Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Adrian played through Dragon Age: Origins without realising he was asleep. Bioware charged him extra to wake up.
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This review was submitted by Adrian Dowie. If you’ve played Awakening, or just want to ask Adrian more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Dragon Age: Awakening
The expansion pack Awakening continues the tale of the Grey Wardens fighting the darkspawn hordes across the lands of Ferelden. Following the defeat of the big bad boss at the end of the main game your character discovers that there are others behind the darkspawn causing them not to retreat underground. Be kind, it’s hard to describe the story without spoiling it.
New spells, new specializations: They make sense. I know it sounds silly… but they feel like they should be there. For example there's a battlemage spec instead of a giant green lizard fireball spec that feels like it is just tacked on like most expansions.
Clever quest design: You think you’d just be trouncing a stereotypical dungeon, then slaying a dragon at the end and saving your princess? Not in this expansion buddy. They have cut back on the quests that in the main game led you to wanting to cut yourself after you find you SOLD one glass bottle and won’t find another in the entire game. I also love giving moonshine to young orphans. You’ll know what I mean.
Story (mostly): For the majority of the game you will find yourself thinking you know what is going on and then getting surprised a few minutes later. That said, it is a little lacking in depth. I found the plot decisions to to be more of a Mass Effect 2 nature where there is a ‘grey area’ of two choices rather than DA:O which was more clearcut with your good/evil decisions.
Justice: Justice is a character and by giving you his name I’m not going to give much away. But he is the HK-47 of this expansion. Enough said.
Bioware syndrome: There really isn’t much continuation and you leave yourself wondering where the hell half the people you met in the main game are. Especially you Leliana… Was it my elf leaving the toilet seat up? By Bioware abandoning thought out characters it makes for a hollow experience. In addition, an expansion where you introduce 5 characters and then offer no guarantee they’ll be playing again makes it hard to give a proverbial about any of them since it is short.
Loading screens and baby face eating-things: Towards the end load times are long. Oh and the face-eating monster things are stupid.
The ending: I was really, really disappointed in the ending because personally it felt like it had the depth of a glass of water. You’ll have to play it yourself but… I just felt underwhelmed after the build-up to that point.
Overall Awakening delivers more of the Dragon Age experience that fans loved in the first game in a 15 hour package. You will find yourself flustered as to where your companions are from the main game but the new ones do a decent job at holding attention… but apart from that it is an enjoyable experience and at least fulfills what an expansion should be in terms of fun.
Reviewed By: Adrian Dowie
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.