Dragon Age 3 Sounds Incredible, Despite Not Being Under Development Yet
As a mopey king of 80′s snark once said, coyness is nice, but coyness can stop you from saying all the things in life you’d like to. Like just coming out and admitting what we already know, which is that there is obviously going to be a Dragon Age 3. You know it. I know it. Even the meek lil’ elves of the Free Marches know it. Of course, that doesn’t mean BioWare is in any hurry to actually make it official – beyond the tweeted job opening – but come on, right?
Luckily, they are talking rather frankly about still not officially announced Dragon Age 3, as they did last weekend at PAX Prime 2011. During the BioWare panel discussion, they supplied some surprisingly rich details about the not-officially-confirmed upcoming game and what they’re thinking about as they gear up to begin development. Neogaf forum member Nerd Appropriate has posted a very detailed look at the panel discussion, and it looks like BioWare is thinking very seriously about bringing together DAO and DA2.
For starters, battles are going to be improved:
There is a new mantra being used by the development team while working on upcoming DLC and it involves preparation, teamwork, and positioning. They discussed how battle needs to be incredibly tactical with the player preparing his team for combat, utilizing the strength of his party-mates, and correctly placing his characters in the perfect tactical positions.
This is a direct response to the criticism leveled against Dragon Age 2. Some of these improvements made it into the first Dragon Age DLC, but it looks like it’s SOP moving forward. Good.
Also promising is the scope. Dragon Age 2 remains my favorite of the two games because of it’s fantastic departure from standard-issue Lord Of The Rings clone plot (seriously, a family drama at the center of a socio-political conflict? awesome), but while the story was groundbreaking, the game itself feels rather small. BioWare spoke about this in the panel:
A map was briefly shown of Ferelden in comparison to the entire world of Dragon Age, it was quite small. Next a map was shown of Kirkwall which was essentially a Rhode Island sized spec (the crowd laughed). Next Laidlaw showed a slide of a massive area of the map which was easily four or five times larger than Ferelden and hinted that this was the direction that the franchise was heading in.
This expansion ties into the plot for DA3:
Dragon Age: Origins was about saving Ferelden from the Blight, whereas Dragon Age 2 was all about creating the conflict that fuels DA3. It was mentioned that DA2 was “the big setup” with the goal of the third game being “saving the world from…. itself”.
That is really promising. To make the weakest possible comparison, the Dragon age series has unfolded in a way that reminds me of the Harry Potter trajectory. In the first game, it’s all brave warriors making valiant sacrifices to save the world from invasion. In the second game, we learn that the Dragon Age universe has some significant flaws, including severe racial persecution, religious fanaticism and political corruption. Hawke’s storyline is in part about attempting to resolve some of these conflicts. Without spoiling anything, suffice to say she doesn’t really succeed.
Given the epic existential threat in Dragon Age: Origins, it’s very likely that the fact that the problems explored in Dragon Age 2 remain very much in play means that Dragon Age 3 will see the greater DA universe threatened from both within and without. And reports from the panel discussion support that idea.
Will Hawke Ever Meet The Warden Commander ? – I’m glad this question was addressed because it really was on everyone’s mind. There were some very big missed opportunities in DA2 to have the Warden and Hawke cross paths, but it appears as though we will get our wish. Gaider simply hinted “we are perhaps so inclined (to have their paths cross)”
The world will be at war during the third game with both mages and templar vying for power and control. The player will be traveling to various “exotic” locations in order to try and bring the peace. Orlais and Tvinter were mentioned on several occasions… oh yeah, there was also some concept art of a certain disapproving witch standing in front of a burning barn. Witches HATE barns. [Nirolak's Note: The witch is Morrigan.]
All in all, very promising stuff. I was afraid that, after the shelacking from fans who hated many elements of Dragon Age 2, BioWare would treat Dragon Age 3 as a kind of do-over. That doesn’t appear to be happening. There’s more on the panel, and worth checking out, which you can do over at the original post.