Dragon Age: Origins Guide
Unofficial Guide by Chris Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com
In an interview with polygamia.pl, Bioware online producer Fernando Melo provided some insight into the game and the comparisons that were being made online and in the gaming press with the company's other games:
“Dragon Age was always thought of as a a successor to Baldur's Gate, there were many things that we wanted to transfer from there, and part of that is what we enjoy about that kind of game, the combat system, pause and play tactics, party members, these things are the core of the game, and it doesn't translate as well to an action game. But it depends on the kind of gamer that you are. You can totally play it without pausing as well, but on the PC you have a lot more advantage, a lot more incentive to use pause and play and more tactics than you would on the console.”
You might expect that as an action game, being compared to the other smash-hit Bioware title, Mass Effect, is a given - and strictly from a technical viewpoint, that makes a lot of sense - but if you are expecting the play experience to be on-par with that title, you may be in for a surprise! There is a much greater depth to the experience in Dragon Age over Mass Effect, and it is evident that great care was taken to build upon the experiences that the company had with Mass Effect and improve upon it as the same dynamics were applied to Dragon Age, with great effectiveness.
According to the manual that comes with the game: "Dragon Age: Origins is a modern re-imagination of an epic party-based fantasy role-playing game, dense with story and tactical combat."
This is a pretty accurate assessment - though it does not quite do justice to the intensity and scope of the game. It is massive in its content and unique variations in story line, and immersion in the story is very easy to experience. There is a subtle flavor to your interaction with the characters you encounter in the game that encourages the development of a moral identity for your avatar that succeeds in making it a personal experience where other games fail.
There are six unique story lines - called Origins - that you can experience, based upon the race and origin of your avatar. In most RPG games these different origins would be a simple rehashing of the same basic story - but that is not the case here. Each origin line is unique, contains original plot material, and quests that appear only in that origin story. This is in my opinion a brilliant approach and is the kernel through which your attachment and empathy for your avatar begins.
If video games were listed in a restaurant menu format, a lot of games would fill the appetizer sections, and still more would populate the dessert section - Dragon Age: Origins however would have to be listed in the "All-You-Can-Eat don't plan on doing anything for a week" section. Borrowing from the stuffed shirts who write wine reviews, I might add: "This game displays an underlying characteristic of adventure with noticeable hints of blood, valor, and rage. It presents to the palate in a very entertaining manner, yet stays with you long after you turn off your console in exhaustion and often makes its way into your dreams at night. I give it a 10.0 out of 10.0!"