Dragon Age: Origins Reviews

  • SolaceCreedSolaceCreed222,908
    09 Feb 2019
    1 0 0
    Still holding up as the best Dragon Age game of the series, Origins sets the tone which ultimately lead to the core fans disappointment with Dragon Age II and although Inquisition did much to claw back a lot of the damage from II's mistakes. It still left a bit of sour taste that the backstories were rather lost.

    Upon choosing a race and backstory, you're thrust in to one of six unique origins stories, Noble Human, Magi (Human or Elf), City Elf, Dalish Elf, Dwarf Commoner (Casteless) and Dwarf Nobleman. The interesting thing is that each one still has connotations and mentions in the others, e.g. if you're an Noble Human, you'll still hear of an Dalish Elf that went to find an Eluvian (Magic Mirror) and got their friend killed.

    The best story of the three, closely followed by Inquisition, see the player take on the role of a Grey Warden to fight the Blight. Now, this isn't a simple "you play the chosen one" sort of story. One is recruited for being a criminal but has talents that'd be wasted if they were executed and another is recruited mainly because the only way they can be cured is to try out for the 'Joining', the wardens ceremony that every recruit goes through to join (which more than 75% die from in itself).

    You go off to fight the Darkspawn at Ostagar and without giving too much away, you end up being betrayed. You and only one other surviving warden escape the deaths that has met the Warden Commander and The King of Ferelden. Spurned on, not only by the desire to save every living creature from the Archdemon (the creature responsible for the blight and leader of the Darkspawn), you set out for revenge on the man who now tries to rule in the Kings place.

    The tactical RPG is rather brilliant in it's execution. You can however virtually take any need for tactics away by playing on Casual difficulty, although I personally would recommend the hard difficulty, just to get the full experience of the game that Bioware intended. Balancing the needs of the tanks to those of the supporters and managing the mana of the healer and (possibly, if you set up like me) the damage mage is a challenge worth undertaking.

    The intricacies of how races respond to eachother from NPCs and the members of your party is also worth paying attention too. Some wonder journey banter between the lot of them is brilliant, in particular Alistair and Morrigan, Ogrhen and Sten or Lelliana and Morrigan. This becomes quite complicated sometimes during romance options as one or two members of your party could fancy you at once (if you flirt with them). This is, the only draw back as there are only four members you can have romances with, Morrigan (Heterosexual), Alistair (heterosexual), Zevran (bisexual) and Lelianna (bisexual). It's have been better if more was available, although it could be a limitation of the days tech available (although this didn't seem to affect Mass Effect on the Xbox 360 and Dragon Age: Origins shares the same internal workings as Mass Effect).

    The moral choices are also great as both sides are normally ambigous on whether they are good or evil. Take the Dalish Elves. There's a member that could be considered quite evil and nasty once you learn the whole story behind the Elves and the Werewolves, but so to are the Werewolves. One is often quite mistrusting of the Wardens, whilst others seem to wabt to help not only themselves but the traveling band of heroes.

    The moral choices are within a backdrop of forging an army to go forth and destroy the blight. Do you go for an insanely powerful (but morally ambigous) army, or an slightly weaker but includes a larger force in numbers?

    In any case, you'll end up having to fight for Ferelden. The army at your back fighting your way through the capitol and ofcourse, this wouldn't be without a moral decision. You can send another warden to their death, make the ultimate sacrifice, or perform a ritual so everyone survives. I won't spoil what the ritual entails, but it does eventually lead in to a DLC pack.

    The graphics and engine are only starting to show their age now. The ganeplay is brilliant, script is epic and the storyline is something almost unique.