Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age

Again I am late to the party, but this always allows one to benefit from others’ knowledge of a game – especially so since I have friends who respect the game experience and know how to help you get the most out of it without spoiling it for you. Anyhow, among other things people told me they liked Dragon Age a lot while playing it but couldn’t remember why afterward, maybe I am still under whatever spell holds the explanation for this but I cannot agree. Rather I feel like restarting the game and see what it would offer me had I approached it differently, but then again that seems to be the case with Bioware games.

It is a lot more hardcore an RPG than Mass Effect, and perhaps I am just unused to stat maxing or micromanaging party membersĀ  but it was also a lot harder. In fact, in terms of gameplay and presentation I would say it has some ways to go; even if it was just me being crappy gamer the difficulty curve was very uneven, automatic checkpoints placed seemingly without respect to the opposition and responsiveness and feedback was subpar. Neither was it as pretty as Mass Effect on a technical level, and the game had frequent bugs in the dialogue and animations. I would assume some of the gameplay issues stem from old PC rpg tropes and people who are used to the genre do not mind them since they are used to it, but that is not really an excuse.

But really – it is not a bad game by any means, like Final Fantasy and Persona it just has some glaring issues that make fighting frustrating at times. And again like Mass Effect, what really sells it is the narrative and the experience it provides – you really feel that the game responds to the decisions you make and the way you play it. The story and world felt a little less interesting than that of Mass Effect – maybe partly due to the presentation being worse in Dragon Age – but the roleplaying and branching of the story is a lot more complex. The game throws a lot of hard questions at the player, and as the full fallout of your actions is very seldom obvious it becomes a lot more interesting – you can play the character you want, but it might not result in the situation you had hoped for.

Which is why I feel an urge to sit down and start again, I guess, but I do not really have another 40 hours to spend on it. Maybe sometime in the future.

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Posted on Sep 08/10 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »