Review: Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening

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Review: Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening

Would you like some more Dragon Age? Yes. Yes, you would.

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I'd really love to play this game, but I just can't justify spending 32 on it. Perhaps if it goes down in price, I'll download it.

Damn you BioWare for releasing the PS3 version only as dlc in the UK, and damn you SCEE for forcing them to make the choice!

I think when it comes to size and feel it can compare to Tales of the Sword Coast as an add-on to the first Baldur's Gate. Not quite as epic, but just more of the same good old formula.

I wonder if anyone has told Pitts that Dragon Age: Origins plays best on the PC. A console version is a bit like a lobotomised cripple in comparison.

Anyhow, I will buy Awakening based on this review.

Well put.
I picked this up on day one, and was very happy with how it was.
As a bit of a completionist, though, I was annoyed that some quests were left undone by the end.
And some areas just bombard you with quests. Took me some time to organize them.

But those are nitpicks. Overall, the game is great! It's caused me to start Dragon Age all over again!

I will add, though, for those interested in purchasing it for the Xbox 360: Keep in mind that the Disc version and the downloadable version are a bit different in their execution. The Disc version requires you to play with the Awakening disc in. It doesn't install it to the 360 drive or anything. So if you want to go from Origins to Awakening, you have to take out the Origins Disc, and put in the Awakening disc.

The downloadable version makes everything accessible from Origins.

I wish I knew this before hand, because I bought the disc version and I would much rather have to only use one disc. But, if you're hard-up for drive space, then the disc version is actually really great that way.

It's not gonna dethrone Shivering Isles and Bloodmoon as the best expansions ever, then?

I'll get it. When I finally beat Dragon Age. Gotta finish FF13, than ME2, and then I can move onto DA.

It's shorter? Well not biuying it yet then as the expansion costs more then I payed for the original, stupid PS3 not releasing a disk in the UK.

That pretty much sums up my feelings on it. It was more Dragon Age, which was good, though I'd have preferred to see it a bit longer.

I have a feeling that creating new characters is generally a lot of work for relatively low payoff, content-wise. There's a lot of art, dialogue, voice acting, and scripting involved in creating all the supporting content for one of these characters - which is represented in Shale, Zaeed, and the new ME2 character all being their own (large) DLC releases. But I don't think that all that work adds the same value, to me, as more 'world' does.

I'm not sure exactly which character I'd remove though, given the option, because they really were all excellent (even Oghren).

Baby Tea:
I wish I knew this before hand, because I bought the disc version and I would much rather have to only use one disc. But, if you're hard-up for drive space, then the disc version is actually really great that way.

One thing I'm curious about - does the disc version function entirely as a standalone game as well? I can't recall seeing a purely disc-based console expansion before.

Virgil:

Baby Tea:
I wish I knew this before hand, because I bought the disc version and I would much rather have to only use one disc. But, if you're hard-up for drive space, then the disc version is actually really great that way.

One thing I'm curious about - does the disc version function entirely as a standalone game as well? I can't recall seeing a purely disc-based console expansion before.

I was honestly wondering that myself.
The box says 'Requires Dragon Age: Origins to play', so I'm curious if it checks for save-games.
However I have piles of saved games, so I can't really test this myself.
Weird.

I'm probably never going to get it. But then, I'm not even halfway through the original game in spite it's several months I have it.

I don't have that much time to play anymore.

I aboslutely loved Dragon Age Origins and yet felt a little let down by Awakening if I'm completely honest. I detested the lack of character interaction and the chance to get to know who I was really travelling with. One character was certainly written alot better in one of the books that have been done on the series.

I thought some of the locations were a little half assed and that they didn't fill them up as much as they really could have done.

Not wanting to put any spoilers in here I was also disappointed by how the story carried along and how it ended.

I know it's been said, but as much as I liked Oghren, charming fellow that he is, I'd hardly consider him a fan favourite and I'd have liked to see some of the others, even briefly.

Thanks for the review, and extremely timely it is, since my copy just arrived in the mail, about an hour ago.
I'm surprised that the review seems pretty positive, as I'd heard reports all over the net that the expansion seemed pretty buggy and crashed a lot, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see. I've been told there seem to be glaring inconsistencies between DA:O & Awakening (don't want to spoil anyone, but apparently, import a character from DA:O and you won't necessarily see your choices reflected in the Awakenings. Just hearsay, however, I can't voice my own opinion yet.

Also... You used too many colons in your review. ;)

Looks intresting. I didnt know if I wanted to get this or not given the price but I might give it a look in near future.

Cetainly sold me on certain elements. New character is nice at least ^^

Virgil:
One thing I'm curious about - does the disc version function entirely as a standalone game as well? I can't recall seeing a purely disc-based console expansion before.

I'll try the Awakening disc on my second Xbox later one to see what happens, but it was "aware" of my Dragon Age save games, so I'm assuming you have to have created a DA profile on your console before the Awakening disc will work.

Functionally it plays as a standalone game, though. You ahve to insert the DA disc to go back and play DA content.

Hmm, nothing new - I really want to see someone rip this apart before I commit cash, seeing as I could buy a whole new game for the same price.

Did love the character names, though - Bubbar and Doosh yours, Russ? Or do they come with the game?

Good review, and Justice is quite good. I really want to know what that date on the card that came in the box means, I hope it's not an announcement date.

Thats it, im downloading it tonight. I knew there was a reason I didn'tdelete my Han Soloesque human Noble Rogue.

I've put off buying this expensive expansion for one reason, it seems the characters from the first game are largely ignored.

Leliana said to my character at end of Origins "I'll follow you wherever you go"
Apparently in expansion she says "eh, or not, bye"

Whaaa? This could have been so much fun seeing consequences of various play throughs come to fruition, but from what I've read, you don't get that in this expansion.

Chipperz:
Did love the character names, though - Bubbar and Doosh yours, Russ? Or do they come with the game?

Bubbar is my main character. My characters in most games are named some variation of "Bubba". I created Ser Doosh for the review, just to see the opening of Awakening for new characters.

Ser Pounce-alot!

Anyway, to be perfectly honest, there are a bit to many problems with Awakening to warrant such a score. Too many bugs(some gamebreaking even), too many questions that doesn't add up. The characters are good but not nearly as good as the original. Just to mention a few things.

Awakening get 3 nugs from me.

CK76:
I've put off buying this expensive expansion for one reason, it seems the characters from the first game are largely ignored.

Leliana said to my character at end of Origins "I'll follow you wherever you go"
Apparently in expansion she says "eh, or not, bye"

Whaaa? This could have been so much fun seeing consequences of various play throughs come to fruition, but from what I've read, you don't get that in this expansion.

There are definitely ties back to some decisions from the first game, but, yeah, I was disappointed Leliana didn't stick around either when she promised.

It is a damn good expansion, though - once again, they do a great job of sucking you in and making you care about people and places that are just bytes - damn you Bioware. I had a few 'damn, I really don't know which option sucks least' moments - really fretting about which path to take.

Hmm, nah, I think I've had enough Dragon Age for a while. More of the same is just not something I'd put on my birthday gift list.

I thought the end of the first game was offensivly terrible. The way they forced the male romantic subplot onto the female storyline was just so so so poorly done. Lazy writing at it's absolute worst. I can't imagine any reason I'd consider purchasing any more content for this franchise.

Ive enjoyed Awakening, but after countless hours spent with Origins it felt really short. Took me about 12 hours do do all but one quest. Could use 2 or 3 big zones extra and it would be perfect.

I expect a whole lot more for that price.
I guess after R* was able to sell some mission packs for $20 each, the other publishers have been pushing the limit of how much they can charge and still turn a profit.

I just can't help but wonder: At what price will gamers say "no way."
It seems like you people will buy anything.

evilentity:
Ive enjoyed Awakening, but after countless hours spent with Origins it felt really short. Took me about 12 hours do do all but one quest. Could use 2 or 3 big zones extra and it would be perfect.

wow, that's all? Awakening is $40 here, Origins is $50 (on the PC). So I expected it to be way, way longer.

I was fairly unimpressed with Awakening. I admit, I haven't finished Awakening yet, even after getting it on release day, but really, that's symptomatic of the problems.

The first fifteen minutes of the game were fine (about of Dragon Age standard), but the next fifteen were nigh unbearable for me. It involved throwing a lot of new names at me, characters I didn't care about and can't imagine ever caring about, as well as cutscene after cutscene of endless, dull exposition about... well, not much, really. I threw a swanky "party" for some folks that apparently didn't matter, then got tossed into the world with no sense of what to do next.

And this was what irked me most about this game. There was suddenly too much to do, no reason for me personally to be doing any of it (don't I have people for this?), and absolutely no sense of direction or, most importantly, urgency. The first fifteen minutes gave me a villain that interested me, then I killed him. I felt like nothing I had to do was important. Everything felt like side-questing. I understand that it improves later, but why should I be forced to sit through mediocrity to get to what I would typically consider the standard for this franchise?

Also, I miss being around the old map. The whole expansion simply feels too detached. It's more like its own game than anything.

Everything I've said would be forgiveable from any other RPG on the planet, but I expected so much better. I guess the biggest thing this expansion suffers from is paling compared to the original. Aren't expansions meant to be more of the same, instead of more of something slightly worse?

Edit: Double post, sorry!

I was really pleased with the expansion. I think a lot of people were expecting more, but you forget that an expansion is not supposed to be a complete game. It's an add-on. A little more story, a bit more combat, some new characters, etc. You can't go into it expecting something as big and epic as the main storyline. That's not its purpose. But if you go in expecting a few more adventurous hours in Ferelden, than you'll probably be pleased.

The story is solid, the new and returning characters are well-written and engaging, and the plot moves quickly so there's no danger of boredom. My only criticism comes from the dialogue system, which was tweaked from Origins. Instead of clicking on companions whenever you want to speak with them, you trigger dialogue at set areas and with approval boosts. I felt like no one wanted to talk with me at first, at least until I triggered enough approval gains to open more dialogues. But otherwise, I liked the game a lot. And I liked that the endings acknowledge choices and romances from the main game.

No thanks, I enjoyed the first one, but I've had enough. If I want more later, I'll just play it with a different character.

OldGrover:

CK76:
I've put off buying this expensive expansion for one reason, it seems the characters from the first game are largely ignored.

Leliana said to my character at end of Origins "I'll follow you wherever you go"
Apparently in expansion she says "eh, or not, bye"

Whaaa? This could have been so much fun seeing consequences of various play throughs come to fruition, but from what I've read, you don't get that in this expansion.

There are definitely ties back to some decisions from the first game, but, yeah, I was disappointed Leliana didn't stick around either when she promised.

It is a damn good expansion, though - once again, they do a great job of sucking you in and making you care about people and places that are just bytes - damn you Bioware. I had a few 'damn, I really don't know which option sucks least' moments - really fretting about which path to take.

I'll get eventually, it is just 40 dollars for this is asking a bit much, maybe 20-30 range when Steam does a deal on it and I'll bite as I did love Origins.

can anyone tell me if there are plans for a game of the year edition with this expansion included?

hah, your character's name is dooshe

80+ hours? Man, it's 60+ MAX. And that's doing EVERY sidequest. The games just wasn't all that long and epic.

This has renewed my interest in getting Awakening. I plan to do at least 1 more playthrough of Dragon Age first though, so I'm hoping it will go on sale. I don't really want to pay the 40, but its definitely worth it to me if I have to after doing some more DA:O exploration.

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