User Score
4.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4325 Ratings

User score distribution:

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Mar 12, 2011
    6
    Going into this game, I had extremely high hopes, most of which were smashed against the cliffs of mediocrity. Dragon Age II is nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to cash in on the incredible success that was Dragon Age: Origins. That said, the game has both positive and negative features that one must take into account.

    First the negative: Dragon Age II takes place mostly in a
    Going into this game, I had extremely high hopes, most of which were smashed against the cliffs of mediocrity. Dragon Age II is nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to cash in on the incredible success that was Dragon Age: Origins. That said, the game has both positive and negative features that one must take into account.

    First the negative: Dragon Age II takes place mostly in a single environment, the city of Kirkwall. Kirkwall is neither attractive nor welcoming in ways Bioware both wanted (art style, ambiance) and ways they most probably did not want (repetitiveness). The set pieces in this game repeat themselves at an unacceptable rate. The combat is more tuned to consoles than to PC gaming, and as a PC gamer, I found this entry in the Dragon Age saga rather boring in terms of combat. While there is blood and gore, it is at a ludicrous level, obviously meant to appeal to the ultra-violence/God of War crowd. What makes combat worse is the fact that enemies spawn in waves, often in absurd quantities, and the player will often have to engage in combat for no reason at all, as mindless thugs will spawn in the streets frequently. If you are a fan of Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you will be horribly disappointed by the game's background, writing, and pace as well. Dragon Age II is repetitive in the nature of its quests. There is little gray area to be seen in this game, and such themes as slavery, and "blood magic" (slitting one's wrists to conjure evil spirits or kill people) obviously denote evil, and place a decidedly moralistic overtone on the game. There is also nowhere near enough loot and new equipment to keep the scavenging aspect all-too-crucial to a role playing game interesting. Finally, the whole game is told retrospectively through the narrative of a secondary character, and the plot ends with a massive, pointless cliffhanger. Rather than write a good game with a sense of closure at the end (e.g. DA:O or KOTOR), Bioware has chosen to go the "Halo 2 route" and try to keep us guessing. If only I cared. Now for the good. The combat in this game is, I suppose, rather entertaining for Console players. Despite their repetitiveness, the set pieces are quite pretty. Also, the protagonist, Hawke, actually has a voice, and his dialogue works much like that of Commander Shepard in Mass Effect. Indeed, the lending of a voice to the protagonist actually strengthens this game's otherwise mainly weak narrative. Hawke is a very human character, who is well-acted and who responds believable to situations both grave and light well. On the topic of response, the lip-synch and character design in this game are also fantastic. Each of the game's secondary characters has a unique design, makes them the only visually appealing part of the game. If you wish to know, the secondary characters all have well-written back stories as well, which are actually more interesting than the game's main plot. Other than that, the game is fairly lengthy (my play through lasted about 24 hours) and technically reasonable, meaning that it doesn't crash and lag as much as a game like Fallout: New Vegas.

    In conclusion, Dragon Age II is a decent game. In my opinion, it is nowhere near as bad as other reviewers say it is. Perhaps, they are overreacting because they expected a game closer to the original. Honestly, I was as well. That said, I was able to enjoy this game by putting it aside from Bioware's other work. Such a title is far below their standards; however, it is still a serviceable game and a fairly good adventure yarn. My suggestion is don't bother with the PC version: wait a few months and buy it half-price or rent it for a console. Despite Dragon Age II's myriad flaws, it is still a serviceable game, just not one that is worth sixty dollars.
    Expand
  2. Mar 17, 2011
    5
    At first the game is enjoyable, but that turns sour once you complete your 20th or so fetch quest. The game hooks you in and grabs your attention, then your realize you have been in the same damn city/dungeon that you were in for the last five hours. Never have I felt claustrophobic in a video game. This game was rushed and it shows; big-time. In Dragon Age Origins, I felt captivated byAt first the game is enjoyable, but that turns sour once you complete your 20th or so fetch quest. The game hooks you in and grabs your attention, then your realize you have been in the same damn city/dungeon that you were in for the last five hours. Never have I felt claustrophobic in a video game. This game was rushed and it shows; big-time. In Dragon Age Origins, I felt captivated by the unique cities and landscape. In DA2 you feel trapped in a very small sandbox. The combat is improved, but the story, characters, art, lore, and scenerary are all half-assed. I expected better from Bioware, very disappointing. Expand
  3. Mar 18, 2012
    5
    I am a fan of the DA:O and the expansion Awakenings. I wont go on a hate fest like soo many, I perfered the original dragon ages as they were mainly made for PC and in my opinion better made, You also had different beginnings for different classes which was a plus. I do not mind the gameplay of dragon age 2, or even the graphics. The thing that i really hated on dragon age 2 is the reuse.I am a fan of the DA:O and the expansion Awakenings. I wont go on a hate fest like soo many, I perfered the original dragon ages as they were mainly made for PC and in my opinion better made, You also had different beginnings for different classes which was a plus. I do not mind the gameplay of dragon age 2, or even the graphics. The thing that i really hated on dragon age 2 is the reuse. Basically 1 cave with blocked off areas etc etc and stuck in one town (going out to smallish places) limited the sense of adventure, that is my reason for the low score is because they cheapen out on this game and took a lot of shortcuts, the first made you feel epic, this it was barely on the positive side. Expand
  4. Mar 13, 2011
    6
    An unworthy sequel to a great game. Dragon Age 2 falls short in every single way except the story, that being the story is vastly unrelated to the first game and waits for proper tie in with the expected next sequel. If you were expecting a new game with new innovations then you will be sadly mistaken. If you want closure to stories pertaining to those of Dragon Age Origins/ Awakening thenAn unworthy sequel to a great game. Dragon Age 2 falls short in every single way except the story, that being the story is vastly unrelated to the first game and waits for proper tie in with the expected next sequel. If you were expecting a new game with new innovations then you will be sadly mistaken. If you want closure to stories pertaining to those of Dragon Age Origins/ Awakening then you this will only cause more questions than before. My advice for any dragon age fan is to wait for the next one and then play this, this barely has any purpose as of right now. Expand
  5. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    First of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden theFirst of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden the audience, demanding full prize while preparing DLCs that shall fill in the remaining gaps. Bioware was once regarded as "the bringer of rain" after a drought in the genre of RPGs (for the PC). But now they could play the opposite role: if they are the most prominent agents of the genre (besides Bethesda) and their games are setting trends, then other companies will follow their example, if they haven't already. To be more detailed I'll point out aspects that annoyed me the most: Game World:
    - The most insolent re-use in an state-of-the-art RPG I've seen so far: dozens of times you walk through levels which are IDENTICAL, and I mean identical. Every corner, texture, modell, architecture, lighting etc. are exactly the same, just with another label (for example "cave xyz" instead of "cave abc").
    - The main game world consists of just 15 to 20 small or very small locations in a city (small means an area which takes 20 seconds to 60 seconds to cross, very small means a simple flat)
    - There are no (more or less) diversified regions like snowy mountains, deserts, jungle, forest, real dungeons, castles, other towns etc., just this one city and three outer regions that are not noteworthy
    - The few existing places look sterile and somehow empty although there are a few people standing around, but they are just copies doing nothing. There are no animals, no interesting props, no interesting architecture, no waving foliage, no sounds of wind, loud chatter etc.
    - Most of the levels are extremely tubular: just one way, no possibility for exploration. If you use such level design, you should use it for thrilling script events like in COD to propell the storytelling, but that's not the case for DA2. A proper game world would have been to expensive...

    Gameplay:
    - 90% of gameplay consists of running and killing: go to place X, kill everyone, talk to person Y to have a reason for killing and then go to place Z and kill everyone. Most of the time there are no alternative ways to solve problems (the only exceptions are found in dialogues with companions). But hey: that's what's the world about, ain't it?
    - There are no possible interactions with the environment, just run, fight, talk, (rudimental) barter. No environmental riddles, no forging, no eating, no sleeping, etc. Would be to complex, eh?

    Items and Inventory:
    - Companions can't be equipped with armor, just with a weapon, a ring, a belt and an amulet. Would be to complex...
    - In the inventory and shops items look absolutely uninteresting and the same: each type of item has the SAME grey and white icon, for example the same symbol for a sword. The only difference are the values of the item. To much effort giving them a distinguishable look?
    - Most of the time the few items you can purchase outvalue the few items you find in your travels
    - There are no real item sets or unique items
    - Why does a plate armor take exactly the same space / weight in inventory (= 1 Slot) as a ring or an amulet (= 1 Slot)? Too much to think about?

    Combat:
    - Remember, you have to fight and fight and fight, and sometimes to fight, but don't worry: there isn't much to do, sit back and watch, no tactics needed (you could raise the difficulty but that just means opponents don't take as much damage and hit you harder).
    - No overview allowed: forget Dragon Age Origins or Baldur's Gate, not immersive enough, has to be a close look over the should like Mass Effect 2 or say COD!? Another "advantage": the game world seems to be larger than it is.
    - In many fights there are up to four or five waves of the same opponents like in good old arcade gaming. That's a challenge RPG-players really like. - If a fight ends successfully health, mana and stamina of all your companions are restored instantly. No need for rest, healing etc.... Waste of time, there are more interesting fights waiting 10 yards ahead.
    - Ammunition is for prigs: arrows and bolts are created the moment they are shoot, no buying needed.

    Dramaturgy:
    - The backgrounds and dialogues preceding and following missions are of high quality, BUT what about a larger conflict, to what end am I killing hordes of idiots? Is there any greater inner or outer threat than a killer whom the player seeks to kill? The Qunari are a threat, for twenty minutes of gameplay. Templar and Magicians don't like each other and there's a fight, but that's it. No threat and no thread. Calling Hawke "Champion" is an exaggeration to cover that he hasn't achieved much. The whole game is "unepic" and seems to be a chapter of an epic game.
    Expand
  6. Mar 28, 2011
    5
    Quite a disappointment. Stagnant environments are but a tiny issue. While the combat has a decent flow to it, the exploding bodies cheapen the feel of combat after a time. Skill trees and leveling are well done and I didn't mind the unchangeable companion armor as much as I thought I would. The millions of generic rings and self labeled "junk" drops wear on the nerves.Quite a disappointment. Stagnant environments are but a tiny issue. While the combat has a decent flow to it, the exploding bodies cheapen the feel of combat after a time. Skill trees and leveling are well done and I didn't mind the unchangeable companion armor as much as I thought I would. The millions of generic rings and self labeled "junk" drops wear on the nerves. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As far as story goes, Acts 1 and 2 were good enough and pretty enjoyable. When it came to Act 3 (the final), however, the fact that the player's choice is an illusion is made all too clear as one is railroaded down an unchanging series of events. This wouldn't be too bad save for the fact that it almost seems that Act 3 is unfinished, and that the two 'endings' are actually just one ending, stretched to fit two different alignment choices at the end. Because of this, one ending seems blatantly preferable to the other as it's the only one that makes sense. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PROS
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Combat (Characters felt powerful)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Voice Acting (Though voiced protagonist likely limited the storyline)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Act 1, Act 2 are fun enough, if not fleshed out enough to shine
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Companions interact with each other in cut scenes and through banter
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * The story telling method: a reflective narrative that adapts to the player's decisions (however minor they are)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    /////CONS/////
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Character felt less like a 'champion' and more like a footnote in history
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Act 3 and its terribly assembled plot/ No satisfying ending
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Recycled environments (you will memorize loot spots, etc.)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * The game actually feels rushed, spotty, and hollow at points - I don't think anyone would say that this game would not have benefited from more development time. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Ridiculous Boss HP - makes some fights more grind than challenge
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Economy and crafting are limited and limiting
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * No background humor, the world and lore are lacking personality (Just copy/pasted from Origins where it isn't bland)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Quests are extremely repetitive
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Loot is overly simplistic and "Junk" is a terrible, terrible concept
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Overall, this game isn't the worst thing in the world, but it falls short in many places. I hope the inevitable sequel can benefit by avoiding the mistakes of Dragon Age II.
    Expand
  7. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    A veritable tour de force of mediocrity, corner cutting and action gaming. I struggled to find any semblance of a RPG here. This is BioWare's hero, not mine. I felt as if they were playing the game for me for long periods. Good job too in some respects otherwise I would never have finished it and got at least some value for money. If this game wasn't rushed to hell then Bioware/EA need toA veritable tour de force of mediocrity, corner cutting and action gaming. I struggled to find any semblance of a RPG here. This is BioWare's hero, not mine. I felt as if they were playing the game for me for long periods. Good job too in some respects otherwise I would never have finished it and got at least some value for money. If this game wasn't rushed to hell then Bioware/EA need to start firing people - starting yesterday. Combat bereft of tactics, cave deja vu, camera angles, boring quests - I won't go on repeating what others have said. There were some good moments and this is not a 0/10 game, but neither is it a 10/10. It's definitely not worth paying full price for it - maybe when it's half price you will feel that spending your money was not in vain. My main motivation for signing up and writing this was after reading the Escapists review for this game which is absolutely shameful. Either the reviewer has an IQ slightly above Isabella's chest measurement or it's the other, obvious, less savoury possibility. Expand
  8. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    If you are into putting your money into something that is already horribly overpriced, no closer, a rushed feeling, a console port, and limited decision making when it comes to Bioware games then this is for you. This game is following the ever so trendy genre of a cliffhanger so they can milk the series as much as possible. They are taking a page out of Kotick's book and are wanting toIf you are into putting your money into something that is already horribly overpriced, no closer, a rushed feeling, a console port, and limited decision making when it comes to Bioware games then this is for you. This game is following the ever so trendy genre of a cliffhanger so they can milk the series as much as possible. They are taking a page out of Kotick's book and are wanting to get the most bang for their buck, which makes sense economically, but doesn't make sense when playing the game. Sure the original game had some moments that could be explored in the future but it gave closer to the storyline that it set out to tell. This sequel leaves too much out there and is pretty much if anything a bridge to a next game and isn't a real game itself. DA 2 would have a lot of these issues fixed if it wasn't rushed out. I am again sure it was good for a business stand point but for the player it just feels like a let down from the best RPG makers out there. I remember when games were actually made for the PC instead of us having to deal with an inferior console port. They limited the camera angle on DA2 so you are pigeon holed into playing as the consolers. This might just be an issue for me but eventually I got over it. The reason they said for this is because they didn't want to spend the money on making textures for the drop down camera. When all they really had to do was black out the screen in parts where they needed textures. Lastly I would except a lot more of Bioware from a game. A lot of the storytelling elements just don't make any sense. I am not going to go into any of them and if you want you can go to their forums and read what others are saying. Overall an average game and I have no idea how a score of 8 can be average. Corrupt game reviewers not wanting to give the game a score that it deserves is pathetic. Expand
  9. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    The game, while good, doesn't live up to the Dragon Age game, but to the Dragon Effect name. Storywise it's _just_ fine but the rehashes (every area is reused at least 10x somewhere else), lack of dialogue freedom, boring repeated quests, and streamlined plus simplified gameplay elements help bring out the terrible fact for everyone to see. This game is not a sequel to Dragon Age andThe game, while good, doesn't live up to the Dragon Age game, but to the Dragon Effect name. Storywise it's _just_ fine but the rehashes (every area is reused at least 10x somewhere else), lack of dialogue freedom, boring repeated quests, and streamlined plus simplified gameplay elements help bring out the terrible fact for everyone to see. This game is not a sequel to Dragon Age and shouldn't be called DA:II. It's a complete spinoff of the original game and should be treated as such.

    While good enough on its own two feet the game is brought down by sharing the title of the best RPG of the former decade. If you, as like others, are intent on enjoying the game then do not go into it with DA:O fresh in your mind. It will shatter your every expectation and leave you numb from the betrayal of BioWare.
    Expand
  10. Mar 12, 2011
    6
    Do not pre-order anymore Bioware Games, I repeat, do not pre-order. Next, look at the gaming sites that advertise Bioware titles, you will notice they are also the ones that tend to satirize a bad game, ie Penny Arcade. Frankly, its a good thing Bioware worked with Penny Arcade before the game was released, because I have a feeling the guys at Penny Arcade would skewer the game.

    The
    Do not pre-order anymore Bioware Games, I repeat, do not pre-order. Next, look at the gaming sites that advertise Bioware titles, you will notice they are also the ones that tend to satirize a bad game, ie Penny Arcade. Frankly, its a good thing Bioware worked with Penny Arcade before the game was released, because I have a feeling the guys at Penny Arcade would skewer the game.

    The problem I have is I don't think they actually play tested the game at all. Play on Nightmare mode as a mage and then try to get through intro, try it just try it. They've nerfed healing to the point where its Fecking useless. They put in a cool down on healing potions so can't use them when you need to use them now there is a shared timer. The AI is horrible, you turn off tactics and your fecking tanks run out of cover to get hit by crossbowmen.

    I truly hate Bioware now for this game. The positive non game player reviews of this game is crap, they damn well aren't from fans. If I have anything to tell Bioware it is this:

    1st) Fix TACTICS, give a switch to turn it OFF or ON without having to individually turn off a tactic per player
    2nd) When I don't give a character an order, they should damn well stay put and not rush into a fire of ranged fire
    3rd) Give me the DLC that I paid for at the beginning of the game, don't make me run all over the place trying to find it
    4th) Do actual play testing. I am your market, you took a fan boy who buys all of your products and turned him into someone who will NEVER PREORDER FROM BIOWARE AGAIN IN ONE GAME. Did you actually have people play the intro and see what they thought
    5th) Play test all of the difficulty levels ALL. Nightmare should be beatable by someone who is highly familiar with Bioware and understand the basics, but OH F no, you guys couldn't do that could you.

    You get a 0 from me on this game. Read the reviews here from other posters and release a patch to fix the troubles or you are going to have an Elemental on your hands and destroy your Brand Name.
    Expand
  11. Mar 11, 2011
    5
    Do not buy this game, yet wait until the GOTY or Ultimate or whatever crap the put out with ALL the DLC. You can especially tell it was rushed because the music was all from the original and the demons were just ported from the first and no Genlocks!. Many locations were simply copy and paste. While I can see the simplified inventory, combat felt stilted rather than simplified and hadDo not buy this game, yet wait until the GOTY or Ultimate or whatever crap the put out with ALL the DLC. You can especially tell it was rushed because the music was all from the original and the demons were just ported from the first and no Genlocks!. Many locations were simply copy and paste. While I can see the simplified inventory, combat felt stilted rather than simplified and had obvious bugs. I am very disappointed in Bioware. This is all too bad because I did find the story and the characters interesting. Expand
  12. Mar 11, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age: Origins was like a father, whom you haven't seen for 10 years, returning home one day, apologizing for his absence, bearing gifts, telling you many stories, resulting in the two of you bonding and having a good time. All is well until he mysteriously disappears again and turns up 1 year later as Dragon Age II, an abusive, burnt-out junky with only one thing on his mind: domestic abuse.
  13. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    Think of everything that made Dragon Age Origins a great game. Now subtract all of that and you have Dragon Age 2. The EA Games hammer of crap has really taken it's toll on poor Bioware, and it shows. It's a complete lobotomy of the RPG genre. Striped down to nothing more than a casual action RPG.

    For shame I say.
  14. Mar 10, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While DA:O was actually interesting story wise, it really didn't have engaging combat.

    But for DA2, it had amazing combat, but most of the time the quests are boring where waves upon waves of enemies are thrown at your repeatedly, and the story is sooo terrible. There isn't many places to explore either. It looks like Bioware didn't even try to do anything about the story.
    Expand
  15. Mar 9, 2011
    6
    Reading some of the negative user reviews on meta-critic,I wonder if this is not just disbelief that Bioware would venture into a different direction. I personally have no objection for a company, entertainment or not trying new ideas. Dragon Age II is an experimental game. Yes, it does retain a quantum of Origins, however much of it's predecessor has been stripped away. What was strippedReading some of the negative user reviews on meta-critic,I wonder if this is not just disbelief that Bioware would venture into a different direction. I personally have no objection for a company, entertainment or not trying new ideas. Dragon Age II is an experimental game. Yes, it does retain a quantum of Origins, however much of it's predecessor has been stripped away. What was stripped away will definitely irk fans of the first. The inability to customize equipment for companions. The change in chat dialogue. The graphics, and faster combat pace. Lack of spell combination's. No death animations. Whatever one's reasons, surely you can find fault in this product. The glaring, yet easily fixable issues of this game, fall in the games mechanics specifically the A.I. Tank A.I is awful, you'll find yourself (no matter what difficulty) controlling the tank character. The character(s) will activate taunt when enemies are not present, and attempt to spam it's damage reduction moves constantly. Your companions hardly adhere to positional commands either. You'll find yourself using the hold position command, and manually controlling the party. Scripts, must be improved in future patches, if Bioware/EA wishes to sell future DLC's. The good in this game, is the storyline. The game engine runs smoothly on many systems as well. Bioware has always done a excellent job optimizing their products. The characters are believable, yet may or may not hold the same charm as the first games'. The voice acting for the main is exceptional, both male and female. The voice acting in general is very good. The combat can get frustrating, but it retains the "joy" which Origins brought. The skill system is much improved, they condensed it but hardly loses any of it's flare. You'll just have to evaluate this title for what it is: A Different Approach. Expand
  16. Mar 9, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Dragon age 2 is an insult to my intellect. This game gives me a good reason to find a new hobby. Instead of a classic tactical story driven old school crpg I found some kind of action game for retards. Big boobed pirates and dancing mages [I think bioware calls it dynamic casting]. Fells like a cheap imitation of god of war. Expand
  17. Mar 8, 2011
    6
    I am extremely disappointed by Dragon Age 2 as a RPG game style, but if you can cast away the nostalgia of Baldur's gate, you'll find a good game nevertheless. Too bad this series have to continue like that, since the previous system was so much better... Why did they want to butcher the combat system like that ? They should have tried to improve it, not drastically change it ! On hardI am extremely disappointed by Dragon Age 2 as a RPG game style, but if you can cast away the nostalgia of Baldur's gate, you'll find a good game nevertheless. Too bad this series have to continue like that, since the previous system was so much better... Why did they want to butcher the combat system like that ? They should have tried to improve it, not drastically change it ! On hard difficulty, it feels like a hack'n slash ! But sadly, this is how developers tend to do their games... And sadly, it works beautifully. I won't say this game is stupidly bad, it's not. It's a good game, but far from being a real sequel to one of the best RPG of these last years, The Witcher included. I guess we'll have to wait for The Witcher 2. Expand
  18. Mar 8, 2011
    5
    Its really sad whats happened to Bioware. They went from making deep and enjoyable games to producing watered down garbage that seems utterly amateur. They went from DA:O, which had terrible graphics, bland skill sets and items, and boring combat mechanics, straight into some kind of button mashing monstrosity where the best tactical challenge they can create is making monsters do x timesIts really sad whats happened to Bioware. They went from making deep and enjoyable games to producing watered down garbage that seems utterly amateur. They went from DA:O, which had terrible graphics, bland skill sets and items, and boring combat mechanics, straight into some kind of button mashing monstrosity where the best tactical challenge they can create is making monsters do x times normal damage. Whats sad is it can't all be blamed on EA's acquisition, Dead Space 2 was a beautiful game. I think the days of people who actually cared to make good RPGs is gone. Expand
  19. Mar 8, 2011
    6
    For all those nay-sayers, smooth talkers and ESPECIALLY PR personnel at Bioware...you've severely disappointed the fans of Dragon Age: ORIGINS. To stray so incredibly far from your roots by overly simplifying the core mechanics of the game stinks of consolization - the bane of many serious, entertaining pc games to date. The nerve with which their PR personnel promised that it wouldn'tFor all those nay-sayers, smooth talkers and ESPECIALLY PR personnel at Bioware...you've severely disappointed the fans of Dragon Age: ORIGINS. To stray so incredibly far from your roots by overly simplifying the core mechanics of the game stinks of consolization - the bane of many serious, entertaining pc games to date. The nerve with which their PR personnel promised that it wouldn't be simplified and would in fact be a deeper experience is complete and utter **** This was a rushed product backed by (necessary) hype based on the original game's success, because if they'd shown the game exactly as it could be played, it would definitely have lost sales. I preordered this game WITH the understanding that it'd be Dragon Age 2 NOT Dragon Effect: Consolization 101...I've seen a fair share of games that have gone down the gutter that way and sad as i am to say down that road also has Dragon Age 2 gone. The Mass "effect" should have stayed with it's progenitor as it's fine as it is unless they decide to Dragon Agify Mass Effect 3. Hold that thought...that might actually make a good game. Bioware do it! PS. I don't even know whether I'm being sarcastic or not... Expand
  20. Dec 9, 2011
    5
    I cancel the preorder of this game, 3 days before the release. I have to say more?
    I cancel the preorder after I tried the demo. Some days ago I had the opportunity to test the final game for a long period and I have to say: My decision was totally right!
    The game is not really so bad, but is too much simplified. The first Dragon Age was really good and sometimes remember me the great
    I cancel the preorder of this game, 3 days before the release. I have to say more?
    I cancel the preorder after I tried the demo. Some days ago I had the opportunity to test the final game for a long period and I have to say: My decision was totally right!
    The game is not really so bad, but is too much simplified. The first Dragon Age was really good and sometimes remember me the great period of Baldur's Gate 2 :'( Dragon Age 2, is a kid-fanbase game. It's much near Diablo than to Baldur's Gate 2. All was simplified and changed in bad mode (IMHO): Inventory, graphic, fighting, etc...Anyway, I love the first Dragon Age and MAYBE I buy DA2 and finish it when an all-in-one edition will be available. But I don't like the Bioware method. They make a good 1st game (Mass Effect 1, Dragon Age 1), then they devastate them in 2nd chapter....
    Expand
  21. Mar 8, 2011
    6
    Im doing my best not to rate this lower than I feel because of all the bogus 9/10 reviews given to this game by big name gaming sites. This is not a 9/10 game by any stretch, 8/10 maximum.
    I felt this game was a huge step backwards from DA:O, its like Bioware put hardly any effort into it this time around. Almost everything is worse; the dialog, the graphics, the gameplay. I did enjoy the
    Im doing my best not to rate this lower than I feel because of all the bogus 9/10 reviews given to this game by big name gaming sites. This is not a 9/10 game by any stretch, 8/10 maximum.
    I felt this game was a huge step backwards from DA:O, its like Bioware put hardly any effort into it this time around. Almost everything is worse; the dialog, the graphics, the gameplay. I did enjoy the new skill system, and I'll give them props for fixing it. But it is still nothing special and pretty boring, it's just better than DA:O's level up system which was a travesty.
    All in all, this game is not good, but it is enjoyable. And the fact that certain sites are rating this 9/10 should be a big 'red flag' on which sites not to trust in their big budget game reviews.
    Expand
  22. Mar 16, 2011
    7
    May as well start by saying that if you're looking for a hard-core RPG, then Dragon Age 2 is not for you. It's RPG-lite at best. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you may have to adjust your expectations of the game. Initially I was dissapointed as I was hoping for a bigger and better DA:O, but it feels like bioware has taken DA in a completely new direction.
    I guess the easiest way to sum
    May as well start by saying that if you're looking for a hard-core RPG, then Dragon Age 2 is not for you. It's RPG-lite at best. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you may have to adjust your expectations of the game. Initially I was dissapointed as I was hoping for a bigger and better DA:O, but it feels like bioware has taken DA in a completely new direction.
    I guess the easiest way to sum it up is that DA2 is simpler than its predecessor. The combat is faster and less tactical, even on the harder difficulty settings I rarely had to play with the custom tactics or pause to set up an attack. The loss of the tatical overview was dissapointing but I would argue that you hardly need to use it in this game. I actually enjoyed the more arcadey feel to the combat but I think the corpses that explode body parts all over the place at the slightest of touch was abit much!
    The game is centred around one major city and at 30+ hours long there's a reasonable amount of content to get through. The story starts slow (the first 6 hours feels like you are just plodding along) but the second half is definitely better than the first and develops into quite an engaging storyline. The writers do a good job of keeping it interesting but after spending 80% of your time in the same city you do find yourself wishing for newer landscapes, the choice of locales is limited.
    This leads me on to, in my view, one of the major downpoints of the game. The dungeon areas are horribly over recycled. You may not notice it for the first few hours but by the end it becomes jarringly obvious. It seems that blood mages and smugglers are more than happy to share a hidaway while bandits and spirits of the fade clearly swap interior decorators.
    The graphics are a step up from the original and the cutscenes look pretty good but you will find better elsewhere.
    The voice acting and script is competent without ever being spectacular and some of the characters are likable, even producing some chuckles. The conversation wheel works well and some of the choices you have to make are genuinely difficult.
    The skill trees give a pretty decent choice for customisation but some skills feel like fillers. I liked the new approach to crafting, not having to search for millions of ingredients and instead just discovering resources works well, but the range of recipes seems limited.

    I would recommend this game to anyone but for some it may be too bigger step away from the original. If you can look look past that you'll find an enjoyable game, that despite its flaws, easily gives you your moneys worth without ever being anything special.
    Expand
  23. Mar 24, 2011
    7
    The first 5 hours of this game SUCKS as you can see from my initial impressions below. But it gets better. Much better. By the second act I was really enjoying it. The story and characters are excellent, much better than Origins. If you could skip the first 5 hours I would give it an 8. This is an excellent game once it gets on its' feetThe first 5 hours of this game SUCKS as you can see from my initial impressions below. But it gets better. Much better. By the second act I was really enjoying it. The story and characters are excellent, much better than Origins. If you could skip the first 5 hours I would give it an 8. This is an excellent game once it gets on its' feet
    _________________________________________________________
    Downloaded it and installed all the extra content.
    They wrecked the combat. Randomly appearing spawns, too much mana, etc. There are no tactics whatsoever.
    Most items so far are Hawke only. WTF is that? Items are screwed.
    The game has lost all the tactical tweaks that made RPG's different from shooters. It's just some crappy console game. Maybe it gets better.
    Expand
  24. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    Bioware's identity crisis and tribute to the color brown gets a sequel with an even greater identity crisis. If Dragon Age: Origin's crisis came from its overly generic universe, it was at least an honest attempt to recreate the magic of Baldur's Gate, even if it had none of the charm of Forgotten Realms, needless micromanaging, and 1% of the monster variety (Darkspawn and dragons, yay. IBioware's identity crisis and tribute to the color brown gets a sequel with an even greater identity crisis. If Dragon Age: Origin's crisis came from its overly generic universe, it was at least an honest attempt to recreate the magic of Baldur's Gate, even if it had none of the charm of Forgotten Realms, needless micromanaging, and 1% of the monster variety (Darkspawn and dragons, yay. I thought dragons were supposed to be hard to kill and usually optional?). In Dragon Age: 2, the identity crisis extends to the gameplay, where it either feels like a dumbed down version of Dragon Age: Origins, or a really bad God of War, depending on your personal preferences. This is really too bad because the dialogue is solid; they replaced the mute character of Dragon Age: Origins with a Mass Effect-style dialogue system and the story is decent enough for an RPG, in my opinion. It just doesn't feel like enough to make up for the bastard-child gameplay. Expand
  25. Mar 9, 2011
    7
    Dragon Age II is a decent game, but fades in comparision with its predecessor. Most of the changes made just made the game less fun and less great. The only two positive changes are that the graphics have improved (slightly) and the main character can now talk.

    I regret purchasing it. I think it may have been worth $15 or so to me, so I would have preferred buying it at a huge discount,
    Dragon Age II is a decent game, but fades in comparision with its predecessor. Most of the changes made just made the game less fun and less great. The only two positive changes are that the graphics have improved (slightly) and the main character can now talk.

    I regret purchasing it. I think it may have been worth $15 or so to me, so I would have preferred buying it at a huge discount, even 2-3 years later. But I would have gladly paid $100 for Dragon Age: Origins.
    Expand
  26. Mar 9, 2011
    7
    I'm not going to go in depth, because no one will read this but here's what's changed in DA2: (PC)
    - combat is sped up
    - voiced MC - even linear than before - Enjoy not taking a long time for quests? Well you can complete some quests by literally walking five feet. - voice actors are hit or miss, the story feels disjointed and it feels a lot like your actions are meaningless, and the wheel
    I'm not going to go in depth, because no one will read this but here's what's changed in DA2: (PC)
    - combat is sped up
    - voiced MC
    - even linear than before
    - Enjoy not taking a long time for quests? Well you can complete some quests by literally walking five feet.
    - voice actors are hit or miss, the story feels disjointed and it feels a lot like your actions are meaningless, and the wheel adds nothing to the game. It's not even done properly like in ME2. Frequently your character ends up saying something totally different from the paraprhased note.

    Overall, it's not a bad game, but as a sequel to DA2, it simply doesn't stand up.
    Expand
  27. Sep 2, 2012
    5
    Although I do not think it's fair that this game is getting a score of 1, it really is disappointing. The graphics are decent but not much if any improvement from Origins, but the gameplay itself took a huge nose dive. The thing that bothers me the most is the way the maps and quests are setup, it's totally generic, rushed, and to be honest seems incomplete. Seriously, after a few hoursAlthough I do not think it's fair that this game is getting a score of 1, it really is disappointing. The graphics are decent but not much if any improvement from Origins, but the gameplay itself took a huge nose dive. The thing that bothers me the most is the way the maps and quests are setup, it's totally generic, rushed, and to be honest seems incomplete. Seriously, after a few hours of play all the dungeons and a lot of areas are repeated and used again, and makes the game feel lame. The story as well was overall pretty terrible, I have no idea how they went from such a well written story in Origins to a game that really doesn't add up. I would have to recommend not wasting your cash on this, stick with Origins and the DLC/Expansion/Character Texture improvement mods. Expand
  28. Mar 28, 2012
    5
    A so-so game that probably feels worse than it truly is because it is the sequel to one of the best games ever, Dragon Age Origins. It is a much, much smaller game, made even smaller by limitations such as you can't equip your companions with armor and in some case even with weapons of your choice; you spend most of your time running quests in a very few different locations, instead of theA so-so game that probably feels worse than it truly is because it is the sequel to one of the best games ever, Dragon Age Origins. It is a much, much smaller game, made even smaller by limitations such as you can't equip your companions with armor and in some case even with weapons of your choice; you spend most of your time running quests in a very few different locations, instead of the enormous world of Origins; and when you do travel to other places, you find they re-use the same maps as places you've already been to.

    The saving grace is really the combat, which is fast and quite a bit of fun once you get used to the new system. Still, even that has its serious drawbacks: encounter design ranges from run-of-the-mill to amateurish, full of immersion-breaking nonsense like knights in heavy armor dropping from the sky all over the place in mid-battle as waves of reinforcements. There is also really only one way to build each character, a far cry from the flexibility of Origins.
    Expand
  29. Jun 18, 2012
    5
    I played this game before Dragon Age Origins and, since I couldn't compare it with its predecessor it didnt feel that bad... Sure, the hack and slash combat wasnt the best idea for a RPG and the story was kinda dumb, but overall it felt like a mediocre game, not a terrible game.
    Then I played Dragon Age Origins and understood where all the hate was coming from: Dragon Age 2 butchers the
    I played this game before Dragon Age Origins and, since I couldn't compare it with its predecessor it didnt feel that bad... Sure, the hack and slash combat wasnt the best idea for a RPG and the story was kinda dumb, but overall it felt like a mediocre game, not a terrible game.
    Then I played Dragon Age Origins and understood where all the hate was coming from: Dragon Age 2 butchers the franchise in pretty much every aspect.
    I stick to my original feeling for the game at this review since i did not replay it after playing Dragon Age Origins and give it a 5: Far from great, still not absolutely terrible game. But if I had to compare it to DA:O, I would give DA2 a 2 at most.
    Expand
  30. Aug 24, 2012
    6
    A lot of people got their hate on for this game. If you payed $60 expecting a reasonable sequel to Dragon Age:Origins I don't blame you.
    I read the reviews and eventually bought this game anyway when the price was much reduced.
    This is a great example of a low end $20 bargin bin game. There is fun to be had. Interacting with the characters on your team is where most of the fun lies. And
    A lot of people got their hate on for this game. If you payed $60 expecting a reasonable sequel to Dragon Age:Origins I don't blame you.
    I read the reviews and eventually bought this game anyway when the price was much reduced.
    This is a great example of a low end $20 bargin bin game. There is fun to be had. Interacting with the characters on your team is where most of the fun lies. And the plot is simple yet functional. Its a tad predictable but it doesn't really get in the way. They recycle maps like a son of a gun. I mean several years are supposed to pass between acts and your player is generally stuck in the same city. It would be cool if you could watch the city grow and evolve or maybe show off some of its devastation as the game progresses. I mean by the end of the first act I was sick of all the same old places that went basically unchanged as the game went on. Because every warehouse is exactly the same everywhere right? Just the way they designed the maps it feels very sandbox. But it is a solid play. And while it isn't "Epic" in any sense of the term I went into it with modest expectations and it didn't disappoint.
    Don't get me wrong they killed the franchise here. DA:O was an epic and could have started an epic franchise and its a shame this is the sequel. But looking at it as a stand alone game its alright.
    Expand
  31. Aug 8, 2012
    5
    Bioware were pretty bold when they made Dragon Age 2. Sadly few things got improved from the first one. The combat though pretty to look at feels dumbed down, and the new conversation wheel is a complete disaster hurting a big part of the game. A lot of features from the first one has gone missing and overall it feels a lot more simplified. The writing feels uneven and has more downs thanBioware were pretty bold when they made Dragon Age 2. Sadly few things got improved from the first one. The combat though pretty to look at feels dumbed down, and the new conversation wheel is a complete disaster hurting a big part of the game. A lot of features from the first one has gone missing and overall it feels a lot more simplified. The writing feels uneven and has more downs than ups and the story lacks real choices despite despite being alright apart from that. The games biggest flaw however is that its feels rushed. Bioware must really like the environment because they are recycling material like never before. It really get embarrassing, especially considering that the environments weren't that great the first time.Its still a decent rpg though. Just don't expect to much. Expand
  32. Mar 13, 2011
    5
    Compared to other RPG or action games, DA2 is a quite good game. Compared to other Bioware's games is dreadful. In all kind of senses, as for graphics, history, gaming and strategy. Really bad choices made by EA. If you are a Baldurs Gate / DA Origins fan you shouldn't buy this game.
  33. Mar 15, 2011
    5
    Not worthy of the Dragon Age franchise. Short, uninteresting, characters, repeated dungens, no world map, limited party customization, rag to riches storyline. Very dissapointed.
  34. Mar 21, 2011
    5
    While DA Origins certainly was a spiritual successor to Baldurs gate, this second installment certainly is not. There are things I certainly do like about DA II , such as the Champions dialogue and realistic graphic and character advancement, the Qunari for example look more evolved and some of the textures in the towns and the fighting areas. I have however played over 25 hours now and IWhile DA Origins certainly was a spiritual successor to Baldurs gate, this second installment certainly is not. There are things I certainly do like about DA II , such as the Champions dialogue and realistic graphic and character advancement, the Qunari for example look more evolved and some of the textures in the towns and the fighting areas. I have however played over 25 hours now and I am starting to see what Bioware have done. They have concentrated mainly on the "action" side of the game and removed some of the hardcore RPG elements that made Origins an instant success with RPG fans from the PC market. Fights are now alot faster, animations look sleek and some of the elemental spells and skills now look amazing. However, I am very dissappointed with the fact I am unable to change elements of my party's Armour, I am only able to find upgrades littered sporadically around the world map, via merchants. I am also unable to craft within my party, so they have removed the alchemy and poison making abilities and re routed the player to the merchants. You are also unable to gather raw ingredients to make your potions and poisons. Now you only have to find "sources" of raw materials, which then enable you to make the more advanced recipes with the more sources you find.
    I must say I am also dissapointed with the world map, it doesn't give you a sense of travel, it just zones you in. They have removed the random element of meeting trouble on the road too, so those random clearings you would come across filled with bandits seem to have been dropped also. I am only 25 hours into the game but I am also finding the dungeons and maps quite generic and repetitive thus far and I am hoping this may change. To summarize, we are living in an age where Console gamers now have the power to determine the future of the PC market, they are numbing down games for lazy gamers who just havent got the time and effort to really get stuck into their RPG's. I am a Mass Effect fan and I've really loved the ME series thus far, but they have practically butchered the Dragon Age series to fall in line with a heavy dialouge success that they have had with ME. I love heavy dialogue but all they needed to do was keep the same ingriedients they had with DA : Origins , with the main character dialogue like they have done in the second installment and that would have been perfect. I have been enjoying the game so far, and reccommend it if you played Origins, but if you loved Origins for its Baldurs gate nostalgia you will definately be dissapointed with DA II. Lets hope they can salvage it with some good DLC.
    Expand
  35. Apr 1, 2011
    6
    An astonishingly disappointing entry from Bioware. As a fan of many Bioware games, of Dragon Age: Origins, as well as other classic RPGs, I was all set to return to the world of Thedas & continue in what should be a landmark Bioware RPG... Right? No, not so much. In fact, in complete contrast to RPGs where I just couldn't close the game, where the game cried out for 'just one more hour!' -An astonishingly disappointing entry from Bioware. As a fan of many Bioware games, of Dragon Age: Origins, as well as other classic RPGs, I was all set to return to the world of Thedas & continue in what should be a landmark Bioware RPG... Right? No, not so much. In fact, in complete contrast to RPGs where I just couldn't close the game, where the game cried out for 'just one more hour!' - DA2 I had to make an effort to play it.

    Negatives:
    Complete lack of immersion would be my number one killer for this game. Companions requiring you to be at their home before you can talk with them, terrible space-age user interface, the same unmoving NPCs for an entire decade of gameplay, in-combat spawns (!), the absolutely identical three-four buildings/dungeons reused throughout the entire game - these are just the beginnings of why I didn't immerse in DA2.

    Mass Effect 2 managed to paper over any repetition issues with an engaging story, and combat that was diverse enough that you had to occasionally engage the braincell. Not so with DA2. In fact, strategic planning goes out the window thanks to the spawning system - you can never be sure when the next batch of enemies will mysteriously appear. No isometric-style view was very lacking.

    The characters & story are not much better. Try as I might, I just can't engage with DA2. It's not for lack of effort - the writing and voice acting is excellent - it's just that whoever produced the overall story arc seems to have completely forgotten how to do it. Imagine if the opening of Baldur's Gate had begun with explaining how you were the child of Bhaal destined to defeat Sarevok, dropped you at the encounter with Sarevok bypassing Candlekeep entirely, and some NPC gets killed. Emotional involvement? None. Mystery? Well you've just told me the ending.

    Everyone and their dog can figure out that the protagonist of an RPG will be someone important - take Mass Effect 2; everyone knows Shepard is the hero, but we got to make him/her the hero in ME1 from humble roots - Shepard's Our hero. Hawke starts the game as badass numero uno for hire, and there's no emotions of success or progression involved.

    The companions are awful, barring Merrill & Varric. I found it hard to like any of the others, mainly because they spent so much time diametrically opposed to practically anything I did, for no adequate reason. I honestly felt I couldn't win; that any choice I made had the potential to have my current companions' friendship/rivalry oscillating back & forth yet again; that for each conversation, they have just met you.

    No origin stories, no different race perspectives, little in the way of meaningful influence from DAO, and a story that bludgeons you over the head with the primary warring antagonists, yet inexplicably allows you to make either no meaningful decisions about them or such polarised decisions, all left me feeling railroaded. The distressing thing is that it has all the hallmarks of Bioware great storytelling, and yet somehow manages to be irritating.

    The inventory & loot & armour system are so cut down as to not even be worth bothering with. Your loot is only really useful to you; you can't outfit companions with a different look beyond weapons. Even useful loot is all 'A ring' or 'A belt' with no meaningful descriptions.

    Positives:
    A voiced protagonist in my view really helps the game & immersion, what little was to be found.

    The graphics & sound are generally excellent & good to look at. It's just unfortunate that so much potential was wasted on the same recycled environments. The stale repetitive combat is at least good to look at, with lovely animations & explosions and so on, although mages annoyed me with their ninja-like staff wielding.

    Despite all the immersion-breaking, the core design of the UI is good. The actual interaction bits of the UI were sensible, with good visual feedback, and finally, a decent character level editor that explains what does what.

    The dialogue wheel of ME2 makes an intro, and I loved the concept, especially a decent feedback system for what option was flirting, what was nice, and so on. However I deserve to preview the full text of what Hawke is about to say and not be incredibly surprised when my flirty flippant remark turns out to be rude & unfunny.

    Applause goes to the continued adult treatment of issues like child abuse, same-sex relationships, blood (everywhere), violence, and generally treating an adult audience like adults. Long may this continue. I was disappointed the romance & sexual themes were not handled with a bit more in-depth focus and a bit less 'consider this foreplay! - fade to black', but it's a start that they're in there at all.
    Expand
  36. MJR
    Apr 9, 2011
    6
    Well...I'm pretty sure this game could have been made better (an understatement). Looking at all the negative reviews I do understand that everyone is trying to make the point that they are very disappointed but it isn't as bad as you might think. First I'll start with the cons. It is certainly no DA:O but it still has a good story although it really suffers for a lot of the "improvements"Well...I'm pretty sure this game could have been made better (an understatement). Looking at all the negative reviews I do understand that everyone is trying to make the point that they are very disappointed but it isn't as bad as you might think. First I'll start with the cons. It is certainly no DA:O but it still has a good story although it really suffers for a lot of the "improvements" that were added. For one thing its world is absurdly small. You had all of Ferelden to roam around in DA:O but in this? I don't know who made the decision but Bioware should have a job opening in that department. Other departments that should have openings are: where ever the decision was made to take out finishing kill animations, whoever decided ragdoll still isn't necassary (I mean really it's 2011), whoever thought up that irritating emo elf Faric or "who-the-eff-cares" as I think of him, and whoever decided it was a good idea to have day 1 DLC and have the players revisit every freaking location multiple times.

    Pros: Well...its still Dragon Age. They have that going for them. It really doesn't improve on the first at all and in many cases steps back but it will feel familiar. It is undeniably in that DA universe. Another improvement is that the character you play has a voice and a control wheel for dialogue like Mass Effect.

    Speaking of Mass Effect why did its sequel take such a wonderful leap forward while this one still more or less chokes on the dust of its predecessor? I
    Expand
  37. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    Let me start out by saying I liked dragon age origins. It had a good story, memorable characters and a real good setting. The only problem I had with the game is that combat became very tedious. Dragon age II fixes the combat by making it fast-paced and a better leveling system. Sadly it removed everything that made the first game worthwhile. Boring characters and story realy put me of the game.
  38. Mar 31, 2011
    6
    Problems with Bioware turning into a pretty shady company aside, I can't believe they thought this would pass as a real sequel. There is no main plot, you're playing a tactical rpg that's mostly in a city, and the reinforcements thing is just retarded. Your party members are still a hoot and the gameplay isn't awful tuned like this, but they needed more than 18 months to make it amazing.Problems with Bioware turning into a pretty shady company aside, I can't believe they thought this would pass as a real sequel. There is no main plot, you're playing a tactical rpg that's mostly in a city, and the reinforcements thing is just retarded. Your party members are still a hoot and the gameplay isn't awful tuned like this, but they needed more than 18 months to make it amazing. Oh and it looks worse than Dragon Age: Origins, and even sadder is the HD graphics mod that isn't from Bioware doesn't even make it look better. I guess the company that made Baldurs Gate and Mass Effect is long gone; hope Mass Effect 3 isn't crap like this. Expand
  39. Mar 14, 2011
    5
    Not the best Bioware game. Im not a hardcore player myself, but after 5 or 6 hours of gameplay I was kinda sick of copy&paste caves and visiting same locations over and over again. Combat system is also weak (press "1-9" to kill, repeat 20 times thanks to the constant respawns). The game from "complete & forget" category
  40. Mar 14, 2011
    5
    Why the lack of interesting and diverse locations? Why one repeating cave and houses over and over again? Why waves of enemies spawning from the ceiling? Why the brutal requirements in DX11 in 5 year old looking game? Why no interesting and surprising puzzles? Why many other things i don't want to even remember? If it wasn't for DA:O and if it wasn't Bioware I would give 7 points but likeWhy the lack of interesting and diverse locations? Why one repeating cave and houses over and over again? Why waves of enemies spawning from the ceiling? Why the brutal requirements in DX11 in 5 year old looking game? Why no interesting and surprising puzzles? Why many other things i don't want to even remember? If it wasn't for DA:O and if it wasn't Bioware I would give 7 points but like this i fell it deserves 5 points max.
    Btw. I didn't like many things in DA:O (skill system, class imbalances) but it was still a pearl in comparison to this game.

    PS: Why so high scores from magazines? Does EA pay that well? It was the same with NFS:Shift and I completely understand people who give 0 points as a defense against so exaggerated ratings.
    Expand
  41. Mar 18, 2011
    5
    Dragon age 2 should be called, "Assassin's Creed 3: The Dragon Age edition." If you are looking for the same great experience of an epic, sprawling RPG, then look elsewhere. They removed any sense of epic struggle, moral ambiguity in making large and important decisions, and perhaps more damning, they removed the element of exploration that is so prevalent in many RPGs. Instead, we areDragon age 2 should be called, "Assassin's Creed 3: The Dragon Age edition." If you are looking for the same great experience of an epic, sprawling RPG, then look elsewhere. They removed any sense of epic struggle, moral ambiguity in making large and important decisions, and perhaps more damning, they removed the element of exploration that is so prevalent in many RPGs. Instead, we are given an ultra-linear story, one city to explore (the whole game mind you, just like assassin's creed, but actually assassin's creed has more than one city!) and absolutely no exciting pacing. By the middle of the game you are utterly sick of running menial tasks. There is no sense of a greater purpose like there was in the original Dragon Age: Origins. On top of this, there is clear evidence that Bioware was cutting corners any place it could just to save time and money. Environments are repeated sometimes between 4-5 times, but are supposed to be completely different areas. You'll think to yourself, "Hmph, I've been here before!" quite a few times. If you loved Dragon Age: Origins, I can imagine you'll buy the game anyway, but don't expect the same experience; it's gone. Expand
  42. Apr 6, 2011
    5
    A good stand alone game, but doesn't live up to Dragon Age Origins. The story suffers the most, as the characters are far less interesting the crux of the plot considerably less epic and the narrative consistency of the world has fallen by the wayside. The inventory interface is terrible the DLC invalidates the need for any equipment for the first act and the dialog tree is irrelevant.A good stand alone game, but doesn't live up to Dragon Age Origins. The story suffers the most, as the characters are far less interesting the crux of the plot considerably less epic and the narrative consistency of the world has fallen by the wayside. The inventory interface is terrible the DLC invalidates the need for any equipment for the first act and the dialog tree is irrelevant. It's still worth buying, but only after the price has dropped a little. Expand
  43. May 17, 2011
    6
    Good Rpg but not great like Dragon Age: Origins was.
    Few locations, poor customization for companions, too short but good story plot.
    I've finished and un-installed it......
  44. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    I was a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins, so naturally I was really looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, like so many before me I was left disappointed. My biggest complaint would have to be the recycled environments. I can forgive Bioware for using the same city and surrounding areas due to the fact that the whole story takes place in Kirkwall, but when I'm forced to fight throughI was a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins, so naturally I was really looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, like so many before me I was left disappointed. My biggest complaint would have to be the recycled environments. I can forgive Bioware for using the same city and surrounding areas due to the fact that the whole story takes place in Kirkwall, but when I'm forced to fight through the same few dungeons (it's still the same dungeon no matter how many paths you block or open up) and explore the same homes over and over again I just can't help but wonder if they really thought their fanbase would be okay with this. I'm also not very fond of the multiple waves of enemies. I don't mind big battles, but it just seems a bit stupid when the second waves always just sort of materialize out of nowhere. I could go on and on about my problems with this game (voiced protagonist, dumbed down rpg mechanics, weaker writing, etc.) but I'll end this on a happier note. Despite everything mentioned above, this still feels like a Dragon Age game. The story (although a little weak) kept me interested enough to finish the game and a few of the characters actually grew on me. Overall this is a disappointing game, however there are still enough positive aspects about it for it to not be a complete waste of money. Just a minor one. Expand
  45. Mar 13, 2011
    6
    Heres a Realistic review from someone who played the game on mostly nightmare/hard difficulty so didn't suffer from the 'button mashing' hack and slash crap people claim it to be, but it simply isn't . The Dialog is somewhat drastically dumbed down from the first, you can only be a goodie goodie, a clown who doesn't take **** anything serious, or an ass, there is no in between like theHeres a Realistic review from someone who played the game on mostly nightmare/hard difficulty so didn't suffer from the 'button mashing' hack and slash crap people claim it to be, but it simply isn't . The Dialog is somewhat drastically dumbed down from the first, you can only be a goodie goodie, a clown who doesn't take **** anything serious, or an ass, there is no in between like the first, i.e. it adopted mass effects slightly less than interesting dialog system bioware seem to love so much. The combat on hard and nightmare is NOT a hack and slash, on nightmare EVERY single encounter has to be micro managed or you will die, on hard all minor encounters can be done with minor micro management but all bosses require full micro management again, the combat is much improved to DAO, its far less sluggish and much more fluid so its a definite plus, DAO itself was just a tedious slow hack and slash on normal/easy anyways so to claim different is stupid. The plot is quite a bit weaker than the previous one, there doesn't seem to be much of an overall plot to the story and it seems second rate from what I would compare to most Bioware games and this looses it major points in my book, for the most part it was very generic and sometimes boring and predictable. The inventory system is dumbed down as in its mostly only about your character now, but honestly thats personal preference, I liked it much more than I disliked it, as it removed a lot of the tediousness from DAO. Graphically, in some cases its improved upon over the original, in others its just bad, the constant reuse of the same bland generic 'block' city really made it get tedious at some points and they reuse the same 20 or so areas over and over and over and over and over, until your eyes feel like they are bleeding. Its not a horrible game, I did however enjoy origins more, but the combat in this was definatly an improvement, just it is a total hack and slash on normal/easy no other way to put it, if you want a true tactical RPG experiance you have to play Nightmare/Hard. I give it a 6/10, some improvement, a lot of dis improvement from the original in other area's of gameplay Expand
  46. Mar 14, 2011
    6
    My main gripes with this game are the combat system, the recycled environments and the lack of choice. I don't mind the flashy new feel of the combat, but the enemies-popping-out-of-thin-air -system is cheap and underwhelming. In my mind an RPG is supposed to promote game play where positioning and tactics play a major role. This was possible in DA:O since the enemies you saw where theMy main gripes with this game are the combat system, the recycled environments and the lack of choice. I don't mind the flashy new feel of the combat, but the enemies-popping-out-of-thin-air -system is cheap and underwhelming. In my mind an RPG is supposed to promote game play where positioning and tactics play a major role. This was possible in DA:O since the enemies you saw where the ones you were going to fight but now reinforcements pop out of no where blowing tactics out of the water. One might argue that it's there to crank the difficulty up, but that's just wrong. There are many ways to make a game more difficult which are not as cheap as this. DA:O was plenty difficult on the hardest difficulty without this system.

    Lets get to the recycled environments. I don't mind having to visit the same place a few times, but when you have 3 templates for a building interior which are used for 20 different buildings it gets old and fast. Same goes for caves etc.

    This game also lacks one of the most important aspects of RPG's, actual choices that affect what happens in the world. There are some minor things you can decide on, but nothing that truly affects the world around you. You can solve a situation a few different ways but in the end the result is almost always the same.

    A lot of people seems to think the story is something horrible but I don't share that view. It's not a great story but it's also not a complete train wreck.

    There are a lot more flaws in this game like the VO acting which is done without emotion, uninteresting characters and bugs.

    Don't get me wrong, it's an OK game, but it feels very rushed. The sad thing is I know Bioware can do a lot better than this.
    Expand
  47. Mar 15, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First let me explain where my review comes from: I found Dragon Age: Origins by accident. My husband was playing it, it seemed interesting, as a bit World of Warcraft and Fable fan, I could get on board with the levelling up, gaining skills etc. On my first play through, within ten minutes, I was engrossed in the Dwarf Noble Origin- I screamed when my brother died and when my other brother turned against me, I swore at the screen and vowed vengeance. I play for the story, not so much for the combat. The character development and plot drives me, and DA:O had this in bucket fulls as well as giving me loads of room to create my own back story, present stories (what's happening in camp etc) and future happenings of my Grey Warden. The same, however, cannot be said for DA2. I tried to view it away from Origins, I tried to judge it withot bias, even though I knew the changes were happening - I tried to avoid all spoilers and even avoided the demo. I wish I hadn't. People say not to compare it to DAO, but it's a Dragon Age Game, it's the same franchise, it even has the number 2 after the title, so yeah, people ARE going to compare it. So compared to DAO the whole game just feels shallow and empty. There is no big bad guy that's pressing you to complete tasks, that's urging your game play forward. DAO allowed me to feel that if I moved away from my PC when I came back the Darkspawn would have overrun Ferelden and all would be lost! DA2 makes me feel that I can go away and never come back and everything will still be the same.
    Below is a lit of things that I want to pass comment on.
    * INTERFACE is pretty looking and very sleek. However, I don't like the positioning. Minor personal thing.
    * COMBAT ANIMATIONS I'm a 29 year old woman, not a 14 year old boy. Really, the flashy kicks and the exploding mannequins just took the p***. Bodies just don't explode when you stab them, nor do their heads and limbs fall to the ground like broken mannequins. It's a game aimed at the 'Mature' market, not 'Teen'. COMBAT itself is tedious. I fight a group and I go phew!... then suddenly there's freaking ninja style drop down waves of MORE bad guys to fight... really? I have to go through the same fight THREE times before I can go on? Bored now. Especially as I DON'T CARE about combat in a RPG game. I'm playing a role, a character, I'm building a story. Sure I want to cut the bad guys down, but c'mon!
    * AREAS - repetitive, boring and dull looking. I liked the day/night switches though, but I miss being able to jump to the 'World' map tho.
    * DIALOGUE - UGH. The wheel needs to go. NOW. Voice Acting needs to shush. The Actor was good, she did well, but I felt I was watching someone else play, instead of me. Hawke never feels mine.
    * ARMOUR - like that you can hide helm, don't like that armour is not customisable. * ROMANCES / COMPANIONS. This is one area that interests me the most. I LOVED the different companions that DAO provided. They all stood out, all had their own personalities, all added a little something to the story. I felt connections with them - with DA2 it seems that you're TOLD you have relationships with them once you've met them. I romanced a certain mage, who told me in Act 2 that for three years he had lain awake each night aching for me... REALLY??? I told you you were handsome, but other than that, I really haven't spoken with you - 'cept in quests. The romances in Origins made you work for them. You had to say the right thing, you had to stroke their ego a bit, you had to listen to their stories, enquire, and learn about them. This is just a quick fix. On the COMPANION front, the banter is good as we're walking around, you tend to learn more about them from that than you do from talking to them. It's more a we're TELLING you what's happening instead of SHOWING you. However, VARRIC - I want him in my life full time. I had him at my side the whole way. The only other character I enjoyed hearing the story of was Aveline, which surprised me as I didn't think I'd like her. I felt disconnected with the rest, even my sister - she was apparently my best friend, but I didn't KNOW her. Also I miss the 'accidental', sometimes awkward, talks. I HATE running to a home for a chat.
    * STORY - ahhh the big one; the thing you watch a movie for, a reason you read a book, the whole point of my playing a game. To me Story is the most important element of a game. After the first 20hrs of playing I still didn't really know where the game was going; I just had to get enough cash to go to the Deep Roads on an expedition that lasted about an hour of game play, if that. By hour 35 I have completely lost interest in WHY I am playing this and I ended up closing down and restarting Origins. I will finish DA2 some day, but it won't be any time soon.
    TLDR? Overall a 5 - lots to do in game, but no REAL point to it so far.
    Expand
  48. Mar 15, 2011
    5
    What killed the game for me was the heavy re-use of area layouts. I'm all for re-using the same textures when generating area's of minor importance but to use exact mirror images of area's constantly is just down right criminal in a triple A title. Towards the end of chapter 2 and in chapter 3 I started to miss out on crafting components and codex entries because I was just over going toWhat killed the game for me was the heavy re-use of area layouts. I'm all for re-using the same textures when generating area's of minor importance but to use exact mirror images of area's constantly is just down right criminal in a triple A title. Towards the end of chapter 2 and in chapter 3 I started to miss out on crafting components and codex entries because I was just over going to check out 'hidden cave number 3' that looked not only the same as hidden caves 1 and 2 but also other area's in the game i'd already been through multiple times. Wish i'd kept count of how many times I had to revisit sundermount and it's two caves that are the same anyway for example.

    I can live with less companion customization, I can deal with the romances being disjointed due to time elapses, hell I can even deal with the fact that none of my decision really effect the gameplay in any real way but to only have a very limited number of area's in the game to begin with and then just re-use them over and over... unforgivable. If this was a vast sprawling world I'd happily accept it but if you sat down and tallied up all the area's and caves in the game the percentage of overlapped content is depressing.

    As for positives I liked the skill tree layout, I found that to be an improvement. Combat was a little more refined, though the leaps in difficulty on some of the fights was a bit weird (if you can call just throwing more waves of enemies that appear out of no where or huge boss hp pools with easy to avoid mechanics difficulty of course). Some of the random companion interaction could be amusing, personally it fell short of the DA:O interaction but others surely would disagree which is fine, personal opinion there.

    To sum up DA2, when I finished DA:O I immediately through myself into my next playthrough to see what else there was to explore. When I finished DA2 I tried to replay playing a more evil persona and couldn't even force myself to get past the 20 minute mark. Where as parts of my first play through felt like a chore due to the issues I mentioned above, every part of my second playthrough has felt that way.

    Maybe it's because I fall into the catagory that has been playing rpg's for a very long time (as opposed to those who just jump on message boards and say they have to try to get credibility) and if a game doesn't have enough innovation it doesn't impress me or maybe DA2 is just lacking in general. Either of these factors could potentially modify my score, I can't rightly say to be honest. All I can say is at the Dragon Age 2 did not leave me with a feeling that i'd played an enjoyable game at the ending credits.
    Expand
  49. Mar 16, 2011
    5
    I'm kinda split here. The negative aspects cannot be ignored, and the actual price paid per hour entertained, cannot be ignored. I think I reached about ten hours playtime in the game before I started feeling really cheated. After this point it became less and less fun and the recycled stuff became more and more annoying. I wouldn't necessarily consider it straight ten hours of playI'm kinda split here. The negative aspects cannot be ignored, and the actual price paid per hour entertained, cannot be ignored. I think I reached about ten hours playtime in the game before I started feeling really cheated. After this point it became less and less fun and the recycled stuff became more and more annoying. I wouldn't necessarily consider it straight ten hours of play time either due to abundant cut-scenes and what felt like a walking noncombat pace to go here then there.

    So about $6 per hour of entertainment. I could pay $8 for a 2 hour movie ticket, this game can be compared to a slightly interactive movie...

    Negative points: 1) Limited mob diversity. This includes AI. The AI for Assassins across the few mob types, undead, templar, insert faction here... are all the same. This shows with Undead popping healing pots. I bet all the archers and the ranged spiders have the exact AI/Abilities too. 2) Almost all mobs have previously been created and produced for a previous title(this compounds point1, why not finish the duplication you already started?). 3)Constant reuse of maps(I should have asked how many DVD's it took to install before purchase). I think the very first map in the prelude is even partially copied for the Wounded Coast map. Caves are done over and over with the same mini-map on your radar(even though some passages are blocked), even the spawn triggers are in the same locations(So fail). 4)Crazy player interrupts. Fight a mini-boss/boss that takes a larger area than you can see or hit and this gets worse. You will stumble and get interrupted if the Dragon walks next to you. Don't forget about getting stun locked into an invisible wall in that reused cave map. I'd also like to add that I noticed quite a bit of Dragon Effect 3. Watching some of the interaction with the characters looked exactly like the model movements in ME2. A lot of the character models felt very ME2ish, not just the male Hawke and human male Shepard. Don't see it yet? Order a drink at the hanged man and then take Shepard for a drink somewhere, same exact interaction/body movement. I understand the whole concept of not reinventing the wheel. But you don't want that to visually creep into totally unrelated titles. With the amount of copy pasta in this game(AAA title I might add), the developers fail IMHO, because it should have been out at least six months sooner. Or I guess the blame could be put on the tracers, I mean artists. I'm feeling quite lazy so I'm not gonna list the positive points in my review, and there are some. Like EA/Bioware I'm not gonna finish what I started/promised. Too bad I can't make large profits from duplicated-half-finished reviews. I will finish by informing reviewers that said something in the effect of: "Revel, savour and bask in the brilliance; this is a game that no gamer can afford to ignore. Everything here is bigger, better, brighter, faster, longer, sicker, cooler than the series has ever been before" You can find your check in the corner of the round room, but first bend over real quick. And metacritic here's to you stripping all my newlines from 3.277k characters to create a wonderful wall of text for everyone not to read.

    tl;dr Metacritic gets a critic.
    Expand
  50. Mar 18, 2011
    5
    Copy/Pasted dungeons and building interiors : Check
    Inability to customize companion armor : Check
    Very limited companion interaction : Check Uninteresting protagonist : Check Less than half the abilities/spells compared to its predecessor : Check Lack of tactical combat : Check Mediocre storyline : Check Boring side quests inserted into the title for the sole purpose of increasing the
    Copy/Pasted dungeons and building interiors : Check
    Inability to customize companion armor : Check
    Very limited companion interaction : Check
    Uninteresting protagonist : Check
    Less than half the abilities/spells compared to its predecessor : Check
    Lack of tactical combat : Check
    Mediocre storyline : Check
    Boring side quests inserted into the title for the sole purpose of increasing the playtime: Check

    To sum all the above up, Bioware going down in flames : Check

    I had high hopes for this title and I really thought that it would improve as I continued to play the game. I was bored from the start, but instead of writing a scathing review after just 10 hours of play I decided to give the game a chance and played the game to completion before writing this review. At times during the game play experience I found that I was trying to force myself to enjoy it. The game really does feel incomplete and buggy at times and never truly draws the player into its world. I loved Dragon Age : Origins despite its few flaws and I was hoping that this game would improve upon that winning formula, instead of taking one step forward it seems that Bioware has taken 2 steps back with this title.

    Bioware and/or EA were not generous enough to give this product the extra year of development that it probably required, so I'll be generous and give it a 5 out of 10 score which is more than it deserves.
    Expand
  51. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Okay, let me preface this by saying that i am not one to prescribe to the mob mentality of trolling video game forums and dumping heaps of praise/criticism on games unnecessarily. I understand that video games, like most things, are subjective and may appeal to some but not all. However, i feel overwhelmingly compelled to point out the flaws in this title, because of the depressingOkay, let me preface this by saying that i am not one to prescribe to the mob mentality of trolling video game forums and dumping heaps of praise/criticism on games unnecessarily. I understand that video games, like most things, are subjective and may appeal to some but not all. However, i feel overwhelmingly compelled to point out the flaws in this title, because of the depressing trend of the "consolization" of the big AAA releases, to the point that finding quality PC titles yields as much fruit as searching for unicorns. What makes this bastardization of a title so much more rage inducing is that the original dragon age was a game which harken back to the roots of PC rpg's and offered an epic story strategic gameplay and a level of complexity that was engrossing and satisfying. This is not a true sequel as much as it is an unveiled attempt to draw more people into the game by delivering dragon origins "light'. To call this game an utter crap storm, might be a bit excessive, yet that is the feeling i got when i played the first ten or so hours of the game. I really hate this game, but not because it is a bad game. On its own, played on a console, it would be an awesome experience. However, it should not be the sequel to what was one of the strongest pc releases of the last decade, when it is in fact as step back. My point in writing this little tirade, is to add more voices to the growing mass of pc gamers becoming frustrated with the iterative releases of FPS like COD:BLOPS and the horrible ports of console games to PC. I am sick and tired of the graphical enhancement, and innovation possible on PC's being hamstrung and tired needlessly to the 5 year old and aging consoles. I want a game that is not cognizant of the limitations of consoles and designs a game with them and mind and only later attempts to sling the crap together to release it on PC. That is why i took this game back to gamestop got my money back and preordered the witcher II. That is a PC game and is an example of what a PC game should look and feel like. So while dragon age 2 is not a bad game it is not the game that DAO was and anyone looking for a similiarly satisfying experience should look elsewhere. console = 8 PC = 5 Expand
  52. Mar 27, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age 2 is not DA: Origins. Origins had one of the best plots ever in an rpg and you literally cared about every character. Most of all you had a goal. A purpose you cared about. Even the greatest games failed in this area (Oblivion comes to mind). There are only a few changes in DA 2, the details of which you can hear screamed about in every other review. One of the most annoying isDragon Age 2 is not DA: Origins. Origins had one of the best plots ever in an rpg and you literally cared about every character. Most of all you had a goal. A purpose you cared about. Even the greatest games failed in this area (Oblivion comes to mind). There are only a few changes in DA 2, the details of which you can hear screamed about in every other review. One of the most annoying is that you cannot equip the character outfits. This was made according to the designer because people all dressed all their characters the same and it bored him. So now your choice is.. to dress your characters the way He wanted you too. In addition the combat is seriously dumbed down. Rather than fighting a few powerful enemies and using tactics to defeat them mostly youre fighting waves of weak enemies with a couple "bosses" thrown in. On Hard or Nightmare difficulty this is still almost as interesting as the original game because on the tough fights you literally act/pause/issue orders/act/pause/issue orders. It isnt a game breaker though. What breaks this game more than anything was an egotistical designer deciding he knew better than the customer and forcefeeding us a lame plot you dont care about, his personal preferences on character equipment, and truely bizarre recycling of content. You only have afew areas to go to in this game and you will go to them again, and again, and again. Note: you can check out his softball interview to verify all of the above.

    Also missing from the game is the sense of danger, urgency, stress in making decisions. In DA:O You cared about every decision and fretted over them. You even had regrets at the end of the game no matter which decisions you made. In DA2... not so much. After a while you feel like a mercenary running around killing things for.. you dont know why. You might as well play wow or one of the other senseless click click click faux rpgs mmorpgs out there.

    Having said all that: This game is fun. Its not worth the full price and it shouldnt even be mentioned in the same breath as DA:O, Mass Effect, Baldurs gate etc. But if you can pick it up for 10 or 20 bucks.. its certainly worth it as its isnt Unfun. Perhaps Bioware will decide its customers are more important than the egos of its employees and fire the person responsible for this disappointment. Lets hope so because bioware is without question the best RPG company in the business.
    Expand
  53. Mar 31, 2011
    5
    I am so flabbergasted, that I have no clue what to write about this game. The first Dragon Age is probably in my top 5 of all time, so this had a lot to live up to; and seeing BioWare as the company behind it, who was I to predict a disappointment? They've proven, with Mass Effect 2, that they can do sequels. And not just "sequels", but sequels that, in my opinion, outdo theirI am so flabbergasted, that I have no clue what to write about this game. The first Dragon Age is probably in my top 5 of all time, so this had a lot to live up to; and seeing BioWare as the company behind it, who was I to predict a disappointment? They've proven, with Mass Effect 2, that they can do sequels. And not just "sequels", but sequels that, in my opinion, outdo their predecessors.

    Sure, the combat is now much more fun and responsive this time around, but that's about the only thing they've changed for the better. Where is the well-written dialogue with the companions? Much of my time spent in Dragon Age: Origins, was spent exploring the past and the future of my fellow companions, yet here I only get to visit their homes twice during the course of the entire game, leaving many personalities woefully unexplored.

    And where are the compelling characters? In Origins, we had a wide array of interesting personas, yet here we have only a couple of memorable people - most of which I'll probably forget, 'less I force myself through more plays. Fenris was one of the first companions I got, yet he was still a complete stranger to me in the end; I knew nothing about him or his wants or anything - except his tunnelvisioned hatred of mages. The romances don't work at all. After trying to flirt around with Isabela, over the course of what must be seven or so years in the games time, I finally get to bed her. Twenty minutes later, she tries to bed a cameo from Origins. What the heck? Talk about a lousy pay-off, immediately making me regret ever trying to sweet-talk her.

    The characters aren't as complex and compelling as in Origins (or any other Bioware-title). An example is Meredith, who's presumably the big bad: she hates mages. Why? Because that's what templars do, and she's a templar. We're not really given any reasons why she carries this extreme hatred, but alas. Compare her to Loghain, who wasn't even the main evil force of Origins: a haunted war-hero, standing up against a dynasty he saw as everything he fought against in his days of glory. He had an understandable motivation that we, as players, could understand, yet still find appaling. Meredith in contrast is just a McGuffaw-carrying evil force. To think this is the same developers/writers that gave us Garrus, Mordin, Jack, Tali, Morrigan, Sten, Leliana, Minsc, Jaheira and Jon Irenicus is just mindbaffling beyond belief.

    And don't get me started on the recycling. You'll run through exact replicas of boring mountainous-cave-with-paths-randomly-blocked and earthy-tunnel tens of times in the course of the game. Clearly a sign of this game being rushed to the shelves. Also, all combat-encounters will have you swarmed with enemies randomly teleporting in or rapelling down building, completely making you disregard what could otherwise have been a good revamp of the combat-system. Kirkwall is a really desolate and lifeless city, yet whenever combat is near, you're suddenly swarmed by thirty bad-guys - and after that, sixty more.

    Is it a horrible game? Not at all, but it's treading around so far below what it should/could/would have been that it's a travesty and a major disappointment. To consider it's the same company that made the masterpieces of Baldur's Gate 2 and Mass Effect 2, can't do anything but leave you completely dumbfounded. What happened, Bioware? You used to be the pinnacle of the great gaming industry, but now you've rushed out an unpolished turd.

    This single game has made me decide not to pre-order Mass Effect 3, for fear of it being just as unpolished a game as this - and I likely won't buy Dragon Age 3 (did I mention that this ends in a **** cliffhanger?) if it's met with the same scorn as this installment of the series. Bioware singlehandedly ruined my blind love and trust for them in one sweep, and it's one I doubt they'll be able to reclaim anytime soon.

    Final words: Go play The Witcher, Baldur's Gate 2, Mass Effect 1+2, or hell, even replay Origins instead of buying this. Don't trust the obviously paid shiny reviews.
    Expand
  54. Jun 8, 2011
    6
    Would be a 7 or 7.5 if not for the huge drop-off from Dragon Age 1. Story--7. It focuses on the conflicted hinted at in the first game. Some of your decisions will carry on to future quests, but not nearly enough influence in the end. My defense for this is that the developers clearly have a trilogy in mind, so the 2nd one has to end the way they designed. But yes that's extremelyWould be a 7 or 7.5 if not for the huge drop-off from Dragon Age 1. Story--7. It focuses on the conflicted hinted at in the first game. Some of your decisions will carry on to future quests, but not nearly enough influence in the end. My defense for this is that the developers clearly have a trilogy in mind, so the 2nd one has to end the way they designed. But yes that's extremely frustrating, giving the feeling that all your decisions and effort was worthless. Hey, that's life sometimes. Character interactions--9. Banter in your group is fully voiced, and really lets the character jump out. It was also fulfilling to see some of the old characters from the first game make an appearance, some quite important. Graphics--8. I couldn't run it high or on D11, but it was a significant improvement on the original. Exploration--3. The killer for a lot of players. Dungeons were reused over and over again, unacceptable for such a big name release. When freely roaming the areas, NPCs and environment felt less interactive.Combat and talents--8. Solid, every character, even ones of same profession, felt different enough and close to character.

    All in all, the game is entertaining and has its moments. However, it fails as an RPG, and it doesn't deserve to stand beside the original Dragon Age. Sure glad I didn't pre-order this!
    Expand
  55. Jun 18, 2011
    5
    Dragon Age Origins had its number of flaws. One would expect that these flaws are reduced/removed in its sequel. This is not the case. Most of these flaws are still present in Dragon Age 2, including new ones which Bioware labelled as "innovative ideas". One of these "innovative ideas" is the new story structure. The story of Dragon Age 2 is told in a frame narrative. This might have beenDragon Age Origins had its number of flaws. One would expect that these flaws are reduced/removed in its sequel. This is not the case. Most of these flaws are still present in Dragon Age 2, including new ones which Bioware labelled as "innovative ideas". One of these "innovative ideas" is the new story structure. The story of Dragon Age 2 is told in a frame narrative. This might have been a good feature, if it was implemented correctly. The primary and mostly only reason Bioware uses a frame narrative is to rationalize the time-skip which happens during the game. Another "innovative idea" is to confine the player to a single city called Kirkwall. This city is split up into several areas, which can be accessed through fast travel on a "world" map. The areas aren't connected directly, thus the city feels like a small place. The city is too clean and empty. There is supposed to be a refugee crisis, yet there are almost no refugees in the streets. The game spans 10 years and Kirkwall never changes. There are certain NPCs which stand around in the same spot, spouting the same stuff for years. This is immersion breaking. Here is what I expect from a city, which basically is the whole game world: A huge free-roaming and lively place, which features a dynamic day and night cycle with tons of NPCs who have a daily schedule. This city should change dramatically over the course of the game. Now let me get to the next flaw of Dragon Age 2: Reused environments. This problem was already present in Dragon Age Origins to some extent. The developers have outdone themselves with Dragon Age 2. Caves, warehouses, back alleys are being blatantly copy/pasted throughout the game. This problem is even more grave, considering the small game world. Combat: The combat system is more action-packed. Enemies spawn out of nowhere. You kill a group of enemies and another wave of enemies appears, it is dull and repetitive. Dialog: The conversation system has been imported from Mass Effect. You are reduced to good, evil and humorous answers, instead of a large number of responses that weren't black and white in Dragon Age Origins. Clearly a step back compared to DAO. Party: You can use up to 3 party members. The problem is, that you can only change the equipment of the main character and not that of your party members. If there are party members in a RPG, then I expect to have full equipment control over them. Graphics: The graphics are a mixed bag. Bioware should consider licensing a game engine (e.g. Mass Effect series), instead of using their own game engine. Sound: Nice score and good voice work. Violence and Sexual content: The blood and gore content has been increased compared to DAO (exploding enemies, even more blood on your characters after a battle) the sexual content is still on the usual Bioware-underwear-sex level. Bioware could learn a thing from CD Projekt's (e.g. The Witcher 2) approach to sex in video games. Conclusion: Dragon Age 2 turns out to be a mediocre game, due to the number of flaws. The reason for most of these flaws is probably a short development cycle and "new innovative ideas", which were included to appeal to a wider audience. Expand
  56. Mar 16, 2011
    6
    This game starts out with well intentions. You are tasked to save your family from the incoming darkspawn, who would of thought that would of been the most epic moment in the game. From there you will see the same buildings caves and good ole beige kirkwall the rest of the game. now if we want to break down the game into factors like other reviewers i will so i won't get taken down forThis game starts out with well intentions. You are tasked to save your family from the incoming darkspawn, who would of thought that would of been the most epic moment in the game. From there you will see the same buildings caves and good ole beige kirkwall the rest of the game. now if we want to break down the game into factors like other reviewers i will so i won't get taken down for spam. I will be comparing this game to its predecessor.(although i probably should compare it to fable or god of war since thats the way this incarnation is set up.)
    Gameplay: this game is nothing but a Spam R fest on most difficulties while removing most if not all tactical aspects of the game with the inclusion of respawning enemies. not to mention the lack of decent specializations for most classes. Sound: 7/10 i think this is the one aspect of the game that was done well so i will not bag on them more than i have to.
    Graphics: Worse than the first game even with the Hi-Res pack explain that to me.
    Story: it was going fine throughout act 1, but after and during act 2 and 3 the game just lost me and the ending was very sub par. When you complete the main story most people including my self are sitting there reading the credits thinking this is it? this is my epic 10 year story to end like this?
    Replayability: With out Origins story i dont see this game being played much more than 1 or 2 playthroughs for most my self i didn't need more than 1 to know i was done with it.

    All in all buy the first game if you haven't bought it and were thinking of buying this one. If you already have the first one save your money for the witcher 2 or skyrim, and give DA:O another run through cause its clearly a superior product.
    Expand
  57. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    I`m big fan or RPG games, hell big fan of Bioware but come on, OK lets start with graphic really great (compered with DA-O)but i don`t think it has more than few maps and who play RPG games for great visual, we play for story, making our character more and more better with next level, going trough lots of mission to get that perfect item, so at the end of the game we can see how ourI`m big fan or RPG games, hell big fan of Bioware but come on, OK lets start with graphic really great (compered with DA-O)but i don`t think it has more than few maps and who play RPG games for great visual, we play for story, making our character more and more better with next level, going trough lots of mission to get that perfect item, so at the end of the game we can see how our perfection look like. Fighting well big zero click this and yeee this explode click that and wow another explosion, story well i can dig it but this is part 2, the story should have been much better you have 3 dialog and that is it? come on i have finish 5 time allover ahead Dragon age origins just because of story, and now i play DA II i`m level 11 and still trying to find good reason for play(damn how a great commercial and reputation can make you feel stupid for paying 50 euro). Skills really you can chose what ever you want, trust me i`t going to look great when you click to use it and there it end it`s value , inventory well i like how they handled resource but that is it if you want to upgrade armor of your companion you need to look out trough all town just sad. Items also i don`t see some great innovation there, and what the f*ck is junk. if you liked first dragon age this one is going to be huge disappointment, really how it get that great critic review i don`t know, this is what it is a mediocrity game with nothing special, and please guys from game industry enough of DLC and promo item that we need to pay, make it free or don`t make it at allâ Expand
  58. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Commander Hawkes incredible city runner

    When DA2 was announced I was afraid about the promised improvements also known as catering for the casual. But silly me I thought Bioware could not make a bad game. So I preordered the game anyway. After the rather irritating beginning with bland uninspiring atmosphere it was time to start the game. I was ready to be the hero as usual and my
    Commander Hawkes incredible city runner

    When DA2 was announced I was afraid about the promised improvements also known as
    catering for the casual.

    But silly me I thought Bioware could not make a bad game. So I preordered the game anyway.
    After the rather irritating beginning with bland uninspiring atmosphere it was time to start the game.
    I was ready to be the hero as usual and my hero is always a chaotic good smooth talker.
    Well the first few hours flew by and I was feeling ok about the game.

    But then just after few hours the maps started to feel repetitive:
    - Wow the exactly same map again with just different doors locked is this really a different place in the city?

    Then I noticed that no matter what dialogue options I chose the end result was always pretty much the same. So that meant that I could not be the smooth talker my hero has always been , meaning I like to talk my way out of situations. Instead now I had situations like:
    I have to get past some thugs lets talk to them:
    - Option 1 : Positive reply
    - Option 2: Witty reply
    - Option 3: Slaughter the baddies

    Well no matter what I tried it always ended up in bloodbath suppose that the edgy and sexy part of the game when you are being forced to kill everything without option Yay...

    Then the combat , at fist I liked it , but then it got repetitive the combat required no tactics at normal , and little to none at hard until you met enemies that one shots you , talking about balancing difficulties.
    But the most ridiculous part was all the flashy moves and gore. I mean since when all the mages become some Ninja masters with their staffs? Since when has warrior in full plate been able slide across the room like he was on ice with jetpack?

    And the gore my god its silly. I stab you with a fork and you explode to gazillion pieces and splatter all your innards in the process I mean even bad splatter movies are more realistic. Another issue for me was the lack of real healing spec tree talents or pretty much anything. There was TWO yes TWO healing spells in the whole game and the extra one is on one of the followers. This means that bringing an healer to fight means more about bringing an boom explosions mage to the fight that just has an ability to give someone extra health potion now and then.

    And how about the waves of enemies randomly appearing? It made the use of tactics pretty much void since every time you meet enemies you can count on that Spock will be beaming down more of them during the fight. This again kills the immersion completely. How about the companions then , well they are ok , but the lack of customization is horrid. I mean sure it makes a nice unique feel to a companion perhaps when you cant change their armors but bloody hell since when a skimpy dress has been a good pick for an armor to bring into a fight?

    Also most of the items are way too generic , you will find plenty of amulets , belts , and rings named yes you guessed it amulet , belt , ring. Oh the joy. All the armor you find is pretty much useless since well you cant give them to your followers.

    And what about the brilliant junk system. Yes you will literally picking up junk during your travels. Since in DA2 you are Hawke the great janitor. BUT wait there is more , the city that you will spend your whole adventure in is boring and bland. There is the gray zone , the brown zone and so on. There is no feeling of life or excitement in the city. I have seen ghost cities more alive than Kirkwall. The background inhabitants of the city are just props if you happen to have the change to click one of them they will probably say something just as dull as the city.

    But wait I am bringing my DA:O save to DA2 that should make things interesting? NO
    The imported save game brings no depth to game. There is little to none references to your DA:O game suppose they did not want to confuse all those poor farmville gamers that might buy DA2 , (no offense intended to farmville players).

    Top if off with minimal replay value. Because of the linear game play , reused maps , and Commander Hawke I`m sure this game is the flop of the year.

    I suppose I have to say something good about the game too. Well the good thing is I won`t trust bioware assuring that they are not dumbing down or forgetting us old RPG gamers.
    Expand
  59. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    Seems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather thanSeems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather than continuing and expanding Dragon Age.

    Why they completely change games and call it a sequel instead of just making a separate game is beyond me. It disappoints the buyers/fans who helped make the first a success and you simply can't please all the people with a single game so how about just pleasing the people that enjoyed the original to begin with.

    It's really sad when they do this to games just to try maximize profit, it's one of those times you wish a sequel hadn't been made. Though big game companies lately seem to love prostituting and milking something for all it's worth, changing it to suit a "broader" audience which ruins what made it good then give up on it when people stop buying it because of these changes that turn it into just another game.

    It would have been better if they simply used everything from the original (gameplay, style etc) and simply added a continuation of the story.
    Expand
  60. Mar 24, 2011
    5
    Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
    The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of
    Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
    The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of cartoons/anime than dark fantasy.
    Non-combat skills like coercion or survival have been stripped from the game and overall the game feels strongly focused on combat and action.
    The story itself isn't bad, though the pacing seems somewhat odd at times. The companions are generally likable, though companion interaction takes place mostly during the companion quests.
    The city of Kirkwall, to which the player is mostly confined, feels unfortunately lifeless. NPCs are basically static background, which wouldn't be much of a problem if the game's story wouldn't take place almost entirely inside the city.
    Dungeons consist mostly of a few maps that are recycled over and over, with various passages blocked off by locked doors. Unfortunately the mini-map doesn't reflect the blocked passages, making the lack of variety in maps even more obvious.

    The game is certainly ok for a beginner RPG, but it cannot compare to BioWare's masterpieces by any means. It lacks the depths and complexity that Origins had and would have better been marketed as a spin off game than a sequel.
    Expand
  61. Apr 6, 2011
    5
    Not as bad as people say it is but it's definitely not "good" either. I give this a 5 because it's such a repetitive game with recycled locations and quests. The boss fights look like they were tripped from WOW. The character dialog can be interesting at times but you're basically forced into a canned character concept defying the whole point of a fantasy RPG. Also, many of the events ofNot as bad as people say it is but it's definitely not "good" either. I give this a 5 because it's such a repetitive game with recycled locations and quests. The boss fights look like they were tripped from WOW. The character dialog can be interesting at times but you're basically forced into a canned character concept defying the whole point of a fantasy RPG. Also, many of the events of DA:O don't seem to matter very much in this game. The character of hawk is non compelling. On the plus side there are some OK graphics and environment design. Expand
  62. Apr 8, 2011
    6
    I loved DAO. I played it to completion at least 4 times. I loved the different endings, the total freedom to roleplay, and I found the characters, which from the superficial level seemed totally cliche (bastard prince, wicked witch, drunken dwarf...) thoroughly engaging. I loved all the little permutations. As such, I was expecting great things from DA2. I think like a lot of people, maybeI loved DAO. I played it to completion at least 4 times. I loved the different endings, the total freedom to roleplay, and I found the characters, which from the superficial level seemed totally cliche (bastard prince, wicked witch, drunken dwarf...) thoroughly engaging. I loved all the little permutations. As such, I was expecting great things from DA2. I think like a lot of people, maybe I expected too much - or perhaps I just expected Bioware to be aware of why such a large portion of its fanbase loved it too. Quite honestly, if DA2 was marketed under a different name, I'd give it an extra 2 points. It loses marks because it's a poor follow-up to a game that was, pretty much, the only high-end party-based RPG around (Mass Effect isn't as strong strategically and lacks companion customisation, while The Witcher forces a main character on you and lacks party dynamics).
    My basic feeling is, given another year in development to properly work on the story, sort out the bugs, and tweak the comabt, and DA2 could have been a masterpiece. The ideas are there. But the execution is sloppy, the game lacks cohesiveness and there are far too many elements which fail - not least being, if the entire storyline is about oppression of mages, why you can make your main character a mage and no-one says anything. Even when you use magic in front of a Templar's face. If they really wanted to pull off this impression of a world of prejudice and oppression - they needed to work the mechanics around it. As it is, it's fun.... but it's never going to be a classic. Also, given this, I'm not sure whether or not I'll bother with DLC for this game... it seems to me the EA marketing machine has already brought in far too many cash-ins everywhere.

    The Pros: The continuing stories of characters you meet in every act is quite interesting and does vary MINORLY depending on your decisions.
    Companions are, once you get to know them a little, interesting, though Bioware have once again done what they tend to do for expanions and 'rushed for time' games and made characters that are mostly known for their unusualness (e.g. Varric - very NOT traditional dwarf) - still, they've got the writers to back this up. There is no 'right choice' in most scenes; this is not a good vs evil choice. DAO had that too (with the exception of the werewolves/elves) but not to this extent.
    Therw was one moment in the endgame where my jaw literally hit the floor :) Bioware still tell a good story. Unfortunately, there's not enough genuine story to make the whole game feel connected.

    Cons:
    The main cons seem minor, but are so repetitive that by the end of the game you;'re beating your head against the wall, and they have been repeated more times than DA2's single 'cave' map, so I won't rant too much.
    Overwhelming re-use of maps: every cave in the game is identical, and I have played story missions where you enter different caves at different locations consecutively and play the same map - just one you start at the other end.
    Combat flaws - the respawning of enemies out of nowhere, the lack of tactical combat, the 'pretty' spell effects that obscure the actual battle, the fact that every boss battle is almost identical (horde of minions at every quarter health lost) and one of my main gripes - dragon battles should feel epic, not like yet another boring hack'n'slash encounter!
    Related to both the above, the numerous predictable low-level mobs that appear in the same locations every map and leave the game feeling like a slog, not an exploration.
    Incredibly boring loot, plus the lack of ability to change companion armour - every item gives one or a combination of +attack, %damage, % damage resistance, and +stamina/health/regeration. Most of it looks identical. In DAO I took on hordes of enemies to complete an armour set that game me stuff nothing else had - here, everything seems the same so I can't be bothered.
    The neon yellow arrows over anything quest-related, which rules out any exploration possibility and means most quests are just a matter of running from arrow to arrow to arrow; apart from a very few exceptions, if it doesn't have an arrow over it's head, you can't interact with it. Completely brain-deadening. The exception is the couple of 'extra' quests which can be obtained, which ar virtually identical in structure to one another and ddon't even give you very good rewards...
    The achievements! I mean seriously, did they set those achievements for 5 year olds or what? getting one of switching the damned map from day to night makes me feel like a kid being patted on the head because it wiped it's own bum. Seriously, Bioware, we're not idiots.
    Expand
  63. May 18, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Boring game with awful graphics. It is one of the worst sequel in history of mankind. A slap in the face for fans of DA:O, seriously where did they get the idea to main the masterpiece that DA:O was into this piece of filth. Everything's dumbed down and simplified, what on earth were they thinking. Don't buy this game, buy DA:O instead. Expand
  64. May 22, 2011
    6
    By the time Dragon Age 2 launched, I had my mind completely set that the game would be a complete and utter disappointment. However, despite it not deserving it's status of the finest RPG this year, it was an incredibly fun ride, that seemed to end rather abruptly and somewhat strangely. My biggest disappointment with DA2 was the overall departure from the combat style of the first.By the time Dragon Age 2 launched, I had my mind completely set that the game would be a complete and utter disappointment. However, despite it not deserving it's status of the finest RPG this year, it was an incredibly fun ride, that seemed to end rather abruptly and somewhat strangely. My biggest disappointment with DA2 was the overall departure from the combat style of the first. Although I could still individually order my troops, the combat itself seemed more like a downgrade. The story however was a welcome change from the 'ancient evil will destroy the world' bag. I found the political intrigue between the Templars and Magi to be quite involving, even though not having a main villain did detract slightly from the experience. Another complaint I had were the overall graphics quality. I don't like to think of myself as a graphics whore, but what I saw in DA2 was nothing short of lazy developing. Cookie cutter caves, and city dwellers that were a step above cardboard cutouts are not permitted in this day and age. With it's main competitor right now being the Witcher 2, which seemed to pride itself on detail before it's release, the kind of laziness Bioware displayed here is a slap in the face. I look forward to your letters. Expand
  65. Mar 14, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well its been 4 days and I went through DA2 twice to try out the impact of different decisions. Did my second run through on casual to get over the repeated dungeons asap. A good game on its own but it shouldn't be called DA2. Yes yes we all want change but not too much shall we? We can't franchise Macdonalds and not sell burgers!

    Some plus points first. It was nice to hear my character speaking, but this is nothing extraordinary. Music was average, and the environments were well designed and nice to look at (I like the wounded coast sky), if one ignores the reuse of environments and the static nature of everything. The grey area of decisions is a good step forward, but it was not used properly and left players (me at least) hanging. Cliffhangers are good, but a balance is needed. There was no closure at all (not to mention the cliffhangers from DAO).

    I must say, that if Kirkwall was ruined and converted entirely into one expansive dungeon, it would have been kinda cool (Like ghastheim in good ol' ragnarok). It would have served excellently as ONE major quest, but the content given to us was far to short and limited to be DA2 in its entirety.

    Also, the entire of DA2 had to do with mages. The problem is that the enemy mages were useless! They casted less spells than their demonic counterparts and there are so many interrupts available to stop them (or to kill them in one shot). In DAO, a battle with just 2 emissaries could be fatal if you didn't plan your tactics properly. In DA2, a rogue can tank 5 mages that do nothing but shoot at you with their staves. As one of the core classes of the story, this was one major disappointment. Improvements to the combat system were definitely appreciated, and I liked the junk system as well. However, I felt that the items were just bland, and there was no kick from getting an EPIC item from a boss kill. The star system wasn't really helpful.

    I missed how expansive the word of DAO was. Yes you can say that DAO was just in ferelden and it is good to move out of ferelden but the fact remains that the entire DA2 was in one city! Uptill "chapter 3", I was still thinking that the entire game was just one small chapter of a larger story, and was waiting for some epic war against tevinter to materialize. How disappointed I was when the game suddenly ended (WAY TO SUDDEN).

    One major attraction of RPGs is the variety: of environments, of creatures and of items that a player faces. It is an expression of human imagination: it is thrilling and refreshing. Cutting back on these three aspects is most disadvantageous: they the pulling factors that retain old players and draw new ones. Remember how deep we could go into the deep roads in DAO? Remember the myriad of creatures found in each area in DAO? There was so much variety just for every single chapter, and now this? Obviously there has been a massive shift in corporate strategy, and from my financial background, this is one colossal red flag. Note that DAO is just one basis of comparison. All successful rpgs (Diablo, WOW etc) tend to have large varieties of enemies and deep lore. Also there were some comments on how the escape from lothering didn't feel like an escape. Well I think the demo sums up what you can expect from the game. I remember other 'escape' scenarios in other games, like Maiev running away from Illidan as the cave collapsed all around her, or the Protoss evacuation from Aiur. These were ancient games but with whatever technology they had, the missions actually embodied the urgency of an escape. It is this lack of atmosphere, coupled with the reuse of environments, that has degraded the utility of DA2.

    Also, you rescued Flemeth, one of the characters that has had an excellent redesign, and she was like "KTHXBYE". What? Thats it? Ain't even a cliffhanger.

    Such a pity for a game with an excellent foundation. There were so many advances and improvements (including good looking characters), but the developers did not realize the full potential of their creation. There is no need to rush games to increase revenue (why else would you rush it?). Investments have long horizons are take time to realize their true value (Look at blizzard!). Was it worth it to risk Bioware's reputation (You cannot deny all these honest, negative reviews when they are the majority!)? Will I buy DA3? Yes, but only because DAO was really good, and because I am waiting for Diablo 3 to come out (which better not be a disappointment) and have nothing to play in the mean time.
    Expand
  66. Mar 22, 2011
    6
    MadJackMcMad
    Earl


    A fair and balanced review. Although choice is the epitome of recent Bioware offerings, choice is not given here. Three races are reduced to one, and six origins are reduced to one. As such, I could only play as the queasily named â
  67. Mar 19, 2011
    6
    The worst part of the game is that the environments are consistently recycled. It ruins immersion, kills suspension of disbelief. This in turn makes other, minor quibbles I might have the game all the more annoying. I would say it is even worse than first Mass Effect in this regard. It's original Halo bad (read: one corridor). Additionally, to try and make it look as if they are notThe worst part of the game is that the environments are consistently recycled. It ruins immersion, kills suspension of disbelief. This in turn makes other, minor quibbles I might have the game all the more annoying. I would say it is even worse than first Mass Effect in this regard. It's original Halo bad (read: one corridor). Additionally, to try and make it look as if they are not constantly recycling environments they block off some doors of areas and pretend that this makes it a different place. Imagine if all of Baldur's Gate took place in two sections of Baldur's Gate and two outdoor areas and one cave. That's right, there's one cave. You'll get awful familiar with it and the one warehouse, one mansion, and one coastal strand. Apparently the Maker was busy having awesome god-sex with Andraste when divinely designing Kirkwall and its environs and just said, "Screw it." At one point I was in the whorehouse and said to myself, "There are a ton of books here." Turns out the reason why there were so many books in the whorehouse is because the whorehouse uses the mansion environment. So they just cut-and-pasted the thing library and all. That's dickish, but the coup de grace is that the minimap does not reflect when they close off sections of a recycled area to make it look a little different. So oftentimes there are these large pieces on the minimap that look accessible, but are not. The first time I encountered this I didn't understand what was going on and I was convinced I was missing a secret switch and looked for a solid five minutes before realizing the game developers were either rushed or lazy and hadn't bothered to patch up the minimap. The plot is ambitious and it works in part and fails in part. It does give the impression of years passing. But this comes at the cost of telling what are essentially three separate stories with much smaller scale than the epic Dragon Age, NWN, or BG plots of yore. You're essentially dabbling in the petty politics of a single city. The loremasters of Dragon Age have gone to such lengths to create such a big and detailed world, why are we trapped in this tiny, consistently recycled environment? If you want to tell a story over the course of 10 years, why not put in a lot of globe hopping? The dialogue and the characters at least are interesting. I liked most of the party companions and their banter. I'm not entirely against the Mass Effect wheel making an appearance. I really enjoyed the companion sidequests. Those were much more compelling to me than any of the main plot line quests. I actually liked many of the changes to combat people complain about so much. Cross-class combos are interesting and make warriors and rogues feel more worthwhile. It also adds a bit of skill in using them against enemies at higher levels of difficulty. Yes, rogues now do teleport into position to backstab, which yes, is dumb. But in comparison to the above, it's hardly even worth noting as annoying. Finally, why the hell did they make it so I can't equip armor on companions? My inventory was constantly laden with plate mail and leather armor my mage could never equip and my companions just kept their pre-fab armor that automatically improves with leveling and upgrades stored in the most random places of all Thedas. One of the most enjoyable parts of an RPG is improving your characters. This does not just come from leveling. In Baldur's Gate, NWN, Morrowind, Dibalo when you find your first good piece of plate armor and throw away your stupid rusty chainmail, you feel like such a badass. Here, you don't get to do that for 6/7 party members. That's just lame. Some people complain about the graphics. Overall I'd say they're fine. Some textures stand out as very low-res. That's lame, but compared to some of the complaints above, negligible. Graphics don't really make or break a game for me. It's the story, it's the adventure. It's how immersed I can get in the game. In short, it's decent. The plot is at least trying to do something new, even if it doesn't entirely succeed. Bioware still writes good dialogue and the characters are worthwhile. But the game is crap compared to what I hoped it would be. If it had even just been as good as Dragon Age I would have been happy. Alas, it got substantially worse. I'd wait for it to hit the bargain bin if you've got time on your hands and like the genre. Do not pay full price, and if any of the above sounds unbearable to you, just don't invest at all and read a summary of plot somewhere while waiting to see if they botch DA 3.â Expand
  68. Mar 23, 2011
    6
    While entertaining, this game doesn't come close to its predecessor. There are two problems with DA2: first it has a number of extremely silly design flaws, and second that it differs from Origins in many respects without bringing any improvement to the table.

    Just to list the obvious mistakes: no tactical camera (why would anybody kill a degree of freedom that doesn't come with any
    While entertaining, this game doesn't come close to its predecessor. There are two problems with DA2: first it has a number of extremely silly design flaws, and second that it differs from Origins in many respects without bringing any improvement to the table.

    Just to list the obvious mistakes: no tactical camera (why would anybody kill a degree of freedom that doesn't come with any development cost?), companion armor restrictions (same question), copy/paste levels (it seems there only 10 maps in the game or so), poor artwork in Kirkwall (where you spend 90% of your time), enemies spawning out of thin air every fight (which ruins tactical gameplay in a lot of ways) and last but not least nasty bugs. Those mistakes could be made by beginners in game development, sitting on a tight budget, without any established rules to build upon, but to get them from Bioware team, having EA financial backing? Shocking.

    What's probably even more important for the fans of the Origins is that this game is different even where not outright bad. Everybody understands the desire to broaden the customer base and get more people to play this, but it's customary to tread carefully when naming something a sequel to something else. Combat is fast-paced while it was more tactical in Origins, the wheel-based dialogue system allows less room to role-play, you don't really get to know your companions, and their character development is weak. The strongest selling point of Dragon Age, the story seems dull and short at the same time, a collection of random encounters and errand missions. Hawke is more of a chip in the whirlpool, as it's impossible to influence most of the important events in the game. While I appreciated some changes (crafting for example), and most of the changes are a matter of taste, what surprises is the willingness of the developers to alienate their own fanbase in the first place, as none of this changes are obvious and straightforward.

    What's very disappointing is that the opinion of the average critic differs wildly from the opinion of average gamer whom the critic is supposed to represent. Whether the result of the PR machine at work or just the sequel effect, that's an important lesson for those looking at the (meta)critic scores.

    Financially, the results of this flawed design and sloppy execution are going to be deferred to DLCs and DA3, if it's greenlighted at all. Contrary to what "evil EA" theory suggests, EA's long-term profits are going to be negatively impacted by killing one of the most prominent franchises in the portfolio of acquired company (and honestly, if there is anything to learn from the film imdustry, it's the importance of having a good franchise and solid "customer base" aka fanbase).

    What EA/Bioware have done to Dragon Age is, in Talleyrand's words, worse than a crime - it's a mistake.
    Expand
  69. May 26, 2011
    6
    Pleasant, but a little bored me. And the graphics ... This is not the DA1.
    Good entertainment, but not an outstanding game. I expected something more.
    Now I'm waiting for DA3 - I hope it will be much better!
  70. Mar 15, 2011
    6
    I am a massive BioWare fan, and their games are my favorite of all time especially Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. But this game was a huge disappointment. It had no identity. The Action was too "actiony" even for a action RPG let along a RPG.

    The stages and levels were rehashed and used over and over again. Difficulty was sending the same waves of mobs at you over and over again.
    I am a massive BioWare fan, and their games are my favorite of all time especially Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. But this game was a huge disappointment. It had no identity. The Action was too "actiony" even for a action RPG let along a RPG.

    The stages and levels were rehashed and used over and over again. Difficulty was sending the same waves of mobs at you over and over again.

    This is probably BioWare's worst game to date. I usually went around saying "BioWare games can't fail" I guess I was wrong. This game didn't really fail but was average at best.
    Expand
  71. Mar 15, 2011
    6
    The simple truth is that this game is not up to par with what I have come to expect from Bioware. The game is not terrible, but it is not great by any means. The Graphics are very good, and the animations are much more fast paced than origins, however I dont care. I dont buy RPG games for thier High end graphics engines and expansively voiced cutscenes (which the game delivers) I buy themThe simple truth is that this game is not up to par with what I have come to expect from Bioware. The game is not terrible, but it is not great by any means. The Graphics are very good, and the animations are much more fast paced than origins, however I dont care. I dont buy RPG games for thier High end graphics engines and expansively voiced cutscenes (which the game delivers) I buy them for an engrossing story arc, which, while not terrible, is not as well written or epic as previous Bioware titles. The lack of an overhead view is not a game-killer, but would have still been nice to have, and the camera controls take a while to get used to, multiple camera modes would have been better. The thing that bothers me most, is the cut down inventory mangement, as due to the way companions are designed, I basically end up with three choices for most pices of equipment, 1. Wear it 2. Sell it 3.carry it around forever. The environmental reuse is quite obvious. they didnt even reconfigure the one cave template they had for most cave areas, I get that they did it to save time, but how hard would it have been to make it a different shape using the same art pieces. Ok so enough of the bad, here are the games actual redeeming qualities: Combat is done really well, it is fast paced, fluid and farily enjoyable. The leveling system is much better than origins, with a much more clear and customizable approach to picking abilities and specializations.
    In summation, while the game is not aweful, its not up to par for Bioware, and I wouldnt consider it up to par for a AAA title.
    Expand
  72. DKN
    Mar 12, 2011
    5
    I am really disappointed with DA2, it has poor story, poor characters and npcs, combat system is completely awful, with mobs constantly spawning in waves from absolutely random locations you can forget tactics and positioning.
    Why is there an inventory and loot in this game at all is a mystery to me, you donâ
  73. Sep 10, 2011
    5
    After having played DA2 for a while and calming myself down from the initial rage - it took months believe - I can write a review of this game with reason.

    Is DA2 a bad game per se? No, it's not. It's fun in its own way, but If the game was called "Grandma Hawke killing ugly monsters" I wouldn't have problems with it, maybe I would have enjoyed it, but fact is it's called Dragon Age 2;
    After having played DA2 for a while and calming myself down from the initial rage - it took months believe - I can write a review of this game with reason.

    Is DA2 a bad game per se? No, it's not. It's fun in its own way, but If the game was called "Grandma Hawke killing ugly monsters" I wouldn't have problems with it, maybe I would have enjoyed it, but fact is it's called Dragon Age 2; THAT is a problem.

    The combat system, with all its flaws is fun and well thought. With a higher level of difficulty it manages to be quite tactical and yet frenetic. But for all it's bloody glory it's still not as good as the first title's system.

    The graphics are not bad, but they're not improved either. They look more polished, but the old flaws of the first Dragon Age - like the low quality textures - are still there. The fact we see the same locations all the time it doesn't help much.

    The companions, with the exception of Varric and Aveline, are not very imaginative. Moreover there is one I loathe with passion: Fenris. If a "Mary Sue Grand Prize" will ever be created I think he'll win the 2011 edition hands down. I don't think I've ever met a character so predictable and uninteresting I could speak his own lines before he delivered them.

    The thing that puzzles me is that Dragon Age 2 looks more like a Mass Effect 2 sequel than a Dragon Age one, and it just does not make sense, given the fan base. The game mechanics, the storytelling, even the character design are very similar, DA2 manages to be even more linear. For example trying different dialogue options in a different play-through gives similar results in a lot of side-quests, and sometimes even in the main ones. Of course there are multiple endings, but the fact is that they are poorly executed and some of the companions will end doing things that don't have sense at all!

    One of the problems is that Dragon Age was marketed as the spiritual successor of Baldur's Gate; and it was. It expanded the concept, added a great storytelling, compelling characters, but it was true to its roots. Everyone who loved Baldur's Gate loved Dragon Age too, maybe more. So we were expecting a title that was similar, expanding the concept, but remaining true to its roots. With DA2 it was not the case, the game was something different and at times not even a roleplaying game. There is no exploration, limited character development and interaction.

    Looking for innovation is not a bad thing, but the game is not innovating in any field and so it's hard to appreciate it, even if, as I said, it's not that bad, but it's a rushed job and it looks like one.
    Expand
  74. Nov 13, 2011
    5
    DA II failed to be remotely as good as the first game. Much as Mass Effect 2 was nowhere as good as the first one, Bioware has tried to make it "easier" with a lot less elements of role play. Instead of making a great PC game, they have made a console game and ported it over the PC. I give the first one a 10, this one was hardly worth playing, was it not for Isabela's great lines, itDA II failed to be remotely as good as the first game. Much as Mass Effect 2 was nowhere as good as the first one, Bioware has tried to make it "easier" with a lot less elements of role play. Instead of making a great PC game, they have made a console game and ported it over the PC. I give the first one a 10, this one was hardly worth playing, was it not for Isabela's great lines, it wouldn't be. Expand
  75. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Improved several things from DA:O, while taking large steps backwards on others. Having a voiced character whose dialogue would change based on whether the PC typically chose diplomatic/sarcastic/direct dialogue options was a big plus. The combat skill trees were an improvement. And in my opinion, letting characters simply upgrade their armor instead of micromanaging was an aspect I enjoyed as well. Steps backwards are most obvious in areas Bioware typically shines. You cannot talk with party members unless they are giving a quest. So instead of Hawke taking time to get to know the party, the game gives quests letting you know when they want to talk to you. The storyline is hit and miss. The first 2/3 of the game are actually pretty decent. Showing a refugee rising up from the slums to eventually have a hand in saving the city from an imminent threat. Then act 3 happens. Normally, this is where choices the PC in Bioware games really come out to shine in the conclusion to a story. But no, turns out everyone in Kirkwall is just crazy. Instead of having the chance to rule Kirkwall, the player simply gets to kill the largest factions in the game even after siding with one over the other. It really felt like a DLC meant to set up the future of Thedas more than a standalone game. Easily the worst Bioware ending they've done and really depressing considering the great job they've done in the past on RPG stories.

    However, Bioware is known for writing great and engaging stories in their games. In DA:O, the Warden was tasked with uniting a divided country to push back the Blight that threatened everyone. Simple on paper, but Bioware did a good job in creating dynamic factions with different motives and concerns in a way that immersed you into Ferelden. In DA2, Hawke shows up and things just happen around him. But despite claiming the players choices dramatically affect Kirkwall as time passes, this simply isn't true. Too often the player is presented with multiple dialogue choices, but will experience the same outcome.
    Expand
  76. Mar 25, 2011
    5
    Any one who loved Balder's gate plane scape or DA:O will hate what they did to DA 2. Its rushed in all regards from reused levels to waves of enemies that pop out of thin air. The story is sub par the characters are shallow and you have 0 choices that make any difference to the game world. This game is at its very best absolutely average in all regards.
  77. Apr 1, 2011
    5
    I want to like this game but I just can't do it. The characters and story in this game seem small and unimportant. Almost random with no big "hook" to keep you committed to the story. It is a kind of fun time-waster but seems brainless. The sidequests require no thought at all. Just look at the map and go exactly where it tells you to go. Instead of trying to solve problems or questsI want to like this game but I just can't do it. The characters and story in this game seem small and unimportant. Almost random with no big "hook" to keep you committed to the story. It is a kind of fun time-waster but seems brainless. The sidequests require no thought at all. Just look at the map and go exactly where it tells you to go. Instead of trying to solve problems or quests you are just following the road map. In combat you generally face a room full of enemies and after you kill them, a whole bunch more just "parachute" into the screen. Are we supposed to pretend this is not happening? It ruins the flow of combat. And unfortunately this is a combat-RPG. I will finish playing through it but not purchase DLC. Expand
  78. May 18, 2011
    6
    I really liked the first one... although I always preferred the Mass Effect games... and The Witcher... I really wanted to like this game... and guess what! I liked it... it was not this epic adventure, which the first one was... it was nowhere near the masterfully executed Mass Effect... it did not even hold a candle to KOTOR... BUT it WAS fun. But let me get to the specifics: TheI really liked the first one... although I always preferred the Mass Effect games... and The Witcher... I really wanted to like this game... and guess what! I liked it... it was not this epic adventure, which the first one was... it was nowhere near the masterfully executed Mass Effect... it did not even hold a candle to KOTOR... BUT it WAS fun. But let me get to the specifics: The graphics are for todays standards very bad. OK, face animation is great... but the designs and the cartoony art style... did not work for me. The story did not seem like a whole story... but random scripted events tight together... Although the years advanced... Kirkwall stayed the same... the same almost dead and unimpressive city... characters did not age, at least not visually!
    The whole sub story with managing the Bone pit... completely wasted... Locations looked often very similar if not exactly the same... the music was unimpressive, the fighting was ridiculous over the top...

    I could go on like this... BUT IN THE END... AS LONG AS IT LASTED... I had fun with it... despite it's numerous flaws and design short comings... The characters were interesting, the story seemed intriguing... but ultimately turned out to be mostly about nothing... just a random string of scripted events... I think the only reason I really can recommend the game... is for it's characters...

    It is nowhere as good as the critics-score... but it is better than the User-Score...
    Expand
  79. May 22, 2011
    5
    The first truly mediocre game by Bioware. I enjoyed DA: Origins very much and pre-ordered this as soon as it became an option, sure it would be more of the same greatness. Recycled dungeons, waves of space-invaders type enemies, terrible dialogue, nonexistent script and worst of all, plasmatic choices that do not matter in the slightest, this is a travesty of an RPG and a shame upon allThe first truly mediocre game by Bioware. I enjoyed DA: Origins very much and pre-ordered this as soon as it became an option, sure it would be more of the same greatness. Recycled dungeons, waves of space-invaders type enemies, terrible dialogue, nonexistent script and worst of all, plasmatic choices that do not matter in the slightest, this is a travesty of an RPG and a shame upon all it's creators. As a stand-alone game it's merely mediocre, a good natured if clumsily executed fumble at indie gamemaking. Expand
  80. May 22, 2011
    5
    It's good. It has a ton of flaws but I finished the game and not all games made me do that especially that I've spend a lot of time with it (more then 20 hours). - Repeated levels
    - boring characters
    - boging skills

    + fighting mechanics...
  81. May 25, 2011
    6
    If this was any game, by any developer, completely stand alone game that wasn't a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, I would have probably given it a higher rating. But as it is, Bioware has set a certain standard in it's games. Never once have I played a Bioware game that didn't adhere to the very finest standards of quality. ... until Dragon Age 2. It feels rushed, watered down, andIf this was any game, by any developer, completely stand alone game that wasn't a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, I would have probably given it a higher rating. But as it is, Bioware has set a certain standard in it's games. Never once have I played a Bioware game that didn't adhere to the very finest standards of quality. ... until Dragon Age 2. It feels rushed, watered down, and downright uninspiring.

    Dungeons are frequently re-used. In Dragon Age 1, some maps would be re-used, typically in random encounters and the like where it didn't really matter. In Dragon Age 2, this is taken to a whole 'nother level. In general, level design has taken a hit as well. It's just less interesting. Less features. Less attention to detail. The world doesn't feel lived in anymore. Feels like a film set.

    The combat has serious issues. The combat mechanics aren't glitchy, but very poorly balanced. Either it's face-rollingly easy, or extremely difficult, with very little in terms of a middle ground. The difficulty also comes from the unforgiving wave mechanic that has units spawning out of nowhere in waves, which means it's virtually impossible to recover from mistakes. Did I mention that potions are on a global cooldown? Sometimes, games with broken mechanics are redeemed by the amount of love put into them by the developers, but this game feels mostly as an attempt to see just how many corners can be cut before people react. And clearly they've cut one corner too many.

    To re-iterate, by industry standards it's not a bad game. But by bioware standards, it's disappointing. If you find it on a discount, by all means pick it up for the story if nothing else, but don't expect another masterpiece like Dragon Age: Origins.
    Expand
  82. Aug 2, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game was a LARGE disappointment.
    As a big Dragon Age fan for it's great story, character development and etc, this game was a downer.
    Every aspect of the game got worse.
    The only thing that kept me going for the game and not just throwing it out the window were the action sequences. They were improved over the last game and kept me playing.
    However, the story and character development was horribly poor in this game.
    Not to mention this game shoves homosexuality to your male character's throat.
    After you have helped Anders' in his acceptable quest mission, he wants you to be his boyfriend.
    If you neglect that request, Anders' disapproves of you because you are straight. This is very dumb and has made this game shameful. The story was poor and has not connected to anything, and what disappointed me the most that we did not meet most of the characters from Dragon Age 1. I really wanted to at least stumble open Oghren and Dog.
    The characters have no original story whatsoever. It's like shoving down a pile of stupid stereotypical ideas down into a bucket and just accepting them into this game. Every single imaginable stereotypical character is in this game.
    Emo person who hates the world? Check.
    A wench who has sex with everyone? Check.
    A person who keeps crying and needs your help? Check.
    A person that has infinite stories to tell you? Check. (Actually, even although it might be stereotypical, this character was really acceptable and funny at times).
    And what annoyed me the most is the main character.
    He had NO development WHATSOEVER. This person was either the dumbest knight in existence of video gaming or the writer was he dumbest writer in the history of life.
    This game is unplayable due to a very unpolished city. You could think, the game is focused only in a city and a mountain, and the city looks like crap. There are many games that have lots of locations and every location is carefully polished? But no. This game has offered no decorations or landmarks to the city or mountains whatsoever.
    If you do optional quests you will be bored by the game. The game uses repetitive hallways and rooms for every single mission and you never see any new locations or interesting plot twists.
    Unless you do not care about story and only the action, you can try getting this game. But it is not worth y our money. Rent it or buy it on a sale. And by sale I mean at least 50% off.
    Expand
  83. Mar 14, 2011
    6
    The game's a bit of a rushed mess. I don't mind the streamlined combat, inventory, or even the cookie cutter locations, but at the end the story just breaks down under it's own weight. Character motivations make no sense, both factions are so unlikeable that it's hard to really choose who to go with, and to top it off it makes absolutely no difference who you side with anyway since you'reThe game's a bit of a rushed mess. I don't mind the streamlined combat, inventory, or even the cookie cutter locations, but at the end the story just breaks down under it's own weight. Character motivations make no sense, both factions are so unlikeable that it's hard to really choose who to go with, and to top it off it makes absolutely no difference who you side with anyway since you're just going up against waves of lunatics on both sides the whole time. Expand
  84. Mar 18, 2011
    6
    Origins pulled you in and didn't let go - I wanted to marry it and devote my life to exploring every facet of the game. It was what I look for in a woman - it was rich, deep, engaging, beautiful, and filled with brutal, visceral combat. We had something real together, the kind of thing you can build a real life on.

    I feel like DA2 got me drunk and gave me herpes.
  85. Sep 10, 2011
    6
    This game is not up to standard with today's AAA games. the environments are boring and lifeless, I've spent more time looking at the mini map than my surroundings simply because there is int much to look at. The dungeons are a copy and paste of one and a other. I wont complain about the fighting, it's fast ,exciting and you need to use strategies in most fights.
    The best part of dragon
    This game is not up to standard with today's AAA games. the environments are boring and lifeless, I've spent more time looking at the mini map than my surroundings simply because there is int much to look at. The dungeons are a copy and paste of one and a other. I wont complain about the fighting, it's fast ,exciting and you need to use strategies in most fights.
    The best part of dragon age 2 is the conversation system. The graphics are a lot better, the voice acting is excellent and the dialog choices are fun however, the story line is not that engaging. Dragon age 2 feels cheep and unfinished, I do not recommend.
    Expand
  86. Mar 26, 2011
    5
    Dragon Age II tries to change stuff when it's not necessary, such as the dialogue wheel. The combat system is... improved, but not by much - it's almost too fast and fancy now.

    The story line is completely broken. It doesn't even conclude properly. You're spending the first act of the game doing side quests, the second and third act is really where the game begins. Repetitive levels and
    Dragon Age II tries to change stuff when it's not necessary, such as the dialogue wheel. The combat system is... improved, but not by much - it's almost too fast and fancy now.

    The story line is completely broken. It doesn't even conclude properly. You're spending the first act of the game doing side quests, the second and third act is really where the game begins.

    Repetitive levels and being set in ONE city (plus its outlying regions) doesn't help much either.
    I'm not a fan of giving a voice to the player either, as it feels like I'm watching a film. One or two of the companions are pretty good, the rest are acceptable.
    Expand
  87. Mar 28, 2011
    6
    This game isn't horrible. It's simply a mediocre game which was hyped to be the ultimate RPG ever. Unfortunately, it hasn't lived up to the hype. This doesn't mean that there is no enjoyable content - just that there isn't enough to warrant the over-the-top reviews. The first 20 hours of gameplay are both extremely cliche and repetitive and lack any sort of immersion - you do the sameThis game isn't horrible. It's simply a mediocre game which was hyped to be the ultimate RPG ever. Unfortunately, it hasn't lived up to the hype. This doesn't mean that there is no enjoyable content - just that there isn't enough to warrant the over-the-top reviews. The first 20 hours of gameplay are both extremely cliche and repetitive and lack any sort of immersion - you do the same generic "go over and kill something" quests and almost nothing is influenced by your character background or prior decisions. On the other hand, the game suddenly thrusts even the most minor decisions unto the player in the ending, which seems extremely inconsistent. There are also some design decisions that really outline the fact that the game was rushed to meet deadlines - first of all, free area exploration, something that was the staple element of every BioWare RPG from Baldur's Gate through Jade's Empire and KoTOR up to DA:O, is missing. No longer you can wander through the city at night and talk to strangers - no, right now anyone in the city brothel will talk to you only if you have a valid quest there. Add to this the generic locations which differ only in decorations and in blocked passages (which are blocked in-game but not on the location map - which gives a truly pathetic impression in a game with a budget as big as DA2 had) and you get an impression that somebody's trying to sell you an average product as a huge hit. Sequels for much less marketed titles, namely Divinity II and Two Worlds II, have done much better in terms of fulfilling expectations and improving upon the original, whereas here one can't shake the overwhelming impression that the only factor driving the favorable reviews is BioWare's reputation. The discrepancy between official reviews and user reviews, especially on such a huge sample size (over 2000 user reviews at the time of this writing) has to be telling, too. To summarize - if you have money to buy any title on the market and you are a fan of cPRGs, DA2 will suffice as entertainment - if you manage to plod through the first 20 hours or so. If you have a limited amount, DA2 would probably be my fourth choice this year - behind Two Words II, Divinity II and the upcoming Witcher II. Not horrible - just not good enough. Expand
  88. Mar 30, 2011
    5
    I just have one question for Bioware but I don't expect it will ever be truly answered: exactly how many Bioware employees remain from the team that made KOTOR....never mind some of the older games such as Baldur's Gate? Seriously guys, before hiring a new employee to become a part of Bioware you should test them on knowledge of your older games to insure that they've actually played them.I just have one question for Bioware but I don't expect it will ever be truly answered: exactly how many Bioware employees remain from the team that made KOTOR....never mind some of the older games such as Baldur's Gate? Seriously guys, before hiring a new employee to become a part of Bioware you should test them on knowledge of your older games to insure that they've actually played them. I suppose that even if most of the team is still intact (which I highly doubt) EA has worked their magic to kill yet another great development team..

    That's all I have really, the other "reviews" here go into details about why the game itself is a low point for Bioware. And just so you don't think I'm some bitter old school RPG'er...I loved KOTOR 1&2, Mass Effect 1&2, Jade Empire and DAO.
    Expand
  89. May 18, 2011
    6
    Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V dungions, boring quests, boring NPCs, RPG elements very stupid gay-crazy-Anders... WTF Bioware? Only interesting side of the game - battle system. "Interesting" only because other things BORING! Oh my God, why?
  90. May 12, 2011
    5
    Aside from re-used maps, my biggest complaint is that the characters and story were not as developed as they could have been. I had no emotional connection to Hawke or his/her family. I had no significant attachment to any of Hawke's party members. And, no matter what "decisions" Hawke made, the story was going to progress a certain way.
  91. May 23, 2011
    5
    Most of us, fans, compare DA2 to DAO and can not help being upset, It is however fully understandable that console gaming influences every single genre nowadays and an RPG designed to fit both PC and X-box/PS3 can not retain old DnD-alike style due to its unpopularity amongst evolved intellectual beings who master a stunning ability to chose between all three icons when a dialog commences.Most of us, fans, compare DA2 to DAO and can not help being upset, It is however fully understandable that console gaming influences every single genre nowadays and an RPG designed to fit both PC and X-box/PS3 can not retain old DnD-alike style due to its unpopularity amongst evolved intellectual beings who master a stunning ability to chose between all three icons when a dialog commences. Given that one may doubt DA2 would have disappointed console players. But those lads surely do not appreciate copy-paste dungeons, go 'n kill MMORPG quests and tiny corridors. And that we PC and console users have in common. This game would have scored 9/10 if it was called "Hawke: adventures of a homeless thug". Unfortunately it claims to be a DA sequel. Personally I admire Bioware regardless of this unique case, for my belief in them capable of making masterpieces can not fade away only because of EA. Expand
  92. Aug 29, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age: Origins was one of best games I have ever played so I expected from Dragon Age 2 to be even better than original. I was wrong. Dragon Age 2 is a good game but is simpler in all means than Origins It looks like Mass Effect with dialogue wheel, no option to change companion armour, less opportunities to talk with them witch resulted in weaker characters and more action inDragon Age: Origins was one of best games I have ever played so I expected from Dragon Age 2 to be even better than original. I was wrong. Dragon Age 2 is a good game but is simpler in all means than Origins It looks like Mass Effect with dialogue wheel, no option to change companion armour, less opportunities to talk with them witch resulted in weaker characters and more action in combat. Combat is faster and more exciting but also simpler with almost no tacticts or difficulty. Spels and talents are easier to use and unlock and that is not bad thing. Story is really weak and all you are doing is jobs to some guys in Kirkwall. Ah, yes DA2 is placed in only one poorly designed city with a lot of area recycling that makes it sooooooooo boring to do quests involving those parts of city. It is a good game but a lot weaker than DA:O in every part. Expand
  93. Jun 15, 2011
    6
    -Combat system too simple - no brains required.
    -Story weak at the start - get's better later on.
    -Companion complexity doesn't get near DAO.
    -Repeating maps to a ridiculous degree.
  94. Dec 21, 2011
    5
    When compared to is epic predecessor, DA: Origins, this is a joke. It features slightly improved combat, but the story is so goddamn boring and dull! Bioware should have spent twice as much time on this as they did, to make sure it is worthy of its name, and not just some linear, uninteresting spin-off.
  95. Feb 28, 2012
    5
    Hmm.. Mixed senses.
    This is not 'thrash game' like many others. Just mediocre action with some cinematic value..
    But it is not Dragon Age. Where is the characters? Full, long and deep story? Nothing here. Just 1-2 story sketches in the mid-late game and then it fail. =(
    All my DA hopes is for the third part.
    Many graphic glitches too..
  96. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    Preordered this game for PC because I enjoyed Origins so much (had at least 350 hours logged on steam). Played the demo beforehand. Tried to ignore all the negative press it was getting, as well as the hype EA was pushing out. I felt I knew what to expect. I'm about half way through the game so far, but I will finish it. So far though, while there are some things that it did a bit betterPreordered this game for PC because I enjoyed Origins so much (had at least 350 hours logged on steam). Played the demo beforehand. Tried to ignore all the negative press it was getting, as well as the hype EA was pushing out. I felt I knew what to expect. I'm about half way through the game so far, but I will finish it. So far though, while there are some things that it did a bit better than Origins, the sum of its parts is leaving me frustrated and disappointed on many levels, as a fan of Origins.

    Pros:
    - Aesthetic design is improved (Textures not included sadly). Some of the character models feel better constructed as well, such as dwarves, elves, Qunari. They feel like their own distinct races. Not a huge fan of Hurlock redesign though, but it doesn't bother me too much. Overall, the world has its own distinct feel now and not quite so much a mish mash of undetermined Lord of the Rings/Baldur's Gate aesthetics.
    - The environments (what few of them there are) look nicer, in terms of design (again, not graphically or in terms of textures), than Origins. - Combat animations look nicer (some don't like them, I feel they're better looking than Origins).
    - Combat itself doesn't feel as chunky, and is, generally, more fluid.

    In the Middle:
    - Voice acting. Overall it's about the same as Origins. Generally it's better in terms of differentiating races, and they sound a bit more varied but I get annoyed with Hawke's voice though and a few other NPC voices have made me cringe from time to time. Not really a Pro or Con.
    - Music is pretty much the same quality as Origins. Not really a Pro or Con.

    Cons:
    - Graphically, it looks worse than Origins due to lack of decent textures and overlarge polygons. Bioware lied about this point apparently (claiming it to be graphically superior to Origins).
    - Tactically, combat is a nightmare, since Bioware removed isometric view on the PC (apparently for no good reason). It's annoying trying to place an area of effect spell or trying to position party members when you can't see everything that's going on in a nice overhead picture. Instead it makes you switch between characters to get a total view of the combat which can be a bit confusing when trying to coordinate attacks.
    - Plot. There doesn't seem to be much of one. This is probably the most frustrating thing of all for me. Origins was compelling, not because the story itself was so original, but because the central conflict was always apparent. In Dragon Age 2 there is no central conflict. It just skips around to various side-quests that all feel equally unimportant. As a result, the game itself feels messy, unorganized, uninteresting. Which is a shame.
    - There is hardly any interaction with characters. In Origins you could interact with anyone at almost any given time and explore rather detailed dialogue trees. Dragon Age 2 follows the model of Awakening more closely in the sense that you can't really delve deep into characters except at scripted events. It all feels very shallow and as a result the characters seem completely uninteresting. It's almost like your characters don't need to be there. They chime in at certain points during certain quests but there's no exploration of personality to speak of. Truly disappointing.
    - There are too few environments. While the environments that do exist feel nicely designed, it get's extremely tiring having to back track constantly between the same few areas you've been to over and over again (Kirkwall, Wounded Coast, Sundermount, etc.).
    - The Dialogue wheel, surprisingly, felt very irritating in this game. I didn't mind it at all in Mass Effect, but in this game it doesn't feel satisfying at all. Hawke still doesn't say what you want him to, despite the "helpful" chat icons that appear in the center of the wheel. By far I would have preferred written out dialogue like in Origins. At least then I could properly gauge others reactions towards my choices.

    This game is quite disappointing. And the more I write the more annoyed I get with it to be honest. There are some fun things about it, but overall the game feels incredibly rushed. Bioware should be ashamed for claiming such a game to be a "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate. While that title may have been more pertinent to Origins, Dragon Age 2 doesn't feel like any Baldur's Gate game I've ever played. This game definitely doesn't compare to the first. It's not satisfying. It's not interesting. It doesn't feel very deep in any sense. I doubt I'm going to get much replay value out of this game. Hell, I'll probably just replay Origins after this... or sell it back so I can afford the Witcher 2.

    Truly a big damn shame. Wait for the price to drop significantly or just rent it. Game isn't any way worth $60 new.
    Expand
  97. Mar 13, 2011
    5
    I was very disappointed in Dragon Age II because they changed or removed a lot of things that I enjoyed in the first game. Some things have been improved like inventory management but the highly stylised character animations are a real turn off.
  98. Mar 11, 2011
    5
    Not a best RPG ever. Not a worst. But what is really disapointing - it's not RPG I expected from BioWare. It's completely new-school RPG. While playing, I wasn't thinking about BG or PS:T or even about ID. Well, everything that was on my mind - Devil May Cry and Mass Effect 2. In DAO we can see camouflaged D&D, here we can see camouflaged ME. Combat system now feels better - more quick,Not a best RPG ever. Not a worst. But what is really disapointing - it's not RPG I expected from BioWare. It's completely new-school RPG. While playing, I wasn't thinking about BG or PS:T or even about ID. Well, everything that was on my mind - Devil May Cry and Mass Effect 2. In DAO we can see camouflaged D&D, here we can see camouflaged ME. Combat system now feels better - more quick, more beautiful, BUT less tactics. Roleplay - well, for me there's more roleplay in BBC2 - I can be a medic, a pilot, a stormtrooper etc. Dialogs in DA2 are great...would be great if game would be slasher or sort of. But for RPG they're very bad.
    Story - better then in DAO. But not exellent. Nothing more to say.
    Visuals, sound, music, decorations - not too bad, but for BioWare this "not too bad" transforms into just "bad".
    The game is not too bad for consoles - but it bad enough for PC. It's not completely awful, but I don't know for whom I can recommend it. let's just better wait for Wtcher 2, The and Skyrim. But I'm afraid DAO was last good oldschool RPG. And BW transformed into developer of casual console ****.
    Expand
  99. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    It's hard when reviewing a sequel to separate the game itself from the series. If this was a review of this game alone it would definitely score a 7, however, this is a poor showing by both Bioware and Dragon Age standards. I'd like to pick up some of the features that haven't been highlighted that much in the negative reviews, the main one being the story. The main quests and side questsIt's hard when reviewing a sequel to separate the game itself from the series. If this was a review of this game alone it would definitely score a 7, however, this is a poor showing by both Bioware and Dragon Age standards. I'd like to pick up some of the features that haven't been highlighted that much in the negative reviews, the main one being the story. The main quests and side quests felt entirely disconnected from both each other and themselves. The main story itself was so convoluted it made virtually no sense (especially the last act and very especially the ending). Featuring both unbelievable characters, limited choices and hammed cameos from the cast of the original game (at one point someone pops up says "hello" and then, for no apparent reason, disappears with no explanation).

    Dragon Age: Origins, Awakening and its various DLC's were wonderful in that they fleshed out a remarkably believable, intriguing and novel world. This sequel has failed not only to enrich or develop that world but in some places has completely ignored things that were established in the first game (e.g. the relationship between mages, blood mages and abominations). Add to this the fact that, although many of the strategy features remain (for instance the ability to pause) enemies now come in waves (appearing - often quite literally - from the ether) making it impossible to plan out a battle; thus reducing the pause feature to a safety net to use potions. In addition there are roughly six different enemies and maps in the game which are reused ad infinitum and combat becomes little more than an endless wave of indiscernible creatures. One unfortunate consequence (among many) is that the game lulls you in to a sense of complacency broken only by a contrived boss fight, which crop up once in a while. These battles are so unbelievably and incomparably difficult compared to the trash that winning them always appears to be more a matter of luck than judgement.

    All this said this is a very good game, but it bares a very similar relation to Dragon Age: Origins as Mass Effect 2 did Mass Effect 1. Faster combat, better graphics, with a less gripping story, poorly fleshed out companions and a very disappointing amount of RPG or customization elements.
    Expand
  100. May 5, 2011
    6
    I loved the first dragon-age - The way they made the game personal was a triumph of storytelling. Each betrayal and setback was met with unlooked-for hope and new opportunities. Each character was interesting and worth listening to (for the most part). The conversations were fun! And the ending was epic in every sense of the word.

    This is NOT Dragon Age: Origins. The first problems
    I loved the first dragon-age - The way they made the game personal was a triumph of storytelling. Each betrayal and setback was met with unlooked-for hope and new opportunities. Each character was interesting and worth listening to (for the most part). The conversations were fun! And the ending was epic in every sense of the word.

    This is NOT Dragon Age: Origins. The first problems show up in story immersion and emotional investment for the person playing the game. The game forces you to be human, then you find out immediately that the dwarf is telling this story, and he likes to lie. Once is enough, but they keep interfering in this manner. I kept hoping we would break in and save him, and the real story would begin. But no ... And they make it worse by making the characters bland. The choices people make are poorly motivated (or poorly communicated), on almost every single occasion, and there are often no options to help them mature, or avoid stupid mistakes.

    Even fighting slavers - which usually feels very satisfying - seemed like a morally 'meh' thing. I've never felt so ambivalent about pursuing slavers.

    On the technical side - the decision to remove the tactical camera angle left me with constant problems selecting where I wanted the team to go. If the camera angle is wrong, the computer won't allow me to tell the team to go there. But it gets worse - the game auto-rotates the camera while you're moving, making it even more difficult to keep the angle appropriate for movement.

    So what makes this game utterly forgettable? The endings. They are forced, and there is no real opportunity to fight for a just cause. It made me feel dirty, and betrayed, and there's no option for justice or satisfaction. Maybe that was the goal, but this is not why I play Bioware games.
    Expand
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Apr 18, 2011
    90
    Moving even further from the classic RPG, strong story and clever combat are nonetheless still found within Dragon Age II. [May 2011, p.52]
  2. Apr 12, 2011
    58
    Despite some advancement in storytelling approach and liberal borrowing from Bioware's Mass Effect approach to gameplay, Dragon Age 2 on the PC has a lot of bugs and is populated with re-used settings that make this feel like a play performed on a stage with two sets.
  3. Apr 11, 2011
    85
    For a rushed product that is still battling bugs, the currently offered product still provides 40 hours of challenging and engaging gameplay. This combines to provide a good, but not great gaming experience.