The next Dragon Age and Mass Effect built on same core system

I’m a long-time fan of BioWare.  I’ve been playing their games for the better part of my whole life.  Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, KotOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect–all of these games have had a lasting impact on me and I’m always tempted to go back to re-experience the greatness of those gaming classics.  I can’t express the disappointment I felt when they were bought out by Electronic Arts and the changes that came with that acquisition.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great games from BioWare since the acquisition, but the practices and tone of the games have changed drastically since the studio gave up its independence.

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Even though it’s published by EA, Dragon Age: Origins is, in my humble opinion, the last classic BioWare game.  Production on DAO began long before EA’s purchase of the Canadian developer and it’s undeniable that it feels everything like one of their older titles.  A spiritual successor to their Dungeons & Dragons licensed games, Dragon Age was a love letter to their fans and hardcore gamers.  It was an in-depth tactical RPG with branching stories and great characters.  I loved it, as did pretty much every other loyal BioWare fan.  It was a game that gave me hope for the future of the studio under EA’s umbrella… until we got Dragon Age 2.

Among the many things bad with their fantasy RPG sequel, Dragon Age 2 can easily be considered Mass Effect with swords… and a much smaller world.  Dragon Age 2 was everything DAO wasn’t–everything a Dragon Age game shouldn’t be.  Despite Mass Effect being a great gaming franchise, it’s successful in that its mechanics work within its game world–those mechanics don’t belong in any sequel to a tactical fantasy RPG.  With that said, I can’t help but be a little apprehensive about the upcoming Dragon Age 3, which will lay the groundwork for the next entry in the Mass Effect franchise.

I can see the positive side of this as it will cut down development time for the next Mass Effect, but it also indicates that the next DA will not really distance itself from the “ME with swords” identity established with the second game.  If BioWare proves me wrong in this assumption, I’ll be thrilled.  Until then, I’m going to remain cautious about the next Dragon Age.

 

Source:  VG247

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Electronic Arts will be the Publisher of all Future Star Wars Games

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After acquiring Lucasfilm, Disney shut down LucasArts as a development house and has restructured the studio as a licensing house.  First news of licensing from LucasArts has surfaced in the way of the monumental Star Wars license agreement with Electronic Arts.  EA has secured a “multi-year exclusive licensing agreement to develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines.”  Fans of both videogames and the Star Wars franchise are reporting a great disturbance in the Force… as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

The good news in all of this is EA has announced that three of their studios (DICE, BioWare, and Visceral Games) are working on titles set in the Star Wars Universe.  Fans of the original Knights of the Old Republic (such as myself) are certainly hoping for a single-player continuation of that epic story while everybody else is undoubtedly clamoring for Battlefront III from DICE.  I have no idea what Visceral could be working on, but any speculation is welcome in the comments below.  All games being developed by these studios will utilize Frostbite Engine 3.

My hope in this (aside from EA not destroying the brand and milking the franchise) is that maybe 1313 will be resurrected because, well, it looked pretty awesome.

 

Source:  IGN