DRAGON AGE

You might have played a lot of games that keep you glued to your seats merely due to the awesomeness of their game play and their combat systems even if they have not-so-impressive storylines (to be honest that’s how more than 50% of the games get ridiculously famous). But how many of you have actually come across games whose storylines are SO impressive that makes you play them through to the end even if their game play mechanics are not that addictive? Dragon Age: Origins is one such game which I’ll be reviewing today 🙂

Belonging to the RPG genre, one of the best things about the game is that the start of the story depends on the race of the character you create (human, elf, etc) and the attitude of the people you meet throughout the game will also depend on this. For instance, if you choose to be a human, the response of the people in the game to your questions and inquiries will be polite and they treat you with respect and if an elf, they will look down on you and will treat you with bitterness and contempt. As a result, Dragon Age has a VERY high replay value when compared to the other RPGs released in 2009.

The story itself is what makes the game so unique and awesome in its own way. Some may consider it a rip off from Lord of the Rings. Rip off or not, the presentation of the story is just too good and flawless and is simply one of the best I’ve ever seen.

You control a party of four in this game including yourself. The game adopts the pause-and-play tactical combat system wherein you basically pause the game to get an overhead view of the situation like the number of enemies, whether they are mages, or warriors, or rangers, their formations etc, based on which, you formulate your own strategy formation and issue successive commands WHILE having the game paused which get executed when you un-pause the game. You might find yourself outnumbered most of the time, but careful planning will help you win no matter what the odds. But one cannot pause every time a character is in a dire situation like low health, mana, and the like for which the tactic slots were introduced. In simple terms, the tactic slots help you program how each member of your party should react to different situations. For instance, a character can be set to automatically drink a potion without the player’s intervention if his health falls below a certain value. He can also be set to aid a fellow party member automatically if he’s surrounded by two or more opponents. You can set the characters’ behavior(s) to multifarious situations like these (limited only by the number of tactic slots for each character which increases as the character levels up). The picture below might give you an idea of what I’m talking about here 🙂

If these slots are used right, your party will automatically react to even the most surprising of ambushes and even win against the same. Of course this may not work for the boss fights wherein the player is definitely required to micromanage such fights if he’s to progress through the game. Although a brilliant combat system, I’m not a very big fan of this type as I’m a melee addict who loves to control his sword movements right from the beginning of a fight to the point where I finish my opponent(s) and breaking head over formulating a strategy is just not my style. The only reason I played the game through to the end was because of the highly captivating story and nothing else 🙂

Following the combat system, there is also this approval rating system that I want to make a mention of. The decisions you make throughout the game may be liked or disliked by some and whether a party member likes, dislikes or is neutral to you is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. It is vital that these numbers do not go too low for they might abandon you in the middle of a battle if so. So basically a player can’t just go about taking the most evil of decisions and still expect his party to support him. You can also improve their approval ratings by giving them various gifts that can be purchased or found throughout the game. Higher approval ratings also introduce multiple romance options with certain party members.

I started liking and respecting Bioware a lot the moment I got my hands on Mass Effect which was further improved by a HUMONGOUS amount after playing the story-driven Dragon Age.  Hats off to you Bioware, for displaying such tremendous consistency with your story driven RPGs. Here’s hoping to play more of your games in the months to come 🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sakura
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 10:27:07

    Marvelous job Von!! Thanks for the great review!! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Von Tetsuya
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 00:31:19

    glad it came out well! 🙂

    Reply

  3. subha
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 14:17:57

    hi!!

    ur knowledge n exp in games s evident in each line!!
    great job Von!!

    Reply

  4. subha
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 12:46:17

    hi

    great job!! hats off!

    Reply

  5. Sudarshan
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 15:51:15

    Hi,
    The review for this game is great da… U have this game with you now? I like to try it out in my comp!! I am not a great fan of RPGs but would love to try this!!

    Reply

  6. Von Tetsuya
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 17:43:28

    thnks man! 🙂 and yeah I have the game :). Will lend it to you when we meet up sometime 🙂

    Reply

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