EA's Gamescom presser saw the release of a new trailer for the upcoming Dragon Age game, and it's pretty awesome - but near the end we get a glimpse of something that could have huge implications for players heading to Thedas this November. Spoilery discussion beyond the cut!
The trailer is largely focus on the fact that our heroes look pretty doomed in the face of an onslaught of Demons from the fade as well as a new evil chappie named The Old One - someone apparently so evil he even gets to ham it up with the delightful line 'WHERE IS YOUR MAKER NOW!?'. Our heroes are shown fighting, and getting pretty messed up in return for it. Not even some rallying cries from Ex-Templar Cullen or the presence of Morrigan seems to help the fact that things are dire for the Inquistion. They might need some help. Help from Champions of old.
... and they look like they're getting it.
It's only a short glimpse at around 1:36 into the trailer, but these guys look awfully familiar, dashing to the Inquisitor's side.
IS THAT THE HERO OF FERELDEN AND HAWKE!?
Bioware had previously teased the involvement of the previous player characters of the Dragon Age series in Inquistion, but the last we heard from them was that it wasn't likely, according to this PC Gamer Interview with Mark Darrah at least:
One of the reasons that we've decided to do that in the Dragon Age series is that it lets us explore a lot more themes. Hawke's story, it's not done, but the most important event of his life is essentially what's happening in Dragon Age 2. With the warden from Dragon Age: Origins he carries a lot of very divergent baggage. Anything from he could be dead to maybe there's a kid in the picture, maybe he's actually ruling Ferelden with Anora.
He's a very difficult character to proceed with because the universe is in very different places based on the events of the Dragon Age: Origins. Just reflecting those changes in the future games is a big challenge. To actually have him as a playable character is just—it would tie our hands too much. It would require us to make a story that was too constrained.
And yet, here we are. But this raises some huge questions for just how Inquistion is going to handle this. Hawke is a relatively simple entrant into the story, as regardless of the outcome of Dragon Age II, he or she sailed off into the sunset with their romantic partner (or alone) - but as Darrah says, the Warden themselves raises some huge problems. Were they a Human, an Elf, or a Dwarf? How did they stop the blight? Did they marry Anora (a spanner in the works considering it's now canon that Alistair did!)? Are they even still alive? If your Warden sacrificed themselves in Ferelden, will they still show up in the story, á la the lore-mishandling of Leliana?
It's not just lore implications either - we know the upcoming Dragon Age Keep will act as a repository of choices we made in Origins and Dragon Age II, so players can be free to carry over saves to different platforms like the PC or current-gen consoles. But with this new development, are we also going to be bringing in customised Hawkes and Wardens? Or can we only decide their gender, and in the case of the Warden, their race? Will we be getting 'canon' versions, or our true own?
Mike Laidlaw, Creative Director for the Dragon Age series, has answered at least a few questions regarding this reveal - confirming that yes, it is Hawke (and that he/she can be fully customised, hurrah!), but the Warden is in fact not the Hero of Ferelden:
So... who is it? Could it be, as Chrono suggests in the comments, the Orlesian Warden-Commander from Awakening? Or, considering the hair colour and style, could it be Alistair, again in Warden Armour? Or maybe a generic 'Warden' that stands in to represent the choices of Origins, in an attempt to patch up the Hero of Ferelden's problematic 'baggage', as Darrah puts it, but without actually being that character?
I suppose we'll have to wait a little while to find out. Dragon Age Inquistion is out November 18th in the US, and November 21st in Europe.