Before you dive into the latest downloadable content for Dragon Age: Origins keep this in mind: a bronto and a golem following you around in a structure built for dwarves is going to give you pathing issues. With that in mind strap yourself in and get ready to indulge in Bioware’s brand of horror as far as Dragon Age goes, as you’ll traverse another long lost dwarven installation where an expedition has gone missing for too long and blood has already lined the walls by the time you arrive.
Much like the previous release, Leliana’s Song, Golems of Amgarrak is a completely different campaign though you’re given the opportunity to import a character from Origins or Awakening, which is a welcomed addition. Like almost every other occurrence, the dwarven sections of the game are undoubtedly the creepiest since they’re horribly lit, full of corpses and of course have the musings of some poor sap who experienced it all before you arrived. The story isn’t anything to write home about and it doesn’t take any weird turns like other stories have. You go in for what you’re looking for, find it, kill a boss and you get out without anything new in between.
Veterans of awakening will recognize how the dungeon’s main mechanic behaves in a heartbeat as you run through the same areas multiple times except under different conditions. Certain chests can’t be accessed unless you’ve hit a particular switch that changes the aura everywhere. One of the characters even quips how it’s reminiscent of the fade. Obtaining these chests usually means you’ll have to deal with some left over golems who, as all golems do, hit incredibly hard and can probably wipe out an unprepared party in one round of hurled boulders. When a switch is active you’ll likely fight another battle in the same area though possibly against a revenant or arcane horrors with your fill of the usual zombies.
The biggest issue comes in the final encounter, which compared to just about everything else you’ve come across is probably one of the more irritating battles in a long time. While you acquire party members throughout the small campaign none of them are a dedicated healer, unless your warden was actually a healer. If you happen to be a mage then you are given an item that allows for one free respecialization, which comes in handy since you’re given a tank fairly early on. In fact, you’re give two that can serve as tanks. The golem that you’re given is a bit of a hybrid character just as Shale is, but rather than being able to choose a specialization the golem learns how to do it all by collecting different items.
The aforementioned final battle is divided up into two phases, with the first being against a gigantic monstrosity that summons waves of undead to hinder your efforts. Using a switch that periodically becomes active allows you to drop them all at once. On normal the fight is simple enough but the amount of damage the boss can put out on nightmare can get pretty crazy and the second phase the boss bolts around the room while summoning hordes that can’t be stopped unless killed the old fashioned way.
After Leliana’s song, which told a good story Golems of Amgarrak is a bit of a Dragon Age DLC disappointment, but it’s still better than most of what’s available. For someone who blows through content don’t expect much more than an hour of your time to be spent digging up all dwarven information and looking for lost people. The fact of the matter is, you’re not missing anything if you didn’t even notice this DLC was released.