Archive for February, 2011

I created no screenshots in this entry myself. :P Used with permission.

I also made no video.

It’s always interesting to see, how games are altered to still fly under the radar of regulation (What kind of sicko does this? – Indeed).

It’s a trap! a.k.a. It’s the same scene:

It’s almost funny how these cuts trash games into absurdity. Nice lesson.

//Edit 2011/04/15

Someone went the extra mile and did a proper compare!

http://www.schnittberichte.com/schnittbericht.php?ID=973741

The demo is quite good in portraying what a player has to expect in the full game, although many things (especially menus – which seemed more responsive and less sluggish, although I often had to click on confirm repeatedly until it worked) are still locked/unusable. For once it seems the press coverage has been quite good, because the demo is exactly like someone would expect it to be, after consuming all the information that has already been published.
The story mechanics are exposed and hold no surprises over the known explanations, that 2 characters are discussing everything, between the interactive segments the player has control over. I have quite the mixed feelings concerning this, the demo already shows how some things are repeated, because the dwarf telling everything, is usually less than truthful and tries again, if pressured a bit more. So even if the player gets to control the action, there is still no guarantee that it actually took place like this. I’m not sure if this is the perfect solution, if the statement is supposed to be, that this is the player’s story.
As announced, the demo begins with Hawke leaving Lothering. At this point the game world reminds of MDK (if someone can remember this – part two was even from BioWare) – there’s a wide, surrounding game world visible, that’s inaccessible and is maneuvered through by really narrow paths only. The surroundings look very barren and empty, only the characters are more detailed. The GUI is very small and offers little. All party members can still be controlled like DAO veterans are used to, but in the demo that’s never necessary. A right click onto an enemy and waiting until they are down is usually enough. TAB still highlights objects, but except for some rocks and a few (obvious) bodies there was nothing to loot – no problem though, because use of the inventory was locked. Zooming out was decreased visibly, but since the battles didn’t require any tactics (demo difficulty was locked to normal) to win, I didn’t miss the way it worked in part one, it would have been truly superfluous. The dialog wheel is, again: expected, the same as in Mass Effect and mostly removes reading before selecting an option, since it’s now the common good/neutral/bad response. It’s even bundled with icons now, so that not only the good/neutral/bad choice is obvious, but also answers, that will effect “friendships” with the other characters. Know the outcome of your actions before selection. :|
In addition to the scenes with the story-telling dwarf, there are sequences that are (in their function) quite similar/almost identical to the paintings from “The Witcher”, that are accompanied by some narration, while the camera moves around in front of it.
Judging from the demo, it’s really Mass Effect 2 in the fantasy setting of Dragon Age: Origins. That doesn’t mean the game is bad, but people that feared it would be more like ME2 than it would be like DAO, will see their concerns more or less confirmed.
I’m now fully expecting a great adventure story, that’s told within a game mechanic, that’s little more than an action-oriented hack’n’slay between the conversations and cut scenes.
The demo is roughly 1,9 GB in size and it took me about 90 minutes to finish it (I did everything possible and listened to all the optional conversation).

PS: Flemeth looks now a lot more intriguing than in the first game. :D

It’s quite perverse, that once upon a time, when “squad mates”/party members in (computer-) role-playing games could wear dozens of different clothing/armor, it was all free and now, that they can only wear 2 or 3 outfits, it costs…

People who get superpowers and complain about them and just want to be “normal”

Every time I see such characters in a story I’d like to punch those ungrateful douchebags. Suddenly being able to fly is the worst thing that ever happened to you? Really? Your life must be so horrible then! Just for once I’d like to see, how people party hard and celebrate this change. I would.

Ad of Death

I visit heise.de a lot. So since I like the site, I disabled Adblock Plus (on Firefox 4 Beta 10), which I have normally active everywhere. Today I got this screen, immediately after opening the site:

If I click the message away, I’m instantly redirected, just as the dialog window says. Bottom line: With my current browser configuration and ads allowed, there’s no way for me to reach the page I wanted to see. Fun! Guess what’s the easiest way to fix this: Correct, enabling Adblock Plus it is.

First I was gonna say this was Firefox 4 Beta 10 behavior, because I tried it in Google Chrome 10.0.648.6 and nothing happened, but then I also tested Opera 11.01 and voila:

Other than my Firefox installation, Opera is final and both are quite good browsers. I tried to test it with IE as well, but with that thing I couldn’t get the ad in question to show up.