Game Review : Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age : Origins is one of my favorite games. The story was epic, the characters memorable and the game incredibly deep. It seems like just yesterday I was using a corkscrew to pry the cellophane off Origins. Now its sequel is blowing up my 360.

Which Hawke will you be?

The Good

Story

In Dragon Age 2 players assume the role of Hawke, the “Champion of Kirkwall.” Unlike Origins, Hawke can only be human. Hawke can be either male or female, and can be either a mage, warrior, or rogue. The story begins as Hawke and his/her family flees that ravaged nation of Ferelden and land on Kirkwall. For a more in depth report of the story check this article via wiki.  Just know this- the story is rich, touching, and full of surprises. Oh, and if you import your save data from Origins then those events will be mentioned. Such a nice touch.

Presentation

This game is much, much prettier than its predecessor. The different races (Elf, Human, Dwarf, Qunari) have all been remodeled along with some of the baddies. Backgrounds are also rich and crisp. The magic effects are also pretty wild.

The soundtrack is equally as impressive, which should come as little shock. The voice acting is a little shaky in parts, but overall it is top notch.

The Bad

It’s all in the Details

Sue me. I’m gonna be nitpicky. Should you choose make your Hawke anything other than white then your mother has some ‘xplainin’ to do because you will look shockingly different than your brother and sister. Come on BioWare. Did you not take notes from Fallout 3? In that game if you make your character African-American guess what? Your characters father is also African-American. This sort of oversight is annoying.

In-Game Mechanics

So how does the game play? Well…it is different than Origins. Whereas Origins is more geared towards team battle; Dragon Age 2 is more focused on the action. It does take a little while to get used to…but once you do it is pretty fun.

This is Reality, right?

Again, it is all in the details. This game spans a decade, right? So explain to me why your character and his/her allies never seem to age. And why does the city never change as well? BioWare, we expect more from you.

Final Verdict

This game is a ton of fun and is far superior than most games on the shelves. However, when compared to Origins it feels short and at times repetitive.  If you’ve seen one sewer, you have apparently seen them all. The game was not at all challenging (except for the duel with the Qunari leader.) Replay value aside-I still rate this a buy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8mn1rVakZg[/youtube]

Monday Nerdgasm : Dragon Age 2 Demo

Way back in 2009 BioWare released Dragon Age : Origins. The action/role-playing game allowed players to create either a human, dwarf, or elf of either gender. This new hero is tasked to save the ancient city of Ferelden from a coming Blight of demons from the underworld. Along the way players can fight with rivals, help their teammates, and even fall in love. This was one of those games in which choices player’s made affected the world in which their characters lived. The game was a commercial and critical success and even gained praise for allowing characters to romance members of the same sex. In fact, I think this may even be the first game which allowed players to create a gay male hero (preceded by the option of girl-on-girl lovin’ in Mass Effect).

The combat mechanics were heavy on strategy and light on button mashing; which was perfect for those of us who loved playing Risk. The story was epic…the visuals were not. However, the superb voice acting, lush orchestral arrangements and massively long story made up for o.k. visuals. I totally had a nergasm when I found out the demo for the sequel was available for download.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlACgYHtWCI[/youtube]

First Impressions : The visuals definitely got nipped and tucked. The character animation is also more fluid. The sound is what we have come to expect from BioWare; beautiful.

RuhRoh : The game mechanics have completely changed. The game feels much more fast-paced and action oriented. If you choose to play as a Mage, the game will no longer pause as you scroll through to select a spell.  I am worried that this will affect the overall game strategy. Back in Origins I used my Mage to see through walls…when I discovered enemies I would use Mage 1 to freeze their asses via a Blizzard then use Mage 2 to fry their asses via a Tempest. This gang bang was so satisfying. Will I still be able to gang bang in part 2?

Overall, the demo was fun and way too short. Flemeth looked amazing. She reminded me of The Sorceress from He-Man. That busty pirate chick kinda made my eyes roll. Ugh…another overtly sexy bad girl. Gimme Morrigan any day. X-Box 360 users can download the demo today on X-Box Live. PS3 users…I don’t have a PS3, so I don’t know what you need to do.

Dragon Age 2 will be released March 11, 2011.