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I am a bit puzzled by this demo. Usually the point of a demo is to impress people into buying the full thing. The purpose of the ÐA2 demo seems to be to make people consider if they should cancel their pre-order. :wonder:

 

My impressions:

 

The environment was extremely dreary. It's like a picture-perfect copy of Post-Searing Ascalon in Guild Wars, a brown/orange barren wasteland complete with the Great Northern Wall looming in the distance. I don't remember seeing any landscape looking even remotely like that around Lothering in ÐA:Origins.

 

You proceed along a straight railroad track with not even the illusion of choice in where to go, being assailed by the same lot of darkspawn over and over and over and over, where fights take forever since you deal practically no damage whatsoever with your attacks and got too few skills with too long recharge to get to use them much..

 

And that's about as far as I got, since some idiot thought that an Ogre and 10+ darkspawn was an appropriate encounter for a party of 3 level 3-4 characters whose only healer just got killed off in a cutscene out of the blue. :roleyess:

 

Maybe gets better after that, I don't know, but I'll never get to experience it. As far as I'm concerned the demo ends with Hawke's gruesome death by that darkspawn group, since the demo has no difficulty setting. Some legend.

 

And since you can't save you need to start all over just to try again. Maybe I got (repeatedly) unlucky, maybe I'm not supposed to play as a mage since they're traditionally weak as crap in their early levels. Maybe it's something else, but I can't get past that particular group.

 

To say I'm underwhelmed by the demo would be to put it gently.

 

At least on the plus side I encountered no slowdowns or crashes during the short time I got to play before the tragic end of the saga. :)

 

The attacks all hit, but apparently they now have some "glancing blow" system where attacks do less damage instead of missing altogether.

 

Hmm... either they've dropped the "never misses" attribute of staff attacks from ÐA:Origins, or they do so little damage to begin with that I couldn't notice any difference. Had to attack a standard darkspawn grunt 20+ times to take them down. :raise:

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Well stoffe, i had the same problems when playing as a warrior for the first time in this demo.

 

Thing is, when i played as a mage for the first time i figured out a cowardly trick to getting through the first area.

 

Run around that like a chicken with its head cut off while my powers re-charged, i also used some of the health potions i found in the loot to heal my party members when i could, i also made sure that i had the healing spell.

 

This way i threw fireballs when ever i could, and made sure to heal myself and my party members whenever it was needed.

 

Truthfully, i found the mage playthrough the easiest of them all.

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I gave the demo one last chance, this time as a warrior. Turned out to be a lot easier than going as a mage. Nobody on the party even died this time in that hopeless Ogre fight that repeatedly wiped the floor with my mage.

 

I think they should put a warning label on the mage choice so people who suck at combat won't pick it and get their faces so thoroughly rubbed in the dirt that they give up on the game even before it's released. :wonder:

 

The rest of the demo was more fun once getting past that annoyance. Looks like my pre-order is safe, for now. :) Though I don't like that your party members get chosen for you depending on what your profession is.

 

Unhappy people are returning the demo...:xp:

 

That, or Bioware didn't expect people to actually meet the threshold so the promised DLC in question didn't actually exist. So they had to dial down the numbers again. Conspiracy. :¬:

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Unhappy people are returning the demo...:xp:

 

:rofl: If only that were possible.

 

My impressions:

 

The environment was extremely dreary. It's like a picture-perfect copy of Post-Searing Ascalon in Guild Wars, a brown/orange barren wasteland complete with the Great Northern Wall looming in the distance. I don't remember seeing any landscape looking even remotely like that around Lothering in ÐA:Origins.

 

Well, in their defense, the thing in the distance is the Imperial highway, but seeing how it appears in the Lothering area in Origins and in DA2 Hawke is supposed to be fleeing away from Lothering, it makes me wonder why is he persistently going towards it?!

 

You proceed along a straight railroad track with not even the illusion of choice in where to go, being assailed by the same lot of darkspawn over and over and over and over

 

Definitely agree with you there. And I also stand by my opinion that the new Darkspawn design is horrible. They look ridiculous with no resemblance whatsoever to their original design (with the exception of the ogre, which looks slightly less ridiculous than the rest).

 

And since you can't save you need to start all over just to try again. Maybe I got (repeatedly) unlucky, maybe I'm not supposed to play as a mage since they're traditionally weak as crap in their early levels. Maybe it's something else, but I can't get past that particular group.

 

Strange. I died once or twice while fighting the ogre, but the game continued at that point - at the ogre fight. I didn't need to replay the demo from the start.

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Ok, something weird has happened.

 

When i dropped by the DA site a moment ago the demo DL total had dropped from 1.2 million to 780.257.

According to BioWare's Fernando Melo there are a number of "enterprising" people spamming the download stats and BioWare are making manual corrections to the counter to remove the duplicate downloads that originally got counted.

 

I didn't have too much trouble with the demo once I found out I needed to download and install DirectX from Microsoft since the version of DirectX the demo prompted me to install apparently wouldn't allow the demo to run. :raise:

 

The demo's gameplay did feel much like Dragon Age: Origins to me only much faster and I used the pause function quite liberally. I have to agree with those that felt the Escape from Lothering portion was rather dull in its scorched earth appearance but it didn't bother me too much. I generally felt this was supposed to evoke the blight's effects on the land itself.

 

I was disappointed with Hawke's seeming lack of concern for the death of his sibling at the hands of that dastardly ogre.

Hawke: "Yes Mother. Bethany/Carver is dead as a doornail. Can we go now?" Ugh.

My sense of things is that the templar/mage conflict will play a significant, if not central, role in Dragon Age 2 so I anticipate the story requiring one surviving member of the Hawke family to be a magic user will bring that conflict into focus as the DA 2 story unfolds

 

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I can probably be counted as one of the spammers, i think. :(

 

I downloaded one demo for the 360(which i've played), and one demo for the PC(which i haven't tried yet).

 

And the Lothering country side probably became like it is in the demo during/before/after 'The Fall Of Lothering', and as we can never return to Lothering after its destruction in DA we can't say otherwise, can we?

 

Edit: The last line from Melos post makes me think we haven't seen the last of the DLCs.

 

Show spoiler
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I sense more goodies for folks in the near future.
Edited by Darth Payne
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Played the demo for 360 (no way my PC could even hope to handle it) and I was pleasantly surprised.

 

I've only played as a mage so far and I was quite apprehensive about the combat being more "streamlined", but it works quite the same technically as DAO except it just looks cooler and well, more streamlined lolz

 

The story hasn't blown me away yet but it has me quite intrigued to go and get the game when it's release (or as soon as I can afford it)

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The demo's gameplay did feel much like Dragon Age: Origins to me only much faster and I used the pause function quite liberally. I have to agree with those that felt the Escape from Lothering portion was rather dull in its scorched earth appearance but it didn't bother me too much. I generally felt this was supposed to evoke the blight's effects on the land itself.

 

I was disappointed with Hawke's seeming lack of concern for the death of his sibling at the hands of that dastardly ogre.

Hawke: "Yes Mother. Bethany/Carver is dead as a doornail. Can we go now?" Ugh.

My sense of things is that the templar/mage conflict will play a significant, if not central, role in Dragon Age 2 so I anticipate the story requiring one surviving member of the Hawke family to be a magic user will bring that conflict into focus as the DA 2 story unfolds

 

 

I did start to get along with the gameplay better once i started pausing at every moment (which kills their intent in making it faster a bit), but the mouse clicking thing is just too clunky.

 

I wish they'd let me config the game for my controller, it's gotta be better than that.

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So far reviews have praised the gameplay and the storyline, but have called the ending "unsatisfying." Also, it seems like the short development time made Bioware reuse a bunch of environments.

 

I swear, if this game ends at a cliffhanger to force me to buy DLC...

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I just finished the demo. Played it once and uninstalled it. I loved the first game and was really looking forward for DA2 but now, I'm not too sure. I think I'll wait a little while and see before purchasing...

 

The point of repeating lines is debatable, but my personal preference is for no PC voiceover at all. Especially in a case like DA2 where it comes at the expense of greater choice.

QFE. Besides, what's with the little speech icons? I didn't dislike the wheel in ME but it's far from being my favorite dialog system. After DA1, I was expecting more choices for this game and I find that the little speech icons are overly simplistic: do I want to be nice, bad or a jester? I prefer to chose an answer for its content rather than choosing an expression.

 

Combat felt like a "spam the attack button as much as you can" experience. I don't know if that's what they meant by "more streamlined"...

 

I also missed NPC interaction like in DA1. Now, NPCs have little to no reaction when I click on them :( Will they speak only in camp?

 

As for the bland environment well, it's just the beginning so I don't care much until I see the final product.

 

As for the performance, I have had no technical problems. It ran very smoothly on medium settings on my 3-4 yr old machine.

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Just played the demo today. While I didn't find it uttery horrible and thus will not be canceling the preorder (certainly looks worth £25 :xp:) just something makes it feel fundmentally different to Origins, I'm not quite sure what.

 

Like others, I wasn't mad on the Mass Effect 1/Awakenings style interaction. Fair enough it was only a very short demo and may have been added to keep major elements out (wouldn't bet on it of course), but it sent the wrong message. Darkspawn textures awful, Lothering simply bizarre, everything else alright on the available settings, near as I could reasonably see at breakneck speed. And damn their 'Spartan' (Halo or 300 certainly...neither of which is meant as a compliment) fighting style, I paused dozens of times, most often during

the second fight with that exceptionally ugly looking brute of an ogre when playing as a mage. I don't know that many 'Spartans' ran around in circles until their powers recharged. Although I don't think I'll play Mage first anymore - Carver's voice and general character just do not seem particularly interesting some way.

 

 

Did anyone else find the second stage scenario exceptionally easy? With upgraded weaponry (assuming) by that point, a higher setting may be needed...

 

Short: not bad, not so far better than Origins, but playable.

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Combat felt like a "spam the attack button as much as you can" experience. I don't know if that's what they meant by "more streamlined"...
It's designed to be played real-time on a console, button mashing using a controller. I guess that's more a case of appealing to the masses rather than streamlining per se. On the PC you have the auto-attack which should alleviate the need for a Diablo-eque click fest (I hope). Certainly at higher levels it would appear that cooldowns are fast enough that you can pretty much spam an endless chain of activated abilities and basically avoid using base attacks altogether. That sure seems like streamlining to me.
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Started the demo last night for some mindless hacking and I accidentally noticed something that some might find funny, some strange, some hideous and some utterly unimportant - I am, of course, talking about Bethany's geriatric hands:

 

Show spoiler
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dragonage2demo201102281.png

 

For the sake of comparison, Aveline, the rugged (and older) warrior woman seems to have much softer hands: :eyeraise:

 

Show spoiler
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dragonage2demo201102281.png

 

And I can't believe I actually made this post, but there it is. :rolleyes:

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Yeah that's almost certainly a normal map issue (and I agree, a pretty ugly one). I suspect Bethany - in that demo build at least - may have somehow ended up with the male normal map for her hands. Certainly as far as the model goes there should be no difference in the hands, as both were undoubtedly originally derived from one single base mesh.

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Yeah that's almost certainly a normal map issue (and I agree, a pretty ugly one). I suspect Bethany - in that demo build at least - may have somehow ended up with the male normal map for her hands. Certainly as far as the model goes there should be no difference in the hands, as both were undoubtedly originally derived from one single base mesh.

 

I thought that she was slowly turning into an abomination :xp:

 

 

BTW, I decided to set aside my initial frustration and reinstalled the demo to give it another go (two, in fact). My previous comments still stand but I enjoyed the demo a bit more playing as a mage and a warrior. During my first playtrough, I found that the rogue combat animations were quite over the top, more so as the only thing I was doing was clicking the right mouse button...

 

The mage seemed to be way overpowered at high levels but it gives the impression that the story will be more interesting if one plays as an apostate.

 

I also experienced some button problems this time: npcs wouldn't drink their health potions or, sometimes, I couldn't select them in the level up screen.

 

So, in conclusion, while I am disappointed by some of the choices that were made for this game (and the fact that the story will " unfold over the course of a decade " which apparently means a very "directed", movie like scenario and few options to come back to complete quests, thus less freedom and immersion) I think I am still looking forward for the game :indif:

 

And am I the only one who lold when seeing Flemmeth in a tight leather suit showing a protruding breast? It somewhat felt as if my (now deceased) 80 something year old grandmother was wearing a catsuit after undergoing a breast implant :devscare: There's also how my female PC looks when she runs (it gives the impression she's going to fall and break her neck every second). There must be some huge nerds working at Bioware...

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I gave the demo a try tonight, and WOW! I loved playing a rogue. The fact that you can teleport right behind an enemy and backstab it instead of doing all that tricky maneuvering with the mouse and the keyboard pleased me to no end. :) That said, um...I'll try to explain, though I may not make sense:

 

I know this was only a demo and not the full game, but to me it was like a handful of potato chips: delicious while you're still chewing on it, savory and salty, but when you're done with it your stomach still feels empty. Somehow I felt unsatisfied with the end of this, and with the storyline so far. "Become A Champion", yes, but for what cause and for what purpose? The DA:O Grey Warden is the one who vanquishes the Fifth Blight, and possibly becomes king/queen of all Ferelden in the process. You...? I mean, sure, you're great and powerful by the end of the game, but as for your choices "changing the world"? I highly doubt that Ferelden cares whether you joked around with Flemeth or gave her the old heave-ho even though she rescued you.

 

And how, exactly, are you going to bring Ferelden back from the brink of war? What kind of war--against the darkspawn? Again, the Grey Warden from Dragon Age: Origins is the one who defeats them and their High Dragon, not you (as Hawke). I miss all the dialogue options that Origins had, too. Why did BioWare have to "dummy down" this game--or, at least the roleplaying part?

 

*sigh* If I were a Gamespot reviewer, I'd give this game a 7.5 or an 8.0, but nowhere near the 9.0 that Dragon Age: Origins got. More potato chips, plz!!!

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Well, to be fair, I don't think any of us were expecting Dragon Age II do deal with another Blight (though I was curious as to whether or not Hawke would also be a Grey Warden). And keep in mind, ordinary people can be just as much of a threat to the stability of Thedas (not just Ferelden) as a horde composed of a horrific cross between zombies and orcs.

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