One of the best I have played in 10 years. I purchased this after playing Origins and Awakening half way through around 6 months ago, and thought I would give this a shot as the DLC is very expensive compared to what the retail price of this actually is. You don't just get the expension pack and the DLC for the game listed on the cover. (7) you also receive the Blood Dragon Armor set and numerous other bonus goodies. (around 11 items in total.) It's basically the entire released DLC for the series on Xbox LIVE purchased and included in 1 package.
Excellent RPG, 50 awards won for the franchise since launch and it is understandable why, it is an extremely enjoyable gaming experience with is sure to satisfy any RPG fan.
I came to this game the long way round never expecting to like something like this.
After playing and loving Mass effect 2 and I mean loving it an indecent amount. I looked around for something similar only to be dissapointed. Finally my friend leant me a copy of dragon age 2. I was dubious as im not really a fantasy fan and the combat didnt look my cup of tea. But it was made by the Bioware so i thought id give it a whirl. After playing for a few hours, i was pleasantly surprised it had many elements i loved from Mass Effect, a story entrenched in a deep fantasy world, character choices, developing friendships and romances and a deep dialogue choice system. But the more i played the more i realised how limited dragon age 2 was, with repetitive areas, fetch quests and only the illusion of choice and divided narratives. Soon i got tired of the story, got frustrated at enemies appearing in waves off-screen and often behind me and realised I was never going to warm to most of my companions.
So when i was given Origins i opened it up with a sign and slaped it in expecting to play a few hours and then leave it to gather dust. Not so. This is a far superior game to Dragons age 2 and not far behind mass effect 2 in story and adventure.
From the moment you pick your race, gender and class your decisions matter and the game can go quite a few different ways. The story leaps into gear right from the start. Its not especially original stuff, but its so full of depth and colour and ideas its as engrossing as the mass effect world and one of the most engrossing worlds on the xbox console. Theres a wealth of characters to speak to, befriend, fight alongside and kill. Nearly all exceptionally well developed, with the exception of Oghren and perhaps Whynne. But all are well voice acted and you will find yourslef becoming attached to, even Shale the bonus character has his own plot line and is rather fun to talk to. Cities and towns have lots to explore, lots to do and lots of choices waiting to be made. Dragon age shines when your allowed to roam free. It is about five times the size of its sequeal and unlike Dragons Age 2 each area feels distinct. Yes you will find the same forests, tunnels and generic dungeons because of aged textures and design but each city, tribe and army has its own narrative.
Just like it mass effect 2 the best missions are character missions, short, sweet and the key to opening up narratives and romance between you and your companions. Plot missions ironically are weakest, while they offer the greatest payoffs, sadly many of them do go on and on and you will find yourself backtracking or going down the same damn corridor or tunnel one to many times. Its a credit to the writing though that your want to keep doing them so you will see what happens next. Combat mechanics are slow and dated but still offer depth and dont detract from what is a great game. Whilst I am not a huge fan of upgrading, crafting or other core rpg mechanics there's enough here for die hard fans and also a shallow enough learning curve for beginners to play through only dabbling in the meatier aspects.
Dragon Age has dated, in fight mechanics, graphics and even in the fact that the main character isn't voiced. But it is a testament to its design that it still stands head and shoulders above most modern RPGs and story driven games.
If you loved mass effect 1 and 2 or love story and character driven games you will love this. If you even remotely liked the sequel you will love this! And this is the definitive edition of a game where extras and add on really matter and really develop the game.
For the price this is a really good offer for those that missed DragonAge the first time around. You get the original game plus a ton of downloadable content (that takes up a fair bit of space). It's an RPG with more than a few nods to Tolkien and a nice, if lengthy, story running through. The combat is based around casting spells or building a character melee attacks. Sort of world of warcarft-ish in that the combat isn't hugely sophisticated or nice to look at. As with many RPG's there are a myriad of side-quests to complete as well as the main mission. I found that to be somewhat tiring. I came to this game through Mass Effect (also by Bioware) and felt I was delving too far into a hardcore RPG land. It's great if you like a ton of side missions as the length of play for this game is huge.
The graphics are a little bland and everyone seems to have the same body with a slightly different head slapped on top. However the voice acting is very well done and the main story is quite engaging. Combat-wise I wasn't enamoured, I found it repetitive and not requiring any more skill that to hit a button several times.
However negatives aside if this is your type of game (lord of the rings setting, traditional? RPG, lengthy campaign) then this cheap package of the game plus all the DLC is definitely for you.
I have just finished playing the original origins and awakening. The gameplay is excellent fun and is easy to pick up (there is no need to spend hours reading a manual). I enjoyed it more than Oblivion because part of a team made it more enjoyable having a mix of warriors, mages, assassins and dwarfs in your team. What I particularly liked was that in both Origins and Awakenings you meet different characters you can recruit throughout the game. So if you have a character in your team that you don't like you have the ability to swap that character for someone else to see if they are more interesting. The DLC that comes free with this are also very good as by playing them you unlock special armour, weapons or magic rings that you can play in the Origins and Awakening so I would suggest playing these early on so you can use these items in the full game.
Admittedly the graphics are dated compared to a game like Dragons Dogma but for £30 for over 150 hours of absorbing fun this can be overlooked!
So the question is, is this game better than Skyrim? without the content? nearly. with the content? 10000% YES! in fact this package is worth any amount of money you pay, but for £25? it's the biggest bargain since the orange box. Okay so the story well i don't like to give too much away but the story takes place where you choose! Yes that's right where you choose you will start the game depending on your race so whether your human, a elf or a dwarf you will start in a different place but when you finish the first mission it's always the same but of course you can choose to be good, neutral or evil depending on how you treat your friends and other people in the world. The graphics? well there great and that's all they are. The gameplay is awesome and it brought me straight back to the days of star wars knights of the old republic (which is my favorite game of all time)it's action packed and the enemy's can be hard, sometimes really hard and the length of the game? Well it's huge especially with all the dlc and the weapons, armour and magic make you better and even more powerful as you play through the emersive and intense story line. But the game is not for everyone as you will have to have real patience to complete the game because when I said the game is huge i meant HUGE I mean I spent ages playing through and i found that the story just takes you into more and more and more quest's but those quest's go into those quest's and those quest's go into those quest's anyway you get the idea but if you have the patience I can GUARANTEE it will be one of the best game's you ever play (especially if you liked star wars knights of the old republic). Overall I'd give the game 10/10 because it's just pure genius.
The main thing an RPG needs is a good story to suck you in, this has it. I know some people bitch and moan about "oh another end of the world story, yawn", but when it comes to RPG and playing the hero, I couldn't get sucked into it if it were otherwise (I'm looking at you DragonAge 2!). As you level up and do more quests you can afford better armor and as you become even more badass, you can make yourself look like a badass! Something which seems to be lacking in some RPG's. As for your companions you can assign them actions for various scenarios e.g. what spells to cast, when to take potions etc. in the Combat tactics menu (I would heavily advise this, otherwise you might end up with one of them dying on the outset of every fight). I wish you could do this for a few other games, you would think that as a group of adventurers they would play to each others strengths? If you like a good story with good characters and don't mind it being a turn-combat based RPG, then go for it. If you want a good hack-n-slash game, this is not it. Replay-ability, I played through more than twice vs. Dragon Age 2 I didn't even complete, hopefully Dragon Age 3 they stick to what made the first one great.
This version of Dragon Age (DA) includes the game, all its expansions and all DLC. The game is incredibly fun as expected from its developer, Bioware. The game has a rich back story and a RPG Action type gameplay, where you decide what skills are used by your characters.
It is not turn based however, e.g. Final Fantasy, but rather real time.
I highly recommend this game at this value, as it is significantly cheaper than purchasing the base game and all its DLC separately.
I really enjoyed the story in this game. The banter between the characters are entertaining and expands on the overall story, so much so that I occasionally stop taking action to hear the end of a conversation.
The action won't be to everybody's taste - you select your target and tell your character to attack or do other actions, but that's about it. This definitely isn't what I would call an action RPG - you don't time your attacks and there is no blocking to worry about. Some people will find this low level of involvement to be boring. However, there is some strategy involved, especially if you are playing as the mage or rogue, and even if your character is a warrior, you can still take direct control of the other characters in your party. It is the strategy and story that appeals to me.
I enjoyed this game so much that I also bought it for the PS3 when I changed console (for the blu ray player). The 2 versions are identical as far as I can see.
I wasn't entirely sure of what to expect from this game, as it is the first of this kind that I have played. But, after reading the other reviews here on Amazon, I went ahead and bought it, and I am very glad I did!
I have found it to be highly engaging. With four possible difficulty levels, it offers something for people of all abilities, from complete novices, to those who are somewhat more experienced! The story is both interesting and exciting, making you want to progress, to discover what will happen next. There is an abundance of quests, with such variety that you do not feel as though you are completing the same task, over and over.
One of the great things about this game is the ability to affect the outcome. You can decide how you wish to respond to people, choose which characters you would like to join you on your journey, and build up a relationship with your companions, befriending them etc.
There are many options when customising your character before beginning your journey, both in their appearances (and with an ability to create both male and female characters), race (human, elf, dwarf), class (mage, rogue, warrior) and even their background, providing different skills and benefits, depending on your decisions. The levelling system is very good, unlocking points each time you level to allow you to 'purchase' new abilities.
I have yet to discover all the possibilities of this game but, so far, I cannot think of anything on which it could improve. I shall be enjoying this game for a very long time as, despite about a week of playing (possibly) an excessive amount of Dragon Age, I feel I have only just scratched the surface of what the game has to offer.