Dragon Age Origins is one of the greatest fantasy-adventure role playing games. The story is wonderfully written as well as being dynamic. The story and ending will change depending on what choices are made throughout the adventure, and what type of character made the choices. Role playing games with several potential endings always have the highest potential ceilings when executed correctly. This is because individuals who gravitate to RPG’s highly value choice. Those who replay Dragon Age may wish to experience a new adventure within the same world. This game enables such desires brilliantly.
Dragon Age story is filled with depth. Simply read through a codex or two to grasp the volume of lore available to the adventurer. The quest-lines are meaningful often resulting in game changing outcomes. Perhaps, Dragon Age is the game that Neverwinter Nights 2 should have been. Origins is such an incredible game, that it exceeds Dragon Age 2 by almost every metric.
Dragon Age does not offer the adventurer the traditional good versus evil paths. This is where it differentiates itself. Like life, the roads are not so linear in DA and meander down less traveled paths. The decisions are a lot more nuanced and layered, often leaving the party to choose between the lesser of two evils. Unlike black or white morality tropes prevalent in many RPGs, it is within the grey where DA characters shine. So, decide your party’s stance on racial discrimination or wealth disparity issues, but the choice is there to be made.
The characters that become members of the party are relatable, believable, thoughtful and compelling. Certain party companions can be romanced, and the romances will be affected by choices made throughout the adventure.
Character Creation / Customization
Choose between three possible races, Human, Dwarf and Elf, which all have different relative strengths and weaknesses. Once a race has been selected, choose between three different classes (Warrior, Rogue, or Mage). These classes open up sub-classes at levels 7 and 14. There is a decent amount of character customization available. The standard aesthetic changes include eye color, hairstyle etc.
Leveling opens up the strategic elements of DA:O. From a combat perspective, there are several options which will help tailor offensive and defensive options. A mage may specialize heavily into crowed control, single target damage, or healing. A rogue however, may become a backstabbing melee assassin or a ranged sniper. Out of combat skill allocation is also important. The ability to open locks for example, maybe equally as integral to the quest at hand. Unlike Kingdom of Amalur, Dragon Age: Origins is a very difficult game on harder settings. This is an awesome characteristic, and augments the replay value to experienced players.
Origins is significantly (and sadly) more tactical than its successor Dragon Age 2. Combat tactics allow party members to execute certain actions under specific conditions. The boss battles are as impressive as they are challenging. Often, narration and voice acting can make or break the experience. However, the narration and voice acting used in Dragon Age is immersive and additive to the atmosphere of the world.
Dragon Age unfortunately does have bugs. Characters often cget stuck in a place, which can be annoying especially during combat. Fortunately there are mods that will remedy many of the major issues. As DA was released in 2009, several people will find the graphics to be lackluster. So, if graphics are an integral part of the experience, this game may not quench that particular thirst.
Dragon Age Origins is one of the best single player adventure RPGs and rivals that of Oblivion. Fans of Baldur’s Gate, and other BioWare games will love this game from the jump. However, those new to the genre will love the tactical combat, layered and nuanced themes, and the several developed characters. There are a few mods to remove game breaking bugs. For those who fall in love with Dragon age, there is a wealth of side quests and dlc content to compliment the original game. Hopefully, when those at BioWare develop Dragon Age 4, they continue to stay true to themes and paradigms that made Origins a success.