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4.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4200 Ratings

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  1. Mar 30, 2011
    3
    I was very upset to see DA2 go this way, I must admit. After spending hundreds of hours playing and replaying DA:O, it fast became one of, if not my favourite game ever. It was so in depth, you feel in love with the world and with the characters, such an amazing storyline etc. Like any game, it had its flaws but they were minimal compared to its successes. DA2 is frankly, the biggestI was very upset to see DA2 go this way, I must admit. After spending hundreds of hours playing and replaying DA:O, it fast became one of, if not my favourite game ever. It was so in depth, you feel in love with the world and with the characters, such an amazing storyline etc. Like any game, it had its flaws but they were minimal compared to its successes. DA2 is frankly, the biggest letdown sequel I have ever played or seen. It has no character to it, the storyline is anything but engaging, the game itself is far too short and felt too me to be far shorter than its predecessor. The characters are bland and boring, with no particular personality or back story to them. Hawke him/herself is in my eyes a complete failure, aided by juvenile dialogue, no emotional depth and the typical generic broody hero trait ¬_¬
    The graphics are apalling. Games on my iPhone have better graphics. Games on my ps2 had similar graphics. Kirkwall is horribly unattractive and plain, as are the few other locations in the game, including all the locations that are EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE REST.
    The combat is I suppose interesting in its own way (I liked the actual time fighting rather than swinging your weapon once every 5 seconds) but also incredibly repetetive and easy. Even on the harder difficulties, I could wipe out a group of 10 enemies with only my mage (a feat that was impossible in DA:O)
    But on to the real aspect of an RPG, the story. Well, what of it? There is no story in DA2 as such. The whole game is just a series of monotonous 'go there, do that' tasks with little story in between. It didn't bring anything new to the table because we know the Qunari invaded Ferelden and are constantly trying to conquer the land, we know the mages hate the templars and vice versa. But then anything it does tell us, it doesn't tell us anything about. What the hell was up with Flemeth? With all the media and press that had come out before DA2's release, it seemed like she was going to be heavily involved. She barely had 5 minutes in the game, all of which explained and went towards nothing. It was like 'Oh, there's Flemeth, the monsterously powerful Witch of the Wilds. Ok, that's done with.' And what the hell was up with the whole thing witn Cassandra and the ending. Ok, we gather the world is apparently on the brink of war, BUT WHY? GIVE US SOME DETAILS!!!! And then the ending is left not even on a cliffhanger, it's like the designers just gave up halfway through making the game! Nothing is explained, in fact, everything just becomes 10 times more confusing, and not in a good makes you want to know more confusing way, just in a well that **** sucks confusing way.
    DA2 is an insult to DAs legacy, a less that mediocre game that was evidently rushed beyond belief due to corporate greed. It has no fire or soul to it and has not even one aspect to compare it to DA:O. I can see why the original producer left, I'd die of shame if that empty souless piece of crap was associated with me in any way.
    For those of you considering buying it, here's a tip. Don't. Especially if you're a fan of the series. You will be heartbroken. There are plenty of great games out at the moment; Crysys 2, Rift, The Sims Medieval etc.
    I have two words for you Bioware: EPIC FAIL.
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  2. Mar 30, 2011
    8
    As a major fan of the previous game, I had Dragon Age:II preordered since September. Having now played through the game twice, I feel i can fairly review it. There's a definite lack of freedom and choice, which origins offered to players in abundance, and the lazy re-use of locations is a critical error by Bioware, it pulls down what is in all honesty a very decent game. The battleAs a major fan of the previous game, I had Dragon Age:II preordered since September. Having now played through the game twice, I feel i can fairly review it. There's a definite lack of freedom and choice, which origins offered to players in abundance, and the lazy re-use of locations is a critical error by Bioware, it pulls down what is in all honesty a very decent game. The battle system has been upgraded and it much more efficient and enjoyable and the action is much smoother but at the cost of the lore of the game's predecessor
    The characters and dialog system, i thought, were better than the previous game, though the structured methods of character interaction was tedious. It felt harder to play the game 'your way', something Bioware normally prides itself on. The graphics were a lot smoother and generally prettier than Origins, but again the re-use of locations rather marred this. I found the game to be engaging with an interesting plot, but I didn't feel I could have such radically different play-throughs as I did on my re-plays on Origins. Personally I really enjoyed the game and it's characters, especially Fenris, and found their personalities to be deeper, if a bit more 'emo' than Origins. There is definite replay value, and Bioware should be proud of the game. It's just a shame they didn't spend a little longer designing levels and less time offering bonus DLC items on their website.
    8/10
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  3. Mar 30, 2011
    1
    Horrible! I hated it the instant I started playing it. It felt like an everlasting pain playing it, and I gave up halfway and deleted it from my hd. Not worth the time or the money.
  4. Mar 30, 2011
    5
    I just have one question for Bioware but I don't expect it will ever be truly answered: exactly how many Bioware employees remain from the team that made KOTOR....never mind some of the older games such as Baldur's Gate? Seriously guys, before hiring a new employee to become a part of Bioware you should test them on knowledge of your older games to insure that they've actually played them.I just have one question for Bioware but I don't expect it will ever be truly answered: exactly how many Bioware employees remain from the team that made KOTOR....never mind some of the older games such as Baldur's Gate? Seriously guys, before hiring a new employee to become a part of Bioware you should test them on knowledge of your older games to insure that they've actually played them. I suppose that even if most of the team is still intact (which I highly doubt) EA has worked their magic to kill yet another great development team..

    That's all I have really, the other "reviews" here go into details about why the game itself is a low point for Bioware. And just so you don't think I'm some bitter old school RPG'er...I loved KOTOR 1&2, Mass Effect 1&2, Jade Empire and DAO.
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  5. Mar 30, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While I would like to create a long, fully elaborated review on the game to explain the core features and everything in depth, I honestly cannot, as the game is without much merit whatsoever. The combat took Expand
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    8
    No, I'm not clinically insane, or a hack-and-slash fan. I actually do like the game enough that its flaws are overcome by the enjoyment, in my opinion.

    Combat, to my eyes, is improved -- I don't feel constrained to take more than one warrior to any one place anymore, as opposed to the last game where my tank (Alistair, or Sten) had to come by every single mission. The story, too, is
    No, I'm not clinically insane, or a hack-and-slash fan. I actually do like the game enough that its flaws are overcome by the enjoyment, in my opinion.

    Combat, to my eyes, is improved -- I don't feel constrained to take more than one warrior to any one place anymore, as opposed to the last game where my tank (Alistair, or Sten) had to come by every single mission. The story, too, is more immersive by my standards.

    If it weren't for fit and finish issues, like the recycled maps and the more cartoonish face morphs, I'd say this was clearly the better game. They're enough of an issue to cause me to take two whole points off, I'll admit, but they didn't kill the game for me.
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  7. noa
    Mar 29, 2011
    4
    I liked the original Dragon Age, and most other Bioware titles. This game, however, was a huge disappointment. As a prospective buyer, you may wonder about the disconnect between user reviews and professional review scores. I would put it like this: Dragon Age II is like the student who goes to class, memorizes all he needs to know, and does well on the exams, but never actuallyI liked the original Dragon Age, and most other Bioware titles. This game, however, was a huge disappointment. As a prospective buyer, you may wonder about the disconnect between user reviews and professional review scores. I would put it like this: Dragon Age II is like the student who goes to class, memorizes all he needs to know, and does well on the exams, but never actually understands the material. In the same way, DA2 has a story, but it fails to come together, and at the end you're left wondering "That's it? Did I miss something?" DA2 has locations, but as early as the first Act, you will have seen every single one of them, and hopefully you liked them the first time around, because you'll see them again, and again, and again. DA2 has sleek skill trees allowing you to customize your character, but the gameplay has been so dumbed down (even on harder difficulties) that there's just no incentive to try things out, or if there is challenge, it is of the frustrating, repeat the same thing over and over kind (boss fights where the boss has ridiculous amounts of hitpoints come to mind). I could go on, but most of my complaints have been voiced already: this game is not worth your money. Expand
  8. Mar 29, 2011
    8
    After having played nearly the entire way through the 1st chapiter (about 12 hrs so far), I am very much enjoying this game. The story is very good (more "the little guy's" quest than DA:O) and the voice acting and dialogue absolutely superb. I'd say the main detractions are the interface and item use is dumbed down, there's a good deal of repetition of areas and what I would describe aAfter having played nearly the entire way through the 1st chapiter (about 12 hrs so far), I am very much enjoying this game. The story is very good (more "the little guy's" quest than DA:O) and the voice acting and dialogue absolutely superb. I'd say the main detractions are the interface and item use is dumbed down, there's a good deal of repetition of areas and what I would describe a empty graphical interfaces (obvious laziness/rush-job here). Overall however, the graphics and animations are much improved over DA:O, especially with the high-res texture pack. Contrary to most posters, I didn't feel penned in being limited to a single city and its periphery: there was enough detail and variation in each space to keep me interested and sticking to some of the same areas gave them a sense of intimacy that the sprawling world of DA:O did not have. Expand
  9. Mar 29, 2011
    10
    A mature, queer and thoughtful fantasy that finally feels like it's set in the pretty original world of Thedas, not The Forgotten Middle Azeroth blandathon we all know and hate from the last ten years of CRPG. The powerful Chantry-centric story grows organically trough 15-minute long "sidequests" (though most of them link back to the main arc eventually) mixed with act-long serial storiesA mature, queer and thoughtful fantasy that finally feels like it's set in the pretty original world of Thedas, not The Forgotten Middle Azeroth blandathon we all know and hate from the last ten years of CRPG. The powerful Chantry-centric story grows organically trough 15-minute long "sidequests" (though most of them link back to the main arc eventually) mixed with act-long serial stories as well as in the opinions and actions of your followers. Nowhere is the one-dimensional "epic journey to save the world" - **** we are forced to wade through all too often, including in Origins. Instead the city of Kirkwall is locked in an all-too recognizable political conflict between fanatic ideologies, all with their respective merit. These factions are everywhere, even in the bedchamber as your lovers take a political stand that you may have a hard time accepting. And talking about the love - BioWare has finally discovered that the first patch made to their games is usually the gender-neutral and polyamorous tweeks, so this time it's all queer all the time! While many old-schoolers may find the Hawke-persona restrictive, the character-driven setup is really no different from The Witcher, Mass Effect or any adventure game you have ever played. "Roleplaying" opportunities within the part and the story are ample and the massive hypertext novel that is DA2 is of staggering complexity, with choices from act one haunting you in act 3. The haters who find the "diplomatic, sarcastic, hateful" response-cycle restrictive have missed this: to roleplay a believable character (for instance a mage-hater) you have to constantly switch Hawke's attitude - spamming one option constantly (Paragon vs Renegade choice - I'm looking at you!) gives you a spineless git, a psychotic joker, and a very angry fellow. Think about the context of the choices and the game rewards you by reaffirming your imagined personality in a way that is sometimes downright uncanny. If you loved Mass Effect 2's focus on character arcs and minimalist rpg mechanics this is pretty much the fantasy version. If you love spending hours on optimizing builds and inventory for hour-long dungeon slogs this is not your game. But yes: if you enjoy tactics at all - playing on hard is mandatory. And finally: this is not BioWare's Great Betrayal - that came years ago when they scrapped the multiplayer for Origins, changing them from a Roleplaying Game company to a Storytelling Game company. I have never before (or after I might add) boycotted a developer. I finally got over it and played Mass Effect and yeah, even if the abandonment of the NWN-community can never be forgiven, they are decent storytellers as far as computer games go.

    Some other gripes and why they are bull****: Only one map/city - More focused. Saying it should travel more is like saying The Wire should leave Baltimore more often.

    Dumbed down - Slick. I laughed with joy at the "junk" category of the inventory. And the cross-class combo system makes battles more tactical than in Origins, not less. No RTS-style camera - Wow, I can actually see characters in action and not little moving ants that symbolize my optimized stats-packs. More immersive and better realism.

    No direct sequel - Thank the lord. Newsflash: Dragon Age: Origins wad NOT original or brilliant, it was a standard if well-executed fantasy cliché-fest with buckets of blood and some Game of Thrones thefts. And a predictably impressive hyper-text-relationship-novel on top of the ho-hum dungeoncrawling. So all you reactive, inventory-loving, chauvinist, conservative, narrow-minded crpg-freaks out there; unchain your mind, set diff to Hard and behold the quietly subversive escapist glory that is Dragon Age 2!
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  10. Mar 29, 2011
    7
    Not as bad as other people would have you think (battle system was good, some allies were endearing), but definitely not as good as the previous entry. The plot felt a bit rushed, the characters'dialogues were less polished and it didn't leave a lasting impression on me.
  11. Mar 29, 2011
    8
    Dragon Age II is a very good game, but it is not a great game. It suffers from a distinct lack of polish, poorly recycled areas, several bugs and a distinct lack of pacing during the late-game. Despite this, I found the game to be engaging, intriguing and fun to play, with well developed characters, and interesting and atypical storyline and fun, tactical combat.

    The last of these seems
    Dragon Age II is a very good game, but it is not a great game. It suffers from a distinct lack of polish, poorly recycled areas, several bugs and a distinct lack of pacing during the late-game. Despite this, I found the game to be engaging, intriguing and fun to play, with well developed characters, and interesting and atypical storyline and fun, tactical combat.

    The last of these seems to be an issue with a lot of people, and I feel I should make something clear: the difficulty setting essentially completely changes the way the game has to be played. Casual and Normal play more like an action game, with little thought or tactics required on anything but the toughest of battles. Hard and (particularly) Nightmare by contrast play more tactically with precise tactics and micro-management of your team required to excel or even succeed. Nightmare, for example, introduces enemy immunities and friendly fire, which greatly change how the game needs to be played. Playing on Nightmare, I found the combat and gameplay systems far more engaging and fun, and a vast improvement on Dragon Age: Origins. My recommendations to the player is to experiment with the difficulty until they find one that matches the game they wish to play.

    That aside, the combat has several flaws. Foremost of these is the way enemies are pigeonholed into certain "types": Enemy Rogues, Templar Hunters and Rage Demons, for example, fall under a common "Assassin" category that shares behavioural traits. Short of differing elemental immunities (only on Nightmare difficulty), a carefully-thought-out tactic for dealing with assassins will work on *all* of these enemies with almost no variance. This mechanic makes combat for less strategic that it could have been. Other features, such as the more stylised animations, the 'wave' system of enemy encounters, cross-class-combo system and others are more a matter of personal preference: I enjoyed them all, and with some tweaks in future titles I feel they form the basis of an excellent combat system.

    The plot has been similarly dividing. Unlike Dragon Age: Origins, this is not a story about saving the world or defeating an ancient evil. Players looking for that story should look elsewhere. DA2's story is a lot more personal and narrow in scope, focusing on the main character and her or his family and companions as they deal with the evolving religious, social and political situations in Kirkwall, where the majority of the game is set, over a period of 7 years. Overall, I found it more engaging than that of Origins. However, it does suffer distinct pacing problems in the final Act, and ones enjoyment of the story will depend entirely on how one relates to the various companions and situations arising. Again, this an area where opinions will differ.

    A note should be made about the main character, since this is one area I found the game excelled. The player assumes the role of Hawke, a human refugee. Hawke can be male or female, a warrior, rogue or mage, and is completely voice-acted (by either Nicholas Boulton or Jo Wyatt depending on gender). Further, throughout the game the player has the option to pick from distinct 'personality' choices in dialogue. These fall broadly into 'helpful/diplomatic', 'sarcastic/humourous/charming' and 'aggressive/direct/rude'. The more the player picks one of these option, the more it cements Hawke's personality, meaning that when Hawke responds without player direction, he or she often reacts in the manner of the player-directed persona. Unlike the Paragon/Renegade selection in Bioware's other RPG, Mass Effect, the player is not penalised for switching from one personality to another, allowing more fluid role-playing. The reason I bring this up is because, for me (and opinions will vary), Hawke managed to walk the fine line between a player-customised character and a character in their own right. Hawke managed to be both *my* character and *a* character. In my experience, this is incredibly difficult to pull off and I feel Bioware should be commended for the accomplishment. For references' sake, I played an aggressively direct, sometimes sarcastic and rarely diplomatic female Mage. To summarise, Dragon Age 2 is a solid RPG with some interesting gameplay and roleplay systems, an engaging story and characters and fun combat. However, it suffers from lack of polish, recycled dungeons and somewhat underdeveloped tactical elements. The game probably needed another 6 months to a year in development to be the game it could have been. Overall, the Original may be the better game, but DA2 makes certain key improvements. It is not a great game, but it is far from a bad game. It is, indeed, a very, very good game, and well worth playing.
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  12. Mar 29, 2011
    4
    There is a lot about this game that I love. It has excellent characters and an addictive, refined battle system... It's just a shame that the ridiculous amount of recycled content really kills it for me. There aren't even that many explorable areas in the game, and those that are there are all narrow corridors that are re-used over and over for the entire game. Also, the storylineThere is a lot about this game that I love. It has excellent characters and an addictive, refined battle system... It's just a shame that the ridiculous amount of recycled content really kills it for me. There aren't even that many explorable areas in the game, and those that are there are all narrow corridors that are re-used over and over for the entire game. Also, the storyline apparently spans nearly a decade, except the only way you would know that are the cut-scenes at the end of each act (of which there are three) telling you a number of years have passed... except, NOTHING, literally NOTHING changes over the years. At the beginning of Act 3 your party starts off standing in the exact spot where you finished Act 2 as if no time had passed at all. Laughable. This game could have been a classic had only more time been put into development. As it is, it's only recommendable if you think you can overlook these huge flaws and enjoy the strong combat and fairly interesting cast. Expand
  13. Mar 29, 2011
    2
    i would not count this as a sequel but rather a standalone game. the combat system that was good in the origins was turned to garbage no doubt due to ea's habbit of killing any game they touch. the story could have been better as well as the choice of the diffrent races not been removed. removeing the other races is one of the things that made origins great. unfortunatly the "professionali would not count this as a sequel but rather a standalone game. the combat system that was good in the origins was turned to garbage no doubt due to ea's habbit of killing any game they touch. the story could have been better as well as the choice of the diffrent races not been removed. removeing the other races is one of the things that made origins great. unfortunatly the "professional critics" seem to be a bunch of worthless suckups.. what are you going to do. anyway ea screwed up on this one im one of the people that loved the first one and i was severly disapointed in this. the replayability of this game is zero Expand
  14. Mar 29, 2011
    9
    At first I was like... OMG what a trash game. Crappy combat system. Stupid camera etc etc etc. Just like most of the reviews here are. But I've forced myself to continue playing and after I while i realized that the game is not bad at all. You have the same funny character which made Origins what it was. You have the similar quests. A considerable amount of choices which affect manyAt first I was like... OMG what a trash game. Crappy combat system. Stupid camera etc etc etc. Just like most of the reviews here are. But I've forced myself to continue playing and after I while i realized that the game is not bad at all. You have the same funny character which made Origins what it was. You have the similar quests. A considerable amount of choices which affect many aspects of the game. Even the order of doing quest sometimes results in different dialogue options. The ability to import saves from the Origins and the minor effects (different quests and choices) somehow make you feel that there were a effort put in that game. I have found the game quite challenging at Nightmare difficulty if you think that the combat is like on a film just try that. The only think BIoware must do now is fix the camera, and make the dropping out of nowhere enemies disappear, put some more effort into the level design (after a while it get stupid to fight in the same cave/warehouse for 10 time) and the game will be as good as the original. Lets hope they will be able to do that with one good Ultimate edition and an expansion. Expand
  15. Mar 28, 2011
    5
    Quite a disappointment. Stagnant environments are but a tiny issue. While the combat has a decent flow to it, the exploding bodies cheapen the feel of combat after a time. Skill trees and leveling are well done and I didn't mind the unchangeable companion armor as much as I thought I would. The millions of generic rings and self labeled "junk" drops wear on the nerves.Quite a disappointment. Stagnant environments are but a tiny issue. While the combat has a decent flow to it, the exploding bodies cheapen the feel of combat after a time. Skill trees and leveling are well done and I didn't mind the unchangeable companion armor as much as I thought I would. The millions of generic rings and self labeled "junk" drops wear on the nerves. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As far as story goes, Acts 1 and 2 were good enough and pretty enjoyable. When it came to Act 3 (the final), however, the fact that the player's choice is an illusion is made all too clear as one is railroaded down an unchanging series of events. This wouldn't be too bad save for the fact that it almost seems that Act 3 is unfinished, and that the two 'endings' are actually just one ending, stretched to fit two different alignment choices at the end. Because of this, one ending seems blatantly preferable to the other as it's the only one that makes sense. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PROS
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    * Combat (Characters felt powerful)
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    * Voice Acting (Though voiced protagonist likely limited the storyline)
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    * Act 1, Act 2 are fun enough, if not fleshed out enough to shine
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    * Companions interact with each other in cut scenes and through banter
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    * The story telling method: a reflective narrative that adapts to the player's decisions (however minor they are)
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    /////CONS/////
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    * Character felt less like a 'champion' and more like a footnote in history
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    * Act 3 and its terribly assembled plot/ No satisfying ending
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    * Recycled environments (you will memorize loot spots, etc.)
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    * The game actually feels rushed, spotty, and hollow at points - I don't think anyone would say that this game would not have benefited from more development time. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Ridiculous Boss HP - makes some fights more grind than challenge
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    * Economy and crafting are limited and limiting
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    * No background humor, the world and lore are lacking personality (Just copy/pasted from Origins where it isn't bland)
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    * Quests are extremely repetitive
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    * Loot is overly simplistic and "Junk" is a terrible, terrible concept
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    Overall, this game isn't the worst thing in the world, but it falls short in many places. I hope the inevitable sequel can benefit by avoiding the mistakes of Dragon Age II.
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  16. Mar 28, 2011
    10
    For those of you that liked DA:O's loosely turn-based strategy RPG, you're looking in the wrong place. DA2 is all about real-time strategy, with instantaneous execution and a heavier emphasis on the action aspect of the ARPG genre.{||||}

    Despite that, having played through DA:O - Ultimate and DA2, both have their own charms: DA:O feels more old school, with more of a Baldur's Gate feel to
    For those of you that liked DA:O's loosely turn-based strategy RPG, you're looking in the wrong place. DA2 is all about real-time strategy, with instantaneous execution and a heavier emphasis on the action aspect of the ARPG genre.{||||}

    Despite that, having played through DA:O - Ultimate and DA2, both have their own charms: DA:O feels more old school, with more of a Baldur's Gate feel to it, whereas DA2 feels much more like an action RPG with the elimination of the "turn"-based combat. In addition, DA2 concentrates on a much smaller area over a longer period of time, which, along with the frame story element, allowed for a much richer development of the player character's story. {||||}

    Pros: {||||}
    Simplified Interface - I no longer have to hover over my skills to tell whether they're activated skills or sustained. A quick glance tells me everything I need to know. In addition, the XP bar extends across the entire screen, and the skill bar is even less intrusive than before, with clean skill symbols and and semi-transparent background. {||||}

    Real-time combat - One of the small complaints I've had with BioWare in their other games is the turn-based feel of combat. In short, it just didn't feel like actual combat being executed in real time. Now, with DA2, they've made it so attacks are quick and skills are executed nearly instantaneously after I queue up the order. {||||}

    POV/Storytelling mechanic - While I've never been a big fan of the frame story mechanic, BioWare was able to pull this one off quite well. I didn't think it was possible, but props to BioWare for making it work. {||||}

    VO/ME dialogue wheel - Seriously, this was exactly what DA:O needed. Well, maybe not the dialog wheel, but it definitely needed something *like* it that would convey the general tone of upcoming dialog as well as making clear whether you were advancing dialog or clarifying things. I'm ambivalent on the dialog icons, though. {||||}

    Cons: Removal of trap-disarming/spotting - Perhaps the most egregious change of all, trap spotting and disarming have been removed in favor of a 4 tier complexity system based on the cunning stat. In other words, if you want a rogue to spot and disarm traps, say goodbye to damage. {||||}

    Heavy-handed defining of character classes - No matter what class you play, BioWare seems to think only two of the six stats should define your class. If you're a warrior, you're looking at strength and constitution; rogue, dexterity and cunning; and mage, magic and willpower. No offense, but it was rather tiresome to be a warrior and be unable to keep threat simply because I kept on running out of stamina since I had to pump attribute points into constitution to wear certain armors rather than willpower. {||||}

    Companion armor - Seriously, who thought of this? I'm pretty sure BioWare just wanted to make sure your companions always looked the same, but I would much rather give them armors that, you know, actually protected them rather than looked nice, yes? {||||}

    Overall, I'd still play DA2 over DA:O, but it will take some time for BioWare to work out those kinks (if they ever do).
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  17. Mar 28, 2011
    6
    This game isn't horrible. It's simply a mediocre game which was hyped to be the ultimate RPG ever. Unfortunately, it hasn't lived up to the hype. This doesn't mean that there is no enjoyable content - just that there isn't enough to warrant the over-the-top reviews. The first 20 hours of gameplay are both extremely cliche and repetitive and lack any sort of immersion - you do the sameThis game isn't horrible. It's simply a mediocre game which was hyped to be the ultimate RPG ever. Unfortunately, it hasn't lived up to the hype. This doesn't mean that there is no enjoyable content - just that there isn't enough to warrant the over-the-top reviews. The first 20 hours of gameplay are both extremely cliche and repetitive and lack any sort of immersion - you do the same generic "go over and kill something" quests and almost nothing is influenced by your character background or prior decisions. On the other hand, the game suddenly thrusts even the most minor decisions unto the player in the ending, which seems extremely inconsistent. There are also some design decisions that really outline the fact that the game was rushed to meet deadlines - first of all, free area exploration, something that was the staple element of every BioWare RPG from Baldur's Gate through Jade's Empire and KoTOR up to DA:O, is missing. No longer you can wander through the city at night and talk to strangers - no, right now anyone in the city brothel will talk to you only if you have a valid quest there. Add to this the generic locations which differ only in decorations and in blocked passages (which are blocked in-game but not on the location map - which gives a truly pathetic impression in a game with a budget as big as DA2 had) and you get an impression that somebody's trying to sell you an average product as a huge hit. Sequels for much less marketed titles, namely Divinity II and Two Worlds II, have done much better in terms of fulfilling expectations and improving upon the original, whereas here one can't shake the overwhelming impression that the only factor driving the favorable reviews is BioWare's reputation. The discrepancy between official reviews and user reviews, especially on such a huge sample size (over 2000 user reviews at the time of this writing) has to be telling, too. To summarize - if you have money to buy any title on the market and you are a fan of cPRGs, DA2 will suffice as entertainment - if you manage to plod through the first 20 hours or so. If you have a limited amount, DA2 would probably be my fourth choice this year - behind Two Words II, Divinity II and the upcoming Witcher II. Not horrible - just not good enough. Expand
  18. Mar 28, 2011
    0
    Giving this a 4 (should be a 6) to counteract all the lies and "user" reviews written by people associated with the company and the outright lies fed to us by the game review industry (they're obviously getting something for giving the game such inflated scores). Hard to suspend disbelief in regards to the story line, tedious gameplay, lazy environment creation, linear gameplay, nearlyGiving this a 4 (should be a 6) to counteract all the lies and "user" reviews written by people associated with the company and the outright lies fed to us by the game review industry (they're obviously getting something for giving the game such inflated scores). Hard to suspend disbelief in regards to the story line, tedious gameplay, lazy environment creation, linear gameplay, nearly every quest havingg nothing to do with the story and the inability to make the player care about the characters is enough to stay away. If we support this type of mediocre game creation that is all we are going to get. Expand
  19. Mar 28, 2011
    2
    Obviously rushed game. Insults your intelligence at every step. Map recycling, characters saying wrong things, can't use half items, bad graphics, dumbed down gameplay... Did I said map recycling? Oh yes. This is one of the smallest games I've ever played if you consider map size. All negative reviews are true, this is one of the worst games ever.
  20. Mar 28, 2011
    2
    I've been prompted to create this account specifically to create a review for this game, only because of how terribly, terribly wrong all the 'official' reviews seem to have got it. I still cannot believe this slipshod piece of garbage is a Bioware game. I don't know where to begin listing it's faults. The combat is probably a good place to start as it is in my opinion the most obviouslyI've been prompted to create this account specifically to create a review for this game, only because of how terribly, terribly wrong all the 'official' reviews seem to have got it. I still cannot believe this slipshod piece of garbage is a Bioware game. I don't know where to begin listing it's faults. The combat is probably a good place to start as it is in my opinion the most obviously abysmal aspect of the entire game. Enemies spawning out of nowhere in waves? Final Fantasy style attack animations? People exploding into fountains of gore when you hit them? This just looks every bit the action adventure, button masher that it is, putting Dragon Age on the box was an insult to the majesty of Origins. Friendly fire now only functions on nightmare, which is has been rendered un-fun and generally terrible by the previously mentioned enemy wave spawning, so basically, lose each fight once so you'll know what's coming and what to save your abilities for next time. Everything about the inventory has been simplified and dumbed down, you can't even equip your party members fully now, there is only one kind of healing/mana potion and injury, everything is just less and worse than the original.

    Locations, particularly dungeons are used over and over and over again, hardly any of the mainstream reviews mention this though it is an OBVIOUS and MASSIVE flaw with the game, adding immensely to the general feeling of shoddiness about the game. It was obviously rushed, not surprising given the barely 18 month development cycle. Also, some of the quests are just SO unbelievably dull and meaningless, I cannot imagine what was going through the heads of the developers as they created them. Find a random book in a chest, give it to a random person in Kirkwall who until now has been mere scenery, get some xp and gold and one line of dialogue, what purpose could that possibly have solved?

    The dialogue I would say is a mixed bag, though more bad than good. Firstly, for a change I actually used all of the different options, instead of just sticking with the good/funny/evil thing the entire way through the game, so that was good. However, a lot of control over what your character says is gone, almost all interactions boil down to the 3 options i listed above and it usually has no real effect upon anything, also, your character now frequently speaks with no input from you, something which never happened in Origins, and really makes you feel more like a spectator than a player. When combined with the generally uninteresting story (you'll be constantly asking yourself 'why am i doing this again?' throughout the game) with no central objective or goal and no personal investment, this makes a lot of the dialogue a sad chore to be suffered through.

    I didn't play the demo or read any reviews before buying this game, when I saw it in the shops I took one look at the title and happily parted with my 35 pounds while fondly remembering the original. This is one of the worst disappointments I have ever suffered as a gamer. A terrible, TERRIBLE game.
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  21. Mar 28, 2011
    0
    This is not even a game. I do not like bioware along with the other low scoring reviewers so I as well am giving them an incredibly low user score to make this game look bad for bioware.
  22. Mar 28, 2011
    3
    This is actually the first time after completing a game that i felt compelled to register at this website just to state my opinion about this game and warn people who are thinking of buying this game not to make the same mistake as I did. In my opinion, the only thing that's close to being decent in DA 2 compared to DA:O is the combat system (for the Xbox 360 anyway). Any professionalThis is actually the first time after completing a game that i felt compelled to register at this website just to state my opinion about this game and warn people who are thinking of buying this game not to make the same mistake as I did. In my opinion, the only thing that's close to being decent in DA 2 compared to DA:O is the combat system (for the Xbox 360 anyway). Any professional reviewers who gave this game more than a 3 should be ashamed of themselves. The entire game consists of repeating areas and a weak storyline not to mention the horrible graphics. The whole time I was playing this game I just felt like I was on a one-way track to the end. At least in the first Dragon Age there was a sense of adventure where you were travelling from town to town meeting new people etc. I think I spent roughly 80% of my playtime in DA 2 in one stinking city... and even when I got a new sidequest it just involved visiting an area I ran through 10 mins earlier. I must say I am very disappointed with Bioware for releasing the game as it is now and I'm even more disappointed with the so-called critics who actually give the game more than 3. Expand
  23. Mar 28, 2011
    7
    The game is good. At first I was surprised there are so many negative reviews, but after reading through some, I realized that they were not about a game. This talk is about feelings, which were apparently hurt, as the ritual accusation of "dumbing down' a game surface again. Some people obviously fell in love with DAO and feel "cheated" now when the sequel proved to be a differentThe game is good. At first I was surprised there are so many negative reviews, but after reading through some, I realized that they were not about a game. This talk is about feelings, which were apparently hurt, as the ritual accusation of "dumbing down' a game surface again. Some people obviously fell in love with DAO and feel "cheated" now when the sequel proved to be a different game. Well, BG2 is very different from BG1 as well, but it was better (more dialogs, better graphics, less B/W approach to quests). Same goes for FO2.
    Same thing with DA2 - it's different from the original... So what? it's still better! The battles are not as boring, voice acting is good, NPCs are interesting, and there's plenty room for strategy and tactics (well, let's be honest, DA:O was not exactly ummm Total War kind of game, so what can you expect from a sequel...) I played both games on hard difficulty and I can't say DA2 is any less challenging - only it's more pleasant to look at which is apparently a CRIME in the eyes of some people. Oh and you can actually see to the end of a battle without looking at the watch a dozen times now. For those of us with jobs â
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  24. Mar 28, 2011
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is much worse than the first part, talents are bad, story is too short and quests are so simple so i didnt have to think to finish them, the game was made for stupid people who dont want do anything just watch the grafics. Expand
  25. Mar 28, 2011
    2
    So very sad... a great PC game (DA:O) that had the potential to become epic is dumbed down to the button-mashing show-me-the-next-cut-scene console-centric cliché that is DA2. It isn't just that DA2 is a horrible game - but every single aspect of it is worse than DA:O and suffers horribly by comparison. And BTW something is obviously very, very wrong with the "critics" whenSo very sad... a great PC game (DA:O) that had the potential to become epic is dumbed down to the button-mashing show-me-the-next-cut-scene console-centric cliché that is DA2. It isn't just that DA2 is a horrible game - but every single aspect of it is worse than DA:O and suffers horribly by comparison. And BTW something is obviously very, very wrong with the "critics" when there is this much of a gap between them and the user rating. If you must buy the game, at least get a console version so that you can pretend there is some justification for the frontal lobotomy Bioware & EA gave it. Expand
  26. Mar 27, 2011
    9
    Most Origins players will say that Dragon Age 2 does not live up to the original. However I was not a big fan of Origins, it felt like a chore to play. Dragon Age 2 actually feels fun to me, it's more streamlined and easier to play. It's not as frustrating as Origins was and it gives more focus on the story. The fact that you can only upgrade your companions' armour does kind of suck butMost Origins players will say that Dragon Age 2 does not live up to the original. However I was not a big fan of Origins, it felt like a chore to play. Dragon Age 2 actually feels fun to me, it's more streamlined and easier to play. It's not as frustrating as Origins was and it gives more focus on the story. The fact that you can only upgrade your companions' armour does kind of suck but at the same time it is less to worry about and makes the game overall less stressful. The game is very combat heavy and it can get tiresome fighting limitless amounts of enemies over and over again. But this is made up for by the enjoyment of the combat itself. No matter what class you play there is fun to be had when slaying demons and defeating Templars. Sure it's only one city with outskirts but Bioware makes this work, especially for the story. Playing as a set character with a fantastic story and still having those many difficult choices there makes the game even better. Unravelling your companions' pasts and learning about how they came to be living in Kirkwall is one of the best parts of the game. All the RPG elements of leveling up your character and choosing their specialization are not only still there, but are drastically improved. There isn't as much customization as Origins but I don't think Bioware games work well with Origin's level of customization. I think that level of customization is more suited for Bethesda games, not Bioware. Bioware is better at making story driven masterpieces, such as Mass Effect, and should continue to do so. Expand
  27. Mar 27, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age 2 is not DA: Origins. Origins had one of the best plots ever in an rpg and you literally cared about every character. Most of all you had a goal. A purpose you cared about. Even the greatest games failed in this area (Oblivion comes to mind). There are only a few changes in DA 2, the details of which you can hear screamed about in every other review. One of the most annoying isDragon Age 2 is not DA: Origins. Origins had one of the best plots ever in an rpg and you literally cared about every character. Most of all you had a goal. A purpose you cared about. Even the greatest games failed in this area (Oblivion comes to mind). There are only a few changes in DA 2, the details of which you can hear screamed about in every other review. One of the most annoying is that you cannot equip the character outfits. This was made according to the designer because people all dressed all their characters the same and it bored him. So now your choice is.. to dress your characters the way He wanted you too. In addition the combat is seriously dumbed down. Rather than fighting a few powerful enemies and using tactics to defeat them mostly youre fighting waves of weak enemies with a couple "bosses" thrown in. On Hard or Nightmare difficulty this is still almost as interesting as the original game because on the tough fights you literally act/pause/issue orders/act/pause/issue orders. It isnt a game breaker though. What breaks this game more than anything was an egotistical designer deciding he knew better than the customer and forcefeeding us a lame plot you dont care about, his personal preferences on character equipment, and truely bizarre recycling of content. You only have afew areas to go to in this game and you will go to them again, and again, and again. Note: you can check out his softball interview to verify all of the above.

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

    Having said all that: This game is fun. Its not worth the full price and it shouldnt even be mentioned in the same breath as DA:O, Mass Effect, Baldurs gate etc. But if you can pick it up for 10 or 20 bucks.. its certainly worth it as its isnt Unfun. Perhaps Bioware will decide its customers are more important than the egos of its employees and fire the person responsible for this disappointment. Lets hope so because bioware is without question the best RPG company in the business.
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  28. Mar 27, 2011
    0
    enemies appear out of nowhere, item names have no back story - you can't even attack enemies that you SEE until you get close enough that they turn red
  29. Mar 27, 2011
    3
    This is not a sequel, this is a stand alone game set in the DA universe. The combat leaves a lot to be desired. The supposed over all story arc really doesn't happen until Act 3.You spend most of your time being a n errand person running from once short story of a quest to another with no unifying thread. It is disjointed and repetitive. They reuse maps (which they admit is a problem) andThis is not a sequel, this is a stand alone game set in the DA universe. The combat leaves a lot to be desired. The supposed over all story arc really doesn't happen until Act 3.You spend most of your time being a n errand person running from once short story of a quest to another with no unifying thread. It is disjointed and repetitive. They reuse maps (which they admit is a problem) and you are pretty much stuck in the city of Kirkwall and places just outside it. So it is claustrophobic in a way. There is no real connection to the character you play who seems to make no impact on the world with their decisions, but rather has to go with the flow and gets pushed into one horrible situation after another. And overall the game is so depressing it is a wonder your Hawke doesn't run mad. There is no break from the angst. You can't talk to your companions when you want, only at their houses and when the game tells you. The convo wheel is horrible, you never know what your character is actually going to say, not that is seems to make any impact on what little story there is. I hate that they basically gave a lobotomy to one of my favorite characters from Awakenings which made me not like the game, and didn't really make me feel for the plot point at the end they were driving towards. Having a relationship with the companions proved difficult most of the time and did not have the connection of the companions in DAO. I hated the zerging battles, endless wave after wave of enemies, which requires no strategy just a lot of potions, mostly for stamina.

    I did love the companions, save the lobotomized one. All of them (despite being tricky in getting your relationship the way you want them) are well done, and fun. I like the new armor designs for my Hawke.

    Overall this game has a shallow feel compared to DAO. The little details, easter eggs, and side quests are missing. hidden items, hidden doorways and passages, small stories and loot missing. This was ready in a year and half, and it shows. It feels rushed and unfinished.
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  30. Mar 27, 2011
    2
    This game is a HUGE disappointment for fans of DA:O. It's pretty much pointless considering how goal orientated the last game was. It really does not feel like you have a purpose in this game at all. It's a such a rude difference and it's hard to get into this game has an RPG player. Again... waste of time, disappointment, SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!!
  31. Mar 27, 2011
    4
    Utterly 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
    Utterly 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?
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  32. Mar 27, 2011
    1
    Such a disappointment. Dumbed down and SAD. I have to say that PC Gamer has now LOST my respect. How can this be rated at 94? They did the same this for Crysis 2 (89) when critical opinion of the players has revealed that it is also a bitter disappointment. I had such high hopes for DA2, like Crysis 2, and they both have one thing in common don't they? .......Always trust the PLAYERS notSuch a disappointment. Dumbed down and SAD. I have to say that PC Gamer has now LOST my respect. How can this be rated at 94? They did the same this for Crysis 2 (89) when critical opinion of the players has revealed that it is also a bitter disappointment. I had such high hopes for DA2, like Crysis 2, and they both have one thing in common don't they? .......Always trust the PLAYERS not the media to give a true assessment and review of a product. Expand
  33. Mar 27, 2011
    1
    Disapointing...
    We have here a pretty litte Dragon Effect....
    It could have been a perfect spin off as an action aventure game... But as a successor of an rpg, it's a zero... EA and Bioware gives us a game stripped of all real rpg elements... As for the dungeons? Well it's a matter of opened door and locked doors... The dungeons are reused over and over again. Maybe if they release
    Disapointing...
    We have here a pretty litte Dragon Effect....
    It could have been a perfect spin off as an action aventure game...
    But as a successor of an rpg, it's a zero...
    EA and Bioware gives us a game stripped of all real rpg elements...
    As for the dungeons? Well it's a matter of opened door and locked doors... The dungeons are reused over and over again. Maybe if they release modding tool, someone will make something out of it? But for now, it's a waste of money if you're looking for something that looks even remotely like a RPG...
    It feels like junk food: You know it's bad, you feel it's a waste of money. But in the end, you buy it, and usually, you regret buying it... At least, the sales are here, so ea will keep going at it...
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  34. Mar 27, 2011
    1
    I liked DA:O, so I wanted to try the DA2 Demo. I couldn't finish it. The game seems to have been reduced to a mindless click fest without much substance. I felt no desire to finish the demo and certainly none to buy the game.
  35. Mar 27, 2011
    0
    If you want to throw your money away, then buy this game. It is a disgrace! EA is a disgrace! Check out www.tomshardware.com for articles on just how bad things are with the game and with EA.
  36. Mar 26, 2011
    3
    So I made a metacritic account simply to put in two cents about the game, it was that disappointing. DAO was a well refined game. Did it have it's difficulties, yes. Needing Wynne in the party or a massive amount of health potions was a frustrating element.

    However, DA2 is bad. It's Chrono Trigger to Chrono Cross bad. The combat has lost all semblance of strategy, it is an orgy of lights
    So I made a metacritic account simply to put in two cents about the game, it was that disappointing. DAO was a well refined game. Did it have it's difficulties, yes. Needing Wynne in the party or a massive amount of health potions was a frustrating element.

    However, DA2 is bad. It's Chrono Trigger to Chrono Cross bad. The combat has lost all semblance of strategy, it is an orgy of lights and effects with no tactical element whatsoever. I am not sure you even really need to control the main character most of the time to survive through combat. Rather, you can sit there are watch the fireworks. The lack of coherent purpose or direction has me drifting in a video game wasteland of purposelessness. I went from saving Ferelden in DAO to owning half a mine in DA2. Honestly, if I wanted my days to feel like a vain wandering through menial tasks, I would stay in the real world and quit playing video games. All in all I will see the game through, but it feels like a slow, inevitable death; the game is a giant slow-motion train wreck. I want my 59.99 back for DA2, 59.99 for MA2, and 10k for pain and suffering.
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  37. Mar 26, 2011
    2
    I have enjoyed almost all the games Bioware has produced in the past. Hardly anyone can deny that games like Baldurs Gate II, Dragon Age Origins and Kotor provide tons of entertainment. They received high ratings from professional reviewers and the community was pleased.

    What happened? How is it possible for a gaming company to take such a nosedive in one year? It would have been
    I have enjoyed almost all the games Bioware has produced in the past. Hardly anyone can deny that games like Baldurs Gate II, Dragon Age Origins and Kotor provide tons of entertainment. They received high ratings from professional reviewers and the community was pleased.

    What happened? How is it possible for a gaming company to take such a nosedive in one year?

    It would have been UNFATHOMABLE to even consider that the average community score for a Dragon Age sequel would be less than 60/100 but here we are.

    How is it that in almost every single installment before Dragon Age 2 we had the ability to impact the world around us and the ending of the game would change depending on our choices? But now it doesn't matter who you support, not one bit. One tragedy after another isn't the core problem here but that you can't do anything about it.

    What's the replay value people? Really, what is it? What can I do differently? Have sex with Merrill instead of Isabela and change my tone of voice while speaking during pre-determined events?

    And how is it that romances have devolved into *press heart symbol to have h0t s3x*

    What happened to gameplay? What happened to stealing, creating potions, collecting resources and having a connection with the world around us?

    Where is the possibility to lie, intimidate and charm during conversations? Isn't that what roleplaying has been all about in your previous releases? You dont even need to read your own lines in DA2 (nor can you). Just choose one option from *calm*, *joke* or *angry*. Talking yourself out from a bad spot isn't really an option if the game has already decided what is going to happen.

    What happened to being able to choose your own race. What's the point of having racism towards elves if you cant even play one anymore?

    Customizing the armor of your companions might not seem like a big deal to many people since we are forced to use the best armor sets anyway and sell all the junk. But it does look completely stupid to have some pirate woman in a prostitute uniform fighting against a high-dragon. This is something I expect to see from square and Final Fantasy, not Bioware.

    And the worst thing is that after investing over 40 hours of gameplay, there is no real ending or closure. So what's the idea behind this? Rip us off with DLC's?

    And people really need to stop being naive. I hardly doubt this is going to be a prequel to some epic tale. Why should I believe that a savegame import would matter now when it has never had a major impact in the past? It's just going to be another set of cameos, letters from the people you saved and a couple of mentions about what happened in the past.

    This game does its job as a linear adventure hack'n'slasher but that's it.

    Just one year ago Bioware put square on blast by stating that "Final Fantasy XIII is not an RPG yadayada". And here we are now....I hope CD Projekt stays silent and walks the walk with Witcher 2, because you guys need a reality check.

    On a scale from 1 to pretzel, I'm mad salty lol. I guess it's time to go back to hyping the upcoming Mass Effect 2 DLC, because atleast you still have dev-teams that know what the hell they are doing.
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  38. Mar 26, 2011
    5
    Dragon Age II tries to change stuff when it's not necessary, such as the dialogue wheel. The combat system is... improved, but not by much - it's almost too fast and fancy now.

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

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

    Repetitive levels and being set in ONE city (plus its outlying regions) doesn't help much either.
    I'm not a fan of giving a voice to the player either, as it feels like I'm watching a film. One or two of the companions are pretty good, the rest are acceptable.
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  39. Mar 26, 2011
    4
    Verdict: NOT WORTH IT

    - Short shallow RPG, little replay value - Maps are very few and excruciatingly reused - Story provides no followup to Origins plot - Dull forgettable hero and characters - Stripped down inventory takes much of the interest out of finding proper loot and dungeon crawling - Whole game seems like a mere excuse for future DLC content On a more personal note and
    Verdict: NOT WORTH IT

    - Short shallow RPG, little replay value
    - Maps are very few and excruciatingly reused
    - Story provides no followup to Origins plot
    - Dull forgettable hero and characters
    - Stripped down inventory takes much of the interest out of finding proper loot and dungeon crawling
    - Whole game seems like a mere excuse for future DLC content

    On a more personal note and strictly regarding the story, I can't fathom how you could fail so miserably on writing a proper plot with so many rich loose ends left over from Origins.
    I'm not saying the sequel should tie into the first episode to be good, but if you're going to branch out of an excellent and bestselling first story, you really do have to make it good, and DA2 isn't. A tale that boils down to climbing the social ladder while finding an ominous strange artifact (left unexplained for DLC profit) belongs in a Tombraider setting, not a Dragon Age Origins sequel. Mike Laidlaw should definitely be sacked and I should be reimbursed.

    Though compelled to give less, I rate it 4 points because of the excellent art and map design.
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  40. Mar 26, 2011
    10
    After replaying through the initial Dragon Age multiple a time, it was a no brainer to pick up DA2 as well. While the openers magic is slightly lost along the way the sequel does a lot right. The story itself is written nicely, albeit missing out on a lot of potential drama and interesting scenes. Characters are all around nicely done and actually have a lot of unexpected reactions andAfter replaying through the initial Dragon Age multiple a time, it was a no brainer to pick up DA2 as well. While the openers magic is slightly lost along the way the sequel does a lot right. The story itself is written nicely, albeit missing out on a lot of potential drama and interesting scenes. Characters are all around nicely done and actually have a lot of unexpected reactions and decisions which make the game feel genuinely interesting.

    On the minus side the game has a bit too much of fighting going on. After you learn the gimmick of the fight, it does get nice. Yet wave after wave of extra enemies per each fight does get kind of tiresome. Either way a very well done sequel and a way lengthy as well. Clocked at 90 hours on nightmare after completing about every quest I could find.
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  41. Mar 26, 2011
    2
    -Reusing the same four maps 500 times.
    -The whole game takes place in one city.
    -Enemies have tons of HP and come in waves so the game feels longer. -Frame narrative to avoid being too descriptive about what happens between large periods of time. -Half as much dialogue, more passive interaction. -Millions of stupid side quests that have nothing to do with anything. -Dull environment bereft
    -Reusing the same four maps 500 times.
    -The whole game takes place in one city.
    -Enemies have tons of HP and come in waves so the game feels longer.
    -Frame narrative to avoid being too descriptive about what happens between large periods of time.
    -Half as much dialogue, more passive interaction.
    -Millions of stupid side quests that have nothing to do with anything.
    -Dull environment bereft of life and matter.
    -Inability to customize companions allows you to skip designing different armor models.
    -Collecting hundreds of-- literally, junk items-- to create the illusion of immersion and depth.
    -Poor character development, so you hardly care about your companions by the end of the game. -Lack of any substantial choices that have lasting effects.
    -Contrived ending, that tells you nothing, and leaves a huge gap for sub-par DLC
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  42. Mar 26, 2011
    5
    I went into this game expecting it to be different and, hopefully, challenging; It wasn't. Forget the story, forget the characters, forget the port quality shine, forget everything but the core game play of the first. The difficult and deep combat system was the meat and potatoes of that game. Out of everything, that is what kept me coming back for more. I have not been that into a gameI went into this game expecting it to be different and, hopefully, challenging; It wasn't. Forget the story, forget the characters, forget the port quality shine, forget everything but the core game play of the first. The difficult and deep combat system was the meat and potatoes of that game. Out of everything, that is what kept me coming back for more. I have not been that into a game since... well the last good game bioware made.
    I have beaten the game, albeit begrudgingly. It reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I remember going to see it in theaters with my dad and the first scene was great but it quickly went down hill and the only reason my dad and I didn't leave was because we loved the first one so much. "Come on Paul, lets go see a different movie." "No, it might get better in a few minutes. How many times can she say, "INDY!!!"" This game feels like the Temple of Doom. The only reason I could play though it was because I loved Origins so much, but the reason I found this game so mediocre was because I loved Origins so much. The only thing that has overshadowed this 'let down' was the fact that PC Gamer gave this game a 90+ rating.
    I used to wait for the mailman to get my copy of PC gamer every month for fifteen ducking years. In fact when I cancelled my subscription they called me back offering a free year but I'd had had enough. Either PC gamer is out of touch or they are trying to sell the game for EA. Either way I can no longer get an unbiased review from them. The 'review' PC gamer gave DA 2 seemed like it was just emailed to them from EA with some gift cards packaged in. Now don't get me wrong, there are some things about DA 2 that I liked. Except that those wonderful improvements were small potatoes compared to where Bioware screwed up. The clumsy exposition and dialogue was fit for a cartoon network after school special. I'd rather watch the Golden Girls with my girlfriend, who almost left me when I got into the first game.
    What I am trying to say, is that we, the customers, should make a statement. DON'T BUY THIS GAME! On its own it is an average game but, given the circumstances, it must be a great game. So don't buy this game, don't pirate this game, and don't buy/read PC gamer until they all get their **** together. I would have rather waited another year or two for a better game then be here telling everyone how pissed I am.
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  43. Mar 26, 2011
    4
    After playing the original Dragon Age to death and back i can't help but wonder how on earth Bioware could possibly get this wrong?

    The way that almost every other quest has you go to the same location over and over again is beyond a joke and is enough to put off even the most avid Dragon Age fan-boy, the entire city of kirkwall feels claustrophobic and small along with it's drab browns
    After playing the original Dragon Age to death and back i can't help but wonder how on earth Bioware could possibly get this wrong?

    The way that almost every other quest has you go to the same location over and over again is beyond a joke and is enough to put off even the most avid Dragon Age fan-boy, the entire city of kirkwall feels claustrophobic and small along with it's drab browns and grays littered all over the place.

    The new cast of companions are boring and dull, you don't get the option to get to talk to them or get to know them while exploring the various areas, aside from Varric the majority of the cast are entirely forgettable ( I was shocked to find a Welsh character in the game, but to my disappointment she's just as boring as the rest)

    The new U.I, while more streamlined, is by no ways as well presented as it is in origins.

    Also the story is some what weird when compared to the original, for almost a third of the game your sat there wondering what you are supposed to be doing or when the game will even start.

    To say they treated PC customers well with this game is a joke, buggy direct x 11 from the get go (Had to download beta drivers to get it to run), had to download a 1gig H.D texture pack separately just to get the game to look some what decent.

    If your a fan of RPG games then i suggest you give this one a miss and if you haven't already played origins i suggest you go pick up the original with all the D.L.C, it's a FAR better game by a huge stretch.
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  44. Mar 26, 2011
    1
    Dragon Age 2, sequel to the successful predecessor Dragon Age: Origins does almost everything wrong what made the series great. I could write a long review pointing out all the negative aspects, but I figure I should just sum up the positive ones and spare you the time: well-written companions, good music, stylistic loading screens.

    If you need to buy it, I recommend the console version
    Dragon Age 2, sequel to the successful predecessor Dragon Age: Origins does almost everything wrong what made the series great. I could write a long review pointing out all the negative aspects, but I figure I should just sum up the positive ones and spare you the time: well-written companions, good music, stylistic loading screens.

    If you need to buy it, I recommend the console version as it is clearly designed with consoles in mind.
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  45. Mar 26, 2011
    10
    After reading Some really ridiculous reviews one involving "bioware should go bankrupt". I thought I put up a review first off The immersion of the game is still there however modified to work for everyone such as exclusion of being able to interact with your team mates constantly in my opinion this was good because through out origin you'd run in to a interaction block where theAfter reading Some really ridiculous reviews one involving "bioware should go bankrupt". I thought I put up a review first off The immersion of the game is still there however modified to work for everyone such as exclusion of being able to interact with your team mates constantly in my opinion this was good because through out origin you'd run in to a interaction block where the characters would repeat the same thing when interacting with them face to face.
    Graphically its clear that it is superior than Origins and also the battle system is more easier to use and is faster than the previous titles making it better and easier to keep you allies alive.
    I have a problem with the rehashed environments though It gets annoying always being in the same cave but named differently. But overall it was a great game lacking in the hours however still gives you a great sense of immersion and creating a connection with each characters stories just like in Origins. But don't take it from me as try it for yourself and make your own opinion of it. There are some improvements that the game should have but there's no need to say on a review when bioware check on their forums constantly looking for user input
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  46. Mar 26, 2011
    3
    Bioware itself sets the bar for quality RPG, where the act out role was paramount. Now act out the role can not, in principle, the class character only changes the way of killing meat, not the sollution quests . ring of conversation way interactive system (hello Mass Effect) also does not help back the role. Since by the choice of possible answers, we only permit the tone of theBioware itself sets the bar for quality RPG, where the act out role was paramount. Now act out the role can not, in principle, the class character only changes the way of killing meat, not the sollution quests . ring of conversation way interactive system (hello Mass Effect) also does not help back the role. Since by the choice of possible answers, we only permit the tone of the conversation. (Good-neutral-evil). Sad to see how Bioware rejects all "unnecessary" gameplay elements to please a wide audience. Perhaps if the game was called Adventure not RPG, she would have received a much higher score. If only player would not be bored running around the monotonous dead locations. Expand
  47. Mar 26, 2011
    9
    Dragon 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
  48. Mar 26, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Short version: High expectations not met. Disclaimer: If you never played the oldschool PC RPGs and loved ME2, go for DA2. It is a good game. This review is from the POV of one of those oldschool gamers well experienced with Bioware's track record.

    High expectations not met. That is the one-liner best to describe DA2 with. DA:O was the best PC RPG of recent time and hyping for a sequel was understandably easy. I have to add that I also played Mass Effect 1+2 and enjoyed those games. And actually thought the changes made to simplify ME2 were fitting. However I was pretty disappointed with the main plot in ME2 and the progression was "collected" at certain bridges to make the storytelling easy, but guiding the RPG experience too much.
    Due to this I was utterly disappointed with DA2. They use the same insulting progression that leaves the player with a feeling of running down a one-way tunnel. The side-quests are entertaining, but they leave a sour taste in the mouth when you realize that they overshadow the main plot. The main plot quests feels like just another side-quest and you just do not feel Hawke has any reason to consider those quests more important than the others. Like going to the deep roads. The plot's reason for Hawke to go there was to earn money, yet in parallel you have the family story and the fact that Hawke's mother actually works on getting their estate back. Personally I would have said screw-it to Bertrand and done something else to work my way up. There was nothing in the plot that indicated that the deep roads would make a major impact, yet you somehow knew you had to go because the author of the story had decided to build the plot there. Very forced and fake.
    Same with the companions. They each have their own stories and it feels more like they cross path with Hawke rather than joining in his quest (perhaps because there is no quest when Hawke picks up his companions). It feels like they went with the ME2 recipe, but forgot that ME2 had a credible reason for Shepard to fly around the galaxy getting his team together. In DA2 Hawke magically manage to keep his companions around and they will join him on the quests even if he continuously piss them off. It just seems fake.

    I can accept the changes they made. I miss the crafting, the companion gear, the ability to shape my companions pretty much how I want them, and the need to use your brain in combat. But none of those changes are game-breaking. At most they would bring the score down from 9/10 to a more average 8/10. Mostly because the gameplay is still fun.
    I am not very fond of the emphasis put on cross-class combos though. The point will be missed by the lazy gamers the game is dumbed down for, and the better gamers will spend 2 minutes setting up tactics and have access to "EZ-mode" in all game difficulties. The tactics works so well that you can trivialize all combat but the boss-fights (which also explains why people complain about the Rock Wraith fight - since it is the first time you cannot sit and watch your 3 companions do everything).
    However the lack of engaging story and the ditching of the non-linear plot from DA:O totally butchers the game's potential. Had it been a non-franchised game from an unknown developer it could have gotten away with being an alright game. But with the expectations to a Bioware game and the Dragon Age franchise it falls way below what a customer would expect.

    Add the overly positive critic reviews and you have a recipe for scamming the gamers. DA2 is in no way worth the $50 pricetag. Not when compared to Bioware's track record, where you got really deep games for that price.
    And because the main problem with the game is the storyline, DLC will not be able to fix it. No matter how many more sidequests you add to the game it will not change the fact that you feel you are running down that one-way tunnel for no other reason than because "that is what Hawke should do".

    It is by no means a bad game. And if your experience with RPGs is limited to Mass Effect, then by all means throw your money at DA2. Unless you really hate swords and magic you will not be disappointed.
    However, if you are part of the older PC gamer tradition and are familiar with Bioware's ability to write fantastic plots worthy of comparison with great fantasy novels, then you better prepare yourself to be disappointed.
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  49. Mar 26, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have been looking through some user reviews and see strong negative comments, I have to agree that Dragon Age 2 is far below the expectations of Origins. From the simplified battle system, and more balanced jobs, specialization easy access, final boss meredith and orsino can't be compared to the archdemon, no races can be chosen, less branches in options and you just damned stuck in Kirkwall . But, I think Bioware don't mean to create an ordinary style of RPG, such as the usual "good vs evil" genre, but a story of someone from below to the top and showing of a sense of emotional belonging and family relation to the character, when the mother are killed, her brother ran off to the templars, if you don't bring him to the deep roads, all of that are worth giving points .to the game. The game also brought more moral thinking then origins, such as Anders that kill the grand cleric, and whether to sides with the templars or the mages, where the templars are oppressing the mages too much, but in the other side more mages become blood mages because of the templar oppression, the most interesting is when first enchanter orsino become an abomination. This game story is overcome the weaknesses of the entire game, and I think this game is worth playing to get yourself, a good story, rather than battle and action. Even though it is better to make a movie of it than creating a game to it, Ten is for the story, 8 is for the game, and for bioware developers that are working hard to emphasize the story to cover the gameplay itself. Expand
  50. Mar 25, 2011
    4
    As a so-called sequel to DAO, DA2 is a huge disappointment. I've played through twice. Basically, it suffers from the rush to release syndrome: lack of time means lack of creativity and imagination. The game is just boring; it is stale, ordinary and cheaply made. Because the game called itself Dragon Age 2, I expected something better, even extraordinary. Not necessarily an exactAs a so-called sequel to DAO, DA2 is a huge disappointment. I've played through twice. Basically, it suffers from the rush to release syndrome: lack of time means lack of creativity and imagination. The game is just boring; it is stale, ordinary and cheaply made. Because the game called itself Dragon Age 2, I expected something better, even extraordinary. Not necessarily an exact clone of DAO, but at least a continuity in the feel of DAO, its tenor and spirit, in writing that believed in itself, in actors in whom you could tell relished their roles, in plots and subplots that got better as the game went on.

    I can tell when a game is really great: I get addicted. I can't stop playing it. I don't want to go to bed, I don't want to go to work. Even more frightening, I don't want to eat. On the first playthrough of DA2, I thought something was wrong with me because I got bored. And annoyed. I could walk away from it and not feel withdrawal symptoms. And the more I played the more frustrated I became that there was just nothing that was very interesting about it. Even the ending was a non-event.

    I scored DA2 below average, a harsher than usual judgement simply because it was a Bioware product. Next time I will know better: no more pre-ordering, never trust a demo or a trailer, and wait until the user reviews come out.
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  51. Mar 25, 2011
    5
    Any one who loved Balder's gate plane scape or DA:O will hate what they did to DA 2. Its rushed in all regards from reused levels to waves of enemies that pop out of thin air. The story is sub par the characters are shallow and you have 0 choices that make any difference to the game world. This game is at its very best absolutely average in all regards.
  52. Mar 25, 2011
    3
    Whilst I truly enjoyed, the immersive, dynamic storytelling of the first game, I have to say, the second installment is very much a disappointment. The scripting seems exceptionally stunted in comparison, and the voice acting, a key selling point of the first ranges from poor, to absolutely terrible. The combat feels unwieldy, and unintuitive, the party system unbalanced, and the storylineWhilst I truly enjoyed, the immersive, dynamic storytelling of the first game, I have to say, the second installment is very much a disappointment. The scripting seems exceptionally stunted in comparison, and the voice acting, a key selling point of the first ranges from poor, to absolutely terrible. The combat feels unwieldy, and unintuitive, the party system unbalanced, and the storyline contrived. Granted, these are all points relative to the quality of Bioware in general, and the original Dragon Age, but they set the bar- And instead of clearing it, they've rushed an underdeveloped, flawed sequel to release, seemingly in the hopes that the Bioware name, and the success it's predecessor alone will create a good gaming experience. Sadly, I'm certain that it will be enough to ensure sales, at least, however undeserved.... Expand
  53. Mar 25, 2011
    7
    Dragon Age 2 is a decent sequel to its hugely successful predecessor. It does some things a lot better, but unfortunately there are some major problems that drag it down. Graphically, it is a step up, but like the original it is nothing special. You will not be disappointed but you will not be blown away. There is a high res texture pack available, but you will need a DX11 capable graphicsDragon Age 2 is a decent sequel to its hugely successful predecessor. It does some things a lot better, but unfortunately there are some major problems that drag it down. Graphically, it is a step up, but like the original it is nothing special. You will not be disappointed but you will not be blown away. There is a high res texture pack available, but you will need a DX11 capable graphics card to enjoy it, which I sadly do not. A major talking point has been the combat. It is faster paced and more explosive than the original, but realism and immersion is removed by the enemies which now spawn practically in the middle of a fight and just appear out of thin air. Similarly, instead of spiders dropping down from caverns or trees, they now also just drop out of the sky. One particular delight, however are some of the boss encounters which have been beefed up and feel more challenging than the original, but it can still be a case of kiting the boss until you can use your special abilities then kite again. Nearly all the companions, apart from one or two are brilliant. The interparty banter is great and at times had me in fits of laughter, especially the chats between Merrill and Isabella. If you pursue a romance with any of them though, it somehow doesn't feel important like it did in Dragon Age: Origins which is a shame. It is also a shame that you don't really have to put any thought or effort into developing your relationships. The game practically tells you when you should be speaking to a companion, because it will add a new quest for you, and the revamped dialogue wheel tells you exactly what each option will mean. There is no longer the chance you may pick the wrong option. There are numerous cameos in DA2 by characters from Origins and Awakenings, dependant on the game history you choose at the beginning. The game allows you to import your Origins save into the game, or lets you choose from three canonical histories offering different choices. Sadly though, those choices have little to no impact on the game apart from a few different lines of dialogue. As with most RPGs, there is an element of choice, yet in this game it feels pointless. At one point, you are forced to side with a particular faction, yet you end up having to fight both faction leaders, which is perhaps a sign of laziness on Biowareâ Expand
  54. Mar 25, 2011
    2
    I don't even know where to begin...Pathetic,repetitive gameplay,reused(and reused,and reused)locations,2004 graphics,confined experience(spending an entire game in one city is NOT my idea of epic gameplay)Absolutely inexcusable PC performance-i get twice the framerate of this game on metro 2033 maxed out..which is hilarious when you consider that metro 2033 is probably the mostI don't even know where to begin...Pathetic,repetitive gameplay,reused(and reused,and reused)locations,2004 graphics,confined experience(spending an entire game in one city is NOT my idea of epic gameplay)Absolutely inexcusable PC performance-i get twice the framerate of this game on metro 2033 maxed out..which is hilarious when you consider that metro 2033 is probably the most gpu-intensive game to date-and incredible-looking to boot,and this game looks well,awful.hey,bioware,it's called OPTIMIZATION..maybe you should try it sometime..A terrible,dumbed-down,boring,massive disappointment and in my top 3 worst sequels of all time..fire up knights of the old republic and shed a tear for the good old days of bioware,because judging from this game,those days are long gone.... Expand
  55. Mar 25, 2011
    9
    Honestly most of these reviews are a joke, I wonder how many people even played through the whole game before they wrote these. This is a fact, this game is one of the best RPGs released in the last couple of years on the consoles and PCs, people rating it a 1-3 based should be ashamed of themselves.

    Gameplay: Very fluid, with top notch voice acting and writing. The action keeps the
    Honestly most of these reviews are a joke, I wonder how many people even played through the whole game before they wrote these. This is a fact, this game is one of the best RPGs released in the last couple of years on the consoles and PCs, people rating it a 1-3 based should be ashamed of themselves.

    Gameplay: Very fluid, with top notch voice acting and writing. The action keeps the game going and don't be surprised if you find yourself playing this game until 3 in the morning. Excellent systems designs make playing a warroior rogue or mage type character equally as fun.

    Replayability: Branching storylines, different difficulty levels and character classes will bring you back for a second helping :)

    Overall: It's a great Fantasy game, ignore the haters, see for yourself.
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  56. Mar 25, 2011
    4
    I would like to just say first and foremost that this is not a terrible game, just not a particularly good one either. so I shall start with the positives, the new combat system I feel is a great success, it feels fluid and powerful, the graphics with the high resolution texture pack are impressive, and the companions are generally likeable (except Fenris).

    So now sadly onto the bad. It
    I would like to just say first and foremost that this is not a terrible game, just not a particularly good one either. so I shall start with the positives, the new combat system I feel is a great success, it feels fluid and powerful, the graphics with the high resolution texture pack are impressive, and the companions are generally likeable (except Fenris).

    So now sadly onto the bad. It is tiny, and by that I mean miniscule, every quest occuring in the same place, or the same cave, which is somehow in ten different places but identical. I mean this game spans what, a decade, and nothing changes in that time, whatsoever. This also means that for a Bioware RPG the completion time is just not up to scratch.

    Now my major pain with this game is the simplification of everything that made Origins great, and makes RPG's as a genre great, in an attempt to what, appeal to a greater market, there seems to be this idea in the world of games development that simple easy games sell in mass. I don't entirely disagree with that sentiment, but I work in a DIY store, so the employees couldn't be considered gaming nerds, they are ordinary people with consoles (and they all loved Origins by the way) and they all say Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is one of their favourite games, and do you know how many of them like Dragon Age 2. Not a single one. So the very market this game was dumbed down for hates you for it, and as a result you have very nearly alienated a strong Bioware fan, luckily I have faith Mass Effect 3 will be great.

    So in conclusion, play this if you like small, simplistic RPG's with not enough character development, environments, or soul. All in all I'm pretty peeved I paid £28.98 for a game that seems lesser to Origins expansion pack. So Bioware if EA tells you what people want in games again, tell them they don't know anything about making games and to leave that to the professionals.
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  57. Mar 25, 2011
    9
    Loved it. All of the best elements of mass effect brought over to the series and they streamlined a lot of the tedious things in rpg's that used to annoy the hell outta me like loot management, time of day specific quests, and hand me down armor to the rest of the party.
  58. Mar 25, 2011
    5
    Pros: 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.
  59. Mar 25, 2011
    9
    Ok, so, when I first launched it and started playing as a rogue I was fascinated by the graphics, dynamics of the battle and interface. I like the newcombat system Bioware made,it brings more movement and action into the game, making it differ from other RPGs. As I continued playing and the plot started moving, I had actually mixed feelings.
    "+"
    1) New combat system that makes the game
    Ok, so, when I first launched it and started playing as a rogue I was fascinated by the graphics, dynamics of the battle and interface. I like the newcombat system Bioware made,it brings more movement and action into the game, making it differ from other RPGs. As I continued playing and the plot started moving, I had actually mixed feelings.
    "+"
    1) New combat system that makes the game much better and funnier to play than it was in Origins
    2) I like the characters. They are very different, each one in its own way. I really liked Isabella, how they made her interacting with Hawke and other companions. Well, this point is a big plus
    3) The ending is epic. Not spoiling anything. Its some sort of simillar to Mass Effect 2. It was very fascinating and exciting, though pretty hard ( I was playing on Hard difficulty)
    4) Lots and lots of secondary quests to keep you busy and make you play some more hours. I did all of the secondary quests and I really liked them. They differ from Origins, because every one is unique ( You dont come to the Chantry quest desk or Mage Circle bag and silly taketurn in quests). Every quest has its own plot and influences on the gameplay and storyline aswell.
    "-"
    1) First of all... the lack of spaces. There are so little locations that in 5-6 hours you get to know every place where the game takes place. Every cave, mansion, underground is the same. Bioware just lets you go here and there depending on the quest.
    2) I really disliked the Hawke bound only armor system. Only main character can pick up and wear/ buy and wear armor. Your companions only have the standard armor type, which can change once in a game depending on your relations to them. This was just disappointing.
    3) The way Bioware tells you the story. Each time I was getting a main storyline quest I was like: "What the hell did this guy just say? Why do I have to go there? What am I doing here? What the hell is actually going on here????". I couldn't really understand the plot at all at some points, which produced some questions at the end of the game for me. I was hoping for more at this point.
    These are the main pluses and minuses I really think every player encountered in this game. Despite of being so badly scored by many gamers, I still put this game 9. In my opinion, Bioware has made a very little, but still an important step forward. I am very sure, if they combine all their experience from Origins and the second part, they will make a fantastic and an eic story which everyone will enjoy. Let us hope Bioware will fullfill 100% of our expectations in Dragon Age 3. For now, I am willingly waiting for any major DLC coming, because I want more Dragon Age 2. I advice you this game, because if you get used to it ( And you surely will if you enjoyed origins) it will fullfill your expectations, money and will give you lots of pleasant emotions from the game at the end. Goodluck playing!
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  60. Mar 25, 2011
    0
    This is NOT an RPG, folks. I should've listened to the negative reviews posted here but my excitement for a new console RPG took over and I purchased it anyway. Think of this game as a "Dynasty Warriors" or the related "Samurai Warriors" game. Now if mindless hack-and-slash doesn't appeal to you, this game won't either. Funny thing is, I love hack-and-slash as well as a good RPG butThis is NOT an RPG, folks. I should've listened to the negative reviews posted here but my excitement for a new console RPG took over and I purchased it anyway. Think of this game as a "Dynasty Warriors" or the related "Samurai Warriors" game. Now if mindless hack-and-slash doesn't appeal to you, this game won't either. Funny thing is, I love hack-and-slash as well as a good RPG but this game is neither! Download the demo and you will see what I mean. DO NOT HEED ANY OF THE GOOD REVIEWS ON THIS SITE! Did they even PLAY the game??? Expand
  61. Mar 25, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 1st I would like to say to everybody sorry for my spelling im from KY :( 2nd to those who gave the game a low review are you sure we are playing the same game? Graphics look amazing, (DX11 FTW) not only is combat auctly fun, its a challenge (on hard setting ofcourse, only noobs play on normal or easy), while the story is nowhere as good as DA:O, Its still very nice and engaging, I played a mage, let me tell you, I hate templars even more. I could see how if you didn't play a mage in DA:O, and especally in DA2 you might not get the same experience I did. In DA:O there were times where the story was very stale, coupled with the fact it was walk walk walk, dialoge, walk walk walk, dialoge. DA2 is more like Mass Effect 2 where interactions are Directed, and auctly have production value, not just people facing each other with blank stares talking. Everybody who gave it a bad review did so because its not what they wanted, Classic Bioware, not because the game is a bad game. Anybody who says the graphics are bad, they are nutz, it looks 10x better the the 1st one, and about 3x better the ME2. Granted im using DX11, max settings, with the Hi Res pack. My only complaint is the inventory, Mass Effect 2 has more options in armor. 5billion Bow drop, yet nobody is an archer, excpet the DLC guy, which you don't get in the 1st act, staffs NEVER drop, and you can only change your party members Weapons, Belt, Kneckless, and Rings. (which SUUUUUUUUXXXX). In conclusion it seems like DA:O and ME2 got togeather and had a baby named DA2. Granted its not Biowares best work by anymeans, With the only negitives being crappy invo, and a lesser story, (Its bioware people, their crap stories are still better then 90% of others out there) its still a very good RPG and well worth the 60Dollars if you can run @Max settings and play on hard mode. (Normal is mind numbingly easy.) Expand
  62. Mar 24, 2011
    9
    I have no idea why people hat this game so much. '4'? '1'? I can only assume that's in comparison to other Bioware Games, and not RPGs in general. I've played a lot of RPGs, and to me Baldur's Gate is the king. This game is NOT Baldur's Gate. That's fine. I don't mind trying different games.

    This RPG is a surprisingly refreshing breath of air. It's certainly more playable than
    I have no idea why people hat this game so much. '4'? '1'? I can only assume that's in comparison to other Bioware Games, and not RPGs in general. I've played a lot of RPGs, and to me Baldur's Gate is the king. This game is NOT Baldur's Gate. That's fine. I don't mind trying different games.

    This RPG is a surprisingly refreshing breath of air. It's certainly more playable than Origins, which I quit half-way through. Frankly, I'm kind of over most of the 'meta' games that are RPG tropes - equipment, elaborate tech trees, etc.

    What Dragon Age 2 DOES do, is gets what I like about RPGs - Character building, interaction between characters, and a sense that quests matter - to someone, at least. I LIKE the conversation wheel. Puzzling out what each sentence means in the traditional conversation tree is another un-fun metagame, and it breaks the flow of a fully voiced game. Dragon Age 2 is a lot like watching a movie, and THAT'S A GOOD THING. That means to me it's engrossing, while still allowing you to effect the world. The only thing that draws me in more than movies is Books, and saying that a game plays like a movie is a rather large compliment in my books.

    I'm not sure why people would say this story is worse than the previous game. The last one (dragon age: Origins) was so cliched, I expected Origins to have a huge surprise ending... but it didn't. This one, I'm actually drawn to the characters, and the plot keeps me guessing. Aveline's plot line is hilarious, and VERY different. I love how the different characters chatter with each other so often, a refreshing return from games of yore.

    As for combat, it's fast, and visceral - Very enjoyable, compared to the snooze-fest that was Origins. Hard does not equal fun, nor strategically interesting. I'm done with RPGs that claim to be strategic. If it doesn't say 'strategy' on the box, I don't trust it to deliver on mind-bending fights. Just give me fun, which Dragon Age 2 is, and I'll get my strat dose elsewhere.

    There are a few places that it falls short - Re-used environments, equipment not feeling epic, and a lack of visual flare, but it doesn't stop all the other things I enjoy from making it the best RPG I've played in a long time.

    If you're looking for 'traditional' crpgs, as in, Baldur's Gate 3, look elsewhere. But if the idea of a fun, fast-paced, character-driven game that plays like a movie appeals to you - This game delivers.
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  63. Mar 24, 2011
    10
    An amazing RPG and excellent addition to the Dragon Age series. Love the faster paced combat compared to Dragon Age: Origins, and while there are a few minor flaws it is definitely not deserving of all the negative reviews from people who probably didn't even play the game. I'm eagerly waiting the next entry in the series.
  64. Mar 24, 2011
    10
    Mass Effect 2 meats Dragon Age: Origins. More action, devastating spells with visually striking effects. This game will make your $300 video card investment shine.
  65. Mar 24, 2011
    0
    What 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,What 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.
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  66. Mar 24, 2011
    9
    Dragon Age 2 was destined for division among its fan base since it was first revealed to the gamer community. Many people complain that the game has been dumbed down and that it was stripped of its personality. Having beaten the game, I can't help but wonder if any of these negative reviewers actually played more than the first act. Lets start with the story. DA:O's story felt like aDragon Age 2 was destined for division among its fan base since it was first revealed to the gamer community. Many people complain that the game has been dumbed down and that it was stripped of its personality. Having beaten the game, I can't help but wonder if any of these negative reviewers actually played more than the first act. Lets start with the story. DA:O's story felt like a template made from every other Bioware game ever, you're a hero, gather allies, go kill this, DA2 took a different approach and never shows you the whole conflict until the end, instead choosing to hint at the epic battle to come. I found it easy to step into the shoes of Hawke, who made me feel like a unique and powerful character. While Hawke can only be an human, you can still change his/her appearance and his/her story feels more developed than the seven origins in DA:O.which changed nothing except for a few cameos throughout the game. Combat has vastly evolved, Bioware chose to make combat more stylish and fun to watch. Warriors no longer run like they have lead weights for feet, and mages don't prod uselessly with one recycled staff animation. Your new companions are better developed then Origins' as well. Origins feature the standard stoic knight, the standard evil sorceress, and the standard elderly wizard, ect. DA2 developed characters that I connected with, that I learned to love or hate, or feel sorry for. The moral choices you make in the game are no easier than they were in Origins, just better organized. The wheel doesn't dictate the morality of your choice, just the stance Hawke will take. For example the top right option is usually friendly, but being friendly with a blood mage isn't always a good thing. Finally, Kirkwall proved to be a far more dynamic setting than DA:O. Kirkwall is much larger than Origins Denerim, and it has much more personality. Kirkwall is a sin city of crime and corruption, and it makes for some interesting encounters.

    However, DA2 does have obvious faults that make me feel like it was a little bit rushed. Dungeons and caves are often copy pasted for other quests. So when you've seen one underground cave, you've seen them all.There is also no longer a speech or intimidation skill, so some sticky situations can only be resolved if you say the right things and get lucky. The graphics are still substandard to many other titles on the market, but no one seemed to care when Origins came out, so I'm confused why everyone cares now. The top down view has also been removed from the game, which may bother some (myself not included) but fortunately the designers retained the tactical pause function. Also some of the violence in the game can be over the top, which sometimes made the game feel silly instead of dark and moody. Enemies exploding from a dagger strike may be a little much for realism fans.

    Overall, Dragon Age 2 is a step in a different direction, but I think its the right direction. DA2 isn't simplified, just streamlined and more focused then before. Fans waiting for Baldur's Gate 3 will be disappointed that this franchise isn't the game they were waiting for, but that shouldn't take away from what DA2 does well. Despite some rushed design, I enjoyed DA2 more than I did DA:O. If your willing to look past some of the flaws, then maybe you will to.
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  67. Mar 24, 2011
    3
    DA:O is one of my all time favorites. In one play through of the base game, expansion and DLCs I've racked up over 200 hours. I explored every companions back story, I've read nearly every codex entry, and I doubt there is a stone anywhere in Fereldon that I haven't seen at least once.

    DA2 on the other hand has been a struggle to play. I've forced myself to give it 10 hours, and I highly
    DA:O is one of my all time favorites. In one play through of the base game, expansion and DLCs I've racked up over 200 hours. I explored every companions back story, I've read nearly every codex entry, and I doubt there is a stone anywhere in Fereldon that I haven't seen at least once.

    DA2 on the other hand has been a struggle to play. I've forced myself to give it 10 hours, and I highly doubt I'll ever touch it again. Boring, lackluster, repetitive, uninteresting, dumbed down, and just bad.

    This game has no business wearing the Dragon Age title.
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  68. Mar 24, 2011
    2
    Don't know what Bioware hoped to achieve with this game, or why they thought they could get away with such a rushed job...
    I loved the immersion in DA:O, the little details, the variety of the different settings.... They made combat faster... FFS why? Seeing a warrior wielding his two-handed sword looked real in DA:O... Now the guys do somersaults, and struck down enemies blow up as if
    Don't know what Bioware hoped to achieve with this game, or why they thought they could get away with such a rushed job...
    I loved the immersion in DA:O, the little details, the variety of the different settings.... They made combat faster... FFS why? Seeing a warrior wielding his two-handed sword looked real in DA:O... Now the guys do somersaults, and struck down enemies blow up as if you'd forced a grenade in their mouth...
    There are a hundred things that are wrong with this game; characters, combat, lack of variety in settings, bland environments, uninteresting dialogue choices and so on...
    I'm terribly disappointed, and really hope they're gonna polish Mass Effect 3 as they should... Never pre-ordering a Bioware game again...
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  69. Mar 24, 2011
    9
    Dragon Age 2 is a fantastic game, and a great next step in the Dragon Age world. It fills that main gap that Origins had: an inspired, original story that matches the originality of the world it is set in. Instead of a generic fight against ultimate evil, DA2 gives us a much more morally muddled world. The conflict between Templars and mages is finally flesh out: we are given ample reasonDragon Age 2 is a fantastic game, and a great next step in the Dragon Age world. It fills that main gap that Origins had: an inspired, original story that matches the originality of the world it is set in. Instead of a generic fight against ultimate evil, DA2 gives us a much more morally muddled world. The conflict between Templars and mages is finally flesh out: we are given ample reason to fear reason, while at the same time supplied with further evidence that the Templars may not be the best people to guard them. The addition of the Qunari as a force to be reckoned with is even more welcome, and their philosophy is further explored, as well as put into direct conflict with the rest of the world in a truly interesting conflict that I'm left begging for more of.
    The great part of the story is the change of focus. Origins was all about stopped the Archdemon, with the Warden and his companions, interesting and deep as they were, as tools to be used to complete this task. In DA2, however, the focus is Hawke. His rise to power and birth into legend is the story, and it is a great one at that. The addition of a voice, and fantastic dialogue, also adds to his depth, and all in all I found myself identifying more with my Hawke than with any other player character in any previous RPG.
    The companions are just as great, and the choice to let them choose their own clothing adds further to their sense of individuality. The great thing about the companions is that, unlike in Origins, they are not all directly tied to the issues in Kirkwall, but instead are tied to Hawke. They feel much more like friends and rivals who stick around because of their personal relationship with Hawke, not because external events force them to stay. The dialogue, both with Hawke and with each other, ranged from hilarious to caring to baleful, and it makes for some excellent and deep group relationships. My only complaint is that Hawke is unable to talk to his companions at will; they will only talk when they have something to say. With such rich connections between characters, I would have liked to experience more group events, or at least the chance to talk with them one-on-one more often. More dialogue, especially Bioware dialogue, is never a bad thing.
    The new combat system is fast, fun, and engaging, but doesn't sacrifice the tactics of Origins. In fact, on higher difficulty it requires far more thought into abilities and positioning than was ever needed in Origins. I found myself pausing frequently to set up nasty combos and to manage my companions movements, though on normal I mostly only used Hawke in real-time (on hard I found myself switching for more often to ranged companions like Varric to keep them kiting nasty melee enemies around the room). The moves are all more reactive and their results brutal (the dismemberment can be a bit ridiculous, and I hope it will be toned down more in future installments). The one negative aspect compared to Origins is the lack of executions; it was one of the best aspects of Origins combat, and I hope it will return in either expansions or future installments of Dragon Age.
    As many have noted, many environments are reused. However, these mostly consist of caves and houses, and you'd have to be quite picky (and a bit petty) to let them significantly impact your experience with the game.
    Finally, the music. The music was... acceptable. It was not notable, though the music certainly fit the mood of the game. However, I felt DA2's fast pace and Hawke's habit of being nothing less than badass made DA2 and excellent choice for incorporating the guitar-embellished music seen in the Destiny trailer. Additionally, pausing of the music whilst the game is paused, and then picking up when combat resumes, would have greatly accentuated the impressive combat and made a more cinematic experience. Overall, definitely a 9.5/10, and definitely worth playing several times.
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  70. Mar 24, 2011
    7
    The first 5 hours of this game SUCKS as you can see from my initial impressions below. But it gets better. Much better. By the second act I was really enjoying it. The story and characters are excellent, much better than Origins. If you could skip the first 5 hours I would give it an 8. This is an excellent game once it gets on its' feetThe first 5 hours of this game SUCKS as you can see from my initial impressions below. But it gets better. Much better. By the second act I was really enjoying it. The story and characters are excellent, much better than Origins. If you could skip the first 5 hours I would give it an 8. This is an excellent game once it gets on its' feet
    _________________________________________________________
    Downloaded it and installed all the extra content.
    They wrecked the combat. Randomly appearing spawns, too much mana, etc. There are no tactics whatsoever.
    Most items so far are Hawke only. WTF is that? Items are screwed.
    The game has lost all the tactical tweaks that made RPG's different from shooters. It's just some crappy console game. Maybe it gets better.
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  71. Mar 24, 2011
    5
    Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
    The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of
    Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
    The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of cartoons/anime than dark fantasy.
    Non-combat skills like coercion or survival have been stripped from the game and overall the game feels strongly focused on combat and action.
    The story itself isn't bad, though the pacing seems somewhat odd at times. The companions are generally likable, though companion interaction takes place mostly during the companion quests.
    The city of Kirkwall, to which the player is mostly confined, feels unfortunately lifeless. NPCs are basically static background, which wouldn't be much of a problem if the game's story wouldn't take place almost entirely inside the city.
    Dungeons consist mostly of a few maps that are recycled over and over, with various passages blocked off by locked doors. Unfortunately the mini-map doesn't reflect the blocked passages, making the lack of variety in maps even more obvious.

    The game is certainly ok for a beginner RPG, but it cannot compare to BioWare's masterpieces by any means. It lacks the depths and complexity that Origins had and would have better been marketed as a spin off game than a sequel.
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  72. Mar 24, 2011
    1
    Terrible "Mass effect-style" interface, "mass-effect-style" gameplay, "mass-effect-style resources", "mass-effect-style-place here any thing from DA II"... horrific camera a-la "Lara Croft" and so on. Boring storyline, boring companions, boring enemies, boring fights, boring locations... strange product.
  73. Mar 24, 2011
    2
    Dear Bioware...talking about origins.... you have forgotten your origins. I wont say anything more about technical or in-game qualities. All is said. Bioware has betrayed his own style, creating a stupid commercial game. This is not rpg, this is a &"$·%"·. Bioware is loosing his rank of "King of RPGs" creating this kind of games. Please, innovate the rpg genreDear Bioware...talking about origins.... you have forgotten your origins. I wont say anything more about technical or in-game qualities. All is said. Bioware has betrayed his own style, creating a stupid commercial game. This is not rpg, this is a &"$·%"·. Bioware is loosing his rank of "King of RPGs" creating this kind of games. Please, innovate the rpg genre as, for example, Bethesda is doing. I miss baldurs gate, I miss neverwinter nights and his PW. Expand
  74. Mar 24, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It was evident that Dragon Age 2 was a rush job; much of the complexities that were in Dragon Age: Origins were stripped from the sequel. There are no skills to invest in such as Coercion, Pick-pocketing, and etc. Much of the class and skills are simplified into shorter trees of advancement. If I wanted to bring Merrill for the majority of my adventuring and needed healing, the problem was that all of the characters had their own skill and specialization trees and Anders the mage was the only one with a Healing skill tree. So yes, bad Merrill, no healing skills for you! The story wouldâ Expand
  75. Mar 24, 2011
    4
    Worst Bioware game ever in this company. They sold their souls to the EA money. Storyline is absent. Boring, monotonous tasks in the same locations are forgotten immediately. The dialogues are long and have no humor.
  76. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Instead of building on the Strengths of Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware created a game that failed to capture the imagination of gamers everywhere. A failed sequel in every way, the game should have been marketed as The Kirkwall Chronicles; a story that bears no relevance to its predecessor. The adventure that follows is repetitive, tedious, and very shallow. A Dragon Age for Dummies, whereInstead of building on the Strengths of Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware created a game that failed to capture the imagination of gamers everywhere. A failed sequel in every way, the game should have been marketed as The Kirkwall Chronicles; a story that bears no relevance to its predecessor. The adventure that follows is repetitive, tedious, and very shallow. A Dragon Age for Dummies, where its strength lies in its recycled approach to maps, characters, story and quests. The Plot is miserable, your actions donâ Expand
  77. Mar 23, 2011
    2
    Rubbish- recycled areas, no variation limited game-play real estate. No character development, No decent game length for an RPG. Boring over redundant game-play mechanics. The game felt aborted, unfinished, terrible "modern" graphics hardly warmed my gpu up and to have to repeatedly see the same scenery recycled poorly quest after quest, dungeon after dungeon was very detrimental to theRubbish- recycled areas, no variation limited game-play real estate. No character development, No decent game length for an RPG. Boring over redundant game-play mechanics. The game felt aborted, unfinished, terrible "modern" graphics hardly warmed my gpu up and to have to repeatedly see the same scenery recycled poorly quest after quest, dungeon after dungeon was very detrimental to the experience!
    HUGE disappointment. In trying to please a wider market manages to please practically no one. Some people like apples some people like pears....NO ONE likes a pearpple
    Bioware - for shame !
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  78. Mar 23, 2011
    1
    Dejavu is simply what I've been feeling throughout the game, constantly recycling of the maps and a storyline talking about a champion whose presence is felt only in a single town simply doesnt cut this as an epic adventure nor plot.

    The over reliance on tool tips is ultimately frustrating. Better time can be spent rather then when you have 6-7 item named "Ring" in your inventory and
    Dejavu is simply what I've been feeling throughout the game, constantly recycling of the maps and a storyline talking about a champion whose presence is felt only in a single town simply doesnt cut this as an epic adventure nor plot.

    The over reliance on tool tips is ultimately frustrating. Better time can be spent rather then when you have 6-7 item named "Ring" in your inventory and have to mouse over just to see what each one of them are. Have developers became so lazy to even make item names more meaningful. Combat is extremely predictable, instead of throwing quality fights on you, developers have decide to throw waves of predictable mobs on you with a certain fixed combination of mobs.
    Even more absurd is how they do not bother to give these waves a common sense entrance.
    For example, how retarded can it sound when you are in the middle of the docks and mobs appear with a 'jump down from above' animation? What are they? Para-troopers? I never knew dragon age have advanced so much in technology that mobs can make such entrances.

    Money can be better spent else where, do not feel the urge or pressure to buy this just because it WAS a hit in the first release.
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  79. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Before starting Dragon Age 2, I went back to a Lothering saved game from Dragon Age: Origins to study the look of the NPC's; I wanted my Hawke character to resemble one of the NPC's from the original game... perhaps that seems strange, but I thought it would be fun from a role-playing perspective. I realized at that time that the DA:O NPC's had just a few basic models/molds that were thenBefore starting Dragon Age 2, I went back to a Lothering saved game from Dragon Age: Origins to study the look of the NPC's; I wanted my Hawke character to resemble one of the NPC's from the original game... perhaps that seems strange, but I thought it would be fun from a role-playing perspective. I realized at that time that the DA:O NPC's had just a few basic models/molds that were then copied to populate the city. I was somewhat shocked, because I hadn't really noticed that during my first two DA:O playthroughs. I mention this because DA:O definitely "cut corners": linear pathways/not very open, clone NPC's populating cities, multiple dialog choices that lead to the same outcome, etc. The beauty of DA:O, however, was that the Bioware mages (developers) created Disney-like illusion: an epic storyline, characters you could have in-depth conversations with (at the time of your choosing), the ability to modify your companionsâ Expand
  80. Mar 23, 2011
    0
    After reading all the negative user reviews, I assumed people were over-reacting. As a fan of the first game I anticipated a similar engaging, driving storyline with enough RPG elements to make it more than just a by-the-numbers action adventure. Instead after 10 hours of play, I feel no compulsion to play on anymore. It feels like a poor copy of the original, with all the interestingAfter reading all the negative user reviews, I assumed people were over-reacting. As a fan of the first game I anticipated a similar engaging, driving storyline with enough RPG elements to make it more than just a by-the-numbers action adventure. Instead after 10 hours of play, I feel no compulsion to play on anymore. It feels like a poor copy of the original, with all the interesting bits taken out. Granted, if the game were called something else altogether, it may be more enjoyable - but having played the original, this just feels like a big disappointment. The grey warden fighting the forces of darkness was an interesting idea, well implemented, and fun to play through to the end. A generic "champion" raising money to go on treasure hunt is not. Expand
  81. Mar 23, 2011
    6
    While entertaining, this game doesn't come close to its predecessor. There are two problems with DA2: first it has a number of extremely silly design flaws, and second that it differs from Origins in many respects without bringing any improvement to the table.

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

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

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

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

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

    What EA/Bioware have done to Dragon Age is, in Talleyrand's words, worse than a crime - it's a mistake.
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  82. Mar 23, 2011
    8
    Dragon Age 2... just finished Act 2, and while I do enjoy it a great deal, it just doesn't compare to Dragon Age: Origins. In DA:O, the adventure was EPIC, and the companions were so much fun! In DA2, all you're trying to do is make money during the entire first Act. That's kind of lame. And the companions... I couldn't care less about them. On it's own, DA2 is a fun game, but whenDragon Age 2... just finished Act 2, and while I do enjoy it a great deal, it just doesn't compare to Dragon Age: Origins. In DA:O, the adventure was EPIC, and the companions were so much fun! In DA2, all you're trying to do is make money during the entire first Act. That's kind of lame. And the companions... I couldn't care less about them. On it's own, DA2 is a fun game, but when compared to it's predecessor, it's definitely lacking. However, I'm giving my score based on this game and not in comparison with DA:O. It was still highly addictive and the storyline gets better as it goes on. Expand
  83. Mar 23, 2011
    3
    The combat system revamp does not bother me. What does bother me is when party members don't ****ing hold position when I tell them. Let me give you an example: fighting the first dragon you come across in the deep roads. I want to kite the boss back to a better position, I tell my party to HOLD POSITION, meaning that unless I get a loading screen, or a cut-scean, they should not moveThe combat system revamp does not bother me. What does bother me is when party members don't ****ing hold position when I tell them. Let me give you an example: fighting the first dragon you come across in the deep roads. I want to kite the boss back to a better position, I tell my party to HOLD POSITION, meaning that unless I get a loading screen, or a cut-scean, they should not move from that spot under any circumstances no matter what. What actually ends up happening is that the horrible party AI system decided to teleport them to me three times in the course of no more than a 15 second walk from where I told them to HOLD POSITION. Since I'm playing on nightmare and my party for the most part is completely useless anyway, due to iffy at best aggro mechanics, (I have abandoned my warrior since she does so little damage, once the 10 second taunt is up, it all runs to the casters anyway), and party member's AI being too stupid to move out of the way of 1 shot kill boss mechanics, I have abandoned my party almost all together. This has let to the already nearly non existent party member story lines, to be nonexistent all together since it is not worth it to bring them with me.

    Furthermore the lack of being able to give your party members armor, has made it so that my mage has both twice the armor and defensive stat of the game's intended warrior tank, making that party member useless (she is also a bit of a stuck up **** anyway).

    My largest gripe BY FAR is how lazy the level design team was: FIVE count them FIVE times, the game reused the EXACT SAME DUNGEON. I don't mean, oh you have to go back into the dungeon, no, a completely different area has the EXACT SAME DUNGEON layout, even the set pieces are the same. This game has no re-playability at all, $60 is a rip off for this piece of garbage, maby $20 is worth it. I wouldn't know, I'm glad I torrented it or I woudl have been pissed off that I wasted $60.
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  84. Mar 23, 2011
    0
    What else can I say that hasn't been said? This is what happens when money hungry companies take control over everything. We get crap, crap, and more crap. Take a great game that took years to develop, dumb it down for the console kiddies, call it a sequel - since you can make more money that way - and just shout a big "screw you" to every gamer who enjoyed what the first one was about.What else can I say that hasn't been said? This is what happens when money hungry companies take control over everything. We get crap, crap, and more crap. Take a great game that took years to develop, dumb it down for the console kiddies, call it a sequel - since you can make more money that way - and just shout a big "screw you" to every gamer who enjoyed what the first one was about. Nothing about this game is on par with Dragon Age: Origins. Nothing. It's a piece of garbage. How the developers let this happen is beyond me, and they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to be released.

    I was looking forward to this game so much, only to find that it's a fraction of what the original game was. Don't worry though, they're bound to release tons upon tons of DLC, side quests and other trash that add nothing to the core experience, but do subtract from your wallet.

    As a standalone RPG, this game deserves a 4 or 5 out of 10. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the luxury of being reviewed on its own merits, as it's following a truly great game. By that relative measure, this piece of trash deserves a zero.
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  85. Mar 23, 2011
    7
    The story is good, but riddled with fetch quests. This isn't the best game Bioware has made but they've set the bar pretty high with titles like the original Dragon Age and the Mass Effect series. Fans of RPGs will eat this up, while your average lover of adventure games will find enough appreciation in the storyline to justify trying it out too.
  86. Mar 23, 2011
    1
    WARNING: Most of the 9's and 10's on this site are obvious attempts by BioWare employees to skew the negative reviews this game has been getting. It's already been confirmed that an engineer at BioWare named "Avanost" (real name: Chris Hoban) left a 10/10 review for this game -- with ridiculous praise, to boot! Google it yourself if you like. Anyhoo, I am now 2/3 of the way through inWARNING: Most of the 9's and 10's on this site are obvious attempts by BioWare employees to skew the negative reviews this game has been getting. It's already been confirmed that an engineer at BioWare named "Avanost" (real name: Chris Hoban) left a 10/10 review for this game -- with ridiculous praise, to boot! Google it yourself if you like. Anyhoo, I am now 2/3 of the way through in this game and am finally giving up. I'm going to trade this puppy in before its value goes below $7.00 (which is what EB Games offered me). I thought the game would get better but it definitely _doesn't_! I finished the first one (on the PC) and after playing through the second, I feel that the name "Dragon Age" shouldn't be anywhere in the title. This is a hack'n'-slash game through-and-through -- and when I say that, I don't mean in a good way either. I'm saddened to say it, but buy this game at your own risk. Expand
  87. Mar 23, 2011
    3
    Terrible game. It's poorly written, has no MAIN PLOT whatsover. It feels like a crappy collection of side quests. You never really get to know any of the characters. The combat is abysmal, and felt like crap to play.

    Just go play Dragon Age: Origins again, and you'll get 100 times the enjoyment out of that than this crap.
  88. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Ender008
    Mar 23, 2011
    4 I honestly cannot justify going into very much depth on the mechanics of DA2--all I can say is that I feel horribly betrayed. It's nothing short of a tragedy to see the squandered potential of the title of sequel to DA:O. Dragon Age 2 is a step back for the series, and after playing a few hours of it, I found myself starting a new character in Origins. DA2 is
    Ender008
    Mar 23, 2011
    4
    I honestly cannot justify going into very much depth on the mechanics of DA2--all I can say is that I feel horribly betrayed. It's nothing short of a tragedy to see the squandered potential of the title of sequel to DA:O. Dragon Age 2 is a step back for the series, and after playing a few hours of it, I found myself starting a new character in Origins. DA2 is unsatisfying, and barely tries to even present the illusion of choice. I felt no attachment to Hawke; the fact that he's fully voiced actually managed to push me away even further. This game doesn't even deserve the title of RPG, nor does it deserve the lore of Dragon Age. I pray to the developers that they'll rectify this disaster of a game by returning to RPG style gaming for the next Dragon Age. I honestly felt my IQ drop as a played the unfortunate mess that is Dragon Age 2. The only thing positive to come of this is that I will be joining the modding community of DA:O to help extend its lifespan for those of us who appreciate what a work of art it is. Please stay away from DA2 if you have any sense.

    [EDIT TO MY FIRST REVIEW:] I started to read through other reviews to see what others thought of the game to see if I could find any redeeming qualities and I stumbled on something that I absolutely needed to share, because it sums up what's so horrible about DA2. Someone posed this as a positive point, yet where's the roleplaying aspect in this? Here is the quote: "There's also the thing where no matter what speech option you pick, Hawke comes off sounding completely badass and awesome."
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  89. Mar 23, 2011
    0
    I was really impressed with DA and DA:O but unfortunately DA 2 was a total let down. The whole game has a recycled cookie-cutter feel, especially with the quest design. All the game does is take you around to the exact same areas in each Act, but just with different quests. Laziness anyone? There isn't even a true world map like the original Dragon Age. It feels very constrained, and thereI was really impressed with DA and DA:O but unfortunately DA 2 was a total let down. The whole game has a recycled cookie-cutter feel, especially with the quest design. All the game does is take you around to the exact same areas in each Act, but just with different quests. Laziness anyone? There isn't even a true world map like the original Dragon Age. It feels very constrained, and there are about 3 different types of enemies: humans, darkspawn, and spiders...what a joke. If I could return the game for a full refund I would do so in a heartbeat these guys will never get my money again charging 60 dollars for something that is probably worth about 10. I could go on but wasting more time with this game is pointless, just want to warn people out there in case they are wondering about buying the game, and just look at the "Critic" reviews being all positive and the Users (who actually play the game more than an hour, unlike the critics) and decide for yourself. Wait for a better game this isn't it. Expand
  90. Mar 23, 2011
    0
    I'll just leave this here:

    http://www.gamecritics.com/brad-gallaway/dragon-age-ii-review#comment-38510

    ............. btw I'm giving this a 0 to do my part to offset the 10s given by the EA/Bioware review writers.
  91. Mar 22, 2011
    9
    This has been review bombed because it's the cool thing to do, however I am going to review the game based on my 40+ (and counting) hours I have spent on it. Currently on my 2nd playthrough. First, my credentials: I'm a hardcore girl gamer. I spent countless hours on Baldur's Gate, NWN, Planescape Torment, Mass Effect to name a few, and of course DA:O. Second of all, I absolutely love itThis has been review bombed because it's the cool thing to do, however I am going to review the game based on my 40+ (and counting) hours I have spent on it. Currently on my 2nd playthrough. First, my credentials: I'm a hardcore girl gamer. I spent countless hours on Baldur's Gate, NWN, Planescape Torment, Mass Effect to name a few, and of course DA:O. Second of all, I absolutely love it for some inexplicable reason, which may have something to do with a rather engaging story requiring a lot of your input and attention, fast paced visceral (not just a buzz word) combat, beautiful looking art, some cute injokes (about the world being too brown, lulz) amazing attention to detail, a levelling system that is simplified but actually makes more real world sense than the previous one did, non-repetition (something I had a big gripe with in DA:O) and some neat throwbacks to your imported DA:O save. I have ALWAYS wanted to see where my character choices would take me over time, so it is extremely gratifying to be able to play over multiple years and really have a big impact on the events of the game, rather than just playing through them. My favourite thing about RPGs is designing characters, and in Dragon Age 2 they've allowed you plenty of room to shape Hawke how you want. There's also the thing where no matter what speech option you pick, Hawke comes off sounding completely badass and awesome. The voice acting is phenomenal. It's also worth noting that every character is voiced and lip-synched, you don't do any reading. Not long ago that was unheard of. I was unprepared for how emotionally invested I got into this, which is party why I'm rating it so highly. I really cared when... okay no spoilers, but there are some character deaths that kind of got to me. At first I was determined to play a "renegade" character, but I found myself responding to conversations with the choices I really would pick in real life, because I was so damn invested.

    One other thing I really want to mention is that I am replaying immediately after finishing the game, as I can't bear to think about all the stuff I missed by choosing certain options. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Why it's not a 10/10: Some things were dumbed down too far, like conversation choices. It by no means stopped me from enjoying the game, but micromanagement is a popular hobby of a lot of hardcore gamers, so it's nice to have the option there. Secondly, it's too short, and the ending is rushed, I'm guessing this is because Bioware are looking forward to rolling out masses of DLC to us. I did notice the price on steam was a bit less than what I paid for DA:O on release date, (as far as I recall I paid $100 for it, which is common with AAA new releases, keep in mind I'm Australian and everything is expensive) paying $70 for a new release is a little easier to swallow. Awakening was a great expansion, so I'm up for more of that. Anyway, I just wanted to balance out the negitivity as I have really enjoyed this game and it's up there with ME2 for me. A lot of people had a whinge about how bad DA:O looked when it came out, and I have to wonder if they bothered playing it on a decent PC. These games look great pumped up to max settings. If you can't run those, then don't whinge. If you have a PS3, reflect on your inability to upgrade your video card.

    Seriously guys, stop looking for flaws and just enjoy it. It's not a perfect game for the reasons I stated above, but it really is worth playing for anyone remotely into the fantasy genre. I'm curious how many hours some of the other reviewers here spent on the game. Did they just play the demo? I thought the demo made the game look pretty **** actually. It's apparently cool to hate on big companies (that secretly review their own games) but it's not cool to just jump on a bandwagon without evaluating something for yourself first. I tell you what though, I am damn well sick of killing abominations. Makes me almost want to lock those mages up. Sorry Anders, that was a joke. I DIDN'T MEAN IT ANDERS.
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  92. Mar 22, 2011
    1
    Awful game. Some console slasher, no strategy, only mashing buttons. 0 as the whole game is. No story line, no memorable characters, only ONE location for all game, awful quests, degraded inventory (why i can change my companions armor?). This game was made as a quick money making mashine. I was your fan bioware sins first Never winter. But today i lost all hope in you.
  93. Mar 22, 2011
    7
    I just finished the game on pc and i'm still not sure how I should feel about this game. It's definatly a fun game. The story, dialogue wheel and combat mechanics is a positive change for me but the fact to you play the whole game in 1 city and that all the dungeons are the same puts alot of it's charm backwards.

    I give it a 7 cause it has dragon age slap on it and i'm a fan of the
    I just finished the game on pc and i'm still not sure how I should feel about this game. It's definatly a fun game. The story, dialogue wheel and combat mechanics is a positive change for me but the fact to you play the whole game in 1 city and that all the dungeons are the same puts alot of it's charm backwards.

    I give it a 7 cause it has dragon age slap on it and i'm a fan of the series.If it had been a new rpg I would have rated it a 5 or maybe 6.
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  94. Mar 22, 2011
    6
    MadJackMcMad
    Earl


    A fair and balanced review. Although choice is the epitome of recent Bioware offerings, choice is not given here. Three races are reduced to one, and six origins are reduced to one. As such, I could only play as the queasily named â
  95. Mar 22, 2011
    1
    Bottom 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.Bottom 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
  96. Mar 22, 2011
    6
    First off, I am a veteran of Dragon Age: Origins, but still enjoyed this game. I played the game to completion in about 25 hours. Instead of going into a mega-rant about why I gave this game a 6/10 instead of a higher score, I will break it down into simple Pros and Cons: Pros: - Character development is more enjoyable than in DAO
    - Player can feel "connected" to these characters and
    First off, I am a veteran of Dragon Age: Origins, but still enjoyed this game. I played the game to completion in about 25 hours. Instead of going into a mega-rant about why I gave this game a 6/10 instead of a higher score, I will break it down into simple Pros and Cons: Pros: - Character development is more enjoyable than in DAO
    - Player can feel "connected" to these characters and immerse themselves somewhat into the world
    - Desire to finish the storyline (which is not very cohesive)
    - References to DAO Cons (Much more substantive list)
    - My biggest gripe is that the game is not finished. The ending is lackluster, incomplete and basically set up to sell you, the customer, more DLC's and expansions that will inevitably finish the story
    - Huge let down with character development - after Bioware spends so much time connecting you to your side characters, everything is just left "hanging" at the end of the game
    - Battle system significantly dumbed down
    - No customization for other character's armour, limited weapon customization
    - Glitchy, Buggy quests ruin the game in some spots (crucial quest points with Merill are still bugged at time of writing)
    - The script is extremely corny in some places, making things absolutely cringe-worthy in many many parts of the game
    - EXTREMELY limited environments. Dungeons are recycled over and over again, by the end of Act 1, you've probably seen every environment that can be offered to you. This ruins the game environment in many places when you think to yourself "Wait... haven't I been here before?"
    - Non-cohesive storyline in many cases, quests do not seem connected
    - Choices don't really affect your ending, contrary to many other Bioware games

    Tl; Dr? If you are a fan of the original game, you will be disappointed with the dumbed-down combat, story, environments, incomplete ending, and so on. If you are looking for a hack-and-slash game, without much development, you may enjoy this game more.
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  97. Mar 22, 2011
    0
    I made an account on this website just to post a review for this. I heard about the game and was initially excited. I thought it would be another good RPG from BioWare to hold me over until Skyrim came out later this year. Huge pissing disappointment there, I uninstalled this putrescent piece of garbage after less than an hour of playing it. Right off the bat you get greeted with totallyI made an account on this website just to post a review for this. I heard about the game and was initially excited. I thought it would be another good RPG from BioWare to hold me over until Skyrim came out later this year. Huge pissing disappointment there, I uninstalled this putrescent piece of garbage after less than an hour of playing it. Right off the bat you get greeted with totally flaccid graphics and dialog, randomly thrown into a mind-numbingly stupid hack and slash zombie encounter. Right then and there I knew I had wasted my sixty bucks. Safe bet I won't be buying any BioWare products in the future, even their much anticipated MMO. Btw, it's pretty much certain that their reviews were bribed. This piece of **** doesn't even deserve a 30%. Back to playing RIFT and dusting off my Oblivion and Morrowind when I wanna play a decent single-player RPG! Expand
  98. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    Seems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather thanSeems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather than continuing and expanding Dragon Age.

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

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

    It would have been better if they simply used everything from the original (gameplay, style etc) and simply added a continuation of the story.
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  99. Mar 22, 2011
    9
    9/10 (would have given a 9.5 or so), because it's obviously not perfect, but I think it's a very good game. The new combat system is really a step in the right direction -- more action, more gore, more fun. I don't like all the characters, but I don't get the feeling like I'm supposed to like all the characters. The ones I do like, I like a lot, and the ones I don't like, I hate. I'm not9/10 (would have given a 9.5 or so), because it's obviously not perfect, but I think it's a very good game. The new combat system is really a step in the right direction -- more action, more gore, more fun. I don't like all the characters, but I don't get the feeling like I'm supposed to like all the characters. The ones I do like, I like a lot, and the ones I don't like, I hate. I'm not talking about the way they've been characterized, but I mean their actual personalities. I find the game very engaging.

    I like the new skill tree system, and the dialog wheel that gives you an indication of what kind of persona you're going to portray before you select something. Some of the dialog options in DA:O were a little vague so you might accidentally say something you didn't mean. The wheel system (ala Mass Effect) takes the vagaries out.

    I also find the story to be very engaging, and for me this is the most important aspect of any RPG. Without getting into spoilers, I have found the story to be driving enough to lead me to replay the game multiple times in order to get a different story. I'm also something of an achievement addict, so naturally I have to get all the achievements!

    Technically, the graphics are very nice, and the game actually has less bugs (for my system at least) than Dragon Age: Origins did. Overall, the game would have gotten a 10/10 if it weren't for the companion armor system (which I don't like).
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  100. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    ILL make this short and sweet, i loved dragon origins and played the hell out of that game, but when i played this game, i could not be more shocked to see they would actually sign this game off as bio ware approved. I never at any point felt i was an epic character, or felt a huge attachment to my characters as i did in part 1. This sequel should of been easy to make. keep what worked andILL make this short and sweet, i loved dragon origins and played the hell out of that game, but when i played this game, i could not be more shocked to see they would actually sign this game off as bio ware approved. I never at any point felt i was an epic character, or felt a huge attachment to my characters as i did in part 1. This sequel should of been easy to make. keep what worked and fixed what didn't. its like bio ware didn't think twice about how there fans really felt and instead killed everything i loved about the first.

    if you like half assed then this is the game for you :(
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

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