Posted by Raine Hutchens on Aug 24, 2010

Getting Up-Close And Personal With Dragon Age II

When BioWare unleashed Mass Effect 2 on the public, it stirred the hearts and minds of many. It blurred the line between an action RPG and a third-person shooter. Well, Bioware has done it again with Dragon Age II. This new title is, at its roots, an RPG, but its fast-paced action makes it feel like an action game.

After showing the new trailer for Dragon Age II, BioWare selected a few individuals to preview the first 15 minutes of the game in a small room behind the BioWare booth. In the room consoles were set up in stations, along with super comfy chairs to sit in. So the controller was picked up, and the demo began.

From the beginning there were six character types given for a choice to play. There are three male types and three female types of rogue, mage, and warrior. For the purpose of the demo only the male warrior class was selectable. After choosing the pre-selected class you find yourself looking through the eyes of the game’s protagonist, Hawke. In this brief demo he is accompanied by a female mage, understood to be his younger sister Bethany.

One thing that was immediately clear was the graphical style in this new title. The previous title in the series showed prowess in detail and realism, where this title has the slightest bit of cell shading, suggesting a slight more cartoony style of design. This design is put into action when you are greeted by a familiar sight – Darkspawn Hurlocks. These crackle-faced enemies were given a makeover with faces a bit more yellowish and less detailed, yet still recognizable. This just begins to show what changes have been made to the game’s look and feel.

Instead of initiating a series of slower attacks when you press the attack button, as with the previous title, hitting the ‘X’ button caused Hawke to lash out cantankerously with his weapon, lunging for a stab at his enemies. In fluid motion, with each press of the ‘X’ button while leaning the analog stick towards enemies, Hawke continued to dance in a wave of blades causing swift death to his enemies.

This showed a series of button-mashing and quick maneuvering like what is seen in Dante’s Inferno and God Of War.

That being said, there is definitely a new sense of urgency and savagery to combat this time around. A power mapped to the ‘A’ button saw Hawke leaping forward into the air and delivering a deathly thrust downward with his sword, any enemies caught in the blow being dismantled in a shower of blood. Another power mapped to the ‘B’ button witnessed HAwke spinning in a whirlwind of metal, destroying all in his path.

After two waves of Hurlocks are dispatched, one of Dragin Age’s big daddy’s made an appearance. A menacing ogre waltzed into the scene, roaring with anger as he charged the brother and sister team.

Shortly thereafter, a ruby-colored dragon appears on at the scene. An irritated voice breaks in with, “That’s not how it happened!”

Soon it turns out that the battle that just ensued wasn’t exactly real. An annoyed woman with a roar of her own shouts at an overweight man for treading off the path of the truth. “You knew him way before he was the hero,” she claims, and then the real game begins.

This would normally be the part of the game where you customize your hero, but remember, this is a demo, so it jumps right into the story.

Hawke and his family – mother, sister, and brother – are escaping a torn village known as Lothering, now occupied by the Darkspawn. Retreating up to the hills, the family stumble upon a Darkspawn patrol just as the time with the demo ends.

From what was seen, aside from the new fast-paced combat and the new look, it seems to be purely Dragon Age. With witty storytelling, dialogue tree decisions, and familiar characters, this fantasy RPG is the game you have come to know and hopefully love. It now has razor-sharp, pointy teeth that should help ensnare a few new fans for this BioWare title.

Be looking forward to this sword-blazing title when it releases in March of 2011.


Post a Comment
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes