Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 83
    The characters and talents are almost enough to overlook the fact that the skills, which are where abilities like crafting and coercion reside, seem a bit uninspired.
  2. Awakening reinvigorates the interest in Dragon Age: Origins. This expansion pack is what an add-on should be: long, exciting, stimulating and a great fuse of what that BioWare's masterpiece really is.
  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. Those who are after new things will certainly have more than enough to get into.
  5. 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.
  6. Though there's not nearly as much content as the first go-round, there's still an awful lot to love.
  7. The attention to detail is impressive, even if we’re talking about the floating boats in the ethereal realm or just the white dragon bones. And BioWare sprinkled some new enemies into the expansion.
  8. Still, when distilled down to its core, I did enjoy Awakening a little bit more than I did Origins.
  9. 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.
  10. Perhaps most interestingly, the volume of choices you make leads to what might be an even more variable ending than the previous one. There are some incredibly tough choices to be made, some peculiar allegiances to form, and a region to save from the darkspawn. You're a Grey Warden, it's your duty.
  11. Is worth a lot because of new items, skills, spells, talents and even the new characters that are very well achieved.
  12. A good expansion with an interesting perspective on the previous campaign. There's a lot of new stuff in Awakening, enough to keep the gamers tied to the screen until the new epic ending. Replayability and character interaction are yet again excellent and return a good new and fresh experience, despite a bad tuning of the main quest that appears to be much easier than the main title even at the hardest difficulty setting.
  13. Awakening enriches the universe with new revelations and characters (two of the new party members are particularly awesome), but only makes half-hearted attempts to improve the basics. [Issue#204, p.95]
  14. It's fun, but I'm not sure it's forty bucks worth of fun.
  15. Unpolished and unsure – too long for an epilogue, too short for a stand-alone title. Still, an enjoyable romp with an intriguing story can be found somewhere between the two, and you won’t have to be wide awake to see it.
  16. I think it's safe to say that the cliché expression is true—players that enjoyed Origins will enjoy this as well, and future returns to Thedas will definitely be welcome. However, when it's all said and done I couldn't help but feel that the immersion was a little thin due to the relatively small amount of content.
  17. If you enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins, I strongly suggest you buy Awakening.
  18. 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.
  19. A great expansion to an already great RPG that shines from a varied enviroment design, more options and challenges and excellent characters.
  20. Awakenings is a competent expansion to Origins, but the price of admission is just a little too high given its length and the high quality set by Origins that it can't quite reach.
  21. Bioware's latest RPG will hit still does not approach the complexity of the former Baldur's Gate. All RPG fans who already own the main game should still buy awakening.
  22. Nothing is strikingly different, and nothing is really any better. It's just more, and for some, that's more than enough. It's an expansion in the truest sense of the word, literally expanding on the experience of the first game without stepping on any toes and cheapening what the first accomplished.
  23. For fans of Dragon Age it’s still worth playing, but let’s hope the next Dragon Age-branded product in the pipeline gets the time it needs to reach Bioware’s usually high standards.
  24. This expansion pack isn't as extraordinary as the original Dragon Age, but it's still immensely entertaining.
  25. The first add-on to Dragon Age: Origins continues the story and adds new areas, monsters, quests and skills. It may be a bit short, but it’s a great adventure.
  26. If you’ve been hankering for another tour of Ferelden, then jump right in. Just don’t expect any fantasy romance; this time around, your companions are keeping it strictly professional.
  27. Awakening is an awesome expansion to the roleplaying game of the year 2009. New monsters, new companions, new skills, a stunning atmosphere and a really cool story will chain you for a long time to your computer.
  28. The way every add-on should be made. Great story, improved game mechanics, new characters and a long enough lifespan – great adventure for everyone regardless whether or not you have played the original Dragon Age. [Issue#190]
  29. A competent but relatively unambitious expansion that adds plenty of new content but no new ideas.
  30. Despite few bugs and some unbalances due to new powers and an higher level cap, Awakening in a twenty hours long run that worth the money It costs and will make every Origins' player happy. After some miss-able DLCs, Bioware is back at It's best.
  31. More of the same, but it's a good same, and it's an essential purchase if you're a fan of the first game at all. [June 2010, p.96]
  32. Although it's a shorter, shallower and less sexy version of Dragon Age: Origins, this is nonetheless still long, deep and sexy. [Apr 2010, p.88]
  33. A content-stuffed expansion that will thrill fans. If only it did a better job of paying attention to events in the first game. [June 2010, p.56]
  34. A huge amount of content. [June 2010, p.82]
  35. 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]
  36. Awakening is the biggest DLC Dragon Age Origins has ever seen. New lands, new weapons and new evils are the reasons to buy it for who loved the game, but same old graphics, the price and the classic gameplay won't make it more appealing for everyone else.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 265 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Mar 11, 2011
    I was looking forward to a continuation of DAO, and Awakening wasn't bad. I did like the political parts of the game, and I wish there was more of them. The only noteworthy character was Anders and the rest were dull. I was disappointed that Awakening added nothing to the plot of DAO and didn't give any closure to the cliffhangers of DAO.

    I'm largely indifferent to this game. It wasn't great, but it could've been worse. I suppose Bioware just wants to give the player another view of the fantasy setting they're attempting to set up.
    Full Review »
  2. JoshT
    Mar 22, 2010
    I've played 4 days of DAO Awakening so far (about 25 hours). I enjoyed the original DAO (dragon age origins) and I'm loving this expansion just as much. The game entails a lot of good humor and ironies throughout the story line just as in the original DAO. All the detail that is put into the game is remarkable. If you loved DAO, you will love DAO Awakening. The new class abilities are pretty interesting too and allow you to have more buttons to press during combat. I'll make another review when i finish the game. Good so far though. Full Review »
  3. 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:
    Full Review »