When it comes to the recently announced Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, my excitement stems not from blind love of whatever BioWare does, though they’ve not utterly let me down even with ME3, it comes from having found something to love in each game, no matter the flaws.
In particular, the Dragon Age series has captured my heart. There isn’t a particular character or love interest that I feel the need to continue, as much as I’d love to see what happens with my Wardens. The characters and setting in general have, instead, drawn me into that world.
Was DA2 as wonderful as Dragon Age: Origins? Nope. But any game that has my blistering first run end with me half in tears cursing at a character must be doing something right. That’s how I ended my first play of DA:O, after all. (Okay, I was utterly in tears when Alistair committed death by Archdemon. They were at least half tears of anger.)
The expansions for DA2 made Hawke a much more real character to me, which was also to the good, though neither carried quite the heft of Awakening. Had I not played them I might still be left feeling like a puppet master driving my remote control doll through the land of crazy.
I like crazy, and I loved most of the nutjobs in DA2. But until Hawke went down to follow in her fathers’ footsteps she didn’t much engage me as more than a window into their world. Somehow the two expansions made her a role to play more than a random victim of circumstance and Flemeth.
And so I go to the forum on the BioWare Social Network. I read that BioWare has switched to a new engine capable of beautiful things. I see David Gaider being his usual, snarky, strong-willed self on the boards. I see a bit of concept art and hear intriguing rumors of Cullen. So far, so good.
I want this game because I want to know what happens in Thedas. If it turns out to be as rich and immersive as DA:O, that’s fantastic. Imagine the cries of vindication the rabid, furious fans will give! But if it’s just a pretty skin over a superficial story I still want to play it, at least once. It’s like reading a series of books: unless it becomes so ridiculous or repetitive that I no longer care about the people in it, I’ll keep reading.
Now if someone can recommend another RPG that’s heavy on story, with engaging characters, I’d love to play it. Skyrim is a lot of great things but it’s certainly neither of those. Final Fantasy gives me nubile 12-year-old girls, which isn’t my thing, and a railroad path so tight it makes me claustrophobic. Witcher does not offer me a female protagonist.
What’s a girl to play? Oh, yeah. SW:TOR. Hello, BioWare!