Posts Tagged ‘Dragon Age II’

Have You Played… Dragon Age II?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I don’t want to talk about reused environments or mages running rampant or plot holes or spawning enemies or… I don’t care. I want to talk about Kirkwall, more specifically how I really like Dragon Age II [official site] following up on another tedious ‘roam the world saving it from ancient evil’ fantasy gufffest to focus on one city over a few years. It’s great that, isn’t it? Pay attention, boring fantasy RPGs.

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Lost Magic Of Magic

Given a choice, I almost always play as a mage. Swords? Pah. Divine magic? Save it for Sunday School. Give me control over the elements, the power to reshape the very building blocks of the universe according to my every whim, and if at all possible, a cool hat. It’s an easy fantasy to indulge in almost any RPG out there.

I just wish it was a more satisfying one.

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The Complete S.EXE, Cara Ellison’s Series About Games, Sex and Relationships

From 2014-2015, RPS’s Senior Scottish Correspondent Cara Ellison wrote S.EXE, 29 columns about games about sex, games about love, games about the space in between those two things, games about sexuality, and games about schlongs. Unfortunately the series is on indefinite hiatus as Cara takes a break from writing about games after her spectacular but surely exhausting Embed With… project, but whether you missed it the first time, didn’t catch all of them or are simply missing it already, you should absolutely revisit S.EXE yourself now. It’s a by turns insightful and funny (and very often both) document of the wilder side of games, the darker side of games, the sillier side of games and a hugely important but often little-seen side of games. Here’s the complete archive.
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A Frostbitten Land: Dragon Age Not-III Gets A Shiny Trailer

This year? THIS YEAR? Why was I not told of this? (I was. It’s just that I have the memory of a Leveson Inquiry witness these days). Yes, fantasy RPG sequel Dragon Age Inquistion is due this Autumn/Fall, and much as Bioware have some faith-rebuilding to do after the double-whammy of Dragon Age II and Mass Effect Ending-Gate, I really would like a big, fat, indulgent, glossy RPG on my hard drive right now. Will it be Dragon Age Not-III? The trailer below, which focuses on Frostbite 3 engine-powered environments, suggests I will at least be cooing at its surface.
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BioWare’s Gaider On Dragon Age II’s Flaws, Dragon Age III

I actually don’t think Dragon Age II was all that terrible. Or rather, I fully understand that elements of it were very, very bad (it had more caves than Ron Gilbert’s The Cave, for instance; and not on purpose), but others were incredibly fascinating. Party members lived their own lives, themes like racism and security-vs-freedom got the spotlight, and your choices really, really didn’t matter all that much. Was it a game whose budgetary and time constraints hung about its neck like a noose, leaving only gasping wisps of potential? Absolutely. But those limits also shaped it, so it was interesting to see a less powerful BioWare craft a narrative about, well, powerlessness. After discussing the baffling impracticality of sexism, Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider and I talked about the ups and downs of Dragon Age II and how they’ve ultimately guided Dragon Age III to a very different place.

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Dragon Age III’s Gaider On The Impracticality Of Sexism

All this talk of sexism isn’t going away, nor should it. The gaming industry’s sick, and the symptoms are plain as day. Mystifyingly often, however, the immediate reaction to even the faintest hint of that suggestion is “No, nuh-uh! You just want to censor expression! Give me one good reason we actually need to change.”* Well, if you really want to move beyond “Because jeez, it’s basic human decency to treat someone else the way you’d like to be treated,” Dragon Age III lead writer David Gaider’s got a laundry list of practical reasons for you. 14 years at one of the most influential studios out there, after all, will do that to you. Especially when it’s one that’s certainly not innocent of mistakes and missteps of its own. Prior to Gaider’s GDC talk on the very same subject, I caught up with him to discuss why sexism (and any sort of “-ism,” really) is bad for everyone: you, me, the industry, and of course, women or anyone else directly affected.

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Dragon Age: The Possible Ensequelling

Dragon Age 71r?

↑ that logo is a fake, sorry.

With Mass Effect now concluded, at least until the inevitable announcement of a new trilogy, a first-person shooter and a free-to-play god-knows-what, and SWTOR currently being fitted into its microtransacted iron lung, all eyes turn to the core Bioware team’s next roleplaying move. The smart money is surely on a new Dragon Age game, and tiny wee scraps of hint have seemed to support this. Today we got significantly more than tiny wee scraps, as an alleged survey allegedly leaked by alleged specially-selected community members offers all manner of alleged potential details on a third Dragon Age game.
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