Welcome to the first edition of a new weekly column at Nerd Bastards, Web Series Wednesday. Here we’ll feature a new a web series every week (Well, we’ll try every week. We’re pretty lazy.) for your viewing pleasure. There could be chat shows, dramas, comedies maybe even a video podcast (Vodcast?). Basically, we’re hoping to share with you some of the great content the web has to offer that isn’t funny cat videos. But if someone made a great web series about funny cat videos you better believe you’ll learn about it here.
We’ll also be open to suggestions, so please, share with us some of your favorite web series below in the comments.
All right, for week one I chose Dragon Age Redemption. I know, some of you might be groaning, “Ugh, but that, like, just came out! It’s too new!” In fact this is exactly why I’m starting here. See, Dragon Age Redemption is the future of the web series. You can still find shows filmed with a cell phone in someone’s backyard, and believe me we’ll be looking to feature those shows too, but Dragon Age Redemption proves how far web content has come. Not only is it a series set in the world of a very popular video game series, it’s actually produced with help from the game’s own studio, Bioware. In addition to helping produce the series, Bioware also created new downloadable game content featuring Redemption‘s’ main character. This strategy of tying an original web series into a well establish video game series is a great example of the power of web content. Most importantly, it’s FREE! But I’m sure a pretty penny was made come the end of the day. I can guarantee more people downloaded the Mark of the Assassin DLC, or hell, even went out and bought Dragon Age II because they liked what they saw in Redemption.
Redemption follows the journey of an Elven assassin known as “Tallis0” whose also a Qunari slave. In Qunari society there are no names, only titles. She’s sent on a mission to track and capture an escaped mage, Saarebas. Tallis is eventually joined by a templar knight, a Daelish Elf mage and a mercenary reaver. Those who’ve played any of the Dragon Age games, or any RPG for that matter, will find their little group’s dynamic familiar. The series unfolds as if you were watching a friend’s Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
The finale episode of the six part series premiered yesterday on Youtube, on Machinima‘s account to be exact, and an obvious factor in this series’ success is Felicia Day. She’s arguably the queen of the web series, acting in several and producing the web’s most famous series, The Guild. Whether you love her or hate her, you cannot deny the huge impact she’s had in developing web content into a viable market. I don’t think Bioware would have wasted their time with a web series if Day hadn’t proved the mediums popularity as well as profitability.
Day wrote and stars in the series as Tallis and it’s a fun departure from the awkward, geeky girl she often portrays. In Redemption she gets to kick some major ass, and fans of the Dragon Age series shouldn’t worry, the plentiful violence you’re accustomed to is here. Joining Day as Saarebas is Doug Jones. Your probably very familiar with Jones’ work but you might not be able to pick ’em out of a police line-up. Jones has played Abe Sapien, the Angel of Death and the Chamberlainin the Hellboy flicks as a well as El Fauno and The Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth. Basically, if you need a tall, skinny dude who doesn’t seem to mind 8+ hours in a make-up chair, Jones is your dude. And in Redemption he’s in some stellar make-up. He’s cool and menacing, and a villain you can’t help but have a little sympathy for. In the role of the reaver, Nyree is Marcia Battise and I think she’s the standout of the whole cast. She plays her reaver as dangerous and sassy, and her smarmy Brit accent perfectly suits the character. After watching her I want to make a reaver character but I don’t believe this is an available character class in any Dragon Age game. Damn. Come on, Bioware, deliver!
Watch the first episode of the six-part series below, complete with links to the following episodes, and let us know what you think. Were you impressed with Redemption’s effects (CGI, costumes, and make-up)? Can you notice ways in which their slightly larger than normal web series budget payed off? Would you like to see more from this series’, further Tallis adventures maybe?
Remember to recommend other series we should feature here in Web Series Wednesday!