What’s wrong with dragon age origins

What’s wrong with Dragon Age? The same shit that was wrong with every other bioware RPG.

Clichéd story.
Horribly ridiculous and one dimensional villains.
The mish mash of turn based and real time combat that would work better as one or the other.

dragon age screenshot

I decided to play a rogue. That was a mistake. The rogue’s stealth abilities are only useful on the easy enemies that you don’t need an advantage against anyway. Stealthy game play is also gimped by the mandatory trash talk cutscenes strewn everywhere. Ooohh there’s the dude I came here to kill. I’ll just sneak up on him and stab him in the back… oh wait, I triggered a cutscene. Now my character is threatening to kill him, and the fight starts anyway. Only now he knows I’m coming and look! He is stabbing me in the face. Why couldn’t I just start the fracas by backstabbing the fucker? In every fight that matters, stealth isn’t even an option.

When you come across a difficult boss and get your ass kicked a few times, coming up with a better strategy isn’t a satisfying option. The techniques that do work against them feel like ‘sploits rather than strategies. This is mostly due to the fact that enemies are level hard as opposed to AI hard. For some reason a particular boss (a troll) kept targeting my mage, so I had the him run in circles while everyone else in the party picked the troll off with arrows and hacked at the back of his legs. All it needed was Benny Hill music, but the best unintended comedy was yet to come.

When you finish off a boss in this game, there is a special “killing” animation. Whoever strikes the killing blow gets to do it with a flourish. In this case the character climbed up onto the troll and finished him off by stabbing him repeatedly in the face. The problem? The character was not using a stabbing weapon like a sword, it was using a mace. It was ridiculous to see something getting stabbed and run through with a blunt weapon the size of their head.

dragon age troll

I played dragon age for a while, but I just stopped caring. I didn’t care about getting the next good ability. I didn’t care about getting the next bit of armour or a better sword. I didn’t care about the combat because it wasn’t fun. And I didn’t care about the plot or the characters.

Maybe I’m just over RPGs. These days I want my video games to be fun from the outset. I want the mechanics of the game to be fun in and of themselves, not because of the promise of more, better, stronger, all just out of arms reach. If stabbing a rat with a rusty dagger isn’t fun, then stabbing a dragon with a flaming longsword+2 won’t be either. The mechanics are the same; you’re still just clicking on shit and watching it die.


2 thoughts on “What’s wrong with dragon age origins

  1. I dropped dragon age too.
    Mass Effect was better. Its mainly action, less RPG, so its more fun. Main story is still pretty cliche, but a lot of the dialouge between your party characters is interesting. Have you played it? Just make sure you play as a woman cause the voice actress is much better.

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