Finally after a long, long, loooong time I’m back with a review. Yes, today we will wrap up Dragon Age and cast our verdict.
We took a look at the facebook games, the games itself and the general premise. Now we wrap up with the written media such a comics, novels and webcomics. Let’s start with the webcomics.
The webcomics for both games were made by Penny Arcade. Who is Penny Arcade you ask? Answer short, it’s a webcomic which became very popular about spoofing about games. They became so popular they got their own game, which ironicly sucked just like the games they were bitching about. Shows you how easy it is to be a critic.
The first webcomic is a eight page story of a group of Templars hunting down the famous witches of the wilds. After horribly killing an young girl (DARK FANTASY FTW!) one of the templars, Ser Thial, questions if they should go on the wild goose cheese. The other templars quickly respond to this ‘heresy’ by killing the guy. Wow, even Space Marines have more restraint then that when one of their brothers asks questions.
Anyway, they find a little girl called Morrigan who leads them on a merry chase...ending with Flemeth appearing and killing the Templars...well rather badly. (DARK FANTASY FTW!)
It’s a short story, but it sets the tune for the game. It’s dark, gory, unfair and above all, very witty. Defiantly worth checking it out, if only because of the artwork which I like.
The second story is one made for Awakening and features Nathanial Howe. It’s based around the time when the Orlesian Wardens move in Amaranthine and Nathaniel returns from his grand tour in Kirkwall. He tries to sneak in Amaranthine to...look at his father’s portrait? I don’t know, this story gives a nice insight in his character before DA:A but the reason why he wants to sneak in are not given in the story. We know from the game he wanted to kill the Warden, but he doesn’t kill the other Wardens. Personally I think he takes his daddy’s death a bit to serious...that’s the power of Tim curry for ya.
Anyway, it is a nice story nonetheless, art is good as always.
Shame its only six pages, heh. Wonder how many pages the next one will have.
...Three? THREE PAGES?!
Yes that’s right, Dragon Age II torments us even more with only THREE SODDING PAGES. Sit down ladies and gentlemen, this’ll be a wild ride!
To be honest, I can understand why it’s only three pages since Penny arcade worked on two different projects for DAII. This being the ‘story’ and the exposition of a dlc item called the Hindsight belt which...well let’s be honest, kinda sucks. Seriously, all your DLC gear in DAII sucks, so why bother making a moving comic about it?
Anyway, the Three page story stars Isabella and MaleHawke the mage (like the one from the awesome lying trailer) fighting Qunari. It has some good action in there and the banter is spot on. However it begs the question where the story takes place in DAII’s storyline.
The previous webcomics were easy enough to place, since they were both prequels to their games but this webcomic has Isabella and Hawke fighting Quanri. Proper qunari, not the Tal’vashoth. Isabella never fights the Quanri alongside Hawke because of her storyarc in the game, so when is this?! They could’ve easily replaced the Qunari with another bad guy. I mean you only got...oh, I don’t know THE DARKSPAWN!
But nooooo, this is a tribute to the trailer no doubt >.>
Also I don’t get this...why are the Quanri in this game bare chested while Sten and his lot were armoured top till bottom in gear? Also for a race that discovered gunpowder, why the hell don’t they have guns or cannons?! But I digress....
The Hindsight story though is in video form, and is actually quite good. It tells the story of the belt and how it was forged and how it’s owner is protected from death by it’s previous owner. For example of person a dies in a fire, person b cant die from the fire. But if person b drowns, person c cant and so on and so forth.
Despite my misgivings of the three page comic, check out the trailer for Hindsight, it’s rpetty damn good.
Now we look at the dragon Age comic book, the REAL one. And again, unfortunately....we’re looking at Mages and Templar’s, again.
Fair enough, the writers Orson Scott and Aaron Johnston, was going for a other viewpoint instead of just the Grey Wardens. But for the love of god, why did it have to be Templar’s and mages again? Ok we get it! Templar’s bad, mages good, moving on! But to be fair, this is a 2010 story and thus came before 2011 Dragon Age II. You can also see it as the author picking plot elements from the scraps of the DAII story table and use it for himself. Three guesses how I see it.
Anyway, it’s a six issue miniseries about a unlikely family. A mage, Veness, falls in love with a Templar, Sedat, and from that relationship a baby is born. However the father thinks the mage was cheating on him with another mage, some dude we never see again. Veness escapes to give birth to the baby, Gleam, who is the major protagonist of this series. Sedat kills Veness after the baby is spirited away and becomes a hardcore bad ass Templar with zero mercy, because of the mix up.
The story skips seventeen years later while we follow Gleam and her journey to avoid the templar’s under her father’s command and later avenge the death of her adopted family. To be honest, the story is rather....well it’s not that good, but it’s not bad.
Pacing is a big withdrawal in this series, as the 1st issue moves way to fast and tries to tell to much in to little time. Also the major protagonist only appears in issue 2 after a seventeen year gap in between issues. However the story picks up after a while and the artwork is lovely. Well in a personal taste anyway since the artist is very much like a blend between manga and western comics. Big eyes, muscular male bodies and very feminine bodies like superheroinnes and all that jazz.
It’s an alright series, and easy to get in to if you didn’t play the games. You can read it if you like, but seriously, there are better stories.
Speaking of better stories, despite my misgivings on the plot of DAII I do like the characters. And this is where we go with this short stories. For DAII, Bioware gave us a short story for every party member. Varric, Aveline, Isabella, Fenris, Merill, Anders. Your siblings don’t get a story though, since you already know them. Each story gives a nice insight into the characters before they meet Hawke, like the webcomics of Penny Arcade did. They are all well written and you do see how the character’s tick. My favourite was Varric, since...well he IS the man.
http://na.llnet.bioware.cdn.ea.com/u/f/eagames/bioware/dragonage2/assets/content/world/short_stories/varric.pdf Yes, a poker story is way more interesting then Anders’ escape from Vigil’s keep. If you want to check them out just replace the name of the character. (for example varric.pdf to anders.pdf) they are all worthwhile, trust me.
And of course, finally we get to the novels! Yes Dragon Age has novels, written by David Gaider himself! The dude who created Thedas himself really. The first novel is about Orlais’ occupation of Ferelden, and is rightfully called ‘the Stole Throne’. It tells the story of Prince Maric joining up with Loghain and how they lead an army against Orlais. For people who never understood why Loghain was so crazy about Orlais...well you should read this novel, and you’ll understand why. This novels is actually a lot like George R. Martin’s ‘Game of Thrones’. It has betrayal, intrigues, sex, lost loves, grand battles...everything. The lack of darkspawn is alright actually since this is a proper dark fantasy story still nonetheless.
The Calling however is a proper Grey Warden story where Maric leads the Grey Wardens into the Deep Roads (because during the war he led on a quest to find a lost Warden, and his possible betrayal to the darkspawn. Because it’s written so near to Awakening, this novel introduces the architect properly and it explains his motives.
Both stories are written very well and you’ll love the characters. Of course the problem with the main characters is, that you know most of them will make it out alive and takes out some of the suspense. However you feel for the side characters, especially Maric’s first love, the elf Katriel and how Loghain and Rowain were an item before he had to give her to Maric. Or how Maric’s loss of Rowain due to illness makes him suicidal enough in The Calling to go down into the Deep Roads.
If you can, defiantly check these stories out, you wont be disappointed.
Also I found out David is working on a new book called ‘Asunder’ which will be about Wynn and Shale near DAII’s timeline! It’s about her son, Rhys who trying to prove his innocence as he embarks on a journey into the western wastelands. There, he finds more than he bargained for, and changes the fate of his fellow mages forever. ... Yes more Templars and Mages..huzzah...When do I get my 1st Blight story?! GODDAMNIT!
And that is it ladies and gentlemen. I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll catch you next time.