Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ – Hour 4

In the fourth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, I win a small battle but TOTALLY LOSE, and then I get a party and then OH MY GOD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Four

Honestly, I have never played a stat-based RPG like this in my life, and now that I’m figuring out what to do (with no help from the game whatsoever, which isn’t a problem, surprisingly), Dragon Age: Origins is really getting fun. I didn’t advance all that far during this hour because I spent so much time in the Select menu organizing my characters, trashing stuff I didn’t need, and making sure Roslin had the best things at her disposal. While I am familiar with this sort of thing from games like Fallout 3/New Vegas and Borderlands, this is not a button masher game or a first-person shooter. I’ve had to re-examine how I approach everything. Like I said last week, I can’t just run into a room full of Hurlock and aim my weapon at each of them. I have to constantly keep track of my party so I can give members a health poultice if they need it. I have to figure out how to approach Hurlocks or draw some away from the main party. It feels way more realistic than I’m used to for a game with so much fighting in it.

I guess this is something I didn’t expect to have happen for this project. I’m basically learning how to play a type of game. That’s… really awesome? Like, when I went into Dragon Age: Origins, I just thought I’d spend most of my reviews talking about the story. And while I do think that’s the best part of this game, I’m really satisfied that I’m learning something new in the process.

Seriously, though, the story in this segment of the game is ridiculous. I spent all this time ascending to the top of the Tower of Ishal, I fought an ogre (which one of the Tower Guards killed by STABBING IT IN THE FACE), I lit the beacon, and then fucking LOGHAIN RETREATS AND LEAVES US ALL THERE TO DIE. What the fuck is his deal??? What is he doing? This is NOT AT ALL WHAT I THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN! I had just completed a portion of the game and expected victory. This is not what I was given. So now I’ve got this rogue asshole trying to take control for some unknown reason, and he left me to die, and if wasn’t for Flemeth, Alistair and I would have died. I can’t wait to kill him. Duncan’s dead, the king was crushed like a bag of chips, and the darkspawn have overrun Ostagar. EVERYTHING’S FUCKED UP.

And that’s when Dragon Age: Origins goes from being an entertaining game to being UTTERLY FANTASTIC. First of all, Flemeth saved me and Alistair BY TURNING INTO A GIANT BIRD AND PICKING US UP IN HER TALONS. I like that Morrigan tells me this, I never actually see it myself, and I’m just left to assume it’s real. Bless. But being reunited with Morrigan and Flemeth is extremely important. The Witch of the Wilds imparts the severity of this new twist on me, and then explains that there are archdemons in Ostagar. It’s a very Lovecraftian element to the story. Old Gods raised by the darkspawn and tainted by their blood? There is nothing about this that I don’t like. I assume that thing that crushed King Cailan was one of them, right? DON’T TELL ME IF IT’S NOT.

This is how little I knew about this game: when Flemeth finally explains that I need to head out and gather and army and then the game assigns me a bunch of quests that all pertain to gathering an army, I just started laughing out of pure joy. THIS WAS REALLY HAPPENING. I have to go visit so many people to get the mages, the dwarves, and some humans on my side. Even if I didn’t play those other origin stories, some of those races will be in my army. DO YOU REALIZE HOW EXCITING THIS IS TO ME? I imagine I’ll have to fight some darkspawn along the way and use my cunning skills, good looks, and persuasive brilliance to convince all these beings to fight with me.

You have no idea how cool this is to me.

I also truly believe that Flemeth is the sassiest character in the whole game. She’s my Elder Sass, giving away her daughter as a gift and telling her, “Do try to have fun, dear.” Oh god, when Morrigan is saying goodbye and makes a joke about stew burning the house down, Flemeth replies with a vicious barb about how darkspawn will probably do it instead, and I just laughed so fucking hard. I LOVE HER SO MUCH. Why can’t she come along???

My Mabari dog saved the day and is following me around. I named him Adama. Shut up, it’s perfect. Also, fuck Twilight for ruining the word “imprint” forever. But many props to Adama, who ate up all the dead Hurlock gore when I asked him to. Man’s best friend, right?

The only other new feature I discovered was the traveling map, which is AWESOME. There are so many places I need to go! Oh god, I LOVE THIS.

My Character Stats

Strength: 20
Dexterity: 18
Willpower: 15
Magic: 13
Cunning: 16
Constitution: 13

Heroic Stats

Kills: 40
Damage Dealt: 4651
Friendly-fire damage dealt: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 32
Contribution to party damage: 53
Hit Rate: 80
Most powerful foe slain: Hurlock Alpha
Injuries: 0

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