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Last Monday, I finished up my replay of Origins (Sereda Aeducan, romanced Alistair, married him off to Anora without ending the relationship, and everyone seems to be living happily ever after, or as close as this game ever really gets) and started the first quest on Awakening (just through meeting Anders). After taking a quick break to play through Darkspawn Chronicles, I returned to Awakening later that night, and just in time, too, because I was provided the perfect antidote to the downers of DC in King Alistair's cameo appearance. He looks all kingly! He's leading templars! He refers to Sereda as "love" and backs her up when the templar tries to undercut her authority! He says goodbye, and he kisses her on the cheek! I melt into a squealing puddle of fangirly joy!

Really, it was just about perfect.

Sadly, I have to assume that this is all we will see of Alistair in Awakening. But that's okay. It will hold me for now. The story is interesting, and I am reasonably intrigued by the new characters so far. Speaking of whom...

Anders: Well, I don't know. It's probably unfair of me, since I started DA:A immediately after wrapping up my DA:O replay, but within five minutes of meeting Anders, I already missed Alistair. Maybe he isn't quite meant to be Alistair-light, but it's hard not to make comparisons: a handsome blond outsider, saved from the templars by Conscription into the Wardens, with a penchant for sarcasm and answering serious questions with jokes? What else am I supposed to think? On the other hand, I am a sucker for a man who likes cats, and he seems to hint at a much darker personality than Alistair's, so I'm content to see what direction his character takes.

Nathanial: The character I find most intriguing so far, particularly his conflict between anger at his family's downfall and being uncomfortable with what his father actually did. He seems pretty unclear on the details of Rendon Howe's treachery, so I suspect a hard reveal is coming up soon. I like the parallels between him and Aeducan, in terms of the family issues they've dealt with, and if romance were a factor in Awakening (I can't actually tell yet whether the game is going to go there), I think he's the one I'd find most interesting. Although I also find it kind of funny -- dialogue options for my Warden to flirt with people keep popping up (including a pretty obvious one with Anders almost right away), and yet she's already involved with someone. You remember him, the king of Ferelden? There's a plot bunny brewing in there somewhere...

Oghren: I hadn't expected to care about having him back -- he wasn't exactly my favorite character in Origins. On the other hand, the familiar face in Vigil's Keep was a welcome sight at that particular moment, and his choice to join the Wardens brings him some interesting depth.

Mhairi: It bothers me that the only female companion -- and the only pure fighter female companion in either game, to this point -- died almost right away. From a storytelling perspective, it made a lot of sense that not all of the initial recruits would survive the Joining, and it adds poignancy that the one who was most dedicated to the idea of serving is the one who died. Still, if my Warden weren't female, I'd have no option but to run an all-male party for what seems, so far, to be a pretty significant chunk of the story. I'm assuming more companions will be along once I'm out of the city, so let's hope this gets rectified soon. My thoughts on the women of Dragon Age are complicated, and still brewing; look for a post on that someday, I hope.

As for the story, it feels like it's just getting started. For half an RPG (reports are that Awakening takes about 20 hours to finish), there are an awful lot of moving pieces. So maybe it'll be more complex than I expected. We shall see.

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/533490.html. There are currently comments on DW.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
chaineddove
Jun. 15th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Spoiler-free, but I will say that there are more females to come, although... eh, Awakening is character-weak regardless, to me. I only find two of the characters particularly interesting (and yes, I loooooooooooooooooove Nathaniel). Fortunately, the treatment of female characters is AMAZINGLY improved in DA2 (I really think you'll agree with this once you play). I like me a woman who can swing a sword, take names, and still be FEMALE and not trying to conform to masculinity the entire time ♥

By the way, I feel like Ser Pounce A Lot is reason enough to enjoy Anders, tbqh *lol*
owlmoose
Jun. 15th, 2011 06:38 am (UTC)
I do admit, Ser Pounce A Lot is pretty much worth the price of admission, all by himself. :)

I've met (the?) two female companions now, which is good. I do like Sigrun, although in terms of gameplay she duplicates my Aeducan rogue's skills a little too closely. But I'll save my thoughts on that for my next update, which I expect will be after my next gaming session -- I'm close to finishing a major quest.
chaineddove
Jun. 16th, 2011 04:47 am (UTC)
You know what, you may be right. Ser Pounce A Lot is probably the best thing about Awakenings, except Alistair!cameo.

Yup, two is all you get, and I feel like Velanna can fall off a cliff and DIE while Sigrun, though funny, is less than amazing (though, okay, her party banter with Oghren is a beautiful thing).
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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