Dragon Age - Awakening review
Despite its steep price tag, Awakening proves to be an excellent continuation of the story of Origins thanks to its improved art direction and abundance of important decisions
If you look at the price tag alone, you would think that Dragon Age: Awakening lies somewhere between a full game and an expansion. While this is partially true in that Awakening is as long as most full priced games, you still need to have Origins installed in order to play the game, which seems a bit odd in this era of stand-alone expansions. Considering that other recent expansions that retail for the normal $30 are just as long, if not longer than Awakening, the $40 price tag seems a bit steep, but seeing as how the game offers a direct continuation of the story that ended with the slaying of the arch-demon in Dragon Age: Origins, fans of the original would do well to pick this game up as the quality of gameplay is just as high as it was with the original.
Awakening picks up where Origins left off – the Arch Demon has been slain and the blight should be over, but the Darkspawn are still around in high numbers, and they seem to be highly organized. It’s your job in this game to find out what is controlling these creatures, and while the plot might not be as grand or intricate as that of the original game, it is still extremely well told and has a good number of surprises. If you thought there were some tough choices to be made in Origins, Awakening has a few that will have you racking your brains and thinking hard in order to come to a decision – one in particular puts even the destruction of Megaton in Fallout 3 to shame. You are given the opportunity to import your character from Origins, or if you prefer build a new level 18 character from scratch when you start the game. The decisions you made in Origins don’t seem to affect how Awakening plays out much, which is a bit disappointing considering the continuity found in the Mass Effect series.
All but one of the characters in your party are new in Awakening, and for the most part the new members simply aren’t as interesting or memorable as those in Origins. Even now, after having just finished Awakening, I struggle to remember all the party members by name while I can still immediately recall the names and faces of those who traveled with you in Origins. One of your new party members in particular seems almost identical to Alistair in his mannerisms; I think he even has the same voice actor, which kind of signals that Bioware is running out of ideas on developing fresh characters. Still, other characters are extremely interesting and have great back stories, and the writing is consistently excellent for all of them, something that has come to be expected from Bioware.
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