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Baldur’s Gate, based on Dungeons and Dragons, was Bioware’s first big hit as a studio. When the license to the Dungeons and Dragons franchise was lost, Bioware turned their attention towards creating their own franchises, such as Mass Effect in 2007. Even though Bioware no longer had the license for Dungeons and Dragons, that did not stop them from attempting a swords and sorcery medieval role-playing game of their own; thus, Dragon Age: Origins, releasing for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, was born. Dragon Age: Origins combines a tactical combat system, various role-playing game mechanics and a deep back story to create the likes of something that has not been seen for many years.

Despite being a new franchise, Dragon Age: Origins includes an incredible amount of lore within the game; the country of Ferelden and its neighbors have a rich back story that is used to set up the game’s plot. After many years, the Darkspawn have returned to Ferelden and the ranks of the Grey Wardens, who have previously stopped the past four invasions, have become low. As a new Grey Warden, your job is to unite the races of Ferelden to lead a combined onslaught against the Darkspawn, driving them back from whence they came. Political strife, undead invasions and a battle between werewolves and elves are only some of the quests you’ll undertake in your overall journey to unite the land.

Dragon Age: Origins’ combat allows you to pause combat and issue orders at any time; on the PC, combat is displayed from a top down perspective while on the consoles, it is displayed from an over the shoulder view. Once the combat is over, often your character will decide the outcome of each quest from a few possible choices, lending large amounts of replayability to an already 40 hour game.

Set to be released on November 3rd, 2009, Dragon Age: Origins is a throwback; its graphics hold up well under scrutiny and its combat system is based off a system that has already stood the test of time. Role-playing game aficionados would do well to check out Dragon Age: Origins when it releases.

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