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While the prequel and sequel to ‘Dragon Age 2’ are both epic scale games featuring a rag-tag team joining you in your quest to defeat ‘the almighty, evil bad guy’, ‘Dragon Age 2’ is smaller in scale and focuses more on the sociological and political issues of its world. It features ssues that heatedly divide fan-base opinions on justice, morality and philosophy.
‘Dragon Age 2’ is driven by an impressive character narrative that develops independently of your character’s choices, which is unusual for an RPG. Regardless of what you decide, the game’s characters will often follow their own path with final, game altering consequences.
The character development, the voice acting, and the storytelling methods are simply some of the best I’ve enjoyed in all my years of gaming. Thinking about games that are similar to ‘Dragon Age 2’, I’m going to consider several of these factors.
Commander Shephard, a human soldier, must save the galaxy from a race of mechanical beings called the Reapers.
The ‘Mass Effect’ series is created by the same team as ‘Dragon Age 2’, so you can expect a lot of compelling creative and narrative similarities, even if the setting and premise is the complete opposite. You can design your own character, develop their personality, and choose who you have relationships with. It’s addicting and hugely popular amongst gaming fans. You might be like me and be terribly unused to shooter games, but persevere because it’s really worth it.
‘Final Fantasy XII’ revolves around Vaan, the adventurer and Ashe, the princess who must rally together in a resistance movement against the Archadian Empire that threatens their homeland.
I don’t usually hear good things about ‘Final Fantasy XII’. Because the battle system took a very different, and more complex, direction from the norm of the ‘Final Fantasy’ turn-based system, many long term fans turned their noses up at it. That being said, it earned several ‘Game of the Year’ awards. ‘Final Fantasy XII’ has some serious chops in regards to it’s character development and it’s driven by its storytelling focus.
That being said, this is a JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game), meaning you won’t find most of your favourite elements of Western RPG gaming, such as character creation, and personality defining choices and responses are non-existent. You play as plucky Vaan with his blonde hair and questionable fashion choices, and that’s the way it will be throughout.
A mercenary named Zael dreams of becoming a knight in Lazulis. Once he becomes romantically involved with a noblewoman, he struggles with the dilemma of following his ideals or giving it all up for a better life in an ongoing war.
‘The Last Story’ is another JRPG. I mention this category often today because the storytelling and non-playable character development elements tend to be as compelling as those in ‘Dragon Age 2’. While certainly the immovable structure of a JPRG’s plot and its main playable character may be more limiting and feel less collaborative, it can also be an enjoyable role-playing experience to simply bask in the rolling narrative.
‘The Last Story’ has several similarities to ‘Dragon Age 2’, although it doesn’t feel quite as mature. Love is a central theme as it can be for ‘Dragon Age 2’, if you choose it. Furthermore, war, caste systems and political games will also feature heavily. There’s a main questline, but the side quests and other optional elements offer great incentive to follow them through, more character backstory, world building information, and rare items, to name a few. The combat system is interactive, quick and tactical, and it gives the player a lot of options to get creative with how to down an enemy.
Dante avenges his mother’s murder by hunting demons.
I know it’s a weird choice and it’s an old game now. But I was trying really hard to think of a game with a similar style of combat; streamlined, simplistic but viscerally satisfying at the same time.
I was instantly reminded of playing Lucia in ‘Devil May Cry 2’. It’s not an RPG, and the storytelling, the voice acting is nothing short of hilarious. Not to mention that the characters are really just barely interesting, but hey, it’s a fun game and the speedy combat will definitely remind you of the rogue and warrior class animations from ‘Dragon Age 2’ if you’re just really looking to stab some monsters really fast. It involves long chains of attack, and was considered highly stylish back in the day, so enjoy!
When you think about the conflicting political intrigue, entirely bisexual cast, rape, murder and that part where Isabella talks about anal play in ‘Dragon Age 2’, you probably wouldn’t jump to compare it to Disney’s lovable ‘Kingdom Hearts’ series where Goofy is a main character.
‘Kingdom Hearts’ is surprisingly mature, despite being colour-happy and full of Disney characters like…Winnie the Pooh. Friendship, abandonment, love, regret, and nostalgia are all common issues and themes you’ll see in this coming-of-age story.
‘Dragon Age 2’ left me with so many questions about what was going to happen next. There are only 3 games in the series, but there are comics and novels to devour while we wait for more. It’s similar with the ‘Kingdom Hearts’ series. The plot of the game also takes place within a much bigger, complex narrative that hasn’t yet been completely revealed or played out.
Whether you love it or hate it, ‘Dragon Age 2’ is a conversation starter.
There are a lot of obvious RPG recommendations out there, but I wanted to focus on story building and character backstory quality. Maybe these games will open your mind to different genres of gaming.
Let us know what you think a game like ‘Dragon Age 2’ should look like in the comments below!
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