If there is one thing that Varric, the clean-shaven dwarf rogue from EA's Dragon Age II, enjoys, itâ€™s a good story. So itâ€™s not surprising that while being questioned by Seeker Cassandra about the violent and devastating events in Kirkwall, he lets slip a little bit of information about the Championâ€™s journey out of Kirkwall. Revealing more Hawke family history, itâ€™s a story full of fast-paced hacking, slashing and spell-casting action. And thereâ€™s plenty more darkspawn, demons and crazed Grey Wardens waiting to get a taste of Hawkeâ€™s particular brand of problem solving.
Released a few months back, Dragon Age II got a mixed response. Though noticeably light on dragons, it got a lot of attention on the back of the fantastic Dragon Age: Origins, despite a bit of criticism about the move away from classic RPG style gameplay to more fast paced action-orientated battles. However, even those who really liked the game were disappointed in the small maps and the way you had to continually return to the same areas.
In BioWareâ€™s Dragon Age: Legacy, you get the chance to continue your adventures with the Champion of Kirkwood. In the three hours of extra gameplay, accessed from Hawkeâ€™s house, you get to travel to all new locations, battle new enemies and learn a little more about Hawkeâ€™s father.
Of course itâ€™s all very good news for those gamers who crave more Dragon Age. However, if you were a bit lukewarm about it, then there is nothing here that will change your opinion. If you didnâ€™t like way the game played, or if all the same locations started to grate, then nothing has really changed in the DLC. What you get is a quest, much like the expedition into the Deep Roads in Dragon Age II. However, the additions to Hawkeâ€™s story are interesting and well done. Not only do you get an insight into Hawkeâ€™s father, but you also get a bit of closure with Carver or Bethany, depending on whether Hawkeâ€™s brother or sister is still in the party.
That fairly well sums up Dragon Age: Legacy. The best part about it is the continuing story. The rest is pretty much what you got with the original game. You pick your party from those that were left at the end of your last save. Head to the door and you are on a desert road. You fight some dwarves, and are shuffled straight towards the Grey Wardenâ€™s prison. While there are new locations, itâ€™s all still very linear, and the new areas donâ€™t look or feel all that different than those found in the original game.
While there are no new spells or abilities to learn in the game, you do have the chance to earn some more XP, and in that way get access to a few more tricks of your chosen trade. As a central part of the story, Hawke also gets a new class-specific weapon. Itâ€™s a powerful blade or staff (depending on your chosen class) that can be upgraded during the game and is especially useful when it comes to battling the enemies that continually respawn out of nowhere, just like in Dragon Age II, as well as the new battles against shielded demons and golems.
As battles go Legacy is pretty simple. Getting through the original game will prepare you well, and make completing the DLC, and the few optional missions, pretty straightforward. The conversation wheel is still there so you can throw out your angry or smart-arsed replies. But with the game so short, there is no time to change relationships â€” one of the most enjoyable aspects of the original game â€” so donâ€™t count on any new hook-ups with hot pirates or banished Dalish elves.
In the end, what you can count on is two to three hours of the same Dragon Age II. It looks the same, plays the same, and depending who you pick in your party, the chatter, while entertaining enough, is the same. Also, if like me you were a bit disappointed with a lack of dragons in the original game â€” there are no dragons whatsoever in Legacy. And if thereâ€™s one thing all RPGâ€™s can do with, itâ€™s a few more dragons.