Dragon Age: Journey through Thedas

Posted April 9, 2015 by Cody Rostron in Video Games

Balder’s Gate was a big deal to me, I’m not sure why but something about that game spoke to me. My love for Batman is explained by my dad taping old episodes of the 60’s show, but I have no sign for what got me hooked on the world of high fantasy. It’s just something that I gravitated towards, The Lord Of The Rings was huge when I was a teenager. If there was any period in my life where I didn’t care about superheroes it was then. I was obsessed with the world Tolkien had created, that led me to the books, but once I finished them all I was left wanting more. Not necessarily more of that particular world just more swords and castles, battles that stretched for miles about ancient evils that no one had ever seen before, it was enthralling.

So back into video games I fell, it started with Balder’s Gate 2 and lead to Neverwinter Nights. And even in more recent times games like Skyrim and the Witcher appealed to me. It was something about the genre that appealed to me, so when I heard about Dragon Age: Origins it was like waking up from a dream. A few of the guys behind Balder’s Gate had returned to create a whole new world called Thedas, It was just like an ancient epic. Obviously that’s all a bit dramatic, but still Dragon Age was a big deal to me, other than the aforementioned things this game had going for it. It was also the first game I purchased on my own. It was also the first game I played on my brand new PS3 that I bought with my own money.

As many people will tell you, high fantasy role-playing games are an enormous time suck. But playing dragon age for me was like falling down a pit that I never wanted to climb out of. The game starts with narration describing the world you’re about to spend the next 100 hours in and leads you into your character customization, after that it’s a mystery why I ever stopped. I’ll be honest this game is not perfect, in many eyes it’s not even good. The combat is stale and boring, and the visuals are borderline awful. But this game spent a lot of time drawing out great characters and environments for me to explore, it was the first time I cared about the world and friends around me in a game.

So you can imagine that’s a high bar to reach for the sequel the next time around, well it was and they didn’t. Especially when you only take two years to make a sequel to a game that took five years to make. Dragon Age 2 improved upon the combat, added voice actors to the character you played as and more importantly introduced us to Varric the Dwarven guild merchant we all love. The disappointments seemed to outweigh the positives though, Enemies would fall from the sky in waves, your map was significantly smaller, and its ending felt small compared to everything set up by both the previous game and the add-on content. In no way is Dragon Age 2 a bad game, its just not what I had hoped for.

Before Dragon Age 2 came out I wanted it as soon as possible, and I got my wish. But I was wrong, the series needs time to be built and not rushed through. So when I heard about Dragon Age 3 (later changed to Dragon Age: Inquisition) I wanted that game to have all the time in the world, I didn’t want another rush job. So when the waiting was over my prayers were answered, it was amazing. Very rarely do highly anticipated games come out and are met with equal praise, but Dragon Age: Inquisition was everything I wanted and more. A massive open world, with both old and new locations revamped for current consoles. Classic characters, new favorites, a freaking castle to call my own! It was truly impressive to experience.

I’m always thinking about what’s next, not just in video games in everything. TV, movies, books, its inevitable. But once I finished Dragon Age: Inquisition I was content, surprisingly so. Now that’s not to say that I won’t immediately buy the next DLC story or keep busy with some online play. But it’s a great sign to sit back and watch the credits happily. The world of Thedas and Dragon Age are truly unique, not only to me but millions of others. And the gaming market seems to agree, with as many copies of the game that sold, and all the GOTY awards under its belt. I’m sure this is not the last we’ve seen of Dragon Age. So while I may never know what brought me into the fantasy genre, I sure know what’s keeping me there.

About the Author

Cody Rostron

Writer, Graphic Designer, and Artist, But most importantly a huge nerd.