Dragon Age: Origins Review
Incredible storytelling, great characters, and exciting battles are just a few of the things that make this fantasy role-playing game so extraordinary.
Nevertheless, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions have their challenges, and no matter which platform you choose, you can customize your cohorts' AI behavior to be more effective in battle. Using the tactics menu, you can set characters up to drink potions when their health gets low; have Morrigan cast helpful crowd-control spells when enemies are clustered together; and program sturdier characters to draw enemies' ire when more vulnerable party members are under attack. As you level up, you will earn additional tactics slots, allowing you to implement even more intricate actions. You can also apply basic behaviors to your team members, making them more aggressive or defensive, and you can switch them around on the fly if an experimental custom tactic isn't working as you intended. When things come together as you plan--such as when Morrigan freezes a hurlock in place and Alistair smashes it to smithereens--battles are even more rewarding.
All of these elements coalesce wonderfully, making for a memorable and exciting adventure that keeps you on the move. The flow of loot and pace of leveling are both highly satisfying, and because you have four active characters to consider (in addition to others back at the camp), you spend a lot of time poring over armor and weapon choices. The tempo is even quicker than the Dungeons & Dragons games that preceded Dragon Age, thanks to important tweaks that minimize downtime. For example, you do not need to rest between encounters to replenish your health and recharge your spells. Instead, health and stamina are replenished quickly once the skirmish ends, allowing you to string encounters together without unwanted breaks in between. Should a party member fall during battle, he or she will be resuscitated once the battle has ended, albeit with a stat penalty applied (though it can be cured with an injury kit). These factors, and more, give Dragon Age an excellent sense of forward direction.
All the spells, tactics, and skills sound like a lot to organize, but the interface does a great job of helping you keep track of things. The PC interface is brilliant, letting you browse through your inventory and tweak your quickbars quickly and easily. The console versions do a surprisingly great job as well, making it simple to sort through your quests, and to queue up actions while battle is paused. One particularly useful feature is the ability to identify inventory items as trash and sell them all with a single button press once you're back in town. There are some console-specific interface irritations that could have been cleaner, however. For example, identifying new codex (that is, lore) entries can be troublesome, because the list doesn't scroll down until your highlight cursor reaches the bottom of the window. As a result, you can't always distinguish new entries from old ones, which is an issue that doesn't plague the fantastic PC interface. The consoles' radial menu, on the other hand, is an excellent way of letting you access every battle skill, and it works somewhat like the similar interface in Mass Effect--albeit with a few more layers.
The differences between versions aren't limited to the interface. Dragon Age doesn't look amazing on the PC, but it's an attractive game nonetheless. Zooming from an isometric view to a third-person perspective is slick, and while environments don't hold up quite as well when viewed up close, they're consistently lovely when viewed from above. On the flip side, the Xbox 360 version looks positively disappointing. Textures are highly compressed and colors are washed out, though the upside is that this version maintains a smoother frame rate than on the PlayStation 3, where things might get jittery when swiveling the camera around. The PlayStation 3 version features higher-quality textures than those on the Xbox 360, better color saturation, smoother facial animations, and shorter load times. Minor visual hiccups, like corpses that disappear and reappear, are a bit more common on the PS3, however. The PC version is the superior experience, but if you're choosing between the two console releases, the PlayStation 3 has the upper hand. Some minor glitches are shared between the console versions, however, such as rare occasions when the soundtrack or voice-overs disappear. We also ran into a few quest malfunctions that could be replicated on all three platforms, though they were relatively minor and did not interfere with the progress of the main quest.
No matter which version you choose, however, there are plenty of audiovisual details to note. In many ways, Dragon Age looks and sounds like other high-fantasy games, but while the towers, forest paths, and underground caverns are what you've seen before, the art style is attractive, and a few sights, such as an underground dwarven city, are particularly eye-catching. Character models don't exhibit Mass Effect-level expressiveness, but they look good and animate smoothly enough. Also of note are the splatters of blood that appear on your party members after battle. It's a nice idea, but the splotches look like they've been splashed across you with a paintbrush. The crimson stains are a cool thematic touch, however, because blood plays an important role in Dragon Age. The sound effects are excellent, console glitches notwithstanding, and the soundtrack, while typical for a fantasy game, swells and murmurs at all the right moments.
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.
I think the people who dislike DA were obsessed with Elder Scrolls.
If you want to run around and do anything you want at anytime and not worry about quests then replay Oblivion.
Really linear. There isn't much to do except the main plot. Anyways, it's one of the best rpgs out there.
this game was truly epic. way better then the ''milked out'' sequel. true and real. and friggin awesome
Snagged the Ultimate Edition on Steam for $10 today on Steam. Hope it's as fun as everyone says it is.
@Stealth_Knight_ What drives you to say that? because, personally, I completely disagree! Dragon Age Origins is a well made game, with an incredibly in depth history to a new world, and despite it's age, not terrible graphics. The gameplay is different from most other games, and that makes it more fun. It's not a simple hack and slash game, you need to be able to think.
-One of the richest all-encompassing stories ever to land in an rpg. From characters the players interact with, to all of the background information that gets parceled out as one plays.
-Unique/variety skill combinations for classes.
-Very nice character models with just enough variety thrown in
-great voice acting
-combat style was fun to min/max defaults for characters you probably wont be controlling most of the game
-unique origin stories for the specific class/race combos were neat
-dynamic options for quests definitely pulls you into the story-line further
-restrictive world. barriers in every zone
-very little variety of gear save for 1 or 2 weapons
-locks every where you go, so a rogue is required for any completionist ocd's out there
-lack of gear upgrades. you can probably go 6 hours or more of playtime w/out seeing any substantial upgrades
-strict leveling system that only progressed as you progressed through quests. (you can't just go out and kill some monsters for fun/gear)
-not just a lack of crafting professions, the ones that are in the game feel as though you can easily do without. besides health pots in the beginning of the game I never really had a need to use anything else once i got wynne for healing.
-restrictive starting bag space and the need to buy actual items to increase your inventory which feel inordinately expensive early in the game.
I stumbled across this game while I was renting some blue-rays (ps3). I was hoping for more of a "dungeon crawl" rpg, but found myself pleasantly surprised. The storyline is not only superb it really carried me to finish the game. But the lack of flexibility with traveling, gaining xp, some other minor details and the overall lack of and variety of gear really weighed the overall grade down. This game could've achieved legendary status if it could've knocked out a better loot generator. I understand why though, they probably didn't have enough manpower/resources left over in the budget or maybe thats what they wanted in the end. A game more focused on the story and the journey and not on gear. So much time and hard work must have went into building that familiar yet unique rpg universe.
I give it a solid 8/10
10/10 for effort
Pretty good for being the type of rpg I normally stay far, far away from.
Would recommend to any of my fellow rpg nerds.
@jontunnel130 I agree with all the cons you have outlined in this mini-review and I personally would say they are all pretty hard to argue against. I found the origin stories really good but the main story was pretty predictable and familiar. I think people overlook this and are fully engrossed by the apparent wealth of lore which gives rise to people confusing lore and a rich environment, with the main story telling which I think was pretty average. I also found the voice acting fairly average but again the overly positive reviews about this element of the game is more to do with the decent script than the actors or acting. It's more of an action adventure game than a true RPG; more akin to Dark Messiah of Might and Magic than a classic RPG.
I think this review is over rating this game. It's well made, fun to play and what I would consider a proper RPG but it is in no way anywhere near some of the absolute classic RPG's one would consider in a list of "The best RPG's ever made!". It's very predictable in a sense that you feel as though you have played a very similar story before and although some of the characters who join are well thought out, some of them they seem to have been completely overlooked during development meaning most of the time your play-throughs consist of the same party members. The skills, items and quests are either generic or too few which generally isn't a characteristic of an RPG.
This game doesn't come close to Morrowind, Might and Magic 6, the first two Fallout games, any Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale game, Divine Divinity, Planescape Torment and many others. It's been rated too highly because it was released amongst a lot of crap and watered down games claiming to be RPG's.
There is a comment somewhere on here claiming this to be Bioware's best RPG... can't even begin to explain how wrong you are.
@Akark What did you play this on? If console, then you did it wrong. If PC, then, opinion or not, it is ARGUABLY one of the best, if not ever, than in the past 12 years easily. So unless you want a blast from the past, this is going to be as good as it gets when trying to mimic the likes of what you named. If you only consider originals to be the greatest, then you are really missing out on some great games. If you'd REALLY like to have a discussion on WHY I have this opinion, rather than flat out telling me I'm wrong, please feel free to respond. I am very experienced in RPGs from the past 20 years and will gladly make a case for DAO. PC version at least.
@Rat_King I played it on the PC and enjoyed it. I played it through three times, twice on nightmare; it's a great game and deserves a good score, perhaps 8.0-8.5. I'm merely suggesting in a strong way that it is not a 9.5 game. It lacked content, had a predictable and familiar story and really didn't live up to the hype with regards to how your actions supposedly affect the story in a meaningful way. It has received a lot of strong reviews mostly due to when it was released and how a couple of the characters have some decent scripts. Can people please read my post before assuming I have just said "NO!!!! YOU ARE WRONG!!!!" which I never did. Read it carefully and you will notice the word explain, which gives rise to a discussion on the topic.
@havok786ca @Akark I wouldn't rate a game based on how other games (such as those in the Call of Duty series) have been rated. They can be massively over-hyped and that may put pressure on popular, big gaming sites to give them good reviews.
Since when has 8/10 been a bad score? Why does any game have to be rated between 7 and 10? 7 being complete crud and 10 being anything someone played more than once. It makes the entire bottom half of any scale completely pointless. Every game should be reviewed and rated on its own merit using the entire scale responsibly.
Personal opinion of anything will always skew the results when perceived by someone else. However, a well written review should address a varied audience interested in finding out more about the game before buying it, regardless of the final score.
I don't think anything in entertainment deserves a 10/10. This is obviously an opinion I doubt many poeple would agree with but by the very nature of scales used to rate something, surely 10/10 would indicate it's perfect? In my mind a harsh score for this game would be below 7/10. It has many good features and few bad features and has been well received by many gaming websites.
Three play-throughs is probably only 40-50 hours to be fair which is a fraction of what I have spent on other games over the years. All three of those play-throughs were binged in the space of about a month and then I never played the game again. I still regularly play Age of Empires II and Heroes of Might and Magic 3 as well as other games. I wouldnt rate either of those games a 10/10 having spent silly amounts of time playing them over the years.
@Akark wow wtf...if I ever bothered to play through a huge RPG THREE times I would never give it an 8/10...I mean nothing is perfect; RPG's are about the overall experience after all. I consider chrono trigger to be the best console RPG of all time, and a definite 10/10 despite being able to find several flaws in it...why? Because I played it through 10+ times, just to see all the different endings. This is when something goes beyond being just a game..
Honestly this game is hardly perfect (no game is), but considering what I just said an 8/10 is just harsh...modern warfare 3 got that and I got bored with it literally 1 hour into it despite loving FPS games.
@Rat_King It is indeed refreshing to have a conversation with someone able to write properly; shame about the sentance comprehension. It's not meant literally, otherwise I would've typed "literally can't even begin to explain how wrong you are". It's merely an expression emphasising how strongly I feel about the point I was trying to make. The word "explain" suggests the sentance is an opinion as already stated earlier in this conversation.
@Akark Hey man, fair enough. I respect your opinion and think it's great you have readable grammar. Unfortunately, it seems you're the only one able to interpret the fine line between "NO!! YOU ARE WRONG!!!" and "can't even begin to explain how wrong you are."
I guess the fact you can't begin to tell them how wrong they are negates the fact that you are, in fact, saying they are straight up wrong. What a twist!!
@Akark A person cannot be "wrong" about an opinion. Grow up.
@chesney Boy I hate this sort of relativistic crap! If we take your reasoning to its logical conclusion, then it becomes impossible to judge one thing as being any better than anything else; all opinions and things are automatically equal, differentiated only by subjective tastes. Some opinions ARE better than others, some opinions ARE wrong. Better reasons, more convincing argumentation... these sorts of things make some opinions more correct and others less so, some others even WRONG.
@chesney This is my opinion of his opinion. Grow up.
@houshidar The blind leading the blind comes to mind. Two people agreeing with each other most definitely does not make the argument true and not backing down from an argument is not arrogance. If I am wrong it is ignorance or a lack of knowledge of the English language and regional expressions. The sentence is there in black and white, it means what it typically means whenever I have read or heard it. I haven't made a mistake by typing it, I meant to type it. I'm struggling to come up with different ways to explain it, and truthfully you have already explained it for me in an earlier post better than I originally did. You'll read this as a defeatist comment but I'll say it anyway; this is really getting off topic.
@Akark Indeed it is getting embarrassing, however not for me. If you cannot see the irony in calling someone else arrogant when you are blinded by your own to accept that you have made a mistake (now pointed out to you by 2 people) then there isnt much more that can be said. And I appreciate your acknowledgement of my ability to converse appropriately without the need to insult or degrade others :)
@houshidar You need to look up the word irony then because this entire conversation is getting really embarrassing for you. There is literally no irony there whatsoever. I point out your arrogance and pass it off as a mistake since you can actually hold together a proper conversation on the internet.
@Akark "finish it all off with a sentence so disgustingly arrogant" I cant even begin to explain the irony in that statement, haha xD Good day
@houshidar You've just proved my point though. It's an expression. It is exactly what is written but interpreted in a figurative way. All you have done here is clarify exactly what I have been trying to explain. "..."I cant even begin to explain how wrong you are" means exactly you are wrong". No it doesn't. It doesn't in the exact same way the expression "The dogs bollocks" doesn't mean it's literally the dogs bollocks. Unless you were actually eating food made from the testicles of a dog. All you have done is written one literal meaning of the phrase then another literal meaning of the phrase and labeled one of them as what you think I was trying to say, then you have gone on to define an idiom and declare the well known phrase I have used as not an idiom, when it truth it's a well know, often used phrase. Then to top off your post you mention political correctness when nothing non-PC has been said here at all, and finish it all off with a sentence so disgustingly arrogant, I must only assume it was a heat-of-the-moment lack of judgment on your part since otherwise you have presented yourself quite well.
@Akark No I am english and frankly the context in which you state "I cant even begin to explain how wrong you are" means exactly you are wrong. To break down your phrase and give it back to you it means you are so wrong that there is too much to go into detail therefore I am not able to begin such an impossible task due to the sheer quantity of error in your statement. But what you are trying to do is say that "I cant even begin to explain how wrong you are" in its absolute literal meaning would mean that it wouldn't make sense since you couldnt express and explain his errors. Lets not compare apples to oranges here, the context of your statement suggested his opinion was wrong, your trying to wriggle out of it by saying it is a metaphor and not literal. If thats the case you can say the same about any idiom used in the english language. If I say oh that food is the dogs bollocks it connotes the food is good, but then if someone were to question me about it I could say well it isnt actually the dogs bollocks since that wouldn't make sense, or saying a job is a piece of cake doesn't literally make it a piece of cake but connotes that it is an easy job. But to be honest your statement isnt even an idiom its a far more straight forward way of saying you are wrong.sorry for the essay I dont even care that much about this whole business tbh, I just thought I would clarify what chesney meant. Also in the future to avoid all this nonsense just respect other peoples opinion and rather than saying they are wrong you can resort to saying "I disagree". Much more PC and far nicer to the rest of the community. thank you have a nice day
@houshidar That is not what that sentence means at all. I never once say "You are wrong, fact". I present my opinion in an expression of intent; the intent being to discuss or "explain" how I believe him to be wrong. You have read what I've said, quoted it, and still have no understanding of it at all. The expression I've used clearly isn't meant literally since if I meant it literally I actually wouldn't be able to begin to explain how wrong he was, which could imply many things such as: No common language to discuss the topic on. No understanding of the topic. A sudden emergency resulting in me never being able to continue the conversation, and others. You have done the exact same thing as Chesney and failed to understand a sentence written in a conversational manner. I can only assume you must be American or of nationality that is not natively English speaking.
@Akark thats not what he is saying. what I believe he is trying to say is that when you state "I cant even begin to explain how wrong you are" regarding someone elses opinion. you are stating that the persons opinion is invalid but yours is of greater importance in this forum. what chesney is trying to say is that, his opinion is not invalid, it is as valid as yours.
@chesney You really just don't get it do you. How do you talk to anyone about anything without getting worked up? People don't constantly write "in my opinion" when talking about something. I wrote "... can't even begin to explain how wrong you are." I didn't write "You are wrong, fact." You really need to work very hard on your communication skills; discussions are a set of opinions by default.
@Akark No, what annoyed me is that you called someone else wrong for thinking DA:O was BioWare's best game. It's like calling someone wrong for thinking blue is the prettiest color.
@chesney In all seriousness though everything I have said in my original comment is an opinion. Most sentences detailing an opinion don't begin with "In my opinion" because it's generally inferred that given this type of context - a review of a game - every comment in the comments section will be an opinion. All that has happened here is you disagree with what I have said and it has annoyed you enough to have a go. It's a good game, but it's not a 9.5.
@chesney A person cannot be "wrong" about an opinion. Grow up.
@Akark Well then, I "can't even begin to explain how wrong you are."
this and witcher 2 are the best 2 rpgs ive seen and played so far, they include good graphic, story and gameplay, not sure why is so fuc@#$ hard for other companies to do the same :(
Easily one of the greatest RPG made so far. Very hard to let go and has an amazing replay value due to the complex storyline.IMHO, the best RPG Bioware made.
Game is fantastic if you like lengthy, true rpg experiences. Ignore this palad guy's comment, some people cant appreciate art unless you can button mash to victory. I had the 360 version until I made some huge upgrades to my pc then I swapped for DA:Origins Ultimate Edition(Includes, DA:O and Awakening expansion and all 9 DLC packs) from Amazon.com. It's only 15 bucks!! or 25 digital and filled with 100's of hours of entertainment. PC version has A-LOT more combat since enemies pour at you constantly. Also looks and runs MUCH better and has a more tactical feel to it. So if you have not tried this game, or want to play a better version of it try the PC version. Best 15 bucks you ever spent.
Guys, if you want a real medieval RPG for your PC, with real moves, animations and the true 3D feeling of a real sword wielder or a respected powerful mage, get Gothic 2 Gold Edititon from gog (www.gog.com).
For your 10 $, it is the real thing: beside full voice acting and top notch humor, fight dragons, trolls, necromancers and demons in REAL TIME, using your carefully thought reflexes (no button mashing!), similar to a fighting game kinda Street Fighter, only in 3D.
Be the master of your own decisions, not the slave of rolling dice and bribed game industry hyping.
"By clicking on your target or pressing the attack button, you don't just swing a sword, but you approach your target and queue up your attack." Actually, the combat system, in relation with the difficulty, is the game's worst part. That alone makes the whole game unbearable, not to mention restraining and unrealistic. Queue up? No thanks, we don't like mechanical, rigid movements. We actually prefer to swing swords in real time, and dodge and counter and retreat whenever we please. Ever played Gothic 2? That is what fighting should be, dragons and everything, that is Combat. There, when you become strong enough, you one hit baddies that once made your life hell. "... battlefields explode with bright colors and raucous sound effects, and it's a lot of fun to switch back and forth between party members..." Actually, it's more eye damaging and strenuous. No, we don't all like to control each party member, it is time consuming and gets boring. Dragon Age 2 was a slight improvement in terms of combat, but not by much. Still, the old "queue up" stuffy stuff. It seems that, except Jade Empire, Bioware would be better to stick with SF games. At least from what they've shown so far.
@paladinjedi lol? so button smashing with ur finger is realistic in compare to holding a real sword??plz, its game and its storyline and char designs fully back up to whatever insignificant problem ur dressing, this and the witcher2 and the best rpg that this world has to offer so far, period.
@dreamchaserwu Real sword??? Don't make me laugh, swords from DAO are anything but 'real'. The old, obsolete and unrealistic D&D system is at its worst in DAO. No other game made such a huge mistake when combat is called for.
Using a 2 handed when playing female makes her look like a hunchback hag. Her animations and movements are clumsy and idiotic.
Fighting in larger groups makes people stumble upon one another ridiculously hindering themselves. That is not fighting, it is circus!
Storyline is cliche, imposed upon the player, and so are all characters; except Leliana. (The only thing that carried my endurance to the end of the game was Leliana's romance, NOT the story itself!...)
What button smashing are you talking about? I don't mean games like Diablo. Ever played Gothic 2, or Jedi Academy, or Kingdoms of Amalur? There you have to TIME your movements, while being able to dodge or block in real time. Not to mention the choreography is beautiful and totally the poor DAO's to dust.
Next time before you intend to reply, either use your Common Sense, or: p i s s o f f.
Stop addressing everything and everyone as "we." I disagree with just about everything you said, as do most commenters here. Say what you want, but do not EVER include me in it.
@manutdarsenal So, after all, this is the conduit of DAO sectarians... Don't hurt their graven image, or they'll hurt you...
Oh, well, as the product, its audience...
- Player Reviews: 741
- Game Universe:
- Dragon Age: Origins (PC, PS3, X360, MAC),
- Dragon Age: Origins - The Stone Prisoner (X360, PC, PS3),
- Dragon Age: Origins - Warden's Keep (X360, PC, PS3),
- Dragon Age: Origins - Return to Ostagar (PC, X360, PS3),
- Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening (PS3, X360, PC, MAC),
- Dragon Age II (X360, PS3, PC, MAC),
- Dragon Age: Origins - Darkspawn Chronicles (PS3, X360, PC),
- Dragon Age: Origins - Leliana's Song (X360, PC, PS3),
- Dragon Age: Origins - Golems of Amgarrak (PC, X360, PS3),
- Dragon Age: Origins - Witch Hunt (X360, PC, PS3)
- Number of Players: