As someone who hasn’t been gaming since they came out of the womb, like some of my other friends have, I’m always interested in hearing their opinions about how older games hold up compared to other games we have now. Do the graphics still look good? Is the game still an enjoyable experience to play like the day they first played it? My friends always have something to compare it to, while I simply don’t. I became a late bloomer kind of gamer and most of the games I play now have better graphics and technology to work off of. It came as a surprise to me when I actually found a video game I have an opinion on when it comes to how well it holds up as it gradually ages. Which game is this? Dragon Age, of course!
It’s November 18 and it’s a special day for all Dragon Age fans. And if you’re not a Dragon Age fan and have no idea what I’m talking about, then I’m surprised you’ve been able to steer clear of all the video game news bits leading up to this day. Dragon Age: Inquisition has finally been released in stores in North America and it’s literally like Christmas for the whole lot of us.
When we play video games and we’re coasting along just fine without any troubling hiccups, we sometimes find ourselves getting a little too comfortable. Maybe even a little overly confident. We think we’re going to get to the finish line or just be able to progress further into this awesome story we can’t stop experiencing as we play. And then the unthinkable happens. We encounter a boss fight that’s too damn HARD!
The buzz and excitement around E3 may have died down, but my own personal excitement over the presentation Bioware gave at the conference for their next installment of the Dragon Age series, Dragon Age: Inquisition has not. A new game trailer for the game has been released and its spectacular. Fans of the series are cautiously excited from the comments I’ve seen in articles pertaining to the game. Understandably, some are still sore over how the ending to Mass Effect 3 was handled and Dragon Age 2 wasn’t exactly the strongest installment of the series, but I’m particularly confident about Inquisition.
This week I decided to give Dragon Age II a shot. I previously confessed that I did not particularly care for Dragon Age: Origins due to the clunky gameplay and slow start, but I have been told that Dragon Age II would be more fitting for me, combat and pace-wise. I really enjoyed what little of the storyline I witnessed but I just could never bring myself to play it much, because of that I decided to dig in to the second game in the series.
I started off by picking a class and a gender and I chose a female mage. When I was a bit younger I really liked to play as warrior-type classes due to brute force and strength, but now that I’m a bit more experienced I prefer battle-mage’s or just the mage class in general. I typically find myself being a better support character than anything else so being a mage who stands back and attacks enemies or heals my allies feels right. My favorite character in Dragon Age: Origins was an elven mage, so it makes sense that I would choose that class again in Dragon Age II. My first contact with the Dark Spawn proved to me that my choice was the right one, mage combat is outrageously smooth in Dragon Age II.
I think that so far the combat is my favorite part of the game. It is so smooth compared to that of Dragon Age: Origins and it feels like something I will really enjoy throughout the game. I like being able to switch between characters, so that if Hawke dies I can control someone else, or if I want to use someone else’s powers I can. It’s much better than a game over or worthless allies. I like the amount of powers or abilities you have at your disposal in these games as well, it was the same with Origins as it is with this one and I really like that in both games. Having two tiers of powers/abilities to work with (six total) is really helpful as the game progresses, it seems.
So far the few characters I have met have been pretty cool. My character’s brother, Carver, is kind of annoying but I got over it. He is always mad at me for some reason, I think it’s because I am a mage. Aveline is a really fun character, I like her a lot so far. I think she will be one of my favorites in this game. Varric seems like an interesting character too, though I only just met him. The characters seem to have a lot of depth, which is something that Bioware is good at creating in their games.
One of my favorite Bioware trademarks is the plethora of dialog options in their games and Dragon Age II is no exception. One of my favorite things about the Mass Effect series is the amount of information you can get out of conversations and the ability to choose your character’s responses. Dragon Age 2 has the same sort of in-depth dialog and I really love it. It helps someone like me who missed out on the first game learn more about the world and what has happened in the past as well as what is going on now.
I’m not very far into this game at all but I can say with confidence that I will keep pushing further into it because I really like it so far. I know a lot of people had very legitimate complaints about the lack of unique environments used in Dragon Age 2 and whatnot but regardless I think I will enjoy playing through this game. It should get me somewhat ready for Dragon Age Inquisition, which I know everyone is really looking forward to!