Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360) Review
I'd be very much suprised if most gaming people on this site haven't played this game. Actually, I say even if you're NOT
a usual gaming type person I'd completely recommend this game.
There's an awful lot of opinion about it, most reviews are great (which I completely agree with) other hardcore gamer reviews aren't so good. The 2 things most people moan about are the combat system and the graphics.
I personally have no problem with the graphics, ok maybe for an xbox 360 game the graphics should be a little more polished but let's face it; some of the best games in existence today (Legend of Zelda
for example.) started out as 8-bit pixels. The reason they worked is not because they had good graphics and looked great, nor was it even about the gameplay, it was because of the storyline
I'll get into what I like about the story line later when I've gotten through the other “bad” part of the game.
So I admit, the combat system is a little tricky to work out when you first start, especially if you're used to RPGs like Baldur's Gate
but at the same time at the beginning of the game there are only one or 2 “talent” options for to be concerned about so the game does bring you into the system gently.
Also, as much as I love the game (yes, yes I know I keep saying I do and yet I've yet to say anything good about it) I have to admit that the combat is a little slow and repetitive, but that isn't what this game is about. Dragon Age: Origins
is all about the STORY
, as any good RPG should be.
In my opinion, a good role-playing game sucks you into the story so much that, to an extent, it's all you can pretty much think about until you've finished the whole thing. Dragon Age
does this extremely well. With hundreds of different dialogue options, side quests and party banter, BioWare
have really set the benchmark in terms of giving the player complete control over how the story plays out. Every time I enter the world of Ferelden I feel what my character would be feeling. Even though I often pick the same options (personal preference, I just find that sometimes I can't play at being a complete arse no matter how amusing it is every now and again) I still laugh, cry, get completely infuriated with some of my party members decisions and feel deliriously happy if things turn out well.
Seen as I've started talking about bits of the game itself I'd best lay out an outline of the thing so if I start rambling in my enthusiasm you'll at least have some idea of what I'm talking about if you haven't played before.
Set in the land of Ferelden, (if you really want to compare it to anywhere in the real world I'd say the climate and lay of the land is much like that of the United Kingdom, except more like Germany or France in size) its residents under threat from the Darkspawn invasion in the south, your short-term mission is to join (or be coerced into) the ranks of The Grey Wardens; who are, in essence, a sect dedicated to eradicating the ancient darkspawn threat.
There are 6 different openings and your background determines the initial setting, your social status and the reaction certain characters will give you. An RPG of this nature survives by its subtlety and while the dialogue options certainly divide Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil, there's no cut-and-dry alignment tracking. So what might at first appear to be the 'good' lines of dialogue will sometimes lead you in directions you had no intention of moving towards, which (I found) really solidifies the hold the game has in story and character submersion.
The party members you pick up along the way aren't just there to help you out in combat. Alistair, Zevran, Leliana, and Morrigan are all romancable characters, and the other members form their own opionion of you dependant on the decisions you make as you travel around the land.
I'd best stop there so as not go into any more detail lest I tell you so much that we start getting into spoiler territory. I must say though that this is one of my favourite games and it's definitely a game you can go back to and play again and again and you never really get the same story twice.
I'll say one more thing though. If you have never played the game before and are interested... don't start with the Magi origin it's so deadly dull (and mildly confusing) that you'll think that all the above is just a load of bullshit about the game being worth playing. Dwarf Noble, Human Noble or City Elf are the best to start with.
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