Return to Ferelden

February 1, 2010

I may have mentioned before that I don’t often finish computer games, and those I have I could list pretty swiftly. Well, as soon as I finished Dragon Age: Origins, I did something even stranger, I started it over again, straight away. Ok, so I’ve not been playing it at the same pace as the first time around, but I’ve only got dwarves and elves to go now.

I’m actually preferring my character more the second time around, despite playing an ELF! Something I’m sure I never thought I’d either do or enjoy. But here we are. My first char was a Human Mage, I didn’t spec it well, found the respec mod and still didn’t spec it well, but because she was a Mage I didn’t exactly struggle (for the record am playing on Easy Mode, because I’m not all that interested in the harder ones, I can find challenging content elsewhere, I play this for story and options). This time I’m playing a ranger type, with both dual wield and bow skills and I’m also being a little less ‘good’ and enjoying my sarcasm more.

I guess the pressure to finish the game is off, so I’m finding I can enjoy it more. And I already enjoyed it plenty the first time around. Sure it’s trope-y, but some of the reason I read fantasy books is to see the tropes and how they’re presented. Sure, I wish some of the questlines were a bit more streamlined, but that’s picky from a MMO player. I’m used to an open-ended world full of hideous grind to exact a monthly fee out of me for the longest time possible before I burn out. Dragon Age: Origins has nothing compared to the grind of skirmishes, or crafting instances, or even a rep grind – however streamlined. The pacing issues I have with it only come when I get to the point in the game I want to be doing end-game, and the story isn’t quite ready for me. But, at that point, I can curtail some of the quests and move on.

I will finish the second playthrough purely because I prefer the character and want to take her forward into the various DLCs, which I haven’t bought any of yet, and the expansion also. I wasn’t expecting to get further than the Dalish Origin story, and made a very amusing looking elf with hideous eye-shadow and strange facial tattoo. But, looking at her right now, I just enjoy it more than the ‘perfect-looking’ first character attempt, and that’s what matters. It won’t be a perfect save game, I know I’ve messed bits up and I have no intentions of going back and redoing anything (I don’t really want to do that.. when I save it’s to insure against death, not to examine all my options and pick my favourite), I like to stand by my decisions – good or bad.

So, you can safely say I enjoyed it. I doubt it’s the best game out there, I definitely had and have pacing issues with it. I don’t like the hidden barriers when walking around, and probably all sorts of other bits and pieces. But it’s distracting, entertaining and like visiting familiar territory, because the fantasy genre is the one I spend the most time in reading-wise. In that way it’s won me over and I’m sure because of it I will play more than a couple of quests of Mass Effect (sitting on my PC for MONTHS!), but I’m more interested in what the Dragon Age world has to offer in the future, than in Mass Effect or The Old Republic – however uncool that makes me.


  1. Hah! Elf lover! Your GLEE membership is in the post! 😀

    Your post actually jogged me into wondering whether I shouldn’t simply restart Dragon Age too. I stalled at the mage tower chapter a couple of months ago and I never picked it back up. Maybe starting over would provide the impetus I need — it’s not like I wasn’t enjoying it the first time around, and this time I’ll just make sure I get that bloody tower out of the way from the start!

  2. Am much happier in a sci-fi setting – as Mass Effect has proven to me. Dragon Age feels, pardon the pun, like a time in my gaming that is far too long in the tooth.

    Mass Effect 2, from early impressions, is living up to the billing.

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