The Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin DLC has been released – adding another fine layer of mythos and intrigue to the story of the Champion of Kirkwall. Many game fans will no doubt count the new content as the best part of Dragon Age II – simply due to the likeness and voice work of geek-goddess, Felicia Day.
Okay, Day might not be entirely responsible for the success of the DLC but, nonetheless, “Mark of the Assassin” is a worthwhile add-on for fans of the series.
The general “Mark of the Assassin” plot, the latest Dragon Age II addition, allows players to check out the land of Orlais – where Felicia Day’s character, Tallis, is invited to an esteemed hunt and, subsequently, uses the event to steal the coveted “Heart of the Many.”
We’re going to avoid spoilers but, if you want more details, check out the “Mark of the Assassin” DLC trailer.
Rest assured, should you be intrigued by the world of Thedas, “Mark of the Assassin” will be adding some intriguing information – especially in reference to the mysterious Qunari people and the way of the Qun.
Gameplay follows the same general mechanics we’ve discussed in our Dragon Age II review - with the exception of a few new enemies (some of which pose interesting new challenges). Players with a high level character will have little difficulty running through the handful of encounters. However, the fights are actually a bit more challenging than those in the original game – and a little strategy will most likely be necessary in order to survive.
Tallis is an interesting enough character and, as a Rogue, she utilizes a brand new “Infiltrator” specialization tree that somewhat combines the “Duelist” rogue and “Templar” specialization trees. As a nice change of pace, she also prefers throwing daggers (or other sharp objects) as opposed to getting up close and personal with an enemy’s face.
Players can expect a solid 3-4 hour playtime – with exploration, side quests (yes, there are a few side quests), combat, and of course, dialogue. There’s also a decent incentive for replayability – as there will be different side quests depending on what characters a player decides to bring along for the journey. An additional 12 hours of dialogue was recorded for “Mark of the Assassin” so players will benefit from a few playthroughs - just to discover the various story lines and conversations that are possible. While the idea of a dialogue-heavy game add-on might sound like a turn-off to some players, it’s actually a good thing. In fact, a lot of the dialogue written for “Mark of the Assassin” is pretty sharp with some great jokes dotted throughout.
The writing is backed up by great voice acting (a standard throughout the series) as well as opportunities to re-meet a few characters from DA2 - in order to, in some cases, get a clearer look into their lives.
In general, “Mark of the Assassin” is a great romp back into the world of Thedas and the Tallis character is a solid foundation to build-from – providing intriguing story potential as well as a minor, but enjoyable, change-ups to the core gameplay. In the end, Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin is an encouraging entry in the Dragon Age world that fans of the series will no doubt enjoy.
Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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