Dragon Age: Origins
November 19, 2009

Every few years, I actually like to do something really fucking crazy like buy a NEW game instead of one that's a year or two old and, therefore, cheap. I had many weiner-hardening choices when I left home yesterday.

I could have picked Modern Warfare II, but after reading Jason's review and various message board/blog entries, I think the last thing the world needs is my opinion of No Russian (if you do want it, I completely advocate terrorists mowing down the unwashed populace and would have probably killed more than any of the actual bad guys if I was playing it).

I could have picked Borderlands, but there's this really lame song playing during the commercials for it that I see on TV. It's not Kid Rock, but it sounds enough like him to just make me irrationally angry about this game.

So I went with Dragon Age: Origin. Here are my opening opinions.

It took about an hour to figure out how to get my FREE unlockable content (a big-ass golem and his storyline quests). You have to start the game, access downloadable contest there and input the EA code.....not the Microsoft code redeeming. It took me forever to figure out why I was trying to fit a 16-figure code into a 25-figure code bar and why it was failing repeatedly.

Anyhow, I then created my character a human noble rogue. I made him look like me.....if I was a really fit and athletic medival stud, instead of me. While doing this, I was wondering how exactly this bright, shining star of a royal family could be a rogue. Do his aristocratic parents simply not care that he spent his youth picking locks and stealing purses instead of exhibiting noble traits?

I got a quicky introductory quest that involved killing rats in the kitchen's larder. The best part was after the fight when the knight I was made a joke about how big heroic quests always seem to start with rat-killing.

And then my family got betrayed by the vaguely sinister friend of my hero's father. Which led to me and the bad-ass hero Grey Warden being the only known survivors. My parents, that rat battle-ally knight, random other folk.....all victims. No wait....that's right, my pet battle dog survived too. I like him. He'll rip YOUR leg off as soon as look at you, but if I pet him, he'll roll on the ground in pure ecstacy.

Grey Warden Duncan takes me to the camp where the king's army is preparing to fight Darkspawn. I get to take an initiation test to become a full-fledged Warden. Unfortunately, my battle dog can't come along for the ride. Instead, I and two other potential Wardens travel under the tutelage of Alistair, another Warden. One of the other two is a pickpocket who has no idea why Duncan picked him. Neither do I. The other constantly goes on and on about his wife and soon-to-be-born kid. I hope we get to string him up and use him as bait to catch some really big monster.

Right now, the four of us are having fun walking around and killing all sorts of wolves and goblin-like Darkspawn. I'm digging the game and its atmosphere. I'll probably be digging it more when the more on-rails intro parts are done and things get a bit more open-ended. Big challenge is just learning the interface and stuff, as this game is a bit more complicated than the normal RPG.

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Suskie Suskie - November 19, 2009 (12:31 PM)
The rat fight was the first in the game for me, so I'd never seen the game's now-famous blood splatters at that point. I found it hilarious that my character looked like that after fighting a few fucking rats.
jerec jerec - November 19, 2009 (12:48 PM)
I was human noble, too, but I was a FUCKING WARRIOR. It made more sense. The game does open up after a few hours and you can choose where to go next. But for now you go where you're told.
overdrive overdrive - November 19, 2009 (12:58 PM)
Yeah. And no one seems to care. The woman in the kitchen is all like, "Get your dog out of there!" You, the knight and the dog come out and you're all completely coated in blood and all she says is, "I bet that dog of yours ate the roast!" I found that funny.

Funny thing is, I always tend to control warrior-types in games like this. So I decided to be a rogue to mix it up a bit. And the attributes seemed kinda cool with the trap setting/disarming abilities, as well as the ability to cloak yourself for stealthy attacks and the lockpicking. I'm kinda making the dude sort of a battle-rogue, as I'm focusing more on melee than bows.
Suskie Suskie - November 19, 2009 (01:03 PM)
I always do the warrior-type myself; I'm the guy who just likes to run in and kill everything, no questions asked. So yeah, human warrior worked out for me. A friend of mine is the same but went with an elf mage just to mix things up, then got bored and restarted as a dwarf rogue. That's working out well for him.
overdrive overdrive - November 19, 2009 (01:32 PM)
Yeah. Dwarves are warriors and that's that. Maybe add in a bit of cleric stuff if you want to get crazy. I look at this game's dwarf as a combo of the D&D dwarfs and halflings, as halflings were (if my memory serves) the more stealth oriented little people.

Then, there's also the Elf Warrior. ??? Elves are dainty little folk who do magic and archery, but are about as masculine in combat as I'd be in real life.
darketernal darketernal - November 19, 2009 (01:50 PM)
The moment I get a new PC I'm getting this game. And taking the dwarf in my party. You can't call yourself the manliest of men without a dwarf in your party.
Suskie Suskie - November 19, 2009 (02:50 PM)
Maybe add in a bit of cleric stuff if you want to get crazy.

Wait, like healing spells and stuff? The Dragon Age dwaves can't do magic, actually. But yeah, they seem best suited to be warriors, though I guess the fact that they're so short makes it easy to be sneaky.

Anyway, once you get into the "main" portion of the game there are four major areas you need to visit, and I'd recommend saving the Redcliffe and Orzammar segments for later, after you've gained more experience with the battle system and have more party members to choose from. Both have at least one very difficult boss battle, and Orzammar in particular ends with probably the game's longest dungeons. So, just a heads-up.
Halon Halon - November 19, 2009 (06:53 PM)
I really want to play this but I know I'll hate it since I'm not a fan of Bioware. Maybe when it drops in price.
WilltheGreat WilltheGreat - November 20, 2009 (05:33 PM)
I started as a mage. And while the mage origin bit is a lot more involved than the human noble one, I was nevertheless disappointed. :\

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