A Return to Dragon Age: Origins

When Dragon Age came out I poured 46 hours into it in the first few weeks but then I just stopped.  It was such a long game that I lost motivation to complete it.  After getting the itch for old school RPGs I decided it was also time to dive back into Dragon Age: Origins.  If you've never heard of the game think something along the lines of a Mass Effect in a fantasy setting with super gorey and brutally difficult combat.

Dragon Age is brutal in a good way.  It's a real test of skill, the likes of which is rarely seen in today's games.  When I originally played I did normal difficulty the whole time and would end up stuck on fights for upwards of 20 tries.  This time, if I get stuck, I crank the difficulty down to easy and kick some ass.  Then I bump it back to normal after the fight.

With this in mind I said to myself, "Fuck it, time to kill a dragon."  What a fantastic idea.  An epic and bloody battle ensued and I emerged a dragon slayer.  Awesome.

 This game loves it's blood

The story in Dragon Age is interesting even though the dialog can be cumbersome.  Overall the dialog system still bugs me.  Choosing options from a list completely breaks the flow of conversation.  In that respect the dialog wheel from Mass Effect makes this game seem way behind the times.

Not to mention that conversations have a tendency to go on forever in Dragon Age.  It's a long game, and the conversations often drag.  I can usually tell where the conversation is going within the first 30 seconds, but it often takes upward of 5 minutes to actually finish the conversation and get the characters to come to the same conclusion.  This play through I started skipping dialog (esc key ftw) which is something I would never do in the Mass Effect series.

Part of my original problem with Dragon Age is that I'm a completionist.  That isn't the game's fault, but it makes me want to complete every side quest and find every item of interest that I can.  Being a completionist is definitely the reason that I was only two thirds of the way done with the game but had 46 hours invested.

I love the battle system in DA:O.  I had forgotten how fun it can be.  Most fights require me to pause the game regularly and think about the specific actions that I want my characters to do.  The combat hits a sweet spot between turn based strategy and real time strategy.  It's exciting to think about what they're going to do with combat in Dragon Age II next month.

Mostly, I'm just having fun with the game.  If you've never played it, I still endorse it as a game worth your time.


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