Whenever we think about PC gaming and digital distribution one of the very first things that comes to mind is Steam. Indeed, Valve’s incredibly popular marketplace is pretty much synonymous with the platform as you’re rarely going to find a proud member of the PC master race that doesn’t have a Steam account. Steam isn’t the only game in town, however. A few years back the folks over at Electronic Arts decided that they should have their own marketplace where they could sell their own stuff without having to deal with any competitors. Thus, Origin was born. More recently, the company also came up with an interesting monthly subscription model called Origin Access, a version of PS Plus or Xbox Live for the PC if you will. But is it worth your money?
The service only costs $5 per month and gives you full access to a variety of games so it’s definitely worth taking into consideration if you’re looking for something that’s not too expensive. However, the platform, in general, doesn’t have a huge selection of titles to begin with and Origin Access only lets you play a portion of them. Specifically, we’re looking at 15 games, with more to be added further down the road. Despite the relatively low number of titles at launch, some of these “Vault Games” are actually not too shabby. In particular, I was pleasantly surprised that EA is offering Dragon Age: Inquisition Digital Deluxe Edition, one of the most popular games on Origin, right off the bat. Sure, it’s not Game of the Year Edition and DA: I is already more than a year old, but for 5 bucks this is pretty much the best deal you’re going to find if you haven’t played the game yet. Though, I would still recommend getting the GOTY Edition if it fits into your budget. In addition to Inquisition, EA is also throwing in Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Origins – Ultimate Edition.
Origin Access doesn’t include Dragon Age II’s DLC packs, of which there are many, and that’s quite unfortunate but it’s also not limited to this game alone because about half of the available titles are in the same boat as well. This is a bit disappointing to be honest, but I guess there’s only so much one could ask for given the price. Aside from the Dragon Age series, Origin Access offers us a few more worthwhile titles like This War of Mine, Battlefield 4 or the Dead Space series, along with a couple of not so good titles like Battlefield Hardline. To make sure that there’s a little something for everybody, EA also added FIFA 15, Garden Warfare, Need for Speed Rivals and a couple of Sims games into the mix.
Aside from the Dragon Age series, Origin Access offers us a few more worthwhile titles like This War of Mine, Battlefield 4 or the Dead Space series.Given that many of the games are a few years old it’s likely that a fair number of gamers will only be interested in maybe two or three items from this list. Depending on which those are, starting a subscription could be a good idea, at least until you’ve played through them. In other words, it’s worth getting a subscription for a month or two and then you’re probably better of canceling Origin Access since you won’t get much use of it once you’re planning to move on to other games. That said, the subscription does have other benefits like 10% off of all Origin games and the possibility of playing a trial version of any EA game before it’s released. Now, I can see how the 10% is very appealing if you’re planning to make a few purchases, but I’m not sure why playing a trial could be considered a feature. When did trials stopped being free anyway? Needless to say, you shouldn’t get a subscription just so you can play a trial regardless of how little it may cost you.
As it stands, I find Origin Access to be a good investment if you’re looking to play something like Dragon Age Inquisition, which still costs at least $10 even on marketplaces that usually offer unbeatable deals, such as G2A, Kinguin or CDKeys. One whole month should give you just enough time to explore every nook and cranny of the huge game and try a couple of other titles as well. Maybe you can even squeeze in the trial for Unravel (the only trial available as of this writing) while you’re at it, why not. Once you’re done with those, however, there’s little reason to continue your subscription and that’s a bit of a problem for EA. While the idea behind Origin Access is not that bad, there simply aren’t enough games to keep people interested for more than one or two months, at the most. Luckily, gamers do have the option of canceling their subscription at any time so at least there are no disadvantages if you want to try out the service for just a little while.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t get a subscription just so you can play a trial regardless of how little it may cost you.
EA made it clear last month that more titles will be added to the Vault over time and I’m hoping that this will happen sooner rather than later. As it happens, it’s been almost a full month since Origin Access was first announced and something tells me that a new batch of games will be added sometime in the coming weeks. There’s no official word in regards to the matter just yet, but the company is currently hosting a rather huge sale that includes dozens of Origin titles, so I’m thinking that EA is hoping to sell what it can before making some of these games available for free to Origin Access members. It’s just a hunch, though, so don’t quote me on that. What’s certain is that Torchlight will be added to the Vault in the near future, though I hope there’s much more where that came from.
If you want to check out the aforementioned sale just follow this link right here and maybe you’ll find something cheap-ish that’s right up your alley. The highlights seem to be Star Wars Battlefront, FIFA 16 and The Sims 4, which you can get for 50-60% off by the looks of it. The sale will only last for a few more hours so you should probably hurry if you want to take advantage of the deals.