COMBAT EVOLVED
When Mass Effect's combat designer took a look at DA:O's somewhat clunky turn-based system, he told the Dragon Age team—and we're parraphrasing here—"when I press a button, I want something awesome to happen." Not a bad design dictum, and it's visible in the game's responsive new overlay. If you want to play in the traditional RPG fashion, you still can (though that's been optimized, with none of the dreaded "pre-turn shuffle" that plagued DA:O)...or you can play hack-and-slash style with an attack button and two magic buttons. The demo levels we played felt seamless both ways, and is the cardinal improvement that makes the sequel accessible to purists and noobs alike.