Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Is the time right for talk about Dragon Age II to begin in earnest? The logical conclusion of the past few years of internet chattery seem to have been reached in this game, which has the rare distinction of having a full blown backlash movement well underway before it had even been released—perhaps the first of its kind. I’m sure someone will point out some earlier case, just like how citing The Ramones as the first punk group invariably draws some wag who will pontificate on the antecedents found in The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls, or The Stooges. But I dub those proto, as I will dub any cases of pre-backlash proto. Yes, Dragon Age II was a lightning rod, for reasons too legion, exhausting, and often stupid to enumerate. For me, I may not have liked DA2 as much as Bioware’s Mass Effect 2, and, hell, I might not have liked it as much as the original Dragon Age: Origins, but I did like it, and found it a worthy sequel. There are some criticisms I can’t argue with, or don’t particularly care to, but there are other’s I’m more than happy to push back on. Surprise, they mostly center around the story, where DA2 made some controversial choices, and, to my mind, found some fruitful ground. I have often said “If game players want better stories, they need to make themselves better readers.” Nowhere is that more apparent than in Dragon Age II.