carried over skills and artes—except you don’t start with the level you were in during your base game. For those who already have the party at max, worry not for the higher your levels are in the base game, you get more bonus CP at the beginning so you can max your characters quicker. I played Beyond the Dawn with no existing saved data (since it’s saved in a different account), so I had to start anew. While I mourn the missed bonus CP, this fresh start feels beneficial since I have to familiarize myself again with the different artes and combos of each character in the party. After all, I had completely forgotten how it was like to play Arise more than a year ago. Just having all the trees unlocked though could make things a bit daunting for returning players as you may struggle to find out which skill does what, and so on. 

While it might have been a little disappointing that I could not fully unlock all my skills in the beginning of the DLC, the game makes up for this with its lengthy gameplay. You’ll definitely have time to catch up and get them back in no time. 

My experience with DLCs from other games are usually also short and quick. So as I was making this Beyond the Dawn DLC review, the assumption of this game having smaller areas to cover existed in my mind during my first few minutes of gameplay. I even assumed that I would only be scouting two cities max! I am happy to prove this assumption wrong. There will be a lot of areas to cover, numerous quests to accomplish, and many skits and cutscenes to watch. Also, don’t forget the numerous skins and costumes to mix and match in the DLC! As I said, Beyond the Dawn is amazingly meaty. 


Improved Visuals, Familiar Gameplay 

While the fighting mechanics and gameplay did not change (yes there’s still camping, fishing, and fast travel!), I commend the improvement of the visuals, most especially during battle. My playthrough of the base game had been on the PS4 and, like many others, there had been a bit of a problem in terms of visibility during the characters’ boost attacks. I mean, there’s just a lot of stuff going on you can barely see from the bright explosions sometimes, right? 

I am pleased to report in this Beyond the Dawn DLC review that the graphics are crisper, cleaner, and sharper. I mean, there are still instances where you can barely see anything from the numerous spells and explosions, but at least, they’re higher quality, have better contrast, and possess just the right amount of brightness now. (Note that I have not changed my TV ever since I played the base game two years ago) We also tested this on PC wherein the graphics of the DLC, even when not on max settings, really still do shine.

The game does not skimp out on the gorgeous environment, powered by Unreal Engine. And since we are tackling the New World in this expansion, there are more visual eye-candy and detailed textures in the form of floating astral energy throughout a beautiful sky and additional buildings and establishments.

However, there is some sort of ‘dead-air’ in the form of unrendered elements that take time to manifest after going to a new region—usually when the ‘Auto-Save’ is happening which occurs on the PS4. These slow, unrendered instances were a little jarring, to say the least, take a bit of time but, and sadly did happen quite a number of times for me.

As for the quests in the DLC, there are a LOT. There are main story quests, reconstruction sub-quests, character sidequests, and special EX quests. You can prioritize your quests if you plan to take all that’s available at once. Under the Field Guide in the menu, you can display the quest you plan to finish first by marking them with the green star. Though, EX quests must be finished first before doing other quests if you prioritize them, since they will sometimes render others inaccessible. 

Be sure to always check your map for more possible quests (indicated by a star or an envelope) because they appear suddenly during the time you least expect them to. 


Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn DLC Review Final Verdict – 8.5/10

Overall, Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn DLC is a must-play for all who have experienced the base game. This is the kind of content that fans sorely need after the rather quick, but happy ending once your party saved the two worlds. I definitely recommend playing this DLC to further explore Alphen and Shionne’s adventure in the New World together, as well as to experience the fun and shenanigans of their budding romance – which maybe could have been fleshed out a bit more, in my opinion. 

With approximately twenty hours of gameplay, Beyond the Dawn is the sequel that we needed – one that is filled with content and gives you a proper adventure with the characters you fell in love with during the base game. 

This Beyond the Dawn DLC review was made via a game code provided by the publisher and was played using the PlayStation 4.


The Tales of Arise sequel we needed - filled with a lot of great content! With approximately twenty hours of gameplay, Beyond the Dawn is a DLC filled with great content that lets you experience everything you loved and more about ToA once more time.