Being the resident RPG fanatic here at IGXPro I have to say I was beyond ecstatic to be able to lay my hands on the sequel to my favourite game of 2009. Today I finally set aside the time at Comic-Con to wander over to the Hilton Hotel where they had demo stations set up of both Dragon Age II and Dead Space 2, and waited in line for my chance to play.
All of us in line were huddled into a room with red curtain-covered walls and classy-looking clear plastic chairs which were centred in front of HD screens displaying the DA2 logo screen, ready to be played. I had to hold back picking up the controller and getting right into it since we first had to be introduced to the game via the lead game designer. He explained that the scope of the game is about three to four times larger than the first game and many of the complaints had been fixed. Then he played through the demo first to show us what to expect and how to use some of the new features. Now Our turn.
There is a brief introduction that details the first game enough so the new players have an idea about the story and can jump in with a bit of an understanding. You start of as Hawke, the champion of Lothering, a warrior type character. Your side-kick in the demo was a mage, I can’t recall her name now, though it doesn’t matter. Immediately I, Hawke, is on a battlefield that appears to be on the side of a mountain. The first thing I noticed, which was one of the biggest complaints of the first game, was the improved graphics. The character models looked flawless, no textures pop-ins and smooth shadows and textures. Certainly an improvement.
The battle system has definitely been refined this time around, no more walking in circles or standing in front of an enemy unable to attack. When you press the A button you attack, and brutally I might add, much more bad ass then the original, it just feels good cutting down darkspawn this time around. There is a nice Whirlwind attack that cuts all the hurlocks right in half, and smashing move, among some others from the first game. All feel much better.
Switching to the mage, she feels much better to play with as well. Her standard attack is actually a magical slash as apposed to just jabbing with her wand like an idiot. She also has some new additions as well, such as the Armageddon attack which launches multiple fire bombs at a specified area, like an artillery. Also, she has the ability to create a shield around her or the hero to limit damage taken. All of the spells seem to be more effective and there are more area effect spells, such as mindblast.
The demo finishes off with an Ogre fight and then goes on to a sequence showing a giant dragon atop the mountain that swoops down and destroys the remaining darkspawn, then goes on to grab and hold one. After a moment of breathing fire about the dragon turns into a busty female that is still carrying this darkspawn and then drops it. She does not say her name and we are left to make our own assumptions.
This could be Morrigan or perhaps the child from the first game, or even Flemmeth. Who knows, but it is a great introduction to the next game and I can not wait to play the full version February 1st 2011.