Dragon Age: Origins (previously known as Dragon Age) is a third-person role-playing game developed by BioWare. The game was released on PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on November 3rd, 2009 in North America, and November 6th, 2009 in Europe. The Playstation 3 version was planned to be released later in November, but BioWare has said they have been able to get the PS3 version to "our high standard of quality".
Dragon Age: Origins utilizes a new game engine named Eclipse. A toolset for creation of fan-made content was also made available for download once the game was released. Dragon Age: Origins is a single-player only game that BioWare co-CEO Ray Muzyka describes as a "spiritual successor" to the Baldur's Gate series, though it is not based on Dungeons & Dragons or the Forgotten Realms setting.
You are a Grey Warden, one of the last of a legendary order of guardians. With the return of an ancient foe and the kingdom engulfed in civil war, you have been chosen by fate to unite the shattered lands and slay the archdemon once and for all.
The player character—"the Warden"—will begin his/her journey with one of the six origin stories. The origin chosen determines who the Warden is prior to the main events of the game's story. By the same measure, they also change how NPCs (party and non-party) will react to the Warden. Elves, for example, are often viewed as second-class citizens.
The designers incorporated origin stories for each race and some classes in the game. For example, a dwarf who is a member of the noble cast will begin the game as part of the royal family in one of the dwarven cities, while a dwarf commoner will begin on the streets of the city. Origin stories provide an introduction to the game world and hours of game-play. People that the Warden meets during the origin story may reappear throughout the game, some of whom may be adversaries.
There is no tracking of alignment as in previous BioWare games, but the moral choices of the main character throughout the game will still affect the story. You may save the world whether you are good or evil, but the decisions that you make in the process will change the world around you deciding who will become king, for example, and affecting nations and races and their places in the world. These decisions will also influence your companions, and could ultimately lead to a companion deciding to leave your party if they do not agree with your approach.
As with the Baldur's Gate series, players will be able to issue orders to NPCs in real time or while the game is paused, and queue up actions such as spells and special attacks.
These features are confirmed:
- Six unique origin stories, each with a story that affects the game as a whole.
- Three base classes to choose from: rogue, warrior or mage.
- Three playable races: dwarf, human or elf.
- Party-based gameplay with the player's character, plus up to three other characters chosen from a larger pool during the game.
- Combat is real-time pause-and-play tactical. What this means is that you select an enemy to begin attacking automatically, and at any point can pause the game to select commands.
- The camera provides an over-the-shoulder viewpoint when zoomed in, or an isometric-style viewpoint when zoomed out, although on the console editions, zooming, and therefore the isometric-style viewpoint, is unavailable.
- Spell interactions (eg. a blizzard spell can put out fires, and fire spells can ignite grease from a grease spell).
- Depth-of-field effects which can be switched off via the options menu.