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Alpha Phoenix
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:41 AM)
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With all the impressions on Andromeda over the past week, I decided to fire up Dragon Age: Origins to get a renewed taste of BioWare's former self. Replaying a bit on PC right now. Game has aged surprisingly well. The non-voiced protagonist is completely a non-issue. There's a distinct feel to this game that is simply lacking in BioWare's more recent outputs. The music, the world, the characters, even the DLC packs are still top-notch by today's standards. I put close to 150 hours into it back in the day and somehow feel like I could do it again.

If you're reading this and have not yet played this game, you should fix that soon. It's the last gem from BioWare's pre-EA days, and any RPG fan ought to play it.
MattKeil
BIGTIME TV MOGUL #2
(03-18-2017, 07:43 AM)
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I feel the opposite. It was archaic in every sense when it was released, very obviously was originally built in the Aurora Engine, has a completely generic and forgettable story, only one or two worthwhile characters, and overall it has aged like milk. I will never, ever understand the praise it gets.
Trace
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:44 AM)
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Originally Posted by MattKeil

I feel the opposite. It was archaic in every sense when it was released, very obviously was originally built in the Aurora Engine, has a completely generic and forgettable story, only one or two worthwhile characters, and overall it has aged like milk. I will never, ever understand the praise it gets.

I agree on this. I really enjoy how they did the whole "Origins" section so you had a bunch of different starts to the game that actually made playing multiple times fun, but outside of that I didn't really enjoy the combat, the graphics were bad and the story was kinda underwhelming.
Absoludacrous
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:45 AM)
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It's funny, because when DA:O came out, people who had known BioWare from the Baulder's Gate days ripped it apart for its writing quality. Interesting to see how people look back on this stuff.

For the record, I enjoyed it quite a bit. But I'm really excited for fifteen years from now when people hold up Andromeda as the last bastion of quality writing from BioWare cause Mass Effect 9 is total shit.
Babyshams
Junior Member
(03-18-2017, 07:46 AM)
I love going back and playing it.

Does it have a lot of old game quirks? You bet but they don't detract from the overall experience.

Also I really miss reading exactly what my character is going to say not picking an icon and hoping.
inky
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:46 AM)
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Did you play Awakening as well? Yeah, it's pretty good.

Last time I tried it I had an issue with the servers where it would pull my old saves but it wouldn't recognize any of my DLC (I own all of it), thus I couldn't load it or play with any of them active so I shelved it. But I've also been tempted to go back for one final playthrough.
Lionheart
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:47 AM)
Played it for the first time like a year and a half ago and I agree. Even without nostalgia (and without being a Bioware fan), this game is fantastic! Really impressed me and will probably play it again some time to explore other choices.

A must play for any RPG fan even if you've played mostly JRPG's before it like me.
Arulan
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:47 AM)
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There are many advantages to not having a voiced protagonist.

It was clear at the time that it didn't live up to Baldur's Gate, but it turned out to be one of the best examples of a large-production (AAA) RPG of that type.
Superkewl
Junior Member
(03-18-2017, 07:49 AM)
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Yeah, DA:O was the last good game Bioware released.

Miss old Bioware :-(
Sheroking
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:49 AM)
Probably the only well-reviewed, well-liked game ever I think is actually bad.

Like, my compliments for the game begin and end at Claudia Black. Otherwise it's an ugly, glitchy, small, invisible wall filled game with assy-MMO combat and like dull 2 hour long crawls that I hear many people mod out of the game.
Last edited by Sheroking; 03-18-2017 at 07:51 AM.
Alpha Phoenix
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:51 AM)
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Originally Posted by MattKeil

I feel the opposite. It was archaic in every sense when it was released, very obviously was originally built in the Aurora Engine, has a completely generic and forgettable story, only one or two worthwhile characters, and overall it has aged like milk. I will never, ever understand the praise it gets.

I understand this viewpoint and have heard it many times. Don't agree with it, but it's a fair point!

Originally Posted by inky

Did you play Awakening as well? Yeah, it's pretty good.

I've got the Ultimate Edition on Origin which includes everything! Played it before on 360 as well.
inky
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by Arulan

There are many advantages to not having a voiced protagonist.

It was clear at the time that it didn't live up to Baldur's Gate, but it turned out to be one of the best examples of a large-production (AAA) RPG of that type.

Of course it didn't, but the landscape was way more barren back then. I think the fans appreciated as maybe a last ditch effort of sorts especially because they've been talking about it for so long, and it instantly became Bioware's best selling game (which taught them all the wrong lessons, sadly).
ST2K
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(03-18-2017, 07:52 AM)
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I very much enjoyed in the story and the craft they put into the various permutations it could take. The combat was also new for me, as I didn't ever get into the old PC RPGS, so I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

In many ways, this game was the only one I played that fulfilled the promise of the whole "your choices mean something!" fad of the era. Bioware itself even failed with it later. Nowadays people have mostly seemed to have given up on the concept except for the thinnest of illusions. But this told a rather dynamic, self-contained story that I'll always appreciate.
longdi
Banned
(03-18-2017, 07:53 AM)
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Imo it was boring AF. Stopped halfway and couldnt be bothered. Bioware could have improved the formula but they went the other way with its sequels.
ResidentDante
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:54 AM)
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I played it a month ago for the first time ever, I've just played Inquisition previously. I enjoyed it, lots of interesting places to visit and dungeons to level up in.

It sure is a fairly old looking game, but I got used to it quickly and made me realize as I'm playing on a 4K tv, I really don't give a shit about all the resolution arguing.

For those wishing to replay on a console: Do it on the Xbox One, it became backwards compatible halfway through my playthrough and the framerate goes from dipping far into the 20's to rock solid 30 and v-synced!
KillerBEA
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:54 AM)
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Dragon Age Origins is still one of my favorite games of last gen. One of the few I can return to and still lose myself in.
Newk86
Junior Member
(03-18-2017, 07:55 AM)
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Played and finished the GOTY edition that includes all extras in 2015. I found it really terrible, gave it a 1 out of 5 in fact and wouldn't recommend it. Only thing that I liked was the challenge. Could not get into the story, characters, or world at all.
Arulan
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:55 AM)
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Originally Posted by inky

Of course it didn't, but the landscape was way more barren back then. I think the fans appreciated as maybe a last ditch effort of sorts especially because they've been talking about it for so long, and it instantly became Bioware's best selling game (which taught them all the wrong lessons, sadly).

It was really Mass Effect's success that prevented them from building upon Dragon Age: Origins, and instead chase after the cinematic RPG.

Was Dragon Age's long development time a factor in the change in direction the series was forced to undergo? Like, did somebody decide that "Dragon Age: Origins-type RPGs just take too long to develop, so we can't make them anymore"?

I don't know. Obviously nobody liked how long it took for Dragon Age to be completed, but I think it was more a case of Mass Effect succeeding really well.

Though a smaller game from a content point of view, Mass Effect still felt like a big game (for many players, at least). The player voice and cinematic treatment made it extremely attractive. It became more difficult over the years to argue for doing anything markedly different from what Mass Effect was doing. It was a project that struck much closer to its schedule, did very well (ratings and sales) and had the wow factor (the Silent Protagonist of DA: Origins never had the appeal that Shepard did, whether in company meetings, publisher proposals, or on press tours).

Basically, a voiced protagonist, and the cinematic elements required to pull that presentation off properly, makes it extremely risky to attempt an asset heavy game like Dragon Age: Origins.

Source
Alpha Phoenix
Member
(03-18-2017, 07:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by Arulan

It was really Mass Effect's success that prevented them from building upon Dragon Age: Origins, and instead chase after the cinematic RPG.



Source

I'd heard this as well. Funnily enough, DA2 was inspired more by Mass Effect than its own predecessor (DA:O).
Hooks
Junior Member
(03-18-2017, 07:59 AM)
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I have Inquisition but haven't been able to get into it for some reason... Is it with giving Origins a shot?
Skelter
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(03-18-2017, 07:59 AM)
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Dragon Age: Origins never came close to the greatness of Baldur's Gate.
Brad Grenz
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(03-18-2017, 08:00 AM)
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Playing it with the isometric camera on PC, friendly fire on, and using all the great magic combos was a ton of fun. Positioning really mattered and there was a ton of depth to the combat. It's a shame where the series ended up by Inquisition.

My biggest complaint about Origins was how much it leaned on the classic Bioware structure of "go to these four places, accomplish these four things and we'll be ready to confront the foozle!"
Fushichou187
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:00 AM)
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Ain't gonna lie. Platinum'd and enjoyed all of the DA games. The first in particular despite its foibles.
Alpha Phoenix
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(03-18-2017, 08:01 AM)
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Originally Posted by Hooks

I have Inquisition but haven't been able to get into it for some reason... Is it with giving Origins a shot?

It's worth it, but I'm not sure if you'd necessarily like it. I think DA:O is definitely the better game, but it's also more 'classic' which may or may not be your cup of tea.

It's very much in the vein of old school BioWare a la Baldur's Gate, something you never see from them these days.
Shaanyboi
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:02 AM)
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The chemistry of the group felt fantastic in that game. Morrigan and Alastair constantly shitting on eachother was so good.

There's a feeling that DA:O achieved that Bioware's later stuff didn't manage to recapture
Last edited by Shaanyboi; 03-18-2017 at 08:06 AM.
brickarts295
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:03 AM)
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It's still has the best story, characters and character development for me when compared to any other Bioware game. Gameplay is a tad outdated but it's manageable.
JBwB
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:04 AM)
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It's been a while since I last replayed it but I think apart from the graphics it still holds up quite well.
manfestival
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:06 AM)
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Yeah it definitely remains the best of the dragon age games. The story, the combat, and gameplay are easily the best. It has some problems but not in the fields I stated. Absolutely love the isometric view in the game too
Class_A_Ninja
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:06 AM)
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I played through it a couple years ago. I'm still amazed by how deep that one quest line to restore the possessed king was when you could just off him. What a jewel.
MCD250
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:07 AM)
I don't doubt it. Easily one of my favorite games last gen, and probably BioWare's best effort in the last ten years.
Apoleptica
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(03-18-2017, 08:08 AM)
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Originally Posted by Absoludacrous

It's funny, because when DA:O came out, people who had known BioWare from the Baulder's Gate days ripped it apart for its writing quality. Interesting to see how people look back on this stuff.

For the record, I enjoyed it quite a bit. But I'm really excited for fifteen years from now when people hold up Andromeda as the last bastion of quality writing from BioWare cause Mass Effect 9 is total shit.

Lmao, this is so true. Same with the dialogue choices it was possible to make in games like KOTOR. Bioware has become a shadow of it's former self.
ST2K
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:12 AM)
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I think people also forget Tim Curry played an excellent, scenery-chewing villain in this game.



Especially if you picked Human Noble. What a great guy to hate.
JTCx
Junior Member
(03-18-2017, 08:24 AM)
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Definitely one of Bioware's top tier titles. Great story, characters, and the gameplay has that classic Bioware feel.

Then you have Bann Teagan's dance which is just icing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEhAyBbCfY4
Shengar
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:35 AM)
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Bioware game with 2nd best world building, close to the first Mass Effect. I'm still mad that they have the audacity to give horns to Qunari. They changed them from a race that their familiarity to human makes them completely alien and fascinating due to their culture into completely generic fantasy race. Shameful, and regretful when they think that they need explicit physical signifier to separate human from non-human.
Renekton
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:38 AM)
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Alistar is a fun character to have in your team, he tanks well and his WQ combo is super strong.
the_sun_king
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:39 AM)
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I'm still mad that they have the audacity to give horns to Qunari. They changed them from a race that their familiarity to human makes them completely alien and fascinating due to their culture into completely generic fantasy race. Shameful, and regretful when they think that they need explicit physical signifier to separate human from non-human.

Bioware always intended for the Qunari to have horns. Sten wouldn't have been able to wear the helmets in game at the time if he had 'em, and they had a budget, so in Origins, no horns. But after, horns!

Also, i don't think they're a generic fantasy race. They stand out, physically and lore wise. It's why I rolled a Qunari in Inquisition - I wanted to play as a unique race that I hadn't seen before in other media.
Last edited by the_sun_king; 03-18-2017 at 08:41 AM.
toddhunter
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:49 AM)
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Originally Posted by Hooks

I have Inquisition but haven't been able to get into it for some reason... Is it with giving Origins a shot?

Chances are the reason is because it is complete garbage.

Origins on the other hand, was quite good (on pc). The characters were generally good, the story unispired but "fine" and the combat was ok. Unfortunately it was very unbalanced in a limited way and not unbalanced in a diverse way like the earlier games. Start holding and crushing stuff and you are set for the entire game.

Like ME1 it was a well made rpg that promised a return to form for bigger budget entries and gradual improvements until we got back to the glory days. Boy did they completely fuck that up.
Shengar
Member
(03-18-2017, 08:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by the_sun_king

Bioware always intended for the Qunari to have horns. Sten wouldn't have been able to wear the helmets in game at the time if he had 'em, and they had a budget, so in Origins, no horns. But after, horns!

Also, i don't think they're a generic fantasy race. They stand out, physically and lore wise. It's why I rolled a Qunari in Inquisition - I wanted to play as a unique race that I hadn't seen before in other media.

Honestly, they work vastly better with no horns. Their eerie similarity to human albeit with much bigger physique combined with their culture that's relatively strange to the Fereldan, is what makes them ultimately more fantastical than any fantasy race that I've ever encountered in many fantasy fiction. This is due to their normal appearance makes me focused more on their mannerism and then to their culture. By giving them horns, they now have physical features that stand out more than their mannerism. They feel less fantastical paradoxically because such fantastic feature makes their culture normalized to feel "alien".

It was not just the horn, but their body built too actually. It just the horn more stand out and become the focus of them with that addition.
Dr.Sanchez
Junior Member
(03-18-2017, 08:55 AM)
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I played it last year and really enjoyed it. It has some mechanics that are outdated, but overall I found it to be a solid game.
Yabberwocky
Member
(03-18-2017, 09:04 AM)
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I'm still really impressed by how good the pacing is in DA:O overall (sans the fucking Fade), and how well DA:O balances exploration to many locales whilst still having a dense story. I think DA:O and ME1 were the last time Bioware were truly able to achieve a good balance, and ME1 had a lot of filler if you went planet exploring. DA2 was very story dense, but was rushed and obviously suffered from area repetition. DA:I's story felt thinner, and its areas too big. ME2/ME3 felt very claustrophobic in comparison to ME1, and lacked exploration. (Huge gameplay improvement from ME1, though.)

I loved the origin stories for the player character in DA:O and how interesting some of them are. Hilariously, the first time I played DA:O I chose Human Noble, and didn't even finish the prologue before I got rid of the game. I thought the textures were hideous, and in my defence, the combat in blaaaaaaaaargh on console. I came back after playing DA2, played some different origin stories, and immediately became much more engaged. The Circle Mage, Dwarf Noble, and City Elf were huge surprises for me.

I also loved that the player can't always get what they want with DA:O, it feels a lot less player pandery than ME or DA:I. My first run through of DA:O ended up with a dead Warden who had a terrible break-up with Alistair over choosing to spare Loghain, and because I hadn't chosen the right conversation points for him, Alistair had ended up a wandering drunk. Anora was queen, Loghain was bitter, Morrigan was pissed as I hadn't done the ritual, etc. It hurt so goooood.
Jacobson
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(03-18-2017, 09:13 AM)
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Huh. I'm surprised a lot of users here on GAF did not care for DA:O at all. I personally like the story and the world that they have built. I enjoyed all the stories about the Fade and the Golden City.
Staf
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(03-18-2017, 09:15 AM)
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Love this game. My favorite game, slightly edges out Skyrim, on the PS3.
nubbe
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(03-18-2017, 09:16 AM)
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It's Bioware's last game
LastGamer84
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(03-18-2017, 09:20 AM)
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Still my favorite of the series. Skills and stats actually meant something, the combat wasn't boring as hell like inquisition, you could actually set the A.I. of your party members...who were actual interesting characters despite a few being cliche

It's just such a charming story too. Old tropes feel new again, and the different origins and plot choices you can make actually matter.

Fuck all mattered in Inquisition. Shit skill trees, mostly boring companions, and choices...well the less said the better.
Booker Dewitt
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(03-18-2017, 09:22 AM)
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Originally Posted by Yabberwocky

I'm still really impressed by how good the pacing is in DA:O overall (sans the fucking Fade), and how well DA:O balances exploration to many locales whilst still having a dense story. I think DA:O and ME1 were the last time Bioware were truly able to achieve a good balance, and ME1 had a lot of filler if you went planet exploring. DA2 was very story dense, but was rushed and obviously suffered from area repetition. DA:I's story felt thinner, and its areas too big. ME2/ME3 felt very claustrophobic in comparison to ME1, and lacked exploration. (Huge gameplay improvement from ME1, though.)

I loved the origin stories for the player character in DA:O and how interesting some of them are. Hilariously, the first time I played DA:O I chose Human Noble, and didn't even finish the prologue before I got rid of the game. I thought the textures were hideous, and in my defence, the combat in blaaaaaaaaargh on console. I came back after playing DA2, played some different origin stories, and immediately became much more engaged. The Circle Mage, Dwarf Noble, and City Elf were huge surprises for me.

I also loved that the player can't always get what they want with DA:O, it feels a lot less player pandery than ME or DA:I. My first run through of DA:O ended up with a dead Warden who had a terrible break-up with Alistair over choosing to spare Loghain, and because I hadn't chosen the right conversation points for him, Alistair had ended up a wandering drunk. Anora was queen, Loghain was bitter, Morrigan was pissed as I hadn't done the ritual, etc. It hurt so goooood.

IIRC
My warden went looking for his child at the end, more out of selfishness since he only did it to save his life and Allistair ended up in a loveless marriage.

Game was pretty good, I actually started a new play through on pc with the city elf origin. Don't know how far it's gonna go, but the little I've done, just been a straight racist.
Apenheul
Member
(03-18-2017, 09:39 AM)
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I'm looking forward to playing DA:I for the first time, it gets a lot of criticism but so did DA2.

I finished Dragon Age 2 earlier this year and somehow preferred it to Origins; the combat sequences were better and I liked how the story focused on just one city (and a coastline and mountain) so more emphasis could be placed on political struggle and character development of NPCs. Origins is epic which DA2 isn't, but Origins follows a very formulaic design template in how the world and its inhabitants are set up which I personally didn't enjoy that much.
WaterAstro
Member
(03-18-2017, 09:45 AM)
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Man if people hate Mass Effect animations, DAO's is so much worse, especially combat lacking impact.
Lanrutcon
Member
(03-18-2017, 09:57 AM)
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Yeah, DA:O is that sweet spot between modern and BG2-esque design.

Also, would happily replay it before I touched PoE again.
nelsonroyale
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(03-18-2017, 10:03 AM)
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I don't think it was a great game by most measures, but I thought the characterisation and character interaction was done better than subsequent games in the series. The OST was good and the story was fairly interesting. It actually wasn't a particularly huge game but the super slow battle system stretched it out substantially. By the end I felt like I was completely done with the formula. I enjoyed it more than Inquisition, that is for sure.
jb1234
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(03-18-2017, 10:08 AM)
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I liked the characters and story a lot. I regret playing it on console because I hear the combat is much better on PC.

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