Though not the fan-anticipated “Egg Hunt”, Bioware surprised players of Dragon Age: Inquisition this week by releasing the game’s first DLC, The Jaws of Hakkon, on Tuesday for Xbox One and PC (sorry, other systems!). What makes this release surprising is that Hakkon was released with absolutely no promotion, save for a teaser image that came out one day before its release. I’m not exactly sure why Bioware chose to do this, but the buzz and hype this move created seems to have been worth it: I doubt there’s a DA fan out there who isn’t aware by this point. However, people have been speculating on the quality of the DLC itself, which bears a fifteen dollar price tag. Personally, I think this speculation is deserved. Within both the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises, some DLCs just haven’t necessarily met the bar on the price they asked for. Fifteen dollars is a lot to be asking for on a DLC that no one knows anything about outside of an image and, as of this morning, a trailer.
This doesn’t answer the question of whether or not the DLC is worth the price of admission. Well, for some it might. As for my opinions on it, whether or not to buy it lies solely in what drives you as a player.
Spoilers for The Jaws of Hakkon and DA:I under the cut.
It’s taking everything I have to keep myself from writing about Dragon Age: Inquisition (which comes out on the 18th, by the way) for every article this month. But if something catches my eye enough to drag me from my DA trance, during release month no less, you can bet that it’s something amazing. What developer Volition has put on the table is nothing short of that. You might even call this DLC… sinfully good.
I love it when games release content for the holidays, and when the heads behind Borderlands 2 announced the release of a Halloween-themed DLC, I knew I had to get it. Even though Halloween proper is still a week off, I snapped it up on its release date back on Tuesday.
I know I didn’t review the Tiny Tina DLC. I’m getting to it.
In addition to being something special for this time of year, T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest also gives way to a new type of DLC: head hunts. As the name implies, the goal of the quest line is to eventually win a special head—it’s what it sounds like: a facial customization for your character that changes most, if not all, parts of the head. Whereas I will agree that releasing so many ‘pay-to-get’ DLC customization options is a bit money grubbing—there have been fifteen in total—what I like about the head hunts is that it gives you an entirely new environment to run around in and new enemies to fend off. At least that’s what it seems like given the contents of this DLC. The question is: is it worth the three dollars? Spoilers under the cut.
So this is my third post about The Last of Us. You see, much as the fungus which affects the game’s whole setting and drives the plot forward, the game has infected my brain. I now spend a lot of time thinking about it when I am not cannibalizing other humans or rolling around Pittsburgh in a Humvee. If you didn’t get that second one, it’s probably a good time to mention that there are spoilers in this post. Though, honestly, if you are a PS3 gamer and you haven’t played this, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
Before I get to the golden egg hidden at the end of this post, let me recap you a bit. Continue reading →
Today is the day, my fellow vault hunters. Today we travel to the uncivilized continent of Aegrus to traverse swamp and mountain in search of harder enemies, better loot, and… Handsome Jack? Well, maybe we’re not searching for him. I dare say in Borderlands’ newest DLC, Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt, the person I’m going to be most interested in is the titular character himself. So, allow me this time to gush about how much I absolutely adore this monocle’d zoologist: it is his big day, after all.
I think the first thing that’s obvious is that Sir Hammerlock is the classiest badass to roam the lands of Pandora. He’s got that Victorian gentleman vibe going on (in all the best ways, especially the accent) but he starts the relationship between your character and himself by electrocuting your robot guide, then shoving its eye back into its socket.
Okay, it may not be as badass as Ellie’s introduction, but he’s been living completely alone—except maybe for visits from Claptrap—in the bandit-infested village of Liar’s Burg for who knows how long and he’s managed to stay alive. I’m sure there’ve been nights where he’s sniped bandits from the top of his roof just to lure them into that electrical fence. You may have also noticed that his right arm is missing completely? Yeah, it was ripped off by quite possibly the largest thresher on Pandora, no big deal. Hammerlock lives for his work and, if past trends continue, it’s quite possible he may end up dying for his work someday.
However, besides being a character with such a frustrating lack of backstory, Hammerlock also plays an important role in one of the most understated initiatives in a game I’ve experienced. If you do side-quests (if you don’t, I don’t want to talk to you), he’ll eventually ask your character to find the lost manuscripts of a rough and tumble kind-of-scientist-but-not-really, Taggart, who also happens to be his old boyfriend. Borderlands 2 was the game that really made it apparent that the developers wanted their universe of Pandora and vault hunters to allow for equal opportunity in both treasure looting and getting killed by literally everything and as such many of the characters, whether they be in the backstory or available for interaction, were discussed as being of a non-heteronormative sexuality. Of course, there were complaints about characters being made so explicitly “gay”, but it was so much more nuanced than that. Characters were not defined by their sexuality; rather their sexuality was just another aspect of their character which is how it should be done. Hammerlock didn’t constantly gush about all that hot yaoi sex he was having with his boyfriend, it was something he mentioned while reminiscing about his past relationship with the most-likely dead Taggart. Even if he did constantly gush about it, it would still be amazing to see such a nuanced homosexual character, especially in a genre where these things are usually shied away from.
So come on, give this scholar and his creators some love and join him on his expedition. See him in his natural habitat—‘he’s’ been giving you weapons all weekend so show at least a little respect—and download Big Game Hunt. If we’re lucky, we’ll get to see some more of that badassery that we’ve all come to love (who am I kidding? We definitely will).
The release date of the ‘Omega’ DLC has come and gone. Omega has been taken back, Aria is firmly seated on her throne once more, and Cerberus has lost a substantial foothold in that sector of the galaxy. So why am I so damned undecided on how I feel? [Spoiler Warning]
Earlier this month, Bioware released their first large-scale DLC for Mass Effect 3: Leviathan. All that was known before it came out is that Shepard was dealing with something that had the capability to destroy a reaper and seriously, when your side of the battle can’t even take out one reaper without a whole lot of trouble, finding something that can—no matter how dangerous it is—starts looking mighty good. Yet now that I’ve played through it a couple times I can’t help but feel that it was somewhat lacking, both in its design and its story. [Spoiler Alert]
Bioware is a game company that is responsible for some great characters in this generation of gaming, both female and male. They have this way of fleshing out everyone so that they are complex and interesting to learn about through gameplay. Even the player-controlled characters fall under this routine. However, as in everything good and holy, there are times when characters are treated unfairly based on circumstances that the audience chooses to ignore partially or entirely (such as Queen Anora from Dragon Age: Origins) or on extenuating circumstances outside of the game and its universe. This latter portion is what I hope to be exploring in part today.
Recently, Bioware released a downloadable content for one of their newer games, Dragon Age 2, called ‘Mark of the Assassin’. This DLC stars a new character named Tallis and, from what I have seen, she has met with an overall chilly reception. Accusations fly about how this character is a Mary-Sue. This was my first impression, but in reality, how well do theses assertions hold up? And why is this character considered any worse than other DLC characters, such as Mass Effect 2’s Kasumi Goto? Note that this comparison is not only one concerning the two’s character quests—despite the fact that they are by and large the same quest in a different time period, and the comparison between the two could make an article in and of itself—but also a look at the motivations of each character and how she deals with the problem presented in front of her. It should go without saying but here is your spoiler alert.