Is Dragon Age Origins still good in 2021? Learn in this Review

Want to experience one of the best RPG experiences made by one of the best development companies? Then check out our Dragon Age Origins Review

Picture the scene: You had just released some of the best titles on the market in the Western RPG business. Final Fantasy was very famous and others similar to it such as Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger and some other titles that enchanted players for a long time, but you achieved the feat of entering this competitive market of RPG's with your titles like Jade Empire and Baldur's Gate , in addition to having the Star Wars franchise on your back to support you, with Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. You are respected and loved.

So, thinking that nothing could beat that, you go out there and decide that you won't work with the Star Wars franchise anymore and want to release a sci-fi title of your own that will make it as good as the Jedi saga game and launch Mass Effect, which preaches some fundamental pillars in the history of Western RPG and is even more successful and fans, being acclaimed as one of the biggest game developers and can lie in its "splendid cradle" with these wonderful titles, but in 2009, you solve who is not satisfied with that and makes history by releasing Dragon Age Origins.

OK. It wasn't exactly like that, but this is the idea! Bioware, a Canadian developer that is now together with other companies under the Electronic Arts fan base, had released several games that were a critical and public success, such as Mass Effect in 2007, Jade Empire in 2005 and Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic in 2003, with a lot of focus on its deep stories and very well-constructed characters, different endings that are released with the right dialogues and a lot of freedom of choice to do what you want, as well as being a pioneer in issues of diversity and sexual representation. In this regard, Bioware games made a school.

Dragon Age Origins is the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate, which emerged over 10 years ago, and it's amazing to see how far we've come since then.

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Ray Muzyka, co-CEO of BioWare

You could play as a man or woman (in some you had different races, but gendered it was either one or the other) and you could build a romantic relationship with characters of the other sex, the same sex or some who were openly bisexual and, in more recent games we even have openly transgender characters.

But, the fact is that, back in the beginning, all of this was already present in Bioware titles and, among them, is Dragon Age Origins, which took all these elements and put them in a game with a dense, dark, impacting and filled with strategic combat and punctuated with unforgettable characters, interesting dialogues and decisions that could lead your journey to the success or failure of a great mission in the style of an epic worldwide rescue campaign, worthy of a book by JRR Tolkein, which managed to sell over 3.2 million copies worldwide (and that number is from 11 years ago. I couldn't find a more up-to-date one).

So, at 14 years old, Dragon Age Origins lives up to Bioware's legacy and is as good as its brothers Mass Effect, Kotor and Baldur's Gate? We will see.

Quick FAQ

Dragon Age Origins is available for which platforms?

Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Where to buy DAO DLCs

The Ultimate Version features all DLCs.

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How to recruit the Mabari dog?

Before leaving Ferelden's camp, talk to the dog handler and pick up your quest.

Is it possible to recruit Leliana after Lothering's destruction?

No.

Can I import my save for upcoming games?

Yes.

Are there mods for Dragon age Origins?

Yes. No Nexus Mods.

Why doesn't DAO's Sten have horns?

Sten is a Qunari of a variation closer to humans. These are used as diplomats and emissaries.

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Can I have a romance with Sten?

No.

Can I have a romance with Wynne?

No.

Is there a translation for Dragon age Origins?

There is a fan translation done by the site. Avenger of Baldurs.

If you believe the stories…

According to the Chantria Chantria, when a group of proud magicians crossed the Immaterial barrier, the spectral barrier that divides the world of the living and the dead, in search of reaching the Golden City, they were cast out by the Creator and transformed into the distorted Darkspawns. These filthy creatures fled to the Dwarves Deep Roads and there spend their lives searching for an Archdemon, the sleeping body of an ancient dragon who is a fallen and corrupted god.

When the Darkspawns encounter and awaken one of these dragons, a new Rot ensues that threatens to end all life in the world of Thedas. From ancient times to the present day, four Rots have taken place and, if the rumors are correct, Fifth Rot is about to begin.

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At least, that is what Duncan, the leader of the Gray Guardians of Ferelden, believes, and he is convinced to persuade King Cailan Theyin to take the necessary steps to combat this evil. However, the king is not taking the matter seriously enough, and while he is ready to fight the horde of darkspawns approaching Ferelden, he is more interested in having a glorious battle alongside the legendary Gray Guardians and having his name written on the history as one of the great heroes of that world than to prepare for a real Rot.

And this “glorious battle” is one that his brother-in-law, Loghain Mac Tir, is not so willing to fight and risk his soldiers. At this point, Duncan needs all the help he can get and, on this journey, he goes in search of recruiting a new Gray Guardian: you!

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The Hero of Ferelden is Born

At the beginning the game will give you the choice of three races and some "beginnings" or "origins" and these "origins" will define what your class will be.

  • You can be a human (male or female for all races) of Noble origin, and then you can choose between the Warrior or Rogue classes, or a member of the Circle of Mages, and then you will automatically be a mage.
  • As an elf, you can be a city elf (or more specifically, from the Elven Slums) or a Dalishian elf (a wild elf that lives in tribes) and then you'll be a Warrior or Rogue or Mage (but in that case, you'll get the play as the Human mage inside the Circle, but with some differences in the dialogues).
  • As a dwarf, you can be a noble dwarf or a common dwarf, and you can be a Rogue or a warrior. Dwarves cannot be mages, as they do not “dream” and therefore do not connect to the Immaterial.

Each origin makes the game start in a different location and with a different plot, giving characters different motivations to embark on the journey (some are for revenge, others for answers, etc.), but in all, after a tragic event that changes their life, you'll meet Duncan who says he's in that place looking for the most suitable candidate to become a Gray Guardian and recruits the character, taking him to the war camp in Ferelden, where you'll participate in the initiation ritual.

This ritual involves going out to the outskirts of the camp and getting the blood of the Darkspawns. You are joined by two other candidates for the rank of Darkspawn and a Guardian-in-training, Alistair. In addition to the blood, Duncan asks you to go to an old Guardian stronghold that is abandoned to retrieve important documents. The journey is not a long one and, in the fortress, you are approached by the infamous Witch of the Forest, Morrigan, who says she saved the documents before the monsters found them and hands them over to your character.

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When you return to the camp and start the initiation ritual, you must drink the blood of the darkspawns, to create the "Connection" with them. During First Rot, humans discovered that drinking monsters' blood gave them immunity to Corruption (a deadly disease caused by contact with darkspawns) and bonded with monsters, letting them know when darkspawns were close between other advantages in fighting them.

Upon completion of the ritual, you will be brought before King Calian who will explain the plan of attack against the monsters. As Calian and Duncan attack, you and Alistair must climb a tower and light a beacon to signal Loghain when he must attack with his army. But since Loghain isn't in the mood to fight, when you turn on the beacon he retreats from the battlefield and no soldiers appear. Calian's forces and the Gray Guardians are defeated and all seems lost to you.

But, by some miracle, you awaken in the Forest Witch's hut, along with her mother, the mage Flemerith, who tells you that the documents you rescued are ancient promises made by the elves, dwarves, wizards and humans of Redcliff made for the Gray Guardians to fight by their side when they were summoned.

Ferelden's last hope now is that you, Alistair, and Morrigan (against her will) travel to these peoples and take on their promise made to the Guardians and join you in an army to stop the new Rot. And this journey will not be easy and everyone has their own problems to solve before worrying about old promises.

And that's just the icing on this delicious Dragon Age cake (no, it's not an onion. It's a cake), as every aspect of the world has deep and complex histories, like the Circle, the Mages, the Chantria, the Templars, and the rest that accompanies this universe.

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Unforgettable companions

On this journey, in addition to Alistair and Morrigan, you will find remarkable and unforgettable characters, such as:

Wynne, zevran, shale, leliana, ogren, sten (with mods), morrigan and alistair
Wynne, Zevran, Shale, Leliana, Ogren, Sten (with mods), Morrigan and Alistair – The armors in the image are mods
  • Leliana, a bard (who in Ferelden's world is more like a murderous spy than a musician) who wants to join you because she heard the Creator himself ordering her to do so;
  • Sten, a proud but stoic warrior of the Qunari people deeply regimented in their values ​​and customs, who often question the customs of other races;
  • Oghren, a rude dwarf warrior whose love of alcohol is matched only by his penchant for physical violence and loyalty to friends;
  • Wynne, a senior member of the Ferelden Circle of Mages, a mother figure to the group and a powerful healer;
  • Zevran, a libertine elf assassin who loves treasure, sex and innuendo;
  • A loyal Mabari war dog, which the player can name and use as a party member in combat;
  • With The Stone Prisoner DLC installed, Shale, a sarcastic Golem with a moderate ornithophobia (fear of birds) is also available as an optional companion;
    In addition to these, there is still a secret companion who may or may not join your group;

In DLC Awakening, in addition to Ogren returning to the game, you will have as companions:

  • Anders, an apostate wizard who seeks refuge far from the Tower of the Magi (and you'll hear a lot about him in the future);
  • Nathaniel Howe, an assassin and son of Arl Rendon Howe of Origins;
  • Velanna, a Dalishian Mage exiled from her human-hating clan;
  • Sigrun, a dwarf and a member of the Legion of the Dead - a group of dwarves that fight darkspawns to the death;
  • Justice, a spirit trapped in the body of a deceased Gray Warden.
Velanna, nathaniel, ogren (yes, he's back), a mage warden, anders, sigrun and justice
Velanna, Nathaniel, Ogren (yes, he's back), a Warden mage, Anders, Sigrun and Justice

They have their own motivations and will reveal more about their past as you befriend them, allowing you, at some point, to do a special loyalty mission that will open up more routes and possibilities for interactions with them, even the romance. Leliana and Zevran are bisexual and can have an affair with their character as a male or female of any race. Alistair only relates to female Guardians and Morrigan only to male Guardians of either race. Sten, Ogren and Wynne are not romanceable.

Building a solid relationship with the characters is essential to your adventure as, depending on how strong your friendship is with them, they may or may not betray you, abandon, die or survive along the way, and all of this influences in the end of adventure. It is recommended that you interact as much as possible with them and get as much friendship as possible with everyone, as this will open up thousands of stories, dialogues and situations that make Dragon Age one of the best RPG series in video games.

Minimum and recommended requirements

Dragon Age Origins is a game from 14 years ago so it won't be a problem for any current PC gamer to run it at its maximum settings.

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Minimum Requirements

Operational system: Windows XP (SP3) or Windows Vista (SP1) or Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core 2 Single 1.6 Ghz Processor (or equivalent) or AMD 64 2.0 GHz Processor (or equivalent) Memory: 1GB (1.5 GB Vista and Windows 7)
Memory: 1GB (1.5GB Vista and Windows 7)
DirectX: DirectX (November 2007)
Storage: 20 GB HD
Sound: DirectX compatible sound card

Recommended Requirements

Operational system: Windows XP (SP3) or Windows Vista (SP1) or Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz or AMD Phenom II X2 Dual-Core 2.7Ghz Processor (or equivalent)
Memory: 2GB (3GB Vista and Windows 7)
DirectX: ATI 3850 512MB or NVidia 8800GTS 512MB or higher DirectX (November 2007)
Storage: 20 GB HD
Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

The story is good, but what about the game?

Dragon Age Origins is an RPG in which you control a group of four characters at the same time, evolve them and give them equipment that is found throughout the adventure, whether in chests or looting monsters and defeated enemies. You start with a character created by you and gather other characters throughout the adventure. Your team is made up of the basic archetypes of RPGs and you need to combine them into their standard roles:

  • A damage dealer, whether a fighter or a mage;
  • A tank to hold damage;
  • A thief to disable traps and use mechanisms;
  • A character who takes care of healings;
darkspawn ogre
darkspawn ogre

You have the default character classes: Warrior, Mage, Rogue and Cleric, and as you level up, you can pick up advanced classes. A warrior can become a Templar (a fighter focused on spell cancellation) or Berserk (causes a lot of damage for a while) and Champion (gives inspiration bonus to allies) or the Reaver (a warrior that gets stronger as it kills enemies).

wizards can be Arcane Warrior (combines magic with sword fighting techniques), blood mage (Uses your HP to strengthen magic. These mages are very important in Dragon Age history) Shapeshifter (can transform into animals to fight, in this case, this is the Morrigan class) and Spirit Healer (focused on cures).

Rogues can focus on specializations like Duelist (quick attacks and high dodge), Bard (Focused on the Orlesian tradition of spies and assassins, they can inspire allies as well as provoke enemies) Cleaning (focused on bow and arrow attacks and can summon animals to fight) and Assassin (cause bleed damage to enemies).

The Dragon Age Origins: Awakening DLC ​​even adds new prestige classes, hours of gameplay and new characters. You can do a review just about it and about the DLCs that the Ultimate version of the game delivers. So if you are looking for something that will play for a long time, this is a very safe purchase.

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One factor that we can think of is combat and that yes, both for the time and for today, is the weakest point of the game. Combat here is ridiculously slow! Purist fans say this is because of the weight of the armor and weapons you wear and yes, here the item weight affects your character in the best tabletop RPG style, but it doesn't matter if you are a warrior wearing an armor weight and a two-handed sword, a thief in light armor and daggers or bow, or a robed and staff wizard, combat will be absurdly slow.

morrigan's first apparition

Not only time-consuming, but also long and repetitive. Of course, combat in Dragon Age Origins uses the famous “tactical camera” in its series and in Mass Effect, as well as other games of the genre, where you can pause the action and give individual orders to each member of your party, and then “ unpause” to see the action unfold.

If you don't want to give orders during combat, the game has a richly detailed Tactics Screen that you can indicate each action for each character in each combat situation (“how much the enemy appears”, “when the enemy is under 25%, 50%, 75% HP”, “when you are below X% HP”) which allows you to make the strategy you want.

Now, combine this strategy with slow combat and start one, go have lunch, and when you're done, maybe the combat is over. And it gets worse! When you start combat or switch enemies, your character is surrounding the enemy until you find a place to attack the monster. Okay it's not realistic for your sword to harmlessly go through your companion to hit the monster, but that's a deal that has never bothered anyone since the release of Pong and certainly wouldn't bother now.

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Aged Well?

Being a game from 14 years ago, we can analyze it with the eyes of the time of its release and with a more current look. Which, in terms of graphics, gameplay and sound, wouldn't be fair, but the truth is that, in this part, the game has aged relatively badly. The graphics, especially the characters, are a little weak. Of course they never tried to be realistic in the characters' faces and the faces and mouths they make match well with the expressions they want to go through, but compared to what we currently have, everything is very rubbery.

The characters' bodies also look strange. It's like they're too wide, arms too far away from the body. Legs that look like they've been riding a horse for a long time and are a little too far apart. As if that's how it fits their armor, without “clipping” (when a part of the body is “through” an object that is supposed to be solid) and, in fact, wearing the armor they look cool. Their walk is also very “robotic”, as if it were a perfectly synchronized march.

Don't get so stiff, you can relax a little
Don't get so stiff, you can relax a little

Of course, this is all just a problem compared to what we have today. Looking at a game from the time of release, Dragon Age Origins was neither the best nor the worst. If we compare with Batman Arkham Asylum, Assassin's Creed II or Uncharted 2, the characters from Dragon Age Origins may seem a bit "hard", but they are very different game styles and neither Batman nor Ezio were without their armor, so no you can say that DAO's modeling was worse than theirs. It was just very different and had other purposes.

In terms of sound, the songs are wonderful and there is nothing to question here. The main theme of Dragon Age Origins gets goosebumps when you listen to it. Furthermore, the songs are perfectly executed according to the moments. Whether in combat or romantic scenes, the soundtrack will put you in the right mood to enjoy that moment. The song “I Am The One”, written by Inon Zur and Aubrey Ashburn and performed by Aubrey Ashburn, won “Best Original Song – Video Game” at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards & Conference show held on November 19, 2009.

Besides, the game's music is another reason for you to cultivate as much friendship as you can with your companions, because if you have Leliana's friendship, she'll sing for you.

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After all, is it good or not?

If everything I've said so far hasn't convinced you that the game is good and very good, then maybe an argument that makes you face a journey of more than 30 hours of gameplay is the fact that it's practically every day in promotion, whether on Steam or Origin, you can buy this game in its Ultimate version, with all DLCs, for less than R$30. Put it on your wish list and wait.

But if you put aside the slightly dated graphics (and look around, you'll find mods that solve this problem) and drag-and-drop combat (there's also mods that speed up combat), you'll have a wonderful world filled with unforgettable stories and characters. , which will captivate you forever. Play Dragon Age Origins and it won't be long before you go after Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age Inquisition. You'll probably go after the books and comics and maybe even the Table RPG, as it's very unlikely that the story and world of this game won't captivate you.

The right word is: For RPG fans, Dragon Age Origins is mandatory and will make you finish the game and spend some time trying to absorb everything that happened and regret the fact that Bioware sold itself to a system that made it launch a game like Anthem and losing that seal of total player trust (in the same way that CD Projekt Red lost when releasing Cyberpunk 2077).

Where to buy?

Steam: BRL 59,00 (standard) BRL 89,00 (ultimate)
Origin: BRL 29,50 (standard) BRL 59,33 (ultimate)
GOG: BRL 104,19 (ultimate)
XBox: R$ 69,00

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Dragon Age Origins
Dragon Age Origins

Dragon Age Origins

Graphics
Music
Gameplay
Fun

Datasheet

Developer: Bioware
Distributor: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Strong points:
Amazing story;
Unforgettable characters;
Atmospheric and striking soundtrack;

Weaknesses:
Very drawn-out combat;
Graphics aged badly;
The game is over;

4.9

Now, leave it in the comments: Do you like the Dragon Age series? Did you play Origins? What did you decide in the end? Enjoy and read more reviews on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.