Dragon Age 2 Demo!

da2

Yesterday, Bioware released the Dragon Age 2 demo into the wild (link is for the PC version, PS3 and Xbox versions available through usual console mechanisms) with the promise that if one million people downloaded it across all platforms, there will be some extra goodies in game for everyone.

They’re already up to over 400k downloads. No wonder mine was so slow yesterday!

Highlights for me:

  • It’s good to be back in Ferelden, the use of music, voice acting, and film-like lead ins to the plot really does make the first section with the templar and the dwarf feel immersive.
  • Combat has changed, it feels faster and punchier and still very Dragon Age. Main thing is that you can still pause frequently to assign actions to the various characters. But I was finding it tricky to deal with streams of incoming mobs without a specific AE build. This may be a case where practice makes perfect.
  • Some of those fights are quite tricky on normal difficulty and since you can’t save in the demo, better hope you picked up lots of healing and mana potions.
  • I did enjoy playing Hawke as a 2H warrior, whirlwind is awesome. To be fair, the rogue and mage looked fun too! And it’s nice having a voice for the main character.
  • I love the storytelling conceit of the unreliable narrator, but it would have been better if the champion had punched the dragon in the face in the first narrative. (Sharp eyed players on rpg.net also suspect that Bethany’s boobs grow a bit in the first retelling and are more feasible in size in the second narrative.)
  • Varic is an awesome character.
  • Aveline is an awesome tank. She soloed the ogre on her own in my first playthrough after everyone else died.
  • I’m a softie and was moved when Aveline had to decide whether to kill her own husband so that he didn’t become darkspawn. (I guess this kind of storyline is more gripping if you’re in a relationship)
  • The city where you meet Isabella (was that Kirkwall, not quite sure?) definitely gave the feel of being large and city like where Denerim never quite worked for me.
  • Isabella is awesome too, but if you played DAO you know that already.
  • femHawke has good armour. I know I bang on about this :)
  • The blood spatters are still in.
  • There’s some great foretelling in the interactions with Flemeth which makes me very intrigued to see how this story is going to play out.
  • I can’t wait to play the full version!

What did you all think? For me, one of the nice things about a PC demo is that it’ll prove that my system runs a game (arguably something I could have thought about before pre-ordering the signature edition but still nice to know.)

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9 thoughts on “Dragon Age 2 Demo!

  1. I could do without the blood splatters, for real.

    I was boggling a bit at Isabella, I find…she’s maybe a touch too well endowed. I like girls, but wowza.

    FemHawke looked kickass, I really dig her. The combat reminded me very much of ME2, which took me quite some time to get used to back then. I had a bit of issues with targetting, but as I didn’t die once in the demo, I think I got it down.

    Naturally, my FemHawke was a warrior, but the 2H kind. Combat animations looked very smooth.

    I now need a refresher for DA:O because it’s been such a long time. It’s really the kind of demo that’s really mouthwatering and makes me very excited for the full version soon!

  2. I really enjoyed playing it. I really like Flemeth’s improved look. Varic’s cross bow was really neat looking and I giggled at his chest hair.

  3. It feels like the same underlying system but vastly improved. You can play it the same way, but there’s less newbie traps, less dead time for melee classes, and rogues have an actual (and awesome) role.

    I really need a toolset update for this game. I want to make boss fights for it even more than I want to play it.

  4. I haven’t played the demo and might have to. After finishing the first DA game I was a little underwhelmed, it just seemed to drag on for me and don;t get me wrong, I love Bioware stuff and lap up Mass Effect like there’s no tomorrow but DA just didn’t click in the same way for me.

  5. I wasn’t aware the demo was out until I saw your post, Spinks. Downloaded it in a heartbeat, and I must say that I was incredibly impressed. Naithin’s post linked above covers just about everything I’d say about it – looks, plays, and feels like an upgraded DAO, which is a good thing in my book.

  6. The demo was a major disappointment for me. First thing I noticed is that skills are gone. Chance to hit is not an issue any more, u allways hit your target. Talking abilities are history, no persuade and intimidation options. The demo was all about combat. Video-battle-video-battle-video… Boring! Is this a role playing game? Or an action game that looks like a rpg? Cause if its an action game, it’s not a good one. Looks like new “Bioware” under EA’s command is not the same company that gave us Baldur’s Gate and KOTOR. “Make rpgs for the average stupid casual gamer. Forget gameplay. Add more blood and gore. Sex too.” “Yes boss!”

  7. Pingback: How Dragon Age 2 Made Me Excited for The Old Republic | Ex Post Ninja

  8. I honestly found the fights to be much easier and more intuitive than fights at the equivalent point in DA:O. The Ogre fight in particular felt like a nightmare of micromanagement the first time around, while here it felt fairly smooth and enjoyable. We burned a potion and kept at work.

    Teaching Bethany (or Hawke) Heal and Heroic Defense is likely part of what makes it much easier, to be sure.

    Overally, it was a great demo and I’m looking forward to the full game now.

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