So first off I really should apologize for the lateness of this.  I played the Dragon Age 2 campaign DLC Mark of the Assassin and Legacy shortly after writing my review for the original campaign.  I always intended to review these in a post by themselves, but I got distracted by other shiny things until now…. 😀

And away we go….

Now Mark of the Assassin (MotA) isn’t the first story driven DLC that was released, but it was the first one I played so I’ll start here.

Mark of the Assassin introduces us to an elven assassin named Tallis, who wants your help to steal a priceless relic from a nobleman of Orlais.  Now in order to gain access to the estate, you need to participate in a Wyvern hunt, so you need to track, lure, and kill a Wyvern.   You gain access to the estate, and start hunting for this relic.

Now as you travel with Tallis, you learn some interesting things about her past (which are a tad bit complicated to be honest and I won’t mention here), have some amusing cut scenes with her and the other two companions you choose to take along with you, and then she fades off into the sunset with the relic you worked so hard to claim.  The end. Short, simple, sweet. Tallis is also available for a quick liaison if you’re interested.  She swings both ways.

So, let’s break it down a bit more shall we?  First off, Tallis is voiced by Felicia Day, and let me say they have an uncanny likeness.  I knew of Felicia Day before MotA, but never really saw her in anything until a few weeks ago when I briefly tuned into the show Eureka! that she stars in.  I knew that she had voiced Tallis, but here’s the tad creepy thing:  Felicia Day comes on screen in the show, not saying a word, just there.  And as soon as I see her, I know who she is, purely because Tallis looks so much like her (at least to me).  So yeah, thought I’d share that first.

Moving on!

See! Creepy!

MotA isn’t a very long or complicated game.  You have several new non-repeated environments to play around in, and the progression is fairly linear.  No running back and forth for you anymore!  You’re introduced to a few new beasties such as the Wyvern and the creepy little subterranean dudes called Ghasts.

You unlock 5 new achievements which are kinda hard to miss.  Meet Tallis, Kill an Alpha Wyvern, Evade the security to get into the vault in the estate, disarm some fire traps, and defeat the latest bad guy.  Nothing really mind bending here.

You get some new swag which if you have the Item Packs DLC isn’t really interesting, but if you don’t have them the items you pick up are pretty sweet.  Heads up on one of them for the 360 players out there: when you reach the puzzle room with the gates, DO NOT open the doors before you pick up the amulet to the right of the door.  There’s a glitch in the game that prevents you from getting the amulet after the fact, and it’s a piece of a really cool artifact.

It’s also a really quick play.  I was able to get through it in about an hour which for me at least is a little unheard of as most Dragon Age DLC takes me about two hours to play.  I dunno what that says about either one of us….

Really not much more I can say on this one.  I enjoyed it, it was fun, and it’s a worthwhile download for pretty much everyone, but most especially for completionist nuts like yours truly.

NEXT!

Dragon Age 2 Legacy was the first story driven DLC released, and it is by far the better one.  (No offense MotA…)

Legacy has a more involved and interesting storyline than MotA.  The dwarven cartel is targeting your character, searching for the ‘blood of the Hawke’.  You track the little buggers down in a desert ruin and enter an ancient Grey Warden Tower.  Traveling through the various dungeon levels you uncover one clue after another about your character’s heritage, forge an awesomely powerful weapon, and at the end face an incredibly powerful darkspwan.  I still haven’t beaten the jerk yet…

See apparently long ago when the darkspawn were first created, one of their creator gods was locked away for what was supposed to be eternity.  And if he was ever freed, all hell would break loose.  Now this creature isn’t actually a creator god, he’s just a very powerful and ancient darkspawn.  I only use the term creator god to convey just how ancient and powerful this creature is.

But of course eternity doesn’t last as long as it used to, and your daddy was called in to renew the wards holding the creature in place, wards that seem to be weakening once more.  So as you’re traveling through the dungeon levels, you come across a group of Grey Wardens and are presented with a choice: Free the all-powerful creator god darkspawn because there’s just SO much he can teach us, or do you attempt to renew the wards, because in reality we all know how well releasing a creature like that will turn out.  I think you can guess which path I took…

It’s actually a pretty soul wrenching journey if you’re invested enough in the character.  With each dungeon level you defeat a demon, and you hear your father speak at each one, and even read a bit of his journal near the end, discovering once and for all what drove him from the Circle in the first place.

I’ve heard around and about the interweb town, that Legacy was created almost as an apology to DA2 fans, and I can see that.  DA2 was pretty sweet, but the biggest flaw was the environments, how they’re constantly recycled, and how the entire game takes place in one area.  Legacy and Mark of the Assassin to a lesser degree, address both of these issues.  You’re taken outside of Kirkwall and the Free Marches for both campaigns, and there are no recycled environments in either one.  Each area you enter is new and unique to the game play.

And upgrading your ancient family relic is ever so sweet once you get it done!  The only thing is if you have the DLC item packs, wait until you get through the main campaign before tackling Legacy.  Your family heirloom weapon doesn’t upgrade as you level up like the weapons from these packs, so it would be sad to create this really cool and powerful weapon (relevant to your character level when you create it) only to have to put it aside as you level up.

Legacy was definitely my favorite of the DLC campaigns.  It has a more interesting and intricate story than Mark of the Assassin, the enemies are more challenging, and you get cooler swag.  Still not quite sure what happens at the very end as I haven’t beaten the boss yet, but aside from that I feel it’s a worthwhile investment.

Enjoy folks.

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