User Score
4.3

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4170 Ratings

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  1. Mar 22, 2011
    10
    I found the artwork absolutely gorgeous, and the interface extremely slick. Some things were 'streamlined' compared to the first, but I much preferred the new interface. Combat was still challenging and required strategic placement and use of skills - though I did miss friendly fire on Hard mode. I loved the new ability trees and crafting mechanics, which didn't feel like a chore. But what I really play Dragon Age for is the story. This one did not disappoint. It felt a bit slow at the start, since Act I is mostly building up your character through various tasks without really being able to see where it is going. The threads fairly quickly begin to weave together though, into very satisfying second and third acts. The story isn't quite as epic as the first one, but I think a more personal story is actually the better choice here, rather than a "save the world again" rehash. My character went through moments of tragic loss, impossible moral dilemmas, and a shocking betrayal. The new companions can give the old ones a run for their money, and having a protagonist that isn't silent is a big improvement in character interaction. Secondary characters are extremely well done; the Arishok was a particular favourite. Expand
  2. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    I was a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins, so naturally I was really looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, like so many before me I was left disappointed. My biggest complaint would have to be the recycled environments. I can forgive Bioware for using the same city and surrounding areas due to the fact that the whole story takes place in Kirkwall, but when I'm forced to fight through the same few dungeons (it's still the same dungeon no matter how many paths you block or open up) and explore the same homes over and over again I just can't help but wonder if they really thought their fanbase would be okay with this. I'm also not very fond of the multiple waves of enemies. I don't mind big battles, but it just seems a bit stupid when the second waves always just sort of materialize out of nowhere. I could go on and on about my problems with this game (voiced protagonist, dumbed down rpg mechanics, weaker writing, etc.) but I'll end this on a happier note. Despite everything mentioned above, this still feels like a Dragon Age game. The story (although a little weak) kept me interested enough to finish the game and a few of the characters actually grew on me. Overall this is a disappointing game, however there are still enough positive aspects about it for it to not be a complete waste of money. Just a minor one. Expand
  3. Mar 22, 2011
    2
    Don't believe the hype. This game is so riddled with lazy design choices that it's insulting. The designers thought it would be a good idea to copy-paste the same dungeons over and over again? Not to mention most of the fights play out EXACTLY the same way: kill initial wave and then kill one or two more which swarm in from all directions. There is no variety. For 60$ bucks I was expecting a triple A release and what I got was tepid shovel-ware. I have learnt that you should always base your purchase off user reviews and not the "critic's" reviews as they're all under the publishers control. I'd give it a pass or at the very least wait until the "platinum" edition comes out which will also be cheaper and have all the DLC. Expand
  4. Mar 22, 2011
    1
    Refrain from buying this game if you have any expectations. While the game is not a complete disaster when regarded as a standalone game, you will get disappointed if you want to play it because you liked Dragon Age: Origins. Basically it is just a thumbed down, simplified version of its predecessor.

    My rating is not only game related, but mostly Biowares fault. While I would give the
    game a 4-5/10, Biowares extreme failure forces me to make it 1/10. How can a gaming company even dare to censor people opinions about the game in their forums, having workers write ridiculous hymns of praise on metacritic and paying major magazines money to give outrageous scores? Just refrain from buying Bioware products if you can avoid it. Don't support companys with such low ethical standards until they feel the consequences. This is the only way to hurt them for deceiving people in such a shameful, pathetic way. Greedy bastards.

    But now to the game, which I played to the end. DA2 had 18 Months of development time, while DA:O took about five years. This manifests throughout the game which looks nice in the beginning, but lacks quality the longer you run around doing mindless, uninnovative quests. The combat system itself is fun at first but gets annoying due to it repetitiveness and unfair spawn system. A typical mission looks like this: Go to a cave, do x, collect y. Encounter enemies which spawn in weird waves that make no sense at all. When you run into the middle of a room you can be sure that enemies spawn right around you and the first thing you have to do in every fight is moving your fragile casters around the place and kite monsters so they don't die. Monsters are killed, many more enemies spawn for an unknown reason (couldn't they just be there from start) right in your casters again. Repeat kiting. Expect this to happen in 95% of all fights. And why do monsters suddenly spawn in hordes when there was not the slightest sign of enemies seconds before the encounter? Challenge in the fights come from unfair mechanics like hordes of monsters spawning in your ranged characters. This was so annoying, I can't put enough emphasis on it. Boss fights suck. On higher difficulties they are next to impossible due to near infinite health rather than intelligent design. You will do the same few button combinations for half an hour if you decide to fight that dragon/random other boss on hard difficulties. Often the result is endless kiting until the boss is finally dead - not worth it. A really sad game mechanic for a hyped 2011 game but probably the only possible outcome for a game which is rushed to make more money from the franchise.

    Next annoying thing is the game recycling as you advance through the game. While the main city Kirkwall and 4 locations outside of the city are not too shabby at first, EXPECT TO SEE THEM OVER AND OVER AGAIN THE WHOLE GAME. EXPECT INSIDE LOCATIONS TO BE SEEN DOZENS OF TIMES WITH DIFFERENT ENEMIES. Every house, every dungeon, every cave is used multiple times. Seriously, there is no excuse for this in any way. Next thing are shallow companions inculding a crappy dialogue system. Low friendship/romance options are usually maxed out by pressing the "friendly" or "heart" answer 3-4 times. Clicking through the choices couldn't be simpler and has really nothing to do with role playing. Random pirate **** which offers sex to you the minute you talk to her, eerie looking elves on crack and other rather uninteresting characters you can have fight along your side.

    The storyline is another failure, since there is NONE. You flee from darkspawn to Kirkwall and try to become a champion there, which you are later on by collecting generic herbs, fighting some bad boys and rescuing maidens. There is no real mainplot which guides you through the game, generally you don't have a clue what to do next or what happens, since you will start running from one questmarker to another. At a certain point I didn't even bother to read quest texts anymore but rather collected the exp from certain generic, really, really, boring sidequests. This game is tricky though, at first it made me think "Aww.. what a bunch of haters, the game is not too bad. Nice fighting, decent graphics." But then you realize more and more that the hate has a foundation. The foundation is bad game design which can hardly be considered standard in a 2011 AAA+ game. Basically you end up running around in the same textures over and over again, slaying the same models of enemies over and over again as you advance through the three acts in the game. I also did not like the unlogical choices you are forced to make later on, but this is rather my personal taste on the story, which I found really awful.

    Do not buy this game if you are searching for a good role-playing game.
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  5. Mar 22, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game; it just devolved into something that is unworthy of carrying the "Dragon Age" title and the burdens that comes with it. The previous game was a marvelous and a near-perfect take of what a next-gen RPG could be, probably not too great on the consoles, but its as true as an RPG gets on the PC. Fans of Origins have to lower their expectations or rather set it accordingly, because to be honest, it's just that different.

    I don't really like to compare games to other games and franchise, but I do compare them when it comes to sequels, because the purpose of a sequel is to surpass the previous one, and in this case Dragon Age 2 fails to please. It just feels like a different, less impressive franchise. The improvements are only a little bit on the graphics, I really do enjoy the faster pace of the battle, and the span of 10 years the story takes. That said, the rest is just regression, as Bioware erased away the defining feature of the previous game such as; customizable party member's equipment, multiple races to play, multiple endings, unique builds that you can come up with (such as dual-wielding arcane mage and warrior with bow), varying areas, and that is not all, unfortunately. I give it an honest score of 4, as it is less than a half of what Origins were. To be noted that this is not a rant of rage, its just a lament of a dissatisfied loyal fan of RPGs and Bioware itself as a great video game studio.
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  6. Mar 21, 2011
    2
    Just finished playing the demo! It was fantastic!!! NOT!!! IT WAS A STEAMING PILE OF **** How could they do this to Dragon Age Origins!?

    â
  7. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My experience with Dragon Age 2 has been a complete mess (similar to all the Bioware/EA PR incidents that have been happening lately) since I picked the game up on release date, fully regretting it. While the presentation, graphics and sound of the game are bordering on average the biggest difficulty lies with this less than mediocre game relying on the name of it's predecessor for sales while failing in all the areas that should have been improved. While the graphical style is good and does make for a nice looking game the extremely low resolution textures and terrible models of certain people in Kirkwall stand out extremely badly, not only that but because every location in the game is repeated ad naueseum you notice it every single time. There is literally nothing in the soundtrack that stands out compared to some of the tracks in DA:O that really drives home the point that the composer mentioned in an IGN interview about being rushed by EA to push the game out as soon as possible. Now it is the gameplay that really causes the game to fall apart and where the poor work that was put into the game is clearest. The two main portions of the game- combat and conversation- were terribly done due to their desire to appeal to as many non-RPG fans as possible without attempting to cater to their true fanbase, the most insulting part of the game. The combat was pointless and repetitive where fights without 20 enemies falling out of the sky as reinforcements was an oddity and a severe lack of tactics became obvious as I never had to make custom tactics on the hard difficulty. Conversation under the mass effect wheel was even worse than it was in mass effect with the vaguest statements being available on your "choices" which hardly change a thing in the game and only give you an illusion of having a decision. Not only that but the story was so terribly written it must be embarrassing for anyone from the original DA:O team to play through it: a refugee where everyone that you care about dies, constant fast-forwarding that give you no incite on your character, random plot devices being thrown in such as the lyrium idol turning into Meredith's sword which seemed more like a "HEY REMEMBER THIS FROM 3-6 YEARS AGO?", random DA:O cameos that make absolutely no sense without explanation, stupid decisions by NPCs that they make for no reason and without any explanation such as Orlin using blood magic, Merril being kidnapped without any mention and still having the ability to use her to save her from her own kidnapping, terribly written romances (obviously Twilight referenced)... I can't keep going on without feeling sad for the state of this sequel, Bioware and the current direction video games are taking. There isn't even any lasting appeal to the game as you already play through the same area 100 times by the end of the game anyway. The idea about centering the story and game around a single city and how it was influenced by your character and what changed during your life isn't a bad idea but the implementation where nothing else changes in the scenery and absolutely everything remains the same for the 7 years of gameplay just pulls away from any semblance of immersion this game can give you. Just save your money, you'll find way better RPGs from budget studios than you will from Bioware now it seems. Expand
  8. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    You know, I was so excited about the release of this game. But, even the demo left something to be desired. The storyline was mediocre at best and they could have made a better looking game if they used DirectX 10 instead of the lagging DirectX 9. But, that is not even the biggest problem. If you even say one wrong word on the BioWare Forums (which are now run by EA), they can not only ban you from the forums for a few days, but also ban you from using/registering your game on the account. Meaning you will have to create a completely new account in order to play. Might not sound like a big deal, but if you have been with BioWare games for a while, all of your games and stats will be gone from the new profile.

    BioWare has really bit the big one when dealing with EA. Welcome to Nazi Gaming.
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  9. Mar 21, 2011
    5
    Enjoyable, but, ultimately, disappointing.
    I suppose that, after loving Dragon Age: Origins, I can't be blamed for having high expectations. Even when they were 'hyping it up' I was like 'that's just marketing'...but along w/ the anticipation, there was, of course, some worry.
    After my first playthrough (somewhere between 60 - 70 hours. I like to be thorough: my first DA:O was a little
    under 110 hours), I definitely had mixed feelings. It was enjoyable, but even while I was playing, the thought that 'it could have been SO MUCH BETTER' kept nagging at me.

    Pros:
    - faster pace of combat: the current pace works for DA2's mechanics, I guess. Same goes for the animations (I liked the one for the 2-handed warrior in my first playthrough and the one for the mage in my current playthrough)
    - better visual atmosphere (in terms of lighting for structures/interiors. Better than DA:O, but could still be much better, methinks)
    - interesting/amusing banter/dialogue
    - story, as a whole, particularly the latter part of the game
    - characters: some characters, and their dialogue, are quite interesting. Varric, Arishok, and the short appearance of Flemeth come to mind.
    - voice acting: for the most part, the voice acting is quite good (FemHawke speaks too softly, IMHO. The Arishok and Flemeth are great)
    - performance: I'm using an older PC and, generally, it runs smoother than DA:O did. I've had some crashes and freezes, but they seem to be related to how long I've been playing (memory leak?).
    - visuals: IMHO, DA2 is an improvement over DA:O in terms of visual quality. The art style change grew on me so I didn't mind the change, much (and am curious as to how my favourite DA:O characters would like w/ DA2's style).

    Cons:
    - faster pace of combat (DA:O's may SEEM slow, until one is suddenly fighting multiple, tough, opponents...then one may be inclined to think "I wish combat were slower"). At times the animations may seem a bit too fast, too (particularly the rogue's, who moves like he's a member of a wushu demonstration team), but they're generally ok (DA:O's animation speeds were 'ok', IMHO, but I always thought that they could've been a wee bit faster. So I guess something between DA:O's animation speeds and DA2's would be just about right).
    - re-used environments: going from one quest to another, in different parts of the city/area, only to end up in the same caverns/mansion/warehouse/etc. breaks immersion, IMHO.
    - lack of access to see more of the city (an 'establishing shot' or a 'fly through/by' at the start to see most of Kirkwall, to give a sense of scale, would've been welcome, especially since you'll be wandering most of it's interiors throughout the game. A short cutscene arriving/departing from one part of the city would've been nice, too, and would've helped show scale)
    - story: IMHO, it feels 'disjointed' for the better part of the game, until it picks up near the end. (at which point the player may have already felt a 'disconnect' w/ the story/plot) Also, the 'jump' in time between 'acts' could have been handled much better.
    - quests: the 'bring me' quests where you immediately know the location of the found items, or the lack of quests/unlocks for the Specializations (unlike in DA:O where you had to unlock specializations)
    - linear environments: most of the locations that can be visited feel...constrained or linear. It doesn't help that most of the environments look bleak.
    - bugs: CTDs, memory leak (I guess) and, most annoyingly, Quest-related issues (example: a rather 'jarring' one where you have the quest resolution dialogue w/ a companion BEFORE even getting the quest)
    - feels like they rushed it out

    Conclusion:
    Is the game worth getting? I still think so. Is it worthy sequel to DA:O? Hmm. I personally wouldn't like to think of it as a sequel...just the second game in the same setting, and contributing to the story of the setting as a whole. On it's own, it's a decent enough game, but definitely feels 'rushed out'. As a sequel, DA2 is disappointing. Would I recommend it to anyone? Yes, but grudgingly and warning him/her to be patient, as I do think the story, as a whole, is quite good. If anything, it feels like the entire game is a 'set up' for something else, like a 2nd movie or book in a trilogy. It is my sincere hope that, if all the negative feedback is to go by, Bioware takes their time on the third game. It sucks to be disappointed, after all.
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  10. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    Bioware need to learn that rushing out or fast tracking a game for a quick buck is a sure fire way to lose there fanbase. While the combat system and graphics (if maxed out with high texture pack) are cool the plot of the game is a complete joke.

    Story wise it's very bland and unlike every other Bioware RPG it dosen't make any difference what dialogue options you pick for 95% of the game
    as the final outcome is exactly the same and this totally kills replay value. The fact that so many characters can't be saved from their fate really bugged me and killed the idea of being the hero of the story. Expand
  11. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    I've always thought of Bioware as a safe choice when buying a game. When EA took over I was worried that they were going to ruin another good game company, but surprisingly most of the games came out were good ol' Bioware (maybe abit rushed) with some useless DLC content that I did not care about. That was uintil I came across this joke of a game.
    First of all the world feels soulless and
    small. Well actually, the world feels small because it is small. Quoting a critic "You cant have an epic story on your backyard". That pretty much sums it up.
    The game feels more like a grind than a RPG - You're basically running the same linear dungeons over and over again with enemies that have slightly different color and name. Even the bosses are recycled.
    Combat requires no strategy at all, you can basically buttons mash your way trough the game. Increasing difficulty just requires the player to have more potions and the patience to spam the buttons longer. Sure the people looking for a simple game might enjoy it more, but anyone actually looking for a challenge should not bother with this game.
    Something that Bioware has always gotten right is the story, but not this time. Most of the charaters feel hollow and boring, charater cameos from DA:O just makes you wish you were playing DA:O instead.
    The story itself is rather non thrilling and the side quests are very repeative.
    The graphics are outdated (PC) to say the least and there are some annoying gliches with some of the older graphic cards. If the game looks like it was made 10-years ago, it should atleast work with older hardware.
    I could go on pointing out flaws in this game, but I think i made my point - Dont bother paying 60 bucks for a crappy game. If you absolutely must play this game, then do yourself a favour and wait for the GOTY version with all the DLC content and bugfixes.
    When compairing to other games this game does not deserve a 0 though, but on a Bioware scale it absolutely does. It is definitely by far the worst game they have ever done.
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  12. Mar 21, 2011
    5
    While DA Origins certainly was a spiritual successor to Baldurs gate, this second installment certainly is not. There are things I certainly do like about DA II , such as the Champions dialogue and realistic graphic and character advancement, the Qunari for example look more evolved and some of the textures in the towns and the fighting areas. I have however played over 25 hours now and I am starting to see what Bioware have done. They have concentrated mainly on the "action" side of the game and removed some of the hardcore RPG elements that made Origins an instant success with RPG fans from the PC market. Fights are now alot faster, animations look sleek and some of the elemental spells and skills now look amazing. However, I am very dissappointed with the fact I am unable to change elements of my party's Armour, I am only able to find upgrades littered sporadically around the world map, via merchants. I am also unable to craft within my party, so they have removed the alchemy and poison making abilities and re routed the player to the merchants. You are also unable to gather raw ingredients to make your potions and poisons. Now you only have to find "sources" of raw materials, which then enable you to make the more advanced recipes with the more sources you find.
    I must say I am also dissapointed with the world map, it doesn't give you a sense of travel, it just zones you in. They have removed the random element of meeting trouble on the road too, so those random clearings you would come across filled with bandits seem to have been dropped also. I am only 25 hours into the game but I am also finding the dungeons and maps quite generic and repetitive thus far and I am hoping this may change. To summarize, we are living in an age where Console gamers now have the power to determine the future of the PC market, they are numbing down games for lazy gamers who just havent got the time and effort to really get stuck into their RPG's. I am a Mass Effect fan and I've really loved the ME series thus far, but they have practically butchered the Dragon Age series to fall in line with a heavy dialouge success that they have had with ME. I love heavy dialogue but all they needed to do was keep the same ingriedients they had with DA : Origins , with the main character dialogue like they have done in the second installment and that would have been perfect. I have been enjoying the game so far, and reccommend it if you played Origins, but if you loved Origins for its Baldurs gate nostalgia you will definately be dissapointed with DA II. Lets hope they can salvage it with some good DLC.
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  13. Mar 21, 2011
    3
    The storyline really isn't bad and certain side-quests are of interest, often tying into the bigger picture. Unfortunately the mechanics and gameplay have been popamole'd to the extreme, with many of DA:O's best things "streamlined" (dumbed down) or removed. Companions range in quality from very good (Varric) to very bland (Fenris). The re-use of maps is unforgivable and makes even the above-mentioned side-quests a grind at times as you run through the same cave you've seen 100 times with a door blocked here and opened there. Bioware's attempt to "streamline" the game in an attempt to attract younger action game fans seems to have failed big. Not only have they failed to draw in a significant amount of those based on early sales but they have also jaded those of us who love a proper RPG and had faith in them to improve on the original title. Instead, not only is this much inferior, even the rushed out expansion to DA:O, Awakenings, is a better game than this. I worry for Mass Effect 3 now... Expand
  14. Mar 21, 2011
    7
    Good character development and story. Good use of lore w/in the story too. Combat is faster, but monotonous. Area maps and enemies are recycled ad nauseam. The inventory is tripped down to where only Hawke can wear armor or carry weapons. Mage Hawke's story is not distinct enough from the other two classes and needed to be for the story BW is trying to tell. Convos w/ companions are well done, but too short and too few in number. I still give the game a 7 as I did enjoy shaping Hawke's character. Finally, anyone into hard core or "old school" rpg should avoid DA2 like the plague. Expand
  15. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    As a fan of Dragon Age Origins and Bioware in general I was very much looking forward to this release. Some friends tried to dissuade pointing out the obvious such as this sequel followed far more quickly than Mass Effect 2 for instance. This is only important since it means that the time and care Bioware is famous for putting into their games could be lacking. Sadly despite the suspiciously glowing reviews from the major reviewers this game has not delivered. Much like with Mass Effect 2 before it Bioware has chosen to take the dumbing down route. A route which might I add is wholly unnecessary as the original games were incredibly successful. Now granted DA O wasn't perfect. But it had the depth that a real RPG needs. This one sadly does not. Crafting? Gone. Legitimate dialogue choices? Gone. Interesting interactions with the other party members? Gone. Ability to customize parties gear? Heavily restricted. Varied and interesting backgrounds? Gone. The point is this game is incredibly watered down. It doesn't even really feel like an RPG, more like an action game with some heavily watered down RPG elements. I'm still going to finish the game. After all I paid good money for the thing. But I am extremely disappointed in Bioware. The watering down in Mass Effect 2 was bad enough, this is unforgivable. Expand
  16. Mar 21, 2011
    9
    Can't believe all the hate here.... Are on my second play through and not disappointed at all. Graphics are clearly improved from DAO, but the style is a bit different. Voice acting is good overall and generally on par with DAO, while the story in my opinion is better. The conversation wheel works fine and for me the voiced protagonist is much better than the silent expressionless glare of the warden. I didn't see the combat as "dumped" down. Its true that it's a bit easier on normal than DAO, but I still managed to die a couple of times and tactics are needed to win the harder battles - even on normal. On the downside, the combat can feel a bit rushed at times and the gore is way over the top. All in all not a perfect game, but still a great one (and just as good as DAO). Expand
  17. Mar 21, 2011
    9
    Good game, actually far better than some of the older Bioware games, but not perfect and very far from DAO.
    There are a lot of improvements compared to the predecessor, graphics, combat, animations, but in some areas DAO was a bit better, like choices which affect the world, or dialogue.

    The story is great, far more original than the 'let's save the world again' idea in DAO, if you want
    dark fantasy, then this is the game to play. This however also means that the story is a bit more realistic, not as grand, or epic.

    The game has a lot of potential, however it's clear that a bit more time in development would have helped a lot. Some areas are recycled over and over again, and while the main quest is perfect, the side quests are.. mehh.. less original.
    On the bright side.. it's not as bugged as DAO was on release day.
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  18. Mar 21, 2011
    7
    I'm 10 hours in and I'm having fun. I read these user reviews before installing it and held my nose when I started it, expecting the worst. Perhaps these low expectations allowed me to appreciate the things the game has done right.

    Graphics are fine, I'm not sure what people are crying about. Gameplay is simple, but still challenging. Character progression system is unique and
    allows you to customize each hero nicely. Missions are well done and usually have an interesting twist. Most missions give you a choice at the end - the morally right thing and the monetarily right thing. And unlike most games, the morally right thing has almost no reward, so it's really tempting to do the evil thing. Dialogue is fairly well written.

    I mean, the game isn't spectacular. It's worse than the original in most ways, and isn't worth full price, but guys, it's not a 0/10. There are a lot of unhinged people on the internet...
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  19. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    If you were a fan of Origins and any of its old school predecessors, you will be extremely disappointed with this game. The game itself is not bad, the only problem I have with it is that Dragon Age and Bioware are written on it. It's a linear, hack n slash, button masher, and it can never hope to amount to anything more. The complex branching storylines and tactical, challenging combat are gone in favor of flashy moves, button mashing and a selection of 3, count em, 3 choices as to what path you will take through the game: kiss ass, smart ass, or douchebag. Take your pick. The sequel to one of the best rpgs of the previous decade is a watered down console port. How exciting. I guess I expected a major change after reading the GI preview and playing the demo, but there is no excuse for this piece of trash. I think the number of negative reviews speaks for itself, and I'm repeating like a broken record, but I just thought I'd share my two cents and help bring this garbage down to the score it deserves.â Expand
  20. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    Just played Dragon Age 2 for some time and Iâ
  21. Mar 21, 2011
    3
    They would have been better off naming this game "Diablo Age 3". The incessant combat, random loot generator, uninspired voice acting, and complete lack of RPG elements made for a thoroughly underwhelming gaming experience. Had EA been honest and told everyone up front that this was going to be a hack-n-slash gear hunt with some cinematics thrown in for good measure, I think people would have been willing to cut them a little slack. To claim this half complete abortion as the inheritor of the crown of Dragon Age and the "spiritual" successor of Baldur's Gate is a spit in the face of every RPG gamer who has ever played those games. If you are an RPG player, DO NOT BUY THIS GAME, it sucks (as an RPG). If you're just looking for 30 or so hours of mindless hack and slash in repetitive and over used environments on an aging graphics engine, and you have $60 that you just can't find something better to waste on, then this might just be the game for you. Expand
  22. Mar 21, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Game without soul.You have killed system rpg in game.Now, I am disappointed in your company.Ð Expand
  23. Mar 21, 2011
    6
    My review is mixed. Dragon Age 2 is a great game only if you haven't played the first game. If you haven't played D.A.Origins you wont miss the several different origins depending on your race. You wont miss the strategy part when having a fight. You wont miss the feel that you play a game in a huge map. You wont miss the different dungeons that you encounter all the time. If you haven't played D.A.O. Dragon Age 2 is a great game. But then if you haven't played Dragon Age Origins and you see this review know that you shouldn't play it after you finish Dragon Age 2, as you will make an account to Metacritic and write a similar review like mine Expand
  24. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    As a die-hard Bioware aficionado, I'm slightly disappointed with some aspects of DA2, and extremely disappointed with one particular aspect.

    First, the good: I enjoyed the graphics and most of the voiceovers. I think the graphics turned out just fine, as I am not a stickler for having sharp textures and screen-filling special effects. I don't play Bioware games for their graphics; I play
    them for the story and the gameplay. I really enjoyed the main characters' voiceovers, though a lot of the supporting characters seemed either over-done, or they sounded like they were Tranquil (when in fact the character was not Tranquil).

    When I play a Bioware title of late, I usually end up regretting that the game was so short, because it was so much fun while it lasted, but the mostly linear stories leave little room for replay. With DA2, I thought the game might end at a certain point, only to have it continue to drag on from there. I feel like the length of the game was up to what I would like to see more often in Bioware titles, but unfortunately, the added length seems to have harmed the epic feel of the story. Because there is a denouement partway through the game and then another build-up to the end, it feels like you are playing one exciting and fun game up through the first denouement, then a second, much shorter, less exciting game with an extremely anticlimactic finish afterwards.

    My biggest gripe, which single-handledly changes my rating of the game from an 8 to a 6, is the massive and wanton reuse of levels. No Bioware game to date has re-used levels this much, not only for side quests but also the main ones! Seeing the same levels, same enemy spawn areas, same music repeat over and over and over again led to my fatigue and general lack of interest in the game as it wore on. I wanted to complete it to see how it would end, but I really found the final 30% of the game to be absolutely exhausting and depressing to play.

    One of the things that immerses me in Bioware games is the way that your hero travels from place to place, making a major impact (for better or worse) on lives and building up notoriety, and then moving on. I think this feeling of the dynamic, wandering hero is stripped out of DA2, whereas you can find it in significant measure in all the other recent Bioware titles, particularly DAO, Mass Effect 1 and 2, and even the NWN and Baldur's Gate titles.

    The epic feel of Mass Effect is also gone. While I felt from the beginning that the Dragon Age story is decidedly less seminal than the Mass Effect story, there was definitely appeal and charm to DA:O's story, and you could see that it was quite "epic". Related to the concept of the lack of travel in DA2, you also get a feel that the scope of your actions in DA2 is much smaller, and you are basically fighting for control over a small microcosm. More disappointingly, just as it starts to become apparent how this microcosm might impact the rest of the Dragon Age universe, the game comes to an abrupt close.

    Bioware also gets "credit" (in a pejorative sense) for releasing the second game in a row with an extremely gimmicky-feeling final boss fight. It just seems like something you would see in an old CONTRA game on NES, and has little relevance or relation to the rest of the story.

    I haven't read any of the other user reviews yet so as not to bias mine, but I see a lot of negative reviews. I don't feel the need to be overly harsh; Dragon Age 2 is an enjoyable game with interesting mechanics that I would like to believe will have a series of redeeming expansions, or better yet, an excellent finisher in Dragon Age 3. Story-wise, it feels a bit like a trailer for a (hopefully) fantastic game to come; I wish they could have made it epic in its own right in a similar way to other mid-trilogy titles (Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, Mass Effect 2, etc).
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  25. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    I had just finished Dragon Age Origins, and proceeded to launch DA2. I was shocked and disappointed, to say the least, in the overall dumbed down design. This disappointment of course is mixed with a touch of sadness that a lineage of great games I have played over the years have may have become extinct and Bioware has (d)evolved them to this tripe. Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Dragon Age Origins are great games. DA2 is a clear example of fixing what clearly was not broken and leaving the faithful behind. Expand
  26. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This game is terrible. It looked great, when I saw it from a playthrough, and the critic review was rather nice{Speaking of critic reviews, were they bought off or something? Good thing I never trust the critic}. Then I realized how wrong I was when I actually sat down with it on the pc. I rolled a warrior. The gameplay is unbelievably bad. I have to continuously tell my character to attack, regardless of being swarmed by enemies, because she'll simply stand there dying otherwise. The play itself is atrocious; clunky to an impossible degree.

    The graphics look like something from at least five years ago, even on highest quality(and it eats processing and ram like no tomorrow to do so).

    The camera has no fixed point so you more often than not find yourself trying to continuously right click on enemies 'in front' of you which aren't in range, otherwise you have to drag your frame to see them.

    Targeting boxes are at the base of the enemies, so when you're engaged in combat you have to try and select the small location near their feet to target the one you want, otherwise you click right through their hollow bodies, on the ground behind them, then try and stupidly run to that point; somehow breaking the clunky system even further, as though that were possible.

    Worst of all.

    I haven't even managed to progress past the first 'real' battle yet. That's right. This is my review of the game five minutes in. Why?

    Because ally AI, which you need of course, is so unbelievably, impossibly, terribly, freaking retarded, that the game is borderline, if not, unplayable.

    I'm stuck with two warriors trying to take on a small band of undead things, and a single 'troll'. Okay what's so bad about this? My tank warrior ally is tanking the troll, all's good. I'm out there taking out the badies, and hitting the troll when I can. Okay all clear. Wait...

    WTF?!

    My mage. Whom I had modifed into an entirely medical roll, through both abilities, and selected tactics. Is standing there.

    Not healing me, or my ally, like an idiot. Full mana mind you, I even set her on 'near but not to be engaged in direct combat'.

    She stands there, looking at me, or a rock it's hard to tell to be honest, and watches me die.

    My ai medic, fails at the one task of being a medic. How can a game fail so hard?

    Dragon Age 2 is quite simply: terrible.

    Thankfully I never purchased it, having borrowed a copy from a friend to see how it was. There's cash I certainly didn't need to spend, glad I did it this way.
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  27. Mar 20, 2011
    1
    Really awful game. Most of the game has you doing low-effort quests in the same quest hub, fighting battles full of constantly spawning waves of garbage enemies that require no thought to defeat. The writing is terrible. All of the companions are written terribly as is BioWare's forte. Almost nothing you do ever seems to matter in the end. They don't even try to hide that the templar are Nazis.

    Completely forgettable.
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  28. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    Bioware keeps saying they improved Dragon Age. Apparently "improved" = "subtracted from" at Bioware. But still I think some of the lower reviews are based on the expectations coming off of Dragon Age: Orgins. This game is just ok, in the same way Arcania or Risen were ok. I could tell they were bad games, but there was plenty to enjoy within. Bioware has abandoned the PC crowd that created them. My advice is rent this on console, and spend no more than $10. The DLC is nothing to be missed. Expand
  29. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    Without going into to many details. Great voice acting, love the way your character stay in voice character should you be angry, funny or serious. However that alone does not carry a hole game. DA2 is infact incredible repetitive with the method of reusing areas for pretty much everything throughout the hole game, while the environment is very well made and detailed it gets very and i mean very boring really fast. Everything from the city to the dungeons are reused over and over and over, very tireing and you are constantly sitting with a feeling that somethings gotta change soon, but it never does.

    Moving on to combat. I got abit of mixed feelings on this one, while i enjoy the faster combat and the class cross combos you can do i absolutely hate the exploding bodies and massive gore that spew all over the place. Fatalities is another thing i liked from DAO but were totally removed from DA2 with exploding enemies. No much strategy in combat either, while you still got the tactical setup for your party there is no strategy to be made on the go, you can still pause and issue orders but you can no longer zoom as you did in DAO. Planning a combat in DA2 isnt to great either anymore considering the game just throw hordes of weak enms at you from all direction making it a total mess for any type of planning. Its clear the combat was not designed for your typical RPG but more of a hack n' slash type.

    Story time. The Hawke start interesting with them fleeing Lothering. Its all a nice setup for well, nothing. After that you just go around picking up side-quests and do main quests with any real story behind you, without any real sens of a goal or any sens of having a villian to fight. They make it clear that its all about Mages and Templars, but your in for a huge suprise when you realize that everything you did getting to the end didnt matter one bit. Every choice you make have zero matter on the world around you.

    Your party. You got a emo elf which is clearly some homage to J-RPGs, a naive elf, a brute ginger female, a pirate whore and a dwarf. You can romance either of em except two. Sadly DA2 have also gone taken a step back here, the romance that had a nice touch in DAO is just blend and dull in DA2.

    Dialog wheel. While i dont mind it to much, its abit to simple. Gone is persuasion, now you get a clear picture of what is what. If a romance option is ready the wheel make it clear with a heart shaped icon. Very simple, maybe to simple (?).

    Bugs and glitchs. Way to many, and that baffles me. Since iv never played a bioware game where so many glitchs and game breaking bugs actually took out the fun.

    Closing. Being a bioware fan and a fan of Dragon Age Origins i say that BioWare did not come through this time around. DA2 is short, unfufilling, lack and sens of purpose with the characters and the hole game have been simplified beyond words, it dosnt feel much like an RPG anymore. I think might have tried to appeal to a to wide of an audience and came up with something that didnt quite work. In short, it feels very rushed like it had a deadline they just barely made.

    I will look forward to Mass Effect 3 and hopefully Dragon Age 3. And i hope BioWares once and for all start improving their sequels, and dont let a deadline or something else get in their way of making a great game.

    My first thought was a solid 7, but after completing DA2 and learning that nothing you do matters it has lost all appeal to me. So sadly, very sadly i give DA2 a 6. =(
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  30. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    Generally a very bland and disappointing experience versus other "RPGs" and especially vs its legacy. This game is a linear shooter, barely an RPG and only very distantly related to the first game, Dragon Age Origins, a very strong traditional CRPG. It basically feels like a completely separate team was told to build a console shooter based in the Dragon Age universe. At its core DA2 a very simple refined shooter: 1) you run from nondescript environment to the next, 2) spamming AOE attacks to deal with the same waves of enemies, and 3) running circles around tedious boss fights. This is not however an RPG by any stretch: 1) the story is almost non-existent (I'm in Act 2 and no clue), 2) there is no character development, 3) the skill trees are there, but given how streamlined combat is, there is no strategy involved, 4) only the main character inventory can be changed (other than weapons) limited. In summary: Overall: 4 (Gameplay: 5, Story: 3, Graphics/Sound: 6, Fun: 2). Replay value: 0 Expand
  31. Mar 20, 2011
    1
    A dumbed down experience. Hack and slash combat, cluncky graphics, recycled enviroments bad pacing, boring storyline, bad dialog and companions. All the naysayers have been right since day one, this game has not been made with the spirit of an rpg and it's an insult to what Bioware used to be.
  32. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    First, you should know that this review comes from a fan of Dragon Age Origins. As far as I am concerned DAO was the best single player RPG of the past 10 years. With that said, DA2 is quite simply an epic fail. Kirkwall One of the well known 'features' of Dragon Age 2 is that the whole "story" takes place in Kirkwall. When I read this in a game preview, I didn't mind. I assumed (wrongly) that Kirkwall must be HUGE. The first thing you will notice after stepping into Kirkwall is how tiny it is. It takes all of 10 minutes to explore the whole entire city. You think you are going up some stairs to explore a new area when a dialog box pops up, "Would you like to gather your party and continue?". Uh, Ok. A screen pops up where you have to click a new area. Boom. You are transported to the new area that looks exactly like the first and is tiny, tiny, tiny. There are a few crates and sacks to open, but that is it.

    Oh well, you say. "I don't care how tiny it is, my attention span is so short every area will seem new to me anyways". Well you will also notice Kirkwall is filled with tons of people going about their business! What a sprawling city just filled with life! Unfortunately, you can't talk to any of these people. None. Zero. Clicking them does nothing. Area recycling

    OK, so now the dreaded area recycling that fangirls everywhere try to justify. I'd like to remind everyone that I play games for fun. I realize many of you now play games as a form of repetitive work (like WoW), in that case, you still won't like this game. It is truly ridiculous. Accept a quest, go through a mine, return back and get a reward. Good, it was fun. Accept another quest, go back to the exact same mine, but now somehow there are doors closed off with rocks, and new doors magically have opened. WTF? Ok whatever, I'll let it slide. Oh wait, please don't make me go back to Kirkwall to accept another quest. I know we have moved past this but Kirkwall is so small that I memorized every area, where everything was in just one pass through of the city. I can see how people can convince themselves that this area recycling is fine, as I did myself for a little while. But finally I cracked. I hate it. I hate this game. If you haven't cracked yet, just keep playing. It will happen. I promise.

    Exploration is a desired component for me in RPG's and there is no exploration here.

    Battles

    Not much to say about this one. Every battle is the exact same, with the a lot of the same enemies. This is just a real let down. Here is how it works: Approach an area, kill off about 7 - 10 enemies, a second wave of 7-10 enemies appears. Kill them. Move on. Every. Single. Battle. Is. The. Same. Two waves. Then done. All of them. So when you enter a battle, you know exactly what will happen, this absolutely kills immersion. It is obvious they tried to take a middle road in combat design to please console and PC players alike. They failed in both.
    Combat is boring, boring, boring and boring, no strategy, and did I mention boring.

    Story / Characters

    Ah what else. How about the story? Weak, beyond weak. I didn't have a single moment in the game that I found the story to be enaging, in fact most of the time it was flat out confusing and vague.
    In addition to the weak story that you don't care about the companion's histories are very undeveloped and interactions with them are dismal compared to its predcesor. The new dialog options of simply 'Peaceful' 'Funny' and 'Angry' is partially to blame. The old dialog system was much better.
    Unlike DA-O I felt no attachment to any of them because I was barely given any information about them or opportunity to learn about them.
    By the way, the main character being voiced was actually a huge detraction from the game, not a benefit.

    Conclusion

    I was expecting an epic sequel to DA:O. This is such an embarrassment of an RPG that I actually feel used, and conned. There is no possible way that BioWare was putting the finishing touches on this baby and thought, "Wow, good job guys. This game is really fun". The game is small, repetitive and just plain boring. Why are there 2 waves to every fight? Why are all the areas the same? Why is Kirkwall so damn small?! Why is there no life in it? I am surprised that it took them this long to release the game.

    I truly miss the days where developers put their heart and soul into their games. There is always some ?????? bag that realizes they can get people to pay 60 bucks for the game on its reputation alone, and can cut costs by simply making it a pile of trash. I doubt I will ever buy another BioWare title. I am disgusted. I just wish the gaming media websites would actually rate games truthfully. They could possibly save this game by making it a Facebook only web app.

    Final words: What happened?
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  33. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This game is a complete and utter failure compared to the first game, and its expansion.
    3/4 of the maps in this game are all completely recycled. The battle system is fast, and enemies spawn in swarms out of nowhere. The first game was focused more on taking down powerful enemies with tactics. This game seems more focused on making things look shiny and appealing. Although the characters
    are much more interesting and stylized in this title, it doesn't make up for the lack of characters and new areas. The plot line always winds up leading to the same conclusion, and a majority of the game is spent doing side quests. This is a one time only sort of experience. I couldn't stand making a second character for any reason. This game seems very similar to the story of Kotor 2, in which Bioware rushed the game, throwing it out there incomplete. It would be acceptable if this title were perhaps not called Dragon Age II, but something else, like "Dragon Age: Kirkwall Hero" or something along those lines, because I personally feel that this game does not deserve the title of a direct sequel. Expand
  34. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    I wish I could say it's pretty like some of the other reviews on here, but due to the game not even supporting nVidia cards properly(because obviously no one uses them right?) it looks/runs terribly on my computer that should be able to run it maxed out. I loved DA:O, I love both of the Mass Effects, but this is honestly one of the most disappointing games I have ever played.

    Shame on
    you Bioware, and shame on you EA for appearing to have ruined both a good title and a great company. It's just sad. :( Expand
  35. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This game is DAO, but dumbed down and casualized. Would've rated it a 4, but BioWare + EA's ridiculous response to the criticism surrounding this game warrants a zero.
  36. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    The main thing frustrates me about this game is the bad graphics and how high resolution texture pack doesn't change anything at all. It looks like crap even at 1080p with dx11 highest details but the game is more demanding than Metro 2033 or Crysis. Runs like crap even on a GTX580 or 6970. Why should people pay $60 for a game that has graphics from 2003 yet still runs like 20 frames per second on high end hardware? There's really something wrong with this game. Expand
  37. 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 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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  38. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    The copy paste RPB of the decade everything in the game is the same copy paste the mines a all the same the caves a all the same and the areas around the city a all the same, armor only have diffrent colors. Im having trouble playing for more than 10 min at the time before getting bored This game is dumbed down to console players with no brains at all You can sit and watch a movie just pressing R and still win a battle Expand
  39. Mar 20, 2011
    7
    While not nearly so epic as it's predecessor, Dragon Age II is still a pretty solid entry into the Bioware library. Interesting subject matter for a sequel, while more subdued than the original, it's in keeping with the flavor of Origins. The most disappointing aspect for me was in that it wasn't made clear for many hours into gameplay the direction the story was heading in. While you can theorize earlier on and realize tensions are rising among local factions, the "enemies" were not clearly defined. I feel this greatly crippled the ability for Bioware to establish the same intensity that was experienced in the previous entry and helped the story feel rushed and quite nearly shallow.

    Aside from this, it feels almost as if each character was written in such a way as an attempt to recreate the original cast - a difficult if almost imperceivable task given the emotional impact each of these characters had originally had on me. I find myself indifferent to or even disliking the greater bulk of the party. Using an "enhanced version" of the original engine hurt, though despite this the graphics were a significant improvement over the original (especially with the texture pack) the end result being neither fantastic or terrible. The soundtrack was also acceptable, though not quite as compelling as the original.

    Gameplay itself was simplified, streamlined for console gamers and carried over to the PC release. Battles were less strategic,and were in many cases significantly easier. In a sense it felt like this game were geared at more casual gamers. I would say overall the improvements are significant enough to make up for this games shortcomings, though only to the point where it breaks even in most every facet but for the storytelling. Which is supposed to be the most compelling part of most any game in this genre.

    All things said I did really enjoy this title. It was certainly entertaining for me. I just would have liked to have cared more, like I did for the original. Perhaps this title would have better served as an expansion for the original, as it seems most complaints are about technical issues as opposed to story content. At this point I just feel inclined to beg EA to leave Bioware alone to work their magic free of pressure from publishers.
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  40. Mar 20, 2011
    7
    As a Bioware fan girl i will try to make as much of an unbiased review i can do for this game. I'm not blind to it's flaw. But dont want to bash it rediculously for some of the scandals on the game reviews.
    Even if some of the features of Dragon Age Origins return, this is not the same game at all, for the good and the bad. We return to Thedas the same universe and we still are playing a
    tactical RPG like the first one, who let you customise the enemies tactics (Richards that's not an unfinished feature, it's necesseries with all the customisations possibles, and it allow to to addapt the tactics to your liking).
    .
    I wills tart out with the bads
    Less customisation than the first one, It's no longer possible to play an elf or a dwarf.
    Recicled environements
    Lack of environement variety
    straight lined missions

    On the good side
    The story is nice and very personal a good change of the epics stories
    The voice acting is excellent as usual on a Bioware titles and the dialogue well work well in the game
    Uge improvement on the graphical side (the art style have changed a lot trought and you like it or you dont)
    Good replayability with lot of things who can change in the game plays

    It's not as good as the original but still a good game
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  41. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    Along with several other people here, I have never written a review or commented on a game before, but I felt the strong need to voice my opinion about DA2. It just isn't a good game at all. How is it possible that the gaming industry critics have given the game such a favorable review?? Surely they are getting paid by EA in some form or another - we already know that at least one bioware employee (name of Avalone I think?) has posted here with a perfect score. That isn't really bad, and I don't mind that so much, but it sure makes me wonder what else EA/bioware is up to. Here's a message to all RPG fans out there wondering whether to buy this game or not... you will be hugely dissapointed if you enjoyed DAO - because all of the things that made DAO great are missing in this game. Trust me when I say this (because I have no hidden agenda), the general consensus of the user reviews is a lot more accurate than the critics reviews. All of the things that you've read about the game from the user reviews (repeatiing dungeons, hack and slash style play, poor dialogue choices, non-immersion, no caring for characters, no sense of being part of a bigger world), it's all true. Stay away from this one - you can find a much better way to spend $60! Expand
  42. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    Dragon Age Origins was one of the best games I ever played and I was really looking forward to Dragon Age 2. After playing the game for around 8 hours I started skipping all cut scenes and dialogues because i could not stand it any more. The fights are boring. How could the magazines give such high ratings?
  43. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. As you can see from the Score i am more then disapointed...
    a Few Questions and Answers

    Does this Game really deserve 0 rating when you look and play the game?

    No it doesnt, but game publishers like EA needs to be reminded that they cant just Ruin or push/rush games without backlash or consequense.

    EA takes a product that works and Milks it, it is unacceptable.


    But the game...

    You start the game and choose your class, you will then be put into a combat sequense where you learn too use the Combat system. Pretty neat... but this cant be switched off and gets rather anoying.

    After playing the game for a few hours i had too push Exit to windows never too return.
    The amound of short cuts that has been taken in this game is insane, ever group you meet is set up the same way, every Map you discover you will return too again and again.
    The items you use you will have to change out for a better set after each act, your companions armor has been removed too save Items in the game.

    All item drops are fixed from bosses, theirs no suprises any where in this game.

    Its boring and an insult to the Gaming industry.
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  44. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    Just finished a first play through. Diverting and enjoyable enough to finish, but a far cry from DA:O. The story arc was certainly less compelling. I found the "voiced protagonist" a nice addition, and found the new dialog system to be rather nice overall (though sometimes a bit *too* explicit about which dialog routes to take -- especially for developing romances). The combat system was much less enjoyable than DA:O. Everything looked and felt a lot more like a console game, with talents that were sometimes awesome to see in action but hard to fathom as "making sense" in the DA:O universe. I really missed being able to scroll back to the "tactical view" of the battlefield. I was shocked that the anti-magic powers of Templars seemed to be diminished to the point of non-existence. I experienced at least one serious glitch in a chapter 3 quest (rescuing a kidnap victim, but the "bandit leader" I found on Wounded Coast can't be interacted with -- I presume that some interaction is necessary at this point to kick off a conversation and/or battle -- there's no other hint about how to proceed beyond "Go to the Wounded Coast" and I certainly searched that area thoroughly and found nothing else). I'm also not sure whether there's a bug related to finding the "Spindle weed" crafting resource -- I think I checked all areas pretty thoroughly, but ended the game with "3/6" found (and I needed 4 for a particularly spectacular potion). Despite all this, I'll probably play it at least once more -- it had its moments. There was enough of a cliffhanger ending involving a character from the original game that I can at least hope for the possibility of another sequel that hopefully recovers some of the strengths and plot interest of the original game.

    I wouldn't recommend a true DA:O fan to rush out and buy, but it may be worth a play through once it becomes a loss-leader or if you can purchase it used.
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  45. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    First of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden the audience, demanding full prize while preparing DLCs that shall fill in the remaining gaps. Bioware was once regarded as "the bringer of rain" after a drought in the genre of RPGs (for the PC). But now they could play the opposite role: if they are the most prominent agents of the genre (besides Bethesda) and their games are setting trends, then other companies will follow their example, if they haven't already. To be more detailed I'll point out aspects that annoyed me the most: Game World:
    - The most insolent re-use in an state-of-the-art RPG I've seen so far: dozens of times you walk through levels which are IDENTICAL, and I mean identical. Every corner, texture, modell, architecture, lighting etc. are exactly the same, just with another label (for example "cave xyz" instead of "cave abc").
    - The main game world consists of just 15 to 20 small or very small locations in a city (small means an area which takes 20 seconds to 60 seconds to cross, very small means a simple flat)
    - There are no (more or less) diversified regions like snowy mountains, deserts, jungle, forest, real dungeons, castles, other towns etc., just this one city and three outer regions that are not noteworthy
    - The few existing places look sterile and somehow empty although there are a few people standing around, but they are just copies doing nothing. There are no animals, no interesting props, no interesting architecture, no waving foliage, no sounds of wind, loud chatter etc.
    - Most of the levels are extremely tubular: just one way, no possibility for exploration. If you use such level design, you should use it for thrilling script events like in COD to propell the storytelling, but that's not the case for DA2. A proper game world would have been to expensive...

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

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

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

    Dramaturgy:
    - The backgrounds and dialogues preceding and following missions are of high quality, BUT what about a larger conflict, to what end am I killing hordes of idiots? Is there any greater inner or outer threat than a killer whom the player seeks to kill? The Qunari are a threat, for twenty minutes of gameplay. Templar and Magicians don't like each other and there's a fight, but that's it. No threat and no thread. Calling Hawke "Champion" is an exaggeration to cover that he hasn't achieved much. The whole game is "unepic" and seems to be a chapter of an epic game.
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  46. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    I`m big fan or RPG games, hell big fan of Bioware but come on, OK lets start with graphic really great (compered with DA-O)but i don`t think it has more than few maps and who play RPG games for great visual, we play for story, making our character more and more better with next level, going trough lots of mission to get that perfect item, so at the end of the game we can see how our perfection look like. Fighting well big zero click this and yeee this explode click that and wow another explosion, story well i can dig it but this is part 2, the story should have been much better you have 3 dialog and that is it? come on i have finish 5 time allover ahead Dragon age origins just because of story, and now i play DA II i`m level 11 and still trying to find good reason for play(damn how a great commercial and reputation can make you feel stupid for paying 50 euro). Skills really you can chose what ever you want, trust me i`t going to look great when you click to use it and there it end it`s value , inventory well i like how they handled resource but that is it if you want to upgrade armor of your companion you need to look out trough all town just sad. Items also i don`t see some great innovation there, and what the f*ck is junk. if you liked first dragon age this one is going to be huge disappointment, really how it get that great critic review i don`t know, this is what it is a mediocrity game with nothing special, and please guys from game industry enough of DLC and promo item that we need to pay, make it free or don`t make it at allâ Expand
  47. Mar 20, 2011
    1
    A disappointing game to say the least. Companions seem quite shallow compared to DA:O. The fact that you have limited interaction with them does not help. Exploding enemies, in most cases enemies just explode in a shower of blood and gore when i stab them with a regular dagger. I don't mind blood and gore, but this is just ridiculous. Massive re-use of instances for quests, seen one cave, seen them all.
    Also the game was shipped with a few serious bugs. using a certain companion will reduce your attack speed on a permanent basis. DA2 has limited customization option compared to it's predecessor.
    My recommendation, wait until you can pick up a copy for reduced price before buying it.
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  48. syg
    Mar 20, 2011
    1
    if any bioware employee reads this, i created a metacritic account to post this.

    The transition from ME1 to ME2 is similar to the transition in DA:O and DA2, just magnified in the latter case.

    In order to deliver a tighter story, bioware hacks off so much of the game which let ME1 and DAO seem so epic. After playing a human noble in DAO i immediately recreated a dwarf noble in an attempt
    to see how that story develops.

    This scope, is lost in ME2 and DAO. The world feels smaller and more linear. The simple act of exploring a planet in ME1 gave such a feeling of scope, even though it was not essential to the game.

    Honestly I will tolerate any graphics level in order to have greater scope. I honestly dont care if this is sub par, the story delivered in DAO i never had the slightest hangup on the graphics.

    Clunky gameplay in DA2 with certain abilities trivializing the game (assassin spec on rogue made nearly every boss a joke).

    I just want to point out that DAO felt huge and DA2 felt claustrophobic. The re-use of areas without changing the minimap left me frequently running into walls to make sure i had explored the dungeon.

    The structure of ME2 and DA2 takes a great deal away from the scope. ME2 was essentially a list of team-building exercises with a finale at the end. DA2 was ME2 in bite size form throughout the acts.

    The world in DAO was wonderfully fleshed out, and DA2 constructs a much more character driven story around the mage - templar interaction. This grows terribly tedious. Anders in the party made all flavor chat between players absolute agony as all we heard recycled a thousand times was "omg the templars are jerks"

    The NPCS are so one-note that it does not enrich the game at all. The trajectory of the story feels so forced you can anticipate the breakdown from a very early point in the game.

    Honestly, graphics be damned, the reason i bought this game out of reflex was that ME1 and DAO were so epic I was hoping for another story of that scale to take part in. ME2 and DA2 share many of the same flaws, and I hope some serious internal debate might be sparked over the necessity (in my opinion) of appropriate scope in rpgs, and the tradeoff of scope and "tightness" of storytelling.

    I hope you take these complaints seriously, I really enjoyed ME1 and DAO
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  49. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    Absolutely disappointing. This was my last bioware game...
    For the next 5 years I will give the money for every bioware game released, to charity instead buying the game !!!
  50. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This game SUX i tried to get my money back but i cant
  51. Mar 20, 2011
    9
    I never got more then 10 hours into DAO but DA2 has sucked me in. The changes made to the story presentation and more actionâ
  52. Mar 20, 2011
    9
    I accidentally put my original review on the xbox version which I haven't played. Instead I played this on PC.
    Once you get past the horrible inventory system and if you can get past the reused dungeons, this is a really solid game. The game is also very long and I loved the unreliable narrator. The story is about the player rising from being nobody to being the champion. The story and the
    characters felt really diverse and I have the feeling that there should be enough content for a second or third playthrough. This is based on my experience of finishing the game on nightmare difficulty on a mage. Playtime 60 hours but that doesn't include all the reloading I would guess. Expand
  53. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    I read a few user reviews myself before starting this game, so my expectations were not too high. Still I was disappointed from the start. Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game just many little details that are amiss. The battle system is mediocre - even later in game there is not a lot of variety. The Story itself gets burrowed by a flood of side quests. At first they seem interesting, but after a while you start stumbling about side quest after side quest. Thanks to the in-game map that shows you when and where you have to go to solve a quest, it boiled down to "go to location and kill/collect X, then come back to get reward". The main story itself is stretched thin over several in-game years.
    Bottom line - there are worse games and if the DA world interests you, you could take a peak. Personally if I had to choose again, I would wait and pick it from a bargain bin in a few months.
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  54. Mar 20, 2011
    10
    Generally still a great game.

    Compared to Origins the story is a lot more interesting and believable, the antagonists are actually interesting, and Hawke is more than you typical hero, the choices are not based on straight "good and evil" and especially the aggressive choices feel a lot more believable, than your typical "evil" choices. You can play a selfish character that does not
    threaten to break every ones legs all day...

    Graphics are more unique, which makes them more risky, personally i really liked the characters and urban environments, natural environments were rather bad though.

    Recycled Dungeons are never a good design-decision, but its bearable.

    Don't listen to the haters, have faith in one of the best developers of our time.
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  55. Mar 20, 2011
    9
    Great game, not quite sure what people seem to have against it, i'ts great story, and much improved game-play; just look at the critic's reviews to see how good a game this actually is.
  56. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    What is this ****
    Give me a real successor to the original Dragon Age. Bioware, you've lost all of my trust.

    No freedom of movement, ALWAYS the same old dungeon repeated again and again, no environment diversity, stupid and semplicistic fighting system .... never seen something like this.
    Shame on you.
  57. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    Probably the worst game in 2011.... this game is full of bugs and the combat are really terrible... choppy the graphics are terrible the gameplay is poor....
  58. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    Not sure what happened, but I can't recommend this game. After playing DAO, DA2 is just a horrible failure. I tried though, I really tried. This is my 2nd restart. Meaning I played 8 hours into the game and decided to start over hoping the game wouldn't suck as bad the 2nd time. I was wrong.. *tears*
  59. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    If you are into putting your money into something that is already horribly overpriced, no closer, a rushed feeling, a console port, and limited decision making when it comes to Bioware games then this is for you. This game is following the ever so trendy genre of a cliffhanger so they can milk the series as much as possible. They are taking a page out of Kotick's book and are wanting to get the most bang for their buck, which makes sense economically, but doesn't make sense when playing the game. Sure the original game had some moments that could be explored in the future but it gave closer to the storyline that it set out to tell. This sequel leaves too much out there and is pretty much if anything a bridge to a next game and isn't a real game itself. DA 2 would have a lot of these issues fixed if it wasn't rushed out. I am again sure it was good for a business stand point but for the player it just feels like a let down from the best RPG makers out there. I remember when games were actually made for the PC instead of us having to deal with an inferior console port. They limited the camera angle on DA2 so you are pigeon holed into playing as the consolers. This might just be an issue for me but eventually I got over it. The reason they said for this is because they didn't want to spend the money on making textures for the drop down camera. When all they really had to do was black out the screen in parts where they needed textures. Lastly I would except a lot more of Bioware from a game. A lot of the storytelling elements just don't make any sense. I am not going to go into any of them and if you want you can go to their forums and read what others are saying. Overall an average game and I have no idea how a score of 8 can be average. Corrupt game reviewers not wanting to give the game a score that it deserves is pathetic. Expand
  60. Mar 19, 2011
    4
    thats simple.
    DA2 is the jar jar binks of western rpg. seriously. why Ea enjoy taking good companies and killing them and filling the carcases with crap?
    EA buy maxis and kill the simulation genre. the last hit with spore and now is doing the same with rpg and bioware.
  61. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    I like every bit of the game. Better story, gameplay, grafiks (pc texturepatch) and characters than in DA1. Since BG2 their best game. The camera and the recycled environments are the 2 things i can complain about. Maybe the shouldn't have called it DA2, because so many people expected DA1 style with a proceeding story. Give it a try, you will like it.
  62. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Improved several things from DA:O, while taking large steps backwards on others. Having a voiced character whose dialogue would change based on whether the PC typically chose diplomatic/sarcastic/direct dialogue options was a big plus. The combat skill trees were an improvement. And in my opinion, letting characters simply upgrade their armor instead of micromanaging was an aspect I enjoyed as well. Steps backwards are most obvious in areas Bioware typically shines. You cannot talk with party members unless they are giving a quest. So instead of Hawke taking time to get to know the party, the game gives quests letting you know when they want to talk to you. The storyline is hit and miss. The first 2/3 of the game are actually pretty decent. Showing a refugee rising up from the slums to eventually have a hand in saving the city from an imminent threat. Then act 3 happens. Normally, this is where choices the PC in Bioware games really come out to shine in the conclusion to a story. But no, turns out everyone in Kirkwall is just crazy. Instead of having the chance to rule Kirkwall, the player simply gets to kill the largest factions in the game even after siding with one over the other. It really felt like a DLC meant to set up the future of Thedas more than a standalone game. Easily the worst Bioware ending they've done and really depressing considering the great job they've done in the past on RPG stories.

    However, Bioware is known for writing great and engaging stories in their games. In DA:O, the Warden was tasked with uniting a divided country to push back the Blight that threatened everyone. Simple on paper, but Bioware did a good job in creating dynamic factions with different motives and concerns in a way that immersed you into Ferelden. In DA2, Hawke shows up and things just happen around him. But despite claiming the players choices dramatically affect Kirkwall as time passes, this simply isn't true. Too often the player is presented with multiple dialogue choices, but will experience the same outcome.
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  63. Mar 19, 2011
    0
    You do not play Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age 2 plays you.

    Your character's choices and actions have no bearing on the larger story. Everything important in the game is caused by an NPC - most of them being your party members. Your character is little more than an observer to the world around them. Even when your character could feasibly influence the events around them, Dragon Age 2 seems
    to purposely deny you the ability to do so to force less plausible outcomes upon your character.

    Throw in easy, repetitive combat and generic, re-used dungeons and you have a flop I would not have finished had Bioware's label not been on the box.
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  64. Mar 19, 2011
    6
    The worst part of the game is that the environments are consistently recycled. It ruins immersion, kills suspension of disbelief. This in turn makes other, minor quibbles I might have the game all the more annoying. I would say it is even worse than first Mass Effect in this regard. It's original Halo bad (read: one corridor). Additionally, to try and make it look as if they are not constantly recycling environments they block off some doors of areas and pretend that this makes it a different place. Imagine if all of Baldur's Gate took place in two sections of Baldur's Gate and two outdoor areas and one cave. That's right, there's one cave. You'll get awful familiar with it and the one warehouse, one mansion, and one coastal strand. Apparently the Maker was busy having awesome god-sex with Andraste when divinely designing Kirkwall and its environs and just said, "Screw it." At one point I was in the whorehouse and said to myself, "There are a ton of books here." Turns out the reason why there were so many books in the whorehouse is because the whorehouse uses the mansion environment. So they just cut-and-pasted the thing library and all. That's dickish, but the coup de grace is that the minimap does not reflect when they close off sections of a recycled area to make it look a little different. So oftentimes there are these large pieces on the minimap that look accessible, but are not. The first time I encountered this I didn't understand what was going on and I was convinced I was missing a secret switch and looked for a solid five minutes before realizing the game developers were either rushed or lazy and hadn't bothered to patch up the minimap. The plot is ambitious and it works in part and fails in part. It does give the impression of years passing. But this comes at the cost of telling what are essentially three separate stories with much smaller scale than the epic Dragon Age, NWN, or BG plots of yore. You're essentially dabbling in the petty politics of a single city. The loremasters of Dragon Age have gone to such lengths to create such a big and detailed world, why are we trapped in this tiny, consistently recycled environment? If you want to tell a story over the course of 10 years, why not put in a lot of globe hopping? The dialogue and the characters at least are interesting. I liked most of the party companions and their banter. I'm not entirely against the Mass Effect wheel making an appearance. I really enjoyed the companion sidequests. Those were much more compelling to me than any of the main plot line quests. I actually liked many of the changes to combat people complain about so much. Cross-class combos are interesting and make warriors and rogues feel more worthwhile. It also adds a bit of skill in using them against enemies at higher levels of difficulty. Yes, rogues now do teleport into position to backstab, which yes, is dumb. But in comparison to the above, it's hardly even worth noting as annoying. Finally, why the hell did they make it so I can't equip armor on companions? My inventory was constantly laden with plate mail and leather armor my mage could never equip and my companions just kept their pre-fab armor that automatically improves with leveling and upgrades stored in the most random places of all Thedas. One of the most enjoyable parts of an RPG is improving your characters. This does not just come from leveling. In Baldur's Gate, NWN, Morrowind, Dibalo when you find your first good piece of plate armor and throw away your stupid rusty chainmail, you feel like such a badass. Here, you don't get to do that for 6/7 party members. That's just lame. Some people complain about the graphics. Overall I'd say they're fine. Some textures stand out as very low-res. That's lame, but compared to some of the complaints above, negligible. Graphics don't really make or break a game for me. It's the story, it's the adventure. It's how immersed I can get in the game. In short, it's decent. The plot is at least trying to do something new, even if it doesn't entirely succeed. Bioware still writes good dialogue and the characters are worthwhile. But the game is crap compared to what I hoped it would be. If it had even just been as good as Dragon Age I would have been happy. Alas, it got substantially worse. I'd wait for it to hit the bargain bin if you've got time on your hands and like the genre. Do not pay full price, and if any of the above sounds unbearable to you, just don't invest at all and read a summary of plot somewhere while waiting to see if they botch DA 3.â Expand
  65. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    She was the most anticipated game of the year. With trepidation, I watched all the interviews and news. And now the game is released. A feeling that we were betrayed and sold.
  66. Mar 19, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What a waste of money... terrible DX11 performance on Fermi cards, lackluster story, trapped in a single city for the entirety of the game. The game drops you on a brand new continent never before explored in the previous Dragon Age and what does it do? Lets you fast travel between all of four small districts and a handful of recycled "wilderness" areas. The game is ~95% side quests, while the main plot can be played through in about 2 hours if one of the main quests didn't FORCE you to do side quests right when you arrive in Kirkwall. If that wasn't bad enough, side quests keep returning you to exactly the same generic "mansion", "sewer", or "alley" and force you to fight generic and unchallenging enemies re-skinned depending on the flavor text you got at the start of the quest. Also, if you had held out hope that BioWare would make a game for adults then you'll be sorely disappointed. The game is insultingly juvenile with respect to sex and violence. It's just an uninspired mind-numbing hack-and-slash grinder. It's as though they took everything that's hated about MMOs and dumped it into a singleplayer game for general consumption. BioWare lost a lot of my respect with this release and all the marketing stunts pulled with it. Expand
  67. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    Is it great? No. Is it horrible? Absolutely not! It's fun, and mostly well-rounded. There are bugs and the game can be repetitive. (Worth more a 7 than an 8, but an 8 for all the h8trs.)
  68. Mar 19, 2011
    2
    This game is the biggest disappointment of 2011. I don't understand how it is possible that DA2 has so many positive reviews in the press. Horrible boring game, uninspiring graphics, nightmarish dialogue and stupid, mindless fights...
  69. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    As an absolute lover and fanatic raver of Dragon Age: Origins, I was desperately looking forward to the series' second installment. Unfortunately, for every step forward this game took, it removed everything that made it's predecessor special to RPG players. The removal of the tactical camera, seemingly endless and predictable waves of repetitive enemies, and an AI that makes your allies slip into loops of stupidity make combat frustrating, though it is not as difficult as in Origins. Non-customizable or usable loot/armor for allies makes treasure hunting, one of the keystones of the RPG genre, feel largely unimportant. The WORST part is the constantly recycled dungeons. Each setting only has one map, with different doors closed off or opened up. These, among other travesties, are what makes this game a nightmare to play. It is not a follow up to Dragon Age: Origins in any sense of the word, and has gone from being an RPG to make you think and formulate tactical strategy to being one of mindless hack-and-slash. Do yourself a favor: save your money and pray that Dragon Age III, if it is ever made after this hack-job, goes back to its roots. Expand
  70. Mar 19, 2011
    9
    Frankly, I am baffled by so many negative responses. With user score 4.3 the game has to be real crap. Surprisingly, it's not. I spent about 6 hours with it, and I must say Bioware made a good job. As I hoped, they managed to transfer a lot of Mass Effect 2 look and feel into the new Dragon Age game.

    What I like most about ME2 and DA2 is that for the first time in many years Bioware is
    doing something that feels fresh and new, and not yet another Baldur's Gate clone. Don't get me wrong, Baldur's Gate was great, probably the best thing that the company has ever done, and I immensely enjoyed it. Almost every game from Bioware after that tried and failed to live up to this high standard. It's time to move on. DA2 is an honest (and rather successful) attempt to do some change in the area.

    Probably, other gamers are outraged by simplification, and there is indeed a lot of that. Personally, I think that it had to be done a long time ago. NWN2, for example, was a nighmare and completely unplayable because it was overloaded with all kind of junk that simply was no fun anymore: unwieldy inventory, complicated party control, monstrous class system, etc. DA2 makes an excellent job of cutting out everything that failed to work.

    Now, dialogs. Maybe they are a bit oversimplfied, but defnitely an improvement. Don't get me started on dialogs in DA:O. They were horrible. The idea of "approval" ratings for party members was a distaster. To please everyone, your character had to be a real hypocritic bastard. The whole exprience was digusting, frustrating and boring. So good riddance. In DA2, it's "rivalry" vs. "friendship", which is much more fun, because both extremes have their advantages (similar to "paragon" and "renegate" in ME). Graphics. Ok, maybe it's not perfect. But "2003"? No way. I am running on "medium" detail level, cause my graphics card is not fast enough, and it looks great. Again, I see it as an improvement over DA:O, which didn't exactly work for me. I think in DA2 it's stylish and atmospheric. The city of Kirkwall is just beautiful. All races (dwarfs, elves) look definitely better. Darkspawn are scarier, etc. What else is needed?

    To summarize, the game is a lot of fun. It's very well paced, packed with action, and there is much less boredom and pointless running around than it was in DA:O. Try it for yourself, if you haven't yet. However, keep in mind that the demo is real crap and doesn't give a good impression of the game.
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  71. Mar 19, 2011
    0
    How extremely disappointing this game was, after waiting for it for so long, to get this mediocre piece of crap just pisses me off. I am in awe of the critic reviews. How can you re-use the same maps over and over, how can you only fight 10 character models the whole game, did the devs think that they could copy Baldur's Gate with the whole city hub thing? They failed miserably.
    I wish one
    critic would have the balls to come out and say the truth about this mess of a game. Expand
  72. Mar 19, 2011
    0
    This trend (as it seems) of dumbing down the essence of what RPG has always been ...must stop. My rating is nothing more or less than a protest, a much needed one at that. The industry must cease this behavior, it's banishing the role-playing auditorium - effectively erasing the genre from existence.
  73. Mar 19, 2011
    2
    I am really disappointed of the way Bioware is going with one of its major brands. The action parts are ok, but there is little to nothing left of the Dragon Age feeling. Story Failures, Decisions from DA:O are not correct imported. People alive that died... and such things. Boring Hack&Slay Action. DA2 isn't really a PC RPG Game anymore, it is a Console Hack and Slay RPG Action game. With bad Interface and technical Problems. Also the level design repeats constantly, i only counted 2 or 3 different maps for caves and buildings. Monsters and Models of DA:O/A and DLCs get reused, partially as Boss Monsters. Altogether they used what they had, made some little additions and sold it for the full prize. Expand
  74. Mar 19, 2011
    8
    Wow, I've been watching so many negative user reviews coming in and I felt that I had to speak up and say my bit. Personally, I'm rather enjoying Dragon Age II so far. To date, I've found the story engaging and the quests enjoyable, and there seems to be a significantly smaller element of "grind" to DA2 compared to the original, where some quests seemed to be endlessly long trips through tunnels facing wave after wave of identical enemies which you would handle in identical ways (heading to the Broodmother and some of the Deep Roads quests spring to mind particularly). A lot of the game so far has been centred around the city of Kirkwall without venturing much further, but the city is large and varied enough that I'm quite happy with this for now. The characters I've met so far have all been full of personality and very believable. The voice acting is also generally rather good, though the male Hawke voice can occasionally feel a little uninspired (I suppose it's harder to deliver a good performance when your character could look like just about anything and could be a mage, warrior or rogue).

    Many people seem to be unhappy with the new "Mass Effect inspired" conversation wheel. Some have complained that it reduces the depth of the conversations by turning the options into "good", "witty/wry/misc.", "bad" or "further information". However, this is all the options in the first Dragon Age ever really were anyway - it just didn't categorise quite so prominently. Further, the way that the tone is now indicated avoids those occasional moments from the original where you chose something that you thought was intended in a sarcastic sense and actually wasn't, provoking a rather unintended reaction from whoever you were speaking to. The best enhancement here is that the dialogue is now all spoken: a *huge* improvement on the bizarrely mute protagonist of the first game (and something that wouldn't work terribly well if you had just read exactly what was said).

    The combat in the game is, to me, executed in a more exciting and elegant way in DA2 than the original. However, camera problems still get in the way a lot of the time, when walls conspire to get in the way. I despise the removal of the overhead RTS-style view, which really makes it difficult for players who do a lot of tactical pausing and want to place mages' abilities precisely and quickly.

    Whilst I'm criticising, I also am extremely unimpressed with the buggy release. I had to hack unsupported graphics drivers just to get the DX11 rendering working correctly, without regular freezes. The game also insisted on my putting a disk (any disk) in my floppy drive (!) when it connected to the server, prior to the 1.01 patch being released. Even now, the DX11 renderer feels like it's not quite there.

    The "character profile" screen is a little bit "dumbed-down" compared to the original and whilst I'm happy with the information available and the system in place, it feels like there's a little bit too much clicking back and forth through menus to get to what I want.

    Overall, despite the few criticisms above, I think there's much to be happy about here. I've certainly set aside all my other games to play this. I'm a little surprised that the user response here has been so poor, considering the good critical response.
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  75. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    I like the game. I enjoyed it, so it was worth the money to me. I think people are being unfair. It's very much worth a purchase for entertainment. Some of what people have posted here are myths about the game, having played it.

    I think the combat in Dragon Age: Origins (the original) was overrated. This combat is much faster but still reliant on the underlying character statistics. In
    DAO it was easy to potion spam, and be basically invulnerable, especially with the Arcane Mage class. With DA-II it is a little more difficult to have a single winning strategy. Movement seems far more important. One criticism, but it's by no means a show stopper, is the lack of a free camera or isometric few occasionally leads to oddities from the camera, which is annoying in the middle of a quite fast battle. The 'waves of attackers from nowhere' method of improving difficulty seems seems lazy versus facing NPCs and attackers with statistically determined attack profiles. Maybe there is. Doesn't feel like it though.

    The size of the weapons in the game is a bit cartoonish. It seems odd to have a grown-up plot and then have comic book style weapons. While the story falls into a few RPG cliches, it's not awful by any means. The voice acting is generally good. I thnk the game strikes a good balance between cinematic elements and interactivity. There do not seem to be as many outright deterministic conversations. The games RPG system does feel more like an MMORPG than something with its roots in tabletop gaming. Unlike say Fallout: New Vegas, which while some distance away from its GURPS roots, has that feel of total personalisation. This misses that satisfaction by hiding a great deal of the underlying derived statistics from the users, particularly with regards to enemies. This will actually please some people, who prefer MMORPG style questing. I'm neutral on the subject.

    Overall, if it weren't for the potential pricing of DLCs versus actuall add-ons, I'd say if you've got the cash it's a good few days of quality entertainment. I like it. I have yet to replay it, but I'm less hopeful of major plot differences based on my character. Simply because I don't feel the underlying statistics can affect speech/negotiations in the same way the current Fallout series does.

    Graphics wise, rather annoying to have to run beta drivers with a high-end NVIDIA card. I have installed the high-res textures pack and it does make a difference. But for a product making a point of being DX-11 enabled it hasn't got a particular wow factor and looks like a console port. It does the job though.

    Compared to many other current games I'd give this 8/10. Which is a must purchase for raw entertainment value. Rather than arguing about the particular direction they took. I like the fact it deviates and updates on DAO canon, if only because that will annoy DAO fans. I've given it 10/10 because it will annoy both DAO fans and others.
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  76. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Okay, let me preface this by saying that i am not one to prescribe to the mob mentality of trolling video game forums and dumping heaps of praise/criticism on games unnecessarily. I understand that video games, like most things, are subjective and may appeal to some but not all. However, i feel overwhelmingly compelled to point out the flaws in this title, because of the depressing trend of the "consolization" of the big AAA releases, to the point that finding quality PC titles yields as much fruit as searching for unicorns. What makes this bastardization of a title so much more rage inducing is that the original dragon age was a game which harken back to the roots of PC rpg's and offered an epic story strategic gameplay and a level of complexity that was engrossing and satisfying. This is not a true sequel as much as it is an unveiled attempt to draw more people into the game by delivering dragon origins "light'. To call this game an utter crap storm, might be a bit excessive, yet that is the feeling i got when i played the first ten or so hours of the game. I really hate this game, but not because it is a bad game. On its own, played on a console, it would be an awesome experience. However, it should not be the sequel to what was one of the strongest pc releases of the last decade, when it is in fact as step back. My point in writing this little tirade, is to add more voices to the growing mass of pc gamers becoming frustrated with the iterative releases of FPS like COD:BLOPS and the horrible ports of console games to PC. I am sick and tired of the graphical enhancement, and innovation possible on PC's being hamstrung and tired needlessly to the 5 year old and aging consoles. I want a game that is not cognizant of the limitations of consoles and designs a game with them and mind and only later attempts to sling the crap together to release it on PC. That is why i took this game back to gamestop got my money back and preordered the witcher II. That is a PC game and is an example of what a PC game should look and feel like. So while dragon age 2 is not a bad game it is not the game that DAO was and anyone looking for a similiarly satisfying experience should look elsewhere. console = 8 PC = 5 Expand
  77. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    Origin was not perfect, but it was a good game. Here, on DA2, every aspect of the game is a downgrade. No more strategic battle, no armors for companions in inventory, no crafting (NPCs make it for you), no dialogue skills like persuasion or intimidation (you can ask a companion to interfere in conversation, but it's an automatic succes). This game is a waste, and I'm worried about Mass Effect 3.
  78. Tig
    Mar 19, 2011
    2
    In short, waste of time and money. This game has no strong points whatsoever. Graphics is bland, environment is the same everywhere, at first interior of some houses looks nice but it becomes tedious cos you run through the same looking rooms over and over again (~20 or so times, not kidding). Dialogues are dumb and options you chose rarely change outcome. Quests are the worst I have ever seen in a RPG. Even free to play MMORPGs have better quests than DA2. Battles are nice till you notice that mobs spawn like in some arcade game... You won't have to control your companions so tactics is pretty much gone. They had to stick with Hawke and ditch other 3 party members from the game entirely. Action game fans would have loved that even more! So yeah very bad game, Sadly It has way more weak points than I've mentioned in this review... Expand
  79. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Commander Hawkes incredible city runner When DA2 was announced I was afraid about the promised improvements also known as catering for the casual. But silly me I thought Bioware could not make a bad game. So I preordered the game anyway. After the rather irritating beginning with bland uninspiring atmosphere it was time to start the game. I was ready to be the hero as usual and my hero is always a chaotic good smooth talker.
    Well the first few hours flew by and I was feeling ok about the game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I suppose I have to say something good about the game too. Well the good thing is I won`t trust bioware assuring that they are not dumbing down or forgetting us old RPG gamers.
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  80. BaM
    Mar 19, 2011
    6
    Like many others here, this is the first time that I've been motivated enough to write a review for one of these games. Mostly, it's because of where the game fails. Also, I have to say right away that I've been disappointed with how Bioware has responded to user criticisms. Please get a crisis management consultant, who will give you a much better approach to this, which will start with "oops, we tried our best but it didn't work for a lot of you so let's figure out how to improve in the future." This would have added to your credibility instead of the current reputation-killing approach.

    To the game. I've been playing RPG games for decades and Bioware has been among my favorite companies. So I guess I'm among the many disappointed in part because my expectations were higher. Though perhaps Awakenings should have warned me, since I found that game had some similar flaws. 2. I like the idea of a talent tree, but it could be a lot better. And where are all those talents that help with something other than #245th way of blowing something up. I miss stealthing to scout out a territory or to take down a crucial mage by surprise while my partners rush in to distract. Sidekick wise, Varric and Aveline are great characters. Merrill is not bad, though not as memorable as the DA:O crowd. Carver isn't bad, either. Bethany, on the other hand, was bad enough that I restarted a game to back to Carver. Isabela made me cringe and I like adult-themed games. . The last two battles are the last straw that break the camel's back. Ugh. To put it bluntly, when I play through again, it's likely I'll stop around the beginning of Act 3 and hope that the writers are replaced for any sequel that comes (which I will NOT pre-order).

    Staying in the city wasn't a bad idea, but it needed more life and depth. I found the repetitive scenery a big minus. I found the endlessly similar battles with the more and more boring waves of unrealistically appearing enemies to be harder and harder to accept. The 123 "rings" and "amulets" really took almost all value out of the items we collected and used. It also led to the other complaint, that so many things that were named still look the same. I would rather have a few, quite different and interesting items that I can grow to love for a while. I like overall the tension between the different factions and I would have liked the game to focus on and develop these even more. It worked much better for Act 2, and I was ready to stop the game by its end (though I would have liked to see that plot developed even more; it would have been worth it). Act 3 as a build up of the earlier other tensions could have been great, but it was defeated by the apparent need to make every encounter a battle with something bad. So instead of a gripping choice between two imperfect, human, and sympathetic sides, I get numbed out by endless, unjustified, and similar battles.
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  81. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    Game is awesome. Combat is still tactical like in Origins, just a bit faster-paced. Still awesome story and dialogue. So it isn't as awesome as DA:O, but almost nothing can be. It is still a great game, don't listen to all the hate.
  82. Mar 18, 2011
    7
    Playing this game makes me really want to play DA:O to see what the backlash against DAII is all about. For one, I found the combat in this game to be incredibly addictive. It is extremely fast-paced, but still requires you to pause the game frequently to issue orders to your companions. Like any good RPG, there is still a great deal of micro-management to be had: stats, skill trees, and equipment are all still there. You can't change your companions' armor, but that seems to have less to do with "streamlining" the gameplay and more to do with taking away the ability to change their in-game appearance, since the rest of their equipment is still customizable. What is a bit annoying is that much of the game's challenge comes from it throwing waves of cannon fodder enemies at you. It does make exploring the dungeons feel a bit more like you are playing a God of War style game and I can see why many fans would be disappointed in this regard, but it didn't bother me a whole lot.

    The biggest complaint I have with the game are the recycled dungeons and interiors. It really takes you out of the experience when you you realize that the cavern you are exploring is structurally IDENTICAL to the cavern you were exploring a half an hour ago, or when you enter a house that is identical to your hero's house, right down to the decor. This, more than anything, just seems like pure laziness on Bioware's part. I'd also like to know why they didn't make this a more open-world style game since the vast majority of it takes place within the walls of a single city and its outskirts. Instead, you get a handful of small, disconnected areas you reach by clicking their icon on the map screen. Would it have been that hard to connect them? Graphically, the game is pretty simple. Again, it seems like this was a lazy decision made just to get the game out faster and that's really unfortunate.

    Where I absolutely cannot fault the game is its storytelling and characters, both of which make Dragon Age II an experience I'm not likely to forget anytime soon. As for the story itself, it seemed pretty unfocused and I never really understood where the storyline was headed or if it was headed anywhere at all, but the frame narrative made me much more interested in finding out what would happen next. I was also surprised at how much I came to care about all of Hawke's companions after not caring at all about anyone in Mass Effect. I commend Bioware in particular for creating a great female character in the form of Aveline and for being much more inclusive than in their Mass Effect games by including male same-sex romance options.

    I enjoyed Dragon Age II immensely despite all the recycled interior areas. Yes, the game borrows certain elements from action games, but it is still much more of a true RPG than either Mass Effect 2 or Final Fantasy XIII. Not a total success like ME2, but not an abysmal failure like FFXIII, the game is still a very welcome refresh of a genre. If Bioware has put more effort into designing the game's world, it would be an easy 9 for me. As it is, it's still recommendable because the characters and the underlying gameplay are just so good, but I really hope Bioware doesn't try to cheat us like this in the future.
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  83. Mar 18, 2011
    1
    Dragon Age 1 was my favourite game of the last year, this sequel is my least favourite so far. The game mechanics and dialogue has been dumbed down to the point that its just too boring and monotonous to play.

    I played DA:1 for about 60+ hours without once getting bored. DA:2 gets very boring, very quickly. Like others have said, this is more like a Mass Effect action game than an RPG
    with any depth. I've been a bit fan of Bioware games in the past, I hope they dont ruin the next Elder Scrolls game as much as Dragon Age has taken a step backwards. Expand
  84. Mar 18, 2011
    6
    Origins pulled you in and didn't let go - I wanted to marry it and devote my life to exploring every facet of the game. It was what I look for in a woman - it was rich, deep, engaging, beautiful, and filled with brutal, visceral combat. We had something real together, the kind of thing you can build a real life on.

    I feel like DA2 got me drunk and gave me herpes.
  85. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a huge step back from the first game. While you get to explore a whole country, with lots of different scenarios, and do all sorts of different missions on the first game, here you will only visit half a dozen places and only do missions that feel like side quests. There are 2 things that I thought were improvements, the main character with a voice is one, and the new combat system, but the combat itself wasn't very well explored. It is too predictable, and there is no variation with the enemies. The main plot is very week, it gets interesting in the last 2-3 hours of the game, .. but the rest is simply there to fill some space (so about 30 hours of filling) The developers obviously rushed this project, and the game just looks like it was made by lazy people. Rings that are just called "ring" but with different specs, "belt", etc.

    overall the experience isn't terribly bad, but it's not up to DA:O standards and not up to bioware's reputation.... I find it hard to believe that bioware thought this was a good game to release.
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  86. Mar 18, 2011
    7
    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 a system which felt unrefined in DA:O and rather that improving it and making it better, just completely ruined it to make a system without thought or challenge
  87. Mar 18, 2011
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. OK I grabbed this from the steam user forum, from "loa1452". Sorry to plagiarize, bit his/her review really hit it on the mark for me. To summarize, this game is TERRIBLE: reused levels (again and again and again), the same fight over and over again, very limited enemy types(lots of spiders...), and incoherent story.

    From loa1452
    _______
    DA:O was not perfect by any means, but boy did it immerse you. There were so many minute details that just sucked you in. Didn't care about the graphics, didn't care that my party of mages steam rolled every battle on the hardest difficulty. It was fun. That is the whole point of RPGs: Laugh, cry, battle and forget that you are playing a game.

    Kirkwall

    One of the well known 'features' of Dragon Age 2 is that the whole "story" takes place in Kirkwall. When I read this in a game preview, I didn't mind. I assumed (wrongly) that Kirkwall must be HUGE. The first thing you will notice after stepping into Kirkwall is how tiny it is. It takes all of 10 minutes to explore the whole entire city. You think you are going up some stairs to explore a new area when a dialog box pops up, "Would you like to gather your party and continue?". Uh, Ok. A screen pops up where you have to click a new area. Boom. You are transported to the new area that looks exactly like the first and is tiny, tiny, tiny. There are a few crates and sacks to open, but that is it.

    Oh well, you say. "I don't care how tiny it is, my attention span is so short every area will seem new to me anyways". Well you will also notice Kirkwall is filled with tons of people going about their business! What a sprawling city just filled with life! Unfortunately, you can't talk to any of these people. None. Zero. Clicking them does nothing. Area recycling

    OK, so now the dreaded area recycling that fangirls everywhere try to justify. I'd like to remind everyone that I play games for fun. I realize many of you now play games as a form of repetitive work (like WoW), in that case, you still won't like this game. It is truly ridiculous. Accept a quest, go through a mine, return back and get a reward. Good, it was fun. Accept another quest, go back to the exact same mine, but now somehow there are doors closed off with rocks, and new doors magically have opened. WTF? Ok whatever, I'll let it slide. Oh wait, please don't make me go back to Kirkwall to accept another quest. I know we have moved past this but Kirkwall is so small that I memorized every area, where everything was in just one pass through of the city. I can see how people can convince themselves that this area recycling is fine, as I did myself for a little while. But finally I cracked. I hate it. I hate this game. If you haven't cracked yet, just keep playing. It will happen. I promise.

    Battles

    Not much to say about this one. Every battle is the exact same, with the a lot of the same enemies. This is just a real let down. Here is how it works: Approach an area, kill off about 7 - 10 enemies, a second wave of 7-10 enemies appears. Kill them. Move on. Every. Single. Battle. Is. The. Same. Two waves. Then done. All of them. So when you enter a battle, you know exactly what will happen, this absolutely kills immersion. Items They seemed to have made an effort to add a ton of gear into the game. Only problem is that most of it is only for the main character. That leaves a tiny subset of stuff you can actually equip to others. It is obvious that the game was rushed. A few items have actual clever names like, "Gloves of the unknowable unknown". Ok, whatever. Cool. But then it stops. Items that have different attributes are all named the same, "Ring. Belt. Helm. Staff". Annoying to sort through 5 "Rings" in your inventory that all have different properties.

    Story
    Ah what else. How about the story? I never could figure out what was going on. It's full of endless side quests. Inever did figure out what the overall goal was. There was an area in the journal that listed the "main plot" quests, but they were no different than the endless, forgettable side quests.

    Conclusion
    I was expecting an epic sequel to DA:O. This is such an embarrassment of an RPG that I actually feel used, and conned. There is no possible way that BioWare was putting the finishing touches on this baby and thought, "Wow, good job guys. This game is really fun". The game is small, repetitive and just plain boring. Why are there 2 waves to every fight? Why are all the areas the same? Why is Kirkwall so damn small?! I am surprised that it took them this long to release the game. It should have taken 4 months, max. I just wish the gaming media websites would actually rate games truthfully. They should be embarrassed.
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  88. Mar 18, 2011
    5
    Dragon age 2 should be called, "Assassin's Creed 3: The Dragon Age edition." If you are looking for the same great experience of an epic, sprawling RPG, then look elsewhere. They removed any sense of epic struggle, moral ambiguity in making large and important decisions, and perhaps more damning, they removed the element of exploration that is so prevalent in many RPGs. Instead, we are given an ultra-linear story, one city to explore (the whole game mind you, just like assassin's creed, but actually assassin's creed has more than one city!) and absolutely no exciting pacing. By the middle of the game you are utterly sick of running menial tasks. There is no sense of a greater purpose like there was in the original Dragon Age: Origins. On top of this, there is clear evidence that Bioware was cutting corners any place it could just to save time and money. Environments are repeated sometimes between 4-5 times, but are supposed to be completely different areas. You'll think to yourself, "Hmph, I've been here before!" quite a few times. If you loved Dragon Age: Origins, I can imagine you'll buy the game anyway, but don't expect the same experience; it's gone. Expand
  89. Mar 18, 2011
    3
    llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
  90. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    MAIN PLOT: This game's storyline is a slow build, but once I got to Act 2 everything changed. I started appreciating the plot and the almost gentle progression. SIDE QUESTS: I dont think I've had so much fun playing the side quests before. I basically ignored most of them in DA1. COMPANIONS: (a) Voice Acting. Awesome. (b) Subplots. I like that we have subplots with them in every act. Fenris and Aveline's subplots were very well done and definitely memorable (and funny!). (c) Same-Sex Romance: I still feel the need to thank bioware for including this again and in full form.

    (c) Romance in General. I romanced Merril, and the only thing I kept thinking was that I wish I had a chance to talk to her more. I felt as through the romance was based on very limited dialogue (more like a mass effect 2 kind of romance as opposed to DA1). BUT the romance scene itself was so well executed that I forgot about how little I spoke with her before that. The pillow talk after the scene was *great* too! Also, as it goes with romance pacing, it was strange to have Merril move in after our first sex scene, especially since we weren't really dating or anything like that. And now that we've moved in, nothing is being said about it.

    (d) Dialogue: There feels like much less companion dialogue in this game. BUT I also like that I haven't exhausted the dialogue yet either. Being able to speak with your companions of the fly was nice. Merril has very few things to say about herself, the past or the Dalish. Also, I found the flirting lines with Merril really cheesy, and only did because I wanted to proceed with a romance.

    (d) Banter. Lots of good stuff here and with the number of companions, I don't think I'll ever hear all of the banter.

    (e) Character designs. I love how distinct everyone looks and acts. The new body types are great.

    (f) Comforting Hawke. I am soooo grateful that someone asks me how I am!

    (g) Companion Interactions. Its refreshing to see the companions visiting each other and seeking their guidance. Like everyone else, I love that dog is there. The fact that now I can ask a question to my party while in conversation with someone else is a good thing.

    THE WORLD: I have no problems with being in one city, but I guess I expected the city to change more than it does. I don't mind the reused areas too much. I'm fine with there being a few places you always visit (the bone pit and sundermount) but its when I go into other places that seem very similar to each other, that's when it loses flavour for me. I would have appreciated more fantastical locations (like in DA1 Sacred Ashes quest). I will insert thought that I love the fact that mines/maps/areas have multiple exits now and that leaving a dungeon is so much easier.

    INVENTORY
    (a) Companion Inventory: The fact that I can still equip my companions with their own weapons saved the day for me. If they were completely static, it would have been boring, but I am still able to upgrade their weaponry. As for their armour, I also like the idea of upgrades. I sort of wish I'd see the upgrades though, as a different colour of armour or *something*. The fact that I didnt have to equip the upgrades myself was nice too.

    (b) Junk: This container has gotten a lot of heat, BUT it does serve a purpose. i can now mark items as junk and sell them all with one button when I get to the store, how convenient is that? Very!

    TIME JUMPS: This left me feeling disconnected from the game. I believe its because I'm not filled in on what happened during the jump with myself or my companions (or perhaps the lack of control). The game tries to remind me that 3 years have passed, but its hard to "get into" that.

    ACTION: I loved the speed and looks of the action. This game is so much fun to play, now I actually enjoy the battles unlike in DA1. The skill trees are fun as well.

    WHAT ITS MISSING
    Its hard to explain what this game is actually missing for me without saying its missing "charm" or "soul". What I think has happened to create that feeling is the mix of: 1) not enough companion dialogue/backstory/progression, with 2) the fact that I'm not sure why my companions are still following me around.

    In DA1 we were a group of people thrown together to save the world. Even though its not unique, the fact that we were drawn together and that we had that camp common space created a feeling of "we're in this together" and "us against the world" which is missing from DA2. In DA2 I just feel like "stuff happens" and maybe some of my companions will be around later. They, currently, don't feel integral to Hawke, not even my LI.
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  91. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    What a waste. This could have been a great franchise. I love DA:O very much and regret every single cent spend on DA2. In a nut shell: the graphics are obviously better, but taking a closer look it's pretty clear: money was saved in production by receycling NPCs endlessly. Females (even parents) are ridiculously sexed up in order to serve a adulescent male consumer base. The controls and all relevant RPG aspects are seriosly dumbed down, "Consoleros" will find it great. Dungeons are mainly based on the same basic model reused over and over again.

    I'm sorry for every single cent and won't preorder any future Bioware Games. I despise the greed of the producers and my own naiveté. Believing Bioware would stick to the high quality standards of the series while it was able to cash in on a inexpensivly produced cash cow was plain dumb.

    I'm giving this game a score of 2.0 but metacritics system is not accepting it. (Error "Score (10.0) id must be a floating point number.") This leaves a fool taste...
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  92. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    With all these "negative reviews" I don't see where all the fuss is about. This is an amazing game! I just completed game on normal a few hours ago and now playing on nightmare mode which isn't breezing by. So far the DA2 has great story telling which kept me guessing through out the whole thing. The pause option provides you a more tactical view of the battlefield instead of blindly stumbling into a fight. If I wanted to play through a 1 button hack and slash game I would be playing Dynasty Warriors. I enjoyed the dialogue very much and having options to choose from instead of a set in stone story line. The cross combo tree lets you customize how the player wants to play. Instead of just do 1 thing and 1 thing only, I can DPS with an optional support role or crowd control. I enjoy the micro of the game between characters, why only use 1 character when you can manage 4 and control what they do. Good game, lots of fun, worth your money. Expand
  93. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    I must admit, that DA:2 is not what I would call an improvement compared to DA:O. But that doesnt necessarily mean, that its bad. There are a few things that put me off a little bit in the beginning. There is the combatsystem of course... lots of blood and pretty much the same every time. you kill the first bunch, then suddenly another wave appears out of thin air. then, no customisable armor for the other partymembers. for me that was an extremely big annoyance. Also kinda got on my nerves when I played ME:2. but that is also understandable to some extend. In terms of story telling it is an important part that the characters wear something that reflects their status( for example evelina...if she walked around in some kind of Bandit armor, that would be kinda weird oO).
    The Story: well, people can say what they want, but I actually liked it. Sure, it is not the most complex story there has ever been, but then there arent many games that even make it as far a DA:2. I liked that a lot of the Companion-,secondary- and side quests played into the main story line to some extend. Also, you've got to hand it to bioware. even if the story wasnt all thaaat complex it was very well staged with the tension building up until the end.
    now, my final point: the thing that annoyed me the most and where I couldnt find a reasonable explanation for....WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO THE INTERFACE??!!! I mean, its not like its too complex or anything, but it just doesnt fit into the setting at all. I liked it the way it was in origins. had a nice fantasy-ish feel to it. But this?? it looks like it was designed for SWTOR or ME3 but then it was decided that DA2 desperately needed some Sci-fi elements (?????) and thats what happened.

    Well, all in all though, I still enjoyed playing it through till the end alot. I mostly forgot about those thing that annoyed me at first while I was playing ( except for the interface >:O). And I think you cant say its a bad game just because its not as good or different from the first one. If there wouldnt have been a tag on the box saying " Dragon Age 2" I bet most people here wouldnt have been half as mad about the combat system etc. It would've probably been praised a a game that found the line between traditional RPGs and Hack n' Slay games Like the Diablo.
    Its not perfect, but its still very good.
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  94. Mar 18, 2011
    0
    i cant believe what bio did with this game. they take the name of a good rpg and put it on a hack and slash dungeon crawler for consoles. the name of the game reminds of dragon age origins and the theme. nothing else. everything is made with consoles in mind. i don't want to destroy my keyboard and mouse after all. graphics are a joke and the hi res texture pack for pc is nonsense. many say that a good rpg doesn't need good visuals but no one plays text based adventures anymore. we live in 2011.
    the only good thing about the game is that with its lunch dao ultimate edition sells for 18 euros for pc.
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  95. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    Everything about this game has been improved. Combat, UI, and even the story. This is not a sequel, really. It's not Dragon Age : Origins 2.0. It's a story within a story. Pick it up.
  96. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    A grand let down. From the reused locals, to the lackluster quest lines, Dragon Age 2 never stops feeling stale. If your looking for a engrossing depth defying role playing game, Dragon Age 2 can't fulfill.
  97. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    Disappointed at how Bioware could deliver a half-finished game. The intention was there, with the interesting characters and some development, but the game feels rushed and unfinished as whole.
  98. Mar 17, 2011
    0
    Dragon Age 2 though being a good game is a big let down for RPG fans. It tries to cater to a very large gamer base thus sacrificing a lot of which made DAO a huge success. The story at best is average, the voice acting is average though it does shine at times, the combat is more of a hack n slash, enemies explode in countless bits with one hit from a weapon. The combat consists of waves n waves of enemies spawning at you out of thin air which is absolutely immersion breaking and it continues throughout most of the game in the same manner. The environments are reused again n again n again n again....... The companions are not that great no feeling of attachment, romance is not implemented well, no companion customization, poor inventory system. I could go on n on but Ill stop. Please Bioware check you priorities you can't serve two masters at the same time... Collapse
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.