Blood And Smuts: Dragon Age “Violence” Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on May 9th, 2009 at 8:31 pm.


Possibly a bit spoilery this one, and very bloody. I’m not sure quite what to make of it: the bloody, lusty delivery is somewhat at odds with almost every other glimpse of Bioware’s forthcoming fantasy RPG that we’ve so far seen. I can only assume that the Dragon Age soundtrack will be nothing like the one featured here. Anyway, see what you think, and let the inevitable debate not dwell too long on the sex bits.

Oh, Bioware.

__________________

« | »

, .

256 Comments »

  1. Nimic says:

    Right. I still can’t get into the Dragon Age site, ever since the last time when I accidentally said I was 12 years old, or something. Now it says “Sorry, you are too young”.

    That hurts.

  2. Alex N. says:

    The trailer did a good job of making it look a bit more dynamic and less stuffy than every other promotional material has so far. It’s a nice step away from D&D-esque (ripped off Tolkien, sure) Good/Evil nonsense.

    YOU KNOW WHAT MAKES THIS TRAILER EVEN BETTER?


    Start is as the Bioware logo pops up

    That, however, is fucking amazing (‘scuse my colloquial).

  3. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    The earlier footage made me think it was really, really, really, boring. For example, because of lame animations. So this trailer was doing me good. I guess I liked the song+lots of blood.

  4. Jonas says:

    This is actually a fairly obvious marketing trick: Anybody remember the Gears of War trailer soundtracked with Mad World? Of course you do, it was exceedingly memorable. It was also nothing like Gears of War.

    This is probably the same thing: You need to make your product stand out, and that’s not done by making a trailer just like all the other RPGs have, soundtracked with the same generic orchestral score as all the other RPGs. It’s done by doing something completely unexpected, that no other RPG would think to do because it’s just absurd.

    This qualifies.

  5. Fat says:

    Aside from the music (which didn’t seem to fit in a video with swords and armour) i thought it looked fine, if a little (ok, very) cheesy.

    Though, this is from someone who hasn’t actually seen Dragon Age previewed before, so i have no idea what other people were expecting, this is the first i’ve seen of it. Looks like a slash-fest to me, which i wouldn’t particularly mind. But the ”RPG”-ey descriptions sound like a better game than what i just witnessed.

    About the console stuff, we seem to get nearly half of PC games as console ports these days, i wish it would stop. Some of the games are fine, but i hate the dumbed down controls systems and everything else that comes with a port.

  6. DeliriumWartner says:

    Yeah, everyone’s really hating on this. It’s weird because to me the last few trailers looked like NWN2 but uglier. As in uninspired, dull and lacking in any kinda of pace. Obviously that’s just trailer impressions.

    Now, I’m not saying this has changed my mind but hell, an RPG with blood and actual proper violence? The sex seemed a bit forced in (sorry, pun not intended), but haven’t we been asking to be treated like adults for a while?

    Yes the trailer looks like Crank 3: The Dragonning, but come on, focus on the content! Blood, sex – might this be EA trying to treat the gaming medium as a proper grown up media?

  7. Preedy says:

    i think its just me but that looks AWESOME. but im an action junky so hey anything with violence looks good

  8. trioptimum says:

    For its faults, this trailer succeeded (for me) in conveying a very strong message: ‘you are absolutely not in the target audience for this game’.

  9. chaves says:

    I found it hillarious. Now the change of the logo design (blood splatter, etc) makes sense. Because finally Dragon Age _is_ mature. It has sex. It has blood. And giant spitting gorilla-like beasts. Complex themes only real adults can grasp fully.

    I can’t wait to see the next trailer. Seems that Bioware is eager to place the CRPG genre in a new level. Not necessarily above the actual one, but still.

  10. Bhazor says:

    I agree with NOC, in Baldurs when you killed with a critical he’d explode in shower of body parts and the screen would shake. I actually like the new logo, certainly an improvement on the previous one which I can’t even remember. But yeah, I really hope the team kneecap the next EA man to come through the door.

    Also check the size of the chick’s shoulders at 52-53 seconds. Her head must be the size of a potato. A small one, not like a king Edwards potato.

    Reply to TwistyMcNoggins: The earliest sex scene was probably Custers Revenge. Sadly this scene was included in the trailer to capitalise on the “success” of the Mass Effect sex festival. Heres hoping theres an actual believable relationship rather than the “quick lets shag before the world ends” like in Jade Empire and Mass Effect. Bring on the new Viconia.

  11. Tem says:

    It’s a “Violence” trailer. it’s Bioware.

    Good lord you people, stop crying. You know better. It was violence for violence sake. It’s the equivalent of them demo’ing the spell fx.

    If it gives them more sales in the process, who cares?

    You’d be collectively stupid to say “OMG THEY ARE SHOWING THAT IT HAS VIOLENCE IN IT, IT ISN’T FOR ME ANYMORE”.

    Wait… It’s already happened.

  12. Hoernchen says:

    Uh oh. Now I’m worried. First it’s too good to be released , now this… what next ? Achievements ? A time challenge mode ?

  13. Sp4rkR4t says:

    That trailer actually inflicted pain upon my soul.

  14. cjlr says:

    @Dreamhacker:
    Yep, my first thought was Jan Smuts as well. Then I realized that any connection between DA and early twentieth century south african political figures was tenuous at best. Oh well.

    Also, believing trailers about anything is just silly. Trailers are designed to appeal to as many lowest common denominator morons as possible; the actual product and its target audience notwithstanding.
    But even so, I am so, so, unimpressed with it.

  15. Nick says:

    That was.. odd. For a BG style RPG trailer I mean.

  16. Owyn says:

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

  17. Zyrxil says:

    So basically Bioware spent the last two years remaking 300 in RPG form? /palmface. It’s not a God of War clone Bioware; please beat your marketing department into bloody pulps.

  18. JohnArr says:

    “Blood, sex – might this be EA trying to treat the gaming medium as a proper grown up media?”

    Completely the opposite.

  19. Bhazor says:

    No this trailer is as mature as say a Linkin Park/Marilyn Manson video. Its aimed at terrible young people.

    The game itself? Hmmm, I’ve lost a lot of my faith in Bioware since Mass Effect. And what with a large portion of the team sucked into eternal mmo development limbo I’m not sure if you could even say its the same company that made Baldurs/Kotor 1. I’ll wait for the RPS verdict when its released.

  20. Eric says:

    I was disappointed when I first saw the trailer, because it was right after they changed the logo and both together seemed to point to a dark, anti-hero vibe which I don’t care for. I like heroic games.

    @Tem has a good point though: it’s the “violence” trailer and is meant to be a collage of the gory/mature bits.

  21. Jubaal says:

    It always makes me chuckle how fickle people are. So many comments here decrying that they were looking forward to the game until seeing this trailer. The only different between this and other trailers is the fact that it has slightly different cut scene clips and very different music to what people were expecting. It isn’t as though the game has suddenly fundamentally changed, it’s just marketing. Why shouldn’t they try and target another audience who may not have tried RPGs before. The publishers aren’t in it for the good of their health they are in it for the money.

    Anyway this trailer doesn’t really tell us anything more about the game that we already know. I’m going to continue to keep an open mind until there is much more substance to start to base a judgement on.

  22. BooleanBob says:

    Ah. It looks Bioware have stumbled upon the fabled Ubisoft Prince of Persia: Warrior Within marketing recalibration strategy. Entirely their decision to make (or EA’s, as perhaps it may turn out), but I can only say that I now feel more alienated than ever.

    Basically, what trioptimum said.

    Psychopomp’s Hawaii Five-O trick works so well that he deserves some kind of inaugural internet barony. I dub thee Lord Psychopomp, most honoured purveyor of pop-culture media mashups. Arise.

  23. Calabi says:

    One problem if their marketing it like that and the game is nothing like that then they will just piss those people of that they are marketing to.

    I cant wait for the turn based sex though, roll 1d6 for penetration, roll 1 = miss. Try again, or crack one off on your own, to bears in the woods.

  24. Pete S says:

    It wasn’t actually the violence that put me off (I’m assuming this was a selection of the most graphic moments from the game) so much as the choice of music (totally didn’t fit in with the theme of the game, assuming the game world is remotely similar to the novel-based-on-the-game world) and the awful, awful character models.

    The sex scene (and why do you put a sex scene in a “violence’ trailer) was just creepy-looking, the models were so bad. And the face modeling on characters without helms is awful, too.

    I was really looking forward to Dragon Age. I’m not going to let a single trailer sway me very much, but if anything this one dampens my interest in the title.

  25. Major McMuffin says:

    Somehow much better with Hawaii Five-O inthe background. So yes, the biggest problem wth this trailer is the music. It also seems very unrepresentative of the gameplay, at least based on those other trailers. So I’m guessing this is EA pumping it up for the young people. Damn young people, ruin everything.

  26. sfury says:

    Finally a DRAGON!

  27. Tem says:

    The music is not in the game. That said, is it such a crime to try to appeal to different kinds of people? I’m not sure this is the sort of trailer that would make me all that excited personally, but I can’t deny that there are no doubt many people out there who would indeed be excited to see some thrilling action and story that maybe they haven’t picked up on the stuff we’ve released to date. This does not mean they are immature and unintelligent as you imply, does it?

    Your feedback is appreciated, and while I can understand the potential concern the game itself has not changed. We are going to try and sell as many different kinds of people on the game as we possibly can — if the idea is that a game’s success ruins the exclusivity you’ve built up in your head, that we’ve dared to approach the hoi polloi with the idea that there’s something for them here, too… surely you don’t mean that?

    Can’t this just be fun? Does it have to be “a new direction”?

    Who is this from? David Gaider.
    That’s the lead writer on DA:O, if you weren’t aware.

    I’d suggest people check out the Bioware Forums topic on this video before running around like decapitated chickens any further.
    http://daforums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=677607&forum=135

  28. Larington says:

    The violence stuff seemed ok-ish, I guess. Like others I was put off by the choice of music and the “look, we have sex in our game, aren’t we mature?” stuff which frankly, I seem to find off-putting whenever I encounter it in games. The violence was kinda cool I suppose, however it wasn’t contextualised by visible game interface or anything of that sort so its probably not even indicative of actual gameplay.

    @Tem: Fair enough, I suppose, but my reaction is partly based out of a severe discomfort for what is clearly marketting and demograph targetting, something I’ve always been uncomfortable with in games because its usually based on very base instinctual stuff like “look, violence” rather than say in films, “You’ll like this film because its film noir, or its an action film, or its a romcom, etc”.

  29. Gorgeras says:

    In response to Mr Gaider: different kinds of people are scary and immoral. We must shun them.

  30. JKjoker says:

    @Psychopomp: lol, just … lol :D

    it fits so much better than the manson song, it even changes beats just at the right moments

  31. Nick says:

    It didn’t really bother me, was just a bit jarring with what I expect the game to actually be like when you are playing it… a better Manson track could have been used too, if thats the direction they were going.

    I also wish they’d fucking well released it for the PC when it was ready so I could be playing it.

  32. Tem says:

    @Larington: And that’s one of the more reasonable concerns in this thread. Here’s a couple more quotes from that thread:

    Of course you matter. Like I said earlier, one trailer does not constitute a direction — or an exclusion. I’d like to see some more marketing aimed at the gals out there as well, but just because they’re trying to drum up some excitement doesn’t mean this is the only tack they’re going to take from here on in.

    Speak your mind, say what you’d like to see in the future. No need to leave — advocate, that’s what the forums have always been for. While falling dramatically on your sword is no doubt kinda fun, it probably won’t have the effect one is hoping for.

    -David Gaider, in response to a poster

    Ah, come on guys, every game needs that one Silly & Over The Top Trailer, surely. I enjoyed it, myself. Dug the voice/VA for Loghain, too.
    Admittedly, I’m with I_B as regards the skewed gender ratio, but – as has been said – there’s still time.

    If the title of the video was “Thought-Provoking Narrative” instead of “Violence”, I might be more concerned. :)

    -QueenOfLies

  33. wake says:

    Admittedly I watched the trailer w/o sound because of a browser on the fritz, but I think people are reading far too much into it. For one, violence and RPG quality aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive; just because its got some kibbles’n'bits going on doesn’t mean that the game will have a hollow story or bad combat (tho that very well may be true).
    Honestly, I think it’s just a case of pandering to more mainstream audiences– good luck getting an average Joe to buy your game with a 1 1/2 minute trailer of combat based on die-rolls. If that’s the case then good for them. I’d love to see companies like BioWare gain more of a marketshare.

  34. Larington says:

    Yep, well in any case my position hasn’t really changed from before I saw that trailer – I’m waiting for reviews/RPS to give a more solid analysis of it based on actual playtime as to whether its any good or not. I enjoyed Mass Effect despite having some issues with certain gameplay mechanics and Bioware would have to really mess up for reviews to not be moderately favourable.

  35. Clockwork Harlequin says:

    Is this really the new sh*t? I haven’t really been following development, so I have nothing to be disappointed about:)
    But I found it less than pretty. Stiff animation? Cardboard faces? Poor color scheme? Just Youtube uglifying it? I’m not sure what I was picking up on. Am I just crazy?

  36. Tem says:

    @Clockwork: I noticed the bad lip syncing, particularly.

  37. jackflash says:

    *edit* negativity undeleted. That trailer is god awful. Is Jerry Bruckheimer Bioware’s new creative lead?

  38. simonkaye says:

    I feel a great disturbance – as if every 14-year-old on the planet creamed their pants at once and suddenly pre-ordered this game.

  39. Bhazor says:

    This may just be a trailer but it is still terrible.
    I mean Manson? Really? For fucks sake.

  40. Vinraith says:

    @damien

    You’re not alone. I was hoping for so much more from ME (among other things, a reason to play through it more than once). Ah well, the premise wrote a check Bioware simply couldn’t cash.

  41. SteveHatesYou says:

    I’m all for ditching the EPIC SCORE found in every bloody fantasy trailer, but… Marilyn Manson? Really? That’s just embarrassing.

  42. Larington says:

    As an alternative, try running this against Apocalypse Please by Muse (Absolution, 2003)… Works much better, though the song is rather long for it.

    Anyone else got suggestions for better songs?

    (As an aside, I just tried bending my head back as far as that girl does when she goes to blow the candle out and… Ouch)

  43. Lilliput King says:

    “This is the new shit”

    Damn straight.

    Sort it out Bioware.

  44. Michael Bay says:

    I LIKE! It’s like Lord of the Rings, but ROCKIER.

    Could have done with more robots, though.

  45. Saul says:

    Hahaha has everyone lost their sense of humour? I thought it was funny.

  46. Tworak says:

    Yeah… I don’t know if I like this.

  47. SirKicksalot says:

    Holy shit, Generic Age looks even more generic!

  48. Magnus says:

    ABC – That was then, this is now.

    “Why make the past your sacred cow…”
    “Can’t complain, mustn’t grumble…”
    “That was then, but this is now…”

    Of course the question should be raised, why bother trying to make it seem like an action heavy gorefest? Won’t those that buy it on that basis be really disappointed after they buy it?

    after they buy it…

  49. Will Tomas says:

    It’s videos like that that at least show that Heather Chaplin was right about video game marketeers. Bloody hell, that’s juvenile. That sort of stuff makes me ashamed to admit I like playing the bloody things, and to try and justify any intelligence in the design of them. Idiotic.

  50. Some Guy says:

    wtf? is this still the company that made KOTOR

    EA corrupts all.