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Dragon Age II high-res PC texture pack compared

Side-by-side comparison of the high-resolution texture pack Bioware issued for the PC version of Dragon Age II.

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Rich was the editorial lead for CNET's Home and Wellness sections, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Before moving to Louisville in 2013, Rich ran CNET's desktop computer review section for 10 years in New York City. He has worked as a tech journalist since 1994, covering everything from 3D printing to Z-Wave smart locks.
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Dragon Age II launched today, with a free texture upgrade download aimed at PC gamers.
Dragon Age II launched today, with a free texture upgrade aimed at PC gamers. CNET

Electronic Arts' anticipated role-playing sequel Dragon Age II launched today for the PC, the Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3. Reviews have been positive so far, but PC gamers had concerns that developer Bioware might be straying too far into console territory with the new game that features faster-paced combat and a more gamepad-friendly interface than the original, Dragon Age: Origins.

Dragon Age II high-rez PC textures compared

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Perhaps to help convince PC gamers that it hasn't forgotten them, Bioware issued a free high-resolution texture pack download for Dragon Age II to coincide with today's launch. Designed for the PC version exclusively, the texture pack takes advantage of the large amounts of video memory available on higher-end gaming PC and amps up the detail of the in-game environments. Check out our slideshow for our impressions of the boosted resolutions throughout the first few sections of gameplay.

Bioware also went out of its way to showcase the PC-only DirectX 11 graphical elements of the game in a blog post last week. Whether those features will be enough to win over the majority of PC gamers remains to be seen, but Bioware's efforts underscore the point that the PC remains an important platform. Now that PC gaming hardware has moved well beyond the stagnant consoles, we expect we'll see other game makers take special care not to alienate this still-important gaming audience.

What demands do you have for your PC games? Let us know!