By John Walker on February 22nd, 2011 at 5:26 pm.
That’s all the information you need, isn’t it? Get all 1.9GB here.
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Bioware, demo, Dragon Age II.
218 Comments »
22/02/2011 at 17:28
S2TW demo is go too! Just go to the S2TW steam store page and there’s a link.
22/02/2011 at 17:42
Yea, 6gb though :(
Will download this after shogun 2
22/02/2011 at 18:06
6 gb shogun 2 demo on steam is finished for me and yet the DA2 1.9 GB demo is at 9% going 60kb/s! Luckily DA2 is the one I really want to play.
22/02/2011 at 17:28
but when get walker thinks?!?!
22/02/2011 at 17:32
Howling Techie says:
It only seemed like yesterday when games like DA2, S2TW and bulletstorm were announced, and now they’re all coming out with demo or even being released soon.
22/02/2011 at 17:48
Or already leaked…
23/02/2011 at 02:42
The kids grow up so fast these days :’)
22/02/2011 at 17:54
Too bad the DL rate is garbage
22/02/2011 at 19:27
Bob Loblaw says:
Maxing out my connection with the official download. 25 Mbit/s, roughly 2.8 MB/s.
Leechers gonna leech.
22/02/2011 at 17:57
DL rate? I’m getting an error. There is no rate. :(
22/02/2011 at 17:58
French and German (Presumably English Soon):
22/02/2011 at 17:59
A whole 220Kbps, wow. I could be getting this 15x faster from Steam.
22/02/2011 at 18:18
Wha. My max is 320kB/s.. On a good day. Screw you and your fast connection. ;P
22/02/2011 at 18:03
22/02/2011 at 18:05
Yea, it’s on the gamers hell website, not many seeds right now though. Still, the 350KBS is a damn sight better then the 45KBS I was getting with the bioware download.
22/02/2011 at 18:41
Got 2MB/s from bioware myself, 10 mins after it was posted. Perhaps I got load balanced to a regional server, where it was 6am at the time.
22/02/2011 at 18:13
It was idiocy to do a direct download.
22/02/2011 at 18:14
Great timing, as I finally got round to finishing Awakening at the weekend after putting a shocking amount of time (215 hours says Steam) into Dragon Age since it came out. Downloading now. Deeply slow though, 11% in half an hour.
Wonder if the release of DA2 might coincide with a drop in the price of the DLC for the first one. I know a lot of it is supposed to be a bit pants, but I wanted to try out the story related (Morrigan and Leliana) ones. Not hopeful though – DLC seems highly resistant to the price drops/sales in the rest of the retail and download PC game market. Otherwise I may just wait for the “ultimate edition” to drop in price to the bargain bins and pick it up just for the DLC codes
23/02/2011 at 05:23
played the demo, and it looks like a buy, just not on PC, on my PS3. I am a little confused by the semi-stylized are direction, but i love how mages get melee and how the staffs look.
22/02/2011 at 18:20
Wasn’t there a post about this just slightly further down? Do we need one more, really? Clicks clicks clicks
22/02/2011 at 18:56
Just finished the demo. My earlier fears were unfounded. It’s pretty much an improvement on DA:O. I dunno about the tactics, it seemed a bit umm worse. But the combat is fun as hell and looks amazing in DX11. I’ll definitely be buying this, even though they’ll come out with an ultimate edition in a years time, i don’t care! :)
22/02/2011 at 19:28
The UI is crap, the menu is crap, dead enemies disappear instantly, plays more like a hack & slash and why is the inventory locked?
22/02/2011 at 20:00
Other than the incredibly ugly UI and menu navigation that seems worse than that of Mass Effect 1, I am surprised by how little of the core gameplay has changed. The character is voiced, of course, and looks more like a real person as opposed to Dragon Age: Origins’ android. I can’t see this being worse than the disappointing first game, anyhow.
22/02/2011 at 20:17
@ Eggy, I agree, the UI is crap but it had a nice feature, quick heal and the stamina boost. Though they could easily have been potions on the last game. But i’m sure there will be a mod to restore the UI to something similar to DA:O. Honestly i didn’t notice the bodies disappearing fast, but possibly because the game is more demanding than it’s predecessor? And the inventory being locked didn’t bother me, it’s a demo afterall.
22/02/2011 at 23:24
Uh, that was not DX11 and did not LOOK DX11 either….
the demo isnt DX11 capable…… retail/release version will be.
23/02/2011 at 00:11
Man Raised by Puffins says:
I quite like the UI to be honest. Coming straight from a playthrough of Origins, actually being able to read the health bars at a glance is quite the thing. Having health/mana/stamina potions auto-sorted to the right side of the hotbar is also a nice touch.
23/02/2011 at 05:23
What was it then? Enabling Dx11 in the launcher gives you the ability to play the demo on High, which adds other graphical features such as cloud shadows and probably some more. All I know is that with Dx11 enabled and on High the game isn’t as fluid for me as it is on Medium (no matter the Dx-level).
23/02/2011 at 17:50
It was using dx11 actually, looks COMPLETELY different between my win7 lappy and my win xp (although more powerful, yes im that lazy…) desktop. Everything from reflection off of weapons and armor to the smoothness of character animation was different.
On another note the UI does not look finished, while mousing over an icon it would occasionally show a placeholder which is a dead giveaway. Also the fact that the inventory screen is nowhere near finished shows that its not the final build by any means.
The only complaint I had was something others might actually enjoy, the fighting was so fast and frantic I didnt feel like I had time to use any sort of strategy in a fight. In fact if I paused the game to issue orders it almost seemed like I was getting in the AI’s way and actually reducing my effectiveness.
22/02/2011 at 19:03
I think I’ll download this at school today with their 200 mb/s connection since the download rates seem awful.
22/02/2011 at 19:40
Your connection shouldnt make a big difference when their servers are overloaded. I have a 70 mbit connection and I was getting 50-60 kb/s from bioware. My suggestion is use the torrent as I was getting 650-750 kb/s on that.
22/02/2011 at 19:05
People are always talking about the changes from DA1, and how they supposedly make the game worse. Now DA1 has a kind of legendary status because of the changes in DA2. This is quite surprising since there was never any real agreement about that game. I’m almost sure I’ll like DA2 more, because short of good intentions and an aura of “classic” dreariness, DA1 was a mediocre game at best. Because my connection is slow I tried it again, and obligatory passages like the Tower of Ishal and the Circle of Magi are among the most boring game experiences around. They wouldn’t even get a 60 rating in another RPG. I like some of the Origins, but lots of this game is so poor and dreary, I cannot force myself to play it twice.
The streamlining won’t make DA2 a masterpiece, it’ll simply show the franchise’s potential in a truer light.
Somehow I thought they could vamp up the gameplay, make a more ambitious story and it’ll be fine. But if anything the writing still got worse and the gameplay is practically on auto-pilot. This game looks like a catastrophe and I’ll wait for The Witcher. Although DA:O might be overglorified, this has become utter trash.
22/02/2011 at 19:20
why do things like traveling at 80kb/s
22/02/2011 at 19:24
Getting about 350kb/s over here. Admittedly, my connection is hard-capped to about 500kb/s, but still. Another 20 minutes of downloading or so, and then I’ll get on with Shogun (which is via Steam, so at least I *know* that I can pause and resume that download).
23/02/2011 at 05:25
my goodness, is everyone on this forum but me using dial-up, it took me no more than 40 mins to get the DA2 demo off Bioware
22/02/2011 at 19:24
Can’t wait to get home and start downloading the demo :D
22/02/2011 at 19:58
As much as I’ve been unimpressed by what has been shown so far it may be that the demo sways me.
(I’m getting around 450-650kb/s, – hooray for University network!)
22/02/2011 at 20:00
I don’t like it. The isometric camera is gone (you can zoom out a little now, that’s all, and the camera keeps turning around when you move, so it’s just a zoomed-out 3rd person view), and at least the demo makes it feel like a poor man’s, party-based Diablo clone. Big boobs and lots of blood, though, *sigh*
22/02/2011 at 20:13
Party-based diablo clone. Interesting…concept.
22/02/2011 at 20:16
Well, Dungeon Siege. :)
I’ve only just read that the lack of an isometric camera was confirmed in summer 2010, due to “budget” reasons, completely missed that at the time. Looks like my budget will be tighter this time, too, when it comes to DA.
23/02/2011 at 05:26
if you want Baldur’s gate 3 that badly, just go play Baldur’s gate 2, again
23/02/2011 at 06:52
Dragon Age 2 that hasn’t been crippled would do me just fine, thanks.
22/02/2011 at 20:17
was getting 750kb/s until something happened and it faiiiled, but 40minutes later I got a new try..
*keeps fingers crossed*
22/02/2011 at 20:20
The combat is quite the same as it was in DA 1. It’s mostly just extremly fancy and good looking. Swords go *wusch* really fast, enemies go *splat* in two or more halfes, mages go *bam, bam, badam!* with great choreography. It’s, like I said, extremly fancy, but in the core the same. However abilities and stamina/health recharge redicously fast and there are a lot weaker but a lot more enemies you fight at the same time. On the other hand, the cutscenes are exact copies of Mass Effect 2. Every moment I had the feeling somebody is going to call “my”(no customisation in the demo) character Commander Shepard. So, don’t be afraid, it’s quite awesome-o-tastic. Just accept that it reminds even more of Mass Effect than it already did. Also; Isabella has frigging huge boobies and Flementh rose from the dead…I killed her in Dragon Age (1)! And for some reason, it really reminds me of Dungeon Siege 2…and that can’t be good. Well, I’m going to get the DA2 collectors edition (or whatever they call it) for sure, but I still have some sort of collywobbles for this game. I don’t really like the protagonists voice actors and the entire game lacks essence. But one thing for sure: Even the Rogue looks awesome this time. I assume the reason why this demo alone is not convincing me is that one of the most important aspects of the game is missing in the demo: Customisation. Atleast for me, customisation very, very important.
Btw. I already (kinda) played the demo before. The first 10 minutes are what you were able to play at the GamesConvention 2010.
One thing which does bug me though is this trend of “all users have to shout one million time ‘need a dispensa hea’ and we’re going to unlock a new map”. First Bad Company, now Dragon Age 2! What’s next?
22/02/2011 at 22:21
You have absolutely no idea how combat was on DA, don’t you?
23/02/2011 at 00:45
Flemeth is alive because this takes place just after you left Lothering in dragon age as I understand it (timeline not connected perfectly yet). This game kind of skips through time as its recollections of the past mainly, so thats where the odd timings come in.
23/02/2011 at 07:44
You actually never “kill” flemeth in DAO. When you talk about it later with Morrigan she says that Flemeth is not actually dead, she’s simply stopped for the time being. In Witch Hunt DLC which takes place after DAO she again reminds the Warden that Flemeth is alive.
22/02/2011 at 20:33
22/02/2011 at 20:42
Not that I have a problem with that since large boobs aren’t any less realistic than small boobs.
22/02/2011 at 21:16
While I certainly enjoy the RPG’s for the story, graphics and characters, among other things, I have to admit: Boobs Forever.
23/02/2011 at 02:52
I think this song is appropriate.
23/02/2011 at 12:12
The interesting thing as noted by others is that the voluminousness of your sister varies between the two different accounts of the events (it’s got a kind of Kurosawa Rashomon thing going on). Clearly the Dwarf narrator is prone to exaggeration and embellishments in terms of his storytelling, with regard to the characters. I don’t doubt that the absurd proportions of Isabella in the later scene are probably a resultant of that as well.
22/02/2011 at 20:44
I’m really tired of giant tits in RPGs. The only reason I enjoyed my ten minutes playing the Rift beta was because the elven folks have B cups.
22/02/2011 at 20:50
Tired of huge breasts in RPGs? Does not compute.
Apart from the aesthetics, you can easily fit a bladed weapon or pistol in there for extra inventory space.
22/02/2011 at 20:57
well, they do lead to back pain
22/02/2011 at 23:41
Agreed, not into the overly large breast thing.
23/02/2011 at 05:28
oh dear god, the giant boobs were because of bias on Varric’s part when he was telling the story. keep playing the F*CKin’ demo
01/03/2011 at 10:38
You try too hard :) And you’re wrong.
22/02/2011 at 20:52
I agree with the sentiments re: boobs. I’d say it shows that you don’t really have any faith in your game when you feel a pressing need to sexualize every female character who gets more than three lines of dialogue.
22/02/2011 at 21:06
WTF are those, FF boobs? Oliphant tits?
I started to play game and all seriousness was gone after seeing FF tits on Bethany.. it’s quite strange..
so far I don’t like those ultra-fast combat animations, feels very unnatural and strange.
edit: After first battle I was thinking why the hell he was fleeing?
If he/she had stumbled to Redcliffe Village battle he would taken all those undead out by himself. I just had some trouble DA:O with party of four, but this guy seems capable of killing enemies on low levels better than my L10ish party …
Overall it seems bit more actionish, way too fast for me (at least atm), dialogue system and voice-over system doesn’t appeal.
Gonna play it of course, but we’ll see.
edit: crash count: 1
22/02/2011 at 21:32
If you pay attention to the starting tutorial and the difference afterward you will notice that Bethany’s massive hooters are a product of the Dwarf embellishing the story for his own amusement. When he starts telling the story properly they shrink to an appropriately realistic size.
That’s not to say that Isabella’s gahongas are small.
22/02/2011 at 23:51
@Scorch Hah, that’s a nice touch.
23/02/2011 at 02:38
Yeah, they seem to be having some fun with the ‘retelling’ aspect. Isabella is ridiculously built though (she puts Kim K to shame on the curves front & back), not helped by her slightly posh English accept either causing a bit of a disconnect. If they are going to go that overboard though they might as well of gotten some husky voiced latin lady to take it to the limit.
22/02/2011 at 21:13
Just finished the demo on xbox. I found the combat to be a bit smoother than the first time around, so that’s an improvement. But I really really wish they had unlocked the difficulty because there’s NO way I would be able to play on normal. Freaking snoozefest. The only battle that required even a modicum of attention was the 2nd ogre fight. The rest is just: look for cluster, nuke cluster, wait for CD, repeat.
I could be wrong but did they take the voice actor from everyone’s favorite sassy witch in DA:O and make her the (female) lead in the sequel? They certainly look & sound similar (which is a good thing, she was cool).
PS- stop talking about download speeds like anyone gives a shit.
22/02/2011 at 21:41
If you’re talking about Morrigan, i don’t think it’s the same voice actor.
22/02/2011 at 22:21
Also worth noting: the female lead isn’t Jennifer Hale. So, not bad exactly, but not great on half an hour’s experience…
22/02/2011 at 21:24
Anyone got performance issues?
Edit. It was the lastest nvidia drivers causing the slow down. Rolled back and it’s fine now.
22/02/2011 at 21:27
I thought the controls were very poor in the pc version, a lot of time I got hit like once or twice and my character would just stop attacking. The tactics menu barely worked and clicking on portraits seemed to do a bunch of different stuff depending on how the game was feeling. Does look very good in DX11 but the underlying art can be very ugly, which oddly enough looks better on the consoles because of the less clean image you get with them. Kirkwall looked fantastic though, really great lighting and mist. SSAO just outright kills my PC though.
I think I might just wait for the ultimate edition on the 360 though, the controls were so much better and the interface was not working against me as much as it was on the pc.
22/02/2011 at 23:08
I noticed the thing with the portraits too. About half the time when I clicked on another portrait in the character menu I got kicked back out to the game instead of switching to that character’s information.
22/02/2011 at 21:29
Wow, that was the most conflicting demo ever. Some bits were really good, some were less good and some I’m just not sure about. The decrease in graphic quality everyone was going on about was, well, absent, so that is a good thing. I did notice that some of the characters looked more textured than others. (the chantry dwarf in the first bit wasn’t very detailed/blurry, or was that just me?).
The new camera was odd and took a lot of getting used to, and I think it’s not as good as the originals one. The combat was more fitting for an action game than an RPG, but I can certainly see this work very well, although I did only try a mage. The voices were nice enough, and so were the cutscenes, but my heavens, does every female -need- a coathanger to go with that sword?
22/02/2011 at 21:57
I agree. I’m very conflicted about this demo. The camera has definitely deteriorated, without a clear isometric overview from the original. But the combat and the dialogue were either streamlined or at least as good as DA1. The atmosphere was ok too.
Can’t really tell from this demo whether it’ll actually be an RPG or just a succession of fights though, because at certain moments during the demo it most definitely felt like it could be the latter. Let’s hope not.
Pet peeves though:
- giant swords ugh
- ‘press any button’ at the start ughhh
Gonna wait and see what the reviews say. As much as I loved the world of DA, I’m probably not gonna buy this on release. I’ll likely wait for a sale.
EDIT: also…am I the only one to constantly have small and annoying loading times in dialogues? Like when switching from character to character? Made absolutely no sense as the actual gameplay and loading times were very smooth.
22/02/2011 at 22:20
No, I had that too, mostly when there was banter between Varric and Chantry Lady. It’s both confusing and annoying.
22/02/2011 at 22:35
Ugh, after reading the reactions so far it seems DA has gone through the transformation I feared it would, streamlining of EVERYTHING until it’s a console RPG. Or nearly anyway.
Of course streamlining is good, but when it stops being that and starts being simplifying or even dumbing down, just to accomodate people who prefer to play games with an innacurate and archaic controller on a TV, that’s when I stop caring about the game. I really, really hope I’m wrong about this, that the people commenting on the demo were just extremely picky and that the full game will be more like NWN and less like, umm Darksiders?
23/02/2011 at 05:32
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….. enough with the moaning for Baldur’s Gate 3, “the cameras isn’t isometric” well, we knew that was coming for months. The developers aid that DA2 is NOT going to be like DA:0 control wise. No need to hate if it ain’t Baldur’s Gate
23/02/2011 at 10:46
Thing is, when they cut a feature that people liked there’s generally going to be disappointment over it. This isn’t some terrible, bewildering concept.
So yes, I miss the isometric camera too.
22/02/2011 at 22:05
A curate’s egg (on Box 360 anyway, going to check the PC tomorrow) – some excellent voice work and drama, some awful – almost placeholder – stilted rubbish. The combat is more actiony, hopefully there’s enough depth to make it fun, and the textures, particularly the hair were pretty crappy. And the magically floating swords were a bit rubbish…
22/02/2011 at 22:09
I had some audio issues, but guessing that’s only me.
22/02/2011 at 22:15
Golly gosh, there’s an awful lot of loading. Never for longer than a couple of seconds, perhaps, but s-
-till enough to be a little jarring, especially when switching back and forth between pre-rendered and in-game all within the-
-same overall cutscene, and occasionally within the same conversation. It got a little annoying.
22/02/2011 at 22:15
I seriously think this is the shittiest sequel they could have done.
It is itself one of the worst games ever. It was already clear, but not in this extent.
Please do not fund this garbage or they will only make more.
22/02/2011 at 22:34
I like it. Really excited now for the full game. I like the UI, the speed of the combat, the dialogue… one thing I don’t like is the disappearing mouse pointer when you hold right click to move the camera. That added to the fact that the pointer is tiny on my screen, leads to a bit of frustration when trying to spin the camera quickly and then choose an enemy to attack without pausing. I always lose track of it for a moment.
22/02/2011 at 22:35
Crashes after the intro :/
23/02/2011 at 00:01
And by intro, I mean it crashes when I click Start at the (non-customizable) appearance screen.
Before that, I found what little I could play very unsatisfying.
Placement and targeting are very clunky without the strategic view.
Most annoying, there was constant small load times everywhere, sometimes even between two lines of dialog or every time a new enemy appeared. That’s a huge immersion breaker.
22/02/2011 at 22:36
Thank you consoles for screwing up another bloody game…….
22/02/2011 at 22:52
I’d say you should thank the developers instead. Consoles, as they are, are quite lifeless pieces of electric wires and chipsets, just like computers. On their own, they are quite uncapable of anything.
22/02/2011 at 23:15
That’s just what they WANT you to think.
22/02/2011 at 22:39
Mindless combat punctuated by meaningless cutscenes. Weird. (Also, did Hawke kill that guy by pushing a knife through his chestplate?)
22/02/2011 at 22:49
My female mage had no trouble piercing thick steel with a tiny dagger. The exposed throat looked like too much of a hassle
23/02/2011 at 16:13
My thought process:
“Drama! Oh he’ll need stabbing now won’t he. I guess she’ll just cut his throa…oh no, wait, she went through the breastplate with a dagger. What a shame”
I guess Bioware think steel has the same properties as damp cardboard going off how bendy it it in cutscenes too.
22/02/2011 at 22:53
Well, here’s to anticipating The Witcher 2!
23/02/2011 at 00:36
Ultra Superior says:
YES. After playing the demo I know for sure which one I won’t be buying:
DA fuckin 2
My Witcher 2 expectation level just maxed out.
(until deus ex hr comes around)
22/02/2011 at 22:54
+ Combat is more fluid, even ultra-fluid.
++ Characters seem more detailed.
+ UI is better; and I really love skill trees.
- VA itself is okay, but too ME2ish, and for me doesn’t fit into med.fantasyRPG.
I don’t like those narrow choices I can make. They feel so far apart and strange. (e.g. wanna be sarcastic and dude is plain evil idiot)
- Didn’t relate to cutscenes that much.. because of VA ? or shitty cutscenes?
+- far less details on backgrounds etc, makes game go more faster (and takes less room = consoles can handle it:P)
– Big swords weight birdshit and fly around like really fast birds.
+- Rogues are really cool now and I really loved the skills, now it’s an unique (and possible most liked) class. But those leaping jumps are bit toooooooo much.
- Mages swing with their staff and do 360, 540, and maybe even Tony Hawk’s 720, tho they should have “basic” know-how with fighting with those odd pieces of wood (at least on low levels)
– Bethany seems such a bitch,(I’d like to sacrifice her for some better good)
Corvan or whatever dude seemed very coool, shitty he had to die!? (or does he if u play female/other class?)
Darn, let’s see what pro reviewers from RPS say about demo, let’s fleim that guy if he is uberpositive and buys console and starts new blog rockpaperandbuttonsmash. !!!!!
but really, there was much I could see was upgraded and game was smoother/more fluid, yet there seems to be much annoying/game”mood”destroying in it.
23/02/2011 at 00:05
Played a female mage – Bethany died on mine…
22/02/2011 at 23:07
I was on the fence before and I remain on the fence now.
I’ve always preferred Mass Effect “guns and conversation” thing, largely because I tend to find RPG combat somewhat tedious. In general when it comes to more traditional RPGs it’s the appeal of the world, story and chharacters that needs to be good to allow me to tolerate the combat and I just didn’t get much of a flavour of those things from the demo (unlike the demo for the first game which helped persuade me to buy it when you could play through a couple of different Origins and see how things were different). Strangely enough I actually grew to kind of like the combat in Origins. I know a lot of people describe it as MMO like but as I hadn’t played any MMOs I hadn’t reached any sort of saturation point with it and I quite enjoyed figuring it out.
I really hope the game has an option to have friendly fire on normal difficulty level as without it it just deduces any semblance of tactics and the combat becomes just a dull clickfest a la the action RPG genre, which I’ve never got on with. Also from the demo the rogue seems to have become just another warrior, I kind of miss having to be careful with their positioning to use them to maximum effect, now it’s just mash backstab every 10 seconds to get out of trouble and kill someone.
So yeah, from the demo, the combat, while looking nicer, seems more a clickathon and less tactical which means the game has to do a lot more work in other areas to keep me interested.
Aesthetically the character animations are a lot better but I’m not so convinced by the background art so far, whcih is all a bit dreary, though what little could be seen of the city looked a bit more interesting.
We’ll see if reviews nearer the time shift me from the fence but I have a felling this might be one for the sales rather than a day 1 purchase. As I’ve said before, I m far more excited about the Witcher 2 (which I’ve already pre ordered).
23/02/2011 at 03:00
Lilliput King says:
Slightly worried about TW2. Part of the reason the first is so renowned is because nobody expected shit from it, especially because it only received a middling critical reception (pre-EE, natch). The second is gonna be good, I reckon, but it’s not going to be able to live up to the ludicrous pedestal it’s being placed on.
Idle clueless speculation, of course. Fun, though.
22/02/2011 at 23:14
Well this thread doesn’t give me much faith. It sounds exactly like what I feared it would be (essentially an action RPG with very much focus on the action and very little on the RPG. I’m not sure I even want to play the demo, I’m afraid my fears will be confirmed.
22/02/2011 at 23:57
the demo will make you cry :(.
22/02/2011 at 23:16
Screwed up DirectX on install, but once fixed it ran ok. It was fun, but I don’t think I liked it as much as the original. Lots of teeming hordes of weak goons, little need for tactics. Reminded me of playing Baldurs Gate:Dark Alliance on a console a few years back. Whilst I liked some of the Rogue combat abilities that reminded me of ME2′s Vanguard charge, it was all a bit in your face. This wasn’t helped by the demo being a long linear set of battles linked by cutscenes and a few dialogue choices – I’m sure the full game has more subtle RPG bits, but they were mostly absent from the demo.
Lack of ability to change the camera angle was frustrating – sometimes you need an isometric view. Music in combat was awful. I liked the branching ability trees, but there didn’t seem to be many of them, so it looks like character customisation may be slimmed down also.
Some peculiar design choices – Flemeth seems to have turned from wrinkled crone into the Valsheress from Hordes of the Underdark, complete with cleavage. Dual knives float 10cm off peoples backs. 2H weapons seem a bit supersized.
The most unsettling thing was as soon as I finished the playthrough with my female Hawke, it cut straight to the promotional video with generic male hero, ruining any sense of immersion that had built up in the previous hour.
22/02/2011 at 23:34
Christ but that interrogator’s voice work was awful and the main character’s (female) wasn’t any better.
What the hell has happened to Flemeth?
Why isn’t Isabella wearing any pants?
Why is the combat suddenly so easy?
Why did they use Alistar’s voice actor for an unrelated character? Surely they know that’s just confusing as hell? Or did they just think no one would remember the main party member from the last game?
Why can’t I zoom out anymore?
And they’ve completely nerfed crushing prison, my favourite spell.
But still you can’t judge a 40+ hour RPG on a 40 minute demo and I will probably still get this but I think I’ll wait for a bundle this time.
22/02/2011 at 23:54
I’d rather they had cut the third person camera because of budget constraints. I loved the isometric view and all the other throwbacks to old-school RPGs. Really something that they should’ve expanded on, as those games are just lovely.
23/02/2011 at 00:14
James G says:
Did miss the isometric camera, and got a bit of interface weirdness when trying to level up, but overall I’m not getting the massive simplification vibe others have complained about. Combat is more responsive, but I still took a pause and play approach. I’m assuming they tweaked the levelling rate for the demo slightly.
23/02/2011 at 00:29
Ultra Superior says:
Oh my it’s so much worse then my worst expectations.
I can’t believe it’s Bioware.
23/02/2011 at 00:31
Really, really bad :(
fight > cutscene > fight > cutscene > fight > cutscene and so on, way to many cutscenes in such short period of time.
Combat is awfull without the the isometric view, waiting to see if there is a difficulty with friendly fire if not is a joke of throwing fireballs into the party like on this demo.
Cutscenes are extremly annoying with the “loading” appearing several of times (no idea why), completly breaks the flow of the “dramatic” moments.
Graphics compared to what is coming with Witcher 2 are absolute garbage.
Game is in now way, shape of form optimized for PC, console ui, console graphics, and shitty performance (“loading” on cutscenes is pathetic).
Would really like to see the opinions of the RPS Hive mind on this demo played on a PC.
23/02/2011 at 05:36
well, then don’t get it for PC duuuuuuurrrrrr…. this game has been console optimized because Baldur’s gate is so frakin’ old. Don’t disparage the game just because it isn’t perfect on the PC
23/02/2011 at 07:58
Why wouldnt you disparage the game if its shit on PC?
23/02/2011 at 08:47
Don’t say the game is bad on the PC (despite being) because it might be good on a console? Is this a console gaming site or a PC gaming site?
23/02/2011 at 18:07
Jesus Christ, commisar, is Baldur’s Gate your only reference point?
23/02/2011 at 00:57
Man Raised by Puffins says:
Overall impressions: pretty good. The demo seems littered with small bugs, but I’m hoping that’s down to it being an early build. Otherwise the responsiveness is a huge step up from Origins (where, while the animations were nicely meaty, it could take seconds for sword swings to actually connect), the UI is a hell of a lot clearer and the daft embellished version of events at the start brought a grin to my face.
23/02/2011 at 01:01
Haters gonna hate before release date, mate.
23/02/2011 at 05:37
SO true, just look at the Battlefield 3 page. even when the devs say they are optimizing EVERYTHING for PC, haters still find something to hate
23/02/2011 at 11:55
We are the Glorious Pc Gaming Master Race and we will hate the Console Peasants, and all video games that do not require unnecessarily complex menus.
23/02/2011 at 01:08
DA1 tried to be like Baldurs Gate 2 which they only managed to accomplish a little. DA2 takes the game to a whole other level and i’m not sure that’s a good thing. The game is much faster and feels like some sort of Diablo hack ‘n slash game, it even made me think of Devil May Cry i dont know why.
I think console gamers are happy with this version of DA2 ofcourse but PC gamers get left in the cold.
I already preordered the game which ofcourse is my stupidity but right now i think of canceling my order. I’ll try to play the game again tomorrow maybe i get more excited then.
23/02/2011 at 02:58
it even made me think of Devil May Cry i dont know why.
the combos + giant sword, probably.
definitely more than a bit wack-a-mole.
for whatever reason none of the voice acting played for me. don’t know if that’s good or bad.
23/02/2011 at 01:12
I managed to play it up until the conversation where you meet that templar. I can’t remember his name, the game locked my graphics card up shortly after meeting him. I’ve not bothered to go back and try again, as the gameplay I had time with seemed crushingly disappointing, and while not exactly equalling my worst fears, it was pretty close. None of the characters seemed interesting to me either.
As mentioned by others above, if the Witcher 2 can even equal the interest levels of its predecessor, let alone surpass it as many seem to hope, then I am all up for just not getting DA2, unless the reviews come back and say “honest, the game is nothing like the demo”.
On reflection, I am going to try and treat the game as if I’d never played the demo at all. See if I can watch some gameplay on YouTube after it comes out and then get the GOTY edition if I am mollified (and if it makes it that far).
23/02/2011 at 01:26
“I am going to try and treat the game as if I’d never played the demo at all.” . Me too! It seems like they just played to all their weaknesses with this demo. When all the pre-launch hate has been so focused on the game being dumbed down, why would they make a completely linear demo with no sidequests and with no impact whatsoever on the story based on your character´s choices when we KNOW from the live demo last week that the game as a whole will be nothing like that?! I don´t get it.
I have preordered a long time ago and I still think this game will be great (the whole “framed narrative” thing works really well in the demo and I hope it wil be implemented way more in the full version).
The combat was great in my opinion, at least after Varric gets his story straight, I love the graphics, and the few glimpses the demo gives of the friend/rival mechanic seems like a great idea.
So, I am disappointed by the demo, but still hopeful for the full game.
I just hope Sten shows up in a cameo somewhere. I miss him already.
23/02/2011 at 01:31
Just tried the demo. Oh dear. They’ve Jar Jar Binksed it.
“Made it more appealing to a wider player base.” Bullshit for; “Console is the primary platform for this release”. Well, I hope the xbox kids enjoy it. It looks nice, plenty of hack n slash, rather simple , and has a nice Press X to start, oh sorry did I say “x”", of course I meant “any key to start”. What am I thinking. And of course, the lovely, simple charactor selection. Choose your hero. Is there an RPG/fantasy version of “America, Fuck Yeah”? “Ferelden, Fuck yeah. Darkspawn your days are through. Now you have to answer to…” etc.
Well, the kids *did* like Jar Jar. Didn’t they?
23/02/2011 at 01:40
I was more than a little offended at the lack of racial diversity among humans in the first game. I know that Bioware justified it with some lore, but it really felt off-the-cuff. I am wondering, therefore, if the characters will all be of a more European appearance?
23/02/2011 at 11:02
Ultra Superior says:
Racial diversity as in – not enough Elves or Dwarfs ?
I thought there were lots of races.
Ok, lets say -
DARKspawn is a bit racist.
24/02/2011 at 00:58
No, not elves and dwarves. I mean human NPC skin tones. I dunno how else to say it without having my post deleted again.
24/02/2011 at 05:28
Characters were mostly white because DA takes place in a generic European (British in particular) fantasy world. It’s not that different than most other fantasy in that regard. What would be nice is if somebody developed a fantasy world based off a different culture. So many possibilities.
23/02/2011 at 02:14
I haven’t played the demo – at home for reading week, and I have only my netbook – but I have read what all you fine folks think. If I may attempt to break down the positions:
The good – it’s, er, good. Combat feels tighter (? – I still have no idea what people mean when they say this kind of thing) and the animations look good. Pacing is decent. OTS camera works pretty well. The UI has some improvements. Tits.
The bad – the animations are over the top and ridiculous (‘designed by a 12 year old anime fan’ bad). The voice acting is a mixed bag. The cutscenes fall flat. The graphics are still middling. The UI is a two-button monstrosity. Tits.
The ugly – DA2 is to DA what Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance was to BG2.
But hey, Dark Alliance was fun. It gives me and my friends something to do while we drink beer. It’s dumb and shallow, but at least it’s fun. Maybe DA2 will be fun. I don’t think it will be what I was hoping for, but maybe it will be fun. Tits.
23/02/2011 at 03:00
Yeah, this was bad. Bad bad bad bad. All through development I tried to justify all the troubling facts to myself. Bioware knows what they’re doing! I’ve never played a game of theirs I didn’t like! Naw man, naw. Combat consists of hopping around like some bearded anime reject. “Streamlining” everywhere. Tits. Fuck it, I’m waiting for Risen 2.
23/02/2011 at 03:05
Played it through twice. First as female rogue and second time as male fighter (two handed). Personally I really liked what they’ve done with it. The game feels much more fluid and you actually do feel like a genuine bad ass hero compared to DA:O. where in you were trading blows for ages even with the simplest of foes. With DA2 the combat feels much more effective. Lack of isometric camera takes a bit of getting used to, but the way the opposition come at you is more regulated. I died a couple of times, but I felt it was much more a resultant of my bad choices (in getting separated from my party) rather than the game punishing me for not maximising my damage dealing or some such. Still a pause and order game, but not to the extent that you feel you have to micro manage everything your team is up to, at every second. Helped by the fact that AoE spells don’t appear to effect your team mates any more (personally a move I approve of tbh).
Seems that some people here are already intent on running with the ‘dumped down line’ but they clearly didn’t venture into the character option screens. The character order options are all still there. Bioware have just rationalized the process a bit more.
Unsure? Give the demo a look see, but do poke around it before making wild and alarmist judgement calls.
23/02/2011 at 10:19
I agree with this – I also really, really liked what they’ve done. I’m annoyed they didn’t let you change difficulties and there was also some wierd mini-pauses when characters delivered dialogue that I hope was just a demo issue, but otherwise I enjoyed myself despite it being a rather disjointed demo experience.
23/02/2011 at 12:02
It still doesn’t alter the fact that the game is simplistic. It’s a pretty standard hack n slasher. Dumbed down for a “wider appeal”, and not just the CRPG D&D fans, (who of course bemoaned the simplistic combat nature of th first game). DA2 will no doubt be a great story, hopefully Bioware haven’t cut down on *that* to make it “more appealing”, But from what I’ve seen of the demo. I’m not raving about the combat. It’s dull, repetitive, simple, it’s the 3rd person fantasy version of CoD, (almost), there just no way I can be arsed trudging through it just for the story. I don’t hate it. I’m just very very disappointed. A bit sad even. In the attempt to sell mopre copies, they have made a throwaway title, a popcorn game. Of course, this is all based on my experience with the demo, is my own singular opinion, and in no way constitues fact.
IMO, (to repeat) the game has been Jar Jared
23/02/2011 at 12:28
I don’t think its fair to declare its been dumbed down in the gameplay department – what precisely is missing in DA2 combat system from DA:O? Friendly Fire is STILL in, albeit at higher difficulties. Positioning still plays apart but is no longer a painfully clunky process. The talent system is far more diverse across the classes, attributes appear to be more useful to each class instead of just being one or maybe two that you need (strength/dexterity etc). A larger variety of talents with each one sporting one, two or three upgrades if you want to specialise. There are more talent trees in general for each class and the progression in each is no longer perfectly linear but allows some element of picking and choosing instead of having to always go “crap skill-crap skill-useful skill-crap skill-useful skill”. They’ve also done alot of work spreading the love among the classes unlike DA:O in which tanks were useless, Mages ridiculously overpowered and high-dexterity rogues were -quite literally-unkillable. I suspect (and hope) higher difficulty settings in DA2 will provide ample opportunity for more tactical, pause-and-play combat.
It remains to be seen how this all will pan out in the main game as the demo did a poor job of highlighting anything but low-level goon bashing, but I honestly can’t see what is ‘dumbed’ down about the gameplay.
Obviously can’t comment on the inventory system so I’ll reserve judgement on that.
EDIT: me spell good
23/02/2011 at 13:31
Ahhh, well. I have to admit, it’s probably age showing with most of my opinions here. My experience was unsatisfying and dull. It’s nothing new. It seems to be another rapid remake of old ideas from the house of EA, (yes it’s Bioware – but desptie thier protestations, EA bosses are calling the shots in final product expectations).
“Waves upon waves of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream”.
23/02/2011 at 03:43
I caved in to pressure and gave it a shot.
I hope people now realise that BioWare is really a hack of a games developer and were only ever good because of the depth of AD&D.
Wizardry 8 and Arcanum came out in 2001. Ten years on and the genre has been completely destroyed in the mainstream. All that exists are shooter and hack & slash hybrids, with bare-bone leveling systems and cinematic dialogue sequences.
23/02/2011 at 05:42
yep, because both DA:O and the Mass Effect series so far has really sucked balls /sarcasm
STOP BITCHING ABOUT BALDUR’S GATE 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS GAME IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE BALDUR’S GATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
23/02/2011 at 06:47
You’re the only person I have seen in this thread mention Baldur’s Gate or any of its sequels, real or imaginary.
People are allowed their opinions about the effects of cross-platform development on the design of the game, and shouting a non-sequitur in a reply comment doesn’t invalidate them.
As someone who has yet to get a chance to play the demo, and who loved DA:O, it would be great to hear the reason you disagree with them and are left so enthusiatic about the game.
23/02/2011 at 08:03
Who gives a shit what the game is supposed to be like.
I want it to be like BG3 (of course it wont be but that doesnt stop me wanting) and I see no reason why we cant voice our dissapointment with how bio are becoming more and more an action developer instead of an RPG developer.
23/02/2011 at 10:08
Actually that’s the thing you least want in a discussion. People merely criticising/dismissing a game simply for not being what they personally want out of a cRPG is next to useless information Vs commentary about what is there and how it works. I’ve far more time for someone who weighs up the relative worth of the combat , magic systems, Art work and storyline of DA2 Vs DA:O than someone who merely dismisses and belittles it (Worst cRPG evar!!) simply because it doesn’t live up to their (often wholly unrealistic) expectations of what a cRPG should do, or where they think the cRPG should go.
If you liked DA:O then from what I’ve played of the demo I’d say you’ll be pleased. Much like with ME2 Vs ME1 Bioware have rationalized aspects. Simple things like the fact that potions you have acquired automatically appear on your actions bar and are applicable/visible to everyone of the same class are great little touches. So Mana potions are instantly available to all mage characters , and stamina potions to all warrior/rogue characters. None of this having to drag potions/vials to slots all the time.
23/02/2011 at 12:56
Lilliput King says:
You’re using Arcanum as an example of an RPG with deep combat?
No no no.
23/02/2011 at 13:16
Eh? Can’t you read? Were you ever educated?
Arcanum has a combat system that is probably even worse than Dragon Age 2′s. It could quite feasibly have the worst combat system of all time. That doesn’t mean that the game isn’t one with actual depth. Even Fallout had a pitiful combat system compared to its ancestors’ but the depth of Fallout is 100x that of Dragon Age: Origin’s. The same as Arcanum.
No No No No.
No. No. No.
No. No. No. No.
23/02/2011 at 14:06
I’m confused – in what sense does it have more depth? Story telling? Customisation? Levelling choices?
23/02/2011 at 14:44
Skill checks and the like. See Fallout. Dragon Age was merely fighting with conversations that were hardly ever limited by your character’s traits. This meant that it hardly mattered (outside of the awful combat) just how you’ve developed/specialised your character. Conversations played out on a largely different level to your statistical improvements. The disconnect between conversations and the combat + levelling up was huge. This wasn’t helped by having next to no non-combat abilities. “Swords & Conversation” would be an apt name for the design.
Arcanum may have had absolutely awful combat, but at least the game let you choose what to do and how to do it based on the restrictions of your character, on top of providing a far greater number of outcomes to allow for a sense of real achievement in the game world. It’s one of those seriously flawed gems. A game that has a list of faults larger than most crappy games of today, yet has a large number of fantastic ideas to make up for it. However, more importantly, Arcanum was the continuation, and end, of the Fallout school of CRPGs. A school that very much tried to inject role-playing elements into non-combat situations, and by comparison, looking at BioWare and Bethesda games, an idea that can only be seen in places (in the mainstream) throughout a select few Obsidian games.
23/02/2011 at 15:06
I thought Dragon Age had skill checks for coersion and indimitation? Trap disabling? Lock opening? Trap spotting?
Huh, I guess I was just dreaming.
23/02/2011 at 16:27
“I thought Dragon Age had skill checks for coersion and indimitation? Trap disabling? Lock opening? Trap spotting?”
Persuasion and intimidation were even less important than in KotOR and Mass Effect. They were also extremely one dimensional. Intimidation options were often “evil” options while persuasion options were generally a “good” or “neutral” way to achieve a similar goal. Furthermore, intimidation and persuasion mainly affected the relationship score with your party. The effect of these “abilities” on the “outside world” was minimal.
Trap disabling and spotting were only ever useful in combat because of regeneration outside of combat. This ultimately made it an environmental combat skill. But trap disabling has existed in most RPGs since the beginning of time itself. I can’t think of a single CRPG in the 80s that didn’t have traps of some kind. The thing is, 80s and 90s RPGs often did traps considerably better. For starters, you often didn’t regenerate outside of combat meaning that running into traps outside combat was actually a bad thing. Furthermore, the trap mechanisms themselves were often more complex. For example, in the majority of 80s RPGs you could use magical spells to disable traps as well as using a rogue. In some of them, you had to determine the type of trap before you could disarm them. A wrong/false diagnosis would lead to failure even if the attempt would have ordinarily succeeded.
Lock opening, again, has existed in almost every single RPG since the beginning of time. However, in Dragon Age it was made useless because the developers chose to not put anything unique or interesting inside locked chests. This meant that chests only contained vendor trash. The reason they did this was because of the very small 4 person party limit. They didn’t want players who decided not to pick a rogue to miss out on any significant content. However, what people fail to realise is that they could have solved this problem without making lock opening completely useless. In Dragon Age: Origins you cannot bash locks, nor can you cast spells to unlock chests. In D&D, for example, you can do both of these. If BioWare introduced the notion of bashing locks and casting spells to open locks, all party combinations could have the ability to open locks, meaning chests could contain decent unique equipment and even entire side quests.
To not make one of the rogue’s “special abilities” (opening locks) useless, AD&D balanced these three methods of opening locks. Bashing locks was often the method with the lowest success rate because it was based on the strength attribute that does not increase on levelling up. Spells (such as knock) cost an entire memorisation slot for each cast, meaning that memorising the knock spell disadvantaged the mage in all other situations. Dragon Age: Origins couldn’t achieve either of these because of the statistical growth system and the regenerating mana system.
23/02/2011 at 03:46
-the demo opens with you killing a bunch of dudes. then a bigger dude appears and you kill it. the bigger dude is like the regular dudes but has a lot of HP and does a charging attack. i beat him by right clicking on him and waiting.
-i played the beginning as a rogue, then i had to shit so i quit and then replayed it as a fighter. my findings: a rogue is a fighter that isn’t as good, necessitating that you right click on the big dude and wait for twice as long.
-the rest of the demo is literally a straight line, final fantasy 13 style. you are walking along a path. on the sides of the path are knee-high rocks. you can not go past them. every couple of feet darkspawn appear and someone in your party goes “MORE OF THEM!!” so you right click on one and wait until it is dead and then right click on another one until it is dead.
-sometimes after you kill the darkspawn a cutscene happens. the story is that your family is running away from the darkspawn. they aren’t doing a good job. at the end of every cutscene you can pick between “nice” “lol” and “cmon guys”. Nice means you tell your family that you love them. Cmon guys is you telling your family to shut up because demons are spawning in right now. Lol is if you’re roleplaying as an insufferable person. after the cutscenes end, you walk down the path again until more darkspawn appear and someone screams “MORE OF THEM!!”
-you can pick up loot on the path but the demo doesn’t allow you to open the inventory, or change most of the in-game options. got to save something for the full game! there are buttons on the bottom right for “quick health” and “quick stamina” unless you play as a mage, whereupon the second one is “quick mana” mage spells use mana. warrior/rogue special attacks use stamina. It’s completely different because one is blue and the other is yellow.
-you don’t have to right click and wait, you can right click a bunch of times as well.
-about 3 mobs of darkspawn down the path you run into a man and wife under attack. you have to save them, which involves right clicking on some darkspawn and waiting. after you save them the man says he wants to murder your sister because she is a mage, then they ask to join your party. your choices are “nice yes” “lol yes” and “cmon guys don’t murder my sister but yes”
-MORE OF THEM *alt f4*
23/02/2011 at 04:17
This sounds so sad. If this is true (haven’t played yet) I am going to go whine at bioaware boards.
23/02/2011 at 10:36
> MORE OF THEM *alt f4*
For me, the game conveniently crashed to desktop at exactly that point. +10 points for reading my mind.
23/02/2011 at 11:10
Ultra Superior says:
Brilliant. Exactly my experience&thoughts.
(excluding the shit which I postponed to later, after alt+f4)
23/02/2011 at 04:17
+ I like the overall aesthetic — they’ve taken the sort of stylized Nordic bits of that initial DA:O cutscene and splashed them across interstitials and the UI. Nice.
+ I admit it, I like the mage staff twirling. But I do wish that different mages could have different casting styles befitting their character.
+/- The voice acting is occasionally good, occasionally godawful. From what I’ve seen in the demo, the story is interesting, the dialogue laughable.
+/- Skill trees. I like the idea more than the execution. Since this now essentially feels like an action JRPG, I kinda wish they’d gone all the way and built an overwrought Final Fantasy-style progression model with rotating four-dimensional skill tetrahedrons and other such nonsense. The current trees feel sort of of shallow.
+/- I don’t like the new UI, but I can tell that a big part of that is its unfamiliarity so I’m trying not to let it bother me. I had quite a bit of difficulty seeing what was going on while playing.
- The environments are really quite boring and ugly.
– Combat is awful. The combat in DA:O had a weight to it — it was meaty and thunky and even when your mage threw a fireball, you felt it. Now characters leap and jerk and twitch across the screen.
The Darkspawn in particular are ridiculous. You can tell that they’ve been sped up significantly from their original animation thanks to some producer thinking that combat is too boring for their target audience — now Hurlocks flail across the landscape waving their swords around like my toddler when she’s found a particularly interesting stick.
Overall, I got bored after the second troll fight and Alt-F4d. Ah well. It’s probably a good thing that DA2 doesn’t interest me, given how much time I spent in DA:O.
23/02/2011 at 04:27
they managed to go under even my very low expectations, the combat “looks” nice but it feels like the sucky and painfully easy high level combat in DA1 and this even before i get to really mess around with the skills, i have doubts it will get any better as it goes along, also no friendly fire ?, im hoping it changes in other difficulties because being able to agro enemies and then fireball your warriors would make this even more pathetically easy
i hate that they make the combat “appear” to be more actiony yet you are still getting hit by enemies half a screen away, bull-rushes that visually should not hit you and all the other things you can expect from “continuous-turn-based” combat, hell Baldur’s gate had much better hit detection, either make it more actiony or stay at ctb, i dont mind either way, but dont try to fool me by changing animations if you give me an evade option it should … evade
the change in speed is a bit annoying, i might be able to get used to it with time but right now it forces way more pausing than i like
it also looks like CRAP (altho i was forced into medium because they declared the directx9 getho) i might try it on w7 tomorrow but so far it looks like they improved the faces and boob curvature in exchange for everything else, the backgrounds look like something out of the quake1 engine all blocky and pointy
also, is it just me or the game refuses to uninstall ? the option is grayed out from the loader, its not in the control panel so i was forced to do it the dirty way
23/02/2011 at 06:31
Man, no big expectations on story and such, but IN MY OPINION, the gameplay took a direction for the better.
Pretty much what I felt in ME2 to be honest in regards to that – won’t appease the tactical isometric crowd, of course.
23/02/2011 at 07:03
It was “ok” at first but got boring really fast. was on normal mode, but it felt like ultra easy mode, and I went in a straight line almost the whole time like in final fantasy 13. not impressed at all :|
23/02/2011 at 08:13
I’m still not sure what to think – it would be judging BGII on the basis of Irenicus’s Dungeon. But – character interaction is much better – Mass Effect 2 and even Alpha Protocol have made big strides in this area since Origins came out and now the characters look much better and more Mass Effect 2 dialogue system actually allows conversatiosn to flow while still choosing how your character participates.
Too much of the character development was locked down for the demo (most skill trees locked, no acess to inventory) but from what I could see the skill trees looked slightly more compelling than those Origins, but to be honest I couldn’t really tell. I thought the combat felt more exciting than DA:O while in practice not actually appearing to be any different (again hard to judge as low level combat in these sorts of games is always limited).
Finally, the thing I really enjoyed most about Origins, and indeed Mass Effect 2 – slowly settling into the world and enjoying the adventure – is impossible to judge right now, but the framed narrative looks like it should work quite well.
23/02/2011 at 17:53
” But – character interaction is much better – Mass Effect 2 and even Alpha Protocol have made big strides in this area since Origins came out ”
ME2 was better in cut-scenes, but DA:O has all the “random” banter between party members that made the characters feel much more lively, ME2 felt like a major step back to me in that regard.
23/02/2011 at 08:32
I just have one question: didn’t some of the early previews say that there would be a choice of two ways to play the game — either “action game” or more tactical, like the original game? Are we seeing the “action game” version for this demo, and there are other options?
I tried the demo as a Rogue. Instead of the somewhat realistic fighting animations and killing moves I had for my Rogue in DAO, I get this leaping, hopping, Japanese anime-style clown. The animation for fighting doesn’t look even remotely realistic. It’s cartoon action…. I don’t think I can buy into this, no matter how good the story is. I just can’t look at umpteen hours of playing this style of combat.
Will there be another game in the box, for PC owners?
23/02/2011 at 08:33
The action game or tactical thing.. I call bullshit.
23/02/2011 at 09:49
If by “tactical” you mean something along the lines of I spent 40% of my time with this demo elbows on my desk resting my chin on my knuckles whilst watching my character auto-attack then yes.
23/02/2011 at 16:23
By “tactical” they mean “pause so you can right click on mobs without accidentally running at them.”
23/02/2011 at 08:32
I rather enjoyed the demo. Played it through twice, first as a warrior and then as a rogue with a bow. The gameplay is a lot more fluid than in DA:O. I don’t think you can really judge the whole game just by this demo but to me it’s looking good. The only thing I didn’t like was that it was way too easy but hopefully you can change the setting in the final game. Also had some graphical glitches like flashing black triangles all over the terrain from time to time.
23/02/2011 at 08:32
The combat was actually awful. Anyone who says it was the same as DA:Os is wrong. Also the animations in combat, oh my god.. could they be any more annoying? The brief talky bits in the demo weren’t bad, but I was so mind numbingly bored by the end of it that I just wanted to turn it off.
23/02/2011 at 09:34
Man Raised by Puffins says:
Anyone who says it was the same as DA:Os is wrong.
I came straight from a playthrough of Origins and succeeded in playing it in much the same way. At its core it strikes me as very much the same, just very slick with much of the fat removed (I can see the arguement for some of the meat going with that fat though) and above all, TIGHT.
23/02/2011 at 10:10
You succeeded in DA:O by right clicking and waiting? It has no meaningful cool downs on abilities, just spam them if you even feel the need to, it has no need for positioning, it has no real need to keep a spellcaster out of mass melee. It is not the same at all.
What is tight about it? The jerky animation style? The hilarious way rogues feel the need to roll and flip a few feet? Try attacking a moving enemy with a rogue, its very funny.
23/02/2011 at 10:15
Criticism 101. Simply saying someone is wrong isn’t a valid counter argument.
@Man Raised by Puffins
Tight is the right word.
If the extent of your criticism is ‘I used the same key to attack’, it’s not much of an argument. That’s exactly the same mechanic as the first game.
23/02/2011 at 10:31
Man Raised by Puffins says:
@ Nick: As in: pausing, thoughtfully scratching my chin, placing orders, pull back’n'go. Only this time there isn’t any of the positional busywork (i.e. the fat from my earlier analogy) and the speeding up of the animations means attacks actually connect within the same century that they started (hence TIGHT).
23/02/2011 at 14:37
Look, its very obviously not the same, otherwise how could it be better (or worse)?
23/02/2011 at 15:05
Man Raised by Puffins says:
I don’t recall anyone saying it was identical, I just don’t find it as different as many seem to be making out.
23/02/2011 at 08:36
This is clearly trying to grab sales from Witcher 2.
Did anyone watch the opening cutscene who has seen all the Witcher 2 trailers? Dwarf telling different stories? Talk about a stolen idea. Straight away I was tutting.
I think they are very scared of the Witcher 2 and rushed it out ASAP.
23/02/2011 at 08:51
Very enjoyable demo. Obviously different to the first one but seeing as the demo skipped loads and loads of plot and advancement and instead focused on combat, I’d hazard a guess that the difference is there simply because we didn’t get to see any of the long Bioware RPGisms in between all the action.
The public outcry at how horrible it is here is a bit bizarre but what the hey.
23/02/2011 at 09:02
Dragon Age:Invisible War
23/02/2011 at 09:06
Dragon Age: TITS
23/02/2011 at 09:16
Man Raised by Puffins says:
Actually I believe the disparagement du jour is Dragon Effect.
23/02/2011 at 09:20
Dragon Age : Dark Alliance
23/02/2011 at 09:54
@Puffins: No, because Mass Effect 2 was an improvement on the original because they decided to make a good shooter instead of a mix between a mediocre rpg and a mediocre shooter. Dragon Age didn’t straddle genres, so this just becomes a reductionist version of what was already a reductionist version of Baldur’s Gate (which was already a reductionist version of AD&D)
23/02/2011 at 10:12
Dragon Effect might have been okay. This is more like Dragon Street Fighter. I mean, seriously… try the Rogue, and look at those combat animations.
23/02/2011 at 12:33
@Zenicetus: But you still just click the mouse. You don’t have to put in intricate combinations of buttons.
I welcome these new animations. Maybe they seem better just because they’re new, as I will never stand to see combat from DA:O again, but I’m quite sure that it’s because they’re actually better.
Although, it’d be great to have a gradual development of attack moves, à la Gothic. You start with some slow, tame, lacklustre moves, and as you level your character up, your attacks become flashier and showier.
24/02/2011 at 02:39
The fat is what made DA:O a rich, engaging experience from a game play point of view.
This streamlined stuff is Diet Dragon Age!
Allow me to grumble about this comment not being attached to the right thread. Grumble grumble.
23/02/2011 at 09:19
DA2 is clearly a quick cash-in production to abuse the success of DA:O. Pretty much everything looks ridicilous, the art style somewhere between manga and somekind of pseudo-medieval-thingy. Skill trees all about combat as usual. They seem tiny, but are probably ok. No free camera, not even paused. Even acting, which is usually ok, is sub par at times, and dialogue is mostly just dumb. Demo levels are just tubes, through which you hack and slash your way through. “Look! Another wave!” says it all. I hope some devvie put it secretly in as irony.
If the end product is anything different, then its just a bad demo, but I doubt it. There’s no gritty, there’s no originality, there’s nothing in the demo that would in a million years convince me to buy this game. This has to be the worst Bioware to date. That or I’ve become much more demanding. Oh well, The Witcher 2 isn’t that far away any more =)
23/02/2011 at 10:40
I played as a Rogue. The new backstab mechanism made me cringe. You don’t have to be behind someone to backstab! You just select “Backstab”, click the critter, and your rogue will disappear in a puff (does he dig a fucking tunnel?), reappear behind the dude and attack him!
A game for retards.
23/02/2011 at 12:00
You’re demanding reason and logic in a game that includes Elves, ogres and magic? How quaint.
23/02/2011 at 12:05
A fantasy setting can still be internally consistent.
Im not saying this isnt consistent with the DA setting but claiming that just because there are Ogres, Elves and Magic the game has to throw logic out the window is blatantly untrue.
23/02/2011 at 12:15
Maybe he is not demanding reason and logic, but a bit more tactical depth – like, you know, positioning that actually matters?
(And even though I think that it’s not too bad that the battles are sped up and your companions can stand up for themselves this time, it really was a bit depressing that just about every need for tactictical thinking was suspended. I never even got close to dying – even though I couldn’t use most of my rogue’s special attacks, because – thanks to the weird decision to not include the inventory screen and a UI that is less than intiutive – I certainly didn’t find the button to change my weapon set from bow back to blades. It was a klick-fest, no doubt about that.)
23/02/2011 at 12:17
Elves, ogres and magic do not necessarily contradict logic. If they do, then there’s chaos, which, I gather, wasn’t the case with DA:O. Its lore, ‘rules’, etc. are developed quite thoroughly, and everything acted well within those boundaries. While it is a fantasy game, it is still able to maintain a certain level of believability.
Now, I don’t agree with the final sentiment of duncanthrax’s comment, though I do believe that the inclusion or, better, the implementation of Backstab skill is somewhat unreasonable. I understand that they wanted to make the combat faster, more furious (resulting in sometimes hectic experience), but how does that skill work exactly? I don’t remember such inconsistencies in the first game. Granted, I’ve never finished it in the first place.
23/02/2011 at 13:23
Man Raised by Puffins says:
You just select “Backstab”, click the critter, and your rogue will disappear in a puff (does he dig a fucking tunnel?), reappear behind the dude and attack him!
It’s possible to do exactly the same thing in Origins:
1) Select yon rouge
2) Click ye stealth button and watch as he/she/it disappears in a puff of smoke
3) Laboriously position the little blighter behind yer foe
4) Hit weakspot for massive damage
23/02/2011 at 13:37
Call me a masochist, but I didn’t mind “laboriously position the little blighter behind yer foe”.
As I said, the problem with the DEMO is that everything is just a bit too easy. Not only more fluent (I won’t defend the glacial pace of some of the more difficult battles in the first game, where everything came down to “lure, attack, run, hide, lure”), but easy to the point of, well, you being nigh undefeatable.
That said, my issues are with the demo – I simply cannot grasp why they wouldn’t include the option to change the difficulty setting, because it could have made a real difference. It was also a bit misguided to include the second part of the demo (the city-part), since it doesn’t show you anything you haven’t seen in the first one yet (well, except for the pirate lady’s cleavage and the awfully tacky cliffhanger). But it certainly is confusing as hell, story-wise.
As it is, I still am going to give the full game a chance. (Even though I have my problems with a few things that won’t change by then, like the neither-here-nor-there art direction – they said they wanted to work with “negative space”, but at least in the first part, the backgrounds are just awfully bleak -, the hyperactive animation and the more useful, but downright ugly UI. A bit of disappointment, but no deal breakers.)
23/02/2011 at 11:46
23/02/2011 at 11:59
Based on the demo, it’s definitely looking like Dragon Effect 2 – another fun interactive movie dragged down by interminable boring clicky bits before you can get to the next installment. I really enjoyed ME2 once I gave up on it as a game and just viewed the combat sequences as something to be gotten over with as quickly as possible in order to get on with the meat of the experience, and it looks like DA2 will be fun if approached with the same mind-set. I’ll definitely miss the actual game content from DA:O, which was decent, but it is what it is.
23/02/2011 at 12:52
As I said above, I didn’t think the demo was BAD per se, but I really really fail to see how anyone who liked DA1 for all it was can be optimistic after this demo. Even the graphics look worse. Not technically speaking, but in terms of art direction and inspiration.
And the conversation wheel, as it’s implemented in the demo, is a clear loser. I mean 90% of every conversation was ‘good-neutral-evil’ with sometimes ‘investigate’. They even had icons and a standard order to make sure you knew which was which! I’ll take the slightly less obvious traditional RPG system, thanks. It’s not because it works for ME that it works for every game.
23/02/2011 at 12:57
It certainly could of benefitted from more qunari. Everything benefits from more qunari.
23/02/2011 at 13:44
Varric-the-story-telling-dwarf was the one bright spot of the entire demo, from my ‘I really loved Origins’ perspective. His glibness was immediately appealing.
Other than that, yep. T’was a bit poop. What bugged me about the conversation options in the demo was the lack of any responses that seemed fitting. Case in point: the ogre. Crushing my character’s brother and flinging their remains to one side like a rag doll, he was shortly thereafter (somewhat unconvincingly, I thought) mourned over by my character’s mother. At which point my LadyHawke decided to crack a joke about how father wouldn’t be alone anymore, the other two options consisting of two different ways to tell her to get over it.
Recovering Shianni the rape victim or watching Thane Krios get carried away by robotic bees it sure ain’t.
Honestly though, that conversation wheel bugged me in Mass Effect, too. The majority of the time I’d finish a conversation, reload a save, play through it with different responses then repeat it again to pick the options I prefered to make the conversation flow correctly. I’d much, much rather have every option available upfront and clearly shown. It’s not as if stopping to choose from written text breaks the flow any more than the wheel does, especially. If they’re so dead set on having voiced main characters (a direction I only moderately support), there’s no specific need to have a wheel based system as well.
23/02/2011 at 13:51
“Even the graphics look worse. Not technically speaking, but in terms of art direction and inspiration.” This.
Plus @bleeters: Didn’t a wise man say once that it is a bit cheap to let characters do things in cut-scences that they couldn’t ever outside of them? Like, you know, walk up to a group that during the rest of the game seem to have spider senses (Another wave!), crush one of them to pieces, and then go down more or less easily in a battle where everybody who dies is instantly resurrected once the fight is over?
Not my favourite part of the demo, this.
23/02/2011 at 14:30
what about the mage often using melee in cutscenes because they couldnt be bothered to make alternative animations for all of them ?, only the first two cutscenes reflect your class, seems they got lazy after that.
the dialogue is meh, the good option is way too ridiculously good for a battle hardened warrior, the other two make lady hawke channel that annoying Morrigan
also the way Boobarella came on to lady hawke makes me think this “gay sex” thing is just an excuse not to do gender specific dialogue
23/02/2011 at 17:21
To be fair, there is an alternative killing animation for the first ogre during the opening story telling, where you magically rip it asunder. Melee types just re-use the ogre killing blows from Origins.
(‘Course, that’s another splendid example of ‘don’t do things in cutscenes that you can’t do in the game proper’)
23/02/2011 at 14:02
Teddy Leach says:
All together now: What a shame.
23/02/2011 at 14:38
23/02/2011 at 14:42
23/02/2011 at 15:25
Subject 706 says:
23/02/2011 at 16:00
23/02/2011 at 17:19
24/02/2011 at 02:54
23/02/2011 at 15:23
Wow, that was… extremely boring… I can honestly say that was one of “down 3″ most boring demos i ever played in my life. For most of the time i was just staring and yawning.. You don’t even have to click, your lackeys jumping around manga-style backfliping (in armor!) will do the trick.. yaawn.. you move a bit ahead… mobs spawn.. should i attack? oh they are dead already… next fight.. damn! doorbell.. back in 1 min.. mobs dead, lvlup.. Tactical my hahaha.. And they didn’t even bother to make a decend PC UI, It’s just hopeless console port.. I heard that they are streamlining the game which is a politically correct word for dumbing it down but i hoped they won’t get that far… well… i was mistaken… This will be the first BioWare game i won’t buy, maybe I’m too old and extremely easy hack’n'slash is the new black but its just too boring for me.
23/02/2011 at 15:39
I’ll probably still buy this eventually, but the demo definitely convinced me that waiting for a significant price drop on the Ultimate Edition is the way to go.
Is it just me or does the game expect a lot more input from the player than Origins did? Whenever I used an ability my rogue apparently forgot what he was doing and where he was because he just stood there stoically instead of resuming attacking his target. And the healing button only worked about 10% of the time.
But my favorite part was when Hawke and the blond knight lady got stuck in some rocks during the ogre fight and got mauled to death, forcing me to fight using only the mage. I hope the game has more interesting scenarios like that to break the monotony of regular combat.
23/02/2011 at 16:43
The worst thing about the demo is that everything feels safe. Nothing innovative, nothing particularly taxing or involved. They might as well do away with the combat and make this a 40 hour interactive movie. Dull, bland, lifeless. Bioware has become, or already were, the Michael Bay of rpgs.
Ultimate Edition Steam sale at best.
23/02/2011 at 17:17
Ehm… I cant play the demo it says me this: That i it wasnt possible to start the program because this is missing –d3dx9_43.dll.And that if i reinstal the demo it could work.I reinstal it twice and didnt work.. eny help?:( i rl cant w8 untill it comes out ^.^
23/02/2011 at 18:02
I installed this
and it fixed that problem.
Edit for proper link.
23/02/2011 at 18:26
Yeah worked <3 love dragon age <3<3<3
23/02/2011 at 21:01
Well, finally played it, and it actually made me ragequit after I died (yes, I managed to die during this pisseasy first 15 minutes) at the ogre. It didn’t register me clicking on the health potions (poultices, whatever). As there is no functioning save in the demo, it would mean I had to plod through all the darkspawn again. Do not want.
So: buggy (it also didn’t want to do fullscreen for me), mediocre voice acting, lot’s of pauses when going to dialogues/cutscenes, lack of isometric view makes combat chaotic and confusing. Story is still undecided, I guess they left most of that outside the demo. Also, the spell animations and effects seemed rather unimpressive, or maybe it was the neckbraking pace at which the whole thing played that made me miss most of the details.
I rather liked DA:O (for 1 playthrough), but this one will be bargain bin or not even that.
23/02/2011 at 23:20
I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that they made two versions of the combat engine, like they said was the plan in those preview interviews, and what we’re seeing here is the “action game” console version.
24/02/2011 at 00:25
On the contrary. I think that this is the tactical version… You can pause after all, and think for as long as you want if you should click on left mob first then on right or opposite. Doesn’t really matter but gives you feeling that your actions has a meaning. Probably console version won’t have the pause so they can say the fights are fast paced in promos.
24/02/2011 at 00:05
That was a really bad demo, or possibly a really bad game. The combat is so tedious that I died a little inside every time a new wave spawned.
My main problem is that it’s really hard to grasp the battlefield, short of pausing it and rotating around as your view is so limited, which makes it in turn hard to decide what to do – Zooming out ala DA1, would fix this. Enemies just rush in from behind you and the first you know is when they run passed you before the attack starts.
My second problem is that it’s really dull – I got stuck as an archer and that was the worst (why would you disable the inventory?). I sometimes swapped characters to try it out, but again, without knowing what was going on I stuck with Hawke. Mass Effect got around this by allowing you to at least interact with the combat a bit more whereas now watching Hawke stab things is pretty boring.
Voice acting was really bad, although the graphics were better than I thought. Dialogue was terr-bismal and I did not feel remotely compelled to go into the Investigate options, I just wanted to end the demo.
24/02/2011 at 01:53
Kandon Arc says:
Actually that’s something I noticed too – in every single Bioware game I’ve played I always methodically work through all the investigate options before moving forward. This is the first time I just couldn’t care less.
The dialogue in general was pretty dull, and as I’d feared, I found an annoying disconnect between the text options and what is actually said. So far I don’t think giving up the old conversation system is worth it.
This has moved down to a steam sale purchase for me; never thought I’d say that about a Bioware game.
24/02/2011 at 01:21
Yeah…I think that set a record for the shortest time a “AAA” demo has been on my comp. I kinda hope Steam keeps track of these things. I made it up through meeting my family and having two or three dialogue ‘choices’. Alt-F4 and delete.
My face fractionally fell with each passing minute in the game: clunky cutscene dialogue, waves of spawns, magiko-frontsided backstab, the same bloody ogre-killing animation from DAO, more terrible dialogue (burdened now with unappealing choices for response), huge comedy breasts.
Barring an unexpectedly orgasmic Wot I Think, this has gone from a must-buy to a won’t-buy. Luckily there are more games coming out this year than I’ll have time to play.
What a shame.
24/02/2011 at 01:32
Ultra Superior says:
24/02/2011 at 03:02
The dialogue was my absolute favorite thing about DA:O, because it wasn’t the usual good/neutral/naughty trichotomy, and different characters would react positively to different approaches.
To discard that in favor of the mindless ME2 system is tragic. Add to that the simplified combat, ridiculous magic backstab ability and other “cinematic” flourishes, repetitive linearity…
Someone mentioned The Phantom Menace, and that’s *exactly* what this is: the creator doesn’t understand what made the original so good. Instead of expanding on the positive bits, they’ve chopped them out and created something intended for an entirely different audience. Good luck with that, EA/BioWare. I was really quite optimistic about DA2. After playing the demo, not so much.
24/02/2011 at 01:31
Ultra Superior says:
24/02/2011 at 02:59
Am I the only one upset with the new look of the darkspawn? They look like sad clowns.
24/02/2011 at 05:18
I never played the first one, but from this, I realized something about Bioware: despite their wonderfully good writing, they are not really very good game designers. The gameplay seemed very derivative of World of Warcraft–I had hoped we had moved past the point where click-and-wait-for-the-battle-to-be-over was acceptable. I found myself slogging through the fights to get to the talking and cutscenes, which is exactly what happened when I played Mass Effect too, which was Cover-Based Shooter #573, just with an impressively expansive plot. Bioware’s games always play well, but playing them is a rather bland experience and they rarely try anything new. The roleplaying elements, character interactions, and dialogue are great, but are counterbalanced by uninteresting combat and everything else. I guess I just wish they hired some programmers and designers who were as creative as the writers.
Also it bothers me that you can’t even customize your character, since that was all we got in lieu of a demo for the first game.
24/02/2011 at 16:37
“I realized something about Bioware: despite their wonderfully good writing, they are not really very good game designers.”
“wonderfully good writing”
Bioware’s writers are hacks who keep churning out absurdly formulaic stories, and the only reason I played Dragon Age was misguided nostalgia for the Baldur’s Gate series, which I enjoyed when I was twelve years old.
24/02/2011 at 05:39
Big Murray says:
Wot I Think: People want to hate the game.
People are expecting to hate the game. Ever since it was announced, I’ve heard nothing but pessimism about how bad it’s going to be. And quite honestly, I don’t care. The combat in DA:O was weak, and I don’t see this being any better or worse. The story, everyone’s judging on the basis of a demo … which is ridiculous. The game’s £20, and I trust Bioware’s storytelling abilities enough to believe that at that price, the actual game will tell a good enough story with good enough characters to be worth it.
When it comes down to it, I think this is a case of haters gonna hate.
24/02/2011 at 07:07
“the demo is nothing like the real game!” right ?
that line brings back painful memories
the Lionheart fiasco is still lingering in my head, the demo sucked, everyone was worried, the devs came out and say “dont worry, the game is nothing like the demo”, the game came out, the demo actually had the best parts of the game, the full game was waaaaaaay worse
but no need to be worried, im sure Dragon Age 2 will be nothing like its demo
24/02/2011 at 14:39
I’m happy to get my annual psychic evalutation for free this time. What can i help – I’m just natural born hater… *takes his daily dosage of 37 pills and starts laughing machiavielically
25/02/2011 at 00:29
Big Murray says:
Sorry JKjoker, but you’re being ridiculous. I never said “the game’s going to be nothing like the demo”. I said the demo’s not a reflection of the story or the characters. Unless you’re going to judge the entire game’s story on a couple of disconnected fragments of early quests that they release as a demo, in which case you need mental sectioning.
The combat is the same as DA:O. In fact, it’s pretty much identical to DA:O except for a few interface changes, so nobody can criticise it on the basis of them “dumbing down”, really. Just what are you judging the demo to have “sucked” on? That it didn’t instantly make you need to change underwear bwith its opening few minutes of gameplay?
25/02/2011 at 05:22
i didnt say it sucked, i said Lionheart’s demo sucked, so you are saying the demo does reflect the game but cant be used to judge it … why ?
i might not be able to judge the exploration part of the game (which the design of the demo hints its considered secondary to the combat by the devs, and i wouldnt be surprised to find most of the game being just combat stringed by cutscenes, just like mass effect)
but im perfectly able to judge the combat with a 30 minute taste with multiple characters, its just a mindless spam of area and one-hit-kills attacks while hearing your character yell “another wave!” and “more of them!” every 5 seconds with the addition of a few “miniboss” that can take 50 times more damage to die and are immune to most spell effects for no reason other than authority equals asskicking, which is just like Mass Effect 2′s dudes with the armored type of health
i also know that combat was at least 75% of Dragon Age 1, so i can expect DA2 having a similar ratio, a combat that the demo shows might be pretty dull, so why cant we say the game looks dull according to the demo ?
24/02/2011 at 06:08
I don’t really remember the first 5 minutes of DA:O being all that tactical. It wasn’t until the later parts of the game, after fleshing out the party and gaining more skills that the battles became more tactical. As for complaining about the singular direction that you can move.. in all fairness, it’s the first 5 minutes of the game, and you’re not exactly “camping with the fam” here. You’re fleeing from a darkspawn assault of Lothering. Clearly, moving only one direction, as in, away from the darkspawn, makes a whole lot of sense. What did you want to do, start a new trading empire? Most games have a fairly significant early portion before opening up.
Also, I find the first 10 minutes of fighting in DA:II to be far more engaging than the first 10 minutes of fighting in DA:O… the tight control is welcome, especially in a game that’s supposed to be tactical. I find it hard to believe that anybody just “right clicked and waited” through all of these battles.
24/02/2011 at 10:44
No, but the first 5 minutes of Dragon Age was interesting as it had the origin mechanic.
The battles may get better in which case it may be that the demo is just rubbish. Out of a 30 hour game say, giving us 2 hours of gameplay would not hurt, rather than releasing a crap demo, which could hurt. Certainly it’s put me into the sale-buy group.
The early bit of RPG’s is normally rubbish as its just you and you right click and wait. In a party based game this should not be happening, I believe that owing to the terrible camera decision that most people aren’t really engaging with their party. This game does not have tight controls, it feels like someone has developed a third person hack and slash and taken out the controls in favour of click and wait. Mass Effect got away with it by being a hands-on FPS, and this would benefit hugely from being a proper action game rather than this turgid mess.
Although, again, could just be the demo. I absolutely just right clicked and waited as I was stuck as an archer with only the power to pin people, which was pointless. The other party members were happily blasting away and that plus my lack of situational awareness caused me to have no compulsion to get involved. Why should I manually cast the fireball on the angry mob when the wizard does it for me?
24/02/2011 at 19:26
I’m in the sale buy group anyway, because I won’t pay 59.99 for any game :)
For me, I found the first 5 minutes to be interesting because it sort of sets up the “story-telling” aspect of the game.. even in playing, you can sometimes be lead astray, and maybe the truth of the story is slightly warped. Interesting to me at least :)
As for your camera complaints, I felt that once I zoomed out and adjusted the camera a bit, I was able to get a good vantage on the battles and got really involved in what each character was doing. I’m very much a micro manager when it comes to these games though, so I forced the issue. I found it to be a pretty rewarding system in battles, and was able to totally dominate by managing individual members, and using their skills. My big issue was that it was too easy on Normal, but I’ll just bump it to Hard or Ultimate or Insane or whatever they call it these days.
I didn’t try the archer out at all, I used the Rogue and the Mage, which were both very active participants in the battles.
27/02/2011 at 00:14
Blimey, not written for us oldies is it it. “I want to be a Dragon too”.
Feels generic and bland, simplistic and safe dialogue, just hit a dialogue option to skip through it, none have any consequence on the story.
I actually quite enjoyed the ALL ACTION COMBAT, looks nice. Until I killed my 10th group of darkspawn and got bored. I kind of miss the isometric view, and tactical shenanigans. Glad you can still pause, but you don’t really need it, I think it’s perhaps a nod to the old faithful (whoevers left).
Tis a bit of a shame I feel, though the times, they are a changin’.
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