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Arcana

Dragon Age: Origins

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I actually have an internal debate between buying Dragon Age: Origins and Borderlands. A friend of mine is biased and recommends Dragon Age because he thinks it'll last longer and also because his studio worked on it (he works at as an art designer).

I've read brief reviews of both games but it's hard to get a sense of them.

Anyway this is really my excuse to start a Dragon Age: Origins thread. It comes out today (November 3) after all.

3... 2... 1... GO!

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I made a Dragon Age thread here months ago, though no one cared. Now it's about to be released and is almost universally being praised as the best RPG since Baldur's Gate 2.

I've got it pre-ordered. For PC of course. The flexible toolkit is going to ensure a steady stream of mods for years, hopefully just as much as there is for Morrowind and Oblivion.

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I have to say, I'm kind of disappointed by the game's "Background" system. The way I heard it phrased, I was expecting more choices, or at least more freedom to choose. Instead it's just "You chose to be a human fighter, therefore your background is Human Noble." Granted, some class/race combinations might offer you a choice between two backgrounds, but it's still pretty underwhelming.

Speaking of lack of freedom, I'm also not best pleased about how the game pre-picks your starting skills for you. "You're a City Elf? OK, then you use dual weapons. No, you don't get to change it. This is MY character. I'm just letting you borrow it."

Now, I grant you that I am a real stickler for customization in RPGs, so maybe I'm overreacting. Heck, I only know this from playing with the character creator pre-release, so maybe it will have been changed in the final game. However, what with that and the infamous "SEX AND VIOLENCE!" trailer, I'm keeping my guard up. We'll see how it performs when it's out.

EDIT: Wait, what? It's out already? I could have sworn the last ad I saw said November 11th. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

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I bought it just now, but since I just got home and I'm hungry I haven't started it yet.

A friend of mine tells me that it starts out really slowly, like mind-numbingly slowly and then ramps up into something pretty intense and epic. He compared it to the Lord of the Rings and how there's a lot that Tolkien describes about the shire and all of that until the black riders come along.

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Just came home with the Collector's Edition, wooooooooo HOOOOOOOOOOO.

Came with the tin case and all. I paid a MASSIVE premium for it though ($120 AUD, which is equivalent to.. $108 USD at the moment) but there was nowhere else to get it.

Nonetheless, I just bought it as a treat to myself. And thankfully, the collector's tin case is pretty damn worth it. Much better than having a crappy plastic box, and for a game as epic as DA:O (hopefully) will be, then I think it will be a purchase well worth it. The cloth map is pretty cool too, and it's even better than Baldur's Gate II's cloth map (albeit smaller).

Anyway, won't be lucky enough to be able to play it until next thursday T_T, because of exam's and all. Oh well, it will be an agonizing wait.

And well, Borderlands, tbh I really don't see what all the hype is. It's just a grindy-type FPS with guns. And RPG elements. And no storyline.

Was really popular at launch, but I'm starting to hear of reports of Assassin's Creeditis, which is, well, repetitive gameplay. But it has multiplayer... but I think even L4D2 would be better for multiplayer co-op.

Considering DA:O's reviews: "Best RPG of the decade" etc, if it's remotely close to as good as Baldur's Gate II, then hell, it's worth buying imo.

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Giantbomb review:

http://www.giantbomb.com/dragon-age-origins/61-20738/reviews/

I find it especially funny how he says it's so old school that it might come off as something new and forward-thinking to people who have been brought up with games like Oblivion and Mass Effect, due to their brutal streamlining of the genre over the years.

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Been staring at the steam page for a while deciding whether I want it or not. Just doesn't appeal to me for some reason. Dunno, guess I'm just sorta over the whole medieval fantasy genre or something.

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I had the chance to play this for about an hour. You know what the first thing that struck me was?

"Damn, there's a lot of blood in this game."

There IS a lot of blood, it splatters all over the screen and after combat your character is covered in it. To me, it seems a little excessive and distracting.

Oh, the other thing I've noticed is that I kind of do enjoy these kinds of dialog games with multiple, small outcomes in which no "situation" you do is really right or wrong. A lot of other games I play, you either get no choices, or you're always supposed to do the "right" thing. That's not new news for Bioware, but it's one of those sighs of relief.

Oh, and the graphics in this game are not that good. Maybe it's because I just came from Aion, which has beautiful character models and very smooth animations for the most part, but Dragon Age's characters look terrible in comparison. The shoulders are too far apart relative to the bodies and the people don't really look relaxed and natural. I think this'll go away after a while but it does affect the immersion.

The voice acting on the other hand is not bad. Nothing stellar so far, but most of the voices are natural and delivered well. I kind of expected this since KOTOR was similar.

So far I'm not too far in and the story is pretty traditional, but it's interesting enough that I want to continue playing. The mechanics are not complex at all - you get to choose skills, some stats, and wear weapons, but combat isn't something you want to simply AFK out of, things will kill you if you don't take care of your party.

Need more time with the game.

BTW I never did play Baldur's Gate or NWN. The only other BioWare game I've played was KOTOR for XBox.

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Got the game now. Just completed the dwarf noble origin. Great experience so far, much better prolouge chapter than the run-of-the-mill tutorial segments you'd usually find in these games.

55hzkj.jpg

The character models and animations aren't spectacular, but I find them to be plenty more appealing than anything from Bethesda whom are given so much praise for their graphics. Of course it doesn't look anything like Aion, it's not meant to have that anime bishounen boy art (though I'm sure people are going to mod that in at some point). The game isn't meant to be a showcase of eyecandy anyhow, and it doesn't matter much if you're playing in the isometric overhead view (which works great).

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That depends on why you didn't like Oblivion.

If you disliked it because it felt dull, unimmersive and unengaging, you should be fine, because the folks at BioWare are actually capable of drawing you in, writing compelling stories and creating characters that act like human beings.

Also, you won't have to install a mod just so that the levelling system isn't a miserable, crippled, unintuitive wreck.

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Yeah, it sounds like I'd enjoy this game.

I thought that Oblivion was just too big and I never was able to get into it. It felt like a game that I could have spent 100 hours on if it weren't for obligations like jobs, family, chores and sleep.

I've been meaning to try Fallout 3 and see if I like it, but I'm afraid to commit after being disappointed by some of Bethesda's other games.

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Fallout 3 is better. It's not perfect, but it's definitely much more entertaining than the Elder Scrolls games. I'm someone who honestly had to make an effort to play Oblivion for more than five minutes at a time, but I played Fallout 3 from start to finish and enjoyed most of it. Except the ending. The ending will piss you off unless you have the Broken Steel expansion.

Anyway, Dragon Age. I've decided to play an elf, because from looking at the game's wiki, the Arcane Warrior class seems pretty damn cool; perhaps even a little overpowered, in fact, depending on how stingy/generous the game is with mana. Taking buffs into account, it almost looks like they have the potential to be better warriors than actual Warriors, and then they have spells on top of that.

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I just finished the Dwarf Noble campaign as well. It was fun and interesting, and drew you in as well as presented you with a number of possible choices that you aren't quite sure influenced your current situation.

I played a little bit the city elf campaign but didn't finish the prologue because I kept dying, I might complete that one just to get the achievement and to see how the game stitches together, then continue with my dwarf.

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I had the chance to play this for about an hour. You know what the first thing that struck me was?

"Damn, there's a lot of blood in this game."

There IS a lot of blood, it splatters all over the screen and after combat your character is covered in it. To me, it seems a little excessive and distracting.

thank you for posting this

i definitely wont be getting it now

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thank you for posting this

i definitely wont be getting it now

Don't like blood? Didn't think that's the kind of stuff that influenced you :)

I hear that, for this game, the PC version is *the* version to get out of the 3 you can get (PC, XBox 360, PS3) so keep that in mind. I played a few more hours in, the backstories "merge" together after you leave the starting area, so the backgrounds just give a little more of a custom introduction to your character in the first hour or so of the game. It's not exactly a revolutionary system but it gives the prologue a bit of replay value. I'm sure that it'll affect the later part of the game as well in the form of side quests too.

I'm still trying to get a good feel for how to handle combat. The AI works well enough but not nearly as well as I would have liked. It would have been amazing to have your allies be controlled by humans (like in an MMORPG). As it is now, they behave sufficiently but don't use all of their skills and aren't exactly good at positioning. Combat is not easy in this game either. While it's not prohibitively difficult so far, I've died already a few times so you do need to pay attention. I save a lot just in case.

Story is pretty solid so far. Good voice acting, good presentation, lots of twists and turns.

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yeah i really dont like excessive blood

a little is fine i guess but once it gets to a point i really dont feel like i need to see that

it doesnt make me sick or anything i just dont particularly like to see that kinda stuff

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I started playing this earlier today

rolled a city elf mage

it's actually really good, I forgot how long it's been since I played an honest-to-god RPG

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yeah i really dont like excessive blood

a little is fine i guess but once it gets to a point i really dont feel like i need to see that

it doesnt make me sick or anything i just dont particularly like to see that kinda stuff

After a while you get over it though I do wish that there was an option to turn it off so that I'd be more comfortable recommending this game to people who aren't ages 19-35 and male. Maybe a modder will write one to do it. It really is a good game but I question some of the stylistic choices like the blood and the relatively stiff idle positions of some of the character models.

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The thing about KOTOR was that it was great except for how shitty and boring actually playing it is.

The thing that made Mass Effect so great was that it was basically KOTOR except with less Star Wars and it was actually fun to play.

The thing about Dragon Age is that it has reverted back to the KOTOR model of not really being fun to play and also taking out a lot of what made KOTOR great in the first place. Also yeah, the gratuitous splatters of blood on your person is kind of needless and distracting.

And the voice acting is just awful.

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The thing about KOTOR was that it was great except for how shitty and boring actually playing it is.
To you. Most people though everything about KotoR was astounding. Try not to state your opinions as fact, please. :)
The thing about Dragon Age is that it has reverted back to the KOTOR model of not really being fun to play and also taking out a lot of what made KOTOR great in the first place
I'm having a blast with this game. It's the first game in ages to actually challenge me. I love it.

And for everyone complaining about the blood...you can turn it off, yanno. Nobody is forcing you to see it.

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