dragon age origins, review, imageI have been familiar with Bioware products such as Baldur’s gate, and Neverwinter series and knew them to be high quality, so I came into this game with my expectations pretty high, and I was not let down. For those of you who loved Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter, you will certainly enjoy Dragon Age: Origins (DAO). This is a rather formulaic, but very well done, fantasy role playing game. People who enjoy this type of game generally have no problems putting in 50 hours or more into a game and exploring every area in it. It is meant for the gamer who prefers slower paced games. This genre of game is what got me into gaming many years ago, and Dragon Age Origins is one of the best by far, taking its place along side the Baldur's Gate franchise and Planescape.

Dragon Age: Origins Review Video:

From the start the story line grabbed my attention and held it, the game begins with one of six stories. When you create your character, you'll select a race, a class and are given one or two possibilities for an origin story. The fighting is like any modern RPG / MMORPG, you have your "modes" and your special strikes. Dragon Age Origins, review, imageBut like past Bioware offerings you can pause the fights at any time and make strategic moves with each of your characters all at the exact same time rather than having your cronies run on auto-pilot while you pound on the number keys. Each character has a different role and set of special traits. There are only three core roles, though: mage, fighter, and rogue.

The PC version of DAO has an entirely different control scheme than the console versions. If you have played Neverwinter Nights 2 or any other RPG on the PC, then the controls will be very familiar to you. You simply point at an object and click on it.

dragon age origins, review, imageIn a battle, you do the same, but you can select various skills and spells from a toolbar at the bottom of the screen or press the corresponding key to activate them.

Visually, DAO looks good. Not great. But good. The textures are sometimes lacking and some of the earlier environments, in particular, don't look as good as the final areas. I believe this might have something to do with the amount of time game has spent in development. Once the developers got so far along in the development cycle, it may have been too costly or difficult to redo the graphics in their entirety. As an example, the character models are well done, not Mass Effect well done, but still pleasant to look at, but when the characters are placed against a wall or other gameplay object, the character looks sharp but the background appears muddy and dull. The character animations are functional, but largely wooden. Also, the game is quite bloody, so it is not meant for children. The gore is much like that in Kill Bill, very over done. Large enemies spurt blood like a fountain and you get covered in it all the time.

The audio is by and large, top-notch. The musical score is well thought out and sets the mood when it is needed. The music is not interfering and the voice acting is of a high caliber. For you science fiction fans, you may recognize one of the voices...

Overall, I think Dragon Age: Origins is a very good game. Not a new bar-setter, but definitely a bar-reaching one.

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System Requirements For Dragon Age Origins Collector's Edition



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