Apr 12, 2011Disappointment is only part of the story. Not to go into the repeated argument that Dragon Age 2 isn't Dragon Age: Origins, for surely it is not, the game stands very short of what one might consider entertaining on its own merits. The way that this game was designed is often times very counter-intuitive that one has to wonder what the developers were thinking when they came up with the original conception. The presentation of the levels is perhaps at the top of the list. There seems little to justify reusing maps short of economic reasons. Yes, there are plenty of games out there that reuse maps, but in Dragon Age 2, this practice goes up into a totally new level where an exceedingly large percentage of the game takes place in the same levels, over and over again. You can have literally twenty or more quests in one single area, and thus you will find yourself revisiting the same areas continuously for the entire game. Even the main storyline (if one can consider it such), takes place in the same areas, and often requires you to do a circuit on the more prominent ones. Little more needs to be said on how annoying this can be.
In terms of what you do in this game, the truth is, not a whole lot. Almost every quest, every mission, involves you either killing something, looting someplace, finding something someone lost, or simply returning a random item you pick up on the ground to someone you somehow, through the gift of clairvoyance, know who it belongs to. The graphics, while often claimed to be artistically rich, are a step down from Dragon Age: Origins. In fact, its almost a step down from Neverwinter Nights 2. If you wish to see the proof of this, then look up screenshots of Alistair or Leliana, and compare those with the same in the original Dragon Age: Origins and make an opinion for yourself. The main problem, however, is not so much in character modeling, but the overall atmosphere seems like a painting or a cartoon. I can admire paintings, but the Van Gogh depiction of the Dragon Age world probably will not seem as engaging to the average gamer, and does little justice to portray the dark fantasy setting that the original game tried to portray. The other issue with this game is the combat. The combat has been simplified slightly to make it more accessible to the console gamer. This is admirable. Some aspects of the system are in fact, easier to use. The primarily flaw, however, is not about the controls, or accessibility, but by the way combat was handled in the overall context of the game. Your encounters will almost always consist of fighting waves of enemies that spawn out of thin air when you least expect it. Actually, the more you fight these waves, the more that you will expect another wave coming every single time you encounter enemies. While this certainly makes the game more challenging, you will find that immersion will be brittler than ever before in a video game. The story is flat and unengaging. It is often argued that the story in Dragon Age II is a more personal one, without the cliche of always having some big bad boss at the end. I can certainly see the personal aspect of this, but that is also one of its crippling flaws. There is no clear cut antagonist in the game. Nothing that really motivates you to sit down and wonder why you do something in the game. All the "villains" in the game have almost nothing to do with you, and you will often find yourself doing quests for people out of philanthropic reasons (or greed, because they pay you) than for any great reasons. In essence, your character in the game is just another errand boy, or girl.
The whole game takes about 30-50 hours to complete, but unfortunately, the main plot hardly makes even a fraction of that time. There isn't really a main plot, in fact, for the game is divided up into three acts with almost completely unrelated segments of storytelling. The rest, of course, is filled in with sidequests fitting for the errand running hero that you are. Most of the characters in the game are also forgettable. Almost all of the companions you meet in the game, allies if you wish, are so two-dimensional that you just have to wonder what happened to all the magic that was instilled into characters like Thane, or Jaheira, or Morrigan, or even the scaly lizard of a jukebox bard named Deekin. With the exception of maybe one or two, most of the characters have flat personalities whose depth never goes below the skin. Their motivations only go as far as their graphical portrayal, such as as the dutiful warrior, the stuck-up holyman, the ignorant mage, and a slutty rogue. They are either black, or white, with no grays in the middle. I had to take a point off for each of the points mentioned above. It is truly difficult to, in good faith, to recommend this title to anyone. Its not a broken game, but its so poorly designed that it can hardly hold up on its own.… Expand
Apr 9, 2011This game plain sucks, I loved DAO but from the game play to the storyline this game is a freaking pain, I couldn't even finished, every time I started the game I fell like pucking, hated every moment of it, I wish I could get my money back, EA and Bioware really screw this up.
Apr 12, 2011This game is an embarrassment of Dragon Age origins. The game is nothing like origins, which is the whole controversy, the story isn't compelling as Origins. The characters are so conventional they seem almost lifeless and limited interactions doesn't serve well. Combat is nicely flowed together and much more smoother then origins, but the lack of challenge and constant enemies can make it all too repetitive. But what really tears me up is that DA2 facilitates for newer gamers with neglecting the older fans. Whatever choices you made in origins have minor or no significant impact on DA2. This game suffers from an overload of enemies, recycled environments and is missing that unique fantasy element that makes rpg 's so grand.… Expand
Apr 12, 2011Okay, did anyone else think the whole.. every mage popping into an A-bom immediately was a little much? its completely unpresidented from the last origins game, and makes the mages ACTUALLY seem evil, unlike in the other game when they seemed moreso like slaves, a brutal waste of time you have to take breaks to stare at your recipt for buying the game before pushing yourself through the bogus and repetetive side quests, followed by an underwhelming finish were NO ONE WINS, and on top of that, poor graphics, compaired to the games of this time, shugun total war 2 is beautiful in compairison, and also the storyline is too linear, whether im evit or not, the story comes out the same, whether i chose one side of the other i kill them both, its a terrible plot, terrible everything, terrible game, try again Bioware… Expand
Apr 15, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The worst Bioware game I have played. Cost cutting decisions, more than any other decision Bioware made, is what ruined this game. Let me be clear - game publishers need to manage costs - but they still need to deliver a first rate gaming experience. Bioware needs to deliver quality story telling, rather than rush a second rate experience out the door. I've listed what I think the most glaring cost cutting flaws in the game are: 1) My choices don't matter. I am constantly forced back into the same story loop. While I understand that there are limits on story divergence, my choices need to be about more than the flavor of the game I am playing. Not every choice I make needs to alter the story line. But some do. And at least a few need to fundamentally alter the course of the game. 2) Characters should be memorable, and not flat. If characters can just sort of fit whatever I want to do, then ultimately it's obvious that I'm playing a video game and not interacting with soulful representations. The game ruins the veil of "suspended disbelief" so critical to fantasy on so many occasions by just allowing characters to go along with whatever I want. Fenris, for example, HATES mages, and refuses to join my fight with the mages. Good for him even though it would have made my end fight more difficult. Then, because I manage a pithy one liner about slavery, he joins my party. IF he hated slavery and mages all along, the game should have built up this conflict more within his character, so that we could see the final crisis and denoument, not have him flippantly choose one side because it's what the player feels like doing. 3) Repetitive use of scenery. Origins got annoying after a while with the same monsters, but the scenery constantly changed. Dragon Age II made this worse by having me fight the same monster models and in the same settings three times in a row. 4) Every male model looks like they are on roids - how about some varied body types? What about the sinewy rogue? The willowy mage? Why as a mage are my muscles still exploding from my robes? 5) Sexuality should be more than a lifestyle choice for my romantic options. In Dragon Age, some characters were bisexual and others were not. Some got offended by homosexuality. This added an extra appreciated wrinkle to the game. Cost containment I could accept: 1) Focusing on fewer origin stories. Valuable development time could be saved if only a few major storylines are played. So, if I only get three origin stories instead of 15 possibilities I am OK with that. However, these three should be divergent not as close together as possible. E.g. female elven mage, male human warrior, male rogue dwarf. 2) Reuse of monster models. Every game has to do it, I get it. 3) Limitations on the number of big decisions that alter a story arc. Understood that these cannot pop up all over the place, but there need to be some and a few need to be big ones. Mass Effect 2 demonstrated that if you have enough divergent story arcs, origin stories are less important. 4) Simpler combat systems. I get it that there are more console games to be sold than PC games. If due to economies of scale I have to have a simpler combat system, I can handle that to if it is still fun and challenging like in Mass Effect 2. I accept the above cost containment, and it's because I expect the game designer to spend extra time making sure that what it DOES do is exceptional. No one has infinite resources. Rather than wisely spending its gaming investment dollars on the areas of most return for its gamers, Bioware was solely focused on their financial returns. They have made it clear that all I am to them is a dollar sign and they plan to cash out on the Dragon Age franchise. Very well, Bioware, your gaming audience understands, and I for one will sit out the next Dragon Age unless user reviews are 8.0+. You can buy off publications but not your user base.… Expand
Apr 17, 2011The game tries hard to appeal to a wider audience. Tries to go the story route more than the strategy route. Unfortunatelly even on the story part, the game lacks depth. You have nor real background info on your character, you do not know why you are doing what you are doing and the things you do often seem artificial and not natural. One example: Instead of gathering 50 gold to make a living you gather 50 gold to invest them in something. In order to get to those 50 goldcoins you do a lot of different quests. A few of them are good, but most of them involve running around for ages seeing the same stuff over and over again... back and forth back and forth.... the story has it peaks, but is overshadowed by really bad character integration. The class you play doesnt matter much do the dialogues. Even the world does not react if you are using magic on the streets, which is forbidden in the game. Combat wise, the game is very chaotic. There is no top down view anymore, so you often have problems with controlling the party or getting a good overview. Handling of NPC equipment is reduced to a minimum and there is no "common goal" that unites your party, but rather loose ties that dont really justify the actions of the companions. To me it didnt make much sense in most cases.
The game didnt develop naturally but feels forced by guidelines: "We need to have this, we need to have that... " In the end they should ve listened more to their stomach I think. Mediocre game with some good story moments, but lacking in most other areas.
I can only say this:
"If you try to please everybody you will end up pleasing noone"… Expand
Apr 19, 2011Although there is some restriction in gameplay and not so great like its precedessor, in my point of view, this is still a good game that worth to play. Hope in the next sequence, the creator should not get the same weakness and restriction that they have made in this game. They deserve to get a praise, though. 8.0 points
Apr 19, 2011After playing for 40h (yes it does take that long), I can say that this game is amazing. Almost all of the flaws have been taken out from Origins, the combat is much more fun, the leveling system is better, the animations are far superior, and most importantly of all, the story is good. I completely disagree with the negative reviews, and suspect that a fair few are simply trolls.
Apr 20, 2011I realy wonder how people can give a game a 0 rating, whatever. This game ain't bad, it is a bit above average.
It has flaws, obviously. The graphics aren't that good, the obvious console controls are just slapping you in the face from time to time, but it is infact a fun game.
It took me about 16 hours to complete, I did most of the sidequest and I died quite alot. The strongest aspect of this game is obviously the story, which kinda feels just like a bridge between the last Dragon Age Origin DLC and the next DA game, or possibly Dragon Age 2 DLC.
I would recommend buying it if the game wasn't so repetetive, had more variety and overall, was just more fun. I am a person, that does realy not care about graphics at all, all I got is a PC, which isn't good, so my graphic limit is mostly at medium.. and a medium resolution. It is a fun game if you just complete the story and just look the other direction when a flaw just walks next to you. Characters are fine... didn't think they would have much depth in it, because it was mostly going for Hawk. It's a 6/10.… Expand
Apr 19, 2011First RPG from Bioware that can be humbly summarised as a mediocrity or even below. While it still shows us that the team has decent writers and artists, a lack of strong design leadership and quality is something we did't see in Bioware RPG's before. It's a linear adventure with watered story and, to some extent, fun to banter with characters, so-so combat and.. that's it. Dragon Age 2 lacks freedom of choice (one we have is actually a masterfuly done illusion, which waves if you try to replay game second time), exploration; to some extend, character customisation; puzzles; it does't give player any tactical challenges. Dragon Age 2 also laughs at many DA:O aspects and characters, beating any decentness from them with black emo stick, and fails to deliver long, gripping dialogues. Overall, one can have some fun with this game, but it's almost painful experience to begin with. This game does't worth it's 60$, and makes you sorry and sad for yourself, your time and money after.… Expand
Apr 20, 2011I've played and liked quite a few Bioware games. I thought DA:O had a good story and the gameplay was engaging. DA:A was essentially the same gameplay and a slightly less compelling story, but hey, it can't always be The Blight. I even bought a few DLC missions, which usually seemed worth extending my stay in the game world for a few bucks. Dragon Age:II is absolutely horrible. I feel like a complete sucker for buying it. I even pre-ordered the Signature Edition based on my experience with their previous titles. The story drags along slowly and seems irrelevant. The gameplay and combat system just hack-n-slashing until so that maybe you can use a special ability during a fight. And the fights are no longer strategic. It's just hacking and slashing waves of baddies until the next waves jumps in from all sides like ninjas. The skill tree revamp was interesting and I kinda liked that, but not being able to customize your companions' gear seemed to dumb it down. I will probably still buy Mass Effect 3 on release day (or pre-order) because I think they've prioritized that as their marquis product and won't stray too far from the Mass Effect formula. But as for other Bioware games, especially future Dragon Age games, it will take much more than underhandedly gaming metacritic in order for me to buy it.… Expand
Apr 20, 2011Dragon Age 2 is a fun game that gets a lot right, but is ultimately overshadowed by a rushed development. If Bioware had spent more time on the game and put less emphasis on streamlining, it could have been a masterpiece. While the game was released quite buggy, at the time of writing this most issues have been resolved.
Apr 21, 2011Could have worked as a stand alone title but did not feel like a sequel to DA:O. It was almost as if the developers were trying to fix what was broken in DA:O and improve upon it but the problem was there wasn't a lot wrong with the first title in the Dragon Age franchise. Loved DA:O did not care for Dragon Age II.
May 18, 2011I 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
Apr 21, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Alone, Dragon Age 2 is a decent game. It's not good, and it's certainly not great, but it's decent. As part of a franchise, however, it is a complete and utter failure. The decision to not include (for the most part) any of the characters and location that made the original shine, makes Dragon Age 2 a bland and mostly unintelligible mess. There's no clear enemy, the party members are bland at best, and combat has become so simplistic that it adds almost nothing to the game. Dungeons are repeated endlessly, characters that you don't care about are dragged on screen repeatedly, while the ones you do care about, Zevran, Alistair, Leiliana, get almost no screen time. The "decisions" you make have almost no impact on the actual game. No matter what you do, Anders will become a terrorist. And those are just the failings of the game. As a member of a franchise, there is nothing in this game that is a marked improvement from the first game. Yes, it's a little prettier and runs a little faster, but that was never the draw of the original. What Bioware failed to do in this game was continue with what made Origins great: Characters and story. Dragon Age 2 has neither. Dragons Age 2 features a save game transfer like Mass Effect 2. Unfortunately, the save game transfer has almost zero effect on the game. Mass Effect 2 could be radically different depending on your Mass Effect 1 playthrough, with characters that would otherwise be present for major events of the game being absent, or your status as a galactic agent. The save game transfer in Dragon Age 2 affects who you talk to a few times. Nothing is gained from transferring an old save. Sure, you can hear snippets of dialogue about your old adventures here and there, but they add absolutely nothing. Why Bioware chose to make Dragon Age into a franchise more akin to Mass Effect baffles me. They are radically different games, both in execution and in writing. Mass Effect was designed around one character, Shepard. Forcing one character into the spotlight of Thedas is awkward and does not fit. I can hope and pray that Bioware drops Hawke for the next game, but of course they won't. In short, do not go into this game expecting an experience akin to Dragon Age: Origins. Doing so will just set you up for disappointment. Be prepared for a mediocre experience that is untrue to the original.… Expand
Apr 21, 2011Pros:
+ The clear abilities points distribution system is a improvement
+ Voiced protagonist dialogs
+ "Sell All Junk" button (Only a requirement when you have junk)
- Cheap dungeon design
- Excessive gore and unnatural moves in combat animations
- Spiders drop gold (What?)
- Shallow characters and dialogues
Apr 22, 2011Disappointing, a watered-down version of the first.
The game engine and UI has been improved. I prefer the newer talent trees. And the characters are quite engaging and held my interest. But the story is very watered down and it takes place in the exact same stages over and over. The repetition in stages, as well as combat, almost make the game intolerable. Aside from a (very) few key events, player choices seem largely irrelevant. For some utterly baffling reason, only Anders (and the player) can learn to heal. I felt as if I was forced to use Anders and Aveline (the tank) if I was to adopt any strategy. Characters that are unused might as well be dead to you.
It is a decent enough game (and the final battle is actually quite epic), but I felt like the media critics got this absolutely wrong. It has its charms, but it is largely an unworthy sequel and I regret spending $70 on this product. Wait for the price to drop before purchasing this one, you won't be missing much.… Expand
Apr 30, 2011Ah Dragon age 2.. By far the biggest letdown so far of 2011 in my eyes. The graphics are worse than the original, the city which you spend almost the entire game in is so incredibly lifeless, stale and repetitive that you would think this game has been made in 2005 by amateur developers, but sadly this game is made by Bioware who in the past has brought us many great games.
I for one really hope this isn't a sign for things to come as Dragon Age 2 should have never been released in the state it is in, poor gameplay, poor graphics and artistic direction, poor RPG elements and immersion factor.
Extremely poor game. 1/10… Expand
Apr 25, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very bad game... ItÂ´s not Dragon Age itÂ´s "Dragon Effect" (but worst). It no have the essence of the firts game... bad of work EA and Bioware... In the game, your decisions are useless...you cant change nothing in the world, all the facts happen without your help...your partners are lineal, they arenÂ´t charming like in origins...is a step back in rolÂ´s game... (sorry for my english...im spanish...)… Expand
Apr 27, 2011Horrible, horrible game. The recycled maps is completely disrespectful to all people who played the original Dragon Age and Origins. I cannot believe that they did such a poor and sloppy job on this game it even hurts to make a review for it. I for one am glad that a friend let me borrow it to try it and before I WASTED money on such a pile of crap. Dragon Age 3 better not be anything close to this or else I will most likely never, ever purchase a game from them again.… Expand
Apr 29, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Where the exciting story? Where is the charm for which all were so fond of Dragon Age origins? The game is completely disappointed me. Why do we unnecessary flips and jumps? If you're happy with sales, you know, everyone was expecting to see a good continuation, not a game for children up to age 11. one location you placed throughout the game. Players are not interested to solve the problems of one citysave a whole lot more interesting korolestvo. What have you done with satellites player? They are horrible to them can not speak normally, do not give the gift, there is no charm. How can we produce a good game for a year, besides making many more other projects? It is better to wait for 3 years, but a really good game. The Witcher 2 will destroy you. It's as if you are good lesson, dear developers.… Expand
May 2, 2011Une arnaque TOTALE
Jeu bÃ©nÃ©ficiant de la licence officielle de DAO, sans ne serait ce qu'en contenir un brin de son essence spirituelle. Une trÃ¨s grosse dÃ©ception. Je n'ai mÃªme pas terminÃ© le jeu tellement je suis dÃ©pitÃ© par la mÃ©diocre rÃ©alisation, la pauvretÃ© gÃ©nÃ©rale du jeu, l'histoire creuse, les textures pauvres, les Pnj inutiles et sans relief, A Ã©viter Ã tout prix... ne mÃ©riterait mÃªme pas d'exister.… Expand
Jun 16, 2011A really bad game. Plain and simple. The 'level design' - and you have to use that term loosely - just consists of a few a very narrow corridors. The areas are shamelessly reused. How a developer can get away with making about 6 tiny areas for a 40 hour long game and calling it a day is beyond me. The game mostly takes place in a city and its surroundings. Needless to say, they never even bothered to design a city, only 3 separate and small areas that you can fast travel to.
The combat is frantic. Gone are the strategic battles of Origins. A lot of enemies bumrush you in the small corridors and you have to press the awesome button. On top of that, it is very tedious, since each and every single encounter you have will have about 4-5 waves of the exact same enemies literally teleporting in out of nowhere to bore you to death. Ridiculous game design. Not to mention that most encounters are random i.e. you just walk around and explore and don't see your enemy until the fight begins. Quite ironic from the company that bashes jrpgs. The difficulty curve is pretty much nonexistent if you keep your equipment in check since level scaling is in effect. A hurlock won't be easier to kill at lvl20 than at lvl1.
Your character, Hawke, has 3 stock replies locked in their respective places: Good, funny or aggressive. Funny is especially bad. Like "wanting to punch whoever wrote that crap" kind of bad. Good or aggressive is most of the time what you'd expect. Emphasis on most of the time, since the few words they put in the dumb dialogue wheel so you don't bother your pretty litle brain with too much reading can be misleading. Sometimes extra options or questions show up but most of the times they're just stuff that isn't worth asking or has already been answered.
The party members feel like wasted potential. You have to visit them in their homes so they all explain their backstories in about 2-3 conversations over time and all have a chain of quests tied to it. At the core, they're not all that bad but everything feels very formulaic so you end up not caring much about them. But hey, they're mostly bisexual and you can romance them since that's obviously more important than the rest of the game, so it's all good. Their armor isn't customizable but weapons, stats and skills are up to you.
Finally, the story. If you last long enough (trust me, that's difficult) to make it to the final act, you'll have a somewhat interesting story on your hands that just ends up being predictable, but at least you get the 'epic' high fantasy feel for a while and a laughable final boss. The first act just feels like a needless prologue and you will feel a general lack urgency or motivation. Act 2 is more bearable but still nothing to write home about. The side quests are all derivative and boring.
Lazy game design, bad writing, and poor production values are what make this a title that isn't just hard to recommend, but should simply be avoided by anyone. The icing on the cake is that overall, the game feels like a slap to the face for the people who had hope in the Dragon Age franchise and took it the exact opposite direction from what they were hoping for.… Expand
May 7, 2011A failed attempt at making Dragon Age a mix of action an RPG. What we get is a severely dumbed down RPG with unsatisfactory action element, that take up the majority of play time. Plus and uncompelling story that has nothing to do with Origins...
I do not get how this game has gotten so many positive reviews... This is not a BioWare grade product, this is something straight from the bowels of EA's rush'n'cash department.
So where do I start? First of all, as I stated before, the story has virtually nothing to do with Origins. If you were hoping to see big time consequences of your actions in the previous game, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. Nothing you did in Origins has any impact on DA2, apart for some minor and negligible side quests. Furthermore, the story itself feels incredibly forced at times. In Origins, I really wanted to defeat the Blight, even while playing an "evil" character. DA2's story didn't make me care about it's main plot, mainly because, for the most part, it was being shoved down my throat. There is a quest quite early on, which you are forced to do to advance the story, but there is no logical train of thought nor are there any circumstances in game that would make your character want to do this quest, unless they felt a certain way towards one of the main groups presented in the story. It feels more like an optional side quest than a main plot one . And the side quests themselves are a travesty. Mind you, there are some cool ones that clearly have been thought through, but they are drowned in the sea of identical, almost grind-like, minimum flavour text, quest you get in a shoddy MMO.
Let's have a look at the game mechanics then. The new stats system feels more transparent and logical, the talent trees are better designed than those in Origins, but that's where the good stuff ends. The Mass Effect style dialogue tree looks well and all, except for the fact than in most cases, all you choose is they way your character will say, "Yes I agree". Fortunately this doesn't happen too often, but it becomes very annoying if you want to play, what is after all an RPG game. And speaking of RPG elements, you cannot equip your party with armour, and by that I mean that you can't customize your companions helmet, torso and boots slots. You are stuck with what they have, until you find a special upgrade, and every companion only gets four. Not four upgrade slots which you can fill in from randomly dropped upgrades, because there are no random upgrades. Each companion will only ever get four armour upgrades, so you don't overheat that brain of yours choosing which one to give to who. The combat would be great if not for one thing: enemies that spawn mid fight, usually off camera. And again it wouldn't be so bad if the newly spawned guys were just minions helping the big boss you are currently fighting. But more often than not, they are pretty powerful, and can seriously mess up your party if you don't spot them the instant they are spawned. Also, the difficulty settings have been dumbed down, so now you get friendly fire only on the highest level. And the gap between the two top settings (Hard and Nightmare) is so big, it seems no one had any time to tweak them. On Hard the game is still laughably easy, and on Nightmare it becomes, at times, downright frustrating. Graphically it is an improvement over Origins, allthough I was never the one to dislike a game just because it had old graphics. What I cannot abide however is the endless and shameless recycling of locations. Most of the main ones are ok, but it quickly becomes apparent that there are only so many side quest ones. And it's not like some quest just take place in the same location. The cave you enter on a beach will be the exact same cave you have already visited in the mountains, but maybe with an entrance that is located elsewhere, and with some areas sealed away. You really get the feeling they either rushed the game out, or were just plain lazy about it.
In an effort to appeal to a broader audience (namely the drunken frat boy demographic) BioWare has dumbed down their game to the point you can barely call it an RPG and added a ton of sub par action and clumsy gore. If this was a game by any other developer, and not a sequel to Origins, this would be an average game with a few memorable moments. Being as it is, it is a poor game with lots of memorable failures...… Expand
May 8, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A below mediocre game that doesn't know what it is. I like dumb button-mashers - like Heavenly Sword - and I like skilful button-mashers - like Tekken, or Fight Night - but the fighting in Dragon Age II isn't nearly half as fun and doesn't need skill - its one tactical trick of tag-team combos is permanently spelled out for you. Setting difficulty to hard just means a long boring slog. Besides I bought the game expecting it to be an RPG. It kind of is an RPG, if you think they are just about superficial levelling mechanics. The game world was also really restricted, no free-roaming and interactivity like you get in Fallout 3 for example - and famously you keep going back to the same locations all of the time, sometimes deliberately, sometimes because the makers were lazy.
Some of the dialogue is funny - it's the only thing that scores any points with me. Unfortunately every 'funny' conversation option you choose as the main character is weak and pathetic. Your interaction with other characters is restricted and the story doesn't make sense, I was meant to be in a romance with Isabella for years, but you get just two scenes about that. I kept trying to avoid fighting and be diplomatic, but the game's story pushed me into killing everyone whatever I did, while giving an illusion that there were other choices.
Graphics - a few textures are alright, some of the character designs are ok, but a lot of faces are worse than the original game. The city, countryside and sewers/cellars are quite drab and undetailed. The Qunari are ok, but they all look the same. The Elves have weird unappealing faces. Compared to the first game the voice actors didn't sound convincing, though some were good (but not your main character). In fact, apart from some better textures, there were no improvements.
I feel like I could go on and describe in more detail why this game sucks, but I want to forget about it and move onto something else.… Expand
May 9, 2011Why such a low score for Dragon Age II? there are a few reasons;
1. Why would I buy a fantasy game like this to only play a human?
2. The combat of the first installment was well thought out, on the other hand in this game it simply has been dumbed right down for console users, as it would seem they used DA 2 as a cash flow and not much else. As is seems every game that goes from purely pc to pc & console it always seems to go straight down the toilet. This is no exception, but at least they kept the pause tactical menu for pc users
3. The storyline grabbed me no where near as much as the first, I played the first for hours on end. I didn't even bother finishing DA2 for its sheer lack of interesting things
4. While the graphics looked good there was simply no amount shine that could fix all of the bugs with this. What could have fixed this however was for bioware to spend some more time on the game, rather than simply trying to push it out asap.
The game while a great title has no real playability for me. Dirty, boring, rushed and dumbed down are NOT the way I like my games to be.… Expand
May 22, 2011The 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
May 18, 2011A deeply flawed game with empty world and recycled graphic assets. Limited to a single city where nothing changes over a decade and artificially prolonged with pointless quests and waves of mobs who totally destroy combat tactics. I can't remember a RPG where i wanted to single handedly slaughter most of my companions because they were so annoying. s.
May 21, 2011A huge disappointment overall. Completely fails to live up to its predecessor. A consolized, streamlined and dumbed down game target for the Call of Duty market. Gameplay is okay; the rest is pure garbage: lack of different environments, stupid story, crappy ending, fails to deliver true choice-and-consequence mechanics, cardboard character textures, lack of an interesting roster... pick one. Not to mention the protagonist, a failed attempt to create a medieval Shepard. You might even have some fun while playing it, but if you actually enjoyed the first game, some tears of grief are along for the ride.… Expand
May 18, 2011I had high expectations with this game after Dragon Age: Origins, the game was done without any care for the story, being short and leaving holes that may have been playable and interesting! The worst of it is repeating the same maps in the few places to go! I very much hope that Mass Effect 3 will not turn that same garbage!
May 18, 2011One of the worst sequels you will ever buy. This game had so much promise, but then Bioware decided to rush it out so that EA could put the profits through on their end year accounts. They reuse maps constantly in this game...there is one city, yes just one. The city is lifeless, there is like 20 people in the entire place that you can talk to. Betrayal is a strong word but thats how i feel when i think of what Bioware has done.… Expand
May 18, 2011This game is the biggest turd i have had the displeasure of playing lets start with the graphics they are like a game from about ten years ago when you hit someone with a sword they explode.They have used the same locations over and over again i think there is about four in the whole game.God the side quest are so boring go to that place and fetch that object go to this place and kill that person after about two hours of this repetitiveness you fill like slashing your own wrists.And this company has turned into greedy bastards they just bought out some DLC that they charge for some sort of clothes pack need i say more after about three hours i uninstalled it from my pc and good riddance to it… Expand
May 24, 2011How can i say it. This game is bad.
Compared to Dragon Age 1 you don't have too big choice on the character selection.
Hordes of the enemies spawning from everywhere, you cannot keep mages in the back, they are nearly always surrounded . Rouge skills - he is disappearing and reappearing at the enemies back... mercy - teleportation in fantasy game? Without magic?
I'm very happy that i could see the demo and play at my friends PC before buying. It would be big waste of money.… Expand
May 19, 2011A huge blemish on Bioware's track record.
Dragon Age Origins was a solid entry, sure it wasn't the best western fantasy RPG but it was still very good. Dragon Age 2 getting released a little over a year later definitely had me alarmed. A smaller game in every way and absolutely not worth paying or playing. Clearly it was rushed. Stay clear of this one and pick up Origins instead.
May 19, 2011A poor game that do no justice to DA Origins. It is full of bugs and glitches, the graphics are poor (IMHO worse than DAO), the new FF visual style doesn't fit, every combat is just wave after wave of flying enemies.... And the worse is that the story is full of gaps and holes, and the scope is too small to compare to DAO... A terrible disappointment.
May 19, 2011I have played this game on the Xbox and on the PC. I didn't like it on the Xbox but I hated it on the PC. The camera view during combat on the PC is downright awful. The dungeons are all copy and pasted. You have very few choices in the game ( very linear playthrough), almost no interaction with your companions, and they removed the ability to customise your companion's armour and in some cases, weapons.
Bioware removed some of the best parts about Dragon Age!
Oh, and the story made you despise both sides in the "major" conflict so at the end of the day, you are forced to take sides when my character didn't even care one way or the other.
I also felt almost nothing for my love interest since as I wrote above, Bioware removed almost all of the interaction with your companions that was one of the unique and great things about DA Origens, so all my companions including my love interest, felt almost like strangers.. I hope Bioware straightens their act out with DA3, otherwise, they can forget about getting my money.
On a last note, the replayability of DA2 is crap. Both endings (yes, there are only TWO with the exception of which love interest you pick), are almost exactly the same. So, why replay the game? Where as Origens, had great replay value with many different endings depending on your in game choices. Could this mess be EA's doing? Trying to rush the game to make a quick buck? I think Bioware has lost their soul.… Expand
May 20, 2011It's not often that a sequel comes out worse in every single way to its predecessor, yet the brilliant minds at BioWare have managed to accomplish just that with Dragon Age 2. This game is clearly rushed, likely due to the influence of EA, and doesn't even remotely resemble all of the greatness that Dragon Age Origins was known for. Try harder next time, BioWare, and you might win back my business.… Expand
May 21, 2011What bioware have doing to the splendid dragon age universe.
The new combat system introduce in dragon age 2 is absolutely ridiculous.
It's look like an hack and slash, too much gore, too much asian H&S style.
The ennmy reinforcement pop in front of you, so you can not make any strategie as you don' know how lmany ennmies they are.
The story and compagnions are interesting, boss are the only real combat challenge
The city of kirkwall is splendid but without life (static pnj, always same group of people).
All quest use always the same environnement (kirwall, beach, etc...).
Graphic are good in dx11.… Expand
May 24, 2011Zero. This is call to Bioware that it needs to change. NO, it's not working anymore. STOP doing the same game over and over. Gamers need something new, something evolved (it's 2011 and not 2005). I don't care that they must make PS3/X360/DS version. My PC is underused with the poor graphics I see.
One for the fans only.
May 25, 2011Dreadful is how a good RPG game and solid studio may result in sequel that is by no means THE WORST RPG OF THE DECADE. Terrible controls & fighting mechanic, 4 freaking backgrounds ( locations all looks THE SAME ), enemies re-spawning on my god damn HEAD - I have no words how cheated I feel now
May 25, 2011If 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
Jun 1, 2011The sequel to the decade's best RPG game created. Now the question everybody has asked; Does it live up to the sequel?
Unfortunatly that is a BIG F NO. Dragon Age 2 fails in every single way and is not a worthy sequel. The 'enhanced graphics' was an utter sham. The health bars looks like something from Mass Effect and the dark, grim graphics approach in Origins was imported terribly in Dragon Age 2 and felt like they over done it in some areas. I would say that the only good aspect in this game is the many design concepts that they have developed and succeed.
Overall for players that played through Dragon Age Origins casually like any ol' game, Dragon Age 2 but be as enjoyable. If you're a die hard Origin lover like me Dragon Age 2 may make you cry from such failures it made. If you simply want to know the story and explore more of the worlds, I suggest renting it .… Expand
Jun 5, 2011I consider myself to be a hardcore RPG gamer, and I am a huge fan of BioWare Games. I was raised on Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and I also love their modern titles such as Mass Effect, and also Dragon Age:Origins. But dragon Age 2 is just a big misunderstanding. This rushed, inconsistent and monotonous piece of crap is just a sad, sad attempt to cash in on a promising franchise. How can such good IP deteriorate so quickly, is just beyond me. Remember how in Origins we could travel through Ferelden, have an epic adventure fighting Darkspawn, and save the whole land? You can forget that here. Action takes place in one city - Kirkwall. ONE GOD DAMN CITY! Yeah, sure, we have few locations in the outskirts, but they are recycled so often, that you will constantly return to the same places, and just fight different mobs depending on the quest that you will be doing. That is just a lazy design. And what about the plot? In Origins we were trying to stop a monster invasion, so we traveled from city to city, trying to unite the land and build an army. You can forget such epic storytelling here. To tell you the truth there is no backbone for a plot here, it just feels like one overlonged prolouge. You want to know what the plot is? Warning spoilers: How we became a champion. Thats it. We have three chapters, that seem totally unrelated with each other. And so first we will be preparing for a trasure hunt (best one), and then we will just be dealing with political machinations. It is all just boring, and uninspired. Whats more, this game is laughably easy even on hard difficulty, and has a dumbed down dialog system. Combat? Please. Characters animation during the fights reminds me a free to play korean MMO. Furthermore forget about any tactics. You will be fighting waves after waves of weak enemies, that will literally fall from the sky or even from ceilings. You will just maw through them without any strategy. it looks like a damn cartoon, and not a hardcore dark fantasy RPG. What to say more... How abou the fact, that your decisions in Origins have almost no impact on the plot of Dragon Age 2. Yeah, sure you'll meet some references here and there, and once I think you'll meet a character from the first game. But it does not change anything overall. Summarising Dragon Age 2 is a worst BioWare Game I have ever played. I hope they will takes their fans opinions to heart and improve upon in the next installment. I really, REALLY hope so.… Expand
Jun 6, 2011I really enjoyed the first game a good deal and ultimately found the sequel to be a big letdown. The combat is more enjoyable and I the companion AI seems more flexible and responsive. The main character feels like it has a bit more personality having a voice. That is about as good as it gets. The narrative does not feel as cohesive as the original game nor does it feel like it has the same epic sense. The lighter roleplaying elements and the more limited character creation choices detract from the freedom of the roleplaying experience. I did not feel like I was forging my own destiny/story in DA 2 like I did in DA:O. The game world design sucks; the city hub setup that lasts for the whole game is uninspiring both in layout and in visualizations. The repeated use of the same scant amount of maps/areas throughout the entirety of the game is repetitive and speaks of cheap, lackluster game design. Overall DA2 is mostly a letdown as a sequel and part of the Dragon Age world. The overall experience feels a bit more streamlined but at the cost of being much more on rails than the sequel, as well as having a narrower and less epic storyline and being entirely too repetitive and un-immersive. Honestly, I am in the third act of the game, almost near the end, and I just can't find the interest to finish it. Poorly done Bioware, poorly done… Expand
Jun 7, 2011This game irritated me SO much that I had to join this site to write a review in hopes of stopping anyone that reads it from buying this game for PC. The creators of this game decided it would be a good idea to say "SCREW YOU PC GAMERS FOR SUPPORTING US IN THE BEGINNING, WE ARE NOW ALL ABOUT CONSOLES!", so what did they do? Everything in the game now feels circular, and I'm sure that would be JUST FANTASTIC if we were playing the game with an Xbox controller, but we are not. You get thrown into the action of the game without so much as a single tutorial (The tutorial you do get is ignored because you are being attacked by 20 enemies the second you start the game, so you ignore the text if you want to live). The only thing this game is good for is that I can throw it like a frisbee into a lit fireplace. What a waste of money.… Expand
Jun 9, 2011Bioware has created some great games. Dragon Age 2, when compared to most other developer's lineup, would come across as slightly above-average. Overall, it's not a bad game. But it's not a good one either, and when compared to other games that Bioware has put out, it comes across as outright bad. It has its good points:
-The combat animations have been improved
-Varric and Aveline are both excellent characters
-The storyline, at face value, is good
-The skill trees are a good way to go in my opinion However, its bad points heavily outweigh the good ones: -The combat has been "simplified" to the point of being able to click auto-attack and just let your character do the work on every difficulty level but Nightmare. -The combat situations have been reduced to randomly spawning enemies that have little to no reason to be there in the first place.
-Enemies get "reinforcements" during every battle that immediately surround you and eliminate any strategic positioning of your characters that was so key in DA:O
-Dungeons are re-used throughout the game; there are about four total dungeon maps, and every "new" area consists of those maps re-used with areas closed off or opened. Enemies remain much the same as well.
-The other characters feel very shallow. As Hawke, you get to know them over the course of ten years, yet I feel like by the end of any other Bioware game I got to know more about my companions than Hawke ever did, despite only knowing them for a year at the very most.
-Graphics seem worse than in DA:O, and certainly are worse than other recent Bioware games. Everything looks flat and dull.
That's not everything, but those are the big things. Overall, it feels rushed and very much geared towards console players, which isn't a bad thing in itself, except that Bioware left out and changed things that didn't need to be changed so that console players would have it easier, even though it made playing the game on PC more annoying and much less immersive.
This game doesn't deserve the high scores critics gave it, and, while not as bad as people make it out to be, definitely ranks among the worst Bioware games to date.… Expand
Jun 12, 2011This game is terrible. There is no meaning character interaction, the camera angle is frustrating, the combat consists of mashing the same button without a thought of skill or strategy, the same three environments are used for every mission so it quickly becomes tedious plus you cannot equip any armour or weapons on your companions so exploring and looting becomes meaningless. The overall result is a tedious few hours of mindlessly pressing the same button before giving up, turning it off and wishing you could have your time and money back.… Expand
Jun 12, 2011I am not a long-term Bioware fan (I have to admit never played BG or Neverwinter back in the day) but I am a lover of RPGs and Dragon Age: Origins was my introduction to Bioware's games. Needless to say I was very impressed. It was a fantastic, well-written and beautifully executed game that I fell in love with. Despite being warned that Dragon Age 2 will not live up my expectations, I had to give it a go. How can another Dragon Age be so bad? So I went into this game with a fairly positive yet cautious attitude. And... well... it's disappointing. Not just as a sequel to Origins, but as a roleplay game in general. Especially from a company like Bioware who I'm led to believe is a bit of an authority on the genre.
The combat is tedious. It's altogether less tactical and more hack-and-slash. There's no tactical camera, and wave combat with enemies appearing from all angles and even dropping from the sky that makes it pretty impossible to place companions, manage potions and generally devise a battle plan. I may be hyperbolising here, but this sort of combat is fit for games like Serious Sam, not Dragon Age. I have no idea why they dumb-downed the combat in this way. It's obvious that a lot of fights were added in as filler combat. There's various encounters that are just waves and waves of uninteresting unimportant enemies that last far too long and then just as you finish up and turn the corner... another one. And another. It gets boring.
To add to that, it looks ridiculous. Perhaps Origins' combat needed to be speeded up a bit, but not like this. It feels like a JRPG, and instead of looking cool it looks stupid. Also, far too much blood. And exploding bodies.
The companions are okay. I wouldn't say they are as well-written as Origin's characters, but they're okay. Interaction is quite horrible though. You only ever get to speak to your companions in their house, and that's only when they have something to say to you, usually involving a quest, or when you give them a gift, of which there about 2 for each. You get a very limited amount of these brief scenes with them, and that's it. For a romance, you get a sex scene and a couple extra conversations - well, I say /sex/ scenes - Origins' sex scenes may have been a little comical, but at least their was some nudity. For an M rated game, I expected a little more than a bit of making out.
I don't know about others, but I felt a lot more distant to my companions than I did in Origins. And I think that being able to speak to your companions when you want, for as little or as long as you want, is important. It's something that felt missed in Awakenings, and it's worse in DA2.
Party banter, however, is just as golden as it ever was! Hawke was an awkward invention. It seems Bioware couldn't decide on creating a blank-canvas character that can be almost fully imagined and created as your own (like the Warden was) or a pre-defined personality (say like, Geralt from The Witcher). And so they went with... both. Hawke felt half like your own creation, and half like a pre-defined character. This was difficult to contend with. It was hard to imagine Hawke as you wanted as you never knew what he was going to say or how he was going to behave. Sure you could choose 'good/funny/bad' but that isn't enough freedom. You also couldn't assume Hawke's personality and roleplay him, because you weren't given enough definition for him. Because there was hardly any of it. As a result, a lot of the time it almost felt like watching a film. You can dictate what Hawke does, but you can't really invent him and you can't really roleplay him. It just didn't work. The story was very messy. I liked the idea of the game being retold by a character, but the time skips were awkward to deal with. There was some interesting writing, but instead of being pushed along with a sense of urgency to an important goal like in Origins, it felt very much like you were just dawdling around a city and falling into trouble. Companions felt more like hirelings going along for the ride or using you now and again, then people devoted or forced into aiding your cause. There's no real drive to do anything except at the end of act 2 and the end of act 3. Not to say the story wasn't enjoyable, it was, but it wasn't great.
Overall, I enjoyed the game. But I wouldn't pay for it. Perhaps in a year or so for a knocked down price, or bundled in with an expansion or some DLC, but not now - it's not worth it. And although I feel I shouldn't compare it to Origins, surely I am allowed to, as it's supposed to be a sequel. It not only failed to improve on Origins, it failed to even reach it's level. In fact, it was considerably worse than the original Dragon Age and that is not a success. Oh, and I think the graphics got worse. The eyebrows in the game are frightening. And Zevran - poor Zevran.… Expand
Jun 30, 2011The first game was awesome: nearly perfect graphics, involving (and evolving) story-line, decent story-telling, very likable characters with good nuances on their relationships, good game dynamics and so on. NONE of that is found at this second instance.
Graphics are on the same level (actually, the design is cartoonist instead of realistic like the first), but system requirements are bigger (try to understand that), characters are simple and plain, there is actually no story and you have NO CLUE why you are playing - you just play, you know you are supposed to do something but have no idea why, and all of the sudden, the game ends. If you try and pursue relationships with your companions, you will be disappointed - and don't expect anything spicy for the more intimate moments, for there are none!
Add the fact that strategy was ruined with friendly-fire not existing, and the dumbing-down of most game mechanics, and what you have here is weak and pointless, and the hard fan will only play it just to see it though and pretend he/she got a minimal worth from the money ill spent.
In short: a perfect example of how to ruin a good game because of consoles, money and dumbing it for "the masses". Result: 4.2 user score, hope E.A. and Bioware get the message.… Expand
Jul 5, 2011I was completely disappointed by this game. I kept playing only because I thought it could get better, but it actually got worse.
The things I didn't like: The new combat system. It's extremely consolish - I play on a PC for a reason (and any tactics completely wasted by enemies springing from mid-air in the middle of a fight!)
The reused graphics (over and over)
Quests that finished without me even knowing they were a problem
A end-story line that completely blew featuring "choices" between two directions I wouldn't go when the most obvious choice wasn't listed, NPC's making completely illogical choices, etc.
I was very disappointed with this because I loved DA - Origins and played through it multiple times, have the DLC, etc. I won't be purchasing any DLC for DA2, nor do I intend to jump into another bioware game without waiting first (sorry MA3 and SWTOR).… Expand
Aug 2, 2011This 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
Aug 7, 2011This is the most disappointing sequel I've played in the last few years... Poor interaction, ugly interface, stupid AIs, feeble script... You get bored during the first two game play hours. I don't know what were the people of Bioware thinking when they planned this, but I can tell you they didn't dedicate much time into it. Boring, awful, hideous!!!
Aug 10, 2011Never ever have I been so bored playing a BioWare game. While I liked the original DAO this followup was a HUGE disappointment in so many ways. I will go so far as so say I have lost faith in BioWare if this game is the new direction they are taking. I recommend you stay clear of this inferior over-hyped mess of a game and instead feast on the delicacy that is The Witcher 2.
Aug 19, 2011I feel very generous today so I will give a 3 to the game. If you have played DA:O don't bother to play this. It is far below expectations and it does not match DA:O in any point... If you have never played DA:O then DA II can be considered an average game with nice graphs, which you can use to kill some spare time... As an RPG sucks.. you done even have control of your parties armor!!! Dialogs... suck if you are over age 12..story.. the same...… Expand
Aug 30, 2011+2 for the artistic effort. But even if you look at it like a hack and slash, it's not fun and repetitive. If you look at it like a sequel to Dragon Age , it's ... not that ... it's just a name + II on a box. The scenario is no so bad ... realization is so very bad. It's not a bioware game at all ... just a bad-o-ware game. Too Human was really more interresting in the same game style. (how is it even possible :( )… Expand
Oct 9, 2011What a horrible, horrible sequel. Boring story, boring quests, recycled locations, boring and shallow dialogue and insulting ending. This game should have been called "Flashy Hack & Slash OMG!" And to all that said to judge DA II on it's own and not as a sequel, well it IS a sequel. It's called Dragon Age II, that's like saying not to treat Spider Man 3 like a Spider Man movie...
Dec 16, 2011It's hard to think of anything that probably hasn't been said already about this game, short of just how badly Bioware has handled it. Before this i was convinced they could not make a bad game but DA2 will dissapoint you especially if you enjoyed Bioware's earlier work. Suggest getting Baldur's Gate instead.
Dec 21, 2011There were high expectations after the retail success of DA:O. I've decided to rate DAII a '3'. Here's my reason's for a 7 point deduction:
Objective reasons: Recycled places. Every area in the game is copy and pasted several times throughout the game. A lot of RPG's do this but DAII takes this to the extreme. Enemies are spawned in 'waves' and often times magically appear above your head in mid-air and drop onto the play field. Characters; because of the dialogue wheel any characters that are the same sex as your PC will appear to be gay. You'll feel that you are 'hit' on by every same sex character. This was a major negative for me. For example, as you play though the game as a male, both anders and fenris will 'make a pass' at you. You can either hit the 'heart' or 'break-heart' icons in the dialogue wheel. The end result is that you will feel like all romancable characters of the same sex are gay regardless of what you do.
Subjective reasons: The art style, while I could have liked it had of this been the first game in the series, it was so drastically different from the first that it ended up changing the very lore and make up of the game. Darkspawn were now goofy looking stooges and such. I did not care much for the combat. It was much better paced but I found it to be considerably easier than DAO as far as tactics go. I played the PC version and on "hard" setting. The combat was quite easy and only challenged me on a handful of encounters.
To date I can easily say this has been Biowares worst game. For the year 2011 there were a lot of noteable RPG's released. Bioware who in the past has always had the top RPG of the year will probably not be winning any awards. They were quite honestly beat at the own game by several other studios who released RPG's that were in a different league when it comes to excellence. Even the non-user metacritic scores will bear this out. Take a look at how many other RPG's scored much higher than DAII for the year 2011.
I gave DAII a '3' for the reasons above. It would have been '0' had I of written this in March. It earned a '3' because I did manage to end up finishing the game, though with much perseverance and hope that at some point the game would actually redeem itself. DAII is now sitting on my shelf and I can quite confidently say that I will never touch it again after just one playthough. A sad first with all the Bioware games I have played since 1998.… Expand
Aug 22, 2013The Failure of Dragon Age II is likely to become a saving grace for Bioware. The waves of often vitriolic criticism of the game have surely awoken a sense of professional pride and seriousness in Edmonton. If the developers take it all in and take it to heart we should be able to expect amazing things from Bioware from DA Inquisition. Thus finally the failures of this game will finally prove to be GOOD for the studio and great for gaming. For all the great content in their games, Bioware has always had trouble with linearity of plots, and with limited exploration in their worlds. After they dropped the Dungeons and Dragons rule set, they never really developed a satisfactory alternative. While they hinted at building an interesting fantasy world in Thedas, they NEVER actually did so. Basically Bioware has been coasting on its Baldur's gate reputation for WAY too long. And their trust in their own ability to 'tell a story' has blinded them into missing the key design elements of world building. If gamers were less tolerant of the flaws in Dragon Age Origins, they would have noticed that it really WASN'T nearly as GREAT as generally credited. Having an adventure that simply ends with a mega battle, with no enduring world, no real-living environments is actually pretty weak compared to any number of 'open-world' RPGs. Origins was good enough but what was the business with all that DLC going nowhere, adding nothing? Even Awakenings was just another 20 hours of assorted tale-quests that lead to NOTHING. Dragon Age II was bad, but it was not that different from the way Origins ended: with just random, boring pointless, rudderless 'stuff to do in Thedas'. Bioware never looked like making the world live, or of getting serious with building proper character classes or systems where you could have continuous adventures and take a character from creation up to high level. Maybe after the screaming, the hollering and the backlash, they will put their heads down and get serious at last about RPG design. Maybe they will make Thedas a world worth exploring, and allow the players to create characters and stories that will let us invest emotionally (and creatively) in that world. Maybe Bioware will finally grow up and become the developer we always imagined they would be, rather than confused incompetents who lost their way and ended up giving us more than a decade of MEDIOCRE RPGs. Let's hope so. Let's send up a prayer and an encouraging cheer to Edmonton! Thank them for setting the release date for Inquisition a healthy long time into the future (Fall 2014), and ENCOURAGE them, to RESTART this franchise with rock solid foundation so that Thedas becomes THE FANTASY GAME WORLD of CHOICE for all of us. Simply blow our minds with the BEST RPG EVER. You can do it guys! Kisses!
THE GROT REVIEW CRITERIA: After a long time writing reviews like an anus, think its time to set a few bad habits straight: Stop insulting designers. Show some respect for the design process and getting games in circulation. Hence (1) No Red scores. (2) Game scores as follows: Bad Game 5/10. Poor Game 6/10. Mediocre Game: 7/10. Good Game 8/10. Great game 9/10. Stella Game 10/10. To get 10/10 it must be a game that can be (theoretically) play-able for 1000+ hours. Not only great but near endless fun. Games may be bad or poor but making them should earn respect. Thus even the worst POS will still be a 5/10. 0/10 no longer exists in my vocabulary. Yellow is the new red. For the sake of accountability: you can reply if needed: Orctowngrot: Tim Rawlins: email@example.com… Expand
Mar 13, 2011This is one of best games of the years. Don't believe any of the bad reviews. They are shills for other gaming companies. EA is one of the finest game makers in the business and Dragon Age II exceeds all expectations and will be the number 1 RPG for years go to come.
Mar 24, 2011What a disastrous disappointment. The first Dragon Age definitely ranked among the top 100 games of all time, a story that you controlled - going where you want when you want, chatting with your allies for hours to boost to earn their love and respect, starting off in different areas depending on your race and class... what Dragon Age II leaves us with is a replica made of dookie. Never, ever give Bioware your money, it only encourages this inane garbage
This game reminds me of that movie Idiocracy, in which society becomes so stupid and uncouth that potty humor becomes high society and a man with the middle name Mountain Dew becomes president. That's exactly what this game is - the very worst of society hoisted up and mislabeled - as if Gigli were marketed as Citizen Kane 2.
Only contempt and revile live in my heart for this abomination.… Expand
Mar 26, 2011Dragon age 2 is one of the best games so far this year, it has a great story, great characters and an improvement combat system however it does have some issues like recycling levels far too often.
The Skills system has seen a vast improvement with more skills to choose from and each allies has a unique skillset
Mar 27, 2011Utterly disappointing. I've been a Bioware fan since the first Baldur's Gate and I can't believe what they did to Dragon Age 2. What were they thinking? Maybe they were blinded by the buzz of how Mass Effect 2 was received and decided to implement a same kind of system to DA2, who knows?
I loved the DA: Origins, it essentially resurrected the classic computer rpg genre for me. I even welcomed the few compromises for the console versions in the Origins, because despite those alterations it was still basically the same game we all know and love.
Unfortunately, in Dragon Age 2 they took it all away and created a some kind of deformed monstrosity of a dumbed down hack'n slash action game with adhd-button-mashing-orgy of a combat. No space for tactics or strategies, and the teammates' AI is retarded. Even the abilities/talents system was simplified and aside from few exceptions, worse than in the Origins. To give the game some slack, I won't even go to the graphics thing (which was later remedied a tiny bit by the high-resolution texture pack, at least for PC). The only good thing is the storytelling part (which has always been Bioware's strong suit), and even the story lacks in some parts.
I honestly can not recommend buying this game for any reason, except if you're so into the story or settings that you think you can bear with the game to the end. I could barely finish the demo when I first played it. I'm so sorry Bioware, but this time, you screwed up. What happened?… Expand
Mar 26, 2011Dragon 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
Mar 25, 2011Pros: Combat is more fluid and fun, graphics are of high quality if un-optimized on the PC, texturing is attractive
Cons: Single location, multiple reuse of maps, missing main story/thread, random quests that pop into and out of your journal, seem to have little effect on the world, lackluster companions with fewer and more black and white dialog choices
TLDR: Ultimately tedious and pointless.
Apr 22, 2011A dumbed down collection of kicks in the balls version of ORIGINS. Don't bother. But probally the biggest kick in the balls, is at the very start: You can only pick one race. What a rip-off! That's part of what made Origins so fun! Another kick in the balls, is that they dumped the whole "Go from place to Place" aspect (Another feature that makes Origins so fun) and instead you're stuck in this boring, lifeless, dumb town with NPCs who keep spouting the words "Hello. Hawke, is it?" every time you get within a 5-feet radious of them. GAAH!!… Expand
Mar 15, 2011Too bad a great game like this got hit by a raid. It's not worth a ten, probably no game is, but it's a marked improvement from the first game on several levels and thus is worth way more than a 4; probably an 8. This is Bioware's darkest, most tragic, most grey-morality story ever, it's fun to play, and the characters are better than the ones in Origins; more nuanced, more realistic. The game system is better balanced and more fun. The only major negative is that the minor quest locations are sometimes very similar, and you revisit locations, but for the rest of it, it's great. If you're an RPG old-school purist who demands that the main character NOT be voiced or make facial expressions, then you will not like this game, but most other RPG fans will.… Expand
Mar 10, 2011I have been playing PC RPGs since Ultima 7, so I kind of miss the isometric view.
But that is about all I miss. Love the new combat (yes, you still need tactics to succeed on hard, and there are still a lot of stats to manage). Love the way the story unfolds so far. Love the friend/rivalry system. Love most of the characters. Love the new inventory system. I will say that the "tone" dialog system is slightly limiting. I think there should have been a fourth tone option that was neutral without trying to be funny. I can see why some people might be disappointed... this is NOT the same as DA:O. It took me 4-5 hours of playing around in this system to overcome my dissonance and really get into it. But now that I'm into it, this is the most fun I've had with a video game in at least year. Bravo, Bioware!… Expand
Mar 10, 2011I am a fan of the RPG genre and played the original, albeit lightly, the improvments over the first are noticable. The Stories frequent options for pathway choice is great and the option to take more playable characters that fit the expanding story succseed where the originals story based around none playable characters. I think the combat is tons of fun and works very well all around. There is the issue of SO MUCH day one DLC, 2 expansion missions, and a checklist of downloads some free, some only for buyers of other EA games. All in all that doesn't change that fact the combat is the core and done exceedingly well!… Expand
Mar 10, 2011People you are not right dragon age 2 is a very good game and an excellent continuing of first part. I agree that this game is a bit different and not like the Dragon Age but you must know that Bioware is doing all the best to give pleasure to players and I think we should accept Dragon Age 2 how it is.
Mar 10, 2011While other loudly shout that the game is failed, i'd say that i loved this game all the way.
Some advice for those who are angry about a product - try to judge the game as it is, without a single comparison with DAO, and you will probably like this game, in the same way as i liked that.
Mar 11, 2011It's a good thing that Metascore's are based on reputable publishers and not the biased opinion of a "betrayed" fanboy. There was nothing Bioware could do against the inevitable fate of a sequel to one of the greatest RPG's that ever graced humans. If you ask me, however, DA2 comes very close to sharing the glory. I've seen not hide nor hair of the issues reviewers are experiencing; quite the contrary in fact. For people who found the combat of DA:O to be sluggish and repetitive, DA2 is a welcome Saint. The quick-paced hack-n-slash style brawling kept my interest rather than turn me away from boredom. Granted the difficulty level has been turned down a few notches, I play RPG's for the experience and story, not to constantly have to reload my saves, which I was doing often even on Normal in DA:O. And to say that strategy is no longer needed is ridiculous. I found myself constantly pausing the game to issue commands to my party members.
The graphics are not comparable to 2003. I don't understand how someone can even utter such a thought. The graphics are, in fact, refined in a manner that is completely reflecting of the story arc. DA:O had a serious, mature art style that utilized grey's and blues to set a mood. You were not a hero as much as you were a hope. DA2 moved away from that because the message is different. The art style utilizes more extreme blacks and reds and reminds me of scenes from Sin City. You are a champion, let your power be known!
The equipment system is a very welcome change to me. In DA:O you had to be constantly on the look-out for upgrades for your plethora of partners. In this game your party members have "companion armor", which negates the need , or rather doesn't allow, for the equipping of head, chest, hand, and feet armor. Only Hawke can be equipped. This allows you to focus all the best equipment on him, who is your MAIN CHARACTER, rather than worrying about the NPC who usually die anyways.
And then there's the story. I've been seeing reviews that say shallow, horrible script, no content, blah blah. Even in DA:O I wasn't physically forced to pace my room, hand on chin, staring at the floor, then the ceiling, to think about the ups and downs of saving an Elf or killing him. RPG's are meant to hurl you into a story, make you apart of the action, and DA2 does that with FLYING colors. I can choose to be cheeky, serious, kind, lovable, flirtatious, dominant, deciding, passive, or just plain rude to anyone I decide.
This game is not only a step, but leaps and bounds separate from it's predecessor, and that's not a bad thing. To compare the games would be like comparing sandals with running shoes. Both are useful in certain situations, but trying to play beach volley ball in Nike's will cause lots of frustration. You have to see DA2 as a game rather than a sequel. It doesn't live up to DA:O standards because it creates it's own. I fully believe this game is an underrated masterpiece waiting to explode.… Expand
Mar 11, 2011There's a lot of butthurt about Dragon Age 2. Lot of nerds wanting to crunch stats, spank and tank and grind for gear. It's not that sort of RPG and, like Mass Effect 2, it is all the better for it. It's a story, one that you have a huge part to play in telling, rather than just watching it unfold, you make choices and pick sides and shape the world. Meantime you stab up a bunch of people and get frisky with a pirate wench, among others. It's not perfect, the combat animations don't fit the tone of the game too well for example, but beyond that it's a masterpiece, far superior to the original.… Expand
Mar 13, 2011User- Score of 4.0? I am completely stunned by this. It's waaay down there where you would normally find titles coming out of..... Eastern Europe or Kenya? And let me make one thing clear: It cannot possibly be justified. Dragon Age 2 is a major step up from the original in terms of intriguing story-telling, gameplay and character affection. Doing all the side-quests, there is at least 30 hours of your time and I can guarantee that if you play on anything above normal difficulty; it will require more than simple hack'n slash as some of the 795 negative reviews have suggested. Yes, at times the combat goes on automatic mode and it may occasionally feel as if you were simply watching a movie but use that opportunity to catch your breath. You will need to do so because the story is as involving as ever and so increasingly fast-paced that at times it will almost surely take your breath away. DA2 clearly has adapted some of the better aspects from ME2 where, although slightly more limited, the conversation-wheel has been greatly simplified and 10x more perceivable. Other players have complained that a beautifully voice-acted main-character is to blame for shallow and uninteresting conversations but I personally feel this helps you retain a closer relationship with the character of Hawke and his ties with his mother, sister and Varric the always witty, Dwarven, companion with the mystical, personified, crossbow Bianca. While some compromises have been made, not only regarding voice-acting but also in combat and the selection of spells and abilities to reach a broader audience, the Wizards hat is still firmly on your head and at the time you finish the game you will have been through the entire emotional band and you will feel anxious whether or not you have taken the right choices all along. All in all I feel that DA2 is an excellent rpg which has evolved from the sort of unpolished, rough around the edges, nature of Origins to be a near perfect action oriented drama which certainly pleased me plenty. I may not be the most hardcore rpg fan but if I were to have a say I would argue that DA2 is better than, not only the previous installments, but also triumphs Mass Effect. So far, this is my GOTY 2011. If you are looking for a new Baldur's gate; look elsewhere.… Expand
Mar 13, 2011As of right now I'm about 10 hours into the game and must say that it's not as bad as everyone here seems to think it is. No, it's not nearly as good as the original but if you liked the original then chances are you will probably like this as well. DA:O was a complex RPG but I'm sure that might have thrown off a ton of people because DA:II seems to go too far in the other direction and simplify way too much. First I'm glad they changed the skill trees for the classes and got rid of the alternative skill tree (herbalism, posion, etc.) and instead opted to allow you to make anything as long as you had the recipe, coin, and ingredients to back it up. The skill trees, like I said, have been streamlined and I think they're far better in this since the trees aren't as linear and there are passive buffs that reward you for investing a lot of points in one tree. The combat is better in some aspects. Heal actually feels like a useful spell to have since it does so much this time around. The attacks also feel like they have more weight, especially as a mage, and I really like feeling like I'm having an affect on the battle rather than being a guy in the background clicking on things.
That being said my main strategy seems to be "spam area of effect spells" which isn't really much of an exciting strategy. I think they went too far in simplification too, because now you can't get armor for your allies, which is a real shame because I enjoyed going through all the hidden side quests in the last game to get my allies equipped with godly armor, now it feels like I won't get that option. It also feels a bit too easy. I'm playing on normal and despite a few minor setbacks I've hardly died at all. I actually beat a creature in this game (no spoilers) that took me forever to beat in the last game on my first try! It was ridiculous!
It's not a bad game, but I think they simplified it way too much from the complexities of the first one. If you liked the first one chances are you'll at least get a kick out of this. Maybe in Dragon Age 3 they'll learn from their mistakes and combine the strengths of DA:O and DA II and if they did that, I honestly believe it could be one of the greatest RPGs Bioware ever released.… Expand
Mar 15, 2011As fair as i can be... Almost a week ago this 35 year old man sat sipping an early morning coffee in egger anticipation of the postman visiting his door, because on this morning two great things where happening... 1. the day off work (not to mention the following three as well) 2. the much anticipated Dragon age 2 signature edition was arriving. I was planing on writing an in depth, insightful review but instead i am just going to list pro's and cons and a brief summery at the end. Pro's - Graphically its very good, the characters and landscapes are done with a very high level of detail i was only playing on medium settings and found some of scenery quite stunning at times. The spirit and mood of DAO is there, it pops its head up to say hellonow and then, not quite frequent enough for me to fall in love all over but often enough to keep my hopes up that it will blossom and flourish any minute now. the cast - i really liked the cast and supporting companions, i seem to be very loyal and stick with the first /tank/mage/healer that i come across in games and my fear was in this i would not take to the new characters as i would be missing the old ones to much but they grew on me instantly in most cases and for me the real reason i will revisit the game will be to tryout the characters that i did not use often in my first play through. combat - right this is tricky, im going to list comat in both the pro's and cons of the game because i do believe that improves have been made in some areas but bioware have dropped the ball in others, but as this is pro's lets stick with those first. First thing you notice is the visuals of certain abilities and spells, i played rogue in the original and in this one as well and the dynamic of this has been greatly improved, in DAO to perform backstab you had to position yourself behind your target and low and behold you could perform backstab, but targets dont often like to stand in the one spot so your character could end up chasing thenm around till they hold still long enough for you to perform backstab rendering it useless very often. In DA2 its a different story, at the click of a button you vanish, appear and perform backstab all in an instant making it a viable talent and much more pleasing on the eye . The other great thing about combat is the talent trees, there are at least six yes thats right six trees to choose from meaning you can play the same class over and over but have very different characters, experiences and results. Con's - Repetitiveness on maps, i wanted to play the whole game so i made sure i did all side quests before moving on the the main quest/storryline. I found myself repeatatly visiting the same cave/house/coastline to kill bandits/spiders/mercenaries (very similar to the bandits from where i standing) and after a while this felt like a chore rather than a joy, the quests themselves had very little imagination pretty much forgettable for the most part i can only compare it to my experience grinding in MMO's for money/XP. Something i have never before experienced with any bioware game before. combat - its easy, way to easy i was worried by my lack of a healer in the party and kept hoping to meet one down the line but i never did nor did i need to, i can only recall using 2 health potions outside of boss fights and this is with no healer in the party remember, this made fighting tedious, there was no feeling of danger at any time and the fights consist of hordes of mobs coming at you in waves but you feel like a man fighting toddlers, i personal felt like a bad ass for the first few fights but the novelty soon wore off and it became a bore, something in the way of me getting to where i wanted to go. Epicness - I keep comparing it to DAO which is slightly unfair but understandable as this is it's(supposed) successor but it just lacks the depth, variety and feeling of Epicness, overall the game still feels really good but when your riding on the coattails of Epic, really good just does not cut it.. Summery - Had this not been the follow up to Origins or a bioware game i think it would have been far better revived, i personally think Origins as close to a gaming masterpiece that you can get. and those are impossibly big shoes to fill but if anyone could i had faith bioware could. They did it with Baldurs gate, the squeal improving on the original in many ways yet keeping the same things that made everyone fall in love with the original, they did not pull that off this time. I just have the feeling bioware have gone from setting the standard to following the standard, taking the extraordinary and making it ordinary. Is this down to EA the timing of their involvement with bioware cant be dismissed as coincidence in my eyes, given biowares excellent back catalogue of games it strikes me as odd the would go from "sublime" to "quite good" all of a sudden on their own but maybe EA are an all to convenient scapegoat… Expand
Mar 18, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. [Previously rated an 8]
Personal experience is 50% of what makes a game fun, not all of the weight is on Bioware's shoulders. MMORPG games can be extremely well-crafted, but still not my game of choice. My personal experience does not represent their failure to produce a great game.
All that out of the way - I've had a lot of fun with this game; 60 hours in and most likely to break 100 hours next week. Most people gripe about the Black and White morality choices, though I haven't honestly found one that's simply put "Kill bad guy/Give bad guy weapons." The Yes/No decisions aren't as limiting as you'd think, if you are playing across multiple accounts at once, you will be able to see how differently certain quests accepted/declined affect the world around Hawke. In my opinion, the game is, in essence, simpler than DA:O. Bioware themselves have chuckled to this idea within their own game, passersby saying things like: "Have you noticed that everything is getting... Easier? Like everything from eating, to fighting is a lot Simpler?" [Talkative man, from Hanged-Man Pub.] The game certainly feels a lot more like Fable II, but that doesn't mean the entire game is just a joke and a clink of mugs, there are some moments you wish you could cut people down in, but simply cannot. Not all problems can be solved by mashing "r."
Which brings me to combat - it is simpler, without being "Dumbed-down." In this, a Soldier is just as well to have Cunning, Dexterity, Strength, Constitution, and even Magic, whereas in DA:O, Magic was pretty passable if you had a healer, though Potent Health Poultices pretty much made the whole 'Magic increases health regained from poultices" useless. And the 'Sneak' skill is brilliantly implemented, making the original look a little weaker in the Rogue department. People have stated that 'Even on Nightmare setting it's way too easy, with no need to pause/fiddle with Tactics.' Whereas even on Normal, fighting bosses/challenging encounters may require a pause here and there. Casual is basically for people too lazy to type "runscript killallhostiles" in console, as it makes using any abilities pretty useless, considering you're mainly attacking low-tier enemies most of the time - though it's intended to be that way. I've ended up fighting a Dragon boss 3 times total, once in Nightmare, twice in Hard, and eventually beat it. To most people, they'd focus on the fact that I had to fight a Dragon 3 times, when in truth, I *wanted* to fight the dragon thrice, on a hard difficulty. Plus, Difficulty can help 'immersion,' cranking it up whenever you fight the supposed "Nightmarish Darkspawn" actually being a challenge rather than an average horde.
I rarely thought I'd enjoy any other RPG as much as/more than DA:O, but my overall experience with DA2 certainly outdoes DA:O's (Which I have 370 hours and counting on). As an avid Dragon Age fan, DA2 isn't a disapointment, and does explore the unique world DA:O created much more in-depth than the first. In DA:O, your goal is to get aid from Mages, Dwarves, Dalish Elves, and perhaps the Arl of Redcliffe, in DA:2 your goal is to get a high enough standing to protect your family from the religious fear of your Sister's/Your magical gift, fearing the Templars will rush in some day soon...… Expand
Mar 15, 2011First things first: this is NOT a direct sequel to Dragon Age: Origins (DA:O). It's a sequel to Dragon Age, as in the World of Dragon Age (the term "Dragon Age" though, ultimately comes from the Chantry calendar: it is the present Age the world is in and succeeded to the Blessed Age thirty years before the events of DA:O). It is a sequel in time and geography only. You do not play the same character as in DA:O, but you come from the same region of the world, as a way to tie the two games closely and to better show the consequences of the Blight on the neighboring regions that have not been directly affected as was Ferelden. So you start the game playing Hawke, fleeing the blight that has overtaken your native city of Lothering, and you're trying to reach Kirkwall, a free city over the Waking Sea. Dragon Age 2 is the story of that guy (or gal), and that guy only, as he rises up to become the Champion of Kirkwall. In this game, there is only one origin.
That said, Dragon Age 2 is fricken awesome. Many say it was consolized. It was not, at least not any more than DA:O was already. At worst, you could say it was MMORPG'd. Instead of you waiting hours and hours for the game to roll dices to see if you hit your enemy or not, now you just hit him, most of the time. So combat feels faster, and using your abilities feels more rewarding. The new combo system also works much better than the failed spell interactions of DA:O. It forces you to actually use your party as a team, with rogues and warriors finishing off targets softened up by your mages and vice versa. Each class can put enemies in a special combo-able state that only the two other classes can take advantage of, resulting in more tactics and deeper skill tree planning. The skill trees were redone from scratch, allowing for a more organic development than the linear "trees" from DA:O. Specializations are still here, one at level 7 and one at level 14, giving your Hawke access to two more skill trees out of three, while your companions each have a unique personal skill tree in addition to their class', with one skill activated based on whether you become friends (or rivals) with them. Some feel the fact that you can't change your companions' armor is bad, but really it's much better this way. You can still change their weapons and trinkets (belt, rings, amulet) and you can upgrade their armor throughout the story, even up to allowing you to put (removable) runes in them. This way they keep their unique look and feel, befitting their stations and way of life.
The companions themselves are much better than in DA:O, too. The game taking place over a 10 year period in the same city, your character knows a lot of people. But only those that cross your path a lot and stay by your side all this time are your companions. And as in Mass Effect 2, companions can die. In the demo, you could see that one of your two younger siblings dies, based on which class your Hawke is. Depending on your choices, others can die too over the course of the game. Romances are also possible, of course, although not with your sibling (that would have been awesome, in a sense). From a Fereldian refugee becoming the city's captain of the guards, to a former prince of Starkhaven (another free city not far from Kirkwall), with a savvy dwarf in between, the list of companions is long and each one has their own story, in parallel to yours. Of course, as they are your companions, your paths will cross more than once, and your actions and decisions will influence their fates.
Some may be disappointed by the story, or by the ending. They may feel it is not epic enough, or whatever. But these are the kind of people that don't invest themselves emotionally in games. They don't care about the lore. They don't care about the World of Dragon Age. That's why they don't get that Dragon Age 2 is not DA:O 2. DA:O is the story of the Blight in Ferelden, the birthplace of Andraste, founder of the Chantry. Dragon Age 2 is the story of the Champion of Kirkwall, and it puts the Chantry against the Circle of Magi in a struggle for political control over the free city. And then there's the Qunari, who play their part in this struggle. This conflict begets unforeseen consequences, which are hinted at even in the opening scene of the game, where Varric (the savvy dwarf) is being questioned by the Seeker of the Chantry. But only at the end, after your Hawke decides the fate of Kirkwall, will you know how your actions over ten years in this city have changed the World of Dragon Age. Just as in DA:O you stopped the Blight from engulfing the whole continent of Thedas, this time too your actions have global consequences. So hang on to your Dragon Age 2 save, you may very well need it for Dragon Age 3.
The combat is faster, so 43 hours of playtime for ONE (out of at least three) complete playthrough on normal. And the bugs are nothing worse than what DA:O had at launch. People just have short memories.… Expand
Mar 15, 2011It distresses me that so many people are slamming this game without giving any real evidence other than general opinion. Yes, we know you "hate the story" or "think the dialogue is garbage", but your negative opinion on the game doesn't make it a bad game. Personally, I think Halo Reach is a boring, generic FPS in space. Does it deserve the glowing scores it got? Sure it does, because it delivers a quality experience to the fans of the previous entries in the series. If you're going to argue that a game is bad, please back it up with evidence that TRULY supports your claim. Now, I'll start by saying that this review may be a bit biased due solely to the fact that I absolutely love the dragon age universe. I think the lore behind the game is a well thought out enhancement of the "dragons and magic" paradigm. I won't spoil any specifics, but the plot of Dragon Age 2 is broken up into three parts. These individual parts are made up of an assortment of side quests and main quests that ultimately lead up to a finale. While I think each "section" is good in its own way, the ending of the game does fall a bit flat. You're left hanging on the majority of the plot points, and it's clear that Bioware is setting up for a sequel of sorts. Graphically, the game looks nice. It's nothing ground-breaking, but the facial animations are fairly well done, body movements are captured fairly well, and lip syncing is solid. Unfortunately, you'll be spending a LOT of time in the city of Kirkwall, and the basic textures of the walls and buildings do get a bit drag after the 10th time you've walked past them. Sound is done very well, and voice acting is not only well ranged, but delivered well across the board (with the exception of Aveline and male Hawke on some occasions). Now, I played Dragon Age 2 on the Xbox originally and pretty much hated it. I felt like I was playing dynasty warriors all over again and just MASHING the A button for hours on end. It didn't really bother me after a while (mostly because I'm a sucker for RPG storytelling) but it's something to be noted. I actually ended up buying it on the PC, which offers a much different experience. It could be said that the PC version is more like "watching a movie" than it is real-time combat (considering you basically issue commands and then watch how it plays out), but fans of strategy RPG games will enjoy the pause-and-play action. It allows you to plan out each fight and adapt to drastic changes on the fly. Finally, I want to address the companions and classes. For the most part, I was pleased with my selection of party members, but I did feel as though Bioware was forcing certain party members upon me. If you don't play as a warrior, you're almost forced to use Aveline as your tank, which is very frustrating if you don't like her as a character. If you don't pick a mage and then decide to heal, you are almost forced to use Anders. I would have liked to see a bigger selection of members to choose from. The classes are well balanced and each class will give you a different experience when you play them. Even the different skill trees within each class can offer a vastly different experience. Overall, I believe Dragon Age 2 to be a very solid strategy RPG on the PC, and an action RPG on the consoles. If you love RPG games that allow you to "craft your own story" and offer up an insane amount of content in the process, you'll love Dragon Age 2. If you can't get past the small graphical glitches, repeated zones, and restriction to the city of Kirkwall, then I can't recommend this game to you. One last thing, people need to stop instantly saying "This game sucks because Origins was better and this game is a step backward in every way!!!". The game is NOT a direct sequel to Dragon Age : Origins. Bioware obviously saw the success of Mass Effect and brought in elements from that game to make this game better. Whether it worked or not is a matter of opinion, but saying that DA2 is bad because it doesn't improve on Origins is a null argument.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011Per quanto concerne la mia esperienza di gioco, in un'ottica GDR, dopo diverse ore di gioco a questo nuovo titolo, devo dire che Ã¨ davvero poco appagante.
Non c'Ã¨ immersione: ci si limita a galleggiare in superficie, intuendo che poteva esser fatto molto di piÃ¹.
La grafica Ã¨ abbastanza curata, anche se preferivo i toni piÃ¹ maturi di DAO. Quello che non va proprio bene Ã¨ che ci saranno una cinquantina di location che vengono riproposte allo sfinimento, il che non aiuta certo ad immergersi in un gioco di ruolo, dove l'ambientazione dovrebbe essere resa minuziosamente a video.
La grafica dei menÃ¹ Ã¨ a dir poco oscena. Mi chiedo, con una grafica tanto scarna, come sia stato possibile rendere il sistema di menÃ¹ piÃ¹ confusionario rispetto al precedente DAO... mah: ci sono riusciti, proponendo, ad esempio, un sistema grafico di avanzamento nei talenti che richiede ogni volta di visualizzare un albero di skill, impedendo una visione globale ed un confronto veloce tra le varie abilitÃ .
Il sistema di dialoghi Ã¨ abominevole: in base a quale malato ragionamento non si puÃ² piÃ¹ cliccare sulla esatta frase che il nostro PG dovrebbe pronunciare, con senso chiaro, ma si deve interpretare una linea di scelta che spesso ci mette in bocca cose che non volevamo dire?
Lasciamo perdere il combat system, e la gestione dell'inventario, il sistema di crafting, la possibilitÃ di interagiore con gli altri personaggi in senso ampio, che di ruolo qui hanno mantenuto solo ed esclusivamente la dicitura.
Coerenza a video rispetto alle abilitÃ dei PG, a quelle che dovrebbero essere le loro effettive capacitÃ e limitazioni: inesistente.
Si salva qualcosa? Forse la storia sÃ¬, quella si salva, anche se Ã¨ raccontata in modo non piÃ¹ che discreto.
Ma parliamo di altri aspetti: COERENZA ed IMMEDESIMAZIONE..
Ogni mondo, quello reale, ma anche quelli immaginari, ha delle regole.
Regole sia fisiche imposte dalla natura, forza di gravitÃ etc, sia convenzionali imposte dalla societÃ , sistemi giuridici, etc., sia di altro tipo.
Queste regole sono fondamentali perchÃ© qualsiasi mondo possa funzionare.
Stessa cosa in un gioco fantasy, in cui i personaggi si muovono in un mondo di certo immaginario, ma comunque con delle regole.
Se, ad esempio, un mago passa tutto il suo tempo a studiare magie, di certo non avrÃ potuto studiare le tecniche di combattimento corpo a corpo... se volesse imparare queste tecniche dovrebbe sacrificare parte del suo tempo (leggi: punti abilitÃ ) e cosÃ¬ si creerebbe un personaggio ibrido mago/guerriero, che perÃ² non eccelle in nessuna delle due classi.
Stessa cosa per le caratteristiche fisiche del guerriero: un'arma a due mani implica colpi piÃ¹ lenti, ma piÃ¹ potenti.
Insomma le "regole dei mondi" fanno sÃ¬ che se tiri la coperta da una parte, la accorci dall'altra...
Semplice, tutto ciÃ² Ã¨ fondamentale per due cose importantissime: CREDIBILITA' e, quindi, IMMEDESIMAZIONE.
E l'immedesimazione Ã¨ tutto ciÃ² a cui punta un GDR.
Se faccio venir meno il realismo fregandome delle regole, tutto il mondo immaginario creato crolla, e non Ã¨ piÃ¹ credibile: e la mancanza di credibilitÃ fa venir meno l'immedesimazione.
Per questo la COERENZA Ã¨ tanto importante, in ogni sistema-mondo fantasy: perchÃ© rispettando il realismo (con riferimento alle regole del mondo immaginario creato) permette l'immedesimazione.
Se in un film di cawboy ambientato nel passato del nostro mondo ad un certo punto gli indiani si mettessero a volare come pipistrelli, lo spettatore verrebbe catapultato di forza fuori dalla storia e comincerebbe a ridere.
In un mondo fantasy, quindi, il realismo Ã¨ ancor piÃ¹ importante che nel mondo reale: per il semplice motivo che nel mondo reale il realismo c'Ã¨ per forza... e ci mancherebbe! Mentre in un mondo immaginario va creato e mantenuto con arte e sforzo e fatica: ma Ã¨ prprio da quel realismo che nasce la magia!
Ora, Dragon Age 2 non rispetta le regole del mondo in cui Ã¨ ambientato, e quindi non Ã¨ credibile, e quindi non Ã¨ coerente e quindi chiude le porte in faccia all'immedesimazione.
Cosa comporta ciÃ²? Che:
- se DA2 fosse un DGR, sarebbe davvero un pessimo GDR
- se DA2 fosse un gioco action, sarebbe un brutto gioco action se paragonato ad altri del genere (soprattutto dungeon siege...)
- se DA2 fosse un misto action-GDR, lo troverei tirato via e poco studiato.
Dopo aver giocato per diverse ore la versione definitiva di DA2, purtroppo, devo confermare le mie impressioni inziali.
Brutto gioco, fatto in fretta e male: basta guardare la ripetivitÃ delle location o la scarnissima grafica dei menÃ¹.
Coerenza zero, tatticitÃ zero, personaliazzione zero.
La storia si salva, ma non Ã¨ assolutamente ai livello di DAO.
Io ragiono nell'ottica GDR, che Ã¨ quello che mi aspettavo di trovare e che mi sarebbe piaciuto giocare.
Spero che alla Bio ritrovino presto il senno e sfornino un GDR che sia un GDR vero!… Expand
Mar 22, 2011Bottom Line: Wait for a serious price drop. My price of admission was $70 because they are selling DLC that should have been in the core came (Exiled Prince) and having almost one hundred percented the game I can tell you it's worth $30 on a good day. Quality is very uneven. Endless waves of magically appearing enemies made of nitroglycerine and jello are just stupid. Story is meh. Dialogue has it's moments. My advice: Try Fallout NV, Batman Arkham Asylum or Just Cause 2 until it's $19.99.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011When considering the value of a sequel to a game that usurped such a loyal and respective fan-base, as that of Dragon Age:Origins did, people's expectations as to what was attractive, what made it stand out amongst its crowd of predecessors at the time, are held firm at the hip. Now for myself, remaining a casual gamer, Dragon age origins was a surprising recall to everything I had forgotten I loved, enriching fantasy and an RPG with surprising depth that pulled at my most sensitive heart, and brain, strings.
For so many others, based on its positive feedback, origins seemed to have one of those, you know, time and place circumstances to its release. The market for this genetic breed of game had been at a seeming standstill, if I recall, and Bioware began a roll. However, in this day and age when success snowballs everyone wants a push to add to it, but that's irrelevant right now.
I knew Dragon Age 2 was in development last summer but my focus was redirected until about two months ago, before its official release, when I remembered I never beat Origins. Taking matters into my own hands, I revived the title and conquered the Archdemon. I was excited again, but nothing near over-excited. The story was gripping and I wanted to know where it was going.
Now on to Dragon age 2, sorry I felt I just needed some background established as I think there are multiple angles to approach this Bioware title.
The initial impression was satisfaction, which did continue a few hours in as well. To clarify, I played on the ps3 platform. Buttons were mashed, graphics were displayed, dialogue was chosen and incurring in me was upon the urge and feeling more was just around the corner. And I kept going. And kept going. What I stumbled upon was the dust-ravished cliffs of never-ending. It all pulled its own weight up until I identified just what was unsettling inside me. It simply lacked. It had no bow; no shiny decor of paper with polar bears shaking snow globes. Maybe a fancy name tag, but that was about. After saving one entry, I noticed the gameplay hours were at about 20 then. What did I remember about those 20 hours? practically nothing. I was trying to understand the Arishock, predicting the next turn of events, and knowing the Wounded Coast had way too many quests for me to want to go back to the same dungeon for the 10th time. I found nothing really jumped, no lines very memorable, albeit the voice acting was entertaining and well done, and felt little to no sense of reward after I did anything for anyone. At the end of the day, it was primarily how much cohesiveness it lacked. It felt consistently uni-lateral, I knew I was going from point A to B and my options were noticeably clear cut. Perhaps this is because of the constant pick and chose business, such as with the mages and templars; the overall theme left a dry taste in my mouth. For the hardcore fans, it is a bit unrealistic to expect the same novelty the first game created, a modicum of change will always exist somewhere. For the Crew of producers or whoever, the respect in audiences across platforms for Origins was for a reason, RPG fans wanted its immerse experience, not button press equals awesome.
At this point it may appear a negative review, however, this is not wholly my intention. It is still apart of the Dragon age franchise; it holds meaning (even if half of it will rely on buying all 10 dlc packs or whatever >_>) . The dialogue is not entirely nonsensical, I still thought about the answer and character relations were still a strong suite. One can suspend their ulterior schema for rpg when playing on console in this case, it can be enjoyable to randomly blow up enemies, but in context of seriousness...well.
In my own opinion, DA2 could have been more thoroughly developed, improving environments and progression but the fundamentals would be changed no matter what e.g the skill trees, inventory, combat, or what qualms have you. Being able to accept these qualities, it helps when in the casual gamer status, what only remains to be seen is if the true workers at Bioware will take the 'good' and the 'bad' from this series and release something great latter on.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011Not quite the masterpiece that was Dragon Age Origins, but very far from being a terrible game. If this had have been the first game I would have given it a 10/10. However it did not improve at all on the original and removed some of the best features of the game. Lack of overhead tactical view, atrocious camera controls and nonsensical enemy spawns were what drove the score down for me. Bioware has clearly abandoned their loyal PC fan base in favor of the younger console generation. Shame.… Expand
Apr 16, 2011Dragon Age 2 is not your standard "Hero against the world" or "Hero slays a dragon" story. This is a story about conflict, politics, oppression and personal drama. Unlike most games, it offers no "good" or "evil" way out. That alone is one of its strongest points. I'll list my personal pros and cons first:
+ Breaks out of the stale "Hero defeats an ancient evil" formula.
+ Companions are all well defined, plot heavy and not just people with ten dialogue options
+ The combat system is fast and furious, it feels involved and largely improved
+ No more "You gave me 5 gifts. I wuv you" = "Romance" nonsense. Romances take time, feel real and are part of the drama
+ Side quests and Companion Quests are woven into the main story
+ It no longer takes "approval" to get to know your companions. Friendship and rivalry offer different paths, you are no longer punished for disagreeing with your companions
+ Importing DAO saves add wonderful touches and REAL cameos, unlike the hack job called Awakening
+ Gorgeous graphics
+ I encountered only two quests I could not finish
+ No hours of sludging aimlessly through the Deep Roads or the Fade, killing everything in sight
- Re-used enviroments. While the enviroments they DID create are gorgeous in color and finely drawn, there are too few. Hopefully this will be fixed via a patch.
- Much as I like the companion interaction being spread out, I'd have liked to see more and I'd have liked to customize them fully. But worry not, the modders are already at work
This game is not was not meant to be a direct sequel to DAO. They tried going down that road with Awakening and we know that was a disaster. It is a bold, new way of picking up a conflict that was already hinted at in the original. Also, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The tragedies unfolding in this game cannot be blamed on an antagonist or an ancient evil but on, pardon the RPG pun, human nature. There were so many moments in this game when I was teary eyed or yelling "No, no, NO!" at my screen. I don't want to spoil anything however. Is it a perfect game? No. Was DAO a perfect game? Hell, no. DAO was horribly bugged, the last third of the game was badly written and rushed and never mind its formulaic nature and clichÃ© ending. I love both games though. DA2 represents change and many do not like change. I happen to love it. I cannot wait for the newest DLCs and expansion and DA3 can't come soon enough either. I know the haters will pounce down on my review. It'll be an honor though, because I don't care what they think.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011I played with demo only and i tried to read everything what i have found about DA2..now i am really really disapointed. DA:O was a dream me and i replayed and ended it some days ago..I really thank you Origins but understand fully the people why give you 0 point to DA2. I gave 6 point you because i know you havent made bad game. But i wont buy this game now because i would like to believe you never make bad game.… Expand
Mar 18, 2011Spawning enemies in front of your eyes, repetitive locations, boring quests, lots of the same demons from Dragon Age: Origins, no ability to change armor of your companions, money make no use in this game anymore, the ending of the game is quite the same and no matter what path you choose, imported saved games from DA:O make no significant role. Final word: this game is bad sequel.
Apr 12, 2011Despite 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.