I got to play Legacy, the first “real” DLC (with story + quests) for Dragon Age II since the release stuff (item packs hardly count). If every adventure in DAII would have been at this level, lots of the negative comments, the game received, would have been void. All the locations are new and there was no recycling. The similar goes for (several) enemies and characters met. That also makes Legacy the first (BioWare) DLC ever (probably), that was better than content in the main game. That’s especially true for the Dragon Age series (name one Origins DLC that was so good that you had to play it); Mass Effect had at least Lair of the Shadow Broker. Even the complexity was a little higher than “usual”, other than DAII, that lacked such RPG “extravaganza”, this DLC had a couple of (minor) puzzles that finally enriched the usual environments filled with countless hostiles. They really tried this time, to offer something better. In some places they built in traps, that can be triggered while enemies stand in the “proper” spot. Thus, even an otherwise bland battle can get more interesting and diverse. One of the new enemies is a darkspawn alpha, who takes cover behind a metal shield and tries to ram the party with it. His introduction is nicely done, because they placed those metal shields everywhere and by the time the darkspawn is behind it and waits to attack, I didn’t expect anything, because I thought it was only the same shield I’d seen so often already and then it suddenly moved and this huge darkspawn held it. :)
I used a post-campaign save to play it and it seemed like a good decision (I find this save quite weird, because they disabled so many hotspots in the house and I can’t think of any reason why…). In Legacy, Hawke gets a new weapon (depending on the class) and a new armor (x of the Silent One) with a bonus, if the player finds the complete set (more powerful than the champion’s armor!). The characteristics of these items depend on the character’s level, so a player who starts this quest in Act 1, ends up getting shitty items. :)
But back to production value, I especially liked the many dialogs the characters had, they really delivered lots of lines for all the people I chose for this trip (and I didn’t even select Carver, who’s recommended for this quest – it’s supposed to be “family business” after all). Just for that I can imagine playing it again, to experience what other characters have to say and how they will react. The writers also delivered many texts, letters, diaries and books that were lying around. It seemed to be as much text, as I encountered in the whole DAII campaign. :P This is no complaint, I like that and read it all.
Although I still wouldn’t describe the final boss fight as epic (as the advertisement does), it certainly deserves that classification… as a boss fight. The final battle against Meredith was less demanding and less creative.
I gained one level during this DLC and my char was at 26 then.
It’s good that this adventure was real fun, because at the end of it all my character was stuck again, in this post-campaign, dead and empty house in the now inaccessible Kirkwall. :)
PS: I encountered only a single bug, I was standing on a trap, that was still displayed but didn’t trigger (anymore). But I believe that was nothing new and could already occur in good ol’ DAII.