Commenter Tony Danza stars in today's newly-rescheduled episode of Speak Up on Kotaku, giving us the skinny on a Dragon Age III that won't be the glorious return to glory fans hoped it would be. You'd think we would have changed time slots on a happy note.
So, for those of you who aren't aware, BioWare's been cooking up a bit of a storm over the past week with the news that they canceled a planned expansion pack to Dragon Age II (Because honestly, lol) and are now working on a full blown game. This news was met with optimism as they opened a thread asking for "Feedback" on what players would like to see changed/fixed in Dragon Age III from DAII/Dragon Age: Origins. I do believe Luke even posted a story alerting us to it (editor's note: yep, he did).
Well, a week later and they're already digging their holes. On their forums they've confirmed that the dreaded dialogue wheel, and the even more dreaded paraphrasing system, will return, along with a voiced main character. Now, I won't spend too much time ranting about the dialogue wheel, because we all have experienced it enough to know it's pro's and con's (namely that it automatically highlights the "Good" and the "Bad" options in dialogue and reduces the amount of meaningful decision making), and we all know why the paraphrasing system is bad.
Of course, BioWare remains entirely unapologetic in this regard, insisting that there is no chance of a full text dialogue system because of problems involved when having a voiced character. They also, of course, state that a voiced character is all but guaranteed and that arguing against it is pointless because they've "weighed" the choices.
Now, there's something to be said about the voiced character. The biggest thing that comes to mind is: How are they going to voice a main character and allow different races/origins? One of the fairly large complaints weighed against DAII before and after release (And with BioWare insisting before release that they knew best and that we should trust them, glad that one worked out) was that being forced into the role of "Hawke" was not Dragon Age, and abandoned one of the coolest features of DAO.
Other things to note is that they are, by their own word, looking at Skyrim for inspiration. Yea.... So, I'll preface this one by saying I love Skyrim, because I do. But here's the thing: Skyrim is the last place they should look for inspiration for a Dragon Age title. Hell, Skyrim is in the exact opposite direction. When we have dozens of tactical RPG's over the years to look at, why in god's name would they look at an Action RPG with an open world? More action is the direction DAII went, and we all know DAII did much worse commercially than DAO, and did worse critically than DAO. But, instead of looking at the classics like they should, BioWare is looking at the hottest new thing on the Block trying to capitalize on its success.
So yea, if you're looking forward to DAIII as a true successor to DAO (Because I know I'm not the only one who head canons DAII out of existence), don't bother. DA3 will probably be an improvement over DAII, because that's not hard to do at this point, but don't get your hopes up people. Not at this rate.
For more coverage of this story, I'll be reporting on it as news appears.... or, well, more likely as I feel like it because it takes all the energy I have to delve into the cesspool that is the BioWare forums.