Dragon Age: Inquisition’s New Story DLC – The Descent

Depending on where you stand on the Darkspawn fence, this could be either good or bad omen for the future trajectory of the Dragon Age series. Dragon Age – Inquisition [official site] is getting what basically looks like a Diablo-style descent into the depths of the Deep Roads – an enormous network of tunnels that originally belonged to the dwarven empire and is now full of bad dudespawn. Named The Descent, the single-player DLC – which, confusingly, ends up looking like a weird single-lane MOBA in the trailer – is launching on August 11th.

The story promises to solve a mystery about strange earthquakes that threaten Thedas; so it’s unlikely this is going to be the epilogue DLC that was recently hinted at in an online survey from BioWare. The survey, which was first reported by BioWare forum users, described possible future DLC involving “the final fate of the Inquisition” while calling it as “a last adventure.”

Dragon Age’s creative director Mike Laidlaw confirmed in June that the studio has more on the cards for the game’s narrative.

“The past three days have been filled with that weird intensity that makes game dev kind of addictive. It’s a rush when things come together,” wrote Laidlaw. The studio’s first chunk of singleplayer DLC story, called Jaws of Hakkon, was released in March to tell the tale of an old god and an ice dragon.


  1. Anthile says:

    It’s hard to muster any enthusiasm for yet another Deep Roads misadventure. You can only seal away so many unspeakable horrors under the earth before it becomes too crowded.
    Also, yet another RPG title for August. What’s the rush all of a sudden?

    • anHorse says:

      It’s hard to muster interest in DA:I at the best of times (it’s not bad it just lacks any exciting or really good element) but making a DLC about the sodding Deep Roads isn’t gonna help.

      I think I’m done with it anyway, the combat is just so dull

      • Vayra says:

        The ‘everything’ is so dull in DA:I, there is no amount of DLC that can fix this.

        DA:I tries to be a single-player MMO in a world where the MMO questing design is dying a slow and miserable death by being repeated till infinity. But it got worse when the game also abandoned any kind of interesting character progression apart from finding some purple item somewhere that you really don’t care about anyway because you don’t need any of it to win. Basically the whole game is about ‘ticking all boxes’ on the map and feeling zero real progression doing so. Meanwhile you play a character that looks ugly and has no personality.


        • SaintAn says:

          You have given me the urge to go replay DAO for the 10th time.

        • Booker says:

          The only thing I never understood, is why THAT isn’t what all the game reviewers wrote about the game, because then I wouldn’t have bought it. Your text nailed the experience that is DAI.

          • gi_ty says:

            You nailed it! The only reason I ended up getting it was for all the great reviews (including here I believe). It was a decent amount of fun at first, but got stale really fast. So generic, the free form quest structure was a good idea but i didn’t care at all about the lame super evil is gonna destroy the world (again) yawn. The locations didn’t feel different and the combat was either frustrating or a snooze fest, I wish there would have been less hype I could have saved some money.

          • king0zymandias says:

            It’s great to see all this hatred for this horrible game. For a while there, what with all the rave reviews and frothing at the mouth by the general games media, I was wondering weather I had gone crazy or something. Never could even finish the game, so many collectibles, it’s a nightmare for anyone with OCD. Worse than even Ubisoft games.

        • Ferno says:

          Strange choice. I’m loving the shit out of Inquisition’s world, characters and dialogue interactions but the combat is by far the weakest part. I was close to giving up on the game when I started because of how terribly the pc controls and “tactical camera” were implemented (very glad I didn’t as I’m now 80+ hours in coming to the end and have really relished the game). I don’t usually buy bioware DLC as it’s overpriced beyond sense so I imagine this won’t be any change. So odd to choose an environment which likely focusses on combat in a game where the characters and world are so rich but the combat is so lacking in fidelity, skill or, for the most part, fun? At least the dragon fights were good.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      Agree. The seemingly endless slog through drab grey tunnels almost made me quit Origins, so hard to get excited for it (and the trailer only served to remind me how much I hated it).

      Weirdly, over on IGN the comments for this are all along the lines of “more Dark Roads! Cool! that place was Awesome!!” etc

      Was starting to think I was missing something

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Also because most of that unspeakable horror was put into a fully brown box that lasted far too many hours while being badly planned out.

      You can do many other cool things in an underground setting with some creativity, and just by judging by the header image i’d say we’re seeing something different already.

      The deep roads ( or the fade ) don’t necessarily have to be crap just because DA:O did a bad job with them.

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s a shame, because Avernum/Exile shows just how interesting an underground setting can be.

      • Juan Carlo says:

        Not to mention huge portions of Dark Souls.

      • Nasarius says:

        Exile works well as a setting because it is (well, was) completely isolated. So you can have stuff like mushroom farming and extremely pale people and an oppressive ceiling everywhere you go, and it all adds a lot of flavor.

        The dwarves in Dragon Age live right below the surface, and they could go up at any time. Choosing to live underground is not nearly as interesting.

        But yes, they could do a lot more with the Deep Roads. Every nerd who’s ever sketched out a D&D dungeon probably has more ideas than BioWare seems to. Not to mention its obvious inspiration, Moria.

  2. Lakshmi says:

    I wonder if some of the non-Grey Wardens (so anyone bar Blackwall) gets infected or dies. Because that’s what DA:O, and even DA:II with Aveline’s husband, showed us happens when non-Grey Wardens try and fight.

    • Booker says:

      No, all the main characters have plot-armor, of course. :D

    • Josh W says:

      We’ve created a realm of endless orcs for you to fight! Unfortunately we gave them all the flu, so you better not go down there in case you catch something.

  3. Tayh says:

    So, I’m guessing DA:I actually turned out to be popular and/or profitable enough for them to keep supporting it?

    • Booker says:

      Dude, DAI is BioWare’s biggest financial hit to date! They never made a game that sold more units. Sure proof that their marketing is awesome. Because DAI sure as hell isn’t.

  4. vlonk says:

    “The deep roads! That raw untapped creative potential that was just waiting for us to be explored with all its riveting stories and unique lore.

    Beautiful landscapes, a wild mix of colours, forms and shapes with our unique artistic twist are complimented with a diverse cast of likeable side-characters to keep the players attention and love for the game.

    Never before explored in the series, this is the mystical spot that our players wanted to discover and delve in the most to unearth its many layered lore. Now finally with our ample DLC budget we can finally fulfill this long standing dream.”
    – Marketing blurb from our parallel universe

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Send that thing to EA and you might just land some decent job!

      • vlonk says:

        My precious soul is already part of another sale and lease back deal.

  5. malkav11 says:

    Given that the Deep Roads have historically involved a -lot- of combat, and Inquisition’s combat is shit, I’m not super sanguine about this DLC. But I suppose it hardly matters because I’m not buying a single iota of Bioware DLC until they figure out that it should gradually go down in price and/or go on sale the way the base game does. (It also shouldn’t cost a special proprietary currency.) At this point ME3’s DLC costs over 250% as much as the base game’s regular price and it goes on sale. The DLC doesn’t. Inquisition’s newer and hasn’t finished its round of DLC, so the disparity’s not as glaring but the principle still applies.

    • Wulfram says:

      The previous DA “story” DLC is currently on sale. 30% off from what I’d consider a much too high base price of £12, but at least it’s a sign that the switch away from the silly “Bioware Points” system has had some sort of impact.


    • lglethal says:

      I started a pair of threadsd on the bioware forum site (one in the ME2 forum, one in the ME3 forum) about how much people would be willing to pay for the DLC. As it stands close to 40 responses and the vast majority people refusing to buy the DLC until its reduced at least 50%. Not a single response from a Bioware person.

      The additional kick in the nuts is that the DLC regularly goes on sale on PS and XBOX, only PC gets treated like a leper.

      I’m currently refusing to buy any Bioware products until they start learning not to treat PC gamers as cash cows…

  6. Mycenaeus says:

    Pretty much agree with everyone here:

    1. Deep dark dungeons and tunnels that go down and down for 10 layers till you beat the big baddie is a little played out at this point
    2. Inquisition’s combat is not its strong point, so a combat intensive DLC seems like a bad idea.
    3. Inquisition’s strong point was voice acting and character development, so a DLC introducing a plethora of non-sentient darkspawn who’s voice acting and character development amounts to “WrAAAR!” seems like another miss

  7. Chaoslord AJ says:

    My first memory was indeed a mix of mythology, fantasy stuff mix I read as a kid (people descending into the underworld/Moria) -so this can be considered an archetypical experience- and Dark Souls, so deep so dark so far away from the start.

    Then I remembered the deep roads in Origins, what a bore and of course the DLC will be more like that chore.
    I really had fun during DA:I but after 1,5 playthroughs I’m not really excited for some linear cave exploration.
    Had enough undermountain/underdark in all of the DnD games.

    Another thing: when the light went on in the trailer I was disappointed to see only an ogre because fear of the dark can be so much more frightening.

    • Booker says:

      Totally, I would have expected something scary, but then there were only the good old darkspawn. :D

  8. Laurentius says:

    What wierd choice ? I mean I hated Deep Road in Orgins with passion but even most ardent DA:I fans are more into party interaction, lore and dating sims elements of this game rather then combat heavy slog through DeepRoads.

  9. Booker says:

    I don’t want to be a sourpuss, because I honestly loved earlier entries in the Dragon Age franchise, but going back to the Darkspawn, AGAIN, makes it sound as if BioWare has finally completely run out of ideas and just doesn’t know anymore what to do with Dragon Age. Whatever spark there was, it finally seems to have faded.

  10. S Jay says:

    I guess I will never play this because it is an Origin exclusive.

    • Josh W says:

      Yeah, I’m in the same boat. Although I’ve blurred my principles a little bit by borrowing it on my friend’s console, but there’s no way I could borrow it long enough to properly get into it.