Dragon Age 2 Demo thoughts

Dragon Age 2 Nervousness, that is what I felt before playing the sequel demo to one of my favourite RPG's in years.  I should note, It also doesn't help that I am currently playing Divinity 2 – The Dragon Knight Saga.  Going from a difficult RPG heavy game to this is quite a stark contrast.  I played the Demo on both the PC and PS3 platforms.

There is a massive case of style and effect with this sequel, DA:O was a RPG with Oldschool and in-depth sensibilities set in a familiar medieval background filled with lively and likeable characters.  The demo thrust us upon an Alien landscape far removed from the original and it seems like a shallow imitation of itself.  It might be a good game in its own right but it isn't the same world DA:O created.

The first issue I have is just the feel of the game.

Style

Dragon Age 2: It's damn Purple.

The Style and grittiness of DA:O has been completely removed and replaced with nice clean edges, completely devoid of character.  Graphically the game looks pretty decent, though where are all the details?  Everything looks so plain and unrealistic.  The UI contributes to this offering almost a psuedo scifi console interface.   The game menus do not seem like part of the game at all.  Its obvious Dragon Age 2 has been optimised for TV viewing with PC centric gaming an afterthought.

The dialogue choices are just boringly implemented.  People still like to read Bioware!  The cutscenes were also missing some of character found in the first game, I ended up skipping a few of them.

The voice acting whilst good, also adds to the style differences. The Demo is primarily American voice acted with some forced European accents on display, I am not sure what the difference really is but characters seem devoid of emotion compared to the original.   Returning characters are a welcome bonus though.

Combat

The combat system is similar in how it plays out in DA:O without the tactical aspect you could enjoy in the bigger battles. The PC centric mouse control system is too slow to play realtime in an enjoyable fashion so I found myself fighting via the keyboard and spamming keys 1 -8.

Combat is faster with less noticeable meaningful differences between classes, from what I could tell from the demo,  animations seem less fluid and very cartoony.

The combat on the demo's normal difficulty is also laughably easy. Reminiscent of the console game Summoner.

In DA:O I could taunt a crowd of enemies with my tank, with their backs turned I could then flank and backstab with the rogue.   Now its just click the backstab icon. Awesome. (sarcasm)   Blindside is more the same flanking technique that was calculated in DA:O for all party members regardless of class, having only the rogue able to use this passive skill without critical chance of a backstab changes the gameplay a lot and removes a significant amount of gaming satisfaction.

There was no indication of pre-emptive massive combat in the demo as fights appeared more scripted – again most likely due to the streamlining Bioware was talking about.

I would be interested to see how a massive fight will play out with large mobs and Dragons. The previous game allowed you to move characters to tiered vantage points via use of the isometric view. Battlefields could be huge.  This just wouldn't work with the sequel.

Conclusion

Whilst DA2 is a decent console game, as a follow up the the PC version of Dragon Age Origins, it fails on all fronts.  I also understand it is only a demo, though it hasn't enticed me to ever buy the full game, especially on the PC platform.

Unfortunately this demo has almost killed the DA franchise for me, hurtful considering the praise I gave the first game.  I really tried desperately hard to enjoy the Dragon Age 2 Demo, especially after investing so much time in the original.  The problem is certain RPG elements I love have been stripped away and the Style of the Dragon Age universe has been ripped apart and replaced with the colour purple.

Bioware Marketing Director Interview:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh5X0hvYNIU

Oh Dear.

Dragon Age Origins: Australian Pre-Order

From OzSource Australia.

Bioware are certainly on a massive roll, continuing to create some of the finest single player Western RPG's ever created.  With a incredibly impressive library including Mass Effect, Star Wars KTOR, Neverwinter Knights, Balders Gate and Jade Empire, you know what sort of quality to expect from every Bioware release.  Dragon Age looks to be another huge multiplatform extravaganza.

Dragon Age: Origins is built apon a new game engine named Eclipse and like all modern game engines a toolset for creation of fan-made content will be included.

Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age: Origins is a dark heroic fantasy set in a unique world. As the spiritual successor of BioWare's popular Baldur's Gate series of games, it uses a pause-and-play tactical combat system. Play in over-the-shoulder mode, or the more tactical top-down view. Dragon Age: Origins features a stunning amount of cinematic dialog.  Players will be able to acquire unique party members. These party members will have their own motivations for accompanying the player.

Check out the Official Dragon Age: Orgins site.

The cheapest place to pre-order Dragon Age origins Collectors again appears to be Fishpond and according to Whirlpool the coupon code READER gets you $10 Off making it just $70 Australian.

Dragon Age Origins Collectors Edition [PS3]Dragon Age Origins Collectors Edition [360]Dragon Age Origins Collectors Edition [PC]

CD WOW Australia also have the PC version for just $49.35 with free Delivery also.