I didn't really know what to expect when I started playing this game.  I had seen a few commercials for it on TV so when my brother asked what I wanted for Christmas I just asked for this game.

I hadn't played any of the developers other games so I went in with a pretty open mind.  Two play throughs later this is now on my list of favorite games.  The story isn't to incredibly deep but it's interesting enough to keep you interested throughout the game.  

For me this game is pretty close to a perfect game but before I list the reasons why here are the reasons it isn't a 10.

I played the PS3 version so they may be console specific.  

1.) During battles you when they first start up I could see a definite drop in framerate.  I'm not talking it's going pretty slow it would actually momentarily freeze and be jumpy for the first couple seconds of the battle.  It never stayed like that but it did happen pretty often.

2.) This only happened in one play through but there would be a few times where I knew another character was talking to me but I wouldn't hear any thing.  The screen would stay stuck for a few seconds and then choices to continue the conversation would pull up.  I didn't miss a full conversation but it was like they forgot to record something there or link up the voice with that part of the conversation.

3.) This Codex.  I had a love hate relationship with this thing.  When you open this up it is broken into subjects like characters and history.  The ones you haven't read are highlighted.  Later in the game when you have collected information on quite a few things if you open it up and read one they only move down one line at a time.  So say you are on the last line that is show and there is one under that one that you haven't read.  When you scroll down your selection bar highlights it so you can't tell if anything has been added under that subject or not.  Some of these entries are pretty long and so if you missed reading a couple and go back to catch up it's pretty tough to find the ones you haven't read yet.

Those were the only real problems I had with this game.  For me what I love about it made up for those flaws but I do know a few people who got annoyed with 1 + 2 enough that finishing the game for them was kind of hard.

Here are the reasons I loved this game.

1.) The characters.  I'm not a huge WRPG fan.  Most of the ones I have tried are pretty open world.  I like that but I always kind of feel like I'm missing out on character interaction.  In this game you characters have distinct personalities.  They have likes and dislikes and they have conversation points they prefer.  While going through the game you can hear them talking/joking/bickering with each other as you travel and in specific places they'll comment on the area you just entered.  As the story progresses you can talk to them and get to know each one of them better and as you do you can see the depth that was written into each one.  The aren't all just one sided characters.  Each of them has a reason for helping *or not helping* you.

2.) The Codex.  I mentioned earlier why I hated this.  But on the other hand I really did like it to.  There was just so much information you could access there.  It had info on the enemies you had fought, on your fellow characters histories, the history of the country, everything was there.  I'm not one to be super strict on the lore of a world *with a few exceptions on certain games of course* but it was nice to have all the history on people, cultures and the area in general there for me to read.

3. The execution.  During my playthrough there were times when I would just stop and appreciate the area and part of the story I was playing in.  There is one part that really stood out to me in the Orzammar part of the story.  It's toward the end of the part and I won't put any spoilers here but the area, the sounds and the overall creepiness of it was great.  There were plenty of times like that in the game where you could see all the hard work put into it. 

4.) The writing/story/conversations *I don't know how to categorize this lol*.  I have always loved RPGs but I will be the first to admit sometimes the characters reactions just don't seem right.  An example is think of a game where your character gets upset about something and your fellow party members just kind of stand there while the main guy takes care of it.  In this game if they don't like something they'll speak up.  The story and conversations just feel way more natural in this game.

By the end of this game I really did care what happened to my character and my party members and when it was over I was already ready for more.  

With Dragon Age II coming out just around the corner I'm encouraging everyone to at least try this game.  With all the different choices you have in it every play through will feel different but they will be your own.  There are a few glitches as I mentioned earlier but I feel the game as the whole is still enjoyable enough for most people to have fun during a play through