Welcome to Zanmushi. This is my first and humble attempt writing about video games—bear with me. A little late to be writing about Dragon Age: Origins, I know. I’m currently all over the place with my Playstation 3 libr
ary. With this site, I’m aiming for personal gaming experiences that tell stories—reviews are a dime a dozen and there are plenty of great sites for that. That said, enjoy the site and my first article.
After finishing the new PS3 port of Mass Effect 2 last month, Bioware hunger had set in. Dragon Age: Origins (in my unpredictable consumption order) was the next stop. After traveling to three stores on a Michigan winter night, I finally got my hands on Dragon Age—the Ultimate Edition, expansions and extra content included. I hopped back in the white PT Cruiser and rushed home.
The story telling is done well and quite possible the driving force behind my 10+ hours clocked thus far. Starting out, the game has you run through a traditional character creation—what you’d expect from modern action RPGs. Aside from choosing race (Human dwarf or Elf) your main decision lies between three classes. After spending a few hours with each, I settled with a Rouge over the Mage and Warrior. The Warrior seemed a little straightforward while the Rouge class acted as a middle ground. Too many times I have chosen to hack’n'slash my way through game campaigns—and if you’re wondering why I didn’t go with a Mage, well, a close friend steered me away (due to difficulty) for my first play through. Besides, entering stealth mode and sapping unsuspecting AI just sounds fun—and it is.
As you may know, Dragon Age gets its subtitle “Origins” from the initial story arcs activated depending on the class and race you choose, each usually lasting around an hour before the game world begins to opens up. This makes it worthwhile to try a few Origin stories before making your final decision. And for a game lasting upwards of 50+ hours, I wanted to be sure.
I’ll be honest, initially I was under the impression Dragon Age would suffer from it’s genre’s (action RPG) indecisiveness, underdeveloped action or weak RPG elements being the case—sometimes both. Because it’s neither one nor the other, the genre can sometimes risk lacking depth in both areas. Surprisingly, after spending more time with Dragon Age: Origins, it’s RPG side exploded—almost to the point where action ceased to exists and individual battles had to be micro-managed. This of course in stark contrast while descending from mountain Mass Effect. I might have been expecting the seamless transition between action and role playing elements that Mass Effect 2 offered, but even Mass Effect lacked total fulfillment in the RPG department. Tear. But that’s another story.
Congratulations! You made it to my article’s conclusion.
With Dragon Age, I’m confident the complexity will expand as the plot thickens and my every decision leads me down a completely unique path. Let’s hope my spoiled attention span will endure.