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Dragon Age II Previews
Preview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Mon 4 October 2010, 19:01:00Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age 2
Last weekend's Eurogamer Expo is the source of some Dragon Age II hands-on previews.
OXM found out how Commander Hawke became the ultra-dude he is:
Dragon Age 2 uses a framed narrative, letting the game take in the best moments of Hawke's decade, exploring his rise from refugee in Origins' region of Ferelden to ultra-dude in the northern Free Marches. This cuts down on tiresome filler - "this is where Hawke discovered the great bacon sandwich of +12 constitution" - and lets BioWare get to the fun. It's Dragon Age: the greatest hits.
Aiding this transformation is a tweaked and tightened battle engine. BioWare's Mike Laidlaw, the game's Lead Designer described the new focus in simple terms - "when I push a button, something awesome happens." Playing the game, it became clear ability cooldowns and other tiresome RPG staples have been relocated to the rear of an attack, and arrows, spells and swords hit home quickly and brutally.
When I push a button, something awesome happens. Seems Mike has gone full Molyneux. What happened BioWare?
Brutal Gamer noticed that DA2 is a lot more visceral now.
The graphics are a lot better than the PS3 version of Origins. The textures are noticeably higher resolution in this, although a lot of them still do look a bit flat. Overall, the game looks noticeably better, and interestingly, it seemed though the blood spatters from Origins mostly only appeared on certain characters, with Hawke coming out looking clean, and some other characters having shields covered in blood. Dragon Age II is a lot more visceral and violent, though, with Hurlocks being literally sliced in half and blood pouring everwhere.
The music is suitably grand as usual, and the voice acting is of a similarly good quality to Origins. The return of Flemeth is an intriguing one, her being one of the characters who appeared in Origins. She offers to help you in exchange for delivering a package for her, which is where the demo ended.
Dialogue options in the game are controlled by a Mass Effect style wheel, rather than just the list from the previous game. However, an icon appears in the centre of the wheel as you highlight a dialogue choice to designate exactly what tone it’s taking, be it aggressive, neutral, flirty or otherwise. The fact that you play a pre-determined characters means you play someone who feels an integral part of the story, is voiced and feels natural, as opposed to your silent protaganist in Origins. Some people have been unsure about this developement, but it adds a whole extra level to the story that wasn’t there previously.
Personally, I'm excited that the game will indicate with an icon whether an dialogue option is extreme or whatnot. Saves me the effort of finding out.
Spotted at: GB