User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 265 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 265

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  1. Mar 11, 2011
    6
    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. Expand
  2. Mar 11, 2011
    8
    A good honest to God Expansion! None of that small DLC stuff. The expanded story was a great addition along with the new specializations and talents/spells. The one thing that hurt it was that DLC obtained during from Origins did not transfer. My first character was wearing the Blood Dragon Armor and he was naked when he first appeared on the screen with a two-handed sword on his back. I seem to remember jewelry was still there, I think. Pretty much made wearing DLC armor pointless to the final fight. Expand
  3. Mar 11, 2011
    10
    This can, and in my case did, act as a standalone game. I sunk about 25 hours into beating the game 1 time which is pretty respectable for an expansion. The fact that I had about 9 sidequests left undone at the end adds another 6 hours to the game at least.

    The characters are better than in DA:O, as is the dialogue, and overall story. My biggest problem with DA:O was how atrociously slow
    the game was at the start, whereas Awakening starts you off at level 18. That leaves quite a lot of skills and talents to map out a character. Expand
  4. Mar 25, 2011
    10
    Honestly I would give Awakening a 9 because It's much shorter than Origins, but as an Expansion Pack, It raises the standards. I very much liked the story. It brings you "Behind the Scenes" of Origins and explains even more about the Blight. The characters are again well-developed. If i compare the areas to Dragon Age 2, where It's not-stop repeating, every, and I mean EVERY area is used only ONCE, and this is just an Expansion Pack but it beats Dragon Age 2 at everything, except the length (Honestly, as boring as DA2 was, It felt like a lifetime to play it through). And not only they always differ, they are very beautiful. The connection to Origins is unquestionable. I don't know what IGN was talking about there. Ohh, and I think everyone will be happy for the returning characters here. The combat has been extended with new powers and the max level has been raised, though some might find the new powers a little over-powered in smaller fights. I think the ending was very good. I think most people didn't like it because there wasn't any big ceremony like there was in Origins. But if you take a closer look at Awakening's ending, you should know what I mean. Unlike Origins where It always make you feel heroic and happy no matter who died, in Awakening it's much more deeper and often more sad than Origins. They just walk off the scene to see what effects their choices made on others and indicates that It's nowhere near the end of the story and when you read the epilogue with that music under it, only then you'll truly understand the meaning of the ending and realize how some choice you make is more dramatic than in Origins. I think it can stand its ground easily as a standalone game. I hope I didn't blow off any surprise from the game and I'm sure you'll enjoy it very much just as I did. Expand
  5. Nov 18, 2011
    10
    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.
  6. Mar 20, 2012
    8
    Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening is great for an expansion. It provides many hours of additional content, but takes away some of the things I liked about Dragon Age: Origins. You can no longer talk to your companions whenever you want, and they aren't quite as interesting, but still it's a nice expansion pack, and definitely worth your money if you're a fan of the original game.
  7. May 24, 2012
    5
    A lame and uninteresting expansion to a mediocre RPG. I didn't find Origins especially good, but decent enough to get the expansion in hopes of improvement. After playing Awakening I basically decided to see the Mass Effect series through and not buy any other BioWare games anymore. I guess that sums it up.
  8. Jun 9, 2012
    8
    Its definately not bad. It just lacks some of what made Dragon Age Origins great. Its characters are pretty good (especially Justice, Nathaniel, and Anders). However, the lack of romances and the okay plot hold it back a bit. Now that you can get it for like 12 dollars at gamestop, you might as well go buy it.
  9. Aug 24, 2013
    7
    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: timtimjp@yahoo.com
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  10. Aug 17, 2010
    6
    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.
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  11. Oct 7, 2010
    10
    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.
  12. mpr
    May 29, 2011
    7
    This is a good expansion pack: some minor but still appreciated improvements to the original game, along with a decent storyline and enough quests that will add roughly 50 hours of gameplay to your Dragon Age experience.
  13. Feb 17, 2011
    9
    More content, i enjoyed to play it, as i'm in love for DAO
    But i was a little bit sad that the DAO-Awakening was so short.
    This is my only deception.
    Everything else is good to play !
  14. Mar 17, 2011
    8
    Just finished it after taking a break from the main game and playing Mass Effect 2. I really enjoyed it but I'm knocking it down a couple of points for some performance issues and occasional glitches. That said in some ways I enjoyed it more than the original game, it's more tight, focused, keeps moving you forward and never leaves you idle. The new abilities such as two-handed are great and add freshness to battles. I would also concur with what some others have written here, the locations are arguably more interesting than the main game. It's as if the level designers got very little time to contribute to the original game, but now with the engine in place they could flex their muscles. Sure it's not the prettiest game out there, but the areas are varied and have a better sense of height compared to the relative flatness of the first game.

    The new characters are pretty interesting. Sure no one is as interesting as Morrigan but interesting none the less. It's true that Oghren is played even more for laughs this time which made him one-dimensional. A quest that involves some back-story on him feels out of place given he seems to be on-board for little more than one-liners. That said, he was one of my go-to companions on the original quest so I was happy to have him back and new abilities meant that there was more I could do with him in battle.

    More of the same basically in the hour-by-hour game-play. Took me a little over 15 hours and I probably had about three hours of side quests outstanding. The ending feels a little force-fit. Some of the boss battles along the way are more engaging but there you go. The final boss of both DA:O and Mass Effects 1 and 2 were not that great either. Someone at Bioware needs to go talk to the folks at Retro Studios (Metroid Prime) - now those guys know boss battles.

    A solid 8. If you enjoyed the first game, definitely pick it up. Now I'm fee to see what all this debacle over Dragon Age 2 is all about. A shame that I won't be able to import my character after investing all this time in him.
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  15. May 21, 2011
    9
    The main game was great, BUT it still felt to much like a generic fantasy epic... you know: The Lord of the Rings but different... Awakenings on the other hand deals with the aftermath of Origins and changes things a little bit... there is no great journey to undertake... there is a land you have to govern... and although very simplistic done... it is very engaging! The quests are very nice... the overall story is in my opinion the best Dragon Age story to date (yes, I am looking at you Dragon Age 2!) but no romances... but I did not miss them!

    "Dragon Age: Awakenings" is simply THE BEST Dragon Age! It took what was good in Origins, added a more interesting storyline, with the option to actually play as a ruler and make a rulers decisions!
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  16. rpm
    Apr 26, 2011
    7
    I played DA:O and then started Awakening right after that. I think Origins is an excellent game, and the fact that it was so involving is perhaps why I struggled at first to get into the expansion. I spent dozens of hours developing my character, establishing relationships with NPCs (yes, even romantic), and making hundreds of seemingly significant decisions.

    Then, whether you import your
    Origins character or begin a new one, Awakening seems to pay only cursory notice to what you did in the main game. The only returning NPC companion was the last one I'd have chosen (but I guess that is personal preference), and the new companions may have been interesting but I only got to spend a couple of days with them so they were not very fleshed out.

    The expansion asks more questions than it answers. Very few, if any, of the unresolved plot elements from Origins are answered here, so don't play the expansion expecting closure. I suppose that will be for DA3.

    While it did take me a while to start enjoying this expansion, once I got out and away from the opening location I did find the story to be intriguing, and if it had lasted more than the approximately 15 hrs. of gameplay I am sure I would have enjoyed getting to know the new companions.

    The new skills/talents/spells and other new elements also seem to be logical "expansions" of the original.

    On a negative side, Awakening did have a few "no u-turn" areas where you can play through and follow one path, miss other areas that you can't revisit. Once you "finish" and area you cannot go back and explore to see if you missed anything. One of those areas is the Fade. If you go through a certain area you cannot benefit from full exploration of the previous area.

    Al in all, I'd say it is an odd expansion that was fun to play but seemed more like a separate game unaffected by the original. It is fun though.
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  17. Sep 8, 2011
    0
    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 Awakenings....wow, 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
  18. Jun 24, 2011
    8
    A slightly rushed-feeling expansion pack to Dragon Age: Origins, Awakenings is still definitely worth a play, although it's a shame that the only NPC they keep from Origins is Oghren, who is funny but rather shallow. Awakenings keeps the feel of the main game and its plot is an interesting twist on Origins'. Includes a seriously cool encounter with a Spirit Dragon. Get the Golems and Witch DLCs as well -- and play after the expansion proper, in that order. ;) Expand
  19. Jul 6, 2013
    5
    Dull, repetitive, a chore. Poor coding in places (miss an item pick-up? You can not backtrack to retrieve it). Some nice ideas like Justice and the maintenance and upgrading of a keep, also very funny at times (Oghren), unfortunately, it's Dragon Age. Bleh.
  20. Aug 6, 2011
    3
    Unimpressive and underwhelming - does not 'expand' on anything. BioWare should let the design department design the game, not a committee of producers, writers, and marketing executives. This franchise is well on its way to ignominy. The quests are unbelievably mundane - now a BioWare tradition it would seem. Converations overly verbose. Unnecessarily long and pointless cutscenes. The new items are game-breakingly overpowered. Expand
  21. Oct 30, 2011
    8
    I felt like I completed the expansion a little to easily but the story line was once again interesting and kept me involved. Something overall seems lacking but it may be just because Origins was so well done.
  22. Oct 22, 2010
    3
    This game ruined my whole experience from the first game. A real downer. First of all it seems that the developers of the first game and the expansion had no communication at all.
    It seemed more of a hack'n slash game like Diablo, but what differed was that Diablo is actually a very good game. The feel good story telling from the first game is completly lost, and there is no dept in the
    game.
    If you choose to use your character from the first game you are in for even more disapointment. No one even know's your character although he is supposedly a hero, a legend and the savior of the people.
    And your friends from the first game now seems lifeless and without a soul.
    One could argue that this is a brand new story, but that would be the same as a brand new story for Diablo with no one knowing who Decard Cain is. And this is supposed to be a follow up from the first one, so the could be no excuse.
    This game slaughtered any upcoming games in the series, and i will not recomend it to anyone.
    To say it short; Bioware made a BooBoo, BIGTIME!
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  23. Dec 25, 2011
    2
    I'll just keep hating on this series up until Dragon Age V: More Random Crap. After that, I'll give up. I can't recommend this series simply because of the terrible graphics gameplay, angles, and unnesisary gore. Don't judge a book by it's cover.
  24. Aug 13, 2012
    7
    I thought this was overall a good expansion to DA:O, although it felt very much like 'more of the same' with few improvements. The new skills and specializations are fun additions, and the ability to craft runes is handy--though both contribute to making Awakening much easier than Origins. Aside from that, the gameplay is essentially the same as the main game. The story is fairly good, and leaves open interesting possibilities for future games. Unfortunately, the characters are less interesting in Awakening: most have potential but are simply underdeveloped due to the significantly reduced dialogue and lack of romances. The locations are a mixed bag: some are fairly good, while others are just more of the same (more Deep Roads, more elf-forest). If you liked DA:O, then you'll probably like this well enough, and given that you can get the two for $20 or less, there's no reason not to give Awakening a try. Expand
  25. Nov 2, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first small disappointment I had with Bioware. True, it's an addon to Origins, but the lack of depth that's now rapidly becoming Bioware canon is already there on the horizon of Awakening. Starts out with not having the option to interact with companions at will and have to wait upon the pleasure, continues with being taken by the hand when it comes to gifts, in case you're to stupid to figure it out by yourself and ends with a very short story. Enjoyable, but the mediocrity is already there and tries to pave the road for the later distasters under that brand. Expand
  26. Aug 1, 2013
    6
    Watered down dlc for the real thing. Money situation is also thrown out of the window with bottomless enemy pockets. SteamEnginator
  27. May 18, 2013
    8
    I liked it
    Good sized expansion for its cost
    This should be the standard for all future DLC from EA/Bioware but this was a gem never to be repeated

    Thumbs up from me
  28. Jul 8, 2013
    7
    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.
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  29. Feb 6, 2014
    9
    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.
  30. rpm
    Apr 26, 2011
    0
    I played DA:O and then started Awakening right after that. I think Origins is an excellent game, and the fact that it was so involving is perhaps why I struggled at first to get into the expansion. I spent dozens of hours developing my character, establishing relationships with NPCs (yes, even romantic), and making hundreds of seemingly significant decisions.

    Then, whether you import your
    Origins character or begin a new one, Awakening seems to pay only cursory notice to what you did in the main game. The only returning NPC companion was the last one I'd have chosen (but I guess that is personal preference), and the new companions may have been interesting but I only got to spend a couple of days with them so they were not very fleshed out.

    The expansion asks more questions than it answers. Very few, if any, of the unresolved plot elements from Origins are answered here, so don't play the expansion expecting closure. I suppose that will be for DA3.

    While it did take me a while to start enjoying this expansion, once I got out and away from the opening location I did find the story to be intriguing, and if it had lasted more than the approximately 15 hrs. of gameplay I am sure I would have enjoyed getting to know the new companions.

    The new skills/talents/spells and other new elements also seem to be logical "expansions" of the original.

    On a negative side, Awakening did have a few "no u-turn" areas where you can play through and follow one path, miss other areas that you can't revisit. Once you "finish" and area you cannot go back and explore to see if you missed anything. One of those areas is the Fade. If you go through a certain area you cannot benefit from full exploration of the previous area.

    Al in all, I'd say it is an odd expansion that was fun to play but seemed more like a separate game unaffected by the original. It is fun though.
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.