If any game released in 2009 warrants multiple playthroughs, it’s Dragon Age: Origins (review). While a single play will take you around 50-60 hours to complete, there’s still so much that you will inevitably miss, so many different choices you could have made.

Bioware has already released a few bits of DLC to give you even more reasons to play through it again, and the newest one (entitled Return to Ostagar) now has a release date of January 5th for Xbox 360 and PC, with the PS3 release to follow soon after. It’s perfectly timed for you to get over the holiday slump and jump right back into the world of Dragon Age… hopefully to return in time to play Mass Effect 2 when it hits on January 26th.

(On a side note, I’ve started up a second Mass Effect playthrough to get ready for the sequel and am amazed at how bad Dragon Age makes it look. Besides the horrible load times and repetitive side quests, the conversations stunned me by how unrealistic they feel. In Dragon Age conversation happens naturally and you learn about the world with a natural progression by talking to people, whereas in Mass Effect you often simply pick a topic and tell a character to divulge all the info he or she has on it. It’s very stilted and jarring and pulled me out of the world, but I’m sure Bioware has learned from their experience for the second one.)



Return to Ostagar will not only let you return to the snow-laden battlefields that the Darkspawn now swarm and reclaim the arms and armor from the king, but it will give you a second chance to add Dog to your party, in case you missed him the first time through. He was never used too much in my game, though- it’s always preferable to have someone who can add something to conversations. Here’s the official synopsis, which contains spoilers for the beginning of the game-

Your memories of the battle of Ostagar will haunt you for years to come. It laid waste to your order and claimed the lives of many great men and women, including the brash young King Cailan and your mentor, Duncan.

Now, there are rumors that a fellow survivor of the battle has escaped from captivity and is seeking the Grey Wardens’ help. The time has come for the Grey Wardens to make their return to Ostagar and exact their revenge upon the darkspawn.

Check out the trailer below and get those MS points ready- this baby will cost you five bucks.