Dragon Age 2 – the year late review

Let me start by saying I realize that this game came out in March of this year and it’s now the end of December and I’m barely getting around to reviewing it but, I live in San Diego where I get to play a lot of golf, so playing this had to wait. Frankly, I could play golf now but the deal with the wife is golf, fantasy football and games, only 2 out of 3 at a time.

Now that I’ve lost my fantasy season I’ve picked up the controller again and am re-discovering how much I love video games. I also am rediscovering fantasy worlds and DA2 is definitely helping there. So let’s get some details on the books yeah?

Dragon Age 2 is a story following a magician named Hawke over about a decade of time. He gets embroiled in various plots surrounding a place called Kirkwall after leaving his native home to escape an evil blight. Think Game of Thrones meets Magician Master.

Overall look: What an impressively designed game. You can tell BioWare put a lot of thought into the art. Though I will say that at this point the maps are starting to get a bit repetitive. It seems to me like they opted for less maps with a higher level of design than the other way around. I’m o.k. with it, but to be fair it’s something that sticks out a bit.

Story: I keep asking myself how they could possibly have thought up, and created cut scenes, for all this dialog. The story works sort of like a choose your own adventure book where depending on what you say and choose different things happen. You get this feeling that you’d get tired of reading it different ways before they ran out of custom story. It’s a great tale without glaring plot holes. Though, there is this strange sexual sub-theme that pops up a lot that I’m not quite understanding. You can sometimes select to flirt with different characters and it does range into the bi-curious world. The game is rated MA so it’s not like they’re trying to get sneaky but it does feel weird at times.

Gameplay: The fighting setup and execution is superb. You really get a great balance between hacking and slashing and strategy. I’ve fought battles over and over trying to figure out what the best method of attack is. I’ve found in some it’s taking the right terrain, in others it’s the right magic and a lot more still it’s going in there and slashing everything to bits. Excellent execution here.

Overall Pros: Great story. Above average character development. Killer gameplay.

Overall Cons: A lot of walking around and reading can distract from the story at times. Weird flirty sexy out of place thing going on. Same 15 or so maps over and over.

My take: I’m playing it over everything else I’ve got right now. This game is worth buying. 7/10.