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Dragon Age 2: Legacy Review

Jessica_Vazquez By:
M Contains Blood and Gore, Language, Sexual Content, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

I bought the DLC and all I got was this lousy Magic Staff.

I have a love-hate relationship with Dragon Age 2. While I love the new combat system, improved voice-acting, and storytelling, I continuously found myself confronted by disappointment. My fellow GR Comrade, Nick Tan, explained it perfectly in his review by commenting on the fact that the sequel lacked an origin story for its main character, making it more difficult to become invested in his (or her) plight. Sure, the bedtime story-like plot development allows justification for the absence of such a revelation, but it still leaves much to be desired. The Dragon Age 2: Legacy DLC attempts to remedy this by allowing your character to learn more about their family history.

In the beginning of Legacy, a "cartel" of dwarves seeks Hawke's blood for some mysterious reason, and you must figure out what your family's ancestry has to do with these seedy characters. It is best to bring Varric and your brother/sister along for this journey, because both have some tie to the plot. As for the fourth squad member, I chose Anders in the hopes that Justice might make a cameo somewhere during the mission, which he did, but it was not as exciting as I had hoped it to be.

Many things in this add-on fell short for me, though. On top of the short gameplay, it was considerably more glitchy than the main game. I played as a mage and there were times when I would go to select a heal spell and not be able to select an ally. It got annoying. 

But there a few perks, like getting to leave the claustrophobic city of Kirkwall and its limited outlying areas. The environments of the Vimmark Mountains and Grey Warden prison are a refreshing change from the Déjà Vu Caves of Terror. If you decide to proceed with the quest early in the game, it's a good way to earn XP and gain unique weaponry, but I would recommend against this. Why? Archers, that's why. I'm not sure if it's just me, but out of all the enemies in Dragon Age 2, the archers are the most irritating... and there are a lot of them here.

You'll often find battles in Dragon Age 2: Legacy where you go to defeat a pesky band of about three archers only to find yourself bombarded by a barrage of arrows from archers who seem to appear out of thin air. It's not like these battle situations are anything new to DA2 gameplay; it's just that they make up a majority of the first part of DA2: Legacy, and it gets old fast. If you haven't built up your character's armor and constitution before begrinning the quest, you will have a hell of a time making it through. Feel free to try if you want, because you are given the option to return to Kirkwall and regroup halfway in.

The combat situations are extremely heavy on tactics. If you're the kind of person who despises setting the tactic slots of your squad-mates and prefers to go all default-kamikaze, then this may not be the DLC for you. There is rarely a confrontation where you won't get pwned like a newb within the first minute if you don't find a suitable place to make a stand.

The one remedy to this is the addition of intricate trap systems incorporated into the environments. You can activate spinning razors of death or impaling spikes from the ground by using switches around the battlefield.  They deal a large amount of damage, but the downsides are that your fellow squad members can get injured by them too. Sometimes they are easily visible and accessible, and other times they are hidden up stairs or in corners. I often found myself vanquishing a room of difficult foes only to find one of these switches and think, "Gee, that would have been nice to have five minutes ago." 

The second half of Legacy doesn't have these trap switches, but it does have completely redesigned versions of darkspawn introduced in Dragon Age: Origins. The Genlocks are about three times the size of the ones in the original game and look like demonic gorillas, using their oversized arms to help propel themselves at you. The Genlock Alphas are equipped with gigantic shields that they use as battering rams, which I thought was a nice touch.

The one thing I have to give DA2 props for is making the combat styles of different enemy types unique by equipping them with special weapons and attacks, though that's all that really separates this from other side quests. The most unique thing about the final boss is the story behind his character. Sure, he's difficult in the sense that he has a major attack that can wipe out your entire squad if you don't anticipate it, but so does every other boss in Dragon Age 2.

DLC is a good way for companies to make a couple extra bucks, but essentially all Legacy gives us is a new weapon, a miniscule insight into our main character, and revamped versions of darkspawn enemies. Unless you're a completionist, I see little need to spend your precious sovereign on this one.
C+ Revolution report card
  • Powerful new weapon.
  • Story sheds light on Hawke's family history
  • ... not an epic revelation though.
  • +/- Utilizing enviornment traps can be fun.
  • A bit pricey for what you get.

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Also known as: dragon age legacy, dragon age II, dragon age II legacy, dragon age II: legacy

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