I just bought Dragon Age Origins for the second time, it was $4 at half priced books for the complete edition on PS3 and I’m a sucker for things I want but don’t need. My first play-through was in 2014, and even then the game was old enough to be $9 for the complete edition on Steam. With an original release year of 2009 I was way behind the times and had nothing to go off of other than name recognition (and, retroactively, I didn’t even have that. I thought I was buying Dragon’s Dogma, that’s a post for a different day) It was my first “real” video game and it holds a soft spot in my heart to this day.
The Overview: Dragon Age Origins is a Tolkien-esque Fantasy RPG, has some of the Bethesda standards such as romance options, morality systems, consequences for dialogue choices and a door-stopper script. You choose a origin (lol) an evil threat appears, and it’s your job to fix it with your rag-tag bunch of misfits. Go nuts.
The Hype: Bioware cliches are there for a reason, Bioware knows what they’re good at and they write for it. The characters travelling with you are a colorful cast, each character has their own motivations and preferences, and at least for me the writing really made these feel like actual people you were traveling with. Lumps and all.
The Anti-Hype: Are you a Gamer with a capital G? Did you not feel truly alive until Dark Souls kicked your ass and stole your girlfriend for the 24th time? Dragon age may not scratch that itch. Technically it is a strategy RPG. You can pause and set up your party, choose NPC AI or control directly, and some of the harder difficulties can be fairly brutal, but the combat falls short of the sophistication and control that many strategy game seekers would be looking for. It would be amiss of me to not mention the fact that some of the character writing also drew backlash, especially in regards to the handling of their bisexual characters. But that’s also its own post. Rule of thumb is that any character writing more in-depth than Mario’s whee-hoo is going to draw backlash anyway so thoughts on that are best left for personal interpretation. The graphics are bad now, I wont beat around the bush on that one. My $250 computer ran this game just fine 4 years ago, if you’re looking for graphics this game is no longer on the table.
Me Spilling My Tea: I love Dragon Age! Whether it’s nostalgia tinted or due to true merits doesn’t matter to me. I enjoy the characters, I enjoy the jokes, I cry at the emotional moments. I’m all over it. Some of it is that I’m a sucker for RPGs where you can make yourself the main character. HMU with that good good self insert wish fulfillment. I also love any game with difficulty levels because I want to play on easy, call me crazy but if I wanted to be weak and poor I’d just live my life. Dragon age on casual is “go save the world you can kill god when you sneeze” mode and I’m all over it. My love for this game comes from it’s cast, Zeveran the wise-cracking elf assassin brought me laughs, Morrigan was aloof and cold but adorable once defrosted, Wynn is the grandma we all want but don’t deserve and yes I did romance Alistair and I LOVED it.