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Dragon Age II: Legacy DLC review

One of the biggest criticisms of Dragon Age II was that the drab, recycled environments quickly turned your enthusiastic dungeon crawl into more of an unwilling, half-hearted plod. When BioWare announced that Legacy would take you out of Kirkwall, fans everywhere could be seen doing one of those classically freeze-framed jumps for joy. But, like a lazy high school student constantly told by teachers to “apply yourself,” BioWare has met only the bare minimum of our expectations with this short and disappointing DLC quest.


In an effort to uncover the dark secret behind the want for Hawke’s blood, you and your party venture deep inside the Vimmark Mountains (read: underground, again) to explore an old prison built by the Grey Wardens. Hawke’s deceased father, Malcolm, played an important role here involving a darkspawn creature named Corypheus, and over the course of about two hours you’ll find out exactly how these two are related (but not why the ominous voice of Malcolm sounds suspiciously like male Hawke’s voice actor doing his best God impression).

The vast majority of those two hours, however, will be spent hacking through familiar dwarves and darkspawn (though there are a few new enemies for you to furiously tap the attack button at) while you move through the dirty stone corridors of the prison. While we were extremely relieved to not be traipsing through the old dungeons of the main game for a bazillionth time, we were ultimately left wanting after seeing the design and layout of the Grey Warden prison. Yes there are new torches on the walls and the hallways are a slightly different shade of tan, but at cost of roughly $5 per hour to play, we hoped for something visually spectacular from this DLC.


Above: Besides the standard fighting and a few conversations, the only notable change-up is this one puzzle room 

But Dragon Age isn’t all about the combat and environments - there’s that heavy decision making that shapes the story as you play, right? Well, not so much here. Your dialogue choices will have little impact on how things play out, with the one exception coming near the end of the quest. Even that, though, does little more than determine who stands in your way before the inevitable final boss fight.
At least there are a couple of small perks that carry over after beating Legacy. Hawke’s “key” weapon, which is compatible with whatever class you’ve chosen, looks spiffy as hell and can be upgraded three times with various effects of your choosing.  If you’re thorough enough to explore all corners of the prison and complete all side tasks, you can also pick up a few pieces of new armor that can’t be found elsewhere.


Above: We haven’t seen face melting this spectacular since the Dark Knight 

As with any downloadable extra, the biggest concern is whether or not you’ll get a decent bang for your buck. Paying $10 for something that feels more like a deleted scene than a worthwhile add-on is a tough ask for anyone who doesn’t literally worship “The Maker.”

24 comments

  • mothbanquet - August 1, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    While I'm not passing judgement on a game I admittedly haven't played beyond the demo, I'm glad I invested in DAO:UE instead of paying 75% more for a new copy of DA2. With everything I've heard and from reading this review, I think I'll stick with Origins until DA2:UE comes out.
  • DeliciousPie - August 1, 2011 2:18 a.m.

    You can turn on autoattack like in DAO. Go to options, gameplay, bottom of the menu. Had to post this. I've seen a lot of people complain about the button mashing in DA2 like it's impossible to change.
  • ZigzMagoo - July 31, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    HORSE ARMOUR!!!!!!
  • IcePotato - July 31, 2011 2:34 a.m.

    That about sums up all of DA2. Minimum effort with shit results.
  • spawny0908 - July 31, 2011 1:48 a.m.

    It was ok. not worth 10 bucks. and the ending boss fight was way more frustrating than it should have been! My entire party was killed because they don't want to stay put! WHEN I SAY "HOLD" I FUCKING MEAN HOLD!!!!
  • Elementium - July 30, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    That's a shame.. I have two play throughs on DAII and was looking for some cool DLC to play by now.. See I actually enjoyed DAII and most of the complaining I don't really understand but from the description of the DLC I really don't feel like paying for such a small amount of content. This also makes me have doubts about SWTOR as it just proves that Bioware isn't as flawless as everyone thinks.
  • FrapJedi - July 30, 2011 6:58 p.m.

    Man, I guess I played a different DA: Legacy, 'cause my experience wasn't really anywhere near as bad as you described. Some of the best DA DLC yet.
  • GrandHarrier - July 30, 2011 6:25 p.m.

    I personally don't find this review to be quite fair. I probably spent upwards of four hours on this piece of DLC. But then again, I do play on Nightmare difficulty (did the reviewer play it on casual?). The several boss fights that you will engage in this DLC alone are worth it, at least to me, because they were quite interesting, varied and challenging. Corphyeus alone was a WoW style dungeon end boss and quite a challenge on Nightmare. The lore is quite fascinating too. But, take it as you will, I didn't find DA:2 to be as bad as people make it out to be. Yes, recycled environments are bad. But the overall story, the characters, and the game play are still good. I'd have given the DLC a 7.
  • Drakan - July 30, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    Crap dlc for a crap game. It's befitting.
  • sirdilznik - July 30, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    It's kind of sad that Bioware has devolved to this. It's not that DA2 is a bad game, but it's a clear step back from DA:O. They tried to make both a strategic RPG and an action RPG at the same time and partially failed on both accounts. That coupled with the really disappointing to see obvious corner cutting/lazy programming from a company that has such a rich tradition of making some of the most brilliant RPGs ever created. Now top it off with an uninspired and overpriced DLC, though that shouldn't be that much of a surprise since Bioware's recent history with DLCs is really hit or miss, and frankly more miss than hit. Hopefully all the corner cutting/content recycling in DA2 means they've spent more time making Mass Effect 3 the thoroughly excellent grand finale that it deserves to be. If that game winds up being a step back for the series like DA2 was it will be devastating.
  • fatguy19 - July 30, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    I dont understand why anyone is wasting money on the dlc for this game anyway. Way not wait a year for the inevitable ylimate edition which includes all the DLC for twnty quid, just like they did with origins
  • Crabhand - July 30, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    I bought and played the DLC, and the criticisms aren't necessarily incorrect. The final encounter, however, is really awesome and the identity of Corypheus was something I found very cool. I found it worthwhile, especially because I will end up playing it a few times, but it isn't for everybody (especially if you disliked DA2).
  • kassmageant - July 30, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    on the bright side - after all this bitching and moaning that fans made about DA2, Bioware should take notice and - if they plan to make it - third game should be more like dragon age and less than mass effect : ) they were experimenting, it's not a bad thing, it sometimes just doesn't work that well
  • CoruptAI125 - July 30, 2011 5:43 a.m.

    I can't argue with your points but I have to say that this DLC is some of the best gameplay I've had out of DA 2. The enemies and the encounters are set up just right and there isn't so much of the BS monster Closet as there was in the vanilla game.
  • Errrrbo - July 30, 2011 3:56 a.m.

    Wait, why does it say "Awesome" under the 5?
  • hester2 - July 30, 2011 3:54 a.m.

    @DarkSymbiote As much as I hate to say it, he is halfway right. With only a couple exceptions, Origins' DLC was borderline Horse Armor. Those couple exceptions were FREAKING awesome, so they made up for it.
  • qurao - July 30, 2011 2:41 a.m.

    I liked DA2 well enough to do two 20-hour playthroughs of it during the first three days of its release, and I bought Legacy as soon as it was released. To be honest I wasn't all that disappointed with DA2, even if it didn't live up to my expectations, but I was severely disappointed with Legacy; the gear I was already using was better than what I received in Legacy, and overall it was just a couple of hours of crawling through dungeons with no meaningful dialogue or player-choices.
  • Doctalen - July 30, 2011 2:32 a.m.

    I find it hard to believe that Bioware can make excellent games. But then make poor DLC. The logic behind that ability is lost to me.
  • BackwaterRifle - July 30, 2011 2:28 a.m.

    5 is a So-So, unless it's intentional. but How did they review this before Fallout New Vegas Old World Blues DLC?
  • shadowreaper72 - July 30, 2011 2:07 a.m.

    Haters going to freaking hate. It was better than Origins craptastic dlc.

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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