Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dragon Age 2 Reveal

If you're anything like me, you were probably wondering about the lack of Bioware news at E3- other than SWTOR, anyway. We've heard before that Dragon Age and Mass Effect both have something coming out this next spring, and there was that teaser in the casing for Dragon Age: Awakening.

Wonder no more, for Dragon Age 2 has been announced! The official Dragon Age 2 site is UP. Very few details have been released as yet, but Gameinformer magazine has revealed that the game is the cover story in the August issue. They've only released a few details, but more will show before the August issue is released.

Gameinformer's August cover

Chief among the details that have been released is the reveal of the protagonist for the new game. Gone is the classic put-yourself-in-their-shoes protagonist of the first game, and in with Hawke.

Hawke is a human that was living in Lothering at the time of the Blight from the first game. He (or she) escapes the destruction of the town, and heads to the Free Marches of the north, ending up in a city named Kirkwall. This does mean that you won't be able to choose your race, but that had little to no effect on the gameplay in Origins, instead driving the origins stories.

Instead, Hawke will be the focus of the story. The game will span an entire decade, following Hawke's rise from penniless peasant to the "most important character in the world of Dragon Age". I'm sure there will be plenty of disasters to fight off, but it seems we won't have any Blights or Reapers in this one.

Also, Hawke will be fully voiced, ala Commander Shepard. This may not sound like much, but it makes a huge difference, and an essential one in a story where the main character is the story. It allows the main character to be their own character, instead of completely determined by the player (don't worry, there's still plenty of customization), and aid immersion incredibly.

About all else we have so far is a list of features from the official site, which I shall copy and paste to you verbatim:
  • Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
  • Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
  • Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
  • Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
  • Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.
It looks like Bioware is edging Dragon Age towards Mass Effect, with the main character being such a big deal (even bigger, here) and a renewed emphasis on action in combat, but have faith in Bioware. I'm sure they will keep Dragon Age the strategy-heavy RPG it has been up to now.
Otherwise, I'm looking forward to the upgraded graphics we've been promised, and it might kind of be nice to focus on my character instead of saving the world for a change!

Sadly, the promotional teaser or whatever in the packaging for Dragon Age: Awakening either wasn't talking about Dragon Age II, or it was delayed (not unlikely). It had said 2.01.2011, or February 1, 2011, but EA has said in a press release for the game that it is slated for a March release. Maybe they got it wrong, but I doubt it. At least, not wrong that way.

I'm a little curious as to why Bioware didn't reveal this at E3, but it looks like they may be doing exclusives. Gameinformer is the only place with any detail on Dragon Age 2, and there was a G4TV exclusive demo of The Old Republic during E3. Let's hope that they'll give the ME3 story to someone else, because I really want to hear about that!

I'll keep you posted on any new details that surface, probably as a footnote at the end of my regular posts. I'll also try to get a copy of the August issue of Gameinformer and fill you guys in on it. (Not a perfect substitute for getting it yourself, though)


  1. I don't want the game to "grab hold of me from the beginning and never let go". I want to be FREE! FREE I SAY!!!
    Anyway, the game looks epic. Somehow reminds me of Guild Wars (I really should finish the second campaign, start the third, and do all those new quests). I mean, RPG, survive apocalypse, no classes, from petty weirdo to most important person, and the whole "character has a voice thin". Its eerily similiar actually...