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.
 in fact, you can watch someone doing it here.
you can watch a video of someone else doing her as a dwarf here.
so there we have it. 28 hours in a nut shell. there’s plenty more pics but i’ll leave you with this one.