BioWare boss talks reviews, sex and Mass Effect 2.
VideoGamer.com: One of the criticisms of Dragon Age concerns the graphics. Is that the result of the game being compared with Mass Effect, one of the most graphically stunning games of the last few years? Was it unrealistic to expect a similar quality level of graphics for a game so huge?
RM: It's a different style of graphics, I'd say. We don't want to make all of our games look like Mass Effect. Mass Effect's art style is beautiful. And even Mass Effect 2 pushes the envelope even more than Mass Effect 1. Players are in for a treat. With Dragon Age we were striving for a different art style. It's not a stylised art style, but it's not an ultra-realistic style either. It's somewhere just south of a realistic style, but with a little measure of stylised art thrown in. We're trying to find our own place and every game has to have a unifying theme in terms of the way the art works. I personally think Dragon Age is beautiful. Different players may have different perspectives on that, but Dragon Age and Mass Effect are both beautiful in different ways.
VideoGamer.com: How do you feel the console versions turned out in comparison with the PC version?
RM: I played a lot of both. Having played the PC version start to finish before I started playing the console versions, I found the console versions pretty refreshing. I actually really enjoyed the experience. I thought the interface captured the spirit of the game well. It's really the same content in both games. It's more of a question of preference, whether you prefer to play a console game or a PC game. It's the interface you prefer. But they both are great experiences just for different audiences.
VideoGamer.com: Do you have any update on when the PS3 version will be released in Europe?
RM: I don't know the exact date, but it's later in November. It's coming soon.
VideoGamer.com: But it will be November?
RM: Yeah. It's in cert[ification] now basically. I don't know the exact date but it's coming soon. Basically November 6 is PC and 360. PS3 we're trying to get out as soon as possible after that.
VideoGamer.com: The PS3 version was released at the same time as the other versions in North America, wasn't it?
RM: Yeah. It's different in every territory in terms of the timing and the amount of time cert versus manufacturing takes on different platforms. Sometimes you can align them and sometimes it's not possible.
VideoGamer.com: Would you consider co-op based multiplayer features, where players play together online in parties, for future Dragon Age and Mass Effect games?
RM: Sure. We would consider it. We haven't announced anything on that front yet, but those are interesting ideas. They could make a great gameplay experience. Whether we'll do them or not remains to be decided.
VideoGamer.com: Could co-op party features detract from the experience?
RM: It could. It might depend on how you do it.
VideoGamer.com: It's not simply a case of saying, you're a player, you're a player and you're a player, go off and play the kind game that works in the single-player sense?
RM: No, it's not. It's hard to weave a great single-player storyline into a multiplayer experience. It's not impossible. We've done it, and we're doing it again now in Star Wars: The Old Republic. But it is challenging.
VideoGamer.com: Moving on to Old Republic, you've talked a lot about the storytelling features. Will it still have the more traditional MMO elements?
RM: Yeah, very much. We aren't losing anything in the translation because we're adding story and voice over and choice or consequence. We're looking for inspiration from all the great MMOs in the past for best or great features and customisation and progression and exploration and combat and all the things players love to do in MMOs. You get to do them in Star Wars: The Old Republic as well.