Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? David does, as he discovers that bugs aren't always confined to the tutorial dungeon.
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This review was submitted by David Fowles. If you’ve played Dragon Age: Origins, or just want to ask David more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Dragon Age: Origins (360)
Bioware’s long-in-development high fantasy epic was released with surprisingly little fanfare. Lost in the shadow of Mass Effect 2’s year-long hype, this reviewer had to question whether Dragon Age was being deliberately hidden as the ugly brother or if they simply felt Bioware + Dragons = No Marketing Required.
Having just completed a single 60 hour + playthrough, I can see it’s a bit of both. Like its namesake, Dragon Age is both awesome and terrible.
The writing: Rises above its generic subject matter through character dialogue which is almost constantly engaging or amusing. Also, for people who love to read there is a cartload of purely-optional history logs throughout the game.
Moral quandaries: There are some hair-pulling hard choices in this game, not just the vanilla “Good/Evil” choices other games are proud of. There are some grey, grey areas to take your Grey Warden.
The talk: The voice acting is always adequate but is more often superb, particularly from your companion NPCs, whom you can expect to be talking to a lot.
The gameplay: The manual and what tutorial there is fail to explain the controls. Frustration and error are your guide. There’s nothing intuitive about the interface. The codex and quest data is a confusing mess (though this rarely matters.)
The broken auto-saves: The game autosaves… sometimes. It’s possible to lose hours of play because the game does not save between areas as you might expect.
The broken difficulty: On Normal mode, the game range’s between passably easy to occasionally, unexpectedly impossible.
The bugs: On 360, Dragon Age’s bugs have fleas. The most aggravating involves resuming savegames after a party wipe – do it manually, as the game will not always choose your most recent save.
The length: Some sections of the game seem to go on forever. If you were put off by Fallout 3’s underground metro, get ready for pain; at least the metro was largely optional.
The effort than went into crafting the choices and characterization in Dragon Age is obvious and there is a wealth of replayability to the game because of it. It’s just unfortunate then that, like Mass Effect, the gameplay is so terrible that you wouldn’t want to go through it all again. The choices available seem to have a more interesting and meaningful impact than those in Mass Effect, and I’m certainly more interested in replaying Dragon Age than that game, but I’m not in a hurry to.
If Bioware pony up a bug and balancing patch the size of a watermelon this game could tip over into win, as the elements which are brilliant are brilliant. From all accounts I’ve heard, this game is vastly better on PC. If that option is available to you, save yourself the hassle of the buggy, shoddy Xbox 360 port.
Reviewed by: David Fowles
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.