The quality at which the scene is rendered, corresponding to the number of pixels; higher resolutions mean more pixels, which means higher quality. Keep in mind that when playing with a resolution lower than your monitor's native resolution (e.g. 1366x768 on a 1920x1080 monitor), the image will be scaled up and look significantly poorer for it than what you see in these screenshots (zoom in on the lower resolution ones to get an idea).
The benchmark shows Resolution has no definitive impact to framerate, except of course when employing 4K, at which point it drops by a full 50-70 FPS across the board. If you have all kinds of headroom, it's worth it to turn on VSR and 4K for the moderate improvement in sharpness, but otherwise, stick to your native resolution.
This ever important option controls the appearance of jagged edges (jaggies) seen on various surfaces throughout the game. In the case of Dragon's Dogma, FXAA is the only type of AA offered, although there are different levels of it. All do well to reduce jagged edges; it's more a question of how much blur you have to deal with at each level. As you can see from the screens, it steadily decreases as you go up.
The benchmark shows Anti-aliasing has no definitive impact to framerate. As such, most if not everyone should be good to keep this at the highest setting for maximum clarity and quality.
High Definition Rendering (HDR) is known to affect virtually every aspect of a given scene, making it richer with more realistic lighting and added detail. This is absolutely true in Dragon's Dogma; as you can see in the screens, it changes a very unrealistically bright yet flat scene on the beach into one with a much warmer, more believable feel.
Unfortunately, that realism comes at a steep cost: about 15 frames across the board. Turning this setting down will certainly give you a large FPS boost, but it will also hurt visuals in outdoor areas tremendously.
This setting alters the depth and resolution of shadows, most noticeably on those cast by trees. At the Low setting, shadows are very primitive; Medium introduces much more sharpness and richness, and High takes it to a very realistic level.
The benchmark shows the quality of High will cost you 5-10 FPS, but there's only a very small change from Low to Medium. As such, those looking to save on performance should look to Medium, only going to Low as a last resort, given that and the harsh impact of visuals.
PRICING: You can find Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC retails for $50 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC retails for £25 at Amazon UK.