Dragon Age: The Veilguard

Black Elk

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Yeah I don't even know what to do with that. Some weird version "Heroes" like I - I could be (Lion) King, not quite the modern mashup I'm looking for in a Dragon Age game. Feels out of place, similar to the Beastie Boys in Star Trek or something, just kinda meh.

This was the side by side trailer showdown right here... hehe



When you see them play back to back the DA4 just looks absolutely absurd lol
 

Skatan

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100
Oh lord.. this give me "Lamplighters League" vibes. The introduction of the characters, ugh... the *quirkiness*, the *sillyness*.. it feels like a cartoon made for tweens. I watched without sound on, but I think I can imagine the sassy voices even so. Ah well, their game - their choice. My money - my choice.
 

Antimatter

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They have shown the gameplay, and, no, it doesn't change my opinion about the game.



It's no longer a tactical game. And it's no longer a game where you have any agency about what your character says, except for very trivial stuff. And the colors. And the combat. :(
 

Skatan

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Yeah that clip sealed the deal. I guess gameplay wise it looks.. ok? A bit dated to be honest, like something from a decade ago. The graphics, environment etc is pretty, but the actions/skills, the jumping around, the twirling attacks, the lack of weight behind movements (like when the rogue fights a mage at the ledge but you can notice the attacks don't carry actual physical momentum or kinetic force, it's just window dressing and number crunching) etc looks very "safe".

Loved the segment about 5 minutes in, "Oh no they have put of a barrier to block the way", the rogue strikes once, barrier goes down! Haha.. I mean, why even put it there if it falls from a single strike? Loved it, but not for the right reasons.

Anyways, I have no love for the franchise so their design choices matters little to me. They lost me at DA2 already. But thanks for sharing! it was still fun to see the trailer and the game play.
 

WarChiefZeke

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73
Very far from the spirit of the franchise. I wonder what compelled them to make this. Do they think they can start over with an entirely new generation of players, and ignore loyal fans of the series?

I don’t generally wish misfortune on anyone, but I hope this doesn’t sell.

This is exactly what many developers of a successful single player RPG end up doing. It is beyond tiresome at this point.
 

Black Elk

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207
I legit can't stop thinking about it. Like watch me stay awake all night just to see what the gameplay footage looked like, cause of course I did lol. I saw a few seconds of it making the rounds earlier yesterday, but it was that whole second chance to make a first impression thing. I just don't know how one recovers from it, after dropping something so corpo lookin' to kick things off. Like I don't know, maybe they have to hire Jack Black now and just pretend it was all some sort of Kung Fu Panda 4 send up spend another 20 million on damage control? lol

I feel like I wouldn't trust the joke though, even it was very very expensive. The way that first teaser was edited with the freeze frame character highlights and splash taglines. Not including original music, but instead going for something pop like that? I mean I get it, it's probably somehow the same person who didn't get let go when everyone else did, still trying for the rebrand, although honestly, why? Ya know, like the brand was already there if they could find their way back time machine. Seems like the only solution to a whack first trailer is a second trailer that isn't whack, but that probably takes a lot of work. It's unfair to compare probably, but I can't help it, just remembering the feeling of seeing DA:O that very first time, and then thinking about how pretty fucking glorious pitstop came with the initial BG3 teaser trailer when that dropped. It makes sense, cause their soundwork was totally on hit for that, but equally important was that they went for a rotoscoped sort of look similar to what I associate with the sub-genre coming out of the old illustrated tomes from way back when, or you know like the og frazetta cards or Bakshi flicks and stuff like that.

Old school realism with the grit, as opposed to the modern cartoon balloon aesethetic which I feel like we're seeing on display in the DA4 promo trailer and within the gameplay as well it seems. I'm torn on this, because on the one hand I think it makes more sense to use the tradition of caricature with exaggerated facial or gestural expression to truly nail what I want out of the forever fantasy RPG, but I also want it to look a particular way, with naturalistic emotes so that it seems theatrical rather than cartoony balloon. I mean just looking at Morrigan again from the og, I feel like just even with her hands she's saying more than any amount of wild eyebrows or dislocated jaws could pull off trying to make it look like a Pixar movie lol. I don't know, like I don't want to bag on it before I've even seen the full deets cause the hopes were high, but still. I just feel like I'm not going to get anything to pull me away from BG3 over the summer.

Also, and you guys know I'm pretty into dwarves for my high fantasy and whatnot, if only for their stubborn refusal to change, but seriously, who really cares about fucking Varric? lol Like way to highlight a DA2 character that I have almost no attachment to and make him into the unofficial series protagonist somehow. I judge him so hard for his weak ass beard. I guess Oghren just didn't have the right look eh? Not well groomed enough probably. In fairness BG3 was a total let down in the Dwarven department as well, except for the Duergar there, who were all pretty great. I rarely roll up Dwarves for my protagonists, so I need a solid companion to ace that for me and keep that base covered. Still even sans dwarves, I find myself zoning out to soundscapes in BG3 the same way I used to in BG1, just cruising around the wilderness trying spot the little things or discover the little sounds. Time warping for like 1300 hours or whatever, replaying the same game over and over, just because the whole vibe is so trance-like in that way.

I love cinema, and I do think there's a powerful connection to be made between these two mediums, but if my RPG is going to be a flick call back, then the moments I'm looking for aren't like Avengers Assemble spin cam from 2010, which feels like complete artifice, but something more like a Tarkovsky Stalker arthouse flick where I can just spend an hour staring at my reflecting in the river, while time seems to disappear lol.

I'm still salty and pretty critical of the BG3 EA for all the stuff I feel like it didn't give me that I wanted. But comparing that Early Access sort of 'EA' to what Dragon Age feels like under the actual EA aegis, the differences are stark. I remember feeling annoyed at the use of both EA to mean early access and Origins as a way to refer to companions, both because they reminded me of what was cracking off with Dragon Age, but ultimately it was a spiritual success for me, so I guess I can't grumble over much. Still though, I thought 24 might be a Dragon year too, but I feel like they're probably still hibernating and biding their time. Like the world needs to end just a little bit more first, I suppose. Should be able to weather the disappointments by now, but somehow they're still disappointing hehe.

ps. I had SWOTR flashbacks for the main combat sequence shown, like right after the crossbow lasers and "you are in violation of Imperial order" blasting over the megaphone where keys are slammed and everything tumbles, but nothing really matters. I suppose that was by design. I just don't even know what to make of it all heheh
 
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WarChiefZeke

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73
but seriously, who really cares about fucking Varric?

I don't hate Varric, but i'm certainly sick of him by now, his story was completed, he even has a role in government! Literally no reason he should be involved whatsoever.

And i'm doubly annoyed by the inclusion of Harding. Every dwarf of *any* importance we have seen post-Origins has been some casteless vagabond, barely accepted by their own kind!

They did a lot of work to establish a rigid class structure into dwarven lore, only to throw it all in the bin and forget about it. Lame!

I'm a little more salty about this than I should be. My beloved Origins character was a Dwarven Noble, and the only reason I went through all 3 games was to see the conclusion of her story.

On that note, that was the perhaps the only time i've played a female main character and enjoyed myself as much as I did. One of my all time favorite protagonists that i've created.
 

Antimatter

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I don't want to post a long essay on how bad this all looked and felt. I guess the indifference is probably an even bigger indication of how I feel.

People online claim the gameplay video presented the game better than the trailer. Well, I think they're very similar. The tone - the feeling - they give (with all those plastic violet faceless "demons" and Instagram-filtered faces for every character in the "gameplay" video) are the same (to me). This combat is very dull, not diverse, and simplified, and yet, at the same time, it can't compete with combat from any decent action game. Just look at The Witcher 3 combat, look how meaty the sword fight feels, how impactful every action there looks. Or look at the Assassin's Creed: Shadows combat, which offers you ways to climb up walls, attack from rooftops, sneak underwater, or even strike through thin walls.

This is my first time, in terms of getting an entry into the franchise I was once a big fan of that I do not care about. DA: O was my most favorite party-based RPG before BG3. I enjoyed DA: I for its characters and high story moments. But this... this is just using the same name. I understand some former BioWare folks don't want to dump on DA: V because there are still their colleagues at BioWare. I understand some biggest streamers don't want to criticize DA: V (or still give it the benefit of the doubt because we didn't see classes, skills, anything else beyond lvl 1 combat etc) because they don't want to lose access to copies/conventions/PR lists.

But this looks worse than contemporary action games. This looks worse than single-person RPGs such as The Witcher 3 (released... in 2015(!)). This looks worse than party cRPGs.

I don't even mention how off the dialogue between the dev and the community is, considering the BG3 team gave dozens of interviews on how one should build such dialogues. We were given 20 minutes of the pre-recorded prologue that probably had 8 mins of actual gameplay, with no commentary, no explanation, no showing of anything in terms of what makes a game an RPG.

Avowed might not look like a ground-breaking game as well, but at least their people go out of their way to explain game systems, UI, classes, choices, etc. Both games will be released in 2024. AC: Shadows will release on Nov 15, DA: V - "this fall", yet AC: Shadows explained their combat mechanics 10 times better and in more detail than this.
 

Zaxares

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Messages
59
I haven't watched the gameplay trailer yet, but yeah, the cinematic trailer left me VERY unenthused. :( The art, style and tone all feel like such a radical departure from what we knew and loved about the earlier DA games. Like most of you, I can't see myself buying DA4 if this is what it's turning out to be.

One of the comments on the trailer video summed it up best, I think. "You either die a Dragon Age hero, or you live long enough to see your series turn into Fortnite." XD
 
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