Mark today as a very significant day in my life. Dragon Age hit shelves today. A year of working hard with a great team has paid off. There is now a fantastic product with my name on it. I’ve never had this sort of professional pride before. The reviews have started coming in, and they’re overwhelmingly positive! Some highlights:
GamePro – 100% (Editor’s Choice) – Full Review
Re-reading what I've written here, I honestly feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what Dragon Age: Origins has to offer, and in a way, I'm glad I'm not able to give too much away. Dragon Age is a spectacular experience from beginning to end, and with an enormous amount of choices to make, cities to visit, dungeons to crawl, NPCs to interact with, treasure to find, quests to complete and crafts to master, I feel pretty confident in saying that Dragon Age: Origins is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable and immersive RPG experiences I've had since my Infinity Engine days. BioWare has crafted a spectacular journey with Dragon Age, and an unforgettable fantasy realm that's sure to resonate with fantasy and adventure fans the world over.
Giant Bomb – 100% - Full Review
This is definitely not the game for those frightened of the idea of micromanaging a game to the point where a large portion of it will be spent in a pause screen. However, as the sort of guy that has lovingly played an Infinity Engine game at least once every year for the past decade, I can think of no higher praise for this throwback than to say that Dragon Age: Origins leaves me feeling fairly confident I won't need to dig out the classics for this ritual next year.
1UP – 100% – Full Review
It's the best RPG of the year -- and maybe the best of the HD era.
USA Today – 100% – Full Review
RPG fans in search of a meaty game with plenty of depth and replayability won't be disappointed with Dragon Age: Origins, a masterfully crafted adventure that offers a lot of bang for your buck.
GameZone – 99% – Full Review
But for the true RPG gamer, this game is of a level that has never been seen before. It is the new benchmark. The story is rich and engaging, the characters are memorable, and the journey is one that pulls you in, captivates you and compels you to move forward toward the conclusion.
Meristation – 95% – Full Review
Bioware has managed to update and evolve the formula that made Baldur's Gate 2 a classic, creating an engaging, rich, and solidly fantastic universe that feels consistently coherent and credible. Dragon Age is a triumph that shows, among other things, how the core values of the traditional roleplaying genre are still valid, managing to include a complete and versatile combat system that welcomes new players and will challenge veterans, with difficult encounters where tactics are the key to victory. Overall, it's a really special RPG, which truly deserves to be called "epic".
Gamespot – 85% (360) 90% (PS3 – Editor’s Choice)
95% (PC – Editor’s Choice) – Full Review
Incredible storytelling, great characters, and exciting battles are just a few of the things that make this fantasy role-playing game so extraordinary. Possibly the best authentic RPG of the decade.
PC Gamer UK – 94% – Full Review
This is the most enormously detailed game world I've experienced, its history stretching back thousands of years, its cultures vivid, beautiful and flawed, the battles enormous, the humour superb. Roleplaying games now have a great deal to live up to.
PC Zone UK – 93%
Dragon Age: Origins is a brave and brutal return to form for PC fantasy roleplaying - bettering nearest rival The Witcher through both its combat and the innate lovability of so many of its characters...With Dragon Age: Origins BioWare have secured their position as masters of the RPG art. [Christmas 2009, p.68]
Strategy Informer – 93% – Full Review
Dragon Age: Origins is much more than a game – it’s the glorious revisiting of Bioware’s past and a look at where they are going in the future.
PC Gamer US – 92%
Without any doubt, Dragon Age accomplishes the mission… To deliver the best story-driven RPGs in the world.
IGN UK – 92% (Editor’s Choice) – Full Review
Bioware’s achievements in all this are incredible. It cannot be stressed enough at the depth of the universe they have conjured. Every corner you look, there is a sense of age, of something old. Entire mythologies for multiple cultures have been brewed up, entire religions mapped out in their own belief systems, history that stretches back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Cities look lived in, worn – majestic and squalid places that spill with times gone by and a sense of place. The castles look like they have been there for centuries, and truly, there is an uncertain sense that they have been. That Ferelden and its inhabitants were waiting patiently in the wings for all this time, waiting for their chance to shine. Well, like the Grey Wardens, their time has come. Let us unite then, and in the words of an old friend: We shall show those cursed Darkspawn our hearts – and then show them theirs.
Absolute Games – 92%
You don’t need a thousand words to make you fall in love with Dragon Age: Origins. It has everything that is sought by the most jaded fans of the genre: at least 60 hours of adventuring, colorful, lively characters, flexible combat system, complex situations and quests, dialogues that are pleasant to read and even more pleasant to listen to… Dragon Age, like a good storyteller, captivates within minutes. It doesn’t rush the story, relishes in small details, goes into ornate lyrical digressions, and maintains the intrigue, keeping you at the edge of your seat.
GameSpy – 90% – Full Review
After logging over a hundred hours on Dragon Age: Origins, I still want to continue playing. I want to unearth more of its secrets, to better know its characters, to see how the decisions I make can impact its world, and yes, to see more of its endings. I can't think of a better recommendation than that.
Game Informer – 90% – Full Review
In addition to capturing the joy of battle, Dragon Age also provides an engrossing backdrop for the action. Even more than Mass Effect, the nation of Ferelden feels like a fully realized setting with its own history, conflicts, and power groups. This is one of the main reasons the game is so addicting; completing quests isn’t just about grinding experience and amassing loot – it actually feels like you have an impact on the world.
IGN US – 90% (Editor’s Choice) – Full Review
Incredibly deep and expansive, Dragon Age: Origins is one of those titles that can easily swallow up dozens of hours of play and keep you coming back for more. The fact that BioWare chose to include downloadable content, including a new character and side quest, on launch day proves that they have an extensive plan for supporting the game. Couple that with the fact that each character can be developed in radically different ways, and you have an adventure that earns its own place among BioWare's expansive RPG collection. This is the kind of adventure that fantasy RPG fans have been hoping that BioWare would deliver – a game with a ton of re-playability and an incredibly vivid world that is the start of an impressive franchise.
And for good measure, a video review:
Game Trailers – 91%
And here’s a few excerpts from some written reviews that had no concrete rating system (so no %):
Tycho Brahe of Penny Arcade:
It satisfied on the basic level of simple pleasures, like slurping a spaghetti noodle.
Perhaps the biggest testament to Dragon Age: Origins is the fact that after more than 40 hours of play time, I found myself contemplating my next character as the credits rolled, working out in my head what I would do differently the next time around. During the busy fall video game release season, when my response to completing even the most enjoyable games is "next," it takes an extremely compelling title for me to want to go again. Dragon Age: Origins is exactly that sort of title.
So clearly the game is being well-received! And now I can finally show people a screenshot of my name in the credits! Along with the amazing QA team I worked with, many of whom have become good friends over the past year. Click the pic to see a fullscreen version!
It’s been a surreal experience, and I’m honored to have been a part of it. Hopefully this isn’t the last game from Bioware with my name in the credits, because this team is truly amazing. Today was the release party, which was great. I’ll post more about that later though. Go out and buy yourselves a copy of Dragon Age: Origins today!!! (And if I find out you pirated it, we’re no longer friends!)
I leave you with the newly released trailer announcing 30 Seconds To Mars’ exclusive song released with Dragon Age!