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Dragon Age II Officially Extra-Prettified

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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