When it came to expanding the experience of Dragon Age: Origins, BioWare thought it would be a pleasant change of pace if some of the game's DLC featured the player embodying someone other than their Warden. Unfortunately, this bold move didn’t pay off and has since made gamers fearful that Dragon Age 2 will repeat the same mistake.
Thankfully, when speaking with Eurogamer, Dragon Age 2 lead designer Mike Laidlaw acknowledged the problems that arose from Origin’s DLC -- namely the fact they moved away from the core story of the game. He also promised that Dragon Age 2 will have DLC that is focused on the story of Hawke.
While Laidlaw didn’t reveal when gamers might see DLC for Dragon Age 2, he did say that when compared to what was offered for Origins, DA2's DLC will be much "beefier." He went on to suggest that gamers will feel like their money is well spent.
"We don't have a solid date on [more DLC]; we certainly have some more in the works. But we'll be announcing more of that as we get closer to locking it down. A big focus for us is to make sure we get it right and we make sure it's, honestly, a beefier experience than the Origins DLCs and one that introduces something new to the Dragon Age game."
On top of revealing just how substantial future content for Dragon Age 2 will be, Laidlaw also confirmed that DLC will very much be centered on the story of Hawke. Though gamers will, of course, be encountering new characters and enemies, they will be doing so in DLC that feels like an extension of the main game.
"For me, the core goal of DLC is to deliver an experience that integrates very smoothly with the game, one that feels like it works no matter when I'm playing so I don't have to start a brand new game - I want to be able to load a save near the end or almost at the end. And I want to feel like if I've done stuff in the DLC then it does matter; be it loot or experience or knowledge or information or something new that I saw - a new creature or something - those are all the kinds of things you want to see in downloadable content, because what they do is enrich the overall tapestry, which again ties to our idea that you are playing as Hawke - your character and your followers have that same consistency all the way through."
While Dragon Age 2 has already received two DLC releases (Exiled Prince and Black Emporium), so far they have been more in service of building anticipation for the game, rather than showcasing BioWare's signature ability to extend a universe. Still, DLC aside, Dragon Age 2 has been boasting some pretty positive reviews, despite some significant tweaks to the combat system.
It might be some time before these "beefier" DLC storylines see the light of day, but it's hard to look past what BioWare has already put into Dragon Age 2, from the companion character interactions to the number of customizations and storyline options. We suggest you check out the game, or at least give the demo a play through, especially to see for yourself how the combat has evolved. You aren't going to be able to check out the forthcoming "beefy" DLC without it.
What type of DLC would you like to see released for Dragon Age 2? Are there any storylines that were hinted at in the main game that you would like to see further expanded upon?
Dragon Age 2 is out now for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.