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Dragon Age II DLC "beefier" than Origins'

"What exactly constitutes a DLC 9/10?"

BioWare has more Dragon Age II downloadable content besides Exiled Prince and Black Emporium "in the works" - and we're promised "beefier" experiences than were offered for Dragon Age: Origins.

"We're going to keep it very focused on your character [Hawke]," DAII lead designer Mike Laidlaw told Eurogamer.

"Some feedback we caught out of Origins was that while people liked Leliana's Song, where you primarily played as her, they wanted their Warden to be a part of that story."

"We don't have a solid date on [more DLC]; we certainly have some more in the works. But we'll be announcing more of that as we get closer to locking it down. A big focus for us is to make sure we get it right and we make sure it's, honestly, a beefier experience than the Origins DLCs and one that introduces something new to the Dragon Age game."

Dragon Age: Origins received seven downloadable add-ons: The Stone Prisoner, Warden's Keep, Return to Ostagar, The Darkspawn Chronicles, Leliana's Song, The Golems of Amgarrak and Witch Hunt. But whereas Mass Effect 2 DLC gained momentum, culminating in a 9/10 for Lair of the Shadow Broker, the add-ons for Dragon Age petered out, with Witch Hunt scoring 6/10.

"With DLC it's tricky: what exactly constitutes a DLC 9/10?" asked Laidlaw. "It's actually hard to say because we've only seen very few examples.

"For me, the core goal of DLC is to deliver an experience that integrates very smoothly with the game, one that feels like it works no matter when I'm playing so I don't have to start a brand new game - I want to be able to load a save near the end or almost at the end. And I want to feel like if I've done stuff in the DLC then it does matter; be it loot or experience or knowledge or information or something new that I saw - a new creature or something - those are all the kinds of things you want to see in downloadable content, because what they do is enrich the overall tapestry, which again ties to our idea that you are playing as Hawke - your character and your followers have that same consistency all the way through."

"As a general rule," he added, "you can assume that some new characters are always critical to anything that's going to have story in it, for sure. But I can't go into any specifics."

Laidlaw explained that there is no "specific" time-line for Dragon Age II DLC. "It's something we'll evaluate as we go forward," he said.

Dragon Age: Origins also received an acclaimed expansion called Awakening, which earned a whopping 9/10. Will Dragon Age II get an expansion? "I really don't have anything to say on that at this point," shrugged Laidlaw.

Dragon Age II launches today across the UK. The worldwide reviews are in and the reaction generally positive - Eurogamer rewarding the RPG with 8/10.

Eurogamer's long discussion with Mike Laidlaw about the reaction to Dragon Age II was published this morning.

The Exiled Prince DLC for Dragon Age II.