PS3 Previews: Dragon Age: Origins Preview

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Dragon Age: Origins Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2009

Publisher:

EA

Developer:

BioWare

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Release Date:

November 3, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins, dubbed as the spiritual heir to the highly esteemed Baldurs Gate franchise, is one of those titles that ought to appeal to role-playing fans worldwide. According to IGN, it has just been announced that EA has opted to delay the PC version so it coincides with the launch of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. This should come as no surprise to those who know about EA’s standard operating procedure (they don’t do exclusives and they don’t typically do timed exclusives, either), and it allows the publisher to produce one large marketing push for the game. We still don’t have an estimated release date, but we do know it’s going to release some time this year and we also know that plenty of readers out there have been craving some details and information. Well, we hope you’re big fans of Bioware’s recent projects where the player is forced to make a moral choice during the game, because that philosophy is going to take center-stage in Dragon Age: Origins. The combat won’t prove to be alien, though, despite a few upgrades and enhancements for the benefit of this new generation.

First, let’s deal with the gameplay. You will have the option of the standard top-down, isometric view that should make the experience feel similar to Baldurs, or you can zoom in and move the camera about manually, as you could in Neverwinter Nights 2. As for the mechanic itself, it will be a blend of real-time and turn-based, which shouldn’t come as a huge shock: the characters and foes move in real-time until you opt to halt the action, when everything pauses and you can issue commands. However, if you prefer, you can simply switch off the turn-based option and set the action to full-on real-time, which means you’ll have to issue your commands while the battle is taking place. For our part, we’re gonna pause just like we could in our favorite Forgotten Realms titles in the past; we need time to select our next course of action, you know? Besides, there are guaranteed to be tons of options in terms of special attacks and magic, so why rush things?

Now, unlike the Baldurs Gate games, this one is going to be more freedom-oriented at its core. In fact, part of the concept here reminds us of the Suikoden franchise, which had you recruiting as many characters as you can (remember the 108 Stars of Destiny) for use in both small and large, war-like battles. In Origins, you will assume the role of a Gray Warder who will fight the evil Blight to the death, but he needs help. Therefore, you will travel to surrounding territories and attempt to recruit assistance from different races and cultures. Of course, securing their help won’t always rely on the simple task of asking; you will often have to prove your worth before scoring the faith and loyalty of new friends. This will require playing one side against the other at times, so you had best decide the best course of action for your army: would you rather have the help of the Dalish Elves or the Werewolves that continually plague the Elves? Each race will offer a certain advantage, so your adventure will require a whole lot in the way of assessing strengths and weaknesses of potential allies.

The good news for all you controlling, micromanagement freaks? It doesn’t end there. Your decisions will have a direct impact on any current allies you have in your party, which means you also have to consider how a new recruit will affect those you already have in tow. Now, if a particular character really agrees with the idea, his/her approval rating will rise, which will in turn allow you to unlock more of that specific character’s story and side-quests. On the flip side, if you continually upset a particular character with your decisions, they may not perform so well in battle. Push it too far, and that character may leave the party for good, leaving you in the lurch. Obviously, as is always the case in real life, you can’t possibly make everyone happy all the time, so sacrifices will have to be made. All that really matters in the end is, are you happy with your choice? The battles you encounter and the enemies that want to saw your head off won’t care if you’ve screwed up, but your quest will still end prematurely. And let’s not forget about the blood; this game is gonna be rated “M” for a darn good reason.

A decade ago, Dragon Age: Origins is a game that would’ve only arrived on PC but thankfully, things have changed. Now, a very large audience will get the chance to play it, and anyone who enjoyed the Baldurs Gate games should certainly be intrigued. After all, we don’t get many games like this anymore, and the addition of a recruitment/moral decision process should definitely spruce things up. The RPGs are slow in coming in every generation, but they’re starting to show up at a decent clip, and more are scheduled for this year. Good news, we say.

2/10/2009 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
07/20/09 Dragon Age: Origins Arnold Katayev

Comments (19 posts)

EddPm6
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 @ 10:35:57 PM
Reply

I think another Baldurs Gate would be amazing. i loved that game.


posted using my ps3!!

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Qubex
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 @ 11:45:29 PM

When posting were you using the web browser via XMB or were you logged into Linux!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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EddPm6
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 12:10:32 AM

the ps3 web browser. i tried linux and couldnt get it to go wireless.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 @ 10:51:02 PM
Reply

Wow I'm torn, this game sounds like it has major depth but I'm starting to get a little tired of the Good and Evil thing. Don't get me wrong, I love to play through them as a hero and then a villain but somehow these types of games lack a coherent story like RPGs of old.

I'm also a tad worried about the versatility, will each camera view be equally awesome or will one suffer? (Who actually played Fallout 3 in third person?) Ah well, I'll wait for further information before I get myself hyped.

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CH1N00K
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 8:19:17 AM

I have to agree with you. I'm really starting to enjoy the games where the line between good and evil can be blurred. Like in Fallout 3, Sure you can either have good or bad Karma, but some of the decisions you make can be a bit of a gray area...Kind of like life,lol, nothing is ever just black and white..

That being said, I really enjoyed the Baldur's Gates on the PS2, so I'll probably be on board for this one too...

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convergecrew
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 @ 10:59:40 PM
Reply

Sweet, another Bioware game. I know nothing about Baldur's Gate but Ive enjoyed all of Bioware's recent games so I will definitely watch this one.

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Geobaldi
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 @ 11:29:44 PM
Reply

This is a must buy for me. I loved the original Baldur's Gate games and the Icewind Dale games on PC years ago. Those were true RPGs. Not the hack and slash deals that the consoles received. This one looks and sounds to eclipse even those classic gems. With 6 races and a different storyline for each, this could truly keep one occupied for months on end. Think I'll start with the Dwarf noble as my first character. It's going to be fun seeing how the dark side of royalty plays out with him lol.

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Qubex
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 @ 11:47:45 PM
Reply

This game does look nice... considering I am building my own Fantasy I.P. it is always good to see what others are doing!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 3:56:40 PM

Whats it called Qubex?

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coverton341
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 12:10:45 AM
Reply

Day one purchase! I hope anyway.

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Advent Child
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 12:12:58 AM
Reply

On a side note, Arnold said he was working on impressions of RE5, Uncharted 2, and Infamous, but now his twitter page doesn't exist? Whats up?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 10:20:59 AM

We've changed it to a single PSXE Twitter page so both Arnold and I can update.

twitter.com/psxextreme

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 1:49:06 AM
Reply

I only need one of these freeroaming rpgs

I want real jrpgs with storylines!

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K ASH
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 1:50:29 AM
Reply

Just like u i prefer playing rpg's with predefined stories. I dont like going on stupid quest just to get favours from a character thats not even part of the story & has no voicework. Its different with jrpg's in that side quest are there to make your party of beloved characters stronger. So is this game only going to have 1 stable character?

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Kevadu
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 3:06:21 AM
Reply

I so want this game...

Have you guys complaining about stories ever played any of Bioware's RPGs? They have had very strong stories.

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Jordahn
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 10:08:45 AM
Reply

Looks good. Hope it all works out in the end.

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PS3addict
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 10:48:22 AM
Reply

Ummm, Ben...

Remember Rock Band 2??
2.5 months timed exclusive for XBOT's? I was pissed when that was announced.

They do do timed exclusives for the right price.

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isaya85
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 @ 1:24:35 PM
Reply

@ PS3addict you're right rock band was a timed exclusive but I don't think we'll have to worry about that with this game, when can we reserve this whats the release date?

PSN ID Biggest_GMoney

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jian9007
Thursday, February 12, 2009 @ 5:36:48 PM
Reply

I enjoyed Baldur's Gate so this should be even better, however, bioware's site and gamespot both list it as only being one player, not 1-2 as stated here. I hope that it will be 1-2 since the campaign was just as long with 1 or 2 players in Baldur's Gate so it shouldn't affect the gameplay. Maybe that's why they moved the release from March 09' to November-Dec, 09'.

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