The lights are on
Dragon Age: Origins was one of my favorite games when it came out. The game presented a huge, detailed world with plenty of lore and branching story line based on choices your character made. There was a good deal of replay value to it and it was one of the more entertaining titles to come out in a long time. There were several pieces of downloadable content you could purchase for Dragon Age: Origins that helped add a bit more to the game. One of the more interesting offerings however was Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.
It's more of the same - so if you enjoy an action rpg with weighty decisions and an interesting storyline, you're in luck with this game. What made this game a bit different than most of the other DLC is how it was completely standalone (though some of your actions from the original game could be seen here and there). Is it worth picking up?
Graphics - 7:
Similar in almost every way to Origins, the graphics get the job done in Awakening, but they are hardly going to blow anyone away. It's basically the same engine with a bit less stuttering. There were not quite as many areas to visit, so the landscapes are not quite as varied as in Origins either.
Sound & Music - 8:
Again, comparable to the original. The voice work is generally good, the same basic sound effects were put to use and the music still helps to set the tone for this game.
Gameplay - 8:
They were working with the same engine as Origins when they made this game. As such it controls just like the original. I would give it a slight nod to the fact that I found fewer bugs in Awakenings as opposed to those I found in Origins.
Intangibles - 7:
It probably felt like I was doing an Origins re-review up until this point, huh? Well, that's because the framework was the same, but this is where the primary differences are at. The same basic rules apply - you make choices and they can have a serious impact on how things play out. The storyline is still an epic one - but the overall game is much shorter. There are also nowhere near as many side quests. Like Origins, there's a desire to replay again just to see how some decisions might have played out differently, yet I never felt quite as compelled to play over and over again. There's some tie-in to the first game, but this feels more like Origins - B. It's not really a sequel and it never tries to be, but it's disappointing that for those of us who played Origins, there were not more direct tie-ins to what you do in Awakenings.
Overall - 7.5:
Not quite as good as Origins. There is not as much overall content, and to me the storyline was not quite as engaging either. When it came out, Awakening was at a lower price point. Now it can be had as part of the newly released Origins that contains all of the extra content (I believe) and in that sense it would be a good deal. It was a nice extension to the original game for fans like myself who enjoyed it, but set your expectations just a bit lower than you might have for the original game.
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