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.
Continue reading What Makes “Dragon Age: Origins” Different
Lately I’ve been playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and while I’m still in the early stages of the game, it’s already reminding me of another massive RPG: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The reason for the comparison is the way these games handle questing in an open-world (or at least partially open-world) environment.
Continue reading The Allure of Story-Based Side Quests
Since finally finishing the main storyline in Dragon Age Inquisition this month, I’ve decided to compare it to another of the greatest video games in recent years, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, to see how each fares. I’ve enjoyed both games a lot, and they have tons in common. Both games are fantasy RPGs, the third in their series — and both try open world for the first time.
That last part is what I really want to discuss. The Witcher 3 goes full open world — you can travel everywhere without loading screens — while Dragon Age goes with a limited open world, where you select a spot on the map and then freely explore that large area.
What’s interesting to me is that these games, so similar in their approach, are very different in their execution. While The Witcher 3 really nails the open world experience, Dragon Age Inquisition’s attempt largely failed for me.
Continue reading Open World Comparison: “Dragon Age Inquisition” vs. “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”