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August 27th, 2010, 12:35
Here's a small collection of Dragon Age 2 previews and an interview with David Gaider for good measure.
Newbreview has a general overview. Their comments on the original Dragon Age presumably relate to the console version, because this just wasn't my experience:
The first thing that surprised me is that Dragon Age 2 isnít exactly what youíd call a strict sequel. The events of the first game resonate through the narrative of DA2 as you take control of Hawk and lead him through some of the same plot points, this time told from a different perspective.
A common complaint of the first game was that attacks and spells were lined up using the pause menu before combat, and then the gamer sat back and watched the action unfold without actively having to do anything else. David Silverman, Brand Manager of both Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, even joked that one Bioware forum member used this time for toilet breaks. The new game has gone some ways to address this issue.
An "All Access" preview video at G4.
GamePro has a hands-on although it reads more like an offline article. The same amount of content but half the playing time, according to them:
Dragon Age: Origins could take a long damn time to get through. While Drgon Age II will have an equivalent amount of things to do and experience for completists, the average experience is expected to be shorter, more like the playthrough time of Mass Effect 2.
Dealspwn says the PC interface deals with those "confusing" toolbars:
The PC interface looks largely the same too, but with the addition of a couple of fully customisable hotkeys in the bottom right. Instead of having a confusing row of varying health potions and stat replenishment, quick health and quick stamina buttons will map the most readily available potion for the job to the corresponding button. Donít like how it works? Youíll be able to tailor the buttons to work in the way you want.
…and Bitmob has a two part interview with David Gaider. Part 1 covers his background and working for BioWare and Part 2 discusses creativity and his Dragon Age novels:
LG: What do you think about the video-game medium and its story telling ability?
DG: Well, it has a lot of limitations that you donít necessarily deal with in other mediums. Like in a book.
Iíve written a couple of novels now [Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne and Dragon Age: The Calling].When it comes to a book, I can put down on paper anything thatís in my imagination; however, in a video game, you have physical limitations in technology and of what you can actually show.
Where games are excellent is in the interactive part. You donít get that in passive entertainment.
In those, you watch a character, but I donĎt think you would identify as strongly as in a game where youíre the one who directs the action. You have agency in a video game, whereas you don't in a movie or a novel. I think that changes the nature of the entertainment substantially, and thatís where the opportunities come in.
More information.
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August 27th, 2010, 12:35
"Their comments on the original Dragon Age presumably relate to the console version, because this just wasn't my experience:"

Actually, you couldn't cue multiple actions on the console versions. If this was possible on the PC than that's the platform they must have been discussing. The console versions only allowed one talent or skill to be queued up at a time (like Mass Effect).

Mind you, it wasn't till I read the pluralization of "action" in the Eurogamer preview that this clicked:

Originally Posted by eurogamer
Combat has also been refined. Many of us loved the ability to pause the first game and plot your next move using the tactics menus, but this resulted in some players queuing up actions then wandering off and not really connecting with the battles themselves. "With Dragon Age 2 we're keeping the ability to think like a General, but we're adding the ability to fight like a Spartan," says the producer.
Edit: Actually, after poking around online, unless queuing got patched into the PC version at some point it doesn't look to have been included there either. I'm stumped as to what these previewers are referencing.

For the record, I played on the Xbox and equally didn't experience what they're implying. Due to the console's inability to issue movement commands (ala Baldur's Gate), I never felt disconnected from the fight — I was micromanaging every last positional logistic on the battlefield.

Oh, and equally for the record, this is one console player that finds Bioware's PR about "not having to think like a general to play this game" disheartening (eurogamer review, bottom of pg 1). Even on the console I paused every five seconds, just like I did in Baldur's Gate, BG: Tales from the Sword Coast, BG II: Shadows of Amn and Thrown of Bhaal. That's WHY I chose to play a game like Dragon Age. It's what gives the game it's unique strategic character. Is the market that bad that they have to fear their core demographic couldn't support.. oh yeah, EA is behind them now. Go figure.

Still, their PR makes them come off as embarrassed at have even the remotest turn based feel to the game anymore. Wankers.
Last edited by Anarchosyn; August 27th, 2010 at 12:52.
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August 27th, 2010, 13:44
Originally Posted by Anarchosyn View Post
Oh, and equally for the record, this is one console player that finds Bioware's PR about "not having to think like a general to play this game" disheartening (eurogamer review, bottom of pg 1).
They said that about the first game too, it doesn't mean that it's true.

"According to the BioWare guys showing me the game, Dragon Age can be played as a real-time twitch-based action-RPG a la Fable 2. And a player need plumb no deeper than that."

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August 27th, 2010, 14:30
At GamesCom, it was playable with both console controls & with PC controls.

But many other games were as well (Mafia II, Arcania) …
ď Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius Ė and a lot of courage Ė to move in the opposite direction.ď (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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