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Nov 2009 14

Game Review: Dragon Age - Origins

Games Review

dragonageoriginslogo
Dragon Age Logo

I ask you -- can Bioware do no wrong?  Every game of theirs that I have played, I have loved.  Neverwinter Nights was kinda "Feh" but the concept was excellent even though the editor was horrible.   Mass Effect was fantastic forcing me to play it through like 4 times..  And of course the Baldur's Gate franchise was awesome.. I played that game until my eyes bled, sought healing and then played it some more..

So when Dragon Age was announced at E3 way back in 2004 I was stoked..  Finally a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate done in a completely new style with modern graphics, fully voice acted and by the same developer.. Gleeeee I anticipated more costly eye healing.. As I was sure to play that game as much as I played Baldur's Gate..

And then we waited.. and waited.. and waited..  Set the way forward machine now to 5 fricken years later... And FINALLY we have the game to play..

And it's pure liquid awesome.. but I get ahead of myself..

I have to admit I think most game companies release information about their games way too early.. Bioware is extremely guilty of this and they still haven't learned their lesson..  They released information about Neverwinter Nights way too early and it caused this massive hypefest that dwindled down to sarcastic jokes and disappointment by the time the game was finally released..  I don't know for sure but I am more than willing to put money on the fact that it hurt their sales..

It also hurt them that Neverwinter Nights just couldn't live up to type hype that was generated.. It was supposed to be a new kind of awesome, and it simply wasn't.   Dragon Age on the otherhand didn't get quite as much hype and it deserved it!  It's a really good game.. I mean.. it's stunningly good..  It's quite possibly one of the best games I have ever played, and let me tell ya -- that's saying something..

Firstly, the game is beautiful.. Their engine is really coming along nicely and it serves the game extremely well..  Plus it's not a CPU hog.. I play the game at 1920x1200 on a dual monitor system at max graphics 8xAA and get a solid 60 frames per second.. (I have v-sync turned on)..

Secondly, the entire game is voice acted.. and well too..  I like that.. suddenly you don't have to read tedious story lines for hours and hours just to get some concept of whats going on in the game..

Thirdly, the game is fricken huge!!  They say it has 200 hours of play time, but I think it's more.. I know I haven't played 200 hours yet, but I have done quite a bit and my character isn't 20% through the game yet .. (there is a stat that tells you how far you have gone).. Plus the way they have added downloadable content was clever so the game is forever expandable.. More over, when they announced the name change from "Dragon Age" to "Dragon Age: Origins" it sort of let us know that they have a lot of plans for this engine.  I anticipate quite a lot of new games / expansions to be released under the Dragon Age title..  But not only that, I am willing to bet that the new games (say for example the new Star Wars MMO) will use this engine too..

Finally, the game has good re-playability.. This game is basically 6 games in one in that you can play through it six times and have six different experiences.. Each "Origin" gives you a whole new perspective on the game and its cool..

I have a ton more I could talk about, like how the tactic system is cool and how the game can be played over the shoulder or isometric..etc.. But posting about this stuff is keeping me from actually playing the game and that just wont do..  Look.. go get the game.. this is one game that you must go get..

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