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Dragon Age II back to reviews
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The New Bio Ware Tradition?
Dragon Age Origins was exactly a typical Bio Ware RPG. There was the opening sets of missions, then multiple quests that could be done in any order, then a final set of missions at the end, all wrapped in great writing. The problem is, I had seen that so many times before. I still absolutely loved the game, but I thought "if the sequel is the same then we may have a problem."

Dragon Age II is not the same. In fact, they update more than just the mission structure. The quests are handled in much the same way as Mass Effect 2, where the main plot advancement happens in a specific order, dividing the game into separate acts. Companion Quests make up the majority of the enjoyment in both.

The combat is a lot more fast paced without being stupid, still requiring you to manage your companions tactics, even if the pause-and-play approach is no longer necessary in every fight. The dialog also takes from Mass Effect, where you now get a wheel to choose from. Unfortunately, interrupts are not present but you can delegate companions to speak for you if it helps (Merrill can identify demons and Varric can lie). The romance plots are pretty standard for Bio Ware, in that the characters are interesting and by the end you want to see them happy. Especially Merrill, in my case.

Also like Mass Effect 2, the individual game's plot of Hawke's rise to power is finished, but with numerous other threads deliberately left hanging. The story itself is very brave for not having some big supernatural evil. Humans are doing a perfectly fine job of tearing the world apart without the darkspawn's help, thanks. The focus on political tension, while hard to sustain in an action/RPG, never lets up and is very well done, illustrating the vicious cycle of tyranny.

There are some flaws, but nothing crippling. There are bugs here and there, worse in some peoples copies than others. I only found two, and both just switched the order of Merrill's dialog but didn't effect anything outside those scenes. There are no interrupts, as I said, and I was spoiled on those in Mass Effect 2. This game is quite great and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes games as a storytelling medium. The narrator will definitely endear you if you do.
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