Dragon Age II - PS3

Release Date:

March 08, 2011

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


Dragon Age II shadows the ascent of Hawke, an impoverished refugee, to celebrity warrior status. Haunted by the desecration of his former life, Hawke partners with an assortment of unique characters to defeat the darkspawn who destroyed his former home. The main setting for this story is the region of Kirkwall. Kirkwell is a mysterious land ensconced between mountains and is haven to corrupt politicians, ghost towns, and odd creatures. Choose how Hawke gains celebrity and wealth by making his battles either heroic or ruthless acts of revenge as either a mage, rogue, or a warrior. Dragon Age II's notable storyline uses a frame narrative structure in which a narrator recounts Hawke's achievements second-hand. As in the original Dragon Age, Hawke's companions can talk to each other as friends or possible lovers.

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PlayStation 3


DA2 moves up a bit to get out of its predecessor’s wings, but it does not get off that much.

About more than a year after Dragon Age Origins was released, this new baby goes off to continue what the Origins had started – a role-playing game of such maturity that has changed the way people looked at RPGs before. But now, DA2 does much more than that – it shows more blood and more violence. It changed a lot from since when we saw the old game, from the narrative, the combat, and the characters of the game, so many changes, but apparently these changes don’t really feel like “changes”.

Generally Dragon Age 2 only follows the story, plot and personalities of the old version, and I must say the older one is still a bit up notch than it. There’s this slogan "Think like a general, fight like a Spartan" that goes along with DA2, telling us to show a hack-and-slash system, but in reality, it still reaches out to all players. Here, the combat was made easier with simple and quick buttons to use. There’s this new A button that you can used throughout the game, that is quite like a Solve-All button. The world introduced will still be familiar to you, and the concepts are still the same, no matter how restructured they are.

You still play as Hawke, but now your in Kirkwall after escaping from your Kingdom. The focus now goes to Varric, a dwarf on your crew, who will get interrogated to reveal your true persona. This is rather a long scene as it explains everything from the point where it stopped in Origins up to the point where it starts here in DA2. The cool thing though is that you create the persona of the character yourself, by choosing from different characters, and then there you go. This happens after 10 years, now that Hawke becomes the hero of Kirkwall.

Your choices will revolve still on politics and racism, as it had mostly been in Origins. There is now what to call an Emotion Wheel as well as pictures to guide you on the effect of your decisions – whether it shows hostility, sarcasm, or a full diplomacy. This is not entirely fresh from the old game, but still needs a thumbs up for the effort.

The visual presentation didn’t also impress me that much. You can only explore Kirkwall on the repetitive sceneries during night, day, and on the mountains early on the day. However, it’s particularly impressive that you will still feel Kirkwall as a good place to live in, but it’s very small.

One of main reasons of comparison too is the fact that the beloved and strongest personalities in Origins are just playing cameos on DA2. Nevertheless, even if this was the case, the personalities in DA2 aren’t still so much built throughout, making the old characters still superior in many different ways. However, you would love Varric, as his comedic personality will also draw him close to you.

I would have to say I applaud BioWare for the upgrades, or should I say improvements in the latest version. However, I could not really say upgrades as there are still much I am hoping to see in DA2, and there are also things I expected to see that are nowhere to be found now. Let’s wish for a balance on the next installment, but overall, DA2 is not a bad game to play, not at all.

There's as much maturity to the game as there ever was - DA2 is a bloody, moody thing. But despite the way narrative has been re-structured and the combat made meatier, this sequel follows the old conventions of the genre too literally to develop an individuality beyond them. Two entries down the pipe, and Dragon Age is still experiencing the growing pains of a series that's more dedicated to studying fantasy games than developing its own personality in the genre.

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Electronic Arts

Release Date:

March 08, 2011

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