First things first: in the past I have chastised EA a number of times for its release of cookie-cutter games, crippled with atrocious DRM schemes. So, in all fairness, I now have to say this: Dragon Age: Origins is a Gamer's Dream! It is an excellent game - and it comes free of any DRM madness (well, try to avoid Origin).
This is one of those games that are easy to control, a joy to roam through and fun to play at no end.
I am a huge cRPG fan and cannot remember such a great companion/squad cRPG ever since the Baldur's Gate Saga. And to tell you the truth, this is the game I was dreaming of being able to play one day while playing BG (yeah, by now we all know that NeverWinter Nights was too late in deliviering).
There are about a dozen gender/race/class/background choices and a great many combinations in forming your party. The armor and the weapons are exceptionally made and everything shows on your characters. And the graphics are truly beautiful! You have to see the rendering of flames to believe them.
Nevertheless, what really stands out is the gameplay. Every battle is a puzzle to be solved, pausing ever so often to reallocate enemies to the best suited party members (a feature I loved in BG!). Of course one can always turn off the autopause feature and let the AI take over the rest of your party and turn the game into an hack&slash action RPG (not exactly my cup of tea but, hey, it's still nice to know it's there).
Finally, this is a game made just like the classics in many ways, including duration. I am now playing the game for over 20 hours and I feel that I barely scraped the surface! Dragon Age: Origins one satisfying RPG!
My only gripe is this: I did not appreciate such short dialogue options. Most fit a single line and more often than not they consist of a couple of words. I like my RPGs to be wordy and challenging to my verbal imagination as well - and I want my characters to participate in the humor, not just provoke it or react to it. Remember the long dialogue options in BG? Well, expect to find Dragon Age: Origins much more laconic. I guess 10 years of fast-paced FPS and blitzkrieging RTS games do take their toll...
The blood sprays, the swords clang and the spells explode. The animations are beautifully made and add a lot to both enjoyment and immersion. There is a verse in Homer's Iliad I love: "the warrior fell and his armor echoed around him" - and I was reminded of it many a times throughout the game.
This game will stay with you. Do not miss on it.