Asked by Anonymous
Why, thank you! And… well, I don’t know about readable but as for your quesiton, there’s a lot of reasons why i don’t like DA:O. Without getting into an extended critique, I take issue with a lot of the characterization, pacing, poor manifestation & over-extended world building, subversive sexism (Points for not being overt, but still). But, really, I just don’t like high fantasy.
Not judging anyone who does like it, but dragons, castle sieges, big burly men in rusted, bloody armor, and unsubtle good VS evil conflicts on a continental scale are just really too trod out to interest me. And it’s long. It’s so very long. There are so many things that happen that I just don’t much care about, and they all happen slowly.
DA2, however, has a completely different narrative structure. It’s not going to be more “awesome”, so to speak, because it’s not trying to awe you wit the great gravity of the situation. It’s constructed on a more intimate scale, and is a muchhh shorter game. It’s low fantasy, which I adore; no good VS evil, lacking in many epic fantasy storytelling conventions, no end of the world in sight but that doesn’t mean that individual stakes aren’t high, and that your actions don’t have ramifications beyond a personal level. I felt Thedas finally clicked as a world, instead of just a map; concepts which were flubbed or glossed over in the first game are made more apparent & explored better. There’s also some deconstruction of the very concept and creation of the hero, and the heroic epic that you get in the second that’s absent in the first, so if you’re into that that’s great (which, personally, I am! Because I like my moderns post- if you know what I’m saying and—shit if you don’t that’s okay I don’t know what I’m saying either don’t worry about it let’s forget that everything in these parentheses ever happened).
The episodic nature of it also appeals to me, it seems like a series of digestable anecdotes that show you what’s you’re about, what’s changing, and what’s going to change if you do good, and what’ll change if you mess this shit up. Countries, cities, empires rise and fall, and unless you’re living in them, unless you have a place or a connection, that don’t mean shit to you. That’s a huge failing of high fantasy, I feel, you can never get a good sense of “what do I really lose if I lose?”—besides the game, I mean.