The first thing that strikes us upon venturing to Frostback Basin is the size of the place. There's 6 campsites to establish, 22 regions of the map, new Rifts to close, Shards to collect, Astrariums to solve.
The Jaws of Hakkon DLC basically adds another large map to the game. It's perhaps not on par with Hinterlands, but it is one of the larger and more varied areas in the game.
Frostback Basin offers mountains, a swamp, giant treehouse camps, a shoreline, as well as ruins and fortresses. All in all, it's rich on variation and the only gripe we've got with it is that the many steep slopes and cliffs makes navigating the map a bit frustrating at times.
The wildlife is quite aggressive, and you won't be able to walk far along the river before running into poison spiders, and larger animals well-stocked in the health department. There's also Hakkonites (hostile Avvars) spread out across the area.
Frostback Basin is recommended for level 20 and above, and the battles at the end of main quest-line are among the more difficult found in the game. We had finished the main campaign at level 23 with our party when we unlocked the region, so while it wasn't all smooth sailing (there are enemies with offer annoying and challenging tricks up their sleeves) we never truly struggled either.
As you would expect with the sort of DLC that's available at any point in the game (after unlocking the map), it doesn't add to the main story in any way. It's largely a self-contained side tale that let's you explore the disappearance of the last Inquisitor and learn more about Avvar customs and traditions.
The Avvar - humans that live close to nature - come in two variations. You will befriend the Avvars of Stone-Bear Hold and the fanatic Jaws of Hakkon - who have abandoned all other Avvar Gods in favour of their god of war Hakkon. We soon realise that this aggressive tribe has ties to the disappearance of the last Inquisitor 800 years ago and the two threads weave a rather fulfilling main quest, and we rather enjoyed getting the Avvar perspective on things.
Naturally you'll gain lots of great gear and beef up your character (perhaps most notably with cold resistance) if you still have parts of the main quest left to do, but you'll also have use for this when more DLC drops (which we fully expect is coming).
Dragon Age: Inquisition was a brilliant game, but as is often the case with huge, sprawling RPGs it had its fair share of glitches and bugs. The problem the tactical combat engine has with different levels of elevation was a source of frustration, and in Jaws of Hakkon these issues are plentiful and clipping is common place.
Floating Avvars have been spotted, and we also encountered a scripting issue with a giant spider (we simply couldn't kill it and finish the quest) - thankfully the latter was solved as the scene reset when we left the area so we were able to finish it. There's nothing game-breaking (though that last one was a close call), but it should be noted that this DLC could have done with a bit more polish.
Another pet peeve of ours are quests where you're tasked with following a trail or simply moving from one point to another through an area we've already explored, and there are a couple of these in Jaws of Hakkon - we could have happily done without.
We spent just over ten hours completing Jaws of Hakkon (after having spent around 100 hours completing the first game), and at that we didn't fully explore all the side content on offer. As far as DLC goes that has to be considered great value.
There are also lots of nice little easter eggs and character related bonuses to experience for those of you who like to mix up your party to get the most out of your dialogue branches.
What you won't get is an experience that is wildly different from that of the main game - Jaws of Hakkon caters to players who want more open world activities and who would like to dig a little deeper into the lore of the world. And who wouldn't want to dig deeper into the brilliant lore of Dragon Age?
Loading next content