The Age of Dragons Have Indeed Begun

"You will die for what you did to Mother"

Dragon Age 2 took what was good about the first one and threw it away and made some things much better but a so took some of the mundane out. For instance, the new leveling up system is way faster and easier to use. If you like getting into numbers and theorycrafting that is still there, while letting to people who don’t, like it just the same. One of the biggest things missing was a deeper backstory for all the companions. In Origins there was the camp that the player visited after every mission where he/she could learn almost the entire life’s story of the companions, sadly this was lacking in Dragon Age 2. There were the occasional side missions that lead into dialog with the companions but not as much as some would have liked. The gift giving system was almost completely removed. Only one gift could be given to a companion and that certain gift was sometimes really hard to find, if found at all.

With and without colored bars

With and without colored bars

Dragon Age 2 starts just after the battle of Ostagar, when the darkspawn is invading Lothering (couple hours into Dragon Age: Origins). The player plays as Hawke (male or female) a human, Elves and Dwarfs are not a player character this time. Hawke can either be a powerful warrior, a powerful mage, or a cunning/powerful rouge. Let’s face it, Hawke is powerful. Hawke and family are fighting their way out of Lothering to the Free Marches. Once getting to the city of Kirkwall they found out the family name doesn’t mean what it once did. Dragon Age 2 except for the couple minutes in Lothering the entire game takes place in the city of Kirkwall and the outlaying regions. There are three Acts, the first takes place during the events of Dragon Age: Origins. The second takes place a year later and the third four years after that. The events that happened in Origins can be chosen in the character creation screen. The event choices are good, neutral, evil, or the player can import their own chooses from their own Origins game.

The combat has gotten a complete overhaul. It feels more directly controlled by the player instead of waiting for a cooldown to pop a spell while the auto-attack wails on the enemy. Hawke is also just more of a badass than the Warden was. Enemies exploding left and right, they maybe a little too easy to kill. Not dieing in a playthrough such come easy to any experienced player.

Even though Dragon Age 2 is shorter than Origins, like 30+ hours shorter, fans of the series and Bioware will enjoy this game. Fans can now hope that there will be lots and lots of DLC.