Dragon Age 2 Made Official

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Although it had never been specifically announced, a sequel to last year’s RPG epic Dragon Age: Origins has been a given pretty much since the original launched, and EA and BioWare really haven’t done anything to hide it — the teaser card packed into retail copies of Dragon Age‘s Awakening expansion certainly was a dead giveaway.

But still, it’s always good to receive confirmation about such things, so today’s news officially announcing Dragon Age 2 is no less exciting.

While the Awakening teaser card indicated a release date of February 2011, Dragon Age 2 actually won’t be coming out until March 2011 — close enough though, right? Like the original, it’s in development for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, this time touting “updated graphics,” “a new visual style,” and a “more dynamic combat system.”

Here are more details from the game’s website:

Experience the epic sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year from the critically acclaimed makers of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.

Key Features:

* Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
* Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
* Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
* Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
* Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.

Of course, the most significant change from Origins to the sequel is in fact the drop of the origins concept, which is sure to draw ire from many fans of the original. Instead of choosing from multiple origin stories and developing a unique character, Dragon Age 2 will follow the Mass Effect formula by forcing you into a male or female version of the lead character, Hawke, a “penniless refugee who rises to power to become the single most important character in the world of Dragon Age.” This is good in that it allows BioWare to develop a deeper, more cinematic story around a default hero, but it’s bad in that it could very well strip away the more involved character development that was so vital to the Dragon Age experience.

Sounds like BioWare is shaking things up quite a bit. I’m somewhat worried about the new direction to be honest, but there’s still a lot left to be shown before rushing to judgment.

ACTION AND FANTASY COLLIDE IN BIOWARE’S DRAGON AGE 2

Rise to Power and Change the World Forever in the Sequel to 2009’s RPG of the Year

Edmonton, Alberta (July 8, 2010) – Leading video game developer BioWare™, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), confirmed today that Dragon Age™ 2 is in development at BioWare’s Edmonton-based studio. Dragon Age 2 is the sequel to the triple-platinum-selling Dragon Age: Origins which was named “RPG of the Year” in 2009 by Game Informer, G4, IGN, and SpikeTV. With Dragon Age 2, the world’s preeminent RPG developer is revolutionizing the genre again, infusing the universe with more action, a new, more responsive combat system and a dynamic story that is already among the most multifaceted in gaming. Dragon Age 2 traces the rise to power of Hawke, a survivor of the Blight and a hero who will transform the face of the Dragon Age universe forever. The new game is scheduled for release in March of 2011 on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC.

“Last year’s launch of Dragon Age: Origins was one of the most successful in BioWare’s 15-year history and one of the most successful new IP launches in the 28 year history of EA,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts and co-founder and Group General Manager of BioWare. “Dragon Age 2 will simultaneously deliver an epic story and set a new bar for intense action in the genre. We’re very excited to deliver this next bold evolution in the Dragon Age franchise to our fans.”

“With Dragon Age 2 we are creating an exciting new entry point into the Dragon Age universe while ensuring that fans of the original game retain a sense of satisfaction and familiarity in the world,” said Dragon Age 2 Executive Producer Mark Darrah. “We are amplifying the things that made Dragon Age: Origins such a huge success while introducing a more dynamic combat system, improving the graphics, and telling the most important story in our world.”

Dragon Age 2 thrusts players into the role of Hawke, a penniless refugee who rises to power to become the single most important character in the world of Dragon Age. Known to be a survivor of the Blight and the Champion of Kirkwall, the legend around Hawke’s rise to power is shrouded in myth and rumor. Featuring an all-new story spanning 10 years, players will help tell that tale by making tough moral choices, gathering the deadliest of allies, amassing fame and fortune, and sealing their place in history. The way you play will write the story of how the world is changed forever.

Dragon Age 2 is in production for the Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, and PC. For more information on Dragon Age 2, please visit our website at www.DragonAge.com, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dragonage or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/DragonAgeOrigins.

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