Over at 1up, they have a preview of Bioware’s upcoming game, Dragon Age. As previews go, it’s fairly detailed, covering several aspects of the game.

Naturally, there is mention of the graphics, but I was more interested in reading about “choices”. Particularly the part where Scott Grieg said “You’re literally going to decide the fate of nations, who’s becoming king, what nations are actually around after…what races are around. You’re going to have to make some hard choices in the game, but we want all the choices to be clear. The player’s gonna know if he does this, there’s a really horrific consequence.”

This got me to thinking about game finales. Of course, I wrote about that in The End, but that was from the reward perspective. What came to mind this time, is how little things change.

The good guys, or on occasion, the bad guys, win, but the world is pretty much the same as it was at the start. This is true during actual play as well. Rarely do we see any differences in the world because of our actions.

Once in awhile, we do get an “update” when the game is over. Fallout is, of course, one of the prime examples. We can see, at least in text, what happened or didn’t happen because of how we played through.

That’s a step in the right direction. However, we need more than that. We need to see the world around us changing in lesser or greater degree while we’re playing. That would go a long way to making the virtual environment appear more real, of giving us an actual stake in the game.

It’s possible – going by the preview – something like that is what Dragon Age will provide when it comes out. Perhaps even Age Of Decadence as well.

Still, it’s early days yet, especially for DA, and I’m not getting my hopes up for that one just yet. We’ve all been disappointed in the past when the final (more or less) product didn’t live up to optimistic previews.

Nonetheless, it’s worth reading. At least for the moment, Bioware seems to have some good ideas. Let’s hope they can make them a reality.

Dragon Age Preview on 1up