I picked this up almost a month ago and I’ve barely had any time to play it. So far I think I sunk maybe four hours into it, five at the most. And I lost almost two of those hours.
MMOs really spoil you as far as the whole “Save Game” thing goes. That’s right, I played for almost two hours without saving the game, then died only to discover the last autosave was about 1.5 hours ago.
The Ogre took over and I stopped there for a week or two. Come to think of it, I believe that was a bit of a turn off for me in DA:O. I lost some progress because I forgot to save the game – that might have taken the wind out of my sails.
I came back to it on the weekend where I managed to squeeze in about an hour or two, replaying some of the content I had done, but also deviating a bit and focusing on a different direction.
Single player game Devs listen up – make autosave options more obvious and allow for timed autosaves that don’t overwrite.
Overall, the game is fun. It plays like a console game for sure. Very click to attack, make chains (though it doesn’t really track these), use potions much like you did in Diablo, can dodge spells and other twitch base combat mechanics. The controls are quite simple and not overly complicated. If you’ve played a FPS type game it should be easy for you.
The combat animations seem decent and somewhat cumulative or at least there seems to be some build up or randomness to them – it’s not just Fred and Barney taking turns beating each other over the head. The graphics are quite decent too and it doesn’t seem to make a lot of use of bloom effects.
It feels like an Elder Scrolls game only with less loading and hitching. In fact, there weren’t a lot of loading screens outside of the cinematics and dialogs – where I can’t help but feel there are too many loads.
At one point you load on hitting a map point to see an in-game cinematic of a bloodied female wearing armor stagger over and collapse in front of you. You load again to get the dialog, which is really short. Load again as you get into another game mode, then shift again for a real cinematic, then load again for more cinematics (in-game) and then load again for a dialog. I might be exaggerating a little, but it certainly seemed somewhat painful.
The voice acting is decent though the animations to the voices seem a little overly active. Sound is good, I don’t pay a lot of attention to sound unless it is really annoying so the fact that I say it is ‘good’ means it fit with the game and didn’t stand out.
I find the dialogs somewhat typical, you get choices but it seems they would lead to the same sort of result, just presenting you with different reactions. I haven’t progressed far enough to find out if any of the tones you set carry forward. One complaint is that they don’t seem to lump more of the NPC dialog text into a panel. You typically get one line of text or sentence then need to click ‘continue’ for the next short bit. In some cases you do this a couple of times. Maybe this is due to translations or something, but it seems out of place to me.
The story so far is decent, laid out in a good manner and you get right into things. They tuck away some of the lore into books which you can find in game and read if you want; they seem pretty short with the largest one I found so far being two pages.
It has a level based mechanic with no real class system, instead it is more skill based so you could pick ‘warrior’ to start and shift it towards a caster type. The skills are categorized like you’d see classes, but you’re not limited to a given branch. Tooltips for attributes give you a sense of what they do while for the skills you can click on them and it will explain what they do in one panel while playing a video of what the ability does in the other panel which is neat. The game seems to have a decent amount of polish like that.
I’d recommend it if you like console-like single player RPG games.
Just be sure to map something to the Quicksave, by default no key is mapped to that.