Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age: Origins is the spiritual successor to BioWare’s critically acclaimed Baldur’s Gate, featuring deep character customization and role-playing, morally challenging decisions, tactical party-based combat, and a wealth of gritty, mature sub-plots. It is a dark, heroic fantasy game that combines original storytelling techniques with classic role-playing challenges.

In Dragon Age, your choices change the world and affect the people around you. Certain situations, storylines, and conversation options will change drastically depending on your origin and your motivations. You choose your origin, and from that starting point, your story begins. You play through your character’s early days, defining his or her background and motivation and begin to learn more about the world of Ferelden from your own distinct perspective. Your choice of origin defines how you will view the world and how it views you. Choose a sneaky, disrespected commoner and you will play a story that focuses around subtle skills and careful wordplay. Choose a noble origin and the world will be much more positive and helpful, but those jealous of your status will not be afraid to take what you have, violently if necessary.

The character creation reveals more of Dragon Age’s depth and flexibility. You have three separate races (human, dwarf and elf) and three base classes (warrior, rogue and mage) to choose from. Additionally, your hero will have general skills, class-specific talents and specializations, which you can learn from manuals or other characters willing to teach you their arts. By the end of the game, your hero will feel like a true legendary Grey Warden with a full complement of abilities to destroy the Darkspawn.

Dragon Age provides a ton of customization without a level cap, so it’s possible to take two characters with the exact same background and develop them in completely different ways. For example, do you want a berserker that mows down enemies, a stealthy rogue that strikes from the shadows or a mage that wields the elements?

I am on my 3rd playthrough – played through as human warrior, dwarfen rogue and now as an elven mage. A must-have RPG for the PS3 (I have never run into a game with a gay assassin or a bi-sexual elven rogue). Per storyline the game will entertain you for at least 40 hours (2nd playthrough took 32 hours as I skipped most of the dialogue).