• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Friday, August 05, 2011

Dragon Age 2: Legacy

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Well, as you know my gaming (and also sleeping) time has been cut very short this week with the arrival of our new baby. I have had a few spare hours to relax however, as baby was overdue (she was taking so long to turn up I was thinking of naming her Gynok Moltor! Quick Everquest in-joke for the geeks out there) and is a pretty good sleeper, so in the small bursts of time I have had free I've been playing the new downloadable content for Dragon Age 2. It's perfect as it's not online, so I don't need to worry if I have to keep disappearing for extended periods, and it's a relatively short bite-size piece of dark fantasy flavoured entertainment.

Dragon Age 2: Legacy is the first post-launch DLC for the title, and whilst I know the game itself disappointed a lot of people (see my original review for my thoughts) with this DLC pack Bioware have really stepped up to the plate. There really is a lot to like about this adventure pack, so much so that it actually makes the original game seem better.

I won't go into any spoilers, but the plot sees Hawke targeted by a mysterious group who are hunting for the "Blood of the Hawke". Hawke soon has to leave the troubled city of Kirkwall and journey to an old ruin with ties to the Grey Wardens to discover his true heritage.

I found the story started quite abruptly after examining a new delivery to Hawke's mansion, almost as if I'd missed some plot point, but I soon settled into what was one of the best adventures I've had during my time in Kirkwall. There is a lot to like about this DLC pack.

Hair loss was a constant problem amongst the Grey Wardens
The new adventure took me around four hours to complete in total, so it represented pretty good value for money. The environments were well designed and much more varied that in the main game (it was nice to get out of Kirkwall at last), and whilst still being a little on-the-rails some of the areas were much more open to exploration.

Combat seemed much improved, and was generally more of a challenge than the fights in DA2. Whilst there were still a few instances of multiple waves of enemies showing up it was much less prevalent, and this time the waves appeared from around corners and through doors rather than just dropping down from the sky. The enemies also seemed a little better organised, and the final boss battle (which I won't spoil) was certainly the toughest and most entertaining in the whole of DA2, requiring strategy and skill (even down to the level of dodging and blocking). Add the improved combat to the improved exploration and some new puzzle elements and the whole DLC actually felt a lot closer to Dragon Age: Origins than to Dragon Age 2.

Quick! Stab it's eyes!
The story and lore (always the big pull in Bioware games) was really great. I won't go into details here (don't want to spoil anything), but it revealed a lot of background in an interesting way and shed welcome light on the history of Hawke's family. The other really good aspect of the DLC pack was the companion character interactions. Their conversations and interjections often had me in stitches. The party actually started to feel like a group of real family and friends that have known each other for many years - great stuff.

There isn't really anything much negative to say about the DLC. There is little new companion equipment and the rest of the new loot isn't particularly exciting. If you're playing a Bioware RPG mainly for the loot though you are probably playing the wrong game.

Overall I absolutely loved this DLC. It actually improved the whole game in my eyes and made quite a few small but important improvements over the main DA2 campaign. If you hated DA2 this new content won't change your mind at all, but if you enjoyed DA2 you should really check it out. It's probably the best DLC Bioware have done since the amazing Lair of the Shadow Broker pack for Mass Effect 2.

Interesting complexion.

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