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02/09/2012 23:59:36 •••

An Outsider's Perspective

Late to the curb as I may be, I figured there was no harm in reviewing. As of this, I've completed one playthrough of the main campaign all the DLC sans Awakening.

I've had little experience with this type of game. The only WRPGs I've ever played are Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and two MMORPGs when I was much younger. As far as Bioware goes, I've only played the Mass Effect series other than this (though as the saying goes, they don't get points for good writing anymore, so I won't discuss it). Being a console gamer as I am, I certainly wasn't expecting auto-attack, but it works well enough.

I must say, I appreciate the lack of an open world. Nah, this game elects to pad itself through sidequests instead, which is good, as it feels more rewarding, though many feel impersonal. This makes sense when you're doing "Favor for Certain Interested Parties", but otherwise, you may as well be talking to a money maker machine.

Speaking of money, you'll be short most of the game, even with the DLC. Towards the end, I did eventually gain enough to were I had pretty much all I needed, but it would have been nice earlier. But hell, I appreciate a game that makes me work for every bit of power I get, though the fact that I was only playing on Normal difficulty stymies me, especially considering how much harder it would have been without all the DLC gear.

The game offers you quite a number of talent trees, and which are the most useful quickly becomes apparent. Anything that can be used to stun must be, as well as those ever useful anti-mage abilities. As with money, you'll never be leveled enough, so you have to plan out carefully what abilities you want. It's almost as if the game forces you to play like a Munchkin. To be fair, I didn't take much advantage of traps or poisons and my team strategy was never any more thoughtful than "kill the mages, have someone tank the strongest thing left and keep my healbot alive".

Finally, this game has quite a bit of Lost Forever you don't expect. Like selling otherwise useless gems and then finding out the dwarf army needs them. Gah.

Audio and visual quality is standard Bioware fare, though some levels seem a bit bland (the Fade).

Bottom Line: A nice way to waste tens of hours. I had lots of fun, and take no shame in multiple playthroughs. You shouldn't either.

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