Story and character development have always been a large part of any BioWare game. Dragon Age 2 will be no exception - using a framed narrative, a story-within-a-story mechanic, similar to the structure of the film The Princess Bride.
Hawke's story will be told through a narrator, as well as Hawke's perspective (as you play through those game scenarios) - players will influence the story as they see fit and game decisions will then ripple outward - back to the narrator telling the story.
The following development diary does a great job of addressing the direction of the story as well as how it relates to Dragon Age: Origins. Check it out below:
The story-within-a-story is a new approach for BioWare - though, it could be a perfect fit. 10 years of a character's life leaves a lot of room to explore the kinds of action, relationships, and impacts the player's character has on the world at large. It also helps move the story forward - without the feeling that things are being rushed.
Romance will also return, despite some criticism about who players can engage in a relationship - so whether or not you choose a same-sex partner, that plucky elf who is new to the big city, or maybe the fly-by-night chick who lives for today, the choice will be yours.
The most exciting aspect of Dragon Age 2 might be seeing the world change throughout the 10 years covered in the title - and could set a new standard for what players will expect from stories told over many years. Players will watch their character grow older, develop memories, as well as leave a legacy around them. What kind of mark will you leave during this period?
Just in case all the story stuff is sort of a bore to you and you would much rather focus on having exciting battles, Dragon Age 2 will also deliver - in the form of this combat gameplay on the PC version.
Dragon Age 2 will be doing the Keyser Soze storytelling thing on March 8, 2011 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.