Dragon Age II Game Review

The continuation of Dragon Age: Origins, in the appearance of which, probably, none of us doubted, risks becoming the most controversial role-playing game of this year. And all because just two years ago, the recognized masters of the genre from BioWare raised the bar of quality to such heights that they themselves could barely jump there. What happened – a little lower in the text.

Defender of Kirkwall

Dragon Age: Origins, which appeared at the end of 2009, was a long-term construction project of unthinkable proportions, and unexpectedly turned out to be a real balm for the soul of fans of “old school” role-playing games. Well, tell me, is this possible in the age of multi-platform projects and consoles: a fascinating RPG that appeared only on the PC; with a world written down to the smallest detail; lasting about one hundred hours; with the most difficult moral choices and modern, eye-pleasing graphics?

For several E3 exhibitions, representatives of the BioWare studio did nothing but convince the press and players of the exclusivity of this project, but finally everyone believed in Dragon Age only after its release. Needless to say, the proud owners of personal computers almost jumped with delight, looking at the owners of consoles, who bit their nails with envy?

The next year and a half passed, or rather flew by, to the accompaniment of a fair amount of additional content and add-ons for Dragon Age: Origins, the most significant of which we have already told you once. Well, then the expected announcement of Dragon Age II happened. Before the release of the already multi-platform sequel, at least two significant events happened. Firstly, under the guise of BioWare at the end of January released Dragon Age: Origins on consoles – however.

only in Japan. Secondly, the demo version of Dragon Age II appeared, which made a lot of noise, split the fans of the franchise into two irreconcilable camps. While some still loved RPGs, others loudly declared that the second part of the fantasy saga is nothing more than an action / RPG.

or even a slasher with role-playing elements. BioWare also got nuts for the “multiplatform” – according to a considerable number of players, technical progress in the sequel slowed down, and the game mechanics turned out to be noticeably simplified – they say, the necessary measures for consoles. Of course, there was a reason for such statements and criticism, but not everything turned out to be so sad.

As you already know from the preview of the game, Dragon Age II is not set in Ferelden, but in the city-state of Kirkwall, which is north of the first. BioWare deliberately sacrificed scale and this time decided to make the story more intimate. The approach to the story has also changed: if in the original we felt involved in some kind of epic story.

now we get used to the role of the refugee Hawk, who is escaping from the Pestilence with his family – his mother and sister. Another curious detail is that his path “from rags to riches” is illuminated from the face of his party member, the dwarf Varick, who pours out his soul to Inquisitor Cassandra. Remembering the most vivid episodes, the dwarf provides invaluable assistance to developers. It is thanks to such a huge “flashback” that they can provide players with the opportunity to relive a ten-year-long story in just a couple of dozen hours.

Considering that almost the entire plot takes place in Kirkwall and its environs, it is not surprising that the locations have become much smaller. The seasons, the time of day, the hero and secondary characters change, but sooner or later the eye begins to notice that some locations begin to repeat themselves. Was BioWare really so naïve that they thought that in ten hours the players would not notice the same scenery?

The interface has also changed, now it is more and more like that of Mass Effect. The isometric camera, which made it possible to hide three-dimensional models and assess the situation on the battlefield from above, disappeared as unnecessary. The pause with the possibility of issuing tactical orders to the party members remained in place, which cannot be said about the dialogues, which acquired a recognizable “wheel”.

Yes, yes, now Hawk in conversations acts like Commander Sheppard – he answers with one of three options: kind, mocking and evil. The choice of replicas, by the way, is far from obvious – as in Mass Effect, our choice sets only the general direction of the conversation. It’s not uncommon for a player to choose one line and end up in conflict with one of the characters instead. Well, the more interesting it is to watch what is happening from the side, and at the same time be honored to replay the game.

But perhaps the most important and most important thing is that Dragon Age II, like its predecessor, has remained the same most complex simulator of social relations. Quests, both plot and side, constantly confuse players and make them suffer from a moral choice: how to act in a particular situation, how to please both “ours” and “yours”.

A rapist stalking elven children turns out to be the son of a city judge; what to do with the bastard – to let justice decide his fate, to deal with him, or to run about his business without noticing the injustice? It is easy to move from the everyday problems of BioWare to much larger things – to the war of confessions, interracial strife.

difficult relationships between the sexes. The constant conflicts between the inhabitants of Kirkwall and the horned Quinary, the war between the templars and mages, as well as the underworld constantly lead Hawke to the need to decide what to do in each specific situation. Postpone the question, remain neutral to existing problems, developers, as a rule, do not allow.