RELEASE DATE: March 8th, 2011
PUBLISHER(S): EA Games
DRAGON AGE 2 MARK OF THE ASSASSIN DLC REVIEW
GO AWAY, OR I SHALL TAUNT YOU A SECOND TIME!
Bioware’s second DLC adventure for Dragon Age 2 is here and this time it’s brought to you by Felicia Day. Mark of the Assassin releases alongside a six part, live action web series, Dragon Age Redemption. Also starring Day, Redemption will follow her character, Tallis, in the events leading up to her inevitable meetup with Hawke. This is quite the setup for a DLC adventure, so you can see Bioware has a lot riding on this one. Is it worth your time though? My Lady Hawke thinks so.
As with Legacy, the first DLC adventure, starting is as easy as touching a set piece in Hawke’s mansion. Mark of the Assassin has a little of everything so I suggest choosing a diverse party for this one. Once you choose to start Mark of the Assassin you’ll be set on its quest line for the duration, so be sure to prepare. You’ll be introduced to the story, as always, with a conversation between the Chantry Seeker and your old pal Varric. From there he’ll take you off on one of his crazy side tracks where you will eventually meet the star of the show, Tallis.
After meeting Tallis, she invites you on a good old fashioned jewel heist. I wasn’t kidding when I said this adventure has a little of everything. The plan being to attend a party and hunt at an Orlesian Duke’s manor. Duke Prosper had previously invited Hawke to his manor so it’s the perfect cover. Obviously this little adventure will take you outside of Kirkwall but this time you’ll be headed to Orlais. The environments here are all new, and though some of it is forest and hills they are much better looking than the desolate, scrubby forests that grow around Kirkwall.
The manor itself looks great as well, from the party guests down to the pet Wyvern, the stage is set perfectly. Where Legacy had you mostly underground with ghosts yelling nonsense at you, Mark of the Assassin is fully voiced and superbly acted. Tallis’ matter-of-fact way of dealing with the ups and downs of thievery hints at a depth of character. Which direction this depth takes is hard to nail down at first. She’s a character you’re drawn into. Not to be outdone, Duke Prosper is a caricature while at the same time commanding a powerful presence. Mark of the Assassin was well written and lot of fun.
After some hunting, some intrigue, a little stealth, a small bit of vault cracking and one epic boss battle Mark of the Assassin will be behind you. My only real complaint is how short it was. At just under three hours, which seems to be Bioware standard, I really wanted a bit more for my 800 points ($9.99).
As usual, there are no multiplayer modes in Dragon Age 2 Mark of the Assassin.
Mark of the Assassin’s does add five achievements with only one being a real challenge. Blackjack Subtle is awarded for infiltrating the vault without being detected.
Mark of the Assassin did what a great episode of a great story should do. It drew you into the characters and setting, it was fun and it left you wanting to know more. I only wish it hadn’t left me wanting to play for a few more hours. Despite being a short adventure, Mark of the Assassin will appeal to every fan of Dragon Age 2. I truly hope we get to see more of Tallis in the future.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10