The first Dragon Age was an impressive mix of classic Western RPG elements and modern console sensibilities. BioWare had crafted one of the few Baldur’s Gate style RPG that truly worked on consoles and I loved it. In fact I played it enough to get the platinum trophy. With that said, the few details that have been introduced about Dragon Age II’s protagonist, Hawke, have really been disappointing.
One of the strengths of Origins was the inclusion of the origins stories into the overarching narratives. The manner in which BioWare weaved the origin throughout the rest of the game was incredibly involving and made every race and class feel extremely different. In Dragon Age II BioWare is removing that experience in favor of a more controllable protagonist like in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved both Mass Effects. But I don’t want to have the same experience in Dragon Age.
BioWare, it seems, has made the decision to make money, and that is perfectly okay. In that sense, it will not be a mistake. Odds are good that, in making Dragon Age II more similar to Mass Effect, it will open it up to a wider audience. But in so doing, they have lost much of what made Originsso special. One can only hope that Bioware does as good of a job with Hawke that they did with Shepard in Mass Effect.
Many people out there will love the changes, and that is understandable. The addition of a voice for the main character is great, and Hawke will allow for the possibility of a much stronger narrative. Dragon Age II is going to be an excellent game, but it is going to be at the expense of what made the original so special.
For more information: http://www.platformnation.com/2010/07/09/a-return-to-the-age-of-dragons/