This DLC will not appeal to all players of Dragon Age: Origins. Like the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC this is essentially a short separate adventure in the Dragon Age setting so will confer nothing to further level your main Origins character(s).
Sure, there is the new rogue-suitable armour, Battledress of the Provocateur, that the DLC makes available in both Origins and Awakening. However if you already have some of the best rogue armour, such as The Felon’s Coat, it may simply add a few gold to your rogue’s purse when you sell it.
There are other reasons you may or may not like Leliana’s Song. It is more story-focused than some of the other DLC, like Return to Ostagar. Of course there is combat, but compared to what you will have already faced in your other Ferelden outings it is quite a gentle affair with the vast majority of your opponents being the City Watch with just the odd mage or creature thrown in.
As you probably worked out from the title it is all about one of Origin’s potential party members, Leliana, so how much you liked her and how familiar you are with her and her story will have a strong influence on how much you will get out of this DLC.
So in summary the target market for this DLC is DA:O players who invested at least as much in the story as the combat, who preferred the rogue character class, who took the time to get to know Leliana as well as they could and played through her personal quest.
Basically that makes me the target market as a self-confessed fan of DA:O and Leliana. She was a constant companion throughout three of my four playthroughs, BFF in one, significant other in two. In my fourth playthrough she was almost always in the party providing artillery support.
“Nobody boils an innard like a Fereldan”
In the DLC you play as Leliana through a part of her life prior to her joining the Chantry. She is on a high-risk mission with her mentor, Marjolaine, in the Ferelden capital of Denerim. You have two new companions by your side, Tug and Stitch, who complete the traditional RPG group of rogue, warrior and mage.
BioWare are generally very good at characterisation and they demonstrate that again in Leliana’s Song. Those of you familiar with Leliana from DA:O will quickly recognise how her younger self differs to the woman we met in Lothering. That older Leliana provides some narration as she reflects on the past events and while that could have been awkward it is mostly successful.
The DLC is fully voiced which given its predominantly story-based nature is an essential part of the experience. Thankfully it is again Corrine Kempa voicing Leliana who I thought turned in one of the better vocal performances in DA:O. Kath Soucie also reprises her role as Marjolaine.
Obviously Leliana’s time in the Chantry did nothing for her combat proficiency and light-fingered-ness as she begins this DLC at level 10, which is higher than when I have met her in Lothering in the main DA:O campaign. She gained four levels during the DLC but those level-ups arrive somewhat faster than in the main game.
Even though I was running around speaking to everyone and opening and reading everything I could, a playthrough of the DLC only took two and a half hours. You could probably complete a speedrun in an hour or less but that would be to completely miss the point of this DLC.
This is for fans of Leliana and her story. There are many little references to her DA:O incarnation, relating to such diverse matters as the different hair style the older Leliana sports and her preferred species of pet, to be picked up on which will only make sense if you know her well.
For me there was a lot to like about this DLC. It is story-based and features my favourite companion from the main game. It dropped a point off the score for its length and two for its high price (PS3 players are left paying the highest price again): 560 Microsoft Points (£4.76), £5.49/€6.99/$6.99 on PSN or 560 BioWare Points (£4.33) on PC.
For your own rating it should probably lose at least a point if the main attraction of DA:O for you is the tactical combat and at least one more if you never met or did not like Leliana. Even DA:O-owning PS3 trophy whores will find it an expensive way to buy three bronzes.
- For fans of Leliana
- For fans of Leliana
- As short as the other DA:O DLC
- As expensive as the other DA:O DLC
If you loved Leliana you will love this and the price will be the only thing to make you pause for consideration before hitting the ‘buy’ button. For anyone else it is a far from essential addition to DA:O.