Dragon Age II Removed from Steam

A more charming title would have been Dragon Age II Fades Away from Steambut not many readers might get the reference. Nevertheless, the title rings out true. The game has been removed from Valve’s digital distribution platform Steam. This comes on the eve of the launch of the new downloadable content (DLC) Legacyfor the troubled role playing game.


I say troubled, because it had tremendously huge shoes to fill. The shoes being Dragon Age: Orgins‘. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the game more than the original and its expansion pack Awakening, partly because of how Mass Effect-y the second game felt and the more streamlined quests. It did have a lot of bugs, some tawdry continuity issues and the same I never meant to say thatmoments in the dialogue circles.

On this matter, Electronic Arts’ SVP of Global E-Commerce said:

At EA, we offer our games and content to all major download services including GameStop, Amazon, Direct2Drive and Steam,

Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content. No other download service has adopted this practice. Consequently some of our games have been removed by Steam.

We hope to work out an agreement to keep our games on Steam.

So it seems that Valve had some trouble with the DLC being downloaded on the game’s own launcher, or EA could not sort out licensing and payment terms for the game on Steam. Either way, it is sorry to see two large companies bickering about this. I hope more games are not taken down from Steam on the pretext of T&C violation and put on EA’s Origin.

A Look at What Dragon Age 2 Will Offer

The hefty 1.9GB demo of Dragon Age II contained quite a lot of things, but leaves much to be desired (as is the case with most demos, which is why they are called demos, right?). The demo contains some fairly decent story pointers and sticks to the previous games’ difficulty spikes. Considering that Bioware has gone the Mass Effect way with this game (fully-voiced main character, previously saved data importing and others), it will be worthwhile to check out if the game is actually a beacon of shining light towards the new path of Role Playing Games (RPGs).


The game does not reveal much in the way of story (except for the lone important character from Dragon Age: Origins making an appearance towards the end of the prologue chapter). The fairly overused You are the savior of the Worldtrope comes into play here. As Hawke, you will be the Champion who one day saves the world from [insert obligatory evil person/thing here]. You can choose between three classes (Mage, Rogue or Fighter) and play either the male or female version of these. The story is fairly straightforward except when you reach Kirkwall wherein the narrative gets totally flummoxed and you just flit between skirmishes. The artwork style is quite brilliant with a washed out hand drawn feel to it.


The dialog options are akin to Mass Effect‘s radial option dial. The dial shows the gist of what Hawke will actually say and there are four main kinds of responses that Hawke might have a peaceful response, a neutral/comic response, an aggressive response and an investigative question. These are extremely simple to understand and actually make you wait and listen to the entire dialog instead of Esc-ing through the long drawl of the player’s talk.


The gameplay, on the other hand, has taken a completely different approach from Dragon Age: Origins. With a camera behind the main player overseeing an extremely fast battleground, it can be daunting task for RPG-lovers used to an overhead camera to come to terms with this new approach. The fighting is absolutely chaotic and without the assistance of a pause options, it would have been well nigh impossible to coordinate attacks. Players playing as a mage will most likely be hit upon by the Darkspawn and other enemies spawning faster than their magical abilities refresh. The game is as hard as it used to be and without carefully coordinating the attacks and the AI of your party characters, it will be difficult to win many battles, if not impossible.


With the prologue seeing the same battle being fought twice due to an unreliable narrator, it is hard to miss the similarity between the double-take in Dragon Age II and The Witcher 2‘s initial gameplay impressions.

In short: Mass Effect + Dragon Age: Origins = Dragon Age II. It is really hard to look at the game’s gameplay without comparing it to Mass Effect. Yes, there are still vast differences between them (the tweaking of the AI tactics being the most prominent) but the main game will tell how Dragon Age II really matches up to its predecessor.

Dragon Age II Demo Out

Followed by the necessary a million downloads gets you unlockable goodies in the finished game!, Bioware has released the playable demo of their new epic Dragon Age II. The game with features that amalgamate the storyline style of Mass Effect with the rudiments of role playing is set to be the next Role Playing Game (RPG) of the Year (that is unless The Witcher 2 trumps it which I am hoping will).


As Hawke, the to-be Champion of the world of Dragon Age, you will journey through the different locations of the universe. The main character is fully voiced, and the dialog options are just the gist of what the character actually says (as in the Mass Effect games):-

In the demo, players will venture through the game’s prologue, choosing from three different character classes. They’ll also learn more about Hawke and hone their skills and abilities that will make them the ultimate hero. After finishing the prologue, players will enter a key new location in the world of Dragon Age, Kirkwall, befriending Isabela, a romantic interest in the game who is also a deadly smuggler. Upon completion of the demo, players will unlock a special weapon, Hayder’s Razor, an ancient dwarven blade which increases health, mana, and combat abilities, in the full release of Dragon Age 2.

Bioware has also created two new in-game items that will be released in the full version of Dragon Age II if there are one million downloads for the demo. The two items are the Lothering’s Lament and The Far Cliffs of Kirkwall. Both of them are lore books that give an experience (XP) boost and money when read.

So download the demo today and tell us about your experiences with it!

The demo is also available off Steam, in case you don’t like no-fuss downloading and installation.

Dragon Age: Redemption Web miniseries Announced

Wow an actual live-action show based on the Dragon Age universe. The Banns and Arls of Ferelden will be pleased (as will the Grey Wardens) to know that Felicia Day will be playing the part of a sarcastic elf assassincalled Tallis in the miniseries Dragon Age: Redemption.


The miniseries will have six episodes (or webisodes) and will probably fill in the gap between Origins and Dragon Age 2. This will be the first time that the Kingdom of Ferelden and Thedas will properly be shown in all its gritty details. Such gritty details include sarcastic elf assassins ducking and swerving around woods and looking smolderingly at the camera. She is also creating this series right after her extremely successful web series on a group of fictional MMORPG players The Guild:-

“I’m a huge Dragon Age fan, and I have been looking for a follow up project to ‘The Guild’ for quite some time. I was thrilled when the opportunity to work with BioWare materialized. Dragon Age: Redemption allows me to tell a fantasy story in a new way, using a universe I really love. It has been a dream working together.”

(In Dragon Age: Redemption, Day stars as Tallis, an Elven assassin hired by the Qunari to capture a rogue mage intent on wreaking havoc throughout the world. In her quest to find this dangerous mage, Tallis is joined by other companions who are not always aligned in their beliefs and goals, but who band together to defeat their foe, in an attempt to restore peace and balance to this dark fantasy universe.)

Apprently Day has been training consistently for this series and is quite competent with daggers and will probably give a killer backstab if you cross her (see what I did there?). The series will start this summer and will feature axes, daggers, swords and a fair bit of magic (and several members of the Chantry to boot). The trailer has been embedded below.

On an unrelated note, the SF geek in me really wishes for a Mass Effect series or movie. Then again, the game itself is so movie-like that it’s an empty wish.

Dragon Age II’s 55 Minute Footage!

Bioware’s new epic, Dragon Age II has just gone gold. This means that the game has [hopefully] removed [almost] all its bugs, the final polishing is done and it is ready to be released. This is the same Dragon Age II that was hinted at quite some time ago, but it only seems like it was yesterday. PC Gamer’s DA2 preview certainly makes it seem like a lip-smacking delight of an RPG which takes the best things from Mass Effect and its predecessor Dragon Age: Origins to make good its promise of an epic and entirely long story.


The developers have released a stupendous fifty-five minute long live-chat session while playing the game. The game was played as the onlookers sat, without any rehearsal or script at hand. The game looks breathtakingly good, and the story (however little of it that can be gleaned from this and the reviews) is far more solid than its predecessor (which, let’s face it, was a very generic story with tiny bits and pieces of enjoyment). There is no arbitrary morality meter, so you can immerse yourself in this game without going through shades of black and white. The game will probably refine the Role Playing genre to such an extent that games after it would probably have to pale in comparison, or so we hope, again.

Watch live streaming video from electronicarts at livestream.com

You can watch the full video here.

Dragon Age II Has Quite a Lot of Gaiety

I am pretty sure my readers are used to my terrible puns in the title. It is a habit I cannot let go of, much like the habit of exploring every possible relationship possible in a Role Playing Game (RPG). To that extent, Bioware’s games have always been liberal even slightly rainbow colored. Although the option was glaringly missing in Mass Effect 2, Bioware have decided to let gamers from all orientations (except the slightly unconventional ones, um) experience virtual love in a fantasy world in their own way.


In other words, more homosexual romance options! In Dragon Age: Origins, Zevran Aranai delivered men from the pangs of homosexual lovemaking (the elf was an amorous and libidinous assassin), while Leliana the Orlesian bard did the same for female gamers (which as we know exist in the bodies of Many Men Online Role Playing as Girls {MMORPG} ).


The game itself is mature beyond this fine treatment of the rainbow pride movement. According to the ESRB’s rating synopsis, the game has its fair share of dirty talk as well as one oral sex scene (cough, cough, Bioware):-

During the course of the game, characters sometimes engage in sexual dialogue (e.g., “Why is it always about sex with you?” and “Sailing is like sex. Do it wrong, and it’ll make you sick.”). Players can also initiate brief cutscene sequences in which couples (male-female or same-sex) are shown kissing and embracing one another in a bedroom as the screen fades to black. In one cutscene, a woman kneels in front of a male character and appears to perform fellatio—there is no depiction of the sex act; the camera pans out to the rest of the room. The words “a*s,” “bastard,” and “sh*t” appear in dialogue.

Much fun to be had by the RPG loving legion in about a month’s time, eh?