Dragon Age 2 Thoughts (with Spoilers)

I finished Dragon Age 2 a few days ago. I have mixed feelings about the game, which is pretty much the case with Bioware’s last couple of games. Expect spoilers below, so please don’t read if you haven’t finished. Note that I played as a female mage Hawke.

I was pleased that the story itself drove me to play, although the game was too long. (I did enjoy the interaction with the Qunari and the Mother serial killer quest. Since Sten was my favorite companion in DAO, there shouldn’t be much of a surprise about the Qunari. And Ohgren. Liked him a lot. And Wynne. Really, I guess none of the companions really grabbed me the way my regular crew did in DAO, excepting Varric.)

I really wanted the game over a few hours earlier than it was and experienced a couple of those “Okay, this must be the end” moments. I was also disappointed once I reached the end, since it’s clearly just a setup for DA3 (with a Leliana cameo). No real closure.

The smash-squeeze-tap-tap gameplay wasn’t all that enthralling. I don’t like the cool downs for potions, and I refused to tote along a cleric character or to spec my mage as a healer. This made the big battles problematic. I did dig the new spell trees. I hear the PC version is a bit better (I played on Xbox 360) as far as thoughtful gameplay goes.

How many side quests can really be about blood mages? I appreciated that the writers made fun of themselves later in the game by basically asking that very same question in the context of the game, but that’s really kind of cheating. Way too many blood mage quests.

The world also was a bit claustrophobic. There was no real sense of exploration or surprise.

Seriously. Orsino. I took your side. Then you flounce and completely go apeshit. Weak.

Not sure I buy Meredith using a clearly magicked/enchanted/cursed item, either.

Next, I’m really looking forward to LA Noire but wish Rockstar would actually write a game with a strong female lead. I might also pick up Shogun 2 and Witcher 2 when they arrive.

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