Bioware makes quality games. Dragon Age is a quality game. I got it for PC recently and tried to get into it, and Dragon Age is a game you need to get into. You can't just say "Oh, this game is fun, I'll come back to it in a week or so". No, you leave the embrace of Origins and chances are you won't bring yourself back to it.
That being said, after 4 days of trying to like it I've come to a simple conclusion: Dragon Age Origins isn't going to happen for me, but it isn't Dragon Age's fault. Over the past month or so 3 games have come out that have ruined games like this for me; Half-Minute Hero, Borderlands, and Torchlight.
Half-Minute Hero ruined my patience
Half-Minute Hero is a marvelous game for many reasons, but none as important as it ALWAYS moves forward. The game never slows down, never lets you think, never feels boring. That being said, it took me about an hour (maybe more) to get to my first fight in DAO. It takes about 30mins to make an average character, maybe more if you're picky, and by that time I could beat about 10 levels of HMH. These games are complete opposites. DAO is all about customization, depth, and strategy. HMH is about panic.
Half-Minute Hero has made games like DAO boring.
Borderlands reminded me what fun is
Borderlands is a shooter that has heavy elements of RPG, including loot, leveling, and questing. The main focus of Borderlands is fun. It doesn't have some deep story (just finding a treasure), it doesn't care about establishing a back story (Your character just shows up and starts kicking ass), and it sure as hell doesn't give a damn about customization. You can't customize the look of your character and you don't distribute attribute points every level (just skill points).
This is a good thing. It drops you in the world and says "Go forth my child, and rock their faces off, like in that movie Face Off". You run around and shoot shit in the face. When you shoot things, they react. It feels like you are shooting them. You circle strafe, retreat, shoot, circle strafe, aim for the head, shoot, collect loot. Repeat en masse.
This is fun. Action is always flowing, frantic and fun. In DAO you click on an enemy, wait to run over to it and start swinging. If it's a 1v1 battle (doesn't happen later in the game as you always have a party) there is 1 click to start, then you just wait. Wait til you have to heal, wait til you can use that spell again, wait til that stupid thing dies. There isn't any frantic "Oh god, KILL IT!" you find in Borderlands (or even HMH when you are running out of time).
Thus, Borderlands has made games like Dragon Age Origins boring.
Torchlight gives me a fantastic Diablo clone
Torchlight is a BLATANT Diablo rip off and doesn't care. You pick a character class, go into town, get quests, go into randomly generated dungeons, kick ass, turn in the quest, repeat. Even Diablo's signature guitar twang music is present. Now, being a Diablo clone, you just click on an enemy and wait for it to die (like DAO) except, unless it's a boss or huge enemy, it takes 1-3 hits. That's it. Done. Move on. With DAO it takes FOREVER to kill NOTHING.
With Torchlight I can burn through a floor full of enemies, sell all the loot, and level up a few times before I can kill 3-4 wolves (one of the first enemies you encounter) in DAO. DAO requires constant attention. Anything in the world can kill you at any point. This is boring. I am a Grey Warden! I should slaughter these stupid wolves. My character is a badass dwarf with a huge 2-handed sword. There is no reason it should take more than 2 swings to take these things down.
I'm not even alone in DAO when facing enemies. I get a party of 4 characters (presumed to be 4 badass combat trained soldiers) and a pack of 6 wolves requires me to use health potions that are in rare supply in the world of DAO. It's not that I suck at playing the game DAO, it's that DAO sucks at continuing. Move on! I don't need to spend 10 minutes fighting a group of underlings.
And so, Torchlight has made games like Dragon Age Origins boring.
PS: My gaming time
Modern Warfare 2 comes out this Tuesday and will be taking up all of my time... at least until the next Tuesday when Left 4 Dead 2 comes out. read