Eurogamer 2010 – Dragon Age II Impressions


Eurogamer was a fun old time for me. I haven’t really been to a big game show since Play.com’s two years ago and the Playstation Experience many years ago, and while Eurogamer didn’t have the likes of Beth Rowley to hold my attention like the Play.com show, it did have something far more important. Lot’s of games! The highlight of the show for me was Dragon Age 2. Some people were slightly worried that the speed of the sequel might mean there would be hardly any difference between the original, released last November and the upcoming game, due out next march. Those fears can be put to rest. Dragon age 2 is brilliant.

While graphical style remains similar – so that to a passing glance, this is certainly still DragonAge – the detail and artistry has been greatly upgraded. Nowhere is this more apparent than with Flemmeth and her dragon form. Those familiar with Dragon Age should remember the ‘Witch of the Wilds’ Flemmeth, Morrigan’s mother, who saves the Wardens early on. Well Flemmeth also saves the hero of DragonAge 2 – and she looks much better. No longer a tattered looking hag – Flemmeth appears as a fantastic looking dragon (far better than the Arch Demon from the first) and then transforms in her new fearsome self. For those of you who may be worried this is a spoiler for DA: Origins – it isn’t. The opening scenes of DA2 take place shortly after the opening of DA: Origins – just as Lothering is wiped off the players map.

Now for the nitty gritty of it. The action is very different, it’s not a simple matter of instructing your player to attack. X is now the basic attack and pressing it multiple times performs a combo attack. The other face buttons have your characters feats and skills attached and are delayed only by the cool down period on each skill. It’s not a huge departure, but enough to make combat feel faster and more involving. The character customisation has become a lot more like Mass Effect, with Racial choices going out the window and proper Voice Acting given to the Champion character. It’s a bold move, and a welcome one as Mass Effect managed far better emotive scenes with your own character able to speak and emote. Dragon Age 2 builds on the success of the first perfectly and like Mass Effect 2, looks set to attract more players with more visceral gameplay and better presentation.As a side note, while it wasn’t present, the PC version of Dragon Age 2 is going to eschew the battle system changes of DA2 on consoles and stick to the Baldur’s Gate style tactical battles of the first game.

I’ll try to give my impressions of the other games I thought stood out over the next week or so, and I’m sure DanteLockload and DeadmanXIII will try to do likewise 🙂

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