As much as it is fun to explore and monsterslay across the land of Kirkwall, sometimes a change of scenery is in order. Thankfully many BioWare expansions offer this kind of escape; you just have to contend with new, often more powerful enemies. "Legacy" is the first story-driven DLC for Dragon Age II and is one of the larger downloadable adventures for the series, second in size only to Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.
"Legacy" takes our hero Hawke outside of his comfort zone and into a prison, specifically a Grey Warden prison. It's an old prison that brings along with it an ancient evil, so powerful that the Wardens have kept it under wraps for a millennium. If that weren't enough, "Legacy" also promises to shed quite a bit of light on Hawke's ancestry.
As with past BioWare DLCs, so much of the add-on content has been based off constructive feedback from the fans. For "Legacy," fans get their fix of new areas (both indoor and outdoor), a richer story, new creatures, and a larger emphasis on battle tactics. Not only does the environment play a more notable role in combat, with traps that both sides can use, but the way enemies enter the battle has been changed subtlety. There were a couple points in my brief hands-on session where I was ambushed by darkspawn, sometimes coming out of the walls right next to me. These were satisfying curveballs and solid challenges, but nothing that any experienced BioWare fan can't handle.
In regards to these new creatures, some of them are of course darkspawn, including imposing renditions of the genlock, hurlocks, both their grunt and alpha versions, as well as new takes on creatures not seen since Dragon Age: Origins. One of the bosses is the familiar pride demon who sports new abilities, including the ability to make duplicates of himself. While suspected there were a number of ways to defeat him, I just hacked through the duplicates to figure out who the original demon was.
Further complementing the new features of "Legacy" is a new weapon that is both powerful and highly customizable. You won't have to be concerned about compatibility with your favorite DAII character because the weapon is class-specific, so a mage will have a staff, a rogue will have a dagger, etc.. This weapon is also integral to the story and the design of this expansion, where it acts as a key to progress past three seals, each protected by a boss. It is at each of these seals that you're able to tailor this weapon with your preferred bonuses.
For you procrastinators who have only made a small dent in your Dragon Age II playthrough, you'll be pleased to know that you can take your experience and your new weapon from "Legacy" back to your main game session or to future content. None of you will have to wait long as Dragon Age II "Legacy" will be out July 26 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Mac.