Dragon Age II demo release date announced, unlockable item offered

A round of applause, or if you prefer a round of swords banging on shields to the BioWare marketing team for handing out Dragon Age II unlockables like so much Dwarven ale during the last ten minutes of happy hour.  You get a dog for ordering the game, a sword and shield for pre-ordering, a veritable jewelry box of rings, amulets and a belt for playing the Facebook tie-in, and now yet another sword for simply trying out the demo.

Releasing February 22 across all platforms, the Dragon Age II demo will allow you to play through the prologue as one of three different character classes – mage, rogue or warrior – just like in Dragon Age. Unlike its predecessor, you will not be able to choose your race, locked as you are into the role of human protagonist Hawke, a survivor of the Darkspawn destruction of Lothering. Guess that’s why they dropped the Origins from the title, seeing as there’s only one. You will still get to customize your appearance, in addition to choosing between a male or female character, ala Mass Effect.

For those trepidatious of the change, BioWare promises that the demo will provide a chance to learn more about Hawke, and about companion and potential love interest Isabela. After finishing the prologue, players will jump to ahead to the first meeting with the The Siren’s Call pirate captain, who I’m going to go ahead and assume is heteroflexible. Aside from the “is she or isn’t she” mystery, the most exciting thing about the demo is that its completion will unlock a special weapon, Hayder’s Razor, described as “an ancient dwarven blade which increases health, mana, and combat abilities” in the full version of the game.

Make that sword a little bicurious and you’ve got game of the year locked down.