Monday, November 16, 2009

Dragon Age + The Old Republic

Most of my game time has been consumed by Dragon Age lately.  It is rather addicting.  As I play, I can't help but think what Dragon Age tells us about Bioware's upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. 

I think it is safe to say that Dragon Age and Mass Effect have been big hits.  They were hyped and both have lived up to it, which is a rare occasion these days.  So what can these titles tell us about TOR? 

Voice Acting.  Both DAO and ME have extensive voice acting.  In those titles it has been very well done and it added a considerable amount of immersion.  The Old Republic is also going to be fully voiced and may have more dialog than all other Bioware titles put together. 

Dragon Age is a great example of the quality of the voice overs. Bioware has tailored the voice overs to your particular situation.  Even characters in the DLC, like Shale, have voice comments for situations all over the game.  The voiced banter between members of your party is very natural as well.

Companions.  What would a Bioware game be without companion characters?  Both Mass Effect and Dragon Age made full use of your NPC companions.  They all have different personalities and perspectives.  They were designed not as an island, but as an integrated part of your team.  Morrigan and Alistar are a great example of this.

Bioware has said that companions will take a similar path in the Old Republic.  As TOR is exponentially bigger than Dragon Age or Mass Effect, it could mean we will have a large number of companion choices.  They all may not be available to every career, but they would add even more re-playability.

Story.  Mass Effect was the first game that I really noticed the amount of effort Bioware puts into the story.  All over the game world were story unlocks and items which were easily viewable.  Dragon Age took it a step forward with their Codex. I think a good chunk of my time in DAO has been spent reading all of the information in the Codex.

I would be very surprised if TOR did not have something similar to the DAO Codex.  Warhammer Online's Tome of Knowledge is also very similar.  Those little tidbit's of information really add depth to the world around you.

Dragon Age: Origins