Should I play Dragon Age 1 and 2?

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#1 Edited by Aegon (5419 posts) -

There seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding DA2, but I was wondering if anyone could recommend these games to a guy who started dabbling with Western RPGs a year or two ago. Is there continuity between the two? Do they both lead up to the third game?

#2 Edited by Clonedzero (4095 posts) -

Dragon Age : Origins is an amazing game. I'd highly recommend it.

DA2 is a mediocre RPG, not bad, just average, most of the hate comes from the massive drop in quality from Amazing to just being "okay".

And yes, i believe they're both supposed to have some importance in the third game.

#3 Posted by BaconGames (3315 posts) -

I really really enjoyed Origins but for all it's content flaws (it was clearly a rushed game in so far as world is concerned) I actually found Dragon Age 2 to be my personal favorite. I thought the combat was just as fun (if not more) than the first and the quality of characters, writing, and acting is as good as I've seen out of Bioware. I will say that it's got some plot wonkiness in the final third (that is, I found the first 2/3rds lock tight) but otherwise I recommend playing both.

Even if you don't take my advice to heart, I find that some games are so surrounded with controversey that sometimes it's worth playing to see for yourself. Did the same with Mafia 2 and enjoyed that more than people let on so I say go for it. Besides I'm sure you can find it dirt cheap around this part of the year.

#4 Edited by RVonE (4607 posts) -

Yes, play both. They're worth seeing through to the end.

And yes, there is continuity between the games.

#5 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11498 posts) -

Dragon Age Origins is one of my favorite games of the last 5 years. Its bastard child Dragon Age 2 is a game I will fully admit to enjoying despite it being flawed in some really obvious ways. I imagine DA Inquisition will give enough backstory or whatever that you wouldn't need to play either, but I'd play the first one for sure and the second one if you're capable of tolerating recycled art assets.

#6 Posted by Breadfan (6589 posts) -

Origins is amazing. Probably one of my favorite games of this generation. Dragon Age 2 is alright. It's not as terrible as people make it out to be, but it has it's moments.

#7 Posted by Tarsier (1057 posts) -

play the first one. its great. the 2nd is completely skippable. it doesnt even have anything to do with the story of the world of dragon age. it takes place in and around one city, the characters are dumb, lame annoying and forgettable, the storyline is bad, and it recycles the same areas over and over throughout the entire game. they had 8 months to develop that game, no doubt a rushed EA schedule. anyways yea. just do the first. the 2nd is really as bad as people say .

#8 Edited by Demoskinos (14590 posts) -

@aegon: Yes play both. I pretty much consider Dragon Age Origins one of my favorite games of all time. That being said Dragon Age 2 didn't live up to the first and there are some issues but don't believe all the extreme stances being taken on Dragon Age 2. Its not unplayable nor is it un-fun it has its share of mis-steps like re-used dungeons but hey how many of Bethesda's acclaimed games had 500 samey looking non-discript caves?

Play them!

#9 Edited by StarvingGamer (8040 posts) -

I think they're both fantastic games. That said, they're very different. DA:O is very fun in and old-school sort of way, and the shades-of-grey way it handles storytelling and choices is fantastic. DA2 pulls off a Mass Effect 2 level of quality bump in terms of production values and combat tuning. Unfortunately they also took a few steps backwards with their overuse of recycled environments and and a lot of people disliked the shift to the more categorized personality system for dialogue choices.

That said, I believe that the events of DA2 will tie more directly to DA Inquisition as DA2 was much more focused on the Chantry which, one would assume, is also going to be a primary focus of Inquisition.

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#10 Edited by cloudnineboya (774 posts) -

yes and why not, the first is very good the second was good but got leaner with the same dungeon designs got tedious. not as open as the first

#11 Edited by Animasta (14651 posts) -

I love them both in different ways:

DA:O is a black isle RPG that I can actually stand to play.

DA2 is what happens with a WRPG developer decides to try and make a JRPG story.

#12 Edited by StarvingGamer (8040 posts) -

@tarsier said:

the 2nd is completely skippable. it doesnt even have anything to do with the story of the world of dragon age.

The Chantry barely factor into DA:O and only appear tangentially in a small section of the main storyline. In DA2 they are one of the two primary forces the entire game revolves around. What do you think Inquisition is going to be about?

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#13 Edited by Milkman (16541 posts) -

Play 1, skip 2. Origins is a masterpiece.

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#14 Posted by tyler1285 (172 posts) -

I think both of them are pretty bland. Go buy the old D&D games on good old games. They are on sale right now for like five bucks each.

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#15 Edited by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

Both are solid games. DA Origins is a fantastic experience with a middling story. DA 2 is a mediocre experience but tries, and in my opinion succeeds, at telling a much more interesting story. And it appears the overarching state of the world narrative for DA 2 directly ties to the main thread for DA 3.

#16 Posted by Sauson (561 posts) -

Play them both. Origins is amazing and Dragon Age 2 although flawed, is still fun.

#17 Edited by Chop (1995 posts) -

Origins is really good.

2 is worth playing if you're really bored one weekend. The whole thing is a hot mess but there is some decent character writing in it and it has the best dialogue wheel up to this point (for what that's worth...).

#18 Edited by rjayb89 (7717 posts) -

If you're going to play through Dragon Age II on the PC, here's a mod I heartily recommend:

DA2 - Movement Speed 2X Faster

Kirkwall won't get so boring as quickly and hopefully you won't recognize you're going through the same cave over and over with this handy mod!

#19 Edited by Nonused (212 posts) -

Both are pretty fun. You should play them. Both.

And DA 2 seems to have way more importance regarding the third game in the series. Maybe my memories murky, but I don't even recall the Inquisition in the first game. Morrigan was there, though. People seem to like her.

#20 Posted by PenguinDust (12455 posts) -

Play DAO on the PC if possible. Origins is one of the best games in the last 5 years in my opinion and far better than the more successful Mass Effect.

#21 Edited by believer258 (11682 posts) -

I've kinda hit a point where I don't really want to play DA: O anymore and I don't really care about what's going on anymore. I mean, it was interesting, and I might go back to it, but last time I put it down because I just got bored of it. I found Mass Effect's world, story, and characters way more interesting and varied.

Also, the PC version has a much better control scheme but your AI teammates keep running into battle, and the tactics slots just don't do it for me. This is especially frustrating when your mage's most powerful spells are area of effect attacks and you can't use them because your tank-ish teammates all charged right into battle. There's a "stay the fuck still" button, but you have to pause battle immediately, tell them to move, tell them to stand still, hope that they follow directions, fire off your AoE attack, hope that all of the enemies don't move out of the way before you get it off, and then let your tank-ish teammates back into the fray. The stupid AI isn't an issue on the console versions because, on the normal difficulty, friendly fire is off. The only way to play with friendly fire off on the PC is to play on Easy. This isn't to mention some other problems with the combat, like how it wildly varies in difficulty in some areas.

But then, a lot of people love DA:O and this is never a complaint that I see brought up, so you should probably give the first game a try. Part of me wants to go back to it and play it some more, but every time I hop in I just find myself kinda bored. It's aesthetically generic, blandly written, and the combat is all right when it works well and tedious when it doesn't.

#22 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

Origins is a good game.

#23 Posted by Animasta (14651 posts) -

@believer258: personally I just put it on easy and let them go to town

#24 Posted by Hunter5024 (5555 posts) -

Origins is one of my all time favorite games, and I would highly recommend playing it. As Animasta said though, it may be best for you just to play on easy because you're somewhat new to the genre, and they went for a pretty tough difficulty level that didn't really suit the games focus on story. There aren't any achievements associated with difficulty I believe, and the game will still be somewhat challenging.

As far as Dragon Age 2 goes, I would give it a shot depending on how much you like the first one. You have the benefit of knowing that it's not particularly good going in, and I think its the drop in quality rather than the level of quality itself that turned off so many of us. It has a ton of problems, but there are lots of people who manage to see through them, and I think you'll be able to tell pretty early on whether or not you're one of those people.

#25 Posted by OurSin_360 (838 posts) -

1 is enough, 2 is just really boring i haven't completed it yet myself actually.

DA origins is an amazing game though, highly recommended

#26 Posted by believer258 (11682 posts) -

@animasta said:

@believer258: personally I just put it on easy and let them go to town

Yeah, but that sucks all of the challenge out of it. And the potential for good challenge is there, it's just frustrating to see it squandered with a handful of bad design decisions.

#27 Edited by Nikoran (165 posts) -

By all means, play Origins.

Dragon Age 2? Not so much, they tried to go for the action rpg shit but failed miserably. I really didn't enjoy my playthrough of it at all.

#28 Posted by Landon (4130 posts) -

I thought Dragon Age 2 had pretty terrible writing. I played Dragon Age: Origins on easy and played for the story and had a really fun time with it. I stopped playing DA2 after a few hours.

#29 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

Origins is fantastic. DA2 is mediocre. It really suffered from recycling environments a lot. The combat was also more action oriented, but I didn't mind that as much.

#30 Posted by gaminghooligan (1424 posts) -

DA: Origins is one of my favorite RPGs. 2 was a mediocre game with repeated levels.

#31 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

Nah.

#32 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1483 posts) -

@tarsier said:

play the first one. its great. the 2nd is completely skippable. it doesnt even have anything to do with the story of the world of dragon age. it takes place in and around one city, the characters are dumb, lame annoying and forgettable, the storyline is bad, and it recycles the same areas over and over throughout the entire game. they had 8 months to develop that game, no doubt a rushed EA schedule. anyways yea. just do the first. the 2nd is really as bad as people say .

From what has been shown, Dragon Age III seems to be about the war between the Mages and the Chantry, a war which began in Dragon Age II. It's one thing to knock the game for it's disjointed plot structure, overuse of repeated environments, and simplified customization and combat, but to say the plot has nothing to do with the overall world and the future of the series is flat out wrong.

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#33 Posted by DragonNinja789 (337 posts) -

@breadfan said:

Origins is amazing. Probably one of my favorite games of this generation. Dragon Age 2 is alright. It's not as terrible as people make it out to be, but it has it's moments.

Both are solid games. DA Origins is a fantastic experience with a middling story. DA 2 is a mediocre experience but tries, and in my opinion succeeds, at telling a much more interesting story. And it appears the overarching state of the world narrative for DA 2 directly ties to the main thread for DA 3.

^ This and ^ this.

They both also have pretty good stand alone DLC, origins witch hunt is stellar and DA2 has Felicia Day DLC.
But honestly, just play em and decide for yourself dude.

#34 Edited by TheRealMoot (356 posts) -

Play Dragon Age Origins. Then burn a copy of Dragon Age 2 as a sacrifice to the god's of... something... and beg for your money back.

But seriously? Dragon Age Origins is an outstanding representation of what RPG's are all about. Strong characters, enormous worlds and a compelling story holding it together.

Dragon Age 2 spits in the face of everything DAO did and is a terrible excuse for a game. My opinion.

#35 Posted by Hunter5024 (5555 posts) -

@animasta said:

@believer258: personally I just put it on easy and let them go to town

Yeah, but that sucks all of the challenge out of it. And the potential for good challenge is there, it's just frustrating to see it squandered with a handful of bad design decisions.

Some parts of easy can still be kind of tough. Also if you're having problems like that maybe you should just go for different kinds of spells? Lots of the good ones aren't AoE. Plus I think you might be too concerned with hitting your own dudes, I usually just let them take the damage because tanks are so good at doing their job in that game. Or find a mod that will take off friendly fire.

#36 Posted by Encephalon (1240 posts) -

Same thing most people have said already: absolutely play Origins if it's up your alley; read up on DA2, maybe give it a shot later.

@tarsier said:

play the first one. its great. the 2nd is completely skippable. it doesnt even have anything to do with the story of the world of dragon age. it takes place in and around one city, the characters are dumb, lame annoying and forgettable, the storyline is bad, and it recycles the same areas over and over throughout the entire game. they had 8 months to develop that game, no doubt a rushed EA schedule. anyways yea. just do the first. the 2nd is really as bad as people say .

From what has been shown, Dragon Age III seems to be about the war between the Mages and the Chantry, a war which began in Dragon Age II. It's one thing to knock the game for it's disjointed plot structure, overuse of repeated environments, and simplified customization and combat, but to say the plot has nothing to do with the overall world and the future of the series is flat out wrong.

I really wonder about that. Though DA:O lacks DA2's laser focus on a single issue, its view of the DA world is very broad; DA:O is kind of like a franchise primer, a beginner's survey to Thedas and its various cultures. Any familiarity or insight with the workings of the DA universe were, probably, derived from that game. In contrast, I actually feel that DA2 offers less of value to the overall canon. The game takes place in one city, which should have been an opportunity to deep-dive into the Free Marches like DA:O did for Ferelden, but I never felt that Kirkwall was sufficiently fleshed out as a city, culture or people. And though you're right in that Inquisition seems to follow through on the Mage-Templar war set up in DA2, I can't think of a specific plot point that you need to know from that game besides... well, the fact that a war is on, and the causes of that war are easily understood by anyone who played Origins. The power dynamics in the Circle were not meaningfully expanded on; there's really no more nuance to that relationship than there was when Uldred was fucking everything up in the tower.

So while I wouldn't call it completely unrelated, at this stage, I would still call DA2 the less essential of the two games.

#37 Edited by believer258 (11682 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@animasta said:

@believer258: personally I just put it on easy and let them go to town

Yeah, but that sucks all of the challenge out of it. And the potential for good challenge is there, it's just frustrating to see it squandered with a handful of bad design decisions.

Some parts of easy can still be kind of tough. Also if you're having problems like that maybe you should just go for different kinds of spells? Lots of the good ones aren't AoE. Plus I think you might be too concerned with hitting your own dudes, I usually just let them take the damage because tanks are so good at doing their job in that game. Or find a mod that will take off friendly fire.

I tried searching for a mod that takes off friendly fire, but I don't remember finding one.

As for the rest of the spells... I don't know, all of them seem to be ones that have a handy or weird effect other than doing damage. Too many of them require a more specific situation, which is fine but spells that deal damage and heal your party are a little too few. Maybe my brain is too small or something, but I just want to murder things. This is why I played shooters for a few years straight.

#38 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

Dragon Age : Origins is an amazing game. I'd highly recommend it.

DA2 is a mediocre RPG, not bad, just average, most of the hate comes from the massive drop in quality from Amazing to just being "okay".

And yes, i believe they're both supposed to have some importance in the third game.

DA2 is not a great game, but there are so few solid Western RPGs in today's modern age. It's a fine game in a genre that we do not see enough of.

#39 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7056 posts) -

@milkman said:

Play 1, skip 2. Origins is a masterpiece.

This is where I stand as well.

#40 Posted by RedCream (704 posts) -

DA:O is a must-play. DA2 strips away the depth and streamlined it to its own detriment. No top-down view also.

#41 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I loved the first one. I liked the second one until the bugs got so bad that the mission I was on became broken and unfinishable. Then I dropped that game for good. Looking forward to seeing the third.

#42 Posted by crusader8463 (14415 posts) -

Origins is a must for anyone that likes RPGs and is one of the best RPGs ever made. If you grew up loving Bioware RPGs then it's the last great Bioware game they made. Two is to fans of the first game as getting repeatedly kicked in the testicles is to a man. And not in the fun/sexy/bondage way. Two was terrible in every capacity and I seriously try to forget it existed.

The story was a joke/terrible. There was no world or level design. The combat was atrocious to play and they turned the look of the combat into some crappy anime thing where your guy teleported around, jumped twenty feet into the air, and the mages staff turned into what amounted to a sci fi laser rifle that shot off "bullets" of magic like an automatic machine gun. The skill tree was terrible and I never found an aspect of it that I enjoyed or a character build I looked forward to. They completely redesigned several races; one of which was turned from large ashened skinned barbarian type men into long horned demon looking things.

The most tragic thing of all was that for no goddamn reason they took one of my favourite characters from the previous games and made him into the single most annoying whiney pricks in the world that I only grew to hate and despise by the end of the game. By the end of the game I just wanted to kill the guy. I grew to hate him that much.

#43 Posted by RE_Player1 (7551 posts) -

Dragon Age Origins is a classic and should be played. If you play it get your hands on the Ultimate Edition because while the dlc is uneven the full on expansion and some of the story bits from the packs are worth it. Dragon Age 2... as long as you don't expect a good game and don't pay more than $10 you'll leave not as disappointed as people who bought it at launch.

#44 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

Play Origins if possible on the PC and skip DA2 totally. It is a disgrace and really not worth anyone's time.

#45 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Origins.

#46 Posted by Aegon (5419 posts) -

Thanks for all the responses. How about this. What if I play Dragon Age 2 first and then DA:O?

#47 Edited by LikeaSsur (1497 posts) -

I'm of the opinion that Origins is kind of bad. Yeah, the lore and story is great, but the amount of exposition is boring, and combat even more so. Goodness gracious, was I bored out of my mind playing through the game.

Now I'm ready to be uber-hated. Dragon Age 2? Much better. The lore remains the same, but not so much "let's stand here and talk for 30 minutes about the origins of Elven religion" exposition. The characters look much better, are much more fun to talk to, the protagonist talks, and combat is a lot more action-packed.

Play both, for sure, but be prepared for the slog that is Origins.

#48 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (568 posts) -

Think I remember hearing that Dragon Age: Inquisition was going to be loosely connected to the first two, just enough so that new players can fully enjoy the plot of Inquisition.

Actually think I remember a rep stating that it being developed with players new to the series in mind.

#49 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11498 posts) -

@aegon said:

Thanks for all the responses. How about this. What if I play Dragon Age 2 first and then DA:O?

You can import your DA:O save file into 2, and while it's not as major as say... Mass Effect, there are noticeable changes based on your choices in the first game here and there. Not necessarily any sort of deciding factor, but definitely something I'd consider.

I'm of the opinion that Origins is kind of bad. Yeah, the lore and story is great, but the amount of exposition is boring, and combat even more so. Goodness gracious, was I bored out of my mind playing through the game.

I could see the combat in Origins being boring if you didn't set the difficulty to hard. On normal, you can sort of BS your way through the game whereas hard is a bit more demanding and requires you to consider stuff like friendly fire, though I also really like Baldur's Gate 2, which is the game that DA:O tries its darndest to imitate. I'd say the lore dumping is on-par with that of the first Mass Effect, though I don't think Dragon Age has as interesting a setting (Oh hey, it's like they read Game of Thrones and tried to apply that to a generic fantasy world). I will say one thing in DA2's favor: it has art direction.

#50 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

Play Origins, skip 2 and don't hold your breath for the third game, it's a toss up at this point.

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