Today's flash deal over on The Game Collection website is Dragon Age: Inquisition on the PS4 for just £29.95. Some of you may be thinking £29.95 for a PS4 game? Well, all I can say is you get what you pay for and with this game you are getting it! Amazon UK & Shopto currently have it listed for £39.95 so this is a good saving.
BioWare brought a slew of Dragon Age concept art to PAX East over the weekend... and with it, some interesting hints about Dragon Age III. Not only may the sequel be set in Orlais (the France-inspired Southern portion of Thedas), but it will apparently pledge to stop re-using those same damn dungeons every five minutes.Click here to read more...
You know how every game needs multiplayer to sell copies, right? Right? Wrong, actually (just look at Skyrim) - but someone might need to patiently explain that to EA if a recent report is to be believed. According to another "insider" source from Kotaku, Dragon Age multiplayer is on the cards. The report alleges that it'll be an arena-based PvP and PvE experience, with playable dragons as well as more traditional warriors. Gah. Bleh. Wha?
Ignore my pained outbursts, though, because It's not all bad news. In fact, it's actually quite exciting. The new multiplayer project is rumoured to powered by Frostbite 2.0, and may ship as a standalone game as opposed to being part of the next Dragon Age title. Plus, playable dragons. If true, this could be one to watch.
On the other hand, BioWare certainly needs to nail the singleplayer component after Dragon Age II failed to wow critics and players earier this year.
Ken Levine today likened video game depictions of lovemaking to scenes involving puppets, such as that found in the Parker and Stone satire Team America.
Whilst I wait, like Scott Pilgrim for Ramona Flowers, hunched in front of my Xbox for the release of the latest piece of Dragon Age: Origins DLC - Witch Hunt - the one that boasts it'll tie up a whole bunch of loose odds and ends, I realised I had dragons on the brain, which might rather explain this Tuesday's Top Ten.
Let's face it, dragons are pretty damn awesome, but so often they don't get the treatment they deserve when it comes to video games. As it is, here's ten of the best - from evil villain to trusted steed - to provide inspiration to a whole new generation of scaly beastshoping to get some time in the spotlight of interactive entertainment. I've missed a few I know, Narthilargus and Alexstrasza spring to mind, but here's my list. Hit us up in the comments section afterwards with your thoughts.
We could only really pick one Pokemon, and Charizard is not a dragon. It just happens to look like a dragon. Sure it breathes fire, can fly, probably shares half a heart with a young David Thewlis and if it had a voice it’d probably talk like Sean Connery, but it’s not technically a Dragon-type Pokemon and therefore can’t make this list. Also, it's far too popular and we wanted to highlight the underdog. Dragonite, however, is the bona fide real deal and it can learn pretty much anything. You have to work your ass off to level up your cutesy Dratini into one of these badboys thanks to high EXP requirements and irritatingly high evolution levels, but when you’re done...boy is it worth it. It’s a freaking dragon, in your pocket! It even has 'dragon' in its name.
Liu Kang doesn’t look much like a dragon, granted, and indeed when Mortal Kombat first hit shelves, the Dragon Warrior was a mere human representative. Come the second game, however, and he could transform into a Chinese dragon for his fatality, ripping off the torso of his opponents and chomping it down to leave only a pair of gory shins left on the screen. He doesn’t fly, he doesn’t even breathe fire; in fact he does very little at all. But when the time for ultimate shaming comes, there’s nothing quite like having him transform into a peckish, winged lizard and watching as he scoffs your opponent down like a Christmas ham.
While it might seem a bit crazy to spend the kind of money that could buy you a whole game on a single expansion, if you are a Dragon Age fan, it's well worth shelling out for Awakening. Giving you an epic tale to play through, filled with a whole new cast (but also allowing you the option of importing your original character), it's pretty much a game in itself. Like Dragon Age itself, Awakening offers a very well written narrative, peopled with excellent characters. The combat is very rewarding and there's some excellent enemies laid on for you to take down. Highly recommended for Dragon Age fans. Thanks to goonertillidie at Hotukdeals!
Square-Enix are branching out of late. In fact, ever since the company formed they've rather enjoyed surprising people. No longer are Square simply 'the guys that do Final Fantasy' they're trying new things, entering into publishing contracts in new areas, and now, for the very first time, they're about to release their first Western RPG.
Not that they're developing it in-house, no that role is going to Obsidian, a name that RPG fans should certainly be familiar with as the studio behind Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR 2 and, of course more recently, Fallout: New Vegas. It's the first collaboration between the two RPG factions and they're pretty sure that they've managed to work together, using Gas Powered Games for consultancy purposes, to produce a game that will stay faithful to the series' action-RPG roots whilst also incorporating some rather interesting new elements as a result of bringing the series to home consoles.
The demonstration we were shown used the Xbox 360, showcasing the Guardian class, one of six unique playable classes that will all have different styles, different moves and abilities and slightly different stories. Sounds a bit like a certain BioWare RPG involving origin stories and dragons? Yeah, I thought that too. If you've been following Dragon Age Dungeon Siege since inception, you'll know all about the disgraced 10th Legion. Well, a century on, they're attempting to restore some of their former prestige, and you're right at the forefront of it all.
Click here to read the rest of Matt's preview...
Play.com is currently hosting a 2 for £25 sale on a huge list of games on all home-consoles and PC, from Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins to Left 4 Dead 2 and Metro 2033, with many more for you to pick and choose from.
On the list, the biggest hitters I can see are the aforementioned titles above, along with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Dice's rollicking sequel to their original hit and a major rival to Modern Warfare's online crown; Dante's Inferno, EA's assault on the hack-and-slash genre with a divine poet turned scythe-wielding death-dealer; Need 4 Speed: Shift, the latest entry in the dwindling series; Fifa 2010, EA Sports' strongest title continues to define the market; Darksiders, imagine if Zelda and God of War were one and the same; Halo 3: ODST, Bungie's sort-of-sequel turns its attentions to futuristic paratroopers, the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers; Command and Conquer 3: Red Alert, the RTS classic returns.
Suffice to say, it's a huge list with some great titles to choose from. The initial price might not be the cheapest, as every game by itself is around £14.99, but with the 2 for £25 deal, the second game is only ten quid, and with the likes of Metro 2033, Left 4 Dead 2 and Bad Company 2, all pretty new releases with a meaty price-point at this time, you'll be saving a few pennies and have a second game to enjoy once you've drained the first!
I've lost over 100 hours to Bioware's fantasy epic since a copy landed on my doorstep back in the winter of 2009 and I don't regret any of them. Fantastically messed up, dripping with mature themes and significant amounts of gore, and the same rag-tag Bioware tropes tweaked this time to fit a setting that resembled Middle-Earth in more ways than one, Dragon Age was a glorious RPG feast for the generation reared on the Baldur's Gate games, now all grown up...although it must be said that DA doesn't quite match those games for sheer brilliance, but then few games do.
Zavvi are currently offering both console versions of the game - a little inferior if you ask me, turning combat into a bit of a mess rather than the tactical treat it is on the PC - for just £12.95. Whilst this might not hugely impress PS3 fans who are able to get it 20p cheaper over at Tesco with the FTSL15-1 code if you haven't already used it, this should please X360 owners, who'll be saving a couple of quid on the nearest price over at Sendit.
I love this game, it's absolutely everything you'd expect from a Bioware RPG. True, that makes it somewhat predictable, and we've all seen these complex character tropes in every other Bioware game, but an average Bioware game is still a lot better than most other games out there. The overarching story is typical of the genre: medieval-esque kingdom beset by demon horde, but it's the little sub-plots that make the game stand out, not least in the six origin stories from which you choose at the start. In fact continuity throughout the game is so affecting that it seems a shame not more of this was made when Awakening rolled around earlier this year.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cheer and you'll probably shout 'WTF?!' at least once, but you won't regret picking this up if you're an RPG fan. Sure, it doesn't really bring much new to the table, don't be expecting a KOTOR or a Mass Effect here, but when a bread-and-butter RPG is done this well it's always worth checking out. Also, the voice acting is exemplary...Molyneux take note!
Need to think about it some more? Why not check out my review for a more in-depth look at the game.
Thanks to tinodz at HUKD
The expansion pack to Dragon Age Origins takes gamers back into the expansive world of Amaranthine, for a new set of quests that take place just after the events of the original.
Considering Dragon Age Origins Awakening only came out a few months ago, The Hut's price of £12.93 is pretty reasonable and is almost £2 cheaper than the next best offer of £14.85 from Tesco Entertainment.
Ok, to give you a brief heads up of what happens in the game without giving anything away, players travel around several locations picking up new party members along the way. Once you've recruited all the available party members, you learn of an oncoming war, which must be dealt with.
The story is very well written and is filled full of choices, which actually have a significant impact on the world around you. The main quest will take you a couple of days to complete, but the side quests should have you going for much longer than that. In fact, as with most games in this genre, you'll actually benefit from playing the side quests in conjunction with the main quest.
The combat is incredibly rewarding and you'll often find yourself battling huge mythical creatures, facing odds that are definitely not stacked in your favour. I found the task of taking on two dragons during one fight to be particularly challenging.
Whilst you can start with a completely new character, you do have the option of importing your character from Dragon Age Origins, which is an option that I would take every time it was offered in a game. There are a number of new specialisations and abilities on offer, which you'll need in order to climb your way up to level 30.
If you want an epic story, filled with rich characters, and more dragons than a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, then why not pick up a copy of Dragon Age Origins Awakening for the PC.
To bring the price down to £12.75, use the voucher code: FTSL15-1
If like me you have a violent aversion to Tesco (I can't be the only one right? Right?!) then you can pop over to The Hut who are selling it for just a few pennies more.
Whether you buy from Tesco or The Hut, you stand to make a nice saving of about £2 as other prices are all around £15 and upwards.
When the dreaded "Blight" returns to the land of Ferelden it is up to the Grey Wardens and, in particular, their newest recruit, that's you, to protect the kingdom and put an end to the vile darkspawn forever.
It's a brilliantly paced tale filled with fascinating characters who you will want to know inside and out, which more than makes up for its lack of originality. It's certainly not the best looking game out there (particularly if you opt for the 360 version) but it could be worse and it shouldn't detract too much from the game's value for anyone but serious graphics freaks.
Dragon Age is a game that will get under your skin and stay with you long after the credits have rolled and at this price it's an absolute steal.
Game have recently slashed the price of their Collectors' Edition of Dragon Age (presumably in response to the release of Awakening) and now you can get your hands on it for just over £20! Although this is supposedly a retailer exclusive, Cool Shop are also offering what appears to be the exact same version of the game. However, Game can rest easy, as Cool Shop's price (£44.49) is more than double that of their deal.
The Collectors' Edition features a blu-ray disc packed with all the usual sorts of things you'll probably pay very little attention to ("Making of" documentary, trailers, video of concept art, strategy tips and soundtrack), 3 bits of in-game content (Bergens Honour, Grimoire of the Frozen Wastes and Final Reason), an unlockable item for Mass Effect 2 (nice bit of cross-marketing there guys!) and unlockable bonus quest The Stone Prisoner with attendant unlockable character Shale. And it all comes packaged in a fancy plastic box!
Dragon Age: Origins is the story of the land of Ferelden and the dreaded "Blight" of darkspawn which has returned to spell out its doom. You take on the role of a new recruit to the Grey Wardens who are sworn to protect the land from the Blight.
While this tale may not be the most original or revolutionary, it is bound to draw you under its spell thanks to its perfect pacing and beautifully realised characters. It's not the best looking game out there by a long shot but this in no way impairs just how enjoyable it is to play and how much of an essential purchase this is to any game fan who does not shudder at the first mention of dwarves and elves.
Want to know more? Check out Matt's review here
Thanks to azzaed at Hotukdeals!
The high price point of Awakening is still a bit of a sore point for many gamers, myself included but it's here, and it's here to stay. The expanded adventures of the Grey Wardens is still a good standalone expansion of a good game, although perhaps not quite as impressive as it ought to be once all is said and done.
You can currently pick up a copy of Awakening for your Xbox 360 for just £22.49 at Coolshop, which is the cheapest you're going to get by over £2.
Essentially more of the same, Awakenings takes place following the last battle of its predecessor and you'll be pleased to know that you can import your character over from the first game, which will affect a few of the conversations and situations in the game - nothing too drastic, mind you, but it's a nice touch. If not, then you get to start with a whole new Origin as a Warden of Orlais and, as per usual, your decisions throughout the game will affect the ending.
There's trouble afoot even after you've quelled the Blight as it seems that somehow a smattering of Darkspawn are reaching human levels of intelligence, something you discover whilst on the way to Vigil's Keep to assume command of the Grey Wardens residing there. Only the keep has been hit hard and the organised attack appears suspicious indeed. Cue an investigative quest to find out what the hell is going on, and you'll muster a little party - Oghren returns from the previous game to lend a hand - and off you'll go on your merry way.
In terms of getting an idea of what Dragon Age is all about in general, then I'd direct you towards my review of the first game here. Awakening is not as good in all honesty. The story is okay for the most part but the lack of returning characters - particularly when the first game relied so heavily upon building up relationships between each character, learning their backstories and investing in them - is most keenly felt. Their replacements here are pretty unmemorable and this game answers none of the questions that you might have had following the conclusion of the previous title. It's a shame, really, and one that takes a lot of the shine off of this really very good new chapter in the Dragon Age saga.
Blah DVD are offering the PS3 version of Dragon Age: Origins as their Deal of the Day with an accompanying price tag of just £17.99 and as this is the cheapest I have ever seen this game, it's just a shame that they don't have 360 copies going for the same price. With the next best deal coming from Shop To at £24.79, you stand to save almost £7!
Your choice of character determines where your tale will begin in this story driven action RPG, hence the "Origins" in the game's title. After your character's personal introduction, the main narrative begins in earnest when Grey Warden Duncan arrives to whisk you away to fight the destructive darkspawn and hold back the dreaded Blight in a typical fantasy tale of betrayal, war, love and bloody combat.
The land of Ferelden may feel anything but fresh but it is populated with such a great cast of characters (brought to life fantastically with some great dialogue and quality voice acting) that you cannot help but be drawn in as you watch the hours slide past you. Similarly the story may feel somewhat recycled but it is told so beautifully and expertly that it is likely to stay with you long after the game is over. The graphics are definitely on the lacklustre side, though Sony's console shows a marked improvement upon theXBox's effort.
Dragon Age is a superb game by any measure and at this price it is an absolute bargain.
It may not last too long but Gamestation are currently selling Dragon Age: Origins for just £19.99. This is the cheapest I have ever seen the XBox version and it is very rare to see PS3 copies for under £20 either. At the moment the next best competitor for either console is Zavvi with a price tag of £24.85 (XBox PS3) so Gamestation's price gives a near £5 saving.
Dragon Age takes some very well worn high fantasy tropes—elves, dwarves, mages, themes of betrayal and impending apocalyptic doom— and places them into a huge world that is a pleasure to explore and filled with side quests to undertake and fascinating characters to meet.
While it may feel rather familiar to anyone who has read any fantasy literature, the story is perfectly paced and just so beautifully told that it will keep you hooked from start to finish as well as being populated by brilliant characters with excellent voice acting to make up for the occasionally dodgy models. Add to this the brilliantly implemented morality system that has far deeper consequences than is usually seen to games, a fun and varied combat system and a world that is made real through it's rich history and lore and it is not hard to see why, while Dragon Age has not been the biggest commercial success of recent times, it has won an army of devoted fans.
If you are a graphics freak then it is highly recommended that you opt for the PC version of the game, as it fares far well visually than either of the consoles. The PS3 offering is the less ugly sister, with improved textures over the 360 but unfortunately it is also the more glitch prone of the two.
The graphics issue is a shame but really doesn't not affect the greatness of this game—big, bold and brilliant, it is a worthy addition to any games shelf.
If you want to know more before taking the plunge then be sure to read Matt's review!
Week three, and here comes another new releases post. The big one this week is, of course, the hotly anticipated God of War III, but it might be keeping an eye out for post-apocalyptic FPS Metro 2033 and also the return of the much-loved EA RTS in Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight.
How to use: Click on the title of the video game if you would like to see the cross platform possibilities. Click on the game cover of the platform of your choice to see the price comparison for that particular game, showing you the cheapest prices from UK online retailers.
Stay tuned, folks, as we'll be updating you with all of the new releases for next week along with their cheapest prices in just a few days' time.
15th - 21st March 2010:
|BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
19th March 2010
19th March 2010
|Combat of Giants: Mutant Insects
19th March 2010
|Command & Conquer 4: Tiberium Twilight
19th March 2010
|Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
19th March 2010
19th March 2010
19th March 2010
|God of War 3
19th March 2010
19th March 2010
|Rugby League 3
19th March 2010
|Scene It? Twilight
19th March 2010
Dragon Age: Origins was one of the best and biggest games of 2009. I don't mean that in a Modern Warfare 2 sense where 'big' equates to a massive hype machine and a larger advertising budget than God can afford these days, I mean in terms of game time. BioWare brought a bit of epic fantasy to the games industry last year, and it was awesome.
It's yo-yo'd a bit in price since its release, but is still going fairly strongly, with sales boosted by being a deals favourite. If you haven't snagged a copy yet, now might be the time to do so as Grainger Games are currently offering new copies for under twenty quid at the stonkingly good price of £18.99, nearly £6 cheaper than the nearest online competitor (The Hut - £24.73).
Origins is basically a classic fantasy affair: There's a country mired in some kind of medieval stasis, your classic blend of humans, elves and dwarves, and the whole world is under threat from the rise of a Big Evil Horde of Demons and led by a massive dragon. There are some nice tweaks to the formula such as the dwarven caste system, the racial mistrust of the elves, and a typical BioWare yarn with a number of twists, turns and plenty of backstabbing.
I'm a huge BioWare fan, and I've got to say that I absolutely loved Dragon Age: Origins. Don't get me wrong, there are some issues; for example, there isn't really an original bone in this game's body and all of the characters can be found in other BioWare games, but this is a triumph of something simple done brilliantly. The game is expansive, atmospheric, brutally gory and hugely engrossing. True, the combat is more button mashing than tactical thinking when it comes to the console versions, but you won't find a game from the last twelve months that will give you more for your money.
Clocked over 100 hours and still going. Check out my review for a longer analysis here.
Thanks to andy182 at HotUKDeals
There was only one title this year where you could say 'I've only managed to get through 20 hours or so' and be laughed at for not even being nearly halfway through the game. Take a bow BioWare. Yep, even with Mass Effect 2 burning a hole in the calendar for January, the folks behind Knights of the Old Republic and Baldur's Gate still had time to crack out an 80+ hour epic journey across mythical Middle Earth, I mean Ferelden.
It was sighted before Christmas at under £20 prices, but its festive popularity has driven the price back up and you'll be lucky to find it new under £25 now. Thankfully, Amazon are offering the Xbox version for just £23.70, saving you over £3 on the nearest competitor (ShopTo - £26.94).
Fortunately, few of those 80+ hours are filler. BioWare has crafted something pretty special here. Sure, the console version is more hack'n'slash at times than the tactical RPG it is on the PC, but it's still. You can read my review of it here.
If the plot and setting are somewhat derivative, they are more than made up for by the characters. True to BioWare type, maybe; but that also means that they're richly drawn, wittily written and that they suck you into this world. The gameplay will be instantly familiar to anyone who played KotOR and you will forget all about the virtues of that thing they call sleep.
It says something about a developer that is on fine form that even an average BioWare game - and this is not really a patch on KotOR or Mass Effect - can still be enormously enjoyable. This is BioWare by numbers in places, but all that really shows is that the studio is damn good at what it does.
£23.70 for nearly a hundred hours of fantastic gameplay and multiple different beginnings and endings? At full price it was still bargain of the year in my opinion.
Thanks to flimflam at HotUKDeals
If you're an Xbox 360 owner and an RPG lover, or if you know someone who is and you haven't bought them anything for Christmas yet, then rejoice! Somehow a whole bunch of stars have aligned and led the folk at Gameplay to lower the price on the Xbox version of Dragon Age: Origins to just £23.98, so those of you console owners left weeping over the amazing Steam deals of the last few days finally have something to cheer about.
God only knows how long this particular deal is going to last, but it probably won't be very long, and considering you're making a saving of £10 on the nearest competitor (DVD.co.uk - £33.99) this one's a bit of a steal.
I've waxed lyrical about my love for BioWare RPGs, and this game is essentially Knights of the Old Republic mashed together with a Lord of the Rings-esque fantasy setting, with eight unique starting chapters to choose from depending on which class and race you choose for your character at the start.
Essentially the plot is as follows: you and your band of trusty cohorts trot off around the land trying to marshal the three main races - Humans, Dwarves and Elves - as well as a spire stock full of mages, to help defend the kingdom against an enormous army of uruk-hai....I mean darkspawn. Along the way you'll find yourself beset by many a moral dilemma, lashings of gory real-time combat, some great voice acting, oodles of textual information and narrative stuff, and also The Worst Sex Scene Ever Made.
Dragon Age: Origins isn't a massive game, or at least it doesn't feel like it should be, but I'm well into my seventieth hour. As a world, Ferelden sucks you in and refuses to let go; and yes the graphics are duller than your average Scottish beach, but the story and the characters, in particular, are so richly drawn and observed, that before you know it it's 4am again and you've got to be up in less than three hours.
This game doesn't really tread new ground, but it gives you a lot of bang for your buck and rewards long periods of play with a great game epxerience as well as back ache and eye strain. You can check out Lydia's appraisal of the game here, or for a longer ramble on just how much love I have for this game you can read my review. Regardless, at this price you're getting a hell of a lot for your money, and it comes in the form of one of the best games of the year.
Thanks to phill01 from HotUKDeals
Bioware's brand new fantasy epic has been eagerly awaited but sadly missed out on the attention it might have received were it not released quite so close to a certain other recent game.
Shop To are currently selling Dragon Age for just £29.95, representing a £7.50 saving (the next best price is £37.49 from Cool Shop)
I was already intrigued by Dragon Age before I heard that the developers were looking to writers such as George R. R. Martin (author of the brilliant and enthralling A Song of Ice and Fire series) for inspiration; afterwards I had no idea what to do with the long months before I could get my hands on this first title. The idea of a dark and gritty fantasy with hints of realism is an enticing premise and luckily the game does not disappoint.
That said, there are plenty of well -trod fantasy trope pathways travelled here, not least when it comes to the old skool set of races. When creating your character you can take your pick from "Dalish" Elf, City Elf, Dwarf Commoner, Dwarf Noble, Mage or Human Noble. However, there's plenty of interesting history weaving the fates of the races together and pulling them apart to ensure that Dragon Age's world is unique.
The storyline is complex and engaging with excellent dialogue to bring it to life. There are multiple threads of narrative available to you depending on the choices you make, from the character you opt for to the answers you choose to give in conversations. In fact virtually every decision you make will have genuine consequences that reverberate throughout the game. This adds considerably to Dragon Age's lifespan-- it's hard to resist taking a stab at the game with each character class to discover the effect is has on the story and you're bound to find yourself thinking "what would have happened if only I made a different decision at that point?" If only there were more hours in the day...
The combat is very enjoyable and pleasingly gory and there are tonnes of abilities and powers to learn and use to shake up your battles. If you have already played Knights of the Old Republic then you'll probably feel right at home with the fight mechanics.
Dragon Age's only let down is its graphics (the PC version fares far better here), with visuals that simply do not live up to the high standard that we are accustomed to these days. To be fair the PS3 version scrubs up a bit better overall in this department with much better textures than its drab 360 sister but on the other hand the visual glitches are, apparently, more prevalent. It's a shame that the game doesn't look better but when you are offered such a vast, deep and involving adventure, it seems silly to turn your nose up at the fact that its a bit scruffy.
Check out Matt's full review here!
Thanks to filmfan at Hotukdeals!