Dragon Age Origins: Return to Ostagar DLC Review
Spoiler Warning: Some details about missions and events from main game.
I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this damn thing to come out, it was originally supposed to hit around the time I got to the last possible point I could experience it as part of my main playthrough, so was a bit annoyed by all the delays. After you beat the main game, you get a sort of DLC save game which restricts you to just your camp and any DLC only areas, and it informs you in no uncertain terms that any events that you do from this point take place chronologically before the end of the game. While I appreciate their to integrate the DLC better than the first Mass Effect did with this save, I am afraid that I ignored this option and went and found a save from just before the endgame, which I am going to use that to experience any DLC. Being restricted to just the camp made me feel like I had been caught in a Star Trek style pocket dimension or something.
As I am playing this on the PC purchased through Steam, I had to jump through a couple of hoops to get this content. I had to load up the game, click on the ‘Add Points’ button, then the game kicked me to a browser pointing at social.bioware.com
, their super janky social site that frankly barely works. Once I had signed into the website about 15 times and actually purchased the points, they showed up in the game and I was able to download and install it relatively smoothly. The DLC is 400 BioWare points or £3.10 and much like I said in my Battle of Forli review
, don’t really have any expectations for something so cheap. £3.10 is pretty much the same thing as a decent sandwich, and sandwiches don’t last me more than an hour usually.
The DLC initially sets you off to some wood somewhere where a character presents a reason for you to “Return to Ostagar”, so you do. As those of you who have played the main game will know, there are hella darkspawn all over Ostagar at this point. The area has been changed a bit from the first time you visited, specifically it’s more snowy and linear as they've blocked off some paths, also there are dudes to fight. Story wise, you are basically there to pick through the rubble looking for old King Cailan’s various nick-nacks which some greedy darkspawn are making good use of. The loot you get from this is not the best loot in the game in terms or raw numbers, but it does have some nice bonuses that mean you’ll probably keep it around. I did find a couple of actual genuine upgrades for my characters after it was all over.
In terms of difficulty, it’s really not so challenging. At one point they did that thing where they swarm you with level 10 enemies that all die in one hit while you have to identify and deal with a larger threat. Still not sure why they do this, it’s a bit of a pain in the arse. The final encounter wasn’t too challenging for me. Finally, there are also a few well made cutscenes dotted throughout this which I wasn’t really expecting as it would of been super easy not bother. It shows that someone there are people who care about the quality working on these packs, and makes me excited for more packs that don't reuse so many assets.
I’d say it took me one and a half hours to get through this overall. You fight your way through the main area, then go onto a couple of other small locations, so not a particularly expansive Deep Roads type area or anything, but hey, you are doing exactly what the title suggests. One of the first things the game does is pretty much just tell you to take Alistair and Wynne along with you, as they’ve only recorded new dialogue for these two. For the record, for future DLC I’d be perfectly happy playing more for more new content. I expect that Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening will quench my thirst for more Dragon Age, but am still unclear how that relates to the main game or how long it is. Now, back to Mass Effect 2.