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Dragon Age Origins
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Console: Microsoft Xbox 360
Year: 2009
RFG ID #: U-115-S-05390-A
Part #: 1598011
UPC: 014633159806
Developer: Bioware
Publisher: Electronic Arts
M (ESRB): Blood , Intense Violence , Language , Partial Nudity , Sexual Content

Genre: RPG
Sub-genre: Action-Based
Players: 1
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: DVD x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 189 of 7542 collectors (2.5%) have this game in their collection
  • 1 of 7542 collectors (0%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 1 of 7542 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

You start off the game by choosing your character race (human, dwarf, elf) and class (mage, warrior, rogue), but then choose your own origin story to begin the game. Humans can start as a Warrior or Rogue noble or decide to follow the separate Mage story, Elves can start as a Warrior or Rogue City Elf or Dhalish (woods) Elf or decide to follow the separate Mage story, and Dwarves can start as a Warrior or Rogue commoner or a noble. Dwarves cannot become Mages. Once you’ve decided and have set up your character, you go through your origin story that guides you on the path to becoming a Gray Warden (this game’s version, in title, that is comparable to the Jedi/Sith or Spectre of prior games) to serve and unite the country of Ferelden against the upcoming Blight invasion.

First off, I fully admit my bias and favoritism towards Bioware’s games (Star Wars: KOTOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect 1), so I had some high expectations for this one going into it. I’m very happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. The game borrows from SW:KOTOR in that it uses command based abilities in combat, but there’s still a significant amount of real-time movement that you have to stay on top of in order to succeed in battle. It also borrows the radial menu controls from Mass Effect for specific item, ability, and crafting uses. Both tools work very well and are handled very smoothly throughout the experience. The ability to also change away from your set character to control other party members is also handled very well. The graphics seem to be the biggest knock on this game. Most of which appear very last-gen in nature with regards to appearance and, to a lesser extent, animations. There’s also an occasional freeze up and some noticeable pop-in effects, but nothing that would make the game unplayable. Sound, voice animations, and dialogue are done VERY well, however, and they help one to overlook the graphical shortcomings. There were a couple of occasions where if you decided to speed through the dialogue, the sound would cut out on you, but these were rare as well. The gameplay, story, and party member interaction are where Dragon Age: Origins truly earns its value. The land of Ferelden is large. And the game would likely take an average player at least 60 hours to complete if you were to go through as much side questing as possible and win at least 90-95% of your battles the first or second try through. Battles are tough, but fair, and the ability to set up tactics for each of your active party members is a HUGE plus in getting through some of the tougher sequences. Needless to say, you’re going to want to keep your party fairly balanced with at least 1 mage, 1 rogue, 1 warrior and probably either a 2nd mage or warrior depending on the situation. Maneuvering the menus and inventories are also handled well with only 1 complaint; when you have an item that you’d like to junk but have multiple copies of it, you either have to send all copies to junk to destroy it or don’t destroy any. This doesn’t happen often, however, since you’ll likely be using many of the items you’ll be carrying around. One new aspect of the inventory system I do like is that of being able to buy backpacks to allow you to carry another 10 items in your inventory (you start with 70 items), and multiple backpacks can be purchased. The story has incredible depth and the game balances story vs. combat very well. In the early game, there’s definitely more story to get you engrossed in the events of Ferelden, but the balance evens out with combat not too far into the game so the player stays interested in leveling up their characters and building upon the game’s momentum. As a Gray Warden, you must unite the Elves, Dwarves, and Mage factions to agree to fight the Blight for the survival of Ferelden. Along the way, you will fight many different enemies and go through many different forests, caves, temples, and cities to achieve your goal. I cannot go into too much of the story here, but just as an FYI, there are many plot twists that will take you by surprise, and the interaction and relationships that you have with your various party members WILL come into play. And it is virtually guaranteed that you will lose at least 1 party member along the way. The gifting process is another nice addition to the game and it serves a dual purpose. If you are seeking to gain favor with certain members of your party, you can either buy gifts appropriate for them from vendors or use the ones you obtain as treasures. These gifts could alternatively be sold to vendors if you so choose. And if you gain enough influence with certain party members, you can gain boosts to your abilities, be given new skill sets, and/or have the possibilities for romance come into play. I found myself caring about the events that I was influencing and the sides I was taking with the various factions throughout the game, as well as how my relationships were progressing with my party members. That’s where the story succeeds. That, and the fact that I compare the end-game sequence to be one of the top RPG experiences I’ve encountered in quite some time. The game also lends itself well to replays since there are many different polarizing choices you need to make along the adventure. Immediately after finishing the game, I found myself wanting to start a new character and replay it right away. In my opinion, that’s the sign of an excellent game. Outside of the lesser graphical quality and occasional sound glitches, and the fact that even though the game is non-linear it lacks “free roaming”, this is one story-driven RPG with high quality gameplay and combat that needs to be experienced if you have any interest in the genre whatsoever. The bottom line for this reviewer is that it's flat out fun to play! Overall score: 9 out of 10.
Extra Media:

Game Informer 187 - Nov 2008

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Microsoft Xbox 360 United Kingdom S Dragon Age Origins [Ultimate Edition] EA 2010 RPG
Microsoft Xbox 360 U S Dragon Age Origins [Ultimate Edition] EA 2010 RPG
Microsoft Xbox 360 U S Dragon Age Origins [Collector's Edition] Electronic Arts 2009 RPG
Microsoft Xbox 360 United Kingdom S Dragon Age: Origins Electronic Arts 2009 RPG
Microsoft Xbox 360 AT, DE, CH S Dragon Age: Origins Electronic Arts 2009 RPG
Microsoft Xbox 360 AT, DE, CH S Dragon Age: Origins [Ultimate Edition] Electronic Arts 2010 RPG
Microsoft Xbox 360 J S Dragon Age: Origins Spike 2011 RPG
Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Microsoft Xbox 360 U S Dragon Age II Electronic Arts 2011 RPG
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