Dragon Age 2 is officially launched in North America today and BioWare has decided to celebrate its arrival with a little treat for PC gamers. Folks playing the sequel on a well-specced machine can download a high-resolution texture patch that adds an option to enable higher detail replacements for most textures in the game. We haven't seen a before and after comparison, but BioWare says the enhanced visuals are especially noticeable on level art.

To take advantage of the 1.1GB update you'll need a video card with at least 1024MB of memory. BioWare also noted that most of the benefits gained from the high-res textures will only be seen when running the game in DirectX 11, which essentially limits the update to gamers with an AMD Radeon HD 5000/6000 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 400/500 series graphics card. Click here to download the patch and follow these instructions to use the snazzier textures:

  1. Download the installer from the link above and run it.
  2. Run Dragon Age II.
  3. Open the Options menu.
  4. Select Video options.
  5. Check the "Hi-resolution textures" checkbox.