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Dragon Age Origins Review

Dragon Age Origins has your typical Western fantasy storyline with yet another evil force threatening to destroy the world and once again, it's up to the elves, dwarves and humans to work together to put an end to it. You're a promising apprentice that just graduated and is recruited as a Grey Warden to help fight off a Blight - A large army of dark demons bringing death and chaos.

Dragon Age Origins

Gameplay

You start off the game by creating your character which means selecting a race, gender and a class. I remember how I kept dying in Baldurs Gate and ended up giving up on the game but now I know how to play, I enjoy the streamlined battle system where you can customise your party members skills and pause to issue out commands while strategically placing your party members. There's so many skills in fact, the bottom bar alone won't be enough to hold them all.

Perhaps what I really liked was how much personality each of the characters have. Listening to Morrigan and Alistair bantering away has been very hilarious and making choices during coversations really draws you into the game world. Not only that, they can affect the outcome of the storyline too or have an effect on what characters might end up doing such as joining your party.

Funnily enough, there's a little bit of a dating sim too where you can chat with your party members to get on their good side and in turn, let them gain bonus skills as well as teach your other party members new skills.

On the other hand, what I didn't particularly enjoy was having to remember and travel between places collect the materials required to conjure up some Lyrium Potion or Health Potions. Choosing to be mage meant that I had to keep my mana filled and this often meant going back and forth through loading screens.

This also took up a fair bit of the inventory which is small as it is even if you buy extra backpacks to expand it. I don't see why Bioware didn't let players have a large trunk at the camp site similar to Diablo. If they really wanted to keep the realism consistent I think they could have thrown one in after you have extra party members staying idly at the camp.

Other than that you have your usual combination of levelling, skills points and plenty of quests to do. The journal does a good job of tracking quests and having waypoints to keep you going in the right direction.

Presentation

The game's graphics despite being set on high don't look that modern close-up compared to say, Assassins Creed. Character models look fairly decent. Their expressions are well animated and their voice actors did an excellent job in bringing the characters alive! There is a top-down view which generally looks decent with plenty of lighting effects and props but the textures again looks a little on the plain side.

It's also good to see how any effects currently active on your character or in the surrounding environment gets carried over into all the cutscenes but, I think they overdid it with the blood covering your party members.

Summary

I really enjoyed the 50 hours I spent on Dragon Age Origins. The battle system is well-balanced for the most part and even though it was your typical Western RPG storyline, the characters made up for it. Most of the time I returned to the game wanting to know more about each character.

I look forward to the sequel.

Time Completed 50 hours

Good

  • Interactive dialogue draws you into the game world.
  • Scenarios change depending on choices you make giving unique experiences.
  • Immersive world with great looking, unique environments.
  • All the characters have some great personalities.
  • Excellent voice acting and dialogue.
  • Surround sound support.

Bad

  • Your typical Western RPG storyline.
  • Travelling around to collect materials.
  • No trunk to store loot with the main game.

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