Reader Review: Dragon Age: Origins

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Gary does, as he gathers his party before he leaves the area.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

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This review was submitted by Gary Lim. If you’ve played Dragon Age: Origins, or just want to ask Gary more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Dubbed as the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate II, in Dragon Age: Origins you select one of six different origins to start the game and traverse the world of Ferelden to stop the blight that is about to doom man/elf/dwarfkind.

Loved

Lore: It is said that the make or break of any RPG is the storyline. In this case, the lore and storyline of Dragon Age is brilliant. The scraps of parchment and books within the land of Ferelden makes for a fantastic backdrop of lore and makes you want to collect all the lore available in the world.

Decision Making: Will you choose Morrigan? Or will you choose Leliana? This is one of a myriad of decisions and choices you have to make in the game, all of which will affect how characters look up to you and the buffs they receive.

Replayability: Each origin brings a different starting location and delivers different choices through the rest of the game. The amazing replayability is emphasised as you pick up different spells when you choose a different class as well as different companions.

Hated

Codex: The codex list is huge, immense and informative but the sheer volume is also where it falls down a little. On quest related codex entries, there is no way to scroll all the way to the bottom of the codex to read information that is important.

Dragon Age: Origins is a great single player RPG experience for anyone that is even mildly interested in a fantasy world. It is easy to pick up for first time RPG players with varying difficulty settings. Yet it can also be satisfying for RPG old-timers with spell combinations and deep character development. A must-have for any RPG fan, die-hard or not.

Reviewed by: Gary Lim

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Comments

    Doesn't quite reach the greatness that was the Baldurs Gate series it's supposed to be a spiritual successor to, but is quite possibly the best thing since then. Highly recommended.

    Of course this might just be nostalgia talking. I suppose I'll find out soon(in some time) as playing this has made me want to go back to BG and I probably will after I finish DA (another 5-6 times).

    Of course this is the first in what is hopefully a series and it definitely beats BG1, if DA2 becomes to DA1 what BG2 was to BG1 then.... wow.

      Thanks, this was basically all i needed to know about it :)

    I think it is the best western rpg i have ever played, better than all bioware and bethesda stuff yet.

    Also, any aussies? because you can buy the pc version, install it and return it to get your moneys back from EBGAMES. And still keep playing ,donno why they took it back.

    Can someone explain how the loot system works in this game?, Is it more on the random side like WoW, or more like Neverwinter nights?

    Review a bit short?

    I'm planning on doing a full review myself, but I'll need to finish first (so far through the Arl of Redcliff storyline, through the Circle, and very very deep into the Dwarves - dead Broodmother, if that helps narrow it down).

    The deep characterisation and myriad ways to complete most goals is the biggest plus for me- the comments under replayability don't do the game justice because it's not just different fighting styles or difference romance choices, but choices in everything you do. The second biggest plus is definitely the humour, both in your conversations and in the conversations going on behind you...

    I love this game, no question, so I'll address the minuses a bit in this post.

    The biggest minus that this review fails to mention is the terrible inventory management system and crafting systems. Your inventory tends to fill up with all sorts of similar stuff, and working out what is useable by who and whether it is an upgrade for anyone, or whether something is useful for crafting or just junk, is a pain in the ass that tends to involve opening and closing and scrolling through lots of different windows (and God forbid your crafter is not in the party, no checking the recipes for you!), plus you tend to go a looooooong time without seeing a vendor, so then you have to sit around with a full inventory trying to work out which of the 20 similar pairs of boots you have will sell for the least money. Huge, huge pain.

    They could also do with some numbers in the UI instead of just descriptions (duration of spell effects, damage numbers, set bonus figures, etc) but that's liveable, this isn't WoW. You can get an idea of how long debuffs last from having them cast ON you and mousing over, which is a bit odd.

    The tactics system also leaves a lot to be desired due to the LACK of options. You can order your guy to sunder armor on high armor targets, or on elite-rank enemies, but not on elite-rank high armor targets. Or to attack enemies attacking you, but not what kind. Or to attack clusters of enemies, but with no check for whether there is a friendly in range. As the game goes on, you end up having to direct actions manually most of the time (which is probably more fun than automode, especially when setting up combos like blizzard + earthquake + a couple of melee with knockbacks to make sure anyone who got to the edge of the kill zone got sent back into it, or taunting a zerg into a tight group for a sleep + waking nightmare cheese combo

      I never had much problem organizing my inventory. However it should be noted I don't have much a looter/hoarder mentality that many others have and will quite happily throw stuff away with little more than a cursory glance.

      My problem with the inventory was it was still the dumbed down one list for everything system and not the more traditional slot/weight system with each character having their own inventory. Potions just magically teleport between characters do they?

      I do admit I'm somewhat on the hardcore side of RPG players and this system is more accesible so that is kinda understandable. It's also still an improvement over Biowares previous inventory systems, which isn't saying much I guess.

      As for the tactics, I kinda felt they were meant to be like that. To me they were there more to stop your party acting like complete idiots when not directly controlled rather then to have the game play for you. I can see it would be nice to just focus on controlling your own character if you wanted, however that's probably possible on normal difficulty, and the harder difficulties should force you to take more manual control over everything.

    I found a main con is the difficulty seems to vary wildly, plus the inventory gripe mentioned above.

    Has anyone found a way to get AI to spam their abilities short of filling their tactics with every skill?

    One con is the set bonuses most of the time not actually telling you what the set bonuses are.
    I've noticed most AI spam skills anyway, even skills not covered by any tactic.

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