Dragon Age: Origins

So it finally arrives, after a year or so of anticipation, and so far it has delivered. Bioware returns to its roots in fantasy RPG gaming on the PC. And yea, I know it has both PS3 and 360 versions, but I really don't care. Any true gamer knows that this game was meant to be played on the PC.
 
I am about 3 hours in to my Elf Rogue - city dweller story line. I have just rescued my bride to be from the clutches of the human king's son and am now on the run from his minions (I opted to kill the scum). I am about to join the Grey Wardens - warriors against the Darkspawn. 
 
Great roleplay potential here - my dialog so far has been moving more and more towards a hatred of humans.
 
First Impressions

- NOT for the short attention span gamer.  
This is a good thing - deep story line, lots of lore to read and listen to. If you aren't prepared to spend long wintery nights next to the fire listening to some good lore and reading about the history of a new world, then this game might not be for you, or you might not unleash all of its potential.
 
- FOR the old school CRPG gamer.
Deep PC RPG story telling and elements so far. What appears to be some PSX RPG elements mixed in as well, more on that later. i.e. Vagrant Story, FF7, Ultima, Might&Magic, Baldur's Gate, Fallout. 
 
- Great dialog options and story building 
Some of the most impressive aspects of the story, to me so far, are the dialog options. How you respond to NPCs in the world really DOES have a DEEP effect on the story and your interactions with that NPC from that point on. Also, it appears the way you start out talking to someone, effects the dialog options beneath the initial one. For instance if I start off a bit angry at the NPC, I can continue to press on down that direction as far as I'd like. You just have to see this to believe it, this is NOT the typical Baldur's Gate stuff. It's a bit like Mass Effect style interaction, but expanded.

- Incredible music.  
Some of the best fantasy themed symphony I have listened to. See: Howard Shore, Nobuo Uematsu
 
- Great combat.  
Fast paced, critical timing, and choice of tactics.
 
- Awesome skill set.
As I have only played a Rogue thus far, that is all I can comment on. I have 3 "trees" to chose from, and can create any combination of the three to create a truly unique style of play that suits me. You  basically have a rogue tree, stealth, stuns, etc. A dual-wield tree, lots of back stabbing and melee dps. An Archer tree for some ranged DPS and ranged crowd control - like snaring and knocking out.

- Loot and treasure, as well as crafting loot!  
Something to loot from every room/area I clear so far. Lot's of hidden treasure around the maps, towns, etc. Again, a hint of old school console RPG.
 
I will blog my characters journey and my impressions as I continue. Pics and video to come!

17 Comments
17 Comments
Edited by pureguava

So it finally arrives, after a year or so of anticipation, and so far it has delivered. Bioware returns to its roots in fantasy RPG gaming on the PC. And yea, I know it has both PS3 and 360 versions, but I really don't care. Any true gamer knows that this game was meant to be played on the PC.
 
I am about 3 hours in to my Elf Rogue - city dweller story line. I have just rescued my bride to be from the clutches of the human king's son and am now on the run from his minions (I opted to kill the scum). I am about to join the Grey Wardens - warriors against the Darkspawn. 
 
Great roleplay potential here - my dialog so far has been moving more and more towards a hatred of humans.
 
First Impressions

- NOT for the short attention span gamer.  
This is a good thing - deep story line, lots of lore to read and listen to. If you aren't prepared to spend long wintery nights next to the fire listening to some good lore and reading about the history of a new world, then this game might not be for you, or you might not unleash all of its potential.
 
- FOR the old school CRPG gamer.
Deep PC RPG story telling and elements so far. What appears to be some PSX RPG elements mixed in as well, more on that later. i.e. Vagrant Story, FF7, Ultima, Might&Magic, Baldur's Gate, Fallout. 
 
- Great dialog options and story building 
Some of the most impressive aspects of the story, to me so far, are the dialog options. How you respond to NPCs in the world really DOES have a DEEP effect on the story and your interactions with that NPC from that point on. Also, it appears the way you start out talking to someone, effects the dialog options beneath the initial one. For instance if I start off a bit angry at the NPC, I can continue to press on down that direction as far as I'd like. You just have to see this to believe it, this is NOT the typical Baldur's Gate stuff. It's a bit like Mass Effect style interaction, but expanded.

- Incredible music.  
Some of the best fantasy themed symphony I have listened to. See: Howard Shore, Nobuo Uematsu
 
- Great combat.  
Fast paced, critical timing, and choice of tactics.
 
- Awesome skill set.
As I have only played a Rogue thus far, that is all I can comment on. I have 3 "trees" to chose from, and can create any combination of the three to create a truly unique style of play that suits me. You  basically have a rogue tree, stealth, stuns, etc. A dual-wield tree, lots of back stabbing and melee dps. An Archer tree for some ranged DPS and ranged crowd control - like snaring and knocking out.

- Loot and treasure, as well as crafting loot!  
Something to loot from every room/area I clear so far. Lot's of hidden treasure around the maps, towns, etc. Again, a hint of old school console RPG.
 
I will blog my characters journey and my impressions as I continue. Pics and video to come!

Posted by Binman88

I'm loving the game so far. I'm a couple more hours in than yourself playing as a human noble. Unfortunately I can't open a lot of the god damn chests I discover, can't wait to replay the game as a completely different class!

Posted by pureguava

You know, I haven't figured out lock picking yet - as a rogue it seems like some things just pop open for me and some do not. I vaguely remember clicking on a chest and it saying "your skill is not high enough yet", yet another I clicked on it just opened but appeared locked. We shall see.
 
And yes, the fact that I can go back after I am done, play an entirely different story line and character, adds just that much more to the depth of this game. Can't wait to make a human mage!

Posted by Driadon
@pureguava: Lockpicking is an automatic check, so either it will open automatically like that or it won't. 
Posted by MAN_FLANNEL
@pureguava said:
" You know, I haven't figured out lock picking yet - as a rogue it seems like some things just pop open for me and some do not. I vaguely remember clicking on a chest and it saying "your skill is not high enough yet", yet another I clicked on it just opened but appeared locked. We shall see.  And yes, the fact that I can go back after I am done, play an entirely different story line and character, adds just that much more to the depth of this game. Can't wait to make a human mage! "
If the lock picking is anything like oblivion things around me will get broken.  
Posted by Jayzilla

It bums me out that the main character doesn't speak. Shepherd was one of the only redeeming qualities IMHO about Mass Effect. I think it would have added another layer of depth.

Posted by pureguava
@Driadon: Ahh - ok then that makes sense. Is there a lock picking skill that you can increase? Or is this just a passive ability of the Rogue class?
Posted by Binman88
@pureguava said:
" @Driadon: Ahh - ok then that makes sense. Is there a lock picking skill that you can increase? Or is this just a passive ability of the Rogue class? "
I think it's probably a passive skill, you might not have had the chance to level it up yet so may not have seen it since creating your character.
Posted by Driadon
@pureguava: Look in your character sheet, there will be a Lock Picking skill you can level up.
Edited by pureguava
@Jayzilla: About the character speaking - I did notice that... that is a move on Bioware's part to make the player, you and I, feel a bit more immersed as part of the story, I think. You essentially "hear" your own voice while reading your dialog options. 
 
I think it works - I tend not to detach myself from my character as much when it does not speak a majority of its dialog. They did leave in the battle shouts etc., which can be a good thing or a bad  thing depending on the way you like to play.
 
I perfer total silence other than the NPCs I interact with. I've never heard Link's voice, but I got totally hooked into that character. I must be old. :)
Posted by TheHBK

Anyone want to tell me how the console versions are?  Dont really see much comparison out there in the reviews.

Edited by NoXious

If you fail at lockpicking checks it might be that your cunning is too low, cunning applies to almost every rogue ability to determine how good he is at it.
Consider it the new implementation of the D&D variant where Intelligence and/or Dexterity modifiers were added to the actual skill point total.

Posted by Geno

Cool, nice to hear you're enjoying it. I'm personally an action RPG kind of guy so I might pick it up at a later date. 

Edited by Tynian

Damn it, i´m not a true  gamer. What a shame.

Edited by pureguava
@Tynian: Hahaha... but isn't being a fanboy of your favorite platform an integral part of Giant Bomb? I had to give a shout out to PC!
Edited by SolemnOaf
@TheHBK:
It's good.   
edit: 'relax solemn, relax'... whew!
Posted by Tynian

r@pureguava: Yes sir, you are right, there is nothing wrong in giving your plataform of choice a little love. I am a bit of a 360 fanboy myself, but i have to admit that i would play DA:O in a pc if mine wasn´t a crappy netbook and i didn´t have an irrational hatred for keyboard and mouse. The camera looks quite better, plus it takes me back to the good´ol days of the original Baldur´s Gate, when i was quite te pc fanboy.