Bioware hit E3 with some heavy punches this year, showing off three
amazing games all at one show. You have seen and heard of Star Wars:
The Old Republic, by now you know about the sequel to Mass Effect, but
have you heard about Dragon Age? Bioware came on the scene with an
amazing RPG back in the 1990s called Baldur’s Gate and its
sequel Baldur’s Gate II. These games used the Dungeons
& Dragons world of Forgotten Realms to tell a story of a
character questing in and around the city of Baldur’s Gate.
The game was very innovative for its time because you met NPCs along
the way that eventually joined your party, had their own personalities
and fought with you in battles.  Here we are a decade later
and Bioware is coming back with another RPG that follows a similar core
design. Dragon Age is violent, exciting, and updates the RPG genre in
the legacy of Baldur’s Gate.

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We got a demo of the game at E3 from Bioware and EA that showed of many
of the story telling elements of the game. Bioware is a company that
truly puts the player’s choices into full effect. Every
decision you make in the game has an impact and as a Grey Warden in
Dragon Age you will be in full control of how your story plays
out.  The Grey Warden is a protector against the forces of
evil that are rising back up to take the land.  As you quest
to meet your destiny in facing down the foes, you have a group of NPCs
which will join your party and help save the land.

In the demo, our character started out in the NPC camp with his
followers. Already at a higher level, the group was taking a rest from
questing. As a player you can select different NPCs for quests and they
will level up as you do, similar to the mechanics of Baldur’s
Gate. As you get different scenarios to go through you can choose which
NPCs to take with you. Mages, healers, fighters, all have a place in
your party depending on how you want to tackle situations.

In selecting your NPCs you will develop relationships with them. In the
story arc we saw, you are the object of affection of two of your
companions. One is a sorcerer; she follows the dark arts of magic and
definitely plays the role of the bad girl. The other is an archer; she
is more like the good girl next door who just so happens to have some
serious bow skills.  The story gives you options to be with
both girls and develop relationships towards which you choose in the
end. This all impacts the story as well as your reputation with your
party. NPCs you have stronger relationships with will fight better in

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While talking things over with the sorceress, we discover that she
needs a book her evil mother still carries. She asks us to go retrieve
it for her so she can gain access to some more nasty spells. She seems
persuasive enough so we rallied our team and went to talk with the old
crone. Upon our arrival she seemed to be expecting us. After going
through the choices on how to handle the situation we decided to take
the book by force. Rough choice, because the old hag turned out to be a

Once the change was made, the game shifted into full combat mode and
players were casting, swinging, and hacking away at a massive dragon.
Most Bioware games are plausible and Baldur’s Gate was
formatted on that game mechanic. Dragon Age does allow players to make
all the combat choices for their party, but the action moves very fast.
There is little to no downtime and before we knew it spells and swords
were flying.  This boss-style fight moves fast and give
players plenty of options.  The demo ended with our party
finishing off the dragon and retrieving the tome for our shady
sorceress companion.

From what we saw, Dragon Age Origins will put the action RPG right back
on the map for the fantasy genre. We have seen some strong fantasy
roleplaying games in the past few years, especially Oblivion, but
nothing in a while from Bioware. Everyone was excited to try the game,
which comes out in October for the PC, XBOX 360 and PS3. Even though it
is not an MMO, Dragon Age will give players a nice break from raids and
worries about getting more loot. The game emphasizes story and looks to
deliver a great game play experience.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016