Games Review Of Dragon Age: Origins
Published by Electronic Arts in November and December 2009, Dragon Age: Origins is considered to be a “dark heroic fantasy with mature themes”. It is even thought of by many to be the “spiritual successor” to the Baldur’s Gate game series which, in turn, was based on the original Dungeons & Dragons RPGs.
Dragon Age: Origins is set in the mythical kingdom of Ferelden, with players assuming either the role of a mage, rogue, or warrior who must unite this strife-ridden kingdom in order to repel a demon invasion. Each of these classes may be upgraded into specialisations like berserkers, templars, rangers, assassins, spirit healers, and shape-shifters.
Players embark on their adventures using a “party system” whereby the featured main character is accommodated by up to three other party members chosen from a non-playing character (NPC) pool. Decisions the player makes throughout the game influence the accompanying NPCs, who may leave the party or even attack the player if they strongly disagree with them.
Characters are also given unique backgrounds depending on their race and class. These unique characters are what put the word “origins” in the game’s title, as each character gets a different story depending on their origins.
Most reviewers praised the game’s storyline and adherence to classic RPG-gaming styles, despite any perceived lack of originality. Giant Bomb, for example, described Dragon Age Origins as being “a real throwback to the good old days of PC role-playing epics.”
The game also features downloadable content. By November 12, 2009, sales of the downloadable add-ons, namely “Warden’s Keep” and “The Stone Prisoner” had generated more than million in sales revenue for BioWare. An additional expansion pack, “Awakening”, was also released to the public March 16, 2010.
Since the game’s launch even more expansion packs have been released, including titles like “Blood Dragon Armor”, “Return to Ostagar”, “Darkspawn Chronicles”, and “Leliana’s Song”.
The game became an immediate success, overwhelmed with positive reviews by professional gamers and amateurs alike. The PC-version received scores of 95%, 90.17%, 91%, and 90% from GameSpot, GameRankings, Metacritic, and Game Information, respectively. The PS3 version, suffering from visual issues like disappearing and reappearing corpses, faired slightly worse, receiving 85.92% and 87% from Game Rankings and Metacritic, respectively.
Dragon Age: Origins even won several awards, such as the “Role-Playing/Massively Multi-player Game of the Year 2009″ award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Science, game of the Year 2009 from U.S. PC Gamer, and “Best PC Role-Playing Game of the Year” from Imagine Games Network (IGN).
Dragon Age: Origins is available on the Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 gaming platforms.