Dragon Age: Origins

I finished my first ‘Dragon Age’ (official site, Wikipedia) run earlier this weekend, so I thought a write-up was an excellent start of the year of 2010. You may have heard of ‘Dragon Age’, most likely because it received excellent reviews. Metacritic (currently) has it listed with an average of 91 (right here), where reviewers have lauded the game with so many good reviews that it makes you wonder. Let me quote Eurogamer UK, which is a review that will reveal my thoughts about the game:

In its desperation to infuse this setting with “maturity” – be it of the sober, political kind, or the game’s painfully clumsy gore and sex – BioWare has forgotten the key ingredient of any fantasy: the fantastical. Without it, you’re still left with a competent, often compelling, impressively detailed and immense RPG, but it’s one that casts no spell.

And that’s truly it: while extremely detailed (story-line wise), the game feels boxed. If you’ve played ‘Oblivion’ or ‘Fall Out 3’, you’ll find that ‘Dragon’s Age’ is extremely linear. Ferelden is not a place you wander or roam about, it’s a place where you move from A to Z.

It has it’s good sides though: If you like long elaborate storylines, you’ll enjoy ‘Dragon Age’. If you like elaborate interaction with your party-members (and Dog), ‘Dragon Age’ will probably satisfy you. If you love micromanaging your strategy, well, if you’re a programmer, the ‘Tactics’ screen offers a variety of commands to mop up enemies in no time. And since nobody in your party really dies, there’s no way you end this game unsuccessfully.

So, the game is highly immersive and entertaining, if you’d like. However, on my famous ‘Frustration level’, I’d give it a 7: Don’t be surprised if you need to do some parts over and again: battles can be unpredictable and repetitive at times making it less fun at some stages (the ‘brood mother’ battle for example). It’s highly re-playable though, which is a plus for this game and (obviously) that is something you don’t really see a lot in the current gaming world.

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