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    dkirschner's Dragon Age II (PC)

    [June 3, 2017 01:04:32 PM]
    Finished in about a week! DA2 is the lowest rated of the three, but I really enjoyed it. Bioware did a nontraditional thing by limiting the game to one city in three different years, instead of giving you an entire world or country or continent to explore. I liked that approach for the narrative it could tell, showing what happens to all these different characters over time, how Hawke (your main character) rises in renown in Kirkwall, shifting political tensions, etc. Extremely cool. BUT, the downside is that there are limited locations throughout the game. The landscape doesn't change in its three chapters. Every time, you're in Kirkwall, and Kirkwall has the same districts and the same sewers and the same homes, and outside Kirkwall the Dalish camp is the same and the Bone Pit is the same, etc., etc. The scenery became repetitive, like driving through the Midwest and seeing cornfields for miles, falling asleep and waking up and seeing more cornfields for miles. Each environment would reset every chapter, with new enemies and perhaps a new little cave, and new quests. There were a few surprises, like when I went to clear the Bone Pit in chapter 3 (the mine I co-owned with a merchant in town). In chapter 1, I helped him rid it of spiders and took part ownership; in chapter 2, I motivated the workers to get back to work; in chapter 3, a wounded horse raced into town with a cartload of massacred men and when I went to investigate there was a High Dragon, which was THE hardest fight I did in the whole game, which was crazy because this was just a side quest. But it was a huge reward for following the Bone Pit storyline across the game, a super fun intense boss battle, and a unique reward from an herbalist for giving him high dragon's blood. SO, there were a few great surprises like this, but 95% of the time nothing too exciting.

    The writing is the high point. I liked getting to know all my companions, and their individual quest lines were all interesting. Aveline becomes captain of the Kirkwall guard and you can help her pursue romance with a guardsman, Merrill tries to piece together an ancient, dangerous elven mirror, Isabela's story weaves with the Qunari story, which is the focus of chapter 2, and so on. You even get to follow your various family members and see how their fortunes change over time in Kirkwall--your mother, brother, uncle, and another that I won't give away. And of course there are romances. The Hawke character can, as far as I was aware, become romantic with about all of the companions. You can be straight, gay, or bi, but this isn't Mass Effect, so no intergalactic species romance. I slept with three and wound up with Anders, one of several characters to return from Dragon Age 1. Oh, and your companions' banter is wonderful throughout the game, the way they pick on each other and tell stories and how their relationships change. There must be soooo many branches in the narrative and in character relationships in this game. I really loved the attention to story and character interactions.

    Combat is nothing to write home about. I played a mage focused on healing allies and debilitating enemies, more of a control character. I feel like I played a similar character (maybe a fire mage) in Dragon Age 1, so I should do something different for Inquisition. I'd just kind of sit back, curse enemies, heal when needed, and run around collecting loot while my allies killed stuff. This was definitely a good character choice for the more difficult battles because I don't see the AI, even with my tactical commands, micro-managing healing and cursing like I did. If I choose a melee character in Inquisition though, I'll just hope the AI is good at healing! Or I guess I can always pause and micromanage allies (unless Inquisition did away with that...?).

    Well, that's it really. Solid game. Moving on to Inquisition, which I've heard many great things about.
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    dkirschner's Dragon Age II (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 26 May, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 3 June, 2017

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Really looking forward to this, especially the story. Heard gameplay is simplified and meh. --------------- Solid game. Stellar writing.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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