Bioware – of Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic fame – brings us what its CEO calls the “spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate”. Now, if you're new to gaming that won't mean a vast amount to you. What will mean something is that Baldur's Gate is a near legendary Role-Playing Game (RPG), and that Dragon Age Origins – albeit a single-player game – sets out to bring as many hours of in-depth action as its ancestor.
Your role is to save the world. However, unlike in other games of the world-saving type, you don't have to choose to be good in order to achieve this. No one's told you what to do with the world once you've saved it, so you could, by choosing to play as an evil character save it just for yourself.
Not that you have to be evil throughout the game. Whether you choose to be a rogue, the warrior or the mage, you can make different choices as you move through the game world. These will effect the way in which the game itself plays out.
In the Baldur's Gate mould, you also get to control non-playing characters (NPCs), ordering them to do your bidding, carry out specific actions and generally support your cause.
Be aware, though, that once the player has embarked on the full game by entering the world from one of six introductory tales, they will experience adult themes. This is not a kids game of dungeons and dragons, faeries and elven folk.
With the Ultimate Edition, you also get the Awakening expansion pack and every content pack that's been released digitally!
This pack contains the critically acclaimed Dragon Age Origins, its expansion Awakening as well a a wide collection of extra DLC that can be activated online.
Dragon Age Origins represents the ultimate fantasy RPG experience and fromthe first few moments of gameplay you will be hooked and not want to put the mouse away. Unlike most of the other fantasy RPG's that have been bought out by Bioware this is not based on the Dungeons and Dragon license. This means that the character development is relatively fresh and won't leave avid DnD wishing for the full customisable of the paper based game.
Choice of character at the start of the game is simple, 3 classes, 3 races, each with 2 subraces to pick from. The customization comes from the skill and talent selection which allows you free choice but also the ability to change your character concept mid game if you character is not working for you all of which increases replayability.
Not only does this game have the same concept as Mass Effect, with each of your conversations and interaction having consequence but each of the sub-races not only has their own opening quest but the different races and gender choices will effect how you are viewed in the world.
The expasion while on as fleshed out as the original game and less based on the consequences to action system that was brilliant in the base game is still an enjoyable play.
Dragon Age is a kind of game that is becoming increasingly rare: a deeply immersive single-player RPG with an interface clearly designed for the PC. It's easy to sling around the word "immersive" at any game that looks pretty, but DA isn't messing around - the world of Ferelden shows a unified sense of design and depth that blows even famously vast games like Oblivion out of the water. Coupled with consistently excellent writing and across-the-board quality character design even down to relatively unimportant NPCs, the game truly does feel like it's reacting to your choices dynamically from the very beginning, and how you play your character can have amazingly subtle effects on the way the story unfolds.