Drakensang – Phileassons Geheimnis

This add-on expands the (possibly) familiar world of “Am Fluss der Zeit“, the main game (similar what Tales of the Sword Coast did to Baldur’s Gate). I used my old save games I made right after I finished the game – so it’s the perfect moment for people who didn’t play the game at all, to start adventuring. I figure it’s easier to discover everything that’s new when the world must be explored for the first time anyway, than when running along a few paths again, just to see if something has changed (also, 1.1 patch is out now, fixing the few noticeable bugs the initial game had). I enjoyed it a lot though, to adventure with my trusty party once more. The biggest part of this add-on revolves around name-giver Phileasson (duh), so that chain of events can’t be missed and is easy to follow through, even without the informative quest log.
My “overpowered” (remember, I already had finished the game) party might be partly to blame (I only had to reload thrice during the final fight; they always make awesome boss fights – I had to repeat little overall), but the whole plot around Phileasson and the elves was rather short. I didn’t exactly measure the time, but I estimate it around 7 hours. It’s not as bad as the DLCs BioWare has released for Dragon Age, but it’s still really short for a common role-playing experience. I expected twice the duration – some “minor” modules for Neverwinter Nights took me longer to finish (yes, I get it, rather short and good than…).
When the Phileasson plot is over, the player is rewarded with several good items (his weapons and armor – they are put in the chest on the Thalaria/ship). Everything points to installing it right away (what else to do with the stuff, when there’s nothing left to play). ;)
New characters shouldn’t run into any trouble either (balancing issues), because the add-on story events are triggered along the main plot. As soon as certain locations become accessible, characters should have earned enough experience points to best the dangers there. I guess there’s (at least) one advantage of playing it after the main story right there nonetheless, when the story can be experienced in one piece, instead of several spread out chunks.
The rest is definitely pleasing, several new monsters, new locations (with often great architecture and cool lighting) and the quality certainly holds up to what players were used to (from other Drakensang games). All in all, I wished the game would have come with this content right away, the game world is more enticing because of it. Also, I don’t think I’ve encountered a single bug. This is something that doesn’t happen too often in an RPG.
I’d also like to mention (every text about this game kinda has to feature this), that this is the last game Radon Labs ever did, because they became insolvent this year and were bought by another company. Whatever this means for future products remains to be seen. Quite sad, because they really knew how to make a decent role-playing game! Considering that even this neck of the woods gets a ton of hits concerning the Drakensang games, I cannot imagine it was a lack of buzz, that led to their downfall.
Luckily, the end for classic DSA role-playing games in Aventurien isn’t here yet despite all of this, there is at least one other company out there, that’s developing a new game right now, I’m, of course, refering to Demonicon, which sounds (and looks) really promising. Let’s just hope they’ll see a brighter future.

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