With Dragon Age II slated for a March 8 debut in North America, BioWare has decided to rev the hype engine a little by releasing a new playable demo. The sample is available on PC, Xbox 360 as well as PlayStation 3, and PC gamers can grab the installer from our download section. GameSpot has posted an interview and gameplay video with a Dragon Age II developer if you want to kill some time while the demo downloads.

The demo kicks off with the game's prologue and allows you to choose from three different character classes before throwing you into Kirkwall, a new key location in Dragon Age II. You'll experience the sequel's updated combat mechanics and graphics, and you'll learn more about the new main character, Hawke. To preview the game's romance system, BioWare has also included a potential love interest named Isabela.

Players who complete the demo will unlock a special weapon called Hayder's Razor, an ancient dwarven blade that increases health, mana and combat abilities in the full game. This offer expires on May 31. Preorders are open online and early customers will receive two exclusive in-game items, the Fadeshear Sword and the Lion of Orlais Shield. The sword sounds especially cool as it improves every time your character levels.