Dragon Age Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon
Surprise! Bioware announced Inquisition's first DLC yesterday afternoon and then released it today on PC and XBone. Hurray! Unfortunately, there's still no word on a PS4 release date. However, I was lucky enough to get my hands on the PC edition quickly and I wanted to share my initial opinions. (This review will include some spoilers, though I will avoid major story spoilers.)
Jaws of Hakkon opens up an entirely new, high level zone called the Frostback Basin for exploration and questing. The central quest involves a violent band of Avaar known as the Jaws of Hakkon, but the zone is open and there are side quests to participate in as well. It functions as an independent zone, complete with rifts to seal, shards to find and complicated multi-level terrain to explore. I was pleased with the size and complexity of the zone overall. I think it's probably about the same size as Crestwood.
It is noteworthy that Frostback Basin is a level 20 zone. Combat is tough, especially around rifts. Loot is good though. Crafting materials are high quality. I've already found one level 4 heavy armor schematic which I immediately crafted for Blackwall. Even though I really struggled with a few of the rifts ( I was level 17 going in), the loot made up for it.
My favorite facet of the dlc though, is the exploration of the Avaar culture within the story. So far, the games have only offered superficial interaction with the Avaar, usually characterizing them as violent and barbaric. While the Jaws of Hakkon certainly has some violent Avaar, it also exposes you to Stonebear Hold where you can meet and interact with a variety of people. I was quite pleased with this window into Avaar culture and the lore surrounding them. In general, I was pleased with the level of detail in the story. I found a ton of notes and books, ranging in topic from Avaar cuisine to the exploits of Scout Harding to a historical love poem. It's clear that Bioware put a good deal of thought into the story content.
I do have a few complaints, though I'm not entirely finished with the dlc, so these may not be entirely valid. I've come across very little unique companion dialogue. Considering the interaction with the Avaar, I had expected some strong opinions, but I haven't seen much commentary at all. I've also yet to run across any unique armor, which is a little disappointing. These are really my only issues so far. I haven't found any bugs or glitches and it's been enjoyable. (After I've finished it, I'll return and amend this section with additions or corrections. :)
The verdict: While I think $14.99 is a bit high, I really enjoyed Jaws of Hakkon and think it is a good addition to the game, particularly for those who are interested in Dragon Age lore.