If you’re a Dragon Age fan then surely you’ve come to hear that BioWare has some major changes planned for Dragon Age II. Changes that will seemingly make the game play less like Baldur’s Gate and more like Mass Effect. No matter if you think this is a good thing or not, BioWare has rebuked these claims and is telling the fans not to rush to judgement.
If you’re not familiar with the changes from Dragon Age: Origins to Dragon Age II, they are rather large. Dragon Age II will only feature on lead character, named Hawke. He is not a Grey Warden, but a survivor of the blight who shall rise to become a champion. This is not a fully customizable character as the one you made in Origins, Hawke can only be given a gender and a class . . . much like commander Shepard. He/she will also be fully voiced . . . much like commander Shepard. They are also bringing in the Mass Effect chat wheel and dumbing down the combat for consoles. This has left many fans asking . . . is this really Dragon Age ?
Ripten’s Stephanie Gutowski is one such fan. If you’d like to know more about how Dragon Age II may resemble Mass Effect, read her article here.
Meanwhile, BioWare has responded on their forums to the hardcore fanbase who claim these changes will ruin the franchise.
“People appear to be acting as if the scant details we’ve revealed are all they’ll ever learn about the game ever, and they’re thus required to render judgment immediately . . . you might, in fact, want to see exactly how we’re implementing these features you dislike and seeing for yourself whether they differ from, say, Mass Effect’s. There are similarities, of course, but there are also differences.”
-David Gaider (Lead Writer, Dragon Age)
Personally I don’t mind the changes, as long as they call the game something else. BioWare wouldn’t have changed the entire style of Baldur’s Gate II, and still called it Baldur’s Gate II. If they decide to call this game, Dragon Age: Champions Quest or something, then I’m all for it. But don’t pretend its a true sequel to a classic hardcore strategic western RPG, when you are taking the game in a more casual and linear direction. I’m all for different types of games based within the same realm, just don’t number them 1-2-3 if they aren’t truly sequels.
More importantly, BioWare has not let me down yet. So even if Dragon Age II isn’t the next spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate that I loved with Dragon Age: Origins, I’m sure it will still be one hell of a game anyway.