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.

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256 Comments »

  1. Karrius says:

    Another vote for the Hawaii 5-0 thing being absolutely amazing. How did you ever think to combine them?

  2. Kanamit says:

    @Evangel: Vampire: The Masquerade is a very good half of a game. Then it becomes a tedious hack n’ slash. Parts of it are brilliant, of course, but if I had to choose between it or a Bioware game I’d choose the latter in a second.

    I put substantial time into The Witcher, and as I recall the main story line was either indecipherable or forgettable. The combat was also rather tedious, IMO. And original? Please. The whole freedom fighters or terrorists thing has been done before, and better. Also, elves and dwarves! OMG generic! It also managed to do sex worse than a Bioware game (which I will freely admit is quite an accomplishment).

    I have not played Mask of the Betrayer, but I intend to do so.

  3. CryingTheAnnualKingo says:

    @damien
    IWD was Black Isle, not BioWare, that’s why it had an edge to it. BioWare has never made anything with an edge to it at all. That’s what I was referring to, and why I’m happy they are attempting to something different with DA. The trailer was bad, no doubt, but I’m still glad they are doing something different.
    And my point stands that this was always the direction the game was going, so you can’t blame this one on the consoles, though tempting it might be.

  4. James T says:

    DRAAAGOOON BRAAAAAIN!

    The whole freedom fighters or terrorists thing has been done before, and better.

    Actually, I can’t think of any game that’s “done it” remotely as well as The Witcher.

  5. Kanamit says:

    Not exactly mainstream, but the Geneforge series for one. Maybe I’m just too much of a Jacobin, but when given the choice between keeping racist paternalistic assholes in power whose actions are surely costing many lives already or letting a few innocents get killed, I’ll go with the latter without hesitation. At least in video games, that is. It’s only when there’s more than one factor at play that the choice becomes difficult for me.

    This isn’t to say that The Witcher is bad game. Just that I think it’s a bit overrated.

  6. geldonyetich says:

    Trailer Motivation: “I just know the players will realize we’re awesome if we can get them to pay attention to us… hmm, what’s provocative? Maybe if we spin it as funny people won’t take offense while still getting that wanted attention.”

    And yeah, @Kanamit, The Witcher was more a refreshingly novel take to the CRPG genre than a genuinely good game. It drags far too much and has a number of nasty interface issues, for example.

  7. Psychopomp says:

    I started up the trailer again, right as my grandma turned on the TV that was too loud from Rock Band earlier, and DODODO DOO DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO blasted through the house.

    “With that in mind, “BOOK’EM DANNO!” should be said after the final battle™.”
    I second this,

  8. damien says:

    barely on-topic reply, to things mentioned by Kanamit:

    the witcher did one thing very well, that bioware could really stand to learn from. how to let the player explore morality and find their own way through game play situations with moral implications without flashing neon signposts that simplify human behavior to a sliding scale of “really good” and “really bad”. (the prologue – outskirts of vizima – area alone is more ethically complicated, fun and challenging for a player than the entirety of mass effect’s storyline)

    say whatever about the games themselves (i’ve finished the witcher four times and still play it, i finished mass effect once and would never dream of playing it again), for all the emphasis bioware puts on ethical dilemmas in game play and player choice along moral game paths, their games dont really deliver on that level.

  9. Kanamit says:

    True enough. Mass Effect is actually slightly better in this respect, but yeah, Bioware doesn’t handle morality very well. It is especially annoying how they punish the player if they don’t play 100% one way or another.

    Which is probably part of the reason why KotOR is my favorite of their games. Bioware’s morality system actually makes complete sense in that context.

  10. geldonyetich says:

    @Kanamit

    To an extent, I’d say Bioware’s focus on a morality system originated in KOTOR. Sure, they had some pretenses of good or evil in games like Baldur’s Gate, but there really wasn’t a hard running total of good and evil.

    They sort of branched out from there by trying to bring it to their later games, and (as you mentioned) it oft feels out of context.

    The Force masks a lot of necessary reinforcement to carry rash actions of malice or benevolence. If a man suddenly walks up to you and cuts you in half with a glowing sword, that’s unexpected and weird. If he’s a Sith, the action isn’t so surprising: that’s just why they call it The Dark Side.

  11. Pijama says:

    Folks, I do suggest you take a look at the video’s thread on bioware’s official forums. The attitude of the bioware guys is just l-o-v-e-l-y.

    In other words, you don’t do this kind of shit after heralding your game as the spiritual sequel of Baldur’s Gate. You seriously DON’T. To use an analogy, it is like Rachmaninoff going to a crappy trash metal band or Lord Tennyson writing your newest run-of-the-mill rubbish sitcom to fill a gap in the schedule. Bloody disgraceful and a waste of potential.

    p.s. – Markoff Chaney: How do you feel about sending that little song to Bioware’s community management team? :)

  12. geldonyetich says:

    @Pijama

    If Fallout 3 has taught us anything, it’s that you can wait a decade or two and most people won’t remember the previous game well enough to care when you completely repurpose its sequel.

  13. damien says:

    @Pijama hahahaha. i’m reading the (25+ page!!!) thread now. i love the internets.

  14. damien says:

    reading through the bioware forum thread, its dawned on me that i wouldn’t have found this trailer nearly as stupid if it had focused on either violence or sex. its the mixing of the two that makes the whole thing just awful and gratuitous and silly.

    reminds me of funcom’s marketing of Age of Conan as a “mature” game while shilling it along over-ample bosoms and candy-apple red screen splatters – “heads will roll!!!!!!!111!!!”.

    of course your game is going to be full of hyperactive 12 year olds. this isn’t calculus, here…

  15. damien says:

    i have to turn the music off on a number of my favorite german-made fantasy RPGs because of their strange insistence on having power-metal soundtracks.

    its very jarring.

    (why does the TAB key take you from the text input box to the masthead?)

  16. Pijama says:

    @geldonyetich: hahahaha, touché. Well, to Bethesda’s defense (holy crap I never thought I would say that), they didn’t make the original Fallout games. So they *KIND OF* had an excuse. Everyone knew right off that they would put their own touch on the game.

    But this? Fuck. An artist shows you a marvelous painting he did and got a lot of well-deserved praise, but then the guy for some bloody reason gets a bucket of piss and tries to sell you as his newest masterpiece which was inspired by the former work… hehe. Essentially, that is what BioWare is doing.

    @damien: Isn’t it delightful? hahahaha!

  17. PC Monster says:

    Good Grief…what’s up, guys? Slow hate day for you? Thank God this trailer has come along, then!

    There are a couple of reasonable crits to make about this trailer – the decidedly amateurish nature of the modelling, animation etc, but everything else raised is just laughable snobbery and AIM dim-wittery. “OMG – the console ‘Tards’ are going to be playing our beautiful game!?!?” “Manson? Seriously???”

    Honestly – get over yourselves, people. It’s an EA title being published IN A RECESSION – what did you expect them to do? Market it to the percentof a percent of elite RPG gamers, those nerdy stalwarts who’ve played Bioware’s entire back-catalogue and probably play RPG’s in other forms?

  18. Pijama says:

    Oh, mind you folks, the bucket of piss I forementioned is the trailer, not the game.

  19. Azhrarn says:

    I don’t mind the violence as such, if it is dark fantasy, as many seem to think, it fits, however throwing several tonnes of gratuitous violence and a very odd sex scene into a trailer with *that* music under it and you get something that’s no longer good. It is disgusting, nothing more. Pure smut, no depth.

    This really seems designed for the fratboy crowd, which really isn’t the standard demographic for an RPG. I just hope the game wasn’t shaped around that retargetting.

  20. drygear says:

    I actually kind of like the trailer if you use the Hawaii 5-0 theme. It makes it fun. Except for the sex scene, she just looks and moves too strangely.
    I thought I’d try it with Miserlou, and it works if you start it and then immediately start the trailer. It’s not as good as Hawaii 5-0, but still interesting.

    If you want to see something really interesting, musicwise, advance this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISWWq_bO6U0 to the one minute mark and pause it, start the trailer, and when the Bioware logo appears press play on the song. It’s almost as if it was intentional…

  21. drygear says:

    Forgot the link to the version of Miserlou that worked best for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCCJtR-RjHg

    Also, if you go with the one in my previous post and restart the trailer while it ends and keep the song playing, it still syncs up the second time through!!!

  22. Clockwork Harlequin says:

    Can’t we all go and complain somewhere else? About something completely fresh? I’ve enjoyed hating the trailer too, but the joke’s wearing thin. Let’s go bitch about nuclear power or child pornography or something instead (OMFG console NPPs).

    Also, hear me, RPS! This story must now be tagged Angry Internet Men!

  23. Adler says:

    Hoping the soundtrack IS going to be like that.
    Metal FTW!

  24. Psychopomp says:

    You did *not* just call Manson metal.

    I need to have a VERY long talk with you.

    But I can’t
    So here’s some Melechesh
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfegItscO3g

    Edit:ANNUNAKIAN CODE DIVULGED

  25. Zinic says:

    At the risk of being dismissed as a consoletard (even though I don’t own one of this generations consoles), I’d just like to say that this trailer didn’t draw me away from buying the game, as much that it enforced my will to do so.

    Can’t have dark gritty fantasy without blood and violence. This trailer isn’t what the game is about, but it is uplifting to see a game that wants to offer more than just story. Or graphics for that matter.

    And to Psychopomp. Melechesh is black metal. While still metal, it’s not METAL. If you get my drift.

  26. Nick says:

    Endless sub-pidegon holing of music and the arguing that follows is most tiresome.

  27. James T says:

    Have we really reached the stage where we are bickering like teenagers what is “metal” and what is not?

    What’s that got to do with the sentences before it?

  28. Nick says:

    Also tarring the whole thread with the same brush.

  29. Bhazor says:

    Dudes, yesterday we had the first in-engine BG&E trailer and the number one topic there was helicopter physics.

    We’re a tricky group to keep focused.

    Also if Manson is still shocking to you then you are five. It’s a bad trailer is what I’m saying, like something that someone with a Slipknot background would post on youtube. Also it just shows how off the animation looks.

    To me the worst part is the Apocalypse Shag which *does* look like a problem with the story. A cliche used in both Jade Empire and Mass Effect and one that has always got right up on my tit ends. Where’s Viconia’s bitter hump and decision that I’m not quite as bad in bed as some of those who forced her into sexual slavery? Or even the vaguely exploitative Aeries pity shag (“No you really aren’t ugly. No honestly. Please stop crying. Oh god stop crying at me! Fine!”). It’s doubly worse because turning her down will sometimes see her run away. Often taking 50,000 gold in spells with her. Jaheira was also played by a woman called Mrs Darling. Which is a neat name.

  30. Nifft says:

    I like it. An adult , gory RPG with some sex elements, setted in a fantasy world. It is something refreshing. Who said that fantasy is only for children?

  31. Steve says:

    i have been hyped for this game for a long time but now i’m even more hyped…i can’t understand why all of you complain about the trailer…sure it looked like a slaughterfest but if you watch closely you’ll imediatly see one thing…that dragon age origins has fucking (sorry…) awesome cutscenes…and you don’t think that this trailer showed every single cutscene there is do you? furthermore this cutscenes could have dramatic story impacts…for example the guy that got stabbed in the stomache could be a friend who betraied you and you get the option of killing him or not…this game WILL have an awesome story (seriously…did you ever see a bioware game NOT delivering in the story aspect) and the cutscenes are epic…bioware said that this will be a very dark and mature game with a lot of violance…but that doesn’t keep it from having a good story…you guys are overreacting

  32. Nick says:

    “Who said that fantasy is only for children?”

    No one. Though this trailer does its best to suggest anything but “adult”.

  33. A:\Big.bat says:

    Rubbish marketing idea, but I’m not going to let it put me off the game. I’m quite sure that it’ll be nothing like this trailer implies.

    /crosses fingers

  34. graham says:

    Bioware are masters of this thing, it has been EAified but ultimately Biowares mitts are gonna be all over it.
    I remain stoked for this.

  35. Thrawny says:

    Game fails, it has no Lazers.

  36. Pidesco says:

    This trailer is nothing like the final game, I’m sure. The problem is that there is a high likelihood that DA will suck for reasons not readily apparent in this trailer. Except perhaps the dialogue. I’m sure the atrocious lines spouted off in the sex scene are an accurate example of the writing quality in the end product.

  37. Markoff Chaney says:

    I own nothing I give to the community. That’s the point. Please, take anything I ever post and use it if it helps. Modify, edit, rewrite, remake, whatever. The second I post Opinion away! it belongs to everyone. Crowd sourcing is an amazingly effective tool but it only works if the crowd works together.

    As a complete aside, I think my personal distaste comes from when I saw Manson live some good 15 years ago. He sucked. Honestly, I think, one of the, if not the, worst shows I have ever seen in my life. I’d have rather gotten to see GG Allin again than that garbage he was putting out. At least NIN made up for the horrible opening act…

    I am still hopeful for the game itself, but I do think this was a stupid commercial that appeals to people who won’t be happy with the game, unless we’ve been lied to about how the game actually plays all this time. To think that a quasi turn based CRPG can be called the new shit is, really, quite funny in a non-inebriated just woke up with a bit of a headache on a Sunday morning kind of way. Really Really funny would have been the Hawaii 5-0 mashup. That’s probably a different demographic than they were going after though.

  38. woto says:

    F**** YEAH MORE BLOOD AND BETTER BLOOD EFFECTS MAN!!!!

  39. Stupoider says:

    EA Games is at it again!

  40. LukeE says:

    This obligatory musical bloodshed trailer seem like it has a lot more in common with Vampire than Baldurs Gate.

    Loud shouty music of the angry variety – check. Blood pretty much everywhere – check. Partially clothed girlies – check.

    And being compared to Vampire surely isn’t a bad thing. Well… unless its because its so buggy as to be impossible to complete at launch.

    For all of peoples insistence that every little thing they see about a fantasy RPG must be exactly as generic as they would imagine it… I enjoyed this. Even if it is cheesy as f***.

  41. DK says:

    “Market it to the percentof a percent of elite RPG gamers, those nerdy stalwarts who’ve played Bioware’s entire back-catalogue and probably play RPG’s in other forms?”
    Seeing as how that’s literally what they promised when they announced Dragon Age….yes, that’s exactly who they should market it to.

  42. john says:

    “The trip to uncanny valley during the sex scene was quite off putting as well”

    That would require the game to actually have decent graphics, frankly this game’s graphics look worse than neverwinter nights 2, and much worse than oblvion’s.

  43. Gorgeras says:

    Heh, Mythic also said Warhammer Online would be an all-out-war PvP MMO. Then came EA…

    Oh snap.

  44. Simon Jones says:

    Extremely poor music choice aside, I thought the trailer was pretty good – it’s the first time the combat has looked exciting and interesting. Unfortunately it also appears to be 100% cut scene.

    I imagine the disconnect between the cut scene combat (swords doing ‘realistic’ kind of damage) and in-game combat (generic repetitive animations of people being slashed with swords and an HP bar gradually reducing) will be annoyingly jarring.

    Nothing wrong with traditional RPG combat mechanics, but I wish they’d at least design the visuals so that it made sense.

    On another note: love the new dragon motif on the logo.

    Surprised by just how negative the responses are here – maybe the music is swaying people? Watching it with the sound turned off is probably much better.

  45. Bhazor says:

    Reply to Kevlar
    Calling this an intentional joke is giving them far too much credit.

    Reply to Simon Jones
    But that isn’t the combat. It’s some jerkily animated cut scenes which look pathetic compared to say God of War 2 or Ninja Gaiden or even The Witcher.

    Aside: Is this the longest non piracy debate in RPS so far?

  46. Funky Badger says:

    Can people please stop equating NWN and Mass Effect, it’s making my head hurt.

  47. Chaz says:

    Good grief whats with all the angst? It’s just a bloody trailer for crying out loud!

  48. Rei Onryou says:

    Who put Michael Bay in charge of marketing?

    I’ve gone from “probably buy” to “wait for demo, and if no demo, wait for bargain bin”. Roll on Alpha Protocol.

  49. Hypocee says:

    I dig the rolly-gorilla-dogs, tho.

  50. InTheNile says:

    This is just a fan video, right? Like those other ones on YouTube with awfully unfitting heavy metal music and bad editing?

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