This review contains spoilers.
Much like my Mass Effect 2 character, I gave my Dragon Age character a sullen, swarthy appearance and named him after my girlfriend’s cat Alcott. Alcott Aeducan of the clan Aeducan from the dwarven kingdom of Orzammar, if you must know.
A lot of hay was made about the fact that Dragon Age allows you to choose same gender romantic relationships, most shockingly male on male kissing and bared male chests embracing tenderly. I live in Atlanta, which was recently rated as America’s gayest city. I see bared male chests embracing tenderly on my drive to work every morning. So yeah maybe your podunk town’s citizens’ hair might turn white at the idea of some fictional dudes “slaying dragons” in between slaying actual dragons, but I think allowing the player to pursue any type of relationship they want in a video game is a long time coming. You know what else was a long time coming?
My dwarven warrior having burly gay campfire sex with that elven rogue. Honestly though, my dwarven warrior was pretty promiscuous. He did sort of have a girlfriend- but she was a witch and showed a lot of side boob.
I have a really fantastic idea for a strip club that ties into this, by the way. All the strippers dress up like nerd fantasy ladies, like the blue Twi’leks from Star Wars or Caprica Six or Tolkien characters. My friend Kenny even came up with a good name for it: The Hobbit Hole. Do you have any idea how much money that would make? Imagine getting a lap dance from Princess Leia or Skeletor’s naughty pal Evil-Lyn. The only bone in the house wouldn’t just be in Skeletor’s staff, I’ll tell you that much.
Now stop imagining that.
So some orcs—I mean some “Darkspawn” threaten the kingdom of Ferelden and your character gets drafted into fighting them by joining the Grey Wardens, an elven junior varsity basketball team known for its outside shooting and aggressive defensive play.
Actually, the Grey Wardens drink darkspawn blood in a ritual called “The Joining”. This gives them the power to slaughter the arch-demon that leads the darkspawn army.
Dragon Age is billed as a “dark fantasy” and has all kinds of gory death and blood spatter. You know that sound a sword makes when it penetrates a suit of armor and mortally wounds your opponent in battle? KER CHUNK. Sounds like someone stabbing a mailbox. Take that, letters!
There is a lot of corpse robbing in this game. Hope your magic sword wasn’t a family heirloom, castle guard I just slaughtered. Your children will just have to hunt me down to get it back; but be warned I have a magic sword now.
One thing I love about this game is your companions can get fed up with you and leave, or you can murder somebody and not know that with a little talking to they would have joined your party. I ended up replaying a twenty minute cut-scene because I pissed off Alistair. Alistair was a witty, compassionate Grey Warden. I’d been hanging out with him the whole game. I even gave him the special Blood Dragon armor, which is practically like giving him an engagement ring.
He got mad because I was going to let our most hated enemy join our team. “No don’t go!” I thought to myself, loading up the previous save game. I even let him cut off that other dude’s head the second time around.
Wait— that doesn’t sound very compassionate, does it?
Trust me, in the context of the game, it’s no big deal. Beheading is like opening a newspaper in Ferelden, it’s so common. If you aren’t running somebody through with a sword, you’re probably sleeping.