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What The Critics Are Saying About Tales Of Arise

"Tales of Arise" marks the return of the long-slumbering "Tales" series with a new cast of characters, an improved combat system, and next-gen worthy visuals. This latest installment stars a cast of ragtag heroes on a mission to oust an oppressive regime. 

"Arise" takes place on the planet Dahna, which essentially worships Rena, the planet in the sky. Renans have ruled Dahna for over 300 years, stripping the planet of its resources and enslaving its people. Alphen, an amnesiac Dahnan slave who can't feel pain, and Shionne, a Renan woman with a curse that harms anyone she touches, join forces to free Dahna from Rena. Their team includes a well-rounded cast of characters, in terms of personality and fighting style, each with their own reasons for joining the cause. 

RPG Site's Scott White, as well as other reviewers who are longtime fans of the series, have noted the fact that "Tales of Arise" features darker and more mature themes than the average "Tales" game. However, it still has much of the same lighthearted humor and lovable characters that have defined fan-favorite installments like "Tales of Symphonia," "Tales of Vesperia," and "Tales of Abyss."

Here's what the critics are saying about "Tales of Arise."

Pros: Charming cast and combat system

Eurogamer was among the many publications that highlighted the combat system in its review of "Tales of Arise." Players can switch between the six playable characters and call in teammates to execute their special abilities. Best of all, the combat feels intuitive and almost easy to do once you get used to it. Hirun Cryer, who reviewed "Arise" for Eurogamer, even compared the combat to "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice," thanks to its focus on parrying and building up to the perfect attack. Cryer wrote that "Arise" almost feels like a "chaotic puzzle game" that finds players juggling characters to gain an advantage.

In addition to the combat, Aimee Hart praised the characters in her review for Gfinity, saying that the game offers a "solid cast of characters for you to fall in love with." Hart gave a shoutout to the plot for tackling more political themes, too, which sets it apart from other installments in the franchise. "Tales of Arise just absolutely rules for many reasons: it lets you punch fascists in the face, talks about social reforms and honestly has the most mature cast in the whole series," she tweeted alongside her review.

Cons: Uneven pacing and lost plot points

Despite the general praise for the overarching narrative in "Tales of Arise," how it's delivered was a bit of a miss for some reviewers. GameSpot's Heidi Kemps commented on uneven pacing and seemingly unnecessary plot points. She mentioned how the plot "frequently introduces characters who we don't get to know well but are suddenly rendered very important to the current events, and then quickly exit the narrative after contributing their major story beat." Push Square's Robert Ramsey echoed this point in his review, commenting that the pacing of the game's plot was "wonky" at times.

Scott White wrote something similar in his review for RPG Site, saying that the game sometimes drops seemingly significant plot points without any real explanation. Still, he admitted that there were many twists and surprises that he didn't expect. "I enjoyed the story and it is pulled off," White explained. "There are just some questionable and hanging threads that I think should have been fleshed out more."

"Tales of Arise" officially releases on September 10, 2021 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.