Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 285 Ratings

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  • Summary: Designed and written by the same team that brought you Dragon Age: Origins, the Awakening expansion pack offers a brand new area of the world to explore known as Amaranthine, featuring an epic story that will allow players to unravel the secrets of the darkspawn - and their true motivations! Players face a range of horrific and terrifying creatures including an evolved, intelligent breed of darkspawn and other menacing creatures such as the Inferno Golem and Spectral Dragon. Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening provides exciting new ways for players to customize their heroes and party, including the ability to re-spec their character attributes, allowing even greater customization and replayability. Featuring an increased level cap, new spells, abilities, specializations and items, plus five all-new party members, players can continue their adventures from Dragon Age: Origins, or begin with a brand new character. [BioWare] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. It admirably accomplishes what an expansion is supposed to do, and doesn't in any way diminish what made the great one of the best RPGs ever made.
  2. Awakening is a superb expansion to Bioware's role-playing epic and delivers 20+ hours of exciting adventures in Ferelden. The gameplay changes compared to the main game are minimal.
  3. New enemies and ordeals, a bunch of killer abilities, fat loot and a couple of well-fed dragons – what else can a level 20 character wish for?
  4. Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening has the same strengths and weaknesses as the original game. The world is still a bit too generic and everything feels like it was designed by a cold computer who learned about all the possible fantasy worlds out there before deciding what to pick from each of them. Still it's a worthwhile addition to the game, there is loads of stuff to do and managing you own lands is fun. Also the few big decisions are handled very well. The end feels rushed, though, and the lower difficulty level in combat is a bit disappointing. [Apr 2010]
  5. If Dragon Age didn't float your boat, neither will Awakening. Dragon Age enthusiasts, however, should consider it an essential purchase. It offers more of the same - no bad thing - in a great value package.
  6. Awakening is a great expansion. It delivers around 20 hours of role-playing goodness, which flows better and is more varied than what we got in the original game. We also get new and interesting characters and a bunch of new abilities and items to play with.
  7. For your money you get about 15 hours worth of gameplay in a single playthrough, and while that seems a little light in comparison to Origins, it's a decent price for a stand alone expansion pack on a console.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Nov 18, 2011
    it more like a direct sequel than DLC. the skills and specializations have increased in amount and there is so much to do that one could get sucked in all over again. definitely worth the money and then some. Expand
  2. Oct 7, 2010
    No wheres as good as Dragon Age Origins. I was expecting more. I loved loved loved DAO but sadly lost interest in this about 5 hrs in. Felt unfinished and rushed. Expand
  3. Feb 6, 2014
    One of the best expansions I've played. Reminds me of some full-scale sequels - story long enough (but not as long as the main part), companions very good (though not as good... you get me), few nostalgic moments as a reminder of the original story. I should really award this DAO-A with a 8, but when I compare it with some DAO DLCs or DA2, I just have to go higher. So... nine it is. Expand
  4. Jul 8, 2013
    Dragon Age: Origins Awakening is a decent sequel for the original game. Basically, every aspect of this game is just fine, but not quite as good as in the original. Characters are weaker, plot is weaker and the level of polish just isn't quite there. Also, while some of the new classes and skills are useful, the skill system starts to become a mess with higher level characters having dozens of skills.

    One thing to mention is the subgame of managing your soldiers and keep. On several occasions, you are given options where you want to place your forces. You can also do some minor upgrades to your keep. In the end, however, it's left unclear how these choices affected to anything which wasn't very satisfying.

    The are also some problems with setting the tone/mood of the game. E.g. the joining ritual is near comical (In original game it was anything but). There's no feeling of desperation, like in first game and lots of stuff feel pretty lackadaisical. Awakening also contains lots of Bioware style sidequests, where you run around and gather some stuff without any relevance to anything.

    All in all, the game was still fun to play. It wasn't really anything too memorable like the original game, but it's worth buying if you get it cheap.
  5. Aug 24, 2013
    Dragon Age Awakenings represents Bioware at their best, and WORST. It has great writing (as always) but was built with the FATAL BIOWARE FLAW: This game is a dead-end. You get to the end and its a desert. There is nothing there. Nothing to do. You end up building a high level fantasy character and there is precisely NOWHERE you can take it. There is no follow up. This leads to an incredible feeling of emptiness and pointlessness. I will re-write this review later and elaborate on some of the nice content in this game. Better if you buy it and enjoy it yourself. However be warned: Bioware is a company that is truly CLUELESS when it comes to building worlds and offering open adventures. Awakening will definitely wake you up for about 20 hours or so. But when it finishes its the abyss. Go back to sleep, because there is NOTHING else to do once you played it once. Since it is Bioware's own narrative-driven design that has players hanging out for their next fix, you would have figured they would have made DA2 good, and somehow let their passionate fans all stimulated by origins and Awakening fired up to 'get back to Thedas'. My God you would be wrong! This game is a spectacular DEAD END leading nowhere. It didn't even offer proper closure for DAO or make sense of any of the rancid DLC for Origins. Great writing in a FAILED franchise. Another episode of meandering, pointless, going nowhere rudderless 'adventures in Thedas'. Compare this to the professionalism of Blizzard who built Azeroth from the outset and allowed millions of gamers to write their own adventure, and explore a fantasy world for YEARS on end, and its clear, that Bioware has been an over-rated pack of amateurs, poorly lead, with little real understanding of gaming, and far too much smugness about their writing prowess. Pride comes before a fall. But you can't fall if you dont first rise. Fantasy RPG's require enduring world. So long as Bioware refuses to make those their games well end up like this one, a forgotten fragment of lost potential, remembered and loved by a few hard core fans, mocked by Orctowngrot who knows the true value of things. Who can tell you all WHY this game failed. Ingredient One: ENDURING WORLD. Good though Awakening is, this game is a very BLEAK and joyless experience when you get to the end. Its better to quit before you have to make the choice of Vigil's Keep or Amaranthine. Either way your options are expiring faster than a Genlock with AIDS.

    THE GROT REVIEW CRITERIA: After a long time writing reviews like an anus, think its time to set a few bad habits straight: Stop insulting designers. Show some respect for the design process and getting games in circulation. Hence (1) No Red scores. (2) Game scores as follows: Bad Game 5/10. Poor Game 6/10. Mediocre Game: 7/10. Good Game 8/10. Great game 9/10. Stella Game 10/10. To get 10/10 it must be a game that can be (theoretically) play-able for 1000+ hours. Not only great but near endless fun. Games may be bad or poor but making them should earn respect. Thus even the worst POS will still be a 5/10. 0/10 no longer exists in my vocabulary. Yellow is the new red. For the sake of accountability: you can reply if needed: Orctowngrot: Tim Rawlins:
  6. Aug 17, 2010
    It's not bad. It's pretty fun, actually. Though it's not linked in very tightly with Origins, it stands pretty well on its own. It's not as large, or fresh feeling as Origins, but I expected that from an expansion. The price is a little sticky; I wouldn't pay the full $40 for this, but would suggest waiting until you can pick it up on the cheap.
    /// There are two chief issues that I had with the game. First of all, it's easy. *Extremely* easy. I did a play-through on Nightmare and not once had a Game Over. This was extremely disappointing. Even the final battle was easy as sin. Battlemage powers are pretty much able to wreck an entire crowd of minor darkspawn; so is the Overwhelm ability given to a warrior. Elite enemies aren't that much more difficult to take down. Elite Genlock Emissaries could be a tremendous pain in Origins as they messed with you from a distance; here, you can neglect them. It's as though the enemy's levels, relative to your own, have dropped by half. It's terrible.
    Secondly, I had a few quests that were difficult to trigger, or difficult to resolve, without consulting the Dragon Age Wiki on Wikia. This annoyed me. I don't like having to constantly halt the game to pop over and see why I couldn't find a certain quest item, or trigger a companion quest.
    And, as a more minor problem, a lot of the decisions made in the game have no actual gameplay relevance, but only come into play during the epilogue. Some of them sort of seem like the should have some effect on gameplay, or at least a *greater* effect on the epilogue than they do.
    This is still Dragon Age, it still feels Biowarey, and I'd still recommend it. I just can't do so at the full retail price.
  7. Sep 8, 2011
    I LOVED origins. Loved it. I loved it so much as soon as I finished it I made a new character and played it again as something different. Then I got to, really? It took me three tries to get into it because of the BUGS ( OH MY GOD, SO MANY) and the HUGE story hole right in the beginning. I won't spoil too much, but....suddenly the secret Warden ceremony, remember that? Well it's not so secret anymore and what a joke. I lost all faith in the story from that point and it does get worse. On my third attempt to get through this xpac during the quest in the forest there is a bug where you can lose all of your gear. It is deleted. I'm serious. In fact, now I'm angry about that again and gonna lower this score to 0, it was 3 because the graphics and new spells are good. But, the bugs, oh god the bugs. Expand

See all 38 User Reviews