KJ (owlmoose) wrote,
KJ
owlmoose

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DA Legacy thoughts

So based on some strong recs, we played DA2: Legacy last week, after learning that it's an in-game sidequest, not post-game content. We were a little into Act 3 at the time, and I think that worked well. My advice: if you're playing the game for maximum story impact, bring Anders. Especially if you are romancing him. If nothing else, I was treated to what may perhaps be my favorite party banter ever, on the approach to the Deep Roads (a little paraphrased):

Anders: Why are we here again?
Varric: I'm here because I can't resist trouble, and you're here because you think Hawke is cute. That's really all there is to it.
(beat)
Anders: She is pretty cute.

If I hadn't already been admitting to myself how much I've invested in the Hawke/Anders 'ship, at least this time around, this would have confirmed it, because I found this exchange officially melt-worthy. For someone so intense and serious to say something this ordinary and cute and revealing... let's just say that's a button, and I enjoyed having it pressed.

Also, more of Varric being snarky and insightful is never something to be sneezed at.

Other buttons pressed by Hawke/Anders in Legacy: hints of backstory, Anders slowly falling apart as they travel through the tower, the party forced to fight him, Warden secrets revealed, the seeds of juicy conflict being sown as Anders is forced by circumstances to tell Hawke about the Call -- by her reaction, it's clearly the first time she's hearing that her lover has an expiration date. (Three years of living together, and he never told her about this? You can bet the plot bunnies are gnawing on this one. I wish they'd shown us that scene, but on other hand, this means I get to write it...) Tasty stuff all around.

I loved, loved Anders being forced to confront the possibility that the Chantry's story of how Blights began might actually be true, not just anti-mage propaganda. The look on his face was pretty amazing. And I really liked Hawke's response: just because it might be true, doesn't mean it isn't also anti-mage propaganda. One of the thing I enjoy about the Dragon Age universe is the layers we get to the society, its politics, its culture. Nothing is ever quite as simple as it might seem on the surface: not the Chantry, not the Circle, not the Wardens, none of the characters... it's all so fantastically complex.

I also enjoyed the revelation of Malcolm Hawke's backstory -- he's been a mysterious figure all along, so learning that he at least dabbled in blood magic adds an unexpected dimension to him, and forces us to question the "blood magic is always evil" truism even more than Merrill does. It makes me wonder how much Leandra knew about him, and his magic. But maybe he wasn't a true blood mage; it's entirely possible that the task he did for the Wardens was the only time he ever really used it. It's easy to forget how ruthless the Wardens can be, given how much time we've had away from them in this game. One of the weird things about DA2 is how peripheral the Grey Wardens are to the story, after being so important to Origins and Awakening. Every time something Warden-related comes up, I feel a twinge of excitement, so I appreciated having them back at the center of this quest.

Similarly, it was nice to have Bethany back for awhile. I've missed having her around, and the bond between the Hawke sisters. From a gameplay standpoint, too; T has been complaining ever since we finished about losing access to her offensive magic capabilities. He keeps asking when we're going to break into the Gallows and rescue her. I have a feeling that, if the game were going there, it would already have happened, but who knows? On the other hand, she doesn't actually seem so unhappy there. Now that is a conversation I would like to see: Bethany trying to convince Anders that life in the Circle isn't really that bad. I don't think she'd get very far, though.

So, in conclusion: thumbs up on Legacy. I think it may be my favorite part of DA2 so far.

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Tags: anders/hawke, dragon age, videogames
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