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Dragon Age 2

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Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age II is a single player role-playing game (RPG) for play on the PC, Xbox 360 & PS3. Epic sequel to the BioWare developed 2009 Game of the Year, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II continues the adventure with a new hero, Hawke, and utilizes the choices made by the player to affect a story that spans ten years worth of time in-game. Additional game features include: the ability to choose your character's class and sex, a new cinematic in-game experience, a nonlinear narrative and the ability to import saved information from earlier Dragon Age games.

About Dragon Age 2

Embark on an all-new adventure spread across a ten-year span of years with an all-new hero in the multiple award-winning Dragon Age saga. In Dragon Age II you are Hawke, said to have been one of the few to survive the destruction of your homeland. Forced to fight for survival, you gathered the deadliest of allies, amassed fame and fortune and sealed your place in history, eventually becoming in effect a legend in your own time. But legends are all in the telling.

Dragon Age II utilizes a nonlinear narrative, taking the form of a story-within-a-story that hinges upon your exploits as told by the storyteller, Varick. Yet like any good storyteller, Varick tends to exaggerate from time to time. When questioned on events related to Hawke, Varick may present a different scenario in which Hawke's exploits play out. It is within these replays that the decisions of the players hold sway, as their particular versions of Hawke relive these events. Is the player's particular version of Hawke, male or female? A warrior, a rogue, or a mage? Is Hawke good-natured or something less than a salt-of-the-Earth type? Is romance in the air amongst characters he/she associates with? These choices are all the player's to make and each affect the the outcome of the story at all levels.

Dragon Age 2 Video Review

[end_news_blurb]

Game Features

  • Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make
  • Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land
  • Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior
  • Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go
  • Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style
  • Story-within-a-story nonlinear narrative style

Dragon Age 2 Trailer

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Dragon Age 2 Gameplay

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Hm. An advert?

Well, sobeit. I started playing the game last night, and it was immediately engrossing. The graphics are MUCH more polished than the first, and the voice acting is very good. The fact that you play a specific character, while limiting some of your freedom to custmize, adds to the narrative a lot. The revised Mass Effect dialogue wheel is also pleasant, as it removes some of the uncertainty of Mass Effect, while maintaining that concern of "how will this NPC react to -this-?" My character is a wiseass mage, who pisses her brother off greatly, but gets along famously with the sarcastic dwarf rogue Varrik.

I suspect that the conversation choices are, in many cases, illusory...and that it doesn't matter if you crack wise or adopt a caring and serious demeanor in every situation. That's fine with me. It's a roleplaying choice, and it makes enough of a difference enough of the time that it -feels- meaningful.

In other words, so far, so good. smile

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I am also finding this game to be tremendously entertaining. I just started it last night as well, and I already love it. I hearted Dragon Age the first very furiously, and I had my doubts about the sequel being able to live up to it...but so far it has in every way.

The characters already seem richer and more nuanced and the starter city is wonderfully detailed and feels more organic and alive than Denerim ever did. Plus, as Max mentioned, the graphics are a huge improvement. They are fluid and beautiful and unhindered by the terrible character models that plagued Dragon Age the first. Combat, while much like the first, feels more intense and immediate. You can still make ample use of tactics and pausing, but I find my fights quickly becoming a chaotic mess of delicious destruction. It’s hard to maintain the same tight control over the battlefield that I employed in Dragon Age 1. I might have a different, and more strategic experience, with a mage instead of a rogue, or an archer instead of a melee fighter, but there’s something about the combat, the flow of it, that makes it more compelling.

I strongly recommend this game to anyone who enjoyed Dragon Age.

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If I wan't a fan of Dragon Age, would I find much to like about the sequel?

I should probably specify. I didn't like the combat system, feeling that it got too draggy and was too dependant on the arcanabula of weighing stats; I didn't like the cast of characters, most of whom I found unsympathetic; and I especially didn't like the plot, which strained very hard to remind me that Lord of the Rings exists.

Since we didn't see much of the world I'm reserving judgement on it, but that didn't look too interesting either - Middle Earth with a lick of paint, or in this case, a layer of blood. ("Blood blood blood magic power in the blood everything explodes in blood there's a dragon made of blood drink blood and maybe die I mention blood yet?")

The demo looked like a huge improvement, though I think I'd get mighty tired mighty fast of the Chantry/Apostate conflict, which reminds me of nothing so much as Marvel's Civil War series - two groups with polar opposite positions asking me to cheer for one side or the other when I find the positions of both sides untenable. Is that a large part of the story?

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Combat is as it was in the demo. Much faster and more streamlined than in Origins. Arguably, it's more "actiony" and less of a 'turn-based system in disguise,' though you can (and should) still pause things every so often.

The cast of characters is different, and I would argue, more subtle than in Origins. Each companion in Origins was designed to fit fairly easily into a certain phrase. "Amoral apostate witch." "Snarky, moon-eyed bastard templar." "Girly French rogue." Etc. DA2 has companions that seem more complex to me. They are less given to cool one-liners, but have personalities that take more time to reveal themselves. As for how 'sympathetic' they are...that's a very personal thing. That said, I have yet to find any companions that urge you to commit atrocities, or are stoically uncommunicative, or who delight in squishing birds...so perhaps they are more sympathetic. smile

The plot...what little I've seen...is also a departure. You are not 'the Chosen One.' You are not the only thing standing between Light and Dark. This is the story of how your character went from being a destitute refugee from the Blight, to being the Champion of Kirkwall. Not the world, mind...just this one city. And it takes you ten years. So yeah...not the usual Lords of the Ring knockoff.

I disagree with you on the setting, but that's not here or there for this. DA2 is not as far-ranging as Origins. You don't roller coaster over an entire continent. You're the Champion of Kirkwall...most of the action takes place in, or near, Kirkwall. Less broad in scope, but this also allows a lot of detail and life to be injected into what's there.

I can't speak to the story much yet. As I understand it, it revolves at least partially around political and social fault lines in the three-way co-dependence/hate between Chantry, Templars, and Mage Circles. If you're looking for a clear "good guy" vs "bad guy," you need not apply. Previews I've read assure me that the decisions you make will be hard, and won't always have a 'good' option. You just have to try to stick to what you believe as much as you can...and hope the outcome is something everyone can live with.

Compare to the end of Deus Ex. No right, no wrong...just a choice born of what you think is best, or at least "least wrong."

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(((Spoilers, maybe)))

Thus far I'm pleased with the game, DA2 received a very welcome re-rendering on the graphics. The game is beautiful, the first Ogre I fought in the game left me wanting to see more and more. To touch on some popular points though I'm offering my two cents below.

Combat - The combat overhaul, in my opinion, is both a good thing and a bad thing. Mike is right, the combat in the first game was too slow, in DA2 however, I feel it's too fast. Button mashing to see the same 5 slashes of the sword over and over gets tedious. Do I really need to hit it over and over again? Why couldn't it just auto-attack, since in essence whether I'm doing it or or it's doing on its own the effect is the same. Auto-attack would allow me to better monitor the battle itself to keep track of health, staimina/mana, and use abilities.

The major problem with this has come in where a potion is used, but because you have to button mash to keep the combat going, your character will cancel out the potion and just keep attacking instead.

Characters - Mike is right again, the characters in DA were incredibly boring. In fact, the only one I liked was Sten. Now, however, the characters are a lot more interesting. The dialogue is terrific, especially with the Dalish Elf chick you get, she made me laugh a few times.

The down side is that it feels like every name they mentioned in the first one or NPC you met somewhere in the first one are now either a playable character or have to make some cameo at some point.

Plot - The plot is dry IMO. I feel like I'm playing DDO Stormreach. Everything takes place in the city, frankly, after 14 hours of the same 8 areas, I'm a little sick of that damn city. DA boasted plenty of places to explore but in each of the treaty areas there was literally several hours worth of exploring in those areas. Hell, Orzammar and the Deep Roads took Vivi and I nearly 10 hours to clear, since she has to turn over every stone along the way.

I feel like I'm trapped in some city on some MMORPG and all I'm doing is seeing how many quests I can take on... there is no plot at the moment that I've seen.

Setting - Okay this is something I've been complaining about here at the house for last two days now.

Equipment? I enjoyed reading the equipment descriptions and learning about the world and it's legends... now there is none of that. Now it's just a sword/dagger/bow/staff with some stats and you slap it on if it's better than what you have. Even the named stuff is just nothing but a collection of stars, and that's bullshit IMO.

I mean seriously? This just lends it the "let's make it as much like an MORPG as we can" vibe. Like the people playing are too stupid to read so they just skipped the interesting stuff and got you into the killing as soon as possible.

Companion Armor? This is balls. What the fuck were they thinking? Previously in DA1, armor was important. Now, apparently when people are shooting arrows and slashing you with swords all you need to protect you is a pair of thigh-high hooker boots and a long night shirt (seriously, that's is all Isabela's wearing). Weak Bioware, really weak.

Now, let's talk about contradictions... like Mages not being able to teleport (it states this one of the codex entries) yet when battling enemy mages what do they do? They teleport across the battle field, this may be before or after they erect invulnerable force fields...

Look, I like a game to be challenging, but it bugs me when they try to make enemies 'special snowflakes' by giving NPC character classes unique powers and stuff that make no sense or directly defy what they've already established as 'canon'.

I won't get into the "you can not raise people from the dead in Thedas" argument... I'm still rolling my eyes over it.

But despite it all, the game kicks ass. I could pick it apart, sure, but in all honesty the game is worth it. Bioware keeps giving us some good quality games.

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I was going to put up my own review, but then Dave did it for me pretty much point for point.

My own plus for the game - Thank god they gave the main character a voice in this game!

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Felicia Day posted this on her + feed last night.

HEY GUYS ANNOUNCEMENT OUT: I'm starring in a new Dragon Age II DLC, Mark of the Assassin! I'm playing the same character I created in the web series I wrote and produced, Dragon Age: Redemption. Full motion and facial capture, voice acting, the whole bit. First time ever something like this has been done!

Both launch October 11th. Tomorrow I think I'll be able to link you some footage ;) Such a dream come true!! Ok good night :)

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<div style="background-color:#000000;width:520px;"><div style="padding:4px;"><embed src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:moses:video:gametrailers.com:720938" width="512" height="288" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" base="." flashVars=""></embed><p style="text-align:left;background-color:#FFFFFF;padding:4px;margin-top:4px;margin-bottom:0px;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;">Get More: <a href='http://www.gametrailers.com'>GameTrailers.com</a>, <a href="http://www.gametrailers.com/video/exclusive-debut-trailer-hd/720938">Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin - Exclusive Debut Trailer HD</a>, <a href='http://pc.gametrailers.com/'>PC Games</a>, <a href='http://ps3.gametrailers.com/'>PlayStation 3</a>, <a href='http://xbox360.gametrailers.com/'>Xbox 360</a></p></div></div>

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