Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker Blu-ray
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
The Dragon Age franchise has had its ups and downs. After a highly successful first outing with Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age 2 reached more fans, but left some of the original players feeling short-shrifted with repetitive maps and a decreased RPG element. The first attempt at a Dragon Age comic is better left forgotten in the eyes of most fans, while the current offering from Dark Horse, written by the games’ creators, actually adds to the understanding of the world and its characters. Luckily, the first outing into animation, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker does a lot more right than it does wrong.
The story is an origin of sorts for Cassandra, the Seeker of the Chantry who interrogates Varric in the framing sequences of Dragon Age 2. Here, though, she’s a little younger, a little brasher, and instead of asking questions, she’s taking names. The characterization of Cassandra absolutely fits what we know from her interview sequences in the game, but show a new side of her that is exciting and intriguing and more than a little bad ass. From the dragon she slays in her opening sequence to the fast slaughter of treasonous mages (and Templars) and the final bit show of willpower and force, Cassandra is a great heroine, and one that’s easy to cheer on. With some comedic support from Galyan (not to mention a dash of romance), the story really drives itself through conspiracy, plot twists, and political intrigue worthy of the best moments of the video games.
The look of the movie differs greatly from the games, but that really comes off as a good thing. By having a unique feel, it makes it somehow more “okay” that you’re not actually controlling the action. It’s almost like you’re just watching an extended cutscene from within the game - in the best way possible. Thick lines and bright colors make the battle scenes exciting and eye-popping. The scenery is lush, and yes, DA2 detractors, varied. While you won’t see any other familiar faces, the references, and the new characters, do plenty to stand on their own and truly expand this world.
The special features on the Blu-ray set are somewhat sparse, but do provide two unique insights into the world of Dragon Age. One takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of BioWare Edmonton, the studio responsible for the games (as well as the Mass Effect ones), and the other takes you deeper into the development of Cassandra and how the world is reinterpreted in the animated film. Both are worth a watch, but neither will likely bear repeated viewing for most fans. There’s also preview art from the upcoming Mass Effect animated movie, which will apparently include both The Prothean Javik and James Vega from Mass Effect 3; that art slideshow definitely bears repeat viewings, and will get fans of that franchise excited for what’s to come.Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is a fun action romp that greatly expands one existing character while introducing several exciting new ones. Fans of the series, especially of the second game, will likely be able to call some of the plot points pretty early in the film, but that won’t make it any less exciting to watch unfold. The action choreography is just stunning and well worth the price of admission on its own, and will make you desperate for Cassandra to be a playable character in Dragon Age 3. Like the Dragon Age: The Silent Grove comic from Dark Horse (which you’ll get the first issue of free digitally with the Blu-ray combo pack), this is must-see for Dragon Age fans and a good sign of things to come from the franchise.
Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is available in stores today on Blu-ray/DVD combo, DVD, and most digital distribution sites