Dragon Age is the story of a band of heroes journey to save the land of Ferelden from
orcs the Darkspawn, by uniting a country divided by civil war and xenophobia. Mass Effect and Jade Empire much?
Okay, so Dragon Age is quite similar to Bioware's other games, but that doesn't matter? After all, the game is really fun!
DA has some wonderful moments—the main story quests are well fleshed out, but even then there are long periods boredom or backtracking involved. Sidequests boil down to Fed-Exing letters or killing "X". Unfortunate, but not surprising.
Combat has problems. On my PC copy of the game, the controlled character sometimes forgets to target the enemy I want him to, instead choosing to stand and stare as he is perforated by arrows or blasted with a fireball. Compounding that, The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard whenever it wants to be (which is often), and enemies level as you do, forcing your warriors to purchase ever more expensive weapons and armors to stay competitive. This only applies to warriors and rogues though—as usual for Bioware, mage users can take advantage of enough exploits so as to make NPC party members afterthoughts.
Speaking of NPC party members, the characters in DA can be somewhat bland. A good-natured warrior grieving for his friends, a darkly beautiful witch, a besotted dwarf, and so on. That's not to say that they're boring—the dwarf is a berserker who drinks in part to block his pain over the loss of his wife, the witch has was raised by a woman out of one of Grimms a fairy tales and so on.
The biggest problem I had with DA was the hype. Before release, we saw wonderful trailers and listings of the games highlights. What those of us looking forward to the game didn't see was the hours of aimless wandering and boredom inducing fights.
Final verdict: Give the game a chance—it's a fine example of what WRP Gs do well, that suffers from the usual WRPG problems. In particular, where DA stumbles is in trying to remake the RPG genre while using the same set-pieces that Bioware used to do it the first time.
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