Dragon Age Origins, the game that for many of us, started our deep love affair with Thedas and its inhabitants. The game plus it’s DLC will fill about 70-80 hours of your life and it’s SO WORTH IT. The start of the game, as its name hints at, is different according to your character’s race and class. There are six different origin stories, two for each playable race. I’ve played through DAO twice before, once as a Dalish Elf rogue and once as a Human Noble warrior. I started a new game for this review, doing my first run through as a Circle Mage.
You take the role of Grey Warden and you’re tasked with stopping the Blight, against impossible odds. Along the way, you assemble your large team of companions and you can do the usual lovely Bioware stuff, like camp sex and stuff. You visit several diverse areas, from the Deep Roads to a Dalish camp and you’ll fight Darkspawn over and over and over again.
Okay, onto the accessibility stuff. Not only does Dragon Age Origins do the best out of all three Dragon Age games with its deaf accessibility, I think it does better than any game I’ve ever played in terms of accessibility. Why?
The subtitles are accurate and very easy to see, having been put on a darkened bar at the top of the screen. The dialogue choices are equally well done and given that your character isn’t voiced in this game as it is in the others, the choices show exactly what you’ll say.
Even dialogue that isn’t being directed at you, but is being spoken near you is captioned. Also, as shown in the above image, side quests are clearly marked with an exclamation point.
You can’t see it super well in this image but anything you can interact with or has collectibles, be it a chest or dead body, sparkles and is also clearly labeled.
Your character automatically readies for combat when enemies are nearby. No having to guess where they are because you can’t hear the direction they’re coming from! Also nice with the combat is that all you need to do, once the enemy is spotted, is tap the button of the action you’d like to perform, and you’ll move into place automatically. No aiming or anything, which I really appreciate. Enemies are also marked in red on your minimap, as are quest locations.
Dragon Age Origins does a phenomenal job making the game playable and enjoyable for deaf players. There’s honestly not one area that I can think of where they misstepped. If you don’t have it already, it’s one of those games you just have to have, and considering that it’s playable on Xbox One now and you can buy it for $15, even if you end up hating it (which I can’t imagine anyone hating it) it won’t really be a waste of much money. But you won’t hate it. It’s fantastic.
Dragon Age Origins
Easy to read subtitles
Very clear visual cues for quests and collectibles
Combat that doesn't leave you getting hit by arrows and spells because you can't hear where it's coming from
Not a one!