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Default Dragon Age 2 - Hands-On Preview @ Videogamer

November 15th, 2010, 12:15
Videogamer's Neon Kelly takes Dragon Age 2 for a 10 minute test spin on the Xbox360. I've got nothing good to say about this preview of Dragon Age 2 at all. I know you are all used to Dhruin's cool and calm demeanor, but after reading this preview I could neither be cool nor calm:
Come March next year, Dragon Age II may set a scaly, fire-breathing cat among the pigeons. The original game ruffled a few feathers back in 2009, thanks to the stark contrast between the PC version and its awkward console sibling, but I suspect that will be nothing compared to the kerfuffle this sequel could cause.
From which camp will the kerfuffle come from, Pc gamers or consolers? I'm guessing PC gamers.
In essence, BioWare has attempted to repeat what it pulled off with Mass Effect 2.
So it'll be Dragon Age FPS? I'm so giddy with excitement that I could just throw up.
Commander Shepherd's first outing was a sci-fi RPG with lots of shooting; his second was more or less a third-person shooter with lots of RPG mechanics bolted on; and now BioWare is aiming for a similar transition with Dragon Age II. Though Dragon Age: Origins was very much a hardcore Western RPG, this sequel feels like it's taken a step closer towards the door marked "Hack and Slash".
No words can fully express my feelings about this.
The pace of combat appears a lot quicker, for starters, and while Origins seemed to place a lot of emphasis on carefully queuing up a chain of attacks - zooming the view out to get an overview of the battle on the PC version - here the natural tendency is to get up in the enemy's face. The third-person camera loiters just behind your avatar's back, willing you to run up and give the nearest enemy a kicking. And so you do - hammering on one face button to dish out basic melee swipes, and then using the other three to use class abilities. The latter operate on a cooldown basis, and their colour-coded indicators are one of the few intrusions on an otherwise clutter-free HUD.
Button mashing is the new RPG experience.
It's hard to know what the hardcore fans are going to make of all this - the super-traditional approach was popular with a lot of people….
We will hate it because it guts everything that was even halfway decent about the game.
I have to correct this reviewer. Dragon Age was about as "super-traditional" as Bioshock was to System Shock 2. Dragon Age was better in keeping with some of Bioware's earlier work, but "super-traditional"? I don't think so.
After that I couldn't read anymore. So I skipped to the end:
After the last foe has been cut to the ground, there's a chance to catch up with Isabella for a quick chat. I'm happy to report that Dragon Age 2 retains the first game's habit of soaking its cast in buckets of gore, allowing for some amusingly odd-looking post-fight chats. Isabella's face and heaving cleavage are covered in blood, but she doesn't seem to mind: her purring words of thanks suggest that she's more than happy with the day's outcome, and before long she's dropping not-so-subtle hints about letting Hawke delve into her furry dungeon. For all Dragon Age 2's revisions, it seems that some things never change.
Hurray! They're keeping the blood. The blood was the best part of Dragon Age.
I should clarify that I don't hate this previewer. I hate the game he is previewing. Dragon Age was a step in the right direction. Not a gigantic step, but a small one that gave me some hope that maybe AAA games could appeal to both RPG fans and casual gamers. This game by all accounts sounds like a HUGE step backwards.
More information.
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November 15th, 2010, 12:15
He previewed the console verion. By all reports the PC version is going to be more like Origins. Origins did not really work on console, so it makes sense to change the console version of the sequel to fit better on the platform. The question is how that affects the PC version.

That level of editorialising in newsbits is not to my taste. Although I tend to sympathise with your views, and I'll be dissapointed if DA2 does indeed turn out to be Dragon Effect, I prefer it when that stuff is kept to the comments. There's a (number of) reason(s) that I come here rather than RPG Codex.
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November 15th, 2010, 12:31
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
We will hate it because it guts everything that was even halfway decent about the game.
Nah… we will all buy it and most of us will argue that although is very different from the first one, and even though "it's flawed" and just marginally an RPG, we still enjoy it and think it's a pretty good game.

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November 15th, 2010, 12:40
Originally Posted by Badesumofu View Post
He previewed the console verion. By all reports the PC version is going to be more like Origins. Origins did not really work on console, so it makes sense to change the console version of the sequel to fit better on the platform. The question is how that affects the PC version.

That level of editorialising in newsbits is not to my taste. Although I tend to sympathise with your views, and I'll be dissapointed if DA2 does indeed turn out to be Dragon Effect, I prefer it when that stuff is kept to the comments. There's a (number of) reason(s) that I come here rather than RPG Codex.
You gotta give me this one little sarcastic newsbit. I was praising Dragon Age to the moon last time so much so I entered fanboy territory. Now we have this…..I don't know what THIS is yet because I keep reading about the freakin console version. Everywhere you go it's console console console! Enough already!

I am not so sure the PC version will be all that much better. Are we still forced to one character?

DArtagnan made sense when he mentioned they are PRing the console crowd to get them on board, but it's too much. Throw us a bone and let the PC crowd know what's going on.

Don't worry there won't be many more like that, but I really couldn't think of any other way to do it other than good ol' reply after quotes. I could of just quoted the whole thing, but I needed to vent

Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Nah… we will all buy it and most of us will argue that although is very different from the first one, and even though "it's flawed" and just marginally an RPG, we still enjoy it and think it's a pretty good game.
You're probably right.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
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November 15th, 2010, 12:41
I for one have already drawn my conclusions, and will most likely not be buying DA2. Unless a number of decent reviews manages to convince me, that is.

Did the same for Arcania, which I will most likely not be buying either.
I'm perfectly happy replaying G3 with the latest community patch.
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November 15th, 2010, 12:41
Originally Posted by Badesumofu View Post
He previewed the console verion. By all reports the PC version is going to be more like Origins. Origins did not really work on console, so it makes sense to change the console version of the sequel to fit better on the platform. The question is how that affects the PC version.

That level of editorialising in newsbits is not to my taste. Although I tend to sympathise with your views, and I'll be dissapointed if DA2 does indeed turn out to be Dragon Effect, I prefer it when that stuff is kept to the comments. There's a (number of) reason(s) that I come here rather than RPG Codex.
Wait a minute… How exactly do you think PC version will differ ?

We are talking here about change in game mechanics on fundamental basis.

Do you think they have budget,time and will to produce two different games ?
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November 15th, 2010, 12:53
Oh, I don't think there's any doubt the PC version will be dumbed down - I just think many of the changes are made specifically for/to the console version, and my theory is that they won't implement them all for PC.

Mostly based on small tidbits in-between the vast console-marketing assault. They seem to mention the original interface (zoomed-out view) will still be there for PC, and other such things.

So, if there's any way they can save themselves some work by not redoing stuff on PC (seeing as they're most likely re-using what they can) - AND not needlessly pissing off core fans - they might go that route for PC.

Personally, I think it sounds rather dreadful either way - but I'm also not a big fan of Dragon Age to begin with. It was too much a step away from what I like about the legacy it was supposed to continue, and though I thought it was a great game in its own right - it wasn't really for me, and the sequel will obviously go even further in a direction I don't like.

I just think for fans of the "new" Bioware - DA2 might not be so bad. Obviously, a lot of core fans loved Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age - and those are the people I'm suggesting might not mind DA2 as much as it may seem now.
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November 15th, 2010, 13:21
Bioware has been dumbing down crpgs since 2003, so this is nothing new.
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November 15th, 2010, 13:23
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Bioware has been dumbing down crpgs since 2003, so this is nothing new.
True enough, but there's the matter of degree as well.
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November 15th, 2010, 13:38
He previewed the console verion. By all reports the PC version is going to be more like Origins.
Could you give me a link to any of those 'reports' you mentioned? Because as much as I have heard and read, the PC version of DA2 is going to be very different form DA:O.
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November 15th, 2010, 13:47
Come March next year, Dragon Age II may set a scaly, fire-breathing cat among the pigeons. The original game ruffled a few feathers back in 2009,
A very strong, graphical figure of speech ! I'm honestly impressed !

And that completely apart from my own oponion on the game …

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Button mashing is the new RPG experience.
Remember, this is the Age Of Action !

This is only as I predicted years before. Blizzard made the ground for it, and zillions followed (both players and clones).

And no matter what the RPG genre will become … I've still got my favourite genre of non-action adventures to go back to …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 15th, 2010, 13:52
I kind of enjoyed Dragon Age (even though I played the flawed and buggy 360 version), but I really, REALLY don't like the stuff I've been reading about DA2. A pre-defined character? More blood? A new lame artstyle? Action-based combat (AKA button-mashing)? Mass Effect 2-style conversations with icons to indicate good/evil choices? Bah.

I don't think there's a reason to believe that the PC version will be fundamentally different. No doubt it will have a better interface, but the gameplay will most likely still closely resemble that of it's console counterparts. DA:O was made with the PC in mind and was then simply ported to consoles. They gave the console version a new interface because it was impossible to have the PC interface on consoles. DA2 will be developed primarily for consoles, and will then be ported to the PC. There won't be anything about the console version that will be "incompatible" on the PC, so there won't be a reason for Bioware to change things up.

Personally, there are two things that I don't understand.
First, DA was a huge success for Bioware right? It was a critical and commercial success. So why take such a huge leap and risk disappointing hordes of fan(boi)s and critics?
Second, DA was originally envisioned as a "spiritual successor" to BG. It barely resembled that game, and now they're moving EVEN FURTHER away from that series? Why? No doubt a lot of gamers liked the first game because of its SLIGHTLY more traditional style.

And that last quote is just a little too much for me. It's bad enough that we live in an age where blood-covered cleavage is used as a way to sell games to potentially aroused teenagers, but on top of that we also have critics praising developers for doing so.

Anyway, I have decided to read no more news about Dragon Age II. The marketing campaign for the first game enraged me enough, and I'm not going down that path again. I'll just wait until it's released and then I'll know soon enough if it's a game for me or not.
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November 15th, 2010, 13:56
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Bioware has been dumbing down crpgs since 2003, so this is nothing new.
"Bioware - dumbing down crpgs since 2003"

I believe you just crafted a new slogan
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November 15th, 2010, 13:59
Originally Posted by TheGameSquid View Post
So why take such a huge leap and risk disappointing hordes of fan(boi)s and critics?
Because they believe that the sheer hordes of new customers might outweigh them completely.

Plus, they actually succeeded with ME vs. ME 2 in a way.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 15th, 2010, 14:07
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
I am not so sure the PC version will be all that much better. Are we still forced to one character?
Do you mean not being able to control any characters other than the player? You have a party of up to four, and can control any of them in all versions of the game, just like DAO.

Having to press the attack button repeatedly is a console-only feature, on the PC it behaves like DAO - you select a target and your character attacks them until you order them otherwise.
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November 15th, 2010, 14:09
Originally Posted by DPB View Post
Having to press the attack button repeatedly is a console-only feature, on the PC it behaves like DAO - you select a target and your character attacks them until you order them otherwise.
Yup, another of the details that got out…

Still, probably wise not to get too hopeful.
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November 15th, 2010, 15:01
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Nah… we will all buy it and most of us will argue that although is very different from the first one, and even though "it's flawed" and just marginally an RPG, we still enjoy it and think it's a pretty good game.
I have never heard more true words ever spoken.Its nothing like the first but just because its bioware it will sell.
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November 15th, 2010, 15:04
I'm pretty sure I won't be buying it, actually
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November 15th, 2010, 15:15
10 minutes on a game spent fighting and talking to an NPC and this is a more action oriented game than Origins? Who want to bet that he never played Origins? Most of my fights in that game lasted more than 10 minutes…
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November 15th, 2010, 15:39
It is funny that they are making Dragon Age more action and less complex when another one that just came out went the opposite direction from action and uncomplicated to less action and more complicated. (I'm talking about Two Worlds 2 here) There have been so many people complaining about Two Worlds 2 on the official forums and most of it is because people that play simplified games can't understand how to play the game correctly.
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