Excerpt: In the run up to Dragon Age: Origins' 2009 release, developer BioWare banged on about it being a platform from which new content would be unleashed upon the gaming world. So far, BioWare's efforts haven't exactly set the world of Ferelden on fire. Return to Ostagar rehashed already explored areas. Warden's Keep was threadbare. Only The Stone Prisoner was genuinely worth a look.
Excerpt: What often separates a good adventure from a classic one is whether it leaves you immediately wanting more. So it is with last year’s Dragon Age: Origins , a game sometimes hampered by technical and balance problems but broadly acclaimed for its storytelling and depth of character. The first proper expansion for the game, Awakening is at once familiar territory and new ground, taking established lore and mechanics from Origins and making smart additions to both.
Excerpt: Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening is the first full expansion for BioWare's new RPG series. It's a mixed experience, because as an expansion it does many things wrong, but if treated as a stand-alone experience it is as impressive as the main game in many aspects. While clearly not as massive as Origins proper, this add-on does give a nice chunk of content that could have easily been expanded into a full game all by itself with just a little more depth.
Conclusion: We are not exactly sure if the package justifies its steep price of 40 bucks, even with everything BioWare managed to cram into the adventure. If this seems to be a bother, then maybe you can take comfort in the fact that both the add-on has an adequate dose of replayability to it (more so than a majority of games these days). Still not satisfied, eh? Well, it's up to you, of course.
Pros: The plot offers some interesting eye-openers and explanations giving you a chance to get deeper into the Dragon Age universe, a satisfying range of new skills, spells and items;
Cons: Bugs that aren't too serious but should still be ironed out, characters not as compelling as in the first game, veteran gamers might feel inclined to move the difficulty up a notch or two, although the plot is generally good there are some moments that disappointed us.
Excerpt: They say you can't go home again, but whoever coined that old adage apparently wasn't talking about the realm of Ferelden. Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening returns you to this familiar and fair fantasy world, where degenerate demons called darkspawn have ravaged the land. The forces of evil may still lurk, but fans of 2009's wonderful Dragon Age will settle easily into the game's first full expansion pack, which harbors few surprises but delivers all the loot-happy...
Pros: A few weighty decisions have a real impact on your adventure, Lots of great combat, with several challenging battles, New talents, spells, skills, and specializations, New explorable areas with improved atmosphere
Cons: Disappointing story disrespects certain elements of the original, The new characters aren't very memorable
Conclusion: Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening quenched my thirst for a sequel, though it was just an expansion pack. There's plenty of improvement from Bioware here, but more importantly the story continues and it's still a fun ride. If you liked the first then you'll like the expansion pack. At the end of it all I want more of this game. I want another Dragon Age and I want it now!
Conclusion: If you enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins, you will enjoy Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening (even if you don't enjoy typing it out.) On the same note, if you didn't enjoy Origins, you aren't going to think any better of Awakenings either - it doesn't add anything, but it doesn't make any serious mistakes, and it's just more of the same.