Dragon Age: Origins is the rare game that both Kevin and I have played and beaten recently (well, a couple of years ago is still recently). Kevin didn’t play Dragon Age 2 yet (although he should), but I wanted to share a few thoughts on the sequel.
— Morrigan is confirmed to be back in the game but not as a party member. I am comfortable with this decision. My only question is whether “Witch Hunt” will be considered canon or non-canon; I suspect the latter, because while the DLC was a lot of fun, the actual story was pretty crappy. Magic portals, possibly to nowhere, are involved.
To go on a brief tangent: Morrigan, properly speaking, should be a potential romance interest but not a love interest. Why? (AHEAD THERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE PLOT OF DA: O)
If the Grey Warden does not sacrifice himself, the possibilities are as follows, at the end of DA:O:
1) Alistair sacrifices himself. He has been coyly unconfirmed, but only as “not a party member”. He has a brief cameo in DA: 2. (It might be longer if you make him king.) Therefore, we can conclude that this ending is non-canon.
2) Teryn Loghain sacrifices himself. I don’t remember his being mentioned at all in DA: 2, but I do need to play it again.
3) Morrigan’s baby accepts the dead archdemon’s soul. This is the most likely scenario — it explains why she would still be a major character and of importance to anyone but the Grey Warden. Now, in this specific scenario, we have to remember that if Morrigan truly loves the Warden (that is, +100 relations), she will not go through with the, uh, deed with the Warden and instead go for Alistair, if you let her. (Same as if your Warden is female.) My suspicion, given the events of DA: 2, is that this is the canon ending.
— Leliana makes an appearance in a big way towards the end of DA: 2; she will be in DA: I. (I believe at least one screenshot has confirmed this.)
— Varric is a party member. I am absolutely thrilled about this. (He’s a dwarf with no beard — LET THAT SINK IN. He’s functionally the narrator of DA: 2, and has character in spades.)
Okay, so what would I like to see happen?
— I want a genuinely evil character. Consider that Morrigan and Zevran were your “evil” choices in DA: O, but they were more amoral than actively evil. You could argue Shale is “evil”, but only especially towards pigeons. She’s DA:O’s HK-47, but less purely psychopath. (Say, I wonder if… nah, even I’m not that crazy to look for it.) Bioware has a problem with genuinely purely self-interested characters, characters who are only in it for themselves and then bug the fuck out. I want to be somewhat worried that somebody in my party is going to stab me in the back. (Zevran sort of does this if you don’t make him your friend.)
— Depending on how big a gap there is between DA: 2 and DA: I, I want Kirkwall to either be the introductory area or gone entirely.
— I want some of the intelligent darkspawn, maybe even the Architect, to appear from Awakening. They’ve reused Anders, after all, in DA: 2 (although with a different voice actor and not as funny).
— Since non-humans are confirmed as back in, I want them to be well integrated, maybe even with unique origin stories as in DA: O.
My last thought I will hide under the fold if you haven’t played DA: 2. (Again, you should. Kirkwall is kind of boring as a city, but the mechanics, the characters, and the story are all great, as you’d expected from a Bioware game.)
— The last few hours are a giant war between the Templars and the Mages. This is presumably the focal point of the sequel. This is not the sort of thing you can brush under the carpet; it must be addressed either immediately after beginning the game, or if you’re going to put the player character somewhere isolated, soon afterwards. From the title, I’m going to at least quasi-suspect that the Chantry won in canon, but the word “Inquisition” works beautifully in either case.
Oh, and bring Merrill back. I miss Gwen Cooper. :(