17 Aug

Bioware brought some major announcements to this year’s Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. The first being the release date to the sequel to the highly successful Dragon Age: Origins. Simply titled Dragon Age 2, the game will feature a separate, more action-oriented battle system for its first-time console launch, and will release simultaneously on PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 on March 8th, 2011.

“The Dragon Age franchise got off to a tremendous start. With Dragon Age 2, we are building on the outstanding RPG fundamentals the original delivered while taking the franchise in a new direction with faster, more responsive combat that will allow players to think like a general, but fight like a Spartan,” said Mark Darrah, executive producer at BioWare. “We are giving the franchise’s gameplay a shot of adrenaline. We can’t wait to get the game in people’s hands so they can feel the difference.”

On the science-fiction side of things, the developer finally made the highly suspected (and even more highly anticipated) announcement that the action-RPG franchise Mass Effect will be coming to the Playstation 3. With the second title making its way to Sony’s console in January of 2011, the third game in the trilogy is expected to be a simultaneous release across both platforms as well as the PC. While current publisher Electronic Arts did publish the original Mass Effect on the PC, Microsoft Game Studios’ dominant hold of the IP both on the 360 and in general has lead many to believe that PS3 gamers will simply have to pick up the franchise at the mid-point.

While no specifics have been mentioned on whether the game will come pre-packaged with the downloadable content expansions released up until its release on the PS3, Bioware has stated that the disc will come with “hours of bonus content.”

Microsoft recently responded to Bioware and Electronic Art’s announcement in a statement released to IGN, “With both Mass Effect titles launching first on Xbox 360 combined with the wealth of available paid downloadable content on Xbox Live today, Xbox 360 remains the best place to experience the Mass Effect franchise,” wrote the company’s representative, “…and the original Mass Effect is absolutely an Xbox 360 exclusive, making Xbox 360 the only place to get the full Mass Effect experience.”