Biting the Bullet November 16, 2009

Gaming has been a hobby of mine since the days of the Atari 2600. There’s a ton of really enjoyable games on the market but I am a sucker for a game with a great story and good solid game mechanics.

I recently purchased Dragon Age Origins for my PS3. I have really enjoyed Bioware’s past offering but this one is really a step up. It has a terrific balance of strategy, a solid graphic engine, and a story that pulls you in to the world.

Any good role playing game offers a wealth of customization options. Dragon Age is no exception. From the start, you create your character from a variety of classes and races. The nice thing about this is that many of the options influence the “Origin” story that you go through during the game. It also influences the conversations with characters throughout the game. It’s a small detail but something that really pulls you into the game.

Combat is very well handled. You can choose to have characters operation on their own to preset instructions or flip between characters during combat, as needed, to make adjustments. This is a game where it benefits to know the characters in your party and to utilize the varied skill sets to make your party stronger. This is crucial because you want the class system to have a purpose. It also increases your strategic options. If you are failing to handle the problems in a certain town or with a certain boss, return to camp and change up your team.

Each of your companions, which you pick up along the way, has their own story. It pays to get to know them as they often open up interesting quests that increase the strength of your party. I also like that conversation choices and actions you take throughout the game influences their feelings and overall respect of you. It pays to consider which party member as best to travel with based on their overall morals. If they share similar beliefs to you, they will appreciate the way you handle situations and those relationships will grow stronger.

The world in Dragon Age is being overrun by a group of evil demons called Darkspawn. These creatures are taking over the world in a way that feels very Lord of the Rings. You do head off on a quest to build an army to defeat them but it isn’t that simple. The world is currently in a state of political turmoil as some questionable figures are taking advantage of this situation for their own political gain. They make your task much harder. This adds a reality to the world. It feels alive.

Overall, this is a game that I have not been able to put down. I have 20 hours in so far and with all of the side quests and downloadable stories, I am just getting started. This adds a ton of value to the purchase. If you are a role playing game fan on any level, don’t miss this one. It’s incredible.

By DrNorge

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