Review: Dragon Age II: Legacy

Posted: July 28, 2011 by Tony Polanco in REVIEWS

When Dragon Age II was released back in March it was met with very mixed reviews. Although I thought it was an overall great game I had to agree with a lot of the criticisms that it received from other reviewers and fans. The two biggest complaints stemmed from reused dungeons and monotonous, non strategic, tedious battles. Bioware took these criticisms into consideration and have made a more fan friendly Dragon Age experience with the latest dlc called “Legacy”.

Dragon Age II: Legacy takes place sometime during the events of Dragon Age II and has Hawke and company going to an ancient Grey Warden prison to discover why members of a criminal group called the Carta have been attacking him/her lately. Hawke eventually learns that the Carta are being manipulated by an ancient spirit of evil into obtaining “the blood of the Hawke”. With Hawke’s blood the spirit can be freed from its shackles and no doubt go about causing all kinds of dastardly mayhem. The story delves a little deeper into the history of the Hawke family, the Grey Wardens and The Blights.

Although the battle mechanics of Legacy are exactly the same as those of Dragon Age II what has been changed is how the enemies behave and generate. In Dragon Age II you would fight three to four waves of baddies any time that you would enter a battle. There was no real thinking involved. All you needed to do was mash on the attack button until everything was dead. In Legacy, battles unfold as they did in Dragon Age Origins in that there is a set amount of enemies to dispatch and since they are not random the enemies are placed in specific locations and you have to strategically figure out the best way to achieve victory over them. Another thing that helps to liven up combat are the many traps scattered throughout the levels. If you can lure foes to the right spots then you can defeat a good number of them by pulling levers and switches at the right time. Conversely, enemies can also use these traps to their advantage so you need to be aware of your surroundings to see if enemies are near trap triggers that they can use against you.

People (like myself) who hated going into the same dungeons a thousand times over in Dragon Age II will be glad to know that there are many new dungeons to explore in Legacy. Although you can tell that a lot of the DAII in-game assets were rearranged to make these dungeons it’s forgivable since the new areas and their non linear layouts are fun to explore. Another cool thing about the dungeons is that they have some puzzles that need to be solved before you can progress. There’s nothing on the level of a Portal 2 or Tomb Raider puzzles to solve but having these minor brain teasers helped to keep things interesting.

Dragon Age fans should be pleased with Legacy. Combat will actually make you have to use your noggin and the varied environments, new enemy types, traps and puzzles will keep the tedium demon at bay. The only drawback is the length of the dlc. Bioware promised hours upon hours of playtime but I was able to beat the dlc with all sidequests completed and all trophies earned in less than three hours. That isn’t particularly short but since this dlc was so much fun I wanted a little more. But despite the short play time, I think Bioware did a great job with Dragon Age II: Legacy and I look forward to future Dragon Age dlcs of this quality.

Liked

  • Strategic combat
  • Puzzles to solve
  • Learning more about the Dragon Age world

Disliked

  • Final boss encounter was a bit repetitive
  • Under 3 hours of game time for such a fun dlc
Dragon Age 2: Legacy was developed by Bioware and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on the Playstation network and Xbox live and is available now for $9.99. The version played for this review was downloaded from the Playstation network.
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