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Review: Dragon Age Origins - PC, Xbox 360, PS3

by Steven Williamson on 17 November 2009, 09:09

Tags: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), PC, Xbox 360, PS3, RPG

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qauvw

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The spirit of classic RPGs comes of age

Version played - Xbox 360

What is Dragon Age Origins?
From developer Bioware, the brains behind the sci-fi RPG Mass Effect, comes the medieval-fantasy and dialogue-driven Dragon Age Origins, a tale of good vs. evil as humans, elves and dwarves join hands to prevent their land from being taken over for the evil forces of the Darkspawn.

Billed as the spiritual successor to the Baldur’s Gate series, Dragon Age Origins sees you take the role of a peackeeper in the guise of either an human, elf or dwarf as you follow a typical RPG blueprint and world-saving overall objective by completing quests and side missions, while levelling up, dungeon-crawling, slaying magical beasts, and increasing your skills in particular areas of expertise.

The storyline and gameplay branches away in a hundred-and-one different directions based on your moral decisions that you make during conversations and the actions that you take. As a result, NPC behaviour can change toward you and directly affect your path. Indeed, Dragon Age Origins is all about customising your game and learning by experience as you determine your path by the many choices you'll have to make. From the very outset, where you choose your race and your class, be it a rogue, warrior or mage, you're already determining your unique path through the 40+ hours of gameplay.

As you progress, more choices are thrust upon you as you split into sub-classes and choose specifications, deciding whether to perhaps be a mage shapeshifter or a rogue bard. In Dragon Age Origins, the choices are, to a large degree, practically endless and you have the option to follow the main mission storyliine, or branch off and complete one of the dozens of side-objectives which will gain you much-needed EXP and most-welcome loot.

A significant chunk of the gameplay involves the Knights of the Old Republic-style party and combat system as you recruit three other (offline) players to join you in your missions and use a queuing system to take advantage of their unique abilities, program attacks to tackle enemies and use the Xbox 360's radial menu to switch between each of your team-mates in order to tackle tough creatures and fight against bosses.

Make no mistake about it: Dragon Age Origins is a game for serious RPG enthusiasts.

Gameplay impressions overleaf...