Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review - Dragon Age: Mark of the Assassin

Dragon Age 2's second story-based DLC outing is "Mark of the Assassin," an adventure that - apart from sporting around 5-6 hours of additional questing time - also features the remarkable voice talent of Felicia Day as the titular assassin, Tallis. Fans of the actress will find a pleasant treat in this DLC; Day brings Tallis to life in an engrossing way, and while the character herself may not be the most interesting of Bioware's creations, she still houses a personality and backstory that's worth a look.

The same can be said for the DLC itself; the premise, execution, and twists along the tale prove to be an entertaining diversion that will provide a solid chunk of additional gameplay. It's worth the pricetag - more so than Legacy. Everything good about Dragon Age is here: intricate lore woven into an interesting story, new creatures that provide varied and interesting battles, a puzzle or two to wrack your brain, challenging boss fights, and even a few surprising cameos from Dragon Age: Origins.

It's Felicia Day! In Dragon Age! As an elf!
The folks at Bioware have learned their lesson from Dragon Age 2. Mark of the Assassin once again sends you to a completely new location for you to explore. Gone are the recycled maps and endless waves of enemies (at least, for the duration of this DLC). Instead, you're sent on a mission to liberate a treasure from an Orlesian stronghold. Here, you'll take part in a wyvern hunt, chat up a few nobles in a party, and work your way through a fortress - by stealth or by force - to complete your mission. Though there have been complaints that the stealth portion of the game is buggy, I did not experience any of the bugs that have plagued other reviewers.

As to be expected from Bioware, the story twists and turns along the way (though I have to say, releasing the Dragon Age webseries along with the DLC might have given away a lot of one of the "surprise" moments). The highlight of the story and the DLC is definitely Tallis. With her snarky yet bright outlook, she is a welcome addition to your cast of companions. She's played wonderfully by Felicia Day, and it's a shame that the character is limited to the DLC; she will not join you on your main quest (though it seems possible she'll show up in another Dragon Age iteration).

Your choices in the DLC also have consequence; unlike Dragon Age 2's main game, where your choices often have little effect on the narrative, Mark of the Assassin will play out differently based on a few key choices you make. Anything that gives your actions more weight is a plus in my book.

If you're itching for more Dragon Age 2 that's not set in Kirkwall, Mark of the Assassin is worth a look. The DLC is available now on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. 

Recommended For:
+ Dragon Age 2 fans
+ Felicia Day fans - don't worry, she differentiates Tallis from Codex quite well.

Not Recommended For:
- Dragon Age 2 haters
- People expecting Mark of the Assassin to solve all the problems of Dragon Age 2

For those looking for more history on Tallis, check out Dragon Age: Redemption.

1 comment:

seeshu said...

guh. thanks a lot, now i wanna get the dlc.