Bioware have created a free-to-play Facebook version of their RPG epic saga, Dragon Age. This rich, highly detailed game is probably the most advanced and playable game on Facebook, having more in common with the mobile phone games of five or so years ago than the static likes of the Dungeons & Dragons Facebook game.
Like its grown-up “parent” games, Dragon Age: Legends lets you choose between warrior, rogue and mage, and whether to play as male or female. There are four or so appearances (hair colour/style) you can choose between, but no human/elf/dwarf race choices.
You can invite friends to play, but even though I knew a couple of friends had added the app, I didn’t see them in-game. No matter, though – as expected, you can choose two companions to travel with you on your quest, and these are filled in by NPCs (though presumably humans will eventually take their places).
Gameplay is turn-based and quite slow. You hover over your foe, select from a range of attacks, and then watch the animation. Each companion then takes a turn, between retaliations from your darkspawn enemies. Since it’s not a style of play that I enjoy, its appeal to me is quite limited, but it is great to see such a detailed and impressive game on Facebook.
Dragon Age: Legends is definitely a role-playing game, and with that comes levelling up from menus of attributes and skills.
You even get your own dolls-house-style castle to upgrade by purchasing “rooms” in which workers can craft potions and mend your armour. It’s a slightly more visual version of the sort of system you get in something like Mafia Wars, where the game continues to tick over even when you’re not online. I set my workers to create two health potions, logged off, returned later and was given the finished vials.
The video clip below features music – I didn’t hear any while I was playing and definitely felt it was missing. Obviously a setting I missed.
All in all, Dragon Age: Legends goes further than I’ve seen in a Facebook game, and is the sort of thing I hoped for and expected when games started appearing on the platform. It’s not entirely to my taste – though that’s not the fault of the game – so I don’t know how long I’ll be playing, but it’s good to know that games like this are, at last, starting to appear.