First Major Dragon Age II Expansion Seems Like An Apology

What was wrong with Dragon Age II, Dragon Age fans? Too many recycled environments? Not enough tactical variety?

It seems that BioWare has heard you.

At a summer showcase for EA games in California, one of Dragon Age's producers, Fernando Melo, said that Dragon Age II: Legacy, an expansion set for release on July 26, will show how the series' creators have "taken to heart" the feedback from people who played the game.

Yeah, new and old fans liked a lot of DAII, Melo said, but, well... he knew there was a "but". Hence Legacy will be a little different than the game it appends to.

"You're going to be travelling to all-new areas," Melo said, "not just outdoor areas, but you're also going to be diving very deep into an ancient Grey Warden prison. You're going to be taking on brand new creatures as well, including some new Darkspawn... and you're also going to be challenged much more tactically than before, where Hawke and the followers are going to have to use the environment a lot better as well as all of their abilities in order to be successful.

Legacy will focus on a great evil that has been kept secret by the Grey Wardens and will reveal details about the protagonist Hawke's father. That's all well and good, but the promise of non-recycled environments and more complex tactics are likely to be the draw for series fans and grumbling reviewers.

During a brief demo of the expansion, Melo showed Hawke and three followers fight down a stone path, battling a new shield-wielding creature who set up an ambush for the party. Enemies, Melo reiterated, will force players to be more strategic than they were in Dragon Age II. Later in the demo a mini-boss proved tricky as he split into multiple forms. After he was vanquished, the player could customise one of Hawke's weapons by accessing one of several pillars - the "pillar of stun chance", the "pillar of critical damage" and so on. Melo said that players will be able to bring their customised weapons back to the main Dragon Age II game as well as to future expansions.

It wasn't clear from the demo how Legacy will integrate into the world of Dragon Age II nor how long it'll last. But it is being touted as the "first" story-based expansion to the game. So expect more. This one's coming out soon, on July 26 on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It'll cost $US10.


    No matter what they do, it can't be any worse than Dragon Age 2. That had to be the worst role playing game I ever finished. There were like 60 caves you went into, but only ONE CAVE MAP.

    If I hadn't played Dragon Age 2, I might give this a shot. But I've lost all faith in the series, unless they do a complete overhaul of combat in DA3. And hopefully stop having so much damn premium day one dlc, because you always feel like you're missing out on content.

      i got bored 2/3rds pf the way through and gave up...

        Same. I'm in the last act... but can't bring myself to finish it. I loved the original I might add.

      yeah i couldn't believe that when DA1 was my favourite game ever, I seriously couldn't even be bothered finishing DA2. I traded it in for store know a game is lame when you do that.


        I did 3 compete runs of DA1, with each different class. in DA 2 I played it once and traded it the next day.

        To be honest even if I still had the game, i'm not paying for DLC for such a goddam lazy game.

          Agreed. Each time I finished DA it was like Mass Effect 1 and 2, I couldn't wait to start again, to see how each race and class affected the game (mass effect was gender and class and each's slight mix) I was excited how it all meshed so well and was yet so different.

          DA2 was so f***ing vanilla it was disgusting.

    Too little too late.

    I don't care what anyone says, i loved DAII and will gladly buy this when it comes out!

      agreed. yeah it had a few issues but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the game. i thoroughly enjoyed it and have been waiting for DLC

        I liked the game a lot too. I may or may not buy the DLC since I tend not to return to games for DLC (I didn't play any of the DA1 DLC after the stuff available at launch, and DA1 was my game of the year for 2009), but some of the criticism is way over the top. It was not a great game, but still a very good game that could have been great if given another month or two to create more interior maps, make talents work properly (so many didn't work on PS3, at least) and give some more variety to the action. The story, dialogue and characters IMHO were at least as well done as DA1 if not better.

      Me too. Love it. Played it twice, going back for a third after I finish another run through Origins and Awakening. Shame this doesn't take place after the main story though.

    Yawn. Doesn't excite me in the least.

    Hang on... Buy? You want me to buy this after I already paid aussie retail for a sequel to one of the best RPGs I've ever played? They need to patch the original game with more environments, dammit.

    I'm looking forward to more DAII but I don't know about this protagonists father business. I liked that Hawke was a committed adventurer that rose from the ranks instead of a bog standard hero of destiny.

    Yeah, sorry... I've always been a sucker for Bioware, but after the abomination (hah, rhetoric!) that was DA II, I won't be buying this.

    I *forced* myself to play through twice: I actually wanted to like the game... DESPERATELY wanted to... like a beaten spouse wanting to love his/her partner... it was probably my fault anyway: I know Bioware loves me, I shouldn't have made him angry.

    But like the eventual dawning on the abused spouse, no amount of shiney new DLC will cover the bruises... and I am out of here.

    How about you give me the game I paid for before making me fork over more money? You don't buy patches.

    Regardless of what they do, it won't fix the core issues of it not being DA anymore. The combat's all different, the characters are boring as.. well, DAII, and probably the major issue: Hawke will still exist. I don't want to be hawke, I want to make my own character.

    Way to much mass effect in my DA for me to consider buying it. I weep for SWTOR if it's going the same way.

    I don't think you can really shoehorn a better experience into the same engine and game with a small 'expansion'.

    Really need to go back and finish that, I'm right at the end I think, but just haven't been bothered to finish it

    whats with the last screenshot its like someone put the thing on the 3DS

    Original DA is one of my fav games, I played the demo of DAII and never thought of buying the full game. They killed it and I won't be coming back

    I just finished DA and I'm going to start playing all the DLC...I just bought DA2 hoping maybe if I just put it on hard It'll be a good game...these comments have left me with little fate

      The only thing that hard does is make the respawning waves of enemies more tiring.
      Completely defeats the purpose of the fast combat they touted.

      Everything about this game was backwards in how it was designed
      Don't bother, trade it in if possible

    I won't be touching this. I made it two thirds of the way through Dragon Age 2 and gave up. I was forcing myself to play through it, it wasn't fun or interesting it was just bad.

    Got a decent trade-in towards Deus Ex though. Silver lining.

      yeah, i was the same. on about the forth time of saying to my GF i just want to turn it off, i finally did. started off as excitement to disappointment to denial to FU EA

    Ill be waiting for Dragon Age Origins 2/3. They should not waste precious development on expansions for DA2.

    I'm going to give this a go, because I think Bioware were honestly surprised and shocked by a lot of the criticism and they want to attempt some improvements.

    It was a decent game, main plot and awful environments aside, and I think it has a solid foundation for some good storytelling.

      I still shocks me that a developer with such a pedigree as Bioware put out such a stinker of a game.

      People are blaming EA and sure, they're partially to blame, but those people have never seen Hamburger Helper in interviews (or whatever her name is, she was the lead writer for the most offensive gay terrorist character ever) and David Gaider on the forums. Dragon Age had a lot of cool ideas, but their writing staff are a bunch of hacks with gigantic egos... they also don't like video games apparently.

      It's looking bad, to the point where after the COD/GOW rip-off character was announced for Mass Effect I would say Clint Mansell is the only reason that i'm looking forward to Mass Effect 3.

      "main plot and awful environments aside, and I think it has a solid foundation for some good storytelling." There is a lot wrong with this statement. There was zero story and horrible (fanfic level) storytelling in DA2 and somehow this is a solid foundation. They should retcon the whole shitfest.

    this is not a response to feeedback, this was the plan all along... it forces DLC purchase to get a full game. EA are deliberately holding content back, we already know this.

      Well allegedly they are taking that feedback into the dlc anyway. But honestly, just what can be improved when confined to the crappy base game's horrible limitations? And this isn't like Mask of The Betrayer (one of the greatest crpgs ever) which dramatically improved on NWN2- that was a really long expansion pack, this is just a bioware dlc which means it's only going to be 2hours maximum.

      Screw you Bioware if you think I'll fall for your 'repentance' act. You're only sorry you got called out on your dumbing down nonsense for once.

      That seems counter-productive to sales, most DA fans played DA2 for half the game then feed that sucker straight into a wood-chipper. Nobody is dumb enough to fork over more money for another sub-par dragon age experience.

      Most gamers wised up pretty quick to the lies and paid off journos and DA2 undersold even with the hype, crappy DLC isn't gonna shift more units.

    I loved DAII, but... I've already paid a heap for it. I will buy the DLC, but reluctantly.

    heres an idea bioware stop pandering to the lowest common denominator hardcore FPS fans will almost never be RPG fans STOP chasing a demographic that wants nothing to do with your product.

    so yea im giving up on bioware ill get mass effect 3 to round out the trilogy but then im done with them this goose has long since laid its last golden egg

    Having never placed the first one, I'm enjoying playing DA2 on the PS3 - on my second play through as a warrior this time around (finished the game as a mage and enjoyed sinking 50 odd hours into it).

    I guess I'm one of the minority that enjoys this game (one advantage of using the environments again is, at least you know what to expect...)?

    I'll probably get this DLC, it looks interesting enough :)

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