Dragon Age II: two swords are better than one

, | Game diaries

My name is Adam and I have a confession. I’m addicted to using two weapons in RPGs. I will always take the dual wield option. It doesn’t matter what type of game I’m playing, how bad the build is, or how much more I could min/max my way through with something else. I am going to use two weapons, usually swords, and hack and slash things into virtual oblivion. I have done it throughout my gaming life, and my neurosis runs so deep that after taking one dual wield character to level 85 in World of Warcraft, I started another dual wielder of a different class and am leveling him up. Why? Because he dual wields bigger weapons. Yes, that actually happened.

After the jump, Dragon Age 2 satisfies our hero’s bloodlust

Naturally, in Dragon Age: Origins I played a dual wielder, a warrior also decked out head to toe in colossal plate armor. He butchered his way through the game with no remorse, permanently spattered with the blood of Tokein-esque monsters and men. I played on the PC, which meant I was able to mod the game a little to respec my talents just the way I wanted for maximum lethality. It was deeply satisfying, and I looked forward to resuming my murderous ways in the sequel.

I was wary when I first played the Dragon Age 2 demo, as the only dual wield option in the game is the rogue. I can grudgingly accept that this makes sense given the three class system, but I don’t have to like looking like a malnourished acrobat. This isn’t your high school D&D rogue though. This rogue dual wields massive imitation Klingon Bat’leths, warps behind enemies for the perfunctory backstab, and every so often runs up to a foe, pirouettes, and stabs both blades into his chest in a massive explosion of blood and guts. You can probably see why I got over my misgivings and decided this new rogue was fine by me. I also chose to stick with the PC version, as clicking the ‘A’ button as fast as humanly possible just to auto-attack on the console sounded like a terrible way to relax.

With that decision out of the way I headed off to character creation, which looks pleasantly complicated and customizable on the surface. I can’t tell you for sure, as I didn’t even try to use it. I’m one of those oddballs that thinks the first time you play an RPG, you might as well play it the way it was designed, scripted, and written. Thus, my male rogue enters the world Garrett Hawke, completely with oddly effete features and wispy beard that was definitely over-texturized at the Kirkwall salon and day spa.

Now this wasn’t what I expected. Where are my Bat’leths? Where is my fancy rogue armor? Why can’t I jump around like a ninja, backstabbing and eviscerating people, or bowl them over like pins with the hilarious charge ability? Apparently I don’t get to actually do that at level 1, so I’m going to have to slog through these introductory zones I played six times in the demo (Come on, it’s not that unreasonable: one for each character on PC, and again on Xbox 360). I won’t get to do any of that cool stuff for a few more levels, so bear with me. We have nine more of these to go, and a lot of stabbing left to do!

Up next: Blood, so much blood. And breasts. Blame Bioware, not me!

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