Dragon Age: Origins E3 Updated Hands-On

In this special E3 demo, we get some hands-on time with the console version of Dragon Age: Origins, and we check out its sexier side.

EA has been more than generous with the upcoming BioWare role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins. Since the game was announced late last year, we've been privy to numerous hands-on sessions, covering the game's combat, character development, adventure parties, and even a siege. So it was no surprise that EA has managed to pull a new rabbit out of the hat at this year's E3. In a behind-closed-doors session at EA's booth, Dragon Age: Origins lead designer Mike Laidlaw demoed previously unseen gameplay footage and a short hands-on session on the Xbox 360 that, far from the blood and gore that we've seen before, showed off the game's more romantic side and gave us a chance to test the game's console control scheme for the first time.

As we've learned before, Dragon Age: Origins is a fantasy-themed RPG that sees you take on the role of a Grey Warden to lead the fight on the humans' side against an invading horde of creatures called the Blight. The demo that we were shown was designed to let us in on a couple of secrets: firstly, it's not all about bloodshed; secondly, there are dragons in the game, and you do get to fight them (and ride them for a little bit). We started out at our Grey Warden's party camp, where we were introduced to Leliana, a red-haired, soft-hearted citizen of a lower class who is madly in love with us. It seems that each character that you are allowed to interact with has his or her own personality, which you must work with to build a particular kind of relationship. To tease her, we go over to Morrigan's tent, a young sorceress who likes to flirt. After giving her a gift and acquiring points for your leadership and magic skills, she invites you into her tent. Here you have the option to go in or return to Leliana, who is no doubt watching you with bated breath. This is just one of the many moral decisions that you'll have to make along the way; although these moral decisions are not marked in any way, they become obvious in the dialogue that you have with different characters in the game. If you happen upon a group of thieves, your party will leave the decision of their fate in your hands.

In this case, our Grey Warden decided that he wanted to see what's inside Morrigan's tent. Inside, a cutscene reveals us embracing a near-naked Morrigan, who is moaning and panting. As the two kissed, the game demo cut off, and we were told that we'd have to wait to see the full build to know what happens next (but we can guess). We're told that this scene occurs hours into the game, at a point in which our Grey Warden has put a lot of time and effort into building these relationships with those around him. No doubt it's harder than it looks, but we couldn't help but notice how easy it was to convince Morrigan to sleep with us. After this scene, our Grey Warden heads back out to the campsite, where Leliana has seen everything and demands an explanation. Again, you must make a moral choice: soothe Leliana and agree to be her man, or ditch her and go back to the fiery Morrigan. We chose Leliana, and score game points for relationships and love.

We were then shown a part of the game earlier in time than the first sequence, in which our Grey Warden encountered and fought a dragon. The battle took place in a field of grass where members of our traveling party joined us against the dragon. The dragon, as can be expected, breathed fire and was hard to take down, even with five people using swords, arrows, and magic against it. Given that you can switch to and between up to four members of your party at any one time, our Grey Warden used this opportunity to switch to a sorceress, who is able to shape-shift. Once playing as the sorceress, we turned into a giant spider that was small enough to get beneath the dragon and bite its legs. As this was happening, we switched to our Grey Warden again, who was able to use the sorceress's distraction to jump on the dragon's back and drive a sword through its eye, finally killing it.

After the demo, we had some hands-on time with an early stage of the game on the Xbox 360. This was the first time we've seen this game on a console, so we paid close attention to the control scheme. Our objective in this short session was to find a particular item with another member of our party. We walked through a forest, encountering and collecting items, before coming across a wolf and a cave containing giant spiders in a fight. You can assign six different weapons to your control scheme, pressing the X, Y and B buttons to access them, and A to use them. But the combat here proved very slow. Pressing A near an enemy seemed to do nothing. It was only when we were under heavy attack and standing almost under an enemy that our weapons finally worked. Holding down the left trigger let us switch between weapons, whereas the right trigger brought up the weapons menu, which shows you what weapons you have at your disposal. There is also a stealth mode that you can access if your skill set allows for it by pressing the X button. A is also for using items, and collecting and storing them in your inventory.

Dragon Age: Origins is shaping up to be an impressive and dynamic RPG with loads of combat and character development. We also received confirmation of its release date. It will be out October 20 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC simultaneously.

Stay tuned to GameSpot for more coverage of Dragon Age: Origins during E3 2009.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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44 comments
bjm1995
bjm1995

Bioware makes awesome RPGs

8smokes
8smokes

Bioware is beyond comparison

Moloch121
Moloch121

game_buddy64 Have you played Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic or Baldurs Gate? Bioware has always made the squad based control really well since like forever. Also on Biowares Q&A on the dragonage website they most likely you'll die if you try to solo anything

sportwarrior
sportwarrior

I don't really ever play RPGs... but I might have to pick this one up when it comes out. It just looks too good not to.

BoucningSoul
BoucningSoul

The control issue on the 360 is a little concerning, but this is Bioware so I'm sure that it'll get sorted out before release. Cannot wait.

gmax
gmax

Yep. They're stayin' busy.

game_buddy64
game_buddy64

this looks really cool i wonder if you can be a one man army i dont really feel like running around with robots some can be a little stupid = u P

McGregor
McGregor

This game looks amazing!

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

Bioware looks like they did great work on this

twistedshadows
twistedshadows

I hope the combat works out alright... but I'm still definitely looking forward to this game.

korpdawg
korpdawg

Alright, a little concerned about the combat in the 360 version. I hope its just a bug or something that will be fixed...

pakhair
pakhair

Coooolllllll.............

filmboy85
filmboy85

I hope the combat will turn out alright for the console. I love BioWare, but if the console versions suck, then I'll have to wait till next year for ME2.

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

Cool, but ME2 will probably be better.

Adema83
Adema83

Can't wait to get my hands on this and Mass Effect 2 and SW:TOR. Bioware are on fire right now with some amazing looking games to come.

firehawk998
firehawk998

This game and Mass effect 2 next year thanks Boiware for the fantastic titles.

Gamer4Iife
Gamer4Iife

CloudXentar: 'I love you BioWare! Your games never fail to impress me.' I second that. :D

Imakuleus
Imakuleus

*rolls an eight sided die* and chants awesome! (lisp is optional)

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

chance to test the game's console control scheme for the first time. Uh oh. Not on PC too I hope!!!! Love the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights Bioware, hate the Jade Empire and MAss Effect Bioware, so I will wait on this. Another conversation married to a shooter mechanic, like Mass Effect, or a proper Baldur's Gate type RPG?

CloudXentar
CloudXentar

I love you BioWare! Your games never fail to impress me.

Alex_09
Alex_09

This may be awesome, as long as the combat flows a bit better than it seemed to in the demo.

dark_being
dark_being

If it will be half as good as Mass Effect, they got it made.

wolf0
wolf0

bioware i love you

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

I am a little worried about the control scheme on the consoles but otherwise it is shaping up to be another amazing BioWare RPG.

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

..................i see many mad soccermoms.

topsemag55
topsemag55

Thank you for the well-written article, Laura. This game keeps getting better and better: I hope they don't set the system requirements so high that it results in having to buy a new Desktop.

Marder-I
Marder-I

I'm a little woried about the controller weapons "problem", lets hope they nip this kind if thing in the bud and get it fixed, before the game comes out to the consoles, one would hope anyways. Cheers, here's to hoping the guys doing the controls are going to get this done right here for the console versions as well as the PC, don't ya think....

ClayMeow
ClayMeow

We need a demo...I can't wait 'til October!!

ThugNMe
ThugNMe

Quote = shenron43 : I'm just hoping the console versions are going to be as good as the pc one Yet Im (and I know many, many more pc users that have been a fan of "Bioware" since BG and Jade) hoping that the PC version isnt a warter(ed) down console port.... I want a RPG thats ment to be played on the PC first and foremost.

spiderman120988
spiderman120988

this game.....amazing!!! =D bioware is the best, dragon age, star wars ToR, and mass effect 2!

galerian86
galerian86

@ShadowJake I know it sounds great for sure :P

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Some more RPG goodness for my PS 3!! :D

shenron43
shenron43

I'm just hoping the console versions are going to be as good as the pc one.

D_cook100
D_cook100

I can't wait to see how deep this story is.

jazilla
jazilla

"...no doubt, it's harder than it looks." LOL nice pun.