Currently Playing: Dragon Age: Origins (X360)

The spiritual successor of Baldur’s Gate is here, will Dragon Age match the grand scale and intensity of BioWare’s older fantasy based games or just another Mass Effect in another dress?

Graphics look very bad, actually reminds me of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. I know BioWare knows how to use the 360 since I’ve seen Mass Effect and that alone looks very impressive. But this game is completely the opposite, its not the worst graphics that I’ve seen, but it does look older than Mass Effect was. Although some details are okay, it really does stand out to be bad at times. Maps are not big but they are more alive, a lot of moving plants and water makes up for this, but water reflections are also unimpressive.

Voice work is nicely done, every character except yourself speaks their own, although there are 2 main flaws in this game. Sometimes the speech doesn’t load or some other speech will fill in the missing voice which can confuse the heck out of me. Another is, although rarely, sometimes characters have a different tone each time you talk to them, it seems that it was recorded in a different day when they were in a different mood which kinda kills the feeling of the entire experience. Although it still amazes me how big the game is, so I kinda forgive the developers for making these mistakes, but since it does affect how I feel about the game, it’s something that I can’t completely ignore.

I hate the idea that I have to be presented a quest and then realize that I have to pay for it to get anything done. This is what I hate about DLC (downloadable content), but it seems that this has to be the worst DLC presented to me. Example; I get to one part of the map and I meet this person who tells me his story and how he needs help, and to continue, I need to download and PAY for it. It just stops me in the middle of my excitement. I like playing more of the game, but please don’t tease me like that.

The game is one I consider a classic computer RPG. Depending on the class and race, the start of the game really is different and can give you a different background. Although the main game is generally the same, the experience can be totally different. Conversations are so important that it can affect who you get and quests you can accomplish or not, or people who will like you or not. It’s interesting that it can surprise you on many levels. Each and every answer is not completely correct or wrong since all options generally has a good or bad consequence. Sometimes doing a good thing can result to people hating you. It’s a tricky game, but fascinating any way you play it.

The gameplay is difficult to get into, and looking at the PC version of this game can just frustrate you. The PC version is completely superior because it controls like an MMO (with so many skill slots available in just a click of an icon), but being able to pause the game and work on a strategy is the best advantage of that version. But since we are tackling the Xbox360 version, the game takes a different style and tactics is put into a back seat here. You’ll be playing it more on as an action game, but you will be switching from one character to another to make specific moves and healing. So it is a management game so to speak. Each character gains a tactical slot which is basically their AI. Each slot can determine what they will do in a certain condition, like if an ally has a little amount of life, they can cast a spell to heal them or use a potion. I actually like this concept, since the better they get in the game, the smarter they are when you manipulate their conditions. And in the long run, the game gets more manageable, interesting and fun.

The games does save up regularly, and it seems that it does save automatically before starting up a good fight, and if not, it’s not far off. Although saving is just as good as any PC game, you can save literally anytime and anywhere (except within cutscenes).

Even though the story is straightforward and the end result is the same. The engaging story will really draw you in regardless of the flaws of the game. It does feel like its own entire universe unique from Dungeon’s and Dragons and Middle Earth. This is one game worth going through over and over again, since the experience will radically change depending on your choices within its world. If you have an option to go for the PC version, its’ the best and its a lot cheaper too, but if not, the console version should suffice.
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