Dragon Age 2: Legacy, in many ways, is Mark of the Assassin's opposite. Whereas Mark of the Assassin is quirky, Legacy is serious. Whereas Mark of the Assassin is set in sunny outdoor environments, Legacy takes place in claustrophobic caverns. Whereas Legacy is focused on an all-new character in Tallis, Legacy deals with the return of Hawke's sibling.
The latter is what makes Legacy interesting as, due to the fact they're absent for almost the entirety of Act II in the game, both Bethany and Carver Hawke were underdeveloped compared to other Companions. While you can play Legacy at any point during Dragon Age 2, I recommend playing it during Act II or Act III as it provides a badly missing amount of exposition from the characters regarding their state of being.
The premise of Legacy is the Hawke siblings and two other companions are summoned to a desolate part of the Free Marches where the Carta are based. The Carta, sort of the Dwarfish mafia, have been looking for anyone descended from Malcolm Hawke (the PC's father). This, obviously, intrigues Hawke and his sibling so they investigate. What they find is secrets of their father's past history, a Grey Warden conspiracy, and insight into the origins of the Blights.
|Legacy is very-very brown. Except when it's dark, dingy greys and blacks. Really, it's like playing Fallout.|
The best part of the game is almost certainly the final fight with Corypheus, easily my favorite of the entire series with only the battle against Duke Prosper rivaling it. It's a genuinely hard fight with lots of twists and turns but amazingly satisfying for a Mage Hawke to complete.
The fact I achieved "Archmage" (20th level) after it made my victory all the sweeter. Sadly, the ending is ruined by a "To be continued" coda which mars my sense of accomplishment. Hadn't Hawke enough failures? Couldn't he have this one success?
The character of Corypheus isn't much of a surprise to gamers given his cover is on the front of the game. I will say, however, he is an excellent villain for the small amount of time he appears on-screen. Many people have, correctly, stated that he would have made a better main villain for Dragon Age 2 than the actual ones in the Arishok and Knight Commander Meredith. How he ties into the lore of the setting is a surprise which I won't spoil but makes him one of the more intriguing characters to show up since Origin's Loghain.
|I can't say the magical mini-games were all that much fun to me. Lots of demon-killing. Got plenty of that in the main game.|
I liked the reminder of what the Grey Warden's "success by any means" attitude is like to outsiders. The Wardens bully, intimidate, threaten, bribe, or worse for the greater good. About the only thing they have over other villains is they're actually working for it (usually).
My favorite sidequest from this adventure is probably the one related to the Altar of Dumat. Dumat is the now-deceased dragon god of the Tevinter Imperium which died at the hands of the Grey Wardens. Hawke discovers one of the Tevinter's altars to the ancient deity and has the opportunity to perform a sacrificial rite to it or defile it. If Hawke does the rite properly, he is given a reward from the evil god. Which implies he may not be as dead as the Grey Wardens think. Hawke can also defile the altar to spite him.
Frankly, this adventure is lacking in significant NPCs, however. The Grey Wardens you meet aren't terribly interesting and we don't get a chance to interact with the now-insane members of the Carta. Corypheus is the most memorable of the characters you encounter and you only get to spend a short time with him. I would have preferred a few more characters to encounter in this DLC since that's always been where Bioware shines. The most memorable conversations are probably between Hawke and his sibling.
So there is that.
|As mentioned, the fight against Corypheus is awesome.|
With the exception of the aforementioned boss fight, it's just a slog for the most part through weird caves and ruins. There's a great bonus boss fight but it's very hard to get to and easy to miss. I wish they'd made that easier to find.
In conclusion, Legacy isn't bad per se, but it's not exactly good either. I'd get it for the fact that Dragon Age 2 could use some more variety but the adventure was somewhat bleak with environments I didn't find to be particularly memorable.
It does, however, have a great villain plus some insights into the Hawke family legacy so I'm going to give it a passing grade. Buy this in order to fill out Dragon Age 2's somewhat spotty storyline.