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  • Dragon Age Origins: Awakening is an old fashioned expansion pack that harks back to the days

  • when add-ons were just more of a good thing and offered more than an hour or two of gameplay.

  • And when a game is as good as Dragon Age is, more of a good thing is always welcome. Awakening

  • isn't as special as the main game. The story isn't that great, and the new characters aren't

  • nearly as interesting as the ones you grew to love before. There are also a few bugs

  • you might run into. But in spite of some drawbacks, Awakening is a lot of fun, and it raises the

  • level cap and adds new spells and skills, and new specializations. And Ferelden is such

  • a great place, so rich with adventure, that returning to it feels like going home.

  • From the outset, you have a choice: import a character from Dragon Age, or build a new

  • level 18 character from scratch. Either way, you begin your adventure near the fortress

  • of Vigil's Keep, where the darspawn threat hasn't dissipated. In fact, you run into a

  • talking darkspawn, which is unusual in and of itself. Who's leading these creatures?

  • It's your goal to find and eliminate the source of the new threat. Along the way, you'll pick

  • up some party members. One of them is an old friend, but the rest are new. The banter between them can be great, but Awakening

  • characters like Anders and Justice don't hold a candle to Dragon Age characters like Alistair

  • and Morrigan. And the right of conscription is evoked so casually and so often in Awakening

  • that neither the Joining nor the Grey Wardens seem all that special anymore. But there are

  • some cool story highlights, like an interesting visit to The Fade, a family conflict, and

  • your first glimpses of the evil lurking behind the scenes. It's a decent story--it just doesn't

  • come close to the original.

  • Luckily, everything else is of the high quality you'd expect from a Dragon Age expansion.

  • There are tough choices to make in which lives hang in the balance... Including a couple

  • of memorable damned if you do, damned if you don't moments. All the areas are new, and

  • developer Bioware has paid closer attention to the art design. Several of the new locations

  • are moody and darkly lit, which adds a nice sense of mystery and atmosphere. And of course,

  • there's the action. Awakening isn't as challenging as Dragon Age was at release, but it's full

  • of enjoyable and colorful action that will keep your fingers busy on the mouse and keyboard.

  • Highlights include a tough battle against two young dragons at once, and an even tougher

  • final boss battle that's much more fun to take on than the main game's end boss. In

  • other words, Awakening is a lot of fun, and while the action hasn't really changed, that's

  • a really wonderful thing. It wasn't broken, and thankfully, no one tried to fix it.

  • There are some nice additions to the formula, however. There are three new skill chains:

  • Runecrafting, vitality, and clarity. Runecrafting is the only active skill and it works like

  • making poisons and traps: You just collect the right ingredients and combine them into

  • a fancy new rune that you can slot into a weapon or armor. Vitality and clarity are

  • passive bonuses to vitality and mana or stamina. And each class has two new specializations

  • that come with new spells and talents. The new talents don't drastically change gameplay,

  • but they add a lot more options to play around with. Using these new spells and skills, you

  • come face to face with cool new enemies called the children, which come in a few different

  • forms. There are new items as well, like stamina draughts that let your warriors and rogues

  • replenish their stamina quickly. And of course, new characters mean new relationships to cultivate.

  • So there aren't any surprises in store for you, and a few visual bugs can get a little

  • distracting. But Dragon Age: Awakening is great in spite of its flaws. You'll get around

  • 15 hours of play, give or take, so at $40, it isn't the incredible value Dragon Age:

  • Origins was. Yet it's still a worthwhile investment for the pure role-playing joy and flexibility

  • that it offers. The combat is as fun and flashy as always, new spells and talents expand your

  • horizons, and several tough fights will test your abilities. In other words, it's time

  • to head back to Ferelden.

Dragon Age Origins: Awakening is an old fashioned expansion pack that harks back to the days

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GameSpot Reviews - Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Video Review

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    張仕昌 posted on 2017/08/16
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