Dragon Age 2 Wants You Back

By Alec Meer on December 17th, 2010 at 10:10 pm.

There’s been a tangy whiff of “hmm” around Dragon Age 2 amongst the PC faithful, with the game apparently headed in something of a press all the buttons kill all the monsters press them kill them press them kill them direction we perhaps hadn’t expected from our beloved tactics’n'conversation opus. Turns out that perhaps we’ve got the wrong impression, though.

Now, while this video makes the bewildering mistake of primarily consisting of a chattering man filmed in near-darkness, it also very deliberately seeks to demonstrate that pause’n'play tactical combat remains present and correct in the PC version of the game.

That this video exists at all is more than a little fascinating: is this damage control after some journo-muttering in response to earlier killkillkill demos, or genuine, proud chest-thumping about the options the game offers? I honestly don’t know, but I appreciate the gesture regardless.

So, here is a video. You should watch it, and then have some manner of feeling about it. Do try not to be afraid of the darkness-clad bespectacled man, though.

I’ve not first-hand seen the demo that made Quinns “very nervous indeed,” so I’m not really in a position to be either reassured or unsettled by this one. It looks very much like Dragon Age: Origin’s tactical combat to me, but it all seems ever so fast and OTT. A short promotional video doth not a fair benchmark make, however. I have faith that Bioware appreciate the importance of DAO’s fanbase to DA2, and that we’re yet in for something suitably meaty and brainy.

Meat. Brains. Such is the stuff of life.

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146 Comments »

  1. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I’m not exactly feeling negatively towards Dragon Age, but after quite a while of playing.. it got rather boring. That, combined with the ongoing dlc nonsense don’t exactly make me look forward to this game. Or to ever finishing Dragon Age.

    Both of which could be a shame, but alas.

  2. Droniac says:

    This video is both reassuring and unsettling. It’s good to see that the combat is still rather similar to Origins, even if it’s seen from a different perspective and more fast-paced and intense. There still looks to be plenty of room to plan ahead for battles and use unorthodox setups. Now we can only hope that there will actually be a few battles in higher difficulty levels that require competent tactical play for the player to succeed.

    That may all be well and presumably good, but this video speaks against BioWare’s claims of superior graphics and atmosphere. I hope that’s simply because DA2 is in the final stretch and most of the polish work is yet to begin. The environment seems monotonous and lifeless, the skill effects are bland and the textures are even more washed out and lacking in detail than those in Origins. And while the animation in general seems to be much improved now that it packs a little punch, at time it seems a bit too snappy and over-the-top. In addition, this skybox looks a bit bland and the walls seem more than a bit monotonous (and of equal height), which raises the question why BioWare bothered to remove the isometric perspective – this certainly doesn’t warrant it.

    Then there’s also the interface, which looks like it was designed by a for-funsies WoW modder in a spare afternoon. That better be placeholder work, which seems likely given the fact that the game has several months to go prior to launch. It’s good to see that the skill icons are now much more recognizable, because those in DA:O tended to be a little too similar. What’s worrying is the presentation of items in the skill bar, however, because the Miasmic Flask is presumably an item but looks no different from skill icons and the simple, generic, design of its icon seems to imply decreased item variety (or no easy distinction between items, which isn’t good either). I also don’t see any numbers indicating the amount of flasks remaining in the inventory.

    Overall this trailer does do a lot to put my mind at ease. This looks like it’ll be at least a decent role-playing game and might have the potential for surpassing its predecessor. It’s nothing like the brainless action-y affair I had imagined after BioWare’s previous PR misdirection for Dragon Age 2.

  3. Klaus says:

    When will I get to find and slay the Maker!?

  4. Ergonomic Cat says:

    To everyone saying they should have done it w/o pause/clicky combat

    Bugger the frell off and go play one of the innumerable masses of other good RPGs that are not like that. Leave the very few click n’ pause combat games to those of us that still enjoy them.

    Honestly. DA:O was the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate. This is the sequel. So it’s basically two steps removed from Baldur’s Gate. If there were no good action RPGs out there, we could debate. There are plenty. So, shoo.

    Or, and I say this with no implied meaning, given that I have and love a 360, go play the console version. It’s designed to be actiony from the ground up.

  5. bill says:

    I haven’t played any mass effect games, but did any bioware game ever have decent tactical combat? All the ones i’ve played have just been a big mess when it came to combat (though sometimes a pretty mess) and the combat has just been something i’ve suffered through to continue the story and dialogue.

    This is not a request for more hack and slash gameplay, but on the other hand it can’t really make things worse. An RPG with decent tactical group combat would be nice….

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