Dragon Age: Origins is BioWare’s Best RPG Yet

Released on November 3, 2009 for the PC, Playstation 3 and X-Box 360, Dragon Age: Origins is the latest role-playing work of art from BioWare. The game has received 9/10 from Game Informer and a 9.5/10 from GameSpot, while Game Pro reviews the game saying, “BioWare has once again struck RPG gold.” Dragon Age: Origins has over 100 hours of game play and is a must-have for an true RPG fan. It has an engrossing story, complex moral decisions and choices, unique battle system, and an unforgettable cast. This game is highly recommended for adults and is targeted more towards RPG players than the casual gamer.
Prices and Rating

Dragon Age: Origins can be bought for the Playstation 3 and the X-Box 360 for $59.99. There is also a Playstation 3 Collector’s Edition sold for $74.99 that comes with a steel case, bonus DVD, cloth map, and three pieces of in-game exclusive content that otherwise must be bought separately and downloaded. The game is available for the PC at the price of $49.99 or the Digital Deluxe Edition can be downloaded for the price of $64.99. This version comes with three pieces of armor and weaponry as well as the three in-game exclusive content pieces sold in the Collector’s Edition for the PS3. Dragon Age: Origins is rated M for Mature, for blood, intense violence, language, partial nudity, and sexual content. Due to its heavy graphics, the game has received the highest ratings on the PC version, followed by the Playstation 3 and lastly the X-Box, with claims that the graphics are too tightly compressed and the color has been washed out.

The Story

This dark, heroic fantasy role-playing game follows the journey of your created character. Recruited into a group known as the Grey Wardens, your character is tasked with the job of saving the world from an unstoppable evil that is known only as the Darkspawn. The game begins with the player choosing one of six origin stories for their character, each game beginning different and several hours in length. Players can choose between humans, elves and dwarfs and depending on the character, NPCs will react differently. For example, an elf is often viewed as second class by humans. As the story advances, your character can take on many side quests, given by your own team as well as townsfolk met throughout the journey.

The Cast

The game has an extensive and unique cast of characters that can join the war against Darkspawn. There are human mages, an elf, dwarf, a stone golem, and even a war dog. Each character contributes something different and useful in combat and can be rotated through, depending on the needs of the situation. NPCs also talk to one another while your group is traveling, which often makes for humorous moments, such as your fellow Grey Warden, Alistair, talking with the war dog. How you chose to interact with your team also effects their future, as for example, if they become upset enough times they will leave your side, or in some cases you can even forbid one from joining your cause. Dragon Age: Origins also deals with romance. Whether you are playing a male or female character, there are several choices, including an elf named Zevren, who is a romantic option, regardless of the gender you choose.

The Battle System

Players can choose between three classes, that of warrior, mage and rogue, each offering different fighting styles, spells and weapon uses. These include dual swords, archery, two handed weapons, sword and shield, elemental based abilities, as well as restorative ones. The battles themselves can be handled in a number of different fashions. The player can pause, zoom the map out and make each action for every character, down to which enemy they attack or which ability or item is used. Another choice is to utilize the pre-set characteristics, where character 1 will use X attack when threatened by Y enemy. The strategy to battle is very complex and engaging and when fights are won, they feel very gratifying.

Making a New Character in Zentia and First Impressions

Today I will begin my first look at the in-development MMORPG known as Zentia, currently in its closed beta status, by creating a new character and running through the beginning stages of the game. Zentia seems to be a fantasy based MMORPG developed by ChangYou. Opening up the interface of Zentia to begin greets me with a friendly user interface, fairly easy to use, with little hindrance in modifying the settings to run the game the way I want to. Starting my new character greets me with a cheery anime/cartoon graphical style, seems kid friendly.
For my new character I want to create, I have chosen the Dark Revenant character type, with the character name Mr-Tee. I start off in an introductory area, a tutorial island of sorts, with some tutorial characters and a little popup that starts to walk me through the first actions I will be undertaking in this new world of Zentia. The tutorial begins with simply explaining the point and click movement and camera interface, and quest collection and turn in system, all of which are very streamlined.

My real quest given to me by the Longevity Immortal (one of the tutorial characters) requires that I chase down and kill a spirit bunny. The purpose of this mission is to teach me the navigation system. An interesting feature of Zentia is the autopath system, where clicking an objective within the quest log lays down a series of yellow arrows guiding the player to their target. This is a unique feature, not often found in other MMORPGs to my knowledge. After using it just a couple times for the purpose of this simple mission, I feel as though I’m already in love with the autopath system. Personally I have spent many long ours wasted away searching for a particular quest giver I’m tasked to turn in or creep I’m supposed to kill, to in WoW or other similar games.

Another great automatic feature shown to me next is the ability to press the “Z” key on your keyboard to have your Zentia character automatically run to, and loot nearby corpses. Retrieving a fox tail from the newly spawned spirit foxes for the mission I have just received from the Luck Immortal (another tutorial NPC) gives me an example of this auto-loot option in action, another cool time saver. Finishing the quest sends me to the first real area of the game, wrapping up my short introductory period with my new character in the training island.