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Gamebanshee reviews Dragon Age

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Gamebanshee reviews Dragon Age

Review - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 25 February 2010, 19:12:46

Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age: Origins

If I had to come up with a single phrase to describe DA:O, it would be very professionally done, with numerous goofy exceptions. The game is smoothly executed. Everything fits together well. It looks good. The faces of the NPCs draw you in. The music stirs the heart. The voice actors are well chosen. The party dialog is vivid. There are strange anomalies, such as hand poisoning, and corpses loaded down with safety net products, and a walking, talking DLC ad in your camp. The latter are the price of the admission for the former, and if you want the game you just have to accept the bizarre flaws as the price to pay for everything else.

Yet at the same time, I get no sense from the game of a giant creative vision, or even a strong imagination. It is an exceptionally slick hack-n-slash, and a good example of what this new engine and system can do. The structure is there, with some tweaking, for an RPG that could do a lot more. DA:O’s dull, obvious plot, unbalanced, boring combat, rote quests, pay-for-combat AI, and numerous reality breakers simply get in the way too often for me to regard it as superlative. Yes, I moderately enjoy it, but I’m frankly more curious as to where BioWare will take the DA franchise next. Hopefully, it won’t be into the kind of cookie cutter mode that made those SSI gold and platinum games of the 1990s so interchangeable and ultimately forgettable. There’s a great opportunity here to improve upon a first offering, and I hope BioWare rises to the occasion.

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