The new Dragon Age 2 combat walkthrough video shows off both sides of battle in BioWare’s upcoming epic, demonstrating how the game can be played as either an action-RPG or with a more tactical, “pause and play” approach.

Some gamers like their swords fast and their sorcery furious, unleashing death and destruction as fast as they can click. Others prefer to attack things more thoughtfully, formulating plans and issuing orders to maximize battlefield efficiency and effectiveness. It’s the difference between Diablo and Icewind Dale; but with Dragon Age 2, BioWare intends to offer the best of both worlds.

The two combat excerpts demonstrate the different approaches to gameplay. In the first clip, the player launches himself into the battle in real-time, hacking his foes to pieces while the computer-controlled NPCs provide support. Swapping between characters is smooth and simple, allowing for timely changes even in the heat of battle. The second time through, a slower approach is taken as combat is paused and orders issued; front-rank enemies are funneled into a trap while a rear group of archers is dealt with using potions. One game, two very different combat experiences.

Dragon Age 2 is scheduled for release on March 8 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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