I feel like Dragon Age 2 should come with some popcorn, because it’s not as much a game as it is an interactive 3D novel. Which would be fine and all, but the problem is that one of the things a good novel needs is a good story, which DA2 simply doesn’t have.
Ok I’m exaggerating. There’s a lot of game in there, but the reason I say there isn’t is because the gameplay is bland and missing those key ingredients that make an RPG an RPG. Man, I’ve started ranting already. I hope to leave some ranting for my final post in the series so for now, let’s go corpse camp some dragons (or Qunari more appropriately).
Warning: The following post is very likely to contain Dragon Age 2 (and possible Dragon Age: Origins) spoilers. Continue at your own risk.
So, the main quest hum? I guess that’s the one where I was asked to clean everyone else’s mess? Or in other words, I was asked to go look for the Qunari emissaries who disappeared from the Viscount’s doorstep. Sigh, all right, I’ll clean your mess Viscount, but this is the last time, I swear it.
After getting a hint that I should look for shady people at the Hanged Man (which encompasses pretty much everyone there) I beat up some random guilty-looking guy until he confessed. It’s something I learned from Templars. Apparently someone at the chantry paid him to help abduct the Qunari. Off to the chantry we go.
Where of course, we meet the same loathsome woman I wanted to punch in the face in the past, but the game didn’t let me. She apparently gained position but is still as detestable as she was before. Now there’s one character BioWare managed to get right, what they got wrong though is the fact that you can never actually harm her in any way.
She denies being directly involved and claims that her templar bodyguard did everything by his own prerogative. So she sets up a meeting with the zealot in question. It was obviously a trap, but I thought I’d get the chance to smack that bitch up if I agreed to the meeting. And it’s not like I ever shied away from a fight, violent retribution is the way to go. Weapons at the ready I travelled to the meeting location.
It turns out it really was an ambush, what a pleasant surprise. That religious snake ran like snakes do and I ended up killing everyone. The fight was harder than I thought it would be because of what seemed to be endlessly spawning adds and the fact that I only had two companions with me. But thanks to the overpowered might of the AoE mages we won with only two casualties (though I’m pretty sure Isabela was just faking being knocked out). The problem now was that the knight killed the emissaries before I could react, which meant confronting the Arishok will be a precarious situation. Luckily though, he understood who the real culprit behind it was and we agreed on the punishment — death.
But this wasn’t until later, when I was asked to find the Viscount’s son (he managed to misplace him yet again, sigh), that this happened. I was told he was now a follower of the Qunari and that they took him to spite the Viscount, but they claimed it was his choice and that they had nothing to do with it. Well, other than they misplaced him too and apparently the detestable woman was behind it again. Why is it that I’m everyone’s go-to person for crap cleaning duty? Heroes don’t go around talking to people, making sure no one is offended and patching up relationships. I want to fight dragons and monsters and, and… Sigh, all right, I’ll go find that easily distracted kid, but when I get back there better be some dragon-slaying on the agenda, or I’ll quit the job.
Trudging over to the chantry I find Viscount’s son dead and a mob of religious zealots intent on leather covers for their holy books from my hide. Turns out it really was all the detestable holy woman’s fault, but before I can punch her in the face a Qunari sends a bolt through her head. Cue facepalming. Her death was the end of it I thought, but I was wrong.
Isabela has been shying away from the Qunari compound whenever I tried entering it, which pretty much gave away the fact that she stole something from them (she is a rogue after all). It didn’t take much brainpower to realise it’s the relic she lost travelling from Kirkwall. Imagine my surprise then, when I found this out in the beginning of a quest to retrieve the treasure. That’s right, you can’t because I wasn’t surprised at all. Oh story writers, where were you?
So off we are, to retrieve this relic of Qunari history. We enter a room, kill everyone, Isabela runs off and leaves a note saying that she’s a bitch. Fair enough, we already knew that, but it left us kinda screwed on the pissed-off Qunari side. Facing the Arishok without his precious book wasn’t pleasant and resulted in the lot of them deciding to purge the city. It’s a fair cop, but the society is to blame.
So now I have to save the city from suddenly being razed to the ground. The game claims that the tensions have been mounting for quite some time now, but I have to say I haven’t noticed any of it. Maybe it was because I was busy with being everyone’s problem solver (like Schwarzenegger in Eraser). Being a mercenary for hire is tough, you know.
I’d tell you more about how I saved the day by being an absolute bastard, but I don’t think I can manage it before this here wall-o-text meter reads “Warning: text takes three days to read!”. So you’ll have to wait for the next post in the series for the conclusion of this thrilling quest. Does it end with a bang? Does Porcupine Hawke get arrested for disorderly, drunken and obscene behaviour? Do the Qunari ever manage to grow facial hair? Stay tuned to find out.