Back to the Frozen Arena of Ferelden – Dragon Age: Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon

*Potential spoilers and some recollection on old games

What Did I Just Buy, Again?

This beautiful bundle of utter joy does not play like any old DLC. In fact, it feels like a very large (15 hour long) extension to the main game. I think this may even be the first DLC that I have ever played that felt like it truly was a “deleted-scene” of the core game and a very worthwhile addition to the Inquisitor’s adventure.

The map is bigger than most of the other, regular locales in the game and it features one of the cooler aspects that the developers threw in: story events change the look of the land. Some things are minor and some things make it impossible to speak to some characters again. Bluntly (because these things must be experienced), the level design of the DLC is top notch, leaving plenty of nature-gasms to be had by its players.

The Challenges

Much like the Avvar spirit, the creatures of Frostback Basin are looking for a good fight. This includes the hardy Gargut, the Frost-troll, the Hakkonites and even the bogfishers. All of these baddies pose a serious threat to your party. It is advisable that this DLC is not played before every character is around level 20. My lover was able to do it around level 14 but he had a lot of difficulty with the rifts and with the dragon.

Yes, there is a new Dragon. For players like me, who beat the game a long time ago and are returning to play through this new map, the fight is quite nostalgic and worth the anticipation.

 

Other Goodies

The rewards from this DLC are immense. The main reward is a greater look at a minor sect of people that the original game marked as savage and good only for tossing goats against the walls of Skyhold. They are pantheistic, like the elves, but instead of revering the gods, they revere spirits. This concept gives Iron Bull the willies, so if you’re interested in keeping his good graces, leave him at home.

If Dragon Age 2 left you weary of mages, Jaws of Hakkon has the potential to fix your feelings of unease. It certainly alleviated a lot of my worries and gave me the “normal” viewpoint when it comes to Dragon Age (Magic is fine and dandy as long as it is not left unchecked). Something about the way that the Avvar treat magic gave me that final kick to accept that I was just feeling deep cuts of betrayal 107 hours prior that painted me with such a prejudiced viewpoint.

Smaller rewards include very nice purple loot that can be sold for gobs of money, very funny French accents, great Scout Harding dialogue, someone from Starkhaven, and a deep history lesson that is incredibly relevant to the Inquisition as a presence in Orlais. As I am a Rogue, I drooled over the 460+ dps daggers that I was able to loot throughout the DLC.

 

Please see this part of the story through for yourself. And if you’re waiting to get the remember-me edition in some odd years, you’re going to kick yourself for the delay. Bioware has really outdone itself, both with Inquisition and with Jaws of Hakkon. I truly look forward to more DLC and the next game in the franchise.

- Katie Hanson