Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins: First Impressions


So after eagerly picking up my copy of Dragon Age yesterday, I ended up playing for most of the day, stopping only to eat and work on my novel. I made it to level 7 and am in the party camp for the first time after leaving the refugee city, the name escaping me at the moment.

Having read the excellent books by David Gaider, I thought I had had a good read on Loghain. He would disagree with the King, but ultimately follow his orders. Abandoning the king was a definite surprise to me, but provides great motivation to hunt him down and make him suffer. I was sad that that Duncan died, as I always did enjoy his character.

The origin story for the human noble left me a little disappointed. While the story of betrayal was good, I felt as though it was kind of short after all the pre-launch description I had heard. It took maybe an hour and a half at most to play through, with me taking my sweet old time to explore every nook and cranny. The war hound, subsequently named Scooby (Hey I was a huge fan growing up), would be a great party member, if he had more abilities. I just can't justify taking him along in my party.

Speaking of the party, with my human noble going the two-handed sword warrior (planned specializations: champion and templar), I currently use Alistair as a tank, Leliana as damage, and Morrigan for ranged support. I am considering giving Leliana a bow so that she doesn't die as often. I have Scooby and Sten sitting in the camp, picking up dust.

Combat has been fun, yet difficult at times. In reading some of the reviews, they were talking about how hard normal was at times, but I doubted it a bit. Turns out they weren't lying. The boss fight with the ogre was completed in one try, with only my main character dying by being picked up, but fights against bandits and wolves have led to numerous reloads when I entered cockily. Pausing, queuing up orders, unpausing and repeat is the method to ensure victory.

Only six hours in and I still have so many places to go, most games are well into their stride by now but this one has so much story to go through. On my world map, there are seven locations I can go next, of which I will probably end up going to do the Warden's Keep DLC.

Overall, this is one of Bioware's best releases of late. A definite pick-up for any RPG fan and hearty recommendation for any game player.

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