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Game Review: Dragon Age: Origins (Playstation 3)
Henchman21   |  @   |  

Dragon Age: Origins, Playstation 3Dragon Age: Origins
Platform: Playstation 3
Developer: Bioware
Publisher: EA
Release Date: November 2, 2009

I’ve never played too many American developed RPG’s before, I’m much more of a Japanese RPG fan, but I needed a game to fill the time before Final Fantasy XIII came out, so I decided to pick up Dragon Age: Origins for my PS3. Am I happy with my purchase? Well, more or less. The game has some flaws to it, but there are also good points as well, and there’s plenty to do in the game, so I feel like at least I got my money’s worth.

Dragon Age takes place in a pretty standard fantasy realm. There are dwarves and elves and magic and as the title says, dragons. You take the role of a Gray Warden, one of the last of a group of people who defend the land from the demonic swarms of the dark spawn. After a political coup disrupts the land, you must travel around and unite an army in order to find the oncoming menace. That’s more or less the basic plot for the game, and if you’ve ever wanted a video game based on George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice this is pretty close to it. The story is certainly one of the high points of the game. It’s very strong and there are a lot of interesting characters that you will want to follow. There are almost too many interesting characters, because I found myself wanting to see how every one of the playable characters reacted to the events of the story, but you can only see the reactions of three of the characters at a time.

This is a Bioware game; so predictably, the dialog and story is another strong suit. The voice acting is decent, and the writing is fun, and it tells the story very well. I always knew who was who and what I was supposed to be doing. It’s a story that is worth playing through multiple times, which is good because one of the big points of the game is to play through the six different character types, or origins in the game. Each origin is significantly different, but eventually they all get you to the same main plot. It’s an interesting way to encourage multiple play-throughs.

Combat is decent enough on the PS3 version, but I wouldn’t call it spectacular. It gets the job done, is what I’m trying to say. You control one character at a time while the computer controls the other three using certain tactics that you can control, such as having your healer restore any character with less than 50% of their hit points, or controlling who your fighter will take out first. It works well enough, although it’s not necessarily my favorite combat system. I tend to like more direct control of all my party members. That said, it didn’t get in the way of my enjoying the game, so I can’t complain too much about it. It’s a preference thing to me, and you may enjoy this style of combat more than I do.

Where the game really falls is in the presentation. This is a really ugly game, and there’s just no way around that. Outside of the main characters, there are maybe a dozen models for the rest of the characters, and they just get slightly different coloring to differentiate between them. When you see your second or third identical older female character, you kind of just have to shake your head and laugh. More than anything, it’s just a very bland game, without any of the technical flair that you would expect from a next generation game. Nothing about the graphics stands out, unless you count how bad they look. It’s really a shame because this game has a lot going for it, but the butt ugly graphics really detract from my overall enjoyment of the game.

Is this game a buy? Well, it depends. If you have an XBox 360, then your best bet is to skip this and pick up Mass Effect 2. If you’re limited to a PS3 the big problem is that there aren’t a ton of RPG’s, so your choices are fairly limited. I would recommend a rent on it, just to see if the graphics don’t make a difference to you, or if they really turn you off. As a total package, I’m giving this a 3 out of 5, for having a really good story, but lacking a bit in graphics. At least I know there are more roleplaying games coming soon for me to enjoy.


  1. Have you tried the Mass Effect series?

    Comment by Vactor — February 22, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  2. Vactor – Played some of the first one, but not enough to form a serious oppinion. PS3 is my primary gaming platform, although I do have access to a 360, I just don’t use it that much. It’s one I mean to get to at some point.

    Comment by henchman21 — February 22, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  3. I own this game on the pc and I have purchased all the DLC released to date.
    I do agree the graphics aren’t spectacular but on the PC they seem much better.
    To me an RPG can have outdated or rough graphics and not have it deter as long as the game play makes up for it (look at NWN).
    Now with that being said I agree with the blandness of the game. Despite there being a lot of dialogue and characters it doesn’t allow the number of options you would think it does.
    I played NWN for years but this game I played once and then put it away. The DLC isn’t worth the price since $5 usually gets you a half hour to an hour of additional content in the form of quests or items but little to no new creatures. It is just different ways to use the same content which can be free when mods start coming out.
    The 3 out of 5 rating is applicable to the PC version but the reasons are a bit different.

    Comment by Brian — February 22, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  4. Are you kidding. This is clearly the best RPG on the PS3. It is game of the year all over the place and you are like…. rent it. Being overly tough and overly critical does not make you a good reviewer. It could talk someone out of getting one of, if not the best RPG this year. At least it doesn’t have characters that take half the game to decide if they are male or female (anime). At least the story is geared towards someone over twelve. How would you have them let you directly control 4 charaters real time? Oh turn based is your thing? You would simply complain that the combat was not new and different then. This RPG is big. Lots of options that actually make a difference in the story and how everyone reacts to you. It has replayability (how many RPG’s have that..really). You have to use tactics. It’s a semi open world. Tons of cut scenes that change base on who is in the party. Multi love senerios. I got like 70 hours of game play the first time through, could have done it quicker if i skipped the brothel :) And I get well the graphics aren’t all that great. Yeah cause RPG’s are graded on their graphics. Consider the size of the game and now consider that the graphics might be pretty good considering its not Motor storm or Grand Turismo. I guess they put anyone the net these days. Game is great if you have not got it yet, get it, play it try not to lose your job calling out all the time.

    Comment by Jeremy — February 23, 2010 @ 12:18 am

  5. Yes the options you choose in dialogue do make a difference in the way people look at you. This would be great if not for one HUGE GLARING flaw.
    If a team mate gets mad at you and your like/not like bar gets too low you can just give them gifts that are easy to find and easier to buy.
    This completely removes any relevance the reaction system has on the game.

    Comment by Brian — February 23, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  6. I was talking about plot not characters.. If you side with the werewolves or the elves, Sten in the cage..ect. I dont want to give it away but there our plenty of choices to make that can not be changed with gifts. However there is a limited amount of gifts in the game, and the more you give the less the gifts do. If you make to many decions they dont like, you could lose someone. So you need to be mindful of who is in your party when your going to make a touchy decion. It just adds more stratagy to the game. Especially if you are trying to be evil. :)

    Comment by Jeremy — February 24, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

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