Let's start with my love of the Dragon Age universe, as well as Dragon Age: Origins. Man, I loved that game. Okay, we've got that out of the way? Good. Because I've made no bones about the fact that I was profoundly disappointed with Dragon Age II.
With that said, several aspects of the game have grown on me over time—I've come to see the appeal of the art style, though it initially seemed thin and cartoony. Many of the characters endeared themselves to me over the course of the game, and I regularly find myself thinking fondly on Aveline, Isabella, Varric, and Merrill.
Most of of the energy I spent criticizing Dragon Age II was born of frustration—there was so much potential there, something special should've been happening! Dragon Age II's upcoming DLC Mark of the Assassin looks to be a step towards playing to the sequel's strengths, rather than the ways in which it falls short of its epic predecessor.
Last week I headed into downtown San Francisco to check out the new content. Lucky me, my demo session was guided by none other than the star of Mark of the Assassin, writer/actor Felicia Day. When not lending her talents to big-time video game franchises, Day is better known as the creator and star of the game-centric web series The Guild, Penny from Joss Whedon's extra-spectacular Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and basically just one of the most well-known and -regarded geek icons on the planet Earth.
I sat with Miss Day as she played through the an early part of Mark of the Assassin. Hawke, the player-character, was arriving at a remote villa owned by a mysterious Orlesian, only to be ambushed by a bunch of well-armed foes. Enter Day's character Tallis, a twin-blade-wielding assassin, who saved the day in fine, bloody fashion.
Tallis is based on a character that Day created for the "Dragon Age: Redemption" web series, which will be premiering its first episode on the same day that the Mark of the Assassin DLC drops, October 11th. Day wrote, produced, and will star in the series, which will play out over the course of six weekly episodes after its premiere. The stories of the DLC and the web series don't overlap, but the character does—they're meant to be distinct, yet complimentary.