I was highly skeptical when the theme of Dragon Age II was announced. Some of my skepticism turned out to not be unwarranted.
I finished my first play through was as a sword and shield warrior. I noticed very quickly that BioWare had tweaked the threat mechanics and not for the better. I struggled all game to hold any semblance of aggro.
In Act I I stumbled upon Anders (those of you that played Dragon Age: Origins Awakening will remember him as the apostate your Warden saves from the templars.) and apparently somewhere between Amaranthine and Kirkwall he had his face severely altered. Luckily as a PC player I was able to rectify this with a mod from Dragon Age Nexus. Once Anders looked like himself again, I decided he’d be my romance option.
I’ve yet to see Isabella or Merrill’s romances but from seeing Anders and Fenris’s romances I can say that the 10 year span does not work well. I felt very disconnected from my romance option for a majority of the game.
That feeling of disconnection also applies to my various other companions. I wasn’t able to interact with them whenever I chose to. Unlike in DA:O Awakening there wasn’t any random points throughout the game where I could click on an object and insight a conversation about the object or area. From time to time my companions would toss out a comment here or there but nothing of substance.
The whole game takes place in the city of Kirkwall and it’s immediate surroundings. The various dungeon, cave and city crawls are very repetitive. You’ll see the same scenery over and over and over.
The plot is a bit hit or miss. The events in Act III have been foreshadowed for awhile now. Hawke (or someone else depending on how you look at it.) just happens to become the catalyst.
Regardless, if you can turn a blind eye to the plot holes and other faults of the game it’s actually pretty fun. I’m going to play through once more as a mage (pictured above).