developer: BioWare Corporation
publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Game mode: single player
Dragon Age: Origins for PC, X360 and PS3 is a role-playing game created entirely BioWare. For the Canadian studio, it is a return to the roots. In 1998 the company became famous for the cult Baldur's Gate and later gained more renown for other role-playing games such as Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, or Mass Effect.
The action of Origins takes us to the kingdom of Ferelden, located on the continent of Thedas. This region, inhabited by humans, elves and dwarves, became the object of an attack by the darkspawn, a plague composed of all sorts of monsters under the command of a powerful archdemon. To protect the Fereldans from evil, Grey Wardens, an order of all sorts of people sworn to fight the darkspawn, were summoned to help to defend the land. In the game, our character is offered a chance to join this group, so as to be able to stand up to fight against the rampant evil. The single player mode provides approximately 60-100 hours of gameplay, and also provides the ability to download DLC expansions.
One of the most interesting elements of Dragon Age is the necessity of making choices and thinking about their consequences. Almost every quest offers us many different solutions, and the decisions made not only shape the main character, but also affect the game world.
We are also forced to choose between two not very optimistic options. For example, during the journey, we encounter a possessed boy whom we can personally murder or allow to sacrifice the life of another person in order to save his soul. Another essential element of Origins on PC, X360 and PS3 are the dialogues implemented similarly to those from Mass Effect, enriched with mimics, behavior of specific characters, and a wide variety of dialogue options. The conversations are made of over 900 thousand words. All primary and secondary characters are voiced-over. For this purpose, more than 140 actors were involved.
Following the example of many other role-playing games, the game begins with creation of the main character. We set the the race, gender, and class (warrior, rogue, mage), as well as an origin. In the latter case, we decide between the initial six stories, such as urban elf, human noble, dwarf commoner, or a mage. The way you start the adventure is reflected in the later stages of the game.
Combat takes place in real time, but the developers of Dragon Age for PC, X360 and PS3 gave a system of active pause at our disposal. The game presents a relatively high level of difficulty. Consecutive victories are connected with the necessity of matching and skillful use of a variety of skills, talents, and spells. The player’s party can consist of a maximum of four characters, whom we can issue commands or scripts their behavior, making it unnecessary for us to interfere at all. The team consist of some interesting people, including an assassin, Zevran, the witch, Morrigan, qunari, Sten, or Alistair, the Templar. Inactive characters are waiting for their chance at adventuring at the camp. In that place we can also improve our relationship with them (hearing their stories, giving them gifts, etc.). We can also have a mabari warhound.
We can watch the world in two main ways, namely: from the perspective of a third person, or from the traditional isometric view reminiscent of the classics (the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale series). The developers put a great emphasis on providing detail and unique appearance of each of the main areas we visit, among which we find the city of Denerim, the Brecilian forest , the dwarven fortress of Orzammar, or the elven mage tower ruins. The environment is partially interactive and the game looks even more attractive thanks to the realistic play of shadows and light.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 8800 or better), 20 GB HDD, Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1
Microsoft Xbox 360
Uses: Xbox Live