So, now that it's here I've been able to log some hours with it and at this point all I'll say is that despite some of the big talk BioWare was putting out, Dragon Age = KOTOR/Jade Empire/Mass Effect in a Medieval-ish/Lord of the Rings skin.
Frankly, it's the same game they've put out a couple times now, so everyone's mileage may vary. In my case, this is one of my favorite game types and BioWare does them best, so I'm digging it. However, I'm under no illusions that the game pushes any boundaries or explores new territory. This is firmly-established boilerplate.
Although the voice acting is superb and there are tons of dialogue trees available (always pluses) Dragon Age is much rougher and more unpolished than I would expect from BioWare, and it doesn't have their usual zing! quality. I mean, even a mediocre BioWare game beats the pants off of a lot of other games, but it's far from their best… I've hit a handful of small bugs, certain design decisions annoy me, and the game lags far behind its contemporaries in a technical sense. Hate to sound like a graphics whore or the equivalent, but the visuals are part of the immersion, so if they're not there then it's kind of an issue at times.
So far it's still good and still very enjoyable—it just feels a little like they've got the formula down and they're phoning it in here.
P.S. – The DLC featuring the extra character Shale is so worth it. They did a great job not just with the quest, but in how seamlessly they integrated him into the main game. Maybe a little too well, if you get my drift. That said, he really adds a lot to the mix and I would recommend it to anybody contemplating playing Dragon Age.
IMO, get it and install as close as possible to the beginning of the game so you'll have access to the character early on. You won't be sorry.
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Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.
Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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