Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Format: 24 Episodes
Vintage: 2012
Director: Fumihiko Sori

Intelligence Agency Report by Shadow:
Cassandra is Seeker of the Chantry, the Right Hand of the Divine.  Bu she wasn’t always held in such high regard, as she was first a brash and extremely aggressive warrior who too often let her rage control her.  It only gets worse as Cassandra is embroiled in a plot against the Chantry that goes all the way to the top…but, who’s pulling the strings?  Cassandra’s mentor dies trying to stop the threat to the Chantry, and now it is up to Cassandra to find out who in the Chantry is involved in the plot and stop them.

Field Agent Report by Shadow:
Plot: 9.00
Characters: 4.00
Visual: 4.00
Audio: 7.00
Impact: 4.00

Overall: 5.00

BioWare has continued to expand their empire, this time into the realm of movies.  The Dragon Age series has begun to really catch fire as of late, adding two games, an expansion, a store (complete with real replica swords), four novels, and now Dawn of the Seeker.  The company created a crown jewel with Mass Effect in the futuristic genre, and now has one in Dragon Age for the medieval genre.

Dawn of the Seeker introduces the back story of Cassandra, the Seeker who is interrogating Varric during Dragon Age 2 (DA2).  The player gets to know her as a cold person who is looking for the truth, though they do see some kindness in her as the game progress.  But obviously, a Seeker wouldn’t be in Kirkwall talking to Varric unless there were reason, which is slightly eluded to in the movie in one line particularly.  By virtue of that line, you know that Dawn of the Seeker takes place after the events of the story Varric is telling her, which is the play-through part of  Dragon Age 2.  Because of how the timing is set up, the movie has no direct effect on the Dragon Age 2 story other than to explain how Cassandra got sent to Kirkwall.

The movie-watcher, on the other hand, gets to see a much different side of Cassandra.  Cassandra was a very minor character in DA2 who served only to give Varric “incentive” to tell the story of the Champion of Kirkwall, as well as say a few key statements at the very end of the game (will not reveal, spoiler).  She’s brash, arrogant, and prone to fits of rage.  But you also see that she’s very loyal to those around her.  What the player doesn’t get to see in the game, but can in the movie, is that she’s the last of the legendary family of dragon hunters that created the Blood Dragon Armor that you can use in game.  It’s also revealed that Cassandra has an intense hatred of all magii due to a family tragedy.

As the movie is primarily her back story, you get to know her better, but only her.  And that’s the first major downside of the movie, is that she is the ONLY character they take the time to flesh out and develop.  Characters were poorly conceived because they were just the generic corrupt leader, or honor bound person, or fearful mage, or what-have-you.  They did at least have the decency to avoid developing an out-of-thin-air romance like many movies of this type develop, especially as this does not fit the kind of character that Cassandra is.

The plot, on the other hand, is very well conceived and played out as you continue to try to piece together the puzzle of the conspiracy against the Chantry.  The movie doesn’t add any lore to the primary Dragon Age universe, which is very disappointing, but it does give show some of what life in Orlais is like.  The viewer is constantly trying to figure out what the ultimate goal of the blood mages is, who it is in the Chantry that is helping them, and how Cassandra will clear her name.

Audio was nice, albeit quiet.  The soundtrack often did feel like it got lost in the action of the movie, but when the viewer has the chance to listen, it’s nice.  Visual, however, was a massive letdown.  Modern graphics would have been much more useful here given the graphics that the Dragon Age series uses, especially DA2.  Because of the style used, the words “budget movie” and “rush job” come to mind.

When you put it all together, this is something that is nice to have in terms of fleshing out one character, but no one should rely on it as a major source of info for the Dragon Age universe.  This is a nice movie to have for the diehard fan of the series, but otherwise, rent it or stream it from your favorite service as this is a one-and-done kind of movie given how it was handled. The way this turned out is certainly no fault of BioWare, but of the studio that didn’t take the time to develop characters, graphics, or audio and lending only a good plot to the movie.