Dragon Age: Assassination Character

Bioware’s fantasy epic is trundling towards us like a siege tower made of conversation trees and noisy metal, and we’re starting to get a few glimpses of the characters in detail. One such glimpse, a video show-casing Zevran The Asssassin, possibly Dragon Age‘s stabbiest character, sits below the click. I’ve also posted a small gallery of the latest screenshots, which you can click upon for embiggenment.


  1. Tony M says:

    Theres an awful lot of blood sprayed in that video. If Dragon Age is refused classification in Australia I am going to become a Very Angry (Australian) Internet Man.

  2. Larington says:

    I’m still very much unsure what to make of this. It doesn’t matter what footage they show, I’m always left with a sense that I should wait for reviews. I’m not even sure whats causing it, though the characters faces do seem a tad expressionless which isn’t helping.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Don’t wait for reviews. Wait for Wot I Thinks.

      As an aside, I’m starting to hear word of mouth on this from a variety of sources. It’s very positive.


    • James G says:

      I had been the same, especially after some of the more… questionable… trailers. However I realised that Bioware fanboy that I am I’d end up buying it eventually, and probably shortly after its release. So I decided to go ahead and pre-order.

      I have no self control.

    • Scott says:

      I’m inclined to agree; everything I’ve seen seems somewhat discombobulated, like there are several different teams working on the style, and not really communicating. This video is a perfect example: I can’t tell if they were going for documentary-style interviews or grandiose exposition. The last 5 seconds are a great example too, with Marilyn Manson, splashing blood, and then some guy saying “Join Us.”

      I have a feeling that the demo is going to be the best way to figure this one out.

    • Lhowon says:

      Completely agree on the marketing being a bit confusing – I expect this will be great in ways the videos fail to show, which I think is fairly typical of Bioware RPGs. Solid combat with streamlined and compelling quests are more or less guaranteed, at least I hope.

    • merc says:

      I agree the trailers for Dragon Age have been quite mixed and confusing.

      But I can’t help but imagine a heavily story based RPG is quite hard to market in a format of 1-2 minute trailers. Might just be that the marketing people aren’t really certain of what to do with it so they end up mashing actiony bits together and sticking music over it.

    • Larington says:

      Actually thats a point, I haven’t looked at a ‘proper’ review in a while, its only really been the wot I thinks, review scores are for people who can be arsed keeping count, I’ve got more important things to do. ;-)

    • Larington says:

      I should probably add that I likely will end up picking this up, its just a matter of when & how much I pay for it. Thing is, I start back in Uni next week and I’m being very wary of buying several new games, so, I’ve got one game on pre-order (OpFor: Dragon Rising) and thats pretty much it. I’ll consider picking up other games on the condition that I feel I can spare time for a new game.

    • Nerd Rage says:

      I think the confusion between marketing and the game itself, assuming the rumors I’ve heard about the game are true – my sources agree with Kieron’s at least, is probably explained very easily. EA takes the first title released by their newest, bestest acquisition since said studio was acquired, decides to pimp it around to their usual customers, and their marketing crew says “WTF? This isn’t Madden… what does I do? Fuck it, just play some Marylin Manson in the background, show a lot of blood splatter… do we have any more blue alien sex scenes? Aww… ok, well elves are close enough. Roll it!”

    • hitnrun says:

      @Nerd Rage: Really, it boils down to a fairly simple question: is the shit rawk present or represented on the disc in any way, or not?

      There’s no reason to think that it is, but BioWare has been very coy on the point, which doesn’t help. Nobody looking for “the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate” is much interested in “themes that reach out to new demographics.”

    • Nerd Rage says:

      Actually I have no answer for that, both these guys are into that stuff. It probably wouldn’t occur to them to mention the music one way or the other, and I didn’t think to ask.

    • Nerd Rage says:

      Good news, not to steal the probable RPS thunder when the other side of the pond wakes up tomorrow, but I’ve found a video that answers the question. Text-only version: even if marketing doesn’t get it, Bioware themselves are still very much on the ball.

      link to destructoid.com

  3. jti says:

    If this turns out to be a piece of manure, I’ll be very upset. AND the game should’ve come out half a year ago.

  4. Matt says:

    I think I may have to play this with the voices turned off.

  5. Ian says:

    Is it just me for whom the video loaded/buffered/whatever really fast but the thing was still super-laggy?

    Also, I’m sort of with Larington on this. I’ve not a clue what to expect from this game.

  6. CMaster says:

    The red haired woman has alarmingly large and immobile lips.

  7. Jockel says:

    I’m not really convinced that this can be as epic as Baldur’s Gate but considering that it’s from Bioware and it shouldn’t be worse than Jade Empire (which I still kind of enjoyed) I think I might get as soon as it is released.

  8. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    I’m not sure if it’s just a running joke now, but does every Dragon Age trailer have to have some sort of ‘teasing’ glimpse of a sex scene? I mean really?

    Regardless, I suppose it’s kind of nice that they’re going away from stereotypical elves to just blend him with stereotypical Spanish. Oh well.

    (I am looking forward to this game, really.)

    • Stick says:

      Heh. Well, there was a minor furor on The Forum about another romanceable male NPC’s trailer not including a snippet of the sex scene. So, I dunno, equal opportunity ogling and all?

  9. Fashigady says:

    Is it just me or does Zevran sound a lot like Inigo Montoya (you killed my father, prepare to die)?

  10. -Spooky- says:

    I hope the best for Dragon Age and the community around. Let it be so epic like Baldur´s Gate / Neverwinter Nights.

  11. toni says:

    from the looks and shown bits of story it looks like the least interesting bioware title of ALL TIME. more sucky than JadeWarrior imo. Where is the supposed story I should care for ? (besides war is shit and ppl like to get revenge for loves lost and sex is good for releasing stress before/after battle).
    The band of warriors they show which will aid me in my quest looks like the cliche fantasy staple set of predefined characters, the videos featuring battle speeches and repetetive oneliners. Where are the actual gameplay videos that show decisions, variations, inventory, use of spells or skills ? the more they release the more blank this game gets for me. maybe it’s just a collection of cutscenes……I don’t know, they say it’s an MMORPG for single player/offline with +80hours but everything they show feels like it’s “just” an RPG with questionable b-movie pulp appeal (aka big milky breasts and easily seduced women)

  12. markec says:

    I pre-ordered the game months ago, I was bought with all that promises of a true Baldurs Gate sequel. The problem is that every following trailer like this one made me think that I made a mistake. Every single one had pretty much mediocre dialogs, voice acting, animations and character design, bad music and not to mention way too much blood. I can hope that my fears are unfounded since few journalists said that trailer dont do justice to the game, but it thats true why is this still the best that they can show?

    • -Spooky- says:

      And you forgot something. BG is set in “(A)D&D: Forgotten Realms”. DA got his own dark fantasy (rpg) setting within p&p.

    • markec says:

      The setting is not important, what made BG a good game was a good story and dialogs, fun combat, interesting characters, loads of side quests, humor, banter and great world design. I still hope that DA will feature most of this things, but the problem is that I just dont see them in the trailers.

    • Bravedave says:

      What made BG a good game was the presence of a certain miniature giant space hamster.

    • Primar says:

      Go for the eyes, Boo! GO FOR THE EYES!


    • Bhazor says:

      I’m always surprised when people call AD&D generic. It’s like calling Tolkien generic.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Bhazor: No, really, man. It’s not.


  13. Slaphead says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but this looks painfully generic. Starting with dragons. Lots and lots of dragons…
    This has to be the first time I’m not the least bit excited about a Bioware game.

  14. David says:

    Reminds me of Diego(?) Montoya from Princess Bride… or even the cat in the Shrek films. Is the whole “mature” and “dark, gritty” buzzwords only that, and Dragon Age in fact a longwinded sarcastic view of fantasy products from the past? Between the campy dialogue, the fetishistic use of gore and the token sex-scenes, I’m starting to believe this. An ode to Conan (feat. the Guvernator) perhaps? Mass Effect also had this overtly epic b-movie sillyness with machismo coming out of the ears, that at least made me laugh the whole game through. Perhaps that was the point!

    • Slaphead says:

      Hell, the first Conan movie had massive amounts of artistic merit compared to what we’ve seen of this game so far.

  15. Stick says:

    I’m a bit confused by the vitriolic comments. Seems a lot of big huge negative extrapolation from small details. From the stuff I’ve picked up (FAQ, dev comments), there’s just sooo much right about the game. (Starting with the “oh thank goodness, we’re not in the Forgotten Realms anymore”.)

    It’s possible I’m suffering from fanboy bias, but… at least I’ve done the homework. Which appears to have inoculated me against going into a panic about shock-rock and perceived genericness.

    (Then again, they don’t really need to wow me with marketing, so I dunno. Can’t fault your reactions, even if they tend towards binary Teh Suke / Teh r0xx0rz.)

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      It’s hard to go buy dev-released information if you want to see what the game really is like. Well, it depends on the developer, perhaps. But even so, if you need more than marketing-infused news-droplets, game trailers and screenshots are where we have to turn to. Until they give us a demo, of course.

      Personally, I’m still hoping it’s much better than it looks in most of their trailers, but I’m not expecting my hopes to be well-founded.

  16. fuggles says:

    Awesomesauce, no one told me that Shrek’s Puss in Boots joined your team.

  17. Uglycat says:

    Kinda looked like Oblivion…with swords…

  18. Kelduum says:

    No, its not just you… I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s seeking out a six-fingered man, either…

  19. Kelduum Revaan says:

    (Damnit, that was supposed to be directed at Fashigady.)

  20. phil says:

    He looks like Siegfrid from Soul Calbur shortly after starting university (a little older, grungier amour, ill advised celtic face tatoo.)

  21. jackflash says:

    Still looks worse visually, stylistically and just generally, worse than two-year old the Witcher. No thanks.

  22. pignoli says:

    Arg, watching the speech animations is painful. I want an old-days style bioware game in a super high res, improved interface infinity engine with more shininess. Y’know: exquisiteley beautiful hand drawn environments, that sort of thing. And nice portraits that show up on the dialogue screens.

  23. ilves says:

    that just seemed.. .awkward. The character animations are really wooden and the voice acting doesn’t fit well when the faces don’t move.

  24. Guernican says:

    Personally, I’ll give Bioware the benefit of the doubt, at least until I’ve got something more solid to go on.

    Like All Bran.

  25. Legionary says:

    The voice acting for the redheaded woman who exposits on the assassin’s background is just awful, which is a shame because the others are all voiced fairly well.

  26. SuperNashwan says:

    I’m slowly coming around to the thought that I might actually quite enjoy this in a b-movie kinda way. If there’s nothing desperately bad about the game mechanics it may well be breezy fun.

  27. Dave says:

    I can see why they call it the spiritual sucessor to Baldurs Gate… No, wait…

  28. protobob says:

    If this game was a movie I don’t think I would want to watch it. I’m not sure I want to play it, for that matter.

  29. Bhazor says:

    Sod the stupid over sexed and over hammed story trailers.
    If Bioware really wants my interest show me a proper unscripted play through a section (the kind they used for Bioshock). I’m fascinated by what I’ve seen of the combat but they keep hiding it behind these badly acting beef puppets. But from what I’ve seen the combat to the BG isometric strategy style but with a more physical feel to spells (extinguishing flames with blasts of water for example). If they’ve got that give us a look and I’ll give you a damn pre-order.

    Also there is still no excuse for Marilyn Manson.

    • Shalrath says:

      One thing I’d really like to impress upon people here is that these are almost certainly EA doing the trailers, not Bioware. This is a horrible part of the industry, where people who know dick about ‘x’ are suddenly in charge of explaining it in detail.

  30. dhex says:

    the first Conan movie had massive amounts of artistic merit

    it has shit-tons of artistic merit. it’s the best movie about the germanic warrior christ figure ever made.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      “it’s the best movie about the germanic warrior christ figure ever made.”

      What about Downfall?

      Anyway, the Voice Acting so far is my only issue, and it seems weak :(

  31. Lintman says:

    All the marketing for this game that has been annyoing/alarming the Bioware fan base can be explained by the question the marketers very likely asked themselves: “How can we get beer-swilling fratboy Xbox 360 gamers (ie: the Madden ’09 demographic) to get excited about and buy a game featuring elves and wizards?”

    Fortunately, the marketers don’t make the game, they just sell it, so I’m not too worried.

    Personally, I like the spanish accent. He sounds like Inigo Montoya and Shrek’s Puss in Boots because those are the propbably the only two popular fantasy-themed spanish-accented characters. At least it’s something a bit different in the genre where the elves-are-british and the dwarves-are-scottish seems mandatory.

    • Bluto says:

      Hah, yes, I was thinking of Inigo Montoya when I was watching this as well. Still, at least it’s not a Fawlty Towers Manuel accent…

  32. DK says:

    It’s really ironic that Bioware’s stated reason for abandoning the Forgotten Realms was to make something more mature (ie, darker and grittier) – and now the new Forgotten Realms are far more mature and dark than Dragon Age’s setting.

    Bioware should have stayed with DnD.

    • Bret says:

      On the other hand:

      100% less Elminster .

    • JulianP says:

      Bioware’s idea of “dark and gritty” seems to me to be “lots of blood and gore”. Bethesda kept saying over and over how Oblivion was going to be dark and gritty and epic, and their reasoning for it being dark was:”It has demonlike creatures invading the world!”

  33. The Sombrero Kid says:

    this really could go either way, exciting :)

  34. Wooly says:

    If they pull an Assassin’s Creed delay on this, I’ll kill someone. Shoulda been out 6 months ago.

  35. Hug_dealer says:

    The trailers for this really suck. but then i have to say, has bioware ever let us down before? If anyone can pull off a traditional epic rpg, give it to bioware.

    Personally I already love the world, im so tired of the cliche high fantasy rpg games. Worlds like the witcher, and this bring so much more to the depth.

  36. Phinor says:

    I’ve pre-ordered and cancelled this twice already. I think I’ve finally made my mind and will go for the cheapest version I can find (previously pre-ordered the crippled UK CE). I really hope this is closer to Baldur’s Gate than Mass Effect – Mass Effect was great back in 2007, I played through it once but it has gotten a lot worse since that. I don’t think it has any replay value although I hear many, many people have played it through multiple times. Jade Empire was pretty much the same, quite fun the first time through but I have zero desire to play it again.

    The videos have been terrible for the past 6 months but in one clip I caught few seconds of actual gameplay and it looked great-ish. Plus it’s not like there are any real alternatives out there. Divinity 2 maybe.

    • Urthman says:

      Divinity 2, Venetica, and Risen all both look better to me than anything I’ve actually seen in Dragon Age so far. (Heck, just from the promos, I can’t tell if Dragon Age has combat any deeper than Torchlight, which is a whole lot more fun to look at than these all these characters skidding down the slope of the Uncanny Valley.)

      Has anyone actually seen anything from Dragon Age yet that looks fun to you? Or is everyone just salivating based on BioWare’s reputation?

  37. Danarchist says:

    I have been craving some old school rpg lately, currently im playing the witcher through. I am going to buy this right off, cant wait :)

  38. lePooch says:

    Lips: the new polygonal, comically exaggerated breasts.

  39. Magnus says:

    I’ve pre-ordered DA, but I’m currently playing through The Witcher EE, and the videos now make me nervous. DA just doesn’t look quite as promising with the story, or the setting. I’m very hopeful that DA will be good, but I do wonder if I will end up using DA as a stop-gap until the release of the Witcher 2.

    As for darkness and grittiness, Baldur’s gate had plenty… if anything there has been less and less in each Bioware game since. Ditching the forgotten realms seems more to me like they just didn’t want to deal with the license holders, rather than the setting. If anything, having a fixed setting helped them craft a story around it.

    Is there any word about future D&D game releases? Is anyone else interested in the license, or will NWN2 be the last of it’s kind?

    • JKjoker says:

      the whole idea of DA is making NWN3 without having to pay for the d&d rights, so i’d say no, at least for a while

  40. Ybfelix says:

    Anyone remember how does Baldur’s Gate do trailers? I was too young then. The only videos I could think of consists entirely of combating. BG’s combat looks nice even today though, with all the colourful spells flying(and the fact you don’t spam the same fire/ice ball)

    • Vinraith says:

      I was in my late teens, but still wasn’t really aware of games journalism in any real sense, so I don’t actually know either. Like with most games of the era, I just grabbed things off the shelf that looked interesting. With the D&D license, BG was an easy sell.

    • JKjoker says:

      i remember screenshots of chainlighting being used (didnt look like it did ingame tho)

      as for videos i only remember Icewind dale and Torment ones, they were mostly 1 or 2 seconds of spells being cast and monsters being hit mixed with drawings of characters and art concepts with epic music and sometimes a deep voice saying things like “destroy your enemies, make them suffer!” and stuff, i thought they were pretty good at the time

  41. Jim Rossignol says:

    Did the game trailer even exist in any real form at that time? It’s rather been a latterday internet phenomenon.

    • Vinraith says:

      I certainly wasn’t aware of it if it did. How viable is a trailer, really, over dial-up at late 90’s download speeds?

    • JKjoker says:

      i give you the Descent 3 trailer : link to youtube.com

      crush your enemies, set them on fire and watch them … BOOM! … suffer

    • JKjoker says:

      @Vinraith: they used to put them into other games cds (the descent 3 one came with Baldur’s gate irc) or with magazine cds

    • Magnus says:

      The Planescape and Descent trailers are on my version of baldur’s gate (4 disc box set.). They play when you’ve finished installing, iirc.

    • hitnrun says:

      Yeah there were plenty of trailers but they came on discs, a sort of “coming attractions” just after you installed.

      I’m pretty sure the BG2 trailer was on the Icewind Dale CD.

  42. Vinraith says:


    And now that you say that, I remember it. Specifically, Planescape and NWN being advertised on the front of, IIRC, the BG2 installation.

    You’ve reminded me that I still have a Descent 3 disc around here somewhere…

    • Ybfelix says:

      I remember NWN and Torment videos thanks to chronic BG reinstallations… the Torment one is freakish, If I was younger it would probably give me nightmares. Maybe what I saw about BG is from one of magazine CDRoms.

      While Dragon Age trailers really don’t interest me too much, BG1/2 videos caught me instantly even now. I think it’s because the beautiful 2D environment art and the perspective? In DA, viewing from the “ground level”, things looks dull and muddy. (NWN is restricted by technology and things looked… boxy)

  43. Minsk says:

    Why is Haer’dalis screwing Imoen? Get your hands off my sister dirty tiefling!

  44. Hug_dealer says:

    another good old school rpg is Drakensang. you can get it for only $5 at Direct to drive. It is quite good, not quite a incredible, but very very enjoyable.

  45. Logic says:

    Why would I want this bitter assassin in my party? He already screwed my girl and I know he’s going to backstab me later (as all Bioware characters of this type usually do).

  46. SofS says:

    I may have missed it, but none of the information they’ve released in recent months has answered the questions I do have about this game: what about those spell effects that are supposed to interact with each other? How deep is that system? Can you put out nonmagical fire, like torches, with water (magical or not)? Will water conduct electricity? Can flames catch on from one object/person to another? If the game actually puts some serious work into that sort of thing, it’ll be worthy in spite of pretty much any amount of cheesiness.

  47. Dan says:

    I’m really not sure what they’re up to here… normally I’d buy a Bioware game in a flash, but a lot of the marketing on this is giving me a deep sense of unease. I certainly hope that they’re gaining a lot of players who might not normally buy this when they seem to be making so many would-be stalwarts uncertain.

  48. Lambchops says:

    I can’t see i’m too excited about this one. I admit i never got round to playing Baldur’s Gate so perhaps don’t have the loyalty this seems to impart. I like the koToR games because they were Star Wars but the more fantasy style Neverwinter Nights was merely alright and not a patch on Planescape: Torment.

    I have to say I’m more interested in Alpha Protocol as it’s trying something different – I’m not saying the fantasy type setting is rubbish but it just doesn’t interest me quite as much.

  49. Vinraith says:

    I’ve got a spotty history with Bioware. Their early stuff was fantastic, with the exception of Planescape. The NWN games were good in multi but not so much SP (outside user made modules, which are brilliant). I didn’t care for KOTOR at all, but it might be a consequence of having lost all interest in Star Wars after the prequels. Jade Empire was decent, but I didn’t finish it because of the combat. Mass Effect was reasonably fun for one play through, but while it tried to be more open than their past games (admirable) it mostly only succeeded in producing a bunch of repetitive grindy side missions.

    So I’m alright with Bioware changing their formula a bit, it was never really to my tastes anyway. It’s hard to tell, though, what’s really going on with this game from the press released this far.

    • Nick says:

      Er, what was wrong with Planescape? (Oh and it wasn’t made by Bioware, neither was NWN2)

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s hard to keep track of where they and Black Isle parted ways. I do recall NWN2 was developed by Obsidian and published by Atari, but I hadn’t recalled that Planescape didn’t involve Bioware. I wonder if that accounts for anything.

  50. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Not convinced by the French/Spanish accent at all. I would be sold if he had a moustache but otherwise…