I must admit I’ve rather gone off videogames, after a stint with them over the summer. Fuel had rather soured my taste for them. But at the back of my mind there was a vague question about what I might be playing in the mid December – early January window. And yesterday I found a rarity had just launched — a single-player traditional PC role-playing videogame of quality. Yes, ’tis Dragon Age: Origins, which is fluttering its leathery dragon wings into the wild now. And it’s not a fantasy RPG originating somewhere in the forests of Eastern Europe either (The Witcher, Sacred, Drakensang, Arktwend…), which is where traditional fantasy RPGs still seem to be finely crafted with love and attention. It’s from Bioware.

dage

The reviews, of the retail version on the PC, have mostly been excellent: IGN review of the PC version; and PC Gamer review (warning: huge plot-spoilers throughout!). PC Gamer calls it the “RPG of the decade”. Some hardcore fanboy reviewers do gripe about various things, it’s true: last-gen graphics; seen-it-all-before Middle-Earth style generic fantasy setting with none of the alien weirdness of a Morrowind; unbalanced difficulty levels in combats and some near game-stopping roadblocks as a result. Hopefully those rough edges will be polished by fans using the “developer-grade tools” for modding, which Bioware are offering. But even the gripers feels compelled to admit it plays as a great game, and the general consensus is that it plays and looks best on the PC (screenshots).