Dragon Age II is less than a month away and role-playing fans everywhere are anxiously anticipating BioWare's latest gem.
However, as we've heard, there will be some significant changes in this sequel, and those upgrades/alterations have been discussed at the PlayStation Blog . In a great interview with Creative Director Mike Laidlaw, we learn about the improved visuals, the slightly different battle system, and overall, how the second effort compares to the first.
To start, Laidlaw spoke about the "painful" process of bringing Origins and its Eclipse engine to the PlayStation 3; while he said it was successful, he knew they'd have to make a change the second time around. So, they designed the art assets from the ground up so the console versions would "work better." This really helps the PS3 version, as Laidlaw says "the visual fidelity is higher" and the final result "is higher quality textures, crisper resolutions, and more guys on screen, without having to sacrifice anything simply because we built it smarter."
Then came some talk about the battle system, which is – in our opinion – the most interesting part of the interview. The Blog's Jeff Rubenstein admitted to having issues with the combat in Origins and Laidlaw believes those issues (that other players had as well) stemmed from a "lack of immediacy" for console players. He says they're so used to pressing a button and having something happen, and the "lack of responsiveness" in Origins resulted in a "disassociation." So they didn't sacrifice any depth (thank God) but they upped the aforementioned urgency:
"Push to attack: press X and BAM, I’m right in there and start attacking.
Closing moves: So if I’m 10 feet from a guy, I don’t kind of awkwardly run up to him and then attack. I leap into him and attack as I do it.
Every animation is being produced in a more stylish, more reactive, and I think a more satisfying way that telegraphs what I’m doing back to me very clearly. 'I just swung that sword, and I hit three guys because it’s a two-hander and I swung it in an arc.'"
There's plenty more so feel free to read the whole interview. While we all remain plenty excited for Dragon Age II and we have total faith in BioWare, it's actually a little surprising to see them introducing more action elements for the sake of wider appeal. Personally, I'm kind of hoping they worked on the balance; I always felt underpowered as a mage in Origins and with limited enemies, I couldn't build up my character. That drives me nuts .
But that's just me. I believe BioWare when they say they didn't sacrifice any depth for the new flashy style, and that's what matters most.
Related Game(s): Dragon Age II