Dragon Age Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon
I picked up Jaws of Hakkon in the spring and finally finished it last night. I’d intended on playing through it earlier, but then Maha Jr. showed up (we went to the hospital not too long after nosing around the first base camp in Frostback Basin), and I spent the last few months pretty much not sleeping, let alone gaming. Thankfully, she sleeps better now, so I’ve recently been able to get back to it a bit. :)
In retrospect, I think the life-imposed palate cleanser was a good call because I probably enjoyed Jaws of Hakkon a lot more with a bit of a break after over 140 hours of DAI. As much as I loved it, I think I’d gotten a bit too cavalier about the experience and was maybe a tad burnt out.
I’d read mixed reviews when JoH came out, so I went into the DLC without expectations. After the few months away, though, I was better able to appreciate what I loved when I first started DAI, like the characters I’d gotten to know…and the lighting. Maybe this is weird, but I love the sun in DAI.
The new area, Frostback Basin, is nicely varied, with beaches, lush and humid-looking forests, a foggy swamp, and a village built into a cliff side, among other locales. I enjoyed the use of vertical space (treehouse camps!) and wish the rest of DAI had done that a bit more. I’m big on exploring the landscape, and JoH‘s good use of elevation (thankfully, no hopping on basalt columns that launch you in random directions when jumped on) makes exploration a little more challenging (but not frustrating) and fun.
I also enjoyed the glimpse into Avvar life – which admittedly gave me Skyrim flashbacks – as well as the new lore and random Easter eggs. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is so much well placed random humor in this DLC. The new quests, few cut scenes, and little bit of new party banter feel like a natural extension of the base game and are enjoyable in the same way as the original DAI content.
The combat is decent, if not the highlight of the DLC for me. I’d read some reviews mentioning that the boss fights were tough and frustratingly long, so I’d braced myself for some heavy-duty fights, but on Normal difficulty, my post-end-game party ended up stomping all over the baddies without much of a fuss. After all the hype I’d created for myself preparing to fight Hakkon, he turned out to be a bit of a pushover. Oddly, the boss fight prior to that one, which didn’t involve a god-dragon, seemed a little bit more challenging. Also, maybe I need to try playing on Hard.
As a Dragon Age fan that enjoys lore, I’d say JoH is solid. Next up, I’ve still got Descent and Trespasser to play. Should be fun!