This commentary is full of spoilers. Play the game first, or keep reading – you’ve been warned.
As a chapter in the grand saga that is Dragon Age, part 2 is a solid game and a fine example of linear plot design. They all but telegraph the problems in this city in the first 10 minutes. Mages vs Templars.
Now, don’t get me wrong.. the Mages are dangerous. They can easily be corrupted by creatures from the Fade (this worlds version of an astral plane). And when corrupted, they’re not some cloth wearing sissy with fireball. No, now they’re daemonic badasses who take a fair effort to kill.
Don’t worry though, they don’t change at whim, it’s purely by plot which of the mages turn ugly and which of them continue to hurl fiery doom.
And then of course there’s Knight-Commander Meredith who you’re told is running her operation of rooting out renegade mages like a military campaign. So you don’t actually reach this conclusion until Act 3 and sadly, there’s no way out. No matter how much you want to deviate from the main plot. I tried.
It’s sorta sad really, how many excellent story bits they weave into the side quests and the companion elements and yet you have two choices when it comes to the final act. I’d really have liked to see you and your romantic interest walk off into the sunset. “Good luck suckers, enjoy your power struggle.”
Worth noting that few choices you make in the early game impact your late game exploits. I neglected to pursue Fenris’ Companion Quests and so I do his Act 3 quests.