The second major DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition dropped yesterday, so being the easily excited BioWare geek I am, I jumped on it.
In my excitement about playing new stuff, I forgot how poor BioWare are at DLC stories in general for the Dragon Age series. Having been spoilt by the good quality DLC for Mass Effect 3 (Leviathan and Citadel in particular), this DLC just felt lightweight and a long, linear setup for a discovery that had already been hinted at.
That’s not to say it wasn’t fun to play.
The main storyline for the DLC wasn’t much more than four hours of game time, and I haven’t yet explored all the side-quests and additional areas. It had all the elements that you’d expect from Dragon Age; exploration, conversation, new loot, crafting, and something to push you forward to find answers. One of the complaints about the Jaws of Hakkon was overpowered enemies, and the same complaint applies here.
Looking at this DLC in isolation, though, without comparing it to others, there’s some fun stuff. Right at the beginning, a little searching finds a very useful merchant who sells dragon parts, and just near that merchant there’s a loot chest with a rather nice weapon schematic. As a twin dagger wielding rogue, I got a schematic for a dagger that would be a one-hit-kill weapon for most of the foes found in the Hinterlands.
The story brings in two characters; a shaper, and a member of the Legion of the Dead. In conversation with them, they hint at the existence of the Titans. These creatures reshape the stone. If I was a betting man, I’d say that this is the DLC that offers some insight into the next game in the series, much like the Legacy DLC did in Dragon Age II. Of course, I could be wrong.
The subterranean areas in the game are gorgeous. There are a great many places to explore, and some searching involved in accessing them. There’s also a mini War Table in the DLC which lets you send Inquisition resources to unlock new areas in much the same way as the main game.
The enemies are Darkspawn for the most part, but once you get down far enough, to an area beneath the Deep Roads, we find a new enemy with insanely powerful weapons and armour.
And that’s my biggest peeve with this DLC – We get to see these weapons and armour, and we get to have to try and survive them, but looting bodies to get them? Nope. At no point can you get their weapons to use as actual weapons. It’s bad enough when you kill an enemy who looks like he has an awesome bow in the main game, and loot him to get a freaking hammer, but looting these guys yields only gold, 90% of the time, and the rest of the time it’s a plot item or a trinket. Why introduce what is essentially a freaking minigun into the game and not let us have the thing?
So, after that mini rant, we get to the end of the main story in the DLC and find that there is a lot more to Lyrium than anyone (other than Bianca) imagined.
I’m going to keep exploring the other parts of the DLC, because I like exploring, but ultimately, this DLC like many others in the Dragon Age series adds nothing of note to the main game. It can, frankly, be skipped until it drops in price (if BioWare deign to do that).
The next DLC is supposed to be the last hurrah for the Inquisition, like Citadel was for Mass Effect, but on current evidence, unless it brings back various characters from the first two games and delivers something massive, it’s just going to add to my suspicions that while the Dragon Age team can come up with a great game and a good main story, when it comes to DLC, they work too hard on inflating the significance of a minor detail of lore, which makes their DLC a lot less replayable than the main game.