Although I haven't mentioned it here at the blog yet, I've been spending most of the last week with my oldest son. He's here for his Spring Break, so the lack of updates is mostly due to the fact that we've been staying up late every night trying to squeeze every last minute out of every day. He's a fantastic kid and I love him very much, and I am more than a little proud to say that he's cutting his game-playing teeth on Monster Hunter, Trials HD, and a number of other things that might not be traditionally seen as kid-friendly fare.
So at this point, I'm about fifteen hours or so into Dragon Age II. I am going to be doing a full review so I won't go into a great amount of detail here, but I will say that if I wasn't going to be submitting a formal review, I would have already quit the game and traded it in for something else. Not even kidding a bit. In the interest of keeping things brief, here's a quick list of bullet points highlighting the issues I have with it.
I think I should start with the reason I placed the pre-order in the first place, which is that I enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins a great deal. I didn't particularly care for the combat, which suffered from having continuous time and lousy AI. However, I thought the game had some interesting ideas hiding behind its surface pageantry of turgid Tolkienism, and the writing for some of the characters (Shale!) was really great. So, when I heard Dragon Age II was coming out I placed an order, and when I heard there was a demo, I downloaded it. Having thoroughly gone through the demo, however, I decided to cancel the pre-order.
I had originally planned on posting a rant about Dragon Age II tonight, but the day didn't quite unfold the way I thought it would. So, although I don't have enough time to do a full-on posting at the moment, my conscience is screaming out to me that I need to do something in order to warn people against buying it.
We're back and less offensive than ever! Our conversation about detail and immersion becomes an impromptu "State of Rockstar Games" debate. Plus: Our personal gaming tragedies; tales of data loss and other disasters. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "The Traitor" Spaeth.
Many readers and staff on this site have praised BioWare's high fantasy epic Dragon Age: Origins for its compelling story, loveable characters, and nail-biting decisions. Truly, it is a great game, but no one has had the time or focus to closely examine each of the games major choices in an effort to discover what makes them so great. A closer examination reveals that not all of these choices are nearly as good as the others. This article aims to teach what makes story choices in a game compelling, and what makes them forgettable.
To start with, Dragon Age: Origins — Awakening was a pretty chunky amount of content for something called an "expansion". It may sound odd, but after going through it I kind of felt as though it might have worked better if it had been split up into its three main component parts and doled out one at a time, similar to the way Fallout 3 handled its five add-ons.
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