Bioware’s Dragon Age: Origins has been one of the most heralded role-playing games of recent memory. While playing directly from start to finish doesn’t take very long at all, the amount of side -quests and depth that went into the world was breathtaking, which makes it a fairly large surprise how the downloadable content has progressed. From adding a new character complete with character interactions and their very own companion quest to dud after dud and finally a DLC in which you don’t even play the character you’ve taken across Ferelden (which has very much split the community into two).
The Stone Prisoner, which was free with the purchase of the game, was the most expensive downloadable content priced at $15 if you bought the game secondhand, but it was also the beefiest. Shale fit seamlessly into the main story almost to the point where it seemed she’d be taken out before release just to be packaged as additional content. The character has enough dialogue to match any of the other companion characters and, frankly, Shale was a really good addition to whatever party you might have been using.
Warden’s Keep followed as the next DLC for Dragon Age: Origins and while half the price of the Stone Prisoner (it came package with the deluxe edition), it didn’t contain half the content. In fact, it started a trend of including only a single area to be explored. However, the content’s saving grace was that the story included was actually truly interesting. A dark mystery of the esteemed Grey Wardens was fun to explore and watching the flashbacks scattered throughout the keep was nice to see. There were also the items, including a snazzy piece of armor and a very distinct sword.
The original two were fine on their own, but the trend would be set in stone once Return to Ostagar was released in January 2010. Incredibly short with barely anything to do besides play on old memories Return to Ostagar was simply a disappointment that ultimately became nothing more than a pit stop for items rather than an integral part of the game. The only real decision made in a game filled with came with what you did with the deceased King’s body.
April 1st saw the release of the Feast Day items, both gifts and pranks, each set costing $2 each. As a clear ode to April Fool’s judging their merits based on the story value of the others isn’t fair, but it does bring us back to the fact that DLC is a nickel and dime business, trying to suck any loose dollar out of the consumer.
Apprehension is readily apparent for the release of the latest downloadable content in which the player will be able to explore an alternate history where you control the Darkspawn. The community is split in half between those curious as to how it’ll play out and those that are disappointed that they won’t be able to further their character. With an already disappointing expansion pack, just how good the latest downloadable content is going to be is up in the air.