During last week’s GDC, I got a gameplay presentation of BioWare's upcoming PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 RPG Dragon Age: Origins from lead designer Mike Laidlaw. The game, set for release in the second half of 2009, is looking extremely impressive. Laidlaw promised an average of 80 hours of gameplay with much more available to gamers that want to experience everything. The story revolves around an enemy known as the "Blight" and your quest to raise the armies of Ferelden to combat the darkspawn before they destroy the world. You will play as a member of the Grey Wardens, an ancient order created to fight the Blight, but have mostly been forgotten.
Dragon Age: Origins Red Cliff Gameplay
The game will offer several “Origins” to choose from. These story-starting points will reportedly change the way the game plays. If you choose to be a Human nobleman, your experience will be much different than choosing to play as a lowly Elf. Yes, Elves in Ferelden are the bottom of the social order. A nice change of pace, for once! It remains to be seen, however, if this will actually result in different gameplay or just change some quest lines and NPC reactions to your character.
The game runs in a gorgeous 3D engine with high-quality character models and scenery. In addition to your created character, you will form alliances and control other characters in a party. The loyalty of your allies will change as you make decisions throughout the game. Sten, a barbarian-like character, will become less loyal if you continuously help people. His goal is the main quest and he doesn't like helping other people much. This manifests in gameplay by how effective allies are in combat, whereas a loyal character performs better than a disloyal character. If you make enough decisions to completely piss off a character, they might leave. This is all handled on a point system. After making a choice, you’ll see something like “Sten (-10)” and the status can be checked on the character sheet.
Keep reading for more on Dragon Age: Origins.
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