Dragon Age: Inquisition – Jaws of Hakkon Review (Spoiler Free!)

jaws of hakkon

Greetings, Inquisitors!

It’s been a few months since I last picked up my controller and played Dragon Age: Inquisition. After my 170+ hour first playthrough I was thrilled to find out about the good folks at Bioware releasing their first DLC package. You can purchase the Jaws of Hakkon DLC for $14.99 CAD from the Xbox One and PC stores right now, I’m sorry 360 and Playstation users – you will not have access to this new content until May.

The Jaws Of Hakkon DLC is available in game after you complete the second act, with a recommended player level of 20 and for good reason. Most all of the enemies you will encounter within the mysterious and beautiful Frostback Basin will be between levels 20-30 and they aren’t pushovers by any means.

Without delving too far into the story to avoid spoilers for those of you who haven’t played or don’t yet have access to the content, here is some insight into The Jaws of Hakkon DLC:

A scholar gets wind of the final resting place of the first Inquisitor, who disappeared 800 years earlier. With visions of grand piles of loot and some historic knowledge, you set off to the Frostback Basin – a land filled with vast fern-gully forests, misty bogs, treehouse camps, caverns, mountain ranges and sandy beaches. Of course, there is a catch – Inquisition forces have reported hostile local tribes of Avvar attempting to thwart all plans of inhabiting the area. This tribe is referred to as “The Jaws of Hakkon”.  Along the way you discover a friendly tribe living peacefully in Sun-Bear Hold and together with the Inquisitor you must stop the Jaws of Hakkon from unleashing their Avvar god into this world to tear apart the lowlands via dragon-body snatching and learn the truth about what happened to Inquisitor Ameridan.

Pretty simple, right? Well, yes. This new DLC follows the layout of all maps in DAI: Explore, set up camps, find shards, solve annoying astrology star puzzles, claim landmarks, close rifts and kill all of the things with fire. (No, seriously. Everyone in here seems to be cousins of Elsa from Frozen, sporting tons of cold resistance and a serious disdain for all things fire related) While it is formulaic and very much follows the cookie-cutter pattern of every other area, this DLC is a must-have for the lovers of all things lore as it has a deep story and you make some pretty textbook changing discoveries along the way.

One of the many tree top camps in the Frostback Basin

One of the many tree top camps in the Frostback Basin

Positives:

– 5+ hours of gameplay

– Higher level loot drops, lots of unique (purple) items to gain

– Deep rooted lore and history for DA fans

– Unique and pretty landscape

– More quality time with Scout Harding

– Some pretty great banter

– New map, shards, occulariums, landmarks and areas to discover

– Addition of new operations to War Table available

– New weapon/armor schematics (Stronger than the best available thus far in the main game)

– Opportunity for +5 perm stat increase in all categories

– Opportunity to recruit 2 new “people” into Inquisition forces

– Tree forts (Yes. Bloody tree forts)

– Another dragon to kill

– Avvar themed Skyhold decor available

– Challenging enemies

 

Negatives:

– Repetitive formulaic “fetch” and “kill” quests

– Map can be annoying to navigate

– (Unconfirmed) bug on Landmarks Quest for Xbox One not recognizing the discovery of all 10 landmarks

– No unique area requisitions to fill

– “One chance” achievements. LIGHT ALL THE FIRES BEFORE THE BATTLE! It seems you cannot do it afterwards.

– Unique items are rarely more powerful than master crafted gear, lots of duplicate unique items.

– Way too many spiders running around, makes for some annoying combat

– Final boss Dragon was very easy to defeat

 

Overall, I did enjoy this DLC and I was happy to pay the $14.99 price for some more quality time with my Inquisitor. While I do not think this DLC has anything overtly important to the plotline of the main game, and could easily be skipped without losing anything I would still absolutely recommend this expansion. If you are anything like me, and have been wanting to start another playthrough but dreading the massive time sink that is DA:I – it is a fun little vacation back in Fereldan for you and your followers to explore. Want to know more? Watch the trailer below!

 

Overall Score: 7.9/10

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Shauna Rene

Shauna Rene

Loud blonde with a passion for video games and the video game industry. Minoring in movies, tv and all things awesome. Former QA/Localization POC at Bioware and Development Coordinator at Reliance Games. Background in Marketing, PR, Promotions and Radio. I have lots of opinions, and they are my own. You will probably read a few.