Posts Tagged ‘Hawke’

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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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

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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Irrelevant Characters & Creators

Have you ever played a game, thinking, “Wow, my character seems to have no effect on the world around him/her?”.  You walk up to an NPC, and they behave oddly for someone of your race/class/gender?

This woman NPC totally wants to get in the female character's panties.

This happened to me in Divinity II: Ego Draconis.  I created a sultry female character, ran up to guys hoping for some flirting action, yet there was no option for flirting.  However, when I interacted with women, the women would flirt with me, or I would have an option to flirt with them.  Now, I didn’t plan on making my female a lesbian.  And it’s incredibly frustrating to find that the game so blatantly leaves a double standard for male versus female characters.  I can just hear it, “Well of COURSE the male characters have to flirt or be flirted with women NPCs.  But female characters?  PSH.  They don’t need to have the same options with men, of course not.”

I did just go on a bit of a rant.  But honestly, what was the point of letting me choose my character’s gender if the world around me doesn’t respond appropriately?

This just brings to light an issue with irrelevant characters, or irrelevant character creations.

Please tell me where the custom character is in this scene?

For example, take White Knight Chronicles.  You go into this whole process of creating a character, but when you get to the game, what does your character actually do?  Hardly anything.  They basically just sit in the background watching.  By default, you’re given control of someone ELSE, not the character you spent a bunch of time making.  Look at all the cool powers… that some other character is doing.  Essentially, your character in White Knight Chronicles is irrelevant.  You could have played the whole game without them.  They didn’t contribute anything to the story.  What was the point?!  “But… but… you got to make someone!!  Isn’t that cool enough?!”

There’s also Two Worlds II, in which you create a character to control throughout the story.  Two Worlds II also has an online component… but the character you created for the story mode isn’t able to cross over to the online mode.  You have to create a whole other character for online gaming.  WTF?!  “Why on earth would you want to take the SAME CHARACTER over from story mode to online?!  That just makes zero sense.”  **EDIT** Wadoobie claims this is so people won’t beef up their character in story mode, then cross over into online mode.  However, why didn’t they just include some sort of limitations, so you can still take you main character over to online mode, but you can’t have all the awesome armor or stats or something?  Or only have players evenly matched at the same level in multiplayer?

Be warned:  Dragon Age 2 spoilers below.  Do NOT read on if you haven’t finished DA2.

You're looking at the face of a terrorist. And someone integral to the storyline. Not Hawke.

Even Dragon Age 2 has a case of an irrelevant main character.  In the third act, the actual person who brings the clash of mages versus templars to a head isn’t your Hawke.  Nope!  It’s Anders, the brooding mage who is a stickler for the belief that mages should be free.  He’s the one who builds a bomb to blow up the chantry.  As he states, “I removed the chance of compromise, because there is no compromise.  Basically you were just as surprised as everyone else when the chantry exploded.  You may have had a hand in it, but you more than likely didn’t mean to and therefore weren’t any more relevant to the destruction of it.  And that’s the turning point of the story between mages and templars.  What happens from there on out is battle after battle towards the end of the game.

End Spoiler

Characters and situations like this certainly make the player feel disconnected from the game, to say the least.  Honestly, if the game Divinity 2 forced me to be a man, but still have the options to flirt with women, I’d be much happier than the current ‘I’m a girl but I can only hit on / be hit on by women’ situation.  In White Knight Chronicles, the overall question is, “Why did you make me create a character when it doesn’t do one damn thing?”.  For Two Worlds II, it takes the player out of the game to force them to create another character, and leaves them wondering why they can’t just use the initial character they created.  Even in Dragon Age 2, the events seem like my character had nothing to do with the story.  In that situation I was left feeling like my character didn’t deserve the title ‘Champion of Kirkwall’, because she really had no involvement.

What’s the worst pointless character you’ve ever encountered that gets you all fired up?  Be sure to leave your opinions in the comments!

-Kat

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Dragon Age II – Facts About Hawke: Now with more screen shots!

BioWare, oh BioWare. You are really throwing out a veritable metric ass load of information as of late about Dragon Age II. I for one am delighted to receive said information and spread it around. According to Game Informer:

1. Hawke will be a voiced character.
Unlike Dragon Age: Origins, the player’s character in Dragon Age II will be fully voiced. This opens the door for a more cinematic approach to dialogue and creates an identity for the character outside of the text you see on-screen. It also eliminates those awkward scenarios where you feel like your character should be reacting, but instead just stares blankly without so much as a grunt.

2. Hawke is human.
Yes, that means that you won’t be able to select Hawke’s race. However, just because that one aspect of Hawke’s backstory is set doesn’t mean BioWare is eliminating character creation. You can still choose your class and customize your appearance. When we visited BioWare’s studio, we only saw (and heard) the male Hawke in action, but the team promises that players can select either gender for the character.

3. Hawke didn’t just survive the blight…he escaped it.
As the Grey Warden from Dragon Age: Origins was fighting darkspawn, Hawke was living in Lothering. Fans will remember that the small village was raided and destroyed (an event that occurred off-screen in Origins), and Hawke was one of the survivors. However, rather than stay and fight the darkspawn menace, Hawke flees Ferelden and heads north.

4. Hawke is the Champion of Kirkwall.

Kirkwall is a major population center in the Free Marches, a collection of city-states north of Ferelden. This means that at least some of the action in Dragon Age II will be set in Kirkwall itself, though Hawke will also spend time in other areas of the Free Marches. What exactly Hawke does to earn the honorary title of Champion, however, is up to you.

5. Hawke drives the story.
Dragon Age II is not about killing an ancient evil or about quelling another blight; Hawke is the driving force behind the narrative. Over the course of the game’s 10-year timeline, players’ actions and choices will determine Hawke’s history, relationships, and regrets…all in service to answering the larger question: Who is the Champion of Kirkwall?

So we learn that Hawke is (potentially) a deserter who rises to become the Champion of Kirkwall. Obviously (as shown in the images below) he still has to contend with the Darkspawn, but is it on a grand scale like the Grey Warden? The games take place (or at least begin) around the same time frame. Given that Dragon Age II is a decade in duration (I can’t wait to see how long this bad boy is) it will obviously end some time after, perhaps even after Awakenings.

Will there be rumblings and rumors that tie into Origins? Will we see a Witch of the Wilds with a small child (around 9 or 10) that bares a striking resemblance to a certain Grey Warden?

Oh so many questions and oh so little time to answer them all. But BioWare didn’t just stop at giving us some new information. They were also kind enough to oblige us with some fancy pants screen shots:

Dragon Age II - Hawke with Sword

I swing my sword from above my shoulder...that's how Hawke rolls

Dragon Age II - Hawke - Ogre Finishing Blow

It's true...the Hawke can fly

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BioWare: This Dragon Age 2 Post is for You

Hi, BioWare.  It’s me, Kat.  Your faithful follower and devotee of every game (*ahem* mostly) you put on the market.  You know that I love you (see ‘An Ode to BioWare‘).  But, why, oh why, do you continue to toy with my heart?

You know – I’m 99.9% sure you know – that we here at Polish the Console are waiting with bated breath for the next Dragon Age release.  We are on pins and needles.  We’re dancing with impatience, much like a small child will dance when he or she needs to use the restroom.  We’re on the edge of our seats.  And yes, I understand that we will be feeling all those cliches until March 2011 when Dragon Age 2 is released.

Look! We found Morrigan in DA2!

But with the news we’ve recently heard, I have to say I’m already upset.  First of all, as presented in Wadoobie’s post, you can only be a human, and your human character can only be named Hawke.  Well that just really pisses me off.  I like Avaline (even if others don’t).  Yes, she’s a human, but one of the great things about Dragon Age: Origins was the fact that you literally were starting your character from scratch.  As Wadoobie said, you get to feel so immersed in this character that you’ve created because have brought them up from nothing.  You really feel like you have a unique character.

Giving us a template, telling the players, “You’re playing as a human!  We’ve recorded a voice!  And his or her name is Hawke, no matter what!”  Well damn.  Do we get to at least choose what the character looks like?  Wadoobie is right; this feels exactly like Mass Effect.  …wait, does that mean Jennifer Hale is voicing the female character?  Okay, half point in the positive.

Another thing.  Directly from the BioWare Dragon Age 2 site comes this quote –

“Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.”

Meet your Dragon Age 2 character.

Fight like a Spartan?  In absolute truth, I just watched 300 yesterday.  BioWare, if you’re going to reveal this little gem, I expect to see oiled-up men in the background clothed in nothing but a minuscule loincloth, with glistening six pack abs.  Kinda like the way Alistair looks when you unequip all his armor and weapons.  Seriously though, ‘fight like a Spartan’ kinda scares me.  It makes me imagine that I’ll be playing Dynasty Warriors rather than Dragon Age.

My final comment?  Romance, tenting.  Don’t worry BioWare, I trust you.  I believe you’ll do the right thing and include the romance aspect, like you always do with the major releases.  Notice I said major, not all.  I will exclude expansions and DLC from this topic.

Don’t let me down, BioWare!

-Kat

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