Go Deep: Dragon Age Journeys Begins Today

By John Walker on October 22nd, 2009 at 9:49 am.

It's not the nicest shade of brown they could have picked.

We mentioned the recently revealed existence of EA 2D project Dragon Age Journeys a couple of days ago, and it seems it’s with us sooner than we expected. Today, in fact. The first episode of the Flash-based 2D action RPG, The Deep Roads, will be released on the game’s site at 8pm BST (12pm PST) this very day. It acts as a prequel to the game, set in the Dwarven city of Orzammar, and going into the mining passages known as the Deep Roads. Screenshots reveal that it’s definitely deeper than a simple hack-n-slash, featuring much of the main game’s screen furniture, multiple party members, an inventory and character items. We’ll find out more later today, it seems.

__________________

« | »

, , .

72 Comments »

  1. Alexander Norris says:

    So that’s, what, early tomorrow morning in Sensible Time?

    • John Walker says:

      If sensible time is in the UK, then no, 8pm.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Oh, bollocks. I read that as 8pm EST/12pm PST for some reason.

      Yes, that makes it 8pm BST, 7pm GMT and 9pm CEST for anyone else who can’t be bothered to do the maths.

    • John Walker says:

      This is the best thread in RPS history.

    • Haywire says:

      However its not out today, but tomorrow morning if you live in the future, like me

    • Clovis says:

      I’m confused. Just tell me the stardate.

    • Scalene says:

      Depends. Official USF Stardate would be 200910.22.

      But the True Trek datewould be 63172.5 – I think.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      I make it 63274.5, but it’s been a while since I recalibrated my positronic flux. Perhaps if I reversed the polarity of the graviton relay…

    • Scalene says:

      Wait, I’m getting 63173.8 as the True Trek Stardate now.

      Double checked it – yeah, it is True Trek.

  2. Kem0sabe says:

    What time would that be on GMT?

  3. Lobotomist says:

    Cant wait!!!

  4. Lars Westergren says:

    I reiterate my comment from last time: Heroes of Might and Magic style strategy – YAY!
    But what is up with Bioware (or EAs) marketing department? First the infamous DA: Origins trailers, and now this one. Why release a trailer that makes it appear to be a totally different game than it is?

    Charitable reading: The loyal old PC RPG fans know what to expect and are hooked already. This is a smart way to get the masses interested, and some of these will be exposed to new deep genres they didn’t even know exist.

    Less charitable interpretation: They only know how to market stuff in one way and to one group of gamer (mainstream), these games are so alien to the marketers they don’t know how to get the message out.

    Least: Monkeys. Crack.

  5. Kem0sabe says:

    After checking the game site i was pleasantly surprised to see that one could earn loot for the main game trough playing this 2D version, pretty nice way to tie both games.

    • Ado says:

      That’s even better, was wondering how they’d link (if at all).
      Nicely done the lads.

  6. Ado says:

    @ Haywire Surly, if you live in the future, then it came out yesterday??

    Also, I can’t wait. I need to preorder still but have been looking forward to this. Was really excited then it all looked a bit poor, now it all looks good again. Plus a 94% from PCG is never a bad thing (apart from if it’s Far Cry 2 of course… :o)

  7. Hoernchen says:

    8pm Pakistan Standard Time would be UTC +5 which currently means +4 due to DST, so thi.. err… damn. Im confused.

  8. eot says:

    I just read your review in PCG John. I was 100% unsold on this game but you made it sound like it’s a real step forward for the genre, something that hasn’t happened for ages

    It’s still a BioWare game though :x

  9. manveruppd says:

    Are those hexes I see before me?

    Think I’ll try it out :)

  10. Markoff Chaney says:

    Mr. Walker’s review and your (which happens to share mine own exact self same) charitable interpreation of the marketing of this game are what has finally pushed me into actually getting the tin box cloth map version of what was my single most anticipated title this year. Now it’s tied with Borderlands. ;) Here’s to hoping Bioware can recapture the magic of 6+ years ago and not present me with another Mass Effect (good though it was, it just didn’t feel proper to me).

    • Markoff Chaney says:

      Naturally, that was meant to be a reply to Mr. Westergren.

    • Wizlah says:

      Out of interest, where are you getting the tin box cloth map version? Cos I’ve only seen a plastic box version at game, and they make no mention of cool cloth maps. I fear it’s a US thing only.

      In incidentally JOHN WALKER I task you with squishing last nights glorious victory into a games related post. You should know whereof I speak

    • Markoff Chaney says:

      I am a yank and I’m getting it from the EA Store (shudder). It is the physical copy though. It was either them or NewEgg. They both had free shipping and while NewEgg was 5 dollars cheaper, it didn’t have all the nifty pre-order stuff.

      If you want the loot from the 2D game, you need to be logged in to your EA account, apparently. Also uploading something from the creator nets an item as well, I believe.

  11. jsutcliffe says:

    Unrelated to Journeys, but related to Origins:

    Could Mr. Walker, or anyone else who has played it, offer an opinion on how smoothly it runs and how scaleable the engine seems? The character creator ran great, but it’s not exactly representative of a big battle scene.

    • Flobulon says:

      According to JW’s review, the minimum specs are: “1.6Ghz Core 2, 2GB RAM, 256MB 3D card”.
      So it seems like it should be fairly scaleable. Although I too am interested in how it plays in practice.

    • Psychopomp says:

      According to Steam, the minimum specs are:

      XP Minimum:

      OS: Windows XP with SP3
      Processor: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.4Ghz or greater AMD X2 (or equivalent) running at 1.8Ghz or greater
      Memory: 1GB or more
      Graphics: ATI Radeon X850 128MB or greater NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT 128MB or greater
      DirectX®: DirectX (November 2007)
      Hard Drive: 20 GB HD space
      Sound: Direct X Compatible Sound Card
      Vista Minimum:

      OS: Windows Vista with SP1
      Processor: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.6Ghz or greater AMD X2(or equivalent) running at 2.0Ghz or greater
      Memory: 1.5 GB or more
      Graphics: ATI Radeon X1550 256MB or greater NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB or greater
      DirectX®: DirectX (November 2007)
      Hard Drive: 20 GB HD space
      Sound: Direct X Compatible Sound Card

      Hopefully my graphics cards, and processor will make up for lamentable RAM shortage >_>

  12. Jarts says:

    A part of the article I think is worth highlighting:

    “It is entirely free, which begs the question of how EA 2D plans to make money out of the project? ‘ The first chapter is free to play,’ Hawley explained. ‘For subsequent chapters and the multiplayer version we are exploring micro-transactions. Ad support isn’t necessary for us right now, we like keeping the content pretty clean and free from outside distractions.’ ”

    A mention of a multiplayer version seems interesting, but the other two single player chapters possibly having microtransactions? Not sure what those would be, or what to make of it…

  13. Andrew Wade says:

    Oh, I don’t know; I’m quite enjoying it!

  14. Andrew Wade says:

    (meant to be a reply to all the timezone comments)

  15. Dave says:

    Dragon Age (the full game) has just been leaked to a certain warez site, it’s such a shame people pirate.

    • Azradesh says:

      Thanks for not linking, after John’s review I’m not sure I could wait given the option not to. Although I’d buy it either way. Want now damn it!

    • Psychopomp says:

      I seriously doubt that, considering Dragon Age hasn’t even gone gold yet.

    • Azradesh says:

      Well considering that the review copies went out months ago, I’d say it’s pretty damn gold.

    • Psychopomp says:

      It’s…

      An odd ordeal. If you ask if it’s gone gold on the Bioware forums, you’ll get a response from Bioware stating

      “Do you see an announcement around here, anywhere?”

  16. James G says:

    Wizlah said:
    Out of interest, where are you getting the tin box cloth map version? Cos I’ve only seen a plastic box version at game, and they make no mention of cool cloth maps. I fear it’s a US thing only.

    Yep, cloth maps / tin boxes are unavailable in the UK, although its not just the US CE that offers them, and various EU editions also contain it. (One country, I forget which, offers a wooden box. Which seems quite cool.)

    There is also a bit of confusion over whether UK standard editions contain the codes for The Stone Prisoner and Blood Dragon Armour CLCs. The Bioware website seems to imply that this is true for all regions, and various UK download editions claim to include it. However, the EA Store download edition implies that it is exclusive to the UK DDE edition (basically a digital collectors edition) and when questioned Game and Amazon state the same thing. (Although this may be due to confusion over the fact that the codes are supposedly included in the box, rather than delivered by E-mail as with most the retailer exclusives.)

    Meanwhile, Bioware have said that they had been under the impression that ALL retail versions included TSP and BDA DLC. (TLA FTW!) Meanwhile EA have been next to useless, and basically haven't issues a clear statement one way or the other.

    Personally I reckon it'll probably be included, and the confusion is a result of the retailers not quite knowing what's up. I'm sticking with my Amazon pre-order at the moment.

  17. Railick says:

    Wow, those specs blow my computer away, looks like their min specs are about twice as strong as my computer is atm. I guess I'll be giving this one a miss until I can upgrade in about 5 – 10 years :P

  18. Earl_of_Josh says:

    Hrm, ok this should be up, according to my calculations. it has now been replaced with a screen that just says “coming soon”. COMING SOON?? its now officially late! On the plus side it is not blocked at work yet, bwahahaha.

  19. WaitJustAGoddamn says:

    You have to pay for this shit?

    http://blog.bioware.com/2009/10/21/listening-with-both-ears/

    It is free to play chapter 1, you will be charged for playing the two other chapters. In order for you to be able to save the game, you will have to get an EA Master account where your saved characters will be stored.

    • Devan says:

      It’s reasonable to be signed into the EA account to save games and have the unlockables show up in DA:O. However, it would have to be an improbably excellent flash game to make me want to pay real money for any chapters.

      My guess is that they need some way to fund the past almost-year of development on this flash game. Part of that may be marketing budget for DA:O, but I don’t think that would cover the whole thing. They’ve already stated they don’t want to use web ads (for now anyway), so there aren’t many options left.

  20. Azradesh says:

    It’s late! >_<

  21. Railick says:

    Intel Core 2 is this a duel core processor? I've got intel 4 2.5 something GHZ so I doubt I'll be albe to run this with windows xp. May try a demo since my graphics card and ram actually meet the min requirments.

    • Psychopomp says:

      The Intel Core 2 processors aren’t all dual core, it’s just a brand name. Your processor should do you more than fine.

  22. Dan says:

    What the goonery is up with all these things where they’re positively burping up DLC for stuff? Order here and get DLC, order there and get something else, fiddle with the character creator and get the third thing, and play our flash game and get things 4,5,6. Preorder the game before our next game, and get something else!

    I’m burned out on getting loot for this game, and it’s not even out yet.

    • Dan says:

      Actually, thinking about it, it sort of reminds me of the weariness I get for shops that start decorating for Christmas months before it’s reasonable to.

  23. Dave says:

    Yeah, I was lying in order to expose pirates who’d ask for a link. Probably would have worked better if I’d used a real email.

    • Azradesh says:

      Ok, but then what? You’d give them a stern talking to? :P

  24. GCU Speak Softly says:

    Will this go live on the 22nd? There’s not much of it left from my POV…

  25. Azradesh says:

    It seems to be kinda, sorta, up…..ish….. : /

  26. GCU Speak Softly says:

    Hmm, loaded a shed-load of data then… nothing!

  27. GCU Speak Softly says:

    “DAJourneys is experiencing some technical difficulties. We’re working as fast as we can to resolve.
    about 1 hour ago from web” says Twitter.

    Well, that went well, eh?

  28. Azradesh says:

    It’s up! YAY!

  29. GCU Speak Softly says:

    And it works quite well. Fingers crossed!

  30. Railick says:

    This is pretty cool. My dwarf already has a giant two handed axe and I'm only 20-30 minutes in to it :P (of course I'm working at the same time so I've only played a few minutes of game time)
    Eh, got bored with it. It reminds me to much of a normal RPG and I'm not going to stick with it knowing I won't be able to finish it. I play RPGs for the story after all.

    Shadowcat “It hammers at my retinas like an evil woodpecker of pure energy”

  31. Lugribossk says:

    It’s a bit samey and grindy. Every combat seems to be spam Staff Bolt, heal the warrior, get flanked without any real tactical options beyond that. Maybe the fun doesn’t really start until higher levels when you get more abilities and enough mana to cast more than two spells?

  32. Drachenfells says:

    For a free game its kinda fun and getting me in the mood for the real game.
    And ive already unlocked some stuff, which is nice.
    Unfortunatly im a achivment whore, so im going to have to spend some time on this :)

  33. Earl_of_Josh says:

    Yeah, its fun. It is a little grindy, and its pretty difficult, my main dude I created is a rogue with crappy armor, and there’s been maybe three battles where he managed to not survive the affair. Including the last battle in the first chapter (finding the grey warden) *SPOILERS* when I found the grey warden *END OF SPOILER* she died too :-P That plucky little mage appears to be impossible to kill though.

    I’m a little worried though, while the work filter lets me get to the dragon age journey’s site… it doesn’t let me log into the EA thing. So, I’m really hoping that when I bring my laptop home, it doesn’t freak out the connection dropped, and I’ll be able to actually log in and save my progress. *fingers crossed*

  34. Body Armor says:

    All you need to know about bullet proof vests, protective clothing, concealable body armor and tactical body armor.

  35. Hoernchen says:

    After finding out that you have to use the ea login crap to get the items I’m not really interested in it any more.

  36. Ho says:

    gfsgfs

  37. Earl_of_Josh says:

    Its also a bit buggy. When I first changed out a weapon for a new one, the old one disappeared from the inventory. I swapped some other weapons and they went to the inventory fine, so not sure about that. For some reason I can’t log into the EA servers, no matter where I get my connection, it always says “Can’t connect to ea server” when I try to save. Also, the bonuses from items/armor do not appear to change the actual stats on the char page (though that just might be a transparency issue, i.e. the bonus is there, just not reflected on the character page). Mages seem a bit overpowered as well. My rogue would often get “glancing blows” where the damaged dropped to piddly 1-3 damage (even using his special ability) while the mages spells never did less than 24, and often did as much as 35. Also: backstab? Does that ever happen? If I have ever gotten additional damage from a backstab, its never notified me that it occurred, and if it has occurred is has never done a noticeably larger amount of damage. I wondered about this even more when you fight the bandits and the animation changes when they do a backstab. Quite odd.

  38. South Dakota Camping says:

    Lands GPS Mapping Program · AIM Event #3 – South Dakota Walleye Classic · Free Event Introducing Families to the Outdoors · More SDOInsider Articles .

  39. body armour says:

    EnGarde is a leading manufacturer of high quality and affordable Body Armor for military, civilians, security personnel, law enforcement officers, …