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Dragon Age Retrospective 3: Awakenings of the Witch hunter

Dragon Age Retrospective 3: The Awakening to the Witch Hunt

Before we get started I need to address something I missed last time. That would be the Golems of Amgarrak DLC….to put it bluntly there is a reason I forgot about it and that is that it’s trash. The story is boring and more importantly completely goes against the lore the base game developed. The only thing of note is that the end boss of this dlc is the same boss as the end boss of Dragon Age 2. So don’t play it don’t buy it (unless it’s in a bundle) and certainly don’t talk about it anymore.

That said, let’s get started.

The expansion for Dragon Age Origins honestly feels like a full sequel. And at over 15 hours it’s the length of many full releases now a days. This is one “expansion” that lives up to the name.

Now I’ll warn you in advance for spoilers but I want to go a little more in depth for this one. The story is in my own opinion more interesting than even the base game. As it takes everything we knew about the threat from Dragon Age Origins and turns it on it’s head in a clever and inventive way.

The story begins one of two ways depending on how Dragon Age Origins ends. If the hero doesn’t survive then you play as a new Warden from the North. According the Game designer Mike Laidlaw this is the canon way to play as in his opinion the warden was meant to die in Origins.

The second way to play begins with the hero of Origins having lived and traveled to the lands gifted to the wardens at the end of Origins. You arrived as the base was under attack by darkspawn, lead by one that can talk.

This leads the warden into an investigation as to how a darkspawn can talk as the A plot along with discovering what the darkspawn want with Grey wardens, as several were kidnapped from the base.

The B plot sees the warden assuming to title of lord and ruling over Amaranthine, this is one area I would have loved to see expanded in a future title and actual let you feel like a ruler but for an expansion it does the job.

The darkspawn plot takes several twist that I will not give away here but playing this again it makes me wish this was the direction the series took; we’ll get into that in the weeks to come.

The villain, if you want to call him that, is a self aware darkspawn who reveals himself as the reason for the blight in the base game, which was actually just a mistake on his part. You get a very renegade vibe off him as he is willing to do anything for his people and doesn’t really care about collateral damage. Later games in the franchise would actually explain how he came to be and I can honestly say I wish this were something that was left a mystery as what people came up with was infinity more inventive than the explanation the games provided.

As per the cast this game introduced several new party members while bringing one back from Origin. Oghren returned to the warden’s side eager to be a part of the warrior ranks and he feels like he fits in well.  In fact, more of the cast is well-written and entertaining with one exception.

Nathaniel Howe is fucking boring , from the moment you meet him until the game ends you will lament the fact that you didn’t kill him when you had the chance and in all other play throughs you will kill him. His entire character arc can be explained as “You killed my daddy and I hate you.” The entire game. Even when it’s proven to him his father was scum and deserved what he got you still hear him constantly whining about his damn dead daddy. I don’t know if the writers were trying to make us hate him or if it just worked out that way.

By the end you will have a very hard moral choice that again I will not spoil but I will say it is very disappointing that this never came back into play in later installments.

Overall this is an excellent game I hesitant to even refer to it as a expansion as in resent years that term has taken a negative connotation.  Even if you don’t like Origins I would recommend playing this and giving it a shot as the story is so interesting it will pull you in.

And so finally when it comes to Origins we come to the end of the DLC with Witch Hunt.

After the end of Origins we all had one question unanswered, What happened to Morrigan? This dlc stands as the answer.

It is much shorter than is Awakenings and would be comparable to return to Ostagar or Soldiers peak.

As per the story it is very interesting and does make you want to know what will happen next. It’s just too bad this wouldn’t be followed up until Dragon Age Inquisition nearly five years later.

However as it’s a dlc I can’t really get into without massive spoilers but let’s just say it works well as an ending to the wardens story and given the wardens treatment in future installments, I’m happy to say in my head canon this is where the story of the warden ends.

Next time we delve into the mixed bag that is Dragon Age 2

Thank you all for your time and until next time

When life’s got you down throw it into god mode and keep kicking ass.

Goose

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