Bioware has released the character creation tool for Dragon Age: Origins. You can download it now and create your character. I did!
Funny thing, this week I've been running excerpts from the interview I did with Gearbox's Randy Pitchford. Something he said that I haven't posted yet concerned character creation in RPGs. Randy was talking about how in Borderlands they wanted to gradually introduce players to the choices required to mould and shape your character.
"A lot of RPGs," he said, "start by saying right, make a character now, here's 20 points to figure out what kind of guy you want to be. And I'm like, I don't even know what this game is going to ask me to do yet, so how on earth can I possibly make any of these decisions?"
So here's Dragon Age asking us to make all those decisions, not just at the start of the game, but three weeks before the game even gets released!
I've had a play around with the tool this morning. It's nowhere near as interesting as, say, Spore's Creature Creator. Instead it's essentially a stock-standard D&D-styled character generator.
You pick your sex, race (human, elf, dwarf), class (warrior, mage, rogue - and adhering to generic fantasy lore, dwarves cannot be mages) and background (two options per race). I went with a female, elven rogue with the "Dalish Elf" (or true elf, as opposed to the city elf) background, with a view to being some sort of ranger/bowman.
In terms of character stats, Strength, Dexterity, Willpower, Magic, Cunning and Constitution mimic the D&D template in familiar fashion. If you must know, I went with 10, 16, 14, 12, 17, 10, respectively.
There are eight skills, each with four levels of upgrades, though I had no choice here but to accept the default skills I was granted. (Survival and Poison-making.) And there are Talents, akin to D&D's Feats, which again forced a default upon me. (Dirty Fighting, basically a stun attack.)
You can also fiddle with your character's facial features in almost identical fashion to the tools in Mass Effect. And that's it, give yourself a name and you're done.
You can download the Dragon Age: Origins character creation tool here. Let us know if you find it a worthwhile exercise. I didn't!