After probably one of my longest gaming marathons in a very long time, I finished Dragon Age over the weekend.
I’ve mentioned this about the game before…it is one, big, honkin piece of RPG and was worth every penny I paid for it. Clocking in at around 60 hours, I finally defeated the Dark Spawn and was presented with an ending that was both heroic and surprising. I hear that there are multiple endings, but the one I ended up with made me question all of my choices which is nothing but a good thing for a well made RPG.
The “blah blah blah” dialog that Bioware is famous for is out in full force with this game. At times, you just want to skip through a lot of the dialog. As cute as it is, if I hear Forest (yeah…I called him Forest…) say “ENCHANTMENT!!” one more time I think I will kick a small animal. It’s a well written story to be sure, if not a little long winded. I still like the story in Mass Effect 2 a lot better; it was short and concise without sacrificing the narrative or the flow of the story. I’ll be very curious if they streamline this a bit in DA2. No…I’m not looking for a “Coles Notes” RPG, I’m just looking for something that balances the story telling with the actual game.
One other thing that I’d love to see is more equipment variety. At a certain point in the game, once I got a set of armor and weapons, I felt that my character’s progression stopped in a way. I don’t think I changed my armor or weapons from about level 12 or 14 onwards. It felt like a very long time between upgrades and my character looked very much the same for far too long. I’m not looking for a Diabloification of Dragon Age, but like the story, I’d like to see more of a balance there. I never really found myself in that familiar “RPG decision making mode” regarding what items are best for my character when something new was dropped or bought. When I was found in that decision making mode, the game really did not make it very easy for me to make that decision. For Bioware, I know story is king, but this is still and RPG video game and there are certain expectations when it comes to loot and how it relates to your character.
Skills were another thing that probably needs work. As a Duelist/Bard, I did not really get the sense that the skills I acquired as I leveled made a difference..so…I really didn’t use them much. I kept stuff like Momentum and Duel Fighting on, but I really didn’t find myself having to cast the rogue “spells” like Dirty Fighting that much. This is probably the difference between playing it on casual vs other difficulty levels…so I may have to give it another go at some point and re-assess this conclusion.
Great job Bioware! Now on to Awakenings…after that…emptiness until the next Bioware game