I have this on again, off again relationship with any game that features the Role Playing Game genre.
While I do like the stories, it’s quite often that I’ll get about 14 hours in before I find that I’m no longer engaged, and the gameplay isn’t enough for me to continue.
This has happened to me across all platforms and all varying types of RPGs. It’s happened with Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Chrono Cross, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, The Legend Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Final Fantasy VIII through XII*, Brave Story, Rune Factory: Frontier, Persona 3, Baldur’s Gate, Oblivion,Fable II, The Witcher, Shadow Hearts, and whatever top rated, critically acclaimed or friend recommended game with the RPG acronym as one of its genre descriptors you want to add to the list, it’s probably on there as well.
And it’s not that they are bad games, but I think it’s the amount of time I have to devote to them.
And so begins my Dragon Age: Origins experience. I purchased it in a moment of weakness during the insidiously compelling Steam Holiday Sale. Even knowing my own gameplay habits with RPGs, I really wanted to play Dragon Age: Origins, mainly from the good word I’ve been hearing about as well as the critical reviews and the fact that my entire Xbox Live friends list is playing it.
In short, the purchase of Dragon Age: Origins was inevitable. The Steam sale was just the tiniest of straws on an already overloaded camel’s back.
While it’s not the Xbox version that everyone is playing, it is the PC version. The PC version is the one generally regarded by most critics as being the superlative version, and the one that has hooks to the Dragon Age website, where it takes screenshots and chronicles the adventure of your character.
So far it’s chronicled the whole 25 minutes of Aedan Cousland, the human noble that I’m hoping will develop into some sort of incredibly overpowered Bard Assassin that sings enemies to their untimely deaths with his dulcet tones—although right now he’s just a Rogue.
Hopefully, I haven’t decided on a character path that will leave poor Aedan unable to accomplish anything in combat. Although in a way, that would be kudos to Bioware allowing the player to really roleplay instead of putting them on a linear path.
The Chronicle of Aedan so far reads like your stereotypical fantasy adventure game. He has fought some giant rats that his dog chased into the Cousland castle larder and that’s about it. There’s also a screenshot featuring Aedan, Aedan’s father, Duncan the Gray Warden, and one Arl Rendon Howe of Amaranthine, a nobleman who attempted to hook Aedan up with his underage daughter.
Not the most compelling of stories, so far, but all journeys start somewhere. I suppose killing giant rats with one’s dog Mabari War Hound is just the first step.
So the story: At some point in the past blah blah, mankind dealing with powers it can’t possibly comprehend, blah blah four centuries since the last Darkspawn attack, blah blah old guardians not being listened to. All kidding aside, it seems like it is at least trying to be different than your standard fantasy story with elves and dwarves. First off, the elves are the lower class. Apparently, the humans destroyed the Elven civilization, took their lands, and then relocated them in reservations “alienages” where they remain second class citizens to this day.
Too subtle, Bioware. Seriously.
* Quick note: This is not including the MMO oriented Final Fantasy XI but including the Pretty Princess Dress Up oriented Final Fantasy X-2. Also not included are a multiple of Strategy RPGs, Farming simulator RPGs, don’t get me started on Disgaea, and anything brought over to the United States by Atlus. The current exception to this rule is Borderlands by Gearbox, and I have sunk a lot of time into that game. It’s a First Person Shooter RPG, and I’ve nearly all of the achievements for that game, including the additional achievements for the Downloadable Content, and I plan on purchasing the additional DLC as soon as it drops. Also, somewhat annoyed that it’s DLC instead of just DC, but I guess that is a crowded acronym space. Additionally, just realizing that this really no longer counts as a quick note.