Say hello to my new friend.

The Stone Prisoner is a piece of DLC that came included with your “new” purchase of Dragon Age: Origins (as opposed to buying it used at GameStop or whatever).  The regular purchase price for the DLC is $15.  Basically you run into a guy who offers you a control rod that can be used to activate a stone golem in a nearby town.  Well, the town is also overrun by darkspawn that you have to clear out in order to finish the quest line and gain access to the golem named Shale.  It also involves a cat, a little girl, and a desire demon (YES!).

Shale is a warrior tank type of character that has a variety of abilities including buffs.  He currently has replaced Allistair on my team for tanking duties.  He doesn’t wear standard armor or use standard weapons (he’s made of rock!) but you can equip crystals to him to give him certain buffs to his defense and attacks.  If you look at my screenshot above, the yellow and blue crystals change in size and color based on the quality of of crystal equipped and what it does.  I was wondering what I was supposed to do with all those crystals I’ve been carrying around in my bag since the beginning of the game.

Another cool thing about Shale is his integration into the story lines in the game.  Shale has his own snarky commentary during story sequences and when running around, he interacts with the group and is actually pretty entertaining.  I’ll probably play with him for a while if not until the end of the game.

Overall I don’t think that the DLC is worth the $15 asking price, but since it’s free for those who buy new games (and I only buy new games) I think it’s pretty awesome.  As with all the DLC, I think that it is probably best to play through it earlier in the game so that you can enjoy the rewards for longer.  It seems that Bioware has pledged continuing DLC for the next 2 years on top of all the stuff the community will be creating with the toolkit.  As long as the DLC is reasonably priced, I see myself playing this game for a very long time… plus, I’m not even close to finishing the main storyline.  There’s also all the other classes to tinker with, the origin stories and all the different ways to approach the game.  See you in 2012.

edit: it’s been brought to my attention that Shale is actually a she golem (thanks Matukai).  That means if  I put Leliana in my party in place of Zevran, I’d have a party full of females.  I wonder if that would create any unique dialogue options…

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