Here's the deal: until January 24th, EA is running a massive sale on Xbox Live downloadable content, including every chunk o' Dragon Age-y goodness (and, to be fair, some Dragon Age-y mediocreness) to get you pumped for the countdown to Dragon Age II. LIKE I NEED IT. Anyobsessed, all DA DLC is 50% off- for those of you who are bad at percentages, that's half off! Of everything! So you should get what you don't have! Don't you think so?! DLC for 200 points! Yelling!
What's up for grabs and my thoughts on the such (because you're dying to know):
The Golems of Amgarrak
Reviews of this slight chunk o' DLC weren't too kind, so I didn't intend to pick it up whatsoever...but then this sale happened and the next thing I know, I'm heading into a thaig in search of some missing dwarves and the remnants of Caridin's research on the manufacture of golems. Now that I've played it, "slight" still seems an appropriate word. You can import your high-level Grey Warden or create a new one; it doesn't much matter as conversations are few and your Origins gameplay has little bearing on events. Some cool new enemies to fight (and the battles are as tough as advertised) and a couple of new items, but in the end it's short and more than a bit "meh" as you spend your time running back and forth through the same rooms repeatedly. To my mind it's best left to the completionists like myself; at least now that nagging voice constantly whining "But there's content out there I haven't played!" will shut the hell up.
The Darkspawn Chronicles
This alt-history content is also fairly short, but it's also quite fun. Dudes, unleash your dork...err, dark side and play as Darkspawn! Chronicles tackles the age-old question "But what if the player's Warden recruit had died during the Joining and it was up to Alistair to save Ferelden?" The answer: mankind would be royally fucked. Control hurlocks, genlocks, ogres, and all the gross villains at the Archdemon's command and kill your way through the siege of Denerim that occurs during Origins's finale. I'll admit, it was a good time until I got to the market area and started laying waste to all those NPCs I'd befriended as a Warden...never mind the battle on the roof of Fort Drakon. I felt a twinge of sadness as I slashed away at Wynne and the dog- MY dog!, but it was just a twinge, I swear- and that's only because I'm one of those goody-goody, namby-pamby players.
Man, I was so looking forward to Witch Hunt, which promised to shed light on Morrigan's life post-Origins (and post-Old God baby). Hell, this DLC was to give a proper ending to your Grey Warden's story if your Warden was male and in a romance with
Now, my friends, we're talking! Perhaps the best piece of Dragon Age DLC is Leliana's Song, a romp through the past that explores Leliana's time as a bard and just what the eff went down with Marjolaine. If you saw Leliana's companion quest through to its end, then surely a glimpse into events that transpired before you met her is a tantalizing prospect, no? Yes! Wait...yes or no. Whichever one means YES in regards to whether or not you should play this. In particular, Leliana's Song is a great example of what DLC can be: it expands greatly on a character we think we know, provides some satisfying gameplay (even if, again, we play through areas we've seen before), and colors our experiences in the main game. If you get one piece of cheap DA DLC, I recommend this one.
Dragon Age: Awakening
Not so much DLC as it is a lengthy (20+ hours!) expansion pack, Awakening is nonetheless on The Sale...so if you haven't played this before now, you no longer have excuses! Basically, this is Dragon Age: Junior- much like the experience of playing Origins, but truncated. The story takes place after the demise of the Archdemon, and you can import your Warden or start fresh playing a Warden from Orlais. Both have advantages- decisions your Warden made will have some repercussions felt in Awakening (it's particularly satisfying to play as a human noble), whereas a Warden from Orlais will experience all sorts of side-eye from citizens simply because he or she is Orlesian. You know how Orlesians are! My recommendation is to start a new character; I just found it a bit too weird to play my Warden with (almost all) new companions who really didn't compare to my companions of old. No matter how many jokes he cracks, Anders just ain't Alistair, and no matter how bitchy she is, Velanna ain't Morrigan. Some familiar faces pop up, but you simply may not give two shits about that sort of thing. No matter which character you choose to play, you're the new Warden Commander charged with finding out why the Darkspawn are at it again, even without an Archdemon commanding them- and why some of them now speak. Travel around Ferelden, recruit some friends, make some heavy decisions, fight some new enemies...it's pretty much more of what you dug about DA:O, plus some sweet new equipment.
So there you go, the big rundown on the cheap Dragon Age DLContent. Go forth, purchase, and play! I know what you're thinking- "Stacie, I will. But FFS, why don't you just marry Dragon Age already?" To which I reply "I would, but then what would Mass Effect say?"