It’s been over a decade since Dragon Age 2 (DA2) first graced our gaming screens, and it still remains one of the most divisive titles in BioWare’s storied catalog. While many fans were initially disappointed with the game, citing a streamlined narrative and repetitive environments, it’s time to revisit this underrated gem and give it the credit it truly deserves. Today, we’ll dive deep into the world of DA2, exploring its unique storytelling, unforgettable characters, and much-needed innovation that makes it worthy of your gaming time.
A Bold New Take on Storytelling
Dragon Age 2 made a daring choice to depart from the grand, world-saving storyline of its predecessor, Dragon Age: Origins. Instead, it opted for a more personal, focused narrative that spanned a decade in the life of protagonist Hawke. This narrative structure allowed the game to explore themes of family, friendship, and the impact of one’s choices on the world around them.
The game’s unique framing device, with the story being retold by Varric, gives it an intriguing and intimate feel. This approach adds depth and nuance to the storytelling, as players must consider how Varric’s perspective may have shaped the events recounted in the game.
DA2 introduces a cast of memorable, well-developed companions, each with their own personal stories, motivations, and character arcs. From the fiery mage Anders to the stoic warrior Fenris, the game’s roster of companions is incredibly diverse and engaging. Friendships and rivalries can form between these characters, and the choices you make in the game will have a lasting impact on their relationships and development.
The game also sees the return of a few fan favorites, including the lovable dwarf Varric and the enigmatic Isabela. Their stories are expanded upon in DA2, giving players an opportunity to learn more about their backgrounds and what drives them.
Challenging Choices with Consequences
One of the hallmarks of BioWare games is the ability to make difficult choices that have consequences, and Dragon Age 2 is no exception. The game’s central conflict between mages and templars is morally complex, and there are no easy answers or clear-cut paths to follow. This forces players to grapple with their decisions and consider the long-term implications of their actions.
A Streamlined Combat System
While some critics argue that the simplified combat system in DA2 detracts from the strategic depth of its predecessor, it’s important to recognize the benefits of the streamlined approach. The faster-paced, more action-oriented combat makes for a more engaging and dynamic experience, which keeps players on their toes and adds excitement to each encounter.
Art Style and Visuals
Dragon Age 2 boasts a unique and striking art style that sets it apart from other games in the genre. The use of bold colors and stylized character designs give the game a distinct aesthetic that is both beautiful and memorable. The game’s visual storytelling is further enhanced by cinematic camera angles and expressive character animations that truly bring the world of Thedas to life.
It’s high time we give Dragon Age 2 the appreciation it deserves. While it may not be a perfect game, it is undoubtedly an underrated gem that dared to innovate and take risks in a genre often rife with clichés. The game’s unique storytelling, engaging characters, and streamlined combat make it a must-play experience for fans of the Dragon Age series and RPGs alike. So, dust off that old copy of DA2 or pick one up on sale, and embark on a thrilling adventure through the streets of Kirkwall – it time to embrace the dragon once more.
In the years since its release, Dragon Age 2 has gained a dedicated and passionate fanbase that recognizes the game’s merits and strengths. As you explore the Free Marches, you’ll find that the game’s intimate and personal narrative resonates deeply, and the camaraderie between Hawke and their companions is a powerful force that drives the story forward.
Additionally, with Dragon Age 4 on the horizon, revisiting DA2 can provide valuable insight and context for the continuing story in the Dragon Age universe. Hawke’s journey and the choices you make in Dragon Age 2 may have a significant impact on the world of Thedas as we venture forth into the next chapter of the saga.
So, take a chance on this underrated gem, and you may just discover a new appreciation for a game that dared to be different. With its rich storytelling, captivating characters, and compelling choices, Dragon Age 2 is an experience that’s worth revisiting or exploring for the first time. As Varric would say, “Everyone has a story to tell – and sometimes the story is the best part.”
This blogpost was created with help from ChatGPT Pro.