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HJIM Part 2: Dragon Age II

August 17, 2010

You knew it was coming. Dragon Age II continues to haunt me. It’s like a train wreck in slow motion, only the trains are carrying a cargo of nuclear waste and explosions. The first news that came out was the release of some concept art showing the “different standards of beauty” within the four races of Thedas, which, I think you will agree, they are “exploring” “deeply”. I’m glad that they’re truly running with this and not falling into standard tropes by, say, making all the women slender, buxom and pale, as you can see in the picture belo–

Oh. Damn. Not to matter. It turns out that Hawke, the protagonist (kind of?) travels Ferelden with his sister, Bethany, something which has caused quite a stir on the Bioware forums regarding romance options – Baldur’s Gate set the trend here (I will never forgive them for not allowing Imoen to be romanced, anyway, she was only your half sister via divine blood – totally fair game), but David Gaider set the community straight.

I know the mere idea of this is going to cause some people to go into paroxysms, but in a Dark setting I think the possibility of the main character engaging in an incestuous relationship with his sister could make for some very interesting role play opportunities. Not only do you have to deal with the taboo nature of the relationship, but the added dynamics of dealing with a sibling. This is the sort of “pushing the envelope” that I think Dragon Age as a setting is ripe for.

– Hopeful Bioware Forum Member

Love, between two consenting adults, is a beautiful thing that should be cherished. Why should it matter who those two people are, whether brother/sister, two homosexual people, a man and a woman or otherwise? Why is it acceptable, in a game, to have a relationship between a Dwarf and a Human, but not between (example) two siblings?

– Another Hopeful

This is not going to happen, and the fact that it’s even being requested makes me wonder.

– David Gaider, Lead Writer, Dragon Age II

Calling it now – this will be the first mod out of the doo-

To be short, DAO 2 will not have a toolset. I think that DAO I toolset is very powerful but very complicated.

– Mike Laidlaw, Lead Designer, Dragon Age II

Oh. Wait, what? Complicated? Nobody expects the legions of console users to use it (too many pesky thoughts required), it’s a toolset! It’s meant to be complicated! What else can they do to ruin this game?

For budgetary reasons, we focused our work on a 3rd person view, that asks for very detailed and nice textures  so that the player can admire the game with a close-up view. With an aerial view we should cover much more ground and so create other textures. Now, the game mainly sold on console, so we’re going the way of the audience.

– Mike Laidlaw, Lead Designer, Dragon Age II


Budgetary reasons my arse. Anyone should be able to realize that you need the high res textures for the close up third person view, and you can easily reuse it for the isometric camera (from further away). I wish they’d just be honest and say they’re doing it to rub salt in the eyes of all of us oldschool RPG players that made Baldur’s Gate the success it was. I am literally speechless at this removal, and the “reasoning” behind it. I’d like to make a joke about the sheer amount of bodacious spartan viscerality overloading computers when switched to an aerial view, but I’m so crushed I can’t even do it 😦

I can’t even finish this post 😦

Why Bioware, why?

From → Games, News

One Comment
  1. NotAMushroom permalink

    I weep for the future of Western RPGs. I also blame the silly kids who play Final Fantasy and think that’s what an RPG should be about.

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