'Dragon Age: Origins Awakening': Happy returns
It appears that the Darkspawn are still threatening humanity — and that’s a good thing for fans of “Dragon Age: Origins.”
The game — one of the best of 2009 — allows players to enter the land of Ferelden, which is under assault by a horde of evil creatures known as the Darkspawn. You play as a Grey Warden whose job is to gather an army and turn back the tide.
The new expansion “Dragon Age: Origins Awakening” picks up where the original left off — with the leaderless Darkspawn scattered throughout the countryside. You are given command of the Grey Warden’s new home and told to mop up the remaining foes.
You can import your character from the original game or create a new one.
Fans will quickly notice that, while the game mechanics are unchanged, quite a few options have been expanded. There are new spells and abilities. You can add magical runes to your armor. And you can opt into new specialties within each class — rogue, mage and warrior. Each of these elements adds a few pleasant new surprises to the game play.
One of the elements that made the original game so enjoyable was the story and the character interactions and relationships. While “Awakening” doesn’t deliver the same depth and scope as the original, it does a good job for an add-on. You bump into a few old friends, but most of the faces are new. They come with their own back stories and quirks and provide plenty of entertainment.
Overall, those who enjoyed their first journey into Ferelden and are simply hankering to whip some more Darkspawn backside will be thrilled with “Awakening.”
Platforms: Xbox 360 (tested), PlayStation 3, PC
On the Web:www.dragonage.bioware.com/