Dragon Age: Origins

  • About 80 hours of RPG goodness
  • Memorable characters
  • An excellent combat system
  • Difficulty can be frustrating at times
  • Story feels a little generic at times
  • Doing it in your underwear

Dwarves. We already know what dwarves are. Dwarves are short, but strong. They make for good warriors and live underground. We already know all about dwarves, elves, mages, and dragons. So we thought we already knew all about everything Dragon Age: Origins could possibly throw at us while browsing through the unsurprisingly wide selection of beards for our upcoming dwarf warrior in the character creator. But after crafting one of the most generic dwarves of all time, the familiarity of Dragon Age’s typical fantasy setting quickly faded, and it quickly blossomed into one of the most engrossing role-playing games we’ve played in a long time.

Pronunciation: \dworf\
Function: noun
History: From Modern English dwarf, and that time you read Tolkien, played Dungeons & Dragons, or did anything remotely geeky between the age of 12 and 37
Definition: 1 a: a mythical creature of small statue who dwells underground; excels at metallurgy, forging battleaxes, growing beards, and holding a mob’s agro

Above: A dwarf. You can totally play as one. Of course, there’s much more 

This is high fantasy at its finest. So how does this title set itself apart from other RPGs that have done elves and dwarves to death? As with previous BioWare RPGs, like Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, it has to do with the game’s detailed lore, memorable characters, and an excellent combat system. But it’s the bounty of meaningful choices you have to make that really makes you feel like you own your story in Dragon Age - and it all begins when you create your first character.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

We rolled a dwarf warrior and opted to give him the background of a commoner. These seemingly superficial choices dropped us off in the slums of the dwarven capital city, Orzammar. As a low level commoner, we found ourselves doing dirty deeds for an underhanded crime lord just to survive. We exchanged harsh words with our alcoholic mother. We abandoned our poor sister. We lied. We stole. We murdered. And if we rerolled this character, we’d probably do it all again.

Above: Blood flows like wine in Dragon Age: Origins

That’s because Dragon Age doesn’t make you feel like a scumbag for acting less than chivalrous. For every problem there are several solutions, each with their own set of pros and cons - and deciding the best course of action is great fun. Had we chosen a different race and background, we would have experienced a completely different introduction to Dragon Age’s world. There are six origin stories in total, all unique and equally compelling.

More Info

Release date: Nov 03 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3, PC (US)
Nov 06 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3, PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: BioWare
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Intense Violence, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes
PEGI Rating:

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  • darkraven1414 - March 26, 2010 5:02 a.m.

    In my opinion this one of the worst games I've ever played and the gameplay is just horrible and lazy i would give it a 4.... Crap!
  • volrath46656 - February 13, 2010 5:01 p.m.

    Definitely not better than KOTOR, but there are years of nostalgia behind that sentiment... While Dragon Age might not stick out for any one particular feature, the game is about as polished as a game can be. I had to admit I was also expecting a Mass Effect-like experience, and was a bit perturbed when my character chose not to speak and when I discovered the combat was all tactical. However, after having put about 80 or so hours into the game (almost done with second playthrough and planning a third), I realize just how ridiculously deep this game is. The narrative still isn't quite on the level of either of the KOTOR games, but the game will still suck you in. This is one of the most detailed games I've played in my life. Confusing to me is this: ME1 and ME2 are essentially the same game. How can Dragon Age be better than one and not the other (according to reviewers on this site).
  • noobeater - January 21, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    the story and the ending for me made this one of my favourite ever games, and in many ways it is better then oblivion, tho oblivion when i first walked out of the sewers will always be one of the greatest games ever. However i recommend all to play this, the characters actually have emotions in this game and i personally feel that my decisions made a big difference which no other game has manage to do: I'm looking at you fallout fable etc
  • PiscesIscariot - December 31, 2009 3:54 a.m.

    Just got it. I think CreeplyTuna said it best. The action is boring to me, you press A and stand still for a bit and hit people. Your character doesn't talk which annoys me. The graphics aren't as great as I seen (not that thats bad, but still..). But my biggest complaint is that I thought it would be mass effect. It's not, and that's why I don't like this game. From the short time I played it, I guess I can see it's some peoples kind of game, but it's not mine.
  • onthursday963 - December 28, 2009 4:56 p.m.

    This is a very solid RPG. If you enjoy character and dialog heavy RPG's, this game is a must-have. The graphics aren't quite as polished as Mass Effect's, but the characters are just as fleshed out. I like being able to give them gifts to further their disposition toward me. The codex is also a very nice feature. It tells you all about creatures you encounter, history and lore, magic, characters, and a million other little things. The combat is more akin to Neverwinter Nights than Mass Effect. You select a target to attack and then select special moves from hotkeys while attacking. The combat menu pauses the action automatically, which is very helpful. Switching targets is very easy and feels natural. My favorite part of this game is the sound. The music is unbelievable. It's very moody and quite beautiful. The voice acting is some of the best I have ever heard in a game. The characters are very believable, so much so that you genuinely feel like you are getting to know them. All in all this game is fantastic. If you love RPG's, you will not regret buying this game.
  • EchoFX - December 15, 2009 6:14 p.m.

    This game OWNS, but it will take over your life. Don't buy unless you have time to devote to your new obsession.
  • AlexMercer1337 - December 13, 2009 7:37 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure the underwear thing was to avoid another lawsuit.
  • feeheelee - December 7, 2009 4:10 p.m.

    This review is obviously based on the PC version which plays like a dream compared to the retarded step child that the 360 version is. I purchased this based off of this review, saw it on the cheap at amazon and snapped it up! Better than KOTOR, you're 'avin' a laff! I'm gonna give it more time and see if I can find the depth of which you speak. I'm sure it is in there beyond the awful graphics, wooden voice acting, clunky combat and static camera... I'm giving it one week...
  • noobeater - November 30, 2009 5:17 p.m.

    lol for you who are too illiterate the article claims that it WONT have the same wow factor oblivion had eg Akiba and alex mercer im considering it, hence why i came on here, and even now still sligjtly divided, what with the fun of cod and assassins creed atm, maybe after xmas when iv probs completed assassins creed, but then there are loads more by then,so im divided
  • kor2disturbed - November 29, 2009 7:33 a.m.

    I got this game and I have been playin it for about 2 weeks now and I'm not done with it yet this is my favorite RPG it took the place of mass effect I loved mass effect but I love sword fighting and shields though I pefer the combat in the elder scrolls IV Oblivion
  • CreeplyTuna - November 14, 2009 9:37 p.m.

    i bought it... not wat i expected (in a bad way). action is slow and the graphics really arent as great as the screen shots make them out to be. i was expecting something like mass effect with swords just isnt doing it for me
  • GamerTagsSuck - November 13, 2009 2:54 a.m.

    I got a bunch of free dlc even without the collecters edition... The actual game is great, but the fact that your person never talks gets kind of annoying.
  • aKiBa55 - November 9, 2009 5:26 a.m.

    I've just started playing it. Pretty darn good, but I don't think it knocks Oblivion out of the park. It's definitely bigger than Mass Effect that's for sure.
  • Mar27w - November 7, 2009 10:04 a.m.

    still not sure about this,keep hearing that the combat is excellent but are they talking in RPG standards because the videos ive seen the fighting looks pretty poor with characters just standing swiping a sword that isnt even connecting with the enemies and constantly doing the same moves a bit like marvel alliance
  • MagicalSarai - November 6, 2009 9 p.m.

    I bought the collectors edition preordered and I have more than enough codes to get things from items to DLC with a new character and all I have to buy myself is the warden's keep. I played the online flash game and got even more items... I love this game (even though I had to pack it away after staying up and almost missing work on tuesday) and I want to play the heck out of it this weekend... my only complaint is that it tends to jump during close up face shots during dialouge... but that's a minor complaint. The graphics are descent the story is phenomenal... and I love the character customization.
  • scotchtape27 - November 5, 2009 10:50 p.m.

    it's a great game, but of course a few days after I get it my Xbox gets the red ring of death
  • jar-head - November 5, 2009 2:17 a.m.

    I wish Kotor2 wasn't rushed towards the much potential...but, back to Mass Effect 2...
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - November 4, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    Ehhhh Still waiting for Mass Effect 2,Bioware are you listening I want to shove all my money and guns to Mass Effect 2 !
  • AlexMercer1337 - November 4, 2009 12:11 p.m.

    Finally! I've waited forever. I'm gonna go out and buy this Saturday. Better than Elder Scrolls is saying a lot for me.
  • LordRevan111 - November 3, 2009 11:47 p.m.

    Better than kotor and mass effect? no way ha ha, gotta check this out. . .