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Oh hun, such a drama queen.

Valenka

Contributor
CRank: 10Score: 0

User Review : Dragon Age 2

Ups
  • Brilliant, improved gameplay
  • Graphics are beautifully done
  • Fascinating, gripping story
Downs
  • Minimal action while the story unfolds

A Sequel That Surpasses the Original

Dragon Age: Origins was unleashed on the world three years ago and received significant praise from many major video game and media outlets upon its release. Two years following, BioWare released its sequel, Dragon Age 2, that was shown to have some significant improvements from its predecessor, the most important being the inclusion of a voice for the protagonist. However, having given the main character a voice, we're restricted to the Human race. While Dragon Age 2 was originally believed to have been a continuation of Origins, the player finds themselves introduced to Hawke (Garrett or Marian, default names for the male and female, respectively), a character of nobility and honour, who's fleeing Lothering from the darkspawn of the Fifth Blight. Naturally, as this is the same setting and time period as Origins, one can assume Hawke's adventures are occurring parallel to that of the Warden's (protagonist from Origins). It's also learned that Hawke's mother, Leandra, is related to the Magi Warden of the Origins game, should you import such a save from the previous game. Hawke, who arrives in the city of Kirkwall as a lowly refugee, soon becomes its legendary champion over a turbulent decade of political and social conflict.

Gameplay in Dragon Age 2 is quite similar, but rather different than its predecessor. It's still a hack and slash role-playing game, but there's more involvement of the player during combat--instead of just pressing a button or two to issue commands, you're actually required to button-mash, so to speak. During the introductory customization menu, the player decides the given name, gender, appearance and combat specialty of Hawke. Hawke can be either a warrior (who wields sword, axe, mace and shield), a rogue (who wields daggers or a bow and arrow) or a mage (who wields a magical staff and uses magic).

As with Origins, the player is not only in control of Hawke. From the very start of the game, you're given access to several companions who accompany Hawke in and out of battle. You may choose up to three companions to bring along, while the rest remain in reserve. Hawke's companion characters are Bethany, his/her sister, Carver, his/her brother, Aveline, Varric, Fenris, Merrill, Isabela, and Anders. The Exiled Prince expansion pack adds an interesting character named Sebastian. These characters have their own dedicated background and plot.

As seen in Origins, after a battle, the player may loot the enemy for money and equipment. Battle also yields experience which can be used to unlock new combat abilities for each character. Outside battle, the player gets to control Hawke's interactions. When a dialog occurs, the player gets to choose what Hawke asks or answers.

As seen in Origins, after a battle, you may loot your enemies for money and equipment. Combat also gives experience which can be used to unlock combat abilities and specialities for each character. Outside battle, the player gets to once again, control the main character's interactions. However, instead of choosing from a select choice of dialogue as in Origins, the player now chooses Hawke's response from personality icons, and depending on your situation, you'll see quite a different number of them, such as:

⇢ Diplomatic/Helpful: Light Green Highlight/Light Blue Highlight (Olive Branch/Angel Wings with Halo)
⇢ Humorous/Charming: Purple Highlight (Comedy Mask/Diamond)
⇢ Aggressive/Direct: Red Highlight (Fist/Hammer)

There's also a few special options, similar to the Paragon/Renegade checks in Mass Effect. Such as...

⇢ Combat (Crossed Swords) which initiates combat and ends any further dialogue--a good way to shut someone up.
⇢ Call on Companion (Glowing Head Silhouette) which calls on a specific companion to chime in and help resolve the issue in a, usually, non-violent or profitable solution.
⇢ Flirt (Glowing Yellow Heart) engage with a companion in an amorous or suggestive manner. Flirting is the only way to instigate a potential romance.
⇢ End Romance (Glowing Red Broken Heart) Used to reject a romantic proposition from a companion or end an existing romance.

...and many more.

Saved information can be imported from Dragon Age: Origins as well as the expansion, Dragon Age: Awakening. This data will affect the background story of Dragon Age II.

Overall, Dragon Age 2 is a brilliant sequel to an amazing predecessor, and I'm much looking forward to Dragon Age 3.

Score
9.0
Graphics
8.5
Sound
9.0
Gameplay
8.5
Fun Factor
Overall
9.5
The story is too old to be commented.
coolbeans1547d ago (Edited 1547d ago )

Interesting to see you on the praising side of DAII. I've heard many choices Bioware made are quite divisive with the community at large.

For some reason I still can't encourage myself to get into the Dragon Age or Fable series. Either it's something in the previews or the general artstyle itself that feels terribly shopworn by its competitors.

Nice -> formatting, btw.

Valenka1547d ago

Yes, I've heard numerous things about Dragon Age before I decided to get into the series--luckily for me, I'm not easily influenced (not saying that you are, lol) by the opinions of others, I tend to just take it with a grain of salt. Something told me I'd enjoy the series, and sure enough, I do.

I can't blame you for not being able to get into either series--both have gameplay elements that don't really whet the appetite of some gamers, and that's understandable.

I thought the formatting would add a little oomph to the review and show some organisation on my part. :)

blainio091547d ago

The rating is a bit high dont see dat often for this game but very well written

gorebago1544d ago

the review was loaded with cliches. so no, its not well-written

cpayne931546d ago

Good review, I've been getting into action rpgs lately, gonna get dark souls and oblivion next, so the Dragon Age games are also on my list.

Blastoise1546d ago

Get on Demon's souls first before you play Dark souls. I always thought demons souls was a much better game but even if you disagree its a great way to prepare yourself for the unforgiving and cruel game that is dark souls :P

cpayne931545d ago

Ha ha I just finished getting my platinum on Demon's Souls. It was the first game I've ever platinumed, and it might be the last. It was really the only game that was ever good enough to motivate me to try to just do everything I could in the game. That game stands as my 2nd favorite game of all time, I honestly hadn't enjoyed a game as much as that one since I was a little kid. It was a combination of the difficulty and the incredible gameplay that really did it, truly an incredible game.

I've heard some people say they perfer Dark Souls, and others say they perfer Demon's Souls, but there is no doubt in my mind that Dark Souls is also a fantastic game.

Trenta271546d ago

The game was okay. The dialogue was some of the best I have ever heard, but the rest of the game was okay. The story was weak and the combat was lacking.

Crystallish1546d ago

i for one also liked the hell out of this game. the Scope and the Dungeonrecycling are a bad thing, and something that should be mentioned, but yeah - i agree with the fact that DA2 is a very good title.

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