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Old 07-09-2010, 03:19 AM   #12
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I think it is safe to assume that based on the titbits of information that have already become available, Bioware is turning the game around to fit the Mass Effect formula to a large extent. It may seem "unfair" to pass judgement on a game for which we know next to nothing regarding the core storyline and combat mechanics, but that's exactly what I am about to do.

Considering that ME2 was a tremendous critical and commercial success, I suppose that it shouldn't come as a surprise that Bioware would try to aim for a similar direction with their other big franchise. For better or worse, ME has become a point of refference for the industry and it seems only natural for its own creator to use it as a guideline as well (it seems that this game's title was far more prophetic than even Bioware would dare imagine). Personally, I feel that Dragon Age might benefit from the more cinematic approach and I'll leave it to Bioware to make combat immersive (if less tactical, as I reckon that me may not have direct control over our companions this time around - a la ME) and our semi-predetermined character a real treat.

Truth be told, I am more concerned over the storyline. Judging from the cover/promo pic and the "Rise to power" quote, I can't help but make Fable connections which is not an approach I would like for Dragon Age (or any RPG for that matter). I didn't care much for the way my Bhaalspawn was treated in the Throne of Bhaal expansion (BG2) and so far it seems that our guy/girl might be something similar set in DA universe. I would rather be significant but not omnipotent compared to the powers that be - I think The Witcher nailed this notion pretty well since Geralt was both an influential figure and a "hero of the hour" type but also being played into powerful people's schemes and massive conflicts that were more or less out of his control. Maybe when more information about the storyline pops up we will be able to have a more clear picture of what they have in mind for Hawke.

The other thing I am mildly concerned about is the "new visual style". I trust in Bioware's taste (and resources) to make the game look nice but this slightly over-the top concept art sketch on their website (the 1/2 with the mage woman) makes me a bit nervous. I just hope they don't pull a "Clone Wars" on us, the style of the first game fitted the world quite nicely for me. Nothing spectacular, but well-rounded and solid for a "grounded" fantasy world like the one of DA.

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to share my initial thoughts (and minor concerns) on the announced information. All things considered, I have faith that whatever the direction, Bioware will eventually deliver. I am just not sure if it will be what most of us ordered...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
-Albert Einstein-

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