I played a little bit of Dragon Age: Origins tonight. I probably should have spent that time working on one of the two short stories I currently have in progress, or working on the next part of my Codrus’ Labyrinth campaign for my D&D group, or doing some cartooning for one of the webcomics I’m trying to get started. Instead, I chose to veg out for a few minutes and keep my laptop in the bag.
I started Dragon Age a while back and made a lot of progress at first — one might almost say too much progress. There were several side quests in the (long) introductory sequence that I failed to complete because I accidentally stepped into the main story plot a bit sooner than I expected. I doubt that I actually missed all that much in terms of leveling up, but I hate leaving potential story items untold.
Be that as it may, I found myself flung into the main arc of the story with several options available to me. The one I chose to start with was visiting the mages’ tower to recruit them to my cause of standing against the coming Blight. All went well for quite a while. Enemies fell before us, items were found and added to our inventory, and party members leveled up.
Then we met the sloth demon, and that’s where everything went off the rails. Callenon, the elvish fellow I’m playing, wakes up to find himself trapped in the Fade, this otherworldly place of dreams and nightmares, stripped of his friends and lost in a blurry realm of fire and violence. And even this part of the adventure went well at first.
The trouble is, the Fade is a very difficult place to traverse. There are these series of islands surrounding a central island, which is my ultimate goal. Problem is, the only way to get there is to solve the riddles and mysteries of the surrounding islands and unlock a door that only demons can see. Oh, yes — and the other three party members are trapped somewhere on the other islands.
Most of the monsters you meet in the Fade are pretty easy to take down. Quite a few can kill you almost before you can take three steps into the room. I keep dying and having to reload the previous save point, in order to try a different route that will hopefully be a little easier. My options are rapidly dwindling, though, as I clear areas and get no closer to unlocking the door or finding my lost companions.
I put it away after about an hour tonight. That’s about all I can take of the game right now. I’m enjoying things as I find creative ways to win through, but my progress is so gosh-darn slow. I’ve been more than a little tempted a couple of times to kick the difficulty level down a notch (to easy), just in order to get the story in higher gear, but my pride won’t let me. I’d rather fight and lose and be frustrated a while longer in order to have the satisfaction of achieving something difficult than to take the easy way out.
I’ll come back to it again sometime soon and do some more exploring and fighting and see where I end up. Right now, I just want to get out of the Fade — before the place kills me. Again.