The Mister and I recently started playing Dragon Age: Origins on the recommendation of a few friends, TGG in particular. We're really enjoying it so far, and although we're not near finished with the story, I thought it might be fun for Colt, Wes and myself—who are all at various stages of playing (TGG has played through the game multiple times and played Dragon Age II)—to tell you why we're obsessed.
Like I've said before, I'm not a huge gamer. At least, not in the typical sense. It's rare that I can pick up a game and have it to keep my attention for long. To date, I've completely played through only four games: Mass Effect 1–3 and the new Tomb Raider. I need a game that has a good combination of action, plot and characters that make me want to keep playing. ME, Tomb Raider and Dragon Age: Origins all have these items in spades.
The basic plot of Dragon's Age: Origins, if you're unfamiliar with the game, is that a blight of demons and foul creatures are trying to destroy everything. You play a character who has to lead the charge to save the world.
Although I'm only about 10 hours into the game, I already know that the characters will be one of my favorite parts of the game. The game creators/writers have designed characters that are both entertaining and endearing, and the conversations your "team" has as you travel to and fro/do battle with evil creatures makes even the downtime fun. The voice actors that play the characters are top notch as well; the cast includes the likes of Claudia Black, Kate Mulgrew, Tim Curry and Steve Valentine. Impressive, right?
Mulgrew and Black's characters in-game. (via)
(In case you were curious, my character is a Noble Dwarf Rogue. With short red hair, natch. Colt is playing as a Noble Human Warrior. He's balding, but has a full beard. There's something very familiar about the characters we've created ...)
From the Mister:
In addition to the characters and the story, Colt really enjoys the "classic" BioWare RPG element (as also experienced in ME). He likes that, through making choices and the "Choose Your Own Adventure" options, he's actually experiencing the story—is a part of the story—rather than just having it told to him. (I agree!) A lot of the characters, at least the party we both roll with most often, disagree in their moral and ethical standards, and Colt likes that this element of the game makes you think about your own actions and what reactions they'll elicit from the rest of the characters.
Plus, he likes stabbing demons with swords. (And looting EVERYTHING.)
And from TGG:
Wes thinks the best part of the Dragon Age series is the world it’s set in. "Characters come and go and stories change," he says, "but if you don’t have an interesting world why would you care about saving it?" He likes that the lands are flawed and full of brutal history—these elements help to draw players in. Scrolls and books scattered throughout the land and buildings you explore as the game progresses outline the customs and tales of the world. And although many of the stories have little to do with the main quest line, taking time to read them was one of Wes's favorite parts of the game.
Wes particularly loves the history of the main religion in the series and the tension between the Chantry (church) and the Mages (magic users). Like Colt (and me!), he appreciates BioWare's ability to create a world that could be real. "BioWare does a great job of not just creating conflict, but of creating meaningful and realistic conflict to make the world feel like a real place," TGG says. "Almost nothing is black and white; every side has its shades of grey and it’s up to you to determine where your sympathies lie. There is rarely a right or wrong choice, just a choice that makes the most sense to you, and sometimes it is not easy to decide."
P.S.—It's hilarious to me (although it probably shouldn't be?) that after every fight scene, no matter how vicious, your party is splattered with blood. E.g.:
Pretty sure this is after a somewhat minor bar brawl.