Into The Fire: Dragon Age Battle Footage

By Jim Rossignol on March 30th, 2009 at 8:43 am.


Dragon Age is a fantasy RPG. No, it’s true. It’s being made by Bioware and everything. Still don’t believe me? Well I have irrefutable evidence placed just beyond the cut: a battle to save a town from two different perspectives. Big Man With Sword and Wizard Girl, respectively. There’s even a pause in the action while orders are issued to the rest of the party. Conclusive proof.

There’s still no date confirmed for this origin-story-telling RPG, but we’re expecting it to save the peasants from dark powers by the end of the year. And why is that dude standing in the fire? We may never know.

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65 Comments »

  1. MrGoat says:

    Except for some moves, im not really impressed with the combat animations, especially stick poking wizard girl looks a bit silly. Other then that I might actually enjoy this

  2. Schadenfreude says:

    Sounds like they got hold of Claudia Black for some voice work there. Gonna have the Farscape posse all over this one.

  3. weegosan says:

    I know it’s just a simple demo, but it looks like combat is either really clunky or just plain lacking immersion… not buying into this yet at all.

  4. Jockie says:

    The spell effects with the exception of the icey ones were a bit underwhelming. Though the combat animation looked better than in most click and wait rpgs.

  5. Po0py says:

    I hope to hell that was early footage and the combat has improved since then becuase that did not please me one bit. Looks like people just flailing their weapons about and not really much crunching armour. Why would they release footage like this? It just doesn’t make me exited at all.

  6. Wacky says:

    My God that player was an idiot,I mean sending a mage to fight 10 zombies in the front line?With no fighter support?Stupid stupid stupid.

  7. Kommissar Nicko says:

    If anyone has played DotA, the obvious explanation is that the Man-With-Sword is clearly Lucifer, and that he is optimized for combat standing in a lake of flame.

    Furthermore, if anyone has played DotA and read the Divine Comedies, they should know that the above is preposterous.

  8. simonkaye says:

    I like how wooden all the facial animations are.

    Really, I’m not being facetious. It reminds me of more innocent times.

    The big sword swinging looks like it would be actually very satisfying to play, with that old Baldur’s Gate twinge of the ‘my blow has connected with a kobold’ sound effect.

    I’m looking forward to this.

  9. Tarn says:

    First video was quite good, but Pokey Stick Girl in the second one was a bit daft. Presuming that Dragon Age isn’t meant to be a comedy, that is. The animation looks more like what you might do if you encountered a strange looking turd while out on a walk.

    I like the amount of camera spinning in the first video, too, as if it’s one of the game’s unique selling points. “Fully 3D!”

  10. Nill says:

    Why do the persist with the clunky and disorganized behind the character view, when there’s a nice top down one? Certainly makes it look as though they aren’t sure of what they want it to be: a very classical and deep PC RPG, or your typical console action-RPG?

    I really hope they’re not trying to reach some mediocre middle ground here.

  11. jsutcliffe says:

    As much as I love Bioware, I’m having a hard time getting excited about this game for some reason. I’d say it’s the generic fantasy setting I don’t like, but Mass Effect’s generic SF setting wasn’t enough to put me off.

    Nice to hear non-stupid British accents in a game for a change though, and maybe if I try to think of it as a tarted-up Baldur’s Gate I’ll like it more. Is it tied to a D&D franchise? Does Jeremy Soule do the music?

    What is Jeremy Soule doing these days anyway? Seems like I haven’t played a game with his music in since Giants.

    I didn’t hear Cilla Black anywhere…

  12. Markoff Chaney says:

    This whole thing, if looked at as a throwback to days of yore, looks fantastic. I worry people will hold Turn Based RPGs up to the same level of immersion and hit detection usually found in 3rd person action titles. It just doesn’t need to be there, imo. My biggest worry is that Bioware seems to want ME2 to go MORE actiony and they show us these action shots from DA:O which really aren’t up to par with the Action games and I wonder. The real issue is, if you set the expectation, you should live up to it.

    I also seriously think that wizardess should be dead. Noone close by to defend or intercept and her standing in the middle of the rushing horde? Good thing they cut away and didn’t show us how she got out of it (I’m guessing reload and get more action shots from where she belongs, back with the party). The dude that had an insane Fire Resistance made me laugh too.

  13. Ubiquitous says:

    I’ll join the legions of the “colour me unimpressed” as to these vids. I’m not sure how any of that was supposed to make me want to play the game.

    Sigh. I miss KotOR’s melee combat. It actually looked like the people were trying to properly kill each other, instead of just, you know, swinging at the area where the opponent is, and disregarding all the integral parts of melee combat – deflections, blocking, dodging – essentially not being hit, which is kind of important in its own way. I mean, I see a BG-esque shtick to the game, but does everything have to be all: “Just like in 1998, but 3D!”

  14. Venison says:

    Those animations looked very disappointing.

    Battle of the wooden puppets.

  15. Namos says:

    Is don’t think anyone will be convinced by this game until we get a trailer with “You must gather your party before venturing forth” in it.

    Am I the only for whom this reminded them more of Dungeon Siege than Baldur’s Gate? I crave that isometric view, darn it!

  16. Azazel says:

    @Namos

    If I were Bioware I would have that dialogue appear at least once in every game I made.

  17. M. P. says:

    @Nill: so, IS there a top-down view? I hope there is, I’m not buying it if there isn’t. I hated the over-the-shoulder direct control movement in KOTOR. If I wanted to move my character with WASD I’d go play an FPS or a 3rd-person shooter damnit! In a PARTY RPG where you’re expected to control multiple characters simultaneously, you should be able to just click on the ground and they’ll walk there on their own rather than need hand-holding!

  18. phil says:

    Personally I’m only going to buy this game if Boo makes an appearance, maybe as an optional uberboss.

    Animation wise, well it’s disappointing, but there’s plenty of time to tart it up a bit.

  19. Okami says:

    @jsutcliffe: Jeremy Soule has been doing soundtracks for a few games like… Morrowind, Oblivion, NWN, Guild Wars, Company of Heroes……

  20. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Personally, I thought some of the animations looked pretty good, especially at the beginning when you saw the guy jump over something and run off. The warrior looked pretty badass (What with his blows actually connecting), but yeah, the wizard looked very wank.

  21. Half Broken Glass says:

    Hilariously unimpressive, both of them.

  22. anduz says:

    I don’t get why Bioware just can’t do 3rd person character camera control right in any of their RPGs.

  23. Basil says:

    @ Nill: Doesn’t look actiony or dynamic at all, just ancient click-and-wait gameplay with fancy shaders.

  24. MrFake says:

    On the subject of animations, I think for any game where a playable character wields a sword nearly the full length of his body, there should be obligatory knock-down animations for any character that it clips while he is recklessly swinging it around behind him. This is so important to me, that starting with Dragon Age this rule should be applied ex post facto to all games already released.

    Standing in a fire and swinging that lamp post of a sword ought to be more amusing, and yet…

    Did anyone notice the weird polygon mess close to halfway through the second video?

  25. Chaz says:

    Yawn, looks like the same old weary standard point and click gameplay that we’ve all seen a hundred times before. It all looks rather dull and tiresome, especially compared to the likes of the Witcher.

    I’ll be quite intrigued to see how they get that working on the consoles though.

  26. Janto says:

    It is funny that Bioware should have the same problems with combat looking a bit limp that Age of Decadence has, despite aiming for very different things.

    I want a turn based game where every time you hit someone, they either have to give up ground dodging or get spun around, knocked back or knocked to the ground with the force of the blow connecting. It can’t be that hard to code, especially if you’ve got an underlying terrain grid of hexes.

  27. Dante says:

    The magic does seem a bit weak by comparison, but I wouldn’t be surprised it this was just ‘Linear Warriors Quadratic Wizards’ again. And the latter will be the ones ending the world with a thought at later levels.

  28. Nelson says:

    Graphics looked like ass. It seems that Crysis has scared everyone into outdated graphics to push more sales. Animations even worse. Yet another generic fantasy world. Meh, let’s move on already. :(

  29. Branon says:

    Yea, same old point and click that has worked great in millions of pc games sold so far. How dare they. Give me a break. I am getting sick of everyone being so negative on every forum I read now about any game.

  30. The Hammer says:

    In the presentation side, it didn’t look too good. But in terms of battle mechanics and switching between characters, pausing battles, and the interface? I’m looking forward to that stuff!

  31. jalf says:

    Eh, reminds me far too much of NWN2 visually… With Mass Effect, Bioware proved that they were capable of making something that looks appealing. Apparently, they keep those people well sheltered from their fantasy teams… :(

  32. Digit says:

    This keeps jumping out at me, maybe because I’ve played BG1&2 again recently, but the sounds… the sounds in this are so lame. It’s like they couldn’t be bothered. :/

    Do anything in the Infinity Engine games, and it sounds great, even something as simple as a healing spell. All you get here is “wsssssshhhh!” and a glow. Yay, consider me moved… >_>

  33. James G says:

    I’m a bit confused by the criticisms of a ‘point and click’ interface. It’s called a mouse, what else should they use? For multi-character tactical combat a point and click interface is gives vastly better control than other methods. (Such as KoToR’s interface) If the complaint is that the combat is slower and strategic, rather than twitch based, then surely its just a case of the game not being your cup of tea, rather than being bad on any objective level.

    (Personally for example I found the Witcher’s combat uninspired repetitive clicking. What little depth it had in terms of stance styles and sword coatings was largely done with at the start of combat.)

  34. Eponymouse says:

    I regret this walk-by commentary, so I will avoid being redundant: wizard lady wears a scarf over her boobs, which appears to be tied to a necklace?

    HIGH FANTASY COSTUME DESIGN

  35. Pidesco says:

    As far as the gameplay is concerned it would make a lot more sense to make this graphics 2d. Making it 3d just encumbers the controls due to having to manage the camera, and offers nothing in return other than arguably snazzier visuals.

    It’s a 2D game done in a 3D engine. How stupid is that?

  36. Dante says:

    I remain perpetually amazed as to how people can write off the graphics of a game based on a couple of minutes of grainy video from a half finished product. They always look better when they come out and so see it properly, so why bother?

    And as for the cries of ‘same old, same old’, did you come here direct from 1998? We’ve been moving away from this for a while, hence the deliberately retro idea. Don’t like it? Play Mass Effect instead, that’s why they’re making more than one game, so neither has to be all things to all people.

  37. Lavitz says:

    Wow, I am really glad the comments i am reading because when the first footage was released i assumed the game would be like this. Just underwhelming. I think its good the pushed back the pc version for better marketing for the console because i have feeling it won’t do to well on the pc because the game just isn’t worth spending $50 especially without online in these times.

  38. Whiskey Jak says:

    For the first time in my life, I actually have to forcefully hype myself for a Bioware game. Maybe it is the combat animations? Maybe driving the Mako and the level design of ME did this to me?

  39. Tom says:

    Not feeling this one tbh.
    I think after the more visceral real time combat of ME pointing and clicking and pressing little glowing boxes for power ups isn’t really doing anything for me.
    It just looks so… classical, I suppose is the word i’m looking for.

  40. Tworak says:

    RIP Bioware.

  41. Okami says:

    Are people still fighing with their post alcocholic depressions from the weekend? That would be one explanation why everybody around here’s so fucking negative..

  42. Sulphur says:

    @Schadenfreude: That is only because Farscape was the most brilliantly original show ever made, and Claudia Black appearing in anything afterwards pretty much blows it into the stratosphere.

  43. Dave says:

    I think some of you need to load up some 3D games that were actually from 1998 for comparison. Die By The Sword, Heretic II, freakin’ Trespasser, Myth II, Starsiege Tribes, Thief 1… granted some of those looked better than others, but you can’t even begin to say these videos look like those.

    Now you could say it looks uninspired and the animation comes off as just silly…

  44. Justin says:

    Well I can explain why the dude is standing in the fire. He has buffed himself and has flame and knockdown resistance. That’s what they told me.

  45. Jeremy says:

    BioWare is awesome and I want this game.

  46. tmp says:

    Are people still fighing with their post alcocholic depressions from the weekend? That would be one explanation why everybody around here’s so fucking negative..

    Cynical and negative is the new old black…

    But people moaning about outdated graphics should take a look at KotOR or smth to remind themselves what outdated really looks like. This looks more than decent considering it’s apparently tuned for battles with 30 or more participants on screen at once.

  47. DigitalSignalX says:

    This looks very promising. I’m sure it can only get better for us as Bioware does very decent PC ports. Some play testing, tweaking, and viola.. awesome game in the waiting.

  48. Panther says:

    There are some much more positive aspects on Kotaku. Sounds like several interesting aspects, and it has renewed my hope in it.

    Oh and you can play in top-down view.

    “In Origins, you can choose to play in a zoomed in third-person action view. You can, but I can’t see why you’d want to since combat is still largely tactical.”

    Seems the only tradgedy is the console port.

    http://kotaku.com/5189916/dragon-age-origins–a-tragedy-in-the-making

  49. Fumarole says:

    C’mon people. Wondering if there’s a top-down video? Amazed at Big Guy’s fire-resistance? Am I the only person who watched these videos? The top down view was clearly shown and Big Guy had some form of ice-looking spell cast on him before he went into the fire. Watching comprehension for the loss I guess.

  50. DeliriumWartner says:

    Is it too much to ask for RPGs with ragdoll physics? We have shooters with them, RTSs too. Why is the RPG lagging behind so much? Swords should cut bits off, or get stuck in bodies. At least they should physically connect!

    Btw, I know technically Oblivion was probably a physic-y RPG but I tend to think of it more as a FPS-RPG with swords.

    So yeah, NWN with ragdolls please!