Dragon Age: Origins
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Critic Reviews 91% add missing review
The A.V. Club (A)
The combat system closely mirrors BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate, allowing players to pause the action to issue orders to their party. In more chaotic fights, the tactics menu provides an invaluable tool, letting players give standing orders like “use a healing item when at half health.” Mastering the combination of automated commands and micromanagement is the key to victory, as fights can be brutally hard. Luckily, death carries only light penalties, and failure always feels educational. Add in excellent voice acting, gorgeous graphics, highly customizable characters, and complex systems for how spells interact, and the result is a game destined to become a new RPG staple.Nov 9th, 2009 · Windows · read review
GamesVault (10 out of 10)
BioWare stworzyło naprawdę wspaniały produkt, który mimo kilku zgrzytów potrafi przykuć na monitora na długie godziny, całkowicie odcinając gracza od zewnętrznego świata. Gra w pełni zasłużyła sobie na miano RPG 2009 roku!Jan 25th, 2010 · Windows · read review
Game Arena (10 out of 10)
Dragon Age: Origins is amazing. Calling it next-gen Neverwinter Nights does it a disservice - it's more the next-gen Baldur's Gate (Ed - That clears it up!). BioWare has done an excellent job making such a huge game readily accessible while maintaining the vibrancy and richness of the game world, and the depth and strength of the story.Nov 10th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Cheat Happens (10 out of 10)
With Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware has once again solidified itself as the king of the western RPG. There’s really no way of recommending this title enough, with it’s amazing voice work, awesome mechanics and deep story, you’re going to want to pick up this gem of a title.Nov 6th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Legendra ( )
Dragon Age: Origins ne révolutionne pas le genre, il n'en avait d'ailleurs jamais eu l'ambition. Bioware a ressorti un soft proche de Baldur's gate sur de nombreux points, et a posé une trame inspirée des classiques de la Fantasy. N'y jouez pas si vous cherchez avant tout l'originalité. Les autres, foncez ! Le gameplay vous accrochera, l'histoire vous séduira, et vous serez conquis par ses personnages, car ce qui vous attend est plus qu'un simple jeu. Dans cette ode aux stéréotypes de l'Heroic Fantasy, vous vivrez une aventure pleine de démons, d'elfes, de nains, de sang et de courbes généreuses. Bref, vous vivrez la Fantasy dans les règles de l'art.Jan 17th, 2010 · Windows · read review
newbreview.com (5 out of 5)
This is the best RPG I’ve played in a long time and will take some beating. Don’t be surprised to see this around awards time.Nov 5th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Giant Bomb ( )
Even the most nostalgic Infinity Engine stalwarts will find a lot to love in this story-heavy RPG.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
GamePro (US) ( )
Dragon Age is a spectacular experience from beginning to end, and with an enormous amount of choices to make, cities to visit, dungeons to crawl, NPCs to interact with, treasure to find, quests to complete and crafts to master, I feel pretty confident in saying that Dragon Age: Origins is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable and immersive RPG experiences I've had since my Infinity Engine days. BioWare has crafted a spectacular journey with Dragon Age, and an unforgettable fantasy realm that's sure to resonate with fantasy and adventure fans the world over.Nov 4th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Cynamite (10 out of 10)
Seit Baldur‘s Gate konnte mich kein Offline-Rollenspiel mehr so sehr an den Bildschirm fesseln. Das Kampfsystem funktioniert fantastisch, die Übersicht ist vorbildlich, und die Atmosphäre dicht. Unzählige Details, Charaktere mit vielen Ecken und Kanten und – je nach gewählten Startcharakter – liefern dazu einen hohen Wiederspielwert. Das Kampfsystem der Konsolenversion ist mir allerdings zu fummelig, zudem sieht die Grafik bei Windows-Rechenknechten einen Tick besser aus.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
The folks at BioWare have shown that they're always looking for ways to make their games better -- each of their RPGs builds upon the previous title. Dragon Age displays this refinement, and while the story may not be completely original, it's told in a way that enthralls and enchants the player. It's the best RPG of the year -- and maybe the best of the HD era.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
GameZone (9.9 out of 10)
Dragon Age: Origins is a single-player game, with a nice online presence, but it does not offer multiplayer or cooperative gaming. Does that matter? Maybe to some. But for the true RPG gamer, this game is of a level that has never been seen before. It is the new benchmark. The story is rich and engaging, the characters are memorable, and the journey is one that pulls you in, captivates you and compels you to move forward toward the conclusion. You can replay the game and make different choices, altering your path and creating a different experience. The game can be emotionally draining, but it is the type of game that begs you to immerse yourself in the character you create and live the fantasy. This is indeed a game for the ‘ages.’Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
ZTGameDomain (9.5 out of 10)
Frankly if I am going to be honest here, writing this review has been hell for me, never have I had to write so much about something I wanted to do so badly. I've had to stop myself at least 4 times from tucking this away and jumping on Dragon Age. It's the best recommendation I can give the game, its beyond addictive, and the story is so good that I never want it to end. I will this though, this is not a game for someone who got their feet wet in the RPG genre with the likes of Fable 2, this is a downright, and pure blooded, PC RPG of the golden years that must be played by all of us.2009 · Windows · read review
Peliplaneetta.net (95 out of 100)
Useimmille pelaajille onkin romanssien sijasta merkittävämpää se, että Dragon Age on harvoja hyvällä lopulla siunattuja suurroolipelejä. Pelin viime tunneilla pelaajan ponnistelut Fereldenin yhdistämiseksi näkyvät välianimaatioiden sijaan varsinaisessa pelaamisessa. Peli kuitataan pitkällä hyvästelyllä, jossa selvitetään Fereldenin tulevia vuosikymmeniä sen perusteella, millaisia valintoja pelaaja teki seikkailun aikana. Vastaavalla tarkkuudella tällaista nähtiin viimeksi Fallout 2:ssa, josta onkin vierähtänyt jo turhan pitkä tovi. Kun peliin on upottanut kymmeniä tunteja, parin minuutin loppuviuhahdus vain suututtaa, joten kunnon viimeistely jätti hienon tunteen ja innosti minut aloittamaan uuden läpipeluun lähes saman tien.Nov 9th, 2009 · Windows · read review
GameSpot (9.5 out of 10)
Few games are this ambitious, and even fewer can mold these ambitions into such a complete and entertaining experience. You might spend 50 or more hours on your first play-though, but there are so many paths to follow, so many details to uncover, and so many ways to customize your party that you'll want to play again as soon as you finish the first time. PC owners even get an extra dash of depth via the downloadable toolset, which lets you create new levels, spells, skills, and even cutscenes. But any way you slice it, here's the fantasy RPG you've been waiting for, the one that will keep you up late at night, bleary-eyed, because you have to see what happens next. Like the best fiction, Dragon Age will sweep you up in its world, so much so that when you're done, you'll want to experience it all over again.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
PC Gamer UK (9.4 out of 10)
This is the most enormously detailed game world I've experienced, its history stretching back thousands of years, its cultures vivid, beautiful and flawed, the battles enormous, the humour superb. Roleplaying games now have a great deal to live up to.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
Total PC Gaming (9.4 out of 10)
This is a masterpiece of a roleplaying game that thoroughly deserves to rub shoulders with Bioware’s archive of classics.2009 · Windows · read review
Fragland.net (93 out of 100)
But we are really needle picking here obviously. As I mentioned before, Dragon Age: Origins is a very ambitious game with everything it tries to incorporate from the advanced morality system over the sheer size of the game to the freshly created realm. And as it goes with big and ambitious projects, there is a lot of room for error and failure and while not everything in the game is a crushing victory for Bioware, most of it is. Wherever the game doesn’t beat the opposition, if there is any at all, it sure as hell ties it. Dragon Age: Origins is without a doubt the best RPG of 2009 and probably won’t be matched in its genre for quite some time. On to Mass Effect 2 for some serious space role playing!Jan 22nd, 2010 · Windows · read review
Game Observer (92 out of 100)
A perfect game where deep storytelling meets high levels of party micro-management and disturbingly difficult combat.Nov 17th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Cheat Code Central (4.6 out of 5)
There is so much more to Dragon Age: Origins I just don't have room to explain here. Simply know that there are tons of weapons and loot to find, craft, and coat with poison, thousands of quests to take on, storekeepers to intimidate, and NPCs to persuade. If you're a Western-style, fantasy RPG nut, or if you love a great tactical challenge, you simply can't go wrong with Dragon Age: Origins. BioWare has outdone itself once again - they've created an RPG masterpiece that I'll be playing till Mass Effect 2 drops.2009 · Windows · read review
GameStar (Germany) (92 out of 100)
Wut, Angst, Zerrissenheit, Trauer, Anteilnahme, Verblüffung, Freude. Die Emotionen, die Dragon Age bei mir auslöst, beweisen, wie gut sich Bioware aufs Geschichtenerzählen versteht. Ich fühle, leide und lache mit meinen Figuren, durchlebe ein packendes Heldendrama, treffe schwere Entscheidungen, spiele eine Rolle. Klar, Jäger und Sammler sind in einer offenen Welt à la Risen besser aufgehoben. Ich aber ziehe Schlauchlevels vor, wenn ich dafür ein konkretes Ziel vor Augen habe und Zwischensequenzen für Tempo und Tiefgang sorgen. Dass anders als in Mass Effect nun auch die Nebenquests und das Kampfsystem funktionieren, macht es für mich dingfest: Dragon Age ist mein Rollenspiel des Jahres!Nov 4th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Absolute Games (AG.ru) (92 out of 100)
За что любить? Да за все, что ценят капризные поклонники жанра: мир, продуманный до мелочей, минимум 60 часов путешествий по карте, яркие характеры персонажей, гибкую боевую систему, непростые ситуации и квесты, тексты, которые приятно читать и еще приятнее — слушать1… Dragon Age, словно хороший рассказчик, увлекает с первых минут. Она ведет повествование не спеша, смакует подробности, углубляется в витиеватые лирические отступления и ловко поддерживает интригу, заставляя ерзать на краешке стула.Oct 26th, 2009 · Windows · read review
PC Games (Germany) (91 out of 100)
Bioware hat es mal wieder geschafft – auch wenn Dragon Age: Origins nicht in allen Disziplinen perfekt abschneidet, das Wichtigste haben die Entwickler 200%ig hinbekommen: dem Spieler starke Charaktere in einer grandios erzählten Story zu präsentieren, die man von Anfang bis Ende komplett in sich aufsaugt. Bis jetzt habe ich eineinhalb komplette Spieldurchläufe hinter mir, sah noch längst nicht alle Nebenquests, schwärmte für die schöne Hexe Morrigan, lachte mich über Stens und Oghrens Kommentare teilweise scheckig, trauerte um den Verlust von Wynne und anderen Charakteren, spielte alle sechs Origins ausgiebig an – Dragon Age bietet mir persönlich das Rollenspielerlebnis, das ich seit Baldur’s Gate 2 lange vermisst habe: fette Story, taktische Kämpfe. Mit den technischen Unzulänglichkeiten kann ich locker leben, auch die bekannnte Bioware-Levelmodulwelt stört mich nicht – im Gegenteil, ich freue mich auf die Abenteuer, die das integrierte Toolset ermöglicht.Nov 5th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Gamereactor (Sweden) (9 out of 10)
Ja, med undantag för några små missar är Dragon Age: Origins närmast perfekt. Även om jag inte gillar konsolversionen riktigt lika mycket, så innebär skillnaderna i upplägg också att du kan välja vad du föredrar: antingen ett mer traditionellt, strategitungt peka-klicka-rollspel som Baldur's Gate-serien, eller ett mer actionfyllt rollspel i stil med Knights of the Old Republic. Alla år av arbete och alla pengar har varit väl spenderade. Även när du har plöjt dig igenom själva huvudhandlingen på kanske fyrtio timmar så har du missat minst hälften av alla alternativ, plus att du troligen inte ens har hunnit kika på något på sidan av vägen. Jag har alltid föredragit fantasy framför science fiction, och i mina ögon är det här Biowares bästa rollspel sedan Baldur's Gate II.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
Girl Gamers UK ( )
Bioware have managed to combine an enthralling story, a wonderful supporting cast and intuitive game mechanics into a game that will simply take over your life. This is the game I have been looking for.Nov 18th, 2009 · Windows · read review
GamersGlobal (9 out of 10)
Der vielleicht von manchem erhoffte, alle anderen Rollenspiele in den Schatten stellende Oberknaller ist Dragon Age Origins nicht geworden -- selbst, wenn ihr uns das nach euren eigenen ersten Spielstunden vielleicht nicht gleich glauben werdet. Aber es ist ein großes, intelligentes, forderndes, in Grafik und Ton erwachsenes Rollenspiel geworden. Davon gibt es nicht sehr viele.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
IGN (9 out of 10)
Incredibly deep and expansive, Dragon Age: Origins is one of those titles that can easily swallow up dozens of hours of play and keep you coming back for more. The fact that BioWare chose to include downloadable content, including a new character and side quest, on launch day proves that they have an extensive plan for supporting the game. Couple that with the fact that each character can be developed in radically different ways, and you have an adventure that earns its own place among BioWare's expansive RPG collection. This is the kind of adventure that fantasy RPG fans have been hoping that BioWare would deliver – a game with a ton of re-playability and an incredibly vivid world that is the start of an impressive franchise.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
Game Informer Magazine (9 out of 10)
In the middle of reviewing Dragon Age, I had a couple vacation days scheduled. During my long out-of-state weekend, the game was constantly popping into my mind – how I could have won a fight differently, or how I might spend my next few talent points. As soon as my flight landed back in Minneapolis, I didn’t even fight the urge; I drove straight into the office and spent an entire Sunday night in front of the computer fighting darkspawn and saving Ferelden. The number of titles that can foster this level of dedication and obsession are few, and Dragon Age: Origins is among the best of them.Oct 5th, 2009 · Windows · read review
JeuxVideoPC.com (18 out of 20)
Du grand art ! BioWare, fidèle à sa réputation, frappe fort. On ne déplore qu’une IA alliée un brin tatillonne et quelques soucis de pathfinding vite réglés à la main eux aussi dans ce Dragon Age : Origins. Le vrai gros point noir reste la distribution du jeu avec un retard pour la version boîte PC et ces contenus supplémentaires qu’on aurait aimé voir intégrés dans le jeu de base pour tous.Nov 10th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Jeuxvideo.com (18 out of 20)
Ne cherchez plus le successeur de Baldur's Gate II : avec son système de jeu qui repose sur la gestion d'un groupe de plusieurs personnages, sa vue aérienne tactique et son système de pause active, Dragon Age : Origins renvoie forcément à cette illustre parenté. Parfait mélange de vieille école et de modernité, le titre ne distille ses possibilités que de façon très progressive. Doté d'un univers riche et fouillé, il invite constamment le joueur, au gré de dialogues dynamiques, à influer sur le déroulement de l'histoire. Le nouveau jeu de rôle de Bioware souffre bien de quelques carences en matière d'immersion mais il propose des combats vraiment fabuleux, qui figurent parmi les plus tactiques, les plus exigeants et les plus épiques jamais vus dans le genre. En un mot comme en cent : une tuerie.Nov 5th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Games.co.il (9 out of 10)
פנינת משחקי תפקידים בתורות שראוי לזמן של כל גיימר שאוהב את הסוגה. המשחק נראה ומרגיש כמו סרט פנטזיה הוליוודי עם תקציב מכובד, והעיצוב האומנותי, הדיבוב והמוסיקה חוברים כדי ליצור חוויה יוצאת דופן.Nov 15th, 2009 · Windows · read review
2404.org PC Gaming (9 out of 10)
The existence of a big-budget, very traditional computer role-playing game (CRPG) alone makes Dragon Age: Origins a huge accomplishment. It’s the kind of game you just don’t expect in this day in age, as development costs are always rising and five-year development cycles are just financially irresponsible. Yet, here we are, with a brand new franchise and game that goes back to what worked well back then – isometric combat, choices and consequences and skill checks – and proves that it still works just as well now. Obsidian’s Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions and indie CRPGs have managed to keep the genre breathing, but Dragon Age: Origins essentially has jumpstarted it back to life. I pray this is the beginning of even bigger things.Jan 24th, 2010 · Windows · read review
RPGFan (90 out of 100)
When I finally figured out the proper way to play DA, I found a deeply rewarding and fun experience. I can’t help but feel, however, that a more robust tutorial would have helped. Asking players to juggle multiple characters, skills, positions, enemy placements, and environmental effects is just ridiculous without proper direction. Once I figured out how to play, though, I did find the game a bit too easy, and had to up the difficulty, and even that wasn’t enough to stop my perfected party. Combat is basically a puzzle that, once solved, really doesn’t provide any challenge unless the game decides to play dirty (stupid mages...). Dragon Age does allow for some experimentation, but it will brutalize you for mistakes in battle. Bioware has crafted a truly remarkable game, but don’t be surprised if you have to pour over an FAQ to find the right combination for your party.May 17th, 2010 · Windows · read review
RPG Site (9 out of 10)
Featuring a ton of content and lots of ways to play through it, Origins is one of the best RPGs released thus far this generation, and is one epic journey that must not be missed.Dec 2nd, 2009 · Windows · read review
4Players.de (90 out of 100)
Nach dem Einstieg beginnt eine Lunte zu glimmen, die tatsächlich das Feuer alter Rollenspielzeiten und damit den Geist von Baldur's Gate weckt. Und BioWare befriedigt nicht nur nostalgische Party- oder blutige Kampf-Gelüste. Man demonstriert, wozu Spiele erzählerisch in der Lage sind, wenn man talentierte Autoren engagiert und vor allem die Dramaturgie ernst nimmt: Ich habe selten so gute Dialoge und markante Charaktere erlebt. Ich habe selten so lange mit meinen Entscheidungen gehadert. Ich habe mich dabei ertappt, wie ich spät in der Nacht gegrübelt, den Alltag und die Zeit vergessen hatte. Und das ist angesichts der 08/15-Kloppmistflut eine enorme Leistung. Und selbst wenn die Kanadier letztlich kein virtuelles Meisterwerk geschaffen haben, weil sie die Farbe für ihr Fantasy-Gemälde schlampig auftragen: Sie begeistern mit einem epischen Schauspiel auf Theaterniveau, das Emotionen weckt und damit die Hoffnung auf die Spielezukunft schürt.Oct 30th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Computer Bild Spiele (1.5 out of 6)
An „Dragon Age Origins“ führt für Rollenspieler kein Weg vorbei. Eine epische Story, gespickt mit vielen unterhaltsamen Nebengeschichten, macht das Spiel zum Überflieger. Tolle Grafik und klasse Sound erzeugen eine so dichte Atmosphäre, dass man die Maus nicht mehr zur Seite legen möchte. Dazu gesellen sich die fordernden, taktisch ausgelegte Kämpfe. Nur das perfekte Zusammenspiel der Fähigkeiten verschiedener Klassen führt zum Erfolg. Wer dumpf draufhauen möchte, kommt nicht weit.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
GameSpy ( )
After logging over a hundred hours on Dragon Age: Origins, I still want to continue playing. I want to unearth more of its secrets, to better know its characters, to see how the decisions I make can impact its world, and yes, to see more of its endings. I can't think of a better recommendation than that.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
Gamereactor (Denmark) (9 out of 10)
Dragon Age: Origins er et spil, du bør holde øje med, uanset hvilke spilgenrer du normalt foretrækker. Det står besnærende tæt på Top 3-sejrsskamlen over spil fra Bioware, og det er vel at mærke et firma, der endnu har til gode, at producere et reelt dårligt spil. Den mørke og meget voksne historie vil suge dig ind og tryllebinde dig, og den næsten ufejlbarlige blanding af episk handling, heftige kampe og et figurgalleri som man bliver dybt forelsket i, er noget du ikke bør snyde dig selv for.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
Gamesmania.de (89 out of 100)
"Dragon Age: Origins" ist ein rundum gelungenes Rollenspiel, das mit frischem Regelwerk, toller Atmosphäre, guter KI und hevorragendem Gameplay punktet. Die Konsolenfassung wurd zwar zugunsten einer komfortablen Steuerung ein wenig abgespeckt, verliert dadurch aber keinesfalls an Wert, da Dinge die auf dem PC eurer Entscheidungsgewalt unterliegen, durch gut agierende KI ausgeglichen werden. Die Story ist durchweg interessant und - typisch für ein Biowarerollenspiel - durch euer Verhalten beeinflussbar. Uns hat der Titel sehr viel Spaß gemacht, da es Bewährtes mit frischen Elementen kombiniert und dabei zu einem gelungenen Genrevertreter avanciert!Nov 12th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Mana Pool (8.8 out of 10)
Dragon Age: Origins is a solid RPG, and is a highly enjoyable return to form for Bioware and fantasy RPGs in general.Nov 6th, 2010 · Windows · read review
Gameplay (Benelux) (87 out of 100)
Dragon Age laat de concurrenten van dit jaar ver achter zich, maar wordt op zijn beurt ook gepasseerd door zijn eigen verleden.Oct 28th, 2009 · Windows
YouGamers (86 out of 100)
Dragon Age: Origins is an exceptional role playing game that features a strong setting and storyline and offers quite a challenge, effectively requiring you to either stack your group and abuse overpowered abilities or play on Easy as combat is poorly balanced. Suffers also from offensively poor handling of downloadable content - when will the DLC milking stop?Nov 26th, 2009 · Windows · read review
CD-Action (8.5 out of 10)
Z jednej strony należą się brawa za masę dialogów i ciekawe postacie, z drugiej jednak nie da się ukryć, że nie tylko na pierwszy rzut oka gra wygląda na nieco starszą, niż jest w rzeczywistości. Fakt, mapy są spore, nie ma także problemów z ich czasami łądowania, ale świat widział już ładniejsze RPG. A choć grafika to nie wszystko, też się liczy. Z drugiej strony trudno nie docenić ogromu tej gry, a także morza możliwości, jakie daje. Owszem, przyczepić można się jeszcze do braku multi czy faktu, że edytor zostanie udostępniony w późniejszym okresie, ale nawet bez tego mamy do czynienia z jednym z najciekawszych RPG ostatnich lat. Nieidealnym, niezbyt przyjaznym dla początkujących i ogólnie dość oldskulowym, ale jednak na dłuższą metę bardzo satysfakcjonującym.Oct 2009 · Windows
Play.tm (85 out of 100)
It has been the best part of a decade in the making, but Dragon Age is a worthy successor to Baldur's Gate II. That, alone, will be all most people need to hear. It is unmistakably a BioWare game, but nobody makes them quite like they do. I can see myself playing it for hundreds of hours.Nov 16th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Gamekult (8 out of 10)
Incroyablement timide sur les originalités scénaristiques, Dragon Age aligne en plus les fautes de goût techniques avec ses zones extérieures étroites, ses chargements aussi interminables qu'omniprésents et ses personnages laids, inexpressifs et dénués de personnalité pour la plupart. Si Dragon Age : Origins se place indéniablement au niveau des plus grands sur tout ce qui concerne le gameplay, la durée de vie et le niveau d'écriture, on était indéniablement en droit d'attendre un peu plus de génie, d'ambition et de risque artistique de la part de celui qui revendiquait si bruyamment son titre (en partie usurpé) d'héritier légitime à l'inoubliable Baldur's Gate II : Shadows of Amn.Nov 5th, 2009 · Windows · read review
JeuxActu (16 out of 20)
A mi-chemin entre un Neverwinter Nights (ce qui n'est pas forcément un compliment) et un Baldur's Gate (ce qui, pour le coup, est plus qu'un compliment), Dragon Age : Origins est incontestablement signé Bioware. Si l'on peut lui reprocher un certain classicisme, il faut reconnaître que la recette fonctionne toujours aussi bien. Les quelques défauts techniques n'ont finalement guère d'importance face à l'efficacité du gameplay et à la richesse de l'histoire contée. Le véritable frein à l'achat se trouve en réalité dans la politique de l'éditeur, qui multiplie les DLC payants dès la sortie du jeu et semble vouloir looter au maximum le portefeuille des utilisateurs. Faut-il cautionner une telle méthode de vente quasi-forcée ou attendre un an ou deux qu'une édition intégrale voie le jour à prix réduit ? A vous de décider !Nov 9th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Eurogamer.pt (8 out of 10)
Mas como não quero ser demasiado depreciativo para este título, as minhas palavras finais serão positivas. Aconselho Dragon Age: Origins a todos os fãs dos jogos da BioWare, e principalmente a quem adora um role-playing game de boa qualidade.Nov 11th, 2009 · Windows · read review
D+PAD Magazine ( )
The characters exude life and soul despite the game’s clunky animations and less than stellar voice acting – that’s the power of Bioware’s effective writing. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the environments: all the rote forests, castles and dungeons tend to blur into a single indistinguishable mess. It’s also too bloody hard in places, with a wonky difficulty curve comparable to a diagonal line drawn by a Parkinson’s sufferer sitting on a moving bus. Though that’s not nearly enough to undo the game’s stellar tapestry: Dragon Age throws a player into an epic trek of good, evil, politics, levelling up and great big bloody swords, creeping into your psyche and consuming countless hours. Repetition and a lack of imagination tar the landscape, but lately the first thing I’ve thought about after waking up in the morning is playing some more Dragon Age.Nov 18th, 2009 · Windows · read review
Eurogamer.net (UK) (8 out of 10)
In its desperation to infuse this setting with "maturity" - be it of the sober, political kind, or the game's painfully clumsy gore and sex - BioWare has forgotten the key ingredient of any fantasy: the fantastical. Without it, you're still left with a competent, often compelling, impressively detailed and immense RPG, but it's one that casts no spell.Nov 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review
TotalVideoGames (TVG) (8 out of 10)
It should also be noted that Dragon Age: Origins is a tough game unless you choose to slide the difficulty down dynamically during the game. Due to the way in which the game scales adversaries around you, you never get to a point where you feel as though you can wade through areas without a challenge. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing particularly given its stance as a more PC centric RPG experience. It's also worth remembering that Dragon Age is a game that will last, with anything between 50-80 hours of gameplay depending upon how many of the side missions you choose to take on.Nov 9th, 2009 · Windows · read review
CanardPC (8 out of 10)
Dragon Age ne succédera pas à Baldur’s Gate dans mon coeur mais s’impose comme un indispensable si vous aimez les combats tactiques et l’ultra violence. Malgré quelques défauts vraisemblablement liés à la technique et un univers travaillé qui manque parfois de personnalité, le dernier BioWare m’a beaucoup plus emballé que, au hasard, Neverwinter Nights 2. Malheureusement, la politique commerciale désastreuse faisant la part belle aux DLC oblige à acheter la version collector pour profiter du titre complet, au risque de le déséquilibrer. En espérant que l’éditeur permette par la suite de s’affranchir de nouvelles dépenses.Nov 16th, 2009 · Windows · read review
by Unicorn Lynx (181288)
Recent BioWare products such as Jade Empire and Mass Effect made some RPG pundits frown. Simplification and streamlining seemed to have infiltrated the camp of the creators of Baldur's Gate. As a minor character from Brothers Karamazov eloquently put it - "Pfeh! A pfeh!". I can relate to those sentiments: even though I enjoyed playing Mass Effect, a big part of me missed wearing Leather Gloves of Arcane Horror +3 with increased damage to half-hobgoblins or whatever.
Dragon Age can be considered a return to the roots to a certain extent. In terms of depth and complexity it is somewhere halfway between the company's first master series and Knights of the Old Republic, and generally comparable with Neverwinter Nights 2 in the way it approaches the genre.
Dragon Age builds upon the real-time-with-pause battle system popularized by its creators' earlier games. The game makes full use of it, and on harder difficulty levels it is a real tactical challenge. Smart enemies force you to plan and experiment. Sending a thief to backstab, putting archers far away, luring enemies one-by-one with your tank, ordering mages to cast delightfully treacherous spells that would render enemies helpless while you hit them with melee weapons - everything is back with a vengeance.
The game introduces its own character-building system, which works very well and provides a nice breath of fresh air after the omnipresent D&D. Lack of variety in initial character customization is compensated by extensive ability trees, which are particularly interesting for spellcasters. Items, equipment, spells, abilities are plentiful, and naturally your companions can be customized the same way as the protagonist.
A new fictional fantasy world was created specifically for this game and its future sequels. This world is believable, and a lot of optional background information makes it truly come to life. It has a developed religion, racial conflicts, political relationships, various cults and factions, etc. The schemes of human nobility, the stubborn secrecy of the elves, the brutal caste system of the dwarves - everything is stored in the Codex, which is a pleasure to read.
The writing, like in most BioWare games, is excellent. Some of the dialogues in this game surpass even the highest achievements of their earlier works. Your sharp-tongued companions provide too much witty banter to mention, but sometimes you'd bump into such thought-provoking conversation that you'll forget about the rest of the game and immerse yourself in a discourse about God and the world.
What would a BioWare RPG be without party members? Actually, we have an answer to that question. Luckily, companions make a triumphant return, having much more important gameplay-related roles than in the company's recent titles. Each and every one of your party members is a fully developed, interesting character, and much attention was paid to their relationships with the protagonist. Romances are for the most part convincing, and you must study your potential partner's psychology thoroughly to have success.
Quests in the game often come with tough moral choices. Does a man whose family was brutally killed still have the right to exact revenge on the culpable nation after generations have passed? Should we keep a powerful invention to protect an entire nation if it requires to turn people into mindless slaves? There are several "to kill or to forgive" situations where I honestly didn't know what to do - the "pro" and "contra" were both too heavy.
The formulaic story is made more appealing by convincingly portrayed characters and interesting sub-stories. The process of getting to know the different races and organizations in the game is more exciting than the schematic fight against the Darkspawn. Dramatic, well-directed cutscenes help to enhance the story as well.
While I was playing the game (and enjoying it), a tiny voice inside me kept saying: "been there, done that". Even though Dragon Age honestly avoids the alarming over-simplification characterizing BioWare's recent work, it is still very careful and doesn't like taking chances. I can't help comparing it to Baldur's Gate II, that went on to expand and enhance; Dragon Age, on the other hand, is comparatively low-key. I'm thankful that it preserves crucial elements of the genre, but in my opinion it could have preserved more and be more generous with them.
Yes, there is exploration and there are choices, but they are done in a somewhat convenient fashion. One thing I didn't like in Baldur's Gate II was the elimination of seamless traveling; Dragon Age follows the same route, but reduces the amount of side quests that would take you to optional areas. The locations themselves tend to be a bit too small and straightforward. I haven't encountered a city I could be lost in for days, running around and hunting for quests.
Dragon Age is also too "hands off" for my taste. There are no physical activities in the game, and you can interact only with those highlighted objects that serve a clear gameplay-related purpose. I don't think this is the right direction of RPG development. In particular, 3D games naturally call for more realistic interaction, serving to immerse the player into the world.
The Bottom Line
Dragon Age is an attractive game, and its sincere desire not to cater to casual players too much is commendable - at least from the point of view of those who want a serious RPG. It recreates much of what we value in the genre, and even when it doesn't do it flawlessly we can feel that its heart is in the right place.
Sep 5th, 2014 · Windows
One of the best RPG games to come out in years
by Riamus (8513)
One of the best things about the game are the character personalities. The characters in your party chat back and forth every so often with interesting things to say, similar to Planescape's characters. They each have their own personality and the interactions between them really draws you in. Few games really make use of that interaction, but it is one of the most successful ways to make a RPG game great. You can also improve your relationship with each character in your party by making dialog choices they like and giving them gifts. Eventually, you can even get some romantic dialogs with them. That's been seen in a variety of games, but it's still a great addition to the game.
Another nice quality in the game are the NPC characters. They all have really good voiceovers and I haven't yet seen the same face among the named NPCs, which helps to make them all unique. The variety in the voices was really done well and helps to make it feel realistic.
The graphics are very well done and there are many "cutscenes" where the graphics take on an almost movie quality while still using the characters from your party, including what they are currently wearing (minus any helmets). The cutscenes, if you want to call them that, are usually not too long yet they help to fill out the story really well.
The story is perhaps the best part of the game, though so much comes together to make it great that it's hard to really choose one quality. So far, I have only played as one character (a dwarf noble warrior). As that character, I went through a very interesting and somewhat unique introduction storyline that got me out into the world. Each of the characters you choose from have their own unique introduction and I'm looking forward to trying them all even if I may not play through them all once I get past the introduction story. What makes the story so good is how well it is put together. Everything including the side quests seems to fit together seamlessly without gaps and holes that you often see in large worlds like this one. Even when you decide to go to another location before finishing one you're working on, it all still seems to go together nicely.
The game uses a codex system for storing information about the game that you can then look up again later. This helps so you don't have to keep notes or remember everything that you see. It shows information about every creature or enemy you come across, notes and books that fill in story background or quest background, and even information about any special spell combinations that you find in the game.
There is a tactics section for your party that helps you to create a way for each of your party members to react on their own so they do what you want them to without your guidance. It is set up really well and lets you create a limited number of tactics for each character, such as change between ranged or melee weapons based on what weapons are being used against them, automatically healing a character when their health gets so low, or shapeshifting when surrounded by a certain number of enemies. There are a lot of different kinds of tactics you can set up based on your play style or what you're currently fighting against. You get a certain number of tactics slots automatically and gain more by spending skill points and leveling up. I recommend not increasing tactics slots too much on your main character that you always control as you won't generally need them. I made that mistake without realizing what I was doing until later on. It helps to read the manual before playing, I suppose. Heh.
The character classes each offer some useful additions to your party and a nice variety in how you play them. It might be difficult finding the "right" main character to round out your party the way you want, but you also can't really choose a "wrong" character class either. One thing to note when choosing your classes is that the Mage is also your healer and the Rogue can really be useful for locked chests and doors. You will get both a rogue and mage not too far into the game, but won't have them to begin with.
There really isn't anything that I'd consider bad about the game. That said, be careful about leaving the starting areas of the game. I was unable to complete some things within the Wilds because I didn't finish it before the large battle happened and it won't let me return there now. I'm sure the same is true for the other characters you can play. Most other places do let you return later, but the starting areas seem to be locked after you leave them. Whether or not that changes later in the game, I'm not sure.
Some encounters do become very difficult even at Normal difficulty and make you either use "boring" strategies (such as running in circles while the rest of your party uses ranged attacks) or else leave to another area and then come back later after leveling up some more. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does sometimes get frustrating. Of course, some of those difficult situations are made much easier by taking direct control of all characters in your party and using certain combinations of spells and skills.
One thing to keep in mind about the party AI is that it won't do everything for you unless you really work on the tactics for each character. Default tactics are okay for most easy fights, but for the harder fights, you'll have to either handle each character manually or else take time to set up the tactics really well. It won't just do the best attacks for you like some games. I'm not sure that is really a bad thing about the game, but if you expect it to do it for you, you're going to consider the AI to be bad.
The Bottom Line
Overall, if you like games like Planescape, Baldur's Gate, and Neverwinter Nights while having more control of the camera similar to a game like Morrowind or Oblivion, you will probably really enjoy this game. It is a huge game offering hours and hours of enjoyment even before considering playing as another character. I definitely recommend the game to all RPG fans as a must-have game. I rarely make such a recommendation for games, but this is one of the best as far as I'm concerned. It seems to take the best qualities of the different RPG games out there and include them all into one great game. And beyond the main game, you can also download additional content for the game that adds new areas as well as new items. Keep in mind that some of those downloadable items won't be available in the game until you get further into it. And if you haven't downloaded them yet, you will see it in the conversation dialog when you come across a quest that is for those new areas.
Nov 18th, 2009 · Windows
[v1.0] Morrigan: A half putrid Dragon Age is not something a woman wants to find in her unmentionables.
by Indra was here (20774)
Review Version: v1.0
Review Date: April, 2010
Review Length: 15 page(s)
Tech Specs Used: Intel Core 2 6300 1.86 Ghz CPU, 3 GB Memory, 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT Video Card
Downloadable Content: None
Game Difficulty Played: Nightmare
Preferred Character: Elven Mage
Preferred Specialization: Spiritual Healer/Arcane Warrior
Preferred Party Members: Alistair (Templar - Melee), Gwynn (Spiritual Healer – Ranged Magic), Leliana (Bard - Archer)
Favorite Party Members: Alistair, Mabari Doggy
Favorite Dialog Pairing Members: Alistair and Morrigan, Doggy with any character
Least Favorite Party Member: Sten
Sexual Preference: Thus far, confused
Finished: Yes. Restarted 3 or more times and not really liking any of them
Last time played: April, 2010
Well, if you didn’t notice already, I have a somewhat negative opinion of the game. So if you are a Bioware fanboi, I recommend that you ignore the contents of this review, least have nightmares for many a night. :p
Not one of my better reviews, I must admit. Reads more like fanboi whining than an actual review. I do tend to get a bit emotional when irritated. So the reader is warned beforehand and I do apologize for the constant whining, especially for the overuse of the word “annoy” and its variations, but not the argumentation behind the whining.<hr />
So what is good about Dragon Age? Well, if you’re interested in story driven games, then you probably do not need to look any further (although it seems you’re more likely to get better stories from first person shooters than role playing games sigh). The story however, isn’t top of the line however, even by Bioware’s standards. So don’t expect another Knights of the Old Republic going on here (though in fact, don’t expect another Knights of the Old Republic ever going on period, at this rate). However, if you like Neverwinter Nights 2 you would probably enjoy this game.
A. Introduction: For Those Who Have Not Played The Game
Note: This Section May Be Skipped
Dragon Age: Origins is a medieval-fantasy role playing game (RPG), where the player takes on the role of a soon-to-be Grey Warden, an elite class of individuals brought together to fight the Darkspawn and their medieval version of a world war: the Blight. The player controls a party maximum of 4 members (including the main character) selectable from various characters during the course of the game, during which, party members may converse with each other, and offer you dialogs or additional sub-quests.
- Class and Races
The game introduces a few different sets of classes and races. A different selection will affect the beginning story (also possibly the end) and some minor dialog situations along the way. Available Races: Dwarf, Elf, Human.
Available Classes: Warrior, Rogue, Mage. Note: Classes, depending on race, may be further split into more specific types. For example, a dwarven warrior may either become a dwarven noble or dwarven commoner during character creation. Later, at levels 7 and 14, the player may chose to specialize the character by selecting 2 out of 4 available specializations. These specializations however, must first be obtained, either through dialogs, encounters or purchasing books from merchants. The specializations are: Warrior: Champion, Templar, Berserker, Reaver
Rogue: Assassin, Bard, Ranger, Duelist
Mage: Shapeshifter, Spiritual Healer, Arcane Warrior, Blood Mage
- Skills, Talents, and Magic
Skills represent abilities that are universally common among characters, some of which usually represent non-combat abilities, useful during sub-quest or other encounters. The available skills are: Stealing, Trapmaking, Survival, Herbalism (Default Mage), Poison-Making (Default Rogue), Combat Training (Default Warrior), Combat Tactics. Many of the skills however are somewhat useless as only one skill is needed for the whole party, such as stealing, trapmaking, herbalism, and poison-making (unless you want to use it during combat too). Each skill may be upgraded up to four levels. Talents and Magic special abilities unique to each class. Talents are reserved for warriors and rogues, while magic is obviously reserved for mages. Each talent or magical ability may be upgraded up to four levels. Unlike skills however, each talent or magic spell is different. Additionally, rogues are the only class that may picklock chests. Talents may be activated abilities (needs to be manually activated), sustained abilities (continuously active at the cost of reserved stamina) or passive abilities (always active without cost). Magical spells are only activated spells or sustained spells. The player may choose to have character(s) upgrade on a particular set of weapons or magic schools: Warrior: Warrior (8 abilities), Dual Weapon (12 abilities), Archery (12 abilities), Sword and Shield (12 abilities)
Rogue: Rogue (16 abilities), Dual Weapon (12 abilities), Archery (12 abilities)
Mage: Mage (4 abilities), Primal (Elemental Magic - 16 spells), Creation (Healing and Buffs - 16 spells), Spirit (4 spells), Entropy (Dark Magic - 16 spells).
The player (when available) may travel with up to a maximum of 4 party members (including the player). Adventuring consists of traveling in a specified location (town, etc.) or traveling on the overland map. During travel on the overland map, the party may encounter random plot events.
Combat may be paused at any time during combat, during which the player may force specific actions for each party member. During combat, there are 2 types of characters: The player-controlled party member and the AI (Artificial Intelligence)-controlled party member. At any time however, the player may directly control any one of the party members. The AI-controlled party member’s bases his/her actions on the tactics screen. Here the player may optionally (1) choose a set of commands provided or (2) manually select a particular action which is activated under a particular event. Example: Main Character Attacked: Use Pummel Shield. Combat strategies are greatly influenced on available mana (for mages) and stamina (for warriors and rogues). Additionally, a set of ineffective combat tactic commands may prompt the player to continuously pause and take control of each party member, which is immensely tiring sometimes.
Warning Minor Spoilers! Characters are of course the essence of Bioware games, an essence that unfortunately to my opinion Bioware has yet to accomplish successfully to the point where the player is feels emotionally attached to each party member. Each character like many other role-playing games may be equipped with weapons and armor. Additionally, each party member has a “relationship bar” which may increase or decrease depending on your choices during certain events or dialogs. Having a positive relationship will unlock plot abilities; unlock additional sub-quests, while a negative relationship may prompt the party member to leave your team. The following are some of the party members that if the player chooses so, may become part of the team and other non-player characters (NPCs) worthy of mention:
Alistair: Male, Human Warrior - Templar
Best Line: You just gave me a very disturbing mental image right there. The first party member you encounter is an (almost) Templar. Alistair is the most fascinating party member you’ll have. Most of his dialogs are refreshingly funny where humor is apparently the primary characteristic. Taking away Alistair from the game would no doubt be like taking away “Dragon” from “Age.” Alistair represents a “neutral good” type character, who prefers moderately good plot choices…except when dealing with Loghain. Believes that Morrigan is evil incarnate and probably isn’t far off either. Morrigan: Female, Human Mage – Shapeshifter
Best Line: A half eaten putrid hare is not what a woman wants to find in her unmentionables. The second party member is the daughter of Flemeth, the witch of the wilds. Morrigan is shapely witch made out of stuff that little boys with naughty dreams like myself are made of. I honestly cannot be objective when portraying Morrigan, as the only portrait in my head are specific chest parts. Morrigan represents an atheist “chaotic evil” type character who prefers pragmatic choices primarily in accordance to survival. Or in the words of the developers themselves in the many dialogs: she’s undoubtedly a bitch. Morrigan shines most when she is having conversations with Alistair. Theological conversations with Leliana however, are extremely boring. Mabari Doggy: Male, Doggy Warrior
Best Line: Woof and Whine. Depending on which character you choose, the Mabari dog will be either the first or third party member you encounter. Unlike other humanoid characters, the Mabari Dog has few set of skills (8 skills) and fewer weapons and armor (2 items). However, the animal animations and sounds are of pure delight. Although you may not actively use him in combat (due to the lack of skills), having him around for the sake of dialogs with other characters is quite pleasant. Somewhat ironic that his limited barking has more conversational depth than the other characters in the game. Also, the Mabari Dog may be used to search for (limited) items. Leliana: Female, Human Rogue - Bard
Best Line: None. A curious female with an even more curious accent. A bard with a past, on a holy mission of faith to join in your fight against the Blight. Leliana represents a “Religious usually Good” type of character, preferring good plot choices especially those related to religion. Despite the noticeable focus of the developers on this character, the dialogs represented by her are alarmingly mediocre. She is however, curiously bisexual. Sten: Male, Qunari Warrior – No specialization
Best Line: They told me there will be cake. There is no cake. The cake was a lie. A qunari warrior that joins your group as a form of redemption for past sins. Possibly the odd ball in the group. This giant doesn’t say much for his size and his philosophy portrayed in his dialogs is even more confusing. What ever philosophical paradox the developers tried to enact on this character, it failed. Badly. In fact, to be honest, the whole qunari race in Dragon Age seems to be quite useless. He is however, the only party member with 2-handed weapon skills unlocked. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he does not start with any specializations and may only have one specialization unlocked. Wynne: Female, Human Mage – Healer
Best Line: None. May be recruited when you enter the Circle of Magic plot. An old wizard that often acts as a moral advisor to the group. Wynne acts as a “Neutral very Good” type of character, preferring good plot choices especially those related to compassionate acts. Doesn’t like Morrigan very much either. Ter Loghain (NPC): Male, Warrior – Antagonist
Best Line: None. The antagonist of Dragon Age represents the most commanding voice-overs in the game. Despite the resolute and strength of character well heard from the actor’s voice, the role itself is not supported by an obviously poor choice of dialogs selected for him. Overall, with the exception of the Mabari Doggy, I could not bond with any of the characters personally on an emotional level. Alistair is just too timid. Morrigan is a bitch. Leliana is just plain odd. Sten is unlikable. Although I must admit that some of the names used in this game are quite fascinating.
A. The Annoying Circle of Magic So what happens when your mages just happens to face four templar? Instant death via Mindblast and not even enough time to say hello. *sniff* This must be the first medieval-fantasy RPG where I consider magic to be annoying as hell. Personally, this is quite a feat, considering I’m as fanboish as one can get when it comes to the mysteriously over-rated arts. Problems with magic are as the following:
- Unbalanced Spells
If you have a mage as a main character, you’ll probably figure out sooner or later that some spells are a “must have”, while other spells are simply optional. Not having these spells will cause serious problems when dealing with opponents, simply because in many instances, not having a mage in the party is pretty much suicidal. The suicidal part refers to encounters with bosses, especially those grab techniques. The clear example is the first boss. Not having one or more of certain important spells, will prompt the player to use the stupid “run away from the ogre while hopefully you team members shoot it and not get killed in the process” stratagem. “Must have” spells, which if you do not obtain early in the game will undoubtedly make your gameplay experience a living nightmare are as the following:
Basic Haves: Winter’s Blast (early must have), Cone of Cold, Fireball, Regeneration, Spellbloom.
Advanced Haves: Inferno/Blizzard/Chain Lightning, Crushing Prison, any entropy spell dealing with paralyzes.
- Too Powerful
I never thought I’d whine about this, but magic in this game is a little too powerful. It gets extremely annoying if per chance you do not have any characters having dispel magic features…which basically makes any rogue or non-templar warriors a tad useless when dealing with mages. Here are some of what I assume to be a tad too powerful spells:
Cone of Cold (cold damage+long freeze), Fireball (fire damage, large area effect, quick recharge, knock down, minor continuous fire damage), Crushing Prison (spirit damage+extremely long paralyze period).
- Obstacle Immunity
Lovely. Many spells (and skills) can go through walls and doors, without paying attention to obstacles in the way. There I was, facing a huge dragon. Oh, look, I can find cover behind those walls and big rocks. Apparently not. Not that anyone cares about the laws of physics. This also applies to some skills only in the disposal of enemies. “Buffet” is example of an extremely annoying skill. It’s a skill that pulls you from any location to the location of the caster (or sometimes the other way around, odd). Emphasize “any location”. Doesn’t matter if I happened to be on the other part of the map, stupid dragon just buffeted my arse back to where I was running away from. The spell version of this skill is called “Pull” or “Mass Pull” also enemy unique.
- Target Selection
One of the most frustrating things about targeting an area-effect spell is when it overlaps with enemies, prompting the cursor to instantly move itself to the target opponent, when all you want to just target the dang floor. Will you leave my targeting cursor alone please?
- Inaccurate Area of Effect
May it be fireballs or more than often the grease spell, targeting area of effect spells provide a shadow of proposed area of effect. More than often after casting the spell, it’s not exactly “on-location”. Can’t tell you how many times my mage slipped on himself after casting that grease spell, despite the targeting area clearly indicating that he would not himself be a target. Many areas of affect spells also have annoying visual targeting issues. If the target is literally not flat (e.g. hills) you will have trouble identifying the target area, as ignores any vertical terrain adjustments.
- Magic Graphical Static
Now here’s something no one was smart enough to think about apparently. Pausing the game is of course a main part of combat strategy (only because if you don’t, you’re mages will be constantly swarmed by enemy warriors). However, when everything is paused, apparently the graphical effects of magic are also paused and remain on-screen. This is extremely annoying when you have just cast a spell, for example a fireball spell, and when you pause the game, all you see are flames, sparks, or anything that hinders your ability to target anything. Often you have to wait a few seconds just for the animations to die down. A few precious seconds when you’re about to be clobbered, mind you.
- Not Enough Tactical Slots
It’s simple common sense really. Take a mage. Each of the four schools of magic consists of 16 spells. That’s a total of 64 spells, not to mention other abilities and items. Well, 64 may be a bit much, but let’s just use one school of magic, around 16 spells. There are not enough tactical slots to identify each unique situation, thus, provoking the player to constantly taking manual control of the character when a unique situation arises not available in the tactics command.
- Poor Behavioral Choices
There are several “behaviors” available on how a character should react in combat: Default, Aggressive, Passive, Defensive, Cautious, and Ranged. However, none of them supports this feature: Attack anyone who comes dang too close. The closest thing available selection is to fight back when attacked. Unfortunately, when I’m being ganged up surrounded by 3 other opponents; my party members don’t do much unless I manually attack a target. Another annoying feature is friendly fire. Nice idea, bad in practice yet again. The friendly fire itself is not annoying. How your party members have a habit not to avoid it is. Although the behavior description does indicate that characters will avoid friendly fire, in practice, one too many times, party members like to walk on my flaming grease fields, ignore inferno and blizzard, thus ending up as an over-cooked frozen pizza. I also wonder, if a trap is detected, why do they still have to step on it anyway? Yet another annoying feature in the default stance is how the characters, without your knowing, like to change weapon sets, usually from ranged to melee if enemies get too close.
- Canceled and Ignored Command Actions
Often party members do not follow your specific forced commands. The most is noticeable during the few seconds before combat, before party members get their weapons out. It is not possible to command party members to perform individual tasks simultaneously before combat; it just cancels out except the member you are directly controlling. I suspect this happens because the game introduces a new set of code sequences (when entering combat) which cancels out anything prior to it (non-combat). Even more annoying during combat (yet again), party members may cancel your specific commands, noticeably when I command them to take healing potions. Sometimes they just ignore the command and attack, ignoring the 10% health they have left. You sometimes have to wait just to make sure they’re taking their medication.
- Stun & Swarm
Yes, I just coined this term, so there. :p Which is basically what combat in this game is about. Forget tactics and strategy; stun the enemy, swarm him, and go to the next target (or represented by the audio: bonk, bonk, bonk, bleh). There isn’t much any character can do if they find themselves pending 4 enemy stun moves, at the same time. Since most stunning moves and spells also incur a considerable amount of damage, that usually is instant death. Thus, direct-damage moves and spells take a second priority in this game compared to stunning moves and spells.
- Combat & Animation Lag
I first noticed this when fighting the first boss: an overgrown troll horned gorilla. So he was chasing me around in circles (which is the only tactic you have if you don’t have the right spells). I paused the game just how far or close he was behind me, unpaused the game then *wham!* I get hit. Huh? How did I get hit? Well, apparently there is a 1-2 second delay in movement when you unpause the game. Nice. Another type of lag is obvious when you drink potions. It is almost impossible to heal yourself at 25% and live while waiting for the potion animations to occur. So one wonders what that “drink potion at 10% health” tactic slot is for when you’re surrounded by at least 2 enemies. More lag? Sure. Arcane warriors. Lovely specialization, but useless if you’re wielding melee weapons. Why? Well, the animations take longer apparently: You sheathe your weapon (and shield), cast the spell, unsheathe your weapon (and shield). Compared to the mage just wielding a staff: cast spell. Doh. So my arcane warrior(s) didn’t have much use for swords, since enemies have this tendency of moving to the other side of the map while you’re doing your sheathing routine. *sigh*
What formations you might ask? My answer: Exactly. When you’re facing mages, templar, dragons, or anything that has an area damage dealing effect, the last thing you’d want before a battle is having them crowed together. Gawd, I hate the templar. Even if you do manually position them, often this is not possible for combat occurring after dialogs, as the game gathers them together again regardless. A wide party formation would have saved me from a many load game. Many combat occurs after various dialogs. The problem with this type of combat is that it occurs roughly two feet away from your character, which in my case is a mage that happens to not wear any armor. *sigh* So much for the fighters in front and mages in the rear formation - standard. Have these people ever played Dungeons and Dragons? Doh. Another thing that I am extremely annoying with is something that possibly only magic-oriented characters will notice. So, we have area effect spells. You would like to cast them, but sometimes it’s difficult with everyone running around all over the place. There is no “area of control” that inhibits enemies or allies to move out of a melee deadlock, much less consequence if it does occur. I simply hate it when a perfect line formation is disrupted with enemies just pushing their way through, not even intentionally…stupid 3D graphics. Enemies that are knocked down just pass through whatever obstacle in their way. Not to mention allies running right in front of your perfectly aimed spell. Gah. RPG games such as
Drakensang and its series however, figured this out decades earlier. Another annoying little feature I’ve noticed is that my 2nd and 3rd party members sometimes (more than sometimes actually) like to switch places when just combat starts.
Although depending on personal taste, it does appear that some classes and even more so for skills, are useless in this game. Specializations for example, you would prefer to choose specializations that have a lot of passive bonuses rather than active or sustained ones.
- For Warriors, the Templar is the obvious choice. Berserkers have a bad habit of running out of stamina, fast. Haven’t tried Reaver yet.
For Rogues, the Duelist is a must have, due to many passive skills. Assassin so-so, only for the Mark of Death skill. Ranger is inadvisable, as summoned creatures do not contribute experience. Bard skills are useless except for the first level incredibly useful skill that increases stamina and mana regeneration. The higher levels are useless.
For Mages, the Shapeshifter is useless compared to the arsenal of spells in normal form. Blood Mage is the most useless specialization in Dragon Age surprisingly, as it has no passive skills (only activated and sustained) and a mage relying on health as a substitute for mana means a quick and easy death. The arcane warrior is an obvious choice; however armor and melee weapons for combat mages are almost non-existent.
- Archery Skills
Archery is surprisingly effective in the game. Unfortunately, you later figure out that it is effective for the enemy than it is for you. Unlike your party, enemy archers are often numerous and are located in far off or difficultly accessed strategic locations. Yours on the other hand usually consists of only 1-2 archers and is located right in the middle of the heavy fighting. In addition to the fact that your archer tends to miss a lot and fires not as often than melee weapons, you start to wonder why you bothered increasing this skill in the first place.
- Trap Making
I have yet to find an RPG has successfully made trap making a useful stratagem in gameplay and Dragon Age is no different. Considering that most combat occurs in mere seconds and minutes, also much faster to fireball the enemy, not quite sure who uses traps. Additionally, after recruiting all available team members, I realized that not one of them had trap making skills activated. Hmm.
- Leader Imbalance
I painfully realized that some classes act as better leaders than others, specifically in this order: Rogue, Warrior, Mage. How so? Well, the first has to do with the negotiation skill. This is affected by either Cunning or Strength. Cunning is mandatory for Rogues, so that’s fine. Strength is mandatory for Warriors, so that’s fine. Cunning and Strength is not mandatory for Mages, so that’s not fine. Furthermore, Rogues also have stealing and lockpicking skills. Often there are areas where your leader travels alone e.g. beginning plot. A lot of chests and a lot of people to steal from. The opportunity to pick chests and steal from people is not given for non-rogues. In the beginning plot, I was quite frustrated at the many chests I had to bypass since the stupid plot wasn’t smart enough to provide me with a lock picking rogue member.
- Main Plot vs. Sub-Quests
Do you hate it when the main plot cancels your sub-quests? One would think that developers would have known by now that this is simply annoying. One would think that these developers aren’t really gamers to begin with sometimes. :p This has always been a crime of moronic levels in quest-oriented RPGs, where if you continue the main plot they often just cancel some sub-plot they you didn’t finish beforehand. Only game I recall that didn’t follow these obvious stupid footsteps is
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Had to restart this game twice just because of this. A little advice for sub-quest OCD influenced gamers: Finish sub-quests first, advance plot later! Yes, I know its boring, but either that or bashing your head to the wall when it does happen.
- Main Plot
Warning: Minor Spoiler! Ter Loghain abandons the king to the hordes of the darkspawn…and gets away with it. I don’t know about you, but from beginning to end, don’t you think that this is one of the most possible shallowest political scenes you’ve ever been told? I really had a lot of trouble swallowing this down. It simply isn’t just believable, despite the (laughable) argumentation on how Loghain made it thus far; with not even so much as a whole country is an overwhelming uproar. Just a few “objections” here and there. Ridiculous examples like this make it not a wonder that people don’t take video games seriously. :p Then again, I would expect that much when a bunch of liberals are trying to fit their way of thinking into a conservative political system. Doesn’t work either way.
- Anti-Religious Sentiment
The Bioware team has this suspiciously negative sentiment against god, religion, and possibly improper use of hallucinogen mushrooms. Personally, I wouldn’t care less if one worships a pink polka-dot Volkswagen with celestial Dunlop tires on top. However, in the words of one of my law professors, “we don’t care about your personal ideas; we do care how you argue them.” Although their theological and philosophical arguments were very much interesting in Mass Effect 2, the arguments (hardly argumentative, more like whining) presented in Dragon Age: Origins is similar to that of an uneducated self-justifying atheist bible-basher… which is no different to that of an uneducated self-justifying TV evangelist. The overall story on spirituality in this game so horrible, that as a mythology and theology hobbyist, I find it personally insulting. I usually enjoy criticism of organized religion, jokes and all (depending on how it is presented, of course), however even this is simply too much and no doubt the worst presentation I’ve seen in video gaming as of yet. To be honest, this is the type of material you’d like get flamed for in youtube, unless of course the primary motive was to present a ridiculous religious setting in the first place, which is by the way, even a more ridiculous argument. Let me give you a summary of what the Bioware team deems as a “believable” background of the Chantry religion presented in this game: “The Maker (read=God, at least one of them) is a horny celestial being, who got thrown out of His kingdom and likes to sulk constantly”. Now if you think I am being a tad dramatic, surprisingly I’m not. So according to the proposed legend in the game: some mages found their way up to heaven to where the Maker lived (in the Black City), their sins eventually tainted the Black City (which apparently is more powerful than a deity); the Maker curses the mages, turning them into the first Darkspawn, and then abandons humanity. Later, a human female called Andreste a somewhat pious women who loves to sing, caught the eye (or ear) of the Maker (who technically should of abandoned humanity in the first place), wants to take Andreste as a wife (horny celestial bastard). Beside the fact that Andreste is already married, with the Maker no doubt forgot (horny sanctimonious celestial bastard), Andreste later then is killed (without much help from the Maker), who later sulks yet again and abandons humanity (unless of course He gets horny again). Now seriously, how anyone with at least half a brain who enjoys mythology, folklore, or just plain common fantasy sense can take this background story seriously? Much less, try, in the process of story dialogs, come up with any form of presentable arguments? Although in reality, yes, some people in religion are too stupid to know the difference between monkeys, apes, Neanderthals, or much less ever heard of Pithecanthropus Erectus, while debating the theory of evolution, I seriously object taking the same level of intelligence as an equivalent analogy. I simply have something against the promotion of ideas without proper argumentation. In this regard, a bad idea with even worse argumentation. At this point, real-life monotheism seems to be brilliant in comparison. Hell, even some Polynesian beliefs that believe the universe is on top of a giant sea turtle sounds more believable. :p Seriously Bioware (specifically the writers). Get these anti-religion themes out of your games. It’s getting old. Or at least, give a presentable argument or you’ll make atheists look as stupid the people you presumably loathe. Thus far, you’ve done a brilliant job of proving just that, even more so. Dingbats.
- Moral Plot Choices
I have serious moral issues to argue in Dragon Age. Somewhat surprising as I am as immoral and pragmatic as one gets, however I am conscious enough to notice the lack of mature guidance in this game, specifically when if one follows the “evil path”. Evil choices in this game are presented bluntly. Hell, all the choices in this game are presented bluntly: revolving around kill everyone and everything and get money while you’re at it. The “evil sinister ingenious” ploy is none-existent. I was quite disturbed in one plot choice where if you choose the evil side, you either kill the boy or let the mother do it. Although my personal inner demons love the idea, the social side of me that portrays a game as a conduit of communication, does not. This in my professional observation is more dangerous than porn games or violent oriented games. In those type of games, you expect the content. Perverts and war-junkie gamers, my type of crowd. But not in this type of game. The player often forced to choices that he/she may be uncomfortable with, but the game does not provide much of an option for them to back out. The “point-of-no-return” of good or evil usually occurs after selecting the first dialog choice and no choice in switching sides once the train has left the station.
- Dialog Choices
Now here’s no one apparently thought about. Like many old grumpy gamers, my first experience of dialog-choosing-type games were introduced by games such as
Monkey Island. These adventure games had some pretty helpful features that no one remembers. The first is a color variation for dialogs you already have chosen, so you know to pick other dialog choices. The second is a dialog standard where the lowest dialog choice usually signals the dialog to enter a new phase. Many modern games are engrossingly lacking in both these aspects. One of Bioware’s bad habits are different dialog choices which offer the same dialog answer, when you’re technically wanting to hear something different. Another bad habit is that dialogs often end without you wanting it to end. I don’t know about you, but I really want to hear every variation of voice acting there is when conversing with an NPC. I do not appreciate it when the dialog ends as I accidentally chose the “closing dialog” without any chance to hear other dialog variations, except by using the “load game” feature. Unless of course you want me to treat this game as a hentai porn game where you just click all the dialogs regardless of choice or thought for that matter. Dwarven porn really isn’t my thing however.
- Cut Scene Sound Issues
Bioware must really hate my tech specs. Ever since from Mass Effect 1 and 2, the cut-scenes and the sounds never seem to match, so I didn’t really enjoy the cut-scenes as the gut-slashing sounds always comes a few seconds later. Never succeeded in getting the dragon-flying company intro to work properly either. They really must want me to buy a new 1 GB VGA card. *shakes fist at video card manufacturer conspiracy* :p
- Memory Leaks
The game suffers from considerable memory leaks after long hours of playing. This is most noticeable when loading a game. Load game takes considerably long enough compared to the standard load time we’re used to. It takes several minutes when the memory leaks start flushing in. Thus, the immersion factor of playing non-stop is disrupted abruptly due to having forced to restart the game and clean up memory.
Never in my history of auto-save gaming have I ever played an RPG with such horrendous auto-save features (well, second worst at least). Auto-save occurs when the player passes a “save point” thus, prompting the game to save it. Ironically, these save points don’t occur in the most important places:
- No auto-save when entering a new city;
- No auto-save when in camp;
- Auto-save usually occur after you’ve made a really, really bad plot choice :p The first instance I noticed this was when I discovered that my last auto-save was 45 minutes ago. The other 3 auto-saves were each 5 minutes apart. Nuff said.
**The Bottom Line**
I realize the most often used word I used in this review is “annoying”, which basically sums up how I feel about the game and mind you these are the only annoying features I “do” remember. Hehe. If you prefer story above everything else and wouldn’t care less about game mechanics and perfection in gameplay, then by all means, this is the game for you. The game does fair better for fighting-oriented players. I’ve also noticed that it’s more pleasant when you have full focus on one character, rather than every single party member. I’m also beginning to suspect that the Bioware in Dragon Age is a different Bioware than that of Mass Effect, the former being the inferior. For casual gamers, I would recommend not playing the “Impossible” level, not playing a mage as the main character, ignore the effects of party member relationships, ignore potion making and trapmaking, ignore plot choices, stock-up healing and mana potions, ignore fallen characters, and use a “gang-up” (read=swarm) techniques on enemies. For hardcore gamers, expect a lot of load game techniques and personal head bashing. If this were compared to the Mass Effect series, I would no doubt suspect that the first Dragon Age is just the “beta version” of what it should be. True or not, we’ll see in its expansions or Dragon Age 2. This one however, you probably won’t really miss nor remember 10 years from now. Heh. So let’s give Dragon Age a 10 review score, says professional review sites. Yay!
Apr 13th, 2010 · Windows
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Cantillon, Dariusz Sadkowski, Cavalary, Alsy, Alaka, Picard, Jeanne, jaXen, PsxMeUP, Patrick Bregger, Renat Shagaliev, Utritum, Sicarius, Crawly, CalaisianMindthief, Marid Aduran.