Dragon Age: Trespasser
I was lucky enough to get to play through most of Trespasser the day it was released. With the trailer and all of the dev teasers, I was really excited to get my hands on it, much more excited than I've been for any of the other dlc's. Though I wont say it was a total success, I will say that I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it.
Beware. There will be spoilers ahead.
Trespasser occurs two years after the defeat of Corypheus. In this time it seems the Inquisition has largely tied up the loose ends surrounding the events of the main game, and their lack of purpose has become a source of tension in Orlais and Ferelden. Amidst the mounting pressure on the organization to disband, a dead qunari agent appears. The bulk of the dlc involves tracking down the source and purpose of the qunari and attempting to end their threat.
Trespasser's greatest selling feature, for me, was it's story content. Though I have enjoyed the evolution of combat in Inquisition, I've never played the Dragon Age games for the combat alone. Narrative is king in this franchise. For that reason, Descent was a bit of a disappointment to me. The emphasis on dungeon crawling just isn't very appealing. Trespasser made up for this with a good deal of companion interactions, codex entries, interesting dialogue and a great deal of fascinating lore about the elves. It definitely felt like a worthwhile addition to the main game.
Right of the bat in Trespasser, you're given the opportunity to check in with each of your companions. These interactions are a sort of resolution, showing just how each has been changed by the Inquisitor. Some of these are more effective than others. For instance, Sera's moment felt very true to her character. The pranks were funny, but her invitation to the Inquisitor to join Red Jenny was heartfelt and gave some real insight into her character. It was satisfying. On the other hand, Iron Bull's moment was very short and actually involved almost no dialogue on his part. It was cute and funny to watch the Charger's trying to surprise him, but overall, the scene gave you nothing new or meaningful about Bull himself. It was short and shallow. It didn't feel like a resolution. I would say that more of the interactions were good than were bad, but the quality varies a good deal. (PS, Varric's is definitely my favorite.) Still, that being said, I appreciate that Bioware included companion content at all. It was great to revisit them all one last time. I also really appreciated the random dialogue opportunities scattered throughout the course of Trespasser. Many were entertaining and it really helped to bring the new setting to life.
As for the rest of the content, the additional lore is fascinating. I've always been drawn to the elves in Thedas, and this dlc completely demolishes all my prior assumptions about them. The new lore about the creation of the Veil has huge implications for both the history and the future of the game series. I'm eager to play through it again just to get a handle on all of the new information. I won't spoil all of it here, but suffice to say that Solas's character and the history of the elves become much more interesting. Trespasser leaves you with a pretty clear notion that Solas will play a big role in the next game, and that setup alone, I think, makes it worth playing.
Unfortunately though, the actual gameplay of Trespasser was a lackluster experience. I was plagued with bugs. For awhile none of my companions would follow my Inquisitor. They would just stay by the entrance to the level. Of course, I didn't realize this until I was in the middle of battling about ten qunari alone. That didn't go well. I had to play as Varric until the problem went away. Not terrible, but annoying. I had some issues while in dialogue cinematics where the scenes would end before the last line of dialogue was through. These were so abrupt that when it first happened, I thought I'd somehow skipped the rest of the conversation. Again, not terrible, just annoying. By far the most frustrating glitch though occurred in the dragon fight. No matter where I moved the flames or how many times I opened the gate, the dragon would not move away from the back of the room. On top of that, I had a number of issues with the “Hold Position” mechanic which made it very difficult to even get the gates open in the first place. I attempted this many times, but finally just gave up and killed it. I had to walk away from the whole game for awhile, I was so frustrated.
I also have a few content-related complaints. First of all, and most importantly, what the hell happened to Teagan? Seriously. The changes to his character bother me on multiple levels. His appearance is an obvious problem. In the first game, he was treated as attractive and charismatic. In Trespasser, not only is he ugly, but his entire character seems to have morphed into that of a bitter, grasping politician, which is a stark change from the prior two games. Really, I find Ferelden's position as the political bad guy to be the worst part of Trespasser. It just doesn't seem realistic, considering all of the aid the Inquisition offered Ferelden and the amicability of correspondence between them. Teagan's anger seems entirely out of proportion, as does Ferelden's demand that the Inquisition just dissolve. What kind of summit is it if one side is simply demanding that the other no longer exist? As a whole, I find the Exalted Summit problematic for a number of reasons. If the Divine is truly powerful enough to create an Inquisition, why is she also not powerful enough to defend it's existence? Why does Ferelden even believe they have the right to make such a demand? Why are they so angry?
All of that said, I don't want to give the impression that Trespasser is a bad piece of content, because it really isn't. This a case of the good features outweighing the bad. The gameplay issues could be fixed easily with a patch. The content ones are more difficult, and probably could have been avoided only by making Trespasser much longer and more involved, which isn't particularly realistic at this point. It's good enough that it's worth pushing through the annoying bits to get to tasty ones, which there are a lot of. I definitely recommend it. In fact, if you were only going to get one of Inquisition's major dlc's, I would tell you to get Trespasser. The lore and foreshadowing for the future of the franchise make it a great place to end the game.