MMORPG Info Logo Dragon Age: Origins

Today Dragon Age: Origins is released in the UK. Although I won’t be getting it immediately, I am planning on picking this game up next week to take a better look at it.

The Dragon Age: Origins Website is full of views and information and lore, with videos and screenshots scattered about judiciously.

Dragon Age: Origins is a dark heroic fantasy set in a unique world. As the spiritual successor of BioWare’s popular Baldur’s Gate series of games, it uses a pause-and-play tactical combat system. Play in over-the-shoulder mode, or the more tactical top-down view. Dragon Age: Origins features a stunning amount of cinematic dialog. Players will be able to acquire unique party members. These party members will have their own motivations for accompanying the player.


Although it isn’t a multiplayer game, there are strong communitity aspects. I’m thrilled to see the forums are split by language, not by region (HURRAY!) so you can talk to people regardless of where they are physically located. I’m predisposed to like everything else about Dragon Age Origins as a direct result of this sensible view of the world. In addition, there is apparently the opportunity to have your game achievements displayed to your friends within the community to encourage bragging rights and strategic discussions.

I quite enjoyed having a go at Dragon Age Journeys, a free flash game launched as a promotion for Dragon Age: Origins. It’s suprisingly fun for a web-based dungeon crawl with turn-based combat. If you register on the website, you can save your games and get credit for completing sections in the game, which in turn will unlock content inside Dragon Age: Origins.

Here’s some initial reactions on the Web:

A glowing review from Ctrl+Alt+Del: I am engrossed:

So the fun RPG gameplay is definitely there, but where Dragon Age really shines is the story. The first few hours of the game is going to be unique depending on which origin and race you choose. You’ll then merge with the main story, and from there on out your game is entirely affected by the decisions you make. There’s no blatant “Good/Bad” meter here like in Kotor. Your decisions and how they effect the future are often not entirely clear.

Another positive review from the Escapist: The Escapist : Review: Dragon Age: Origins

In true RPG style, it will be your task as one of the Grey Wardens to take the lead in beating back the Darkspawn. How you go about this, however, is in some respects left up to you. Dragon Age: Origins makes a valiant effort at presenting a truly grey world, in which good or evil is not merely a binary choice. You can do the “right” thing, and characters with a predisposition towards goodness will favor you, or you can do the “wrong” thing, creating the opposite reaction. Or you can waffle, in which case, you will have to pay close attention to how various characters respond to you because their reactions will vary.

And I have to admit I enjoyed this set of Dragon Age comics by Penny Arcade: Witch Hunt

If you want a quick look at the actual game interface, Bioware have released a Downloadable Character Creator for people to play with, although it has resulted in at least one bad review:

Chocolate Hammer » Blog Archive » Wherein Rutskarn Doubts BioWare

You get three breathtakingly original races—humans, elves, and dwarves. Each race gets to pick from three classes, except dwarves, who—in this spirit of this new and revolutionary RPG setting—are precluded from using magic. If you create a mage of either of the other races, you get a choice of exactly one background—you grew up in a magic academy. If you create a human that’s not a mage, but a fighter or rogue, you get a choice between Nobleman and…Nobleman. So, actually, that’s not a choice so much as a screw you. You wanted your rogue to have a backstory that could plausibly explain skill at sneaking and robbery? What, do you think you’re a storyteller or something? Didn’t you know that’s BioWare’s job? So let’s say you pick a non-mage elf instead. You get a choice between some sort of wild elf, which is pretty generic, and City Elf, which gives you a mandatory backstory involving your wedding day being interrupted by a human noble. What, your character’s more of a free spirit, living on the streets by their wits and not willing to tie themselves down? Again, screw you. Oh, and if you play a dwarf, you get your choice between—this will blow your mind—Dwarven Commoner and Dwarven Nobleman. Thanks, BioWare. I was terrified at the prospect of actually getting a meaningful choice.

Still, I’m looking forward to getting the chance to try the game out in full and see if it lives up to my memories of Baldur’s Gate.

Is anyone else playing or have any input about the game?



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