Posts Tagged ‘Dragon age ii’

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin Review

Dragon Age II Mark of the Assassin

With new DLC comes new adventures in the Free Marches and another chance to spend time with party members that did a wonderful job of carrying the story in Dragon Age II. However in the case of Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin we not only get to once more spend time with the ones that we already know but video gamers also get to meet a whole new character named Tallis. Note: I wouldn’t click that link until after playing through Mark of the Assassin or watched Dragon Age: Redemption. 

Tallis is an elf on a mission voiced by Felicia Day, but don’t let Miss Day’s normally pleasant demeanor fool you; there is something going on with Tallis that is far more in depth than you are led to believe. In fact the whole of what is Tallis isn’t what you are lead to believe. I’m not going to get into her backstory suffice it to say that she is quite different than any elf you’ve aligned yourself with so far in the Dragon Age world.

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin Gameplay

While 90% of the game is similar to Dragon Age II there are a few tidbits here and there that need mentioning. Firstly the “stealth” aspect of the game. While this could potentially be a good idea it seems rather out of place. In it you have three options for sneaking 1.) Stay out of site 2.) Distract them with a rock 3.) Hit them in the head to knock them out. There is a very small modicum of skill or understanding required, but for me it was mostly “Just knock everyone out and move”My hulking clunking tank is not known for his stealthiness or tact. Were I to use my rogue then yes, this would seem a tad more normal however as it stands it feels like they just wanted to try something new. This is not a bad thing and it could play well in future Dragon Age games, however it just feels tacked on.

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin Characters

Dragon Age 2 Mark of the Assassin Review

Bad Wyvern! That cake wasn't for you!

Second thing worth mentioning is the fact that they did a very nice job taking Felicia Day and translating her into an elf. Facial mapping was spot on and her voice acting (as expected) was sublime. I had not watched Redemption when I began my foray into the Free Marches so I found myself asking “Why am I supposed to care about Tallis?” Even as it ends there is little backstory to her so, while I’m sure she’s nice, I just didn’t care about her. That did not, however, stop me from flirting my tank ass off. This just lends credence to the “Hawke is a Whore” theme that seems to permeate Dragon Age II. The gender or sexual preference of the person I’m talking to doesn’t matter, I’m going to make myself “available”. Loudly if need be.

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin Combat

Third there is the combat. This is the standard Dragon Age II style combat where the more mages the better you are. After one particularly nasty “optional boss” I had to restart my game loaded with mages in my party to ensure victory. While not my idea of the “perfect party” it seemed to make the rest of the game fairly easy. However other than this one optional boss the DLC seems fairly cut and dry.

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin Cameos

Fourth we have this:

Dragon Age II was not without it’s cameo’s and neither is Mark of the Assassin. Teagan makes a comeback and he does so with Isolde who utters a line that proves to be very difficult to remove from ones ears once it decides to pay a visit. Granted Teagan and Isolde serve absolutely ZERO PURPOSE other than to utter the line in the video. It’s for this reason We’re  pretty sure that BioWare threw it in there because of this clip.

This is not the only cameo to appear in Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin, however the others are relatively bit players from Dragon Age II. Aside from one.

A certain bard from Origins make’s a return in what is a very confusing and potentially interesting conversation. Leliana and Tallis have a back and forth that appears to indicate there is a rather rich and deep story there involving some form of deception. Leliana appears to know precisely who Tallis is and what she wants to the point that her very presence seems to unnerve our elven companion.

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin Story

Finally there is the story. As I mentioned earlier I found myself asking time and time again, “Seriously, who the expletive is this girl and why do I give a flying expletive?” The story winds up being interesting but I couldn’t help but wonder if I was supposed to watch the Redemption videos before I played the DLC. I felt that maybe I was missing out on something. But as interesting as the story was it does not appear to tie into anything in the Dragon Age world other than a way to prance Felicia Day around in Rogue Armor (not that anyone is complaining about that). I’m sure at some point in the story all points will converge into on glorious moment of “Expletive me, that was AWESOME!” As of right now, however, I’m going to be here scratching my head about it all.

All in all it’s a good bit of DLC that takes a decent tick of time to get through. However it feels like it’s a tacked on vehicle for Tallis more than anything related to the lore and wondrous world of Dragon Age. For this reason it holds it back from being truly great and leaves it in the realm of “average”.

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Dragon Age 2: Mark of the Assassin Announced

dragon age ii mark of the assassin wyvern

What video gamer out there doesn’t know Felicia Day? If not let me shed a little light on who Felica Day is for you. Go ahead, take a minute and educate. Back now? Fantastic. It seems that she will now be able to add “Dragon Age II Character” to her already impressive resume filled with gamer goodness. What character is she playing in Dragon Age II you may find yourself asking; well let me shed a little light on that for you.

BioWare has announced and shed a little light on some new DLC planned for October 11th called Mark of the Assassin. What we get is a new character called Tallis who is an elf assassin who employs Hawke to help obtain a special item and kill a lot of people in the process. Here’s BioWare’s official statement on it so far:

Embark on a thrilling adventure of deception and intrigue in Mark of the Assassin, the latest downloadable expansion for Dragon Age II. In this gripping new story, Hawke is joined by a mysterious elf assassin, Tallis. Voiced by none other than actress Felicia Day, this new party member comes complete with her own unique combat style and intriguing back story. With Tallis at your side, you must Infiltrate an Orlesian estate outside Kirkwall and steal a precious relic. Along the way, you will uncover an array of impressive weapons and equipment, and confront fearsome and challenging new enemies on your journey to claim the Heart of the Many.

Dragon Age 2 - Mark of the Assassin Maul

Starin' at the war maul? Thaaats a paddlin'.

I don’t know what The Heart of the Many is but it sounds intriguing. Once can assume it serves some purpose to help galvanize the people after the events discussed at the end of Dragon Age II, however I could be completely talking out of my ass here. I am, after all, merely speculating on the name alone. If they had called it the “Chocolate Covered Banana of Hope” then I would probably be saying the same thing.

It has to have some relation to the ending or the upcoming Dragon Age III otherwise we have yet another story where Hawke is just kind of there and not really all that important. I would hate to think that we are going to see DLC centered around the concept of “Hey, you look like you can swing a sword, how about you help me. It’s either you I tie maces to the sides of this pony, and a carrot on a stick to it’s head. Either way something’s getting bloody.”

GameTrailers had the gameplay trailer posted giving us a glimpse of Tallis and what to expect:

Yeah it doesn’t really say why we’re going after the Heart of the Many just that odds are it’s going to be a pain in the ass, and fraught with peril  but there’s a fountain to look at so that’s nice. But it appears that we’re getting wrapped up in an ambush because of Tallis and some poor sap catches a knee to the face. That’s not at all cool.

BioWare leaves  it up to us to find out more on September 18th. Challenge accepted BioWare.

note: War Maul image is from Item Pack #2 and not included in MOTA

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Dragon Age II: Legacy Trailer

dragon age ii legacy darkspawn

Are we to assume your name isn't "Mr Giggles"?

If there’s one thing that makes my Fridays drip with joy and delight it’s something new about Dragon Age. While Dragon Age II wasn’t the most visually diverse of games, it was still fun to play. I wouldn’t mind in the least going back into the Free Marches once more to whoop a little arse and take a name or two. Thankfully BioWare has been kind enough to release a new trailer for us. Take a gander below at the gameplay trailer for Dragon Age II: Legacy:

So it appears that we are seeing the return of some of our party members as well as the introduction of a new villain. However this one does look strikingly similar to the Architect from Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening. While this doesn’t appear to be the same character one thing is questionable. From the trailer he appears to be speaking which means he is in some way shape or form related to the Architect. I mean Awakenings did state that talking Darkspawn were a relatively new creature brought about by The Mother and the Architect.

According to BioWare’s synopsis of the Dragon Age II: Legacy:

Targeted by a vicious criminal cartel that are hunting “the blood of the Hawke,” you must put an end to their relentless attacks. Leave Kirkwall, and journey to an ancient Grey Warden prison in order to find the source of the aggression and uncover the harsh truth about the Hawke lineage. Playable from any point in the DAII campaign, face all new darkspawn, forge a powerful new weapon and come face to face with an ancient horror.

It is refreshing that we actually get to leave Kirkwall. No, really, we do this time. It says so right there in the second sentence. Judging by the trailer and the synopsis, there is something special about the “Blood of the Hawke” that lends itself to the covetous nature of individuals and has a pungent smell all it’s own. I hope it smells of rhubarb.

While this is just an expansion and sure to be a quick jaunt through a Grey Warden prison it will be nice to finally take Hawke on a real adventure. I’m sure many of us held the feeling that it was a great disservice to keep Hawke locked away and not let him/her spread his/her wings and fly. Well we finally get the chance when Dragon Age II: Legacy is released on July 26.

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Let’s Compare: Dragon Age 2 vs. Dragon Age: Origins

It can’t be argued; Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 are very different games, set in different locations, with all new (for the most part) people joining your mission.  And I’m pretty much biased into loving any BioWare game.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean I have to like all the changes to DA2.  So let me lay it all out for you and you decide!

Dragon Age 2 Logo

Doesn't this make you feel all tingly inside?

A word of warning: As with mostly all opinion pieces on PtC, this post contains spoilers.  So go finish Dragon Age 2 before you read this.

  • Faster combat in DA2 versus the slower combat / effects in DA:O.  I consider this a good change.  I feel powerful whipping out my blades on someone, with spells swirling in the air.  The one drawback is that I tend to get so caught up in it (my character is a rogue, so she’s fast to begin with) that I tend to forget to watch everyone’s health meter.
  • A quick sidequest in the Fade in DA2 versus a hell of a long time trapped in the Fade alone in DA:O.  This is another positive.  The Fade can be a killer if you’re stuck in it for a long time, fighting against huge crowds without any companions to help you through it.  Thank goodness the Fade is no longer hours long.
  • Simplification of equipment for companions in DA2 versus having access to all gear for companions in DA:O.  This I could really go either way on.  It can get tedious to equip all your characters with the latest gear, however not being able to put gear on them at all can be aggravating.  And Wadoobie makes an excellent point; we can no longer unequip everything from our companions and have them chat in their skivvies.  DAMNIT.
  • AlistairUndies

    Essentially, THIS won't happen anymore. And that's just sad.

    Companion homes in DA2 versus everyone hanging out at camp in DA:O.  I think each scenario makes sense for the appropriate game.  In Origins, you’re traveling all of the realm of Fereldan to gather allies to fight the Archdemon, so it’s understandable that everyone should regroup at the same location.  Whereas in Dragon Age 2, you stick around the city of Kirkwall and the outer lying regions, so you and your companions can all have your own location to relax, and everyone knows where to find each other.  The drawback to this setup in DA2 is that updating your companions with the latest weapons and runes becomes tricky.

  • Smaller world and shorter game in DA2 versus expansive world and longer overall game in DA:O.  That change is clearly sad.  Just sad.  Come on BioWare, I know you like to make beautiful scenery, and I love to look at it.  And I also like to play for like months.
  • Political concerns as a basis for the story and a lack of urgency versus one driving factor pushing the game forward in DA2 versus one main bad demon dragon going to cause pain and destruction and death over the whole world in DA:O.  At the beginning of DA2, I felt a little lost, thinking, where is the urgency or the driving factor right now.  My main quest is to earn money.  Cool.  It’s nothing like Origins, where you end up leaving everything you know to join the Grey Wardens, as there is an evil spreading that must be stopped.  That feeling of not knowing what my character’s purpose was continued at the beginning of act 2.  “The Qunari are causing uneasiness in the people of Kirkwall”.  Oh, okay, that REALLY tells me what my main quest is.  While I do appreciate the difficult decisions that come when the political parties’ clashing comes to a peak, I don’t feel that those concerns had enough significance to push the game forward in the beginning.
  • Rogue Hawke

    She's sexy and fully voiced, but can't say quite as much.

    Fewer options of things to say due to main character being voice acted, fewer interactions and things to say with party members, gifts have actual scenes with companions in DA2 versus more response options, main character silent, more interactions & things to say with party members, gifts basically have the appearance of being thrown at a companion and the companion yells back their varied level of appreciation in DA:O.  Phew, a lot of differences, but I thought I’d combine a bunch of social options.  I love having a fully voiced character, and don’t even mind not having as many responses and things to say.  However I do feel gypped about the fact that it seems that there are less things to talk about with companions.  You don’t have the option of always forcing a conversation like you do in DA:O, and you can’t go into a special romance section and make out & / or get your tenting on.  I mean…OBVIOUSLY that is a huge problem for me.  I want to be able to do all the tenting and making out that I want.  However I do appreciate that a scene for giving a gift has been added in.  It’s always humorous to me when my companion asks, “And you’re giving this to me…why?”  Much better to have an actual conversation about the gift rather than a shouted “Oh, thanks”.

  • And speaking of tenting, lamer romance scenes in DA2 versus sexy half naked romance scenes and tenting movements in DA:O.  What’s up with that, BioWare?  I can’t force my love interest to do it with me every ten minutes, which completely pisses me off.  And the actual scene… psh!  What a joke!  They don’t even strip down to undies (at least for femHawke & Anders…WTF…maybe I should play as a dude)!  I feel very cheated here.
  • In all honesty, not being the catalyst of change and decisions in DA2 versus feeling very much the hero who changes things for the better in DA:O.  Didn’t you kind of feel while playing through DA2, that you weren’t the one bringing the changes to Kirkwall?  Anders has a HUGE role in the game, and it felt to me that he was the one forcing the decisions, while I took a backseat and watched it play out.  Whereas in Origins, I was the leader.  I led the attack on the Archdemon.  I recruited allies to fight with us and called them during the battle.  I made the big decisions.
  • Recycled dungeon layouts and scenery in DA2 versus thoughtfully created and unique locations in DA:O.  Wow, this was disappointing.  I knew exactly what to expect when heading to a Dock dungeon quest, and what to expect when going into a Darktown dungeon.  Also no offense Kirkwall, but your city gets kinda boring after being stuck in it all game.  And in Origins, every location was different and therefore interesting to explore.  Aside from the tedious Orzammar / Deep Roads.  And the Fade.


And there you have it.  The summary of the changes I found most prominent.  If you think of others, please let me know in the comments!!  And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for… THE POLL:


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Dragon Age II – Destiny Trailer WARNING: Your pants may explode

Gamescom 2010 is underway in Germany and today was a downright huge day for PS3 gamers with the news of Mass Effect 2 coming their way. But BioWare wasn’t done droppin’ bombs on us. The release date for Dragon Age II was released as well, it’s March 8, 2011.

But that’s not all…in a Billy Mays-esque maneuver they went ahead and threw in an added bonus. Below we have the Destiny trailer for Dragon Age II. I feel I should warn you that when I pulled this up at work today the entire internet started to run slowly. I began to watch it and I’m pretty sure I blacked out. When I came to I was standing on

hawke dragon age II

"My nose? No, I cut myself shaving."

my desk with my monitor above my head cheering in a loud manly yell. Once it was over I sent it up to Kat. Sure enough the internet ran slowly and she did the bull dance around the office while twirling her “overshirt” above her head while talking smack to the graphic designers.

I can only think of two theories to account for this. But to explain this we need to break the events down. Two people acted well outside of their normal patterns of behavior while the very internet that brought us this trailer slowed. Ladies and gentlemen…this video is so damn awesome that existence itself altered upon its release. The internet didn’t slow down, the world slowed down in an attempt to comprehend the very level of awesomeness contained in these two minutes.

On top of this our feeble minds cannot comprehend the sheer awesome that exists in this video. We act in a way we feel commensurate to the awesome forcing ourselves to black out and behave in a very unusual manner. I warn you to make sure loved ones, coworkers, pets, neighbors, friends, and small children are nowhere near you when you press play. We at Polish the Console can not be held accountable for what you may do while you watch it.

My pants literally just exploded into a brilliant light and an angelic choir just sang out. Did that just happen to anyone else?

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