Game Play | Dragon Age: Origins | Preamble
“In War, Victory. In Peace, Vigilance. In Death, Sacrifice.” - Grey Warden oath.
As previously stated, I will be playing Dragon Age: Origins throughout December (and beyond), effectively reviewing the game as a “Let’s Play” of sorts. Having played through the entire Dragon Age series on PC (bar Inquisition’s DLC), I will be guiding events in certain directions to set up a similar series of posts for Awakening, Dragon Age 2, and Inquisition.
That’s all for the future, so to focus on what’s actually coming up over the next few weeks, it’ll be better to explain a few things about this will work:
First off, I’ll be playing as a human warrior. Dragon Age clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Game of Thrones and the human warrior has a very Thrones-esque origin story, so it kind of fits. Also, it sets up another strong antagonist for near the endgame and a cathartic showdown.
Also, contrary to how I imagine most players would choose to do, I’ll be building her (that’s right, this Hero of Ferelden will be a woman) as a sword and shield ‘tank’ rather than a damage-dealer. Yes, it’s fun to run in and chop everything into pieces, but it’s even more fun to laugh at how pathetic your opponents are because they can’t actually hurt you.
I don’t want to give away too much more than that because it’ll give away spoilers for not just this game, but the other titles in the series too. I will be making very deliberate choices regarding the character and the story - some I’ll explain and some I won’t, depending on how important they are.
As for the structure of this series, each area is pretty much divided up already which makes things fairly easy. Saying that, the reason this isn’t a proper “Let’s Play” is because I won’t be boring you with certain stretches of constant combat, like in the Deep Roads under the Dwarven city of Orzammar.
I’m also planning on dedicating one post to each of the team members you pick up, as they all have their own little stories that play out and some even affect future games - apart from the dog, who might just get the odd mention here and there as I go.
I’ll also be playing through the DLC content as and when I feel my character is ready to do so, although there are two that I’ll have to make slight exceptions for. The first is Leliana’s Song, which I’ll probably cover back-to-back with whatever I post about her character in general.
This is because the DLC is set before the events of the main game and does spoil her backstory if you don’t already know it. I will be playing it first though, because completing it gets you rewards to use in the main game!
The second DLC that’ll be treated a little differently is The Darkspawn Chronicles, which is effectively a “What If?” scenario that sees you playing as one of the evil horde set on conquering the world. In fact, it’ll probably be the last thing I play before summing up Origins as a whole.
And just to make it clear: I do not count Dragon Age: Awakening as DLC, but as an expansion, even if the distinction is microscopic these days. Awakening will be getting its own series of posts at a later date before moving on to Dragon Age 2.
Regarding mods, I only have a few that I’ll be using as I don’t want to alter the experience too much from what the base game offers. The most important – for me – is the mod to Skip the Fade; I’ll explain why when I get to that point in the game.
I’m also using a mod to give the Grey Wardens the same armour here that they have in the rest of the series as that really makes a lot of sense to provide some continuity between all of the games. It also has the handy bonus of making the characters all look pretty damned cool too.
The last of the mods is… yes, it’s a nudity mod, although this isn’t for simple titillation. As I’ve already said, the Dragon Age series is clearly hugely influenced by Game of Thrones and has the violence and back-stabbing to match, so it seems strange to omit the nudity - especially as Inquisition has nudity without needing any mods at all.
It also just makes the entire thing feel a little more grown-up, with the consenting adults in ‘sex’ scenes now actually naked rather than shagging with their underwear on. There are also a couple of other points where it genuinely adds a little something more to the game, although I’ll explain why I think so when I reach them.
The journey across Thedas (The Dragon Age setting - really) begins later this week.