Dragon Age: Inquisition Has Arrived


DragonAgeInquisition

I’ve not been buying that many games this year, but this is one little title from EA’s BioWare I know I must have and play before year’s end. That title is the third game in their fantasy rpg series Dragon Age.

Dragon Age: Inquisitor will mark the arrival of BioWare onto the nextgen platforms (Xbox One, PS4) and looks to combine what was good with the first two titles in the series while trimming off what went wrong with those two.

The game already looks gorgeous from just clips and gameplay videos shown leading up to this release. If the title looks to expand on the world-building that has been laid down by the first two titles in the series then I should expect to be playing this game for at least a minimum of 80 hours, if not more.

Now, I just need to decide on race and class for my character.

Trailer: Dragon Age: Inquisition (Official E3 Trailer)


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With Mass Effect 3 now over a year gone it’s time for BioWare to concentrate on moving forward with it’s fantasy rpg franchise which seems to have languished on the sidelines after the very controversial second title in the series. I speak of BioWare’s Dragon Age series and what fans of the title seem to consider a lost opportunity to make it the fantasy equivalent of Mass Effect.

The first game in the franchise was well-received but not without some complaints about the title’s gameplay mechanics being too reliant on micromanaging and less on intuitive controls. The second title was suppose to fix the problem when it came to combat which it did, but then this sequel brought up complaints about a storyline that felt rushed and game environments which relied too much of reusing the same backgrounds and layouts.

Now we have the announcement from EA and BioWare that the third game in the franchise will look to combine the good things about the first two games while looking to fix the problems which many saw as keeping the franchise from reaching great status.

Dragon Age: Inquisition arrives at this year’s E3 with a trailer which looks to be pre-rendered cinematics but with the title set to be released on the upcoming nextgen systems of the Xbox One and PS4 there’s a good chance that future gameplay trailers will look exactly like this trailer. Only time will tell whether that’s the case or not.

Dragon Age: Inquisition looks to drop on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and Microsoft Windows in the Fall of 2014.

Oh yeah: Morrigan and Varric are back!

Review: Dragon Age II: Legacy


Dragon Age: Legacy is the first post-release DLC available for BioWare’s hit dark fantasy epic. Available for 800 MS Points (or $10), this DLC is launched from your in-game home (whether this is Gamlen’s House or the Hawke Estate, depending on when you launch the DLC) by interacting with a creepy statue that you’ve apparently kept as a memento. Depending on your difficulty settings, level, and party make-up, the DLC will take about 2 hours to complete. It is not noticeably more or less difficult than the primary game, but it does introduce a number of new adversary types that were not present in Dragon Age II (more on that later).

This DLC is visually impressive, using all new set pieces (including a set of desert ruins, a Carta base, and the interior of a Grey Warden fortress) and a location outside of Kirkwall or its immediate vicinity. Hawke and a chosen party of three head into the Vinmark Mountains in pursuit of a group of dwarven Carta members who have made an assassination attempt against Hawke. I have not completed the DLC with all of the different party members available, but I can safely say that there are significant (and pleasant) tie-ins for Varric, Anders, and Bethany (presumably Carver as well) as you proceed through the DLC. Although it is told largely through the prism of combat, as you would expect, there is a fairly hefty dose of story in Legacy. Several smaller stories are told through side quests, and the main plot thread takes us some place unexpected in the climactic scene as you confront the DLC’s final boss. The encounters in this DLC are a little more thought out than many of the ones in the original game, with scenarios such as enemy archers attacking from raised positions, and areas you are herded into that have been deliberately trapped (complete with activation levers! Try turning some of these traps on their owners instead!) New enemies include brontos (the large dwarven pack animals) which make charge attacks that will bowl members of the party over and have tough hides, the re-designed genlocks (who are now quite distinct from the hurlocks; especially their alphas!) and the Alpha darkspawn that were absent from Hawke’s foray into the Deep Roads in the original game. Also returning are the deep stalkers, who are in large-scale battles with spiders at several points during the DLC.

Legacy also features no fewer than three boss encounters that have some unique elements to them. The final boss uses a lot of impressive visual effects and set pieces, but quickly grows repetitive. You’ll see what I mean.

One of the selling points of this DLC will no doubt be the large amount of gold and gear that can be obtained by playing it. You should note before launching the DLC that you will find a goodly number of useful green items scattered throughout it, and the relative power of these items is determined by Hawke’s level when you enter the DLC. None of the new items improve as you level, so if you visit Legacy very early in the game (when you’re still leveling frequently and replacing gear often) you may not get the best bang for your buck. In addition, only Hawke’s new weapon is truly awesome; the other items may not be as useful later in the game when you have access to many powerful items. I personally attempted Legacy a few quests before proceeding into the Deep Roads, and then in a post-game save. Hawke’s new weapon (typed appropriately for you based on your weapon group, i.e. a dagger or a longsword) is pretty dang awesome. It will begin with a high damage for your level and add a little to a key attribute for your class. As you make your way through the Grey Warden fortress, it will gain three upgrades that you’ll select from a total pool of twelve, including an elemental damage upgrade.

Even before the sale of junk items from Legacy, you’ll have easily made 40 gold or more. In addition, your party will gain a large amount of experience in the play-through (for example, I leveled from 11-14 just through playing the DLC); especially if you complete all of the available side quests.

I genuinely enjoyed this one. It’s easily worth the $10 in my estimation, and shows the care that I thought was typical of DLC in the original

What I Played Today: Golems of Amgarrak


I was in quite a mood after playing so much Dragon Age II, and (as that led to) another full play-through of Dragon Age: Origins. I had originally planned to continue straight on to Awakening, and just complete the whole series. But then, as I was on my roll, I remembered that I had purchased a couple of DLC packs for Dragon Age: Origins a while back on the cheap. They had some kind of sale for half price DLC, or some such. I’d taken that opportunity to pick up both Witch Hunt and The Golems of Amgarrak… but while I’d completed the former some time ago, I’d never bothered to sit down and play through Golems. I took a look at the achievements, because I’m like that, and I realized that I needed to complete the DLC on a minimum difficulty of Hard in order to receive my e-recognition for my accomplishments.

Harkening back, I recall that Golems of Amgarrak was touted as an extra-difficult bit of DLC… it was, ostensibly, much harder than the regular game, even on the Casual difficulty. In short, this DLC was not intended for the faint of heart. This did nothing but excite me, but I did go into it expecting a higher degree of difficulty, and felt that I should use some caution.  Although I might be ‘that guy’ when it comes to gaining achievements in an expedient manner, I’m strangely honourable about some of them. It seemed to me that if I were going to defeat the DLC’s final boss on a Hard or Nightmare difficulty, I might as well play the whole DLC on that difficulty. So, I set my difficulty, and I chose to import a Warden from an Origins playthrough at level 20, a Dwarven sword-and-board warrior.

The DLC took a couple of hours to play through all the way. It introduces a semi-new area (yet another re-skin of the default Dwarven Thaig that we saw four times or more between the Origins game and the various DLCs) that paves the way into a completely new area. Amgarrak itself is a completely unique area replete with colour-switch puzzles, swarms of enemies (mostly of the more difficult types. I assumed there would be Golems, but I was treated to a plethora of Revenants, Arcane Horrors, and high-ranked skeletons as well), and a bunch of loot. Most of the loot proved to be useless, but it did provide upgrades to the Golem which I picked up on my way in. As one might expect, the Golem is the key to the whole deal. It has significant healing abilities, and while it can’t always fight its way out of trouble, the Golem is tough enough to escape from danger so long as your party features some tankier types.

Ultimately, I found the DLC a little on the disappointing side. It was about as substantial as I expected (given the average length of BioWare’s DLC add-ons) with a fairly large area to run through and a whole new party. However, in lieu of adding substantially to the story (as Leliana’s Song does, and Witch Hunt debatably does) the idea behind Golems of Amgarrak was to provide a very challenging play experience within the tactical game engine of Dragon Age: Origins. Earnestly, I didn’t feel the need to adjust my tactics much from playing the original game. Tank-type characters are still able to mostly take care of themselves, and the most effective approach for me seemed to be to focus on healing. The only encounter I had to repeat was a surprisingly difficult swarm of golems which jumps out at you in an optional chamber while in the process of acquiring golem upgrades. I was not particularly impressed by the Harvester, which seemed to be mostly a matter of managing a group of enemies and keeping on top of healing.

Anyway, I think this polishes off my experience with Origins. I’m very much anticipating a DLC – any DLC add-on, really – for Dragon Age II.

Review: Dragon Age 2


Unfocused Ramblings

After a long wait, I hope to be back and better than ever. I was originally planning to go off the board with MLB 2K11… which is still getting a review I might add … but Dragon Age II consumed my life for a while, and I have to talk about it. BioWare and I have had a rocky relationship. The first game of theirs which I played was actually Neverwinter Nights… which I got about halfway through before my friend told me to stop playing it and go back and hit Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn instead. It was a formative experience for me. Up until that time, I would have described myself as an irredeemable JRPG fan. Since that fateful day, I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed a JRPG as much again. Naturally, this launched my love affair with BioWare. There have definitely been parts of that relationship that I’ve enjoyed more than others. For me, as much as I enjoyed Baldur’s Gate II, the current generation of these games is really the golden age of WRPGs in my eyes.

Is Dragon Age II the best WRPG that I’ve ever played? Ultimately, I would have to say no. Its release was too obviously rushed, which is evident in the plethora of bugs available for your gaming pleasure (some of them pretty damaging to your game experience, and all of those impossible to correct when playing the console versions). In years past, it was always true that the PC release was preferable because the developer could release patches that would solve a lot of the known bugs, and knowledgeable use of the game’s console could solve a lot of other problems. Obviously console games still don’t have the latter option, and only (relatively) recently gained the former. But as time has gone on and computers have easily outpaced what I need them for in terms of work, it became steadily less economically viable for me to upgrade my GPU three times a year… especially when I could own one XBox 360 for four years and counting.

The potential annoyance factor only comes out occasionally – when games are pushed through release with known bugs, and you have some agonizing wait for them to be fixed for the console version. Unfortunately, this was definitely the case with Dragon Age II and it sapped some of the luster off of what I otherwise felt to be an extremely fun offering from one of my favourite developers.

Oh, and a little disclaimer before I begin complaining in earnest. As I am wont to do, I’m going to table any discussions about DLC, micro-transactions, and EA’s 2010+ marketing strategy of bundling add-ons with pre-orders and adding content at regular intervals to bridge the gaps between releases. I think we can all agree that it is one of the more brilliant marketing ploys (not that we’re giving EA credit for coming up with it, but that doesn’t really detract from the idea itself) that we’ve seen… ever. I think we can also all agree that regardless of our personal feelings, on the whole, it works. This was the first game I’ve pre-ordered in years, and I did it entirely to gain access to the launch DLC that I’d otherwise have to pay for. It wasn’t particularly onerous, since I knew I was going to purchase the game anyway, and EA knew for a fact that they’d sold me a copy six months before launch. I’m sure some executives slept very soundly knowing that they’d suckered yet another fan into pre-ordering titles and sitting around in anticipation of Amazon’s launch day delivery time.

So how is Dragon Age II? As a sequel to the dark fantasy original, Dragon Age: Origins I would say that it both succeeds masterfully and disappoints completely. The feel of the two games is almost entirely different. In the original, we’re treated to a bleak literal-end-of-the-world scenario that is playing out before our eyes. Factions of whom we urgently require aid are fighting one another, the enemy is building in power, and in the grand tradition of Tolkien-esque fantasy, evil used to have a hell of a lot harder time of it. The sequel, rather, takes us through an eight-ish year period in the life of a single protagonist within the Dragon Age setting. It deals heavily with plot elements that were introduced in the original game and it has some obligatory cameos from characters we’ll recognize, but it otherwise is entirely stand alone. Gone is the overarching threat of a darkspawn-fueled apocalypse. Instead, the conflict centers around the city of Kirkwall, a deeply troubled metropolis that was formerly the center of a bustling slave trade in the ancient Tevinter Imperium.

We haven’t really gotten away from the slavery, however. Not only is Kirkwall infested with some of those very same modern-day Tevinter slavers, but the whole city lies under the pall of another form of slavery. As brutal as we may have found the treatment of mages in Ferelden – what with the vials of blood taken from every Apprentice that could allow them to be unerringly tracked down, or with the merciless hunting of unlicensed ‘Apostate’ mages – we only saw the tip of the iceberg in terms of both what mages have to suffer through, and what they’re capable of when they’re left unshackled. The picture painted by this conflict is an interesting one primarily for its gray morality. Very few issues in real life have the kind of clear-cut good and evil dynamics that we often see in video games. Real people are complex organisms with complex motivations. We are not a society of mustache-twirling villains tying maidens to railroad tracks only to be foiled by tights-wearing do-gooders from every angle. To an extent, we experienced this in Dragon Age: Origins as well. Both games mercifully liberate us from the point-based good-versus-evil system that characterized the Knights of the Old Republic games and others during that era.

In Dragon Age II we’re treated to a whole new system which bears a little resemblance to the party-favour style system we saw in Origins, but with a new twist. Now, our party members (as expected) either approve or disapprove of our protagonist, Hawke, and the actions we take as Hawke. The relative level of either ‘Friendship’ or ‘Rivalry’ (I’m sure you can figure out which is which) then begins to colour all of Hawke’s interactions with the rest of the party. Many of the changes are subtle, but Dragon Age II is rife with subtle-but-appreciated touches that make it stand out as a game above many of the other offerings in this same genre. These little touches serve ultimately to give this title a more authentic feel than many games that I’ve played over the years, and I appreciated the attention to detail. It seems an odd contrast with the various bugs, which, I really can’t state enough, were plentiful and ranged from mildly irritating to infuriating.

Oh, and while we’re unfocused, and while we’re talking about subtle details? An odd thing occurs in this game. One which I might have appreciated more than almost anything else in the whole thing. Each conversation option is responded to with a variant of the Mass Effect style conversation wheel – responses to the right tend to lead toward the conclusion of the conversation and have a certain tone, while ones to the left tend to be follow-up questions. Unlike Mass Effect, we are treated to some symbols which help to identify the tone of the message before Hawke plants her foot in her mouth. For example, a sarcastic or whimsical reply will be accompanied by a comedy mask icon. A decisive, aggressive reply is accompanied by a closed fist. A bribe is accompanied by an image of falling coins. And so on. Anyway, this in and of itself is nice, but the truly outstanding dialog feature of the game? If you reply consistently in one vein (i.e., if you are consistently sarcastic) then the filler dialog or automatic replies from Hawke begin to mirror that type of response. Again, using the ‘sarcastic Hawke’ as an example… the dialog which is default, that is, not under the control of the player. Eventually, if enough sarcastic replies are given in order to establish a pattern, Hawke will begin to respond in a sarcastic manner on her own. It adds a lot of character to Hawke solely based on how you’re already playing the game. I hope that you can see why I think this is one of the best (albeit very subtle) features that BioWare thoughtfully included for me in this title.

So, I suppose the real question is… what is Dragon Age II like? True to how it was promoted, it’s sort of a compromise between the FPS-action-with-RPG-elements style of Mass Effect 2 and the old-school WRPG tactical gameplay of Dragon Age: Origins. If what you loved most about Origins was how it harkened back to Baldur’s Gate II, you’ll probably find the combat system in Dragon Age II to be a bit on the shallow side. You’re still, of course, perfectly at liberty to pause the game, arrange your party, and launch a more tactical assault. On the harder difficulties, being discriminating and tactical pays off big dividends. However, the game clearly wants to draw in fans of the Mass Effect games with a pace that is overall faster, and a system that is much more streamlined. As a result of this intention, it’s pretty quick-paced… or, at least, it can be, with an optimized party on the lower difficulties. Don’t expect the same degree of difficulty that Origins could present, either, if you chose to visit Orzammar first and played on the higher difficulties. Although, again, on the higher difficulties Dragon Age II has its own challenges.

Let’s boil things down, shall we?

The Good

– It’s a beautiful, detailed, thoughtful world. We’re introduced to more of a setting we’ve been introduced to. In a lot of ways, Dragon Age II exceeds Mass Effect 2 in terms of expanding on an existing setting. If you were really drawn into the world of Dragon Age, you’ll find a lot to like in the sequel.

– The voice acting is exceptional. I can’t think of a single character whose voice acting was poor, whether you like the character or not (and – almost as a side note – I liked them all)

– The characters offer a lot to the narrative, and have some fantastic interactions. BioWare has done a stunning job letting the party members banter back and forth during quiet moments. Try different combinations. You won’t be disappointed!

– The slice-of-life style which follows a single character, Hawke, and her life is perhaps a bit less ‘epic’ on the overall than the Grey Warden’s quest, but it delves far deeper into the underlying themes of the setting.

– Combat system is streamlined and intuitive. You’ll recognize everything from Dragon Age: Origins and the menus are actually easier to navigate now.

– Party members have completely unique skills, maintain their own wardrobe, and maintain their personal opinions, which lets them keep a refreshing flavour each of their own.

– BioWare went out of their way to make crafting your own potions, Runes, poisons, grenades, and supplies more attractive. Given how frustrating it could be to locate certain components in Origins, it may almost seem like an overreaction for how simple things become in Dragon Age II – but it works well.

– Girthy. This game is pretty long. If you’re planning to do everything… settle in. You’re looking at forty hours of game-play or more.

– The DLC items (from every source!) are not the best items in the game. They’ll definitely serve you well in the early part of the game, but they’re outclassed by the mid-game, and they also don’t sell for a ton of money. Just having DLC gear won’t make this game a breeze for you, or render all other equipment useless. It’s a nice touch to actually be trying to upgrade my stuff, rather than just equipping Blood Dragon Plate and calling it a day.

The Bad

– Buggy. Buggy. Buggy. Buggy. I really can’t overstate this. Every game launches with bugs, but this one launches with an unacceptable amount, and an unacceptable severity. Patches have already cleared up a couple of them (even for the console versions) but I was still frustrated to see the sloppy polish on what is otherwise a very delicious fruit.

– Much of the tactical aspect of gameplay is gone. Baldur’s Gate II could be a serious pain in the ass sometimes, but it really rewarded good planning and a thorough knowledge of spells and mechanics. Dragon Age: Origins made a strong compromise between viable-console-game and hardcore-tactical-gameplay… this element isn’t nearly as strong in Dragon Age II.

– Did I mention the bugs? Seriously. Hopefully more of the issues in this game can be patched out.

– Overused sets. Although the set pieces are beautiful and I love the look of the game, it suffers from a bit of the Mass Effect syndrome, where there are a hundred caves which are all built using the same “cave” layout and look. Very disappointing to see a step backward here after what we saw from Origins, Awakening, and Mass Effect 2. I can only assume this is another aspect of rushed production.

– We revisit too many places. I understand the scope of the game, its focus on Kirkwall and the surrounding environs, and whatever else… but while I don’t mind re-treads within the city (especially in, as the game runs on, a number of years) it seems like there should be more unique locales around the city. It feels lazy for us to revisit the same places over and over again for quests in each Act of the game. I’ll mention it once more… it was probably intended to have a few more locales, and that was probably scrapped for time. I’m in no position to complain because I bought the game, and I loved it, but I would have loved it more if EA/BioWare had spent another month catering to my discerning tastes.

– The game seems to lack focus at times in terms of the narrative. I actually appreciated this characteristic as it seemed to mirror how a real person’s life would tend to pan out… but it does seem out of place in a video game. At times, it’s not clear where the game is headed.

– This may sound stupid, but I’m far from above personal pique, so… way too much energy spent on promoting the game prior to launch. Although their strategy of offering DLC items for interacting with people on the BioWare website or whatever else might have drawn in a couple of new fans, it almost assuredly annoyed a lot of fans who were planning to buy the game anyway.

The Bottom Line

BioWare has me, at least, hook line and sinker. In spite of my various whiny complaints. I can’t wait for their next release.

Song of the Day: Rogue Heart from Dragon Age 2 (by Inon Zur and Aubrey Ashburn)


The latest pick for “song of the day” happens to come from a game I just completed playing a first playthrough. The game is BioWare’s latest and the first sequel to their critically-acclaimed fantasy rpg game, Dragon Age: Origins. This time the song is what I would call the “Lelianna’s Song” of Dragon Age 2.

“Rogue Heart” is the song which begins playing once the end credits for Dragon Age 2 begins. The song is once again composed by the same composer who did the music for the first game, Inon Zur. Inon Zur brings back singer Aubrey Ashburn to handle the song. If there was ever a song which I say truly encompassed the relationship of the character I created and played through in the game, Lisamarie Hawke, it would be this song. It’s not just typified the character but the relationship she had with one of the party members that was recruited. The pirate rogue Isabela (the character artwork in the video is Isabela) would be Lisamarie’s companion the moment the two met and would see the game right through to its climactic and ominous ending.

It’s only appropriate that both Lisamarie Hawke and Isabela were rogues thus this song fit them like bodyhugging gear. The game was better than I thought and I would say the same to its accompanying soundtrack and “Rogue Heart” is another example why rpg soundtracks always typified the best of any game soundtracks.

Dragon Age II: Launch Trailer


If there’s one thing that BioWare seems to be doing quite well the last couple years it’s been how to hype up their rpg franchises whenever a new game is set for a release.

In early 2010 they premiered what I could only call a very cinematic launch trailer for Mass Effect 2 and during the Super Bowl halftime. This year we have another launch trailer but this time for Dragon Age II. This is a sequel to the very popular and acclaimed fantasy-rpg, Dragon Age: Origins, from BioWare and EA.

I’ve been playing the game now for the past three days and I will say that the trailer captures the game’s action quite well. The look of the game itself is only a step away from looking like the trailer animation. Maybe the third game will finally look like it’s own launch trailer in every way imaginable.

This launch trailer is the sort of marketing blitz which definitely has a chance to interest those not into such games. I know that if I had seen it and known nothing of the game itself I would be quite tempted to buy it and play it.

Song of the Day: Lelianna’s Song (by Inon Zur and Aubrey Ashburn)


My latest “Song of the Day” was chosen because this week also saw the release of one of the g ames which shall be ruling my life for the forseeable future: Dragon Age II. The song I chose is from the first game in the series, Dragon Age: Origins, and was sung in the game by one of the characters in the game once a certain relationship  level has been reached between the main character and the bard who sings the song, Leliana.

The soundtrack to this game was composed by Israeli-born composer Inon Zur and his work on the score captures the fantasy-theme of the game. In the soundtrack the song is called “Lelianna’s Song” (a misprint by the soundtrack publisher) but in the game the song is properly titled, “In Uthenera” and is sung by the singer, Aubrey Ashburn. I chose this song because of all the tracks in the soundtrack this is the one that stuck with me the most.

The thing about role-playing game soundtracks, especially those set in a fantasy setting, is that the music goes a long way in creating the world of the game. The game could be great but if the music sucks it ruins much of the game’s enjoyment. Luckily, Inon Zur didn’t fail in his task thus he made Dragon Age: Origins such a joy to play despite its flaws.

“Lelianna’s Song” just sounds so ethereal. I can hear late-medieval and early-Rennaisance bard influences in the music not to mention Irish ballad in how the lyrics were sung. This song I could listen to over and over. Below, right before the lyrics is the video of the scene in the game where Leliana sings the song to the group at rest in their camp.

Lelianna’s Song

Elven:

Hahren na melana sahlin
Emma ir abelas
Souver’inan isala hamin
Vhenan him dor’felas
In Uthenera na revas

Vir sulahn’nehn
Vir dirthera
Vir samahl la numin
Vir lath sa’vunin

Translation:

Elder your time is come
Now I am filled with sorrow
Weary eyes need resting
Heart has become grey and slow
In waking sleep is freedom

We sing, rejoice
We tell the tales
We laugh and cry
We love one more day

Dragon Age 2


In the winter of 2009, BioWare released a new rpg franchise to bookend their massively successful and critically-acclaimed scifi-rpg series Mass Effect. This new franchise was to be fantasy-based and would take the same deep and complex storytelling paired with morality choices that all past BioWare rpgs were well-known for. The game was Dragon Age: Origins and it did quite well that the company quickly began on creating the follow-up.

The game was a success, but not without some gripes from critics and players alike. While overall the game delivered on the experience BioWare promised it had some gameplay and visual failings which kept the game from becoming one of the great ones in 2009. The combat mechanics was not as intuitive as most gamers were used to. It played more like early BioWare games where commands for types of attacks were given but players had no control on how the attack were performed. There was also some major graphical issues in the game even on some high-end gaming pcs which ran the PC version.

Despite these flaws the game did entertain and gain quite a following. It’s no wonder that BioWare is ready to release the sequel, Dragon Age 2, a little over a year since the first game. This sequel will have BioWare addressing the very flaws gamers had with the first game. The combat will be more geared more like an action rpg with a streamlined control system. The company has stated that the look of the game will surpass that of the original now that programmers have had a better look at the PS3 and Xbox 360 systems. The game will also have a storyline which will span 10-years with the player’s character affecting how the world in the game changes depending on actions and decision played throughout.

Like its scifi brethren, Dragon Age 2 will use players’ saved completed games of the first title to tool and alter this sequel for that particular gamer. There’s one major change to the gameplay which may make some players unhappy. A player will not be able to choose their character’s race class. No more dwarf or elf characters. This sequel is strictly a human affair.

Until more videos of actual gameplay come out these CG-animated trailers will have to whet the appetites of rpg gamers everywhere.

Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening Video Game, Expansion Debut Trailer HD


It didn’t take BioWare too long to get the Expansion Trailer up and running. And it’s in prime HD-quality. I’m liking what I see in the trailer. I hope that Alistair is not the “old favorite” from the old crew that will be joining my hot, sexy city elf Grey Warden. She needs her girl Leliana by her side for this expansion. Though I’m sure she wouldn’t mind having Morrigan around as well.

One detail which BioWare fail to mention in their news release for the game is whether it will be download only all across thee platforms or will players be able to order the game with disc and case and all that comes with them. I’m almost afraid to that Gamestop may end up having a special item and/or goodies aplenty for ordering at their site or store. I’m still more than just a tad pissed off that they cutoff pre-orders for their Mass Effect 2 Collector’s editions. Shenanigans I say!! SHENANIGANS!

If the game will be download only I may need to make some room in my Xbox360 HDD or just plain buy one of them newfangled Elites. Having that Elite means playing this expansion on glorious HDMI connection to my HDTV. March 16, 2010 cannot come any faster. Let’s hope this won’t be the only full expansion for this awesome game that is Dragon Age.

via Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening Video Game, Expansion Debut Trailer HD | Game Trailers & Videos | GameTrailers.com.