Well, even though I may have my concerns about Dragon Age not really being a Dragon Age game, there are certain things I like with the game.
I still feel like playing Dragon Age Origins – something I have a tendency not to do after a sequel is out since the sequel usually is better and more refined then the original. Not so in this case – two different games.
I also like Kirkwall. The city is perhaps the best thing with the new choice of art and design. The characters are of coure better, but the overall impression comes to live when you are running around in Kirkwall – seeing the scenes in the docks and the Mos Esiley cantina in the background.. Oh sorry – is that just me by the way? When I see the bar ‘The Hanged Man’ I want to think about Planescape Torment, but all I get is the crazy tune of Mos Eisley Cantina.. http://youtu.be/0YSF5SfqF2o try to sing it next visit..
Third is that I feel like playing KOTOR – well in a sense I am – this is more KOTOR then DA:O anyhow the only thing missing is the overhead choices of actions and lightsabers.
But other then that I have to say that I have a lot of respect for the guys that works with the sound. Dragon Age 2 sounds fantastic in my Sennheiser 360 G4ME. The bustling city, the comments are all great. The conversations though feel muted and distant. Like the positional audio turned to crap or people perhaps are afraid of catching a cold in Kirkwall so communication is really a shouting match.
So, I am not going to review the game yet – I do have a few first opinions and that is that this is perhaps more KOTOR then Mass Effect – even the inventory icons look more like the dark side vs the light side of the force… The design overall is OK – it is daring – but it is effectful, espacially for the city. The recycling however is getting on my nerves already. The same areas with different names, and the overhead map shows the same layout – only that *suprise* sometimes the door to the left is closed other then the door to the right. Cheap trick and it spoils a lot! Learn random design and recycling from Blizzard!
More recycling? Getting money to enter the good part of the city and claim your name – feels awfully lot like a twist of the getting Imoen back plot from BG2 – only now you will get a house? A name? A well, might be that I have played too much.
The game it self feels like an action RPG and it comes out so much that this was intended for the console. The view, the close areas, the small dungeons. The optimization? I mean really – a decent computers stagger at the funniest places. The game is so far from a strategic game you can get. The removal of the top down camera has been debated and while I didn’t use it much in DA:O I did use it in croded in house areas because targeting enemies in 3rd view is still shit! Seriously – as a mage – you need to place your area effects and pin point baddies like no other – but in 3rd camera you can’t see shit and the area effects and sometimes enemies can’t be marked! Bad BioWare bad! If you tell us something – either deliver it or admit you don’t give a shit – that way people won’t get disappointed. If I didn’t expect it to be possible – I wouldn’t have minded that much – now I get infuriated when my silly companions block the view and I can’t launch my spells.
In all honesty – the game is good – I mean did you dish out money for Two Wolrds, Arcania (Gothic 4) or any other action RPG and thought them mediocre or slightly fun – then Dragon Age 2 will deliver a nicer story – more crisp graphic (usually without the spooky purple sheen on magic items). But since the name ‘BioWare’ is on the box, in the intro etc – you expectations rise. They rise a lot and this time – it is Top Gun quote time: http://youtu.be/QsBkxzfz1IA : your ego is writing cheques your body can’t cash.