Review: Dragon Age – Those Who Speak / Author: David Gaider, Alexander Freed / Artist: Chad Hardin / Publisher: Dark Horse / Release Date: February 12th
Comic books based on video games tend to work when the strip concentrates on what makes the game popular. With Streetfighter, for example, a fast, action-packed story suits. The appeal of Dragon Age is its immersive environments and complex storytelling. This makes pulling off a decent comic book tie-in a tricky proposition; if it can’t match the level of fun and immersion you get in the game, then the reader will be disappointed. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Dragon Age: Those Who Speak.
The graphic novel has a jolly good go at trying to be a worthy expansion of Dragon Age, and the tale (a heroic pirate queen gets into trouble with an enemy nation who also happen to be freakish religious fanatics) is one that fits comfortably into the established lore. That it feels so much like part of the game shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as it’s co-written by David Gaider, who has carried out scripting duties in the past. The art is classic fantasy, and evokes the genre very well. Dragon Age: Those Who Speak works okay as a standalone fantasy but it is squarely aimed at people who fell in love with Dragon Age: Origins, and though non-fans won’t be lost, they won’t find it as easy to get into. If you know your Qunari from your Grey Wardens, however, you’ll love this.