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Dead Space, Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition, and SimCity 3000 Unlimited are the latest games EA has let slip from the grips of its digital distribution platform Origin. Now featured on the DRM-free GOG.com, the trio of classics has also been discounted to mark the occasion.
As a result you can snap up one of the best RPGs of all time Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition for 5.99/$7.89. Or the abandoned space station scare em up Dead Space for the same. Or SimCity3000 Unlimited which dates all the back to 1999, but is decidedly better than the most recent series entry for 3.99/$5.20.
Each of today's three classic releases from Electronic Arts represents a pillar of game design: exceptional world building, mastery in storytelling, an admirable understanding of the balance between scope and focus, reads a statement from GOG. Head on over there to check them out.
Few game mechanics right now make me ‘urrrrrrrrrrgh’ quite like crafting. Bloody, bloody crafting. I hate crafting. I hate that just about every game I pick up can’t wait to introduce its crafting system to me, with its long shopping lists of finnicky items to find, and about as much care for being believable as all those shotguns and medikits Lara Croft used to find littering ancient tombs. Crafting is the worst, and unlike something like the escort missions of old, it manages to be the worst regardless of how much it actually ends up wasting your time.
After seventeen years in the scribbler’s hotseat, writer and designer David Gaider has left BioWare. Gaider joined the RPG-builders back in 1999, putting in some time on Baldur’s Gate 2 before moving onto Knights of the Old Republic. His contributions to the Star Wars universe include snarky murderous human-hating droid HK-47 (a terrifying vision of our machine-doomed future presented as comic relief) and Carth Onasi, a sad space-man. Gaider’s greatest contribution to CRPGs came as lead writer on Dragon Age: Origins, the beginning of the series that, along with Mass Effect, has come to define modern BioWare.
Since the dawn of RPGs, two things have remained constant: heroes require armour, and players will always want to find out what happens if they strip it all off and run around. Some would call it a secret test of a game’s devotion to world simulation – that if characters react, it says good things about the developers’ devotion to detail. Others just think it’s really funny. (To be clear, it’s very rarely even close to sexy.)
This week then, a random sample will answer the question the world has been waiting to realise it should have asked – objectively speaking, which RPG is the best? Specifically, if they all forgot their PE kits and had to go quest in their pants.
An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.
In Dragon Age: Inquisition, you are the most important person in the entire world. People will follow you into battle, go along with your decisions and occasionally kiss you on the lips. There’s an enormous world to discover and it’s all there for you. Go and have an adventure. You deserve it.>
Adam: Inquisition is like comfort food. A month-long banquet of comfort food, with all the trimmings.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
Have you heard of it? Dragon Age: Origins was this little RPG put out by an indie studio in Canada called BioWare. Aha, my little joke. But it’s a question well worth asking, as with the release of Inquisition I’ve spoken to lots of people who’ve never played the original, and would absolutely love it. Including my dad. Dad – play this for goodness sake.
The difficulty with explaining why Dragon Age: Origins was super-duper top dog stuff is that on a surface level it was all a bit boring. Nasty creatures are coming to destroy your green, faintly damp-looking world! You’ve got to save the realm, perhaps because prophecies? Prophecies might be a thing, I suppose. Also: dwarves and elves and sometimes magic.
Thematically there’s very little going on in Ferelden that hadn’t already been flogged to oblivion by the rest of the genre, which makes Origins an even tougher sell to a culture now fixated with Game of Thrones. Decapitation makes an occasional appearance, but Origins is largely po-faced fare. What helps it succeed anyway is the one clich it skewers beautifully, through its depiction of evil and a place called ‘the fade’.