Dragon Age 2 Hawke is still the best BioWare hero

there was one thing that kept me entertained in this game, and made me want to replay it again recently, it was the characters. Dragon Age 2 has some of the best characters in the series, like Aveline, Isabela or Varric, even the protagonist you are playing is fun as heck if you play him or her as a smart ass. Whether it Jo Wyatt (also the voice of Ciri in Witcher 3) or Nicholas Boulton (Shakespeare in Love) doing the acting, they both deliver some stellar performances as Hawke, specifically the charming personality. The voiced protagonist concept borrowed from Mass Effect is a bit of a double edged sword, where it does make the protagonist feel a bit more fleshed out and the dialogue organic but it will be at the expense of roleplaying, and the dialogue wheel wasn’t always that great at paraphrasing your responses. The ambiguity could sometimes lead to you picking a dialogue option that ended up sounding completely different from what one thought.

BioWare’s way to combat that was adding icons, the kind that would dictate the tone of how Hawke delivers her/his lines during dialogue that isn’t controlled by the player. It’s a unique concept, and a good idea that wasn’t always executed well and not everyone understandably cares for this type of dialogue system. Personally I like how it is with old CRPGs or like in Divinity 2, but Hawke was so much fun to play that I honestly didn’t mind too much, and I hope that if Dragon Age 4 becomes a thing that the humorous personality makes a return.

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When Dragon Age 2 first came out, I played the demo. I was not interested based on that demo, and I suspect it might have been a poorly-chosen representation of the experience. Either that or else coming right off Dragon Age: Origins put me in the wrong headspace for it, but the bottom line is that I didn’t want what it was offering.

A couple of years ago I finally got around to playing the PS3 version of DA2, and honestly I was surprised by how much I did enjoy it. I liked the characters, I liked the story, I liked the protagonist. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I liked what we were allowed to make him into, but I feel like even the choices I didn’t take were pretty decent.

To my surprise, even the combat kind of won me over. I would be happy if there was a version of DA: Origins with that kind of combat rather than the more crunchy RPG style that it does have.

The only thing I was not entirely happy with was the romance options. None of them seemed like something I was interested in. I would have been just as happy if they decided to not have any, but that’s not a choice that Bioware at that time were likely to make.

It’s a shame that this kind of game is not what we can probably expect from Bioware in the future.