Stepping off the heels of Dragon Age Origins would be a big challenge for anyone. I’m sure I’m not the only one that waited eagerly to see if Bioware could do what we all know they are capable of. So did it live up to the hype? Am I eagerly waiting for any DLC that will come next? Or did this turn me off enough that I almost didn’t finish?
Right away I noticed was how streamlined everything had become. Instead of having a list of races to choose from, you pick a male or female human with the last name Hawke. A friend of mine complained, saying this took away from a lot of the choices the game gave you. In replacement though, the main character now has voiced dialog. So I was alright with the trade.
Dragon Age 2 picks up right after the attack on Lothering from Dragon Age Origins. It’s told by your party member Varric. Even though you play a different character you are able to import a save file from Dragon Age Origins with the choices you had made. Dragon Age 2 is broken up into three distinct chapters. Each having a plot that seems like it could have a game based around it. However right when things get good, the problem is resolved and the game jumps ahead a number of years. The only time a plot ever goes beyond a chapter is during the final cut scene. Within the last few seconds they set up a mystery for the next game, then before you can process what happened, the credits roll.
The party members felt a lot more involved in the story this time. They all had little side quests throughout the story where you could see more of their stories. More of the game seemed focused on your relationship with them. Earning their friendship or rivalry opened up new unique abilities for each character.
Having played a sword and shield warrior, I felt the combat was a lot better. In Dragon Age Origins the game auto attacked on a selected enemy, leaving you to press abilities. Dragon Age 2 made you more involved by getting rid of auto attack. I never ran into any issues with difficulty playing on normal. However my friend who had played on nightmare told me “Nightmare mode is more in your ability to kite the enemies around the room you’re in. You are almost completely unable to even go about things tactically even if you want to because all enemies suddenly have a seemingly 90%+ immunity to your status effects.”
Another way they attempted to improve the combat was increasing the number of enemies you fight. They did this by having more enemies jumping out of nowhere nearly every time you’d time. This quickly started drawing me out of the experience when it would happen in almost every fight.
Even though this game was fun to play, since the story was such a disappointment I can’t say this was a great game. If you’re just looking for a fun game for the summer then this has enough content to keep you satisfied. But if you were looking into continuing the Dragon Age story, you may be disappointed.