Hah, 12 days into twenty ten, and I actually manage to finish the first game. At least I can say I finished SOMETHING this year.
Nothing really changed through the playthrough - the game is strictly about 2 things. One part is the story, the main framework that gets told with little interaction (evil darkspawn/demons wanting to ruin the world and you have to stop it) and the inbetween stuff that is character interaction and dialogue. The other part is very traditional rpg combat - limited movement and mostly hit a button to do some move you earn through character leveling. And of course level up and gear up to get better in combat (mostly by actually fighting, and some trading at the side).
By far the best thing about the game, and by far superior to any other game I've played, is how the characters interact with the story, how...immersive everything is, script and the actual voiceacting, the choices you get (and how hard it is to actually make gameworldchanging choices) and everything. Lots of memorable moments to be had. Other stuff in the game supplements this, the world itself, how it looks, the various faction societies and so on. Amazing.
While I was about to say "greatest game of all time" at one point in the game, I am really not so sure. The graphics, while I enjoyed that everyting wasn't so clean cut (like kotor, mass effect, or for that matter Aeon Flux or UltraViolet) it's all corny and kinda looks last generation. Though, it does make the game avoid lots of loading and so on, except when zoning (unlike Mass Effect). My main gripe with the game is the combat. Most rpgs these days does tend to have more interactivity or "action" if you like, like for example Mass Effect and Tales of Vesperia, and I prefer that, as just wandering around toggling characters and activating some abilities is so used up throughout the years, and with a large percent of a 40-50 hour at the minimum to play through game, it gets very stale the longer you get. It's not badly done or anything (I can remember one combat bug out of hand, that's all), it's just not very fun, it's just something you do to get the next big epic non-combat event to happen...
However, I really really want to play through it again, as it certainly is one of the best games I have ever played, and it feels like I skipped 75% of the game or so :S
SPOILERS: Just so I remember for when I am going to play through it again or for anyone interested, I ended up doing the blood magic ritual at redcliffe, I put Harrowmont on the throne in Orzammar (and let carri and his workplace be wrecked in the underway), I forced a peace in the dales, let the queen actually govern and recruited Loggie. Romanced Morrigan, but turned down her ritual. So doing everything different next time is in order.
Thought Provoking: 7/10.