PS3 Previews: Dragon Age: Origins Preview

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Dragon Age: Origins Preview

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Scheduled release date:

October 20th, 2009

Publisher:

EA

Developer:

BioWare

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Release Date:

November 3, 2009

RPGs have been a seemingly non-existent genre this generation and coming off of two generations where there was a never ending assault of quality RPGs hitting every other day, this issue is very well the biggest one this generation has. Well, to me it is, anyways. With the release of the Final Fantasy XIIIs still a bit off, there may be something to fill the void and it's coming from one of the best western RPG developers, BioWare. The same people responsible for Mass Effect are bringing us an all new multiplatform adventure which the guys at the studio have dubbed as their own Lord of the Rings. Also, being that this is their first fantasy game without a license of some sort, they have a lot more creative input.

BioWare has had a very specific plan for Dragon Age from the very beginning, in that they aimed to change fantasy role playing game by offering the game more. And how are they doing this? It's quite simple, really. First, you you take the status-quo multi-stranded storyline that BioWare is so well known for. Because the storyline has so many different paths and outcomes, this ensures that spoilers will be something you won't have to worry about hearing from your friend.

Secondly, upon choosing a character, you have six backstories to pick from for the character. And again, each one of these six backstories has multiple paths that you can unravel, all based on your decisions throughout the game. So if you're looking for a game you can replay numerous times, Dragon Age's threaded story layout is a fantastic way to do so.

Thirdly, another facet of the game that no other RPG has done before comes in the form of a quasi-genre-bending feature that allows this game to double as either an action-RPG or a strategy-RPG. You can choose between two different styles of gameplay on the fly, and the difference between them is one is more traditional and hack n' slash, while the other allows you to plan and play a bit more carefully, in addition to being able to manually select and cast attacks from a list of abilities. The differences are surely distinct, and there is even a camera angle you can change depending on which angle you prefer with your style of play (isometric or over-the-shoulder).

In either of the styles you can switch to one of your teammates on the fly during exploration or battle, again, giving you the flexibility that most RPGs don't. And of course, each character has his/her own unique abilities which you can map to the face buttons of your controller. In total, Dragon Age is expected to be an 80-100 hour game, but we're not sure if that figure includes numerous replays in order to see all of the different storyline threads and endings (chances are it does).

Now, as far as the technical stuff goes, Dragon Age didn't seem to look as pretty as Mass Effect, and we can chalk that up to this being a multiplatform game with a game engine that has evolved from a largely PC/Windows-based graphics engine. This new Eclipse Engine is obviously retooled, new, and much of it is from the ground up, but unfortunately it doesn't display any of the 'wow' we were expecting to see. Still, we doubt many of you who are into this particular genre of RPG games will care, because it's still a decent looking game at the end of the day.

Look for Dragon Age Origins to hit October 20th.

7/20/2009 Arnold Katayev

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
02/10/09 Dragon Age: Origins Ben Dutka

Comments (15 posts)

Alienange
Monday, July 20, 2009 @ 9:07:01 PM
Reply

Alright ! Bring on Elder Scrolls V !

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King James
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 1:36:12 AM

I thought Arnold was talking about Dragon Age?

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Karosso
Monday, July 20, 2009 @ 9:23:30 PM
Reply

Amen to that! Oblivion its so much older and looks so much better than this game...
Looks almost last gen and this late in the game, I would expect more from any developer... Now, this coming from Bioware makes it even more offensive :(
They should have stayed on the Xbox360, where crappy looking games reside.

Last edited by Karosso on 7/20/2009 9:23:49 PM

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Alienange
Monday, July 20, 2009 @ 9:37:55 PM

Can you imagine the trophies for this game? Finish the game as... finish the game as... finish the game as...

I smell a problem. I guess we'll see.

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Kevadu
Monday, July 20, 2009 @ 11:25:46 PM

Guess none of you care about gameplay...

I, for one, am far more excited about this game than I have ever been for any Elder Scrolls game. I've been playing those since Daggerfall and while they have certainly gotten prettier, the basic structure hasn't really changed...and the formula gets old. Too many meaningless sidequests, no character development...

Dragon Age looks like a return to Bioware's roots. Baldur's Gate II is still one of my top five favorite games of all time and this looks to be very much in the spirit of that game.

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Alienange
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 12:46:55 PM

@ Kevadu
1. No character development in TES? The whole point is that you become whoever you want. You have to develop him/her yourself. You want a character that annihilated an entire city because he had a bad day? Go do it. You can count on three fingers the number of RPGs that have allowed you to do that.

2. Pray that Dragon Age is anywhere near as epic as Baldur's Gate II.

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Master Midgar
Monday, July 20, 2009 @ 9:29:00 PM
Reply

Arnold, how were the controls and menu layouts?

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 12:19:27 AM

There were no problems, imo. Everything is laid out fairly well.

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King James
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 1:34:31 AM

The controls didn't seem crippling since it wasn't on a keyboard and mouse?

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King James
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 12:01:33 AM
Reply

can't wait to play this one. Heard that more content will be available on the PC version. I think i'll have to get this on the PC.

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Geobaldi
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 10:23:32 PM

You and me both. The PC version will grow in size fairly quickly since Bioware is releasing the tool set along with it.

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whooka
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 6:37:29 AM
Reply

oh, baby! finally isometric-view, hack n' slash, from Bioware for PS3! been waiting since I got me PS3 for something that meets that criteria, heh, as Baldur's Gate games were my favorite. Thank you Bioware for not giving us another first-person perspective RPG!

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big6
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 11:13:51 AM
Reply

Arnold, can you elaborate on the multiplayer (2-4 player online) co-op? I was under the impression that this game was single-player ONLY.

If, indeed, it has 2-4 players co-op, then I will most-likely buy it now.

Please confirm.

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 1:20:48 PM

I'm pretty sure that's what I was told.

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Kai200X
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 12:26:47 PM
Reply

I am looking forward to BioWare's first PS3 game. Believe or not, I don't care for Mass Effect at all. It might be a decent game, but if a game is not on PS3, then I just don't play. I know I will play this game action-RPG style, because I don't want to play strategy-RPG anymore.

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