As a disclaimer, I should mention that I played all of the Baldurs Gate
, Icewind Dale
, and Planescape Torment
games back in the day. To me, Bioware
wasn't lying when they said that Dragon Age: Origins
is the spiritual successor to those games, it's a raucous throwback to the Infinity Engine
games where you led a party of unusual and powerful characters through an epic
tale of amazing battles against interesting villains.
In the case of Dragon Age: Origins
, Bioware has built on its tradition of accomidating multiple play styles and player motivations to a degree largely unknown in the gaming industry: the game has six seperate origin stories for a player character (multiple origins being something that Bioware forum-posters have been requesting for at least a decade), and each origin has subtle, but near-perfectly implemented differences in the main game: your best friend from the origin will probably show up again at some point. Also in the same vein, it's possible to play the game with in multiple ways: Magnificent Bastard
, Good Is Not Nice
, Deadpan Snarker
... actually, the game is so Troperiffic
that one imagines that the writers frequent this site...
Speaking of the writers, the lead writer, David Gaider
, who worked as a hotel manager before being hired by Bioware, has been impressing me with his fantastic dialogue and complex characters since Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
. This game, however, is his epic, and the natural extension of what a skilled writer can do when given the time, resources, and respect necessary to indulge a true love for roleplaying in the video game medium.
The plot, characters, and setting of this game appear, at first glance, to be lifted from any number of popular sources; anyone familiar with the King Arthur myths will immediately note his parallel in the King Calenhad myths of Ferelden, and their Crystal Dragon Jesus
equivilent, Andraste, takes inspiration from Joan Of Arc
, the New Testement, the struggles of Mohammed, and even Gnostic thought. From there, though, they made the story their own by giving more subversions, aversions, and lampshades than you can shake a starmetal 2-handed sword at.
The game has some flaws, but damned if I have any interest in dwelling on them, 1/3 of the way through my second playthrough.