PS3 News: Dragon Age II: Upgraded Visuals, Combat Details, More - PS3 News

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Dragon Age II: Upgraded Visuals, Combat Details, More

Dragon Age II is less than a month away and role-playing fans everywhere are anxiously anticipating BioWare's latest gem.

However, as we've heard, there will be some significant changes in this sequel, and those upgrades/alterations have been discussed at the PlayStation Blog. In a great interview with Creative Director Mike Laidlaw, we learn about the improved visuals, the slightly different battle system, and overall, how the second effort compares to the first.

To start, Laidlaw spoke about the "painful" process of bringing Origins and its Eclipse engine to the PlayStation 3; while he said it was successful, he knew they'd have to make a change the second time around. So, they designed the art assets from the ground up so the console versions would "work better." This really helps the PS3 version, as Laidlaw says "the visual fidelity is higher" and the final result "is higher quality textures, crisper resolutions, and more guys on screen, without having to sacrifice anything simply because we built it smarter."

Then came some talk about the battle system, which is - in our opinion - the most interesting part of the interview. The Blog's Jeff Rubenstein admitted to having issues with the combat in Origins and Laidlaw believes those issues (that other players had as well) stemmed from a "lack of immediacy" for console players. He says they're so used to pressing a button and having something happen, and the "lack of responsiveness" in Origins resulted in a "disassociation." So they didn't sacrifice any depth (thank God) but they upped the aforementioned urgency:

"Push to attack: press X and BAM, I’m right in there and start attacking.

Closing moves: So if I’m 10 feet from a guy, I don’t kind of awkwardly run up to him and then attack. I leap into him and attack as I do it.

Every animation is being produced in a more stylish, more reactive, and I think a more satisfying way that telegraphs what I’m doing back to me very clearly. 'I just swung that sword, and I hit three guys because it’s a two-hander and I swung it in an arc.'"

There's plenty more so feel free to read the whole interview. While we all remain plenty excited for Dragon Age II and we have total faith in BioWare, it's actually a little surprising to see them introducing more action elements for the sake of wider appeal. Personally, I'm kind of hoping they worked on the balance; I always felt underpowered as a mage in Origins and with limited enemies, I couldn't build up my character. That drives me nuts.

But that's just me. I believe BioWare when they say they didn't sacrifice any depth for the new flashy style, and that's what matters most.

Related Game(s): Dragon Age II

Tags: dragon age ii, dragon age 2, bioware, dragon age sequel

2/12/2011 10:35:22 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (27 posts)

Alienange
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 11:43:13 AM
Reply

That sounds like some valuable improvements. I too found the combat in DAO a little wonky but satisfying nonetheless. As with any sequel though, improvements are welcomed.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 1:19:33 AM

Whereas I enjoyed the combat in Origins.

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kraygen
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 11:56:40 AM
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That's great news. I think this is common with new IP's. The second one allows them to see what worked well and what didn't work that well in the first one. Allowing them in turn to make the second even better than the first.

I loved the first Dragon age and am excited about this one. However I'll be waiting for the goty/ultimate edition. The first one had over $80 worth of add-ons. No thank you.

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Beamboom
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 4:27:35 AM

Now that is a good point... But will I be able to wait for the goty-edition? ... No, I wont. Not when it looks down on me from the shelf in the shops, I am too weak!

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kraygen
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 5:19:25 AM

When it looks at you like that just point your wallet at it. Works every time for me.

Game see's my empty wallet and hides.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 12:29:13 PM
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Greatness. Those sound like needed improvements, and it doesn't sound like they are being stupid and just making it an action RPG but are simply ironing out a bit of that disconnect. I didn't have a problem with issuing a command and waiting for it to happen but giving the commands more urgency is much appreciated.

I just hope the character doesn't talk directly to you, the player, like he/she did before. That was annoying.

I'm buying this right away, but I'm afraid if I start playing it right away I'll be pulled off of Mass Effect 2. Maybe I can balance both somehow.

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aaronisbla
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 1:30:29 PM
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Not saying you're wrong Ben but how'd you feel underpowered as a mage? I always felt like the were overpowered in a few ways. Then again, if the enemies are always on your tail then maybe you would feel that way. What kind of mage did you make?

anywho, i remember making the ultimate tank on Dragon Age, which so happens to be a mage, which took Arcane and Blood Mages classes mixed together. Its...utterly broken. They don't get hit, period. and when they do get hit, they shrug it off. not to mention if you have a rogue that summons pets, you can take life from that pet and heal yourself. Try it out if any of you guys are still playing the game

Looking forward to this game, but it sounds like he was one step away from confirming it was a hack and slash, as long as the game is great, i'll still enjoy it



Last edited by aaronisbla on 2/12/2011 1:31:50 PM

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xenris
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 3:22:34 PM

I agree, mages were really overpowered in my opinion. Even one of the interviews I think Bioware said they were aware of this. I could stun lock a Dragon with Morana I think her name was? I basically soloed one of the hardest bosses with my mage characters.

I think the changes are welcome though, it is incredibly frustrating to see your great sword hacking into someone and doing a sliver of damage. Exchanging blows for minutes against enemies with metal skin gets repetative.

I did play this on the PC when at launch so they might have patched the mages and balanced it but all in all DA:O was a cool story and world, with a retro Baldurs gate style combat which is good but I think Baldurs gate did it better.

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 2:39:27 PM
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pfft Dragon Age 2 and improvements. I've got Suikoden on my PSP and it runs fine.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 4:19:22 PM

huh?

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 5:10:01 PM

awesome games like Suikoden run great right from the get go. Those Bioware games, though, hehe ... funny.

=p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 6:17:09 PM

Well dude, those games were a lot simpler back then. It's all sprites. I can't blame them much that going from developing on the crapbox to a sophisticated piece of hardware like PS3 was difficult for them but they can do it, ME2 doesn't have any significant problems except NES pixelation in certain areas but that is due to the source material not the development process.

We need Suikoden II on PSN.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/12/2011 6:17:34 PM

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 8:31:56 PM

hehe yeah, man, true 'dat.

I think my sarcasm failed ;)

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sirbob6
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 7:53:55 PM
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Well this is better because after I'd level up to the point where I am God I would simply press X and go to the bathroom or make a sandwich.

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Veitsknight
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 10:29:34 PM
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I hope this will still e the same strategy heavy game i love. Being a Mage on hardcore made me think of strategies and traps that I have never thought of in other games.

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Gordo
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 11:49:42 PM
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Never liked the first game unfortunately.

The graphics were a bit wonky, never liked the combat, hated having an inventory that just filled up with dodgy items that I never knew what to do with.

The only good items were ones I could give to the witch to try and get my leg over...

After all that it was "pants on" action only...

Give me a Mass Effect 2 inventory system over a Dragons Age Origins one any day!

(Blasphemy I know).

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Beamboom
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 4:30:35 AM

Mass effect had no inventory? It had nothing to loot or pick up?
Anyways, I disagree, to find items to ponder how to use and what to use for is fun, imo!

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Gordo
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 7:09:28 AM

Agree, that inventory systems are great but in my opinion Dragons Age: Origins didn't implement it well... Too many obscure trinkets and bits and pieces that I never seemed to know what to do with.

It never seemed to annoy me however in Demons Souls, Nier or Fallout 3. Just Dragons Age.

Loving Mass Effect 2. Highly recommended. Bioware know their stuff...

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___________
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 2:56:06 AM
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shame they still have not learned their lesson from the first game!
really want to get this, but theres far too many other games releasing in march im interested in!

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Beamboom
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 4:28:19 AM

What lession did they not learn? I'd buy it had it been *exactly* like the first, but with new story.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/13/2011 4:28:52 AM

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Veitsknight
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 5:02:12 AM

Other than dues ex and F3AR, what other games are you talking about? Deus Ex is the only thing coming out on march that might be better than Dragon Age IMO.

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___________
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 7:30:57 AM

crysis 2, homefront, NFS shift 2, fight night champion, the 3DS and all of its titles.
they release their game in such a busy month, then wonder why it sold so poorly!
O, and neither deus ex or F.E.A.R 3 are releasing in march, deus has no date, and F.E.A.R 3 is may.

Last edited by ___________ on 2/13/2011 7:32:03 AM

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Veitsknight
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 8:58:08 AM

I stand corrected (on the release dates that is). I was using gamestop's weekly releases thing,. I just checked with IGN's upcoming releases on Crysis and Homefront, you are right. What made you not like the first Dragon Age anyway?

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___________
Monday, February 14, 2011 @ 7:04:50 AM

whered i say i did not like it?
it was a good game, had its problems but really reminded me of the good old traditional RPG/ adventure games.
i was referring to the release date, the original released against so many other heavy hitters and it did not sell as well as it deserved, the exact same will happen to this.

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Shiva369
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 2:58:09 AM
Reply

I did like DA:O for a while, racked up quite a few hours on that and did pretty much every thing, albeit not bothering with the harder difficulties. Agree that the inventory being filled with junk got annoying ( I sold it all as I was after Leliana he he).
I'll be getting DA2 for sure and look forward to the changes, but it's going to take a while to get me out of ME2...I started my second playthrough the day after finishing the first and am not done by any means...love this game to bits.

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Beamboom
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 5:43:57 AM

Dude, you're not alone in enjoying ME2... For me it's the best game released for the ps3 so far, no other game has gotten me *this* much involved. I'm having a ME-break now (my coop buddies started to get worried about me :D ), but I look forward to return..!

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/13/2011 5:44:37 AM

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Nerull
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 7:08:08 PM
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I actually found ME2 kinda boring. Maybe it was the lack of inventory, all that time sweeping empty planets for upgrades instead, or the fact that sci-fi is rarely my forte.
I like what it was going for but there didn't seem to be THAT many choices, just a side mission for each member, which DA also had plus way more miscellanious stuff, and the alternate endings weren't really that alternate, MINOR SPOILER just who survived. END SPOILER and the occasional do I smack a guy to which the answer is always going to be certainly.
Plus my half-russian version kept me from getting the dlc but I'm still looking forward to DA2 way more.
Never bothered with the blood mages, Why would I want to keep my party half-dead all the time when I can go for a straight-up white mage?
SO much faster.
Unfortunately my awakening dvd somehow disappeared a while ago, my room's not that big so I'm thinking spontaneous combustion or adapted osmosis or something.

Last edited by Nerull on 2/13/2011 7:11:03 PM

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