Iâ€™m going to be downright honest here, when I first heard about DA2, the lack of an origin story threw me off. The origin story was what I loved most about the Dragon Age franchise. The feeling that Iâ€™m not taking on anyoneâ€™s shoes but my own; the feeling that this is MY story and Iâ€™M THE GODDAMN HERO; THATâ€™S the selling point, THAT is what made me play the game for so many times. Now here comes DA2 and Iâ€™m supposed to play this… this Hawke?
Granted, he does look awesome. And those skills? Canâ€™t wait to get my hands on those. But no origin story? I canâ€™t be some schmuck who grew up inside the castle walls or some ghetto pimp who lives with his mom? That made me really sad. However Iâ€™m putting my faith on Bioware. I believe in their superior RPG making skills.
So having said that, here are the things Iâ€™m looking forward to about DA2 based on the things Iâ€™ve been reading and the reviews that has been going around. It was very tough for me to look for things that I look forward to since Iâ€™m you knowâ€¦ not actually looking forward to it:
Factoid #1: DA2â€™s storyline spans over 10 years.
Yes, this. The implications of a game with a plot that plays out over 10 years means only one thing: CHARACTER GROWTH. Who doesnâ€™t love character growth? I anticipate the fact that your Hawke will undergo life-changing decisions that will ultimately lead to what kind of hero, or in DA2â€™s case Champion, you end up being. Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s too much to ask but I hope the environment and the people change throughout that span of time too.
Factoid #2: There will be romanceable characters
Ah yes. What would a Bioware RPG be without its romantic links? This isn’t really “something to look forward to” but I would be greatly depressed if they removed this feature. My question is, will there be sex? And will it involve grinding to Enya while in ridiculous white skivvies? Because frankly, if I was a dude and had a raging boner, that romance sequence in DAO really killed it. Iâ€™m not asking for hardcore porn but come ON! Iâ€™d rather them use cheap camera tricks than to see them in off-white bathing suits. They did mention that they are improving the underwear. So okay, letâ€™s see.
Factoid #3: You can be hostile to your party members and still unlock combat bonuses.
I like this. When playing DAO, I never really went full jackass because I was aiming for the bonuses. That turned me into this mute, people-pleasing doormat, off to get everyoneâ€™s approval. I felt less of a leader and more of an errand boy (or girl, if you want to be technical about it) I think itâ€™s good that theyâ€™re giving us the freedom to be complete assholes without punishing us for it with negative approval points.
Factoid #4: Mages will have â€œfinishing movesâ€ as the melee characters have in DAO
There was a friend of mine who timed his battles in such a way that his main character who was a greatsword wielding badass gets the last hit to dragons. It didnâ€™t matter that his companions died or suffered, he WAS going to get that last hit. I donâ€™t blame him. Why? Because it looks goddamn awesome. Everything is in slow-mo and the choreography is just gorey amazing. It would be nice to see mages do something awesome like this too instead of pew pew pewing the dragon to death.
Factoid #5: David Gaider says: â€œNo exclusive organization. No saving the world. No ancient evil.â€
This is excellent news. One thing I enjoyed most about Dragon Age Origins: Awakening is how you deal with the landlords and all those stupid nobility. Who to save, who to believe, who to condemn. I have a feeling that DA2â€™s storyline will focus more on these things rather than the formulaic, â€œunlikely hero saves the world from impending doomâ€ And it sort of makes sense because that story has been told already… by YOU, THE GODDAMN WARDEN, nonethe-friggin-less in Dragon Age Origins. I want to see something new here. A greater moral dilemma: something that rises up a little from the standard struggle against evil.
So there you have it. Oh I should also add that I look forward to all the improvements in the combat system that they claim to have done. They say that your companions would be more reactive to battles and that there will be less of the â€œscurrying behind you to get in positionâ€ type of moments. God, I hate that. Especially with the consoles.
They said that their aim is to have players â€œThink like a General, Fight like a Spartanâ€
I want me some of that please.
So yes fine, no origin story? I can deal with that. Theyâ€™re letting us explore The Free Marches and from what Iâ€™ve read there would be more revelations about the culture like slavery in the Tevinter Imperium, a Templar Army in Eastern Thedas and even a slight rift between The Free Marches and our beloved Ferelden. Iâ€™m keeping an optimistic stance regarding this. I believe in great storytelling and arguably, no one does it better than Bioware.
Hawke, Iâ€™m ready to play your life and make it my own. Bring it, Dragon Age 2.
Little note: Goddamn, I used “Goddamn” a lot in this post. Cookies to those who counted! lol