tirsdag 1. desember 2009
On Dragonage: Origins First Impression.
So, just like I knew I would, I bought the game while doing some christmas shopping the other day. And it was a good choice.. I have, however, not spent a lot of time yet (perhaps 5-7 hours into the game), due to work, and not wanting any of the Mass Effect moments where I had serious sleep deprivation and wasn't really feeling well after the two marathon nights I had with it, plus some other commitments.
In a sense, the game LOOKS to be completly different than Mass Effect when watching trailers and getting the basic gameplay idea. While Mass Effect was short on blood and gore, and the alien women was more innocent than the olsen twins in their movies (still the box says 18+ age reccomended for some reason) and had a 3d shooter like combat system - Dragonage drowns in blood and gore (Think LOTR made in the same style as Braveheart and with loads more mature language), and the combat is really oldschool: it feels just like Knights of the Old Republic on the xbox, while the pc version is more like Baldur's Gate. This was also what I thought it would be 30 minutes into the game...
But really, it plays very a similiar fashion. The important bit is NOT the visuals or combat mechanics, it's the characters and the story and well, more like roleplay games unlike 98% of games that wears the tag in computer/console gaming. The world is in a bad shape, this time it's the Blight, instead of orcs it's some kind of demons, some sorcerors or priests of old (most likely a combination) that tried to force their way into heaven, when the maker kicked them out and said screw you to humanity and other sentinent beings and forced them into the depths of the world, and they started trying to make the world go under. You are thrown into this as the Saviour or Hero or whatever, and need to save the world. But just like in Mass Effect, nothing is really as it seems, the whole Blight background seems like some fabricated "truth", and people are generally interested in killing off their competitors for power, money or just food instead of trying to save the world in an altruistic way. Just like people in the real world, in other words. So the gameplay gets broken up into large portions of chatting with npcs (with a VERY good script, its TOUGH to choose between the dialogue options and the conversations is often witty or makes you take sides and suchlike, the most fun part of the game so far), combat (not really interesting to me so far), character advancement (getting attribute points, skill points, talent points and messing about with gear from shopping and drops from stuff you kill, this has been above average for a game of this type so far) and getting fed immersion bits (this is where the braveheart like battle scenes come in, or you can read background info in the Codex after you discover them, or you can walk around and listen to conversations other npcs than the one you talk to have, for example, this is all good too.) Just like Mass Effect, except there is no bloody vehicle to drive...
Very good impression so far; combat is more boring than Mass Effect, but the world - which to me reminds me mostly of a mix of Earthdawn (the pen and paper roleplaying game) and A Song of Ice and Fire, with a smattering of The Prince of Nothing and Black Company on the side - is much more interesting, the visuals are less "clean" and the party you gather around you to save the world are mostly malcontents, annoying gits or sarcastic bastards (except for the dog that tags along, that so far has been the only game pet I have ever liked, ever), that makes all the choices taken underway get way more weight than "lets save this utopian world from the unwashed orcs" kinda storyline.
The worst part is perhaps how much I am itching to try out the character creation bit for every race/class/background combo - I picked a human noble warrior, and before you get thrown into the main plot you get an introduction to how to play and what you did before you needed to save the world, which was very interesting, but if I give in and try all the different background options, I'll never actually finish the game, I think... :(