What is Dragon Age: Origins?

18Nov09

For the past two weeks, thanks to an intensive shooting schedule and prior commitments (like trivia night), I have often found myself severely lacking in a valuable commodity known as free time. When I do get this free time and I have sole custody of the TV in my apartment, chances are I will be playing Dragon Age: Origins. So what is this mythological game that I have already invested forty hours over the last two weeks into? One of my favorite games released this year, another solid hit from those Canadian dialogue junkies at Bioware.

Dragon Age is set in a fantasy nation called Ferelden, which I feel in the Dragon Age world is the equivalent of Germany, considering it shares borders with France and Russia proxies. The world of DA is gritty and dark. During the numerous dialogues scenes, the different characters will ask you to do a task. But often times, you will be unable to take them at their word for they will undoubtedly have a hidden agenda, it’s a huge game for sticking to your guns to make the best possible choice. Good selections can give more loot, a better outcome, or help you skip tricky battles

Like almost everything that I have ever loved (movies, shows, music, women) my tastes can be quite polarizing. Jack Danger, Critic, and DNW are huge fans, the latter two often coming over to use my Xbox to play the game. There have been far too many times where I have come home to think that Jack Danger is playing the Xbox, only to turn around and realize that it’s DNW, who has been sitting in my empty apartment for over three hours ago slaying darkspawn. However the game has garners negative press from Kryden and Rage. Rage has gone on record to say that Dragon Age is a, “stupid, fucking waste of time”, while Kryden is completely convinced it’s a Warcraft rip-off. I just don’t have the heart to tell Kryden that Warcraft didn’t invent Elves and Dwarves and other games used these races before Warcraft. It’s too late to tell him now.

But while the combat and other game mechanics are fun as hell, what really makes Dragon Age is a deep story, immersive game world, and choice system. Unlike, past Bioware games that were steeped in a strict morality system that grouped all of your choices of good and bad. Not the case in Dragon Age. With such a morally flexible game, it often feels better to be smart then be good. Thinking every character and situation through often pays off the best of many possible solutions to a given situation.

I’ve had just so much fun with this game. I finally got around to beating it this morning, the ending I got was long, detailed, and great. The last boss battle was so hard, it was such a pay-off.

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