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Former BioWare writer David Gaider shares his ideal "Snyder cut" of Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age 2
(Image credit: BioWare)

Former Dragon Age writer David Gaider – now co-founder at Australian game studio Summerfall – would love to see a Snyder cut-style remake of Dragon Age 2 given how much BioWare had to cut out during development. He described all the content he'd add and restore in such a remake in a recent Twitter thread, and it's a treat for fans. 

"I'm willing to bet [Mark Darrah] or [Mike Laidlaw] (or anyone else on the team) would give very different answers than me, but it's enough to give a sober man pause, because that was the Project of Multiple Regrets," Gaider said. Relatedly, in a separate tweet he described Dragon Age 2 as "a fantastic game hidden under a mountain of compromises, cut corners, and tight deadlines," which speaks to why all this content had to be cut in the first place. 

The first thing on Gaider's wishlist: "Either restore the progressive changes to Kirkwall we'd planned over the passing of in-game years or reduce the time between acts to months instead of years." The goal here would be to make Kirkwall "feel like a bigger city" that's both "more crowded" and "more alive." 

In a more specific narrative space, Gaider would also like to restore a plot point where Hawke, as a mage, "came this close to becoming an abomination" since he's "the only mage who apparently never struggles with this." Gaider says that this subplot, especially, "was a hard cut." 

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Other cut narrative threads include connections to Dragon Age: Origins, arc three details tied to the mage and templar feud, and an end battle for Orsino. Naturally, there's also the entire Exalted March DLC, which never saw the light of day. "And, of course, a Varric romance," Gaider adds, "because [Mary Kirby] took that 'slimy car salesman' character we'd planned and did the impossible with him." 

Asked about broader story changes he'd make in an ideal world, Gaider said he "would have taken out that thing where Meredith gets the idol. It was forced on me because she needed to be 'super-powered' with red lyrium for her final battle. Being 'crazy,' however, robbed her side of the mage/templar argument of any legitimacy. I hated hated hated that."

"On one hand, DA2 existed to fill a hole in the release schedule," he said in a fitting closer discussing the game's rushed development. "More time was never in the cards. DA2 was originally planned as an expansion! On the other, if we had more time, would we have started doing that thing where we second guess/iterate ourselves into mediocrity?" 

The last we saw of Dragon Age was this bit of Dragon Age 4 concept art. You can also take a look at this Dragon Age 2 romance guide if you want to know which characters can and can't be romanced.

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.