Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dragon Age II

This is an RPG game developed by Bioware that's set in the same universe as Dragon Age: Origins and if you have a savefile from Origins you can load it and you will start off at the same level and the same equipment! That was a lie. But it does influence the story in certain ways. Playing Dragon Age II is a very similar experience to the Origins, plus various additions and changes (mostly improvements) so if you liked the previous title of these series, you'll most likely love this one.

Plot
You start off as a human rogue/warrior/mage and you cannot choose another race unfortunately. Now if you played Origins, you will notice a bunch of recurring characters and you will also understand things a little bit more, but it is not necessary to play the prequel to enjoy this game in my opinion. You will always get dialogue choices, which will usually add friendliness or rivalry between you and your comrades, or sometimes will change the outcome of events. There are often some funny options (although they can lead to unexpected results) and you are free to experiment and be a real asshole if you want to - you'll still be the "champion" at the end :]
WARNING: the game might confuse the shit out of you at the beginning, since it's hard to understand the relationship between the separate events and the role of each character in the storyline. Eventually, though, the puzzle pieces come together and you should understand what's happening, so HAVE PATIENCE.



One thing that slightly annoyed me was that most of the themes are the same as in Origins: the Darkspawn threat, Paladins VS Mages, political unrest, some more Paladins VS Mages stuff, betrayal, etc. At some point you just feel like saying "Oh great, another quest about paladins and their eternal enemies mages, sigh." Oh and if you actually read every single history related thing you come across (also called codex entry) then you've officially reached the highest level of geekness: those are often really long but if you're really into the whole mythology of these series, by all means go ahead. As for me, I wanted to play a game and not read a book.

Clicky
Visuals
This was probably the most successful part. First of all, many races and faces were completely redesigned (the Qunari, a very manly and stoic race, look much cooler now) and animation in general is smoother. There is a good amount of cutscenes and the battles have a much higher variety of moves and effects in general. I loved how blood splashes everywhere during battles, especially for rogue moves. And after the battle, if there is a dialogue, you see the camera zoomed on your characters' faces covered with blood and talking to each other with a completely normal expression as if nothing was wrong (made me lol several times).

Gameplay
Battles are very fun. The geography and the positioning of allies and enemies will often yield interesting situations. You'll want to pause as often as you can and figure out where to move, which abilities to use and alt-tab to take a break and watch some porn. In other words: if you're an avid RPG player, you'll love it. The new inventory classification of items is very useful as well, as it prevents you from selling important items to merchants. Another nice addition is that depending on your relationship with your allies (a lot of friendliness or a lot of rivalry), you will get a different passive skill, so I don't recommend always using neutral or alternating dialogue choices as it won't give you any bonus at all. On the other hand, the menus felt a little unintuitive, but that's probably because of how I was used to them in Origins. A couple little bugs here and there, but it's core RPG feeling, the one you get in the Origins, is still there.

Final Words
It brings us a bit less than we'd expect from a sequel, but is nonetheless a great epic and if you loved Dragon Age: Origins, you'll love Dragon Age II.

29 comments:

  1. I liked the first one, haven't played this yet.

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  2. i liked dragon age 1 better, but this was still a pretty good game

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  3. I really, really liked Dragon Age 1. Totally pumped tgo play #2

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  4. never played it b4, but looks like it's a good game!

    btw nice blog

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  5. I enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins, but hated Dragon Age 2.

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  6. I played but didn't quite like it. The design sucks big time, same cave every single time, only one city with a very cheap trick of day and night. I felt I could not change the story enough, I decided to be nice to blood mages but every time I got backstabbed by them.

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  7. Hey now, there are quite a few people who love getting into the lore of their RPG. I spent countless hours reading the books in Morrowind :(

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  8. Oh yeah I forgot to mention the always repeated maps with different monsters and items lol. Sorry Waef it was kind of a mean comment I admit :p

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  9. Nice review. I'm actually playing my way through Origins before I get onto this.

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  10. Yes! Dragon age is one of my favorite RPG series! And nice review if I do say so myself =) Keep up the good work! Check on my blog too!

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  11. Seen this advertised quite a few times, may get it after reading your review.

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  12. I haven't even played the first one yet =(, anyways great review

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  13. My bro's into this big time, I played through the first one and loved it. I just don't have time to get into a second one!

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  14. I don't like this kind of games

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  15. Part one was good, seems this might be better.

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  16. I give it a try, thanks for the tip.

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  17. I preferred the first game to the second.

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  18. I really enjoyed the first one. Might have to give this a buy now you've reminded me. Nice work!

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  19. Never knew the graphics were so strong.

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  20. This is my favorite game next to mass effect 2!

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  21. I really wanna play that game....

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  22. Bioware makes quality games (from what I've seen). If I played video games like I used to I'd probably check this one out.

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  23. I started playing this two days ago, and to be honest, the plot is quite... disorganized. I've completed 10 hours of gameplay, did all of the side quests i could, and still no defines main plot... aside from that, the game is AWESOME

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  24. I've heard it wasn't too great... well, i guess I need to tr it first :)

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  25. I had a lot of fun with this game. I had my main character as a caster spec'd completely into healing. Was so beast, she was practically invincible and could ress up my whole team like every 30 seconds if they died, lol.

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