Video Game Cat Review
Date of Review: July 22, 2012
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360
Language / Country of Origin: English / United States
Online Capability: There is downloadable content (DLC) available for this title.
Sequel: Dragon Age II.
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required: None required.
In the country of Ferelden, the presence of the Darkspawn, a plague of demons, signals the fifth blight. Every few hundred years, the people of Ferelden battle the Darkspawn who emerge from within the earth to destroy anyone who challenges them. The last four blights have been thwarted by an order of knights called the Grey Wardens. As the fifth blight surges the Grey Wardens lose their leader to the demon army. A new leader must arise to take the fallen Grey Warden’s place and stop the blight from becoming an endless nightmare for all Ferelden.
Cultural / Historical Value:
Dragon Age: Origins is the first installment of the Dragon Age series. It is modeled after the Baldur’s Gate series of games and is inspired by the Dungeons and Dragons franchise. Dragon Age: Origins has received widespread acclaim and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. The game has set a standard for casual role-playing games. Critics praised it for depth of detail and customization of characters.
Teaching / Learning Characteristics:
Dragon Age: Origins, although a game of high entertainment value, has little educational value for the general player. Due to the nature of its content, however, players can make moral and ethical choices that help advance the plot and their characters – determining their own fate. Based on their previous decisions, characters can choose the side of good or evil. This, in turn, can let players explore their own morality through the game. Game designers can look to this title for its rich detail and expansive world, cased in the fantasy genre.
In Dragon Age: Origins, the player chooses what kind of character they want to be, ranging from Human Noble, Magi, Dalish Elf or City Elf, and Dwarf Commoner or Dwarf Noble. Once a player makes a selection, s/he can further specialize the avatar with abilities and attributes, giving him/her certain dispositions. The game then evolves based upon the choices a character makes throughout the game. Because a player’s choices affect the plot and outcome of the game, there is high replay value. The availability of downloadable content and an expansion pack add to the title’s replayability.
Anyone who likes role-playing games will appreciate the Dragon Age series. Old school Dungeons and Dragons fans as well as those who love the fantasy genre will also want to give this game a gander. Dragon Age: Origins is not for the faint of heart as it is quite gory. Younger audiences should stay away.
About the Author:
Ben Bigalke is an avid traveler, bicycle enthusiast, lover of animals and video gamer extraordinaire. He grew up taking the stories and virtues told by the Nintendo of his childhood to heart. As an adult, he continues to appreciate the entertainment and learning experiences that videogames offer and studies the technological and artistic advancements they have made throughout his lifetime. As a videogame reviewer, he enjoys both observing and experiencing the cultural impact that these games have on his generation.
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