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DA2 Update

I'm still not sure where the act breaks are exactly, but we've had some major events and a timeskip, so I figure we have to be into Act 2. Completed several side quests, talked to everybody, did "Prime Suspect" and Varric's companion quest. Please tell me everyone gets a companion quest -- so far, those have been my favorite part of the game.

How much do I love Varric? His companion quest was excellent, from his solo epic battle to discovering just how badly the lyrium idol has damaged Bartrand -- and I'm not at all convinced we did the right thing by letting him live, but it's absolutely what my Hawke would have done. A trusting sort, who would rather not kill anyone she doesn't absolutely have to: that's our Marian Hawke. But as much as anything, I loved learning just how unreliable a narrator Varric is. Okay, Cassandra caught him in this particular lie, but what else has he been embellishing, skipping, just plain making up? It adds a whole layer of ambiguity to a story that already has a lot of gray areas, and although I could see how some folks might be annoyed by that, personally I enjoy it a lot. I do have to wonder if Bartrand was always going to abandon Varric and Hawke, or if the idol made him do it. Either way, I'm sure this isn't the last we've seen of the idol.

Hawke's trusting ways also got Emeric, the templar investigating the murders, killed, and now Hawke is out for Gascard DuPris's blood. I still wonder if Gascard is guilty, though -- it could easily be a frame. Yet another example of the ambiguity of this game. Not to mention that we're into Act 2, and no big bad has yet emerged. Knight-Commander Meredith is a candidate (still haven't met her and I'm madly curious to do so), as are the mysterious pack of blood mages we met in Act 1 while investigating the case of the missing templars (is it just me, or is there a lot of detective work in this game?), not to mention the Qunari. I don't mind multiple antagonists, even ones who have very little to do with each other, but the story is fairly disjointed as a result. I hope things come together a little better, at least to some extent.

Companions: Progress made on the romance front. We continue to flirt with Fenris and Isabella and... well, I'm hard-pressed to call it "flirting" with Anders, since he seems to take it so seriously. Isabella showed up at our estate for a hookup almost immediately after our first conversation, so that was fun. I've heard that you can pursue multiple romances in DA2 (unlike Origins, which so far has always forced me to choose), but then again, Fenris did ask if there was anyone else, in a way that implied he wouldn't like an answer of "yes". Hawke was able to sidestep the question, but I have to wonder how long that will last. I kind of wish we could romance Varric -- their banter is pretty epic. On the other hand, how many lovers do we really need?

Going into the Fade with Anders/Justice was interesting. When we first started talking about the Fade, Anders suggested that it would be good to take an experienced mage along, but then when we were picking our party, he was hesitant. In retrospect, I certainly understand why -- Justice seemed to take over entirely there -- but I'm glad we did, and I hope we get a chance to talk to Anders about it. Details, I need more details! There's some good party banter in this game, but I miss all the random conversations I used to have with my companions.

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