Dragon Age: Origins Review
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS has been in my possession for roughly 3 days, I think I am about halfway through the main story, and I have to say I love the story. There are six origin stories, and the story you start with before heading towards the main story all depends on how you create your character. The main story takes place centuries after the Blight, a time when then Darkspawn rose up and wreaked havoc upon the world. The Grey Wardens (the society that pushed the Darkspawn back into the underworld) have remained vigilant, knowing that one day the Darkspawn would rise again and that they would need to be prepared- that time is now. After joining the Grey Wardens, you must journey to all the corners of your land to reunite the Elves, Dwarfs, and Mages in the fight against the Blight.
I am about 30 hours into the game and have a pretty firm grasp of the combat systems, party make up, and inventory items. Fighting can become a chore, and it shouldn’t be so. It is turn-based fighting, but at the same time not entirely. After hitting an enemy you have to wait for your character to go back to standing before you can perform another attack, but after you attack you can run away from the enemy and strike them again before they can attack you. This is the confusing part, because if your are able to do that, why are you prohibited from just button mashing?
Your party members just run around and attack any enemy they see. Sometimes this is an advantage, but most of the time it’s a disadvantage. Even after putting them in either the ranged or defensive category, they will still run up close to enemies, and if you do not pay attention you can end up being the only person alive in a boss battle. I do like the specialized interaction you can have with your party members, and that fact that, depending on your actions, they can love you or dislike you. If they do not approve of your methods of getting the job done they will turn on you (fun fact: you are able to have intimate relationships with some of your party members provided the right choices have been made).
Also, a big problem is the fact that there is almost never an indicator of where you need to go next to complete a task. You end up just running around like a chicken with its head cut off. You can spend hours wandering, which is fine, but if you’re trying to complete the story it’s a hassle. When you choose a quest and mark it as an active quest it will tell you to follow the marking on your map. The only problem is the fact that usually there is no marker or indicator, and this is something I feel should have been addressed in an update.
Some of the quests are just entirely too long and have multiple quests intertwined with it. I have been trying to finish the Sacred Urn quest, but I first have to do around five other quests just to receive more information. This can be understandable, as it gives the game longevity, but it can also become too long, and if you’re like me you forget what the hell you were originally doing .
Throughout your travels you will meet other characters who will give you quests that can only be completed if you have the DLC, and they inform you that to do the quest you need to download the expansion. I like that it is seamlessly interwoven into the story and keeps you informed that there are expansion packs to explore. There are four DLC’s currently available for Dragon Age: Origins: the largest is Awakening (basically a whole other game being over 2 gigs in size and costing 3200 Microsoft points) and the others are Warden’s Keep, The Stone Prisoner and Return to Ostagar.
All in all it is an okay game, but definitely not RPG of the year as most critics say. It has its share of problems, but all games do, and the fact that they have continued to release extra content is a big plus, helping one to turn a blind eye to its small faults. Buy it used because there is a lot of content to go through.
I give it 4 Zach Morris’ out of 5.
Upon reaching the Climax battle I have come to realize that the game rating I gave deserves an adjustment. So Now the rating is 2 Screeches (which equal .25 Zach Morris’)