Because it’s Thursday, I’m going to do another Thursday Thirteen. And I’ll give you a hint about what I’ve been doing this week when not at work or rehearsals or sleeping…
Thirteen Reasons why Dragon Age: Origins is Awesome
1. Incredible worldbuilding.
Maybe it’s because I’m an author, but I notice things like this. The world in this game is very well developed, and there’s all kinds of background that the average gamer won’t notice. I started most of the different origin stories partly to see more of the background of the different cultures. Speaking of which…
2. Origin stories!
It’s nice to have each race and (to a degree) class start the adventure in a different way. It makes more sense than having the same thing happen to each character no matter what background the player chooses.
3. Characters who already know combat.
No matter which origin story you choose, however, it looks like you start the game as someone who knows combat basics. Which is good, because you’re supposed to be a recruit to an elite group of fighters. How you would be supposed to do that as a civilian I never understand (in other games).
I like it. It makes sense. There’s not really much more to say about it.
5. the Storyline.
Very good story. It has a plot that a novelist would be proud of. I wonder… how does one get a job writing the story part of the computer game? Because I so want that job.
Awesome. Nothing more needs to be said. (But when has that stopped me before?) Not since Oblivion have I seen a game this pretty.
I keep going on about various aspects of the writing that I love. Here is another one: the NPCs in your party have great personalities, and interact with each other. While your’e running around doing quests, they’ll start talking to each other. It’s highly amusing, and I suspect someone (or several someones) had waaaay too much fun scripting those. Or perhaps the voice actors just ad-libbed… either way, it’s great.
8. There’s a lot of it!
This is a big game. A big world. A detailed storyline. I love it.
The only other game I’ve played that felt this much like a novel was Oblivion. Dragon Age is more plot-driven, though; in Oblivion, you could literally run around in the game for days straight (realtime) completely ignoring the plot. I spent so much time on the sub-quests that I was an insanely high level for the early part of the main plot (which made it hard, as the Oblivion monsters level with you…)
Back to Dragon Age: even though you are a little more constrained by plot (you can’t go certain places until you finish quests pieces, for instance), you do still get to make choices. There is still a sprawling world for you to investigate. It’s wonderful.
9. Free Content!
(I think this is valid through the end of the month. Check it out if you haven’t already.)
With certain (most, I believe) purchases of Dragon Age, you get a couple download codes for extra stuff. One for a suit of armor, one for an additional NPC companion character. I haven’t gotten high enough stats to use the armor yet, but it looks cool.
10. Good voice acting.
I like the choices they made on their voice actors (with the exception of all the kids seeminly voiced by the same person in the same exact voice). They are easy to listen to when they should be, gratingly annoying when appropriate, and they suit the personalities of the characters. (Granted, I do miss having Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean the way Oblivion does, but still.)
11. Easter eggs!
I have yet to find them, but I’m told there are tons of references to Baldur’s Gate (as, I hear, a “return to their origins” was part of the motivation behind this game). For isntance, I guess your dog can dig up a pair of golden pantaloons…
12. Good jokes in general.
Such as “giant rats. Sounds like the way every adventure story my dad ever told me began…”
Jokes are good. I mean, why do we play these things if not to enjoy ourselves?
13. Just. Plain. Fun!
It’s a great game. And don’t take anything the wrong way with my constant Oblivion references — that’s just the last game that I enjoyed this much. Both great games, and don’t make me choose between the two. I can’t do it.