Dragon Age’s Hawke Is Three Champions

By Jim Rossignol on February 8th, 2011 at 7:42 pm.

At RPS we get choose between being Blogger, Snogger, or Dogger.
So, after having too many options for creating a character in Dragon Age: Origins, we are now down to just three options for the Hawke character chap in Dragon Age 2, II, Two. He can be a mage! (DUDES GET MAGICKED TO DEATH!) He can be a rogue! (DUDES GET STABBED TO DEATH!) He can be a warrior! (DUDES GET UH MORE STABBED I GUESS!) You decide.

Watch it, below.

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153 Comments »

  1. Auspex says:

    Jim and Alec = Blogger
    Quinns/Kieron = Snogger
    John = Dogger

    ?

    • Tagert says:

      Pics or lies.

      Though I suppose it might be considered illegal, since Quint’s is so young.

      Kieron you dog!

  2. Bhazor says:

    “He”? Surely there’s still an option to play a lady.

    I’m still amazed they’re abandoning the whole origins thing from the last game. Wasn’t the whole point of the game to create your own hero with their own back story and enemies? Now they’re ditching it. Its especially bizarre when that’s exactly what ME 2 did.

    • Mr_Hands says:

      Ladyhawke?

    • alh_p says:

      Cheaper, innit.

      Surely they wont do their fanbase out of the chance to set up girl on girl “love” scenes? That would be MENTAL.

    • Bhazor says:

      “Surely they wont do their fanbase out of the chance to set up girl on girl “love” scenes?”

      Wouldn’t want them to break with tradition now would we.

    • Jeremy says:

      Well, if they were smart they would just re-brand it to be Dragon Age: Hawke or something as such. Then they could establish that Dragon Age is a world rather than a specific type of game, and second, naming this particular version of Dragon Age would retroactively give “Origins” a lot more meaning as well.

    • finbikkifin says:

      Yes, you can play a woman. They won’t advertise it with the female Hawke, because according to the marketing people, the male Hawke is the iconic character in the minds of fans.

      Now, you might be thinking “But surely he’s only iconic because she hasn’t been used to advertise and promote the game? Perhaps she would be just as iconic if she was given a chance?” If you are, then you are clearly a boring anti-male feminist claiming to be oppressed by imagined sexism.

      So, the Bioware marketing types are idiots, aren’t they? From what I have read, the first part above is really what they think, which is bloody depressing.

    • DaFishes says:

      @finbikkifin: Yeah, the story on their man-only marketing idiocy is over here

    • Stellar Duck says:

      I really don’t find male Hawke iconic. He comes across as pretty annoying and thuggish to me. And I really don’t like the look of that beard.

      Default Shep might have been bland, but this guy looks like a thug.

    • Jeremy says:

      Well, I think they’ve clearly proven themselves from the beginning, with Origins, to be marketing gumps.

      First I’ll state that they should have the freedom to create a game or world they want to create, that’s not our decision. It’s their vision and we can play it or not, that has always been the power of the consumer (I’m not seeing this as an outright purchase for me yet). However, if the vibe they wanted to give the Dragon Age world is seeing it as a vehicle for several different types of games, they shouldn’t throw a 2 on the end of the name and be surprised when gamers expect Origins pt. 2.

      That’s just one of the, I think many, marketing blunders surrounding the Dragon Age name.

    • Kadayi says:

      Yeah you can play as a female. Essentially it’s the same character class choices just distilled into one character though.

      On the negatives you don’t get to play as an elf or a dwarf.

      On the positives, you get to speak your own lines rather than looking like a mute, and the writers don’t have to dance around the lack of a name with abstract references such as ‘grey warden’.

      Personally I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

    • Nick says:

      I don’t consider a voiced self character to be a positive, personally.

    • subedii says:

      I think what’s suitable varies depending on the game and how they go about implementing it.

      Frankly, I didn’t miss the VA in Dragon Age. I can’t say having a voiced role in Mass Effect did anything more to draw me in. Largely the two games were attempting for two different narrative styles (and Ray Muzyka confirmed this as well).

      DA 2 looks to be trying to adopt a similar narrative style to the Mass Effect series, so in theory having a voiced lead role would make sense for it. But I can’t say such a thing is inherently better in itself (or worse for that matter).

    • Kadayi says:

      @Nick

      Voiced self character isn’t the nice bit (that’s just the icing on the cake).

      The nice bit is that because you have a name the NPCs can actually can put some strong emotion into their performances. Not a particularly easy thing to do when you’re just known as ‘Grey Warden’.

      ‘Grey warden you bastard face your doom!!

      ‘Take me grey Warden, take me like I’ve never been taken before!!’

      ‘Grey Warden. I thought I recognised your face, so what brings you to this hive of scum and villainy?’

      DA:O was great, but it was pretty po-faced at times and a lot of that was down to the fact that the writers had to dance around this imposed barrier of anonymity. Like it or not neither ME or the Witcher suffered such problems.

    • Ian says:

      I think if you’re having the whole lines (or near enough) to pick from as with DA:O I’d rather not have it voiced, but while I’ve not used the ME2 style dialogue system, I prefer it to a lot of the ones where you pick an option and the associated text is something completely different. Like you’ll click the “Negotiate” dialogue branch and your previously nice character screams: “I’LL STAB YOUR FUCKING BABY IF YOU DON’T DO WHAT I SAY!” Am I right in saying that with this dialogue system it tells you the feel of what you’re going to say (friendly, aggressive, whatever) rather than trying to sum it up with one word? Because that sounds better.

      EDIT: Also meant to say that yes, the advantage of having a name to be called by is nice.

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      They did the same for Mass Effect in regards to female/male,but the default FemShep is a DOG! Personally I can’t stand to play as MaleShep, thankfully you could customize FemSheps face rather well.

      Honestly they seem to have trouble making attractive Female characters in their games at times. Leliana was quite unattractive (Thank GOD for Mods), and Morrigan has ridiculously oversized lips.

  3. godkingemperor says:

    i see dragon age is sticking with that shitty floaty physics aesthetic

  4. Freud says:

    I don’t know why I can’t work up any enthusiasm about this game. I did enjoy the first one. Not greatly but I finished it. But this one I’ll probably wait and pick up when it is €10.

    • perestroika says:

      i feel the same way. i really love the first dragon age, and played it so much i kinda burned out, but even so i was really exited about the second one. sadly the more i learn about it, the less interested i am. the witcher 2 though, now that’s the complete opposite. and i also played that one to death.

      not getting it until they have a complete edition though. [dragon age 2 i mean]

    • Lowbrow says:

      TBH I’m really intrigued by the idea of the frame story, and the possibility for storytelling in skipping around in time. The need to tell one singular building adventure limits the kind of stories you can tell in an rpg (not that DA2 seems like it’s pushing creative boundaries).

      I really am a bit put off by the apparent quantity of spinny-jumpy-shit in the game though. My favorite parts of DAO’s combat were when they managed to give combat a feel of weight (if not momentum). I loved the first time a dog knocked someone down and savaged him, or someone got knocked over with a shot from a pommel. I’d like to see combat in a game that makes sense (i.e. unarmored guys have to rely on numbers or trickery to take on an armored guy, not just a high “toughness” stat). Failing that, I’d like a game to pretend that was going on with its animations.

      I’ve only just started on the Witcher, but so far the combat seems a bit to flimsy for me too. I think a lot of it is in clicking the mouse for the combos, I honestly think I’d like it better if I was hitting spacebar instead of left clicking. I feel really disconnected from what my character is doing, and it makes the combat much more of a chore.

  5. UW says:

    It’s hard to take much away from Dragon Age trailers, really… Since the trailers for the original were pretty much meaningless. Though, I don’t care what anyone says, I thought the “This Is The New Shit” trailer was a bloody good watch, and I had a great time recommending the game to people on the sole basis of that trailer then getting their angry “This game is NOTHING like the trailer!” phone call after they bought it.

    Shortly followed by “How can I save all these villagers!? I want the special reward! What stats should I boost? Who’s your favourite character?”

    Anyway, aren’t these the same as the original game’s basic classes? The only difference being that obviously you chose race and gender previously where now you do not…but we knew that I suppose.

    I wonder if “Hawke’s” story will be identical no matter what, and if so how they will explain how he could have ended up being either a mage or a warrior in the DA universe…

    I really hope they don’t mess this up. I loved Dragon Age.

    • TCM says:

      You can be female. Confirmed by both devs and screenshots.

      So if you want to be technical, there’s 6 options for character creation. RPS just continues to leave this fact out, presumably to get the same kind of reactionary hate their previous DA2 posts have brought.

      I still love the site, but DA2 coverage has been unarguably biased.

    • alice says:

      I think the original DA coverage was similarly biased, I was fully expecting the game to be terrible upon release and remember being surprised when Walker gave it such a glowing review.

    • RandomGameR says:

      But the original one WAS terrible. There are very few games that I’ve bought that I’ve hated on every level and DA:O was definitely one.

    • jrod says:

      @RandomGameR oh man really? DA:O was my favorite RPG ever made besides Baldur’s Gate 2. Did you play DA:O on a console by chance? I hear it was a MUCH different experience on the consoles. Playing it on hard difficulty also made it much more fun… friendly fire on AOE spells makes things more interesting by far.

    • Kadayi says:

      @RandomGameR

      I think you have to apply the universal rule to the question, rather than the personal. Although you may have hated it, apparently millions of others didn’t (thus why the sequel). I suspect if you hated the first one though, you’ll probably hate this one as well (unless you’re a huge fan of ME2).

    • sneetch says:

      @UW
      Anyway, aren’t these the same as the original game’s basic classes? The only difference being that obviously you chose race and gender previously where now you do not…but we knew that I suppose.

      Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking too. I mean you can choose your gender but you’re stuck with a human now.

      I get that they want you to be stuck with the Hawke name (for dialogue I suppose) but why not allow you to create an elf or dwarf called Hawke if you so wish. Unless there’s a prologue like the first one where it wouldn’t make sense if you weren’t human… dunno.

    • hitnrun says:

      You were pretty much stuck with a human in Dragon Age:O, since the other two races were crap that would have been cut out if the plot had any sort of editing whatsoever. They were obviously just relics of the game’s original design intentions and the only thing they added to the world was a “multiple races!” checkmark for the marketing materials.

      As for DA:O itself…well, I would have been much less disappointed by the game if it hadn’t been conflated so grandly with the Infinity Engine titles of yore. In addition to the pile of other shortcomings, the tactical control was poor (yes, even on the PC) compared to the perfect interactivity of Baldur’s Gate, et al. You couldn’t even zoom to half of aggro range.

    • Kadayi says:

      @hitnrun

      I played as a Female City Elf Rogue and had no problems (were there even any player character racial differences beyond appearance and class access?).

      Also when was RPGs all about combat mechanics? Personally I play these things for the storyline.

    • jaheira says:

      @Kadayi
      Yeah there were some slight stat differences but nothing much.

    • Acorino says:

      >>Also when was RPGs all about combat mechanics? Personally I play these things for the storyline.

      In the 80s, early 90s. That stories became so dominant in RPGs, that developed later on. Dungeoncrawlerss had only minimal story. They feel kinda pure because of that, since all the effort went into the gameplay, which was probably better for it then.

  6. TCM says:

    Odd.

    Those are the exact same three options for character creation you had in the first game, it’s the origins that differed, and those had very little, if any, gameplay effect. Is there any reason you continue to try and spin DA2 as negatively as possible, or am I just being cynical?

    • PleasingFungus says:

      To be fair, that was an incredibly terrible trailer. Anyone would be feeling negative about the game after that.

    • TCM says:

      And the trailers for the first game weren’t?

      I’m just saying, we’ve been down this road before.

    • Bhazor says:

      No but the Origin stories had a major effect on the story of the game and fleshed out the player character in a way I’ve never seen in a Bioware game. The scrapping of this character is my main misgiving about the game so far.
      I’ll leave the judgement of how it actually plays until I’ve actually played it.

    • sirdorius says:

      If it has more than 3 people on the dev team it’s probably going get bashed a lot by the RPS staff.

      If it’s a game it’s going to get bashed a lot in the RPS comments.

    • hitnrun says:

      It’s not really that hard to see what they’re doing. Mass Effect 2, except in Dragon Age. Obviously traveling that route (in addition to the profit-focused production schedule) means jettisoning some game elements from the first title. If you liked ME2 or Dragon Age, you should probably play this. If, for some reason, you only liked DA because of its (in the end practically nonexistent) Infinity Engine roots, you should skip it.

      I imagine there are other areas of distinction your character won’t have as well, which they won’t discuss before release to preclude a flamefest.

    • kongming says:

      You are a dumb piece of shit, FYI. Being critical is the most important part of being a good game reviewer, RPS can spin this game as negatively as they want every single time and I’ll still read it because it’s an oasis of thought in a desert of mindless fanboyism.

  7. kibayasu says:

    Rogues stab you in the back. Warriors stab you everywhere.

    • RaytraceRat says:

      Rogues stab, warriors slice ?

    • jrod says:

      Rogues, much like their aquatic cousin the pirate, also usually have an eye patch. This helps with the stabbing and skullduggery.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Good thing rogues and mages will still get that totally useless long sword and shield if you ORDER NOW.

    • bill says:

      that rogue seemed to stab people everywhere.
      infact, that rogue seemed like a warrior.
      and that mage seemed like a warrior.

  8. patricij says:

    Oh maaan, even Quest For Glory II-V had more classes when you imported your character…The extra paladin quest with the mermaid in QFG IV ftw (never return to the lake after that, though..it’s not pretty)

  9. Jimbo says:

    “Woe, the enemy is at the gates of our fair Kirkwall! Send for that guy who can detect traps and open stuff real good!”

  10. Creeping Death says:

    Sigh, this is kind of disappointing.

    With the lack of character customisation and judging from the videos released so far, I was kind of hoping he would be a jack of all trades that could be customized as he leveled towards any of the 3 options. So I could level him up and stick points all in one of the 3 to specialise, or could primarily go with melee but still manage the odd fireball etc.

    Oh well. Despite absolutely loving Origins, everything I have seen about this game just says “wait for the inevitable sale” :/

  11. marko4te says:

    Man this game looks ugly.

  12. bwion says:

    I can’t really think too grimly about this particular design choice, when I consider that certain other highly-acclaimed RPGs have been even more restrictive in the options they offered for character creation.

    Planescape: Torment is the one that springs most obviously to mind. You could assign some attributes, but otherwise you were stuck as Amnesiac Immortal Nameless Man. Most of your choices about who your character was in the past and is now came out as you played the game, which is a thing that more games should do, frankly.

    Even games like Fallout, where you had quite a lot of freedom in shaping your character’s aptitudes, you were still always gonna be the Vault Dweller sent out after a spare water chip. Who you would ultimately become was a function of how you played the game itself more than it was a function of what you did on the game’s first screen. Really, the only games I can think of where you had absolute control over your character’s background were the ones where who your character was before the game’s start didn’t matter at all. Which can be fun sometimes too, of course.

    • steggieav says:

      IIRC, in Torment you could make TNO a mage, thief, or warrior. He always started out as a warrior, and could come across dialogue options that would allow him to switch classes.

    • malkav11 says:

      Well, and even in Dragon Age: Origins, the PC was always “the grey warden”.

      But as much as I’m fine playing a largely predetermined character – in Mass Effect, say -, one of the very coolest things in the first Dragon Age was the choice of origin stories, and I was really hoping they’d build on that, or at least continue it, in subsequent games in the franchise. Nope.

  13. Vinraith says:

    DA: Origins was a day 1 purchase. Awakenings, wisely or not, was a preorder. This is a $10 bargain bin item unless I start hearing radically different things about how it plays. Old school, party-based RPG’s are a must buy (even when flawed, which DA certainly was). Third person action games with dialogue trees are not.

    • Duffin says:

      Yeh what I want to know is WHY? It’s not as if Origins bombed, it was their best selling ever ever ever of all time ever game and has got a big following, so WHY change it so much?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Duffin

      I certainly don’t get it. Bioware already have a franchise of the “third person action with conversation trees” stripe, ME, and it’s brilliant at it. The whole point of Dragon Age was supposed to be a revival of Baldur’s-Gate style games, turning it into fantasy ME is just utterly daft.

      It may very well be an enjoyable game, but it’s an abandonment of something that I’d have enjoyed a lot more.

    • Duffin says:

      Yep all true and echos exactly how I (and I’m sure alot more) feel. They even used the term ‘spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate’ over a year before Orgins came out.

    • Bhazor says:

      My main complaint with what we’ve seen of gameplay so far isn’t in fear that the combat will be bad, both Jade Empire and Mass Effect 2 show they can do decent action, but that they’ve removed the whole team strategy element. It might be a great hack and slasher but it won’t be a BG2 style RPG.

    • qeloqoo says:

      @Bhazor
      Actually they didn’t http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyR1fGMCLXo
      But still game looks too much like a korean action rpg where everything twitches, teleports and sparkles…

    • Bhazor says:

      @qeloqoo Well thank fuck for that. I hadn’t seen gameplay since that terrible E3 trailer which was just a guy running up and whacking a dragon for 3 minutes on their own.
      My anticipation for this game just rocketed right back up.

      @RPS Seriously, why post that champions trailer when this far better trailer is right there?

    • DiamondDog says:

      I could be missing something, but can’t you still play this the same way as DA:O? As in, pause it and order your party about in a similar manner?

    • qeloqoo says:

      @Bhazor Actually, it was posted on RPS some time ago…

      @DiamondDog There’s still pause-and-give-orders mode…

    • Urthman says:

      Yeh what I want to know is WHY? It’s not as if Origins bombed, it was their best selling ever ever ever of all time ever game and has got a big following, so WHY change it so much?

      DA:O took a long time to develop (it was originally announced in 2004 and finally released at the end of 2009). My guess is that EA told them they had to crank out DA2 in 1.5 years and they just didn’t have time to do everything it would require to let you play the game with as many different characters as the first game.

    • jackflash says:

      Agree with what @Vinraith said.

  14. Duffin says:

    Alistair would batter this cock to a pulp.

  15. Daniel Rivas says:

    Why does he look like he should be in The Sims?

  16. MikoSquiz says:

    That seems weird. They’re marketing their AAA+* major release with a basic feature common to pretty much every RPG-type game ever.

    And rogues don’t work that way, dammit. Rogues sneak around the bad guys, or set traps to lure them into, or just appear from shadows and stick something very small and pointy between their vertebrae when they’re not looking. Why not have the spellcaster magic up a big rock and hit the bad guys with it while you’re at it?

    • Koozer says:

      I miss the days when mages weren’t hellbent on gathering new and interesting ways of commiting genocide, but could instead open a door, open a magical door out of thin air, or magic a really big bag.

    • Wilson says:

      The mage in Trine could magic floatiness, magic boxes, magic sticks, and later (spoiler!) magic triangles.

  17. Paul B says:

    @TCM – Original Post Quoted for Truth, though haven’t noticed an overall negative bias to RPS’s reporting, especially with John being a big fan of the original.

    I also recall that you could be human, elf or dwarf in DA: O – I’m hoping you’ll still be able to pick your race in the sequel.

    Based on my own DA: O experience, I only played through two of the Origins stories – I wonder if this was a common experience – and might explain why Bioware didn’t think it was worth doing this for the sequel?

    • TCM says:

      Race is confirmed to be human only.

      I played all the origins, but only finished two. City Elf (Female, Warrior) and Human Noble (Male, Warrior). My Dwarf Noble playthrough got the furthest outside those two (Female, Rogue), and my Mage (Elf, Male) next furthest.

    • UW says:

      The prospect of removing the origin stories because “most people didn’t play them all” seems laughable to me. I would have thought that would be the whole point. One of the things I love about playing certain RPGs is if someone else plays it and has a totally different experience. Fallout: New Vegas is a great recent example of this, your story changes massively depending on decisions you make and chatting with a friend about it is great. “Woah, he said what? You killed him!? How did you finish the quest?” etc.

      If anything I think that was an aspect many people praised about DA:O, and there was definitely room for improvement – certainly not calls for steps back.

    • Paul B says:

      @TCM – Reply fail for my post – thanks for replying to it.

      That’s a shame about your hero’s race. I enjoyed playing a Dwarf Commoner in the original. Without an origins story to add meat to your decision, I can maybe see why they’ve decided to cut the choice of race though.

      Like you, I’ll reserve judgment till I play DA: 2, and being limited to one race didn’t hurt Mass Effect. Though I can see why Dragon Age players might be upset at this decision as DA: O harked back to more traditional fantasy RPG’s.

    • Paul B says:

      @UW – Yeah, I was thinking about Half life 2 episodes when I wrote that, as I think Valve used player data from Episode 1 to work out what did and didn’t work regarding gameplay.

      But, yeah, RPGs are different beasts, and the more options/decisions to be made the better. I’m still a bit sad (mainly for myself) that Bioware created all these Origin stories, and then players like me, who only played through once, never got to saw them.

  18. Lilliput King says:

    Am I missing something? Did we not have 3 options in DA1?

    • Jeremy says:

      Yessir, but races were different. So, you could have a dwarf, elf or human warrior. Which, honestly, doesn’t bother me personally, but I know it bothers others, and I can’t blame them too much. The way I see it, this isn’t really DA:O pt 2, which I think is the fail on Bioware’s part for giving that impression.

      Edit: Forgot to mention this, but I know the specializations have remained.. so you’re not just Mr. Rogue.. you can be Mr. Assassin or whatever else. I think you can have two specializations as well. So it isn’t different at all in that regard.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Ah, fair enough. We’ve known it’s human only for a while though.

    • Jeremy says:

      It’s true. Like I said, it doesn’t bother me much at all, because this isn’t aiming to tell an origin story. I don’t get upset when dragons aren’t in Westerns.. so I don’t suppose I’ll get upset when I can’t be a dwarf when they’re telling the story of a human grey warden turned Champion of Kirkwall.

      In fact, it doesn’t seem like it would fit much at all to be able to be a dwarf.

  19. steggieav says:

    I miss the days when RPGs had a billion different classes. Now it seems like they all have just three: warrior-equivalent, mage-equivalent, and thief-equivalent. The first Dragon Age was actually a lot deeper than most, due to how many different skill sets it had, plus the subclasses. Hopefully DAII will keep that, and not just become Mass Effect 2: Fantasy Edition.

    • Bugg says:

      The subclasses are in the game, and actually seem to give the player more options. Instead of picking a subclass or two, you have access to all of their skill trees, so you can wind up grabbing your favorite bits from each or just fully fleshing one out.

      Origins are out, but the above story is a little misleading, really.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      +1

      I completely, 100% agree on this. I like complexity, replayability and options!

  20. Bureaucrat says:

    In action-y CRPGs, it’s usually best to think of “Rogues” simply as “Skirmishers” or some other term that identifies a lightly-armored, agility-based fighter.

    Really, I thought that DA:O’s class and skill system would’ve made a lot more sense if they had simply eliminated the Rogue as a separate class and made all of the non-Wizardy skill trees open to all of the non-Wizardy characters. There was a good lore-based reason for making Wizards an independent class, but the only justification for the Rogue-Warrior split seemed to be RPG conventions. Are locks in Thedas really so intricate that one must devote their whole life to study of them to even have a chance at opening one without a key?

  21. Teddy Leach says:

    First it’s lauding how you can play a gay character, but it won’t let you design said gay character? That sounds very amusing to me. Also, it’s a definite step backwards.

  22. Soon says:

    I thought “Choose” said “Goose”, and thought “That’s four!”. And then I was disappointed.

  23. dogsolitude_uk says:

    IIRC (I’m doing this from memory) Morrowind had 12 races and 10 classes, and you could choose your gender…

    …Neverwinter Nights had fewer races, I think it was 7, and 10 classes.

    I don’t recall much about Oblivion (I stopped playing it because the auto-levelling put me off so much, or Baldur’s Gate.

    But I’d love to see a proper, deep freeform RPG with a thick manual, 12 races, 10 classes, a sh1tload of skills and other things to tweak, books and scrolls everywhere to read, loot in dungeons, no auto-levelling, no auto-aiming, useable controls and decent camera options (the ones in The Witcher would be a start).

    Much as I’m enjoying Dragon Age:Origins, which I picked up for £7.99 the other day, I just want Morrowind 2.0.

    I’m so fed up with the ‘streamlining’ of everything: is it too much to ask to have a decent modern RPG?

    • qeloqoo says:

      Without streamlining a lot it would be hard to make RPG for console… and since consoles rule the minds of publishers…

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      Not necessarily, though I see what you’re saying: I’m really just talking about customising one’s character into different races and classes. From an interface perspective it’s just a bunch of sliders which change the main model and a few variables, such as Strength, Intelligence, Lockpicking etc.

      Both Morrowind and Oblivion made it on to console, though I think Console games tend to be more ‘pick up and play’, in which case pre-defined preset characters could always be included for those who want to choose between Rogue, Mage and Warrior.

    • Nick says:

      If you don’t create a custom class in Elder Scrolls games you are doing it wrong!

  24. dancingcrab says:

    Funny that the pre-order bonus at the end of that trailer blatantly encourages play as a warrior. Doesn’t Bioware want to get away from the ‘Eveyone-played-ME2-as-a-soldier’ thing?

    • Creeping Death says:

      Which is even odder when you realise that Destiny trailer they shoved everywhere heavily promoted the mage.

      …. I wonder if the mage will actually be a capable melee fighter… his staff does have that massive blade on it after all.

  25. Flint says:

    So are there no origins or anything then? The first one also had only three core classes, it was the origins and class specialisations that was the bulk of the customisation.

  26. heretic says:

    that was crap :( didn’t make me want to play the game at all…

  27. dawnmane says:

    Okay, before anyone else starts whining about how they removed all the customization and changed the whole formula up so much: THEY DIDN’T! Ok, so you can’t choose an Origin or a race, but apart from that, you CAN still choose your appearance (and your family members’ appearance will even be adjusted to the appearance of your character), there WILL be class specializations, there are tons of skills and equipment and how you choose to play the game will have a huge impact on the story. And, as we saw in the combat trailer, they didn’t mess up the combat system for PC at all.

    If you want the full list of features we know about in the game, try looking at the link from Bioware’s forum below

    [SPOILER ALERT btw]: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/3064634

    I admit I was very skeptical about the sequel when the first pieces of information came out, but now we KNOW it’s not just a consoley action game version of DA:O, and I am so sick of all the people who seem to be stuck in the anti-hype. No matter how good this game ends up being, I think they have taken narrative and the problem of narrative in RPG’s very seriously in the development of this one, even more so than in DA:O, and that deserves some respect.

    And I think most of you skeptics will eat your words when the reviews start coming in.

    • The Hammer says:

      “And I think most of you skeptics will eat your words when the reviews start coming in.”

      Yeah, like they did with Empire: Total War. Heh.

    • dawnmane says:

      yeah I know it’s risky making that statement, I’m just trying to point out that most of the things people are whining about right now are based on a lack of information about the game. I think it’s honorable that they seem to have tried to take the narrative style of the game in a new direction, and I hope they are going to pull it off.

    • skalpadda says:

      Well, considering how incredibly awful almost all of the pre-release marketing for Origins was, I’m not going to form any kind of opinion about this one until it’s out and people (RPS, mainly) have spent some time with it.

    • Inarborat says:

      No isometric camera view, no friendly fire until Nightmare difficulty, a character ripped out for Day 1 DLC, a shorter game at a higher price, invisible options to customize your party characters (runes and jewels for stat bonuses but not cosmetic changes), characters that still slide into place during combat, absolutely dreadful writing in the trailers, restrictive classes, a ridiculous 2 months ahead of release mandatory pre-order to get the complete game, etc. etc. There’s a lot to hate and you’re silly if you can’t see why people aren’t pumped for this game. I wish I was but they’ve taken a lot of things out in the name of “streamlining.” It looks like a Mass Effect’d, consolized rpg compared to other games coming out this year.

      Reviews are by and large, a joke. Bioware is the golden child when it comes to gaming journalists and somehow the faults and glitches in their games don’t get harped upon as harshly as smaller developers. If you enjoy DA2, more power to you but I laugh at the notion of reviews proving me wrong.

    • dawnmane says:

      I absolutely agree with you about the preorder and day 1 DLC. DLC should be post-launch mini-expansions prolonging the life of the game on my computer, not pieces of the original experience cut out from the standard retail release just to force us to pay more money. Art and business is generally way too tangled up in each other in game development today, and that really sucks.

      As for the reviews, sure, they are as biased by the whole spin of the publishers as anything else, I just think there is a general anti-hype going on which is just as biased as the reviews (because negativity is such a self-reinforcing thing in the generally grumpy waters of the gaming community these days).

      If you look upon games as an art form, it really is disturbing how entitled consumers feel to make demands and expect the artists (the developers) to care for their specific hopes for a given product instead of being open minded and ready to be provoked or have their ideas of a certain genre or convention in gaming challenged by the game. Games are never going to be regarded as an art form when they are forced (by their need to make a living) to cater to the expectations of an increasingly spoiled, increasingly conservative gaming community. (and Inarborat, this is in no way directed at you, I’m not saying you’re like that any more than I am.)

      We really need developers who don’t care about us. Just like literature, painting and music has always been moved forward as art forms by people with no regard for the conventions of their respective platforms.

  28. Jumwa says:

    I refuse to watch Dragon Age trailers after those for Origins blatantly misrepresented the game as an action-RPG (heavy on the action side), only to find it was more of an old-style Neverwinter Nights kind of affair.

    I’m sure Dragon Age: Origins was a fine game for its audience, but after getting into it a few hours I just found myself soured at the disappointment and ‘betrayal’. I couldn’t pick any bones of inspiration to drive me onwards, as loot was seemingly endangered, the game was rather difficult (but in a tedious way for my tastes), despite it’s “open choice” in regards to direction it felt anything but open to me, and the story didn’t grip me that hard. Not hard enough to overcome my let down, anyhow.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Tip: NEVER trust cgi trailers

    • Jumwa says:

      Normally I don’t, but then an official EA blurb accompanying a trailor said it was an example of the sort of heavy action in the game. : |

  29. Acosta says:

    Same choices than Planescape for Nameless One, truly a game called to greatness.

    • Nick says:

      and I highly doubt this game will come anywhere near its level of greatness.

  30. The Hammer says:

    I’m entirely unimpressed here. It just looks… the same. I was never really that fussy on Dragon Age’s story and world (Oli Welsh’s Eurogamer review was very, very true) and was more attracted to the party interplay and adventuring.

    But this is still charmless OTT action. We’ve seen it all before in a hundred games, and considering Dragon Age has delusions of being “gritty”, the disconnect between those aspirations and the zippy animations is just jarring.

    Hmm. I’m really not sure about DA2. Really not sure.

  31. Thule says:

    Just save your money and spend it on the Witcher 2. Seriously.

    • Big Murray says:

      I would, except The Witcher 1 was one of the worst games I’ve ever played. And I’m not exaggerating.

  32. steggieav says:

    If anybody is curious to see what the game looks like in action, here’s a video from GiantBomb showing gameplay footage along with commentary from the game’s developers. It will probably give you a better idea of how the game plays than a shitty pre-rendered trailer.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Aw, nuts to you! I was about to suggest that to everyone and look cool!

      Oh well, here’s a helpful link!

      http://www.giantbomb.com/quick-look-road-show-dragon-age-ii/17-3772/

    • dawnmane says:

      thank you! That was just what I was looking for!

    • Craig Stern says:

      Huh. Call me crazy, but that looks curiously similar to Final Fantasy 12. (Not just the combat–the leveling, too.)

    • Lowbrow says:

      Wow, that hammer pisses me off! Dude is average size, meaning a 9-pound hammer would be hard to swing around like that, and that damn thing looks like it weighs 50 pounds. Combat looks WAY more anime than the first game (Maybe animations are just too fast right now?), like they’re just waving their swords in the air and the other guys falls over. Down with that sort of thing, keep it in FF7.

      Would it be that hard to motion-cap a guy swinging a sledge around, and base your animation on the way his body counterpoised the weight? DA2:Cardboard Tube Samurais

  33. Devan says:

    Heh, when the dragon showed up and the rogue steeled himself for action I thought he was finally going to do something rogue-y like stealth or evasion or arrows. Instead he dramatically drew his little knives which he had already been holding moments before.

    Sure, it’s just a CGI trailer. But even the DA:O CGI action trailer (which also portrayed the three classes and also featured a dragon) was more interesting and informative than this.

  34. DaFishes says:

    DA2 is looking more and more to me like it should really be called, “Dragon Age 2: Now that DA:O Sold Well, EA Marketing Has Told Us They’ll Take it From Here.”

    They’ve gone and given the qunari horns, and all the elves now speak with a Welsh accent. And this incessant marketing with male Hawke, when DA:O did fine without that kind of slanted push. Ugh.

    • Lilliput King says:

      To be honest, DA:O had it’s own kind of slanted marketing push, which was equally atrocious.

      This time round the trailers seem to be avoiding the absurdity and just focusing on making the game look bad.

    • Springy says:

      “…all the elves now speak with a Welsh accent.”

      They did all have North American accents in the first game, which felt jarring after the exaggerated pomposity of the humans’ Englishness. So this makes more sense to me, although we all know that it’s the dwarfs who should have the Welsh accents in fantasy fiction, what with all that mining.

  35. Lambchops says:

    I’d echo the disappointment others feel with the direction this game is going, for the ever popular reason of liking that Dragon Age wasn’t just fantasy Mass Effect.

    Dragon Age 2 will probably still be a good game, I might well really enjoy it; but I can’t find myself getting particularly excited about it right now, even if this is a contrary view to take when I’m eagerly anticipating Mass Effect 3!

    Also does it strike you that Dragon Age’s character selection is just like sailing? No? Suit yourself then!

  36. Tally Lassiter says:

    DA:O was excellent in many was and nothing I’ve seen has advertised suggests any of them returning in DA2. Admittedly, clever arguments between party members don’t make good trailers (that I’ve seen), but limiting character options is disappointing; there better be subclasses at least. Nonetheless, I desperately want Bioware to prove my impressions so far wrong.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Having seen some of the skill trees for the warrior class, it does seem that each class is going to be fairly customizable in the direction you want it to go.

    • Big Murray says:

      I don’t think a million-and-one classes and such are really what you want from a Bioware RPG. Bioware give you a bitchin’ story and characters first, and traditional RPG elements second (since they dropped the D&D license anyway).

  37. Big Murray says:

    OMFG A FREE LONGSWORD AND SHIEDL!!!!!1

  38. manveruppd says:

    I’m really hoping they’ll introduce more scope for class hybridisation into their RPG system, it’s boring having only vanilla-warrior, strawberry-wizard and sweet, sweet chocolate-rogue to choose from.

  39. utharda says:

    I think its actually
    Dragon Age: Console Nitwit.

  40. Selix says:

    I would have argued with everyone about DA:O not going to be an ultimate game experience. Then it was just average, dreary and big, with too much fighting to obscure the fact that there is almost no content in many areas (city). The dialog was nearly all skippable babble. I expect they are improving some things, making it “smoother”, but I don’t expect it to be actually “good”.

  41. manveruppd says:

    The dialogue wasn’t bad in DA:O in my opinion, and it wasn’t badly-acted. It’s just that when every single character down to the Chantry Janitorial Assistants is voiced and you have a story-driven game sitting through it is tedious. It just takes too damn long!

    Full VO is fine for short action games, but when you haver a vast, sprawling, dialogue-heavy RPG, it’s pointless! By definition 90% of the people you meet will be disposable bit-part players, and of the remaining 10% who might qualify as major characters they won’t have anything really momentous to say 90% of the time – just like in real life. ;p Skim-reading is the best most lines of dialogue in the game deserve, and as soon as I’d finished reading a line I skipped through without waiting for the VO to finish (and I’m not implying that the writing was bad by saying this, it’s what I would’ve done in any RPG of that size unless the writing staff consisted of Sophocles, Shakespeare and Dostoyefski!) It really is a shame that so much money was wasted on voiceover that most people skipped through, and Bioware’s insistence on blockbuster production values, allocating more money to the VO at the expense of game length and quantity of dialogue, is a real betrayal of the pen and paper RPG sensibilities that permeated their early games.

    Of course, let’s call things by their names, the reason they made full-VO a priority was not because of some abstract commitment to quality, but because they wanted to widen their audience, from the small core of geeky D&D fans to the vast, semi-literate masses beyond. They (correctly) figured out that your average punter won’t be happy about reading thousands of lines of dialogue. But you know what? Most people I’ve watched playing the game skip through the dialogue anyway! So they don’t read and they don’t listen to the VO either, the amount of money and effort that was flushed down the toilet there is astounding!

    I’m sure the game sold well and that EA execs attribute those sales partly to the production values and would never consider doing another RPG without full VO, but I reckon its sales have got more to do with the increasingly-mainstream appeal of the fantasy genre (it’s not as nerd-ghetto as it was in the 80s and 90s) and with Bioware’s reputation. They could’ve easily gotten away with only voicing the most important cutscenes, it’s what they did in the Baldur’s Gate games and I really liked it, you knew there was something plot-critical going down when someone talked, and you weren’t hearing their voices constantly so they didn’t become annoying.

    • Selix says:

      Well, compared to a solid book, I still think DA:O’s dialogue was often pretty amateurish. It was long-winded, cheesy, some of the characters didn’t have a clear outline (everyone sees something different in Morrigan and I think that’s just due to sloppiness). Apart from that I’m not a fan at all of this Joss Whedon-ish style of self-aware funniness. It was overall nothing compared to, say, The Witcher’s genuine, subtle humour and authentic handling of moral issues.

    • Arglebargle says:

      The drawdown to human only, person specific Hawke is due to the fully voiced protagonist. I agree that the full voicing is something of a waste. Makes it difficult to add to, and certainly doesn’t help with modding.
      I did like some of the voiced parts in DA:O. Parts were quite well written. But a voiced main character takes my imagination out of it. And like you said, the skippers are going to skip.

    • Selix says:

      I did like parts like the Broodmother, for what’s it worth. Good writing.
      But I honestly think the game was weak in what’s it most famous for, the character department. Honestly, who cares about Wynne, and who would call Sten a realistic character, or why do they all have the same lame nerdy humour that obviously marks them as the writers’ mouthpieces? And Leliana, could she be any more cheesy? Overall, the intentions are good or very good, compared to the standard of videogame fantasy writing. But the execution leaves a hollow, lifeless impression to me. I always knew the general drift of what they were going to say or how they would react, completely formulaic. It’s a waste of time not to skip.
      Then I’d rather read a book, watch a movie, play The Witcher, you know, something of merit.

  42. cjlr says:

    Guys.

    Chill.

    Remember Dragon Age? The first game? Sure, no masterpiece, that, but it was a solid good time. Remember how crushingly terrible the marketing was?

    Remember Mass Effect 2? And how cringe-worthy a fair lot of its pre-release gubbins were? I think that game turned out okay, yeah?

    Marketing is often aimed for the lowest common denominator. I don’t want to sound, well – god forbid – pretentious, but RPS is not exactly the lowest common denominator.

    • Whiskey Jak says:

      Positive comment? CCCCCCCCOMBO BREAKER!!!! You’re an heretic and will be burned like the console-witch that you are!!! J/K. I’m pretty confident that Bioware will once again deliver a solid game that me and whole freaking lot of people will appreciate ad th. Whatever choice they will make for their game will most probably be more than fine by me. ME2 is my 2010 GOTY after all.

    • Big Murray says:

      What are you talking about, man? Mass Effect 2 had some bitchin’ trailers.

  43. mkultra says:

    I am a PC gamer and when a sequel is released that does the exact same thing as the first game I am angry.

    I am a PC gamer and when a sequel is released that does something different than the first game I am angry.

  44. Killybilly says:

  45. Dougal McFrugal says:

    Meh

    Just not feeling this for some reason

  46. Klaus says:

    As much as I adore the PC, my power supply crapped out and I can barely play Kotor without some lag. I’ll be, unfortunately, playing this on the PS3.

  47. vash47 says:

    Wow, this game just looks worse with every preview.

  48. Flameberge says:

    Age of Dragon Effect 2.

    Shame, I liked the old-schoolyness of Dragon Age, but I’m capable of liking more than one type of game. Hopefully this will succesfully translate Mass Effect style mechanics to a fantasy setting. If they manage, will be a lot of fun.

  49. pakoito says:

    I remember when roleplaying games were about playing characters the way you liked instead of one-time-only class chance.

  50. Mut says:

    *Gasp!* An RPG with character classes? What a revolutionary concept!

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      One class less than Gauntlet! AND Gauntlet was fully voiced! How now, Bioware??