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Default Dragon Age - E3 Impressions @ Gamespot, Shacknews

June 3rd, 2009, 08:08
Here are two impression articles for Dragon Age on the X360. Let's hit GameSpot first, who don't appear convinced by the control scheme:
After the demo we had some hands-on time with an early stage of the game on the Xbox 360. This was the first time we've seen this game on a console, so we payed close attention to the control scheme. Our objective in this short session was to find a particular item with another member of our party. We walked through a forest, encountering and collecting items, before coming across a wolf and a cave containing giant spiders in a fight. The combat here proved very slow—you can assign six different weapons to your control scheme, pressing the X, Y and B buttons to access them, and A to use them. However, pressing A near an enemy seemed to do nothing. It was only when we were under heavy attack and standing almost under an enemy that our weapons finally worked. Holding the left trigger down allowed us to switch between weapons, while the right trigger brings up the weapons menu, which shows you what weapons you have at your disposal. There is also a stealth mode you can access if your skill set allows for it by pressing the X button. A is also for using items and collecting and storing them in your inventory.
On the the other hand, Shacknews liked the control scheme but didn't take to the apparent sex-first marketing trip:
After getting my hands on the Xbox 360 version, outfitted with a prototype interface, that question was answered soundly: it plays fine. Three of the face buttons are mapped to spells, and the left trigger acts as an alt-toggle, offering six mappings to the PC version's ten. One bumper key takes over healing duty, leaving only a three-button disparity between the two builds.

Unfortunately, beyond the controls, I came away from the Dragon Age E3 demo feeling oversold—particularly on its sexuality—and ultimately underwhelmed.

The presentation began with lead designer Mike Laidlaw spending ten minutes explaining how players can have sex in the game. There was no lead-up to this segment, mind you. This was the headline topic. This was the new shit.
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June 3rd, 2009, 08:08
If I want to have sex I prefer to do it in person… I'm not a sex thirsting teenager any more. This game is really marketed to a teen audience, it seems. Hopefully Mike Laidlaws long sex presentation means it is like it is for most guys in real life: a lot of talk and not much happening (and when it happens it's over way too quickly)
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June 3rd, 2009, 08:09
I was always taught that Slow and Steady is the way to go!!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 3rd, 2009, 08:57
At a certain age that is the only way to go

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June 3rd, 2009, 09:23
I think their marketing has seriously miscued lately (does BioWare or EA drive this level of marketing?). It's low-brow, appeals to the wrong audience and, frankly, feels a little desperate. I don't know that they have any reason to be desperate (I rather like most of the other gameplay related stuff I've seen) but it feels desperate.

The Witcher is probably more titillating but the marketing stayed firmly on point: choices and consequences and a more interactive action combat system.

If they keep this up they may well draw the game to the attention of a different market - as they obviously want to - who will then rubbish the game as slow and old-school. That word of mouth will hurt and who knows if their real audience will still be with them.

Talk about real gameplay, BioWare.

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June 3rd, 2009, 09:31
Hear hear. One of the cardinal rules of marketing is to know your customers. Trying to market motor scooters to cattle ranchers won't work and will only make you look stupid, as well as wasting a lot of money.
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June 3rd, 2009, 10:14
Completely agree with the both posts above, though following this game´s marketing is quite a lolmine.
I´m not sure if the author was sarcastic or not, but all the talk about moral choices in the GameSpot article was rather gold.

I hope they´ve implemented hard on difficulty for more seasoned gamers.
Just keep it up, Bioware!

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June 3rd, 2009, 10:35
I agree that this is getting weird. It seems like something subscribed from the top, so I'd assume EA is the driving force here. Some of the early talk sounded quite promising, but the current drive makes me more cautious.

On a side note: its a bit remarkable so that they openly sell the sex bit, after all the hubub regarding earlier videogames with this "feature" - is that a side effect of the Obabma presidency?

Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
I hope they´ve implemented hard on difficulty for more seasoned gamers.
Just keep it up, Bioware!
I loled sorry
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June 3rd, 2009, 11:32
New target audience ? "Mature" game for a younger audience ?
It's time for me to begin to shake my head.

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June 3rd, 2009, 11:44
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
The presentation began with lead designer Mike Laidlaw spending ten minutes explaining how players can have sex in the game. There was no lead-up to this segment, mind you. This was the headline topic. This was the new shit.
Ten minute presentation about sex in the game? Sounds interesting. I wonder if they got the idea from witcher.

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June 3rd, 2009, 11:58
It is important that a game designed with the PC in mind (as far as we know) works well with console systems. Otherwise companies might completely give up on that concept.
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June 3rd, 2009, 14:39
Originally Posted by Shacknews
The presentation began with lead designer Mike Laidlaw spending ten minutes explaining how players can have sex in the game. There was no lead-up to this segment, mind you. This was the headline topic. This was the new shit.
What's the big deal, here? Though from what I read, the romance simulation doesn't sound particularly realistic — for example, showering a woman with gifts is not really a good way to start a romance and more likely to hurt your chances with her, at least in my experience — it is obviously valid to devote a segment of the presentation to a topic many people are very much interested in. As long as this is not the sole focus of the game, who can blame them if it helps sales?

Also, I admit it: I much prefer seeing a bare breasted woman in a computer game than having a more physically accurate simulation of someone's innards flying around my ears, which seemed to be the focus of developers for the past decade or so. They just shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that this virtual sex idea will suffice to sell their game to the crowd of 16 year olds; finding free pictures of naked women on the net is not really that difficult nowadays. And even the kids will probably appreciate the more cerebral entertainment that pleases their older (in both senses) target audience.

Edit: actually, the more criticism they earn for all this virtual sex and heavy metal stuff, the happier their marketing department will be in all likelyhood.
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June 3rd, 2009, 14:52
Difference is of course that in game you get to know the "characters". You become familiar with them and you can interact with them. So ingame sex might be more than just pictures in the net or words in a book.

Even the best fantasy like martin's has sex so why not rpgs. Theres a pen&paper rpg book about the subject even. "Sex in rpgs" or somthing.

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Last edited by zakhal; June 3rd, 2009 at 15:32.
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June 3rd, 2009, 15:30
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
If I want to have sex I prefer to do it in person… I'm not a sex thirsting teenager any more. This game is really marketed to a teen audience, it seems. Hopefully Mike Laidlaws long sex presentation means it is like it is for most guys in real life: a lot of talk and not much happening (and when it happens it's over way too quickly)
No sex, no money from me. Why?
It's not that I can't live without it in the game, however…

FO1 & FO2 - awsome (sex included)
FO3 - I hate that game (and there is no sex)

Gothic2 - awsome (there is actually a sex cutscene)
Gothic3 - failure (and again, no sex)

Jade Empire, Mass Effect, The Witcher - all awsome (and all have sex included)
Jade Empire 2, Mass Effect 2, The Witcher 2 - not released yet but I wander if we'll see some sex inside

Ok, there are also BG1 and Torment with no sex but awsome game, however there is BG2 with sex. Drakensang? Again no sex, but I love that game for some reason.

So… In a way… Although it's not a common rule… This is just a prejudice of mine based on those few titles… Absence of ingame sex could mean that the game is utter crap and not worth buying at all. Perhaps a sex in a game means that developers actually worked hard on the game to make it good? That's what I think.
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June 3rd, 2009, 15:32
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Difference is of course that in game you get to know the "characters". You become familiar with them and you can interact with them. So ingame sex might be more than just pictures in the net or words in a book.

Even the best fantasy like martin's has sex so why not games.
It might, but it never is. I honestly can't think of a game where the sex wasn't either cringe-inducing or of the fade-to-black variety.
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June 3rd, 2009, 15:46
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
It might, but it never is. I honestly can't think of a game where the sex wasn't either cringe-inducing or of the fade-to-black variety.
True, unfortunately, and it does sound like the cringe-factor will be high in Dragon Age, but in general they seem to be getting better at it: for example, the two romance options in The Witcher were handled relatively well in my opinion.

(You could say that the sex was of the fade-to-black variety in The Witcher, too, but I just assume that we are talking about the whole romance, the idea and emotions behind the sex, not the physical act of copulation )
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June 3rd, 2009, 17:27
Both, actually. And yeah, I think The Witcher did the romance bit rather well. I thought the sex cards were rather silly originally, but perhaps they have a kind of tongue-in-cheek camp appeal.

(For an example that's *both* cringe-inducing *and* fade-to-black, see NWN2 OC.)
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June 3rd, 2009, 17:43
Sex with keyboard and mouse is boring. Will they sell a new physical interface with the game?
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June 3rd, 2009, 18:36
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
Sex with keyboard and mouse is boring. Will they sell a new physical interface with the game?
I think wired had an article about that like 10 years ago. Now we have all these new motion sensors and stuff who knows what we could do. It would be a superb casual hit. Top10 product.

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June 3rd, 2009, 18:41
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Gothic2 - awsome (there is actually a sex cutscene)
Gothic 2 had sex? Where?
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