play.

it’s the summer holidays so all the fuckwit kids are on xbox live all the time playing battlefield and pissing me off because they don’t know how to work as a team and i got fucking sick of being in squads with medics who don’t heal, snipers who don’t use their motion sensors and engineers who are afraid of tanks. being the best on my team (of 12) with 3 kills was the ultimate low point, and losing ‘rush’ match after match, i got sick of it all and put the controller down. i needed some single player therapy. i needed a mission. i needed to look after and be looked after. i needed team work (where i mainly control what happens). i needed loot and cool weapons and armour. i needed to develop characters.

steam had the answer.

for £19.99 dragon age: origins has been one of the best value games i’ve bought. i’ve already spent 28 hours in game and no where near finishing it – and that’s just with this character (daylen, human mage), on my first run through. apparently 80-100 hours is the norm.

i’m not sure where to begin. in short you create a hero at the start of the game with a background (chosen from a list e.g. human, elf, dwarf) and talent (like warrior, archer, mage) and follow a series of quests in a massive fantasy world. i can imagine some of you are rolling eyes/getting bored already but i promise you, that the writing is fantastic. i feel genuine emotions as the story plays itself out – am disappointed in, or disappoint characters by my actions, choose characters based on personality for a mission because their attitude will affect certain story/dialogue options. the voice acting is amazing, honestly the best i’ve seen in a game. and there is tons of it. over 1000 hours.

so you run around accepting quests for different people and collect rewards along the way (normally money/weapons/armour/potions etc) and level up your character choosing certain skills as you do. i started with a human mage (because come-the-fuck-on, casting massive fire storms and blizzards is all kinds of fun) and am now an arcane warrior mage (basically an offensive, get in the middle and kick the shit out of everyone wizard). in my party (of 4) i have another mage (wynn – she’s all about healing everyone), a tank (alistair – he has heavy armour and a sword/sheild combo who’s role is to  take all the punishment, hence ‘tank’) and either an archer (leilani – attacks from distance, she can also pick locks) or another mage (morrigan – a kind of supporting/attacking mage, she uses disrupting spells – but since we had sex i’ve left her out, the others talk about it and it’s annoying). in all rpg’s my first character is always a good guy, second run through i’m the bad-ass. so i wonder around this beautiful world (like yahtzee said “standard fantasy setting”) fighting the good fight.

i also have to admit, i’m playing it on easy. i lasted about 4 hours until i came to a fight i couldn’t get past, realised i’d fucked up my level up choices and either had to start again or carry on and learn my lesson for next game. so it’s been on easy since and i have to admit, i still get my ass handed to me every once in a while so i still feel it’s a challenge. but i am learning a lot about how to play the game, how to use my team tactically and when to quick save. but i still feel like i’m scratching the surface, this game is an ocean and i’m on the beach letting waves splash my toes. not sure what that means, but you get the point.

one cool feature is that along the way the game automatically takes screenshots of your actions, and if i was signed in to an online account (through bioware) it would automatically upload them to a blog so people can see what i’m doing. instead it saves them on my pc, so rather than talking about it, i can just show you my game.

that's me, daylen, in the middle, at the start of my origins story. yes i chose the beard. the name was automatic but i like it. i usually go with captain fuckface or something similar.

taking on my first demon in 'the fade', another dimension.

my first real story decision, whether to help this couple escape. i did, but before i let them go i stole all their clothes/equipment to sell later.

that's me getting into trouble for helping.

after finishing mage school, i got chosen to help the king. i meet alistair for the first time and am given a real mission. all of this is in game by the way, it looks amazing.

that's morrigan and her mum, flemeth. she dresses so slutty, i love it. i think flemeth is voiced by janeway from voyager.

that's me running toward the dead body of my first ogre. those things are bad ass. the game goes into slow mode to show off the final killing blow - it's was one of the soldiers in my party jumping onto his chest and stabbing him through the heart. awesome.

[edit] in fact, you can watch someone doing it here.

meeting leilani for the first time after kicking some ass in a bar. note the blood covering alistair. it's persistant in game. and there's loads of it.

meeting werewolves.

meeting the werewolves leader, the lady. you don't ever see nipples/ass it's tastefully covered. 18 rated game though.

me totally kicking ass.

me about to kick ass in the mages circle tower. note how i dress morrigan. that's wynn on my right.

the desire demon. another scantily clad enemy with whom the floors were mopped. at one point she rubbed her left tit.

another fight, another day. fighting dwarves in the arena of their underground city.

okay i admit i spent about 3 hours in those fucking tunnels. i'm a bit of a completionist when it comes to rpg's (must. walk. down. every. passage. to. see. what's. there. and. be. annoyed. that. it's. only. a. fucking. lesser. health. potion. but. still. repeat. until. map. is. complete.)

that's alistair pissed at me over one of the decisions i made. i think i made the wrong one too but it still affects our relationship. sad. but he's a bit of a pussy.

that's me about to bone morrigan, i earnt the 'witch gone wild' achievement as a result.

you can watch a video of someone else doing her as a dwarf here.

he fucking kicked my ass on the way to fight a dragon. it was like 3 blows with his super-axe and then he proceeded to annhilate the rest of the party. thank science for quickload.


and this is basically where i am now. note the bad-ass fucking armour. and before iamthedemonamon shouts - "wtf?, mages can't wear badass armour" - i'm an arcane warrior mage and can use my magic ability in place of the strength requirements of armour. so there. although you probably knew that from baldurs gate 2.

so there we have it. 28 hours in a nut shell. there’s plenty more pics but i’ll leave you with this one.

aaah wynn. note on the left hand side the rest of the party are dead. and that arrow in her chest. when you're left with an old woman who only really casts heal spells against the last of a badass skeleton crew, you're in trouble. i won in the end, but pretty much had to heal him to death. it took fucking ages.

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