As someone who has put dozens of hours into the original Dragon Age: Inquisition campaign, I was itching at the chance to see how the story could continue. After spending ten hours with its add-on, Jaws of Hakkon, I can say that there is a decent amount of content here, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good.
Jaws of Hakkon takes players to a new land called Frostback Basin. Although the title implies a frosty climate, it is only near the end of the add-on that the temperature begins to drop. The environment is a sizable forest for the most part, filled with treetop camps, bending rivers, immense hills, and dark swamps. Like earlier game environments, crystal shards and astrariums make a return, giving players a reason to thoroughly examine every corner of the map. It is side missions like these that contribute to most of the DLC’s length, because without them, there is very little else to do here.
The story is simple. Rumors have popped up that the remains of the last Inquisitor are somewhere around Frostback Basin, and players are tasked with finding the body. Little reveals occur along the way, leading to a big boss battle, but it never becomes terribly interesting. Retrieve items, flip switches, fight a more difficult opponent, end of campaign. The main story can easily be finished in under two hours, so the side missions become a must if you want to get any value out of the DLC. This is where the game falters.
Unless you’re after achievements or are a big fan of playing fetch, there isn’t much incentive to complete the side quests. You can earn a cold resistance boost and gain some stat boosts, but a majority of the side missions lead to nothing more than sub-par loot. Only once in the entire mini-campaign did I change my equipment, and that was due to a story-related mission – items were weaker than those I already had equipped for rest of the time. This is extremely disappointing, as the DLC is geared towards players who have already completed the main campaign.
So long as your expectations are low, Jaws of Hakkon is a decent piece of DLC. But if you’re expecting anything similar to the past Dragon Age add-ons, you will be severely disappointed. There is a story to be found, but it is extremely short, and the low-level rewards aren’t enough to encourage players to complete every mission.