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It wasn't enough for Bioware to deliver one of the most popular console and PC RPG experiences of all time with Dragon Age: Origins. Those crafty developers couldn't leave well enough alone, instead opting to drop a continual supply of new DLC for the game on gamers. Every time you find yourself becoming bored with the game, Bioware delivers another piece of downloadable content that immediately piques your interest once again.
If it was their intention to prevent people from wanting to trade their game in, they certainly have succeeded.
Let's take a look at all the Dragon Age: Origins DLC that's available so far.
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Blood Dragon Armor and The Stone Prisoner
The Blood Dragon Armor is a cool-looking set of protective gear that will last you well into the game, supposedly infused with the blood of dragons and crafted in a time when they had been hunted to the brink of extinction.
The Stone Prisoner is a quest line that leads to the addition of Shale, an autonomous golem, to the party. Shale is pretty much the funniest character in the game, so players would be wise to enlist his services as quickly as possible.
The Blood Dragon Armor is only available to those who purchase a new copy of the game. The Stone Prisoner content is also available for purchase, but doing so will set you back $15. This type of DLC is EA and Bioware's attempt to convince people that purchasing new is the best way, as the fifteen bucks you'll need to shell out to get Shale is far more than you'll save by purchasing a new copy.
You can play through the game without him, certainly, but you'll be missing a big chunk of the experience.
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Dragon Age Origins DLC - The Warden's Keep
Shortly after the release of the game, the second piece of Dragon Age: Origins DLC was made available. The Warden's keep gives the player the opportunity to reclaim a piece of the Grey Wardens' past, an abandoned keep still filled with the ghosts of their past mistakes.
Purchasing the Warden's Keep content gives you access to the fortress at Soldier's Peak, as well as a set of ancient Grey Warden armor, a shot at earning two new abilities, and a new base of operations including a chest in which to store your excess equipment. The Warden's Keep will cost you about five dollars.
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Return to Ostagar
Ostagar is really the beginning of your character's journey through the world of Dragon Age: Origins. Up until the battle, you're assured the guidance and assistance of not only the veteran Grey Warden Duncan, but also King Calian, a huge believer in the Wardens and their cause. Afterward, both are dead and you're left to set out on your own to find some way to combat the encroaching Blight.
In the Return to Ostagar DLC, you're given the chance to return to the site of the massive battle, now fully occupied by the Darkspawn. Your quest will also afford you the opportunity to regain the powerful weapons and armor worn by King Calian, as well as a second chance to add the Dog to your party, in case you somehow failed to do so the first time through.
Return to Ostagar is yours for the price of five dollars.
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Feastday Gifts and Pranks
Carefully timed to coincide with April Fool's day, the Feastday pranks and gifts DLC gives you the opportunity to show your affection for the members of your party, or to vex them with an assortment of personalized pranks. Both the gifts and pranks come with a set of two gifts that allow you to regain the favor of those you've fooled or diminish the affection of those upon whom you have bestowed gifts.
The Feastday DLC can be purchased as a set for three dollars, or you can pick up just the pranks or gifts separately for two bucks apiece.
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Dragon Age: Origins-Awakening
The final piece of Dragon Age: Origins DLC is by far the most in-depth and impressive. The Awakening extends the main campaign beyond the ending of the first game, giving players the opportunity to continue to follow their player character as he attempts to rebuild the Grey Wardens and recruit new members for the order following the defeat of the archdemon.
This huge expansion doesn't come cheap, however. To get the largest piece of Dragon Age downloadable content to date, you'll have to pay forty dollars.
Dragon Age: Origins is one of the most in-depth and compelling RPGs of the current generation. While its cousin Mass Effect 2 continues to challenge the game's popularity, it's massive expansions like The Awakening that will ensure that Dragon Age doesn't fall off gamers' radar screens anytime soon.