BioWare releases Dragon Age II demo

If you’re not still downloading the Windows 7 service pack, here’s another big download PC gamers might feel the urge to grab. BioWare has released a PC demo for its upcoming role-playing game sequel, Dragon Age II. The demo can be downloaded from Steam, FileShack, and GamersHell.com, among other sources. You’re looking at a 1.88GB download for the English-language version—nothing to sneeze at, but par for the course as far as PC game demos go these days.

According to the listing on FileShack, this demo "starts with the game’s prologue before moving into Kirkwall, a new area of the world the new Dragon Age II." Besides new content, BioWare’s latest RPG should also have some fresh eye candy in store. Speaking to the folks at Joystiq more than a year ago, BioWare VP Greg Zeschuk teased, "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."

The full game is due out on March 8 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. This is going to be a crowded few weeks, what with Bulletstorm hitting stores today, Homefront arriving March 15, Crysis 2 following on March 22, and Portal 2 scheduled for April. (Let’s not forget Duke Nukem Forever in May, either.)

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    • Madman
    • 9 years ago

    Is it just me, or the DA2 is a consolish autopilot?

    I liked that the DA:O reminded me of BG series a little, although I do think it was stupidified compared to BG/NWN/ID series. Then again visuals and dialogs covered the missing part, so I really enjoyed it.

    But DA2 demo seems disgusting so far…

    • tanker27
    • 9 years ago

    So the new combat…hmm, its going to take a bit. I like the tactics are still there. I am sure once I master the key control I can easily skip through party members and OMGWTFPWNBBQ dark spawn with ease.

    As for the demo, i Jaked everything to the max as I could and even ran DX11 on my 570. Some glithces but it was smooth as ice with all the eyecandy that they put in the demo.

    I spent well over 200 hours on DA:O and the expansion trying every possible party combination I could. Even resisting keeping Morgan and Allistair together because their witty banter was just too good!

      • crazybus
      • 9 years ago

      How is the combat any different from DA:O? Because it seems pretty much the same to me. The talent tree is different, and I’m still not sure how to feel about that yet.

    • Decelerate
    • 9 years ago

    Having the hardest time selecting the choices for the automated tactic thingymajig. It’s like they have a 10×10 pixel space where I can select to choose the option, the rest of the button/choice not being valid.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 9 years ago

    Combat has been dumbed down to brain-dead button mashing for console kiddies (and those adults who like to pretend consoles don’t dumb down games), so at this point just makes you wonder – why is combat in the game AT ALL ?

    This game should have just been an interactive story with multiple choices.

    Now we fight as a “champion” against “darkspawn”. How much more generic and bland can you get? At least make up some good villain names.

    If I do get around to pirating it when it’s out, I will probably use god-mode to go through the game quickly just to see how dumb the ending is to laugh at it.

      • xtalentx
      • 9 years ago

      Is the combat different from DA1? (I guess I could dload it and find out for myself..)

    • etrigan420
    • 9 years ago

    I receive an error and a nice view of my desktop when choosing a character…Niiiiiice.

    EDIT: Finally got it to work. For some reason it doesn’t want me to be a Rogue.

    Not impressed with gameplay. “Mini-pauses” during cutscenes, then it inevitably errors out and kicks me back to the desktop.

    • Silus
    • 9 years ago

    Tried it and didn’t like it. I’m not too fond of these types of RPGs, but I thought of giving it a try. No dice! Uninstalled it after 5 minutes.

      • Silus
      • 9 years ago

      What the hell ? Thumbs down because “I” didn’t like the demo ?…A new low…

      • xtalentx
      • 9 years ago

      I didn’t thumbs down you but I can tell you from experience a game like this can take some adjusting. Once you get start getting involved in the story and quests it becomes much better. 5 minutes is not nearly enough time.

      On another note – who cares how many thumbs up or down you get?

        • Silus
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t, but I had to mention it, because thumbing someone down, because that person didn’t like something, without even being in a discussion about it, is somewhat idiotic.

        Regarding the game, maybe you’re right. But I really didn’t like the way it plays. As many have been saying, it’s like Diablo and I never really liked that game.

    • BehemothJackal
    • 9 years ago

    The only thing that kept me from beating the expansion was the aforementioned Silverite Mine bug. I lost my main character’s inventory thus losing 20 hours worth of work into the expansion. I haven’t had the resolve to start it over yet.

    As far as DAII is concerned I’m still worried about it on a graphical and gameplay level. I remember seeing the game in motion and I found it looking and playing worse than its predecessor, and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE DA:O.

    Hopefully downloading the demo will alleviate all my fears.

      • xtalentx
      • 9 years ago

      OMG! I had the same thing happen. I stopped playing right after that happened. Completely ruined the game for me. I might not buy this one because of that.

        • BehemothJackal
        • 9 years ago

        One of these days when I have nothing better to do I’ll probably gather the resolve to start over, but at this point in time I don’t see it happening. Too many other great games to enjoy that don’t have a huge game breaking glitch.

        My biggest complaints in DA:O were the muddy 50×50 textures some things in the environment such as doors and wooden carts, and no splashing water. For the longest time I used to think that the doors and carts looked like that because the textures didn’t pop, but it turns out those were the textures. It was really distracting from the whole experience when the rest of the game was quite pretty.

        I’m a water nut in games. I love seeing the reflections, the waves, the splashing from footsteps or bullets. I remember the first time I saw Morrowind’s water I was floored, and it happened again with Crysis and Halo 3. For some reason Halo Reach’s water was a downgrade from Halo 3’s. Go figure. Gears of War’s water…lol fail.

        Either way, in DA:O not having any kind of effect on the water when walking through was just so lazy.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    Am I silly for finding the idea of offering demos as a preview to grab players’ interest before a game is released oddly and utterly refreshing?

      • yogibbear
      • 9 years ago

      What’s a demo?

    • tanker27
    • 9 years ago

    Finally something to tear me away from WoW. I am giddy! Loved DA

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Wow. That was fast paced. It’s like Diablo with a little less clicking now.

    I’m not complaining, mind you, but it’s considerably different than DA1. I’ll play the game, to be sure.

    Also, the “highest” setting with the DX11 renderer made my system into a slideshow. That was really brutal. The “high” setting (also using DX11) was playable but not awesome. Medium (which switches you to the DX9 renderer) still look pretty good and it ran flawlessly.

      • Rand
      • 9 years ago

      The devs have stated the demo has known performance and stability issues with the DX11 renderer and recommend disabling it, so I wouldn’t read much into that at this point.

    • DarkUltra
    • 9 years ago

    Guys, the graphics of dragon age 1 was very good, except the lack of any anisotropic filtering making the ground in third person view very blurry. The shiny pixels shaded armor and clothing was just spectacular.

    Dragon age is supposedly a spiritual successor of baldurs gate, but i really miss the hordes of enemies you met in bg 1. It would be awesome to be able to freeze and and then shatter twenty evil genlocks on the screen at the same time with earthquake or something. Only the low level ones, the higher ones obviously should withstand shattering and even the freeeze if the are high level enough.

    I also liked the depth of the companions, and their dialogue options. But only four party members and very shallow spell system probably makes it more interesting to re-play baldurs gate another time instead of dragon age.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Textures up close left a little bit to be desired. I agree it wasn’t ugly, but certain aspects still needed some work. Unfortunately, on Medium and High, the same thing is true. On Highest I don’t know; I couldn’t play it, as I estimate I was getting between 3-5 fps.

      • thesmileman
      • 9 years ago

      I thought the effects needed work and I would like to see tessellation on the ground because they were really blocky and unrealistic. Occasionally in awakening one of the models would have a texture that couldn’t have been more than 50×50 pixels and looked like something from a game that was 10 years old. I think the latter was just a glitch though or maybe because they rushed the expansion.

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      Alistair. Best thing ever.

        • tanker27
        • 9 years ago

        no no, Morgan & Alistair, Best thing ever.

        The witty banter between them to was hilarious!

          • Meadows
          • 9 years ago

          Second best was Shale. Amazing voice timbre, too.

    • olorinpc
    • 9 years ago

    This would imply that downloading Win7 SP1 took a priority over the DA II demo 😉

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    From the videos of the first one that I saw this game looked to have horrid graphics. I hope Bioware has updated a lot.

    e:SEE UPDATE BELOW::PLZ DON’T FLAME 😉

      • StuG
      • 9 years ago

      The graphics in the first one were fine. Easily playable, and at times pretty.

        • DancinJack
        • 9 years ago

        Horrid I say!

      • burntham77
      • 9 years ago

      Wrong, sir, wrong!

        • DancinJack
        • 9 years ago

        I just installed the demo for DAII. I now insert my foot into mouth. I wanted to play DA, just never really got to it. Should I play the first before numbah two?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 9 years ago

          there will probably be allusions to the past events of DA1 but I don’t think it’s going to matter too much.

          • thesmileman
          • 9 years ago

          You better start now if you do. Between the original and the expansion there is at least 100 hours of game play. I am not looking forward to wasting another 50 hours on the expansion (I am still going to do it and have fun doing it but I am not looking forward to the loss of time)

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 9 years ago

    I still haven’t finished the last expansion.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Me either, but if you mean Awakening and not all the DLC, I found the expansion to fall kind of flat…the plot at the early going was VERY rushed and I lost interest. Hopefully DA2 doesn’t have that problem.

        • StuG
        • 9 years ago

        I felt that the expansion was very rushed. I had a hard time easily following the storyline, and found it to be more work than it was worth. Also, it addressed none of my questions remaining from the first game.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 9 years ago

          Your last point is what annoyed me the most about what I’d played. No, they wanted to resolve my biggest question for ANOTHER $7 or however much Witch Hunt was.

        • Triple Zero
        • 9 years ago

        I found Awakening enjoyable though it did have some glaring bugs that BioWare never fixed, e.g. Silverite Mine bug where you lost all your inventory and equipped items and the bug where Sigrun’s personal quest wouldn’t fire if you had already completed one of the City of Amaranthine quests (exact name of the quest escapes me atm)

        • thesmileman
        • 9 years ago

        I felt the same way and only played for about an hour of the expansion. I came back to it about a week ago and played for a bit and got re-hooked like the first. I would suggest going back and sticking with the main story line quests.

      • burntham77
      • 9 years ago

      The Awakening expansion was pretty solid. Sadly, most of the DLC was not worth the money.

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