12 August 2010

Dragon Age: Origins - Golems of Amgarrak - Review

The steady stream of post release DLC for Dragon Age: Origins continues with Golems of Amgarrak in which the Warden returns to the Deep Roads. In this instalment an exploration team looking for secrets of golem creation enter the lost thaig of Amgarrak. Shortly after the exploration commences the entire team disappears including Jerrik Dace's brother, Brogan. Jerrik calls on the Warden's assistance to enter Amgarrak and search for any evidence of the team's whereabouts.

Before the action begins you have the opportunity to import an existing character from Origins, Awakening or to create a brand new Warden. Unlocking achievements in the DLC unlocks items for your characters in the main game so it makes more sense to import and considering that GoA is advertised as an incredibly challenging quest it is best to pick your strongest Warden!

The lost thaig of Amgarrak is a fairly interesting location to explore similar to other areas of the Deep Roads. Constructed as a giant puzzle, you have to make your way through various zones of the thaig by manipulating stone altars that allow you to pass through different coloured barriers. The whole process is fairly linear however, so there is very little chance of getting lost or missing an altar.

Other elements of the quintessential Dragon Age formula such as a focus of story, characters and conversations are still in effect although they feel slightly watered down. As the Warden is unable to take any party members along, spaces are filled by Jerrik, Brogan and a non-descript Golem. In addition, coming in at around 90-120 minutes there is nowhere near enough time to develop the characters sufficiently and conversations are severely limited. However, with an imported Warden the characters reference some of your prior exploits in the Deep Roads, which is a nice touch.

As far as the difficulty goes the enemies certainly present a harder challenge but sometimes this arises from cheap attacks rather than well crafted combat situations. In one instance four elite golems activate simultaneously and commence hurling boulders at the party - inflicting a knockdown with each hit. Being constantly barraged by these boulders leaves you open to the golems as they slowly amble up to you and pummel you into the ground. Apart from this and a few other instances combat retains its strategic elements including one of the hardest bosses in the whole of Dragon Age that requires faultless planning and execution.

If you are itching for new Dragon Age content then you have probably already decided that you are going to buy this DLC. At only £3 it is hard not to recommend for a short burst of Dragon Age goodness. If you are interested in loot consider this a micro-transaction for some powerful new items. Otherwise, if you've moved on from Dragon Age, there is very little reason for this DLC to draw you back.

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