Console: Xbox 360/ PlayStation 3/ PC / MAC
Players: Single Player
Release Date: 11th March 2011
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Genre: Role-playing Game
Less than two years after we battled our way through a two year campaign in the kingdom of Ferelden, we are set to return to the world of Thedas and once more take up sword, shield and spell in the name of glory and shaping the world with our own power and choices. Dragon Age: Origins became a multi-award winning game and within three months of being released it had sold over 3.2 million copies worldwide, clearly making a name for itself not only as an RPG but as a new franchise in the gaming world. Fans have waited patiently barely satiated with expansion packs for the sequel and it would seem we are not to be disappointed…
A direct sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II is the story of Hawke, a human survivor of the Darkspawn invasion and annihilation of Lothering (that small village that the bad guys destroyed). The narrative of the game is told by Varric, a companion of Hawke, who recounts the adventures to a Chantry Seeker called Cassandra. Each decision you make in the game will affect the story will unfold and how the world will see you – you become known as a Champion of the Free Marches but a Champion to who? Flemeth also reappears, the mystical crone in the marshes but what she wants from you and what sort of secret plans she has in store will be revealed in less than eight days!
What has changed?
A lot has changed for players of the series! Firstly the game and story are based over a course of ten years unlike the original game which took place over two. Character customization has been tweaked too and certain elements have been dropped, most notably the ability to pick one’s race. Hawke may be female or male, warrior/rogue/mage and you may alter the physical appearance to whatever suits you but no more dwarf or elf for us to play with! Players of the first game will be able to import their saved data for DA II doing so will affect the world of Thedas with the decisions made previously (something we think sounds really impressive). Another change is the location of the game, while still set in the same world, Hawke will have fled Lothering and sought refuge of in the Free Marches, north of the kingdom of Ferelden.
New abilities and spells are available for each class and levelling will now be based on a talent tree. The dialogue and character interaction system has also changed and will now have a similar feel to the system used in Mass Effect.
For eager fans who pre-registered for the game well in advance and for those of us lucky to pick them up on the day, the Special Edition of the game comes packed with the usual goodies but still have us frothing at the mouth. An exclusive DLC code that will unlock new missions as well as a brand new playable character, a digital soundtrack and an in-game digital armoury which will feature weapons as well as some other cool items. Bioware also announced that if downloads of the playable DA II demo reached over a million two in game items would be revealed for everyone to collect and a third more powerful one would follow if fans interacted in the same volume with their official Facebook posts.
So, are you feeling that 8 day itch yet? We really can’t wait another week to throw ourselves into Thedas and have sort of begun planning our fast character (that’s not sad it’s just good planning) but we are a little cautious too. The last thing we’d like to see from Dragon Age II is a rehash of the Fable franchise and so we’ll be wary of just how the story proceeds and be sure to bring you an in-depth, infallible, review when the game comes out on the 11th! Until then enjoy this wicked trailer…