Leliana the Bard/Rogue
Leliana brings lots of useful skills to your party. As a Bard, she can buff your party with song. As a rogue, she can learn to pick locks to help you find treasure and access hidden areas. In melee combat, rogues excel at dual-wielding blades and can deal extra damage with lots of critical strikes and backstabs (if you position them behind foes). But we preferred to boost her skills with ranged weapons so that she could pepper enemies with arrows and crossbow bolts from afar while boosting our party’s stats with her Bard songs.
Above: Leliana can pick locks and poison blades, making her a useful addition to your party
Leliana may be a lock picking rogue, but she also likes it when you take a break from your main missions to help the less fortunate. According to Leliana, the Maker (Dragon Age’s stand-in for a Judeo-Christian god) told her through a vision that she should assist you in battling darkspawn and help those in need along the way. Her romanticized view of the world doesn’t sit well with Morrigan. So expect some catty dialogue if you have both women in your party.
Above: A bloody rogue tries to explain that god sent her to help you
Also, Naked Blood Fights
From what we’ve seen so far in this preview build for the PC, Dragon Age: Origins’ battles are awesome. Like Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, combat takes place in real time, but the action can be paused at any moment to direct each character individually. While paused, you can take your time to strategically plan out the next move for each of your characters. The camera also works great. Panning across the battlefield while you zoom in and out looks amazing, especially when you’re jamming a blade into a darkspawn’s throat as blood bursts from his neck in violent spurts.
But if you really want a challenge, you should see how far you can get without wearing any chest armor. This will help you fully appreciate how bloody Dragon Age: Origins’ battles really are. Or, you can just look at some of these silly screenshots below.
Above: Only sissies wear armor in Dragon Age: Origins
Above: Alistair is unstoppable
Above: Morrigan gets ready to punish some peons with an ice blast
Above: Every battle you win with no chest armor feels like a real victory
Mousing, clicking, pausing, and mapping skills to the number keys makes battles works well on the PC. But we’re wondering if it will flow as smoothly on the PS3 and 360. Expect more news and gory details from GamesRadar when Dragon Age: Origins releases in November for the PC, 360, and PS3.
Oct 9, 2009