Dragon Age: Origins - Game Review

Dragon Age OriginsDragon Age: Origins Collectors Edition I bought a copy of the new Dragon Age Origins game on the day it was released and have been thoroughly enjoying it ever since. If you love the Epic Fantasy, Dungeons, Castles, and Knights genre of video games this is a great addition to the realm. These games used to be a bit more popular and they don't come out now as often as they used to . The gaming industry is very heavy in a lot of different genres and the military game is very popular right now. Anyway, I am glad this game came out. Some other great games in this genre are The Elder Scrolls. Gothic and Dungeon Siege.

 

About the game

This is a very complex game. It took BioWare five years to develop this game and it shows. There is an awful lot of stuff in it. And most of this stuff is what is expected. There is plenty of battling and plenty of world to explore. And it is a party oriented game so if you have played Dungeon Siege or World of Warcraft you are very familiar with the style of game play. As you adventure through and explore the world you pick up party members that will fight with you. And you have to put together a complimentary set of members. You need a balance. If you are a warrior you are going to need a mage for healing and a rogue for lockpicking etc. It's a nice way to explore a lot of different roles in the game.

What character do I play? I always play a big muscle bound two handed sword wielding warrior!

Ok, where this game gets different

There are some very interesting things about this game that set it apart from other games in the genre. First off, there are a lot of moral and ethical choices that you have to make during the game. Will you steal from others? Will you make sacrifices for the greater good? And these choices affect what happens in the game. For example: Will you kill the evil king who has been wreaking havoc? If you do then his daughter will not marry you. This ruins your chances to become the new king - if that's what you seek. Or how about this: When battling the evil bloodmage you have the choice of making a deal with him. Will you spare his life in order to get a permanant boost to your constitution stat? If you do this then some of your party members will disapprove. Bad Karma! And it has an effect on the game. Party members will get upset with you and leave the party permanently!

Not for kids

Dragon Age Origins ScreenshotThis game is definitely not for kids. There is quite a bit of very realistic bloodshed and you have killing blows that will actually decapitate your foes. And, there are lots of cut scenes after battles where you and your party members are spattered with very realistic looking blood. And....

You can actually woo and seduce other members of your party through gift-giving, conversations, and good karma actions. It is an interesting concept and if your seductions, which take time to develop, are successful you will be rewarded with an animated cut scene of the actuall nuptials (PG rated).

Some of the minuses of the game

I got the collectors edition with all the extras which include a special character, some special armor, and another realm with quests to explore. But the game doesn't come with a storage chest! Yikes, no place for your party to store all their stuff? Wow, all you can do is carry a limited number of things in your backpack and when it gets full you have to sell the stuff to vendors.

Well, seeing as this game is very quest oriented (There are hundreds of quests) you never know what stuff you are going to need to complete a quest. And, I love to accumulate all kinds of armor, weapons, gems and things. It is a fun part of the game for me. So this is definitely a minus for me.

But they do offer a solution. You can buy and download the an add on quest that gives you a whole new area to explore and a party chest to store your goods. This downloadable costs seven dollars but is worth it for the chest and the extra game play. And it's a seamless download. You can get it through the game screen which means no worries about extracting files. You pay for it and click it and the game does the rest. In a few minutes the new game area shows up on your world map.

Crafting is a bit weak - Crafting is a big part of many online games and other epic fantasy rpg's. In this game you can do some crafting like make potions and traps but this is definitely weak in the game. There are not a whole lot of options for this and materials tend to be scarce. I really like the crafting aspects of games and usually do a lot of it but there is not a whole lot of it in this game. Definitely a minus for me.

Political intrigue

I am not really sure if this is a negative but in the games I play and the epic fantasy books I read I tend to not be too interested in all the political intrigue. You know, this is where the various houses, lords, and barons are all struggling for power. In this game there is a lot of this and the decisions you make during game play have an effect. As you are trying to conquer the blight that is set upon the land you have to drum up support from the various houses and factions. The moral and ethical decisions you make do matter. And the quests you complete are a factor too.

Extra stuff

There is some real fun stuff about this game. The developers really took a good look at combat and there are lots of great sword and weapon moves that your character makes and there are some great mini animations. Sometimes when you fell a large creature like an ogre your character will actually jump right up on its face and issue the killing blow. The combat is pretty good!

So, should you buy it?

This genre used to be the norm for video games but these kinds of games don't come out too often anymore. So if you like the genre then you definitely should get it. You won't be disappointed. It delivers what it promises.

I got the deluxe version which comes with a cloth map, lots of extra materials, a bonus character and more quests. Dragon Age: Origins: Collectors Edition But this is pretty pricey and you can get the regular version which is more than adequate: Dragon Age: Origins Neither version comes with the party chest for storing goods so if you want this you are going to have to spend another 7 dollars for the download which is worth it.

I say you get the regular version and then spring for the download.

And, because the game is so very complex I highly recommend you buy yourself a game guide. I bought this one: Dragon Age: Origins: Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Official Game Guides) It is absolutely necessary if you want to find all the secrets and make your way successfully through the complexity of the game.

It is what is expected from the genre; You are set in a medieval world and expected to save it from the forces of evil. Along the way you get lots of political intrigue, battles with monsters and lots of opportunities for adventure.

In closing: Are there dragons? Oh yes!

Dragon Age Origins

 

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