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Dragon Age 2 pre-order goodies detailed

Plus, BioWare unveils new in-game store.

BioWare has shown off some of the goodies it's offering early birds who slap down the cash for a Dragon Age 2 pre-order.

If you already have a pre-order or place one soon at a participating retailer you'll get exclusive access to the Fadeshear long sword and the Lion of Orlais shield upon release.

Regarding the former, BioWare would have you believe, "The core of this blade is old, as old as the first smiths who sought a way to battle the nightmares from the land beyond. It has fought the demonic hosts in countless battles."

In plain English, this means it inflicts additional damage when used against demons and the undead, and improves as you level-up.

As for the shield, that apparently once belonged to "gallant young lord Emile Deveraux", who "racked victory upon victory culminating in the Seventh Battle of Roses. While wearing this shield he broke through his uncle's vanguard to win the day.

"He never knew the taste of defeat, instead meeting his end at the hands of a jealous lover in the dead of night." Schoolboy error.

If you equip that you'll be blessed with two additional rune slots, additional health and a greater relative XP gain.

BioWare has also lifted the lid on something called the Black Emporium. It's a new in-game store to be found somewhere in Kirkwall.

You'll find "a curious collection of items, some for sale, some for free, and ranging from the mundane to the mysterious!

"One artifact can even transform your very body, face, hair, eyes - all new! We've even granted you your very own mabari war hound to call to your side with a whistle - a boon in battle and a beloved pet at home."

Find out exactly what the developer is on about when the sequel to its Marmite 2009 RPG launches on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 11th March.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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