Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dragon Age: Witch Hunt

A three step guide to making your customers feel ripped off with your DLC:

1) Re-use your environments from the base game and expansion. (No, using origin stories environments who most players the might not have seen does not make this better.)

2) Make the battles piss-easy and uninteresting. Dragon Age had some wonderful tactical battles in its repertoaire. Any given random encounter in the main game will pose more of a tactical conundrum than the entirety of this combined.

3) Make the entire selling point of the DLC -- meeting up with bitch-witch supremo Morrigan -- take all of five minutes, and not resolving much of anything except in the vaguest of terms possible.

In a way, I can sympathize with the problem of developing new, bite-sized chunks for a game like Dragon Age. The appeal lies in the long game, developing your character over time and watching your choices play out. A couple of hours worth of satisfying content has to be much trickier to develop. But there's really no excuse for the lazy reuse of environments and terrible fights in this. Just...fuck off. It's particularly egregious when it's released on the same day as Lair of the Shadow Broker -- Mass Effect 2 DLC -- which similarly intended to resolve another character arc left hanging, but did so in a very satisfying manner, and showcased some fantastic new environments while doing so.