Why do people LIKE Dragon Age? - Destructoid

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I am a staff writer for USAPROGMUSIC.COM, WWW.NOROOOMINHELL.COM and a freelance writer of all kinds of fiction. My most recent published work won GAMECOCK Media's MUSHROOM MEN Contest. I am currently earning my Masters in Writing and putting together my first Novel as a Thesis.

I am an old school Gamer at heart, and most of my work measures the new against the old as I feel some of today's games have sold their hearts for the price of innovation.
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Yes that title is a question? I couldn't have imagined a bigger disappointment than Dragon Age Origins provided. After working my way through my Game Queue, It finally showed up in the mail the other day and after I had wasted a good twenty minutes getting the bridge of my nose and my nostrils just right, figuring I was going to be spending 100+ hours with this avatar, my anticipation was bubbling thinking about the Tolkeinesk battles I saw raging across my TV screen during the intro. Finally, I was only a few more minutes of expositions and dialogue choices away from playing, but little did I know that Gameplay would be the least amusing part of my Dragon Age experience.

The second I took control of my character I felt like a dog on a tight leash. While, at first, I thought the environments were so restrictive because I chose the Mage type and he is locked away in some other dimension to fight a demon and highly predictable plot twist, but I was wrong. A second choice of the Elven class gave me another tight environment, a dense forest that felt like a walking down a long hallway as if it was 1994 again and the Eye of the Beholder franchise was still the coolest thing to hit RPGs

Combat felt just as antiquated. After swinging my swords at a spider, I tried to swing again but nothing happened and this awkward moment arose where I felt compelled to start making small talk with the spider while "my X button move" recharged. "So do you ever knit sweaters with those webs? Any hobbies besides killing people? Hold on I'm allowed to swing, again?" Memories of Lands of Lore:The Throne of Chaos filled my head, and I remembered that that was 1995, and since then we've come up with ideas like real time where the player reactions to your movements like he's an extension of you and it feels like your actually fighting your enemy. Its really an amazing concept.

Now to be fair, I'm sure the environments open up a bit, and I have no doubt the voice acting and story are probably as good as advertised, but the combat system is nearly--and I'm NOT afraid to use the word--unplayable. What are you supposed to do between swings run backwards into the unforgivingly bad camera angles?

Maybe it all gets wonderful in the second hour...Can anyone mount a defense for this game? Is wonderfulness going to be lurking behind every pixel real soon or should I just pop it back in the envelope and hope GameFly sends me something better?

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