Dragon Age: Origins
2,758
(1,750)

Dragon Age: Origins

4.2 from 8406 votes
 

There are a maximum of 76 Dragon Age: Origins achievements (50 without DLC) worth 2,758 (1,750)

69,117 tracked gamers have this game, 6,670 have completed it (9.65%) | 47 want to boost

Awakening
366
(250)
Add-on:

Awakening

Xbox LIVE Store

18,835 tracked gamers have this dlc pack

There are a maximum of 8 achievements worth 366 (250)

Reviews

AuthorDLC Review
Richard Bastion
127,543 (87,157)
Richard Bastion
Posted on 23 April 10 at 02:50, Edited on 19 November 10 at 01:01
This dlc review has 24 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
*Keep in mind that this review will primarily discuss what's new to Awakening, in a spoiler free manor, of course. If you want all the details about everything, check out some of the review for the original game.

Dragon Age: Awakening is the first true expansion to Dragon Age Origins. Obviously you didn't know this, and you're welcome. There's one new Origin story, which means you can play the expansion without having played the first game, although there will be major spoilers about Origins, and there's really no reason to only play this one without having played Origins. If you create a new character, you will start at level 18, as opposed to level 1. Or, to put that into Top Gun terms, instead of starting the game as Goose, you start as Iceman.

Of course, you can also import your character from Dragon Age: Origins. This won't drastically change the storyline, but people will be aware of your past deeds, and the various decisions you made in the original game will be carried over. There is one issue with importing your character, however, and that is that DLC(Of any kind) will NOT be transferred over into Awakening. So if you bought Warden's Peak, or Return to Ostagar, you'll be leaving any items you got there behind.
If you don't skip the dialogue, and do a few side quests here and there, it'll take you about 20 hours to complete. If you skip most of the dialogue, and zoom right through the story, you can complete it in probably half that time.

I hear a lot of people saying how the game isn't worth the $40 it costs. I beg to differ. Let's think about this for a minute. How long is your average, $60 game? 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours? Well, this one is about 20, and it costs $20 less than a full priced retail game. Additionally, does your average 10 hour game let you import your character from another, 60 hour game? No. Does Bioware make average games? Nope.

With that in mind, enjoy the review.

The Story(Spoiler Free)

The storyline takes place after the events of Dragon Age: Origins. You take on the role of a new Grey Warden, and you're headed to Vigil's Keep to takeover as the Commander of the Grey Wardens. But what's this?! The Keep is overrun with Darkspawn, who'd have guessed. Something about these Darkspawn is different, however, as you will soon find out.

Some have said the storyline is uninteresting, but I disagree. It's not as great as Origins, certainly, but it's still a Bioware game, and as such, has a much better story than most games.

There are five new party members, as well an old face or two. The new party members are interesting, at least, three of them. Two of them seem like re-skinned versions of party members from Origins, however. Although, that doesn't make them bad characters.

The Gameplay:

The gameplay is mostly unchanged from the original game. The level cap has been increased from 25 to 35. There are also two new specializations for all three classes. These new specializations can drastically change how each class plays, and offer a nice change of pace. To allow you to experience this new stuff, Bioware added a "Respecialization," of sorts. Or "Respec," to the cool people. This is a tome you can buy almost right off bat in the game that resets your attribute points, skill/talent choices, and specializations. For most part, if you enjoyed the gameplay in the original, you'll enjoy here, too. It's still very visceral, with all that head-decapitating action.

Unfortunately, a lot of the bugs from the original game that have not been fixed, which is kind of like a slap in the face, as some of them were rather serious. Namely, the tactics system is still flawed. If you didn't play the original Dragon Age, let me explain exactly what the Tactics system is. Every character in Dragon Age has a customizable set of tactics, these tactics will take effect while in combat, and some out of combat. For instance, if there's a buff you'd like your mage to cast on your warrior when the warrior has less 50% of his total hp, the tactic would look something like this: (Name of character): Health <50% Cast: (Spell). It's all very easy to use, and only takes a few seconds to learn the basics. It's also a pretty critical part of the game, which makes the fact that it's bugged a little more dire. If a rogue is set to use "Dual-Weapon Sweep," he won't. He'll just stand and do nothing for the rest of the battle, or until you take control of him. As for archers, the tactics system won't allow them to use any area of effect abilities. I won't bog this review down explaining why, but you'll see what I mean if you use an archer.

That's not to say that the combat is impossible because of this. For the most part, the tactics work great. It's easy enough to avoid using that one skill with rogues, and there are workarounds with the archer, but they tend to ineffective.

Additionally, there are numerous new bugs this time around. One item set(And the ONLY new item set for leather wearers) is extremely difficult to complete due a coding error. Only 2/4 pieces drop where they're supposed to. The missing pieces still drop, but only as rare drops off rarer mobs. Also, if you got the Warden's Peak DLC, one of the coolest new armor sets in Awakening will look like that of an armor set obtained in Warden's Peak. No patch for(Any of these glitches) has been announced.

The Graphics:

The graphics, like the gameplay, are basically the same as Origins. They're not bad, but they're certainly not great. The character animations are solid, and chopping off someone's head looks excellent. The details on armor are a bit random. Certain armor pieces are much more ugly than others.

The Sound:

The voice acting is superb, as to be expected. The original score hasn't changed, really, maybe one new piece, I'm not even sure about that, though. It's still great, however. As blood is spilled, swords clash together and spells fly by, you'll slowly be pulled in by all the wonderful sounds.

The Achievements:
*Keep in mind this no bearing on my score.

7/8 of the achievements are story related. There are only two missable achievements,
Dragon Age: OriginsThe Enduring VigilThe The Enduring Vigil achievement in Dragon Age: Origins worth 45 pointsAcquired all upgrades for Vigil's Keep
As well as one other. I won't reveal what it is, as it relates to what happens in the story. While I say there are two missable achievements, there are technically three, however, to progress through the story, you'll automatically get one of them.

The Final Verdict:

All and all, Dragon Age: Awakening is a great game that I highly recommend to any RPG fan. With all the numerous bugs, I simply can't give it five stars. While they are annoying, they aren't gamebreaking, however. So, if you're a fan of RPGs, or just a great story, pick this up. And if you haven't played the original, be sure to grab that one, too.

Didn't read any of that? Well, here's a short list to sum everything up.

Pros N' Cons
Pro = + Con = -

- Lots of bugs!
+ Visceral, rewarding combat
+ Excellent Storyline
+ Great character progression
+ Interesting characters
+ Numerous difficulty levels for the casual, and hardcore RPG player
+ Tactics system is fun, but not required to do well in combat
There are 6 comments relating to this DLC Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
DivTemplar
77,877 (54,565)
DivTemplar
Posted on 11 July 10 at 03:22
This dlc review has 3 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
***Note: I will be reviewing this on my DLC format.

Content/Is it worth it?

Awakening is the first “true” expansion for Dragon Age, as said before. The story takes place after the events of the first game, and you can create a new character that starts at level 18 or import your old character from the original game into the expansion. If you choose import, the world will be aware of your past decisions in the game and it will affect the world/dialogue to some degree.

This game puts you in a position of power, as an Arling/Arless (essentially a noble) of Amaranthine, which was formerly under the power of one of Loghain’s supporters. However, your power is limited by the game to keep the linear story experience intact.

Awakening adds a main story with a similar layout to the original, which is starting sequence, three main quests that can be done in any order, and then a linear climax/ending. It also adds some side quests that come in different forms. For example, some will be requests from various characters in your land asking for help, some are the usual Chantry board quests and some are obtained from NPC’s. There is also a quest dealing with a possible rebellion against you. The story is also very fun, very intriguing, and a great experience.

Some old companions make a re-appearance in the expansion, but most play very minor roles. You will get a set of new companions, but not as nearly as many as in the original game. Each one has their own unique personality and are great to have with you.

There are big decisions to be made in this expansion, just as there were in the original game. It is worth a second play-through to see the flip sides of your decisions.

There is a lot of new lore added to the game, and the main story is very interesting. It will show you more about the darkspawn and their story. It also explains some of the mysteries of the first game. There are also a great deal of side-stories that show there are more” evil-going-ons” than just the darkspawn in this world.

The expansion also adds a bunch of new weapons and items, along with new spells and talents. Bioware has put in a Re-specialization or a “respec for all you WoW/MMORPG gamers, so you can try out the different skills if you want. In addition, there are many new areas to wander and appreciate.

If you don’t have the original or haven’t completed it, I suggest finish the first game. Jumping into Awakening will have a lot of major spoilers and your experience won’t be as great.


Achievements

There are 8 achievements worth 250GS. They are ALL easily obtainable, and two can be missed. One involves upgrading your Castle to the best it can be, and the other two are decision based. So yes, there are TECHNICALLY 3 achievements that can be overlooked, but one of the two you must get to advance the story. It should be simple to get the full 250, and you can use Awakening and start level 18 characters and get them up to levels to unlock the level 20 achievements from the original game (so there’s a shortcut for those completionists who don’t really like one or more of the classes).

Overall = 10/10

Closing Comments: The Awakenings experience cannot be missed by any Dragon Age fans! So grab your sword and conjure some fireballs, because the Blight is over but the Darkspawn are not!
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