Dragon Age: Origins – Review (PS3)

 

I was quite partial in my younger days to the Fighting Fantasy books with their Orcs, Goblins and Dwarves – as well as some Sci-Fi titles that popped up here and there.

But I never really got much further than that and as I started playing more and more games I never really touched any of the RPG or fantasy stuff.

Dragon Age: Origins got me interested with the following stunning trailer (it’s also fairly bloody so avoid the below if easily offended):

Then came plenty of positive reviews, which helped build some excitement – along with an estimated playthrough time of 60 hours, which tempered my interest.

But I decided to take the plunge and give it try and it was nice to be immersed in a totally different type of game world to what I’m used to.

Let me just say quickly that I only did a handful of side missions and my playthrough clocked in at around the 26 hour mark. That’s the 2nd longest single player game I’ve ever played (the first being GTA IV with 48 hours).

So there is plenty to get your teeth into (and more if you want it) but not so much that you’ll never finish it, or feel that you’re not making progress.

Essentially you select your character type from Human, Elf, Dwarf or Mage – with Elf and Dwarf also having commoner/noble branches.

Then you have a couple of hours of establishing what type of character you want to be and building some backstory.

I went for a Dwarf commoner and thoroughly enjoyed blasting my way through my backstory.

From there your character is enlisted to become a Grey Warden – an elite group of fighters whose main role is to destroy the Darkspawn – evil creatures that have begun to overrun the world.

I won’t say anymore about the story but there is plenty of plot to get involved in. There must be hundreds of side missions and almost everytime you pick something up or look at it, your ‘codex’ is updated with info and you can read through them at your leisure (or not, I didn’t bother a lot of the time).

I really enjoyed the storyline of Dragon Age: Origins and it was nice to see characters develop over such a large amount of time – of course I understand that this may be the norm for you regular RPG players but for me it was a nice change of pace.

I actually came to care for my ‘party’ and ended up using a core of three characters most of the time – not the ideal way to play it I suspect but we were a close knit team 😎

The control system took a while to get used to – with X being attack and the other face buttons being assigned other functions such as heavy attack or ‘shield bash’ etc. There is a lot of choice.

Holding L2 pauses the action and brings up a radial menu with which you can direct your party/team and create potions/posions (if you have the right abilities) among other things. To be honest I’m such a novice in this genre that I didn’t touch any of that stuff.

In fact about a quarter of the way through the game I had to lower the difficulty from Normal to Casual as it was proving far too tough but I was enjoying the story enough to stick with it.

It’s been interesting to chat to other people who have played it and there seems to be a lot of different outcomes for the various side characters – which I think are based on your interaction (or lack thereof) with them.

The final battle is awesome, a completely epic set up that I loved every minute of and which ended up taking me about 3 hours to get through.

It’s not all positive though – a few parts were frustratingly difficult and on several occasions I had to check out online how to beat a few parts. That could be a genre thing but I’m used to games giving me a little heads up (“why don’t we try attacking from above” etc) if I die 8 or 10 times on the same part.

Overall I think for me on easy and without the hassle of potions/spells etc Dragon Age: Origins was a great game. It certainly should be an entry point into the genre for anyone looking to try one of these games out.

If you already play these types of games then I’m sure this is deep enough for you guys as well, judging by the high scores and awards given to the game by the industry.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the DLC and with a sequel scheduled for February 2011 I’m sure I’ll be returning to the Dragon Age universe at some stage in the future.

Rating: 8/10

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6 Comments

  1. […] Read the original: Dragon Age: Origins – Review (PS3) « GregHorrorShow […]

  2. Great review and completely agree with the ‘bond’ you develop with your party. The voice acting and back stories are fantastic and really work to make you feel immersed in their world. On a personal note it was nice to play a rpg that didn’t feel too Japanese (such as final fantasy) but still had the quality of the best games in the genre. Pray that one day the mass effect games will come to the ps3!

  3. […] 18. DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS […]

  4. […] not big into my fantasy games, although I enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins, but Skyrim is a game that makes you sit up and take notice. A vast world to explore and rumours of […]

  5. […] played through and enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins on the PS3, I was intrigued to find that the universe of the game had been expanded with this […]

  6. […] not a massive fan of fantasy style books but I certainly enjoyed the novel based on the Dragon Age game universe by David Gaider, along with the excellent ‘Shadow’s Edge’ by Brent […]


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