A Life Change Convinced Me To Play Dragon Age Differently 

Returning to favourite franchises and games can be incredibly exciting. But it can also be incredibly intimidating. What does it mean to undo years of progress and start again?

Last weekend, I moved into New York so I could join my wonderful co-workers at the Kotaku offices. I drove down from New Hampshire and shacked up in New York City. A bit overwhelmed and unsure of what to do during my downtime, I decided to replay the entire Dragon Age franchise.

Now, Dragon Age is pretty badass. I particularly love Dragon Age 2. But I'm very particular about playing RPGs. Once I've played through once, that's my playthrough. If I am going to play again, I'm going to stick to the same choices. It's just how my brain is wired. This time, I decided I would change things. I would start again and establish a new canon.

Uprooting your whole life is a pretty strange experience. It leaves you disorientated. Undoing a digital history isn't quite as dire but it can be difficult if you've built an affection for "your" story. At first, I didn't want to say goodbye to my Dalish elf Warden. I felt legitimate anguish at the idea that Hawke and Merrill would not end up in a romantic happily ever after this time around. I didn't want to let go. I'd become attached.

Nevertheless, I uprooted my old life in the magical realm of Thedas to replace it with another. My human noble Warden set off on their adventure. It was bittersweet at first. Leaping into Dragon Age: Origins shows how much things have changed over the years it took to get to Dragon Age: Inquisition. A strange nostalgia tugged at me and the actual playing felt somewhat of a chore. I still couldn't really embrace my new life and identity.

Companions were the key. While it slowly became exciting to have new choices and potentialities open to me, the thing that pulled it all together was the various characters. It wasn't enough to walk a new path. Knowing I wasn't walking it alone? That made a world of difference. New York or Thedas, it's all about the people you meet.

I'm still on my quest to slay the archdemon, my previous digital existence tossed into the ether. There's plenty of fond memories there. Still, I'm eager to see what story emerges this time around. I get a feeling that it's going to be pretty great.


    I just finished playing Drago Age: Inquisition for the first time. And I discovered that we could tint armor while playing Trespasser and I gave my Inquisition badass glittery blue and golden green armour. When I finished it, I wanted to restart just so I could play the whole game with colorful armor. However, theboring side quests discouraged me. The thought of replaying 120 plus hours was daunting given that like you, I like sticking to my first choices.

    Last edited 06/10/16 4:26 pm

      I really enjoyed replaying Dragon age Origins, it's dlc , awakening & 2 just to see the different choices play out.

      I think I did 3 full playthroughs of each.

      Inquisition though, all that herb collecting & whatever kills my enthusiasm quickly. Didn't mind the first time but I've never quite managed a second playthrough.

        Man that herb collecting. I spent a couple days jist collecting herbs so I could upgrade my healing and regeneration potions. I didnt even bother crafting other potions.

      Been trying so hard to finish Inquisition. My first save was a human noble rogue i think that had 20 hours game time. Then I got bored with rogue because it is hard to survive playing melee rogue.

      Restarted as a mage and didn't have the drive to play it. I even buy the GOTY edition recently just to get all the DLC to motivate myself but it just not happening.

        I think mage is the way Inquisition is meant to be played. I mean otherwise you have no personal opinion on the whole civil war.

        But yes, try sticking to the story quests as much as possible while closing rifts for power and xp cuz they are quicker than most side quests. Maybe do the inner circle quests. But I really do want you to finish it, stranger-friend. Including The Descent and Trespasser DLC's, because in my opinion the payoff at the end is worth at least a single playthrough. I loved it despite all its side flaws.

        EDIT: Actually don't take my advice as this is the first proper RPG I played. So what do I know.

        Last edited 07/10/16 1:45 am

          Yeah since the faction battle are mainly templars and the mages. Sadly its the season of game blockbusters already. Got Gears 4 and ready to roll today. 80gb of download lol. Then PSVR next week, then comes Dishonored, Pokemon, FF XV, Last Guardian, Gravity Rush 2.

          Inquisition gotta wait now.

        Mage is the most fun in combat

          Yea i think mage can do alot more in combat than other class because of the different spell combination that it could do compare to the other physical classes. Makes me sad since i like rogue very much haha.

            Yeah, in origins I played as a rogue at first. Used to be my go to class. As I've gotten older I've slowly learned to appreciate mages more & more.

            Depends on the game obviously, but these days, mage is my go to.

    Fist time I played Mass Effect I didn't realise you could tilt/ move the head of the character side to side and as a result my Jane Shepard had a massive, jutting chin. Initially I was annoyed, but Jane "The Chin" Shepard grew on me and now whenever I play through ME (Always as Jane, never John, Jennifer Hale's voice is so much better for the role) Shepard always has a strong, faintly ridiculous chin.

    Much like you/ the author who will never read this 'cause America, I play the same way every time, Paragonest of the paragons, infiltrator with a tendency to bring out the shotgun from time to time with Tali as permanent squadmate (Tali's Shepard's closest friend in my headcanon, and faintly amused by Garrus' attempts to claim that role).

      I made this awesome guy with asian features, a bruce willis head and hairline and a wicked fu manchu 'stache.

      I played all the Mass Effect's through with this guy and made him completely ruthless. Was so much fun. I usually play as the good guy so it was a really nice change of pace.

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