in Review

Gay Warden

Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening

Dragon Age: Origins went from being a PC title I feared playing to one of my favorite games of 2009. The old-school, yet modernized combat made the game a lot of fun, and the deep story and compelling cast all came together to make an incredible package. And with hundreds of hours to play through, I never thought I’d run out of stuff to do in that world. But time passed and eventually I set Dragon Age down. Then Bioware came out with a bunch of DLC and the Awakening expansion pack. I tried to resist, but earlier this summer I succumbed and stepped into the boots of my Grey Warden once again.

Awakening takes place directly after Origins. You can import your Warden from the main game, or start a new character. Either way, you’ve been sent to Amaranthine to help rebuild the Wardens when a new Darkspawn threat arises and you must raise up a new army to put it down. Some of the party from the first game will appear in supporting roles, but only Oghren returns as a playable character. The rest of your team fit many of the archetypes of your previous posse, and I grew to like them almost as much as the group from the main game. Of course they are at a disadvantage, since Awakening is a significantly shorter story.

Besides a new story and setting, Awakening also lifts the level cap and introduces a bunch of new skills, spells and specializations. I played as an Arcane Warrior, already a pretty tough guy, and taking the new Battle Mage specialization and some new spells and skills, I felt like an unstoppable killing machine. My party got pretty tough too. There are also a bunch of new and exciting pieces of loot to collect, which is good since if you had any DLC items they won’t carry over.

Honestly, this is the definition of an expansion pack, giving players more of everything they like. Awakening manages to give another interesting story, with exciting reprocussion for Dragon Age 2, while delivering plenty of the gameplay that made the main game such a hit. You just have to ask yourself: do I want more Dragon Age? If yes, you’ll like what you’re getting.

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