Review by foodeater4

"More Bioware RPG goodness"

Finally, Dragon Age 2, lets get to it. Boom.

Graphics: The consoles get good graphics this time around. You can see a lot further into the distance before everything fogs out. The sky is pretty. I was reading some professional reviews and heard low res textures mentioned, I haven't really noticed anything besides a couple faces on npc's you cant even speak too . Your own character and party looks much better this time around. The characters are animated better and are just graphically improved with what you'd except in a sequal. Also the weapons are armor are much better looking.

Voice Acting: Everyone knows how this works in a bioware game by now. Also in Dragon Age 2, you play Hawke who has a voice. The voice acting is solid, but I think it's a small step below Mass Effect's quality. The dialogue wheel is now in Dragon Age. Its very similar, the left side is to investigate, the right side usually gives you the three choices. Besides good and bad choices, there is also witty, tactful, agreeable, disagreeable, romance, sometimes an action choice. Depending on how you play your Hawke throughout the game is supposed to affect what options are given to you.

Character Creation: Very similar to the first game, ther ie is a lot more hairstyles to pick from, and also all the old hairstyles. All the character models are much sharper and nicer looking this time around. My only complain is overall, its still very dark. Your character against a black background and dimly lit. The best part though, with the Emporium DLC (free with every new copy of the game), there is a mirror you can access and change your appearence anytime you want (maybe starting an hour into the game). So if that little flaw is bothering you an hour into the game, no need to start over again. Such a great feature for us who are perfectionists in making their toons. And also, finally, an option to disable helmet graphics.

Combat : The combat is very similar to the first game, but has seen some changes. The biggest difference is visually, the combat is a lot faster paced. You regain stamina at a much fast rate. This is a great change. In DA:O often after having a sustained ability or two up, and then performing 2 attacks you were out of stamina and had to auto attack the rest of the fight. Also at the time of this writing, 3/10/11, there is no auto attack in the game. You have to keep on tapping A button to fight. Supposedly this will be patched in. Overall though its very similar to DA1 on consoles. You can have up to 6 abilities mapped to the your face keys and when you get to many spells your have to pull up the menu just like DA1 to select them. If you want a challenging tactical DA:O combat, definatly turn up the difficutly right away. Normal is probably easier then DA:O normal, plus take into consideration you may have up to 30 hours or more of practice in this combat system depening on if you beat DA:O or not.. The tatics settings are a lot better now too. The game pre-programs default ones in a lot better. Not to mention there a few new options. And your party members are a lot better at managing sustained abilites.

Stats: Seem more meaningful. I was going back to my DA1 ways and pumping up mainly one stat, but low and behold all the items I'm getting are requiring two primary stats for whatever class it is. On the level up screen is ver y clear what each stat will do for your character.

Many people complain the game is dumbed down but that is not true. Bioware just made it better. Inventory a lot easier to manage. Crafting has been altered a bit to make much less inventory clutter and over all easier to manage. Bioware definatly streamlined the game like they did from Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2, but it wasn't taken to quite the extremes ME2 was.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/10/11

Game Release: Dragon Age II (US, 03/08/11)

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