Dragon Age II - Xbox 360

Game Description: Dragon Age 2 for Xbox 360 is the sequel to BioWare's award-winning RPG. The main character, Hawke, is a survivor of the Blight and the Champion of Kirkwall. The player's decisions from Dragon Age: Origins or Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening will influence the world of Dragon Age 2.
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Dragon Age 2 Preview

Dragon Age 2 Preview

By Christopher Monfette - Posted Nov 12, 2010

It’s hard to imagine that Dragon Age II is releasing only a few short months from now. In fact, it feels like we just finished our quest for the Grey Wardens only a few short months ago, but at EA’s recent press event, we had the chance to go hands-on with a very brief section of the game.

Our immediate impressions from the scant ten minutes we were able to play is that the same streamlining that occurred between Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 is occurring here between Dragon Age and its upcoming sequel. We noticed immediately that the menu screens and HUD had been both simplified and minimized, much easier to process at a glance and less of a presence on the screen itself.

The action, while still offering players the option to micro-manage their strategy, was considerably more fluid and action-oriented than in the previous game, requiring less pause-and-play for those who simply want to map their abilities and mash a few buttons.

The scenario found us at the center of a sprawling medieval city in the company of a character that players might remember fondly from the first title: Isabella, the capable duelist, and the woman with whom you and your party may have initiated a wild, sexual foursome. No sooner have you met than you’re attacked by a party of raiders. Switching between the members of your four-person party, you can choose to closely manage the battle through the game’s menu system or simply assign your attacks, skills and potions to either of two sets of X-Y-B mapping and wail away with a series of well-timed moves.

The most impressive effect we saw during the battle was a rain of fire that plummeted from the sky down onto our flaming opponents. Playing as a Rogue proved to be a faster, more strategic experience than our last encounter with the game in which we played a sword-wielding knight. In this go-around, we dodged and slashed our way through the encounter with a pair of duel blades, peppering in a series of ranged attacks and commanding our team to engage with their crossbows, magic and broadswords.


While the game does, indeed, look a bit more stylized than its predecessor, it still feels very much like the world of Dragon Age. The conversations play out the same way, although your character proves substantially more talkative than your last adventure. Blood still spatters on those in your company and the world is still every bit as dark and grim as you’d remember.

Overall, it was a short-and-sweet demo, but even in that brief period of time we were able to get a sense that Dragon Age II will be a more manageable, action-intensive experience and a shift away from more hardcore RPG nature of its predecessor. With a release date coming in March, we’re confident that we’ll see even more in the weeks to come.


Comments are Closed

  • TheDubenator

    Bioware Staff: "Oh hey Mass Effect was good let's do that."

    Posted: March 1, 2011 4:14 PM
  • TheDubenator

    Bioware: "Oh hey Mass Effect was good let's do that."

    Posted: March 1, 2011 4:10 PM
  • Zack_Fair's_Fan

    Dude if this game falls into the same rut as Fallout New Vegas and FU 2 then I will be so angry. I mean I am so invested(emotionally) in this game I hope it is better than Final Fantasy 7(to whom I have found no equal)

    Posted: January 23, 2011 1:03 PM
  • JoshMatte

    i literally creamed my pants when i heard this was coming out the first one was amazing the only thing im pissed about is two not picking up where one left off i was hoping to import my character

    Posted: December 8, 2010 9:49 AM
  • Scarzi

    I didn't like dragon age much, the combat system was just bad. Everything else was good. If they get solid reviews on combat, I will probably buy...if not just another title by bioware I will be avoiding once again. They just haven't made anything that could top Baldur's gate. Keep pumping out those could be epic games, I will hope for the best.

    Posted: December 6, 2010 1:03 AM
  • stashtoker

    loved the first.... cant wait for the second....

    Posted: November 18, 2010 2:04 AM
  • zapphoman

    this game is going to be so awesome. I can't wait til march.

    Posted: November 16, 2010 10:40 PM
  • Greenlanturn9669

    Bioware you know I heart you but why do you feel it's needed to do a rpg then make the sequel a action game. dont get me wrong i love both Mass effect 1 & 2 but i do wish you would just pick one genre for your games and there sequels and stick with and not feel that you have to change it completly just to sell a few more copies.

    Posted: November 15, 2010 10:50 AM
  • godzillaisyourdaddy

    Now this game sounds delicious!

    Posted: November 14, 2010 9:35 PM
  • hoof_hearted4

    oh and a question, you are a survivor of Lothering and a Champion of Kirkwell, but are you still a grey warden, or do u have anything to do with them. because it was soo badass being a grey warden. lol

    and on a different note, i hope the characters are as remember able in DA2 as they were in DAO. i mean i had to have Alistair in my party at all times. he was my fellow grey warden. surviving the battle at ostagar with me. my best friend (and in one case lover ahaha) so i hope they return that same feeling, i hope ur not a loner, a single lone badass killing everything, i hope u have such strong bonds like u did in the first one, and i hope those companions bicker while ur roaming aha, some of that is hilarious....andd i hope you get another mabari and its as good as it was in DAO...seriously, its extremely good when used right...and its a dog,,,,who doesnt love puppies.

    Posted: November 14, 2010 8:36 PM
  • hoof_hearted4

    even though ive already replied to like half of the comments and have already said what im about to say, ill repeat myself just because its on the made page....

    i loved the pausing of the game. i probably did it more then i needed to, but imo it didnt even phase me in terms of slow action. on nightmare, there was always something to do. the second an ability was done i needed to que up another one, a heal, a potion, whatever it may be, and i loved it. i hope the keep they PC in mind when they make DA2. i dont want them ruining it just so console players have an easier time playing it. im a console player myself. hardly touch my PC for games with some exceptions (StarCraft 2, Diablo, DA:O and C&C mainly) but i was smart enough to get DA for PC and honestly so shouldnt everyone else. you dont need a high end PC to handle it. my laptop handles it just fine. i am dissappointed they took out the options of choosing different origins, considering variety is the spice of an RPG. either way ive already pre ordered DA2 and am very much looking forward to it.

    Posted: November 14, 2010 7:39 PM
  • HJC

    If they can get Dragon Age II to have the same level of cinematic quality as Mass Effect 2, upgrade the graphics, and improve the combat it will be the greatest high fantasy RPG of the decade.

    Posted: November 14, 2010 5:23 PM
  • PcgamerWithAClue

    Consolized garbage.

    Posted: November 14, 2010 12:27 PM
  • RPG-fan

    I hope G4 is going to do 2 different reviews of Dragon Age 2 than just copy and paste the review onto different systems. Seeing as the PC version is going to be different from console version of DA2.

    Posted: November 13, 2010 8:53 PM
  • Shilack88420

    Really it depends on your cpu if it can handle the graphics of draon age 1 with no lag i would deffinately get it for the pc if not then console can be just as good. Personally ive gamed via keyboard my whole life and the bindings i can use make this game allot more appealing more gripping and allot more fun. But there is a ton of things they could of changed to fit the console better man you never know just gotta see when it comes out

    Posted: November 13, 2010 8:30 PM
  • EdSabre

    Really excited for this. If they can improve on Dragon Age the same way they improved Mass Effect, then we're all in for a real treat.

    Posted: November 13, 2010 10:47 AM
  • TheyTarget

    Dragon Age wasn't very "hardcore rpg". If that was all it had to offer I would have hated it. It was in fact an amazing game though. I guess I just miss the real intensity, of old Baldur's Gate (which I still play now and then). It's already casual compared to what RPG's used to be. It's just so much more polished, the conversations are fluid, the story was both compelling and interesting, and it allowed you to have wholly different characters each time you play.

    Posted: November 13, 2010 9:21 AM
  • smuckfuzzer

    I officialy hate Bioware!, I'm not going to buy this because Mass Effect 2 was ruined, and they are about to do the same to this one. Why do you make a roleplaying game, and then sell out to action gamers in the sequel. Just make a whole new game with a different title. This crap pisses me off, pretty soon there won't be room in this world for roleplaying fans, and I'll just quit playing video games!

    Posted: November 13, 2010 6:43 AM
  • Arrak

    If its just streamlines and easier to play then I cool with it but if it goes the dumbed down route of Fable-3 I would be unhappy.

    Posted: November 13, 2010 6:17 AM
  • breeto123

    I hope this game wont have any game ending gliyches like the first one. I had almost completed it when suddenly i was in Ogramaar and couldnt finishe the quest!!! WTF! if i would have went back to my last save i probably would have lost over 20 hours of game play so i decided to keep playing and maybe it would fix its self but no i probably lost about 40 hours of gaming overall. Worst Day Ever.

    Posted: November 12, 2010 6:53 PM