Throwback Thursday Review – Dragon Age II

Ah, Dragon Age II. It feels like this game came out yesterday that’s how clear I can remember it. The sequel to one of my top ten games ever, Dragon Age: Origins, this game promised to be just as awesome, if not even more awesome then the first. When it comes to this game it seems like either you loved it or you hated it. Here’s what I thought about it:

No longer “The Warden”, you now take on the role of Hawke. Eldest child of the Hawke family and basically the one in charge. You along with your family, your mother, brother, and sister, are all running away from the blight as it makes its way towards your home town of Lothering. You’ll arrive in Kirkwall as nothing really. You’ll work for a year as a slave before rising through the ranks. Eventually you’ll become the Champion of Kirkwall. The story of Hawke takes place over the span of 10 years where each time jump will have some pretty drastic changes along with more then a few tragedies depending on how you play it.

Personally, I could not get enough of this game. Every time it ended, the next thing I did was start it again. Each and every time I was fully immersed in this game, mostly because of the great story telling on behalf of BioWare as well as some pretty awesome characters. The story of Hawke as well as the people he or she meets is what really makes this game great. Throughout the ten years, not only does Hawke change and grow, but so do the other characters. Each character has their own story to tell and the way it plays out really depends on how Hawke acts towards them and the decisions that Hawke makes.

You can play basically three different types of Hawke. The nice Hawke, the sarcastic Hawke, and then of course Asshole Hawke. Playing as all three was extremely fun, but my hands down favorite was sarcastic Hawke. Not only was it fun playing as three different types of Hawke, but the boss battles in this game are epic. EPIC! You get to, if you choose to, duel the Arishock. The Arishock, this massive Quanari leader, who is just impressive making the battle even more awesome as well as a turning point in the game.

Kudos: Even though a lot of people complained about it, I liked that every character in this game is bisexual. Even though each and every time my Lady Hawke would choose Isabela, it was nice to have a variety of options open in case I wanted to choose differently. It’s nice to know that this game was playable for everyone, not just some.

Compared to Dragon Age: Origins, the playability of this game is amazing. So many improvements were made for the better. The whole battle system was redone making it half tactical and half button masher which I enjoyed. It was nice not having to wait for a specific power to cool down and become available again before I started to feel useful. No matter if I had powers available or not, I still felt like I was doing something during battles. Each and every one of my 9+ playthroughs were also bug and glitch free. It was just how a game should be.

Unlike most people, I didn’t have a problem with the re-use of cave and dungeon paths. I was too involved in the story to have an actual problem with this. This isn’t the first game that has done this, and it won’t be the last, so why people were solely complaining about this game having reused scenery I have no idea.

If you play this game after Dragon Age: Origins, you’ll see a huge change in the graphics. Everything is basically 100% improved on. Faces are clearer and more life-like while Kirkwall and the surrounding areas you’ll venture out to are full of detail and clarity. I’ve played this game fairly recently and have to say that even today the graphics hold up and still look pretty awesome.

There are a total of 66 trophies for the entire game as well as the DLC that can be purchased for this game. Every trophy is pretty damn easy to get as you’ll eventually get all of them from just playing the game over and over again, but the only trophy that gave me the most trouble was Supplier. It wasn’t until my most recent playthrough that I was able to collect every single crafting resource throughout the ten years in Kirkwall to get this trophy and the platinum trophy. It was just crazy. Every time I finished the game and didn’t get the trophy I would look at my little recipe book to see that I was missing 1 Elfroot. 1 ELFROOT! It drove me mad, and it’ll drive you mad too unless you know where everything is.

Yay for RPG’s not having multiplayer!

Since there is no multiplayer I will comment on the awesome DLC that is offered for this game. Both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin are some of the best DLC that you will ever play. Each DLC plays an important role in finding out more about Hawke and filling in some time gaps between all of the time jumps. Each DLC is interesting and will make you keep coming back for more. Now…a few moments to mourn for the DLC that never became Exalted March. You were supposed to be great and finish Hawke’s story, but you never became. Very sad…very sad indeed.

Overall I give this game a 5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Interesting story.
+ Interesting characters.
+ Improved playability.
+ Improved graphics.
+ No bugs or glitches
+ Awesome DLC.

What’s Not So Great:
Cancelled DLC. 😦

Even though I’m a little biased towards Dragon Age II, because it’s awesome, I will say that it’s worth it to pick this game up and play. Anyone can really get into this game from casual gamers to hardcore gamers. It’s a game for everyone which is kind of rare lately. Even today when I don’t have something to play, I’ll pick this game up and start over again.

Join me next week when I review my sixth platinum, Borderlands. Maybe there will be a little extra added into review, a tale of friendship, a tale of competition, and a tale of betrayal. Got you interested now didn’t I?

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