Dragon Age: Origins
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

While many claims have been made that this is the spiritual successor to Baldurs Gate, I think Dragon Age has enough to it to stand on its own. Its, got some flaws but overall it is a superb game that should be played by all RPG fans.

Gameplay: Bioware always comes through with compelling role playing games and this one is no exception.

Graphics: Clearly held back somewhat by the consoles, but still good.

Sound: Great voice acting and stirring music

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Dragon Age: Origins

Developer: BioWare | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Release Date: 2009 | Genre: RPG | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Being a lifelong fan of Bioware and their titles ever since I first played Baldur’s Gate I was more than a little excited about getting Dragon Age: Origins (DA:O). After hearing that it was widely being proclaimed as the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate my anticipation went into overdrive. Now 55 hours and 49 minutes later I can safely say DA:O is THE best Role Playing game of the year and probably many years to come.

Moving away from the more futuristic titles of late like Knights of the old Republic and Mass Effect, Bioware returns to their roots in this epic, dark fantasy game. After creating a character and picking their “Origin” you are thrown into a world of violence and betrayal where your every move and choice could have far reaching consequences. The story centers on “The Blight” an outbreak of evil “Darkspawn” that is threatening the land of Ferelden. Your character is recruited into the ranks of the “Grey Wardens” (the only people capable of ending a Blight, but at a terrible price) early on in the game, but things soon spiral hopelessly out of control and you are left picking up the pieces. The story might not sound like much on paper, but wait until you start playing and you’ll see how deep it really is.

First things first, this game is rated M for mature and with good reason. It deals with issues like lust, betrayel, revenge and religion. Although this might sound like the ingredients of your typical soap-opera, the mature way in which Bioware has handled the subject matter means this is not a game for children. It is also quite a violent game with frequent enemy decapitations and dismemberment, so your party members can emerge from battle covered in blood and gore. Now that you’ve been warned lets get on with the good stuff.

Dragon Age: Origins is a epic party member based fantasy Role Playing Game that proves once again why Bioware is masters of this genre. Just because it was also released on PS3 and Xbox360 don’t expect it to be “dumbed down” either. This game contains all of the typical Bioware ingredients like long, engrossing conversations, party member management and extensive skills and magic. No Rpg fan will walk away from this one feeling unsatisfied.

The graphics in Dragon Age are good but hardly cutting edge. This might upset some visual junkies, but as the game runs smoothly on even older machines I think the trade-off was worth it. The game still looks very good and the excellent facial animations really bring the characters to life. Battles can get quite hectic and it can be hard to figure out what’s going on amidst the chaos at times, but you can pause the game at any time to issue new orders so this doesn’t really matter that much.

The game doesn’t have that many locations, but the ones you do get to explore is very large and fleshed out. Unlike free roaming games like Oblivion you travel around using a map in Dragon Age instead of exploring open countryside. Don’t worry as there is more than enough to see and do in this game and not once was I left feeling bored or without somewhere to go or something to do. The camera can be zoomed out from an almost over the shoulder perspective to a classic top down view so all tastes should be catered for. Enemy designs are very cool and without wanting to spoil anything, I can only say brace yourself for some big foes. The animations for finishing these brutes are absolutely awesome.

The audio is just as excellent with some of the most atmospheric and epic tunes since Baldurs Gate 2. This is a long game, but you’ll never feel like turning the volume down. The sound effects don’t disappoint either and the gameworld really feels alive due to their excellent implementation. I have nothing but praise for the voice acting as well and there are some stellar performances throughout.

The greatest thing about Dragon Age is how the story and the characters manage to suck you in and make you care. When was the last time you became attached to a party member in a game? The game doesn’t pull any punches either, characters can be killed depending on your actions and choices, you can permanently lose some quests or items and some of the things you do can have some far reaching consequences. Sometimes you might also have to make very unpopular choices for the greater good. If you were expecting a clear-cut good/evil path through the game you’ll be in for a shock. Dragon Age excels at throwing some real curve balls at you. All of this will make you want to play the game multiple times just to see what else would have happened if you made different choices. With six different “Origin” stories that can influence the beginning and end of the game you are looking at some serious value for money.

There are not a lot of bad things I can say about Dragon Age. It’s by no means perfect, but there’s nothing that really stands out as bad either. The game is very stable and bug-free like most Bioware titles and apart from a slightly unforgiving difficulty curve it’s as polished as can be. The downloadable content is not very friendly on the wallet or bandwidth, but that’s just how it is. The lack of multiplayer might also upset some players, but this is a single player experience through and through.

In my books DA:O is the best single player Role Playing Game since Fallout 3 and an essential purchase for all fans of the genre. Just make sure you have more than enough spare time in order to do it justice.

*Review originally published in 2009.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP (SP3) or Windows Vista (SP1) or Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Single 1.6 Ghz Processor (or equivalent) or AMD 64 2.0 GHz Processor (or equivalent)
    • Memory: 1GB (1.5 GB Vista and Windows 7)
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon X850 256MB or NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT 128MB or greater (Windows Vista: Radeon X1550 256 MB or NVidia GeForce 7600GT 256MB)
    • DirectX®: DirectX (November 2007)
    • Hard Drive: 20 GB HD space
    • Sound: Direct X Compatible Sound Card
    • OS: Windows XP (SP3) or Windows Vista (SP1) or Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz or AMD Phenom II X2 Dual-Core 2.7 Ghz Processor or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB (3GB Vista and Windows 7)
    • Graphics: ATI 3850 512 MB or NVidia 8800GTS 512MB or greater
    • DirectX®: DirectX (November 2007)
    • Hard Drive: 20 GB HD space
    • Sound: Direct X Compatible Sound Card

Related posts

Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion

Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion

Legacy of Dorn is a thrilling chapter in the Warhammer 4000 saga and packs a very engrossing story. The game also makes the most of the license by packing the space hulk with all the major foes. Space Marines are designed for combat and Legacy of Dorn certainly doesn’t disappoint in this regard either. It is still a gamebook though, so if you don’t like reading or expect cutting edge visuals it is better to steer clear. Everyone else should definitely let their imagination run wild with this title. Gameplay: The story is fast paced and thrilling although a little jargon heavy at times. Graphics: Atmospheric, but mostly text and not that easy on the eyes due to the color scheme. Sound: The game features no speech, but the ambient soundtrack is fitting and unobtrusive.

Plants Vs Zombies: Game Of The Year Edition PC Review

Plants Vs Zombies: Game Of The Year Edition PC Review

Plants Vs Zombies is just one of those games that you won't be able to put down. It's jam packed with enough content to keep you playing for a long time as well. If you only ever buy one game of this type make sure it is this one. You won't regret it. Gameplay: Beyond addictive. Once you are hooked there's no turning back. Graphics: Looks like a Flash game but still pretty nice. Sound: Goofy and catchy.

Spirit of War

Spirit of War

Turn-based strategy titles that are based on the First World War aren’t exactly known for their accessibility, especially when there are hexes involved, but Spirit of War manages to buck this trend. It has a wealth of units, plenty of maps and the skirmishes are quite addictive. Thanks to the lengthy solo campaign as well as the inclusion of hotseat multiplayer the game definitely provides value for money. There are a couple of niggles that prevent it from scoring higher, but overall I really enjoyed this title. Gameplay: A nice selection of different units and gameplay that is very accessible to newcomers. Graphics: Nothing too extravagant, but still has plenty of neat touches. Sound: Unobtrusive music and decent sound effects.

Alphabeats: Master Edition

Alphabeats: Master Edition

Alphabeats offers a new spin on word games by challenging your vocabulary as well as your reflexes. Creating the longest and most complicated words using letters dropping from the top of the screen is harder than it sounds, especially when tied to a fast beat. The game requires some quick reflexes as you must also dodge unwanted letters, so don’t expect a completely tranquil experience. However, if you have a good vocabulary and decent selection of songs to import into the game, it can certainly keep you busy for a while. Gameplay: Challenges your word knowledge as well as reflexes. Graphics: A little more bland than we would have liked to see. Sound: Includes a nice selection of music tracks as well as the option to import your own.

Penumbra Overture

Penumbra Overture

Penumbra: Overture is an admirable attempt at something new and makes for a nice break from all the running and gunning in first person perspective games. There's plenty of logical puzzles to work your way through and a hair raising story that will have you hooked right to the end. The graphics are not exactly cutting edge and it's not as scary as it tries to be but overall it's a good game. Gameplay: Best experienced late at night with the sound up and the lights off. Graphics: Brown, lots and lots of brown. Sound: Pretty standard as far as creepiness is concerned.

Gundemonium Recollection

Gundemonium Recollection

If you like "bullet hell" shooters then you will have a blast with Gundemonium Recollection. Five levels might not sound like much but be prepared to spend a lot of time with this game if you truly want to master it. With a wealth of weapons and some really challenging gameplay you'll be coming back to this one again and again. Gameplay: Daunting if you are new to the genre, but loads of fun and very challenging. Graphics: Nowhere near cutting-edge but very stylish and cute. Sound: The new arranged soundtrack is excellent.

Leave a comment

two + 2 =