Mar 16, 2011I personally play rpg mostly for the story and not so much for the combat, so i cant say much about the combat part. It does feel a bit repetitive, but overall it is not my biggest complaint.
Problem is they have tried to make Dragon Age 2 into a cross between Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age Origins. Problem is its not close to being as good as either of these games. Its stuck in the murky middle somewhere. There is little to no immersion, and you are stuck in one city with a few variations the whole game through. Apart from more side quests, which i think is good, the whole game feels like your just doing errands around the city, and not much variation in environment. I felt i had no control over (Shepard)Hawk at all. His companions are not boring per se, but the little you actually talk to them makes them feel disjointed from you and each other. The ME dialog wheel can make you frustrated, because it seems you can never convey the right emotions at the right time. Also the romance side of this game seems meaningless as you cant really talk much to them, and you get little heart icons on the wheel to indicate when its flirting time...DA:O was not perfect but it was far from this silly.
The disappointment for many is probably due to this being called a sequel. It just a completely sub-par and different game ( in a bad way). Its DA:O and ME light. They could have done better with this story. The writing seems good, but they did not have time it seems to implement it the right way. They had to get it out the door quickly , and it shows.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011Dragon Age II is exactly what it promises. It's a sequel, meaning it's not DOA. It does inherit one thing from DOA however, and that is the exceptional character driven storyline. It also has extraordinary supporting characters and as is the Bioware standard; the game has exceptional writing and brilliant voice acting.
That's not to say the game is flawless. There is a pretty annoying map repetition, and the close up detail is a bit lacking, but the story more than makes up for it. Just remember it's not DOA...… Expand
Mar 16, 2011There seem to be lots of mean-spirited, spiteful people who give exaggerated negative ratings and reviews for this game in particular. I'm coming to believe that many RPG fans are deeply conservative in their gaming desires. They want "improved' games, as long as the new version has all the same good stuff they had before, instead of breaking new ground. That's my theory, anyway.
Dragon Age II certainly isn't perfect-- what is?-- but it's extremely improved and refined in many ways over a product (DA:O) that was flawed but nonetheless outstanding. I play in Hard mode on a mid-level PC, and the sequel is greatly improved graphically. The storylines are somewhat less cliche, and at least as well-written and voice-acted as before. The cinematics, which I don't usually get into, are much MUCH better. DA2 is a smaller game than Origins, yes, but it's still a very big game. I'd certainly like more environments/locales, but I understand Bioware's reasons for focusing on Kirkwall. The environments are great.
What really baffles me is how anyone can perceive this product as tactically "dumbed-down" in any way. The only rational justification for such opinion is the fact that there are so many unpredictable new waves of enemies in some major encounters. I do find this a bit excessive at times, but if anything it requires MORE tactical finesse and situational awareness than before. I love the fact that it forces me to pace battles, reserving key AoE and crowd control, etcetera at times in case of emergencies. DA2 also often requires more aggro management than in Origins, depending on party structure. The class and talent designs are more well-defined and much more, well, awesome than before. Overall, the combat is by far the best tactical RPG combat I've ever experienced, although I haven't played (for example) Icewind Dale. My only serious criticism is that the game does indeed have some stability issues on my system (with nvidia 9800 GTS+) as well as others. It doesn't crash any more often than lots of other new games, though, and I expect that Bioware will patch for performance in the fairly near future.
Anyway, I don't know what else to say, except that you shouldn't be scared of all these whiny user reviews if you're interested in the game. Just don't expect it to be a conservative remake or update of the first Dragon Age.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011Fantastic game. A masterpiece. Bioware as always have shown that they the best rpg developers. The combat, a plot, and characters are incredible. Game is ideal in all. Thanks for Fenris, Anders, Isabella and certainly Hawk. The original plot holds throughout all game. A one minus - repeating locations. But this isn't neccesary. I always buy your games. Thanks once again that you have made!
Mar 16, 2011I liked the game ... I do not know why you are criticizing her so ... yes it is something new, but it does not mean that it is worse ... at the expense of graphics is nothing bad I can not say, if you download the patch, the graphics in the game becomes a normal By the way ... I do not care what you think at the expense of what I wrote
Mar 16, 2011Nothing I can really say except without a doubt the production company bought and paid for any decent critic reviews. There is no way a professional game critic could endorse this pile of crap. It's story is for a 5 year old, the gameplay is boring, and you can't even choose the equipment for your party (dead serious)
Mar 16, 2011I was shocked by how bad this game was. I am not a hardcore gamer and don't follow all the industry news, but isn't this the same team that designed Dragon Age: Origins? How is that even possible? That was such a great game that I bought DA2 on Steam without even playing the demo. Shame on me. I'm a pretty simple gamer. I've bought buy every Civilization sequel and every Dragon Quest sequel since I first played those games in the 80's. I like a certain style of game, and I don't often take a chance and try a new game. I did for Origins and was quickly hooked. I bought all the DLC. The story and visuals were simply amazing, and the game was completely immersive. Dragon Age II is much too bland and boring to be immersive. I played five or six hours before deciding I was never going to get that feeling in this game. I know my rating is harsh, but that is my anger at the complete waste of money. They should not have used the Dragon Age name for this game.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011This game has NO HEART in it. The world is boring. No NPC to talk to. Full of one liners. All you do is stare at the mini map and follow in one direction towards the marker. There is no exploration. There is no good loot. In fact they made it easy by letting you find a bunch of junk items and a "SELL ALL JUNK" when visiting a merchant. What's the point of picking up junks simply for selling? Normally junk is considered items you end up not using but could be used if you had plans or skills for it. They really took the "role playing" out of RPG. All that left really is just a vanilla game. You cannot customize your party equipment. You are forced into using certain roles for your companion if you want to maximize their potential. The actions of this game also go so fast that it feels like you're in a freaking shooter game with the ability to pause. Don't get me started on the DLC money making scheme either ... ... and be careful with these reviews. Google "dragon age Chris Hoban" and see for yourself. This game should rank somewhere in the low 7s as average score due to the graphics.â… Expand
Mar 16, 2011I had some problems with Dragon Age: Origins - the story came off like it was written by teenagers who had just finished a George R. R. Martin book; the events were supposed to be dramatic or shocking, but they were more comical and predictable. The combat was difficult in the sense that it was an endurance test - a tedious exercise in patience and the amount of healing potions you were packing. I also didn't care for many of the companion characters.
Dragon Age 2 fixes all of these issues, and more. Bioware gives your character a family, roots in the world and a reason to care from the very beginning. The story is told in amazing fashion by one of the better written and acted characters in recent years, a dwarf named Varric. It takes place over the course of a decade in a city state, allowing you to see the consequences of all your actions. Talking to other friends also making their way through the game, it's like a collection of parallel universes. You don't need to wait for the epilogue to have an impact in this game.
The combat is a dream. I really think this is what Bioware has been shooting for with its fantasy games for 10 years now, finally realized in true form. At first glance it may appear simpler than its predecessor's - there are fewer talents, for instance; but they are arranged in unique trees and every one of them has significance. The interplay between the classes is extremely engrossing: there is real strategy here in cross-class combos, setting up your allies for thrilling maneuvers. A far cry from the first game's "strategy" of making sure you have enough potions to last the fight. The bosses are actually fun encounters, not the dreary exercises in patience they were in Origins.
Your character has a voice, which is a welcome addition. It also has to do with the reason I feel this game has so many low reviews: people were expecting an old school RPG in the style of Baldur's Gate, and this really isn't. It's a new game, an incredible game; but it is not Baldur's Gate. Unfortunately, few people seem willing to review it on its own merits. Having disliked Origins so much, I was dreading this release but it was a very pleasant surprise and here's hoping Bioware doesn't take the negative reaction to heart and continues to make bold, enjoyable games.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011Dragon Age 2 is the "Phantom Menace" to Dragon Age: Origin's "A New Hope". Thank you George for making this comparison possible and instantly recognisable by nerds everywhere. In many ways, I wouldn't need to say anything more than that, but I will anyway: When writing a review of Dragon Age 2, you probably have to say a few words about where you are coming from first. Are you the wide-eyed fanboy or the disgruntled, estranged hater formerly known as a "true" fan? Then you claim to be neither, but the one true voice of reason who's got a neutral view on this issue. Personally, I have bought and played repeatedly pretty much everything Bioware published since Shattered Steel and I've enjoyed each game on his own merits. I loved Planescape Tormet, Baldur's Gate 2 just as much as Jade Empire, even though that game is radically different in terms of combat. I'm saying that to illustrate that I am very well capable of enjoying a game that does not have the traditional isometric view of tactical combat.
Dragon Age 2 however, I cannot get into no matter how much I want to like it. This game is a train wreck of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age and not in a good way. Let's take a look at some of the "bad" things. First of all: Combat. I cannot, for the life of me, see how anyone could view the new system as an improvement. They tried to make combat incredibly fast paced and action packed, but somehow this does not play out the way it's intended, at least not for me. Seeing a guy in full platemail armed with a huge two-handed weapon move faster than Neo in the Matrix doesn't just break immersion for me, it shatters it beyond all hopes of repair. Most enemies die in one hit now and they do so in a spectacularily silly and over the top gory way. There's more blood in here than in the silliest splatter movie I ever saw. There's a fine line between "adult" and "graphic violence" and enemies EXPLODING into 20 gallons of blood and shishkebab upon being stabbed in the chest once. To compensate for all the insta-kills, enemies now spawn in waves by the dozens. This robs the individual enemy of any significance. How can I be intimidated by a blood mage or a horrible demon if there's 20 of each under every other rock? Beats me. The sadest thing about DA2 is that it actually fails where bioware usually excells. The story and dialogue. Take the human noble origin story in Dragon Age Origins, for example. Before everyone dies a gruesome death you spend some time to get to know them. Thus, when they do die, their death has some impact on you. In DA2, we skip the first part in favor of turning the gruesomeness of the death up to 11. The thing is, if some random red shirt dies twice as horribly, I don't care twice as much. The "main story" if it can so be called, is anything but an improvement over the original as well. Granted, you are not saving the world, which in theory can make for an interesting story as well, but many people take this fact alone to mean the story is brilliant. Unfortunately, that is not quite true. The writing is incredibly ham-fisted at times. I cannot count how often the game prevents you from using obvious solutions to problems simply because the plot requires that this problem cannot be solved in a simple manner. This adds to the "rushed" vibe the game gives off in general. There's barely any "fluff" anymore. You cannot talk to your companions at will anymore, for example. Some of the events of DA:O are imported and the game shoe-horns them into DA2, but if you spend even 2 seconds thinking about "Why was Alistair here just now?" you'll notice that he had no significance to the plot, provided no insight whatsoever and was there simply as a little bit of fan-service. Oh yea, and the RPG part got dumbed down some more, but that was to be expected I guess and is barely worth mentioning in light of all the other shortcommings the game has. Still, rating the game a 0/10 as many people do is just as silly as rating it 10/10. There is good to be found if you can look past your expectations for a bit. Some of the quests are indeed well written and fun. The voice actors did a really good job, almost without exception. Flemeth's new look is a vast improvement over her old one, too bad she is in the game for about 5 minutes, tops. It's almost like she notice "Oh snap, this is gonna hurt!" and flapped out of the game on her dragon wings. I cannot say I blame her. In conclusion, Bioware lost a lot of credibilty with me for this game. No longer will I blindly buy whatever they release. Once burned, twice shy. The shady things they did here on metacritic are not helping that image. I hope they learn a lesson from this disaster and can recover and return to what made them successful in the first place instead of succumbing to EA's corruption for good.… Expand
Apr 16, 2011Dragon Age 2 is not your standard "Hero against the world" or "Hero slays a dragon" story. This is a story about conflict, politics, oppression and personal drama. Unlike most games, it offers no "good" or "evil" way out. That alone is one of its strongest points. I'll list my personal pros and cons first:
+ Breaks out of the stale "Hero defeats an ancient evil" formula.
+ Companions are all well defined, plot heavy and not just people with ten dialogue options
+ The combat system is fast and furious, it feels involved and largely improved
+ No more "You gave me 5 gifts. I wuv you" = "Romance" nonsense. Romances take time, feel real and are part of the drama
+ Side quests and Companion Quests are woven into the main story
+ It no longer takes "approval" to get to know your companions. Friendship and rivalry offer different paths, you are no longer punished for disagreeing with your companions
+ Importing DAO saves add wonderful touches and REAL cameos, unlike the hack job called Awakening
+ Gorgeous graphics
+ I encountered only two quests I could not finish
+ No hours of sludging aimlessly through the Deep Roads or the Fade, killing everything in sight
- Re-used enviroments. While the enviroments they DID create are gorgeous in color and finely drawn, there are too few. Hopefully this will be fixed via a patch.
- Much as I like the companion interaction being spread out, I'd have liked to see more and I'd have liked to customize them fully. But worry not, the modders are already at work
This game is not was not meant to be a direct sequel to DAO. They tried going down that road with Awakening and we know that was a disaster. It is a bold, new way of picking up a conflict that was already hinted at in the original. Also, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The tragedies unfolding in this game cannot be blamed on an antagonist or an ancient evil but on, pardon the RPG pun, human nature. There were so many moments in this game when I was teary eyed or yelling "No, no, NO!" at my screen. I don't want to spoil anything however. Is it a perfect game? No. Was DAO a perfect game? Hell, no. DAO was horribly bugged, the last third of the game was badly written and rushed and never mind its formulaic nature and clichÃ© ending. I love both games though. DA2 represents change and many do not like change. I happen to love it. I cannot wait for the newest DLCs and expansion and DA3 can't come soon enough either. I know the haters will pounce down on my review. It'll be an honor though, because I don't care what they think.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011Is it as good as DA:O? No. Ist it on my list of possible Game of the Year candidates? No. Was Bioware cutting corners left and right.. yes.. Let's face it, DA2 feels like it was rushed to the market without the care and attention to detail that made its predecessor special. DA2 suffers from repeating dungeons over and over again and disappoints me with a over simplified skill tree. Let's just skip over the whole party armor upgrading business and while we're at it, cram the stupid dialog wheel system from Mass Effect down the players throats. It's getting almost too casual now. Yes,I do feel like this title was produced with minimal effort, to rake in some more additional cash. And yes i do blame EA for it.
Act 1 unfortunately being especially bland, while Acts 2 and 3 do pick up a quite bit, with my party members finally starting to develop some actual profile. But does it deserve a meager 0-4 scores? Hell no. It is still an entertaining title that will keep fans of the old DA:O or faster paced W-RPGS entertained for a good 20h if not way more. My first play thru took 38h. It has a decent storyline, it's technically 'sound' - not great, mind you, just average. I haven't experienced any bugs, crashes or whatnot. I liked the story, it even does lend itself to be played at least a second time through. Plenty of quests to go around, too. I think this title is getting bashed a bit too hard here.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011Plot is good, companions are at least as interesting as in the first installment, but probably because the game was rushed (its 1,5 year since Origins are on the market) its overly simplified. Interiors are repeatable, running around Kirkwall is boring after a while, and game stutters on DX11 mode when using GF cards. Throw in some bugs and glitches, and i recommend waiting for new drivers and some patching before trying it out. Don`t get me wrong - the game is good, but its not as good as Dragon Age one.… Expand
Mar 20, 2011I`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
Mar 17, 2011Anybody that gives this game a score less than 5 needs to pull their head out of the extremely dark place it has wedged itself into. We gamers have all basically agreed upon a 10 point scale for universally rating our games. 10 means this game is so utterly fantastic it will more than likely be named in the all time greatest games list, 8-9 says this game is worth playing even if you typically do not like this genre, 7 shows this game has potential but for some reason has fallen short of the must play scores in other words completely average. 5-6 says this game is not really worth your time or money. Now a 4 means that this game is COMPLETELY BROKEN, this is Superman 64. So everyone that is reviewing this game with a score of 4 or less is saying that Dragon Age 2 should sit next to Superman 64 in the craptastic section of your video game library. I understand some people have a problem with the direction this game took but the majority of you are acting like a bunch of whiny and spoiled little bed-wetters. Please grow up because your little crusade is quite frankly proving to the rest of the entertainment industry that games are for kiddies.
Now onto the game. I like it! Have not finished yet as work has been hectic. The story so far seems to be highly personal and not the "we have an imminent danger knocking on our doorstep we must hurry" kind of story, I have no problem with the latter type of story and neither do I with the former they are just different. Let me say that there are things I feel were improved on and things which took a step back in comparison to origins and awakenings. I truly like the faster paced combat in comparison to origins but do miss the top down "pulled back view" that was lost from the pc version. I am seeing people gripe about the combat and how there is no tactics needed for most of the battles, well there were not very many battles in origins where tactics were needed either it is still mostly the boss battles where you feel you need to micromanage things. The speed is what I am really enjoying, especially if playing a mage. If you were a mage in origins you cast your spells then auto attack, in DA2 you cast your spells then auto attack but I look a heck of a lot cooler during the second part of this equation, which is the same for both games. The quest structure is intriguing and I do like it better than the 1 major quest per area of its predecessor. In origins it seemed you did the side quests for the major area, then went onto the major quest for the area and then onto the next major area. I am enjoying doing a portion of the major quest for the act, then some side quest sprinkled in between each scenario. I do not have a problem with the graphical style as some seem to. Elves look worse than they did in Origins but humans looks better and Dwarfs will always be ugly. The Qunari designs are very nice in my opinion as are most of the monster types. The environments are hit and miss, some look good some not so much. I do have a problem with the re-using of dungeons and interiors, just like I did for the original Mass Effect and most every game I play. I look past it and tell myself they must have pre-fab buildings in their universe as well. The spell animations are wonderful, a major step up from origins. The companions are great, nice writing so far. I have mixed feelings about the party members equipment. On one hand the character designs are wonderful and you avoid the cookie cutter appearance we had in Origins but I am old school and enjoy finding a helm and saying that definitely goes to Isabela, now it is just accessories so most equipment you find becomes vendor trash.
All in all this game so far has been a blast and all the boo-hoo's and "you're sellouts" barking is just getting on my nerves and making every gamer on the planet look like a bunch of children. Baldur's Gate is one of the greatest games of all time, but if someone made a game today like that I would say its crap and so would you. I am not saying all of the complaints are unfounded, I have some as well, but this organized effort to hurt this game is just crazy. They told us everything they were changing, if you have a problem with the changes its because you let them happen. If you don't like them voice your complaints but don't exaggerate as the majority on the net are doing. I assure you a score of 7 hurts a whole lot more than a 2. That 2 says a vocal minority of idiots are trying to make a point, a 6 or 7 says we really got some things wrong and need to address them.
When Origins came out I felt it was a game that deserved and 8.5 rating, I feel the same way about DA2. Once the modding community and expansions and DLC came out for Origins I felt it was deserving of a 9.5 rating, I feel confident that will hold true here as well, so long as people grow up and quit trying to cause this game to fail.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011I can certainly understand why there is so much hatred for this game after finally playing it through. Rarely have I experienced such an anger while playing a game. Dragon Age 2 is a shockingly pathetic combination of a weak story, retarded game mechanics, ugly graphics (compared with ALL current games) and extremely annoying companions and NPCs. It is unbelievable that they dare charging 60 bucks for this piece of trash. I would rather cut both my hands and legs than to ever buy another Bioware "product" again ("work of art" my ass!). To the extremely lucky who have not yet bought the game but are curious to try (curiosity here only brings more pain than good), I humbly advise you to torrent the hell out of it (Dragon Age 2's shoddy quality doesn't even justify your patient waiting for its price tag to drop to 10%!). Just torrent, try and then utterly forget it!… Expand
Mar 17, 2011After playing through the game I think its a solid game. It is very different from Dragon Age: Origins, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like the game is more streamlined than Origins. It reminded me more of Knights of the Old Republic than Baldur's Gate. I enjoyed my first playthrough and and am working on my second and there will probably be a few more over the next few months. So, if you are expecting a rehash of Origins, you'll be disappointed. It's a completely different game, but it's still a fun game and has plenty of merits of its own. Download the demo, give it a whirl and see for yourself.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011I love DA:O very much, it's one of the most impressive games I've ever played,. I'm not at all impressed with DA2, however. In DA:O, I could log in, and immerse myself for 12 hours without realizing it - here, I have to fight to want to play an hour at a time. The graphics are pretty, but otherwise, this is a step backward from DA:O in almost every way. It feels like a fairly primitive console game thus far, and the inability to swap nearly any armor on your party members is beyond stupid. The questing is vapid (One never even knows what you're actually doing half the time, or why) with many quests being things like "Go talk to X group member at the tavern" when that group member is, in fact, in your travelling party and standing right next to you. The storyline, while potentially intriguing, is so broken up that it isn't particularly enjoyable. Everything feels like an excuse to go from one cut-scene to the next. In DA:O, it felt like you, the player, actually controlled the flow of the plot, and could make a difference in what would happen. In DA2, everything is preordained, and you're just along for the ride, being pushed from one step to the next, whether you will or no. Also, you felt an attachment to your character - you understood and helped shape the back-story that would be with your throughout the game. In DA2, you're some random nameless person, back-story already established, and everybody already knows everything about you... except you the player. They forget the part where they tell you about yourself.
The voicing of the main character is unnecessarily lengthy, and appallingly inaccurate - you almost never say anything resembling the option you selected, and conversations take twice as long as they used to, because you have to wait for (or ESC through) constant banter that you apparently have no control over anyway. The whole chat-wheel thing is a damnable console derivative that needs to die in a fire, and makes it unclear what number keys to use for keyboard chat control. To top it all off, there is no non-combat skill-tree! This isnâ… Expand
Mar 17, 2011A disappointment compared to Origins. While I did enjoy it im not going back for a 2nd playthrough anytime soon, this is the complete opposite of origins which i could not get enough of. The responsiveness in combat was nice but i felt it made the game play more like an action than an tactical rpg. The problem with Dragon Age 2 is that it sorta sits half way between origins and mass effect and this results in players interested in either 'genre' being disappointed. I find it strange that bioware completely changed the game rather than improving on it like they did between mass effect and mass effect 2.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011I loved DA 1. I waited with great anticipation for this sequel to the point where I marked it on my calender lol
I have never been so disappointed in a sequel before and that is saying a lot lolol
The characters were flat and uninteresting. The characters were so whiney I cringed when I had to pick which ones to take with me. The plot was extremely messy to the point it seemed act 3 was thrown together last minute and not actually a part of the original plot. The combat was much worse then the first DA. There was no real stradegy thinking to kill mass amounts of low grade uninteresting monsters.
There was only 1 decent boss fight in the whole game (the high dragon) and that wasn't "great". Overall I was beyond disappointed in this game! When will game designers give us combat with boss monsters that are interesting to fight?! Don't keep throwing more of the same thing at us and expect us to be thrilled ~ give us great boss fights and plenty of them! As another reviewer said, going more into my review for this game isn't worth my time.… Expand
Mar 18, 2011Spawning enemies in front of your eyes, repetitive locations, boring quests, lots of the same demons from Dragon Age: Origins, no ability to change armor of your companions, money make no use in this game anymore, the ending of the game is quite the same and no matter what path you choose, imported saved games from DA:O make no significant role. Final word: this game is bad sequel.
Mar 18, 2011Copy/Pasted dungeons and building interiors : Check Inability to customize companion armor : Check Very limited companion interaction : Check Uninteresting protagonist : Check Less than half the abilities/spells compared to its predecessor : Check Lack of tactical combat : Check Mediocre storyline : Check Boring side quests inserted into the title for the sole purpose of increasing the playtime: Check
To sum all the above up, Bioware going down in flames : Check
I had high hopes for this title and I really thought that it would improve as I continued to play the game. I was bored from the start, but instead of writing a scathing review after just 10 hours of play I decided to give the game a chance and played the game to completion before writing this review. At times during the game play experience I found that I was trying to force myself to enjoy it. The game really does feel incomplete and buggy at times and never truly draws the player into its world. I loved Dragon Age : Origins despite its few flaws and I was hoping that this game would improve upon that winning formula, instead of taking one step forward it seems that Bioware has taken 2 steps back with this title.
Bioware and/or EA were not generous enough to give this product the extra year of development that it probably required, so I'll be generous and give it a 5 out of 10 score which is more than it deserves.… Expand
Mar 18, 2011Origins 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.
Mar 19, 2011This 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
Mar 19, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Improved several things from DA:O, while taking large steps backwards on others. Having a voiced character whose dialogue would change based on whether the PC typically chose diplomatic/sarcastic/direct dialogue options was a big plus. The combat skill trees were an improvement. And in my opinion, letting characters simply upgrade their armor instead of micromanaging was an aspect I enjoyed as well. Steps backwards are most obvious in areas Bioware typically shines. You cannot talk with party members unless they are giving a quest. So instead of Hawke taking time to get to know the party, the game gives quests letting you know when they want to talk to you. The storyline is hit and miss. The first 2/3 of the game are actually pretty decent. Showing a refugee rising up from the slums to eventually have a hand in saving the city from an imminent threat. Then act 3 happens. Normally, this is where choices the PC in Bioware games really come out to shine in the conclusion to a story. But no, turns out everyone in Kirkwall is just crazy. Instead of having the chance to rule Kirkwall, the player simply gets to kill the largest factions in the game even after siding with one over the other. It really felt like a DLC meant to set up the future of Thedas more than a standalone game. Easily the worst Bioware ending they've done and really depressing considering the great job they've done in the past on RPG stories.
However, Bioware is known for writing great and engaging stories in their games. In DA:O, the Warden was tasked with uniting a divided country to push back the Blight that threatened everyone. Simple on paper, but Bioware did a good job in creating dynamic factions with different motives and concerns in a way that immersed you into Ferelden. In DA2, Hawke shows up and things just happen around him. But despite claiming the players choices dramatically affect Kirkwall as time passes, this simply isn't true. Too often the player is presented with multiple dialogue choices, but will experience the same outcome.… Expand
Mar 19, 2011thats 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.
Mar 20, 2011First 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...
- 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?
- 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.
- The backgrounds and dialogues preceding and following missions are of high quality, BUT what about a larger conflict, to what end am I killing hordes of idiots? Is there any greater inner or outer threat than a killer whom the player seeks to kill? The Qunari are a threat, for twenty minutes of gameplay. Templar and Magicians don't like each other and there's a fight, but that's it. No threat and no thread. Calling Hawke "Champion" is an exaggeration to cover that he hasn't achieved much. The whole game is "unepic" and seems to be a chapter of an epic game.… Expand
Mar 20, 2011Dragon 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?
Mar 20, 2011ILL 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 :(… Expand
Mar 20, 2011This 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
Mar 20, 2011Generally 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
Mar 21, 2011Good 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.… Expand
Mar 21, 2011Bioware 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
Mar 22, 2011Refrain 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.… Expand
Mar 22, 2011I 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
Mar 22, 2011FIRST IMPRESSIONS (5/10):
Installation and configuration of the game went well. Once starting the game, there was a mediocre amount of character visual choices on character creation looking adequate. The amount of character types, however, were somewhat limited. This was true for Dragon Age 1 as well, but was even more streamlined/simplified in this game.
In the middle of character creation, you were thrown more or less into the game in a fairly creative manner. But really, isn't "starting off with a bang" getting a little old? And what is wrong with a little cinematic to put the player into the right mood? And for some reason, the feeling was a little "rushed" into completion. All in all: Not bad, not good. The classic 5/10, industry standard. GRAPHICS (5/10): In my personal opinion, not the most important aspect of the game. At least not in pure technical respects. With that said, Dragon Age 2 appears to be a little dated compared to other action games. And compared to Dragon Age 1, it did not show any particular improvements. Even though the graphics are nothing special and lacks new features, they seem to have polished the look of what was there fairly well. All in all: Somewhat dated, well polished. 5/10, industry standard. VISUAL APPEAL (3/10): Different from the more technical quality of the graphics is the visual appeal of the game. More or less an artistic viewpoint of the graphics. The landscape, city and indoor environments look everything from ok to good. But it lacks a soul. Non player characters do not respond well to what happens around them, they stand around stiff and bland. Too many locations were recycled throughout the game making it appear artificial, a dead thing. No improvement in weather or wind furthers nails the lid on this coffin. There are also vastly too few types of enemies which contribute to making the game appear without variation. All in all: 3/10. Somewhat lifeless, fairly bad. SOUND (3/10): What happened to the music in this game? The sound effects and general environment is overall ok. Some taunts and tidbits is played too often and is too repetative for non player characters in many areas. But it's not bad, just not anything special. The music, however, is near being described as horrible. There are only a few tunes I want to bother listening to. I am usually into listening closely to ingame music for the atmosphere, but the music in Dragon Age 2 did nothing for me. All in all: 3/10. Sound effects are ok, the music is pretty bad and boring. STORY (6/10): Heard it before, nothing special. However, creative narration and overall well done. There is simply nothing remarkable about the story in the game. In many places, it is easy to see that the player really has no choice. And even though there are some different choices to make that counts in the game, there isn't truly many "world-spinning" actions. The voice acting is pretty good, but sometimes a little bland. It is a little hard to care about the characters in the game. This might be because there are few choices, especially in the start. Personally, most of them annoy me and I would send them somewhere to die if I could. What breaks an otherwise decent story, is that the quests related to the main story is pretty far from entertaining or interesting. Personally, I simply want to wander off into the wilderness. Overall: 6/10. Even with some major flaws, the story is above average. Keep in mind industry standard is bad. COMBAT AND CAMERA CONTROL (2/10): Is this an RPG? No. It's an action game. But I say: Rate it as an RPG because it says so on the "box". *CACKLES NERVOUSLY* Where to begin... Let's keep it simple: Every fight is the same. Boom! A bunch of enemies drop down on your head. Your mage spams the same spells as last time and your fighters/rogues mop up, you need to push a few buttons. Boom! Group nr. 2 drops on your head. Repeat. Where is the development? What new strategic or tactical challenges are there? Since when was spawning encounters in your face good game design? Why is everything solved by doing the exact same thing over and over? Even bosses are mostly fairly simple - both in regard to defeating them and to how they behave. WHY THE **** DID THEY MAKE THIS SO CRUDE AND REPETATIVE? AND FOR GODS SAKE, WHY MUST EVERYTHING SCALE? Another annoying lack of feature is the strategic view of Dragon Age 1. With enemies dropping on/in from all directions, some would say it would be nice to have a strategic view camera. This further underlines the action game transformation of Dragon Age 2. On the positive side, combat is responsive and dynamic. The characters do what you tell them to do, and they mostly do it without any delay. There are a good amount of fun animations and moves whi… Expand
Mar 22, 2011I just finished the game on pc and i'm still not sure how I should feel about this game. It's definatly a fun game. The story, dialogue wheel and combat mechanics is a positive change for me but the fact to you play the whole game in 1 city and that all the dungeons are the same puts alot of it's charm backwards.
I give it a 7 cause it has dragon age slap on it and i'm a fan of the series.If it had been a new rpg I would have rated it a 5 or maybe 6.… Expand
Mar 28, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is much worse than the first part, talents are bad, story is too short and quests are so simple so i didnt have to think to finish them, the game was made for stupid people who dont want do anything just watch the grafics.… Expand
Mar 23, 2011The story is good, but riddled with fetch quests. This isn't the best game Bioware has made but they've set the bar pretty high with titles like the original Dragon Age and the Mass Effect series. Fans of RPGs will eat this up, while your average lover of adventure games will find enough appreciation in the storyline to justify trying it out too.
Mar 23, 2011The combat system revamp does not bother me. What does bother me is when party members don't ****ing hold position when I tell them. Let me give you an example: fighting the first dragon you come across in the deep roads. I want to kite the boss back to a better position, I tell my party to HOLD POSITION, meaning that unless I get a loading screen, or a cut-scean, they should not move from that spot under any circumstances no matter what. What actually ends up happening is that the horrible party AI system decided to teleport them to me three times in the course of no more than a 15 second walk from where I told them to HOLD POSITION. Since I'm playing on nightmare and my party for the most part is completely useless anyway, due to iffy at best aggro mechanics, (I have abandoned my warrior since she does so little damage, once the 10 second taunt is up, it all runs to the casters anyway), and party member's AI being too stupid to move out of the way of 1 shot kill boss mechanics, I have abandoned my party almost all together. This has let to the already nearly non existent party member story lines, to be nonexistent all together since it is not worth it to bring them with me.
Furthermore the lack of being able to give your party members armor, has made it so that my mage has both twice the armor and defensive stat of the game's intended warrior tank, making that party member useless (she is also a bit of a stuck up **** anyway).
My largest gripe BY FAR is how lazy the level design team was: FIVE count them FIVE times, the game reused the EXACT SAME DUNGEON. I don't mean, oh you have to go back into the dungeon, no, a completely different area has the EXACT SAME DUNGEON layout, even the set pieces are the same. This game has no re-playability at all, $60 is a rip off for this piece of garbage, maby $20 is worth it. I wouldn't know, I'm glad I torrented it or I woudl have been pissed off that I wasted $60.… Expand
Mar 23, 2011While entertaining, this game doesn't come close to its predecessor. There are two problems with DA2: first it has a number of extremely silly design flaws, and second that it differs from Origins in many respects without bringing any improvement to the table.
Just to list the obvious mistakes: no tactical camera (why would anybody kill a degree of freedom that doesn't come with any development cost?), companion armor restrictions (same question), copy/paste levels (it seems there only 10 maps in the game or so), poor artwork in Kirkwall (where you spend 90% of your time), enemies spawning out of thin air every fight (which ruins tactical gameplay in a lot of ways) and last but not least nasty bugs. Those mistakes could be made by beginners in game development, sitting on a tight budget, without any established rules to build upon, but to get them from Bioware team, having EA financial backing? Shocking.
What's probably even more important for the fans of the Origins is that this game is different even where not outright bad. Everybody understands the desire to broaden the customer base and get more people to play this, but it's customary to tread carefully when naming something a sequel to something else. Combat is fast-paced while it was more tactical in Origins, the wheel-based dialogue system allows less room to role-play, you don't really get to know your companions, and their character development is weak. The strongest selling point of Dragon Age, the story seems dull and short at the same time, a collection of random encounters and errand missions. Hawke is more of a chip in the whirlpool, as it's impossible to influence most of the important events in the game. While I appreciated some changes (crafting for example), and most of the changes are a matter of taste, what surprises is the willingness of the developers to alienate their own fanbase in the first place, as none of this changes are obvious and straightforward.
What's very disappointing is that the opinion of the average critic differs wildly from the opinion of average gamer whom the critic is supposed to represent. Whether the result of the PR machine at work or just the sequel effect, that's an important lesson for those looking at the (meta)critic scores.
Financially, the results of this flawed design and sloppy execution are going to be deferred to DLCs and DA3, if it's greenlighted at all. Contrary to what "evil EA" theory suggests, EA's long-term profits are going to be negatively impacted by killing one of the most prominent franchises in the portfolio of acquired company (and honestly, if there is anything to learn from the film imdustry, it's the importance of having a good franchise and solid "customer base" aka fanbase).
What EA/Bioware have done to Dragon Age is, in Talleyrand's words, worse than a crime - it's a mistake.… Expand
Apr 23, 2011This game isn't as bad as one may be led to believe. If you ignore the "Dragon Age" in it's name and judge it on it's own, it can be an enjoyable 50 hours or so. The problem is, it isn't Dragon Age anymore. Dragon Age Origins was a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate and it showed. The sequel tried to reach out to people who didn't like BG and DAO, by borrowing heavily from Bioware's other game Mass Effect. To top it off the game was very clearly rushed.
Some of the biggest things you'll notice...
- You can't customize companion armor. Their excuse is that they wanted to create unique models for companions that wouldn't fit regular armor, but it comes off as laziness.
- The world doesn't change in the 7 years the story spans. Nothing changes from the location of NPCs to clothing, to companions houses (item locations and such).
- Combat is faster paced. I actually like that.
- You get a lot of useless item called junk. Why? Who knows, as the name suggests they serve no purpose other than to be sold.
- Areas are reused to an extreme. Caves are always the same cave, mines the same mine, houses the same house, ect. This really starts to get annoying after about 2-3 hours of gameplay.
- The story initially gives you little reason to care, and when it looks like it's picking up it's abruptly ended. No conclusion, and your actions have NO effect on how things turn out.
- You have little impact on the overall story. In the first game you got to make decisions that had a huge impact on the world. Here, you're lucky if it changes a line of speech later on.
- The dialog wheel will often do a poor job at representing what your about to say. If you've played Mass Effect you know what I mean.
- Bodies explode when it's not fitting (ie a stab in the back would not cause a body to explode into a million pieces)
Still the story is alright, despite never being concluded (clearly there is a sequel planned) and combat is improved over DAO. It's probably not worth the full $60 they are asking, but if you can find it for $35-$40 you'll get your money's worth.… Expand
Mar 23, 2011Instead of building on the Strengths of Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware created a game that failed to capture the imagination of gamers everywhere. A failed sequel in every way, the game should have been marketed as The Kirkwall Chronicles; a story that bears no relevance to its predecessor. The adventure that follows is repetitive, tedious, and very shallow. A Dragon Age for Dummies, where its strength lies in its recycled approach to maps, characters, story and quests. The Plot is miserable, your actions donâ… Expand
Mar 24, 2011Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of cartoons/anime than dark fantasy.
Non-combat skills like coercion or survival have been stripped from the game and overall the game feels strongly focused on combat and action.
The story itself isn't bad, though the pacing seems somewhat odd at times. The companions are generally likable, though companion interaction takes place mostly during the companion quests.
The city of Kirkwall, to which the player is mostly confined, feels unfortunately lifeless. NPCs are basically static background, which wouldn't be much of a problem if the game's story wouldn't take place almost entirely inside the city.
Dungeons consist mostly of a few maps that are recycled over and over, with various passages blocked off by locked doors. Unfortunately the mini-map doesn't reflect the blocked passages, making the lack of variety in maps even more obvious.
The game is certainly ok for a beginner RPG, but it cannot compare to BioWare's masterpieces by any means. It lacks the depths and complexity that Origins had and would have better been marketed as a spin off game than a sequel.… Expand
Apr 23, 2011Very disappointing sequel. It is sadly inferior in almost every way to its predecessor. The combat has been reduced to button-mashing which is somehow expected to appeal to more people. Also, this game absolutely reeks of shortcuts taken in the name of pushing this pile of garbage out the door. Environments are used over and over and over. Gone are the interesting descriptions of items. Forget trying to talk to your companions in any meaningful way unless a quest is involved. Every conversation ends with a feeling of 'that's it? That's the end of the conversation? Where's the rest?' Forget the realism of having half your companions bisexual. Now everyone everywhere is bi all the time, because according to lead writer David Gaider, doing otherwise would have cost too much and taken too much time. Do you like games where your choices matter? In Dragon Age 2 your responses are now limited to three (friendly, snarky, hostile) instead of potentially multiple ones as in DA:O. And those choices have almost no impact on the story. It's incredibly linear and no matter how you respond to people, the outcome is always the same. The disjointed, clunky, and cliched story builds to a decision at the end between two factions and you have to choose between them, only to find at the last second that no, you'll have to fight both. It feels incredibly contrived, and blatantly obvious that Bioware didn't want to take the time to really give you choices that matter because it would make it harder for themselves in a sequel to take those into account. The worst is that instead of acknowledging these issues as faults, Bioware is staunchly defending the awesomeness of these changes as "streamlining" the game. Well I'll tell you what, Bioware, a poptart is a pretty streamlined breakfast. I still prefer steak and eggs.… Expand
Mar 26, 2011After replaying through the initial Dragon Age multiple a time, it was a no brainer to pick up DA2 as well. While the openers magic is slightly lost along the way the sequel does a lot right. The story itself is written nicely, albeit missing out on a lot of potential drama and interesting scenes. Characters are all around nicely done and actually have a lot of unexpected reactions and decisions which make the game feel genuinely interesting.
On the minus side the game has a bit too much of fighting going on. After you learn the gimmick of the fight, it does get nice. Yet wave after wave of extra enemies per each fight does get kind of tiresome. Either way a very well done sequel and a way lengthy as well. Clocked at 90 hours on nightmare after completing about every quest I could find.… Expand
Mar 27, 2011This game is a HUGE disappointment for fans of DA:O. It's pretty much pointless considering how goal orientated the last game was. It really does not feel like you have a purpose in this game at all. It's a such a rude difference and it's hard to get into this game has an RPG player. Again... waste of time, disappointment, SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!!
Mar 28, 2011The game is good. At first I was surprised there are so many negative reviews, but after reading through some, I realized that they were not about a game. This talk is about feelings, which were apparently hurt, as the ritual accusation of "dumbing down' a game surface again. Some people obviously fell in love with DAO and feel "cheated" now when the sequel proved to be a different game. Well, BG2 is very different from BG1 as well, but it was better (more dialogs, better graphics, less B/W approach to quests). Same goes for FO2.
Same thing with DA2 - it's different from the original... So what? it's still better! The battles are not as boring, voice acting is good, NPCs are interesting, and there's plenty room for strategy and tactics (well, let's be honest, DA:O was not exactly ummm Total War kind of game, so what can you expect from a sequel...) I played both games on hard difficulty and I can't say DA2 is any less challenging - only it's more pleasant to look at which is apparently a CRIME in the eyes of some people. Oh and you can actually see to the end of a battle without looking at the watch a dozen times now. For those of us with jobs â… Expand
Mar 28, 2011Giving this a 4 (should be a 6) to counteract all the lies and "user" reviews written by people associated with the company and the outright lies fed to us by the game review industry (they're obviously getting something for giving the game such inflated scores). Hard to suspend disbelief in regards to the story line, tedious gameplay, lazy environment creation, linear gameplay, nearly every quest havingg nothing to do with the story and the inability to make the player care about the characters is enough to stay away. If we support this type of mediocre game creation that is all we are going to get.… Expand
Mar 30, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While I would like to create a long, fully elaborated review on the game to explain the core features and everything in depth, I honestly cannot, as the game is without much merit whatsoever. The combat took… Expand
Apr 8, 2011The game has its flaws but the truth is that it is one of the few games that it is really fun to play. With a solid good scenario, interesting characters and an action filled battle system that manages to pull you in without losing its RPG true soul, Dragon Age 2 is a remarkable game and a nice addition to the universe of Dragon Age. Can't wait for the next one (and the DLC)
Apr 1, 2011Severely disappointed in this game, which is absolutely nothing like Dragon Age: Origins. This is basically a Mass Effect beat em up in the Dragon Age setting (except with worse graphics, storyline, voice acting and gameplay). Bioware have unfortunately dropped their standards to unbelievable depths and 'Consolofied' what was a once brilliant PC style RPG. Gameplay is so simple you can do it with your eyes closed, no tactics just button mashing. Graphics are very bland, brown, basic and repetitive. Just look at the majority of NPCs up close and they look like they came from Tomb Raider 1! And how can you call this an RPG when all you can explore is one tiny city? Pathetic. This game is a huge mistake on Bioware's behalf. They seem to have rushed this out, maybe to make some quick money to further fund development of SWTOR?? I have played every Bioware game I can think of, and this is the first one ever to go straight back to the shop for part exchange. Sorry Bioware, but I no longer love you... you have failed me miserably. To coin a phrase from Darth Vader that seems to apply here, "Now his failure is complete".… Expand
May 26, 2011Developer: BioWare
Genre(s): Role-Playing Those two lines are very inaccurate, This game doesn't look like any game BioWare made and It's certainly not a Role-playing game but an action game. If you have to call it RPG then call it Arcade-RPG.
The game was clearly designed for little kids, Sexy? No, Nothing sexy about a bunch of companions hypocrites. Better graphics? No. There is no variety in the graphics, everything is just BROWN, everywhere you look You'll see BROWN. Better Story? NO. Many plot holes from origins. Better gameplay? No. This game combat is so unrealistic, even the Matrix looks more realistic then this.
I know some of you DA:O fans reading all those bad reviews here and think "It can't be that bad, there's no wayyy". I also know some of you think this is some of sequel to the original game, Well, If you don't listen to those bad reviews here You'll get a BIG FUUUU to your face when playing this game.… Expand
Apr 6, 2011Not as bad as people say it is but it's definitely not "good" either. I give this a 5 because it's such a repetitive game with recycled locations and quests. The boss fights look like they were tripped from WOW. The character dialog can be interesting at times but you're basically forced into a canned character concept defying the whole point of a fantasy RPG. Also, many of the events of DA:O don't seem to matter very much in this game. The character of hawk is non compelling. On the plus side there are some OK graphics and environment design.… Expand
Apr 6, 2011For me this game is far superior than the first one. Combat, graphics, voice acting, story, setting, atmosphere, everything is perfect. These people that whine so much are living in the past. This is not a Dragon Age Origins DLC.
For me, Dragon Age Origins in unplayable, but DA2 is great!
Apr 8, 2011I loved DAO. I played it to completion at least 4 times. I loved the different endings, the total freedom to roleplay, and I found the characters, which from the superficial level seemed totally cliche (bastard prince, wicked witch, drunken dwarf...) thoroughly engaging. I loved all the little permutations. As such, I was expecting great things from DA2. I think like a lot of people, maybe I expected too much - or perhaps I just expected Bioware to be aware of why such a large portion of its fanbase loved it too. Quite honestly, if DA2 was marketed under a different name, I'd give it an extra 2 points. It loses marks because it's a poor follow-up to a game that was, pretty much, the only high-end party-based RPG around (Mass Effect isn't as strong strategically and lacks companion customisation, while The Witcher forces a main character on you and lacks party dynamics).
My basic feeling is, given another year in development to properly work on the story, sort out the bugs, and tweak the comabt, and DA2 could have been a masterpiece. The ideas are there. But the execution is sloppy, the game lacks cohesiveness and there are far too many elements which fail - not least being, if the entire storyline is about oppression of mages, why you can make your main character a mage and no-one says anything. Even when you use magic in front of a Templar's face. If they really wanted to pull off this impression of a world of prejudice and oppression - they needed to work the mechanics around it. As it is, it's fun.... but it's never going to be a classic. Also, given this, I'm not sure whether or not I'll bother with DLC for this game... it seems to me the EA marketing machine has already brought in far too many cash-ins everywhere.
The Pros: The continuing stories of characters you meet in every act is quite interesting and does vary MINORLY depending on your decisions.
Companions are, once you get to know them a little, interesting, though Bioware have once again done what they tend to do for expanions and 'rushed for time' games and made characters that are mostly known for their unusualness (e.g. Varric - very NOT traditional dwarf) - still, they've got the writers to back this up. There is no 'right choice' in most scenes; this is not a good vs evil choice. DAO had that too (with the exception of the werewolves/elves) but not to this extent.
Therw was one moment in the endgame where my jaw literally hit the floor :) Bioware still tell a good story. Unfortunately, there's not enough genuine story to make the whole game feel connected.
The main cons seem minor, but are so repetitive that by the end of the game you;'re beating your head against the wall, and they have been repeated more times than DA2's single 'cave' map, so I won't rant too much.
Overwhelming re-use of maps: every cave in the game is identical, and I have played story missions where you enter different caves at different locations consecutively and play the same map - just one you start at the other end.
Combat flaws - the respawning of enemies out of nowhere, the lack of tactical combat, the 'pretty' spell effects that obscure the actual battle, the fact that every boss battle is almost identical (horde of minions at every quarter health lost) and one of my main gripes - dragon battles should feel epic, not like yet another boring hack'n'slash encounter!
Related to both the above, the numerous predictable low-level mobs that appear in the same locations every map and leave the game feeling like a slog, not an exploration.
Incredibly boring loot, plus the lack of ability to change companion armour - every item gives one or a combination of +attack, %damage, % damage resistance, and +stamina/health/regeration. Most of it looks identical. In DAO I took on hordes of enemies to complete an armour set that game me stuff nothing else had - here, everything seems the same so I can't be bothered.
The neon yellow arrows over anything quest-related, which rules out any exploration possibility and means most quests are just a matter of running from arrow to arrow to arrow; apart from a very few exceptions, if it doesn't have an arrow over it's head, you can't interact with it. Completely brain-deadening. The exception is the couple of 'extra' quests which can be obtained, which ar virtually identical in structure to one another and ddon't even give you very good rewards...
The achievements! I mean seriously, did they set those achievements for 5 year olds or what? getting one of switching the damned map from day to night makes me feel like a kid being patted on the head because it wiped it's own bum. Seriously, Bioware, we're not idiots.… Expand
Apr 9, 2011I rate 9 for this game. This is the best game i ever played. The graphics are solid. The wide variety of consequences that can occur from choices you make(or fail to make). Intriguing and open yet linear story. Easy combat system, and the pause is beneficial to play on hard or nightmare. Only thing I see negative about Dragon Age 2, is the repetitive use of game zones; There is a wide enough story, and number of zones, that you aren't going see how overused the zones are, unless you focus on the environment. The development of love affairs with different party members is a nice addition to the game. It will take more then 1 run at this game to see all this game has to offer. played with mods and DLC… Expand
Apr 11, 2011Such a disappointment of a game that had so much potential. This game is nothing more than a single player version of Dungeons & Dragons Online. There's zero exploration, every mission takes place in the same 4-5 exact maps. The only positives were the voice acting and art direction. It's really sad to see BioWare fall so far in such a short period of time. It's sad to see all this new technology and years of game evolution get wasted on dumbed down developed games that are mindless. We're supposed to be moving forward, not backward. SNES games were more challenging then modern day games.
Also, anything positive you'll see written about this game is an overreaction of personal preference from the bias developers who quickly developed this game in such a short period.… Expand
Apr 12, 2011All the negative critique that needs to be made about this game has been, it's rubbish and an insult. For everyone who is a long time Bioware fan, this game was a slap in the face. As a lover of RPG games who has bought almost every Bioware game since Baldur's gate, I know I for one want game that are more intricate and more detailed as time goes on, not games that are dumbed down for "bros" to enjoy. There is a very specific type of gamer, like me, who enjoyed the types of games Bioware used to make, and we are the ones who pumped up their company up in the first place, who made them a success. Yet they didn't hesitate to cast us aside in the hope of getting in on the "bro" market. Stay classy Bioware, I'm done with you.… Expand
Apr 12, 2011I agree that Dragon Age 2 has been dumb down a notch. It has taken the mainstream path to lure in more young players. This is the road that all games take now days when money talks and unique gameplay walks. None the less. You will not find a better game in this genre for a few years. It is money well spent. Not only for the quality of the gameplay, graphics and voice acting but also for the extensive campaign.
The game should be considered as a action-rpg from now on. If you are the one who love the old pen n paper play style and prefer baldurs gate 1 & 2 in front of Dragon age 1, then maybe you should take a second thought, but I would suggest you to pick this up anyway. It's not money wasted, no matter what your preferences are.
Apr 13, 2011Yes, it's not Dragon Age: Origins or an Elder Scrolls game, but it was fun to play!
The bad news: reused maps (extremely so), too linear, relatively short and seemed like a rushed job. In terms of story, it seems like half of it. Nothing like DAO's epic 'Lord of the Rings' scale epic fantasy.
The good news: great quests, improved combat, Mass Effect-like speech, great characters and great voice acting. Oh and there are one or two fun parts.
Not a complete train crash, its totally playable. Let's hope DA 3 has more to offer.… Expand
Apr 15, 2011A So So game. Doesn't feel like Origins at all. A good analogy might be. Dragon Age Origins = An Interview with a Vampire.. Dragon Age 2 = Twilight.. I gave it a 7 because, compared to other games, its a 7 but compared to DAO its more like a 5 or a 6. I still had fun, but it felt like a B movie type of fun..
Apr 15, 2011Alright. I know there are many idiots in this world, but honestly, look at all these negative reviews. Probably a bunch of kids who quit after the first 5 minutes. (I admit, the beginning was dreadful.)
But really, I agree that this game doesn't compare to Origins, but it is no where near a bad game. The graphics are good (with HD texture pack). The storyline is forgettable, but not bad. The combat is not as satisfying or challenging as Origins but it is decent. And people who say that the voice acting is terrible are being too harsh on DA2. The voice acting is not as amazing as some games out there (Origins), but it is not dreadful or anything close to it. You're all just sad that it's a console port. You use this 'console port' crap as an excuse to tear this game apart.
This, of course, is just my humble opinion.… Expand
Apr 15, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The worst Bioware game I have played. Cost cutting decisions, more than any other decision Bioware made, is what ruined this game. Let me be clear - game publishers need to manage costs - but they still need to deliver a first rate gaming experience. Bioware needs to deliver quality story telling, rather than rush a second rate experience out the door. I've listed what I think the most glaring cost cutting flaws in the game are: 1) My choices don't matter. I am constantly forced back into the same story loop. While I understand that there are limits on story divergence, my choices need to be about more than the flavor of the game I am playing. Not every choice I make needs to alter the story line. But some do. And at least a few need to fundamentally alter the course of the game. 2) Characters should be memorable, and not flat. If characters can just sort of fit whatever I want to do, then ultimately it's obvious that I'm playing a video game and not interacting with soulful representations. The game ruins the veil of "suspended disbelief" so critical to fantasy on so many occasions by just allowing characters to go along with whatever I want. Fenris, for example, HATES mages, and refuses to join my fight with the mages. Good for him even though it would have made my end fight more difficult. Then, because I manage a pithy one liner about slavery, he joins my party. IF he hated slavery and mages all along, the game should have built up this conflict more within his character, so that we could see the final crisis and denoument, not have him flippantly choose one side because it's what the player feels like doing. 3) Repetitive use of scenery. Origins got annoying after a while with the same monsters, but the scenery constantly changed. Dragon Age II made this worse by having me fight the same monster models and in the same settings three times in a row. 4) Every male model looks like they are on roids - how about some varied body types? What about the sinewy rogue? The willowy mage? Why as a mage are my muscles still exploding from my robes? 5) Sexuality should be more than a lifestyle choice for my romantic options. In Dragon Age, some characters were bisexual and others were not. Some got offended by homosexuality. This added an extra appreciated wrinkle to the game. Cost containment I could accept: 1) Focusing on fewer origin stories. Valuable development time could be saved if only a few major storylines are played. So, if I only get three origin stories instead of 15 possibilities I am OK with that. However, these three should be divergent not as close together as possible. E.g. female elven mage, male human warrior, male rogue dwarf. 2) Reuse of monster models. Every game has to do it, I get it. 3) Limitations on the number of big decisions that alter a story arc. Understood that these cannot pop up all over the place, but there need to be some and a few need to be big ones. Mass Effect 2 demonstrated that if you have enough divergent story arcs, origin stories are less important. 4) Simpler combat systems. I get it that there are more console games to be sold than PC games. If due to economies of scale I have to have a simpler combat system, I can handle that to if it is still fun and challenging like in Mass Effect 2. I accept the above cost containment, and it's because I expect the game designer to spend extra time making sure that what it DOES do is exceptional. No one has infinite resources. Rather than wisely spending its gaming investment dollars on the areas of most return for its gamers, Bioware was solely focused on their financial returns. They have made it clear that all I am to them is a dollar sign and they plan to cash out on the Dragon Age franchise. Very well, Bioware, your gaming audience understands, and I for one will sit out the next Dragon Age unless user reviews are 8.0+. You can buy off publications but not your user base.… Expand
Apr 17, 2011The game tries hard to appeal to a wider audience. Tries to go the story route more than the strategy route. Unfortunatelly even on the story part, the game lacks depth. You have nor real background info on your character, you do not know why you are doing what you are doing and the things you do often seem artificial and not natural. One example: Instead of gathering 50 gold to make a living you gather 50 gold to invest them in something. In order to get to those 50 goldcoins you do a lot of different quests. A few of them are good, but most of them involve running around for ages seeing the same stuff over and over again... back and forth back and forth.... the story has it peaks, but is overshadowed by really bad character integration. The class you play doesnt matter much do the dialogues. Even the world does not react if you are using magic on the streets, which is forbidden in the game. Combat wise, the game is very chaotic. There is no top down view anymore, so you often have problems with controlling the party or getting a good overview. Handling of NPC equipment is reduced to a minimum and there is no "common goal" that unites your party, but rather loose ties that dont really justify the actions of the companions. To me it didnt make much sense in most cases.
The game didnt develop naturally but feels forced by guidelines: "We need to have this, we need to have that... " In the end they should ve listened more to their stomach I think. Mediocre game with some good story moments, but lacking in most other areas.
I can only say this:
"If you try to please everybody you will end up pleasing noone"… Expand
Apr 19, 2011After playing for 40h (yes it does take that long), I can say that this game is amazing. Almost all of the flaws have been taken out from Origins, the combat is much more fun, the leveling system is better, the animations are far superior, and most importantly of all, the story is good. I completely disagree with the negative reviews, and suspect that a fair few are simply trolls.
Apr 20, 2011I realy wonder how people can give a game a 0 rating, whatever. This game ain't bad, it is a bit above average.
It has flaws, obviously. The graphics aren't that good, the obvious console controls are just slapping you in the face from time to time, but it is infact a fun game.
It took me about 16 hours to complete, I did most of the sidequest and I died quite alot. The strongest aspect of this game is obviously the story, which kinda feels just like a bridge between the last Dragon Age Origin DLC and the next DA game, or possibly Dragon Age 2 DLC.
I would recommend buying it if the game wasn't so repetetive, had more variety and overall, was just more fun. I am a person, that does realy not care about graphics at all, all I got is a PC, which isn't good, so my graphic limit is mostly at medium.. and a medium resolution. It is a fun game if you just complete the story and just look the other direction when a flaw just walks next to you. Characters are fine... didn't think they would have much depth in it, because it was mostly going for Hawk. It's a 6/10.… Expand
Apr 22, 2011Don't come into this chapter of the Dragon Age saga expecting Dragon Age Origins 2, instead prepare yourself for a completely different experience. Don't believe the naysayers when they say this is a terrible game far from it, it's just not the game we all expected.
The combat is faster, and much more enjoyable outside boss fights then origins was, and no less of a challenge on Hard or higher. The lose of the tactical camera is unfortunate and will take some getting used to for those that relied on it heavily in Origins like myself.
The writing (specifically the party members interactions) is some of the best bioware has given us.
There are some questionable decisions though, the re-use of dungeons is a big let down, as was the decision to limit party members to one outfit (understandable from a character perspective, but a letdown game play wise) and act 3 seems a little rushed.
Also, playing as a Mage can be a bit jarring given the lack of a reaction it garners from characters in the world given the overall story within the game.
Playing on anything other than a dx11 capable pc will be a big let down, the texture work, especially on the characters, is fantastic with the high quality texture pack, though some of the generic npcs still need work.
All in all this is still an excellent game (even if it is below the quality we expect from bioware), and a must for the plot and character interactions alone, that is if you can get past the changes to the combat system and the vitriol from the online community at large.… Expand
Apr 22, 2011Dragon Age 2 is not, overwhelmingly, a bad game. What little there is to be found endearing in Dragon Age 2, unfortunately is dwarfed by issues which go to the core fantastical aspects of a role-playing game, those which should be the highest on the list of priorities and in terms of attention to detail, but were evidently almost complete afterthoughts in terms of execution. Dragon Age 2 ticks all the necessary boxes on paper, but fails to deliver on too many to be worthy of Dragon Age heritage.
Environments in Dragon Age 2 lack variety, use of color palette, textured surfaces, remarkable geometry, landscapes and architecture. To some extent it lacks an appreciable depth of field, somewhat owing to the lack of camera control but mostly due to the sheer absence of ambience. According to Dragon Age 2, in the Free Marches you will struggle to find a single living organism that is not humanoid, the few exceptions being confined to dungeons and necessarily so as to provide some degree of enemy variety. Dungeon design is sadly linear, and the contemptuous re-use of dungeons, caves and buildings, speaks to the very limited abilities of the frenetic copy-paste monkey that works in the level design sub-department.
The story is merely an interwoven series of loosely or altogether unrelated events, which limp along sluggishly in anticipation of core storyline development. The framed narrative is employed desperately to try and give connectedness to the disjointed combobulation of quests, but ultimately is used far too ineffectually and limitedly to achieve this. Short scenes of framed narrative between Varric and his "host" all but gloss over the concerns of almost an entire chapter in mere seconds, before once again thrusting another tedious act of grinding through the same handful of environments and dungeons on the player, this time for, purportedly, different reasons.
Also concerning with regard to story development was the painstaking effort taken to segment each act, the first desperately trying to convey uncertainty, the second an illusion of stability, and the third, predictable and unsatisfying, proffering an ill-conceived cliche to lead in to Dragon Age 3. Morality was shambolic. Far too often it was born out of a dialogue option, invariably confused with the horrible conversation wheel, further still by ambiguous paraphrasing, and then turned into a wedge issue between two or more companions competing to be your "friend" or "rival". /golfclap
The problem with this logic barren system of morality, friends and rivals, is in so much that rivals and friends tend not to party or group together, and certainly not in the circumstances presented in this particular tale. This abomination of morality which presents in Dragon Age 2, is actually the moral consequence of actions on relationships, as opposed to actually being held to account for moral decisions oneself. The conversation wheel really has no place in a fantasy wRPG. I literally lost count of the number of times I chose a paraphrased option based on what it said, rather than the wheel icon, and heard the protagonist deliver a line completely at odds with the tone of the paraphrasing. I don't think i've ever quick-loaded more times in a single game play-through in my entire life. In fact i'm sure I quick-loaded less playing through Origins on Nightmare.
Dragon Age 2 lacked the often dark, dry, mature, double-entendre rich, witty banter that ensued from companion interaction, as in Dragon Age Origins. In stead it has been replaced with cheap jabs between two companions, very occasionally humorous and even then, far short of witty, and far too often of questionable intent. No, even frolicking elves can't redeem a conversation between Varric and Isabela.
DA2 had the potential to be a good game, even a great one. Unfortunately it missed the mark by a lot. It wasn't due to sequel expectations, but a significant drop in the quality of product. I'm certain even Bioware is not so far removed from reality, as to have been aware they were not releasing an AAA sequel to Dragon Age Origins. If Bioware was really sincere about trying to capture a wider audience, well, good luck to them with that in the future. Once bitten, twice shy.… Expand
Apr 22, 2011its a working game with 3d graphics, a story, and characters(not compelling, interesting, deep, or smart in any way, no sign of intelligence from the ones responsible for character design)
this can be said about almost any game, and thats why we look for what makes the games unique, and that is what DA:O was, this looks like DA:O got robed of its limbs and head, whats left is a bloody gory torso with no depth or the "true" rpg feel that, some people may argue that DA2 should not be compared to its predecessor, because its a different game, but it should, it realy should, they sat the standard with DA:O and if they expect the game to be received well, they need to make a game of equal or better quality, not a dumbed down thing meant for the larger demographic.… Expand
Apr 23, 2011Terrible game on more levels then one. I do not recommend it at all, very linear unoriginal and unimagined game. It is an obvious cashcow and nothing more. The game morphs into and simple point A to point B fairly quick, with hours of back tracking and very dull fetch quest. The story starts strong but quickly turns into something you would find amongst the indie titles of the RPG world. Its a mess and nothing about it warrants your time.… Expand
Apr 24, 2011I love it. I thought that this game had several brave changes. The framed narrative was certainly new for me and I have never seen it in a game before. The voice was a much appreciated addition with the 3 different tones, my fav is the witty one. Think that you really should play two different Hawkes to really see how much this changes the game =) this even changes what you partymember and companions have to say. I love my DA:O to bits but for me DA2 has more replay value =) best game I have at home. Combat is better than DA:O but the thing I like the most are the companions. They are gold. Especially Fenris… Expand
Apr 25, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very bad game... ItÂ´s not Dragon Age itÂ´s "Dragon Effect" (but worst). It no have the essence of the firts game... bad of work EA and Bioware... In the game, your decisions are useless...you cant change nothing in the world, all the facts happen without your help...your partners are lineal, they arenÂ´t charming like in origins...is a step back in rolÂ´s game... (sorry for my english...im spanish...)… Expand
May 1, 2011First, I loved DA:O. It was an amazing game and I had very high hopes for DA2, but unfortunately it's a big let-down. By no means is it a bad game, but it lacks the 'magic?' of DA:O leaving it indistinguishable from its competition.
DA:O did a great job with the companions - Alistair, Morrigan and Leliana were great characters with great dialogue--the game did an awesome job expounding on their backstories and personalities as time passed and the major plot-line advanced. Other than Varric, the companions in DA2 feel rushed, irrelevant, artificial and unnatural. This is a major blow to the game as companions are so central to DA:O's success.
The changes to the dialog system were good, as was the move to a MassEffect-like friend/rival system.. this isn't dumbing-down and is one of the few improvement over DA:O.
The fighting, while very cool at first, becomes excruciatingly repetitive very quickly. How many freakin' Shrieks did the developers think we needed to kill? I mean if you're going to build this complex and finely-tuned combat system, why the hell would you populate the maps with Shriek after Shriek, then a big Shriek or spider, over and over and over...
I was very disappointed by the lack of different locations in the game. You spend pretty much the entire game (~40 hours?) in one city - Kirkwall. That's it. In DA:O you explore an entire continent, from the the cities to the mountains, hidden temples, castles and battlefields... In DA2 you go uptown then downtown, a trip to a cave, and that's about it.
Overall I'm really disappointed - all they had to do was keep doing what they did so right with DA:O, but apparently that wasn't the plan. To be fair, it's a decent game, but it could have been so much better, and the franchise as a whole has probably lost some legitimacy.… Expand
May 1, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Dragon Age II is the sequel of the award-winning roleplaying game Dragon Age: Origins. You play as Hawke, a human trying to survive in the world, and follow his journey to become the Champion of Kirkwall. But although the game boasts improved graphics, combat, and animations, it simply doesn't hold up to its predecessor.
After seeing the success of Mass Effect 2, both in sales and ratings, BioWare tried to copy the same formula to the Dragon Age franchise. Unfortunately, Dragon Age already established itself as a classic roleplaying game. BioWare themselves called it the "spiritual successor of Baldur's gate", one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Most fans believed that Dragon Age II would follow up on the success of Dragon Age, which led to much disappointment after realizing the changes to the game.
Graphically, the game sports more stylized art than the first game. The characters are more jagged and move more fluidly. The textures and details are far more fleshed out for some NPCs, but for others look absolutely dreadful. As for the environments, it's a different story completely. Kirkwall feels like a bland, half-created, static world with no real life. After ten years, you would think a city changed even slightly. This comes off as lazy and rushed and truly deserves to be criticized.
DA2 tries to fix things from Origins. Unfortunately, it fixes what isn't broken. While Origins almost felt turn-based, Dragon Age II feels incredibly chaotic. It has a more dynamic, cinematic action, but comes off as "a button-mashy God of War clone" in several instances. With your attacks going everywhere and spells flying all over the screen, it becomes very difficult to manage.
What made combat more enjoyable were the animations. Your character no longer moves in battle like he desperately needs to go to the bathroom, and you don't fire bolts out of a staff like you're shoving a pole forwards. Attacking with a staff in Dragon Age II is, aesthetically, better. The same goes for attacking with weapons. The animations in Dragon Age II are vast improvements to the original.
But sadly, the game falls flat with its equipment, map, dialogue, and leveling system. No longer can you equip party members with the armor you pick up. Each party member has three or four specific armors throughout the entire game, and that's all. Everything else is either for Hawke or ends up as vendor chow. BioWare most likely made this change due to negative backlash over Mass Effect's inventory system. There are two problems with that. One, Origin's inventory system wasn't difficult at all. It was very friendly and easy to navigate. Two, Mass Effect wasn't a standard RPG. When Mass Effect 2 came out and revealed the lack of a companion inventory system, it didn't matter much because Mass Effect had already made itself out to be a different type of game. As for Origins, it painted its skin as a RPG, which is why having no equipment system for party members in DA2 is highly disappointing.
In DA2, gear is scaled absurdly. Nothing you earn in the game feels valuable, as it will simply be replaced in a few levels. Quest rewards and powerful lore items will be swapped for standard swords in no time at all, which defeats the purpose of earning those rewards in the first place and ruins immersion. Despite having such lackluster scenery, DA2 also reuses its dungeons. Not just once or twice either. It uses a dungeon to death. Get ready to see one area recycled over and over again with different doors opened and closed.
The wheel from Mass Effect has made its way into Dragon Age. It's a gift and a curse. As a gift, it allows for easier navigation of desired options. If I want to tell Aveline something friendly, I choose the option with the blue feather. As a curse, it allows for easier navigation of desired options. The whole intricacy of Origins' dialogue system was that it didn't blatantly tell the player 'make this choice to gain approval' or 'make this choice to lose approval'. If the game has to tell the player what an option does, then it isn't a very clear system. But also, in the first game it was hard at times to decipher whether or not an option was kind or sarcastic, given that the PC had no voice. It's a hit and miss addition. And I'm sure giving the PC a voice certainly did improve the game for some other gamers. But not me. Hawke felt bland as Kirkwall itself.
In Origins I was the Warden, a humble dwarf who rose from the slums and vanquished the Blight. In DA2, I was Hawke, a man that's conveniently in the right place at the right time. I feel like I'm along for the ride, not like a hero. Maybe it's just me. I love Origins, I love BioWare, and I had fun playing this game, but really, it isn't worth more than $39.99. If you're looking for something to pass the time, get it. Otherwise, stay clear.… Expand
May 5, 2011I loved the first dragon-age - The way they made the game personal was a triumph of storytelling. Each betrayal and setback was met with unlooked-for hope and new opportunities. Each character was interesting and worth listening to (for the most part). The conversations were fun! And the ending was epic in every sense of the word.
This is NOT Dragon Age: Origins. The first problems show up in story immersion and emotional investment for the person playing the game. The game forces you to be human, then you find out immediately that the dwarf is telling this story, and he likes to lie. Once is enough, but they keep interfering in this manner. I kept hoping we would break in and save him, and the real story would begin. But no ... And they make it worse by making the characters bland. The choices people make are poorly motivated (or poorly communicated), on almost every single occasion, and there are often no options to help them mature, or avoid stupid mistakes.
Even fighting slavers - which usually feels very satisfying - seemed like a morally 'meh' thing. I've never felt so ambivalent about pursuing slavers.
On the technical side - the decision to remove the tactical camera angle left me with constant problems selecting where I wanted the team to go. If the camera angle is wrong, the computer won't allow me to tell the team to go there. But it gets worse - the game auto-rotates the camera while you're moving, making it even more difficult to keep the angle appropriate for movement.
So what makes this game utterly forgettable? The endings. They are forced, and there is no real opportunity to fight for a just cause. It made me feel dirty, and betrayed, and there's no option for justice or satisfaction. Maybe that was the goal, but this is not why I play Bioware games.… Expand
May 7, 2011I really don't understand the almost universal positive scores the official reviewers are giving this game. I loved the first game, but this game is absolutely terrible. Painful even. Its a disgrace that the official reviewers gave it the scores they did. Totally underminds their objectivity, I'm not going to believe their reviews into the future. Damn I'm disappointed. Bioware we are finished!!!!
May 8, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A below mediocre game that doesn't know what it is. I like dumb button-mashers - like Heavenly Sword - and I like skilful button-mashers - like Tekken, or Fight Night - but the fighting in Dragon Age II isn't nearly half as fun and doesn't need skill - its one tactical trick of tag-team combos is permanently spelled out for you. Setting difficulty to hard just means a long boring slog. Besides I bought the game expecting it to be an RPG. It kind of is an RPG, if you think they are just about superficial levelling mechanics. The game world was also really restricted, no free-roaming and interactivity like you get in Fallout 3 for example - and famously you keep going back to the same locations all of the time, sometimes deliberately, sometimes because the makers were lazy.
Some of the dialogue is funny - it's the only thing that scores any points with me. Unfortunately every 'funny' conversation option you choose as the main character is weak and pathetic. Your interaction with other characters is restricted and the story doesn't make sense, I was meant to be in a romance with Isabella for years, but you get just two scenes about that. I kept trying to avoid fighting and be diplomatic, but the game's story pushed me into killing everyone whatever I did, while giving an illusion that there were other choices.
Graphics - a few textures are alright, some of the character designs are ok, but a lot of faces are worse than the original game. The city, countryside and sewers/cellars are quite drab and undetailed. The Qunari are ok, but they all look the same. The Elves have weird unappealing faces. Compared to the first game the voice actors didn't sound convincing, though some were good (but not your main character). In fact, apart from some better textures, there were no improvements.
I feel like I could go on and describe in more detail why this game sucks, but I want to forget about it and move onto something else.… Expand
May 12, 2011Aside from re-used maps, my biggest complaint is that the characters and story were not as developed as they could have been. I had no emotional connection to Hawke or his/her family. I had no significant attachment to any of Hawke's party members. And, no matter what "decisions" Hawke made, the story was going to progress a certain way.
May 13, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I should have known better. I saw some early signals like a mage in a melee fight in the trailer, but I decided to ignore that fact. What can I add? 17 sets of armor that no one can use, a painful experience as a mage, several characters deserving to die in the first chapter because they are flat out intolerable (starting with Carver), weak plot, recycled graphics, ruined tactics system, boring boss battles... donÂ´t keep shielding yourself behind "critic" scores and famous people tweeting about the game, Bioware. Dragon Age 2 is a failure. And you should protect your reputation by admitting this.… Expand
May 14, 2011I'll say it simply. As a standalone game, and not as the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, I might have rated it a 7. It is a pretty good game, I had fun playing it. But in all honesty, it has very little replayability and the story and characters are far from compelling. This may be the first game I ever sell back.
The best parts of Origins, for me, were the characters, story, and general feeling of immersion. I felt like I really shaped my Warden, and that her relationships really mattered. I felt like I was the driving force behind the story, and my character seemed to actually affect the characters around her. The little side characters (such as Kaitlyn in Redcliffe, where you could help her out and see that one day she might end up marrying Teagan) made Ferelden feel like such a living place where I liked to spend my time. The main villains were complex (Loghain) and had deep-seated motivations (Howe). It wasn't a perfect game, but it's one that I love to play endlessly and never feel I've had enough of, even after 5 or 6 playthoughs.
Dragon Age 2 just feels totally severed from what Origins started. The story sounds very interesting in theory; the frame narrative seemed like a cool idea. At the end of the day, it ends up feeling more like a gimmick that puts a sort of barrier between you and Hawke. It's hard to feel close to Hawke when 7 of the 10 years of the story are narration, retold to you by Varric. Also, because the story of your protagonist is being told to you in the past tense, it feels more like discovering what has happened instead of MAKING something happen. To me, this is a downgrade. It's ESPECIALLY a downgrade when you have played through the story and realize that it isn't really compelling enough to be WORTH finding out what happened. When you finally know what they've been talking about this whole time (and how dire it supposedly is) it does feel like a big let-down.
One of the biggest disappointments about this game, for me, was the relationships with the characters. You can't talk to them outside of their "homes" (i.e. out and about in the world), and not only that but when you do talk to them in their homes, they will only have a conversation with you if it's part of a quest (whether a mini "conversation" quest or an actual sidequest for that character). Romance is also a joke in this game. After having just picked up Anders as a character, I hit on him once and we were basically in a full-fledged relationship. There is no build-up, no complexity. I feel cheated.
This game was a big disappointment, and I say that having had pretty low expectations (thanks to the demo and all the information that came out prior to its release about the 'new' systems). The best thing I can say is that combat is more fun to play, and the classes are MUCH, MUCH more balanced and (in my opinion) no class is inherently more fun than any other class. However, I'd GLADLY go back to slightly boring combat but a killer story. This game is just meh. I'm praying that Bioware realizes their mistakes and if/when they make DA3, they take a few steps back in the direction of Origins (story/character-wise). If they do, I will probably forgive them :)… Expand
May 15, 2011As someone who found Dragon Age:Origins to be disappointing (good, but not great), DA2 was actually good enough to actually make me like DA:O better than I originally did - as all good sequels should. The storytelling shows off the depth of the game world, and the storyline actually has something to offer beyond, "The big bad is coming and only you can kill it." The game improved on every factor that actually matters to me:
The main character has a voice. One of the big benefits of playing RPGs from this generation is that my character doesn't communicate telepathically.
The combat isn't miserable anymore. I personally loved the BG series, but that was more than a decade ago, and we've moved past it. The retro gameplay of DA:O brought up vivid memories of how long and miserable the Underdark dungeon crawl was in DA2. I have no problem with having to work to win in boss fights, but when I have to pause and give orders to every group member every 5 seconds to beat routine trash fights, every dungeon crawl becomes an awful slog. I remember wishing every last dungeon crawl in DA:O was over before it even began. Combat in DA2 is actually enjoyable, which is a nice change from every RPG ever made prior to Mass Effect. It's not even the fact that it's easier, which it is. It's the feel of the gameplay, which feels more like a video game and less like a second job.
More interesting companion characters, who have real motivations behind the way they react to your actions. Instead of Morrigan's "You did a nice thing for someone, so I hate you," your people have backgrounds and causes that make them behave the way they do. They're also hilarious.
The focus of the plot is a genuine moral quandary. It's not just "Beat the bad guys who are obviously bad." When you talk to Cullen about his beliefs, you understand why he feels the way he does and can sympathize with him.
A lot of tedium was removed. Inventory management was less of an issue, and I didn't have to worry as much about gearing out my companion characters. Thank God. I don't know about everyone else, but I definitely do not play video games to fish through my inventory every two minutes looking for Frostrocks and Nature Salves to destroy so I can pick up things that matter. The only thing lacking in this respect was the absence of a "Destroy all Junk" button.
The sidequests were, nearly without exception, fantastic. I never felt like the legendary hero retrieving cats from trees for old ladies as I have so many times in so many RPGs in the past - including DA:O. They all felt appropriate for someone of my stature at each stage of the game.
Reused areas. The first time you see any given dungeon, you can count on seeing it countless times afterwards. It's irritating, but not game-breaking.
A major portion of the plot was pushed a little too hard. Especially at the end.
I still had to run around looting after every single battle, and I still had to destroy gear constantly to keep enough space in my pack. Deliver the gear on a silver platter and give me unlimited inventory space. When are game developers going to stop imposing artificial inventory limits? I'm already carrying around 15 suits of platemail on my person - is it really a stretch to just ditch the limits entirely?… Expand
May 17, 2011Dragon Age 2 has seen some big changes in gameplay since the first game, Origins. Long gone is the tactical combat system reminescent of Baldur's Gate. Instead, now it's "button = awesome", according to EA marketers. Combat tactics revolve around spamming special abilities at enemies as soon as the cooldowns wears off, making any kind of strategizing redundant. Micromanagement is put on the back seat in this "bold" sequel, rather, now your party members are completely automated and act on their own, and the classic party-based gameplay is nowhere to be experienced, unless the player happens play the game on the hardest difficulty. Party members act as AI-controlled side-kicks now instead of full-fledged player characters. Furthermore, friendly-fire has been removed from all difficulty levels except the hardest one, which takes another elements away from micromanagement. Obviously whoever made these design changes most likely thought a "thinking-man's" game isn't going to sell well in today's video game market, which is why the combat has been extremely streamlined and reduced (read: dumbed down) into mere hack'n'slash. The fans of the old Bioware games are surely not happy about this. Dragon Age 2 reeks of consolization. Unlike the first game, which was developed for PC for years, and then ported to consoles, DA2 is a straight multi-platform game from the get-go. This hurts the PC version the most. It is evident by changes in graphics, camera control, and the general streamlining of the game.
Bioware has made DA2 far more linear than the first DA game. The levels in this game are what you would describe as "corridor". It is a game that is supposed to be a "role-playing game". computer RPGs have generally had the pleasure of having an element of exploration to them -- a living, dynamic, open world. However, Dragon Age 2 has no exploration. Even the little things you can do, are mostly the same areas used many times over in different places, cheaply just copypasted. A big emphasis has been put on "romances" in this game, even more-so than in the previous game. Strange how a mini-game is given more thought than the actual overall game. Dragon Age 2 is a short game (much shorter than DA:O). The typical character interaction and a Biowarean type of story (which I don't even bother going into in this review) simply cannot elevate Dragon Age 2 past how weak the game is in almost every way. It is a horrible sequel after the decent Dragon Age: Origins. Bioware is truly in decline after being acquired by the Electronic Arts.… Expand
May 17, 2011Reused areas. Stuck in the same city for the duration of the game. Almost no link with the first game. Action oriented. Ugly character models (just google Merril's hands). ClichÃ© story.
A pathetic attempt at grabbing money from fans of DA1. A rushed game that's a slap in the face to all RPG fans out there. An abomination.
May 17, 2011Baldurs Gate, Planescape Torment and now Dragon Age 2. This pinnacle of RPG's has taken the storytelling and interactive combat to another level. Its smooth combat aided by the future generation of quicktime events proves that turn-based RPG's are a thing of the past. Extreme unprecedented level of detail makes the cities feel alive and it makes it feel like you are living in the game.
Jun 4, 2011this game is an insult to rpgs, an insult to my intelligence, and an insult to the pc gaming itself, they fraudulently took 60 dollars from me and in return it only included just 1 freeking city with dungeons that repeats over and over and over again. whats going on with this world ? are we that dumb ? this game is an abomination! DONT buy this game please!
May 18, 2011I pre ordered this game and received it on launch day. Finished the game in a few weeks time and waited until now to write a review. With Witcher 2 fresh in my mind I can fairly say that for the lover of good stories and something that will draw you in with stacks of coffee cups on your desk and sleepless nights thinking about what will happen next in your following chapter. This isnt it. From a lacklustre beginning to a flaccid ending. This product ripped me of money that I cannot return to Steam. Dont do the same mistake. Bioware should be ashamed of this piece that insults every lover of the genre.… Expand
Probably the biggest disappointment of the year thus far. Dragon Age Origins was such a well-crafted RPG, so what went wrong with the sequel? In short, the game went casual. Everything that catered to the RPG fans out there has been simplified completely. Sure, I can welcome a simplified conversation system, and I can welcome some easier skill management, but where the line is drawn is at the combat. What used to be a strategic combat system is now along the lines of Dynasty Warriors, having players spam a single button to do most of the dirty work, occasionally pressing other buttons to trigger skills. On top of that, the visuals seem very dated and more importantly the maps are simplified, in fact the maps of dungeons in the beginning of the game remain the same by quests near the end of the game. Reusing maps, really? I can't see any effort put into this game, and this is very disappointing considering I've loved everything else that Bioware has put out. Unfortunately the copypasta of the same maps and the barbaric combat is just not my thing.… Collapse
Probably the biggest disappointment of the year thus far. Dragon Age Origins was such a well-crafted RPG, so what went wrong with the sequel? In short, the game went casual. Everything that catered to the RPG fans out there has been simplified completely. Sure, I can welcome a simplified conversation system, and I can welcome some easier skill management, but where the line is drawn is at the combat. What used to be a strategic combat system is now along the lines of Dynasty Warriors, having players spam a single button to do most of the dirty work, occasionally pressing other buttons to trigger skills. On top of that, the visuals seem very dated and more importantly the maps are simplified, in fact the maps of dungeons in the beginning of the game remain the same by quests near the end of the game. Reusing maps, really? I can't see any effort put into this game, and this is very disappointing considering I've loved everything else that Bioware has put out. Unfortunately the copypasta of the same maps and the barbaric combat is just not my thing.… Collapse
Apr 12, 2011Despite some advancement in storytelling approach and liberal borrowing from Bioware's Mass Effect approach to gameplay, Dragon Age 2 on the PC has a lot of bugs and is populated with re-used settings that make this feel like a play performed on a stage with two sets.