Tales of Arise

Posted:  Nov 09, 2023
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Tales of Arise's Beyond the Dawn Expansion was provided by Bandai Namco for review. The base game was purchased by us. Thank you!

I have been a fan of JRPGs ever since I can remember and I credit two series for this. Kingdom Hearts, which is still one of my favorite games of all time, and the Tales series. Specifically, Tales of Symphonia, which released on the Gamecube in 2004, blew me away with its storytelling and visuals. While there have been tons of advancements in both narrative development and visuals in the genre, Symphonia will always have a special place in my heart, and I am happy that Tales of Arise doesn't spoil that view in the slightest.

As the Tales series has progressed, the overall narrative has stuck to more generic tropes in the JRPG series, and Tales of Arise does continue that. While I still found the story of liberating an enslaved people to be enjoyable, it is the characters that make it shine. The characters are interesting and engaging, and the side conversations they have makes each one stand out. I loved these moments and found myself feeling much more connected to each of the six charactes from these skits that I ended up enjoying the story even more.

NOTE: Each Tales game is its own story. While they have overarching themes, vocabulary, and gameplay elements, the stories do not intersect and each one acts as a standalone.


Then we have the combat, which I really loved. It feels like an evolution of the series, requiring more movement and acrobatics instead of just button mashing. You can button mash if you choose, but it isn't as easy and will need more strategy and thought to make sure you don't die. The artes (special moves) and way you utilize your team in combat is enhanced by the visual style and flashiness. I love the gritty, anime-esque aesthetic that the team went for, which made combat and just running around enjoyable.

Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn Expansion

The Beyond the Dawn expansion for Tales of Arise continues this trend and personally, I found it quite satisfying. If you enjoy the base game and want more, this is the perfect way to continue it. The story continues to be a bit generic, but it is enjoyable all the same. You will meet a young girl named Nazamil who is bound to fall under a curse, and now it is up to your crew to save her. The game takes place a year after the original game, so I won't mention any more of the story due to spoilers, but it was nice getting back with the crew again.

The expansion doesn't do a whole not new and will see you going through the old map, but if you liked the base game, you will enjoy the expansion. The one thing I will say that I wish I could do is use my old save file. The expansion has you using a set progress instead of carrying over what you accomplished in the main game. As someone who grinds, I would have loved to bring my overpowered team into the new expansion, but it didn't harm my overall experience. I would say the expansion is worth it if you loved the game already, but I would still find enjoyment in it as I love JRPGs in general. Thankfully, it is great to play on the Steam Deck.

Tales of Arise - Steam Deck Performance

For the type of game, Tales of Arise runs much better than I initially expected. With it being an open-world game, it can run at a decent framerate, but it does have some flaws. When testing, I also noticed that some settings being changed may help a little, but completely changed the overall look of the game, so I felt a lot of the settings shouldn't be changed.

With Settings Changed
Without Settings Changed
Without Settings Changed
With Settings Changed

Recommended Settings

For the recommended build, I tested a bunch of different setting combinations to get it as high as possible. The only setting I noticed that gave me any worthwhile boost, other than the render resolution, was shadow quality. I decided turning this to medium was enough to keep the visual quality and still get a mostly solid 40 FPS.

There are some instances and areas where this dips, but it isn't often and doesn't affect gameplay enough. Framerate can dip during some combat scenarios, but it also shoots straight back up to 40 as quickly as it goes down. I enjoyed the extra smoothness, even at the cost of battery life.

Battery/Quaity Build

Usually, I would gravitate more towards a battery saving build for my recommended, but I came across to many areas where 30 FPS would dip unless the TDP limit was uncapped. So, this is a nice build to use if you are trying to save as much battery life as you can, but there may still be dips here and there in certain scenarios. For what it's worth, I prefer a better framerate if I may be encountering dips here and there.


Other than video settings, you can change the difficulty at will, input queueing time, vibration settings, map orientation, map markers, subtitle toggles, camera controls and speed, volume adustment, and key bindings.

Tales of Arise doesn't support 16:10 resolutions unfortunately, but it does have full controller and cloud save support!


If you are a fan of the Tales series, Tales of Arise will feel like an incredible evolution and great continuation for what the series can become. The world is great and the combat is exceptional. While the story can feel a bit generic, the characters and the way they interact more than make up for it. The expansion is a great way to continue the game if you liked the original, but it doesn't add enough for those who didn't enjoy to come back for another round.

It plays qute well on the Steam Deck for the most part, which is fantastic due to how big the game can feel, which is fantastic with all things considering. There aren't a ton of settings that can be changed due to how drastically the visuals can deteriorate, but it doesn't need many changes to enjoy!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Tales of Arise is a great JRPG and the new Beyond the Dawn expansion continues the story in an enjoyable way, especially on Steam Deck.

Build Score

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

No Changes Needed!

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

10W - 14W

65c - 70c

~3 hours

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