Those "industry insiders," what don't they know? One of them has slipped a few details to Kotaku about a possible multiplayer component for Dragon Age, saying that it's being built in Battlefield 3's Frostbite 2 engine and already looks stunning. It's not known whether it's planned as part of Dragon Age 3, or whether it'll be a separate standalone release, but apparently it'll let us play as a dragon.
Dragon Age 2: Legacy
Machinima have the trailer for the upcoming Dragon Age web TV series, Dragon Age: Redemption. Star of The Guild, Felicia Day plays the same elf rogue that she voices in the upcoming Dragon Age 2: Mark of the Assassin DLC. It's one of those teasers that varies violently between intriguing and naff. The huge, dark city of Kirkwall looks great, the spurts of CG blood, not so great. Co-ordinated cartwheeling, also not so great. Evil Qunari wizard costume, very not great. Perhaps the six part web series can surprise us when it kicks off on October 11.
The Mark of the Assassin DLC looks a lot more interesting, as it features huge scaly monsters, and involves pulling off a high fantasy heist to acquire a mysterious crystal from a fortress of Orlesian Chevaliers. That's also out next Tuesday. See the latest Mark of the Assassin screenshots for a glimpse of one of those massive monsters. It'll be interesting to see if the web series storyline will interweave with the events of Mark of the Assassin.
Whatever you liked or disliked about Dragon Age 2, it's painfully obvious that there weren't enough Conquistadors riding Wyverns. That is a problem that the next slice of DLC, Mark of the Assassin, hopes to correct. See the monster below, along with two other screenshots showing Hawke dramatically throwing a knife into a man's chest from easy stabbing distance, and a dim fortress exterior.
In Mark of the Assassin, you team up with a feisty elf played by Felicia Day, and must hunt down a mysterious gem housed within that dim fortress, which happens to be protected by Orlesian Chevliers, some of which seem to be riding monsters. See the Dragon Age 2: Mark of the Assassin trailer for an overview. It's due out next Tuesday October 11.
An invitation, an ambush, a mysterious jewel to steal, that's the set up for the new slice of Dragon Age 2 DLC, which looks like a high fantasy heist movie set in the Free Marches. We'll get to team up with a new character, an elf voiced by Felicia Day, writer and star of the guild, and star of the upcoming Dragon Age web series. All the details we know so far come from the trailer above, from Gametrailers, which shows new monsters, environments and an army of Orlesian Chevaliers. Mark of the Assassin is out on October 11.
Sometimes an actual announcement is just a formality. Everyone knows there's a Dragon Age 3 coming, and while Bioware is still largely speaking in hypotheticals and suggestions of what we might see in a sequel, should it emerge, at the very least we can see where its attention is being pointed.
The biggest change in the works definitely looks to be increasing the scale again, back up to the scale of the first game and beyond. NeoGAF has the full write-up of Bioware's panel at PAX.
Key thoughts-not-promises about the maybe-maybe third game in the series include making decisions you make carry actual weight again, instead of you being rushed down a largely linear path, more customisation of your party members, though with them likely sticking with unique armours in the name of visual identity, and a continuation of the second game's Mages vs. Templars theme - though not necessarily as the main threat.
We spoke to Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka at Gamescom this year about Bioware's impressive lineup of upcoming games. He says that the studio are currently "testing the crap" out of Star Wars: The Old Republic, trying to squash every bug and glitch that they can find in TOR's enormous world before it's eventually released. He also talks about the polarising effect of Dragon Age 2, and how Dragon Age 3 plans to marry the best elements of the first two games into something that attempt to please both sets of fans.
We caught hold of Bioware CEO Dr. Ray Muzyka on the Gamscom show floor and got a chance to ask him about the polarising effect of Dragon Age 2, and Bioware's plans for Dragon Age 3. "The team is going to have some things that are going to surprise both sets of fans, both core fans and new fans with a marriage of the best from both games, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2," he says
Reader, Gavin points us towards an interesting discussion unfolding on the Bioware forums, where lead designer Mike Laidlaw, has been talking to fans about the most controversial changes made to the Dragon Age: Origins formula for Dragon Age 2, saying "I've said it before, and I will say it again: we stripped some stuff out of DA becuase it was busted"
"If I'm going to piss you guys off, it's going to be because I still firmly believe that RPGs do need to be more accessible to new players," Laidlaw adds. "Not diminished, but made less imposing and less terrifying to new players. In part because I want more people to play Dragon Age, and in part because there have been a lot of improvements in gameplay and UI design in the past 15 years, and we can learn from them."
At the same time, Laidlaw says that Bioware are listening carefully to fan feedback to Dragon Age 2. He points toward the recently released DLC pack, Legacy as an indication that the developers have been acting on some of the most controversial aspects of the sequel, including the use of repeated areas, respawning waves of enemies and the customisation of party followers.
EA have delivered a short statement to IGN in response to the disappearance of Dragon Age 2 from the Steam store yesterday blaming the move on Steam's "restrictive terms of service."
These unnamed restrictions "limit how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content," writes EA's senior VP of e-commerce, David DeMartini. "No other download service has adopted this practice. Consequently some of our games have been removed by Steam."
Want to buy Dragon Age 2 on Steam? Hold your horses. It's not there anymore.
There's been no official explanation for the removal, but Eurogamer note that it coincides with the release of the Dragon Age 2: Legacy expansion pack, which is available to buy now from an in-game store.
If you already own a Steam copy of Dragon Age 2, it'll still work fine, it's just been removed from the Steam shop. It's still available to buy from Direct2Drive, GamersGate and EA's own Origin store.
The first portion of Dragon Age 2 DLC will be released in a couple of weeks on Tuesday July 26. The stage demo above from senior producer Fernando Melo gives us a glimpse of the new creatures we'll be fighting. The video, spotted by Evil Avatar, shows the team assaulting a huge underground tower to defeat an "ancient evil" - the most persistent kind of evil.
Along the way they're attacked by a new breed of Darkspawn, must battle a new foe known as The Guardian and boost their weapons with a an ancient, magickal "Pillar of Critical Chance." Skip to the 2:30 mark to get straight to the action. You can watch the Dragon Age: Legacy trailer for more info. The price of the DLC hasn't been announced yet.
The new Dragon Age 2 DLC, called Legacy, will arrive on July 26, say VG247. A new trailer has been released to accompany the news.
The story is based on Hawke's father and will include new creatures and new darkspawn. The trailer shows Hawke visiting a Grey Warden prison, built to hold a powerful darkspawn. We all know how well sealing away ancient evil tends to go in fantasy - we're sure nothing bad will happen at all.