After the great success of Dragon Age Origins it's deserved a sequal, and here it is. Bioware's latest title Dragon Age 2 bring you a whole new adventure to the franchise and a few changes in the process.
You play as Hawk, a Mage, Warrior or Rogue who arrives in the city of Kirkwall as a refugee. His hometown Lothering was destroyed by the Darkspawn. The flood gates to Kirkwall are closed from the refudges and Hawk must find a way inside with his family. This sets the story off but I'll let you play to find out the rest of the journey.
The most noticeable change to the gameplay in Dragon Age 2 is the combat system. As before you would pick an attack and then just watch your character fight on the screen. Now you fight with button mashing your enemies to pieces. It brings a faster pace to battles and is a more enjoyable and saticfying experience than before.
Hawk doesn't travel alone. Just like it's predecessor you have some company to help you on your journey. Eventualy you can choose who you want with you on your quests. Each of the characters you choose can all be playable and leveled up with new Abilities and Attributes like Magic, Strength etc. You can also assign tactics to each of them when in battle. This can be from holding back to defend or being aggressive and rushing into the fight. You can also set them to heal themselves when taking a certain amount of damage. It's great to experiment with different combat approaches and with a ton of different abilities it can be played in so many different ways.
The map is a little different to Origins. You can still travel to different areas of the map with a push of a button. What's new is the feature that lets you toggle between Day and Night that gives you the chance to complete quests at both times of the day whenever you wish. The map is rather large so if you like exploring there's enough to keep you busy for sometime. Although I couldn't help notice the environments are somewhat dulled down compaired to the original with repetative dungens and textures.
Even though Dragon Age 2 doesn't feel as deep with exploration, it does have a great story to tell and the new combat system and improved visuals are a great step up for the franchise. If you love RPG's, Dragon Age 2 should definitely be on your wish list.
Review by Gareth Smith