Dragon Age 2 Demo impressions
The Dragon Age 2 demo hit the Xbox Live Marketplace yesterday and so we’re here to throw in our 2 cents!
Having personally struggled to get into Dragon Age: Origins, I warily downloaded the demo for the sequel. Upon entry to the demo you’re given the choice of the three main classes: Warrior, Mage and Rogue. As well as being given the choice of being a male or female.
Getting into the game, immediate reactions are; it looks fantastic. The art style is definitely unique to any console games I’ve played. Also, the character models looked superb, nicely detailed and in some cases colourful, armour. A great start! Then, the gameplay – Shocked, I felt I knew what I was doing automatically. You’re given a wide plethora of abilities from the get-go. The A button is your basic attack, and then X,Y and B are your hotkeys to your numerous abilites. Holding the right trigger will then give you access to 3 more. Simple. Shortly, you are relinquished of the majority of your abilities and are given the option of levelling up as you go along. Therefore, allowing you to witness the ability tree as well as assigning attributes (such as Strength, Dexterity, Magic, etc.) to each character. It’s obvious that Bioware have tried to branch the interest of this game out to people who aren’t “Hardcore RPG’ers”. Which may immediately annoy said hardcore RPG’ers, but fret not! The mechanics of the first game are still there and we’re told are actually deeper than the first. For people who want to run in and start hack n’ slashing, you’ll be just fine. For people who are more interested in the tactics aspect of the game, you are also given a warm “welcome back”.
It’s impossible not to compare this game to Mass Effect. It’s clear they’ve taken a similar step that ME1 took to ME2. Not quite as drastically done though. As mentioned before, everything that was in Dragon Age: Origins is still in the game to tinker about with. It’s just that it’s now not a necessity for you to make progress in the game anymore (unless playing on the higher difficulty settings, then maybe dabbling in it wouldn’t hurt). The similarities don’t end there. DA2 uses the same dialogue tree, where you have a more moral choice, a more take charge and sometimes less moral approach and then a witty/sarcastic option, which is in place of the neutral approach. As well as at certain times being able to investigate deeper into matters. Also, the pause menu is now a radial screen, not unlike Mass Effects. There you can change your characters equipment from the Inventory, have access to a map and then peruse your character screen – which you also go to to level up your party.
The demo overall is an excellent place to start for newcomers. You start with a wide array of abilities which are soon stripped from you. Letting you gain a feel for each classes strengths and weaknesses. You’re also transported to a future point in the game to give you an idea of how you’ll travel through different locations as well as having two unique skirmishes. For players who are not unfamiliar with Dragon Age, then it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to have a playthrough and see all the changes that have been made.
Dragon Age 2 hits stores March 11th. If you have even a feigning interest in the RPG genre, you should definitely take a chance with the free download. If you do end up liking it, recommend it to friends! As once it hits one million downloads, Bioware promises bonus content!