Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Burn my bra (with dragon's fire)

Dragon Age II. The big sequel. I won't get into too much of a review. You know what's what. Awesome Bioware single player RPG, complex characters, cool story, nice combat, sweet eye candy. Pretty par for the course for 'ol Bioware.

I will just take a few sentences to say what I think is improved over the original. They have 'awesomed' up combat. I feel like I'm alot more mobile during battles, particularly boss battles, than I was before. You have to physically get out of the way of some enemies when it becomes clear they are going to unleash a huge blast of magic or trample over the top of you. It's cool. It feels almost like an MMO boss encounter. There are also ability synergies between your characters that you can set up to make your party more effective. Touches like this are cool. It just adds a little more depth to the combat. I've seen plenty of comments on various sites about how the combat in Dragon Age II had been 'babied up' for consoles. I find this perplexing. To me it feels challenging, looks outstanding and theres plenty of strategic depth there.

Aside from combat, the game is great, just like the first. I really like some of the characters, I'm luke warm to others and some just annoy me (I'm looking at you Carver). I love that your character actually has a voice now. You're not just clicking lines of text for your responses. There is a dialogue wheel that will be familiar to anyone that has played Bioware's other epic RPG series, Mass Effect.

As for my character type, I picked a staff wielding female mage. I don't usually like to gender-bend, but it feels right in Bioware games. The actresses that did the voice work for both female Shepard in Mass Effect and Hawke (mine is called Tessa) in Dragon Age II did a fantastic job. They really bring the dialogue to life. I almost always find myself picking the 'lighthearted/comedic' response icon with my Hawke. It just feel right with my sassy, fireball flinging, red-headed mage. Girl power. Medieval fantasy girl power. I'm not done yet but it can be assured I'll be playing this game to completion. Baldur's Gate (one of my top five games of all time) lives on in Dragon Age. It's a great time to be an RPG player.

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