So I bought Dragon Age Origins.  I was torn between that and Mass Effect 2, and ultimately decided a) I wanted something different, and medieval sounded like just the thing; and b) I had reservations about ME1 anyway, which will fade if I just wait awhile.

And then my damn PC hard drive fried itself.  Again.  So all I got through was the origin story.

That was pretty good, however.  I actually welcome having to redo it once the PC is fixed, because I got caught up in the active quests and didn’t take the time to explore the castle.  That’s a good sign about the story, I guess— the fact that when the NPCs express urgency, I feel like I have to go do it, forgetting the cardinal rule of RPGs: there is never any hurry.  If there’s an orc at the door or giant rats in the cellar, they will just stay there until you find the leisure to attend to them.

So far I mostly agree with Chris’s complaints about the combat system, though I’d put it another way: it’s almost pure KOTOR, only more annoying in that the default behavior of characters is to do nothing once they’ve killed someone.  How is that good default behavior?  Plus the whole system seems dumb when many titles, such as say ME2, show that you can incorporate the exciting mechanic of “aiming”.  Oh well— KOTOR combat got more interesting once you got more options, and I imagine this will too.

More RPG brand silliness (and a mild spoiler): at one point bad guys burst into the PC’s bedroom while she’s sleeping in her very un-medieval underwear.  And you can change into your armor before attacking.   Missed gameplay opportunity, I think.  Most of the time the convention that you can switch items in your inventory instantly is good, but sometimes it would add worthwhile tension and realism to require it to take in-game time.

Anyway.  I wish I could be playing it rather than writing about it.  Stupid PC.

Also: back up your files, kiddies!  Annoyingly, I lost a bunch of Hammer maps, including the Uytainese streetscape I was working on.