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Dragon Age II: Just *who* is in charge here?

July 16, 2010


Amazingly, it seems Bioware have outdone themselves yet again! Gamestar Magazine did a multipage special on Dragon Age II recently, and, amongst several things we’ve already heard before, they published this comment:

When I give a combat order in Dragon Age: Origins, I have to twiddle my thumbs waiting for the character to slowly meander into position and then start swinging its sword. This is unacceptable.

Mike Laidlaw, Lead Designer, Dragon Age II

What on earth is he trying to say here? That all those pesky laws of physics are getting in the way? We should have teleporting characters with permanently drawn, 10 foot long swords a la Final Fantasy? I happen to like the fact that it takes actual time in the world of Dragon Age to close distance – it’s what stops mages from being squishy meat sacks and turns them into viable party members overpowered killing machines. In fact, I even like the idea that my party has to ready their weapons before charging into battle. It’s called “roleplaying“. Possibly they haven’t heard of it? It seems to be that the unacceptable thing here is that kind of attitude, from a lead designer no less.

I am actually so horrified that I need to take a step back and find out who on earth he is. It seems that he was part of the three lead designers on Dragon Age (1), and, conspicuously, he is the only “Lead Designer” who hasn’t worked on the Baldur’s Gate series (apparently, he instead worked on Bioware’s worst title to date — don’t be fooled by some of the scores, listen to some of the music to get a feel for it). Actually I guess I should take that back, Bioware’s worst title to date is probably Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, which I actually can’t blame on him. I just don’t understand his faster = better argument; maybe because I play the game as a tactical combat game rather than a third person button mashing simulator. I truly hope he reconsiders this opinion and avoids stripping out all the non-twitch mechanics from the game, even if it will anger some of the Halo players.

I know what you’re thinking; “that magazine is in German, you probably used Google translate for this, and anyway, you’re totally overreacting to a single comment without any context”. I am, of course, guilty of all charges, although I must say I have been very impressed by Google translate. Which brings me to another excerpt from that article:

So it is not forced to play any of the images used on previous Bioware bearded sword oscillator.

Gamestar Magazine, Referencing Dragon Age II

I guess that I am still prepared to eat my words when Dragon Age II comes out and turns out to be the second coming – nevertheless, I just wish that I didn’t end up reading things like this whenever any new DA2 info is released. Mind you, it’s hard to get worse prerelease PR than the previous game.

From → Games, News

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