I didn’t much like Dragon Age Origins when I first got it (see here and here), but I decided to give it another try (otherwise known as “I’ve played everything else except for Fallout NV and I’m kind of sick of chatting to NPCs there”).  I’m liking it much better, partly due to the fact that I’m playing it on Easy.  I still don’t like the combat system, so I don’t care that I’m not good at it.

It still has some lag issues… periodically I have to exit and restart the game.  And sometimes it gets better when I save the game… I’m guessing memory leak.

Alison tries to use ranged attacks so as not to be always covered with blood.

I’m playing as a Mage this time, which is also an improvement.  For one thing, the offensive spells are pretty good… Alison does about 50% of the party’s damage; also you just get more to do during a battle as a mage.  Also, the game has some pretty weird elements, and these tend to be the best parts: the Mage origin story, the Fade, the Gauntlet… when the game is eccentric it’s good, as opposed to moving room by room through a medieval building clearing out monsters.  For instance, one of the Fade quests involves shapeshifting in order to fight or move around, which is pretty cool.

You get plenty of both… it’s a big game.  Probably not as big as Oblivion, but as an example, one of the main quests involves defending a village from the undead, then fighting your way through the castle, then a lengthy excursion into the Fade (the spirit world) to knock off a demon.  And then you have to go to the capital, then to a village in the highlands to fight cultists, then fight your way through a ruined temple, then pass a few spiritual tests.  This is more involved than closing an Oblivion gate.

Your party must approach Andraste in their underwear. I am not making this up.

I’m also having less trouble keeping people happy this time.  Last time it seemed like Morrigan disapproved of everything.  But she’s happy as a clam now; it helped that I knocked off her mother.  I’m romancing Leliana, or trying to… I haven’t been able to unlock her personal quest yet, and I hope I didn’t miss the appropriate dialog trigger.

Some of the character banter is a lot of fun.  Most of your companions are at least somewhat sarcastic.  Morrigan and Alistair used to tease each other a lot, though they’ve calmed down a bit.  I missed this sort of thing in Mass Effect 2, where companions were much more silent.

The worldbuilding is… not overwhelming.  I like the Fade, but Ferelden itself is totally a Standard Fantasy Kingdom.  The French accents for the neighboring country of Orlais are a nice touch though.  I’m in elf country now, and they’re all sylvan and shit; I’d like to play a game sometimse where the elves have names like Khrumgh.

The face models are pretty, but the bodies are a bit odd.  Overprominent clavicles, massive shoulders, and huge hands.