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Dragon Age: Fantasy Event of 2009
Game News - posted by Jason on Wed 4 November 2009, 08:26:29Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age: Origins
The day thousands of Marilyn Manson fans, people desperate for Baldur's Gate 3, and Volourn have eagerly awaited is here - Dragon Age launch day. Besides being the "fantasy event of 2009," it also heralds the arrival of a buttload of reviews. For starters, there's PC Gamer (9.4), IGN (9.0), IGN UK (9.2), Giant Bomb (5/5), Gamespot (9.5), and Eurogamer (8/10). The reviews are primarily positive, as can be seen from the scores, but the less adoring Eurogamer article is the one that stuck in my head:
Meaningful choices are lost in a near-infinite number of meaningless ones, consequences are only vaguely defined before the fact, and the cold machinations of the cast stir admiration for the game's clever, systematic plotting, but seldom emotion. Uninvolved, you make calls with your head and not your heart, and you never feel like you can escape the gravitational pull of the game's design the way you can in, for example, Bethesda's RPGs.
It's a shame, because there are fascinating alternate routes through Dragon Age to be discovered. Getting a sense of them halfway through your run through the game, you conceive a desire to play it again to explore its possibilities with more freedom and foreknowledge - and it's true that despite running 50 to 100 hours in length, this game has tremendous replay value.
But any desire to play it again is ultimately squashed, for many reasons which can be boiled down to one. Although the systems which make up Dragon Age's world are all interesting and well-realised - the companion interaction, the plotting, the character progression, the combat - the world itself is neither.