Dragon Age II - Xbox 360

Game Description: Dragon Age 2 for Xbox 360 is the sequel to BioWare's award-winning RPG. The main character, Hawke, is a survivor of the Blight and the Champion of Kirkwall. The player's decisions from Dragon Age: Origins or Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening will influence the world of Dragon Age 2.
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Dragon Age 2 Preview

Dragon Age 2 Preview

By Christopher Monfette - Posted Nov 12, 2010

It’s hard to imagine that Dragon Age II is releasing only a few short months from now. In fact, it feels like we just finished our quest for the Grey Wardens only a few short months ago, but at EA’s recent press event, we had the chance to go hands-on with a very brief section of the game.

Our immediate impressions from the scant ten minutes we were able to play is that the same streamlining that occurred between Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 is occurring here between Dragon Age and its upcoming sequel. We noticed immediately that the menu screens and HUD had been both simplified and minimized, much easier to process at a glance and less of a presence on the screen itself.

The action, while still offering players the option to micro-manage their strategy, was considerably more fluid and action-oriented than in the previous game, requiring less pause-and-play for those who simply want to map their abilities and mash a few buttons.

The scenario found us at the center of a sprawling medieval city in the company of a character that players might remember fondly from the first title: Isabella, the capable duelist, and the woman with whom you and your party may have initiated a wild, sexual foursome. No sooner have you met than you’re attacked by a party of raiders. Switching between the members of your four-person party, you can choose to closely manage the battle through the game’s menu system or simply assign your attacks, skills and potions to either of two sets of X-Y-B mapping and wail away with a series of well-timed moves.

The most impressive effect we saw during the battle was a rain of fire that plummeted from the sky down onto our flaming opponents. Playing as a Rogue proved to be a faster, more strategic experience than our last encounter with the game in which we played a sword-wielding knight. In this go-around, we dodged and slashed our way through the encounter with a pair of duel blades, peppering in a series of ranged attacks and commanding our team to engage with their crossbows, magic and broadswords.


While the game does, indeed, look a bit more stylized than its predecessor, it still feels very much like the world of Dragon Age. The conversations play out the same way, although your character proves substantially more talkative than your last adventure. Blood still spatters on those in your company and the world is still every bit as dark and grim as you’d remember.

Overall, it was a short-and-sweet demo, but even in that brief period of time we were able to get a sense that Dragon Age II will be a more manageable, action-intensive experience and a shift away from more hardcore RPG nature of its predecessor. With a release date coming in March, we’re confident that we’ll see even more in the weeks to come.


Comments are Closed

  • highdive_lowlife

    wow, i started a big thread on bioware's forums about these very changes between ME1/DAO and ME2/DA2 and i am just blown away that these games are cutting off their faces to spite their RPG features... disappointing.

    Posted: November 12, 2010 5:57 PM
  • UndeadNightingale

    I already re-ordered it

    Posted: November 12, 2010 2:45 PM
  • fortlowe

    Look very promising. Can't wait for this!

    Posted: November 12, 2010 2:07 PM
  • AntiquesRoadwarrior

    I'm fine with streamlined combat, but I don't like the streamlined dialog. In case anyone hasn't heard, DA 2 with have the Mass Effect dialog wheel, which was great in Mass Effect, but definitely limits the sense of freedom and a lack of constant judging of the player. In DA:O, you did whatever you felt like doing; you might piss off a couple people, but it was your choice. Mass Effect pretty much boils down to "Are you Good or Evil?", which is really limiting to the story. I loved Mass Effect 2, but that was its biggest flaw in my opinion. Now that Dragon Age is going that way, it seems like we're never getting beyond Good and Evil.

    Posted: November 12, 2010 2:06 PM
  • K3nny24

    This game is going to be amazing!!! But i'm still not sure if i should get it on the 360 or PC Any suggestions?

    Posted: November 12, 2010 1:31 PM
  • Higgil

    @kookie_munster No offense, but the Dragon Age combat (for 360 at least) was pretty lame. The Mage was the best class, being able to pull off offensive combos, then the warrior for being able to do more upclose crowd control...but the ranger? I honestly though that was the worst implementation of a 'scout' in my life. I sat there and held down an archery key with few options..never before have I had that. Of course this is 360 so the aiming of the bow is much more difficult, etc...still.

    I think that by adding a streamlined attack system into the game IF you choose to use it will be great for the game. All I have to do is point to ME2 combat, and look how awesome it is now...thats whats gonna happen to DA2!

    Posted: November 12, 2010 12:34 PM
  • kookie_munster

    why does EA/Bioware keep streamlining there games? they were fine before..

    Posted: November 12, 2010 12:17 PM
  • anchgu7

    I'm so pumped for this game. Pre-ordering it when I go back home for Thanksgiving to upgrade to the Signature Edition. March 8 needs to hurry!

    Posted: November 12, 2010 12:08 PM