Bioware have a long history of releasing amazing role-playing games. From the company’s first major release, Baldur’s Gate, to today, they have consistently unveiled games that astound players and bring smiles to gamer’s faces all around the world.
However, with the release of Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware had unfortunately fallen short of its usual high standards. Dragon Age: Origins was a well executed, entirely un-inspired romp through a clichéd fantasy world. So while Bioware had seemingly perfected the genre, they failed to push the medium forward and in that sense, disappointed fans all around the world.
- 1 Dragon Age: Origins Graphics
- 2 Bioware’s Tired Voice Acting
- 3 Dragon Age Origins Review
- 4 Dark Fantasy Story of Dragon Age Origins
- 5 RPG Style Character Development
- 6 New Take on Bioware’s Famous Choice System
- 7 Turn-based Action RPG Fighting Style
- 8 Dragon Age Origins Contains a Unique Game Dialogue System
Dragon Age: Origins Graphics
Video games have, in recent years, approached near perfection in terms of graphics. Pixel counts and textures improved in it to the point of almost perfect representation of human skin tone and appearance. One might expect that Bioware’s impressive experience in the Video Games industry might give them an advantage in shaping some next generation graphics for Dragon Age: Origins. However, this is not the case.
Whilst the pixel counts and textures were impressive, Bioware failed to capture any sense of personality in the characters they portray in the game. All the gamer sees are the same skeletons with different sets of armor and skin placed over the top. One might ask the question of where the differently shaped bodies that are commonplace in games are to be found. What about a distinct sense of graphical style, so apparent in Dragon Age’s main competition, World of Warcraft, nowhere to be found in Bioware’s epic fantasy title.
Bioware’s Tired Voice Acting
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Bioware’s approach to Dragon Age: Origins was the attempt at conveying a sense of refinement and class through the inclusion of vaguely English accents. Almost every character in the game had some nature of British speech, which provided a distinct sound, but it had fallen short in terms of uniqueness or style. Although the voice acting is actually quite good, the approach to “fantasy” through English-sounding characters is as clichéd as the world in which these characters are fighting.
Dragon Age: Origins is by no means a poor game. In fact, it has been very highly reviewed in almost every major publication and website dedicated to rating new games. The gripe here is not with the quality of the elements that Bioware have placed into the fantasy game. Instead, the gripe is with the fact that Bioware have done nothing to push this genre forward.
Dragon Age Origins Review
In Dragon Age Origins the player gets transported to the fantasy world of Ferelden, a dark and foreboding world where wild creatures such as Werewolves and Orcs ravage the land. Bioware’s other titles focused on futuristic locations, but Dragon Age Origins transports players back in time to the class fantasy age.
Dark Fantasy Story of Dragon Age Origins
A darkness is overtaking the land and only the Grey Wardens, an elite group of the most powerful mages and the strongest warriors, can protect the land from the evil that is attempting to enslave it. The player has the opportunity to enter their ranks and join the fight and, just like the other Bioware titles, they can become a powerful aid for good, or an advocate for evil.
RPG Style Character Development
Bioware builds upon its famous character development techniques by allowing players to build their own origins, hence the title. Players will be able to experience the early years of their characters, shaping the world to fit their differing viewpoints.
Characters can grow up as commoners, disrespected by the world around them; they will need to be sneaky and crafty in speech in order to succeed. Or they could choose to be born with a noble heritage, strong and respected by all; however, this will mean that many will be jealous of their affluence, and many of the villagers may act violently towards them in order to procure some wealth of their own.
New Take on Bioware’s Famous Choice System
What stands out most about Dragon Age Origins is the magnitude in which a player can shape the worlds future depending on their actions. While most RPGs, especially the ones created by Bioware, allow characters to shape their personalities, the overall story remains pretty much the same no matter how you play. Sometimes the ending is different, but the general quest usually remains the same.
The only game that has really come close to creating a changing world environment was Deus Ex, the recipient of over 40 Game of the Year awards back in 2000. Deus Ex had multiple ending and different stories depending on the path chosen. If Dragon Age Origins has differing stories and quests depending on how the character is raised rather than just various ways of completing the same quest, then this will definitely be an innovative adventure game.
Turn-based Action RPG Fighting Style
As for the combat aspects, the tried and true formula that Bioware founded for its Knights of the Old Republic game will be the style of fighting in Dragon Age Origins as well, although weapons will pertain more to the era. Characters will essentially swap lightsabers for sword, blasters for bows and arrow, and the force for sorcery and magic.
One upgrade that Bioware has added is an element recently seen in Bethesda’s Fallout 3, slow-motion finishers. Getting a critical hit that finishes off an opponent will result in slow down of the action to showcase the brilliant move. While it may not add anything to the gameplay, it definitely bumps up the coolness factor.
Dragon Age Origins Contains a Unique Game Dialogue System
The dialogue in Dragon Age Origins, which has always been a strong point in Bioware games, will be similar to its other RPGs, with the character being able to choose from good, evil, neutral, and even hilarious responses. What is different, however, is that depending on the class and character type people will respond to the protagonist differently.
For example, an elf is considered second rate to humans and they will talk down to them, but if the elf met a fellow spellcaster, then there would be a greater bond between the two. How this will affect gameplay will be interesting to watch.