With so many fans of the Dragon Age: Origins game Bioware and EA Games must have done something right. I myself have over 200 hours in the game with multiple play throughs to get the various endings and earn achievements.
Up until now the DLC has been interesting if a bit short. But you have to admit from a marketing perspective, they’re doing a great job.
So the newest DLC ‘Witch Hunt’ is billed as the ‘Dramatic Conclusion to your Warden’s Story’. Well I’m here to tell you that’s false advertising in my opinion. A SPOILER WARNING is in order now just in case you want to be surprised when you spend your $7 bucks for this disappointment.
It of course ‘stars’ Morrigan, who is the favorite character of so many of the gamers. She had everything; a no nonsense attitude, revealing clothing, magic power and a solution to you dying at the end of the game.
We’ll start with the good points just to put things in perspective. After multiple DLC’s and an expansion that didn’t include the Mabari hound that bonds to it’s master, he is finally included this time in your group. They even added a codex explaining his absence in the previous add ons which is nice, but out of all the characters to accompany you through Awakenings, Oghren was the last choice I would have made. However, dog doesn’t function anymore to find interesting objects. This issue is even mentioned by the NPC’s in one of their idle conversations.
A second nice thing is once again, you can import any of your previous characters or create a new one. However, you may get an anachronistic error stating that you have reached your character limit if you’ve had too many play throughs. As long as you have HDD space, why does it matter how many characters you create? You shelled out the cash for the game and the storage space, why won’t they let you use it?
So now for the annoyances.
Short – The add on only take 3.5 hours to finish at a leisurely pace.
Once again, you have no access to Warden’s keep storage so what you have is it.
You have only one merchant / enchanter this time. Sandal is available for your shopping enjoyment at the Mage’s tower, but he offers no bags. However, if you missed being able to purchase the Spellward in Origins, you’ll have the chance to pick it up this time.
Next you are given 3 NPC’s this time and out of those 3 you have two Warriors and a Mage. No Rogue and yet there are locked doors and chests everywhere. How incredibly frustrating for anyone that isn’t playing a rogue?
No camp is included, even though the little block at the top of the large map is there, means no socialization with companions. Approval and disapproval don’t come into play this time, which has it’s pros and cons so I’ll let you be the judge.
When you open your map for the first time you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see many things you’ll remember from Origins including Denerim and Orzammar. Yet you’ll find out very quickly that these areas on the map never unlock, even though you go to one of the old thaigs, you still don’t have the option of getting into Orzammar. Can anyone tell me how you got into the thaig without going through Orzammar or Warden’s keep tunnels?
As a parting word, Morrigan says she has left a gift for you that you should find quite interesting. The cut scene continues to show your PC by the camp fire looking down at a ‘gift’ and then the game goes to the credits. So your gift is never seen because game ends before you can open your inventory. Now hypothetically, you could import this character into another game to see if it shows up, but then you’ll end up with the ‘have exceeded character limit’ error.
In summary, what could have been a brilliant wrap up to so many of the loose ends of the story falls flat and leaves you with even more unanswered questions. Morrigan mentions she’s not the real danger and walks through a portal a few seconds later. So when are they going to continue this storyline? 2012? Never? Dragon Age 2 is focusing on the experiences of a surviving hero of Lothering, the little starting town that got overrun by Dark Spawn early in the Origins story progression so it’s unlikely we’ll see any conclusion there. Either it’s false advertising to state this is a conclusion to the Origins storyline, or this company isn’t going to keep it’s fans interested by leaving so many loose ends