Dragon Age sequel doesn’t compare to the original


Juice Columnist

The original “Dragon Age: Origins” was an award-winning role playing game; its sequel “Dragon Age 2,” keeps the player in the same world, but changes almost every other aspect that made the original so great.

The story is told though a framed narrative, about Hawke, the main character, and his quest to gain fame in the costal city of Kirkwall after being run out of his hometown.

The producer, BioWare is a few strokes off par when it comes to telling DA2’s story. The story telling is almost too fluid. Several times I would forget exactly what my main goal was when running around the massive city doing various quests, in essence to earn more and more gold. There is no real plot in DA2, and just seemed like BioWare quickly threw it together to act like a piece of cushioning between the first Dragon Age and the third.

However, the one thing that persists in all of BioWares’ games is the story telling device that makes the player pick the fates of the characters on screen. This gimmick really drives you into the story and makes you care about your choices and their outcomes. I always liked this trait in BioWare games, and I liked it even more in DA2 because it incorporated a radical menu when it comes to the different text choices. Each choice you make with dialogue is paired with a picture acting as a symbol for what type of dialogue it is. For example; a jester’s mask for a comedic approach or a hammer for a very blunt violent approach.

This helps those who struggle with picking apart dialogue for the actions the want. It helps prevent their character from saying something they didn’t want them to, and it helps the beautiful dialogue aspects of the game flow right along.


One of the things stripped from DA2 is the customization of your character. Having an option to customize something (particularly a character) helps drive you into a role-playing experience. I feel this was taken out on a count of the story, and because having various races and backgrounds would be too much for a game that really is just there to fill the gap.

Combat also has changed, but to a more battle oriented level. An addition to combat in DA2 would mean that you actually have to attack enemies in a real-time setting and you can no longer just click a button and have your character do trivial attacks while you figure out which abilities to use. This gives a whole new action game feel when you’re playing and takes away the tactical feel of the first.


Every time I got done fighting a battle, my party would be covered from head to toe with little drops of blood, which looks really weird. It also seemed that I would only really fight battles and complete quests in the same dull areas: a forest, a city, sewers, and back to the city again. Nothing about this backdrop is visually appealing or entertaining.


I’m still on the fence with my feelings about DA2. The writing of the dialogue and the little change of the combat system were good, and when I first saw them, I thought BioWare was going to jump the distance for the rest of the game. However, they must have slipped on the execution of the jump with how the story and the overall look of the game turned out. It was kind of a disappointment but I blame that on the success of the first. This game will sit on my coffee table for a while, within reach when I want some intense, over the top bloodshed.