Dragon Age II (2011) picks up from where the first entry in the series from 2009 left off. That said, many of the mechanics, especially concerning the dialogue and combat systems, have received a welcome, overhaul.
Download Dragon Age II
You can download the game from the Origin store. To start, click on the Download button located below the review.
Technically, it’s sound. However, though that may be the case, there are a few downsides to this much-anticipated sequel. Mainly, many of the environments, though very pretty, appear repeatedly during the game.
Of course, this leads to repetition and, in turn, a dreaded sense of monotony rears its ugly head. All the same, improvements to technical aspects of in-game play and a revamped speech dial make the second game in the series a must-play. Maybe more so for fans of the franchise, and the role-playing genre.
The narrative of Dragon Age II plays out within a stylish theme. Hence, the use of water-color artworks in a visual novel style. Better still, the game enacts its fable with an abstract, visual appeal that’s pleasing on the eye.
Perhaps though, it suffers from the medium by which it expresses itself. By that, I mean, as a framed story, there is minimal scope, and the direction of the plot is predictable. Lastly, it sets events in stone, no matter how gripping they may be.
The difficulty with this sort of style is that it subtracts a sense of destiny from the story. Therefore, the lack of mystery and intrigue begins to take its toll after time. Both of which are essential ingredients to any role-playing game, especially one containing high-fantasy elements. Despite this fact, the depth of lore and an extensive dialogue wheel help to save the day.
That’s not to say the plot is terrible in any way; it’s just a little scripted. Or perhaps overly narrated to a degree.
Although to be fair, this is done very well, in a manner that engages thanks to its humorous slant. Bar from a few branching storylines and meaningful dialogue options the story is too linear for my tastes. Additionally, the cliff-hanger at the end grants an element of surprise but does very little to validate the account. No matter how crucial it remains to the series canon.
Surprisingly, the sense of grandeur and scale of the Dragon Age world takes a bit of a pasting here. Meanwhile, the insular nature of its story is a little disappointing, it must be said. Instead of a high stakes battle between good and evil, where the fate of the world hangs in the balance, the game opts for a more localized approach. Welcome one and all, to the city of Kirkwall. Mostly, you spend a lot of time revisiting the same buildings and ogling familiar architecture.
Frustrating, when one thinks of the scope within the Dragon Age kingdom and its room for expansion.
To conclude, Dragon Age II adds tweaks to many technical areas of game-play. All the while, colorful, larger-than-life characters compliment the new speech command wheel with great aplomb. Unfortunately, an insular story and low-scale world damage the credibility of its plot. Meaning, it’s not as impactful as the first.
But there is still enough fun here to want to see it through to the end. Despite, a few petty gripes, Dragon Age II entertains via its artistic style of narrative.
- Artistic narrative style
- Interesting mythos
- Intriguing characters
- Extensive dialogue choices
- Small-minded world
- Linear story which lacks significance