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December 22nd, 2010, 04:50
Here's another batch of Dragon Age 2 previews from the Edmonton press bash. ActionTrip goes to pains to point out he is a PC gamer but was still impressed with the changes:
This upgrade to the combat system did feel faster and more engaging, but thankfully, the deep strategy elements I enjoyed from Origins are still present. You can still pause combat to issue orders to the group. You can still control individual characters with a press of the button. The interface has been streamlined so that it takes up less space and yet, is more helpful and easier to navigate. The icons for your skills and attacks make more sense with a single glance at the simplified, yet improved button bar. And the overall process when upgrading your characters is better as well. Characters are still stat driven but they have added more detail to the process, demystifying what bonuses you receive with the increase. Even crafting, inventory management and loot drops have been tuned up, all in the hopes of taking the drudgery out of the process of managing the game and allowing you to instead, well, play the game.
Zam is proud of never having to pause when playing Nightmare mode in DA:O.
Well, now that I have all those fears out in the open, I can also say that, as guy who's played games competitively all his life and has busted through Dragon Age: Origins twice on Nightmare mode without pausing (and without abusing Arcane Prison / Cone of Cold / Stonefist): there's nothing to be afraid of. Dragon Age 2 is, honestly speaking, an incredible addition to the Dragon Age franchise; both in terms of being a modern RPG on its own, and as a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. […]
I really can't stress just how happy I am with BioWare's new combat system. I absolutely adore tactical combat games, but I've always felt that stopping the combat to make a decision defeats the purpose of tactical combat. Maybe this is the competitive player in me, but part of playing tactically is making decisions on the fly and sticking with plans you formulate. The problem with playing Dragon Age: Origins without pausing was that combat was slightly clunky if you didn't pause. Fighting the mechanics of the game while also fighting hordes of Darkspawn was not exactly something I want to do again.
GameZone on linearity and importing states from DA:O.
In comparison to the original, the story arc was much more linear for the first 4-5 hours that was played through. The world is much darker than it was in the first, but BioWare promises that it’ll be a much more reactive story that changes with choices. Starting out the game, players are tasked to select from three builds to carry over from the first game if they don’t have a save to upload. The three builds are as follows verbatim:
“Hero of Ferelden” (Default )
Ended Fifth Blight by killing Archdemon and survived. Placed Alistair on the throne.
“The Martyr”
Young Dalish Elf who died to kill the Archdemon. She left the kingdom ruled by Alisair and Anora.
“No Compromise”
Dwarven noble took command of Grey Wardens. Exalted Alistair, sent Loghain to his death against Archdemon, and left Anora as Ferelden’s ruler.
A French preview at RPG France.
…and an interview with David Gaider, Mike Laidlaw and Mark Darrah at RPG Fan:
[quote] With Dragon Age Origins, there were severe differences between the PC and console versions. Can we expect the same sort of differences with Dragon Age 2?

ML: Nigh identical. Interface? The way you play it, control scheme, all completely different. Do I click, drag, and drop my armor or click X to wear it, those are all fundamentally based on your platform, but in terms of encounters and the way the overall design is laid out, what we've done is build our assets so that they work well on the console and work well on the PC and then basically played to the strengths of our engine. The problem with the engine we had in Origins was that on the PC it was fabulous, it handled thing well, but a really good example would be you have a group against ten archer dudes — each of those guys would be built like you: they'd have gloves and boots and armor and a helmet and a bow and a quiver, so there'd be all these parts that the systems were trying to handle, but they'd all look identical. So instead, from the ground up, we focused …More information.
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December 22nd, 2010, 04:50
Zam has no idea what they're talking about, and the reasons they dislike Origins are the reason I love it. So, still worried. And how could anyone love that UI…
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