Dragon Age II Officially Extra-Prettified

By Alec Meer on March 8th, 2011 at 12:53 pm.

ooh, look at the mipmaps on that

Dragon Age II is available for download today! If you’re American, anyway. If you’re in Europe, a magical temporal vortex of data-sucking horror slap-bang in the middle of the Atlantic is delaying the several gigabytes that comprise the digital version from reaching these shores. I mean, I presume it’s that. There’s no other rational explanation for introducing a gap of 3 days in an age where information can travel between continents within moments. There’s no way it could be a silly retail decision that risks piracy from frustrated fans. No way it could be that.

Regardless, the official texture pack, which is something I wish more games would do, is excellent news.

Pissed off that you’ve got blurry textures on your mega-graphics card because the game’s been skewed towards optimisation for lower-end PCs and consoles? Here’s the solution.

“A big difference will be noticed on level art especially”, Bioware claim. The pack constitutes 1.1GB of additional textures, aimed at graphics cards with 1024MB or more memory. Ideally DirectX 11 ones too, apparently. Bioware have stuffed it out there themselves, and I’m guessing it was left out of the game’s release either for neatness’ sake or to save space on one of those bloody DVDs.

If, like me, you’ve been made to wait three more days for the game because someone in a tie somewhere has made a near-sighted decision, you can download it in advance from here.

Other games: please do this too. You’ve presumably got the high-res originals of those textures anyway, right? I quite understand that it’s going to be a fair bit of work to convert them all to yet another resolution and mipmapping and all that jazz, but trust me – it’ll be worth it when you see the internet littered with screenshots of your game looking gorgeous.

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115 Comments »

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  1. DSR says:

    Too bad the game is so broken and poorly optimized, its unplayable.
    Prepurchased it and can’t get past 15 fps on max settings. Crysis 2 demo shown me 60 on max settings. DA2 is no way a better looking game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Diziet Sma says:

      Did you play the Demo? I had no performance issues in that on a fairly moderate Q6600, 4GB Ram, Ati HD4870. Does this mean the demo was not a good indicator, I hope it was as I’m looking forward to it from the taster contained within that brief liason.

    • Delixe says:

      If you are using an Nvidia card then the problem is Nvidia’s drivers. They released a Beta set to improve performance with DA2 but some people are reporting it mucks up the 3D vision.

    • Kadayi says:

      So the games broken because you can’t run it at max settings? Might it not perhaps be the case that maybe you need to turn some of the dials down? Or perhaps your resolution? To achieve a playable frame rate? Radical suggestion I know (user error), but I thought I’d just throw it out there.

    • Deano2099 says:

      reply fail

    • mrjackspade says:

      Crysis 2 needs nothing to run it.
      DA2 by comparison needs a higher specced machine.
      Why don’t you post your machine specs for us to have a gander at?

    • Azradesh says:

      I can confirm this. I updated to the latest nvidia drivers just before I tried the demo. It was awful, rolled back to the older drivers and it was as smooth as silk.

    • Calneon says:

      @mrjackspade, not really true. I ran the Crysis 2 demo at 40-60 FPS on gamer (low), and ran the DA2 demo at a constant 60FPS on max.

    • Is A Zombie says:

      did you try running it under DX9, you know the same version that crysis runs under ?

  2. evilbobthebob says:

    It’s really not difficult to convert textures to new resolutions and create mip maps if the studio has a proper graphics pipeline. There is plenty of software that can do that kind of thing in batches so it would take maybe an hour on a typical PC. It’s not like studios have any excuse, really, such tools are available free in many cases (see: AMD’s Compressonator). I guess they’re just lazy/don’t care/have publishers breathing down their necks.

  3. bit_crusherrr says:

    Got these downloaded. Now I just have to avoid spoilers till friday.

  4. sakmidrai says:

    1024 mb gpu for this? for this???
    Bioware you so funny.

    • skinlo says:

      Jealous??

    • sakmidrai says:

      No. I have SLI gtx460 with 2gb of total ram and this is stupid.
      Not jealous at all
      Im thinking of the poor souls that will buy the game.

    • mrjackspade says:

      If someone has an old gpu they don’t have to use the new texture pack…

      (edit cos I got ninja-ed)

    • Calneon says:

      Oooh, I’m so annoyed at the developers for changing the game slightly I’m going to call everybody who buys it an idiot….

      Seriously, stop posting.

    • sakmidrai says:

      The changes are welcome, the graphics are not.
      You start reading. I’ll keep posting.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @sakmidrai
      Uh, we’ll be fine thanks. In fact, we will be feeling sorry for YOU, with your incoherent and likely incredibly shallow boycott of the game.

      I hope you enjoy your silly butthurt as much as the rest of us will be enjoying the game!

    • sakmidrai says:

      Butthurt for what? Not… liking the graphics?
      Cool. The requiments are ridiculous for those visuals.

      I love Dragon Age origins but I am dissapointed with DA2, thats all.
      I’ll enjoy other games, thank you and have fun.

    • sakmidrai says:

      requirements* :P

    • Tatourmi says:

      Please, this is RPS here, most of us are here because of the decent community compared to other video-gaming-centered websites. Make puns, not war, and if you absolutely have to hit on each other try to find arguments and a nice witty way to do it. Free hate won’t lead anywhere nicer.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @sakmidrai
      For one, you’ve never even seen the texture pack. And you have more than enough power to run the texture pack just fine regardless. And honestly DA: O wasn’t that much of a looker either but you “loved” it. Hmm.

      By all means, I’m not saying you have to like the game, or its graphics. I just personally don’t understand your reasoning.

      Sorry if I sounded harsh, I just think pre-emptive dismissal of games for what I perceive as silly reasons is becoming somewhat of an RPS tradition. Just rubs me the wrong way.

    • sakmidrai says:

      I believe that a sequel should be better in every aspect than the 1st game.
      DA2 has better combat, but worse camera (no isometric view? why?) and that’s it.
      Less locations variety, same if not worse graphics, the dialogue wheel is worse than Mass Effect and less customization for the party members. BUT they put so much effort in the romance… WHY?

      I have every game that Bioware made for pc and I will buy Mass Effect 3.
      But DA2 is a huge dissapointement : /

      ps. I saw the DX11 textures. this 1024 mb gpu thing is a joke. the difference is very small.

    • Vagrant Zero says:

      Sak, you don’t have 2gb of total ram. That’s not how SLI or XF works. You are limited to the VRAM of a single card, in this case 1gb.

      If you don’t understand how SLI makes works maybe you’re not exactly the best person to be commenting on hardware requirements of a PC game?

  5. terry says:

    Early uptakers still getting the punishment, I see. It took me a couple of days to get Bulletstorm working prettily last week so I can sympathise. Honestly, I wish releases weren’t dictated by the marketing department :-(

    • MrWolf says:

      The marketing department are merely the puppets at the end of a long and tangled web of strings dangling primarily from the fingers of executives and investors.

      People who want their money asap.

      Quit blaming marketing for doing their job. In most cases, the release date is set and known quite some time in advance by the entire team. But it’s somehow the MARKETING department’s fault that a product isn’t ready on time?

      Please.

    • battles_atlas says:

      The hand that rocks the marketing dept rules the world

    • Nickless_One says:

      @MrWolf …sooo, the product is ready in the US and it takes three days till it gets ready in the rest of the world?

    • Heliosicle says:

      I was under the impression that they just launched on fridays in europe with all entertainment stuff which is the reason for the 3 day delay on all games. Doubt theres any marketing reason.

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      frymaster says:

      this is another good reason to have digital sales figures published… once it’s known how much more important digital is, maybe these kinds of retail restrictions can go by the wayside

    • Danarchist says:

      On the Bioware forums (and no, im not going to go hunt it out hehe) it was stated that the staggered release dates were to help manage the download traffic etc. It was later conceded that they have to give the brick-n-brak stores a chance to get copies to put on their shelves or they would be showing massive favoritism to digital shops. There is apparently quite a few big chains that feel digital is killing them (rightfully and justly imho) and having earlier release dates would be the last nail in the coffin, as rabid video game fans tend to buy a new release in the first 5 days and sales drop dramatically after that. Digital does not have to eat a loss if they have too many copies of a game after the launch week either.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Tunips says:

    I wonder if it would be possible to do this for older games. Longtime devs fishing out their archives, running a couple of passes of prettyfying and Bam – titjob Morrowind with a much more grounded and authentic HD pack than the modders can manage.
    I would like this sort of thing to happen.

    Releasing this for DA2 makes a sensible compromise between an already chunky install size and features that may be useless to a large portion of the playerbase.

  7. rocketman71 says:

    This, for Mass Effect 2.

    Now.

  8. Deano2099 says:

    After all the reviews come out with the lower-def screenshots (the big image in the PC Gamer print review looks atrocious). Seems crazy.

  9. Kieron Gillen says:

    I wonder if it’s worth looking into why we can’t change the British-game-release day.

    (I mean, that’s the reasons for the delays, isn’t it? That Brit retail comes out on Friday, and that retailers will give shitty/no stocking to a game that’s available online before then?)

    KG

    • Delixe says:

      Yes UK releases on Friday and US ones on Tuesdays. It’s publishers pandering to retail stores that lets face it don’t even bother to stock most of their games these days.

    • Premium User Badge

      innokenti says:

      But we still get the odd ones (like Shogun 2 next week) that DO get released on Tuesday in the UK. I have no idea what the reason behind that is, or why it’s different and how it all works.

      It really is just stupid and really must stop.

    • Premium User Badge

      Dolphan says:

      Is it only actual retail stores that this comes from or do Amazon et al. care as well? If it’s the former, surely you only have to convince Game and you’re done – who else is there with any clout who could really cause a fuss? HMV? I doubt it.

    • bleeters says:

      Cross-atlantic delivery must wait for fairer, mid-week seas, lest the transport galleons are consumed by treacherous weekend waters.

      Arrr.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      John is saying he may look into this with more PATENTED JOHN WALKER JOURNALISM. I hope so!

      KG

    • Schadenfreude says:

      Amazon and the like do post their games out early (Game have just posted mine out today) but the idea is that it’s timed to get to you on the day of release. Sometimes if you’re lucky you get it a day early (I’m in Ireland so I inevitably get my games on the Monday :( )

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      In passing, Comics has just gone to joint UK/US release dates (previously it was US Wednesday and UK Thursday). So it’s not like it’s impossible.

      My gut feeling about it is that the reason it hasn’t happened is because it’s mainly a PC issue. DD is only the enormous thing on the PC.

      KG

    • Deano2099 says:

      I bet even if we moved the UK release date to Monday though, games would come out in the US on Tuesday, then the UK the following Monday. In terms of working days it almost makes more sense to go UK Friday then US following Tuesday. This will never happen.

    • Kadayi says:

      Well for certain titles (like CoD, GTA, SC2) the retailers will get the stock in earlier but those games sell at a premium, so the retailers can afford to eat the extra distribution costs (it’s not like all the other goods they have get sent earlier as well). With say Mr 80% metacritic average there probably isn’t much incentive. DA2 could probably of gone for a global release (I’d say it’s that popular), however at the same time staggering the release is probably good for the validation servers. 3 days isn’t the end of the world.

    • Ikkusei says:

      Going considerably off topic here, but Kieron Gillen’s (well justified) excitement over John Walker applying his considerable talents to investigating the aforementioned issue makes me feel indescribably nostalgic.

      Having been reading the original RPS quartet since their days in PC Gamer, watching John’s evolution from “the one who reviewed crap” to “Britain’s foremost adventure game critic” to “The Funny One” (though he’s always been that) has been nothing but a pleasure, and this apparent next step in becoming arguably game’s journalism’s foremost practitioner of traditional journalism is certain to be at least as memorable as the ones that came before

      I’ll admit, I had a whole spiel about how John’s recent “JOHN WALKER JOURNALISM” articles can be seen as symbolic of games journalism as a whole ‘growing up’ but I realised how disingenuous and frankly insulting that would be. The reason I’ve been reading you guys since I was twelve is that you showed me that videogames were something that could be discussed not only with humour, but with passion, pride, intelligence and maturity. I have always been grateful to you for that, and will most definitely be following RPS for the next ten years of its life :)

    • PhiIl Cameron says:

      I think the reason it won’t get changed, even if PC games become wholly digital, is not necessarily because of the brick and mortar stores holding the PC release back, but that the console release isn’t till Friday, too. Shogun is a PC only game, so they couldn’t care less. Dragon Age 2? That’s cross platform.
      Let it get released early on the PC, and suddenly you have a very real threat that people who would’ve bought it on console, giving them a) lots more profit and b) the chance for another preowned sale/resale will migrate the PC because there they can get it early. And suddenly they have one copy that’s locked to that user, and the profits of the retailers takes a dip.
      So unless we get the whole UK release date for everything moved to a Wednesday (because moving it to Tuesday wouldn’t work, as UK would get it earlier due to time difference), this is going to carry on happening, with every game released on all formats.
      The other alternative is death to the consoles, and making everything digital. Revolution!

    • Deano2099 says:

      But isn’t the other side of that the fact that the developers might prefer to sell those PC copies as they’re locked to one user (not to mention the 360 had sales on DLC that PC never got)?

    • Jimbo says:

      I hope it’s more accurate than the DRM article! *places hand over mouth*

    • RegisteredUser says:

      DEATH TO THE CONSOLES OORRAH!

      He said it, I just felt it needed support.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    It’s vaguely worrying how blurry the moral arguments against piracy become in the face of such an utterly ridiculous decision release wise. Is piracy still bad if I’ve preordered?

    • Dominic White says:

      The arguments against piracy become weaker still with consoles. It’s hard to say ‘Piracy is bad, period’ when a company refuses outright to sell a game to your country, and another company has spent a lot of time and effort implementing region-locking technology that would cost you hundreds of pounds to bypass just to start with.

    • juandemarco says:

      I’d say that if you’ve preordered you’re not really pirating. You paid for your copy of the game anyway, so it’s not like you’re stealing.
      I’ve bought the retail copy and I should receive it in a week or so, even though I’m not going to play it until I’ve beaten The Witcher and a couple other games. That said, I’ll consider cracking the game if the DRM proves to be too invasive and crippling to my game experience. I see piracy as a consequence to bad choices made by the entertainment industry, it wouldn’t be so widespread (? is it the right term?) otherwise.

    • Deano2099 says:

      It depends how you get it though. The problem is

      a) hackers like to see huge downloads of their games on launch day, so you’re encouraging them and

      b) if you’re using a torrent (rather than newsgroups) you’re unavoidably sending chunks of the game on to other people, many of whom won’t be paying for it.

      Obviously it’s a far lesser moral argument than just downloading without paying, but it’s not entirely ‘harmless’.

    • Kadayi says:

      As dean says. Plus it’s 3 days. Hardly the end of the world.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Kadayi
      Yeah, really. boo hoo 3 days. Suck it up. I can’t remember EVER buying a game on absolute Day 1 and I do just fine.

      If you really crave the game that badly, I would hope you would have enough respect for the people who created it that you wouldn’t cause them potential harm as Deano pointed out.

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      Patience… it is a virtue.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Please don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t crticise anyone who had pre-ordered it from pirating it. That’s the publisher’s damn fault for not doing a worldwide release, let them reap what they sow as far as I’m concerned.

      Just pointing out that it’s not an entirely harmless ‘crime’. I could certainly live with that on my conscious thouhg.

    • Outsider says:

      Seeing piracy “as a consequence to bad choices made by the entertainment industry” is disengenuous at best. Its cause, presumably, to make theft feel “right” or somehow justified. If you’ve bought the game already I’m not terribly certain why downloading it is a valid choice, but at least then you’ve paid for it, but in downloading it you’ve still dispersed the game to non-paying pirates.

      As far as the question of it being so widespread, well that’s simple. It lacks any real punishment and the actual effects of your theft are hard to visibly gauge, so much so that people feel compelled to defend the theft and call it something else or excuse it because of DRM or something. The last bit is especially interesting, being that DRM is a result of piracy to begin with.

      I was also a little susprised by Alec Meer’s little piracy bit in the main post above. If they pirate a game because of a three day gap in release, they were never planning on buying it anyway, and if they can’t wait three days, well that’s pretty pathetic.

    • Bhazor says:

      “There’s no other rational explanation for introducing a gap of 3 days in an age where information can travel between continents within moments. There’s no way it could be a silly retail decision that risks piracy from frustrated fans.”

      So Alec, on one hand piracy has no negative on sales whilst simultaneously damaging sales? Double think, neat.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Bhazor
      Occasionally a bit of common sense accidentally slips through people’s “piracy is harmless” mantra. Happens all the time.

    • arghstupid says:

      Hmm, well as you only ever buy a license to use software it does seem morally OK to grab those tasty little 1s and 0s via another means once you’ve got a license. Unfortunately, morals != law so you are going to straight to hell, possibly via jail.

    • bill says:

      The point really isn’t:

      Are gamers justified in pirating because of a 3 day delay in their region?

      the point is:

      Getting rid of the 3 day delay would reduce the temptation to pirate. And also probably stop people getting started.

      What people/gamers/pirates do isn’t really relevant, it’s about businesses doing the smart thing.

  11. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    humm. I don’t have a gig of video memory, but the demo ran pretty flawlessly, and i can’t imagine the vanilla game even straining my machine, so I’ll give this a try. Beautified cleavages are beautiful.

  12. JackShandy says:

    Ah, I see the byte-vortex is beginning to spread. Last I heard it was slashed straight between australia and everywhere else, slowing release dates and bloating prices like tuppeny gutter-corpses.

    I believe there are ways and means of pretending your computer is american, though.

  13. Wulf says:

    Why must DA dragons look so incredibly wimpy? The poor bugger doesn’t look like he stands a chance. That’s a problem I have with Olde Wurlde RPGs though, where one would be asked to hunt critters that looked as though they were minding their own business, and generally didn’t seem like they could put up much of a fight. Arokh would probably step on that poor, tiny thing without even realising it.

    • Qjuad says:

      The poor ol’Dragons in DA2 are just critters – they’re just big, old lizards that have the sentience level of a dog. Still, the High Dragon in DA was a fun optional boss fight so I hope it’s the same this time.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Glaurung would, like, totally have any other dragon in a ruck.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Fucking dragons. They must all die.

    • Premium User Badge

      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      @ Qjuad: The symbiotic relationship between the high dragon and the dragon cult in Origins seemed to suggest there is a bit more to our lizardly chums than meets the eye.

    • Bhazor says:

      Fucking dragons!

      How do they fly?

    • Nick says:

      They Skyrim.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      I didn’t actually notice the sexual connotation of the word Skyrim until now.

  14. Axyl says:

    Any chance of looking into why Steam insists on a 1:1 currency conversion rate as well?

    Combine that with the f’kin stupid release date issues as well, and the industry is making it hard damn work to be a PC Gamer in the UK compared to the rest of the world.

    DoW2:Retribution for example.

    UK gets it 4 days later.
    Steam charges £29.99 for it (which is a FULL RELEASE GAME PRICE)

    Spent 4 days avoiding all my online friend lists etc for fear of spoilers (and still someone gave the ending away before it’d even activated on Steam)

    It sucks and it’s taking a large chunk of the fun right out of this for me. :(

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      As far as I know Steam doesn’t set the prices of the games of other companies, so you should be more mad at THQ I guess. Also, I find it hard to sympathise with your complaining that 29:99 is full game price when the rest of western Europe gets the privilege of paying 50-60€ for new games, that’s £43-51.

    • Skusey says:

      I think Retribution is £30 everywhere in the UK, not just on Steam. Considering that games on Steam are often £5-10 above retail copies it’s nice not to have to choose between saving shelf space and saving money.

    • TentSalesman says:

      I imagine it’s the same situation as with the Kindle store on Amazon.

      Publishers are keeping the digital prices artificially high because, if everyone bought digital due to it being cheaper, then there wouldn’t be many reasons why publishers need to exist any more…

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Axyl
      Um, in many cases you are actually SAVING money. Steam charges £29.99 for Dragon Age II, equivalent to $48.47 USD. The US price is $59.99.

      So this time you actually have an EXTRA £7.13 in your pocket!

    • Tatourmi says:

      Trying to MAKE a point grape flavor? ;)

  15. Premium User Badge

    Skystrider says:

    Downloading Dragon Age 2 from Gamersgate.co.uk right now. Hopefully, it is actually the game and not some preload that I can only unlock in three days. Looks like the full game though. Still two hours remaining, and I’ll know for sure.

    Edit:
    Make that two hours remaining, plus one day. Thunderstorm coming. Blah.

    • Delixe says:

      Sorry it’s a pre-load. The game has a release date check and won’t unlock till 00:00 am on the 11th.

  16. utharda says:

    That can be fixed… just saying.

  17. Urael says:

    Well that’s one of my principal complaints about this series dealt with. If they can get some decent actors hired and the voice-work re-done to a level that doesn’t make my teeth curl I might consider giving this a go.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      You’ve got some high standards if BioWare acting “makes your teeth curl”. Must be hard to get by as a gamer if you’re that particular about it.

    • Urael says:

      And you, Grape, must have some pretty low standards if you don’t think there’s anything wrong with the acting in Dragon Age. Must make gaming awfully easy for you, taking out your brain like that:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDFKGsPNPe4

      Go on, defend it. I dare you.

    • cjlr says:

      Dragon Age has some very good VA. Some good VA. Mostly it’s good (for a videogame) VA. And there’s some mediocre and downright awful VA too.

      Since there are dozens of hours of recorded dialogue… What the heck would you be expecting? Recording schedule for games is usually pretty short, maybe a couple weeks, and people are stuck recording hundreds if not thousands if not tens of thousands of lines. Some of them are going to be shit.

      So: Urael: of course there are going to be bad deliveries.

      And as Grape Flavour says: there is plenty worse to be had. Low praise indeed, but worth remembering.

    • Bhazor says:

      Good voice acting for a videogame is very different to good voice acting.
      To be fair thats largely to do with how it’s recorded, with very few exceptions dialog is recorded one line at a time so that the VA can give all the permutations in one go. This is why theres always a distinct emptiness between lines as the computer decides which line it’s supposed to play next. It also means the VA does not anyone to actually act with so they really are just reading out their lines with no real context as to how the others are acting or even what their final character will actually look like. So yeah Dragon Age is a very mixed bag (love: Morrigan, Loghain and Alistar, Hate: Sten, Leliana and most minor characters) but it might be the best we can hope for until there’s a major change in how Bioware record it’s dialog.
      Note: I haven’t played ME2 yet so I can’t mention what the VA was like there but again the first ME was a mix bag too.

      On a related note is there anyway to download another VA language for Dragon Age? When voice acting is bad I like to switch to French or Spanish (for the sexier accents, natch) and read the subtitles instead.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Urael
      Nope, not going to defend it. For what it’s worth, the animation is pretty shit in that vid too. I assure you my brain is fully intact and in its proper location.

      Still, the acting in BioWare games has, in my perception, generally been pretty decent. They may be on a bit of a downward trend, though – the dialogue in the TOR trailers can be pretty painful. Then again, as cljr says, there’s the issue of the staggering volume of lines to be recorded at play there.

    • Urael says:

      “Since there are dozens of hours of recorded dialogue… What the heck would you be expecting?”

      Er, decent acting? I don’t see why we, as paying customers, should be asked to trade volume for quality. I’d much rather have quality, thank you.

      “Recording schedule for games is usually pretty short, maybe a couple weeks, and people are stuck recording hundreds if not thousands if not tens of thousands of lines. Some of them are going to be shit.”

      This is an interesting point. Why are the schedules so short? If a game takes a year or two – or more – to develop is there not a better way of managing it so the actors have more time to get used to the lines they’re saying?

      “And as Grape Flavour says: there is plenty worse to be had. Low praise indeed, but worth remembering.”

      So…what you’re saying is…because this shit doesn’t smell as bad as that rank, fetid pile over there, we should eat it with a smile on our face? End of the day we’re still being asked to eat shit. Not for me, thanks.

      To put this in context, guys, I don’t have anywhere near the same trouble with the speech in Mass Effect where the acting generally seems to be of a higher calibre. Dragon Age…that clip I posted hurt to listen to, and my experiences playing the game aren’t any better. This shows that Bioware can do it properly but for some reason are failing when it comes to this game.

    • cjlr says:

      There’s a reason I called it low praise, eh?

      Some of it is bad due to the constraints under which it was made. I’m not saying that’s good, or even okay, just that it’s true. It was mostly the “get decent actors” line which rankled; they DID. And they were put to work in mediocre conditions which they weren’t always able to rise above.

      I want it to be better. And it could be so much better. If you let actors, y’know, ACT. But make do with what you’ve got – I, for example, had many hours of enjoyment out of DA, and it sounds like you didn’t. Oh, sure, it was flawed. But I paid for it and I’m going to try to enjoy it.

      And some of it WAS good, damn it! Really good!

    • RegisteredUser says:

      To be perfectly honest, any game that has text that is voiced out I just get annoyed that I am finished reading 50-60% faster than the voice actor is saying it out loud.

      I spent 90% of Divinity 2 just pressing “1” to move to the next line of dialogue before the guy had said 4 words as I just wanted to GET ON WITH IT.

      Why every single unimportant line in every game has to be read out loud in the 2000s I never understood.
      I actually felt like it often helped immersion that we once only had text and had to think up the voices, intonation etc ourselves.
      Bit like books, yea? As opposed to the move of games becoming more and more cutscenes interrupted by brief spurts of gameplay.

      My point is: why not reduce voice acting to bits where acting is actually needed(important scenes/events/characters/battlecries), and not giving it to every beggar, armorer etc pp you come across..save on budget, time and me having to drown out the babble as I read.. >:P

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    With all those pre-release DLC announcements you’d think they could functionally negotiate the concept of worldwide release dates.

  19. duffster says:

    So If I live in the UK, I’ve pre-ordered and pre-loaded on Steam, is there any way to make Steam think I’m in the US, and let me unlock and play it today?
    Hypothetically speaking of course.
    edit: thanks Archonsod, works a treat!

  20. eclipse mattaru says:

    Am I the only one who thought the gameplay was horribly broken? I’m fairly new to this generation of RPGs, my experience with the genre jumps from the early Fallout’s and Torment to Bloodlines, then to Mass Effect, Alpha Protocol, Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

    Now, I found all of them ranging from fairly manageable to downright beautiful to play. I tried the DA2 demo, though, and I found the combat to be a chaotic nonsense where I would just randomly hit the occasional monster while struggling with the real enemy: The wonky camera that insisted on having me looking at a vast plain of nothingness while all the action took place behind my character’s back (or in front of her, but outside the screen anyway). It felt like it wanted me to drive the character with an analog stick while clicking on stuff with a mouse. Some travesty.

    Also, the cleavage on that wizard girl? Are we *still* doing this? In fact, isn’t this one of those games that wants to be taken seriously?

  21. mkultra says:

    The texture pack makes a difference. Substantial difference? Can’t say. Playing on a 6870.
    I’ve played through about six hours before I left for work. As for first impressions, let’s just say this: I make my own hours, and still opted to work today. The combat is solid but the party members are yawntastic.

    • _nderscore says:

      Hey, keep on topic here. We’re talking about Dragon Age: 2.

  22. Bfox says:

    I wish the guys from Fallout New Vegas would do the same :/

  23. cjlr says:

    There were about a thousand fan-made texture packs for DA1; getting some good stuff took a little trial and error, but, meh… Worth it? Very yes.
    So this, which is even less work – bravo!

    Oh, and guys, be sure to rush through it and let loose on opinionation.
    Wot you think: I need to know before dropping launch price on this baby.

    • _nderscore says:

      It does run in to the typical “TOO MUCH QUESTS WHICH ONE PUTS ME IN A DIFFERENT AREA AND BARS OTHER QUESTS?” – as is to be expected from any large-scale RPG. And the elves are extremely different, difficult to get used to at first (Mainly because I can’t help but feel it’s entirely based off of Navis, from Avatar – which is entirely untrue in fact).
      “Reproduction is not meant to be perfect… Seamless improvements have been made.”

      So far there is absolutely no shortage of amazing moments. Plus, once I swear I saw Flemeth fly overhead when I was just walking in town…

  24. pipman3000 says:

    oh wow cant wait to seduce an elf!!!!

  25. Neut says:

    3 days?! If they started making this game 3 days earlier we wouldn’t be in this mess!

  26. Zyrusticae says:

    I find it lulzy that they recommend a DX11 card considering the shader support has fuck-all to do with the card’s ability to process high-res textures. Or anything to do with a card’s raw power, for that matter.

    I also find it lulzy that they require 1024MB video memory for a 1.1GB texture pack…

    • StingingVelvet says:

      DX11 does actually have differences in how much texture data it can process at once, or something like that.

  27. Sergius64 says:

    I don’t understand, why didn’t these textures just come with the damn game to start with? Why do people have to download an extra gig AFTER the fact?

    • Bhazor says:

      Because not everyone has a 1024mb graphics card.

    • Sergius64 says:

      Shouldn’t they be able to set that via settings? Or provide that as an option on install instead of making it a separate download? Smells like they’re trying to paint releasing an unfinished game and then providing the us with the finishing touches separately as some kind of free bonus content.

    • Voidy says:

      Yeah, because appeasing a small portion of your audience is totally worth bloating installation archive for everyone else.

    • Kdansky says:

      1 GB of drive cost less than 5p, which you have already paid up front when you bought your disk. I prefer convenience over hard disk savings any day.

  28. Grape Flavor says:

    -

  29. Resin says:

    -oops, nevermind-

  30. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    Just to prove that RPS is ahead of the rest, the pre-order that I made from Game Points Now (which was featured on the RPS Bargain Bucket a couple weeks ago) delivered me a code for the EA Download Manager this morning … and Dragon Age 2 is now happily downloading away.

    Cheers for that one, RPS :D

  31. Hidden Thousand says:

    I remember I was somewhat excited when I had first heard of DAO; I thought it had sounded interesting, promising even. While some things didn’t turn out as I hoped, it was, nevertheless, an experience worth playing for.
    I wonder why I don’t feel anything now. I could start plating DA2 a couple of days ago (pirates delivered it here on the 5th of March, people simply waited for release check date), but even the availability doesn’t make it something to long for.

  32. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    Problems activating DA:2 before midnight in blighty? *vpn* *cough* *hack*