Dragon Age: Origins DLC
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare
Genre: Traditional RPG
Format: Download
Released: US 09/07/10 (Witch Hunt)

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Ferelden is host to several magnificent dungeons.
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If you're not careful, she'll grab you and eat your face off.
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The ashes of a sacred woman or just a dustbin? You decide.
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But be warned: just because someone is traveling with you doesn't mean you're their highest priority.
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Ashton Liu
Dragon Age: Origins DLC (Witch Hunt)
Ashton Liu

Witch Hunt

"Flemeth once told me that temptation lies in the forbidden. 'Do not follow me,' I said. Some doors should never be reopened..."

A cryptic and somber monologue delivered by Morrigan begins the final quest of the Grey Warden, hero of Ferelden, and the first to conquer a Blight in centuries. As the epilogue of the tale, Witch Hunt promises to uncover the final fate of Morrigan, who disappeared after the final battle in Dragon Age: Origins, telling the Warden never to follow her again. Now the Warden sets off on his mission to find Morrigan and gain closure.

Unlike Bioware's efforts in their Mass Effect 2 DLC, Dragon Age Origins has had thoroughly subpar downloads. Most, if not all, of their DLC has had nothing worthwhile to offer players that trekked their way through Dragon Age Origins' excellent 40 hour quest. Witch Hunt seemed to be the last hope, the final hurrah before the book was closed on this chapter of Ferelden's history, and a precursor to some storylines that would unfold in the next game. Unfortunately, it falls short of every expectation one could possibly have.

For one thing, the characters are throwaway teammates that add nothing to the story. There are one or two appearances of friendly faces, but even these are short lived. The story itself is a collection of fetch quests and wild goose chases, culminating in a conversation with Morrigan that reaches its conclusion in two or three minutes. The amount of story could have – and should have – been a ten-minute teaser trailer for Dragon Age 2.

Adding to this is the fact that nearly none of the areas in the game are new; almost every area visited is a revisit to a place already seen in the main game. The enemies are also all models found in the original game, with the exception of one, which is rather underwhelming.

The entire DLC takes about seventy minutes to complete. I finished the entire DLC on the hardest difficulty and got every achievement in that time period. For $7, this is unacceptable and an insult to the players who invested so much time in the story of Dragon Age. It would be mitigated somewhat if the final conclusion lasted more than just five to ten minutes, but the fact that it ends so abruptly and on such a lukewarm note is a letdown and adds insult to injury.

As of this writing, the add on doesn't even work right; it doesn't properly flag the story choice made in the main game regarding Morrigan's final departure, and thus it defaults to a choice that a good deal of players probably didn't make. Playing the DLC with three different imported characters did not change this. A fix is to be released soon, but the point is, the problem shouldn't have been there in the first place. That's just sloppy as hell.

It's baffling how Mass Effect 2's DLC is so well crafted, detailed, and obviously has had a great deal of time and effort put into it, whereas Dragon Age Origins' DLC ended up being pitifully short and unsatisfying extra chapters to an excellent game. This most recent release is just the rotten cherry on the top of a crap sundae. If this is the method in which EA and Bioware are advertising Dragon Age 2, I'd strongly advise them to reassess their marketing strategy, because the slipshod quality of this DLC is blighting my desire to purchase the new Dragon Age. Good show.


© 2009-2010 BioWare, Electronic Arts. All rights reserved.

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