Awakening Wakes Tomorrow (US), TrailerFest

One at a time, please.

It’s been a while since we took a look at the videos for Dragon Age: Awakening, and all of a sudden it comes out tomorrow. Tomorrow already! In the US. Sorry about the confusion. Friday in the UK. (Secretly I’ve finished it, but I can’t tell you that, nor anything else. So shhhhhh.) So after we met Anders, Velanna, and some creatures that certainly weren’t their children, it’s time to meet a lot more of the gang.

So first of all, here’s Sigrun, a Dwarf from the Legion of the Dead.

Then meet Mhairi, a potential Grey Warden who has yet to perform her Joining.

Finally for revealed companions is Justice. A quick warning here – this seems, to me, to be one giant mother-huffer of a spoiler. If you’re getting this tomorrow I’d very strongly suggest giving this video a miss.

Right, onto the enemy. Here’s an introduction to the Disciples. They’re darkspawn, but they’ve got a gob on them.

And finally, here’s The Architect. His design seems to reflect the inspired look of The Void, which is good to see.


  1. DoucheMullet says:


  2. robrob says:

    This is the new shit.

  3. James G says:

    Tomorrow? For some reason I had assumed it was still a couple of months away. Possibly because I haven’t put my mental calendar forward since January.

    • Jeremy says:

      I’m with you on this one, I didn’t even recall the Dawn of War expansion coming out, and I’m currently playing Space Rangers 2, so I’m way back in 2007 still.

  4. Vinraith says:

    Oops. I’d meant to preorder this one, but it snuck past me. Ah well, I’ll pick it up in short order anyway. More Dragon Age is a fundamentally good thing.

  5. jsutcliffe says:

    No more! Dragon Age already stole 90 hours of my gaming life. It’s not having any more.

    • Vinraith says:


      I’m curious, is that a single play through? I usually think of myself as a pretty lackadaisical game player, but it seems like a lot of folks took much longer to get through DA than I did (it was about 60 hous for me) and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I’d like to think I missed a bunch of stuff, but if I did I certainly wasn’t aware I was doing it.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      It’s about 80 hours from one full playthrough, and ten hours of a character I’d given up on because her skill set was identical to Leliana’s. That’s also including any places I had to repeat due to dying. I don’t think I did a gigantic amount of side quests, but I did a decent amount of them.
      I also cheated my way through the second half of the game because zomg tedium! I found myself asking “Do I want to spend ten minutes figuring out the optimal way to take this monster down or should I just godmode my way through it so I can get to the end if this tired story?”
      I found it odd that I disliked DA:O so much. I can see that it’s a decent game, and I loved Bioware’s older RPGs that DA:O was meant to be a spiritual successor to (yes, even Icewind Dale). There just seemed to be an awful lot of filler (did I really need to spend 20 hours in identikit tunnels near the dwarf city? Why did that demon boss have to be fought five times in succession?) and the uneven difficulty made me dread every encounter (which robbed the game of a lot of fun — I play games to relax, not hurl a mouse around the room in frustration) before I decided to just cheat.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I spent about 80 hours, I think.

      “did I really need to spend 20 hours in identikit tunnels near the dwarf city?”

      That dungeon in particular went on forever, and I was willing it to end after about 10 minutes in. They really didn’t need to be so long, or so repetitive. BG2 had it right – quest combat/exploration sections were either vast and varied, (comprised of puzzles, mini-quests, a few very easy fights and a couple of really hard ones) or very brief, comprised of a single fight.

      DA took the single fight and repeated it over and over.

    • Fumarole says:

      Seventy eight hours for me first play through. Did you guys get the achievemathinger for visiting every location in the game? I did, and I also revisited many sites to defeat foes I couldn’t best my first time through (the juggernaut armor bit stands out in particular).

    • Sagan says:

      My main criticism of the recent Bioware games would be, that they have separated combat and everything else too much. There is always a large section of combat, then a large section of running around the city or talking to your crew. The way I remember it from Baldur’s Gate 2 and Hordes of the Underdark (my two favourite Bioware games) their games used to have much more alternation. Within a location you used to have combat, then explore, talk to NPCs, have some more combat, talk to your characters, level up or make decisions about equipment, and then solve a riddle or fight some more. In each mission you did a lot of things. Now a mission is just combat; at least it feels that way.

      The worst symptom of this is probably the central location with all your characters, like the Normandy in Mass Effect 2. Because of that, all the character interaction only takes place outside of the missions. So once you are in a mission you can be sure that there is going to be only combat and very little dialogue, which doesn’t even matter to your characters, because the game doesn’t know which character you took along. This was handled a little better in Dragon Age, but it was much better in Bioware’s old RPGs, at least the way I remember them.

    • Vinraith says:


      I agree completely. I think DA was, as you say, a hair better about this than most other recent Bioware games (it was rampant in ME2), but everything is still too segregated. BG struck such a good balance, it seems strange that they’ve lost the ability to get back to that.

    • Klaus says:

      I have invested a lot of time simply because the game glitched at the Landsmeet. In two seperate playthroughs. After that I quit for a couple of weeks. So I haven’t even finished yet.

      Hoping I can get through the Landsmeet on this playthrough.

  6. Flameberge says:

    I don’t know what it is, but I loved Dragon Age so much, it was my favourite game of last year, I sank so much time into it… and yet… I’m really not interested in this expansion, and I really don’t know why. I’m just “meh” about it.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Me too, it’s very strange.

    • Jockie says:

      Think it has arrived too soon for me, I’m not quite ready to go back to Dragon Age after spending so much time playing it towards the back end of last year.

      Besides which there’s load of other games that are higher up on my to-play list (Chaos Rising for one!)

    • Flameberge says:

      I think it was also reading the PC GAMER review of it this month, where it was pointed out some of your items (notably DLC items) and most of your companions (all except one, apparently) won’t travel across to the expansion with you… I dunno, I really enjoyed the companions in Dragon Age, they kinda made the game, and whilst I’m sure the new characters are very interesting, there’s a certain lack of continuity that doesn’t appeal to me. Especially when my epilogue essentially said Leliana and I went off travelling together

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I think (for me) it’s because the game most definitely ended for my character. No hope for a sequel, everything (bar Morrigan) was wrapped up neatly.

      You’re told that this is a blight, it’s a big deal, and then once you’ve dealt with it there’s another darkspawn problem? Not sure I follow that really (haven’t read too much cos I’m avoiding spoilers in case I do play it in the end). I think if the expansion had ventured in a different direction I might have been more interested.

      Or better yet, been a completely new set of characters on a completely different quest that is set after the events of DAO. Kind of like Storm of Zehir for NWN2 for example.

    • R. says:

      I’m in the same boat. My City Elf died in glorious battle saving Ferelden and, following 2 months taking Commander Fuck Yeah! Shepard around the galaxy right hooking and headshotting the hell out of anything dumb enough to get in her way, I’m no longer quite as enthused as I was about return to a world of mute, blank faced protagonists.

      Maybe in a few months or something.

  7. Sceptrum says:

    I’ll wait till Steam has it on sale later on. Simply because since I have DDE from Steam, I am required to get the Steam-version of Awakening too.

    But then again, I didn’t look forward to this expansion either. Dunno, but the Dragon Age setting just does not quite interest me as much compared to other games.

  8. sebmojo says:

    I adored DA:O and found it neither difficult nor tedious – but I took a longish break in the middle (before heading down the Deep Roads), which I suspect helped a lot with both, since they snuck some clever patching in to address the difficulty spikes and I was prepared for the lengthy dungeon crawl.

    But, yeah – not desperate for more right now. ME2 has my soul in its immaculately textured skintight spacegauntleted grasp.

  9. Astatine says:

    More Dragon Age, hooray! Except no Zevran, boo. And Steam doesn’t seem to be unlocking it until the 18th… :(

    Also, delurk.

  10. Snidesworth says:

    My first warden is dead, and I haven’t finished the game with my second yet. This is a situation that needs to be rectified.

  11. jti says:

    I truly hope that this does the Mask of the Betrayer thing on Dragon Age. I’m still working on getting the main game through and this just needs something to give it a soul and let it fly free. Maybe it can be done and maybe Awakening makes it all worth while.

    Don’t get me wrong, Dragon Age is ok, but it misses something. I find myself trying to go to Baldur’s Gate 2 and get some feeling from it to this game. I do like the characters they’ve come up, but _something_ is badly missing… Maybe it’s the brown dull enviroment and the endless battles with pausing and waiting for the tricks to cool. It does not work.

    I’d pay double if I could make them to do a turn based D&D 4th edition game.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I too would love a turn based D&D game…

      I miss those days. Worked far better for me personally, even if I can understand how they’ve managed to expand their customer base by changing things around.

      Unfortunately, it seems that D&D stuff seems to be halted these days, apart from that MMO.

  12. plant42 says:

    Good game overall. The difficulty was completely all over the place. The occasional room with mages would have to be retried 10-15 times until you get lucky.

    I played a Zevran-like rogue the first time through and it was insanely difficult on medium, I had to switch to easy in many hard fights. Second time through I played a blood mage and the whole game was a cakewalk on hard and consisted of:
    a) Seal up the doorway with Glyph of Repulsion
    b) Blizzard everyone inside the room (+40% cold damage gear)
    c) Wait about 30 seconds
    d) Cone of Cold any stragglers that try to drag their thawing bodies through the doorway.

    My companions did literally nothing but watch… and occasionally served as shriveled human batteries for me to life-drain when I ran out of mana. Way too easy… and it only got easier as I went because I was hogging all the XP.

    Postnote: Werewolf and golem armies are pretty sweet, even if people hate you.

    • jsdn says:

      The balancing in DA:O is indeed pretty terrible. I recommend getting mods to bugfix abilities and help even things out.

  13. Jaedar says:

    Sequel to the most overrated game of 2009? Boy am I excited!

    • jti says:

      Overrated, yes. But still a good solid game. Maybe it tells something about the CRPG genre in general.

    • Gritz says:

      “Sequel to the most overrated game of 2009?”

      It’s an expansion pack for Dragon Age, not Modern Warfare 3

    • Bobsy says:

      Peoples’ opinions are different opinions to my opinions! OH NOES WHAT WILL I DO?

    • Klaus says:

      Play some Dragon Age and do some righteous Grey Wardening.

  14. Owlkill says:

    I thought this wasn’t coming out in the UK til the 19th? if it’s tomorrow that seriously buggers up my week. I’ve got an essay due in on Thursday, I was looking forward to picking this up at lunchtime on Friday and then having an antisocial weekend…

  15. Medo says:

    Can Anyone Tell me How long The Game is ?
    The First One i finished it in 50 hour or so .

  16. Carra says:

    Damn, tomorrow already? Feels like it’s only yesterday since I’ve finished the original game.

  17. Wulf says:

    It’s a shame we’re back to Dragons being evil and all, as the Dragons in that shot look really very pretty.

    I’d very much like to go back to the Dragonheart era of things, where Dragons could be people too. Oh well.

    • jti says:

      Evil and pretty, like Morrigan.

    • Vinraith says:


      Bah, Morrigan isn’t evil, she’s just a cold-blooded pragmatist.

    • jti says:

      @vinraith: Did you ever check the original description of neutral evil alignment in D&D? ;o)

    • Astatine says:

      I think the PC’s line to Saladrex in Throne of Bhaal (the only way to get him to attack you, IIRC) said it best…

      “Is it true that dragon meat tastes like chicken?”

    • Wulf says:


      To the tasteless, everything tastes like chicken.

    • Vinraith says:


      Yup, and indeed it’s the only evil alignment I play, but like any neutral evil character I still maintain it’s not evil. ;)

    • jti says:

      @vinraith: Got me there. It’s the same. I still think neutral evil is more or less psychotic character trait, but then again, there are a lot of those people around. It’s strange how easy it is to play neutral evil character in PnP game. Something to do with detachment and emotional problems. Too objective to be real and no emotions. Just the type you get with underdeveloped roleplaying. Right?

    • Nick says:

      Surely chaotic evil is psychotic..

    • jti says:

      @Nick: It’s not that simple. Chaotic evil is something far more crazy. In fact, you can’t really point out CE people around the real life unless they’ve progressed that far. Is there anyone you know who you could say to be CE without being in a cage?

      Chaotic Evil is a stupic alignment. It’s a neo-nazi teenager turned serial killer. A joke, really.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, which is pretty psychotic, neutral evil is more sociopath.

    • jti says:

      Sociopath, yes. I think we agree on this, really.

  18. MajorManiac says:

    A female Dwarf without a beard and with an American accent?! Is nothing sacred? ;)

    • Wulf says:

      World of Warcraft can be cited as a reference for their approach to Dwarves, methinks. The violation started there, as far as I recall, and has simply continued since.

    • jti says:

      One day there’ll be a romance between the hero and female dwarf… And the world will be a better place for it.

  19. Klaus says:

    Or just bang Morrigan as a dwarf.

    • Lilliput King says:

      There’s just something terrifying about this sentence.

    • jti says:

      Morrigan is no dwarf. I think I kind of liked Jack in Mass Effect 2 as she was a dangerous lay, but in the end had the most emotional beak for her romance with Shepard. Or did I imagine it all?

      Banging had nothing to do with all of it. Morrigan would’ve liked it to be just banging, but as it turned out to be something more…. I do like that particular fact about it all, but at the same time it makes me think how all of this is just _fantasy_ we are dealing with. YOU as the male hero being someone handsome and all the girls drawn to you? It’s a teenage fantasy, that’s all.

    • Klaus says:

      I liked Jack’s romance too, more than Miranda’s.

      I will be romancing Morrigan next play through. I rarely ever romance anyone in Dragon Age, there is always something do rather than talking about Duncan, shoes, mirrors and leather fetishes. I have to enchant things, manage the inventory and make potions.

      Sten should have been a romance. It would have been carried out only in brief affirmative nods and curt responses.

  20. jti says:

    @Klaus: Maybe Sten could be Dragon Ages Tali? I haven’t played either of the series with female hero, but I must admit that I’m a bit surprised that Sten didn’t have a romance in DA:O… Manly silent type, who doesn’t do the best impression at first. Jane Austen anyone?

  21. somnolentsurfer says:

    Ah… Tali. I want to replay ME2 as a female, but I can’t imagine the game without romancing Tali.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      That was @jti #replyfail

      (Annoying. Never done that before. Always thought those that did were just incompetant.)

    • Subject 706 says:

      Regarding the inter-species romances in ME2, did no one find them slightly creepy? I mean most species in the ME2 universe are fairly anthropomorphic, but would there seriously be mutual sexual attraction between them? And as a human female romancing Thane, for example, does she even know what his *apparatus* looks like? Feels like? Is it cold and scaly?

      Ugh, I feel sullied now.

  22. jti says:

    Happened to me a couple of times. Yeah, Tali is definitely the best for romance in the whole series. In a way she reminds me of Imoen, in a good way. I wonder if “they” have to finally make her a face in the third coming. It was unfair… After all those comments you heard about that kind. :o(

    • jti says:

      @somnolentsurfer: the last one. Happened again again again.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      After they didn’t then, I doubt they ever will. It would kinda spoil the mystery. And they could never create something that was at once alien and also beautiful enough to live up to expectations.

  23. Zyrxil says:

    Too soon, too soon. I’m still feeling the combat fatigue from the Deep Roads and last 10% of Dragon Age. It also didn’t help the talent “trees” were pretty crappy.

    • jti says:

      Talent trees were the whole problem. All those “cool-down periods” don’t really work. They make the game look like the “whack the mole” game. But it is not too soon. It is perfect. Most of the people who bought the game when it came out have played it through at least once, a lot of them twice. There is no better time to have something more.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I’m kinda torn. I want to go back there, but I also suffered a little combat fatigue toward the end, after doing the Deep Roads. And I never got round to going back and replaying most of it after it never gave me the conversation option to finish the Leliana romance because, apparently, my approval was *too high* (wtf?). And it hasn’t helped that in order to make the space to reinstall it, I’ve had to remove ME2, which I had a more immediate desire to replay.

  24. cjlr says:

    Well personally my favourite quest in Dragon Age was one of the first ones I picked up, even though I didn’t complete it for a good twenty-odd hours. It was called Find Morrigan a Proper Shirt.

    I also agree with everyone who noticed the hilariously inconsistent difficulty curve. Seriously, that thing was more like… not so much a simple curve as much as an increasingly driven damped oscillator which cut out just before the finale. Or something. Maybe it was my fault for doing Redcliffe first. I played rogue first time and dabbled with mage on the start of a second. Mage is an easy button. Morrigan + Wynne = victory. Throw in Alistair to tank and good ol’ Diarmid (my character) as an archer for the sake of having a full party. I alternately rocked the dual archers with Leliana for a while, too (and that’s not all we rocked, har har) to equally cheesecake results.

    I’m glad, in a way, that the release snuck up on me – it means we didn’t have to endure several months of agonizing marketing nincompoopery from the brain geniuses EA pawed BioWare’s marketing off to. Though that remix with the Hawaii Five-O theme (am I right in recalling it was Psychopomp’s idea?) almost made it all worth it. Lastly I’m quite interested in seeing how the plots fit together. From what I can tell they kinda… don’t.

  25. Morph says:

    Thank the Maker I finally completed the Deep Roads yesterday. I want to like you DA:O but when the prospect of a fight makes me sigh in frustration rather than get all excited I’m having trouble recommending you.

    Still, Deep Roads done with. Off to the mage place, that’s going to be more fun right? Right?

    • Nick says:

      The Deep Roads is one of the worst bits of any RPG I have ever played. Shame, as I love the rest of the game.

    • Klaus says:

      I kind of like the Deep Roads. Took me three days the first time I went through it.

      What I do hate is the Circle of Magi. *Hurr! Off to the Fade* I use the console to skip that, I don’t really need nor do I want any of the stat boosts.

    • Nick says:

      I didn’t mind the Circle the first time.. on replay it was horrible though.

  26. Chris Fox says:

    Friday? Dammit! That would explain the lack of post today. HMV’s website said it was out today, I expected to be playing it right now. Disappointing >.>

  27. Jeremy says:

    There’s one more character that I know of up on Gametrailers. If you read Penny Arcade at all, then you already know who the character is, and I’ve gotta say, it’s got some great potential. Especially if you played the Human Noble origin