Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PAX East: Dragon Age II (360)

Play time: ~15-20min

What Happened:
Ouch! I just realized that all of the notes I wrote down for this game fall under the "what I didn't like" category...

This was game 4 for PAX East weekend. To be completely honest, I didn't play this one, I just watched Issam play it. He wanted to check it out since he liked the first Dragon Age on PC, and wanted to see how the 360 version played.

Most of my comments are about the art in the game, since I didn't play.

What I Liked:

Umm... I didn't really see very much of the game... but the base girl character model was pretty cool looking I thought.

What I Didn't Like:

Slow loading! A lot of it.

Frame rate. The frame rate has a tendency to drop in almost all of the EDCs, which I don't think I've really seen happen in a game before... So that was pretty bad.

Small polish in EDCs. Because of the camera angles, you got to see a lot of small details up close that I don't think were created to be seen so close. For example, the dwarf in the intro EDC has strange dark blotches on his eyelids. Also, there's a knife stabbed into a book which looks pretty bad up close. There are also a lot of small, awkward pops into and out of EDCs.

Action freezing. There's a particular character move which pauses the action so that you can target an attack - but for something so disruptive, the payoff is really lacking. It almost makes it seem more like an error than a special move.

No ribcage. When you chose the female character, your companion character's model appears to be missing her ribcage. Also, I'll go ahead and say it - her outfit is ridiculous!

Blood splatter. I think it's supposed to be stylized? There's a part in the beginning where you and your companion both have big blood splatters across their faces - but there is a really high contrast in color, and it looks really odd.

Feedback. When you fight the ogre, it there is no takehit or effects feedback, so it's hard to tell that you've made contact.

Losing control. Your character does a super cool finishing move when you finish fighting, but it starts an EDC. Because of this, it feels as though you (the player) are not actually getting to finish the monster off. It makes it anti-climactic.

Character editor. It's confusing, there's an intro EDC and gameplay, and then you are given the option to change your character's appearance. Maybe I'm a different person now, after the EDC? I don't actually know.

Presets. The default character looks great, but the other character presets were obviously made in the character editor as opposed to modeled, and there's a huge dip in quality. I don't know why you would ever want to choose any other character preset.

FX. Overall, the effects are pretty lame looking. They just all seem to be flat textures on planes.

Crawling. During the EDCs you can see that the shadows are chunky and the edges are crawling.

Texture bleeding. Also in the EDCs, you can see that the texture on the main characters lips appears to bleed across the top of her mouth. It sort of gives the same effect as an old lady wearing lipstick.

How Do I Feel About Continuing?:

I dunno, I didn't technically try this game and everyone I know who's played the PC version has really liked this game. Almost all of my comments revolve around visuals, but if this is a fun game (which I'm assuming it is since it's so popular), then my comments about the visuals really don't matter. Gameplay is most important!

No comments:

Post a Comment