I don’t think I ever officially review DA:O in this space (but I love it), but I thought that now that all the DLCs are out and the game is basically done, I’d take another look at the ‘story based’ addons. SPOILERS ABOUND.
First, in case you can’t tell, I love the game. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be still playing and talking about it. The story is deep, and some of the moral choices made me think. I enjoyed many of the characters, and a single player game is a nice change of pace from trying various MMOs and being continually disappointed. Here are some quick-hit thoughts on the game, the expansion, and the DLCs:
For Origins itself: Good story, like the characters and the interplay between them, though the darkspawn as an enemy are not too exciting. Some pretty tough fights, difficult choices and cool gear (sorry, that’s the Diablo player in me talking). The Origin story aspect is really what I love, though. It really can work to make each play-through different, where you meet someone again and now they take on a whole new importance. Very few RPGs compel me to play through over and over, but this one is (on the third go-round now).
Awakening: Excellent. Talking darkspawn are much more interesting, the Mother is gross, the new companions are quite interesting to me for the most part, especially Nathaniel Howe (again, moreso if you’ve played the Human Noble origin). I kind of wished this module could’ve made notice of Soldier’s Peak somehow, as it did seem odd to have gone to all that trouble to reclaim it for the Wardens, only to ignore it when it might still be needed. Would’ve loved to be able to bring a different companion over (though Oghren is cool enough) but I understand the voice acting limitations there. Cost too much when it came out, but has quite a lot of content, to me at any rate.
Warden’s Keep: So-so for me, it does tell a bit of story you may have been wondering about: Why were the Wardens expelled from Ferelden?
The Stone Prisoner: Little sidequest set to get you a new companion, Shale. One of the Golems made by the Dwarves, the module adds a bit of fun to the whole game as Shale is a funny companion to have around, and unique to go into combat with.
Return to Ostagar: The gear you reclaim here had been passed by, stats-wise, by the time this DLC finally came out, but I wager it will fit in better within the course of the regular game. For Duncan and King Cailan!
Darkspawn Chronicles: Just not interested in it. Not well reviewed, and I like my Warden, thanks.
Leilana’s Song: A favorite of mine, but then Leilana was my love interest in my first play-through. You play as Leilana as she helps her mentor/lover bring the Orlesian game of intrigue and assassination to Ferelden. If you ever wanted to know her story, here it is. Also seems pretty hard to me, though it may just be the fact that it’s lower level stuff than Awakening. Not really very replayable, though there are different choices you can make for different endings.
Golems of Amgarrak: A return to the Deep Roads for your Warden (though sans your other companions), as you search answers about a group of Dwarves trying to recreate Caridin’s work in Golem creation. The final critter you fight is supposed to be the toughest battle in any part of the game, though I am not there yet. Fun, tough, but again, I miss my companions.
Witch Hunt: Hinted at during the Origins campaign, it was finally released just recently: the story of what the heck happened to Morrigan after the Blight was ended. Except that it more hints and some of those answers, which bothered some folks mightily. I loved it, and not only because you get your dog back right smack-dab at the beginning! I am easy to please.
Well, that’s about all of it. I’m not going over all the little piddly DLCs (like the Feastday pranks or whatever). Any other thoughts on Dragon Age out there?