Gamers Guide to God: Dragon Age 2
- Sunday, January 13, 2013
Review-wise, Dragon Age 2 gets a B.
The game is set towards the end and a decade after the events of Dragon Age Origins, with a few references to those events, and if you played DAO, then your save data can be used to set up DA2, which is pretty cool. Bioware made some significant improvements over DAO, most notably the combat system.
Instead of "giving commands" and then watching them play out, control was given over to the player to handle battle sequences (you actually had to MOVE your character into range!!). Some of the other changes included giving Hawke, the main character, a voice, and an improved dialogue set up.
Then, of course, there was the significant change that was NOT an improvement. The Storyline.
Let me say that I'm a HUGE Bioware fan. Every RPG I play always gets compared to Knights of the Old Republic, a Bioware-made Star Wars game set 3,000 years before the movies. The gameplay was adequate, but it was the story that made everything so perfect. KotOR (as it is affectionately called) had the greatest twist of any video game ever.
So maybe my expectations were a little high. But DAO had a great story (if not actually original per se), but the characters were engaging, the quests were challenging, and the world was worth saving. And I think that's where DA2 ultimately left off...
I'm not sure what happened, but somewhere along the way, Bioware forgot to make the quests of DA2 feel like you were actually accomplishing something worthwhile. It felt like my character did nothing of significance except save the city (which, when compared to DAO's saving the WORLD, feels kinda minuscule).
Ultimately, every game struggles with this: Creating something worth doing.
Regardless of the genre of game, every game has at its core the need to give gamers something worth accomplishing.
Life is the same way. When we wake up in the morning, no one crawls out of bed and says, "I really hope that I do NOTHING of significance today." When we go to bed, no one hi-fives their spouse or parent with the exclamation, "YES! I didn't do crap today! "
Now, don't get me wrong- we all need days like that every once in awhile.
But humankind desires for their lives to have counted for something; that the world is a better place because of their existence. That there is a purpose for their being. It's the age-old question: Why am I here?
The Bible addresses this question several times. And sometimes we look at the Scriptures and draw these big picture/broad brushstroke synopsis:
"You were created to worship God."
"Jesus Christ gave us 5 purposes to life in the Great Commandment and Great Commission."
"To know Him and make Him known."
And all of these are very true and important for us to remember. But beyond that, God has a specific plan for each person. And that plan is a life of significance beyond anything the world has to offer. A plan that offers a fulfilling satisfaction that doesn't come from anywhere else.
If you've ever asked yourself that question "Why am I here?" know that the answer is not as mysterious as some make it seem. God has designed you and gifted you and given you abilities to fulfill His plan in your life. But it starts with a growing relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Then look at the way God has made you. What are your gifts and abilities? What are your talents and passions? What would make you get out of bed, singing "Rise and Shine, and give God the glory, glory!"? (Please someone tell me that their mom woke them up with this song too!)
There's a story of a 12 year old boy who was challenged with the same questions years ago. He thought to himself, "Well, I really like baseball and baseball cards. Could God use those to use me?" So he went to his youth pastor. They gathered all the local baseball card vendors and anyone that had a big enough to collection and set up a trading expo in the church's gym. They invited a local MLB pitcher who was an outspoken Christian to come and be their keynote speaker.
On the day of the event, hundreds of local baseball card fans came to the gym and walked around trading cards, and later that afternoon, the pitcher presented the Gospel. And God used a 12 year old's baseball card passion to start a Baseball Card Ministry.
So... How about you? What were you created to do?
Recommended Reading: 1 Corinthians 12
*Alan Muehlenweg is the Student Pastor at First Baptist Church in Wagoner, OK. Alan is an avid Star Wars fan, and has successfully passed that love on to his wife and son (who named the family dogs Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker). His favorite games include Knights of the Old Republic, Fable, Dragon Age, and Assassin's Creed. He also coaches his son's soccer team and pretends to know how to play golf. Note: He sucks at FPS games, which is why his students constantly challenge him at Halo or Modern Warfare. Gamertag: DarthBedford
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