Dragon Age 2 Demo Review

Just finished playing my DA2 demo. Everything I said in a previous post still holds true, so please read that one first if you haven’t. This post is more like a continuation, because the chat with Laidlaw dealt a lot with the demo.

First Impressions

Okay, so I know I was all for using the ME2 conversation wheel in DAII. I had no quarrel with this idea. What I did not realize is that they would make the ridiculous decision to also bring over ME2‘s tiny font size and floating text. Why not put a block of solid color behind text? What harm can it do? I have eye strain RIGHT NOW. Right now. I can barely see what I’m typing.

Other than that, it all looked good. Solid graphics that don’t look too different than the last game. The music still has a very similar sound that we have all come to associate with Dragon Age, so I really appreciated that.

The demo got really choppy at the end. I was like, woah! Why am I jumpin’ all over the place. It was handled less well than a Buffy the Vampire Slayer intro…which I think reflects a little poorly on them.

Yeah…I’m talkin’ to you.

Visuals/Characters

The bad guys now look even more ridiculous than before. I don’t know what they were thinking, but hurlocks are no longer scary in any way, shape, or form. They look unrealistic to their own environment. In other words, they look like cartoons in a live action movie. I have hopes that this is simply caused by the lack of the final lighting engine in the game.

All of the other characters look great. Lady Hawke is beautiful, I might keep her the way she is (but give her a tan and brown eyes, ‘cuz that’s what I like, lol). Isabella’s breasts distracted me the entire time, but her personality did manage to shine through a bit.

Aveline has already earned my love. She is strong and supportive of her little punk husband. Her strength and dominance is a breath of fresh air and I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Varric is the narrator, but the way they handled him joining the party in this demo was pretty strange. It was short and choppy. They might have done better just to leave Isabella’s part out since it was already shown in the video chat I mentioned in the beginning.

Why would you even walk towards people lookin’ like that?

Combat

Combat was pretty much what they promised. It was pretty annoying to have to fight an ogre with only two special moves, one of which was a pommel strike. If I hadn’t given my mage “Heal,” we would have died horrible, lonely deaths.

It took a little getting used to the fact that now I no longer had the option to press an attack button unless I was in range. That’s not really getting “rid of the shuffle,” it’s turning the shuffle into a manual sprint.

Combat is fairly similar, as far as tactics go. 

Overall

Seems a lot like Dragon Age…which is a good thing. The blasted place outside of Lothering is ugly and cheap looking, I don’t know why they thought that was an improvement. I am hoping the straight, boring path was just for the demo. I enjoyed wandering around and finding things in the first game. I’d hate to see that element removed.

Also, I finished the demo (which ended quite abruptly and strangely, IMO) and I didn’t have the sword unlocked! I don’t know if it is because my PS3 disconnected from the server during the demo or what, but I’m going to try again tonight.

Overall, I am just as excited for Dragon Age 2 and more intrigued by the companions than ever.

Especially this one. 😉

8 thoughts on “Dragon Age 2 Demo Review

  1. Alas, I really didn’t enjoy my time with the demo and felt too much had been stripped away from the origin game. Combat was too much like an action adventure game (all that was missing was air combos), and I had the same problem with the tiny text. I ended up just guessing on dialogue choices and skill trees because I could not read the text. Grrrr.

    • I am so glad I’m not the only one affected by the tiny text!! I guess I can see why you would feel that way about the combat, but did you try to use the tactics and radial menu? I didn’t feel much change. We just didn’t start off with any abilities so it was all hack and slash until you started earning points.

  2. Haven’t gotten a chance to play the demo yet, but I am definitely looking forward to the game. A couple of things concern me though. In the first game, the rogue was far superior to the other classes, the AI controlled teammates would do stupid things in combat, and I could not stand how the main character was mute. Are any of these issues addressed in Dragon Age 2?

    Good Review by the way..

    • Yep!
      The rogue is now even better than before. They can get moves where they do automatic backstabs instead of having to try and get behind another character. You can control the AI characters with your tactics, so I never had a problem with making them not do stupid things lol. And yeah the main character talks now, that’s why they gave us one character instead of letting us choose the race etc.

      Thank you!

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