Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dragon Age:Origins Game Review

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Dragon Age is another RPG game from Bioware. Considering the complete and utter awesomeness that is Mass Effect ,also developed by Bioware, I decided to give this game a proper chance. The most interesting thing about the game is the way it begins. Allowing you to choose a race and class in the form of origin stories. These change everything about your character save for becoming a grey warden. Many story elements are also affected by your choice hear giving the game a strong replayability factor.

The Battle system is much like KOTOR where your character has a target and you give commands and they act them out rather than a more hands on style. While this does seem alittle detaching from the battle it does actually give it a quality of fluidity that can be very enjoyable as whole attacks can be scripted out to create more convincing combat and cool finishers. This is combined with a trigger/effect system of strategy. Your characters have whats called Tactics Slots. These can be used to set action ques for your abilities and attacks. At first it is kind of daunting but its easy to pick up and once you utilize it battles can become works of art. With commands going as in depth as setting interceptions to protect support characters and chaining moves to produce shifting combat flow in the middle engagements. And armed with a "injury system" that incurs penalties on party members who are downed in fights producing harder and harder battles if the wounds are ignored the battle system is quite interesting.

The graphics wont win any awards but they are certainly more than adequate for a game of this type. The style is a type of gritty dark realism that I have come to appreciate in games. The world is violent and hostile, dying is a very common event in Ferelden and the game lets you know that from the start. While sometimes bordering the comical you will often find yourself in conversation with the blood of your last opponent still splattered across your face and clothes.

The game also has greate relationship building amongst the party members. Each party member has unique likes in items and actions, with their own morality. Each feels like there own person and can easily hate or like you. They can leave your party or even attack you on the negative end or enter a physical relationship with you on the positive. As you can be a man or woman in the game there are relationship possibilties for all, hetero men and woman as well as gay men or woman and even bisexual. Threesomes are also possible in the game.

But the game does have a few weaknesses. The story tends to be a little slow and you almost never feel the urgency of the coming blight. This is not that bad though and is an acceptable loss to maintain the expansive choice making events. The travel system is probably the weakest part of the game with you selecting a destination from a world map and then "fast traveling" there marked by blotches across the roads on the map and sometimes having random encounters. It is very redundant and at times down right annoying. Despite the style enticing me there are no actually cinematics. With the exception of the intro movie to the game everything is done in game-play level graphics. This is true even for the ending which is done in backgrounded paragraphs describing rather than showing the following events. In addition the classes could be more refined to create more of a difference in play style between them, especially the spellcasters who are particularly roughly made. The game is somwhat glitchy with many noticable, if your paying attention, on any given play through that can on some occasions affect quests.

Over all it is a worthy title and with a building amount of downloadeble content it is a good buy. Bioware plans on making the game part of a universe with multimedia releases and more games. The Dragon Age universe is very interesting and while still young holds great promise. I cant wait to see were Bioware takes this gritty and intriguing franchise.


Aurelius said...

Good review. Hopefully the last Mass Effect is as good as the series' first iteration.

Editor said...

Good job.