I got a quick demo of Dragon Age: Awakening, today, just enough to get a basic feel for the first major expansion to BioWare’s celebrated 2009 role-playing game. Awakening takes players to a new land where they will be Grey Warden with authority over the city of Amaranthine and the castle Vigil’s Keep. Your key problem will be the appearance of Darkspawn who talk, evidence of a new enemy threatening the Dragon Age world. Your key asset will be the game’s raised level cap. Dragon Age: Origins capped players at Level 20 characters. Awakening allows players to rise to Level 35.
A member of BioWare’s quality assurance team offered a couple more numbers regarding Awakening player’s Sixty-two new talents, about 50 new abilities. But he refrained from offering another number gamers might want to know about: Hours needed to complete this $US40 expansion. Player times varied so much with the promised 80-hour Dragon Age: Origins, the BioWare developer said, that it doesn’t make sense to offer a figure. Some Origins players blazed through the game in 30 hours, others needed 120.
Players of Origins will see some of their moral choices referenced in Awakening, I was told. We didn’t have time to dig into that.
I played too little of Awakening to say anything about its quests. I was told that BioWare recognised that mages seemed overpowered in Origins and have raised the capabilities of other fighter classes in the expansion.
Awakening will be out next week, on disc for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, also as a download for the PS3.