If you’ve been caught up in the hype around Dragon Age: Origins Awakening (the first expansion for the Dragon Age: Origins game series), or the release of the Dragon Age comic book, but have yet to purchase and play the awesome that is DA:O; then harken to what is said here, friends, as it will help you to answer a question: What platform do I buy the game for?
Ultimately, the choice you make will be one of taste, price and other personal callings and any choice you make with this game will be a good one. However, if you are torn, then there are a few fundamental differences you will need to consider before you drop your hard-earned cash (or credit) on the table.
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
PC: $40-50, PS3: $40-70, Xbox 360: $40-70 Prices vary depending on country, and whether you purchase at a brick & mortar store or an online vendor like Amazon. Collector’s Editions are in the $65-120+ range and include such things as a cloth map of the DA:O world, a bonus DVD, cool case, etc.
Gameplay and Graphics:
All – All platforms give you beautiful scenery and a deep and gritty storyline that involves intricate party relationships. No restrictive morality-in-a-can, just reactions to your actions by your party members and the reactions aren’t canned either, they are based on the individual characters and their likes and dislikes. A little tip in this regard: Morrigan is not easy to please. Don’t worry about it. Just play the game as you think your character would act. As for the graphics, well, in general they are a bit lower grade than expected, but you get over it quickly as you become engrossed in the storyline.
PC pros – Better potential graphics and a more granular gaming experience (more point and click menus and better camera control). Plays well enough on systems with low-end graphics cards (like non-gaming laptop GPUs for example).
PC cons – You have to spend a bit of time configuring everything to get the game to the perfect settings for your machine.
Playstation 3 & Xbox 360 pros Well done controls and custom console interface (these are not messy PC ports they are fully customized game builds for each console), and a somewhat faster-paced feel to battles. Play right out of the box.
Playstation 3 & Xbox 360 cons – There are some reports of laggy load-times with Dragon Age: Origins on consoles. You may also discover some lower quality textures to help fix that problem (especially on the Xbox 360 version, which is also prone to some graphical tearing issues) this only barely impacts the pretty of the game overall, though. There is no possibility to zoom out to top down view on consoles either, though this can make exploring tougher areas a bit more exciting.
Any of the platforms should play Dragon Age: Origins (and Awakening) well enough for you to be thoroughly entertained and become deeply involved in the storyline and character relationships. If you’re a fan of dark and gritty fantasy, and of Bioware-style game design in general (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect one and two), you will love, love, love the Dragon Age series, which is shaping up to become a long term, epic universe of stories and games. Definitely worth the buy.