The newest Dragon Age was pretty firmly pencilled in for a day one purchase until I watched a few preview/review videos over the weekend. The consensus seems to be that it looks amazing, the world is big, the engine is great, the particle effects are the bomb, but the gameplay is… not so great.

The original prided itself on treating your character differently according to race and background, in one of the previews I listened to the guy was playing a Qunari mage and no-one gave a crap. In Dragon Age II Qunari mages are masked and chained but you can head up the Inquisition as one and no-one bats an eyelid, that seems off. I loved playing my alienage Elf and getting crap about it, your character and class mattered in Origins, I hope it still matters here.

Some of the quests sound very much like generic RPG grind (collect 10 Ram Meat showed up a lot), and it sounds like they’ve stick with the quest acquisition system from Dragon Age II where coming across something gives you the quest which isn’t totally a bad thing but I hope there are plenty of situations where you have choice. Even though I rarely choose them there should be options to screw people over, extort them, rob them, keep things for yourself. RPGs have to be about choice.

Reviews of the combat were mixed, it seems to be geared up to hitting buttons on a controller rather than the tactical queuing of attacks though the camera seems to be able to do a hell of a lot when paused so which is only really useful for the tactical combat approach so I’ll see.

I guess I still want to play it but I’ll wait for a few reviews before I buy it, see if it gets more Origins-y after a few more hours of play.