Personal Highlight: Dragon Age: Origins

Harry Jones speaks of the impact of 2009's critically acclaimed role-playing game.

Harry Jones
24th November 2021
(Credit Electronic Arts)
Dragon Age: Origins throughout my life has remained a standing point of computer RPG excellence, where it challenged the basic narratives of fantasy tropes, revolutionised character writing and overhauled dated mechanic systems within the genre.

(Credit: Electronic Arts)

Through constructing a world unique to the genre, it allowed for analogies grounded in our own world, creating a compelling yet dark tale whilst leaving questions unanswered to the player. From the plight of the darkspawn emerging from an unnatural source, to the purpose of blood magic. Origins uses its areas such as the grandiose yet worn city of Orzammar to present key elements of world building whilst posing natural questions to the viewer.

But where the game find its strength is within your companions. Due to coming primarily from the DnD lineage of games (being a spiritual successor to Neverwinter Nights) it ascribes personalities that contribute to the world building of the narrative and gleam a further depth when you engage with the romance system. This concept remained two dimensional until with Dragon Age emerged a form of constructive character development that can be seen in later games like Fallout 4.

Dragon Age: Origins allows you to romance and have sex with characters, influencing the story. (Image Gamesradar/Electronic Arts)

But what remains recognisable to the game is how the romance system can shape the outcome of your game alongside with your origin story that is set as your character introduction. This allowance of player agency gives a breath of fresh air, with each origin story and choice allowing for a distinct form of replayability and further role playing opportunities.

The gameplay cycle represents a form similar to its spiritual predecessor Neverwinter Nights, however with an expansion on tactics-based combat allowing for a form of customisation to automated combat. This allows for the player to prioritise certain targets and greatly expands what we consider computer RPG combat.

Largely the beauty of this game and extending to the series is in its distinct and in-depth world building. This game is a must for any RPG fans from the more casual RPGS of Skyrim to the new generation of classic RPGs like with Baldur's Gate.

Dragon Age: Origins can be purchased on Origin or Steam.

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