There’s a lot of new content for the Dragon Age enthusiast to enjoy here. The Descent is a worthwhile return to Thedas even if there’s strange design choices that you’ll have to suffer through to get to the best parts.
The Descent is a good addition to the Dragon Age: Inquisition family. It has great atmosphere, wonderful level design and motivates the player to explore the Deep Roads a bit. It does get repetitive in the enemy department, and brutal at times in terms of difficulty, though the rewards help to ease the pain a bit.
Disfrute muchísimo este DLC, amplia la trama y si bien trae una historia que no tiene nada que ver con el problema principal aporta horas de juego y un desenlace que nos hace pensar en el futuro de la saga. Espero que tenga relevancia en los futuros juegos.
Saying that The Descent meets expectations may be damning this DLC with faint praise, but that’s also a fair summation of what it offers during its seven-to-10 hours of action. This is a pure sideline quest to the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition that plays out in a completely linear fashion and has no impact on the greater world.
The Descent is far more linear than Jaws of Hakkon but still retains the feel of exploration and scale that Bioware might be well known for. I loved the story and the visuals but there is almost no companion dialogue and the enemies are all damage soakers... it just feels like the game was made to incorporate a concept (like in ME3 dlc) and everything else was padding. Very interesting nonetheless.
I've got to preface this by saying I'm not only a big Dragon Age fan who has played all three (and I & III multiple times through), but also a huge fan of the Deep Roads. What that means to this review is that the lore is particularly important to me and will be part of what I review.
+ This DLC really breaks the mode for DAI, and I found that really refreshing. Gone are all the tedious repetitive side quests that seemed filler to me and found there way into the Jaws of Hakkon. Also, for better or worse, this is a dungeon-crawl experience in the DAI universe. I LOVED that. Additionally, you're given a new operations table in the deep road and a new supply of dragon materials to craft with. Both of these helped fill out the experience nicely (Could have used more of the new war table though). Counter point: I could see how many would find combat constrictive in the corridors of the Dark Roads and beyond, but a few awkward battles never bothered me - I was sold on the change of pace.
+ Secrets and Easter Eggs - Exploration is not gone! It's now "I wonder if this little ledge is traversable and if it leads anywhere" or "cool I found a spot the Inquisition can come build a bridge and access that area over there." There is even one secret I'll not reveal that alludes to one of my favorite childhood movies and reveals a fantastic easter egg for long time fans of the series. Counter Point: There simply was not enough of this for $15 given Witcher 3 is giving us expansions that are nearly the size of Witcher 2 for just $25. I've paid $30 so far and will pay more for DAI DLC and it does not deliver value that it's main competition does.
+ The Lore: If you played Jaws of Hakkon, you noticed the novel approach Bioware is taking with overall Dragon Age lore and DAI DLC. The information and reveals at the end of this DLC are just as far reaching in their ramifications, it not even more so, than in the Jaws of Hakkon. Suffice to say, you'll learn a vital new secret about a staple of life in Thedas you never knew before that will truly enrich your appreciation of the world in a way that DA as a whole hasn't for me in a long time. Counter Point: There wasn't much else told beside this and more questions were given than answers. I wonder if this is because they are setting up something to come in future DLC.
- Underwhelming Dwarven Representation - Don't expect to see Orzammar or any significant aspect of Dwarven lore or culture. You are in a desolate area - a mine, and though the Legion of the Dead and one other Dwarf are with you, the DLC doesn't feel nearly alive enough for me. I'd have loved to see Bioware take the time to flesh out Orzammar again and let us take part in the political intrigue we did in DAO, but alas we are, like most of the Dwarves you will encounter - banished to the Deep Roads. Counter Point: The title of the DLC is the Descent and it does not misrepresent this, but that's a pretty weak counter point IMO if that's the best I can come up with.
- Too Short - I loved what we were given, but it amounts to a five level dungeon. Albeit it's the best dungeon in the game and has expanding pathways and things to explore. Though they broke the mold that Hakkon didn't, they didn't spend enough time filling this with side-activities. Why isn't there some repeatable side game? In Hakkon they had an arena you got to fight in 5 times. How hard would it be to make it a 50 fight tournament of Stamina few ever finish? How hard would it be to put something like that in Descent? Just add a Legion of the dead base and have the tournament be with them. These are just ideas of how they could have added more content that they just didn't. Counter Point: Everything added was quality in my opinion. I had few complaints and never felt like I was doing the same thing over and over besides maybe searching for gears which was fun IMO.
- No More XP - Bioware devs said they don't like having character development arbitrarily come to a screeching halt late in the game, yet for technical reasons I can't level past 27 or my inquisition past 20. This meant the joy of character development was missing from my DAI experience for the first time and this is a crying shame. I know they dropped last gen consoles on DLC, so maybe that means they can fix whatever technical issues now prevent the of continued character progression through DLC. Counter Point: You don't NEED to level up, the game is still fun, and a great way to fix this is to not invest in Inquisition Perks that give XP bonuses because now the game has 2 more areas of content to help you level.
Overall I have to give it a 7 despite my desire to score higher. It just was too expensive without enough Dwarven elements or length to justify $15 unless you are a hard core fan who loves the lore. Then this is a must buy IMO.
The Descent is an enjoyable piece of DLC. While I did love the open world design of all the areas of DAI, I did feel there were a few too many and did make the game a bit repetitive later. i.e. Unlock new area, seal all rift, find all landmarks, find all Ocularums, do side quests, kill dragon, etc. etc. etc.
The descent has the feel of a campaign mission. Always being pressed forward, unravelling a story as you go along. While I do welcome more campaign like missions, The descent is all build up with little resolve. Almost like its incomplete or rushed to finish. I half expected a "To be continued ....." sign to pop up. A shame as I had been enjoying it thoroughly, and then it was over, just like that. Leaving more questions than answers. If this is just setup for future DLC or the next DA game, then I have just one question for the production team: Didn't you learn anything from the Amazing Spider Man 2? All setup for future content is not worth if you sacrifice the quality of the product.
Also, a bit disappointing how little new dialogue and banter there is for party members.
On the positive side the areas in the DLC are gorgeous. Adding more lore to Dwarven culture and history was nice considering how Elf heavy the rest of DAI is. The new gear and weapons look great.
The Descent is a decent piece of DLC that is highly enjoyable, and yet leaves you feeling a bit underwhelmed. For what is, it's a little over priced, but still worth getting. Maybe wait for the price to go down by a third.
Side note to production team:
Again, I would love to see Nevarra in future DLC.
I also would love to see Sera get a bit more depth. It is a shame how many people online don't like her. I know she is a bit annoying, but there is allot of depth to her that I feel many don't bother to see as they judge her too quickly.
Beautiful and the story was nice, except the underwhelming ending. Too short for a 15€ DLC, a bit disappointed.
Jaws of Hakkon was much better. This felt a bit hurried and waiting for a sequel DLC. No closing on the story.