Game Review: Dragon Age Origins
Gameplay: Dragon Age Origins mixes turn based and real time combat together. You have four members of your party, and there are two ways to play. You can control one party member and switch every once in a while, playing it like a standard Action RPG. Your other choice, which is more efficient, is to pause the game, issue commands to each party member, unpause, and watch the battle play out. You have a choice of three classes. Warriors can take a lot of hits and are a reliable source of damage. Rogues can pick locks and disarm traps, but their combat skills leave something to be desired. Mages are rather "squishy," but they deal HUGE amounts of damage and large AOE attacks. Many consider them overpowered.
Art Style: The game goes for a realistic feel, which I usually don't like. However, I feel it suits the game, as the overall mood is meant to be dark, with tension in the air as Ferelden awaits for its incoming doom. The wide range of enviornments means the color pallette is rather varied, and character models fit right in with the enviornments. However, I REALLY don't like the look of the lips of the females in this game. I don't know what it is. It doesn't happen with males; only with females.
Story: You can choose from several prologues for your character's backstory. They all end the same way: You have lost everything and are joining the Grey Wardens, dedicated to fighting Darkspawn. Darkspawn wander underground, looking for an "Old God." When they find one, they use their corruption to turn it into an Archdemon, who leads them in an assault on the land called a "Blight." When you join the Wardens, there is a big battle at Ostagar Fortress. You may have won, but Loghain, one of the King's generals, pulls out the reinforcements in an act of betrayal. The King, who was fighting with the Wardens, along with the entire army, dies at the battle. That is, except for you and your friend Alistair, who were sent off the battlefield to signal the reinforcements. You are surrounded by Darkspawn, but are saved by a forest witch named Flemeth and her daughter Morrigan. After you and Alistair recover, you begin your long journey. You, Alistair, and Morrigan must bring the four corners of Ferelden into an alliance to fight off this Blight, and maybe get revenge on Loghain in the process.
Lasting Appeal: As with many WRPGs this generation, you can make choices. Some are good, such as curing a werewolf curse. Some are evil, such as killing the werewolves. Some are grey, such as recruiting the werewolves to your cause without curing them. There are many choices in this game, and this warrents many playthroughs. The game is around forty hours long if you complete around half of the sidequests along with the main story. As with most Bioware games, you can romance characters. You get four romances in this game, two being Alistair and Morrigan. That adds replay value as well, because while the other two romances are bisexual, Alistair and Morrigan are not, so you should play through as both a male and female.
Gameplay: 8.75/10 I enjoyed playing the game like a standard Action RPG, but the "Pause and Play" method was tedious. I enjoyed seeing what kind of strategies I could come up with, as this game gives you a lot of freedom in how you play. You unlock three warriors, including Alistair, two rogues, two mages, including Morrigan, and a dog. This gives you many combinations of characters, as they each have a lot of personality and you may make your selection off of whose banter you like the best.
Art Style: 8/10 While the visuals aren't very original, I enjoyed the wide variety of enviornments. With the incoming Blight, it would be hard to imagine this game with any other art style.
Story: 9.75/10 While the story may sound generic, Bioware puts its own spin on this classic "hero saves world" tale. The story is rather deep, and it will make you laugh, cry, and even feel paranoid at certain points. You may find yourself seriously considering the consequences of your actions.
Lasting Appeal: 10/10 This is a long game. Some people have sunk 100+ hours into it. The game also gives you a lot of choices that warrent many playthroughs. I have done all that, have my platinum, and this game still isn't old.
Overall: 9/10 This is my favorite game ever. The story and gameplay are very deep, and the game has loads of replay value. I beg of you, if you call yourself an RPG fan, and you probably are, considering the site you're on, then please, you must experience this title.
- David likes this
Also, I'll add that most of my characters in this game were mages. Yeah, they may be overpowered (as I was dealing 60-80% of all party damage combined with one character), but you FEEL like a mage, damn it. That's what they should be like IMO.