developer: BioWare Corporation
publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Game mode: single player
Dragon Age II for PC, X360 and PS3 is the second installment in the series developed by BioWare, which is best known for the production of many cult role-playing games (e.g. Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Mass Effect). Released in 2009, the first Dragon Age has been recognized by both the players and the press, and is often referred to as the spiritual successor of Baldur's Gate.
The game takes us back to the dark fantasy world inhabited by humans, elves, and dwarves. It is plagued by new problems. This time, we assume the role of Hawke – the penniless refugee who plays a key role in the future of the game world and later on transforms into a legend known as the Champion of Kirkwall. The game's plot covers ten years of his life, during which he gathers deadly allies and gains both fame and wealth. The whole story is set in the past. All events have already taken place, and the players are listeners of many different storytellers, who often differ in their perspectives and views on the stories recounted.
Major changes have occurred in the approach to the main character. In the previous installment, the players were able to choose between a couple of races. In Dragon Age II, however, we can only play a human character, even though the world is inhabited by a number of races. No freedom of choice in this regard has been rewarded with the protagonist having a specific, clearly defined personality (though, of course, shaped later on by our decisions). All three character classes known from the original game – warrior, rogue, and mage – are playable. This time, the developers made sure they that they are clearly different. Depending on the chosen class, we might feel like a killing machine, a medieval ninja, or mobile artillery. During the adventure, the players develop their character, perform different tasks, and take part in momentous events. Just like in the original, the fate of both the protagonist and the entire world is shaped by the player’s decisions.
The combat system has been significantly improved. It is still real-time (with the possibility to pause at any time), but this time the efforts were made to ensure that the player’s character is always in the center of the battle, regardless of whether it belongs to warrior, mage, or rogue class. Development tree was also altered, so as not to increase the number of talents, but rather to expand the capabilities of individual skills. For example, if someone fancies casting fireballs, the game will allow him to develop and improve this particular skill, so that at the end of the game he will have super powerful version of this spell, perfectly matched to the needs and capabilities of his character. The dialogue system has also been completely changed. The classic list was replaced with attitude icons. Instead of seeing entire possible responses, we get a graphical representation of the general feel of an utterance (e.g. aggressive or sarcastic).
Dragon Age II for PC, X360 and PS3 uses a modified version of the graphics engine used to power the first game. In addition to the usual technical improvements, the game also offers a heavily revised graphic style. The visual realism gave way to stylization. Shapes are now sharper, surfaces smoother, and the whole excels in a bit of a cartoon version of dark fantasy.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium IV 2.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM (4 GB RAM - Vista/7), graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 8800GTS or better), 7 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista/7