XI
you are not logged in
Review

Review: Leliana’s Song

Redheaded Dragon Age DLC.

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.

Pros:

  • For fans of Leliana

Cons:

  • 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.

Score: 7/10

11 Comments
  1. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    I need to get into Awakenings but have given up on DAO for a bit. Just so I don’t ignore other titles. However, I can see myself picking this up as I’ve enjoyed the smaller DLC so far.

    Seeing as it’s such a small item, I really appreciate the article. Thanks, Greg.

    Comment posted on 14/07/2010 at 17:13.
    • skibadee
      Member
      Since: Oct 2009

      I want to get Awakenings but I’m hoping for a PSN price reduction fingers crossed,good read thanks.

      Comment posted on 14/07/2010 at 17:43.
      • hannes_truce
        Member
        Since: Sep 2008

        it’s def not worth the current price tag. 10-15hrs play depending on if you do all side quests etc.

        Comment posted on 14/07/2010 at 19:19.
      • mad_dunc
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Finally got platinum on this a week ago, and whilst I love the game, I can’t justify buying Awakening – and therefore am a bit reluctant to also fork out for yet more for other DLC (already spent money Warden;s Keep and Return of Ostagar, fortunately Shale came free with game). If the price doesn;t drop down soon, I’m going to sell DA:O – i’ve pretty much played it to death now.

        Comment posted on 15/07/2010 at 13:33.
  2. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    ah, leliana, definitely my favourite companion from DAO.
    i might have actually been tempted by this, maybe they’ll release a game of the year edition later on with all the dlc, GOTY editions can often be cheaper than buying all the dlc for a game.

    Comment posted on 14/07/2010 at 18:23.
  3. hunterstryfe
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    Not likely to be a price reduction so soon, none of the others have been reduced (I have them all – except leliana’s song which I intend to buy on friday). I absolutely adored Leliana in DA:O except for her love in materialism, and other than warrior and Mage for trophies I always play as a rogue anyway (Helloooo – Stealth, pickpocketing, lockpicking – who wouldn’t?) Very much looking forward to playing this

    Comment posted on 14/07/2010 at 19:50.
  4. Danza Di Fuoco
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    They just don’t like us Playstation fans….

    Comment posted on 14/07/2010 at 21:47.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments