Dragon Age: Origins is one of the few RPGs out there that will entice you enough to play well over 60 hours and still leaving you wanting more. The recognition it received in 2009 was all well deserved – including the RPG of the year from Gamer Limit.
With promises from Bioware to support Dragon Age for two years, DLC and expansions will be far from a rarity. It’s because of this constant support that you as a gamer will need to be informed as to what DLC is worth it and what is not. Otherwise, you may end up digging quite a hole in your pocket over the next two years.
Let me preface this review with a SPOILER WARNING. Although it should be expected considering it is post-release content, there are references to events that occur up through the battle of Ostagar in the main story.
A survivor of the battle at Ostagar has escaped and is seeking the help of the Grey Wardens. The opportunity to return to the battlefield – ridden with betrayal and despair – has arisen. Exacting revenge is important for those that wish to fully recover. But honoring those that have fallen can be much more powerful. Your fallen king and mentor await you.
Having arrived in Bann Loren’s land you will be faced with a group of Bann’s men who are confronting one of the fallen King’s faithful men. The inevitable death of this lone survivor does not prevent him from providing you with some important information as his last words. You are to return to Ostagar, find the secret key that King Cailan entrusted to this man, and recover important documents as well as his armor.
Returning to Ostagar should have been a much more rewarding and powerful event than it actually was. The linear and extremely short path through the Grey Warden’s camp and battlefield proves to be no challenge whatsoever. Every encounter, including the final boss, feels like nothing more than trash fights you were used to in the main game, which is extremely disappointing.
Since experience is not very substantial, and the weapon and armor upgrades aren’t anything to brag about, do not expect too much out of this downloadable content. Unfortunately for me, and many others, this DLC proves to be most beneficial and rewarding if completed immediately following Ostagar in the main story.
While I look forward to some of these upgrades in my second play through, the DLC just leaves a very sour taste in my mouth. Downloadable content, despite its saturation in the console market, is still a very young child. Every day it shapes itself, reinvents itself, and sets new standards. Reviewing downloadable content is truly hard to do when there is no definitive price to time/reward ratio.
To put it bluntly, Return to Ostagar is five dollars and will last you one or two hours. It poses no real challenge or overall benefit in experience and rewards. The best option would be to investigate the weapon and armor received, and see if it is worth the five dollars. However, for me, I can’t help but look around the corner at the expansion and see these upgrades as useless for my end-game characters.