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Showing 1-10 of 232 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 272 reviews
on September 8, 2011
Game Summary

Dragon Age Origins (DAO), is a single-player game of incredible depth. I wouldn't consider the game old, but it did come out about two years ago and has already spawned a sequel (more on that later). Though DAO was released on several platforms, it was primarily designed for the PC, which is what I played it on.

Without a exposing too much of the plot, you play a central protagonist who becomes a member of a unique fighting force known as the Grey Wardens. Your mission is straight-forward enough: to defend the land of Ferelden from an invasion of demonic darkspawn. That two-sentence synopsis is a gross oversimplification, but trust me, the less you know going into this game, the better. If you must know more spoilers, you know how to find them.

Presentation - 4 out of 5 stars

While the gist of the story may not seem like anything revolutionary, it is in its execution which makes DAO special. As soon as you jump in, you're going to realize that some serious world-building has taken place. These aren't just massive environments for the sake of being massive, these are areas chalk-full of goodies to explore, people to converse with, and baddies to slay.

The game's sound is one of its greatest strengths. Every person/creature you come across is excellently voiced and the musical score is nothing short of breathtaking. The graphics are the only deduction I give here. Not because they aren't good; they're just not great compared to everything else. At times there is some awkward NPC movement and minor choppiness can occur during spells or huge battles. They're good enough to appreciate from time to time though. With the right hardware, textures are sharp. You'll find yourself pausing from time to time in the midst of a battle just so you can rotate the camera and admire the snapshot.

Gameplay - 5 out of 5 stars

Many will agree that gameplay is the most important criteria, but in some ways it is the most subjective. Like some other roleplaying games, in DAO there are three main aspects to gameplay: 1) character building, 2)dialogue, and 3) combat.

Character building begins with your origin. Who are you? An elf, human, or dwarf? A warrior, mage, or rogue? That is only the beginning. You can decide how you look, what your background is, and in what skills you will specialize as the game progresses. This is achieved with a very easy-to-understand interface where players can put as much (or little) time into their protagonist as they wish. Default options are available for folks who prefer to skip that kind of thing.

Dialogue is a pivotal part of the game. If you're annoyed by cut-scenes and talking, this game is probably not for you. Again, you can press the Esc key if you wish to skip scenes, but this isn't supposed to be Diablo. Aside from the interesting stories each character brings, there are a variety of choices you can make. These choices aren't classified as good or bad, but characters will have varying reactions depending on what you choose and ultimately shape the game's story. This is a very rich part of the game. There can be humor, anger, lying, embarrassment, and even romance. It all depends on what you do and say. Relatively small choices may come back to help or hurt you down the road. This creates a very enjoyable experience where you'll actually come to care for characters perhaps as much as you would in a different medium - such as in books or TV.

The combat is fairly straightforward, but it is a unique system and not everyone is accustomed to it. It's a hybrid between real-time and turn-based strategy where you control a group of up to four adventurers. At any time in the thick of the combat, you can pause the game and issue commands to party members to engage in particular skills or abilities. While you can attempt to run through and do this without the pause function, you'll probably die a lot (at least on the PC version). Even at higher levels you're not supposed to just waltz in and mow down your foes. In many cases your foes will be just as (or more) powerful than you, so you'll need to use tactics and strategy throughout. If you've played any of the Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale offerings, you'll feel right at home. The combat here is more fluid and friendly than those earlier games and if you want to customize how party members automatically engage, there's a very intuitive system where you can do that. Personally I prefer to manually pause and direct each party member on my own.

Replay Value - 5 out of 5 stars

In case you missed it, the recurring theme here is choice. You choose your origin, your specialties, how you talk to other characters, and what strategies to employ when engaging the enemy. All of those factors will affect what sorts of quests/tasks are available to you. Which means some paths will be closed off based on decisions you make. Granted there are some standard objectives which will remain the same no matter how you're playing, but the manner in which you accomplish those can vary during each playthrough.

Upon completing this game I immediately felt the desire to jump back in and try it again. With the Ultimate Edition, there's even more to do outside the core game. After the original game, Bioware subsequently sold a lot of downloadable content, which includes new areas, items, and characters. The Ultimate Edition includes all of this - the original game, an expansion pack, and all nine additional content packs. Frankly put, there is a whole lot of value in this offering. If you find that you enjoy it, there's enough here to keep you interested for quite a while.

Rating - M for Mature

This is supposed to be an adult title. The genre encompasses what is known as "gritty fantasy" - where the storylines are often dark and somewhat Shakespearian. The blood will fly during fights, and at times speckle your party members. There's a setting which allows you to turn that off if you wish. Blood itself plays an important role in the game, so I tend to think some of this is meant to be symbolic. Sex can also happen, but it is more of the PG-13 variety where all you're going to see is some cleavage and underwear.

Bugs & Crashes

I downloaded this on Amazon. I know there's some horror stories on here, but the process seemed straightforward enough for me. The game ran well 98% of the time. There were a few instances where I would log on and it wouldn't recognize the additional content packs. These should only have to be downloaded one initial time. If they don't appear when you come back to play again, restarting the game should bring them up. There were a few times when the game would crash as well (usually during multiple spell-casting). Hopefully EA Games will address these issues, but I didn't feel that these were frequent enough to be that distracting. A simple restart of the game is all I had to ever do.

Final Thoughts

As a side note, Dragon Age 2 did come out earlier this year. However, I've been disappointed to discover that it was made for a different audience of gamers. Choice and variety took a backseat in order to favor a more action-centered, simplified game. That type of gameplay is appealing to some, but there are many fans who still cling to DAO. Perhaps in time a more faithful sequel will be made.

For better or worse, the face of gaming is changing. The focus is undoubtedly becoming more online-centered and fast-paced. Since the World of Warcraft phenomena, MMO games have quickly become the norm. Combining this with the surge of free-to-play online games, it is easy to see the growth of social gaming shows no signs of slowing. Various developers have already predicted the impending death of the single-player experience. DAO is pure example of why that should never be.

DAO is hands down one of the more enjoyable gaming experiences out there. You can feel the love that was put into this product, evidenced by all the little details which are impossible to catch with just one playthough. In closing, if you're interested in spending some time in a well-crafted world with interesting characters, buckle up your sword and come to Ferelden.
11 comment| 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 19, 2014
First of all, I have played this game multiple times and found it so entertaining I decided to replay it again. I found out that there was an Ultimate Edition and decided to get it so I could enjoy all the expansions for one low price and easy download. That's when I entered the 7 levels of hell.

After waiting 3 hours for the download to complete (twice as a matter of fact), installing it, configuring it, it wouldn't start. Stated there was an error, and it needed to be reinstalled. I did. No luck. Being a computer nerd, and downloading again to the same effect, restarting, adjusting admin settings, compatibility, etc. (I already keep drivers current), I cursed all things EA and Amazon. I did an internet search for options I had not thought of, and finding much shade cast upon EA and the progeny, I decided to go to Origin/EA website. After logging in, I was able to locate the game I downloaded on their site. The following is the fix if you have the same issue. After locating the game icon on their site:

Choose to Repair (Fix) file. After it analyzes, it will download additional content to the game to allow it to play. When this is complete, choose it again and Update. It will patch it to the latest and greatest. After it completes, choose the game icon on Origin to select Play. That's it, game on. You will need to adjust your settings in Options after it starts for best viewing.

I cannot blame Amazon for this error as the link is to content provided by EA. EA needs to fix their installer so that it is consistent for all customers. I rate the game at 4 for playability/enjoyment, but I have to give Amazon 5 as it is not their fault, they are just selling another company's game. Hopefully this will assist anyone getting the "hey, it don't work dummy" message.

Enjoy the game.
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on January 5, 2013
It downloaded just fine but the installation failed without any explanation. When I tried again it did the same thing. Amazon is not at fault for this. Like I said the download was perfectly fine. I tried to get in touch with EA (which their customer service department is horrible) and had no help there either. I didn't try for a refund from Amazon (as stated in the policy for digital downloads) and EA was non responsive. Apparently, this isn't a isolated incident. I did a little (a lot) of research and found that this problem is on EA's side and they did not do anything to fix it, but still sell the game, broken the way it is. I wish I would've done my research first and I would have never downloaded the game. I would've bought the disk set for it instead.

Good news, though. I owned a copy of Dragon Age Origins so I was able to get the rights to the DLC on Bioware's website (value of the DLC alone was worth the cost). So I got to play all the DLC, but still I don't have the ability to play Awakenings. I gave the game three stars due to the fact that it is an awesome game, but DON'T DOWNLOAD IT. I suggest you buy DA:O Ultimate and get the disk for it.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 13, 2012
So I was pretty skeptical about new games, but hey, no gain no pain. I purchased Dragon Age Origins and fell in love with it; and now I don't really have a desire to play anything else. When I saw there is a sequel to the game, I purchased it with great enthusiasm; but was pretty surprised how different the games are. At first, I was sad that the new game is considerably shorter and less in-depth than the first, but hey, the main character have voice and emotions! There are pros and cons to it, however:

Pros:
+More funny moments
+Be able to see your character speak
+New, awesome combat movement
+Different viewpoints than the first game
+Varric Tethras
+Mentions of DAO character if imported
+All love interest swings both ways

Cons:
+Less interact with companions
+Approval is a pain in the hindquarter
+Less interesting romancable characters
+Less control over the outcome
+Copy and paste dungeons/houses/environments
+Not that much different between certain choices
+Alistair, Teagan, Zevran is uglified.

Overall, I like this game, but it felt so unfinished; however, it's worth playing! Try it and have fun!
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on February 28, 2014
The game itself is amazing, classic bioware. I won't say more on it.

The DRM issues however...is classic EA. And they are plentiful if you buy the PC digital download. I have finally got everything to work after a lot of research/struggle.

First off, 12.4 GB is NOT how big the game is...it is 27 GB for those who need to calculate bandwidth caps. Second, do NOT download the 12.4 GB file from Amazon, it is a outdated, does not include expansion and DLC and will not install correctly and will point you to the Origin version anyways.

Instead, redeem the CD-key on Origin directly and download the 27 GB game file, let it install/update. Don't buy the expasion again even though it shows on Origin. Now you need to install 1.05 game patch manually from bioware -this patch fixes DLC issues but won't show up on Origin no natter what. [...]

Once in game, follow on screen prompts to redeem your 2nd dlc code using the SAME origin account (redeem promo code on bioware social site) While you're at the bioware social site, register the cd key again (not dlc code) at bioware using the registerg game option.

If your DLC still aren't authorized after that, go to your game directory (program files/origin games/da/installer) find the origin installer and run as admin the installers you find in there again. Somehow Origin did not install those services correctly but told you it did anyways. Make sure there is an dragon age updater service running in services.msc.

Overall, what a ridiculous hassle to get pass the DRM and get content that you paid for.

UPDATE: Looks like EA finally fixed the DLC problems on the Origin version but Ultimate. The new version sadly gets a set list of authorized DLC integrated into it instead of connecting to the DLC server, which means you will miss a bunch of DLC like the Blood Dragon Armor that you're supposed to get with ultimate.
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on March 9, 2016
I haven't actually played the game much yet, but I wanted to post a review to talk about how I got the game to work on my Win 10 PC. NOTE: I bought the PC download from Amazon, not the disc version.

My first attempt to download the game from Amazon resulted in an error when I tried to install it; some kind of file corruption during the download, so I did it again. The first time my download speed was 1.5 Mbps and it took 24 hours; the second I had upgraded to 4 Mbps and it took 12 hours. It seemed to install fine, but when I tried to play it I got an error saying there was a problem with installation, so I did it again - a total of six times trying different combinations of installing/starting as administrator and also installing/starting in different compatibility modes. Nothing worked. So then I did a bit of research and found I could install the Origin client (you have to get an EA/Origin account anyway to play it), then redeem the registration code, then download it from Origin. All of which I did. It installed the game automatically, and now I can play the game just fine.

I realize others may not have problems with downloading like I did, but in case you do, this is the work-around. Not sure I'll try any more large game downloads from Amazon.
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on February 11, 2016
This was very cheap and easy. The only thing is that it is better is if you sign up for Origin use the code for the game through Origin and download the game from there if you do that you donot need to add the DLC code and the game will run flawlessly. I paid 7.99 which is like the cost of 1 add on. This is an older game, but still fun. I think this version is the best of the series.
EA is not one of my favorite game maker's but if you do not have this game it is worth the cost.
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on August 14, 2012
I would first like to state how much I enjoy this game. I have played through the original game Origins multiple times and never tire of it. For those who love fantasy RPG games your in for a treat if you play this one. The interactions between your character and your companions are honestly what makes this game so great. However, the conversations that you overhear between your traveling companions are priceless. I enjoy the ease of the interface and the fact that the game makes you think regarding where you place you character when they are attacking add to the impressiveness of the game. The music is beautiful and the graphics are amazing. When you take into consideration the time-frame that the game was released I'm still impressed by the crisp scenes. I would also suggest Mass Effect 1 and 2.Mass Effect [Download]Mass Effect 2 - Digital Deluxe Edition [Download]
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on March 12, 2016
DO NOT BUY THIS DOWNLOADABLE GAME!!!

If you enjoy troubleshooting issues and problems with games vs playing them then this is the game for you! Otherwise, Stay away!

Spent countless hours researching and trying numerous internet recommendations to get this game to run. Lots of suggestions to fix years of problems. Thought bugs would be cleared out by now. NOT EVEN CLOSE! Additionally, it has Poor/confusing KeyCode registration process. Not sure what Keys you register where. The game has you input Keys and it also redirects you to the Developer website to become a member and register the game. BTW, if you sign up as a member and try to delete you can't. I am waiting for the supposed week time frame a lot of the blogs indicate and will try again.

Could not get it to run so can't comment on the game play of this product.

System:
Asus Laptop
i7-6500 series processor
500G Solid-state HD
12 GB Ram
Geforce 940M w/2GB memory
Windows 10
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on November 16, 2014
This one star is actually for Amazon's digital download experience. It's plainly horrific and to be avoided at all costs. This is sad to say, because I have been otherwise greatly impressed with Amazon's service in all other respects (from Kindle to books to other products) from order to delivery to quality.

The downloading (software) was very very long, broke off often so you manually have to babysit it. Unacceptable, how is for example, PS4 servers able to handle game downloads effortlessly, without errors and interruptions and in a short time (35 mins or less, notwithstanding file size difference, cf. to Amazon's 20 hour experience) and delivering a working product.
To add insult to injury, the file was corrupted and had to be fixed by Origin's own downloading service (I could have saved time by buying from Origin directly) which took a few more hours.

In short, never will I trust Amazon with another digital download, outside of Kindle.
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