As promised Bioware have released a demo of Dragon Age 2 which you can now get hold of on all platforms. I downloaded mine from trusty Fileplanet with no wait time but you can  also get it from Steam or whatever download site you prefer.

Have played it through twice so far, once as a warrior and then a again as a mage. The combat feels faster probably due to the stronger focus on appealing to console players. The dialogue wheel is an improvement on Mass Effect a little but it still feels like I’m being railroaded into always choosing the same option if I want to be “nice” “cheeky” or “aggressive” I could essentially skip reading what responses I can choose and just pick top, middle or bottom so I don’t know how I feel about that.

The mage combat is definitely a visual step up, the auto attacks with the staff are more attractive and fluid, the warrior combat feels pretty much the same. Group tactics and loot equipping are still there but were disabled for the demo. The new skill trees seem smaller but I suspect that might not be true, simply the icons are displayed differently.

The demo is primarily combat focused, there wasn’t much dialogue with any real character development that I could see and for the most part it was about bashing darkspawn. I’m struck by how generic all of my companions seemed but that could well be because I was playing the beginning of the game and it appears most of the companions I used where disposable tutorial type fodder.

The running animation was a little disappointing, I felt like I was moving too fast and that my feet were not fully weighted to the ground, like I was skating across it similar to how I remember it felt in Dark Age of Camelot from trying it years ago. However you get used to it and perhaps its a demo issue rather than a full retail problem. (demos sometimes have older or less polished aspects in order to be ready in time to show).

Give it a try, see what ya think. I’m not yet ready to pass judgement on if its better or worse than the original because that is some pretty big boots to fill and there isn’t enough in the demo to give it enough of a chance to shine.