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Dragon Age: Origins (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

Four hundred years have passed since the last Blight was successfully prevented by the Grey Wardens. Now once again the fearsome Darkspawn under the rule of the Arch Demon gather and are about to invade the land of Ferelden. The first battleground: the destroyed city at Ostagar, where the Grey Wardens meet the army of Cailan, king of Ferelden, to try and stop the Darkspawn, preventing death and destruction before it has even begun.

However, during the battle, the forces of general Loghain inexplicably abandon the battlefield. As a result, the Grey Wardens, the king, and most of the human warriors are killed. Among the few survivors is the hero, who had joined the Grey Wardens just before the battle, and must now find a way to unite the races of Ferelden in a struggle against the common enemy.

Dragon Age: Origins is a party-based third-person perspective role-playing game. Similarly to Baldur's Gate, combat is in real time, with the ability to pause at any moment. Tactical options include an editor which allows the players to give the AI detailed instructions on how to behave in every possible situation. Nonetheless the player can also control the party (with up to four active combatants) one by one, switching between the characters, using their special talents and abilities to overcome the many different enemies. During the course of the game, the player will have the opportunity to invite up to nine players to his party. While only four can leave the party camp at any given time, the experience points earned by killing enemies, fulfilling quests or simply opening a chest are granted to each member of the group.

At each level-up a character earns three attribute points and one talent point. The talent point is used to unlock new spells and abilities in the extensive talent tree differing greatly between the three available classes: warrior, rogue and mage. Every three levels the character also earns a skill point allowing him/her to learn or get better at herbalism or increasing survival skills. In addition, at level 7 and 14 characters earn a specialisation point which allows them to learn two of four class specializations, such as for example shapeshifter and spirit healer for the mage class. These specializations give instant bonuses to certain attributes and unlock five exclusive talents. However, in order to learn such a specialization, it needs to be unlocked first. This is either done by buying the corresponding book from traders, or by learning it from another character, may it be a non-playable character or a party member.

Not everyone is willing from the start to teach the protagonist. In particular the player's party members have to have a certain level of trust and satisfaction. Satisfaction can range from -100 to +100 and is influenced heavily by the decisions the player makes during the game. Talking and giving gifts to the party members also increases their satisfaction. A high level of satisfaction then grants the party member a bonus to specific attributes and unlocks additional quests as they open up and tell their past. In addition, it is possible to have a romance with up to two of the party members if the player character is of the right gender and makes the right dialogue choices.

Although the main part of the game is the same for every character created and will only differ in what the player decides to do first or what choices he or she makes, the game features six unique prologues (called "origin stories" in the game) - two for each race, except the humans who share the magi origin story with the elves. They all tell the story how the player's character met the Grey Warden Duncan and ended up at the battle at Ostagar.

The console versions lack the tactical overhead view available in the PC version. The controls are designed in such a way that it is easier to control one characters and let the AI handle the rest of the party, as opposed to the PC version, where the entire party can be handled with more ease. Also, the default difficulty level on the consoles is lower than on the PC.

Screenshots

Dragon Age: Origins Windows So-called AoE-spells are really useful against many enemies.
Dragon Age: Origins Windows The town of Redcliffe is about to be attacked.
Dragon Age: Origins Windows Loading Screen
Dragon Age: Origins Windows Looks just like Neverwinter Nights - okay, maybe a little better even.

Alternate Titles

  • "龙腾世纪:起源" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "闇龍紀元 (序章)" -- Taiwan spelling
  • "Dragon Age: Начало" -- Russian spelling
  • "Dragon Age: Vérvonalak" -- Hungarian title
  • "Dragon Age: Początek" -- Polish Title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Enchantment? Enchantment! אולג 小奥 (168604) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars
One of the best RPG games to come out in years Riamus (8121) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars
[v1.0] Morrigan: A half putrid Dragon Age is not something a woman wants to find in her unmentionables. Indra is here (19679) 2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars
Bombastic! Fantastic! Romantic! Lady T-Dawg (701) 4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars

The Press Says

GamesVault Jan 25, 2010 10 out of 10 100
GamePro (US) Nov 04, 2009 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Cheat Happens Nov 06, 2009 10 out of 10 100
Total PC Gaming 2009 9.4 out of 10 94
Fragland.net Jan 22, 2010 93 out of 100 93
IGN Nov 03, 2009 9 out of 10 90
Jeuxvideo.com Nov 05, 2009 18 out of 20 90
2404.org PC Gaming Jan 24, 2010 9 out of 10 90
Play.tm Nov 16, 2009 85 out of 100 85
TotalVideoGames (TVG) Nov 09, 2009 8 out of 10 80

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Question (warning spoiler!) 4 PolloDiablo (16616)
Mar 18, 2010
Just got this game ... 7 Indra is here (19679)
Feb 27, 2010
SP3 Spec 3 Indra is here (19679)
Feb 21, 2010
Sex questions VIII sexy edition 8 Deyl bater
Dec 23, 2009
Sex question 19 Deyl bater
Dec 23, 2009

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Dragon Age: Origins appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

DLC

The standard edition includes one-time use codes for The Stone Prisoner downloadable content (adding a quest for a new party member), as well as a code for Blood Dragon armor - which unlocks for both Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2 (as a futuristic version).

References

  • One of the loading screens in the game features the following sentence: "If all else fails, go for the eyes". This is a wink to the fans of Bioware's own Baldur's Gate 2. A character from that game, Minsk, urged his hamster companion Boo into battle with the same utterance.
  • During the game the player can stumble across hints which lead him to an optional and powerful foe: Gaxkang. This is a reference to Bioware's Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn in which the player could fight the Demi-Lich Kangaxx who brought headaches to a multitude of players because of his sheer difficulty.
  • During the random encounter "The Crater", the party of adventurers meets an old couple standing at the edge of a crater, freshly carved by a meteorite. The man says: "How could a boy survive that? The crater is still smoking. It's a boy--five fingers, five toes, that's all that matters to me. The Maker has answered our prayers. Let's go home, Martha, and raise the tyke as our own." This is a reference to Superman.

References to the Game

Dragon Age: Origins was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 04/2010.

Sales

On February 8, 2010, EA announced the game has sold over 3.2 million units worldwide.

Awards

  • 1UP
    • 2009 - Best PC Game (Readers' Choice
    • 2009 - Best RPG (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best RPG (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - "Great Start" Award for Best New Series
  • AceGamez<
    • 2009 - PC Game of the Year
    • 2009 - Best RPG
  • Cheat Code Central
    • 2009 - PC Game of the Year
    • 2009 - Best RPG
  • Game Informer
    • 2009 - Best PC Game (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best PC Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Role-Playing (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Role-Playing (Readers' Choice)
  • GamePro (Germany)
    • February 5, 2010 - Best Console Game in 2009 (Readers' Choice)
  • GameShark
    • 2009 - Game of the Year
    • 2009 - PC Game of the Year
    • 2009 - Worst Use of Blood
  • Gamespot
    • 2009 - Best PC Game (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best PC Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Role-Playing Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Story (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Original IP (Intellectual Propery) (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Writing & Dialogue (Readers' Choice)
  • GameSpy
    • 2009 - Multiplatform Gamers' Choice Award
    • 2009 - The So Much Blood Award
    • 2009 - The Unlock Your Creativity Award
    • 2012 – #4 Top PC Gaming Intro
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 5, 2009 - Best PC Game in 2009
    • February 5, 2009 - Best PC RPG in 2009
  • GameZone
    • 2009 - Game of the Year
    • 2009 - PC Game of the Year
  • IGN
    • 2009 - PC Game of the Year (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - PC Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Overall Best Role-Playing Game (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Overall Best Role-Playing Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Xbox 360 Role-Playing Game (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Xbox 360 Role-Playing Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best PC Role-Playing Game (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best PC Role-Playing Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best PC Story (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best PC Story (Readers' Choice)
  • Spike TV
    • 2009 - Best PC Game
    • 2009 - Best RPG
  • Yahoo
    • 2009 - Best Role-Playing Game of the Year

Information also contributed by Big John WV, sgtcook and St. Martyne

Related Web Sites

Sicarius (61031) added Dragon Age: Origins (Windows) on Nov 03, 2009
Other platforms contributed by Sicarius (61031) and Zeppin (8339)