As I have mentioned before, there are many games out there with many pieces of DLC available for them. Some are good and some...aren't so good. But with that said, it's been a while since I've actually reviewed any of these and because it came out within the last month I decided to review the Dragon Age 2 DLC Mark of the Assassin.
Now a lot of people were disappointed with Dragon Age 2 and it truly has divided BioWare fans more than any of their other games have done before and people tend to love it hate it. But the game was still financially successful and reviews were generally positive and because of this DLC would inevitably follow. The first major piece of DLC was Legacy. In short, it was ok. I told you some interesting things about the Hawk family and had a few interesting villain characters but was all around nothing special. So was Mark of the Assassin anything special? Well let’s find out.
The plot of it revolves around Hawk as he agrees to help and elvin agent named Tallis steal a jewel from an Orlesian noble named Prosper and in doing so, gets caught up in her battles.
On the positive side it had a great story that was well written, well-paced and full of twists. The less said about the plot the better but take my word for it. It's good in this area. The new enemies like the wyverns and ghasts were welcome additions to the game and I hope to see more of them in future games and DLC. The environments were well designed and it was very refreshing to see something that didn’t include recycled environments from a Dragon Age DLC, (for more info on this refer to my Dragon Age Review: Part 6). They also included a few areas where you could use stealth rather than just fight your way through and I felt that was a welcome change of pace.
In my opinion, however, the best part about this piece of DLC was the characters. You had a lot of cameos by characters like Liliana, Bann Teagan and other characters introduced throughout both games and I thought that was really cool. Other characters like Duke Prosper made for some interesting antagonists and the rest were just as interesting. The best character out of all of them however, was the character of Tallis. Her voice actor was great as was the writing for her and unlike many of the other Dragon Age 2 characters, she was actually a character you wanted to know more about. It's actually a shame these characters weren't in Dragon Age 2 because if they had been, who knows? It may have not received such mixed results from fans.
The negatives are actually very few in number. Combat-wise it doesn’t really offer much new to the game, other than the for-mentioned things and to my knowledge you don’t get any noteworthy items in it, (although I could be wrong in this). Even though you control Hawk's actions, it's never really made clear what your motivation is in helping Tallis. I know that's a weird thing to comment on but it's the truth. There really isn't any clear motivation for Hawk to help her.
It also didn't really feel like a part of the game, so much as just another mission and that‘s the problem a lot of DLC has and this one fails to escape that shadow. The only other negative thing I have to say is that I didn't care for the ending. Minor spoiler alert but don't expect Tallis to become a regular companion.
All around, this was a good piece of DLC as far as Dragon Age goes. My standard for DLC, however, was kind of set with Dead Money of Fallout: New Vegas and Layer of the Shadow Broker of Mass Effect 2 and if you compare it with those two, it's doomed. But it's still an all-around decent add on to the game. If you take it for what it is, it's pretty good and if you liked Dragon Age 2, you'll like this one.