I’m very excited about this review because it’s actually on something that’s brand-spankin’ new. This “weekend” I played through Dragon Age II‘s latest DLC, Legacy. Legacy is the first major DLC for DA2 (not counting the Exiled Prince, since that’s more of a character DLC). Considering that it only came out four days ago, it’s not surprising that there aren’t any reviews on it yet — at least none on the sites I frequent. However, there was a lot of ambiguity about this DLC when it was announced. The main theme I sensed from gamers was that they might buy it, but they might not — though I suspect that sentiment is more from the lukewarm reception of the base game. So is it worth getting?
Plot: Legacy can be played at any point after the Prologue. Just go to your house & activate the griffon statue to start. The DLC has Hawke exploring the Vimmark Wastelands to uncover the reason behind the recent attacks on the Hawke family by the Coterie. After confronting the leader, you learn that they need your blood to free a powerful darkspawn from its prison. A darkspawn that your father imprisoned for the Wardens before Hawke was born. But now the only way to escape the prison is by unlocking the seals that bind the spirit.
1 location that can only be accessed during the DLC (not shown on map), 8 levels
1 weapon, based on Hawke’s class & skill
1 armor set
5 achievements, Conductor (complete dlc), Deep Roads Safari (kill 1 of each new enemy), Family Legacy (add 3 effects to Hawke’s Key), Family Outing (complete dlc w/Bethany or Carver), & Tower Sweeper (complete all sidequests)
Total game play time added: at least 2 1/2 hrs
Cost: 800 MP or around $8
Opinion: I think this is a good add-on to the game, even if it doesn’t add anything particularly ground-breaking. Legacy’s story is somewhat similar to Awakening, but it’s different enough that it doesn’t feel like a rehash. I think it’s also nice to learn a bit about Hawke’s father. I played the DLC towards the beginning of Act 2, but it appears certain parts of the story will vary slightly based on when you play it. Your relationship with your sibling plays a large part in the story. As far as getting the most out of the story, I’d recommend playing in Act 2 but before the main quest “All That Remains.” Bringing your sibling after the Deep Roads leads to some interesting character developments.
There aren’t any new gameplay elements. I think the main point of Legacy was to cater to fans who wanted new areas to explore. Well, there’s plenty of that. The new areas consist mainly of the Vimmark Wastelands & the Warden prison. There aren’t any technically new enemies, but some of the enemies you encounter have been revamped from Dragon Age Origins. Genlocks have a new, bulkier design & look more like wild beasts than before. Genlock & Hurlock Alphas also have new designs that make them a bit more challenging. I do have to give BioWare credit for the final boss fight. It’s very challenging because you can’t just fight Corypheus head-on.
I think the biggest draw of the DLC is the new equipment. Specifically, Hawke’s new weapon, known as the Hawke’s Key. The Key is as powerful weapon tailored to the player’s style. For instance, my rogue Hawke used archery, so her Key was a powerful bow. The Key’s value is based on your level, but is powerful enough to last for several level-ups. Also, during the course of the DLC you’ll get to add three special values to the Key (element damage & two attack bonuses). The other new content is a full set of Warden armor, which is also very good.
(Addendum 9/25/18: Dragon Age Inquisition’s plot follows directly off from Legacy’s. While DAI explains the events of the DLC well enough that you don’t miss anything plot-related, it’s still a nice continuation of the evolving mythos & overarching plot points.)
Overall, if you liked DA2 & want to extend your play time, I recommend this DLC. I didn’t clock the time it took me to finish, but it’s definitely a long one & worth the money. However, if you felt let down by the game, this DLC probably won’t change your mind.