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Role Playing (Games) Games

Dragon Age: Origins Expansion Coming In March 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the well-met-warden dept.
ishanjain tipped news that BioWare has announced an expansion for Dragon Age: Origins, called Awakening, that is due out on March 16th. Awakening "is supposed to run about 15 hours and will allow for players to import and edit characters they've broken in from the core game," and it will take place "in the in the role of a Grey Warden Commander who's been tasked with rebuilding the order of Grey Wardens and finding out how the darkspawn survived following the death of the Archdemon dragon." A trailer is available at the official site, as well as some information on a new bit of DLC that will be out shortly, entitled Return to Ostagar. (It was originally due for release on January 5th, but was delayed.)
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Dragon Age: Origins Expansion Coming In March

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:55AM (#30666094)

    I am amazed at the resilience of the game industry in this time of massive unemployment and layoffs.

    In hard times when most of the economy is tanking, there are some products which see a heyday. Bologna, for example, seems a dramatic rise in sales during economic slowdowns. Now too, I think it might be possible to say that the game industry is a contra indicator of economic success. Not only does it hold that game sales goes up during downturns, but that the people who play them are more likely to be affected negatively by the economic environment.

    It'd be an interesting phenomenon to research, I think.

  • by rcb1974 (654474) <richardballantyneNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:10AM (#30666210) Homepage
    I'll start playing Dragon Age when they unlock the camera on the PC version so I can tilt anywhere from 90 to 0 degrees. I hate not being able to zoom all the way out and tilt the camera down so I can see the horizon. They should have just made the camera control like the same as what was used in Neverwinter Nights. Mod me a troll if you like, but I doubt I'm the only one who got frustrated with the artificially restricted camera control.
  • by todrules (882424) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:10AM (#30666212) Journal
    It's an escape from reality. Movies were hugely popular during the Great Depression even though nobody had money. And, nowadays $50 isn't that much for days of entertainment. Especially when I could easily blow that much in a night...hell, in just a couple of hours out on the town.
  • by Korbeau (913903) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:45AM (#30666396)

    They should have just made the camera control like the same as what was used in Neverwinter Nights.

    Give me top-down isometric view, 6 characters and real clerics, and get off my lawn!

  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:48AM (#30666420) Homepage Journal

    >>From what I have read its around 45-60 hours for most people, decent value for the money IMHO

    It took me about 80 to 90 in-game hours to beat it, with about 120 total spent in the game (I restarted and played through every pathway twice so I could see all the dialogue options and combats). Hours isn't an especially good way of measuring how fun a game is, and it did manage to keep my interest through the first three quarters of the game. But by the end, it was so easy that the combats went from being tactically interesting to trivially easy. (Two mages loaded up on crowd control spells will do that.) But the end of the game went by fast enough that it wasn't too bad.

    I even decided to challenge myself by not using any of the army units you recruit throughout the game, and the final set of battles still were pretty easy.

    I'm not sure if I'll get the expansion. They made similar claims "hours of extra gameplay" for the existing DLC, but both the Stone Prisoner and the Warden's Keep are less than an hour of gameplay each. A bit more if you play through all the different paths, and maybe a lot more if you want to solve the puzzle in the Stone Prisoner, but even still, not a lot of additional gameplay for the cost involved.

    I'm holding off on uninstalling it because I want to see what sort of player generated campaigns people come up with. I sort of feel bad for the people that bought it for the console.

  • by tangent3 (449222) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:53AM (#30666446)

    ...is a Hot Coffee mod.
    Scenes like this [youtube.com], this [youtube.com] and this [youtube.com] aren't doing the game justice without a Hot Coffee mod.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:08AM (#30666516)

    The cost of a game is worth it sometimes, especially one that has player written stuff and DLC. One good example was NWN1. Probably by the time I did the original campaign, both expansions, all three paid for modules, and an insane amount of player written stuff that was as good (or in some cases better) than the included campaigns, the cost per hour would be insanely cheap.

    One of the reasons why MMOs are selling so well is because their cost per hour played is very low, so it doesn't break the budget. A heavy raider who puts in more than 100 hours a month will be paying about 15 cents an hour for their entertainment value, not factoring the cost of hardware.

  • by KaiUno (1110525) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:41AM (#30666670)
    Wow. There was a time people couldn't let go of a game and it was only top down, with 3 squares moving about. Now it's whine whine whine about stupid little things that don't really take anything away from a great story, great action and a chance to get into Claudia Blacks pants.
  • by spitzig (73300) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @04:34AM (#30667166)

    The camera in this game often made it difficult to see what was going on. From the top down 3rd person view, You can't see far. You also can't control all your characters if they are spread out very easily.

    From the first person view, you can't see all directions.

    I rarely see all the cool graphics, because it's usually tactically better to watch the situation top-down.

    I had occasionally problems with the Neverwinter Nights 2 graphics engine, but not as often as with Dragon Age.

    I occasionally had problems with not seeing far enough in the games based on the Baldur's Gate engine(and that style of graphics, with no true 3d), but none of the other problems. As an RPG, I only see two benefits of a movable camera. One benefit is it looks nicer. The other is the rare large boss, like the Dragon. That dragon would not have fit on the screen with all the characters. But, I had problems with that, too.

    Overall, I've seen more problems come out of the 3d engines than benefits.

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @04:56AM (#30667272) Journal

    Because they're fun and engaging.

    There's nothing wrong with actually playing through a linear story that somebody else has written. If I get a bit of freedom to shape things to my own tastes along the way, then great, but I'm not going to demand even that.

    The simple fact is that some people are better storytellers than others. And the people that the likes of Bioware and Square-Enix get to write their stories are generally far better than the average Joe. Everybody likes to think that they could write or narrate a wonderfully engaging story if they ever had the time and/or inspiration, but in reality, it's a gift possessed by only a few.

    Dragon Age's story isn't great; if they were going to ditch the whole AD&D/Forgotten Realms setting that was at the heart of the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights games, then I would have hoped that they would actually do something a bit more... well... different with it. Compared to... say... Mass Effect, it felt very much like they were playing it safe and sticking to a well-trodden path with Dragon Age. If that's what they're doing, then a part of me would actually have preferred to have a more familiar Forgotten Realms setting (not least because of the potential for Miniature Giant Space Hamsters). If, on the other hand, they were trying to produce a genuinely different "dark" fantasy story, then I'm sorry, but The Witcher got there first and did it better.

    That said, it's still a very good game with a very engaging story and fun play mechanics. The setting they've created is one I'd be happy to return to in the future.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @08:13AM (#30668432)

    I first began playing with rogue but hardly passed Lothering. I then chose a mage, and got through the game first time around 60 hour mark, add or take 10 hours, not sure. After that I decided to play it through again (this time with elven rogue) and complete every minor sidequest I can. Nearly finished this, too. Though I will need another playthrough: I realized that I should try playing it through with a female character, just to see how the ending works (Those who have gotten through with a male character know what I'm talking about. The dark deal.).

    I have never gotten so much enjoyment out of the 50 euros I spent. The game is awesome and I am hungry for expansions: I want to visit Orlese, I want to go looking after her, etc.... But this expansion? 15 hours more? Even if I play it through twice, it isn't that much. (Assuming the standard 50€ price. If it is cheaper, nevermind)

    That all said... The game has certain definite downsides. It is awesome but has stupid problems. For example, the camera angles are HORRIBLE and zooming out, rotating, etc. is practically impossible in some areas (back alleys of Denerim, for example). In addition, some party members are clearly inferior to others: I liked the Mabari warhound concept but there is just no reason to keep him in the party after you arrive Lothering and get Sten. And some of the party related issues are absurd: If you visit mage tower before you recover the Urn, have Wynne with you (wether she is at the camp or in your group) and side with the cultists, she will leave your party the next time you visit your camp (or immediatelly if she is in your group). You get no warning where she would shout "No, don't do it or I'll leave!", instead you complete the major quest, overwrite your last save and then notice that you can never visit your camp again or you lose a valuable party memember. Did the devs really think "That will increase the enjoyment!"

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @11:04AM (#30670526)

    Why people keep buying these heavily scripted rollercoaster games, from Dragon Age to the hugely overrated BioShock, is beyond me.

    Because the cost to profit ratio of a game that provided much in the way of non-linear story is damned low. Believe me, I've tried. Unless you go for a relatively low 10-15 ending sequences, the story can branch into an unmanageable mess VERY quickly.

    Can you identify some examples of games that really did give you a true roleplaying experience complete with branching stories. One where your decisions really do significantly alter the story and don't congregate back together at the end of the game? We know about the basic branching endings of ChronoTrigger or Planescape:Torment. Those really didn't have the experience you seem to be complaining about.

    When you ask "Why do these people keep buying these games?" I want to know what other games you know about that people aren't buying? Do they exist?

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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