Review: Dragon Age Origins- The Golems of Amgarrak (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)August 18th, 2010 | Written by Josh Schwartzman | Topic: PC, PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360
With Dragon Age II quickly appearing on the horizon, Bioware has not yet ended the adventures of the Grey Warden in the original Origins storyline. Although the previous quest with Leliana was charming fun, the latest trek through the underground city of Amgarrak is a complete waste of time. With a forgettable story, dull characters and an insanely hard difficulty that will even have veteran players yelling in anger; Golems of Amgarrak is not worth the price of admission, even at $5.
Golems of Amgarrak begins with the dwarf Jerrik Dace writing a letter to the Grey Warden asking for help in finding his brother, Brogan, who has disappeared beneath the Deep Roads into Amgarrak. You might think this is the beginning of a moving story, one that Origins expertly displays in all of its various missions, but unfortunately the best moments of the DLC are in the first two minutes of cutscenes.
Whatever the case might be, you can play the Golems of Amgarrak with either your imported Grey Warden character from Origins and Awakening or a newly created character set at level 20. You obviously have a much bigger advantage using your own character since your skills set is probably more pronounced and diverse, but the game does a good job of giving you some expert traits and abilities for any class you choose.
Golems of Amgarrak has you trekking through the underground city searching for Brogan and defeating the mysterious presence that is lurking down there. Most of the time will find you battling insanely powerful enemies who spam magic attacks like they have nothing to lose. We found ourselves dying constantly throughout this campaign, and even at level 36, with maxed weapons, armor and stats, our Grey Warden hero was falling to a group of four enemies.
It seems that Bioware felt that the challenge needed to be racketed up a notch, and even the description of the DLC clearly warns players of the difficulty. But was there really a need to do this? We played through Origins and Awakening on hard difficulty, and sure there were occasional problems and deaths, but that’s why it is called HARD. We don’t want to have to struggle and die constantly on normal or casual mode, and it is a bad design flaw that really makes this DLC not worth trying out at all.
To top it off, Golems of Amgarrak seems to be the worst graphically adept content yet, with framerate that drops constantly even when you are simply running from location to location. Even uninstalling the DLC and re-installing it again (while downloading the patch both times) does not get rid of these game hindering slowdowns, so much so that the game stops and then jerks forward almost five seconds, in which case you might either be dead or fighting for your life cause you had lost control for that time.
There are some neat characters you can control such as a Runic Golem and Snug the Bronto (a sort of horse-rhino hybrid), but these characters really do not give enough incentive to play through this obviously lacking DLC. It really is a shame considering how polished and fresh Leliana’s Song and to be administered to this type of unusual addition to the Dragon Age name. A boring story, slowdown issues and a difficulty that will leave many players bald after they pull out their hair is enough to describe your time with Golems of Amgarrak. Even at $5, it is way overpriced for the content you receive.
Score: 6.2 | Recommendation: Skip It
Verdict: Extremely hard and frustrating, not recommended for anyone looking for a simple, story-based quest.