Dragon Age : Origins is AAA PC-RPG from year 2009 created by Bioware and published by Electronic Arts . The game features complex storyline , deep gameplay , great presentation , interesting characters and long campaign . Find out more about the game below .
In Dragon Age : Origins , players play as Grey Warden . They are recruits hired by Grey Wardens to fight demons known as Darkspawn , led by a dragon “Archedemon” . The game allows users to create their own character .
You can choose between three races (Elf , Human , Dwarf) and select your background (City Elf, Dalish Elf, Dwarf Commoner, Dwarf Noble, Human Noble Origin, and Magi Origin). The game also allows players to name their own character , set his/her appearance and choose between different classes such as Rogue , Warrior or Mage . There are four sub classes in each of those main classes and players are allowed to choose two of them later in the game . It won’t be long when you’ll be recruited by Grey Warden leader in Fereldan , Duncan . He takes you with him to fight upcoming Blight . After centuries , the time comes when Darkspawn gather to invade lands of Humans , Elves and Dwarves to take over . As a Grey Warden , now it is your responsibility to gather your forces to stand a chance against these demons .
Throughout the game , you are introduced to number of interesting character and not even a single character is used as filler . All of these characters have their own personalities and motives . On your first major task to collect Darkspawn blood for a ritual , you are introduced to a woman called Morrigan , easily the best character in entire game .Not only I found her character to be great but she saved my life more than I can count and I ended up controlling her character more than my own later in the game .
Throughout the game , players face number of tough decisions to alter the storyline and you are given choice to engage in coversations with your allies , earn their trust and/or choose your love interest . Earning trust of your companions , give them special abilities which can useful during combat . Entire plot of the game is full of set pieces and heart breaking moments .
Dragon Age : Origins is a party based PC-RPG , where you can select upto 3 characters that accompany you on your journey . Players can upgrade their and their comapnions’ characters as they like and assign different abilities to their stats . Each character can be of use in different situations . For Example , you will need help of Rogues with lock picking ability to open locked chests to find unique loot or a healer can help you out in difficult situations and so on . The game offers number of unique primary and secondary quests and just like any other RPG , completing them gives you reward and XP .
After earning enough XP you are giving 3 stat points , 1 skill point and 1 ability point . You can use stat points to increase your strength , Dextrity , Magic , Will Power , Cunning and Health . On other hand Skill points can be used to allow characters to become more effective in battlefield , theft , herbalism , trap making , poison creation and so on . Ability points are used to unlock new abilities for characters and ability menu works as a skill tree , so be careful to assign these abilites to your character or you may end up wasting those ability points on skills that you may not use later in the game because those abilities didn’t match your play style . Dragon Age : Origins is a long game that can last over 60 hours , which depends on number of side quests completed by the player .
Each battle in the game is challenging and requires you to adopt different tactics . If you lack skills to coammand your party members then this game has ability to convert you . You will end up using different tactics and mixture of different abilities to defeat your enemies . Expect to die a lot though , because as mentioned earlier , almost every battle in the game is challenging including long and difficult boss battles . Don’t be afraid to experiement with different menus , all of them are going to reward you in different manner .
If you want to play Dragon Age : Origins , you must play it on PC with mouse and keyboard . The game was released for consoles but was originally made for PCs (the reason why devs named the genre as “PC-Style RPG”) . Those who prefer to use controller are going to miss a lot of gameplay features . The game was action oriented on consoles while PC version is tactical . I played the game on PC , so this review is about gameplay of PC version . Much like old school RPGs , players control 4 characters in the game , one of them is your own character .
Dragon Age : Origins is a real time RPG with pause , so you can issue orders in real time or pause the game and observe the battlefield before doing so . You can use different abilities by using LMB while order your character to move , attack , start conversation , pick locks , open doors etc with RMB . There is a quick selection bar , where you place more than ten abilites , so you can use them quickly by tapping numbers on your keyboard or simply clicking them with your mouse . Each character have his/her own set of abilites and their own quick selection bar , and despite adding a lot of abilites their , you’ll still end up opening main abilities page to use other abilies , due to the fact that there are so many skills and abilities in the game the game that you will not be able to place all of your favorites on the bar .
Different characters have their selection bar but all of them use same inventory , which is another plus for a game . You won’t have to share , or drop the loot with other characters , instead you can select the character and open the inventory to give him any armor or weapon you want , since all of them use same inventory . That said , there is no option to drop any item you have in your inventory and only two ways to get rid of those is to either sell it to merchant or destroy is permanently . Be careful before destroying an object , because some may be quest related and there is no way recover those lost items . Luckily , merchants will forever contain all those items you’ve sold to them . There was a point where I realized that I can’t continue my side quest because I had lost a key item long before the quest was activated . So only two possibilites were , either I’ve destroyed it or sold it to merchant , so I traveled to all 3 hub worlds and talked to merchants and finally found quest item in Blacksmith’s shop within Redcliff Village . Not just inventory items but loot dropped by enemies , never disappears in the game , no matter how many hours later you visit the same area (never means NEVER) .
There is also a tactics menu in the game , which is complex but extremely useful . You can assign different behaviours to each of your squad members (including your own character) . Other 3 characters that you aren’t controlling act in the battlefield based on those behaviours that you’ve set for them in the tactics menu . Again , be careful , you may end up selecting behaviours that may reduce their performance during battle . This may sound complex but once you are into the game , you are going to love it and all of these features and experiments in the game keep you engaged for a long time and increase replay value of the game . I didn’t even use tactics menu until I faced my first difficult boss battle . Then I equipt one of the character with a bow , and placed him at distance next to a healer . Healer was assigned abilities to heal allies when low on health and use lyruim potion/health potion when low on mana/health . Meanwhile I was controlling two warriors (expert in hand to hand combat) to go attack enemies and distract it from attacking a healer and archer . By using this tactic , I won one of the most difficult battle without breaking a sweat because (as mentioned eariler) , the game rewards your experimentation , so don’t be afraid to mess around in different menus . Players can also drink different potions or coat/Enchant their weapons with different poisons to increase their performance on battlefield and gain special bonuses for small time (increase in speed , mana , health , stamina , ice/fire/spirit/electricity/nature/physical/poison damage and so on) . Like any other RPG , you can buy different formulas to craft different items , instead of purchasing them directly from merchants . In fact , there are some items that can only be crafted and can’t be bought directly .
So it is good to upgrade one of your companions to be a trap maker , herbalist and/or poison maker . You can also make yourself or your companions to be survivors . Survivors have ability to detect enemies lower than their level and detect traps (or detect disease in animals in one of the side quests) . Players can use one handed as well as two handed weapons . They can choose to use two weapons in two different hands or use shield for cover in one . As mentioned earlier in Story section , there are sub classes in the game as well . Each of these subclasses give players , four additional abilties and bonus stat points . You can choose up to 2 (out of 4) of these classes but you’ll need to reach level 7 and then level 14 to select each class . You can unlock these classes by reading books or finding trainers (your allies who like you) . The key to winning each battle in Origins is to lure enemies into trap . Try your best to separate them from their allies . Dealing with overwhelming amount of enemies at once and charging into battlefield won’t do any good . Then there is a tactical view aka top down view. Players can play the game through chase cam or through top down view like old school RPGs . Best way is ; mixture of both .
Dragon Age : Origins looks great for an RPG . Character models are fairly detailed (with pretty good facial animations) and their clothing is impresive , despite the game having number of weapons and armors . Some areas of the game can be extremely demanding and this is the game that you shouldn’t play on lower frame rates . Doing so will reduce characters’ responsiveness during combat and they’ll end up using abilites much later than your order . Luckily , the UI is build from ground up for PC and Mouse&Keyboard .
UI is extremely responsive and fits perfectly on screen , no matter the background frame rates and resolution . I haven’t encountered a single bug or sound problem in entire game . Voice acting , sound effects and soundtracks are top notch . The game is also perfectly polished . Some people may encounter random crash in rare cases but luckily the game features quick saves , so players can always save their progress when not in combat (or during combat if you are clever enough) . Overall , Dragon Age : Origins’ presentation is solid .
Dragon Age : Origins is one of the best games ever made and the best RPG in ages . It is hard to believe that its sequel was so dumbed and made action oriented , for casuals and couch only players . If you are fan of RPGs (in fact fan of good/deep games) then there is absolutely no reason to miss this masterpiece .
In the end I would like to say that both Witcher (1 and 2) and Dragon Age : Origins are huge achievements of last gen . Both of these games prove that you can still make AAA games about old school genres , (without dumbing them down much) and you can make both hardcore RPG fans as well as new comers happy at the same time . Cover based shooters and movie games may get attention of the mainstream media but fact is , games like Dragon Age , Witcher , STALKER and Deus Ex are real achievements and winners of last generation .
Deep and Challenging Gameplay
Great sound effects
Great voice acting
Variety of side quests
Can’t drop objects
Day One DLCs