Looking back at the lofty sales figures and legions of glowing reviews for Mass Effect 2, it’s no surprise that BioWare is sneaking a few plays from Commander Shepard’s playbook into their upcoming Dragon Age sequel.

Dragon Age II breaks with the original in a number of ways, the most significant being a new, static, fully-voiced main character named Hawke. Since the sequel allows players to load from their Dragon Age: Origins save file, Hawke will inevitably rub elbows with your original surviving party members at some point. How it will incorporate the seemingly endless number of choice permutations made during your first playthrough is anyone’s guess, although if Mass Effect 2 is any barometer, the events of Origins won’t factor too deeply into the sequel’s decade-spanning story.

Dragon Age II will also adopt the Mass Effect dialogue wheel, which means players will be selecting from a number of preset good, evil, and horny responses. There are also major changes coming for console players, as BioWare plans on streamlining combat for the 360 and PS3. The PC version will retain Dragon Age’s tactical combat elements, while the consoles will get a more action-oriented experience. It sounds like console folks should basically expect Mass Effect 2 with swords, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Hopefully the Dragon Age II team follows even further in Mass Effect’s footsteps and releases some DLC that’s actually worth playing. Dragon Age II is set for release in March 2011 for the PS3, PC, and 360.

Source: Kotaku, GameInformer