Review: Dragon Age: Origins – The Best Video Game RPG EVER!

So….. Where shall I start with Dragon Age: Origins, the latest video game by BioWare. I started playing this game last week, when it first came out.Dragon Age Origins Logo Trask asked me for a review, and I whole-heartedly agreed. Unfortunately, I got so addicted to this game, that I couldn’t break free to write it until now (and Trask had to bribe me with some Alpha Omega action). I am waking up in the morning and playing the game for a bit before work. Then playing again during my lunch break (thankfully I work from home). Finally start playing again after work until my wife threatens me with divorce. This game consumes me. So, I guess that is review enough, in and of itself. However, I have a few reasons that I would like to share with the Livingdice.com readers on why Dragon Age: Origins is the BEST RPG game I have ever played. And I have pretty much played them all.

You can go to several places on the web if you want to learn more about the specifics in this game, how it is played, and its content. I am not going to focus on the game-guts itself. I recommend both BioWare’s website and the Dragon Age Wiki. What I will offer is the reasons why I feel you should immediately drop what you are doing and check out this game. If you are playing World of Warcraft, you should be ashamed. That is like reading a choose-your-own adventure book instead of a George R. R. Martin!

Lets start with the Dragon Age lineage. BioWare is no stranger to some of the best RPGs out there. Dragon Age is the spiritual successor to one of my all-time favorite video game RPG’s, Baldur’s Gate. But it doesn’t stop there. you are hard pressed to find a gamer who hasn’t played at least one of their amazing titles. Aside from the Baldur’s gate series, they did the Neverwinter Nights series, the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series, and Mass Effect; all top-notch, best-in-class RPG video games. Dragon Age lives up to that history and more.

The most important, and pretty much key reason for this game’s awesomeness, is the story. The story is great and that is no surprise given what BioWare has put out before. But this story is HUGE. There are  epic cut-scenes and hundreds of NPCs with things to talk to you about. At one point, I was watching cut-scenes and interacting (conversation selections) for about 10 minutes straight. This is the main reason I can’t stop playing this game, I want to see what happens next!

Another aspect of the story is how events and characters are intertwined. The detail they put into this game, the dialogue, and the story, is amazing. Every class has a different beginning to this game. But, when you get through the opening scene, it opens up to a whole world where you can choose what order to do things. I had a friend who started the game at the same time. He played a rogue and I was a mage, so our starts were completely different. Into the game, he went one way, and I went another. But there was one thing that we both got hooked into, only in completely separate ways. And this is the norm with this game. When an NPC is taking to you, they key in on your race, class and decisions you made earlier in the game.

And finally, for those who loved the abilities in Neverwinter Nights, to create your own adventures, that was just the beginning. The Dragon Age Toolset is going to let people create, not only the full-length campaigns, but cut scenes, massive battles, and the like. Check out the Toolset Website for more details.

That’s it in a nut shell. I would say more, but the game calls to me. I must obey my Dragon Age master. And by the way, if you didn’t know, Green Ronin is in the middle of producing the tabletop RPG for Dragon Age and TOR books has produced two novels. So this will be a full fantasy environment.  You can check out more information about that here. This is going to get interesting!

But check this out. If this trailer doesn’t’ give you goosebumps, you need to check your pulse.

Enjoy,

Haaldar

Stuart Greenwell

My first experiences with serious gaming came from the Hero Quest board game. I then made the next step to the RoboTech RPG and a lunchtime meeting of AD&D Oriental Adventures. My interests now are pretty much the same. Boardgames and RPGS. Some of my favorites boardgames are currently Settlers of Catan, Battlestar Galactica, and Space Alert. For RPGS, it is Monte Cook's Cypher System. But I am always down for a good round of Dungeons & Dragons.

4 thoughts on “Review: Dragon Age: Origins – The Best Video Game RPG EVER!

  • November 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm
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    Very much agree. This is the first time today I’ve gotten away from Dragon Age long enough to check blogs. My entire house is addicted to it – one housemate and I play on 360 while another watches us and looks up voice actors online, and the fourth has it on PC.

  • November 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm
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    I think Dragon Age is a great game but…I’m just not sure I can see the same level of awesomeness that everyone keeps attributing it with. I mean, its basically Kotor in a fantasy setting. Granted, its fun as all hell but its still a very linear game with just a few side quests for diversion. I hope that there is more additional content to download, like a mod to remove the level cap and open up new areas on the world map. Otherwise, I still give it a thumbs up.

  • December 22, 2009 at 6:41 am
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    I’m about 5 hours into Dragon Age, and I’m not impressed. It’s not horrible but there are several aspects which irritate me:
    1) The game mechanics (i.e. how you view menus, how you switch among party members) are a pain and awkward, at least on the 360. In Baldur’s gate, which I played on a PC, party control was much easier.
    2) The action is too fast paced. Unlike Oblivion which allows you to slowly explore and has so much atmosphere, the exploration in Dragon Age is too “arcade gamey”.
    3) There is a TON of story/plot but not enough micro-exploration. No eerie sounds like in Oblivion, no slowly peaking around corners like in Oblivion. You can only interact with a few particular items in the world.
    4) No swimming or unlimited exploration like in Oblivion. If you get to water, you hit a wall and you just can’t go further.
    4) At least so far, the game is VERY linear.

    I’m only 5 hours into it so maybe things will change but I’m really in no rush to continue where I left off.

    • December 22, 2009 at 6:54 am
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      Mike, thanks for your thoughts!

      I also played the bejezus out of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion on the Xbox 360. And I have to stick with my original decision that Dragon Age: Origins is a better game. However, I do see your point. One of the things that was cool at first, then was a novelty, and then irritated the heck out of me at the end, was the open explore everything model of Elder Scrolls. But, if that is what you really liked about the game, then yes, Dragon Age doesn’t do that.

      However, I think you will find, especially as you get farther in Dragon Age, that where Oblivion had a very open world, yet a very linearly plot, Dragon Age is the reverse. Yes, there are generally the same missions and places to go in Dragon Age (you can just change the order you go to them), the decisions you make can wildly shape the storyline. At least much more then Oblivion.

      I actually enjoyed the game mechanics. Maybe once you are farther in you will change your mind. Since in oblivious you only had to control one party member, it had to be a different system. Just make sure you don’t get your party on “WAIT” mode. I had a friend that thought the game sucked because his party was on wait mode and he had to move everyone individually. Hehehe.

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