[GAME] 221 Hours of Dragon Age: Obsession

The gamers among my followers will already be aware of the fact that I’m a complete sucker for a good story. There’s something wonderful about being able to totally immerse yourself in a game that sucks you in, makes you invest and provides you with the tools to change the course of history, to make decisions that will forever alter the path of the people living in these fantastical worlds. Not only that, but to make your hero, and you, yourself, by extension, the ultimate saviour or harbinger of doom, and to have your playthrough become legacy, affecting the landscape of future games based in these worlds… Well. Let’s just say that particularly appeals to this one’s ego.

Nobody does this quite as well as BioWare, in my opinion. Mass Effect changed the way I look at, and approach games. While no gaming experience will ever match how I felt during my first foray into the Mass Effect universe, Dragon Age has certainly come close to replicating that kind of emotional investment. Their writers’ abilities to create massive, attractive, intriguing worlds, and relateable, likeable (and dislikeable) characters, is second to none. For many of us, the game literally changed when EA came aboard and started throwing its mammoth weight around, but the magic of these worlds remain ever as appealing.

80 Hours of Dragon Age: Origins (2009)

Dragon Age: Origins, the first of this fantasy game series, is one of my favourite roleplaying games of all time. Its scope is simply massive. Its lore is extensive. When I consider the amount of choices your character faces, and with them multiple different outcomes, my mind boggles, and I find it difficult to grasp the thousands of hours the voice actors spent in the studio.

In Origins, you play a Grey Warden, tasked with eradicating the demonic Blight that has overcome your homeland of Fereldan, and threatens to wipe out the entire world of Thedas. Together with your band of trusted companions, you, who would later become known as The Hero of Fereldan, sacrifice everything and fight the insurmountable odds to restore peace and life to your lands. Every hero’s journey is personal, and every outcome is different.

Here are a few of my favourite screenshots from my very first playthrough of Origins. For a six year old game, it still looks damn good. Major props to the engine.

40 Hours of Dragon Age II (2011)

The rather unimaginatively titled Dragon Age II, came next. Here you become a hero of a different kind – a Champion. Having fled from Fereldan with your remaining family at the beginning of the Blight, your protagonist Hawke flees to Kirkwall. There he or she must work to regain their family’s status in the new city, saving it and over the course of ten years inadvertently planting the seeds of what would develop into a massive Mage rebellion. The magic users, often feared and reviled, rose up against their Templar captors, breaking the city of Kirkwall in two in the process. It’s up to Hawke to try to hold everything together.

Dragon Age II was a game released before it should have been. Keen to capitalise on the success of Origins, and having run out of DLC for same, EA pushed for the sequel and gave fans a sub-par gaming experience as a result. It was tiny in comparison to its predecessor, and with its recycled environments and seemingly never-ending dungeon-crawling missions, its reception was largely negative. But for me, the writing was still there, the story was still excellent. I both loved and hated Hawke’s companions, and Hawke herself I found myself irreversibly connected to. My girl was sassy, strong and sexy. I can’t say no to that.

101 Hours of Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)

Dragon Age Inquisition - Poster

Promising a more complete, return to Dragon Age: Origins form with the third instalment, BioWare began work on Dragon Age: Inquisition. After some delays the game was released during the last quarter of last year, to a widely positive response. And while I thoroughly enjoyed Inquisition, it was not completely without problems. Over the coming days I will be exploring my Inquisition experience in-depth, and will soon be posting my review, complete with some serious screenshot spammage. Until then, may Andraste bless you and guide you.

What’s your favourite action RPG? Have you played Dragon Age? Did you enjoy it? Who is your favourite companion, and most importantly, who did you romance?

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35 replies

  1. I missed out on this series, but I am hoping that when I buy Witcher 3 in May, I will find a similar experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome post! And some badass pics as well! I’d love to go through DAO and DA2 with you and others and see where we took different paths and choices. It’s always fun to see how people think!

    It’s difficult for me to say what my favourite RPGs are, or even ARPGs. I’ve played so many but some definite ones are: Diablo, DAO, Knights of the Old Republic, and the Witcher. I’ve always been a fan of Andrzej Sapkowski and his world of greys (more than 50 shades of them, HA!) and the games have done a fantastic job with them.

    With JRPG some of my top contenders are Final Fantasy VI: lots to see and do, great lore and the best villain ever! And Xenoblade Chronicles. It has a lot of flaws and it’s rather cliché and predictable at times, but I fell in love with the expansive world.

    Can’t wait to read about your 101 Inquisition hours and read the review. It’ll be a new one, a game review on the spew! :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love comparing the decisions and choices! While I was playing DA:O my brother would constantly question me about mine. We mostly made completely different decisions, so it was very interesting to see how each played out, and how our experiences of some aspects of the game were so varied.

      Those are all great RPGs, some favourites there. As for JRPGs, I don’t play many, but I have fond memories of a couple of the Final Fantasy games.

      Ah, well, it won’t be a straight-up review in the conventional sense… It’ll be a sort of Spew Review, I guess!

      Like

  3. I’m so bitter because I had two games in my hand at Christmas, Dragon Age and Far Cry 4, one of which would be under my tree at Christmas, and the other saved for perhaps another month, or perhaps later in the year. I chose…poorly. I chose Far Cry and have been bitter even since. I keep hearing how everyone loves Dragon Age and I can’t even take Far Cry. It makes me so sad, but you know, I deserve it, because of my bitterness. I will make it right soon though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Ben! What a crying shame. Though I’ve heard good things about the recent DLC, something about hunting a Yeti? I don’t know. Sounds ridiculous. I hope you’ll come back and let me know how much you love/hate Dragon Age when you do finally get it. You can even come bearing your pitchfork and can stab me repeatedly with it, bitterly, if it turns out that you absolutely loathe it.

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  4. It’s about time I found someone that thinks Dragon Age II told a good story :]. I loved Dragon Age II. It did have it’s fair share of problems, but the story it told was excellent and I don’t regret spending over 100 hours in it.

    I must have put at least 350 hours in Dragon Age Origins. It’s by all accounts a true masterpiece to me and I still go back and play it every now and then.

    Dragon Age Inquisition was fantastic and well worth the wait. I actually reviewed all three of those games already :].

    I’ll be looking forward to your Inquisition Review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! The story in DAII was amazing. As a game it was nowhere near the standard set by Origins, but standalone, I enjoyed it so much. Whatever else happens, we’re guaranteed a good story, awesome characters and wonderful voice acting with Dragon Age.

      I’ve gone back to Origins so many times now for new playthroughs. When I got Awakening and all of the other DLC it felt like a different game to me, and I was amazed by how much I missed the first time around, despite me being such a completionist. You’re so right, it is a true masterpiece.

      Really enjoyed Inquisition. I’m sorry I’m finished it now, but I have an Elf Mage in the works for next time. ;D

      Like

  5. A new Spew Review on the horizon! Marvelous! I still go back occasionally and read your Walking Dead RPG review for the entertainment value. Who knows? Maybe this review will make Linda change her name for you from Zombie Girl to Dragon Girl. I think I’d like that. Sassy, strong and sexy, exactly the image I have of you in my mind!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t believe you do that! That’s so awesome. I really have to write up my Season 2 of The Walking Dead experience. Clementine deserves her time to shine!

      Oh, Dragon Girl. How apt that is. I went out of my way to kill every single dragon in that game. I think there was ten in total (not including the big guy at the end), all different with different powers. It was such a fun added extra. A part of me was thinking, “Ooh, but they’re so fierce, so beautiful, how can I kill such magnificent creatures?” but then the other part answered, “Shut up, kill it, there’ll be some shiny booty if you do.”

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  6. I’m looking forward to reading your views on Inquisition. Origins is one of the best RPGs I have ever played. DA2 was good, but clearly a rushed product.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Completely agree. Origins will always be top for me. I really enjoyed DAII also, but primarily for the story, as it was indeed clearly a rushed product. I’m so tempted to launch into another playthrough of Origins now.

      Like

  7. Hello V! I’m not much of a gamer but man, games these days have such amazing visuals. This one is six years old? Wow, it certainly still looks pretty darn good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does, doesn’t it? I’m always amazed by how they look and how they can make me feel as though I’m IN the story, if you get me. I think that’s the major appeal of the Dragon Age series for me; it’s like an interactive film that lasts eighty hours. :D

      Like

  8. I’m currently playing Inquisition and like it a lot. I’m a lot more into the decision making and diplomacy of the game, and I think the actual combat can be kind of a slog, but I think that with all RPGs. I’ve played Origins, Awakening, and Dragon Age II in this series and liked them all, probably more than Skyrim.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The combat was one of my major problems with Inquisition. It is so bloody clunky and awkward. I preferred the simpler point-and-click approach of the combat in Origins, but you’re right, in general the combat in RPGs are harder work. I played on PC mind, I’m told the console combat system is a little better.

      I prefer DA over Skyrim, too. I’ll be crucified for saying that, but DA just appeals to me more, I guess. How far along are you into Inquisition? I’d be curious to know your final hour count. :D

      Like

      • Of course in Skyrim I was at the point where I was pretty much killing things in one hit with my axe, so it least that was easier to breeze through. I’ve always used an archer in the DA games because I hated the warrior combat in Origins.

        I can’t tell how many hours I’m truly into it because it says like 260 which is impossible. I think it’s because of the Xbox One and it’s “always on” feature, so when I pause it and turn the console off the game keeps going. I think I’m actually at about 35-40 hours. Just got the specialization upgrade.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve done a dual-wielding Rogue, but never an archer. I’m tempted to try it, I’d imagine it adds a new dimension of difficulty to it though. I guess my style is more suited to up close and personal, as I struggled a lot with my first ranged Mage playthrough. They’re so squishy, and with Inquisition in particular I’d really notice the lack of healing abilities. At this stage, it would probably work better as a challenge than Nightmare mode, because I haven’t managed to complete a nightmare run yet.

          35-40 hours sounds about right for that stage, I think it was around that time when I got my Reaver specialisation.

          Like

  9. I never played the previous titles in the series, but reached the end of Inquisition after a hefty 110 hours. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve really started to open up to RPG’s, and Inquisition was undoubtedly one of the best. An absolutely marvelous story encapsulated by tremendous characters and wonderful locations.

    In terms of my followers…it was hard to pick, but I think I’d go for Cassandra as my favorite. Add to that my romance option, Sera, and the inimitable Iron Bull, and I think you’ve got my top team right there.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ash! I’m sorry I’m only seeing your reply now. Inquisition was very much the marvellous story we hoped it would be. It can’t surpass Origins in my opinion (go back and have a play of that if you already haven’t!), but I immensely enjoyed it all the same.

      I just LOVED Cassandra. I thought I would hate her, but I warmed to her quickly and found myself growing extremely fond of her. It’s a testament to the character writing, I think. Also in my party I had Iron Bull (brilliant) and Dorian (probably my favourite companion).

      Looking forward to checking out GameBleed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No problem, and yeah, that’s my new site, I hope you like it!

        My first impression of Cassandra was also deceiving. But watching her character slowly open up through the interactions with my other party members, as well as her incredible arc with Varric and his book was one of the most memorable parts of Inquisition for me.

        If I had to pick a character I didn’t like, it would be Solas. But even then I still maintained a weird begrudging respect for him. Glad my aversion to him was justified by the games epilogue, however!

        Like

  10. Great Gaming choice DA:O. Even though I lost interest in DAII after hearing that sequel had been steered away from DA:O formula. Will try to get my hands on last DA. My favorites are Witcher series, Fallout3 and NV, Wasteland2 and lot many. If you really like story arc in RPG than you should try Planscape:Torment. Most innovative writing I have ever seen in RPG. Currently I am too busy with Wasteland 2 and DA:O (Second run).
    Btw my DA:O warden exactly looks like yours. (Yaaa, I love to play my lead character as female lot many time. Love to see bad-*** girl kicking the hell out the world :)
    Thanks for the post.

    Like

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