Dragon Age II may be the best experience in front of your television since Red Dead Redemption. This streamlined sequel keeps you in the action constantly. No two play-throughs are alike, but let me tell you about mine. Tips, glitches and broken quests.
Dragon Age II is a different game for everybody. So much will depend on which class you pick at the beginning of the game. So if you pick a knight, then expect to get up front hacking and slashing away at the baddies. If you pick a mage, expect to die a lot. If you pick the rogue, it's either going to be slashing enemies with daggers or sitting back shooting off arrows of fire into a crowd. My point is, don't say it's a hack and slash. There is just as much strategy involved here. Don't pick the knight.
My character was a Rogue Archer and I was going to focus on being a dick. Gettin' paid for quests and killing whoever/whatever got in my way. I had a lot of lesbian sex. Well because I was a female Hawke. Female Shepard FTW! There is an option to import your saved game from Dragon Age Origins, but I nubbed that up and deleted all the info a while back. In DA2 though, I don't understand where any of that would be relevant. There are a couple of references from DAO and you run into Alistair at one point. But Anders and Alistair act like they don't even remember each other, that was weird.
The graphics are amazing. A lot more detail has been put in and the game no longer looks like a PC game on the Xbox or PS3, it looks like a Xbox or PS3 game. There are some absolutely incredible boss fights. The Ancient Rock Wraith is one of the boss fights in the game. (I don't want to be a spoiler.) Be ready for this fight: *Pro-tip - The little Jimmys that protect the Wraith will kill you faster than the Wraith himself. Check out this video. *Spoiler Alert.
As you can see the combat is pretty intense. Each character is responsible for his or her job and you as the party leader get to decide their strategy for each fight. That was my favorite thing in DAO, the only problem with that was it didn't look like it should. In DA2, you see all of the magic and spells and arrows, really, really incredible and just fun to watch.
The story of DA2 is one of the best ideas in the game. I say this game is innovative because of a few things. One, the game saves while you're playing. What this means is, you click save game and it puts you right back into the game and then saves while you are already running around again. Quest shortcuts, a few times in the game you travel very far. What the quest shortcut does is allow you to skip all of the empty terrain you would have to trek back through in other games. Finally the story, Dragon Age II spans over 10 years. This is really interesting to me, because a great story is told and it keeps the game fluid and interesting. One of the many things that Dragon Age II has streamlined.
I was at 40 or so hours when I beat the game the first time on normal. Dragon Age Origins kicked my ass, I was into that for over 100 hours. That time included Awakenings, but still DA2 didn't come close. The Fade sequence in Dragon Age Origins was crazy and one of the most unique things about the original. The Fade in DA2 is also very interesting. It's just that The Fade in DA2 was only about 8 minutes long where as The Fade sequence in DAO was about 8 hours long.
Dragon Age II has a few glitches and stuff. So I'd like to share with you what I found and some Pro-Tips as well.
Two quests that were broken for me were, the Fenris Act II Questioning Beliefs and the Who Needs Recusing? quest in Act III is Jimmyfied. Nobody knows what happens when Who Needs Rescuing? breaks. The guy is there, but nothing triggers the quest. Check it out.
These next videos are kind of a glitch. I realized during a few fights if your team starts dying off, just move to the next closest teammate and stand still. If you have guests in the party, just run away from whatever is killing you and let them get the hate. Like in this video.
Here I don't know what happened. Merrill has a spell called Ensnare - Enemies around Merrill are drawn towards her by tendrils of raw nature magic, which inflicts heavy damage in the process. This is what I think is happening to this giant spider. He is glitching like a freak though.
Some of the maps in Dragon Age II really pissed me off. Caves, houses, and dungeons were all the same map. The only difference is you would come in from different doorways or be cut off from certain areas. At first I didn't realize, but once I caught onto it, I was a little disappointed that the development seem to slack in the map making department. Just squeezing this in here, because mirrored maps are bullshit.
Check out my Dragon Age II Montage Exclusive Video
Dragon Age II Pro-Tips:
Use any of the gathering stations to heal injuries to your party for free by simply re-gathering your team. This is more effective on harder difficulties when every penny counts.
Drinking potions while getting hit will not give you damage. Perfect if you are melee character. You can use this technique to take one free hit.
Just stand still. Now I have not completely confirmed this trick, but there are two videos above that might say otherwise. All I'm saying is just don't panic. Stop, wait and see what the AI does.
Run around in a circle. When a rogue or a mage gets hate from a monster, just round around in a circle. Your other teammates will continue to hack away at the ass of the monster while it chases you until you lose hate. Then back to the game plan.
Varric is slower than snake shit. Imagine is a huge turret and every time you stop to fight this turret needs to set up and plant itself in the ground. That set up takes time. Varric needs time to set up.
Fire Resistance Raips Dragons.
Pick up everything that sparkles and either wear it or re-sell it. You will be rich.
Junk is Junk. Sell it!
Travel light. You are constantly picking up new armor and items. Don't worry if you can't unlock or a chest or buy that expensive rod from the Jimmy up in the mountains. There's something better on the next quest anyway. Sell off whatever you current group is not wearing.
Companion quests are not labeled on your map. You have to read the journal. Don't miss out on any of this XP. (There are a few side quests that don't appear either.)
Focus on one skill tree to level up. You don't get enough points to level up more than 2 trees before the end of the game. So stay focused and plan it out from the beginning. At level 7 you get an option for another tree.
Don't waste attribute points. If you're a rogue you should only put points into Dexterity and Cunning. Mage Magic and Willpower. Knight Strength and Constitution. This is key.
Dragon Age II is a lot of fun. I really enjoyed my first play through, a lot of it reminded me of old school RPG's, but with all of the BS taken out. The game is streamlined for fun and action. The only time I was waiting for something was when the game needed to load a new area. I played the shit out of this game, I blew up the projector bulb last week. Saved the game 578 times. Reach level 21 rogue. I started over and I'm at the end of act I on hard playing as a mage.
Buy it! Don't worry about any of the DLC bullshit. I did not put in any of my "codes" that I got with the limited Edition. I still had a great time, you don't need any of that DLC to enjoy the game. Today Dragon Age II is $40 on Amazon. Now that's one helluva Deals Jimmy! Thanks for reading and please leave your comments below.