Dragon Age: Origins

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Dragon Age: Origins

FEATURED Dragon Age: Origins

  • Scalable combat options that let you decide the level of control you have over your party, including NPCs. Issue orders, set your own tactical AI, or take control of any party member to lead the charge.
  • 6 possible playable preludes known as ‘Origin Stories’ which along with your play, define how your hero character will see the world, how it sees you and sets the tone for the entire story.
  • Travel across the vast and varied lands of Ferelden; from the conspiratorial halls of the last great dwarven city, Orzammar, to the untamed snarls of the Korcari Wilds.
  • Dragon Age: Origins will give you deep character customization options including: class, race, appearance, abilities, and equipment.
  • At the heart of the storm sweeping across Ferelden. Decide the fate of nations, people and, ultimately, yourself. Just remember: for every choice, there is a consequence.

Become immersed in a dark and heroic fantasy world realized with BioWare’s trademark depth and expertise, enriched with its own unique lore and brought to life by some of the best artists in the industry. Deep customization gives you control over your character in Dragon Age. Race, appearance, abilities, and equipment all affect how you look. What you do will affect how you are perceived. Your origin defines your place in the world and how others see you. These playable sequences introduce the world and let you decide how your character becomes a hero, setting the tone for the entire story to come. Stand at the heart of the storm sweeping across Ferelden. Choose the fates of nations, people and, ultimately, yourself. Just remember: for every choice, there is a consequence. Control your perspective as you guide a party of four into battle. Issue orders, build your own tactical AI, or take control of any party member to lead the charge. Downloadable content will provide you with exciting new stories and ways to expand your Dragon Age experience beyond the original game. Use the provided toolset to author your own adventures to share with friends.

From BioWare, the makers of Mass Effect, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Baldur’s Gate comes Dragon Age: Origins. An epic tale of violence, lust, and betrayal, Dragon Age: Origins is a single player role-playing game (RPG) set in a fantasy game environment, and featuring three playable character classes, accessible in the form of three races. In addition, the game features extreme character customization, a new game engine, party-based gameplay utilizing non-player characters and a built-in personal history system for each hero character rooted in a variety of possible origin stories.

'Dragon Age: Origins' game logo
Six possible hero Origin stories available in 'Dragon Age: Origins'
6 possible hero Origin Stories.
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Three character classes and three races available in 'Dragon Age: Origins'
3 classes and 3 races to play as.
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Gritty, brutal action in 'Dragon Age: Origins'
Gritty, brutal action.
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Frightening enemies and bosses in 'Dragon Age: Origins'
Frightening enemies and bosses.
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Party-based combat in 'Dragon Age: Origins'
Party-based combat using NPCs.
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Dwarf city in 'Dragon Age: Origins'
Stunning 3D environments.
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Story
In Dragon Age: Origins the survival of humanity rests in the hands of those chosen by fate. You are a Grey Warden, one of the last of an ancient order of guardians who have defended the lands on the continent of Thedas throughout the centuries. Betrayed by a trusted general in a critical battle, you must hunt down the traitor and bring him to justice. As you fight your way towards the final confrontation with an evil nemesis, you will face monstrous foes and engage in epic quests to unite the disparate peoples of a world at war. A romance with a seductive shapeshifter may hold the key to victory, or she may be a dangerous diversion from the heart of your mission. To be a leader, you must make ruthless decisions and be willing to sacrifice your friends and loved ones for the greater good.

Gameplay
Dragon Age: Origins is a 3D oriented RPG based in a dark, heroic, fantasy realm where moral choices have a lasting impression on the people you meet, the members of your own party and the world around you. The inclusion of subtitle “Origins” in the game’s title refers to the six unique origin stories available to new heroes as a new game begins. Each of these has an impact on the player’s motivations and his or her experience, and renders a unique prelude, path, and possible ending(s) to the game. There are many different endings to the game based on the origin story of the character and the choices you make as you play through the game. The game features three character classes–warrior, mage, and rogue–and three races of being–Human, Elf or Dwarf–that can assume these classes. Although most game elements, such as weapons, magic, etc., are available to any character, each class and race has different strengths, abilities and affinities which lend themselves to better utilizing different elements.

Dragon Age: Origins is a single player game based on party-based gameplay and combat where the player can join, control and quest with up to three non-player characters (NPCs). Players can also quest alone if they so choose, but with the chance of survival are slim. Convincing NPCs to join you, and treating them well may be necessary depending on the varying sentiments between the player and the NPC, or between the NPC’s in the party based on the chosen history written into the origin story accepted at the beginning of the game. This uncertainty allows for a variety of possible dynamics within the party ranging from open hostility, all the way to romance. The game progresses in real-time via a pause-and-play tactical combat system that allows the player to check inventory levels, equip a character, etc. in a slight vacuum. Additional features found in the game include: a combination of a standard loot system and a currency system based on gold silver and copper; advanced character customization functionality; the use of poison, traps and herbalism; dual-wielding skills; and “spell combos,” which allow players to chain together different spells to create a unique effects.

Key Game Features

  • BioWare’s deepest universe to date with over 80 hours of gameplay and more than double the size and scope of Mass Effect.
    • Travel throughout dozens of environments and fully immerse yourself in a shattered world that is on the brink of utter annihilation.
    • An epic story that is completely shaped and reactive to your play style.
  • Complex moral dilemmas offering no easy choices.
    • Tailor your Dragon Age: Origins experience from the very beginning by choose from six different origin stories.
    • Decide how to handle complex issues like murder, genocide, betrayal, and the possession/sacrificing of children without the security of a good/bad slider to tell you what to do.
  • Full character customization allowing the player to sculpt a hero in your own image or fantasy.
    • Elaborate character creator allows you to create your own hero unique from anyone else.
    • Shape your character’s personality and morality based on the choices you make throughout the game.
  • Engage in bone-crushing, visceral combat engaging in battle against massive and terrifying creatures.
    • Unleash legendary powers and choose from over 100 different magical spells and skills.
    • Experience the adrenaline rush of brutal combat, beheading your foes or casting spells that make enemies explode from within.

System Requirements:

Minimum Recommended
OS: Windows XP with SP3 / Vista with SP1
CPU: XP: Intel Core 2(or equivalent) running at 1.4Ghz or greater AMD X2(or equivalent) running at 1.8Ghz or greater / Vista: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.6Ghz or greater Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4Ghz Processor or equivalent
RAM: XP: 1GB or more / 1.5GB or more 2 GB (XP) / 4 GB (Vista)
HDD: 20GB
Video: XP: ATI Radeon X850 128MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT 128MB or greater / Vista: ATI Radeon X1550 256MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB or greater ATI 3850 512 MB or greater, NVIDIA 8800GTS 512 MB or greater, AMD Phenom II X3 Triple-Core 2.8 GHz or greater
Other: DVD-ROM drive for physical disc play; Mouse/keyboard/gamepad for gameplay

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2 thoughts on “Dragon Age: Origins

  1. 322 of 340 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Kind of like a cross between Witcher and KOTOR 2, November 4, 2009
    By 
    sporked (Berkeley, CA USA) –

    = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
    This review is from: Dragon Age: Origins (DVD-ROM)

    Dragon Age is a kind of game that is becoming increasingly rare: a deeply immersive single-player RPG with an interface clearly designed for the PC. It’s easy to sling around the word “immersive” at any game that looks pretty, but DA isn’t messing around – the world of Ferelden shows a unified sense of design and depth that blows even famously vast games like Oblivion out of the water. Coupled with consistently excellent writing and across-the-board quality character design even down to relatively unimportant NPCs, the game truly does feel like it’s reacting to your choices dynamically from the very beginning, and how you play your character can have amazingly subtle effects on the way the story unfolds.

    Graphically, the game’s a little uneven. All the design elements are there, and it has plenty of high-quality textures and strong environmental visuals – particularly fire effects. The polygons themselves, particularly on character faces, are a little simpler than you’d expect from a 2009 game. Overall, the game looks about on level with Oblivion, although the visual distinctiveness and design ethic of areas and characters are significantly better. Animation stands out as a strong suit here, particularly during the game’s frequent dialog sequences, with none of the dead-eyed staring or bizarre walk cycles that plagued other RPGs like Fallout 3.

    Gameplay is pretty straightforward, and very much in keeping with previous Bioware titles like Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect. You control a party of up to four characters, each of whom develops a plethora of useful abilities to keep track of. The inclusion of a minor programming element (very much in keeping with the gambit system from Final Fantasy XII) will let you set up a few default actions on each character so you’re not stuck frantically switching between them to make sure they drink their healing potions, but battles frequently require some degree of tactical planning. Setting up ambushes and planning your party strategy to play to strengths is necessary to get through some tougher areas. The interface is, shockingly, clearly tailor-made for the PC (the console versions have their own interfaces designed from the bottom up and are apparently easier games to allow for the sacrifice in easy access to skills). You have an insane number of quick-access slots, and nearly the entire keyboard is bound to one thing or another. It’s the kind of interface that hasn’t been in vogue since before the PS2 came out. The game is extremely linear, although the frequent and varied dialog options give it the feel of a more free-roaming game, and it’s very tempting to go back and replay huge chunks of the game just to see how the complex and dynamic conversations will play out. The main downside is that there’s no easy way to level-grind, which is to the game’s benefit to a point (no tedious circling around killing wolves) but occasionally means you can get in over your head.

    What the game sacrifices in terms of sandbox free-roaming it more than makes up with in the excellent writing and characterization. An absurd attention to detail and across-the-board excellent voice acting breathes a lot of life into the game’s conversations, which make up a significant chunk of gameplay. Characters are extremely varied and the interplay between them is a major draw, a trademark of Bioware’s games, but Dragon Age has some of the most likable characters I’ve ever seen in a video game and the excellent performances from talents like Tim Curry, Kate Mulgrew and Claudia Black really put the game a notch above. Even the game’s fairly generic-on-the-surface fantasy world is livened up by a few critical details – for example, the elves in Dragon Age are a massive underclass of servants.

    It’s actually difficult to find things to level complaints against in this game. One petty gripe is Morrigan’s visual design – her character is one of the game’s strongest, and she has great personality and some very clever writing, but visually she’s a pair of giant breasts with a cloth draped improbably over them. Other women in the game are treated with a bit more restraint, though, and female armor is gratifyingly sensible. Another issue is that it can be difficult to manage battles on the fly, and accurately targeting enemies with skills frequently requires tactical pausing just to line the cursor up over their relatively small active areas. It’s a petty annoyance, but the game clearly wasn’t meant to be played Diablo-style anyway.

    A few other things to know about the game:
    -The game is mostly DRM-free, and ships only with a simple disc check. EA has a reputation for fouling up its customers’ computers with DRM malware, but DA seems to be free of those problems.
    -If Dragon Age were a movie, it would be rated R. I don’t remember ever seeing any swearing, oddly, but the game is rife with violent imagery, extremely dark themes and…

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  2. 132 of 145 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The best RPG of 2009, November 10, 2009
    By 
    VA Gamer (Virginia Beach, VA) –

    = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
    This review is from: Dragon Age: Origins (DVD-ROM)

    Before diving into the review, a brief summary: Dragon Age Origins is the epic role playing game that many of us have been waiting for since we first fell in love with the genre with the classic Baldur’s Gate. It drops the player into an immersive fantasy world rich with lore and compelling settings. The aesthetics and score are as pleasing and engrossing as a good cinematic feature or novel. And while it is spectacular in just about every way, it is not without its faults (mostly technical in nature, and affects players with very specific computer hardware as far as I can tell – I’ll explain more later). In short, if you’re a fan of the genre you will do yourself a favor by purchasing and experiencing this game. I have never felt more comfortable suggesting a RPG to the Internet-at-large as I do right now with Dragon Age. I will swear upon whatever holy text you prefer that it’s the best single-player RPG to come along since Fallout 3. If you’re not a theist, I suppose I could place my hand upon a photograph of Carl Sagan before making the same solemn vow. But I digress. Onto the review. Aspects I found positive are preceded by a (+), negative aspects a (-).

    GAME PLAY
    (+) Dragon Age (hereby referred to as “DA”) plays like a perfect hybrid of turn-based and real-time RPGs of yore. The controls are a mash up of overhead tactical maneuvering ala Baldur’s Gate and the third-person RTS-like mechanics found in Knights of the Old Republic. You control character movement with either the WASD keyboard directions familiar to MMO and FPS players, or via mouse-click navigation (concurrently). You can play from a third-person perspective to get a full view of the world around you, or zoom out into an overhead tactical view to aid in unit placement and positioning (in which the graphics take on the painted look and feel of Baldur’s Gate – a nice touch). The camera may be controlled with either the keyboard or mouse. All around, stellar.

    (+) The UI makes a powerful and elegant use of economy of space (it fits a lot into a little, all while looking and playing extremely well)

    (+) Character customization is as rich if not richer than any other RPG hybrid or pure RPG on the market – past or present. You have standard archetypes (warrior, mage, rogue) which alone have various “trees” or avenues of progression focusing upon things like weapon preference (sword + shield, dual wield, two-handed, etc) or general and crafting skills. In addition there are specialist classes that excel at specific vocations (such as the mage-nullifying Templar, shape shifting mage, or crit-happy Duelist – to name a few). On top of this, special abilities and vocations may be unlocked by finding rare items or special quests (often a combination of both)

    (+) Combat is highly tactical, taking into account elevation, range, “crowd control” mechanics, and vast synergy between the abilities of your party members

    (+) A deep tactics system can be utilized, in which you assign a custom AI to each of your characters based upon a variety of criteria and situations. For example, you can tell your mage that every time they’re surrounding by two or more melee mobs, they cast a certain crowd control spell. If a party member has less than 50% health, heal them. Or have your tank taunt mobs that attack the mage. Or have the rogue stun the mobs your main character is fighting. Etc.

    (-) Melee-centric characters draw from a pool of stamina to perform their various abilities and group-enhancing skills. This pool feels very limited, even when you invest heavily into the stat that grants more stamina. It’s further hampered by injuries that your characters will sustain, on occasion, while fighting (which are treated with injury kits or by resting at your camp). Hopefully this will be tweaked in a future patch.

    STORY, PRESENTATION, & SETTING
    (+) The seemingly hackneyed story (you`re the last in a long line of sacred warriors who’s mission is to vanquish a very particular foe) quickly unfolds into a compelling, immersive, and interesting tale that rivals those found in quality fantasy novels and movies. Each race, town, city, and region are wholly unique and diverse – from the political intrigue of Dwarven society to the juxtaposition of the city and forest Elves (and the layers of complexity involved therein). I can’t go too much into this without potentially spoiling the many excellent stories. Suffice to say, it’s superb.

    (+) While the world isn’t technically “open”, being divided into many instanced zones (if you will), it is nevertheless truly vast. Most areas are substantially large. There is no limit to draw distance: your viewing distance is essentially to infinity, and most zones can be fully explored to the smallest nook and cranny (and it pays to do so). You unlock more areas as the game progresses (and the areas vary depending upon your origin and choices), and…

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