March 8, 2011 (NA)
March 11, 2011 (Europe)
macpc 1.04 (final)
ps3xbox360 1.05 (final)
Dragon Age II is the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins developed by BioWare. It was announced for PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360 on July 8, 2010 and Mac on January 12, 2011. It was released on March 8, 2011 for the U.S., and planned to be released on March 11, 2011 for Europe, according to BioWare. A demo was released on February 22, 2011. The first CGI trailer, Destiny, was released on August 17, 2010.
Spanning over a decade, Dragon Age II traces Hawke's actions in the political chaos of Kirkwall and her/his rise to power. Hawke escapes Lothering just ahead of the darkspawn horde during the Blight with his/ her family and travels to the Free Marches, eventually becoming an important character in Thedas as the Champion of Kirkwall. Hawke is involved in a course of actions that will change the world forever. Cassandra Pentaghast, a Seeker of the Chantry, is interrogating Hawke's dwarven friend Varric Tethras in hope of finding the Champion whose aid Cassandra is searching for in her quest to reverse the change. Varric tells Cassandra Hawke's whole story although he is unaware of Hawke's current location.
- Hawke: The protagonist, a native of Fereldan.
- Varric Tethras: A roguish member of the Merchant's Guild, he acts as a narrator and companion for Hawke.
- Cassandra Pentaghast: A member of the Seekers of Truth, a secretive and powerful faction within the Andrastian Chantry that answer directly to the Divine in Val Royeaux. She kidnaps Varric to extract information regarding Hawke.
- Bethany Hawke: Hawke's younger sister and an apostate mage.
- Carver Hawke: Hawke's younger brother and a warrior.
- Aveline Vallen: A soldier in the service of King Cailan Theirin's army fleeing the Fifth Blight. She accompanies the Hawke family to Kirkwall.
- Anders: An apostate mage and former Grey Warden, possessed by a spirit of Justice.
- Merrill: A Dalish mage who is the First to her clan's Keeper, Marethari.
- Isabela: A free-spirited pirate captain and smuggler, shipwrecked and stranded in Kirkwall.
- Fenris: An elven escaped slave from the Tevinter Imperium, who was infused with lyrium tattoos by his former master.
- Sebastian Vael: A Chantry initiate of royal birth seeking revenge for the murder of his family, who ruled the city of Starkhaven before they were wiped out by assassins.
- Meredith Stannard: Knight-Commander of Kirkwall's Templar Order, which has grown extremely powerful in recent years. As a result, she is one of the most influential people in Kirkwall, and wields significant power over the city state's political affairs.
- Orsino: First Enchanter of the Circle of Magi in Kirkwall, housed in the Gallows. He is an influential figure in Kirkwall, in spite of the Templar Order's political dominance over the city.
- The Arishok: One of the three supreme leaders (The Triumvirate) of the Qunari people. He became shipwrecked in Kirkwall and claims he is waiting for a ship to take him home.
- Marlowe Dumar: The Viscount of Kirkwall and its head of government. The office of the Viscount is the most powerful political office in the city state, although in practice Dumar holds power only at the sufferance of the Templar Order.
- Grand Cleric Elthina: The hand of the Divine in Kirkwall and overseer of its Chantry. She is one of the most respected people in Kirkwall.
- Leandra Amell: Matriarch of the Hawke family following her husband Malcolm's death, Leandra is forced to flee Ferelden to her native Kirkwall, where her family are nobility.
- Gamlen Amell: The last lord of the Amell family and Leandra's brother, Gamlen lost everything when he gambled, drank and whored his family's legacy into oblivion. He now lives in squalor in Kirkwall's poorest district.
- Flemeth: The legendary and notorious Witch of the Wilds.
- Petrice: A zealous member of Kirkwall's Chantry, who attempts to drive out the Qunari.
- Cullen: Sent to Kirkwall from Kinloch Hold in Ferelden, Cullen has become second-in-command to the knight-commander, and has witnessed the horrors of uncontrolled magic.
- Marethari: The Keeper of a Dalish clan which fled Ferelden, Marehtari has led her people to Sundermount, a huge mountain outside Kirkwall.
- Thrask: A moderate templar who attempts to help mages, and believes that the two groups can exist in harmony.
- Bodahn Feddic: A dwarven merchant who once traveled with the Ferelden's Grey Wardens who ended the Blight, and eventually settled down in Kirkwall with his adopted son.
- Sandal: Bodahn's adopted son and a rune savant. Sandal and his foster father would participate in a lucrative expedition into the Deep Roads.
- Bartrand Tethras: Elder brother to Varric, Bartrand is a merchant prince who is organizing an extremely lucrative expedition into the Deep Roads.
Provided they survive the events of Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Awakening and any associated DLC's, a few characters from the previous games may make cameo appearances at some point in Dragon Age II.
- You play as Hawke (human male or female), champion of Kirkwall.
- The game takes place over the course of a decade and shapes itself around decisions made.
- New combat mechanics designed to put the player in the heart of battle whether they are a mage, warrior or rogue.
- A new cinematic experience.
- Real time battle clashes.
- Updated graphics and a new visual style.
- There will be opportunities for romance.
- Main article: Imported saves and pre-built histories
Dragon Age II allows the player to import saves from any completed or almost completed Dragon Age: Origins playthrough. So, while you may be controlling a different character in Dragon Age II, the choices of The Warden made in Origins are still imported from your save and reflected in the world. Choices from Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, The Golems of Amgarrak, and Witch Hunt will also be imported. The player must import his or her save games in a single chain tracing all the way back to Dragon Age: Origins to be able to import all game data (i.e. rather than two separate transfers from Origins/Awakening to the respective DLC). PC and Mac saved games are interchangeable by copying the character's folder between \Documents & Settings\Bioware\Dragon Age\Characters\ and ~/Documents/Bioware/Dragon Age/Characters/.
Note: Bioware has stated that the DLC packs "Return to Ostagar", "Darkspawn Chronicles", "Leliana's Song", "Golems of Amgaraak" and "Witch Hunt" have no plot flags that are checked inside of Dragon Age 2 right now.
There have been several issues with the choices made in Awakening and Origins not importing correctly, most notably the reappearance of characters who were killed in Origins like Leliana and the apparent death of Nathaniel in Awakening if the player left him to defend the Keep (even if the epilogue says he survived). David Gaider confirmed that Leliana appears despite her apparent death, however the reappearance of other characters are unintended if killed.
In addition to importing, players can also select from three pre-built histories to carry over from Origins. The three builds are as follows:
- "Hero of Ferelden" (Default): A young man from a noble family rose to become a Grey Warden, then ended the Fifth Blight by killing the Archdemon himself–-and surviving. He always strove for the greater good, and placed his friend Alistair on the throne of Ferelden.
- "The Martyr": Ferelden will forever remember the young Dalish elf who died to kill the fifth Archdemon. Even though she had reason to be cynical, her actions always benefited others. She left a kingdom ruled jointly by Alistair and Anora.
- "No Compromise": A ruthless dwarven noble took command of Ferelden's Grey Wardens, then let nothing stand between him and victory. He exiled Alistair, sent Loghain to his death against the Archdemon, and left Anora as Ferelden's ruler.
The dialogue system of Dragon Age: Origins is replaced with a Dialogue Wheel, similar to BioWare's earlier title Mass Effect. Unlike Mass Effect however, when you move your cursor over a selection, an icon is shown in the center of the wheel that indicates the intent of the player line: kind, harsh, sarcastic, etc. The dialogue wheel will have up to six dialogue options for players to choose from.
Additionally, the player character Hawke is fully voiced. The male Hawke is voiced by Nicholas Boulton, and the female Hawke is voiced by Jo Wyatt.
Approval and gifts
Dragon Age II uses a Friendship and Rivalry system. Instead of only getting content and combat bonuses based on positive approval, you can either build a friendly or antagonistic relationship with your companions. Also, specific actions can still cause companions to turn on you, in spite of their approval rating. In Dragon Age II the friendship and Rivalry Mechanism does not affect respect.
- Main article: Crafting (Dragon Age II)
In Origins, making potions, poisons and traps required learning recipes for them and obtaining the required ingredients. In the new system, rather than carrying components around, it is simply necessary to discover sources for them in the world. For example, once a strain of Elfroot has been found, all crafting vendors will stock it. The challenge is now to find sources for raw materials and the different strains of components. A far more elegant system, it rewards exploration rather than hoarding, and unclogs the inventory in the process.
The linear progression of the talent trees in Origins meant that the player frequently had to spend valuable points on talents the player never had any intention of using so that the player could get to the one he/ she actually wanted. The talent trees in Dragon Age II are actually webs, more circular in nature and offering more than one path to the different types of talents. Talent upgrades branch off from their base skills, leaving the way clear for other progressions.
In an interview with Joystiq, BioWare VP Greg Zeschuk stated, "I think one of the key things we're working on in Dragon Age II is the technology. I can confirm that we're doing a lot of work on the Dragon Age engine, and doing a lot of stuff to pump it -- to make it visually super hot." Mike Laidlaw has also confirmed the use of DirectX 11 for the PC version of Dragon Age II.
In a similar manner to Mass Effect 2 which was released around the same time, one visual theme in Dragon Age 2 is the ubiquitous and notable proliferation of hexagons, both in the user interface and in the gameworld.
- Regular Edition
- Dragon Age II BioWare Signature Edition
- Main article: Dragon Age II Demo
On February 22, 2011 a demo was released. It was approximately one hour in length. The story takes the player through the prologue from the escape from Lothering and skips to a small part in Kirkwall later in the game. Bioware has also made a statement that if the demo reaches 1,000,000 downloads across all systems (PC, Xbox 360 and PS3) that two exclusive items will be unlocked for the entire Dragon Age community upon the game's release.
- Main article: Downloadable content (Dragon Age II)
Items available through certain events
- Hindsight (available from the official Dragon Age II website)
- Staff of Parthalan (available by signing up for the newsletter)
- Evra's Might (available by playing Dragon Age Legends on Facebook)
- Evra's Trophy Belt (available by playing Dragon Age Legends on Facebook)
- Air of Confidence (available by playing Dragon Age Legends on Facebook)
- Ivo Family Crest (available by playing Dragon Age Legends on Facebook)
- Dura's Blue Flame (available by playing Dragon Age Legends on Facebook)
- Hayder's Razor (available by completing the Dragon Age II demo)
- Lion of Orlais Shield (available with any pre-order from participating retailers)
- Fadeshear Sword (available with any pre-order from participating retailers)
- Lothering's Lament (available after 1,000,000 total downloads of the Dragon Age 2 demo; was attained on February 28, 2011)
- The Far Cliffs of Kirkwall (available after 1,000,000 total downloads of the Dragon Age 2 demo; was attained on February 28, 2011)
- Of Things Not Lost (available if each post in the Dragon Age Facebook page from now till March 4, 2011 is shared and reaches 1,000,000 Impressions; was attained on March 4, 2011)
- Ring of Whispers (available through purchasing $15 or more from Epic Weapons' collection of Dragon Age II replica weapons or make a purchase from Razer)
- Boots of the Frozen Wastes (available upon registering your copy of Dragon Age II)
- Blood Dragon Armor (available if originally redeemed for Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect 2)
- Ser Isaac's Armor (available for players who have also played Dead Space 2)
- The Exiled Prince (available with the Signature Edition, or separately for US$7 or 560 Microsoft Points)
- The Black Emporium (available with each original Dragon Age II copy)
- Legacy (Sold for 800 microsoft points)
- Mark of the Assassin (Sold for 800 microsoft points)
- Main article: Easter eggs (Dragon Age II)
Recommended System Requirements
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz Processor or equivalent
- CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 Triple core 2.8 GHz or equivalent
- RAM: 2GB (4 GB Vista and Windows 7)
- Video: ATI 3850 512 MB or greater
- Video: NVIDIA 8800GTS 512 MB or greater
- DirectX 11: ATI 5850 or greater
- DirectX 11: NVIDIA 460 or greater
Minimum System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP 32-bit with SP3
- OS: Windows Vista 32-bit with SP2
- OS: Windows 7
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (or equivalent) running at 1.8 GHz or greater
- CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (or equivalent) running at 1.8 GHz or greater
- RAM: 1 GB (1.5 GB Vista and Windows 7)
- Video: Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256 MB
- Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256 MB cards
- Disc Drive: DVD ROM drive required
- Hard Drive: 7 GB
- Sound: Direct X 9.0c Compatible Sound Card Windows Experience Index: 4.5
Minimum System Requirements for Mac
- OS: OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard or greater
- CPU: 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better
- RAM: 2 GB or greater
- Video: ATI HD2600, NVIDIA 9400, or better graphics card with at least 256 MB of dedicated VRAM
- Disc Drive: DVD ROM drive required
- Hard Drive: 9 GB of hard drive space required
- Video Cards Not Supported: Intel GMA series, Nvidia 7x00 series, AMD 1x00 series, AMD 2400
- ↑ "Frequently asked questions". BioWare. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ Chris Priestly Retrieved 01-12-2011
- ↑ Priestly, Chris. "Dragon Age 2 Demo Announced". Bioware Social Network. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
- ↑ Totilo, Stephen. "Dragon Age II Debut Trailer Looks Slick, Pre-Rendered". Kotaku. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ Kelly, Neon. Interview with Dr. Greg Zeschuk.
- You can only be a human, from Ferelden. You can't be a Dwarf, or a Elf. "In the house with Dr. Greg Zeschuk". VideoGamer.com. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ Cork, Jeff. "A look at the Qunari, Evolved". Game Informer. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ Plunkett, Luke. "Dragon Age 2 Following In Mass Effect's Footsteps". 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ Sims, David. "Dragon Age Origins + Awakenings + DLC ---> DA2 Import ". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
- ↑ 
- ↑ Grabowski, Dakota. "Dragon Age II Hands-on Preview". GameZone.com. 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Kirby, Mary. "Question on dialogue system". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Kirby, Mary. "Will party approval be done the same way?". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Arendt, Susan. "Preview: What's New in Dragon Age II". The Escapist. 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ pklepek. "BioWare Already Name Dropping Dragon Age 2, Promises Better Visuals". G4tv.com 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- ↑ Barry White. "BioWare: Dragon Age 2 will be equal on all three platforms". news10.net 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
- ↑ RPG France. Interview with Mike Laidlaw. "Preview et Interview exclusives de Dragon Age II". 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2011-01-07. (Translated by AbouU. "The french preview by RPG France". Retrieved 2011-01-07.)
- ↑ "Dragon Age 2". Digic Pictures. Retrieved 2011-01-08.