This Day in Gaming History: Dragon Age: Origins
November 3, 2009
Seven years ago, Dragon Age: Origins was released to widespread fanfare and praise from essentially everyone. The high-fantasy epic would introduce RPG fans to a rich new world.
From the get-go BioWare set out to create something special with Dragon Age: Origins. Taking inspiration from the colossal worlds of the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, Origins was a game with very large ambitions.
Origins‘ six-year development began in 2002, shortly after BioWare finished work on the similarly themed Baldur’s Gate series. Motivation for starting a new fantasy series was to allow more creative freedom than the relatively restrictive Dungeons & Dragons lore Baldur’s Gate had adhered to. As a result of this, the new game’s world had to be fully written and detailed before large-scale production could begin. Over the course of development, more than 180 people had worked on the game and the script grew to contain over 68,000 lines of dialogue.
The story for the game takes place in Thedas, an Iron Age-esque world inhabited by various fantasy races. It follows the player-created character (referred to as “The Warden”) as he or she gathers forces to unite against the demonic beings called the “darkspawn”. These creatures are controlled by the Archdemon, a powerful entity inhabiting the body of a commanding dragon. Over the course of the game, the player must defeat the darkspawn before they can carry out a violent cataclysm known as the Blight.
Gameplay for the game varies based on class settings. Warriors execute heavy and blunt attacks, rogues use stealth to deliver swift damage, and mages can perform magic to hurt enemies as well as help allies. The combined choice between the available races (human, elf, dwarf) and available classes (warrior, rogue, mage) determine which of the game’s six origin stories the player is assigned. The player’s dialogue with non-playable characters can determine minor plot changes and reveal extended story elements that would be otherwise concealed.
Dragon Age: Origins has been beloved for its expansive and engrossing story, memorable characters, as well as its addictive strategy-based gameplay. The game’s outstanding quality raised the already high standards to be expected of BioWare games from that point forward.
Tell us your thoughts on the Dragon Age series below! Which one was your favourite? DA: Origins with the Warden, DA:2 with Hawke, or DA:Inquisition with The Inquisitor? Sound off below!
Eric Hall2690 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.