Dragon Age 2: LEGACY DLC notes, discussion, and SPOILERS after the cut.
For Legacy, I brought along Varric, Carver, and Anders. Playing as a mage, my normal team is Varric, Anders, and Aveline, but I’d watched the SDCC demo in which the BioWare guy really stressed bringing along your sibling, and he’s a warrior anyway, so how hard could it be? (Oh boy.) I recently started a replay to “fix” my canon playthrough (mostly to recruit Fenris, who I’d missed the first time; some of the stuff that “went wrong” I plan on leaving as-is), so I played Legacy as one of the last things in Act 1.
The first thing I noticed was how every minute, someone was talking. Varric and Carver especially had a lot to say near the beginning, and even Hawke spoke a lot, which I didn’t see as much in the main game when it came to running-about dialogue (as opposed to conversations where you have a choice in what to say). Varric’s near-hysterical “But they’re businessmen!” re: The Carta was great, especially because that’s what I was thinking. Anders ribbing Carver about joining the Grey Wardens (“But we’d all be SO sorry to see you go!”) was great; I had just heard the main-game party banter where Carver tells him to “shove [his] plight”, so it made sense (I don’t usually bring Carver anywhere, so I had no idea what his relationships with the other companions were like). And then Anders’ cries of agony while descending into the Deep Roads were just heartbreaking.
Legacy is supposedly an experiment in responding to some of the criticisms made of DA2, but other than the new environment (gorgeous) and the fact that battles are more tactical, I didn’t notice much; but then, I’m not one of the people who had a lot of issues with DA2 in the first place. One neat addition was “Viewpoints”–interactive spots that trigger a short cutscene giving a better look at an area, or something in the distance, and a bit of dialogue. They were helpful in getting my bearings around the giant underground tower that Legacy takes place in and around.
But the most interesting thing to me is the story. I liked Hawke’s story as a talented but otherwise normal Fereldan who made a name for herself, so I was wary about the importance of “The Hawke’s blood”–aw, Hawke doesn’t turn out to be the descendant of some super-important dude or something, right?–but there’s an actual reason why specifically Hawke’s blood is needed, and it’s not because Malcome Hawke was secretly Super Special or something.
I sided with Larius at the end; it seemed obvious from the information I had and the Codex entries that killing Corypheus was the safe decision (in addition to being able to control Wardens to an extent, him simply being buried where he is is also the cause of all the chaos that has come to Kirkwall?), so I liked that that was balanced out by adding some personal motivation to side with Janeka. I think that the death of Hawke’s mother in Act 2 of DA2 is necessary to have some personal motivation to side with the Templars (though I disliked the execution–pun not intended, sorry), to balance out the fact that mage liberation is obviously the just thing by our real-world standards; unfortunately, the personal motivation in Legacy is ALSO a (past) threat against Hawke’s mother. I suppose it’s difficult to give Hawke personal motivation when she’s defined by the player to such an extent, but there must be some other way than repeatedly threatening her mom. Lay off the poor woman, already, hasn’t she been through enough?
I loved that my Warden’s choice to kill the Architect was brought up (“The Warden-Commander killed the last of this sort,” Anders says–he was there!), and it’s nice that we FINALLY get a few answers to all the questions that have been brought up throughout the games. Corypheus and the Architect were Tevinter magisters! We learn more about the origin of darkspawn! And some bullshit about some Chantry story being true? That totally messes up this other post I’m writing, but I’m sure the truth is a bit more complicated. Still, Anders saying “What else might the Chantry know that we don’t?” was perhaps the most upsetting part of the entire thing. Poor guy believes way too much of what the Chantry says as it is.
According to the Dragon Age wiki, Corypheus manages to possess Larius or Janeka before you kill him; I missed that when I played, but that seems ominous. Of course, if this is eventually going to be used to explain why the Architect is also somehow not dead, despite me choosing to kill him, I will be quite irritated.
Overall, I enjoyed Legacy quite a bit, and if the other DLCs for Dragon Age 2 are like this, I’ll be happy, and it’ll make the wait for Dragon Age 3 much easier.