Original Dragon Age: Origins Free On Origin

Fzap!

Loads of games are free, you know. Lots of weird and wonderful games of all shapes and sizes made by all sorts of people. Many of them are great, aren’t they? But imagine the giddy thrill of receiving for free a game which once cost actual money. How decadent! What a bargain! How could Dragon Age: Origins be free this week? Why? Quick, you better download it before The Man notices his mistake.

This is, of course, the latest freebie from EA’s running ‘On the House‘ promotion. They give away freebies to raise brand awareness (you haven’t forgotten that Dragon Age: Inquisition is out in November, have you?), build a little good will, and get people using Origin and oh what Bejeweled 3 is free too why didn’t anyone tell me get out of my way I need to download this.

Dragon Age came at an interesting point in BioWare’s history. Despite a hilarious trailer declaring it “the new shit“, it was perhaps their last ye olde style RPG. It arrived when parts of BioWare were looking at making more overtly action-y games, following Mass Effect and the mess that was Jade Empire. While Mass Effect went in interesting directions, Dragon Age 2 proceeded to make a complete hash of its murdering (though I’ll still say its slow-burning plot and single-city setting interest me so much more than the ‘only you can save the world from this ancient evil’ guff in Origins). There sits Dragon Age: Origins, on the cusp of change.

100 Comments

  1. trueplayer says:

    EA + Origin? Nope.
    Remember – TINSTAAFL.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I dunno what TINSTAAFL is, but it sounds like some kind of strange foreign holiday… I think I’ll pass.

      • frymaster says:

        There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

        I’ve more often seen it as TANSTAAFL – “There Ain’t” – which is used in a few of Heinlein’s books, among other things.

    • frymaster says:

      Yes, but you already KNOW what the catch is, it’s that they want you to hopefully use origin again in the future. Assuming you have at least the self-control of a Labrador puppy, you’re not likely to get seduced against your will.

      Anyway, origin is not without merit – their refund policy is a lot better than Steam’s (in that they have a policy other than “nope”). They also had installing to alternate locations working a long time before steam did. Don’t get me wrong, I only have one of them on autostart, and it’s Steam, but there’s always room for improvement.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Indeed, as obvious as it is that they want to hype you hoping for a preorder, it’s ultimately your own will and an extra free game in your hard drive aswell. A great game i might add.

        People can twist the issue around as much as they want but it’s a solid offer and it would be naive to think that they shouldn’t have a good reason to give something away.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          I agree with this. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to receive one or two good freebies from EA and it’s obvious there’s a commercial reason behind it – but of course there must be. This is the pleasant side of capitalism – mutual benefit. Making money by offering something of real value. In this case offering something for free for increased exposure.

          • jezcentral says:

            Agreed. You could even say this is a very VALVE thing to do.

            Anyway, Origin is officially Not Bad, in my book. And added to the reasons listed above, its offline mode is way better than Steam.

          • skittles says:

            In many ways I prefer Origin over Steam. Origin focuses on making the game download-installation-play sequence as seamless and easy as possible, and has a lot of ways to help. Some have been mentioned, but it even has simple things like giving both the download and installation size of a game when you initially want to install. It makes things clear and easy to find. Whereas Steam focuses not on the games, but the social crap. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind its social features, but too often they are the focus of Steam, and games are an after thought. Games have been treated like crap on Steam, thankfully it has been improving dramatically in the last few months.

            It comes down probably to how Valve is run, and how doing your job there is interest based. Figuring out how offline modes work, how to install games is boring work. So Valve employees don’t do it, or leave it to later. Preferring to focus on the more interesting social experiences. Meanwhile at Origin they have to build it as they are told, and people are paid to make that boring installation stuff work. It is one of the pitfalls of Valve’s environment, boring but necessary stuff isn’t always given the priority it should.

      • Tuor says:

        Not only is my self-control better than that of a puppy, it’s so good that I refuse to install Origin on my system at all. EA can… well, there’s no need to go there. But yes, it sure was nice to go to my camp, click on a guy who is at my camp, and be told that if I want to pursue the quest he offers, I need to buy the DLC. Thanks, but no.

        • Zafman says:

          I’m normally a quiet, introverted and calm person, but…RAGEQUIT!!!
          Also I vowed from then on to never buy on release day and always wait for the GOTY edition.

          • somnolentsurfer says:

            I’d been holding out for so long, but finally succumbed when Mass Effect 3 was £2.99 las week. Still no goatee edition of that.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I’m okay with Origin taking up 253MB on one of my hard drives, and EA already had my basic personal details, same as half the Internet. I’ve still got 329GB free on that drive. It’ll be fine, I’m sure.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        but it’s so slow and still keeps randomly insisting that my games aren’t installed and it must re-download all umpteen gigs and I can’t really communicate with my friends over it and it frequently tells me people are offline when I know they’re online and it’s just a bit poor really. Still it’s the only way i can play some of my games at all

        • Guvornator says:

          Really?! Mine doesn’t do any of that, apart from insisting on reinstalling all the audio when Titanfall needs updating. My solution to that was uninstalling Titanfall…

          As for communication, I found Steam and Origin are equally bad (as in seconds until your voices comes out the other end, even though the person I’m playing with is about 5 miles from my house. I prefer Mumble for serious gaming.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Hey, careful now with all that logic in a single blow, some people lacking the necessary fortitude to absorb that all at once might have complications.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      The trouble is that even if you get and use Origin “only for the free stuff”, you are supplying them with valid marketing arguments and power by growing their general user base on Origin.
      That is besides subjecting yourself to whatever they deign is okay installing onto your computer at full access.
      The last thing I want to do is give EA and Origin more money, power or anything else for that matter.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Your argument makes sense, but at the same time you’re only focusing on the negatives and assuming only the worst.

        Such power could also mean Steam being forced to actually HAVE a refund policy, as a random example.

        As far as actual EA’s behaviour on their own games is concerned, instead, you’re still voting with your wallet regardless of the power that Origin holds.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          That’s the thing, I much prefer Steam, but I’d also like Steam to have a real competitor as well.

          • malkav11 says:

            I would too, but Origin is not really meaningful competition to Steam at this point and is one of the worst possible contenders for the spot anyway. As consumers, I assure you we do not want a choice between Valve’s relatively benign but nonetheless problematic domination and EA’s decidedly not benign domination.

        • scatterbrainless says:

          EA have made “assuming the worst” rather plausible, wouldn’t you say? I have Origin, yet still fear what guff EA shall start imposing upon their development studios once they achieve a respectable market share with their platform. Large amounts of always-online Origin synergy stuff in single-player games would be my educated guess, with plenty of locked content. As a client, it is not too bad, but EA’s willingness to let it’s business and marketing wings impose design decisions upon developers justifies a strong suspicion towards it’s attempts to grow it’s client base.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Is Origin still called Origin? Then it’s not happening.

  2. TormDK says:

    In case anyone wonders, the game you do get is the Digital Deluxe version, which should include the Shale DLC and Wardens keep.

    • Jalan says:

      You’re mistaken? I’m looking at the editions tabs/selector on the page and only the Standard is marked free, the rest have price tags.

    • Ross Angus says:

      It showed up as the standard edition for me. Strange.

      When this was reported on Reddit, it points to some free DLC you can get:
      link to reddit.com

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Nice touch, Origins wouldn’t be the same without Shale!

  3. amateurviking says:

    I really must finish this game. I play it incessantly for 20 hours, get three of the ‘four things’ done and then stop playing. And then when I go back I feel like I need to start fresh to pick up the threads. Embarrassingly Steam tells me I have played 139 hours and I’ve never even come close to finishing it.

    • Lobster9 says:

      I highly recommend it. The “landsmeet” is an excellent piece of twisted conversational intrigue.

    • Hex says:

      I put about 60 hours into the game, dropped it for 8 months, and came back and wrapped it up in about another 40 or 50 hours. I somehow didn’t feel the need to re-start after the hiatus. And really, remember what I do of the story, I’m not sure how the game sucks up so much time.

      Considering my excrutiatingly slow, plodding pace in this kind of thing, I’m wondering how you’ve managed to put in 140 hours without finishing it? Is it just that you’ve been restarting a lot?

    • Golden Pantaloons says:

      Don’t feel too bad, I’ve clocked almost 300 hours in Skyrim with 3-4 different characters and I haven’t finished it yet. I’ve barely even started on the DLC. :/

      • scatterbrainless says:

        I wouldn’t worry about it, the storyline is the least interesting thing about that game. Wander around hunting moose with fireballs for as long as you can before letting it get in the way. On an Elder Scrolls side-note: who misses Morrowind’s style of narrative, in which the story could be uncovered in a completely non-linear fashion through exploration of the world? Yeah… Morrowind…

  4. iainl says:

    Oooh, shiny. They brought out so many different versions with different DLC bundles (and then ones with the big expansion as well) that I’ve spent the following years thinking I’d like to try it, but unable to decide which one to buy. “The free one” is an easy answer.

    • Jalan says:

      The Ultimate Edition is the way to go, should you ever want to experience the DLC. Certainly far cheaper than buying DLC piecemeal via BioWare’s site since they never put discounts on their godforsaken points (and EA has no control or say on the matter to boot).

      • defunct says:

        I got the Ultimate Edition on Steam when it was on sale for like 80% off, even though I already owned the game, just without all the DLC. I really liked the game at the time. And the DLC really does make the fun last longer. Which is where EA is trying to get you. If you get the free game, you might like it and want to buy the DLC.

        Of course, I’d never download Origins or anything any more from EA. And at this point, I’ll never buy anything from Bioware again, either. Their glory days are long over. Too many disappointments.

      • malkav11 says:

        Although last I checked it doesn’t actually -include- the DLC in the install, just the licenses for them. You still have to manually download and install every single piece of DLC from Bioware’s site. Which is a ridiculous way to handle these things and initiated a continued trend of Bioware being completely incapable of handling DLC in a reasonable way.

        • Jalan says:

          Apparently BioWare has made a change going forward from Dragon Age: Inquisition that any DLC (for newer games only, apparently they can’t apply this to older games for some baffling reasons) can be purchased with real currency, not BioWare fun money, through the likes of Origin’s storefront. Whether this still forces one to do the downloading and separate “installation” process I do not know, as I couldn’t find anything to suggest a change to that.

          • malkav11 says:

            Well, they integrated Mass Effect 3’s DLC delivery into Origin, so I would expect that to be the case going forwards. But they also never lower the price of their DLC, never put it on sale (except, apparently, on console), haven’t done bundled GOTY-type editions since Dragon Age 1, and last I checked were still making you ping their server to authenticate their DLC. These small pieces of sanity re: client integration and not using proprietary currency don’t really speak to any plans to fix the above issues.

          • Jalan says:

            I think the change in DLC purchasing is to accommodate for potential discounted prices (granted they don’t outright say so, but since they plan to allow it to be purchased through Origin’s storefront, it can be assumed that EA themselves can then set a discount).

      • iainl says:

        Ultimate is definitely cheaper than buying it all separately. But there’s seemingiy umpty-thrumpty hours of content even in the base game, far more than anything other than a handful of my PC games have on the clock. So I don’t know if I want it or not. I’ve got several games where I’ve bought the Game That Was Released That Year Edition and never made it through the base game as far as the bonus stuff, because I’m essentially fickle.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Yeah this is a valid point. The standard thought process is to try and get ALL the content, which is more than fair.
          However, Dragon Age isn’t a short game, at least 30 hours. Also it is very replayable, with lots of different starting points and things to do differently during the game, playable characters that you may or may not find, different classes to play and builds within those classes. If you finish the game once and want more you are hardly stuck for things to do to the point where you need some DLC.

          I personally have played the game through once, then did about half a playthrough, then did some of the starting areas as well. I haven’t felt the need to buy “The Awakening” or any of the DLC and still only own the base game because if I want some Dragon Age, which happens occasionally, there is stuff I can do that I haven’t done before. So I’d advise just pick up the free game and play it, you have more than enough content there and won’t feel like you are missing out on anything.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    I’m actually looking forward to Dragon Age 3. Maybe they get the formula right this time.

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      I know the feeling. All I’m asking for is a game that I actually enjoy, rather than one I have to endure to get to the interesting talky bits.

    • soulblur says:

      It’s certainly looking better. Bioware seems to be taking the feedback post-DA2 on board. Not pre-ordering this time though. DA2 burned that bridge at the least.

    • Themadcow says:

      They already got the formula right in DA:O, they just decided to put some poo in the formula for DA2 and hoped no-one would notice.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        People may not have realised had they not copy/pasted said poo all over the place.

    • Hex says:

      Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Almost choked on my cereal!

      (This is a joke, right?)

      • Premium User Badge

        Lars Westergren says:

        Not really. Glad I could brighten your day though, Hex.

    • Tuor says:

      I’ll let you guys be my guinea pigs for me, then. I’m *not* buying this sight-unseen. :/

  6. vash47 says:

    The last good game by Bioware, good times.

  7. Dolphan says:

    “the mess that was Jade Empire”

    BLASPHEMY.

    • tobecooper says:

      You’re a mess, Alice!!!!111

    • soulblur says:

      It was messy, but it was at least different than the vast majority of shooty RPGs or swordy RPGs (a Sleeping Dogs/Jade Empire mash-up – I would buy it!). Worthy of a follow-up! Also Alpha Protocol. I like that game too.

      • Jalan says:

        Alpha Protocol had some decent ideas, few of them executed well. I’d honestly rather slam my head in a car door repeatedly than play the jet ski level again.

    • defunct says:

      I loved Jade Empire. I’m not sure why it was a mess, but I played it 3 times. That’s rare for that type of game for me. I had a lotta fun with it.

    • icarussc says:

      Seriously. I loved loved loved Jade Empire, and the twist ending? Brilliant! People tell me it was derivative, but since I never watched any of the stuff it apparently derived from, I thought it was awesome.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I found the combat so bad compared to real third-person man-punchers, and good grief, those shmup travel sections! The plot didn’t do much for me either, though that twist in the middle was nice. It didn’t pull its inspirations into a coherent whole, coming off weird and fake.

      • Yglorba says:

        My big problem with it was that your controls were so limited — it had a system designed for playing relatively static swordfighting Jedi while emulating a tabletop game, not running-and-jumping-and-constantly-in-motion martial artists. So it never actually felt like I was playing a Wuxia game — combat was always disappointing once it started.

        It needed to be more of a parkour sort of game, like Prince of Persia.

        • Jalan says:

          A free flow combat system (similar to the Arkham games or Sleeping Dogs) would’ve been the exact thing it needed. The combat was its biggest problem, since like you mention it was set up in a way that it just carried over the system from Knights of the Old Republic and that system didn’t mesh well within Jade Empire at all due to the fact that you weren’t popping people with blasters or geeking out over the wooshing of a lightsaber. It just threw a wrench into the pacing of the game. I still enjoyed the game overall but every time I finish it I always walk away with the knowledge that it could’ve been better.

    • RQH says:

      Just for saying bad things about Jade Empire, I’m gonna go home tonight, install it, play it, and enjoy it. That’ll show you.

    • welverin says:

      Exactly!

  8. Ny24 says:

    Does Origin support mods? And are there any good mods out there that give a better replay-experience for the modern-age player?

  9. Skeletor68 says:

    I really enjoyed Origins. I played it on Easy and made some handy macros for the party so I could just go forth and enjoy the story.

    I really need to get around to DA2 at some point…

  10. sonson says:

    Excellent game until you reach the God like invulnerability of the final stages, at which point it just becomes an ARPG for all intents and purposes. But the sheer amount of effort invested in the lore and making it feel like a lived in world is really something. It’s one of the most aesthetically dense games in a long while in that sense, every inch of it feels inhabited by history.

    • congenetic says:

      Agree on all counts, except for the actually difficult Golems of Amgarrak DLC. That was serious.

  11. daphne says:

    “…though I’ll still say its slow-burning plot and single-city setting interest me so much more than the ‘only you can save the world from this ancient evil’ guff in Origins.”

    Yes, agreed, with one correction: “in Origins.”? More like “every other Bioware game”!

  12. elsparko says:

    I really want to like this. I bought into the whole “a modern Baldurs Gate”-deal back then and pre-ordered the collectors edition of Origins. It shows that they wanted to do a new BG but on top of that they also wanted to do an offline MMORPG, invent completely new lore (by copy-paste) and also provide some hardcore combat challenges.

    The mix just doesn’t feel right for me. I still haven’t finished it and I’m rather forcing myself now to sit through the hours of dull combat and un-original lore bits. Landsmeet is coming up finally but I’m overwhelmed by the amount of “look up” I have to do in wiki pages to make sure to not screw myself over on the remaining quests that will suddenly (without a warning) fail if you progress too far in the main campaign.

    If DA2 is anything like that on the tedious and dullness side I think I will put the franchise on hold again. I’m really baffled when people claim DA:O to be an epiphany in the land of cRPGs. Is it really just me not seeing its supposed brilliance?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I loved origins but I do know what you mean. Some of the story did drag, some of the regions were overly long and repetitive and some of the lore was derivative and the companion relationship game was insignificant and pretty objectionable. Those are some negatives – but every game’s got negatives. People loved it for many reasons. The combat is mechanically fun, the story was involving, the cliched plot was like a pair of comfy slippers, the world was pretty wonderfully crafted with a pretty good sense of scale and activity, some of the characters were pretty great, there were a few surprising twists, the love that had gone into the game was self evident, it has a nice sense of humour sometimes, there were some nice choice and consequence moments, it looked pretty good and felt like it played at a good pace (compared to the neverwinter series which, to me seemed slow and cumbersome). I’m sure there’s more and I’m sure everyone has a different list.

      Anyway, as to whether DA2 is more of the same? Absolutely not. It has a whole host of its own flaws and they’re big but it’s got REAL upsides too. There’s a whole new approach to story telling and pacing and character development, whilst party interaction is very different also. I’d say it’s worth blasting through on easy for some of the RPG concepts which attempted to translate experiences which are more commonly associated with a Pen n Paper game, which are often underrated.

    • malkav11 says:

      DA2 is way more tedious and dull, so, yeah. It chops all the thinking out of the combat and drags encounters out by literally spawning enemies out of thin air. You also get approximately three environments in which literally everything will happen. There’s still some interesting writing and characterization going on, but if you didn’t care for those things in Origins I’m not sure you’d enjoy them in 2 either.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I’d say that the combat is of a far far lower quality and there’s still lots of it but the combat does not drag on quite so much as it does in DA:O so if that was what made it seem tedious, DA2 may be an improvement

        • malkav11 says:

          Origins’ combat was quite quick if you were making optimal moves, especially as power levels skyrocketed in the later game. DAII’s combat was such a slog that I eventually turned it down to easy, not because the regular difficulty level was challenging, but because at least that way the fights would end quicker. I attribute this primarily to, as I say, every combat getting dragged out by at least two waves of reinforcements spawning from thin air, although the lack of enemy variety and much less robust combat mechanics certainly didn’t help.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      My advice to you is to just ignore it completely and move on to a better series . Your complaints mirror mine, and no amount of revisiting and modding made a difference in my playthroughs.

  13. Laurentius says:

    Jade Empire and Mass Effect are two Bioware games that I genuinely like. Yeah I know KOTOR, but I played first KOTOR 2 and then playing first felt so weaksauce. Dragons Age :Origins though, it was good,maybe very good, but well Deep Roads enough said. I won’t touch this game ever again,which is in some way sad coz it has very good bits.

  14. Wulfram says:

    DA2’s “plot” had nothing that DA:O didn’t. It’s just a bunch standard Bioware mini-plots stapled together by forcing the protagonist to complete them even though there’s no particular reason why they should.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      It actually deviated quite a lot from the standard Bioware plot template:
      – No elite organization to join
      – No “ancient evil may destroy world, only you, chosen one…” but a political story
      – No hunting for McGuffin parts in 4 different locations but showing how one location changes over time.

      They failed in the execution though.

      • Wulfram says:

        It deviated by not doing things, but it didn’t replace them with anything. So there’s nothing new, just a hole where the plot should be.

        I mean, DA:O has way more politics than DA2 does, and Kirkwall is dull and unpleasant and unchanging in it’s dullness and unpleasantness

        A game should be judged for what it is, not some ideal version of itself existing only in people’s imagination.

        • avtrspirit says:

          Kirkwall is definitely unpleasant and it’s meant to be so. All that blood-magic and history of slave-trade has not done it any favours.

          And DA2 has a lot more politics than DA:O. In Origins, “politics” came down: Which faction do you like? (for the main quest) And how many side-quests can you complete? (for the Landsmeet).

          On the other hand, DA2 takes fewer issues but examines them over and over from multiple different angles, until you realize how complex “politics” can be. In DA:O, there are clear moral high grounds and low grounds. In DA2 there are only shades of grey.

          • Wulfram says:

            When the only characterisation you offer your setting is unpleasant, there’s not much reason for the audience to care about it.

            DA:O’s politics wasn’t deep, but it at least existed. There choices and arguments and plots and betrayal. There were different rulers with different strengths. There were people acting more or less like people.

            DA2 was just :
            Crazy Mage [Kill] Crazy Templar [Kill] Crazy Qunari [Kill] Crazy Mage [Kill] Crazy Mage [Kill] Crazy Templar [Kill]. That’s not depth.

            For all the bally-hoo about “ancient evil” cliches, DA:O was a much more grounded game, because the majority of the plots had their origin in conflicts between characters. The “ancient evil” was simply a device to bring everything to the boil and give the PC an excuse for meddling.

            DA2’s conflicts arose from ill defined magic making people crazy, or people going crazy just because, or from the arbitrary dictates of invented philosophy.

          • avtrspirit says:

            The mansion in Amnesia: The Dark Descent is an unpleasant place to be. Doesn’t stop people from playing it, because (like Kirkwall), it is unpleasant by design.

            Though I won’t contest that Kirkwall is duller. That was clearly a lack of time and effort.

            I didn’t see it as just Crazy Mage kills Crazy Templar, rinse, repeat. That was just the surface. Every time something like that happened, it made me question Thedas’ (and the real world’s) policies. Like Sir Thrask is sympathetic to mages and that’s good. But then he can also be too sympathetic to mages. Blinded by sympathy. That’s bad. (You can replace “mages” with “hackers” and then spend a long time grappling with those issues in the real-world.) One quest may ask the question: How carefully should the mages be watched? Another quest asks: What if we allow them to self-govern?

            Similarly, with the Qunari. The main question asked is: how much discipline should society exert over its people? But with every quest, there is a different angle to it.

            It’s actually quite grounded if you see the clash of ideologies as the central theme(s), and not armed conflict. Sure, it still has pacing issues. But I’ll take the nuances of DA2 over the broad brush strokes of DA:O any day.

          • malkav11 says:

            There were some reasonably interesting characters and interactions in the first two acts. I thought the qunari were actually the highlight of the game and don’t think dismissing that plotline as “crazy qunari” is fair at all. But yes, the templar vs mage conflict, already more than adequately explored in the first game, kept getting beaten into the ground in II in particularly unsubtle and dumb ways, culminating in the absolute trainwreck that was act 3. I mean, man, people complain (rightly) about Mass Effect 3’s ending, but that was about 15 minutes worth of bafflingly non-sequitur dumb. Dragon Age II’s entire third act is as bad or worse, and it doesn’t just drop a bunch of plot threads for no apparent reason, it takes them and shits all over them.

      • Asurmen says:

        That’s been standard since about NWN it seems

  15. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    Originception!

  16. Darth Gangrel says:

    Huh, EA has finally offered a game for free that I want to play, even a game that I really want to play. Too bad for EA that I already have it. I bought the Ultimate Edition on a Steam sale for 7,5 euros and thought I got it at a bargain price. Although that was years ago and I still haven’t begun playing it (damn backlog!). I’m close to beginning to play it, though, I’m currently in a fantasy RPG-ish mood, but I doubt I’ll get anywhere far before the third game comes out.

  17. Tom Walker says:

    I’ve been playing Bejeweled 3 a lot since I noticed it free on there last week. Has anyone else given the Zen mode a serious go? I really find it does a good job of putting me in an ultra-relaxed, trance-like state.

    On the downside, whenever I hear a bell ring lately I can’t help trying to assassinate a foreign head of state.

    • Laurentius says:

      No but I played Diamond Mine mode obsessively. Whether I want push myself in trying to beat my high-score (1.2 mln now) or just having a couple of chilling rounds.

      • Tom Walker says:

        Ok, I’m going to try to beat that when I get home. I don’t really play that mode much, so you’re probably safe.

        Can we agree that poker mode is stupid and boring and much harder that the developers seemed to believe it is? The ‘bronze’ award for that is to get ten flushes. I have yet to get one.

    • Wulfram says:

      I’m still unclear how much Zen mode is intended to be a parody vs being in earnest

      • Tom Walker says:

        I looked this up a week or so back, actually. It seems it’s an earnest attempt at faithfully implementing the sort of techniques used in ‘mindfulness’ exercises, but the PopCap types openly acknowledge that this sort thing is very much “fringe science”.

        I personally don’t believe it has any real long-term benefits, but if you turn on all the extras (breathing timer, ocean noises instead of music, etc) it does at least make me feel cheerfully spaced out for the time I’m doing it.

        • PopeRatzo says:

          cheerfully spaced out

          That sounds like enlightenment to me.

  18. Maou says:

    R.I.P Bioware you will not be forgotten!

  19. Lachlan1 says:

    What is it with the extra DRM in Origin games? I bought Dragon Age Origins, Crysis and Alice Madness returns through Origin and they all produce extra log in pages before they’ll load wanting EA login details….which don’t work.
    Surely having Origin on my computer is enough DRM? Or is there an activation limit?
    This really is an area where steam has it sorted so much better than bloody EA

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      The competition is really no better. For example GTA 4 on Steam with quadruple DRM layers – Steam, Games for Windows Live, SecuROM and Rockstar Social Club.