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Dragon Age E3 Preview Wave One

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Dragon Age E3 Preview Wave One

Preview - posted by Edward_R_Murrow on Wed 3 June 2009, 06:38:38

Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age: Origins

Surfs up. With that whole E3 thing going on, we now get even more Dragon Age news. And seeing as this is dark, gritty, and the new is priority number one. No, really. From Shack News:
Unfortunately, beyond the controls, I came away from the Dragon Age E3 demo feeling oversold--particularly on its sexuality--and ultimately underwhelmed.

The presentation began with lead designer Mike Laidlaw spending ten minutes explaining how players can have sex in the game. There was no lead-up to this segment, mind you. This was the headline topic. This was the new shit.
"It is cold in my tent," said Morrigan, inviting the hero in for fantasy fulfillment. Laidlaw chose the "let's see what happens," option, and then there was a brief tease of sex, set to what sounded like Celine Dione.

Of course, this encounter angered the jealous redhead, thus creating a dynamic love triangle. Laidlaw offered us the choice of who the player should eventually "get with." Someone yelled out "redhead!"--no doubt a devout fan of Allison Hannigan--and I wanted to leave.
But in creating what is essentially a sex minigame with Dragon Age, BioWare is fully entering territory that I'm not sure it can pull off. Sex in games is still in the pubescent stage. Hammy voice acting and stiff 3D acting make for awkward, pimply approximations of intimacy. One can only hope these early efforts lead to eventual maturity. In the meantime, they can be painful to watch.
Now that's some great priorities right there. Next up, from Thunderbolt Games:
Following this glimpse of character interaction, we were shown combat against a dragon. It was the first time the team showed a battle pitting the hero against a dragon and it lived up to my expectations. With a user display that’s vaguely reminiscent of World of Warcraft, the combat was fast-paced and frantic. With the click of a button, the player can assume control of any character in their party, allowing you to use each party member to their fullest extent as you battle.

As spells flew and the dragon expelled fire in every direction, I was very pleased to see the frame rate hold up at a consistent rate. The graphics were incredibly rich, with excellent texturing. Individual scales of the dragon could be seen as our hero navigated the chaotic battlefield until he finally was able to mount the back of the beast and slide his sword into the dragon’s neck. The dragon’s death was highlighted with a massive splatter of blood covering everything in sight. A diverse color pallet should allow for very different environments as you plug your way through the game.
The real question though...can we see the fear in the dragon's eye? Also, why are they putting fatalities in an RPG?
“This is not your father’s fantasy,” said Leo Soskin as he demonstrated aspects of the character creation. “This is dark, gritty, and real.”
Not for you Bioware, not for you. Next up Gamespot:
We were then shown a part of the game earlier in time than the first sequence, where our Grey Warden encounters and fights a dragon. The battle takes place in a field of grass, where members of our traveling party join us against the dragon. The dragon, as can be expected, breathes fire and is hard to take down, even with five people using swords, arrows and magic against it. Because you can switch to and between up to four members of your party at any one time, our Grey Warden uses this opportunity to switch to a sorceress, who is able to shapeshift. Now playing as the sorceress, we turn into a giant spider that is small enough to get beneath the dragon and bite its legs. As this is happening, we switch to our Grey Warden again, who is able to use the sorceress' distraction to jump on the dragon's back and drive a sword through it's eye, finally killing it.

After the demo we had some hands-on time with an early stage of the game on the Xbox 360. This was the first time we've seen this game on a console, so we payed close attention to the control scheme. Our objective in this short session was to find a particular item with another member of our party. We walked through a forest, encountering and collecting items, before coming across a wolf and a cave containing giant spiders in a fight. The combat here proved very slow--you can assign six different weapons to your control scheme, pressing the X, Y and B buttons to access them, and A to use them. However, pressing A near an enemy seemed to do nothing. It was only when we were under heavy attack and standing almost under an enemy that our weapons finally worked. Holding the left trigger down allowed us to switch between weapons, while the right trigger brings up the weapons menu, which shows you what weapons you have at your disposal. There is also a stealth mode you can access if your skill set allows for it by pressing the X button. A is also for using items and collecting and storing them in your inventory.
Also, they added new videos to their YouTube channel. Apparently,there is more Marilyn Manson. Joy of joys....
Spotted at: Gamebanshee

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