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Power Member - Level 8
Dragon Age: Origins is your standard Bioware RPG filled to the brim
with sex, blood, and violence. Gameplay is a mixture of top-down combat
and third-person dialogue seamlessly blended together.
Character customization is unsurpassed. The number of facial tweaks
rivals Fallout 3 or Mass Effect. Thankfully in Dragon Age, facial
textures are not exact mirror images, which means you won't create a
monstrously ugly character on accident. Depending on your race and
class, your character will start in different areas around the world.
Each origin story is beautifully composed and ties into the main
Combat is a bit slow, but definitely polished. It comes complete with
decapitations, skill trees, and a myriad of different skills tailored
to each of the three classes. The more you fight, the more blood will
splatter onto your character, a very satisfying feature of Dragon Age.
Dialogue and character interaction is by far the strongest mechanic in the game. You have basic good guy/bad guy choices, but also plenty of gray area as well. Even small decisions can change the plot, making replay value incredibly high.
There is zero multiplayer. Everything from the interface to combat makes Dragon Age feel like it was supposed to have online support, but was scrapped last second.
There is a plethora of support characters for combat, but the
complexity of the leveling and tactics system makes it near impossible
to keep their abilities up to date. Chances are you will micromanage
your main character, and just leave the rest to auto-level.
Graphics are far from top-notch. When engaging in conversations the
game blurs out nearby surroundings, forcing you to focus on faces and
emotions. Unfortunately this also gives characters an aura
where part of the background is still in focus and frames the
character. In theory, blurring the scenery helps hold your attention,
but in practice, it breaks concentration.
The auto-save function is finicky. Dragon Age will sometimes go hours
without saving on its own, and the huge variety of enemy difficulty
will leave you frustrated if you aren't manually saving every few
minutes. To make things worse, nearly every transition in the game has
a loading screen, downtime is terrible long in the game, especially
when you are exploring a city house-to-house.
If you enjoyed Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, or Fallout 3, you'll love
Dragon Age. If you are a fan of dialogue or just need a good
role-playing-game for the coming winter days, this game is a safe bet.
Replay value is high, characters are well-developed, and the lore can
keep you fixed for hours at a time.
Dragon Age: Origins gets 8 blood splatters out of 10.