Monday, November 9, 2009


I'm one of those people who tends to go full-bore at things I enjoy. So, when I got the World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, last year, I played it like crazy - I managed to hit the new level cap before all but one person in my guild, and I was also working on several 20+ page papers at the time. This really tends to happen when the game is something that has a really cool premise, or a great story.

Most recently, this happened with a game released last Tuesday, Bioware's newest game, Dragon Age: Origins. Between Tuesday evening and Sunday night, I managed to burn through the game, earning about half of the game's achievements and spending about 40-45 hours playing the game. Yes, this is why I didn't write any blog posts last week. I'm thinking of playing it through again, too, partially because I am intrigued by the possibilities that will be opened up through the other character origins.

I am also frustrated, because while I like the game a great deal, my zeal in working through it has ensured that it is hard to discuss the game with my friends who have the game, as they are not as far into it and don't want me to ruin anything. I don't want to spoil their experiences, but it means I don't have anyone to talk about the game with. So, in an attempt to avoid spoilign the game but to talk about it nonetheless, I have the following to offer.

If you're looking into getting this game, then there are some things you should know. I bought the PC version, which is very graphics-intensive, so extended periods of play resulted in longer load-times and more skipping and pausing in play. The PC version is apparently slightly harder than the Xbox 360 version, due to the 360 not being able to render as many opponents as the PC. The combat system is fun, as it combines the best parts of the old Baldur's Gate combat, and something similar to the gambit from Final Fantasy 12 - you can give your computer-run party members instructions about what to do in certain situations, and they can be pretty specific.

There are a lot of decisions to make in the game, and many of them will have long-lasting consequences. As with previous bioware games like Mass Effect, there are options for romance, though these can be tricky - every party member you can get will have a personal sidequest, and you can't begin a romance without doing those. Pay attention to dialogue options, because they can be very important, not justslight variations on the same thing as in some games. And if you like to find out more about the game world, look at every book, scroll, and scrap of paper you see - you get a wealth of information about the world you are adventuring in, and while it may not all be useful, it can be fun to read.

Oh, and pay attention to the way your party members talk to each other. Their interactions generally don't have any long-lasting effect, but they can be very cool and/or amusing.

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