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 Dragon Age 2

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Calwyn
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PostSubject: Dragon Age 2   Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:12 am

I just played the demo for this game, and wow...

Dragon Age Origins was itself a great game. Great story, great graphics, great gameplay, great characters, etc.

To start with, you have some freedom to choose what the main character will be. You have choice of gender and class, but not choice of race. They seem to have done away with the different Origin storylines to start out the game, which is a bit of a shame IMO, but perhaps they'll replace them with something else of a similar vein. You also, once again, have the ability to customize the appearance of your character although its locked in the demo.

Now onto the meat of the game...

Dragon Age 2, if the demo is any indication, promises to be even better in every regard in almost every aspect. For me, the most noticable improvement was the battle mechanics. It has a MUCH faster pace, yet its very fluid and you still have the option to pause the game to set up tactics and whatnot. Anyone who played the original will remember that during the game, but especially in the beginning before you got many skills, there would be many a battle where you used up your skills or stamina/mana and would be forced to watch all the characters swing their swords or shoot their arrows/spells at the excruciatingly slow pace, especially for the tank classes with their bulkier swords.

But DA2 mechanics get rid of that. I played as a rogue, and my character did not just stand there and use the same arm-motion to swing his dagger. He leapt up in the air and came down with a two-handed piercing strike on approaching an enemy, he had combos filled with kicks and various kinds of strikes, and all at a much faster and fiercer pace than DA:O. And those were for basic melee attacks. The additional skills and spells had their own motions/movements/combos, which were even MORE incredible to watch. For the mages it looks to be the same, although I was more focused on my main character rather than party members. None the less, I could see the mage in my party shooting little fire balls from the spell, causing fiery shockwaves, and quick bursts of a fiery wall in a slashing motion to an up close enemy. In short, the battle mechanics are, for me, the biggest improvement from the previous game.

The skill trees look to be improved too. Its not just four skills in straight lines, three per skill/spell tree. They're more interconnected; you might have to learn two skills before you can unlock another skill or branch of skills. As well, some skills can be improved upon at a higher level. For instance, a mage can learn Heal at level 1 or 2 but at level 6 you can get an added bonus that it adds regeneration. These upgrades seem to be attached to core skills and spells, the bread and butter for each class if you will.

The level up system is otherwise pretty much the same. The same attributes are there: strength, dexterity, magic, willpower, cunning, and constitution. They all seem to do pretty much the same thing: strength adds physical resistances and damage totals (for melee), magic adds magic resistances and damages totals (for mage spells and staff attacks), dexterity improves the attack value and increases chance for a critical hit, willpower increases stamina/mana pools, constitution increases health pools, and so on. If there are any differences, they're subtle and I couldn't tell off hand. However, there has been some tweaking to the information offered below the attributes. Your DPS, your critical chance, your chance to defend against a critical attack, and so on. These appear next to the attribute and shows the value as you increase them, for the stats that are directly related to the attribute (HP > Constituion, for example). And for stats that rely on multiple attributes, like total damage (strength + dexterity), they appear beneath the attribute list. I can tell these will be very helpful.

And the graphics... they're even better than DA:O, which were already incredible.

The cutscenes and character interactions included the choices of how your character will speak or what they'll say. The neat little addition in DA2 is that an icon will appear that shows you what the spirit of the choice is. For example, a laughing mask will show up to indicate that its a joking/light hearted choice. An herb will show up to indicate (I'm guessing) a peaceful/friendly choice. There's a clenched fist, a hammer and anvil, a crystal thing of some sort, and so on.

On a similar vein, the character approval/disapproval is back, but with a new twist. Its not just like or dislike, love or hate. There's a rivalry/love scale. And some characters will have certain skills unlockable depending on if they're a rival, or a friend/love interest.

Otherwise in the game, you only really caught a glimpse of the plot and the characters with their back stories.

It was really enjoyable to play, and I intend to play it again to test out more of the skills and spells, and to get a hang for the mechanics, and everything in general.

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Deano
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:49 am

And here I was just thinking about finally ordering the first. Poke!


I'll have to see about downloading this demo, probably take me a bloody month....
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