Dragon Age 2 Announced, Muddy Graphics to Get The Boot

Nathan Grayson

Hey, rest of the videogame industry, you might as well pack it in -- or at least stop making passes at the fantasy genre buffet and loading your plates up with clichés. Why? Because Dragon Age is officially a franchise now, and unless BioWare suffers a huge sophomore slump, your efforts are going to look silly by comparison. So, what’s on the table for Dragon Age 2 ? Well, here’s what we know so far:

First up, BioWare’s ready to unfurl one of its trademark 60-hour yarns, but this time, the role-playing powerhouse is breaking free from its usual mold. Dragon Age 2 tells the decade-spanning story of Hawke, “a penniless refugee who rises to power to become the single most important character in the world of Dragon Age.” Obviously, rags-to-riches has been done before, but we’re more interested in what BioWare’s going to do with a game world that’s actually affected by the passage of time.

On top of that, Dragon Age’s roughest edge, its graphical style – which was actually so rough that its nearest living genetic relative is a piece of sandpaper – is getting a complete overhaul. Or at least, that’s what we’re expecting from BioWare’s proclamation of a “new visual style.” Combat, meanwhile, is seemingly taking a turn for the visceral, with “dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle.”

For now, we’re gonna have to take BioWare’s Executive VP of Press Release Writing’s word for it, but with a big blowout scheduled for next month’s Gamescom gaming convention, we won’t have to wait too long to judge for ourselves.

The game’s slated for a March 2011 release date. Odds are, after we’re done playing it, we’ll be able to identify with Hawke quite well, seeing as – if it’s anything like Origins -- we’ll probably lose our jobs, friends, and social lives to it and become penniless. That “most important character in the world” bit, though? Not so much.

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