Monday, 1 June 2015

Dragon Age: Origins - Game Review

I've been playing Dragon Age these last few weeks, because I couldn't concentrate on reading. I decided to do some game reviews.

Dragon Age: Origins
Developed by BioWare and Edge of Reality

What is it about:
You are a Grey Warden, one of the last of this ancient order of guardians, who have defended humanity for centuries from the Darkspawn and the Blight they bring with them.

You’ve been betrayed during an important battle, and it’s up to you to bring the traitor to justice and to save Ferelden from the Blight.

On your way to the inescapable confrontation with evil you have to fight the Darkspawn and gather an army. Along the way you gather companions who join you on your quest.

Is the beautiful shape shifter the key to victory, or will she try to stop you from attaining victory? What about your other companions?

How far will you go to save humanity? What will you sacrifice?

What did I think of it:
I'm a big fan of the SF game Mass Effect, and because several other fans of that game talked about how much they liked Dragon Age, I decided to give this game a try.

Dragon Age: Origins is a Fantasy role-playing game. There's a story you follow, and the decisions you make along the way influence certain outcomes. There's also a lot of fighting.

I love how this game starts with a short story how your character ends up being thrown into the role of hero. Depending on what race and background you give your character there are six different starting stories that make you familiar with the world and your character.

I played all six starting stories and most of them I found really cool. They make that you immediately get a bond with your character and care about the story. My favorite starting stories were the dwarven commoner and the human noble.

When this starting story is completed you are on your way to become a Grey Warden, and no matter what character you play, you then get the same main story.

I will confess I played this game on casual, and mostly this made that the fighting was fun and not frustrating. I did discover that the mage is very difficult to play. A mage works best on long range, but there were some fights where my mage got swarmed and I was toast. The warrior was the character that I liked playing the most.

The story is really engaging and filled me with a feeling of urgency. Still it also is fun. You can interact with the companions you pick up along the way, and even start a romance with some of them. Depending on the choices you make your companions will either like you or show disapproval. Alistair, a fellow Grey Warden, will cheer when you're doing good, while Morrigan, an apostate mage, will mock you for it for example.

I will confess I had my clear favorite for the romancing, so can't tell you much about all the different kind of romances you can start up, but the romance I played was fun, although at one point I had to make a very difficult (and evil, imo) choice.

Speaking about making choices: Along the way you have to make some other difficult choices as well. Not everyone can be saved: so who do you save? Do you kill all your enemies, or do you show mercy? What if your decisions will come back to bite you in the ass?

I very much got addicted to this game fast! There are so many cool characters, the story is really compelling, and the game play fun. As you might have guessed from my comments on playing both mage and warrior: I've played it several times by now, and still want more.

There are several DLCs for this game. Some of the downloadable content is playable during the main game and some can be played separate from the main game. I downloaded some of the DLCs and really enjoyed the extra content during the main game. The separate DLCs are fun as well, but have one major fault in my opinion: most of your companions from the main game aren't available in the DLCs. There are other companions you can pick up in these DLCs, but I missed my favorite companions from the main game.

All in all this is a really cool and fun game, that I most certainly will play again (and again) in the future. I can really recommend it to anyone who loves Fantasy role-playing games. I decided to purchase Dragon Age II as well, and will be reviewing that later this week. I also decided to pick up a Dragon Age novel, to combine my gaming with my reading.

Why should you play it:
It's a very enjoyable and fun Fantasy RPG


Steph F. said...

I loved DA:O, it is by far one of my favorite games. Even with the ancient graphics and combat system, I can still go back and replay all the time. Loved the complexity of all your companions and their banter was hilarious. If we are thinking of the same choice, it was really evil.
I've played all the games in the series and I will say that DA:2 is a little controversial with people. Some absolute love it, others absolutely hate it. I was in the middle, it's wasn't as good as Origins but I didn't find it horrible. I will say though that if you play it and don't like it don't let that stop you from playing DA: Inquisition. It is an awesome game, that has a similar feel to Origins.

miki said...

My brother loves this game and i must say that i'm glad you enjoy it as well since it's something i can add on my lsit of your "likes"^^

Sullivan McPig said...

@Steph: the picture I posted with this review might tell you who my Warden's love interest is. (yup: playing a female warden)

I liked DA II, but less than Origins. Will be playing Inquisition next.

Sullivan McPig said...

@Miki: :-D