Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dragon Age III announced and other BioWare news

Yesterday in an open letter, Executive Producer Mark Darrah officially confirmed that BioWare is working on a Dragon Age sequel. We kinda already knew they were developing it, but at least now we have a title:
Dragon Age III: Inquisition
The title makes sense given the way Dragon Age II left off, and I'm pretty excited to see where that story will go. Unfortunately, Darrah gave few other details about the game, revealing nothing about the story other than what that single word in the title offers.

Kotaku has a good write up of what we do and don't know about Dragon Age III at this point. We do know that they heard player feedback from Dragon Age II and they will not be using recycled environments. Thank goodness. You can make us enter the cave from different corners and block off hallways, but it's still the same damn cave. What we don't know that I'm most anxious to learn is who the player character will be. The Hero of Ferelden? The Champion of Kirkwall? Someone else? Dragon Age: Origins seems to be the favored game, giving them reason to bring back the Grey Warden, but then not everyone's Warden is, uh, still around. If they bring in a new player character, it may make the series feel too disjointed, though if done right it could work. I wouldn't mind being Hawke again, but the lack of choice in her race and background makes her less unique than the Hero of Ferelden. The dilemma reminds me of how I felt after KotOR and KotOR 2, wondering which protagonist they'd have for KotOR 3. Well, we know the answer to that question, now.

In any case, Dragon Age III seems set up for some epic storytelling. The "Inquisition" title implies a focus on the chaos surrounding the Chantry following the events of Dragon Age II. But there's always Flemeth, and Morrigan with maybe a scary baby, lurking in the background.

In other BioWare news, BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk both announced their retirement from BioWare today. They're moving on to other projects in other fields (social impact entrepreneurship and craft beer, respectively), having achieved what they wanted in the gaming industry. They founded the company in 1995, and starting with Baldur's Gate they've been creating outstanding, beautiful games ever since. BioWare remains my favorite game developer, so I'm sorry to see them go. But I'm hopeful the BioWare team they've put together is strong enough to keep churning out great games that I'll enjoy for many years to come.

Lastly, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn announced that the BioWare team is working on a whole new fictional universe:
While Casey [Hudson, executive producer for Mass Effect] continues to oversee the development of our new Mass Effect project, he and his leads are putting together their vision for an all new game set in a fictional universe, built from the bottom-up with all new gaming technology.
I love the universes BioWare created in Dragon Age and Mass Effect. I can't wait to see what they come out with next.


wolfman said...

I didn't bother even buying DA2 after reading reviews and seeing gameplay although I hope that they get back to the basics with this upcoming sequel in terms of gameplay and general mechanics. Of course, updated graphics are always a plus, but really not necessary to me if the game has as good a story and plays as well as the first one.

Vanessita said...

I'm greatly anticipating DA3! :3

The hero will be new, again. They're also working with a new engine, which means the cameos will probably not look much the same (remember how Alistair looked in DA2? not to mention Isabela! Isabela showed briefly in DA1, but completely different). You'll be able to chose the race of your inquisitor and the most curious thing about this is it can be Qunari, male or female! Female Qunari were never shown before!
Cassandra and Varric, from DA2, will be party members. Morrigan will be npc only.