“We’ve Changed Everything…” or “…But Don’t Worry, It’s Still The Same Thing”
“Dragon Age 2 looks better, plays better, and has an entirely new story,” says lead designer Mike Laidlaw… And so just about everything has been changed in some way, whether it’s a minor tweak to smooth out some rough edges, or the total reworking of an idea that never quite came together the way it should. But don’t worry, says Laidlaw. It may not look quite the same, but at it’s heart, “It’s still Dragon Age.”
Gotta love the marketing lingo!
Some other points to take away from the preview, new information (at least for me) is marked in red:
- Gone is the origins concept. You are new (a male or female version of) Hawke, Dragon Age’s answer to Commander Sheppard. Also, your character now talks.
- The Blight is peripheral noise, compared to the clamor of Hawke’s rise to power, myth and legend.
- Combat is getting a massive overhaul, particularly in terms of differentiating the classes and smoothing out the difficulty levels. It is also considerably more frantic, a departure from the long-windups of the original.
- Crafting has been streamlines; you won’t have to hunt down ingredient-specific vendors; once you find the item in the world; all vendors will carry it. (Thank god!)
- Skill Trees are now more circular in nature, as opposed to the horizontal and linear hierarchy, allowing multiple paths to get to that skill you’ve been craving.
- The game has a lot more eye-candy than the three primary colors of the original: Brown, Grey and Blood-Spatter.
- You will no longer be forced to “keep everyone happy” to keep them around; your party will get your back no matter what, but they will frequently disagree with you if you come from different standpoints
- Junk loot is actually labeled “junk”, so you can sell it without a second thought.
Am I excited? You betcha. Dragon Age: Origins was a stellar game, its flaws notwithstanding. But I am going to wait on some reviews before buying this one.