Last Friday I picked up Dragon Age: Origins for my PS3 (dunno why but it was delayed on the PS3 in the UK) and thought I’d share my first impressions of it with everyone. To summarise: ’tis gud.
I won’t bore everyone with the ins and outs of the game as there are plenty of other blogs and articles out that cover all of the nitty gritty of it. If you’re looking for a couple of good, thorough and insightful reviews, I’d recommend both Tobold’s review and Tipa’s over at West Karana. Their reviews are for the PC version of the game though whereas I bought the Playstation 3 one.
As I said, even though I’ve only played Dragon Age for a handful of hours (pesky real life and work keep getting in the way), it’s an enjoyable game and pretty much everything you’d expect from a mature, high fantasty RPG by Bioware. In saying that, however, there are two things that really ticked me of. One is due to poor game design and the other to console limitations.
The first thing that really bugged me, and then actually became comical, was the fact that I designed my Human Warrior to be a bald, feeble old man with a big bushy white moustache. He looks about 60 years old and I even planned a whole backstory for him and was looking forward to playing it out. Then, of course, I started the game and everyone started calling me “pup”. Turns out the game actually forces you to follow a predetermined storyline in which you’re a young man, completing contradicting the way my character looked. Irritating at first, it actually become funny after a while as I was running around the castle with my “mother”, a woman who looked about 10 years my junior (if I’d been 10 years younger, I would’ve been all over her). If the game is going to let me create an old looking man, don’t force me to play a young character. That’s bad design.
The second thing that ticked me of (and still does a bit although I’m getting used to it) are the PS3 controls. Yeah, I know, I should’ve bought the PC version. Dragon Age is just begging to played with a mouse and keyboard and I find it an absolute drag to go through my inventory or issue orders in battle. I should’ve seen this coming and it’s my own fault for going with the PS3. Oh well, live and learn.
At the end of the day, Dragon Age: Origins is a lot of fun and I’m enjoying playing it. Still, it makes me look forward to Mass Effect 2 more than ever because I feel that it’s a stronger license, more exciting, and a lot more innovative. Dragon Age feels a bit like your cliché fantasy RPG that I’ve seen a hundred times before.