Who likes dragons? I like dragons. Who likes the medieval period? I like the period. Who like elves, dwarves, mages, and the like? I DO! And who likes romancing said elves? Oh dude… You got me there. Welcome to Dragon Age II.
For being a game called Dragon Age, I didn’t see many dragons. I saw like… two. And I killed one and her babies… I needed the experience!
Anyway, Dragon Age II follows the story of the Champion (or viscount) of Kirkwall, Hawke. And like any other Bioware game, you can choose your gender of male or female and choose your class out of three. I chose the male warrior Hawke since I like being on the offense. So story goes that Hawke and his/her family have to leave Ferelden while being pursued by darkspawn. Crap goes down and you lose one of your siblings (depending on which class you chose) but you gain a new party member, Aveline (I did not like her in the slightest). Once you reach Kirkwall with the help of a witch, you then uh… This is where the story got confusing for me… But uh… It’s cool yo.
The game’s story is cut up in three acts and it felt very discombobulated to me. Each act felt like its own story and it didn’t tie itself up together. Even after finishing the game, I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to explain this to someone who is interested in playing the game. The game is fun but how the heck am I going to explain the story?
Dragon Age II is filled with quests. So many quests. You have four types of quests: main plot, secondary plot, companion quests, and side quests. In order to do the main plot quest, you will have to do certain secondary plot quests to unlock it. I didn’t do any side quests since secondary plot and companion quests felt like it took the place of side quests. I was already doing so much with those quests so why bother doing side quests.
Along the way you can recruit party members. I recruited everyone except Isabela and Sebastian (he is in the DLC which I don’t have). I didn’t know how to get her and I was too far in the game to even be bothered to go and get her. I wish I did cause I would have love to know what she was like. Everyone is a hoot. While you run around the map you can listen to your party banter with each other and I cracked up every time.
With your party members you can either have a friendship or a rivalry with them. I have never experienced this in a Bioware game (the only other Bioware game I have played is the Mass Effect series) so I was confused if this would screw up the romancing options. Depending on what you choose for your dialogue in certain situations you can either gain friendship or rivalry points with your party members.
Leveling up takes a while in this game. You do happen to fight a lot of enemies but that is not the only way to get experience. You can gain experience by finding crafting items in areas. That’s pretty cool. When you do level up, you get three attribute points and one ability point. With your attribute points, you can allocate them between strength, dexterity, magic, cunning, willpower, and constitution. These attributes play a key role in wearing armor and wielding weapons as certain equipment can only be used if you have enough points in a specific attribute. Ability points allows you to gain a new skill or talent. There are many options to choose from and you can choose whether to focus on one ability path or just put your points in many paths. Here’s the catch: you don’t do this with just Hawke, you do it for your whole party. Yup, you do it for everyone.
Let me tell you guys something real quick. The reason I got into Bioware games is the romance mechanic. Yes it’s true. I did. But while playing the games, I got invested into the story and then everything became cool beans. I ended up romancing Fenris, the ex-slave. I noticed he needs shoes. Let’s buy him some. I mean you can give him a book and a sword, why not some shoes?
The map. From my understanding, the map is smaller than it was in Origins. But you know what? That works well for me. I don’t like having big, huge maps. I get lost quickly and become easily frustrated. You only have three maps: a day map of the towns, a night map of the towns, and the field map outside the towns. That was enough for me. Three maps is good yo.
One more thing to mention. In Dragon Age II, you can craft items and enchant your weapons. I can’t say much about it since I totally forgot about them. You are introduced to crafting very early in the game and never again. I completely forgot all about it until Act 3 and then I didn’t know where on the map I could go to craft. As for enchanting, I believe you can talk to Sandal in your Hightown estate. I didn’t know about this until the final battle where Sandal showed up in the hallway. I have no experience with crafting and enchanting sadly so I can’t talk about it.
Dragon Age II is fun game and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast of characters are great. There are many quests to fill your time. And you also won’t be getting lost too bad. This is a game I can really recommend to others especially those who have played the Mass Effect series.
Dragon Age II
4 / 5
But really though… What is the story? It’s all over the place. We go to one problem to the next without a connecting factor… I am so confused…
And with any Bioware game, expect some weird glitches. I had to go through a cutscene twice with the Qunari and my Hawke grabbed Fenris’s leg instead of his arm during the make out scene…