Dragon Age: Origins. And for that exact reason, we're standing a good few feet away from Dragon Age 2 and gently prodding it with our trepidation stick. See, on one hand, it could turn out to be a prettier, more streamlined take on Origins' sublime balance of strategic depth and chatty role-playing. On the other hand, however, BioWare seems bound and determined to
shepherd it down the same path
as Mass Effect 2 – which was a fantastic game, yeah, but not exactly the peanut butter to Dragon Age's chocolate.
Fortunately, BioWare's streamlining effort – despite an earlier report – won't snip the edges off the features us PC gamers hold near and dear: namely, an isometric, mouse-friendly camera and mod support.
"I can confirm that we will not be doing a tactical view on consoles, though we are looking into some expanded party control that I think will make console players quite happy," Dragon Age 2 lead designer Mike Laidlaw said. "On the PC, however, we are still working with the camera to keep the key elements of the tactical experience there."
"While we likely won't pull as far up as we did in DA:O, I have always felt that the key to tactical play was actually freeing your camera from the character you're controlling to issue precise orders, which is what we're tuning now. So, this means you can still maneuver the camera around the battlefield and issue orders from a remote location, just as you could in Origins."
So Laidlaw laid our fears to rest there, but mod support, as it turns out, is a bit of a stickier subject. Apparently, this stems from the fact that the creation tools for DA2 are more or less identical to the ones from Origins, so a new release won't be necessary.
"While we won't be releasing a toolset update in tandem with Dragon Age 2, we ARE investigating what it would take to update the community toolset to match ours, along with providing DA2 content in the future," Laidlaw explained.
Bottom line: once again, PC gamers win because we're smarter and more mature. Now let's go stick our tongues out at console gamers, make fart noises, and tell rude jokes about their mothers.