Bioware has released some controversial trailers in the past few months for the upcoming RPGs, Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. I asked Bioware co-founder Dr Greg Zeschuk to explain himself.
First there was the /”New Shit” trailer for Dragon Age, wherein the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate finds a musical companion in Marilyn Manson’s “This is the New Shit” track.
Then there was the /”Subject Zero” trailer for Mass Effect 2, introducing one of Shepard’s potential party members by way of the charming line “Who’s the badass biotic now, bitch!”
(Not to mention the unintentional hilarity of some of the blood-soaked Dragon Age trailers.)
If all this attitude caught you off-guard, then that was precisely the intention.
“I sort of anticipated it the reaction,” Zeschuk says. “But I think we knew we were being a bit provocative. Personally I was a little surprised by the Subject Zero response, but I think that maybe a function of having experienced that character in the game. We know this character and how her personality is reflected in the game.
“Certainly in the case of Dragon Age, I think people were almost sleepwalking through assuming they knew what Dragon Age was. So we wanted to jar them into wakefulness by showing them some provocative stuff. And I think that tone changed the nature of discussion, especially because everything in the trailer was actual game content.
“What we wanted to emphasise is that fantasy games aren’t all about, what we like to say, flutes, lutes and men in tights. There’s a whole other element to them that people are missing out on if they dismiss them as old-fashioned.”
I asked Zeschuk if he was willing to stand by Dragon Age being the New Shit. He laughed.
“I think it is. In that department it is very much the new shit,” he began, before pausing.
“It’s the old shit and the new shit, that’s the way I’d like to put it. It’s very evocative of the Baldur’s Gate experience, like nothing I’ve seen since Baldur’s Gate. But the other side is there are a lot of new things and new approaches, along with all our latest technology and methods in there. They’re wrapped into it, but the purity of the game is still there.
“And that would make Mass Effect 2 the newer shit.”