|Dragon Age II box art.|
Having found myself with some free time over the weekend, I finally got started on Dragon Age II, the sequel to 2009's Dragon Age: Origins - a self-titled "dark fantasy" RPG by BioWare. What was apparent from the start, however, was how much of an effort had gone into this game to differentiate it from it's predecessor.
|Default Hawke's appearance.|
Quite a big blow, though, is dealt whenever Hawke and co. venture into any of the quasi-dungeons of the game's main and secondary quests. This happens primarily due to them being copy-pasted versions of one another, with different enemies, entry/exit points and either enabled or disabled doors to slightly alter the path the player has to take. The main level architecture is the same, though, and there seems to be no effort to hide this: the mini-map constantly displays areas you have no access to, the textures/loot-containing crevices/enemy spawn points are always the same.
|Expect to see this cave again,|
and again, and again...
Follow-up posts will elaborate on the story discrepancies between the game's three acts, as well as the framing device(s) used. Finally, some impressions on the combat philosophy BioWare seems to have followed in this instalment and a few thoughts on the game's voice acting.
As a point of interest, I played as a male warrior Hawke that favoured Diplomatic/Helpful dialogue options, romanced Isabela (and defended her in a duel with the Qunari Arishok), sided with the mages in the finale, tried to complete as many side missions as possible and spared Anders after his betrayal.
* Dragon Age II Wikipedia Entry
* Dragon Age II Official Site
* BioWare Official Site
* Dragon Age Wiki