The Dragon Age 2 Demo Is Out Today

By Jim Rossignol on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:53 am.


Still nothing unlocked on the Dragon Age 2 demo page, but the demo is apparently out later today. We’ll keep this post updated, so please put links in comments once it’s live so we can get some mirrors and stuff. That said, I don’t know whether the mirrors will count towards Bioware’s one million downloads challenge, in which they’ve offered to unlock some in-game items if that figure is reached. Perhaps that’s just downloads from the official page? Hmm.

Anyway, keep eyes peeled for incoming, people!

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84 Comments »

  1. Gunder says:

    What time will the demo be available?
    For PC – February 22 at 9am PST
    For Xbox 360 – February 22 between midnight and 2am PST
    For Playstation 3 users in North America – February 22 between 4pm and 8pm PST
    For Playstation 3 users outside North America – February 23 between 4pm and 8pm GMT

    That’s what Bioware said anyway.

    • Schadenfreude says:

      Xbox360 Demo is already out anyway (Gold Exclusive though, so not for me alas). Lasts about 40 minutes if you don’t skip dialog (15 if you do) and is generally getting pretty good feedback on the Bioware Forums (So take that with a grain of fanboy salt).

      Really looking forward to this one, will have to get another playthrough of DA:O + Awakenings before it hits.

    • woodsey says:

      Can’t say I’m too worried about the game, PCG review was massively positive.

      As for the demo, no Steam release? Seems like a better way to get it out there than on their website.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Booting up the Steam client and downloading it there is easier than just downloading an exe off their website?

      (And yes, I know you probably have Steam always running, but the point is not everyone does).

    • Gunder says:

      It’s more about the fact that, by default, web browsers (and servers) don’t support pausing downloads and resuming them etc. Steam does.

    • woodsey says:

      Not particularly easier for me (although it kinda is), but better for them. For much of the time I’m logged in to Steam, there’s about 3 million others on there too, and a big pop-up usually appears when you log in to tell you about new demos and deals, and whatever else.

      Just seems like a better solution to get it out there. And having it on Steam doesn’t mean they can’t host it themselves too.

    • Gunder says:

      Further proof: their servers have had a panic attack and died when people came looking for the demo at their site en masse.

  2. Bemon says:

    I honestly can’t wait for this, after Dragon Age: Origins left me wanting more

  3. SquareWheel says:

    Don’t see how they honestly could count mirrors. I’ll make a point of not downloading though, that’s worse than offering media for “liking” a page on Facebook.

  4. SquareWheel says:

    Well, almost as bad.

  5. Man Raised by Puffins says:

    Word on their forums is 9am Bioware Time for the demo, so about 4pm Britisher Time.

    That said, I don’t know whether the mirrors will count towards Bioware’s one million downloads challenge, in which they’ve offered to unlock some in-game items if that figure is reached. Perhaps that’s just downloads from the official page? Hmm.

    From here:

    To get your download counted, you will need to log into your EA account while playing the demo.

    So whether you use a mirror or not shouldn’t matter, if you care about that sort of thing.

  6. coldvvvave says:

    Great news, tomorrow is a holiday for me anyway.

  7. Wizardry says:

    Dragon Age: Origins was one of the worst CRPGs I’ve ever played. I managed to complete it but I certainly don’t want more of the same, let alone a watered down sequel.

    I’ll be skipping this.

    • Thule says:

      This is exactly how I feel about it.

    • JustOneWay says:

      Wizardry:
      “The food here is terrible!”
      Thule:
      “Yes. And the portions are too small!”

    • Miles of the Machination says:

      I think it’s safe to say that this will not be more of the same. More like Mass Effect 2 that DA, is the impression I got.

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      I’m not worried either way.

      For me, the love i feel towards BioWare games is the worlds they create, the stories they tell. If the look’n'feel of DA2 leans more towards ME2 or DA:O is not really an issue, since i liked both games.

      However, the first Dragon Age game was way too long and could have easily been contracted in some of the tedious dungeon crawly parts, which is why i never touched it again after having completed it.

    • Kadayi says:

      @JustOneWay

      Best post of the day by far

      The fact that the guy completed it is probably the funniest thing. 100 hours playing a game you apparently despise….

    • kyrieee says:

      I also did not like it very much. I’m still going to check the demo to see if they’ve improved it, but I doubt it. The guys working on Mass Effect are much more talented

  8. pakoito says:

    Some guys at PcGamer already reviewed it and calified it as TEH BEAST RPG COMBAT EVARR. I’m still cautious.
    http://leakerz.net/wp/2011/02/21/dragon-age-2-review-from-pcgamer-screenshots/

    • Wizardry says:

      Well it can’t be. It COULD be the best combat system in an RPG (which I highly, highly doubt), but it can’t be the best RPG combat system.

      If that makes sense.

    • Chris D says:

      No, you’ve lost me. What do you mean by that?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Something along the lines of “it could be the best combat system in an RPG currently, but it cannot be the best possible,” I imagine.

    • Wizardry says:

      Nope. Not at all.

      What I meant was that you could build an RPG around the best action/hack & slash combat ever created, and it might be the best combat ever seen in an RPG, but it won’t be the best RPG combat because it isn’t completely player directed and character skill dependent. In other words, let’s pretend that Mass Effect has the best and most fun combat ever seen in an RPG. The combat in Mass Effect is closer to Gears of War than, say, Temple of Elemental Evil, whose combat is firmly rooted in the RPG genre.

      Now, I’m not saying Dragon Age 2′s combat is anything like Mass Effect’s, though from all accounts it’s far more action-like than Dragon Age: Origin’s. Therefore the above paragraph demonstrates what I meant in my previous post with an extreme example.

      The issue here is that these days it seems okay to call games without RPG combat RPGs if they contain other elements of RPGs such as quests with multiple ways of completion and levelling up. Take The Witcher for example. Combat is merely a rhythm game. It’s actually closer to Guitar Hero than it is to Pool of Radiance or Realms of Arkania. However, there are numerous choices and you do indeed level up the protagonist, therefore it’s considered an RPG.

    • Chris D says:

      But the numbers were really only a way to stop sessions degenerating into an endless string of “I shot you”, “No you missed”, “Did not” arguments, they were never really the point of RPGs.

      I get that for some people that was the bit they liked, and it’s fine to say “I prefer RPGs like this”, but I don’t think you can really say something that uses a different system isn’t a true RPG.

    • Wizardry says:

      That’s not the case at all. RPGs came from wargames. It was the addition of role-playing to wargaming aided by reducing the scale to a mere party of adventurers. CRPGs started out as computer versions of these RPGs. Turn-based combat and a hefty dose of numbers was all part of it.

      The difference of opinion on the definition of CRPGs stems from some believing that CRPGs are computer adaptations of RPGs (D&D and the like), while others believe that CRPGs are computer games with role-playing. Role-playing, unlike role-playing games, has existed for (possibly) thousands of years.

      If you take the formula of Gears of War, a video game, and add the ability to role-play the protagonist, you might get Mass Effect. That, in other words, is adding role-playing to a video game. As role-playing has existed for (probably) thousands of years, you could argue that games similar to Mass Effect could have existed today without D&D and early computer RPGs ever existing.

      However, I have always hoped CRPGs would go down the route of being similar to massively complex RPGs with the computer doing far more work than a DM could possibly cope with. In other words, a framework of a highly simulated game world introducing huge depth to the gameplay, but with a narrative, lots of quests and the multiple choices that we see in nearly all of the CRPGs today. Instead, it seems that developers (especially BioWare) have gone down the route of a story with multiple choices while scrapping the fundamental mechanics of RPGs. In other words, they have kept the role-playing but scrapped the role-playing game.

      “Guns & Conversation”, as Jim put it, can be turned into “Swords & Conversation” with a change of setting. This includes The Witcher and possibly Dragon Age 2. A general fitting name for these types of games would be Action & Role-Playing. They fit the definition of role-playing just fine, but they have very little in common with role-playing games and, by extension, most CRPGs of the 80s and 90s.

    • Jsnuk says:

      I play RPGs for the story and the role-play (just like sex), the combat really is much less important than meaningful choices and emotional impact. For that reason the time consuming tactical ‘extreme-numbers’ type combat of games like Baldur’s Gate and ToEE allways grated for me, this is why I prefer combat like ME2 did it.

    • Zephro says:

      “That’s not the case at all. RPGs came from wargames. It was the addition of role-playing to wargaming aided by reducing the scale to a mere party of adventurers. CRPGs started out as computer versions of these RPGs. Turn-based combat and a hefty dose of numbers was all part of it.”
      I’m going to take issue with this bit, the last sentence specifically, and risk having my neck slashed by the grognards. Which is the fact that wargames evolved from military education, where stats/dice/turns were all used as imperfect ways to model a real world situation. In fact the best way of doing this used to be a far more fluid system of having a more experienced officer umpire (you still get this now in wargaming clubs where the umpire will over rule the rules/dice when they feel it’s not very historical.)
      Anyway the stats and especially the turns are only there in the first place as it’s impossible to do real time on miniatures board obviously. So moving away from turns is just getting back to the spirit of the ideas in the first place.
      Sorry it’s a pet peve that turn based implies a game is more tactical/strategic or is a “necessary” component of anything on a PC.
      Technical point aside. If this is like an action game I will be massively pissed off.

      EDIT: Not that you were arguing they were necessary. But it seems to be a common misconception amongst the “hardcore”.

    • pakoito says:

      “I play RPGs for the story”. Storydriven games is the exact oposite of roleplaying games. The only thing that you like about RPGs is the high fantasy setup, but you wouldn’t care if the game was Hexxen or a point-and-click adventure.

      That’s why Minecraft, BG2 and the alikes are so loved, just because the story was all local to you, instead of told by the devs.

    • Jsnuk says:

      Problem being, few games have the same sort of story that something like Dragon Age or Mass Effect has, the ‘guns and conversation’ feel (looking tentaively forward to Deux Ex in this regard) but the customization (character creation, armour customization (all that sims shtick) character progression (skill trees and stuff (admittedly under-stocked in ME2)) a game story impacted by your choices) also appeals to me. So the ‘RPG’ (rename it if you want, it’s probably still gonna be classed as an RPG for a while (and to be honest ME2 and DA2 don’t betray the name, only the established conventions behind the name)) area is of interest to me. Maybe I just lack the imagination to craft my own personal story in such a way as your describe, I’d much rather have an established world in which my choices effect the outcome of the story.

      P.S. I’m still pretty miffed that anyone can enjoy the number-heavy olde style RPG combat

      P.P.S Shit, I used a lot of brackets.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Wizardry: I’m picking up what you’re putting down out there, but the confusion is probably because you’ve expressed it so moronically. If ‘combat in an RPG’ isn’t the same as ‘RPG combat’ you’ve got problems of definition.

      I don’t really mind if DA/ME are not RPGs, to be honest. Don’t really see why that should matter.

      pakoito: You’re being facetious. Story and freedom are not mutually exclusive, and story doesn’t imply linearity.

  9. Evil Otto says:

    still need to finish Dragon Age: Origins, but the PCG review was overwhelmingly positive, so I’ll probably wait until it’s part of a steam sale or something.

    The Shogun 2 demo will also hit today if I’m correct…

  10. Baka says:

    I don’t know if it’s okay to start discussing the demo itself after the german version swirls through the net for a few days now.
    Just wanted to say that I found what I saw suprisingly disappointing. I’m a huge fan of every Bioware game up until now, but I fear that this will be the first one that won’t live up to my expectations.

  11. Walsh says:

    Umm if its the worst CRPG ever, why did you PLAY IT THROUGH TO COMPLETION !?!

    • Sarlix says:

      Some people are just completionists.

      Have you never started to watch a film only to realize it isn’t as good as you thought, but deiced to watch it all anyway – either to see if it gets better or just out of determination to see it through.

      Or possibly because you’re too lazy to turn off the TV – Yeah I did that once.

    • Springy says:

      The vast majority of people would watch a movie in one sitting – that is, they would have already had a couple of hours free that they were planning to spend watching something, so they might as well commit to it.

      Dragon Age: Origins takes at least fifty hours and (I’d imagine) quite a few separate sessions to complete. I can picture someone playing for a couple of hours to see if things improved, but not coming back day after day.

      I’m not doubting he did it, I just think that ‘masochist’ is more fitting than ‘completionist’.

    • Wizardry says:

      Not really. I play every game I start to completion, on top of only playing one game at a time. Even if I’m not having fun I still learn something from games. As a game designer myself, I can say that Dragon Age is the complete opposite of where I want the RPG genre to head in.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Wizardry
      So what exactly would you want? Or are you one of those people who believes that a games not an RPG unless it’s slavishly aping P&P RPG mechanics?

    • Soon says:

      Then it’s lucky you’re a game designer. Are you working on an RPG, atm? I’d genuinely like to see.

  12. WMain00 says:

    Wonderful. Both the Dragon Age 2 demo and the Shogun 2 demo hit at exactly the same time!

    *weeps for his download speeds*

  13. nash93 says:

    I presume the Shogun 2 demo is also at 9AM PST… Having to wait till 6PM in the UK sucks. :(

  14. outoffeelinsobad says:

    I wonder if there will be any black people in this one.

  15. Durkonkell says:

    My download speeds and bandwidth limits are restrictive enough that I prefer to wait for an RPS review before considering DA2. John’s views on DA:O aligned well with my own so if he reviews DA2 I’m hopeful that he’ll give me an idea of whether I’ll enjoy this one.

    Risky move though, changing the formula so much in the sequel. Bet it cost them some pre-orders (certainly mine) compared to producing a DA:O2 of some kind.

  16. Choca says:

    I can’t wait to see everyone hailing this as the second coming of the messiah because there is a bioware logo on the box.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Liking Bioware is kind of like liking Coldplay at this point. All the hep cats will consider it an expression of their individuality to bash people for it. Then they’ll talk about this exciting new stuff coming out of Poland.

    • .backslash says:

      Hardly. Take my present flatmate for example, he spends about as much time gaming on his PS3 than I spend, playing, reading and thinking about games combined. Yet all he plays are his CODs and FIFAs and Maddens and whatnot, he’s never even heard of Bioware, and the only RPG he’s ever owned is “like, this weird shooter” Fallout 3. This is the general gaming demographic, not the RPS crowd. So yes, Bioware are big, but not nearly as much as you think.

    • Joshua says:

      Nah. Everyone will denounce it because it is soo unlike all those other games with a bioware logo on the box.

      And in the next topic they will claim a lack of innovation.

  17. GenBanks says:

    No mention of Shogun 2 demo? That hits today at 5pm GMT according to official twitter account.

    Can’t wait for Dragon Age 2, going to buy Awakening today and finally play that.

    Also:

    MORRIGAN BETTER FUCKING BE IN DA2, TOO MANY LOOSE ENDS!
    (sorry, just felt pretty strongly about how the game ended for my character…)

  18. Saul says:

    So a million people download the demo and that unlocks in the full game an item that gives you extra money and an item that gives you extra XP. Weak. Less jarring than having a ridiculously powerful suit of armour in your inventory from the beginning of the game (as happened in DA:O), but still weak.

    So if we “succeed”, the game becomes a touch easier? Surely they’ve balanced the difficulty level, why have it dependant on something as arbitrary as this?

    • Bureaucrat says:

      That was exactly my take. Also, if these items have any interesting narrative content (e.g. a neat item description), are they going to be holding them back if they don’t hit the threshold?

      Best way to go here is to download and play the demo, but avoid logging it in under an EA account.

      The gaming event o’ the day for me is the PC release of the first New Vegas DLC.

    • Binman88 says:

      I agree Saul. I would have thought games are made with a particular difficulty balance in mind. Pre-order bonuses and unlockable items like these will inevitably disrupt that balance if the player chooses to use them. I would have been happier with a non-effective item – like a sweet cape or something that just looked cool. I dunno, something arbitrary that doesn’t affect gameplay makes more sense to me than an item that fundamentally changes the game experience.

      Bureaucrat, my guess is that they will hit their target no matter what. Why would they run a campaign like this and then reveal that their game wasn’t as popular as they’d hoped. I can see them reaching this number of downloads legitimately, but I can just as easily see them fudging the numbers to save face.

    • Groove says:

      I totally agree with Saul. Since DA:O I’ve purposely avoided these weird extras for games. I didn’t activate the blood dragon armour, I didn’t buy the ME2 deluxe edition and I’ll be buying DE3 somewhere that won’t give an unbalanced rifle or a moonlaser or whatever.

      Either your game is balanced and this will upset that, the items aren’t worth anything, or the game wasn’t balanced in the first place. Either way, I’m not paying or putting time in.

    • GenBanks says:

      Argh yeah, yeah the Blood Dragon Plate armour I got at the beginning of the game was way too powerful… I got to the very end and still couldn’t equip any of the other (cooler looking) armour without lowering my stats.

  19. Drakhoran says:

    The shogun 2 demo is also supposed to arrive today. 5 pm GMT

  20. The Sombrero Kid says:

    All downloads count, anyone who logs into the DA2 Demo with an EA account will count towards the 1 million, so you don’t actually need to download it 1 million times :D

  21. phobic says:

    I’m surprised nobody else is mad that they’re constantly catering to console gamers. What possible reason could they have for releasing it to PC gamers later? I loved DA:O, but after watching footage of this it looks like i may aswell play Darksiders. We’ll see though, i’m skeptical of the PCG review, they didn’t mention one single flaw.

    • Kadayi says:

      It’s a demo release, not the final product. Plus it’s still happening on the same day. Why get upset over something so trivial?

    • phobic says:

      Trivial it may be, but it’s the overall noticeable trend which bothers me. From the gameplay footage, it appears the entire game has been catered to console gamers. Much like they did with ME2. Even though ME was ported to the pc, the gameplay wasn’t as simplified/watered down as in ME2.

    • Maltose says:

      @phobic’s reply to him/herself:
      I don’t mean to come off as a fanboy, but I’d disagree with your assertion that ME2 was “watered down.” ME2 kept the most important bits of ME (conversations, exploring, shooting baddies in the face, unprofessional relationships with your subordinates, etc.) and stripped out some of the slower bits. Don’t tell me you honestly enjoyed sorting through 50 different pieces of near-identical equipment after every time you went exploring.

    • jconnop says:

      Regarding your specific comment about release times. It’s only Xbaux360 which gets it before PC. PS3 gets it after PC. Could well be for load balancing reasons.

  22. Schadenfreude says:

    I don’t see the problem here. The Demo was scheduled for release on the 22nd of February. The Xbox version was submitted to Microsoft, the PS3 version to Sony and Bioware are handling the PC version.
    Microsoft decided to make it go live this morning, Bioware is releasing the PC version at 9am PST, the very start of their working day, it won’t hit on the PS3 until between 4pm & 8pm PST. There’s no console conspiracy here, it’s just different companies release schedules it’s only a matter of hours.

    EDIT: That’s a reply to Phobic.

  23. Joe Maley says:

    I started the demo on the console. The combat was exactly what I’ve always wanted in an RPG – Fast paced and tactical.

    It’s more deep than just an adventure game with the standard light attack/heavy attack/block, but isn’t crapslap boring target-combat (a la MMORPGs).

    I really enjoyed DA:O for the story, the combat was super boring though after the first few fights. I haven’t got around to playing through DA:A though. I’ll probably play that first, as well as the many AAA titles this spring, and catch DA2 when it’s in a complete pack with all the DLC.

    A+

  24. Coins says:

    Why can’t we all use the same time standard? Isn’t ‘PST’ just GMT-8?

  25. Torgen says:

    Hmm, suppose I should get around to looking for a Dragon Age 1 demo. (cue xkcd comic about playing games 2 yr after release)

  26. Gazmanic says:

    Demo is up :D

  27. Silver says:

    yeah it’s up!

  28. robster says:

    I’m currently d’ling the demo, but the site was giving 404 errors for a while

  29. Dreamhacker says:

    Any mirrors? They should have sent it out to a few demo sites…

  30. Solcry says:

    Yeah, I’m on a 50 mbs line and its going at a whopping 80 kb/s..
    EDIT: AHA. Put it in jdownloader and now its going at 5mb/s. Much better.
    EDIT: AHAHA. I triple kid. It quickly reverted back to the 100 kb/s. Went and found a fileserve mirror and now its churning back along at 10 mb/s. Much much better.

  31. DigitalSignalX says:

    I’m on a 10mb line and it’s going anywhere from 50 to 80 KB/s.. see you tomorrow with it ^ ^

  32. Kdansky says:

    I wonder if there will ever be a role playing game (again) which does not insist that my character must murder a few hundred people per hour. Was it WoW that made genocide the norm? Was it before then? I don’t remember.
    Why is it that all game play in “RPG”s consists of slaughter, killing, murder and warfare? Is there truly nothing else? There is more RP in minecraft than in Dragon Age 2. The first hour of the demo is just combat followed by cut-scene followed by combat followed by cut-scene, and all of it is dull and generic. At least it does not open with the mother of all plot holes as ME2 did.

    And then people claim that Bioware makes great games. Madness!

    • MattM says:

      If you chose non-violent means of resolving problems when given the option, a huge part of fallout NV could be played without combat. Talking, trading, and searching were all major elements.

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