Ferelden, not Salem.
I don’t often comment about downloadable content for games since I consider them part of a whole, although most DLC comes at a small price nowadays, separate from the on-shelf version. But Dragon Age: Origins has been releasing a constant flow of extra material since its initial launch, bridging the financial gap to their next project, Dragon Age II.
Warden’s Keep, The Stone Prisoner, Return to Ostagar, Darkspawn Chronicles, Leliana’s Song, and Golems of Amgarrak were all released between late 2009 to 2010, containing a few additional hours of gameplay per DLC package. The cost of these packages range from 5$ to 15$, and are playable as either separate smaller campaigns, or as side-quests within the primary module Dragon Age: Origins.
With so much content, why focus on Witch Hunt? Because it’s a weak offering.
Witch Hunt picks up where Dragon Age Origins left off, importing your character from either DA:O or the Awakening expansion. Morrigan, the cynical witch with abandonment issues, has run away after the final battle with the Arch Demon, possibly carrying the god-child of one of the Gray Wardens (depending on your choices in DA:O). It is up to you, nameless hero of one-of-three potential races, to bring her back, although I’m not exactly sure why.
Nor does the game know why you’re chasing the wayward party member. In your first dialogue with a new, shallowly fleshed-out companion, you’re questioned about your reasons to pursue her. Your options, respectively: A) I want to kill her. B) I want to love her. C) I don’t know why.
So, with your character’s motivations firmly resolved, you set off through a series of quests to unexplored lands, against horrors unseen, discovering new and frightening monsters…
Just kidding, it’s all stuff you’ve seen before. Witch Hunt rehashes old maps from the Origins campaign and from the other DLC’s, shaking them up like an etch-a-sketch and filling them with the same old Darkspawn you’ve mowed down before. Instead of fighting a giant dragon in the Dragonbone Wastes, you fight a giant bug. Instead of finding clues about golems in Cadash Thaig, you find clues to an ancient mirror. In Flemeth’s hut you don’t encounter Flemeth, you encounter an elf. Witch Hunt feels like a racing game in which you run the same old tracks in reverse.
And if you aren’t playing for the content alone and feel truly invested in the story, again you may be disappointed. The only familiar characters we see from Origins are Morrigan, in one brief scene where she tells you ‘adios’, and Sandal, the enchantment-happy halfwit. Oh, and if you started as a human noble in DA:O, you also get your Mabari hound back.
When the spells fizzle:
DLC’s are a great way for bigger game titles to stay afloat while they produce new content, and until now Dragon Age has had a good run. But if you want to know how Morrigan’s side of the story resolves, look up the end cinematic on youtube and send Bioware a check for five bucks. It’ll save you an hour or two.