Dragon Age: If you havent played it yet, do it!
I should have mentioned this before, but I love Dragon Age: Origins. It's a great wee game, brilliantly acted and interestingly balanced, anyone that likes RPGs should get this one.
Yes it is Tolkien-esque, Dwarves, elves, magic etc. Though I have been told that many of the plot elements in it are very similar to the "Wheel of time" series of books.
Recently Kotaku did a post on the Voice acting in Mass Effect 2, but I'd like to give the voice acting in Dragon Age a quick nod, it's not as star studded but there are some classic voices:
There are a few other voices in there that you may recognise but well, they are just not as famous... there's Tuvok from Star Trek: Voyager too (playing an Elf).
I have been ploughing through the achievements as a sort of guideline to seeing most of the plot in Dragonage, there are a few decisions you can reach in the game which spawn different events, its not always black and white, though there is usually a good/bad outcome to the major decisions you make in the game (though after reviewing the consequences in many of these I would say the evil choices do present you with better rewards). The banter between characters is also great, I would stress that you take appropriate characters along with you for the areas you are doing, just for this. Most of the time you will be fine on casual/normal, it's only really on hard you need to worry about classifying characters as Tanks, Heals, Crowd control and Damage.
On starting I created a Human Female Mage, I have taken her (and the 2 other Mages) down the Arcane Warrior specialisation, this is possibly one of the cooler mechanics I have seen in an RPG, if the player unlocks then chooses this specialisation, it changes your Magic Stat into your Strength stat, i.e you will now be able to wear top end armours and use large weapons. taking further points in this specialisation makes you take less damage, increases damage based on your magic. On top of all that, you go see-through and have some really cool effects around you.
As you are playing through there are succinct sections to the game, when you reach the end of one of these sections you will likely get a plot achievement however most of these are just based on a dialogue option so if you have a save just before it, load it up and choose the other option to get the opposing achievement. The game however demands at least 3 playthroughs achievement-wise Once as a mage, once as a Rogue, and once as a Warrior (well at the very least get them to level 20, there are HAXXORZ to do this quickly). And you need to see each of the 6 starting zones (30-90 minutes of plot each) and also shag 4 people in your party 2 of which are bi, and the other 2 have to be shagged on a Male or Female character as they don't flip-flop.
The remaining achievements are mainly accumulative, "kill X of these", "Persuade X times", etc. Aside from one last one which is really annoying me, "Set foot in every area in the game" and it's just impossible at my current point in the game...
New DLC is available soon, despite delays! And in March a new starting story, content and equipment DLC expansion :D
Love and Grey Wardens,