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Dragon Age II is the upcoming sequel to Dragon Age: Origins developed by BioWare. It was announced for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on July 8 2010.[1] It is set for release on March 8, 2011 for the U.S. and March 11, 2011 for Europe, according to BioWare. The trailer was released on August 17.[2]

Official description

Experience the epic sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year from the critically acclaimed makers of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.

Plot

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Flemeth the dragon

Dragon Age II thrusts players into the role of Hawke, a penniless refugee who rises to power to become the single most important character in the world of Dragon Age. Known to be a survivor of the Blight and the Champion of Kirkwall, the legend around Hawke’s rise to power is shrouded in myth and rumor. Featuring an all-new story spanning 10 years, players will help tell that tale by making tough moral choices, gathering the deadliest of allies, amassing fame and fortune, and sealing their place in history. The way you play will write the story of how the world is changed forever.[3]

Gameplay

Key features

File:Dragon age showdown.jpg
  • You play as the human character "Hawke" who may be male or female.
  • The game takes place across a decade and shapes itself around decisions made.
  • New combat mechanics designed to put the player in the heart of battle whether they are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
  • A new cinematic experience.
  • Updated graphics and a new visual style.
  • There will be opportunities for romance.[4]

Races

Da2 races

Concept art of different races

Dragon Age II will feature a greater difference between races, meaning elves, dwarves and qunari are being reviewed and redesigned.[5]

Save transfer

Dragon Age II allows the player to import saves from any completed Dragon Age: Origins playthrough. So, while you may be controlling a different character in Dragon Age II, the choices of The Warden made in Origins are still imported from your save and reflected in the world.[6] Choices from Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, Golems of Amgarrak, and Witch Hunt will also be imported.[7]

Dialogue

DA concept art

Flemeth's concept art from Dragon Age II

The dialogue system of Dragon Age: Origins will be replaced with a dialogue wheel, similar to BioWare's earlier title Mass Effect. Unlike Mass Effect however, when you move your cursor over a selection, an icon is shown in the center of the wheel that indicates the intent of the player line: flirty, violent, sarcastic, etc.[8] The dialogue wheel will have up to six dialogue options for players to choose from.

Additionally, the player character Hawke will be fully voiced.[8]

Approval and gifts

Dragon Age II will use a Friendship and Rivalry system. In it instead of only getting content and combat bonuses based on positive approval, you can either build a friendly or antagonistic relationship with your companions.[9] Also, specific actions can still cause companions to turn on you, in spite of their approval rating.

There are fewer gifts in Dragon Age II, and the gifts are specific to each companion. Gifts will also prompt specific dialogues.[9]

Crafting

In Dragon Age: Origins in order to make a potion or a poison or a trap PC had to first learn the recipe, then find all of the necessary ingredients. Now, rather than having to carry components around with PC, PC simply have to find their source out in the world. Once PC comes across a strain of Elfroot (for example) all crafting vendors will have access to it - no need to shuttle bits and pieces back and forth. The challenge now comes from finding the different sources of raw materials, and the different strains of components. It's a far more elegant system, one that rewards exploration over hoarding, unclogging PCs' inventory in the process.[10]

Skill Trees

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Skill Tree

The linear progression of the skill trees in Origins meant that the player frequently had to spend valuable points on talents the player never had any intention of using so that the player could get to the one he/ she actually wanted.

The skill trees in Dragon Age II are actually webs, more circular in nature and offering more than one path to the different types of skills. Skill upgrades branch off from their base skills, leaving the way clear for other progressions.[11]

Technology

In an interview with Joystiq, BioWare VP Greg Zeschuk stated, "I think one of the key things we're working on in Dragon Age II is the technology. I can confirm that we're doing a lot of work on the Dragon Age engine, and doing a lot of stuff to pump it -- to make it visually super hot."[12]

Known characters

Romances

According to the RPG French interview with Mike Laidlaw, Dragon Age II will feature romances "for all genders and orientations. [18]

Downloadable Content

Three DLC items/packs have been announced:

  • HindSight (available from DA II website)
  • Staff of Parlathan (available if you sign up for the newsletter)
  • Signature Edition (available for all preorders before January 11th)

System Requirements

Recommended System Requirements

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz Processor or equivalent
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 Triple core 2.8 GHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 2GB (4 GB Vista and Windows 7)
  • Video: ATI 3850 512 MB or greater
  • Video: NVIDIA 8800GTS 512 MB or greater
  • DirectX 11: ATI 5850 or greater
  • DirectX 11: NVIDIA 460 or greater

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP 32-bit with SP3
  • OS: Windows Vista 32-bit with SP2
  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (or equivalent) running at 1.8 GHz or greater
  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (or equivalent) running at 1.8 GHz or greater
  • RAM: 1 GB (1.5 GB Vista and Windows 7)
  • Video: Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256 MB
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256 MB cards
  • Disc Drive: DVD ROM drive required
  • Hard Drive: 7 GB
  • Sound: Direct X 9.0c Compatible Sound Card Windows Experience Index: 4.5

Trailers

thumb|400px|left|Dragon Age II trailer, "Destiny" extended

References

  1. Official Dragon Age II site
  2. Dragon Age II Gallery
  3. Dragon Age II Press Release
  4. In the house with Dr. Greg Zeschuk
  5. A look at the Qunari Evolved
  6. Kotaku: Dragon Age 2 Following In Mass Effect's Footsteps"
  7. BioWare Forums
  8. 8.0 8.1 BioWare Forums
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mary Kirby, Will party approval be done the same way
  10. The Escapist : Preview: What's New in Dragon Age II
  11. The Escapist : Preview: What's New in Dragon Age II
  12. G4TV.com, "BioWare already name dropping..."
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Gamestar
  14. Game Informer, Issue 208, August 2010, page 50
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 IGN
  16. http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/5358074%26lf%3D8#5359504
  17. Screenshot
  18. http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/4613564/58

External links

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