Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 656 Ratings

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  • Summary: As the spiritual successor to BioWare's "Baldur's Gate", one of the most successful role-playing games in the industry, Dragon Age: Origins represents BioWare's return to its roots, delivering a fusion of the best elements of existing fantasy works with stunning visuals, emotionally-driven narrative, heart-pounding combat, powerful magic abilities and credible digital actors. The spirit of classic RPGs comes of age, as Dragon Age: Origins features a dark and mature story and gameplay. Epic Party-Based Combat – Dragon Age: Origins introduces an innovative, scalable combat system, as players face large-scale battles and use their party’s special abilities to destroy hoardes of enemies and massive creatures. Powerful Magic – Raining down awesome destruction on enemies is even more compelling as players apply "spell combos," a way of combining together different spells to create emergent unique effects. Players develop their characters and gain powerful special abilities (spells, talents and skills) and discover ever-increasing weapons of destruction. With its emotionally compelling story, players choose with whom they wish to forge alliances or crush under their mighty fist, redefining the world with the choices they make and how they wield their power. Players select and play a unique prelude that provides the lens through which the player sees the world and how the world sees the player. The player's choice of Origin determines who they are and where they begin the adventure, as they play through a customized story opening that profoundly impacts the course of every adventure. [BioWare] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 68
  2. Negative: 0 out of 68
  1. 100
    With an estimated 40-60 hours for a relaxed, fairly expansive play through, and the choices of origin, class and race to ensure at the very least two to four replays, Dragon Age: Origins may well be one of the most addictive, satisfying and life-swallowing RPGs that you can play offline.
  2. 95
    Dragon Age: Origins is a rare game, one reminiscent of the PC RPGs of the past, and those who enjoyed those games will undoubtedly enjoy this one.
  3. Dragon Age: Origins has it all! In spite of the unsatisfying graphics, it has so much on offer in terms of gameplay, storyline and longevity that it deserves to be played by every single GDR fan out there!
  4. An amazing RPG that sets some new heights with very little to criticise. An great story coupled with fantastic characters and lots of replay value make Dragon Age: Origins easily the best RPG of the last few years.
  5. 87
    Incredibly deep and expansive, Dragon Age: Origins is one of those titles that can easily swallow up dozens of hours of play and keep you coming back for more.
  6. RPG lovers shouldn't miss a great RPG title which offers a powerful story and a stunning conversational mode.
  7. It is so often calamitous that its few charms are either squandered or obscured. [Christmas 2009, p.96]

See all 68 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 137
  1. PatJ
    Nov 3, 2009
    Got it yesterday and haven't been able to put it down. The sun came up before I realized how many hours had gone by and all I can think about at work is getting home to play it some more. Expand
  2. Feb 28, 2011
    I was never a big fan of Bioware at all. In fact, when I first put this game in my 360, I was already having doubts on if this game will be good, because I tried Mass Effect, which is considered to be Biowares best game, and didn't like it. I admit that the game looked good when I first saw it. A friend of mine decided to let me borrow his copy of Dragon Age, which he later said I could keep with no charge. Thanks Josh. So, why am I thanking my friend for a game by Bioware, a company I never liked? I'll tell you why. Because this game IS AMAZING!!!!! I'll be perfectly honest, Oblivion is one of my favorite RPG's ever, but I think Dragon Age actually beats it. I'm already looking forward to Dragon Age II, it has become one of my most anticipated games on 2011. So since I only have 5000 characters per review, let's get to the game. The most important aspect in any game is, of course, the gameplay. So, how is the gameplay in Dragon Age? Outstanding! It's like a very fast paced version of the Final Fantasy XI battle system, except much more active. You're not hacking and slashing, but it's still a very active system. Don't you worry Turn-Based Haters, this game is not turn based at all. They basically took the turn-based battle system from FFXI, and removed the turn-based part of it. Absolute genius! You can also set techniques to your quick cast buttons, much like setting your items to the C-buttons in Zelda. This makes it easier, because anything that's not set to your quick cast buttons, you can only cast by opening up the ability menu, and selecting it. However, this is quick, and is a great way to pause the game if you need to observe the battle and decide a change in strategy. Of course like any other advanced RPG, you can create your character to your liking. You can choose between 3 races. Human, Elf, and Dwarf. I decided to be an elf. After that, you choose your job. You can choose one of 3 jobs. Warrior, Rogue, and Mage. I decided to be a rogue, because I like sneaking around and being quick. Each job has 4 specializations that you choose from after unlocking them through quests in the game. The rogue specialization I chose first was Duelist, which is a person who can deal very good damage, and is very good at dodging attacks, and is best with dual wielding daggers. I later made Archer as my 2nd specialization, that one should be obvious. But in case you don't get it, it means you use a bow and arrow. Each time you level up, you get points to spend on character attributes to make him stronger. You do the same with your party members. By the way, you don't travel alone, you have a party with you. So obviously, this means you have to keep a well organized party. As far as the story goes, the story starts off differently for every race, but it all leads down to the same story. You become a Grey Warden, a special warrior meant to protect the people from the darkspawn. Of course that's up to you. The game has the same choice system as Mass Effect, so the choices you make will affect you later on, and you can choose to be a good guy or a bad guy. Not only will your decisions affect you later in this game, but they will also affect you in Dragon Age II, so choose your path wisely. In either case though, you have to gather allies from around the world by either helping them solve their problems so they can aid you, or by forcing them to aid you. The only problem with this game is it's difficulty. Casual mode is too easy, but Normal mode is way too freakin hard. It's like the game completely skipped Normal mode and decided to make Normal mode hard mode. Even the hardcore RPG players are usually playing the game on casual mode, because Normal mode is way too hard, it's nearly impossible. One can only imagine how difficult Hard and Nightmare modes are. I have yet to hear of anyone who can play the game all the way through on Nightmare mode. All and all, fantastic game, and it deserves every penny you pay for it. It has to be one of the best RPG's of all time, so if you love RPG's, pick this game up. Mass Effect ain't got **** on Dragon Age! 10/10. Expand
  3. nKayu
    Nov 9, 2009
    Ok, this is not a graphic killer game, ok, the PC version is (maybe) superior than the consoles version... but it's an amazing game who locks me in front of my TV for hours... And for that I give it a 9 ! Expand
  4. JoshC.
    Nov 4, 2009
    I own the 360 version, and even with its presentational shortcomings (several other RPG's one-up it graphically - Specifically Oblivion and Bioware's own 2007 game Mass Effect just to name a couple), you'll love the story, design, and gameplay excellence for what it is: The true successor to the Baldur's Gate series. Expand
  5. Sep 28, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So, I finished the campaign last night and uh, it was nice. Very satisfying ending. Overall, I like the game a lot. That should be obvious, I've posted quite a bit about it. That's cause it's very good. Not a perfect game though. Not a game I can consider as a candidate for GOTY 2009, let's just say. The BioWare signature is definitely all over it, you can feel that same sort of relationship with characters that you got in KOTOR and ME and all that. It's just a very cozy and enjoyable experience, I'd say.

    But ya know, there's a few wrong turns as well and I figured I'd just write up my thoughts on that. Quick summary here and uh, maybe there'll be improvements for Dragon Age 2, which I eagerly look forward to.

    The graphics in DA aren't so hot. I can't believe I'm living in a world where people are posting that they can't believe they live in a world where the graphics in Dragon Age are considered bad. Like, really? Honestly, this is the year 2009. Dragon Age's graphics are considered bad, because they are bad. You look at video games, and it's clear we've come pretty far. Uncharted 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, Crysis, Gears of War 2, Dead Space, Infamous, Call of Duty 6: Modern Warfare 2, lots of games with great graphics. But ohohoho, you raise your hand and object... those are all action games, not RPGs! Well, alright... that's true. Let's look at RPGs... we've got games like Oblivion, Fallout 3, Mass Effect, all which look much better then Dragon Age. And some of em came out over two years ago. And I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure Final Fantasy 13 is going to look much better then DA when it comes out sometime next year. I've never played an FF game in my life, and don't intend to pick up FF13, but it's clear to even a dude like me that it looks so much better then what BioWare delivered to us here. So no, it's not crazy to say that DA has some pretty bad visuals.

    It's all fine and dandy if you say you're a hardcore RPG player and story-telling and dialogue come first and you don't care about graphics. That's fine, those are your own preferences. But to simply ignore that they are not that great is deluding yourself. It's like buying a used car with some scratches on the paint. You might value great gas mileage and the roomy interior and so the scratches on the paint don't really bother you at all. That's not why you bought the car, it doesn't affect your enjoyment of it. But don't act as if the paintjob is beautiful and flawless while conversing with your next door neighbor. Don't tell him the paint is great. That's escaping into some sort of bizarro world.

    The world is changing, I feel. We no longer have to put up with FPSs with nonexistent stories, or RPGs with horrible visuals. What's Fallout 3? It's a first person shooter, but also an RPG. What's Mass Effect? It's a third person shooter, but also an RPG. It's not an either or proposition. Oblivion was an RPG that actually had decent combat for a change. This is a good thing, new games are taking the best elements of each genre and coming up with a really nice hybrid design. So don't give me the old chestnut that because it's an RPG, you shouldn't expect anything in terms of graphics. That doesn't fly anymore. Well, unless it's an indie game, which I don't think DA is. It's a BioWare game, so you're damn right my expectations are gonna be high. They've set a high standard for consistently great RPGs. KOTOR looked great when it came out in 2003. Mass Effect looked great when it came out in 2007. So to me, expecting BioWare stuff to look good isn't exactly going off and battling windmills.

    As far as Morrigan goes... I'm kinda amused by all the discussion about her. It's really interesting how some people hate her a lot. I dunno, she was fine for my tastes. It's uh, it's okay if BioWare didn't just give us a retread of Bastila Shan or Liara. I might actually have found that really boring and lame. Morrigan's just different but still kinda alluring and provides a little discord in the party dynamic. Kinda reminds me of Joanna from the BattleTech novels. Ya know, mostly from Robert Thurston's body of work. Some people don't like Joanna cause she's basically a **** but a lot of people, including me, really really like her. Not like as in, I'd really like to be her BFF in real life, but we enjoy her as an intriguing literary character. Some people are just not that happy go lucky and they do have to occupy that realm of anti-hero. So yea, Morrigan's kinda... the best at what she does, but what she does isn't very nice? Heh...
  6. Nov 20, 2013
    Alright, let's start with the good. The story is great and very interesting in all of the choices and different characters you can meet along the way. I liked how much detail they put into all of the lore of the entire world of Dragon Age. The graphics were alright, I mean they didn't look amazing, but still good. The music, to be honest I can't really think of any particular track that stood out to me. Now for the bad. Combat which takes up a lot of the game is horrible, I mean on PC it looks totally different and actually good! The console version got the short end of the stick when it comes to it. My character at times will just stop what he's doing and sprint in a random directions, this got very annoying. The quest markers on the mini map were pretty bad. They would be on the map... some of the time, but most of the time it's just looking for yourself and that kind of felt like I was just wasting my time. In the end I do recommend this game it can be enjoyable and look for about 20-30 hours of game play, since this game is pretty old you could probably get it for about 15-20 dollars, which is well worth the price. Expand
  7. May 17, 2011
    this is such a bad game,absolutely pathetic attempt at creating an rpg,shame on you bioware,i will be never ever ever again purchasing any of your products after this abomination of a game Expand

See all 137 User Reviews

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