Dragon Age: Much More Movie

Handsome-lookin’ fantasy RPG Dragon Age doesn’t seem to be carrying much of a buzz with it so far, which is kind of odd because the footage I’ve seen so far has had me quite interested. I wonder if it’s the ultra-generic name: people just aren’t paying attention. For my part (ie knee-deep in The Witcher) it’s looking like a pleasing prospect. It’s not Mass Effect, and nor is it Neverwinter Nights, but it is all Bioware RPG. Indeed, the space between in which it’s set to land is one that looks pretty enticing to me. Have a see what you think.

Two footages follow…


  1. Fumarole says:

    Seeing as how this is basically Baldur’s Gate 3 I’d say there’s much more interest in this game than you think. But then, most RPGs have far less hype surrounding them than your average shoot ’em up.

    Also, more games need war dogs. This and Rome: Total War are not nearly enough.

  2. Mitch Small says:


    On a somewhat related note, the character designs and art direction are pretty compelling in that game. Most fantasy games are rather blah and by-the-numbers… but these ‘orcs’ (didn’t catch the name of ’em) have an interesting violence to their design.

    Combat looks kind of like KOTOR’s. That’s a bonus.

  3. dhex says:

    chicks n’ chainmail is, i guess, a d&d trope that never died? or did it come out of fantasy covers a la howard’s gynophobia?

    it’s a lot like headshops – or bad “psychedelic” art – if you think about it; things haven’t changed in 30 or 40 years. chronic potheadery and chronic adolescence both being escapist traps, maybe?

    anyway, i think dragon age, despite the stupid name, has promise. whether that promise is strangled in the crib remains to be seen. they still have five or six months, right?

  4. Homunculus says:

    Not getting any sound for these, tho’ the Mirror’s Edge one just above works fine.

  5. Drakkheim says:

    In my mind I’ve written it off as essentially a Neverwinter expansion set in yet another generic fantasy land. Which is probably a shame because when I think of NWN2 all I think about is the terrible atrocity that they called an interface and having the mage walk to melee range to talk to npcs so they could talk to me before attacking.

    P.S – check out the long sleeves and hood and exposed chest with hip huggers outfit (wanna bet she has a tramp stamp as well?)..seriously the more I see of this game the impression of it being a generic teenage fulfillment fantasy gets reinforced.

  6. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Fumarole: I assume Jim is responding to the less than enthusiastic response the released trailers, which to be fair haven’t exactly set the world on fire, have garnered when posted here.

    I’m still looking forward to it though.

  7. silna says:

    Well, it’s the Xmas rush. There are 200 cool games coming out in the next three months, anything past that is not really worth talking about till next year. It’ll pick up a lot of attention then I imagine.

  8. Brokenbroll says:

    “seriously the more I see of this game the impression of it being a generic teenage fulfillment fantasy gets reinforced.”

    Its generic high fantasy to the extreme, in its woefully uninspired art direction (Orcs and trolls against pretty people in absurdly overwrought armor, and yet no helmets) to the cheesy story setup. The Gray Wardens? Oh for fuck’s sake, is that the best crap Bioware can come up with.

    Doesn’t matter, its going to have a named developer behind it (Bioware) and lots of marketing money, so like Oblivion it will be praised to high heaven, while all the flaws not whined about by game reviewers until a year later.

    Oh yeah, it won’t be as good as the Witcher.

  9. James G says:

    I’m a bit confused, as the woman on the poster art is indeed a bit embarassingly scantily clad. However on the forums Dave Gaider (Lead writer) has several times mentioned that they want to move away from ridiculously impractical armour for female characters. There was some talk at one point of having a ‘shifter’ companion, but that may have been mere speculation, but at least that would partially excuse such flimsy clothing.

    Dragon Age is probably my most looked forward to game on the horizon, but I’m hugely biased on these things. I must admit I was initially a bit disapointed on hearing the name ‘Dragon Age’ which is a bit generic, however I’ve been lurking on the forums and reading around and think it could be interesting.

    On another note I finally caved in an ordered the Witcher yesterday.

    Edit: @Brokenbroll
    Glad to see you seemed to have played the game.

  10. Xagarath says:

    My anticipation for this game is founded entirely upon its resemblance to Baldur’s Gate.
    The BGs, after all, were pretty generic fantasy, just with exceptional writing.

  11. Devin says:


    Why are you blaming Howard for decisions made after his death by editors who clearly didn’t understand his work? I’m not holding the dude up as a model of enlightenment, but if you read his actual pre-tampering work (now available, complete and original, in a rather handsome three-volume set from Del Rey), it’s a lot less absurd than you probably think, from the earlier, butchered editions or from other people’s Conan stories or from the movies.

    Also, when Howard wrote Conan, he usually wrote that Conan was wearing a shirt. Conan liked shirts.

  12. TheApologist says:

    I’m all for this – one of the very few ‘day one purchase’ games for me :)

  13. Bhazor says:

    My own lack of excitement comes from the sneaking suspicion that Bioware lost it’s best writers to Obsidian. Certainly when comparing the writing in KOTOR 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 against Mass Effect and Jade Empire the old guys don’t come out too well.

    But, finally seeing the return of giving individual commands to characters might just mean the combat is at last returning to the old Baldurs style. I.e actually controlling the whole fight rather than one guy at a time.

    Also Witcher was a disappointment partly because the world was too bleak. Not in a cool Bladerunner/noir style but in a weird “everyone’s a bastard way that just ruined any sense of accomplishment and I ended up basing my judgments on nicest voice. It did have it’s good moments and the combat at least made you feel involved, unlike Kotor, but I can’t say it was anything but slightly above average in our Western Rpg starved days. Also, least appropriate card game since Final Fantasy 8.

  14. Fumarole says:


  15. sbs says:

    What in the shit are you all talking about? She is totally hot!!

  16. O.G.N says:

    Normally I would be very hyped about DA, but since Bioware has been acquired by EA and EA puts this customer unfriendly DRM on all their games, I’m almost certainly not going to buy it.

    Reading previews and watching trailers of a game you know you’re not going to buy seems kind of pointless.

  17. dhex says:

    Why are you blaming Howard for decisions made after his death by editors who clearly didn’t understand his work?

    because he was the first name that came to mind, and he was all oedipidal and shit? as a kid i was more of a hide the jc penny catalog than read the paperbacks with chainmail bikinis on the cover type, myself, so i’ve never read a single word.

    i speak from the best kind of ignorance: awesome ignorance.

    now if someone’s ripping on dashiell hammett i can see getting cross, perhaps even laying a ring-a-ding on some unlucky citizen’s mug and maybe even kissing dames. hard. that guy was a class act all the way down, commie drunk notwithstanding.


  18. James G says:


    I’ll give you Jade Empire, but I didn’t think Mass Effect was bad. While the basics of the plot weren’t anything novel, I felt it was delivered well. Ashley Williams was also an excellent character, even if in real life she would have had me biting my tounge to prevent me getting in an argument. I’d say we have Jade Empire < NWN2 < Mass Effect < MotB.

    Incidently, Gaider wrote Hordes of the Underdark, the third NWN expansion. I played through it recently and felt it took the right direction, chapter three was great, but it was marred slightly by the limited setting, and a slightly choppy main narrative. (The chapter breaks felt a bit harsh, and although the character’s motivation was always clear, it felt somewhat forced)

  19. DSX says:

    No sound for as well, in both FireFox and chrome. Not to worry though, somehow both of these videos have been floating around for quite some time, I believe since E3?

    That aside, still eagerly anticipating anything along the lines of a next-gen NWN game.

  20. Bhazor says:

    Reply to James G

    My problem with Mass Effect was the fact it says the universe is on the brink of chaos, that there is an army of merciless super robots that can not be stopped and will keep coming until all man kind is dead. Then the cutscene ends and the game lets you just bum around the galaxy looking for helium and doing any kind of pointless favour for any dude. Compared to, the admittedly initially twunted, Kotor 2 where it never lets you forget the scale or the closeness of the threats. Also Kreia so beats any game villain in the past five years. She may even be better than Shodan. Not as hot though.

    In summary Bioware got the money but Obsidian got the goods.

    Reply to O.G.N

    Shut up. This is not the place for that.

  21. James G says:

    Ahh, I’ve not played KotOR 2 yet, I’m waiting on the restoration project. It entered into beta about the time I finished KotORI, went through several versions and bug fixes fairly quickly, and now appears to have stalled once more, I may just go ahead and play vanilla. (Although I have a few other games queued up, so I’m in no hurry)

  22. Schadenfreude says:

    I don’t understand the NWN2 love. I thought that was an appallingly written game full of misjudged cutscenes and an obsession with its NPCs that made your character feel like second fiddle (Seriously, I don’t care if someone wants Qara dead; why do I have to watch twenty minutes of expositionary cutscenes about it when I don’t even want her in my party?).

    Mask of the Betrayer was better but entirely undermined by the fact that it wouldn’t let you tear down the Wall at the end; not for any story justified reason but because the developers said ‘no’. One of your companions then whining about you letting it stand just put the icing on the cake.

    Re: Dragon Age, apparently Lady Tits Out is called Morrigan, a name that suggests she’s the baddy (Morrigan was a an Irish goddess of war, death and that sort of stuff). Some hints that she might like to shapeshift into one of those ogres, which explains the scanty outfit (Also, marketeers like ladies with their baps out).

  23. Inglorion says:

    The name is pretty dumb and unanttractivel.

  24. Drakkheim says:

    Man I’m totally gonna have to make a NWN2 module with a villain called Lady Titsout and her henchman Captain Tightstootight attacking a town with an army of overarmored feeble twits wielding excessive impractical spiked swords.

  25. Calabi says:

    @dhex I’m actually reading Conan at the moment. The way he wrote and described Conan I think he fancied him or pehaps an Idealised version of himself, the women barely get a sidenote.

    The stories I’ve read seem to be pretty cliche, based around a theme of conan discovering ancient city, saving a lithe wench.

    I’m not sure I’d like to see the literal game aduction of a conan story.

  26. Bigger Than Xenu says:

    Well, I’m hyped for it. After the long drought of CRPGs, we now have Dragon Age, Fallout 3, and Fable 2* coming out in a relatively short timeframe. And that’s awesome.

    *Okay, so it’s debatable whether Fable 2 counts as a CRPG. And it hasn’t been announced for PC yet. But whatever.

  27. Devin says:

    The original unmutilated Robert E. Howard is really worth reading. The crap that Lin Carter et al did to the stories after his death (and Lin was the least-bad of those guys, that’s why I remember his name) is shit.

    He’s a bit like Hammett, actually: Not in line with what “literature” became, but a writer with remarkable and distinctive talents nevertheless, with influence beyond his genre. I’m not saying Hammett fans will necessarily like Howard, though. Their strengths were pretty different, Howard’s are more in tone, pacing, and description than plotting.

    @Calabi: Which stories? Some of the women are side notes, sure, but Belit is thug life, and there are others… But if you’re not reading an authoritative edition, you’re probably looking at a slashed-up and diluted version of Howard’s text, sprayed with someone else’s idea of continuity, so all bets are off.

    Also, watch for the part in ‘Beyond the Black River’ where Howard actually puts himself and his dog in the story. Conan thinks Howard is kind of a nonentity, but he does give props to Howard’s dog.

  28. Klumhru says:

    No coop, no play.


  29. Nick says:

    I happen to like generic fantasy.

  30. hart says:

    Why don’t the videos have any sound? :( Seems broken from here.

  31. SofS says:

    Innovation is greatly to be desired, as it generally makes for good games and enriches the field as a whole. That doesn’t make it essential for a given game, though. Having seen those trailers, I’m more interested in this than I was before. The story and setting that have been shown seem to be well within the standard range for fantasy nowadays (though it would be an awesome move to fake people out with these and have it switch genre halfway through), but it’s hardly like the best work has all been done within fantasy RPGs. A good, truly mature story (I’d like something with some thematic ambition and solid characterization) in this style would be just the thing I’d like to play.

    One point of possibly important innovation is their promised spell-interaction system that they showed off in the second video. I truly hope that it isn’t a cheap gimmick (which it will be if it isn’t fully integrated into the whole system; I’ll be very disappointed if it doesn’t go much farther than “use ice spell on fire spell”), because it would go a long way toward making the world feel less like a series of cardboard cutouts that you can never really touch, which is how most 3d game worlds tend to feel to me.

    (One final note: I would love to see a bit of subtle scripting go into the movement of individual characters. When everybody runs and stands up in the same way and at the same times, and when one person doing something is surrounded by a bunch of people standing stock-still, verisimilitude suffers. All I ask for is a little more personality. At the very least, it would have been neat if those soldiers surrounded by the booming of war looked a little springier on their feet and a little more nervous.)

  32. Okami says:

    Generic fantasy is generic. Get over it, live with it, you won’t change it. The best you can hope for is elves and orcs who aren’t actually called elves and orcs. There will be demon invasions, kings, gods and whatnot.

    But just because the setting and the plot are generic, doesn’t mean it has to be bad. Just because the basic setup of a story has been done thousands of times, doesn’t mean that it has nothing new to offer. Almost every adventure story ever told follows Campell’s Hero’s Journey and though that means, that they all follow the roughly same setup (ordinary world, call to adventure, refusing the call, shattering of the normal world, guardian at the gate, meeting the mentor, yadayadayada) that doesn’t mean that no adventure story has anything new to offer.

    Look at “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” by Tad Williams. Now here is a setup, that’s as generic as it gets (kitchen boy who really is the descendant of a king finds sword, slays dragon gets the princess, becomes king), but I’d argue to hell and back, that it’s one of the best and most original fantasy sagas ever written, standing heads, shoulders, belly, legs and ankels above almost any other classic fantasy out there.

    I’m not saying, that Dragon Age: Origins will be an outstanding example of original storytelling in digital fantasy roleplaying. But neither shoud we be too quick to judge it, just because it’s world and the basic setup of the story are generic. All we’ve seen so far is what might well be the tutorial level of the game and nobody knows, how the story will unfold from here on..

  33. sigma83 says:

    I’m in agreement with Okami, seeing as how Mass Effect’s setting was generic as hell

    However fantasy setting is still bleh for me :P

  34. cyrenic says:

    I will most likely be playing this using the top down camera angle and pretending they made it isometric :D.

    The writing isn’t the best, but it’s a lot better than the writing showcased in the Fallout 3 trailers I’ve watched.

  35. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Like Homunculus and hart, I’m not getting any sound either. Hmm.

  36. Yhancik says:

    wonder if it’s the ultra-generic name: people just aren’t paying attention

    Well, it definitely doesn’t help.

    Okami has some wise words here. Still, I wish they (writers, games designers, etc etc) were the one “getting over it”.
    If you can make something good, why stick to a set of overused (if not abused) clichés? One should refrain from rejecting anything “generic fantasy” (and oh gosh it’s hard), but it’s still a very debatable choice (not that Okami said that, I’m just elaborating ;)).

    So, “Generic fantasy” is a relevant remark if followed by “but let’s see if there’s something interesting beside that a fly in the ointment”.

  37. Yhancik says:

    (btw, I had no sound either… so tell me, are the very unattractive monsters from – at least- the first video actually members of the Locust Horde ? :p)

  38. Bhazor says:

    It’s not so much the setting being generic but rather that Bioware have apparently been working on the lore for almost a decade. After all that time I’d hoped there might be more thought than just giving orcs a different name. Come back Jade Empire, all is forgiven,

  39. Klaus says:

    I wish people would stop complaining about the damn wall, in MOTB. It would be highly improbable for your rinky dink PC to do anything. IF you could have, AND have beaten Kelemvor, I would have turned it off in disgust. You might as well complain you can’t kill those haughty witches and take over Rasheman single handedly.

    ‘Sides the wall is gone now, pretend dove lady and you succeeded. lol

    And KOTOR 2 was awesome, better than Kotor imo. had they polished it a bit more I would adore it. Kreia is excellent.

    Re: lady – I guess she can’t look ‘seductive’ if she isn’t scantily clad. So I guess they’ll be chainmail bikini’s and the like? Need to look into this more.

  40. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I wonder if the woman in the splash screens will become another meme of failed publicity like the one for Neverwinter Nights printed in Maxim.