Way Way Behind but Catching Up Fast: Dragon Age Origins and Distance


These past few months I have had the gaming habits of an ent. Gaming at an almost imperceptibly slow rate, my current project has been Dragon Age: Origins, of which I have been working on since September with almost a month between sessions. When I first started it up, I half-heartedly thought maybe I would play through it and its sequel before Dragon Age: Inquisition came out but now in hindsight I can clearly see that was an ambition born out of naivety. Still, I can finally feel the end is in sight. I have suffered the betrayal at Ostagar and held the forces of Orzammar, the Dalish, Red Cliffe and the Circle of Magi to their obligation with the ancient treaties and now all that’s left is to confront the traitor that holds Denerim. Oh yea, and deal with the blight I suppose, at this point I’ve almost forgotten that was the whole damn point of everything.  Unfortunately, I got cocky a few nights ago and blasted myself with some heinous spoilers pertaining to the “secret companion,” ugh. That was a hell of a twist that was ruined.

I had a bit of a slow start with it at first but I think that’s largely because this is the third time I’ve attempted to conquer Dragon Age. I first picked up the game back in 2009 not too long after it first came out. I remember it not capturing me too keenly the first two times either though. It made the beginning an even more substantial slog though as it was all things I had seen before. I had to get all the way through Ostagar and Redcliffe before I started experiencing fresh content. I went to Orzammar next which was interesting but still a bit of a grind. I had no idea that section was going to be so substantially larger than the Circle of Magi and the Dalish, although I’m not entirely positive that they didn’t just seem shorter because I had finally gotten really into it by that point. Lore wise I found Orzammar fascinating though. I didn’t expect the deep roads to be so, well, deep. It really made the world seem massive. And I couldn’t get that image of an aged Grey Warden wading into the dark for one last final confrontation with the dark spawn once he felt his time was near out of my head. Now that’s a hell of a burial. I really enjoyed how the Grey Wardens fate being so entwined with the dark spawn in such a similar way to the Dwarves gave the Grey Wardens and Dwarves such an interesting connection. There’s something really compelling about Dwarven armies marching on the surface alongside men and elves to battle the dark spawn, just to have their allies abandon them once the dark spawn were driven back underground and became soley the problem of the Dwarves that lurked beneath the surface with them again. And that this has happened so many times that the dwarves just consider it par for the course. It’s almost like stopping the blight means nothing for the dwarves aside from getting rid of the arch demon. There’s a kind of fatalistic duty to it that just really resonates with me.

Despite being up to my waist in high fantasy I did recently start another game as well. I told myself I wasn’t going to start another game until I finished Dragon Age and I really don’t trust early access games but once I saw the trailer I just had to get it. The game is Distance and it bills itself as a survival racing game.

It has an awesome cyber, neon aesthetic and when you combine it with hypnotic house music blaring in your headphones as you weave between laser grids, burning saw blades and pillars it makes for an exhilarating experience. I highly encourage you to check it out, although I’d recommend using a controller. I believe it’s eventually coming to the PS4 as well.

Well that’s been this week in gaming. Have you tried Distance yet? Is the end anywhere near in Dragon Age? Does anyone even still remember or care about that game with Inquisition out these days? Let me know in the comments.

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