Dragon Age 2 Demo – First Impressions

You know you’re a true badass when you’re flanked by a dragon

My blog is full of BioWare love. I can’t deny it. I love Dragon Age: Origins and the Mass Effect series. But what happens when two beloved series combine into a mesh called Dragon Effect? Well, there are good and bad aspects.

Let’s start with good and work our way down.


  • Aveline looks incredibly kick ass.
  • The rogue and mage abilities seem refined; spells seem more robust and rogue abilities feel more, well, roguish. Not just a hack off the swordsman’s abilities.
  • For the most part, I like the voice actors picked. I like the choice for male Hawke, but female Hawke’s voice is a little soft for me and sounds familiar to Bethany’s VO. However I love the picks for Fenris and Sebastian (sure they weren’t in the demo, but hot damn. Sebastian’s VO alone made me glad I pre-ordered.) Isabella’s voice actor is still strong and I like Aveline’s VO as well (I kinda wish it had been Hawke’s…)


  • The new Final Fantasy looking experience/attributes/skills system. I realize that the old system didn’t give much room to pick different abilities and traits, but I feel like I’m playing FFXII every time I look at it.
  • Female Hawke’s swaying ass when she runs as a mage. It was… distracting.
  • Varric narrating the story. I like Varric as a character, but it’s off putting to be pulled out of the storyline at a moments whim. I can only hope it’s in better integrated into the actual game. And what’s up with Varric having the ability to lie about events? Am I playing the real story of Hawke, or am I just being fed shit?


  • The font. It looks like ants have creeped onto my television set. I have to be in make-out position before the text is readable. There was a similar problem for people in ME2 that consumers complained about, which BioWare said they’d fix in ME3. And yet we get even smaller print in DA2. Fix it.
  • Funny graphic rate. I’ll say that it’s the demo’s fault for now, but on my Xbox, the frame rate seemed sluggish at times and white lines kept appearing out of knowhere. It even froze once while I was playing mage Hawke and kicked me out.

The rest of bad is under cut for SPOILERS.

  • I felt less then nothing when (siblings) Carver or Bethany died. I’m pretty sure Hawke didn’t give a shit either. Hawke just batted his/her eyelashes and defeated some darkspawn. And then after, nothing. The death wasn’t mentioned in Varric’s monologue. I felt more for Aveline and her husband when he died. At least she showed some emotion. And they hadn’t been on screen for more then two minutes. I really hope that is rectified in the game (this only a demo after all), as Hawke should show some sorrow for the passing of his or her sibling.

That all said, I will wait to pass my final judgment on DA2 until I get it in my eager little hands. Which hopefully will be sooner than later.

About Kay

Managing life one step at a time.
This entry was posted in bioware, demo, dragon age, first impressions, mass effect, Xbox 360. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dragon Age 2 Demo – First Impressions

  1. Drake Sigar says:

    Usually killing off a family member at the beginning of the story is just a plot device to move things along and give your character some motivation, but here it’s only foreseeable function was to provoke feeling – an impossibility when we’ve known him/her for less than five minutes. I don’t know, maybe they’re going somewhere with it later. Maybe your mother ends up blaming you in the future story or something. Otherwise they could have removed your sibling entirely and nothing would have changed.

  2. KDW says:

    My problem was that is was such a poorly executed plot device (which hopefully the full game will rectify). I expected to feel more moved, but I felt nothing and similarly Hawke. I hope Bethany/Carver's death does have a future impact – bring on loathing and drunken Hawke mama! At least then someone will be showing emotion.

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