Review: Dragon Age: Origins

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hansari:
Can you or someone else explain to me why developers would take the risk to use different graphics engines? Wouldn't focusing on one be better?

While I found Mass Effect to be shiny enough on the console, the developers said they couldn't tap into it because the Unreal Engine 3 was new to them...

Now they say they have everything peachy with Mass Effect 2...but then I hear this about Dragon Age??

Why? Because they are once again using a new engine called Eclipse?

I get the impression you don't actually know what a graphics engine is. It's just another component of the game engine itself; Unreal 3 includes its own graphic engine, as does Eclipse. Unreal 3 isn't a suitable engine to make Dragon Age in, and Eclipse isn't a suitable engine to make Mass Effect in. That's all there really is to it.

Doug:
Come to think of it, why didn't they use a version of the Mass Effect engine? That worked good on both PC and XBox (yeah, I know, I'm an idiot for having both).

As above, different engines with completely different goals. I suppose we could have re-developed it in a version of the Mass Effect engine if you wanted to wait a few more years for the game.

Somehow, I'm guessing people aren't that patient.

Doug:

EDIT:

Slycne:

*snip

Come to think of it, why didn't they use a version of the Mass Effect engine? That worked good on both PC and XBox (yeah, I know, I'm an idiot for having both).

Like I said it's likely a combination of development having started on Dragon Age before Mass Effect and the Unreal Engine not being able to do what they needed. A game engine does a lot more than just make the game look pretty.

Edit:
See RollForInitiative's post above

i'll rent it and then if I'm digging it i'll buy

Slycne:

Doug:

EDIT:

Slycne:

*snip

Come to think of it, why didn't they use a version of the Mass Effect engine? That worked good on both PC and XBox (yeah, I know, I'm an idiot for having both).

Like I said it's likely a combination of development having started on Dragon Age before Mass Effect and the Unreal Engine not being able to do what they needed. A game engine does a lot more than just make the game look pretty.

Ah, my bad - and yeah, it makes alot of sense if DA was being developed before ME - after all, we don't want another Duke Nuke'm Forever scenario where they chase technology into oblivion.

Either way, I'm buying PC and I'm sure I'll love it.

I hated Mass Effect, but I'm gonna love this! Fantasy RPG's are so much better than futuristic ones.

30 save files? For long-running western RPGs I typically have a "rolling" 3 or 4 slots, in which the oldest of which I overwrite on a constant basis. I figure if the chance an individual save file corrupts is a super-high 10%, then the chance two will corrupt is 1%, and three .1%; and even if 3/4 corrupt I save often enough that I'll lose maybe an hour or two, max. Sometimes I maintain more if I want to save a specific scenario (before a point of no return or something) but I rarely ever use it, excepting when I have to maintain multiple characters in the same save-bin (an annoyance I had with Fallout 3).

But anyhow, I'm DEFINITIVELY picking this up today, and I'm upgrading my compy for the first time in 5 years(!) for this and L4D2.

its getting really really good reviews all round..
Gamespot- 95!
IGN- 92
PC Gamer-94
I was going to get it regardless but this makes me feel a little better :P
PC version if my computer can handle it

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/dragonageorigins

If I hated Mass Effect will I hate this? Excessive inventory management and constant equipment reassessment annoys the hell out of me.

I guess with DA:O I won't be riding any elevators or cruising around a late 90's-era landscape in a Big Trax. But do I have to put up with party members dragging me into unwanted conversations to tell me uninteresting facts about their past lives?

edit: Also, who needs more than 30 save slots? I maybe use 2 or 3 max (not including quick saves and autosaves) and that's just to protect me if one of them gets corrupted.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer before I ask it, but I'll go ahead. My PC can't handle this, I know that. My xbox just rrod yesterday (4th one). Is there any chance that bioware took advantage of the PS3's greater graphical capability? I have both, and if it weren't for the RROD I'd pick up 360 as I'm able to play that more often. But since my 360 is broken, and I'm rather impatient, Is there any chance that the ps3 version is not just a port, designed and built with the 360 in mind (like most multiplatform games these days)?

Still not convinced enough to pick it up. Despite the genre being called "fantasy," developers of these games don't seem to want to do anything to make these worlds their own apart from plot and names.

PC it is!
Seems awesome.
Although... no deleting files?
And they tell you to delete files?
Wow... But you can overwrite the files, at least, though, right?

EDIT: Oh, and it seems my computer can run the game too!
Requirements (if anyone wants to know)

CUnk:
If I hated Mass Effect will I hate this? Excessive inventory management and constant equipment reassessment annoys the hell out of me.

I guess with DA:O I won't be riding any elevators or cruising around a late 90's-era landscape in a Big Trax. But do I have to put up with party members dragging me into unwanted conversations to tell me uninteresting facts about their past lives?

Sounds like you just don't like RPGs bro. Half those are things players look for in a game.

Haven't played it yet, I'd assume there a very high amount of conversation and quartermastery. I sincerely doubt there will be vehicle sections, don't know about loading times.

I've just played through the first combat mission and for the most part the game is good. My buzz, however, quickly died once I realized that your character doesn't say a damn thing! Oh sure he/she says a few things while in combat but that's it. Instead of limiting your character to one awesome and very well done voice actor per gender (as in Mass Effect) we are now given the choice of various voices to use that don't go beyond one sentence at best.

I'm going to keep playing through the game until I can get a more definite feel for it but this has been a huge blow for me personally. Mass Effect had its faults but you could ignore those just cause the story sucked you in so well, especially when you had a voice behind your character. I was hoping that this game might perfect on some of those faults but never would I have considered the lose of grade A voice acting for my character.

Why do I have to live in the arse end of Europe?! Or rather, why do they keep us waiting two three days? :(

Have to wait until Thursday :(

I'm super excited to play this game! I'm a big fan of Bioware's games. I kinda wish I'd bought the PC version, instead of Xbox, but Best Buy had a Buy One, Get One Half Off deal going on at the time and I saved $30. ;)

Yurimistress:
I've just played through the first combat mission and for the most part the game is good. My buzz, however, quickly died once I realized that your character doesn't say a damn thing! Oh sure he/she says a few things while in combat but that's it. Instead of limiting your character to one awesome and very well done voice actor per gender (as in Mass Effect) we are now given the choice of various voices to use that don't go beyond one sentence at best.

I'm going to keep playing through the game until I can get a more definite feel for it but this has been a huge blow for me personally. Mass Effect had its faults but you could ignore those just cause the story sucked you in so well, especially when you had a voice behind your character. I was hoping that this game might perfect on some of those faults but never would I have considered the lose of grade A voice acting for my character.

Its alot like Knights of the Old Republic speech..

Just read it out and pretend you are saying it to the person.. Thats what i did for Kotor.. But granted i understand where you are coming from.. it was nice to see your character interacting with the person in that way.

Also can more people update and tell us what they think of the game? Thanks

Well my pc barely meets the recommended spec, (and this machine gets 80fps on Clear Sky) but I should still be getting this.

A new Bioware RPG? Count me in.

Rave reviews? I want it to be the weekend right now.

hansari:

Russ Pitts:
For the most part the game is a washed-out mess, and the items and character models are uninspiring. If sub-standard graphics are a severe impediment to your enjoyment of a game, then you'd be wise to play the PC version if you have the option. >

Can you or someone else explain to me why developers would take the risk to use different graphics engines? Wouldn't focusing on one be better?

While I found Mass Effect to be shiny enough on the console, the developers said they couldn't tap into it because the Unreal Engine 3 was new to them...

Now they say they have everything peachy with Mass Effect 2...but then I hear this about Dragon Age??

Why? Because they are once again using a new engine called Eclipse?

I've been reading up on it because this part confused the hell out of me too. Basically, the game was designed for the PC with higher level graphics originally, then they decided to put it on a console too. The basic problems with graphics for the Xbox version was the game would have to run off a disc, and the disc didn't have enough space for everything, so they dropped the only thing that seemed trivial, which was graphics. They couldn't drop the gameplay and quests, because then it would be like selling another game. With the PC version, it just has all the information on a disc that it puts on your computer, but it doesn't have to play from it. The basic problem is console disc limitations. These problems are lessened a bit on the PS3 with blue-ray discs being able to hold a little more, not as good as the PC version.

Nice review. I'm totally gonna buy it when it's released here in Sweden.

I quite enjoy the video supplement this time around, if not for the party-breaker NPC and sublime voice over :P. Can't wait for the game release in about 1 hour over steam.

Definitely getting it for the PS3. Nothing against the 360, but I'm getting it for the PS3

A13X T3h NubCak3:

Yurimistress:
I've just played through the first combat mission and for the most part the game is good. My buzz, however, quickly died once I realized that your character doesn't say a damn thing! Oh sure he/she says a few things while in combat but that's it. Instead of limiting your character to one awesome and very well done voice actor per gender (as in Mass Effect) we are now given the choice of various voices to use that don't go beyond one sentence at best.

I'm going to keep playing through the game until I can get a more definite feel for it but this has been a huge blow for me personally. Mass Effect had its faults but you could ignore those just cause the story sucked you in so well, especially when you had a voice behind your character. I was hoping that this game might perfect on some of those faults but never would I have considered the lose of grade A voice acting for my character.

Its alot like Knights of the Old Republic speech..

Just read it out and pretend you are saying it to the person.. Thats what i did for Kotor.. But granted i understand where you are coming from.. it was nice to see your character interacting with the person in that way.

Also can more people update and tell us what they think of the game? Thanks

Granted that's what I tend to do inside my head for Kotor or older RPG's. This, however, is not an older RPG and feels like a step in the wrong direction. For Bioware to go from Mass Effect with damn near complete voice acting for your character (I say near cause a few speech options say the same thing regardless) to me having to imagine how my character would say a line just feels wrong.

Oh and the controlling of your fellow party members feels overly complicated and clumsy. Guess I'll just return the game and bide my time for Mass Effect 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Dragon Age Origin feels a touch...generic as medieval stories go.

Mr.Pandah:
I glanced through the comments on this, but didn't see anything pertaining to the PS3...How well does it run on the PS3? Or does it have the same hiccups as the Xbox360?

From what I've been reading, apart from the lack of 'Baldur's Gate' vision, the PS3 has the best graphics for the game. And that comes as a happy surprise to me - usually we PS3ers draw the short end of the stick when it comes to ports. I believe the comparison goes from best to worst: PS3, PC, XBox360.

Still, for me, it's the game-play that matters and everyone will be lucky in that regard :)

Otterpoet:

Mr.Pandah:
I glanced through the comments on this, but didn't see anything pertaining to the PS3...How well does it run on the PS3? Or does it have the same hiccups as the Xbox360?

From what I've been reading, apart from the lack of 'Baldur's Gate' vision, the PS3 has the best graphics for the game. And that comes as a happy surprise to me - usually we PS3ers draw the short end of the stick when it comes to ports. I believe the comparison goes from best to worst: PS3, PC, XBox360.

Still, for me, it's the game-play that matters and everyone will be lucky in that regard :)

Odd - someone else in this thread said it was PC, PS3, 360 - given the PS3 lacked fullscreen antialiasing or something.

TheBarefootBandit:
I'll get my hands on it when either my PC goes to super saiyan 3 or more seriously when the PS3 version's out. The 6th of this month I think?

I actually picked up the ps3 version today

Unfortunately I haven't had much time to play other than seeing which class I want to start with (Mage, BTW), but i'm really liking it so far

I was waffling over whether to get this for the PC or the 360 for a long time prior to this review. I'm glad I finally chose the former, even though I'm not sure my graphics card will survive the process.

Yurimistress:
I've just played through the first combat mission and for the most part the game is good. My buzz, however, quickly died once I realized that your character doesn't say a damn thing! Oh sure he/she says a few things while in combat but that's it. Instead of limiting your character to one awesome and very well done voice actor per gender (as in Mass Effect) we are now given the choice of various voices to use that don't go beyond one sentence at best.

I'm going to keep playing through the game until I can get a more definite feel for it but this has been a huge blow for me personally. Mass Effect had its faults but you could ignore those just cause the story sucked you in so well, especially when you had a voice behind your character. I was hoping that this game might perfect on some of those faults but never would I have considered the lose of grade A voice acting for my character.

I expected this and am also disappointed by it. Whereas The Witcher had the entire game's massive dialogue translated into several different languages spread across two discs, Bioware couldn't be bothered to make one character's dialogue in several different voices and choose instead to go for the immersion breaking "silent character" that I love to hate. Arrgh!

What really cheers me up is most of the reviews of today mentioning how hard the game is.
I've been waiting for a challenging tactical rpg for a long time.

I also get the impression that the worst part of this game is going to be the dialogue. Maybe we should all be grateful that the PC isn't VOed aswell.
No RPG except VTM:Bloodlines ever did voice-overs right.

Doug:

Otterpoet:

Mr.Pandah:
I glanced through the comments on this, but didn't see anything pertaining to the PS3...How well does it run on the PS3? Or does it have the same hiccups as the Xbox360?

From what I've been reading, apart from the lack of 'Baldur's Gate' vision, the PS3 has the best graphics for the game. And that comes as a happy surprise to me - usually we PS3ers draw the short end of the stick when it comes to ports. I believe the comparison goes from best to worst: PS3, PC, XBox360.

Still, for me, it's the game-play that matters and everyone will be lucky in that regard :)

Odd - someone else in this thread said it was PC, PS3, 360 - given the PS3 lacked fullscreen antialiasing or something.

I went back and I think you're right. The PC is supposed to be the "superior experience," which only makes sense frankly. However, the PS3 has "higher-quality textures than those on the Xbox 360, better color saturation, smoother facial animations, and shorter load times." And apart from minor hiccups is the superior console for running DA:O. That was welcome news.

I was about to say it looks a lot like Mass Effect...

Then I realised it was made by Bioware.

silly me...

Yurimistress:

Granted that's what I tend to do inside my head for Kotor or older RPG's. This, however, is not an older RPG and feels like a step in the wrong direction. For Bioware to go from Mass Effect with damn near complete voice acting for your character (I say near cause a few speech options say the same thing regardless) to me having to imagine how my character would say a line just feels wrong.

Oh and the controlling of your fellow party members feels overly complicated and clumsy. Guess I'll just return the game and bide my time for Mass Effect 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Dragon Age Origin feels a touch...generic as medieval stories go.

Keivz:

I expected this and am also disappointed by it. Whereas The Witcher had the entire game's massive dialogue translated into several different languages spread across two discs, Bioware couldn't be bothered to make one character's dialogue in several different voices and choose instead to go for the immersion breaking "silent character" that I love to hate. Arrgh!

I actually don't think a fully VO'ed main character would work in Dragon Age. RPGs grew out of table-top games which you were fully in control of your character's voice, quite literally. Until AI becomes advanced enough to respond to a player's spoken or written dialogue, we have made the concession that the developer choices several dialogue choices for us. The Witcher and to a lesser extent Mass Effect took that one step furthers. By removing your character voice by providing their own, this actually takes these games another step away from a true role-playing experience. In the Witcher you are definitely Geralt, you may have control over actions and some choices, but you are always playing that role. Even Mass Effect fell prey to this, falling somewhere in between - there were several times where I felt the spoken dialogue didn't align with the choice I made and that the character of Shepard was coming through subtly. While you may prefer that, Dragon Age is trying to create a world that you can interact with as any character you can imagine within a broader scope than a fully voiced main character would allow.

I want the game but I may wait till christmas to get it:)

Otterpoet:

Doug:

Otterpoet:

Mr.Pandah:
I glanced through the comments on this, but didn't see anything pertaining to the PS3...How well does it run on the PS3? Or does it have the same hiccups as the Xbox360?

From what I've been reading, apart from the lack of 'Baldur's Gate' vision, the PS3 has the best graphics for the game. And that comes as a happy surprise to me - usually we PS3ers draw the short end of the stick when it comes to ports. I believe the comparison goes from best to worst: PS3, PC, XBox360.

Still, for me, it's the game-play that matters and everyone will be lucky in that regard :)

Odd - someone else in this thread said it was PC, PS3, 360 - given the PS3 lacked fullscreen antialiasing or something.

I went back and I think you're right. The PC is supposed to be the "superior experience," which only makes sense frankly. However, the PS3 has "higher-quality textures than those on the Xbox 360, better color saturation, smoother facial animations, and shorter load times." And apart from minor hiccups is the superior console for running DA:O. That was welcome news.

Interesting. I'll wait for a bit more news on how the PS3 version actually runs before I settle on that. Apart from problems on my home computer, I'm trying to decide whether or not this is a 360 or PS3 buy.

This sounds like my perfect game. Yeah, I don't think I'm going to be leaving the house in December. =3

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