Category: Dragon Age

27 Oct

Review: Dragon Age 2: Mark of the Assassin DLC

Dragon Age, Reviews, RPG by Tramell

Bioware second content rich DLC Mark of the Assassin brings a few new wrinkles to the land of Thedas. There’s party mingling, flirtation, stealth infiltration, puzzle solving along with the goodies you come to know and love with Dragon Age 2. Mark of the Assassin takes us to the land of Orlais on the hunt for the “Jewel of the Many” being held in a private mansion of a powerful man.

Varric sets the tone early. “Let me set the scene. An invitation, an ambush, all because of Tallis.” And that’s pretty much it. The story has interesting twists and viewpoints, but overall it leaves you bewildered with unanswered questions instead of craving for more. The DLC opens up and drags you along for the experience. Although I was disappointed with the beginning of the story, I was wonderfully amazed by the entire experience. The story takes you from hunting for wyverns in the field, mingling with nobles, to infiltrating a castle. You may think that this is Dragon Age: Kasumi’s Lost Memories, but that is kind of a misrepresentation.

When you get into the swings of things, you immediately hit a few roadblocks. You’re supposed to be on a wyvern hunt, but the way they designed the environment that you’ll have to explore feels very sparse. It felt like I was on a picnic rather than a scene depicting an extravagant hunt for bragging rights.

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07 Jul

Dragon Age 2 Legacy DLC Announced

Dragon Age, News, RPG by Tramell

Bioware officially announced their first content oriented DLC at the EA Summer Showcase. Entitled Legacy, it will take players out of Kirkwall on a journey to an ancient Grey Warden prison to uncover the truth about the Hawke Lineage while combating the cartel hunting for “the blood of the hawke.” Fernando Melo a senior producer proclaimed that they heard the feedback from fans, media, critics and they are using Legacy to address a number of the issues but from what I’ve seen in the video below I wasn’t entirely impressed granted they were playing on casual mode and didn’t show a whole lot. The one thing that caught my eye however was the new darkspawn they introduced, the Genlock Alpha. If you recall Genlocks are the short darkspawn that come from Dwarven Broodmothers. The Alpha variant(though I’m sure they used Genlock Alpha to describe some of the creatures in game already) is a bigger, huskier version wielding a giant shield that reduces damage from all frontal attacks.

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25 Jun

Dragon Age Legends: Shifting Momentum

Dragon Age, Facebook, RPG by Tramell

I’m still going strong with Facebook game, Dragon Age Legends but recently I noticed with all the recent tweaks & changes they are starting to possibly lose what made the game ‘fun’ for me. In my review I stated that I was enjoying the game because it was designed to be played in short bursts all the while making satisfactory progress and enjoying the gameplay enough to keep me coming back. With the recent updates I’m left wonder what exactly are they aiming for. Encounters are costing more and more energy and every fight is a long, grinding repetitive six waves of monsters with the newly released content. Overall it is starting to feel like a slow boring grind resulting in leaving me a bit burnt out.

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28 Apr

Review: Dragon Age Legends [Facebook]

Dragon Age, Facebook, Reviews, RPG by Tramell

 

Bioware’s version of a Facebook game that they like to call ‘the first real Facebook game and after playing it I can’t verify their claims but I was impressed with the game. DA Legends is a turn based RPG mixed with a meta game of building up a castle that allows you to craft items you desperate need on your journey to become legendary. Featuring a strategically battle system and a robust castle/craft system with a sprinkle of cash shop makes this a very solid game.

Upon starting the game, you are promoted to create a character. You can create a rogue, warrior, and mage as well as a choice between male and female. They give you a few face shapes and good helping of skin and hair color. After creating my savvy female rogue, I went through a quick tutorial that shows you the inner working of the game how the game works. From walking you through combat by providing tips on digesting the information on the UI, How to attack, use skills and tips on using various items and explaining how to build you castle and setting you up with a apothecary and a worker to make you items. Outside your castle you are greeted with a simple painted map with direction lines that leads your character along a path to various points that when reached you either have to fight or pick up a reward. In the encounters, you are greeted with multiple waves of enemies each with their own weakness and strong points.

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14 Apr

Dragon Age II: The Ten Year Story

Dragon Age, RPG by Tramell

Dragon Age II: The Ten Year Story


Dragon Age II story is a two part system. Its a tale about how things became the way they are while you the player, play Hawke a central figure into how it got there. So one your playing a character that you shape through out the game but at the same time its not exactly about you but more about your involvement in the world. The game really expands the lore of Dragon Age by diving deeper into some of the complex issues. Dealing with a foreign culture and seeing how it effects people and lets not forget the ever going struggle of the mages versus the templars. In the 10 year story of Hawke told by Varic about his/her involvment in the events that caused the whole world to change, you get to see these issues first hand and it up to you the player to tailor their Hawke to how they feel or the role they want them to play.

The story starts off explaining how the Champion got to Kirkwall and the unusual circumstances surrounding it. As you arrive in Kirkwall you quickly learn that all is not what it seems to be and you have work hard and do some shady things just for the bare minimum. That involves some shady work and questionable ethics of a would be hero. As you transition to act one you make a small name for yourself and are looking at ways to get more money to improve your situation. Thus you try to invest on a trip to the Deep Roads as a all or nothing scheme to make it rich. As you work on acquiring the money to invest in the trip you make all of your companions and start a relationship with them. This is where you meet a lot a reoccurring characters that may show up again over the course of the game that shows off one of the main advantages of the 10 year story which is to show the player the consequences of their actions in the game instead of a sequel. Act I is about the starting point of the story and is necessary to build up whats going to happen later on in the game as well as provide a few unexpected consequences down the line. In Act 2 you move forward a couple of years. The expedition was successful your standing has improved and you finally where you should have been at the beginning of the game although with some close at home losses for Hawke it can be somewhat bittersweet.

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14 Apr

Streamlined and Focused: A Journey into Dragon Age 2 Design

Dragon Age, RPG by Tramell

Streamlined and Focused: A Journey into Dragon Age 2 Design

Going away from the traditional methods employed when they made Origins, Bioware felt like they could start fresh and put their unique stamp on the sequel.  Today I want to go over exactly what they changed and how it effect the overall design of the game. Like the transition from Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2 you’ll see some streamlining in certain areas but their will be expansion in others. Starting with the overall story, Opting for a more focused central character that spans over 10 years instead the warden role a origin character of choice filled. You’ll get to fulfill a more involved and personal story then the one people experienced in Dragon Age. You play the role of Hawke a refuge from Lothering and through out the game you transform him/her from a refuge to a prominent figure dubbed The Champion of Kirkwall. So instead of filling a role and going from beginning, middle and ultimate end/goal, you play out a story of various events that shape your character. Yes, there is still a beginning, middle and end but their isn’t a ultimate goal at the end but instead your are shaping your character to fulfill a role at the end a game. The events in between are more important then the end result. As we dive more into this article I want to talk about some of the elements that have gotten a leg up, redone, streamlined and focused.

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