Dragon Age 2
Dragon Age 2 is the second installment in the Dragon Age series of high-fantasy roleplaying games.
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Story & Themes
Dragon Age 2's story focuses on a central conflict between the mages and the templars. Mages are deemed dangerous to themselves and non-mages due to their susceptibility to demon possession, and tendency to turn to evil blood magic when cornered. They are kept in "Circles," and Kirkwall's Circle is particularly abusive. Mages who escape the Circle are branded "apostate," and are hunted down by templars—those tasked to keep order among the mages and keep them within the Circles. Kirkwall's templar leader, Knight-Commander Meredith, has become increasingly paranoid and authoritarian. Hawke comes from a family of apostates, so they have a difficult journey ahead of them.
The game is split into three different Acts, each of which takes place over a period of a year, with some time in between. Meanwhile, Hawke gathers companions to their side. Each of these companions is a potential friend or rival, depending on how well Hawke's decisions match with their personality and ideals. For example, one companion is a mage seeking justice for his people, while another despises the mages who enslaved him. Earning friendship or rivalry with companions leads to more personal quests and dialogues as time goes on, and even romance. Companions might even leave Hawke's side for good at some points. The interpersonal relationships that Hawke builds are an integral part of Dragon Age 2.
Meanwhile, the mage-templar conflict continues to escalate, and the player must make some tough decisions that could influence the rest of the world. Neither side is good or evil, and both has its flaws.
The themes of Dragon Age 2 revolve around freedom vs. and slavery, control vs. safety, and free will. Mages are imprisoned, and increasingly abusive restrictions force them into making bad decisions, thus tightening the restrictions even further. The only nation in Thedas that does let mages run free, however, is one where they rule over the rest of the people, and thrive on slave labor. In fact, abuses have been perpetrated on both sides. Some of these tragedies have impacted Hawke personally.
While there is no outright nudity in the game, some characters appear scantily clad.
One of the hubs of gameplay is a tavern, and characters are shown drinking (mostly ale) there. One character is depicted drinking excessively as a way to cope with emotional distress.
Dragon Age 2 also aims to discuss racism and poverty, but does so using elves as the oppressed people, rather than real life racial prejudice among humans.There is one scene where a transgender character is the butt of an offensive joke.
- How does the mage/templar conflict resemble real life conflicts? Some people have pointed out that the mages are treated much like mentally ill people in the real world, but there are also a lot of differences.
- Usually in games where the player is trying to earn "friendship points" with a character, the road to success is fairly straightforward--do good things, and the character will like you. Do bad things, and they won't. In Dragon Age 2, things aren't so clear cut. Were there characters you ended up gaining rivalry with for their own good? Were there times when you didn't want to make them dislike you, but had to for ethical reasons?
- In one scene, a male character will express romantic interest in Hawke, whether or not the player has chosen to make Hawke a man or a woman. Did this make you uncomfortable? If it did, why do you think that is? Did it make you uncomfortable if Hawke is a woman?
Action/Adventure, Role-Playing (RPG)
Interests / Subjects:
Art (Painting, Drawing, etc.),
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Cannot be played online