dragon age 2 (xbox360)

i think i’m about half way through dragon age 2. i really had to force myself through the first couple of hours. i felt the game was so boring in the beginning. it gives you no compelling story and the characters seem bland. you end up doing lots of run here and then run there errands…nothing of interest. i especially hated how many quests were in lowtown, darktown, the docks. those areas are so drab and unappealing.

i chose to be a warrior in da2 since i was a mage in origins. huge mistake – the melee combat in this game is incredibly unfun/unstimluating. it basically boils down to mindless button mashing. i highly recommend playing da2 as a mage or rogue. for the vast majority of the time i let the computer control hawke as i controlled a mage character during combat. another thing about the combat…in origins for the most part you only fought enemies that were already in a room or that were in adajecent rooms. in da2 you fight magically appearing waves of enemies. it’s just tedious…which makes me use firestorm often in hopes of ending the battle quicker.

thoughts on characters…
hawke seems mostly boring early on but that may be from me playing him too nicely
bethany (hawke’s sister) – goody two-shoes, i thought that was utter crap that she ends up leaving the party. i also understand that carver can survive during alternate storylines.
aveline – another goody two-shoes. she ends up being alright later on.
anders – super annoying. all he does is whine about templars 24/7. he’s absolutely nothing like anders from awakening. they should have just used another name entirely. anders in awakening was a smart mouthed womanizer. anders in da2 is a serious whiny radical who apparently is into men now. however, he does appear to be the best mage in the game.
varric – i didn’t care for him at first, but he grows on you. his crossbow is pretty effective too.
isabela – she’s basically a female zevran but replace being an assassin with being a pirate. still unsure on how effective she is as a party member. to me, she’s the obvious romance choice for a straight male hawke (slim pickings otherwise).
fenris – i like the voice of this character but not really the anime hair and appearance. i often include fenris in the party because of the high amounts of damage he deals. the downside is that he isn’t in heavy armor and takes a lot of damage himself.
merrill – she could have been a sweet/cute character but instead they went way overboard with her which makes her annoying. she has some good damage spells but unfortunately they have long cooldowns and use a lot of mana. she also cannot learn heal. for these reasons i rarely include her as the mage in my party.
sebastian – seems like another goody two-shoes. i rarely use im because i feel like varric and isabela have the rogue slot covered.

i have friendships with the majority of the companions except fenris. it seems like no matter what i say to fenris i get rivalry points. oh well. i can’t believe that i thought origins’ reaction system was annoying…it’s way worse in da2. i often have no idea why i end up getting rivalry points and there are not abundant gifts in da2 to offset them.

things i like…the graphics in da2 are much improved over origins. the characters look better and the combat animations seem almost cinematic. i liked the latter half of the legacy dlc. the appearance of one of the original magisters was very interesting. by the way, do not bring anders to the final battle in the legacy dlc…you will end up having to kill him. luckily i had a savegame to go back to so i could form another party without anders. this really caught me by surprise because i didn’t count on character deaths occuring in a dlc. i decided to kill corypheus and spare larius since this made the most sense to me. i’m interested in what the opposite outcome is. the mark of the assassin dlc was decent even though i didn’t really care for tallis. also i’m not sure what the point is of introducing a playable character in dlc just to take them away? i’d recommend being at least level 10 before trying either dlc. i was level 13 trying to fight an optional battle with a sky horror in the mark of the assassin and i still couldn’t pull it off. it might be best to wait til level 15 or later before trying either. hawke gets a pretty good sword in legacy.

i also like the potion ordering system and being able to use shops without talking to NPCs. i like that the locations are much smaller than those in origins. in origins the caverns are especially too large and plodding. the downside is that da2 embarrassingly reuses the same locations over and over and over. get used to seeing the same couple of caves, warehouses, dungeons, and beach areas. they even keep the same HUD map for these recycled locations even though the map is often no longer accurate. this is because various pathways will be blocked off in the recycled version. another plus is that you can quickly change locations without tons of walking. since the locations are smaller in da2 this also improves the loading… issue from origins quite a bit. i’m not totally sure how i feel about the equipment system in da2. sure it’s nice not to have to worry about cycling through all your party members to make sure they’re equipped with the latest stuff…but at the same time it’s pretty lame to get all this armor (and sometimes weapons) that is only for hawke. still on the fence on this. to me, the worst aspects of da2 was the horribly slow start, heavy reuse of locations, terrible melee combat, and the apparent reboot of da lore (dalish elves now being irish and weird looking?, qunari with horns and non-qunari allowed to follow the qun, etc). early on in da2 i was so discouraged that i was thinking maybe another company developed it and tried to make a bioware game. overall though, da2 is a decent game. i didn’t experience as much bugginess as i thought i was going to. i only had the xbox freeze up once while playing it. i’m actually glad da2 is light on darkspawn material because i experienced more than enough of them in origins/awakening.

update 5/30/2015:
finished da2 mere moments ago. with the qunari conflict i tried to keep things as civil as possible. isabela was hawke’s romance so i chose to help her get the relic (even though logically it made more sense to force her to give the relic back to the qunari). during this segment isabela took off. however she did return during the showdown with the arishok because of being a romance/friend to hawke. she returns the book to the qunari but that is still not good enough for the arishok. he wants isabela as well. i don’t think i could turn her over to the qunari even if she was not hawke’s romance. i’m curious though if the arishok will still want to fight if you hand her and the book over. i was ready to fight the qunari at this point anyways because i found the killing of the viscount and innocent civilians to be unforgivable. i was willing to defend the qunari up until that point.

i let varric’s brother live and later on i let varric keep the shard (although this was against my better judgement). i let fenris kill danarius’ apprentice and his sister. i chose to kill gascard during prime suspect because the girl said he hurt her and the mansion was full of shades…it all seemed very suspicious. this action probably led to the murder of hawke’s mother…which was a very messed up and seemingly unnecessary scene.

anders…
it was pretty obvious what he was up to. i figured it would be some kind of magical bomb or summoning a demon into the chantry. i agreed to help him distract the grand cleric even though i didn’t really want to. i figured anders was going to follow through with his plan regardless. my goal was to hopefully change his mind or prevent it from happening. i made up my mind right then that if he killed the grand cleric then i would kill him. and that’s exactly what i did. i briefly considered exiling him but he was just so insufferable. and i had him as a maxed out friend and basically did every little quest he wanted during the game. so i felt like his actions and behavior were unforgivable. i was sad to lose what i would consider to be the party’s best mage, but bethany was a very worthy replacement. i was wondering if i would ever get her back. also her force mage spells are awesome.

so for the last time i chose to side the mages once more. i believe i would always do this because they are definitely the underdog in da2. the circle seems to be willing to work things out, but meredith is completely unreasonable. at this point all of my party sided with me except for fenris. before the orsino battle i spoke to him once more and convinced him to join my side. my final party consisted of bethany, aveline, and varric. i purposely wanted members that had been there since the very beginning.

i didn’t quite get the orsino transformation since it happened when the tide of the battle was definitely in my favor. i guess maybe he finally met his breaking point. i found the orsino battle to be very easy.

the tie-in with meredith being the purchaser of the red lyrium sword was pretty cool. i also found the battle with meredith to not be that bad. time consuming yes, but not difficult.

as far as i can tell, the only things that came from my origins import were the following: alistair is a grey warden and not a king, the hero of ferelden was a mage, anders and zevran were alive, and harrowmont being king.

final game stats
53 hours, 725 saves
hawke – level 26 warrior
strength 46, dexterity 28, magic 14, cunning 22, willpower 41, constitution 35
health 397, stamina 268, damage 92 DPS, attack 697, defense 197, armor 690
maxed out two-handed and warmonger abilities
specialized as templar and reaver

bethany force mage
friends: bethany, isabela, anders (was), aveline, sebastian (almost maxed out), varric
rival: merrill
neutral leaning towards friend: fenris

This entry was written by resinblade , posted on Monday May 25 2015at 11:05 pm , filed under Games . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.