If I appear to have dropped off the face of the Earth, here's the culprit.
It's called Dragon Age: Origins, and I would declare it a giant timesuck if I were not so mesmerized by it.
Honestly, to call this a video game is kind of doing it a disservice. It's a fantastical movie, and you happen to be in the middle of it. Truly, at one point I had tears in my eyes at a plot point, and I'm only a few hours in.
This game has everything: love, betrayal, honor, violence, death and yes, even sex.
That's right. You can flirt with, woo, and finally, bed one of your NPC (non-Player Character, for you non-gamers out there) party members. I am currently working hard on a cocky young knight named Alistair.
This game has all the right video game moves: great graphics, realistic-looking monsters, good combat tactics and lots of blood.
But so far, I'm loving the storyline; it's very rich and nuanced, and even at this early stage I'm seeing patterns that - as a writer - I'm rather impressed with. The characters I've run into so far have also been fairly richly written. (My knight, for instance, is definitely sarcastic and flip, but he's also loyal and kind and somewhat unsure of himself. It's hard to write a character who's that nuanced in general, and I think it's especially difficult in a video game. It's certainly unusual for the genre.)
Altogether, I'm loving this game. Which means you probably won't see me until I emerge a few weeks from now, grimy and bleary-eyed and married to Alistair.
Sorry about that.
To see what it's all about, watch the videos. I highly recommend the one that loads when you land on the page, and the one titled Sacred Ashes. (They have some of the same footage, but the last one is worth watching. When J saw it, he turned to me, wide-eyed, and said, "I would watch that movie!")