Some of you may know that Dragon Age: Origins is my most cherished video game. It is one of the very first games I played as an adult — back when I was not a gamer — and it made me fall in love with video games. Especially RPGs, because they had characters to get to know, stories to engage with, worlds to explore, even romances to pursue. BioWare is known for creating games that capture you in all of these ways, and playing Origins was the start of my passion for these games.
One of the cool things is that I know many people who still love Dragon Age: Origins, even though it’s been out for eight years already. Some people, like myself, even replay it. I try to do so every year. Going back to it, I feel its age — the stiff character animations and the PC visual novel-like dialogue selection feel pretty dated nowadays — but I give myself some time to sink back into it, and then I forget about all that. The game is magical. It’s also timeless, in many ways.
BioWare has come out with many other games since then that I have fallen in love with. Mass Effect is my favorite video game series ever, for instance. But there are a few things that make Dragon Age: Origins stand out, and BioWare has never brought these elements back. It’s okay if they don’t, though I would love it if they did. But in any case, they are what make Origins so special to me.
*Gears of War 4 spoilers ahead! They’re everywhere!
One of my favorite things about the Gears of War games is the character dynamics. The series has always done a phenomenal job of creating interesting, believable characters. In the games, you play as a member of a four-man squad, and the guys are constantly ribbing each other. One character goes bananas for engineering; another used to be a sports star. You learn to love these characters, despite the fact that for the most part, the squad I’m referring to here is basically a bunch of ridiculously beefy dudes.
Gears of War 3 introduces female squadmates, Anya and Sam. By default, playing solo you’ll play as a male character — but depending on how many players are sharing a co-op experience, one of the players may assume the role of Anya.
As a girl gamer, playing as Anya is a nice addition to the Gears experience. Since I feel like I relate to female characters a little more naturally than male characters, I’m always choosing female avatars in character creators. And any game that features a female lead intrigues me for that reason alone. It’s becoming more common to see women in lead roles in games, which is awesome. It made me happy to see that Gears of War is making strides there too.
But the franchise took an even bigger step forward in Gears of War 4 — because in this game, the new character Kait Diaz is central to the entire story.
While Suicide Squad wasn’t the best movie of the year, I really enjoyed it and found Harley Quinn’s character to be the most interesting in the movie. Margot Robbie did a great job of unleashing her sweet, bubbly, half-mad personality.
Not knowing a ton about the character of Harley Quinn from the comics, I analyzed her character from Suicide Squad to get a sense of what she might be like. Obviously this is just one version of her, so I’d love to hear more about her from the comics and other sources. But for now, here are three scenes from Suicide Squad that gave me insight into this particular characterization of her — as someone in love who knows how to act.
You guys may know that Mass Effect is my favorite video game series ever. I’m replaying it right now and approaching the end of the first game. It feels like coming home.
When I talk to people who like the Mass Effect series, I always want to ask them which game of the trilogy is their favorite. A lot of people say the first game, because it has a very strong story and great RPG elements. Other people say the third game, which does a good job of fixing past problems and creating a cinematic experience (whether you like the ending or not).
I am one of the people who loves the second game. I’ve played that one more than any other (three times all the way through, and I’m on my way to a fourth time). Of the three games, it has the thinnest story. There are literally less than a handful of main story missions. In between those are dossier quests, which position Shepard to recruit a crew and then get to the know them. That’s exactly what I love about the game.