Dragon Age: Origins Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Dragon Age: Origins box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: BioWare 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 3, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Like any good RPG, leveling in Dragon Age is quite satisfying. In fact, rather than feeling like a power-grind, it's much more like developing a character. Rather than getting railroaded onto a set track, players will have lots of power selections and even four class-specific specialties from which to choose.

Dragon Age: Origins screenshot

That means I could play a mage, warrior, or rogue in vastly different ways due to the secondary fighting styles (sword and shield vs. two-weapon vs. two-handed, etc.) and the back-story that accompanies each specialty. For example, you could create an Arcane Warrior mage with shapeshifting capabilities concentrated on entropic and primal powers. The next time you could play as a Templar and Champion that destroys enemies through vicious two-handed weapons and an indomitable will. As such, making your way through Dragon Age: Origins multiple times seems less of a chore and more of a challenge.

Production value in Dragon Age is extremely high. The impressive amount of voice work is all outstanding, effectively bringing the player deep into the story. Also, the booming sound effects and epic musical themes really help the action hit home. Additionally, the sweeping, detailed environments really set the tone and nicely flesh out the world, and the excellent character and creature design makes conversations and killing a whole lot more fun.

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While graphical quality is generally excellent, it's not quite as sharp as the very best games out there - Gears of War 2, Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, et al. Nevertheless, it's still a great-looking game. If you're a console gamer, you're not going to have to worry about having a high-end rig to really enjoy the game, but you're also going to miss out on some of the polish and spit-shine that has gone into it on the PC side of things.

Dragon Age: Origins screenshot

There is so much more to Dragon Age: Origins I just don't have room to explain here. Simply know that there are tons of weapons and loot to find, craft, and coat with poison, thousands of quests to take on, storekeepers to intimidate, and NPCs to persuade. If you're a Western-style, fantasy RPG nut, you simply can't go wrong with Dragon Age: Origins. BioWare has outdone itself once again - they've created an RPG masterpiece that more than rivals its competitors, even if it loses its tactical luster in translation to consoles.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The world, characters, and creatures are nicely realized. However, it is likely not the most visually stunning game you've ever played, and the PC definitely holds the graphical advantage.
4.4
Control
The tactical gameplay is essentially taken out of the equation, but the power-mapped buttons and easily accessible radial menus make the action-oriented gameplay a breeze to control.
5.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sheer volume and quality of voice work is only outshined by the excellent ambient sound effects and epic score.
4.1
Play Value
The gameplay definitely suffers when compared to the PC version, but this is still a deep, worthwhile experience. RPG fans are sure to love everything this game has to offer.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A Stunning World to Explore: BioWare's deepest universe to date with over 80 hours of gameplay and more than double the size and scope of Mass Effect. Travel throughout dozens of environments and fully immerse yourself in a shattered world that is on the brink of utter annihilation. An epic story that is completely shaped and reactive to your play style.
  • Complex Moral Choices: There are no easy choices. Tailor your Dragon Age: Origins experience from the very beginning by choose from six different Origin Stories. Decide how to handle complex issues like murder, genocide, betrayal, and the possession/sacrificing of children without the security of a good/bad slider to tell you what to do.
  • Full Character Customization: Sculpt your hero in your own image or fantasy. Elaborate character creator allows you to create your own hero unique from anyone else. Shape your character's personality and morality based on the choices you make throughout the game.
  • Engage in Bone-Crushing, Visceral Combat: Battle against massive and terrifying creatures. Unleash legendary powers and choose from over 100 different magical spells and skills. Experience the adrenaline rush of brutal combat, beheading your foes or casting spells that make enemies explode from within.


  • Screenshots / Images
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