Dragon Age Origins: Awakening
Could have been great, but came out broken
If this game had been release without bugs it easily would be an 8 or 9 on my list but it wasn't. The new characters are interesting as is the story and the decisions you make as Arl. But the bugs are rampant and have not been fixed more than a month after release. Not one of them. First many people have crash issues so bad the game is unplayable. If you're lucky enough to be able play many quests are bugged so as to be impossible to complete. Finally the mechanic that controls the companions opinion of the character is buggy so that it is sometimes impossible to develop relationships with them/ complete their personal quests. Since companions are such a big part of the experience that's quite a big deal. To conclude don't buy this game at least until its patched or if you like frustration and restarting to get past bugs.
.....more Dragonage. What could be better?
What could be better than getting more Dragonage! After playing Origins for four months (5 playthroughs) I couldn't be happier to get more Dragonage. I've more or less just started playing DO:A and there are quite a few quests, new places to go, and I really like the new characters especially Anders and Nathaniel. To bad they can't be romanced and that is the ONLY thing I don't like, not being able to talk to the new companions in "camp" as you could in DO:O. But, the conversations among your companions can be really funny. Also, they "talk" to each other about thier previous lives. I like how, in certain convos with NPC's, they refer back to what you accomplished as a Warden. The new spells are very interesting and fun to try out. Great new weapons and armor - especially Justice's black and red armor. Some of the fights with bosses I've been in are extremely challenging. Lots of loot and money to pickup. No more worrying about how you're going to buy those injury kits or health potions. EXCELLENT EXPANSION!
A fair review for an EXPANSION....
Let me just premise this by saying that I normally do not do this. I felt it necessary because the other reviews from people either expecting to much, or those that ran through it and did not give it a fair chance. Let use not forget that this is the same developers that brought you Never Winter Nights which was way more lore based than hack-and-slash. The lore in the game as an expansion (as well as the original) is astounding. I would bet that most other reviews here did not even care about it at all, and I feel that it is one of the most important factors in reviewing a game like this. There are at least a 100 tid bits of lore and history of Ferelden spread throughout the expansion that help fill in the gaps from the first one.The story immediately grabs you, and keeps up its appeal throughout. The fact that the dark spawn show intelligence is a very interesting take for an expansion, at least I did not see that coming. I honestly believe that it could be a stand-alone game that is very interesting. Ok, so there is no romance options in this expansion! Seriously, if you care that much about that you have some seriously problems... It did not add that much to the story. You can still recruit many characters that have interesting background; and to an extent you can interact with them much to the same degree as before. I do agree that it is not as personal, but this is an expansion, not DAO2.PROS:The effort that the developers put in is evident. The graphics imo are still very good. Awesome controls like NWN and the music and sounds are awesome as ever. The character customization is actually better because they finally implemented some new armor and weapon skins (Thank God), and you can skill switch to all characters and customize their protocol in combat. If you import your character from DAO then you can see what some of your choices did when they carry over to the expansion, which is awesome! I mean, how many games actually carry over your unique choices?Those of you that played stealth oriented rogues from the first game know what I am saying when I point out there were not many damage abilities open to us, even with the assassin specialization. With the expansion they actually make the class viable in combat with many interesting and unique abilities which definitely makes the class a lot more fun to play (especially if you choose a certain specialization). CONS:The game is changed dynamically imo because they make money really easy to get, and they beefed up some classes so much with specializations that I had to play on nightmare for the difficulty to even be hard. Even then the only difficult fights where the boss encounters, and this is because I had a hard time keeping my caster alive. So that is the only reason I was harsh on difficulty. The "random encounters" where lackluster, with minimal change in scenery and content. I was almost always the same map (woods/farm) with a change between dark spawn and sometimes bandits. Also the free-form quests where kill/pick-up without much thought, but still interesting overall.The cost of this game is extreme, you actually can get 20+ hours out of it and about 60+ out or the original, but the expansion when it first came out was $** when the original was $**! That does not make sense to me, it should have only been around $**-**.OVERALL:I would like to point out that this is an EXPANSION and NOT DAO2 (which is evidently slated for next feb). And as far as an expansion is concerned this is a sold one with tons of interesting lore and plenty of different companions and new interesting enemies to fight. You can easily spend more then 20 hours trying to find every little side-quest and item hunting excursion. There are more weapons, armor, STAMINA POTIONS, and you can even rune craft some very effective buffs for your weapons AND armor. They just improved some flaws form the first game and made it a more enjoyable experience, and isnt that what everyone expects from a
The expansion totally inferior compare to the Original.
The price is too high for such short lengths of gameplay and not much to achieve. undoubtedly the original is amazing, but the expansion is lacking. Nothing new and creative of captivation, especially talents and spells is overwhelming thus alleviate challenge. Too little side quest, You level up and gain money at a much faster rate compare to Original, and Characters approvals from The Origins will not be transported into The Awakening, especially Characters sometimes approve/disapprove of actions even when they are not present. And the most despicable facts is for the gamers whom purchase the DLC content's only portion of items is transferable. The difference is widely disliked and despondent, Imo it subverted the system we used to. The only positives is higher level cap, higher tiers, new weapons and armors, craft runes in armor, and the ability to re-spec your character for improvising. I won't recommend this product unless price dropped, it doesn't worth the price for it's deterioration.
If you liked the first one
you'll enjoy this one as more. It's basically a 15-20 hour extension of the first game. Cons: -no more romance options -you'll have to up the difficulty or not use over powered abilities like mana clash -no camp dialogue -it's expensive for 15-20 hours of gameplay (but realistically that's what, around two dollars per hour played?) Pro(s): -IT'S FIFTEEN TO TWENY MORE HOURS OF DA:O. - ability to carry your character over from the first game and see how your choices affected the world - 6 new specilizations (two per class) - higher level cap - new crafting (Rune) - new items (armor and weapons now go up to tier 9 and armor can now use runes) - 5 new party members and 1 returning member. - it seems to have fixed the memory leak bug that plagued the first (no more having to reset the game when it all of a sudden took 3 minutes for you to be able to loot monsters. If you loved the first one, you'll love this one.
Price too high for what you get
I played and enjoyed Dragon Age Origins a lot. This expansion was disappointing. Here's why: Character interaction - I really enjoyed the interaction I had with my party members in the camp setting, talking to them, seeing what their back stories were. You get new party members in the expansion, but don't really get to know them like you do in the original game. There's no romance in the expansion, if that was your thing in the original. Depth of Story - The story is just really shallow compared to the original game. Without giving away plot points, there's not much you can say beyond that. Bugs - There's bugs. Lots of bugs. You can check the Bioware boards for specifics, but basically this expansion was rushed and it shows. The ones that bothered me most were missing sections of cut scenes where it was obvious they didn't add in the character videos for your party members. If you play, save often. The game crashes often for a lot of people, although it was pretty stable for me. Length of Game - Considering that this expansion costs only $* less than the original game, you'd think it would be longer. I'd say this expansion has about a fifth of the content the original game did, if that. The price should be about $*, rather than $*considering what you get for the money. Overall, this expansion was rushed out the door without enough bug testing and costs more than its worth. Wait for it to be bug patched and for a drop in price before you buy it.
What I liked: 1. The game had a lot of heart pounding action and it actually scared me a couple of times. 2. New items and spells. 3. The games ease of play. One reason I like this game is that you dont have to be a super button pusher in order to play. 4. I liked some of the concepts the game tried to develope (e.g fortress, mini puzzles) What I did not like: 1. The game was too short. It should have been a module. The game introduced a new rune making process. the runes boards are sold by one of the vendors inside the keep. However the games is so fast paced that you might have missed it. I did not make runes at all the entire game. I imported my runes from DAO. I actually didnt know what to make of them due to getting the digital download. By the time I did figure out what they were, the game was 3/4 way to completion so why bother. 2. The characters were not as in depth as they were in DAO. I think they gave people some hints of this before its release. 3. They have the same people doing the voice acting. Geesh get some new people. 4. The storyline was rushed and from reading around the boards a lot of people agree. Some of the storyline just didnt make any sense. DAO2 could have been way better than it was. Its not a bad game but its not a great game either. As a matter of fact as soon as I finished the game I turned on the television, I did not do that with DAO.
Save Your Money
I loved Dragon Age Origins but Awakening was released to soon. The content seems rushed and compares more to an update rather than expansion. If you want it for continued storyline buy it but lower your expectations greatly. If you want it for gameplay save your money and buy a different game. There is very little interaction between your character and the group. The areas you travel to are small. The quests are in your face rather than having to search for items. I miss having a camp to travel to. They double teamed your camp with a main area. The cutscenes are thrown together and far and few. No surprise cutscenes or big finish. For the money I was very disappointed I would have rather waited a few months and been offered a game that could stand up to the original. They cut down in quality and quantity compared to Origins.
challenge- I imported my character over from Dragon Age. Even though I imported the challenge was above average. Playing the game without importing was challenging hence the 9. Controls- Standard from Dragon Age no change. Easy to use.Interface- Standard from Dragon Age no change. Easy to use.Sound- Standard from Dragon Age no change. Easy to use.Character Customization- Standard from Dragon Age no change. Easy to use.Graphics- A few bugs in the graphics. During the last part of the storyline talking with the character the father the screen went black. I reloaded the scene again, and it went black again. However it did allow me to pick a response choice then the screen corrected itself. Outside of the black screen i only crashed 2 times. Length- This is where we have problems. This game is way to short. I took my time and completed the game in 8 hours. I scored this a 4 because ive played longer games then this one, base on the games opening value. This game your actually paying for the brand.Sounds-Standard from Dragon Age no change.Storyline- The story itself felt rushed. Some of the combat senarios didnt make sense at all. For example you just defended a city from attack (shortcut scene). All of a sudden the enemy is in the city coming from an underground passage that leads to NOWHERE. LOL. It was so short it was confusing.The Game- The game added 2 new subclasses per class. This included about 12 new skills/spells per class. For a game thats so short finding the armor pieces is a challenge. My opinion it should have been bit easier due to how short the game was. In the game you get to make runes, too bad some of the ingredients are missing (rune boards). I only found 2 rune boards the entire game and you need those to make runes. Also once you bought the rune traces they would vanish somewhere in your inventory, where i dont know. The keep idea is fun but way underdeveloped. You actually lose money improving the keep. I would not have been as pleased if i could not import from DAO1. Due to the rune issue.Closing statement- This game should have been added as a mod not a follow up. The idea that its being marketed as a follow up does not reflect well to its first release (DAO1). The storyline and game itself is way underdeveloped. This game was rushed right out the door. The question is, if i would buy this game knowing what I know now. The answer would be yes but i would have gotten it until far far far into the future. Im talking about near DAO3 LOL, old software deal. (I said yes because I must have enjoyed it. I did play straight through the game. if a game is bad i immediately stop playing it). However this game is a far far far far (did i say far) cry from the first. I know this because im not excited enough to play the game immediately. Oh well happy gaming.
Fun but needs more game play
This is a very good game it's right up there with oblivion which was my all time favorite until I played this game, the only blah part about it is, I see everyone talking about all the hours they have put into it and I don't see how, Im on my third time around and trying to do every quest and take my time through it so I don't miss anything. I also find it hard to get high in levels before reaching the end of the game, the highest I have made is level 18 and I barely made that.