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Nov. 19th, 2011 @ 10:23 pm Finished game: Dragon Age 2
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
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klik had a Zen-day today, which meant she had to leave really early in the morning and would be home in the evening. So I had ample time for a marathon session of Dragon Age 2. And after about six hours of playing (not non-stop, though -- I don't have the stamina anymore for that, I guess) I finished the game. The ending crept up on me -- there were quests that I would have liked to do before the ending, but I did most of them anyway.

In my first playthrough, I went with a male warrior Hawke. I decided to take the consequences of my choices and not go back to earlier saves if something happened I didn't want -- the only exception was when I (accidentally) started a romance with Anders while I was gunning for Merrill. (What can I say, I outrageously flirted with anyone. "A luxury problem" was thus created, as they would say at TNJ.)

I didn't expect the story that I got. I had expected Hawke to become a Warden somewhere during the game (perhaps during/after the Deep Roads expedition) and having to quell a minor Blight. But that was not the case: the theme is the fight between the mages and the templars -- when the third act started, I realised the two angry-looking characters in the title screen were not just random passer-by's, but Grand Mage Orsino and Knight-Commander Meredith. As such, the set-up with the three acts is pretty neat: during the first act you find the Lyrium Idol, during the second act you rise to power in Kirkwall, and during the third act you have to deal with the fall-out between Orino and Meredith.
I also liked the idea of playing in a story that Varrick tells to the Seeker. Some scenes you play twice: there are two occasions when the Seeker probes Varrick for what really happened, and then you play through the scene again -- often much less epic. ;)

But the choices you make don't have a major impact on the story, like they did in DA:O. It's all pretty linear, and you're on a conveyor belt that brings you towards the inevitable conclusion. And it's not like you have a real choice between the mages and the templars: all through the story you are pushed to feel sympathy for the mages. Heck, you even get three mages among your companions!
The side quests are amusing. However, pretty much everything is solved in only one way: by slaughtering everyone. There is a large number of quests that could have been resolved if people would just listen and talk instead of immediately starting to fight. Heck, I tried to be sympathetic to the Dalish clan on the mountain, but in the end I had to slaughter every single one of them because they decided they had enough -- instead of listening to the group of adventurers that are armed to the teeth. That just made no sense, and while I liked the XP, I derived no sense of accomplishment from that senseless slaughter. And there are more occurences like that: you walk in somewhere to investigate, and the assembled people attack you on sight.

With Dragon Age:Origins, I played every origin story and played it through a second time -- just because I wanted to make different choices the second time around. With DA2, I don't feel the need to do that: looking through the walkthroughs, it seems I already hit most of the side quests. Perhaps in a few months I'll return to the game, but for now I've seen enough.

I liked it, but it's not as epic and deep as Dragon Age:Origins. But I do want to play DA3 now, because I know what the setup is, and I'm curious as to how it will work out.
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Viking!
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From:rvdammit
Date:November 20th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC)
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The Dalish can be talked down, in different playthroughs I've had both results.
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From:fub
Date:November 20th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I know it's possible. You have to take responsibility, and suddenly they don't attack you. It'll earn you rivalry from Merril, though. (Interestingly enough, all answers that will make you massacre her tribe are the ones that she approves of. Blood-thirsty little minx, she is!)

Still, it's stupid they chose to attack my team, unprovoked, and chose to fight themselves to the death. But then again, enemies don't back down once they've started -- that's another difference with DA:O.
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From:rvdammit
Date:November 21st, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
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It's not quite unprovoked. By not taking responsibility the inference is that you'll let Merril relase demons. A the extreme end of their point of view it is "If we don't stop her, no one will." Their tactics then suck in that killing the player over and over doesn't make for a good game
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