Dragon Age II PC

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4.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4525 Ratings

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  1. Mar 18, 2011
    3
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  2. Mar 18, 2011
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. OK I grabbed this from the steam user forum, from "loa1452". Sorry to plagiarize, bit his/her review really hit it on the mark for me. To summarize, this game is TERRIBLE: reused levels (again and again and again), the same fight over and over again, very limited enemy types(lots of spiders...), and incoherent story.

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

    Kirkwall

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

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

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

    Battles

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

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

    Conclusion
    I was expecting an epic sequel to DA:O. This is such an embarrassment of an RPG that I actually feel used, and conned. There is no possible way that BioWare was putting the finishing touches on this baby and thought, "Wow, good job guys. This game is really fun". The game is small, repetitive and just plain boring. Why are there 2 waves to every fight? Why are all the areas the same? Why is Kirkwall so damn small?! I am surprised that it took them this long to release the game. It should have taken 4 months, max. I just wish the gaming media websites would actually rate games truthfully. They should be embarrassed.
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  3. Mar 18, 2011
    7
    While I would like to create a long, fully elaborated review on the game to explain the core features and everything in depth, I honestly cannot, as the game is without much merit whatsoever. The combat took a system which felt unrefined in DA:O and rather that improving it and making it better, just completely ruined it to make a system without thought or challenge
  4. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a huge step back from the first game. While you get to explore a whole country, with lots of different scenarios, and do all sorts of different missions on the first game, here you will only visit half a dozen places and only do missions that feel like side quests. There are 2 things that I thought were improvements, the main character with a voice is one, and the newDragon Age 2 is a huge step back from the first game. While you get to explore a whole country, with lots of different scenarios, and do all sorts of different missions on the first game, here you will only visit half a dozen places and only do missions that feel like side quests. There are 2 things that I thought were improvements, the main character with a voice is one, and the new combat system, but the combat itself wasn't very well explored. It is too predictable, and there is no variation with the enemies. The main plot is very week, it gets interesting in the last 2-3 hours of the game, .. but the rest is simply there to fill some space (so about 30 hours of filling) The developers obviously rushed this project, and the game just looks like it was made by lazy people. Rings that are just called "ring" but with different specs, "belt", etc.

    overall the experience isn't terribly bad, but it's not up to DA:O standards and not up to bioware's reputation.... I find it hard to believe that bioware thought this was a good game to release.
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  5. Mar 18, 2011
    6
    Origins pulled you in and didn't let go - I wanted to marry it and devote my life to exploring every facet of the game. It was what I look for in a woman - it was rich, deep, engaging, beautiful, and filled with brutal, visceral combat. We had something real together, the kind of thing you can build a real life on.

    I feel like DA2 got me drunk and gave me herpes.
  6. Mar 18, 2011
    7
    Playing this game makes me really want to play DA:O to see what the backlash against DAII is all about. For one, I found the combat in this game to be incredibly addictive. It is extremely fast-paced, but still requires you to pause the game frequently to issue orders to your companions. Like any good RPG, there is still a great deal of micro-management to be had: stats, skill trees,Playing this game makes me really want to play DA:O to see what the backlash against DAII is all about. For one, I found the combat in this game to be incredibly addictive. It is extremely fast-paced, but still requires you to pause the game frequently to issue orders to your companions. Like any good RPG, there is still a great deal of micro-management to be had: stats, skill trees, and equipment are all still there. You can't change your companions' armor, but that seems to have less to do with "streamlining" the gameplay and more to do with taking away the ability to change their in-game appearance, since the rest of their equipment is still customizable. What is a bit annoying is that much of the game's challenge comes from it throwing waves of cannon fodder enemies at you. It does make exploring the dungeons feel a bit more like you are playing a God of War style game and I can see why many fans would be disappointed in this regard, but it didn't bother me a whole lot.

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

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

    I enjoyed Dragon Age II immensely despite all the recycled interior areas. Yes, the game borrows certain elements from action games, but it is still much more of a true RPG than either Mass Effect 2 or Final Fantasy XIII. Not a total success like ME2, but not an abysmal failure like FFXIII, the game is still a very welcome refresh of a genre. If Bioware has put more effort into designing the game's world, it would be an easy 9 for me. As it is, it's still recommendable because the characters and the underlying gameplay are just so good, but I really hope Bioware doesn't try to cheat us like this in the future.
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  7. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    Game is awesome. Combat is still tactical like in Origins, just a bit faster-paced. Still awesome story and dialogue. So it isn't as awesome as DA:O, but almost nothing can be. It is still a great game, don't listen to all the hate.
  8. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Commander Hawkes incredible city runner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I suppose I have to say something good about the game too. Well the good thing is I won`t trust bioware assuring that they are not dumbing down or forgetting us old RPG gamers.
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  9. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    Origin was not perfect, but it was a good game. Here, on DA2, every aspect of the game is a downgrade. No more strategic battle, no armors for companions in inventory, no crafting (NPCs make it for you), no dialogue skills like persuasion or intimidation (you can ask a companion to interfere in conversation, but it's an automatic succes). This game is a waste, and I'm worried about Mass Effect 3.
  10. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Okay, let me preface this by saying that i am not one to prescribe to the mob mentality of trolling video game forums and dumping heaps of praise/criticism on games unnecessarily. I understand that video games, like most things, are subjective and may appeal to some but not all. However, i feel overwhelmingly compelled to point out the flaws in this title, because of the depressingOkay, let me preface this by saying that i am not one to prescribe to the mob mentality of trolling video game forums and dumping heaps of praise/criticism on games unnecessarily. I understand that video games, like most things, are subjective and may appeal to some but not all. However, i feel overwhelmingly compelled to point out the flaws in this title, because of the depressing trend of the "consolization" of the big AAA releases, to the point that finding quality PC titles yields as much fruit as searching for unicorns. What makes this bastardization of a title so much more rage inducing is that the original dragon age was a game which harken back to the roots of PC rpg's and offered an epic story strategic gameplay and a level of complexity that was engrossing and satisfying. This is not a true sequel as much as it is an unveiled attempt to draw more people into the game by delivering dragon origins "light'. To call this game an utter crap storm, might be a bit excessive, yet that is the feeling i got when i played the first ten or so hours of the game. I really hate this game, but not because it is a bad game. On its own, played on a console, it would be an awesome experience. However, it should not be the sequel to what was one of the strongest pc releases of the last decade, when it is in fact as step back. My point in writing this little tirade, is to add more voices to the growing mass of pc gamers becoming frustrated with the iterative releases of FPS like COD:BLOPS and the horrible ports of console games to PC. I am sick and tired of the graphical enhancement, and innovation possible on PC's being hamstrung and tired needlessly to the 5 year old and aging consoles. I want a game that is not cognizant of the limitations of consoles and designs a game with them and mind and only later attempts to sling the crap together to release it on PC. That is why i took this game back to gamestop got my money back and preordered the witcher II. That is a PC game and is an example of what a PC game should look and feel like. So while dragon age 2 is not a bad game it is not the game that DAO was and anyone looking for a similiarly satisfying experience should look elsewhere. console = 8 PC = 5 Expand
  11. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    I like the game. I enjoyed it, so it was worth the money to me. I think people are being unfair. It's very much worth a purchase for entertainment. Some of what people have posted here are myths about the game, having played it.

    I think the combat in Dragon Age: Origins (the original) was overrated. This combat is much faster but still reliant on the underlying character statistics. In
    I like the game. I enjoyed it, so it was worth the money to me. I think people are being unfair. It's very much worth a purchase for entertainment. Some of what people have posted here are myths about the game, having played it.

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

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

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

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

    Compared to many other current games I'd give this 8/10. Which is a must purchase for raw entertainment value. Rather than arguing about the particular direction they took. I like the fact it deviates and updates on DAO canon, if only because that will annoy DAO fans. I've given it 10/10 because it will annoy both DAO fans and others.
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  12. Mar 19, 2011
    8
    Wow, I've been watching so many negative user reviews coming in and I felt that I had to speak up and say my bit. Personally, I'm rather enjoying Dragon Age II so far. To date, I've found the story engaging and the quests enjoyable, and there seems to be a significantly smaller element of "grind" to DA2 compared to the original, where some quests seemed to be endlessly long trips throughWow, I've been watching so many negative user reviews coming in and I felt that I had to speak up and say my bit. Personally, I'm rather enjoying Dragon Age II so far. To date, I've found the story engaging and the quests enjoyable, and there seems to be a significantly smaller element of "grind" to DA2 compared to the original, where some quests seemed to be endlessly long trips through tunnels facing wave after wave of identical enemies which you would handle in identical ways (heading to the Broodmother and some of the Deep Roads quests spring to mind particularly). A lot of the game so far has been centred around the city of Kirkwall without venturing much further, but the city is large and varied enough that I'm quite happy with this for now. The characters I've met so far have all been full of personality and very believable. The voice acting is also generally rather good, though the male Hawke voice can occasionally feel a little uninspired (I suppose it's harder to deliver a good performance when your character could look like just about anything and could be a mage, warrior or rogue).

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

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

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

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

    Overall, despite the few criticisms above, I think there's much to be happy about here. I've certainly set aside all my other games to play this. I'm a little surprised that the user response here has been so poor, considering the good critical response.
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  13. Mar 19, 2011
    2
    I am really disappointed of the way Bioware is going with one of its major brands. The action parts are ok, but there is little to nothing left of the Dragon Age feeling. Story Failures, Decisions from DA:O are not correct imported. People alive that died... and such things. Boring Hack&Slay Action. DA2 isn't really a PC RPG Game anymore, it is a Console Hack and Slay RPG Action game. WithI am really disappointed of the way Bioware is going with one of its major brands. The action parts are ok, but there is little to nothing left of the Dragon Age feeling. Story Failures, Decisions from DA:O are not correct imported. People alive that died... and such things. Boring Hack&Slay Action. DA2 isn't really a PC RPG Game anymore, it is a Console Hack and Slay RPG Action game. With bad Interface and technical Problems. Also the level design repeats constantly, i only counted 2 or 3 different maps for caves and buildings. Monsters and Models of DA:O/A and DLCs get reused, partially as Boss Monsters. Altogether they used what they had, made some little additions and sold it for the full prize. Expand
  14. Mar 19, 2011
    0
    How extremely disappointing this game was, after waiting for it for so long, to get this mediocre piece of crap just pisses me off. I am in awe of the critic reviews. How can you re-use the same maps over and over, how can you only fight 10 character models the whole game, did the devs think that they could copy Baldur's Gate with the whole city hub thing? They failed miserably.
    I wish one
    How extremely disappointing this game was, after waiting for it for so long, to get this mediocre piece of crap just pisses me off. I am in awe of the critic reviews. How can you re-use the same maps over and over, how can you only fight 10 character models the whole game, did the devs think that they could copy Baldur's Gate with the whole city hub thing? They failed miserably.
    I wish one critic would have the balls to come out and say the truth about this mess of a game.
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  15. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    What is this ****
    Give me a real successor to the original Dragon Age. Bioware, you've lost all of my trust.

    No freedom of movement, ALWAYS the same old dungeon repeated again and again, no environment diversity, stupid and semplicistic fighting system .... never seen something like this.
    Shame on you.
  16. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    As an absolute lover and fanatic raver of Dragon Age: Origins, I was desperately looking forward to the series' second installment. Unfortunately, for every step forward this game took, it removed everything that made it's predecessor special to RPG players. The removal of the tactical camera, seemingly endless and predictable waves of repetitive enemies, and an AI that makes yourAs an absolute lover and fanatic raver of Dragon Age: Origins, I was desperately looking forward to the series' second installment. Unfortunately, for every step forward this game took, it removed everything that made it's predecessor special to RPG players. The removal of the tactical camera, seemingly endless and predictable waves of repetitive enemies, and an AI that makes your allies slip into loops of stupidity make combat frustrating, though it is not as difficult as in Origins. Non-customizable or usable loot/armor for allies makes treasure hunting, one of the keystones of the RPG genre, feel largely unimportant. The WORST part is the constantly recycled dungeons. Each setting only has one map, with different doors closed off or opened up. These, among other travesties, are what makes this game a nightmare to play. It is not a follow up to Dragon Age: Origins in any sense of the word, and has gone from being an RPG to make you think and formulate tactical strategy to being one of mindless hack-and-slash. Do yourself a favor: save your money and pray that Dragon Age III, if it is ever made after this hack-job, goes back to its roots. Expand
  17. Mar 19, 2011
    2
    This game is the biggest disappointment of 2011. I don't understand how it is possible that DA2 has so many positive reviews in the press. Horrible boring game, uninspiring graphics, nightmarish dialogue and stupid, mindless fights...
  18. Nov 19, 2011
    1
    My previous score was 2, but I have to go lower. Once you try to play a solo run, you will recognize how bad and broken the combat system is. Dodging attacks is basically going 1m to the side and that's It. I also found out this way that enemy archers can shoot through ANYTHING, another slap in the face. Because of the DLC items, you're almost immortal. And this was on Nightmare, I mightMy previous score was 2, but I have to go lower. Once you try to play a solo run, you will recognize how bad and broken the combat system is. Dodging attacks is basically going 1m to the side and that's It. I also found out this way that enemy archers can shoot through ANYTHING, another slap in the face. Because of the DLC items, you're almost immortal. And this was on Nightmare, I might add. Boss fights are a joke. After the I. Act, I didn't have any will to continue playing this game, and I probably never will. Expand
  19. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    Is it great? No. Is it horrible? Absolutely not! It's fun, and mostly well-rounded. There are bugs and the game can be repetitive. (Worth more a 7 than an 8, but an 8 for all the h8trs.)
  20. Mar 19, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What a waste of money... terrible DX11 performance on Fermi cards, lackluster story, trapped in a single city for the entirety of the game. The game drops you on a brand new continent never before explored in the previous Dragon Age and what does it do? Lets you fast travel between all of four small districts and a handful of recycled "wilderness" areas. The game is ~95% side quests, while the main plot can be played through in about 2 hours if one of the main quests didn't FORCE you to do side quests right when you arrive in Kirkwall. If that wasn't bad enough, side quests keep returning you to exactly the same generic "mansion", "sewer", or "alley" and force you to fight generic and unchallenging enemies re-skinned depending on the flavor text you got at the start of the quest. Also, if you had held out hope that BioWare would make a game for adults then you'll be sorely disappointed. The game is insultingly juvenile with respect to sex and violence. It's just an uninspired mind-numbing hack-and-slash grinder. It's as though they took everything that's hated about MMOs and dumped it into a singleplayer game for general consumption. BioWare lost a lot of my respect with this release and all the marketing stunts pulled with it. Expand
  21. Mar 19, 2011
    6
    The worst part of the game is that the environments are consistently recycled. It ruins immersion, kills suspension of disbelief. This in turn makes other, minor quibbles I might have the game all the more annoying. I would say it is even worse than first Mass Effect in this regard. It's original Halo bad (read: one corridor). Additionally, to try and make it look as if they are notThe worst part of the game is that the environments are consistently recycled. It ruins immersion, kills suspension of disbelief. This in turn makes other, minor quibbles I might have the game all the more annoying. I would say it is even worse than first Mass Effect in this regard. It's original Halo bad (read: one corridor). Additionally, to try and make it look as if they are not constantly recycling environments they block off some doors of areas and pretend that this makes it a different place. Imagine if all of Baldur's Gate took place in two sections of Baldur's Gate and two outdoor areas and one cave. That's right, there's one cave. You'll get awful familiar with it and the one warehouse, one mansion, and one coastal strand. Apparently the Maker was busy having awesome god-sex with Andraste when divinely designing Kirkwall and its environs and just said, "Screw it." At one point I was in the whorehouse and said to myself, "There are a ton of books here." Turns out the reason why there were so many books in the whorehouse is because the whorehouse uses the mansion environment. So they just cut-and-pasted the thing library and all. That's dickish, but the coup de grace is that the minimap does not reflect when they close off sections of a recycled area to make it look a little different. So oftentimes there are these large pieces on the minimap that look accessible, but are not. The first time I encountered this I didn't understand what was going on and I was convinced I was missing a secret switch and looked for a solid five minutes before realizing the game developers were either rushed or lazy and hadn't bothered to patch up the minimap. The plot is ambitious and it works in part and fails in part. It does give the impression of years passing. But this comes at the cost of telling what are essentially three separate stories with much smaller scale than the epic Dragon Age, NWN, or BG plots of yore. You're essentially dabbling in the petty politics of a single city. The loremasters of Dragon Age have gone to such lengths to create such a big and detailed world, why are we trapped in this tiny, consistently recycled environment? If you want to tell a story over the course of 10 years, why not put in a lot of globe hopping? The dialogue and the characters at least are interesting. I liked most of the party companions and their banter. I'm not entirely against the Mass Effect wheel making an appearance. I really enjoyed the companion sidequests. Those were much more compelling to me than any of the main plot line quests. I actually liked many of the changes to combat people complain about so much. Cross-class combos are interesting and make warriors and rogues feel more worthwhile. It also adds a bit of skill in using them against enemies at higher levels of difficulty. Yes, rogues now do teleport into position to backstab, which yes, is dumb. But in comparison to the above, it's hardly even worth noting as annoying. Finally, why the hell did they make it so I can't equip armor on companions? My inventory was constantly laden with plate mail and leather armor my mage could never equip and my companions just kept their pre-fab armor that automatically improves with leveling and upgrades stored in the most random places of all Thedas. One of the most enjoyable parts of an RPG is improving your characters. This does not just come from leveling. In Baldur's Gate, NWN, Morrowind, Dibalo when you find your first good piece of plate armor and throw away your stupid rusty chainmail, you feel like such a badass. Here, you don't get to do that for 6/7 party members. That's just lame. Some people complain about the graphics. Overall I'd say they're fine. Some textures stand out as very low-res. That's lame, but compared to some of the complaints above, negligible. Graphics don't really make or break a game for me. It's the story, it's the adventure. It's how immersed I can get in the game. In short, it's decent. The plot is at least trying to do something new, even if it doesn't entirely succeed. Bioware still writes good dialogue and the characters are worthwhile. But the game is crap compared to what I hoped it would be. If it had even just been as good as Dragon Age I would have been happy. Alas, it got substantially worse. I'd wait for it to hit the bargain bin if you've got time on your hands and like the genre. Do not pay full price, and if any of the above sounds unbearable to you, just don't invest at all and read a summary of plot somewhere while waiting to see if they botch DA 3.â Expand
  22. Mar 19, 2011
    0
    You do not play Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age 2 plays you.

    Your character's choices and actions have no bearing on the larger story. Everything important in the game is caused by an NPC - most of them being your party members. Your character is little more than an observer to the world around them. Even when your character could feasibly influence the events around them, Dragon Age 2 seems
    You do not play Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age 2 plays you.

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

    Throw in easy, repetitive combat and generic, re-used dungeons and you have a flop I would not have finished had Bioware's label not been on the box.
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  23. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Improved several things from DA:O, while taking large steps backwards on others. Having a voiced character whose dialogue would change based on whether the PC typically chose diplomatic/sarcastic/direct dialogue options was a big plus. The combat skill trees were an improvement. And in my opinion, letting characters simply upgrade their armor instead of micromanaging was an aspect I enjoyed as well. Steps backwards are most obvious in areas Bioware typically shines. You cannot talk with party members unless they are giving a quest. So instead of Hawke taking time to get to know the party, the game gives quests letting you know when they want to talk to you. The storyline is hit and miss. The first 2/3 of the game are actually pretty decent. Showing a refugee rising up from the slums to eventually have a hand in saving the city from an imminent threat. Then act 3 happens. Normally, this is where choices the PC in Bioware games really come out to shine in the conclusion to a story. But no, turns out everyone in Kirkwall is just crazy. Instead of having the chance to rule Kirkwall, the player simply gets to kill the largest factions in the game even after siding with one over the other. It really felt like a DLC meant to set up the future of Thedas more than a standalone game. Easily the worst Bioware ending they've done and really depressing considering the great job they've done in the past on RPG stories.

    However, Bioware is known for writing great and engaging stories in their games. In DA:O, the Warden was tasked with uniting a divided country to push back the Blight that threatened everyone. Simple on paper, but Bioware did a good job in creating dynamic factions with different motives and concerns in a way that immersed you into Ferelden. In DA2, Hawke shows up and things just happen around him. But despite claiming the players choices dramatically affect Kirkwall as time passes, this simply isn't true. Too often the player is presented with multiple dialogue choices, but will experience the same outcome.
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  24. Mar 19, 2011
    10
    I like every bit of the game. Better story, gameplay, grafiks (pc texturepatch) and characters than in DA1. Since BG2 their best game. The camera and the recycled environments are the 2 things i can complain about. Maybe the shouldn't have called it DA2, because so many people expected DA1 style with a proceeding story. Give it a try, you will like it.
  25. May 4, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. â Expand
  26. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    Absolutely disappointing. This was my last bioware game...
    For the next 5 years I will give the money for every bioware game released, to charity instead buying the game !!!
  27. Mar 19, 2011
    4
    thats simple.
    DA2 is the jar jar binks of western rpg. seriously. why Ea enjoy taking good companies and killing them and filling the carcases with crap?
    EA buy maxis and kill the simulation genre. the last hit with spore and now is doing the same with rpg and bioware.
  28. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    If you are into putting your money into something that is already horribly overpriced, no closer, a rushed feeling, a console port, and limited decision making when it comes to Bioware games then this is for you. This game is following the ever so trendy genre of a cliffhanger so they can milk the series as much as possible. They are taking a page out of Kotick's book and are wanting toIf you are into putting your money into something that is already horribly overpriced, no closer, a rushed feeling, a console port, and limited decision making when it comes to Bioware games then this is for you. This game is following the ever so trendy genre of a cliffhanger so they can milk the series as much as possible. They are taking a page out of Kotick's book and are wanting to get the most bang for their buck, which makes sense economically, but doesn't make sense when playing the game. Sure the original game had some moments that could be explored in the future but it gave closer to the storyline that it set out to tell. This sequel leaves too much out there and is pretty much if anything a bridge to a next game and isn't a real game itself. DA 2 would have a lot of these issues fixed if it wasn't rushed out. I am again sure it was good for a business stand point but for the player it just feels like a let down from the best RPG makers out there. I remember when games were actually made for the PC instead of us having to deal with an inferior console port. They limited the camera angle on DA2 so you are pigeon holed into playing as the consolers. This might just be an issue for me but eventually I got over it. The reason they said for this is because they didn't want to spend the money on making textures for the drop down camera. When all they really had to do was black out the screen in parts where they needed textures. Lastly I would except a lot more of Bioware from a game. A lot of the storytelling elements just don't make any sense. I am not going to go into any of them and if you want you can go to their forums and read what others are saying. Overall an average game and I have no idea how a score of 8 can be average. Corrupt game reviewers not wanting to give the game a score that it deserves is pathetic. Expand
  29. Mar 16, 2012
    0
    While Dragon Age Origins is in my opinion the perfect game and ive been waiting for it's sequel, i must say the disappointment was too great for me to even finish Dragon age 2. This game just ruined the franchise, it seems like Bioware wanted to make Dragon age 2 to be appealed by the most of the audience and because of that Dragon Age 2 doesn't have anything that might make him differentWhile Dragon Age Origins is in my opinion the perfect game and ive been waiting for it's sequel, i must say the disappointment was too great for me to even finish Dragon age 2. This game just ruined the franchise, it seems like Bioware wanted to make Dragon age 2 to be appealed by the most of the audience and because of that Dragon Age 2 doesn't have anything that might make him different from the others Rpgs games, the gameplay is faster paced but also plain, the story is boring, character also are boring, exploration ? there is nothing to explore... graphics might even be worse than its predecessor. In other words the game is a huge let down and might have just killed the franchise good name Expand
  30. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    Not sure what happened, but I can't recommend this game. After playing DAO, DA2 is just a horrible failure. I tried though, I really tried. This is my 2nd restart. Meaning I played 8 hours into the game and decided to start over hoping the game wouldn't suck as bad the 2nd time. I was wrong.. *tears*
  31. Mar 20, 2011
    9
    Great game, not quite sure what people seem to have against it, i'ts great story, and much improved game-play; just look at the critic's reviews to see how good a game this actually is.
  32. Mar 20, 2011
    10
    Generally still a great game.

    Compared to Origins the story is a lot more interesting and believable, the antagonists are actually interesting, and Hawke is more than you typical hero, the choices are not based on straight "good and evil" and especially the aggressive choices feel a lot more believable, than your typical "evil" choices. You can play a selfish character that does not
    Generally still a great game.

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

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

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

    Don't listen to the haters, have faith in one of the best developers of our time.
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  33. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    I read a few user reviews myself before starting this game, so my expectations were not too high. Still I was disappointed from the start. Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game just many little details that are amiss. The battle system is mediocre - even later in game there is not a lot of variety. The Story itself gets burrowed by a flood of side quests. At first they seem interesting, but afterI read a few user reviews myself before starting this game, so my expectations were not too high. Still I was disappointed from the start. Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game just many little details that are amiss. The battle system is mediocre - even later in game there is not a lot of variety. The Story itself gets burrowed by a flood of side quests. At first they seem interesting, but after a while you start stumbling about side quest after side quest. Thanks to the in-game map that shows you when and where you have to go to solve a quest, it boiled down to "go to location and kill/collect X, then come back to get reward". The main story itself is stretched thin over several in-game years.
    Bottom line - there are worse games and if the DA world interests you, you could take a peak. Personally if I had to choose again, I would wait and pick it from a bargain bin in a few months.
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  34. Mar 20, 2011
    9
    I never got more then 10 hours into DAO but DA2 has sucked me in. The changes made to the story presentation and more actionâ
  35. Mar 21, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Game without soul.You have killed system rpg in game.Now, I am disappointed in your company.Ð Expand
  36. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    First of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden theFirst of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden the audience, demanding full prize while preparing DLCs that shall fill in the remaining gaps. Bioware was once regarded as "the bringer of rain" after a drought in the genre of RPGs (for the PC). But now they could play the opposite role: if they are the most prominent agents of the genre (besides Bethesda) and their games are setting trends, then other companies will follow their example, if they haven't already. To be more detailed I'll point out aspects that annoyed me the most: Game World:
    - The most insolent re-use in an state-of-the-art RPG I've seen so far: dozens of times you walk through levels which are IDENTICAL, and I mean identical. Every corner, texture, modell, architecture, lighting etc. are exactly the same, just with another label (for example "cave xyz" instead of "cave abc").
    - The main game world consists of just 15 to 20 small or very small locations in a city (small means an area which takes 20 seconds to 60 seconds to cross, very small means a simple flat)
    - There are no (more or less) diversified regions like snowy mountains, deserts, jungle, forest, real dungeons, castles, other towns etc., just this one city and three outer regions that are not noteworthy
    - The few existing places look sterile and somehow empty although there are a few people standing around, but they are just copies doing nothing. There are no animals, no interesting props, no interesting architecture, no waving foliage, no sounds of wind, loud chatter etc.
    - Most of the levels are extremely tubular: just one way, no possibility for exploration. If you use such level design, you should use it for thrilling script events like in COD to propell the storytelling, but that's not the case for DA2. A proper game world would have been to expensive...

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

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

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

    Dramaturgy:
    - The backgrounds and dialogues preceding and following missions are of high quality, BUT what about a larger conflict, to what end am I killing hordes of idiots? Is there any greater inner or outer threat than a killer whom the player seeks to kill? The Qunari are a threat, for twenty minutes of gameplay. Templar and Magicians don't like each other and there's a fight, but that's it. No threat and no thread. Calling Hawke "Champion" is an exaggeration to cover that he hasn't achieved much. The whole game is "unepic" and seems to be a chapter of an epic game.
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  37. Mar 20, 2011
    1
    A disappointing game to say the least. Companions seem quite shallow compared to DA:O. The fact that you have limited interaction with them does not help. Exploding enemies, in most cases enemies just explode in a shower of blood and gore when i stab them with a regular dagger. I don't mind blood and gore, but this is just ridiculous. Massive re-use of instances for quests, seen one cave,A disappointing game to say the least. Companions seem quite shallow compared to DA:O. The fact that you have limited interaction with them does not help. Exploding enemies, in most cases enemies just explode in a shower of blood and gore when i stab them with a regular dagger. I don't mind blood and gore, but this is just ridiculous. Massive re-use of instances for quests, seen one cave, seen them all.
    Also the game was shipped with a few serious bugs. using a certain companion will reduce your attack speed on a permanent basis. DA2 has limited customization option compared to it's predecessor.
    My recommendation, wait until you can pick up a copy for reduced price before buying it.
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  38. syg
    Mar 20, 2011
    1
    if any bioware employee reads this, i created a metacritic account to post this.

    The transition from ME1 to ME2 is similar to the transition in DA:O and DA2, just magnified in the latter case. In order to deliver a tighter story, bioware hacks off so much of the game which let ME1 and DAO seem so epic. After playing a human noble in DAO i immediately recreated a dwarf noble in an attempt
    if any bioware employee reads this, i created a metacritic account to post this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I hope you take these complaints seriously, I really enjoyed ME1 and DAO
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  39. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    Just finished a first play through. Diverting and enjoyable enough to finish, but a far cry from DA:O. The story arc was certainly less compelling. I found the "voiced protagonist" a nice addition, and found the new dialog system to be rather nice overall (though sometimes a bit *too* explicit about which dialog routes to take -- especially for developing romances). The combat systemJust finished a first play through. Diverting and enjoyable enough to finish, but a far cry from DA:O. The story arc was certainly less compelling. I found the "voiced protagonist" a nice addition, and found the new dialog system to be rather nice overall (though sometimes a bit *too* explicit about which dialog routes to take -- especially for developing romances). The combat system was much less enjoyable than DA:O. Everything looked and felt a lot more like a console game, with talents that were sometimes awesome to see in action but hard to fathom as "making sense" in the DA:O universe. I really missed being able to scroll back to the "tactical view" of the battlefield. I was shocked that the anti-magic powers of Templars seemed to be diminished to the point of non-existence. I experienced at least one serious glitch in a chapter 3 quest (rescuing a kidnap victim, but the "bandit leader" I found on Wounded Coast can't be interacted with -- I presume that some interaction is necessary at this point to kick off a conversation and/or battle -- there's no other hint about how to proceed beyond "Go to the Wounded Coast" and I certainly searched that area thoroughly and found nothing else). I'm also not sure whether there's a bug related to finding the "Spindle weed" crafting resource -- I think I checked all areas pretty thoroughly, but ended the game with "3/6" found (and I needed 4 for a particularly spectacular potion). Despite all this, I'll probably play it at least once more -- it had its moments. There was enough of a cliffhanger ending involving a character from the original game that I can at least hope for the possibility of another sequel that hopefully recovers some of the strengths and plot interest of the original game.

    I wouldn't recommend a true DA:O fan to rush out and buy, but it may be worth a play through once it becomes a loss-leader or if you can purchase it used.
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  40. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. As you can see from the Score i am more then disapointed...
    a Few Questions and Answers

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

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

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

    But the game...

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

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

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

    Its boring and an insult to the Gaming industry.
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  41. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    Along with several other people here, I have never written a review or commented on a game before, but I felt the strong need to voice my opinion about DA2. It just isn't a good game at all. How is it possible that the gaming industry critics have given the game such a favorable review?? Surely they are getting paid by EA in some form or another - we already know that at least one biowareAlong with several other people here, I have never written a review or commented on a game before, but I felt the strong need to voice my opinion about DA2. It just isn't a good game at all. How is it possible that the gaming industry critics have given the game such a favorable review?? Surely they are getting paid by EA in some form or another - we already know that at least one bioware employee (name of Avalone I think?) has posted here with a perfect score. That isn't really bad, and I don't mind that so much, but it sure makes me wonder what else EA/bioware is up to. Here's a message to all RPG fans out there wondering whether to buy this game or not... you will be hugely dissapointed if you enjoyed DAO - because all of the things that made DAO great are missing in this game. Trust me when I say this (because I have no hidden agenda), the general consensus of the user reviews is a lot more accurate than the critics reviews. All of the things that you've read about the game from the user reviews (repeatiing dungeons, hack and slash style play, poor dialogue choices, non-immersion, no caring for characters, no sense of being part of a bigger world), it's all true. Stay away from this one - you can find a much better way to spend $60! Expand
  42. Mar 20, 2011
    7
    While not nearly so epic as it's predecessor, Dragon Age II is still a pretty solid entry into the Bioware library. Interesting subject matter for a sequel, while more subdued than the original, it's in keeping with the flavor of Origins. The most disappointing aspect for me was in that it wasn't made clear for many hours into gameplay the direction the story was heading in. While you canWhile not nearly so epic as it's predecessor, Dragon Age II is still a pretty solid entry into the Bioware library. Interesting subject matter for a sequel, while more subdued than the original, it's in keeping with the flavor of Origins. The most disappointing aspect for me was in that it wasn't made clear for many hours into gameplay the direction the story was heading in. While you can theorize earlier on and realize tensions are rising among local factions, the "enemies" were not clearly defined. I feel this greatly crippled the ability for Bioware to establish the same intensity that was experienced in the previous entry and helped the story feel rushed and quite nearly shallow.

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

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

    All things said I did really enjoy this title. It was certainly entertaining for me. I just would have liked to have cared more, like I did for the original. Perhaps this title would have better served as an expansion for the original, as it seems most complaints are about technical issues as opposed to story content. At this point I just feel inclined to beg EA to leave Bioware alone to work their magic free of pressure from publishers.
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  43. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    Dragon Age Origins was one of the best games I ever played and I was really looking forward to Dragon Age 2. After playing the game for around 8 hours I started skipping all cut scenes and dialogues because i could not stand it any more. The fights are boring. How could the magazines give such high ratings?
  44. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    The copy paste RPB of the decade everything in the game is the same copy paste the mines a all the same the caves a all the same and the areas around the city a all the same, armor only have diffrent colors.

    Im having trouble playing for more than 10 min at the time before getting bored This game is dumbed down to console players with no brains at all You can sit and watch a movie just
    The copy paste RPB of the decade everything in the game is the same copy paste the mines a all the same the caves a all the same and the areas around the city a all the same, armor only have diffrent colors.

    Im having trouble playing for more than 10 min at the time before getting bored
    This game is dumbed down to console players with no brains at all

    You can sit and watch a movie just pressing R and still win a battle
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  45. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    ILL make this short and sweet, i loved dragon origins and played the hell out of that game, but when i played this game, i could not be more shocked to see they would actually sign this game off as bio ware approved. I never at any point felt i was an epic character, or felt a huge attachment to my characters as i did in part 1. This sequel should of been easy to make. keep what worked andILL make this short and sweet, i loved dragon origins and played the hell out of that game, but when i played this game, i could not be more shocked to see they would actually sign this game off as bio ware approved. I never at any point felt i was an epic character, or felt a huge attachment to my characters as i did in part 1. This sequel should of been easy to make. keep what worked and fixed what didn't. its like bio ware didn't think twice about how there fans really felt and instead killed everything i loved about the first.

    if you like half assed then this is the game for you :(
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  46. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    The main thing frustrates me about this game is the bad graphics and how high resolution texture pack doesn't change anything at all. It looks like crap even at 1080p with dx11 highest details but the game is more demanding than Metro 2033 or Crysis. Runs like crap even on a GTX580 or 6970. Why should people pay $60 for a game that has graphics from 2003 yet still runs like 20 frames perThe main thing frustrates me about this game is the bad graphics and how high resolution texture pack doesn't change anything at all. It looks like crap even at 1080p with dx11 highest details but the game is more demanding than Metro 2033 or Crysis. Runs like crap even on a GTX580 or 6970. Why should people pay $60 for a game that has graphics from 2003 yet still runs like 20 frames per second on high end hardware? There's really something wrong with this game. Expand
  47. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    I wish I could say it's pretty like some of the other reviews on here, but due to the game not even supporting nVidia cards properly(because obviously no one uses them right?) it looks/runs terribly on my computer that should be able to run it maxed out. I loved DA:O, I love both of the Mass Effects, but this is honestly one of the most disappointing games I have ever played.

    Shame on
    I wish I could say it's pretty like some of the other reviews on here, but due to the game not even supporting nVidia cards properly(because obviously no one uses them right?) it looks/runs terribly on my computer that should be able to run it maxed out. I loved DA:O, I love both of the Mass Effects, but this is honestly one of the most disappointing games I have ever played.

    Shame on you Bioware, and shame on you EA for appearing to have ruined both a good title and a great company. It's just sad. :(
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  48. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This game is a complete and utter failure compared to the first game, and its expansion.
    3/4 of the maps in this game are all completely recycled. The battle system is fast, and enemies spawn in swarms out of nowhere. The first game was focused more on taking down powerful enemies with tactics. This game seems more focused on making things look shiny and appealing. Although the characters
    This game is a complete and utter failure compared to the first game, and its expansion.
    3/4 of the maps in this game are all completely recycled. The battle system is fast, and enemies spawn in swarms out of nowhere. The first game was focused more on taking down powerful enemies with tactics. This game seems more focused on making things look shiny and appealing. Although the characters are much more interesting and stylized in this title, it doesn't make up for the lack of characters and new areas. The plot line always winds up leading to the same conclusion, and a majority of the game is spent doing side quests. This is a one time only sort of experience. I couldn't stand making a second character for any reason. This game seems very similar to the story of Kotor 2, in which Bioware rushed the game, throwing it out there incomplete. It would be acceptable if this title were perhaps not called Dragon Age II, but something else, like "Dragon Age: Kirkwall Hero" or something along those lines, because I personally feel that this game does not deserve the title of a direct sequel.
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  49. Mar 20, 2011
    1
    A dumbed down experience. Hack and slash combat, cluncky graphics, recycled enviroments bad pacing, boring storyline, bad dialog and companions. All the naysayers have been right since day one, this game has not been made with the spirit of an rpg and it's an insult to what Bioware used to be.
  50. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    Without going into to many details. Great voice acting, love the way your character stay in voice character should you be angry, funny or serious. However that alone does not carry a hole game. DA2 is infact incredible repetitive with the method of reusing areas for pretty much everything throughout the hole game, while the environment is very well made and detailed it gets very and i meanWithout going into to many details. Great voice acting, love the way your character stay in voice character should you be angry, funny or serious. However that alone does not carry a hole game. DA2 is infact incredible repetitive with the method of reusing areas for pretty much everything throughout the hole game, while the environment is very well made and detailed it gets very and i mean very boring really fast. Everything from the city to the dungeons are reused over and over and over, very tireing and you are constantly sitting with a feeling that somethings gotta change soon, but it never does.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    My first thought was a solid 7, but after completing DA2 and learning that nothing you do matters it has lost all appeal to me. So sadly, very sadly i give DA2 a 6. =(
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  51. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    Generally a very bland and disappointing experience versus other "RPGs" and especially vs its legacy. This game is a linear shooter, barely an RPG and only very distantly related to the first game, Dragon Age Origins, a very strong traditional CRPG. It basically feels like a completely separate team was told to build a console shooter based in the Dragon Age universe. At its core DA2 aGenerally 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
  52. Apr 10, 2011
    3
    Reason it's getting such a High Critic review, E.A./Bioware are literally throwing money at them to write anything nice & give it high numbers. Trust the User's, we know how much this game failed us.

    This game should never came out when it did, they just wanted to make money & be damned of the issues, they'll just throw more money at it, say look see have this great game, expect stupid
    Reason it's getting such a High Critic review, E.A./Bioware are literally throwing money at them to write anything nice & give it high numbers. Trust the User's, we know how much this game failed us.

    This game should never came out when it did, they just wanted to make money & be damned of the issues, they'll just throw more money at it, say look see have this great game, expect stupid awards for it, because more money is being thrown at the judges.

    JJ
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  53. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    Bioware keeps saying they improved Dragon Age. Apparently "improved" = "subtracted from" at Bioware. But still I think some of the lower reviews are based on the expectations coming off of Dragon Age: Orgins. This game is just ok, in the same way Arcania or Risen were ok. I could tell they were bad games, but there was plenty to enjoy within. Bioware has abandoned the PC crowd that createdBioware keeps saying they improved Dragon Age. Apparently "improved" = "subtracted from" at Bioware. But still I think some of the lower reviews are based on the expectations coming off of Dragon Age: Orgins. This game is just ok, in the same way Arcania or Risen were ok. I could tell they were bad games, but there was plenty to enjoy within. Bioware has abandoned the PC crowd that created them. My advice is rent this on console, and spend no more than $10. The DLC is nothing to be missed. Expand
  54. Mar 20, 2011
    1
    Really awful game. Most of the game has you doing low-effort quests in the same quest hub, fighting battles full of constantly spawning waves of garbage enemies that require no thought to defeat. The writing is terrible. All of the companions are written terribly as is BioWare's forte. Almost nothing you do ever seems to matter in the end. They don't even try to hide that the templar areReally awful game. Most of the game has you doing low-effort quests in the same quest hub, fighting battles full of constantly spawning waves of garbage enemies that require no thought to defeat. The writing is terrible. All of the companions are written terribly as is BioWare's forte. Almost nothing you do ever seems to matter in the end. They don't even try to hide that the templar are Nazis.

    Completely forgettable.
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  55. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    This game is terrible.

    It looked great, when I saw it from a playthrough, and the critic review was rather nice{Speaking of critic reviews, were they bought off or something? Good thing I never trust the critic}. Then I realized how wrong I was when I actually sat down with it on the pc. I rolled a warrior. The gameplay is unbelievably bad. I have to continuously tell my character to
    This game is terrible.

    It looked great, when I saw it from a playthrough, and the critic review was rather nice{Speaking of critic reviews, were they bought off or something? Good thing I never trust the critic}. Then I realized how wrong I was when I actually sat down with it on the pc.

    I rolled a warrior.

    The gameplay is unbelievably bad. I have to continuously tell my character to attack, regardless of being swarmed by enemies, because she'll simply stand there dying otherwise. The play itself is atrocious; clunky to an impossible degree.

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

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

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

    Worst of all.

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

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

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

    WTF?!

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

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

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

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

    Dragon Age 2 is quite simply: terrible.

    Thankfully I never purchased it, having borrowed a copy from a friend to see how it was. There's cash I certainly didn't need to spend, glad I did it this way.
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  56. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    I had just finished Dragon Age Origins, and proceeded to launch DA2. I was shocked and disappointed, to say the least, in the overall dumbed down design. This disappointment of course is mixed with a touch of sadness that a lineage of great games I have played over the years have may have become extinct and Bioware has (d)evolved them to this tripe. Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, andI had just finished Dragon Age Origins, and proceeded to launch DA2. I was shocked and disappointed, to say the least, in the overall dumbed down design. This disappointment of course is mixed with a touch of sadness that a lineage of great games I have played over the years have may have become extinct and Bioware has (d)evolved them to this tripe. Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Dragon Age Origins are great games. DA2 is a clear example of fixing what clearly was not broken and leaving the faithful behind. Expand
  57. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    As a die-hard Bioware aficionado, I'm slightly disappointed with some aspects of DA2, and extremely disappointed with one particular aspect.

    First, the good: I enjoyed the graphics and most of the voiceovers. I think the graphics turned out just fine, as I am not a stickler for having sharp textures and screen-filling special effects. I don't play Bioware games for their graphics; I play
    As a die-hard Bioware aficionado, I'm slightly disappointed with some aspects of DA2, and extremely disappointed with one particular aspect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I haven't read any of the other user reviews yet so as not to bias mine, but I see a lot of negative reviews. I don't feel the need to be overly harsh; Dragon Age 2 is an enjoyable game with interesting mechanics that I would like to believe will have a series of redeeming expansions, or better yet, an excellent finisher in Dragon Age 3. Story-wise, it feels a bit like a trailer for a (hopefully) fantastic game to come; I wish they could have made it epic in its own right in a similar way to other mid-trilogy titles (Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, Mass Effect 2, etc).
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  58. Mar 21, 2011
    6
    My review is mixed. Dragon Age 2 is a great game only if you haven't played the first game. If you haven't played D.A.Origins you wont miss the several different origins depending on your race. You wont miss the strategy part when having a fight. You wont miss the feel that you play a game in a huge map. You wont miss the different dungeons that you encounter all the time. If you haven'tMy review is mixed. Dragon Age 2 is a great game only if you haven't played the first game. If you haven't played D.A.Origins you wont miss the several different origins depending on your race. You wont miss the strategy part when having a fight. You wont miss the feel that you play a game in a huge map. You wont miss the different dungeons that you encounter all the time. If you haven't played D.A.O. Dragon Age 2 is a great game. But then if you haven't played Dragon Age Origins and you see this review know that you shouldn't play it after you finish Dragon Age 2, as you will make an account to Metacritic and write a similar review like mine Expand
  59. Mar 27, 2011
    0
    enemies appear out of nowhere, item names have no back story - you can't even attack enemies that you SEE until you get close enough that they turn red
  60. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    Just played Dragon Age 2 for some time and Iâ
  61. Mar 21, 2011
    7
    I'm 10 hours in and I'm having fun. I read these user reviews before installing it and held my nose when I started it, expecting the worst. Perhaps these low expectations allowed me to appreciate the things the game has done right.

    Graphics are fine, I'm not sure what people are crying about. Gameplay is simple, but still challenging. Character progression system is unique and
    I'm 10 hours in and I'm having fun. I read these user reviews before installing it and held my nose when I started it, expecting the worst. Perhaps these low expectations allowed me to appreciate the things the game has done right.

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

    I mean, the game isn't spectacular. It's worse than the original in most ways, and isn't worth full price, but guys, it's not a 0/10. There are a lot of unhinged people on the internet...
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  62. Mar 21, 2011
    9
    Good game, actually far better than some of the older Bioware games, but not perfect and very far from DAO.
    There are a lot of improvements compared to the predecessor, graphics, combat, animations, but in some areas DAO was a bit better, like choices which affect the world, or dialogue.
    The story is great, far more original than the 'let's save the world again' idea in DAO, if you want
    Good game, actually far better than some of the older Bioware games, but not perfect and very far from DAO.
    There are a lot of improvements compared to the predecessor, graphics, combat, animations, but in some areas DAO was a bit better, like choices which affect the world, or dialogue.

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

    The game has a lot of potential, however it's clear that a bit more time in development would have helped a lot. Some areas are recycled over and over again, and while the main quest is perfect, the side quests are.. mehh.. less original.
    On the bright side.. it's not as bugged as DAO was on release day.
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  63. Mar 21, 2011
    9
    Can't believe all the hate here.... Are on my second play through and not disappointed at all. Graphics are clearly improved from DAO, but the style is a bit different. Voice acting is good overall and generally on par with DAO, while the story in my opinion is better. The conversation wheel works fine and for me the voiced protagonist is much better than the silent expressionless glare ofCan't believe all the hate here.... Are on my second play through and not disappointed at all. Graphics are clearly improved from DAO, but the style is a bit different. Voice acting is good overall and generally on par with DAO, while the story in my opinion is better. The conversation wheel works fine and for me the voiced protagonist is much better than the silent expressionless glare of the warden. I didn't see the combat as "dumped" down. Its true that it's a bit easier on normal than DAO, but I still managed to die a couple of times and tactics are needed to win the harder battles - even on normal. On the downside, the combat can feel a bit rushed at times and the gore is way over the top. All in all not a perfect game, but still a great one (and just as good as DAO). Expand
  64. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    As a fan of Dragon Age Origins and Bioware in general I was very much looking forward to this release. Some friends tried to dissuade pointing out the obvious such as this sequel followed far more quickly than Mass Effect 2 for instance. This is only important since it means that the time and care Bioware is famous for putting into their games could be lacking. Sadly despite theAs a fan of Dragon Age Origins and Bioware in general I was very much looking forward to this release. Some friends tried to dissuade pointing out the obvious such as this sequel followed far more quickly than Mass Effect 2 for instance. This is only important since it means that the time and care Bioware is famous for putting into their games could be lacking. Sadly despite the suspiciously glowing reviews from the major reviewers this game has not delivered. Much like with Mass Effect 2 before it Bioware has chosen to take the dumbing down route. A route which might I add is wholly unnecessary as the original games were incredibly successful. Now granted DA O wasn't perfect. But it had the depth that a real RPG needs. This one sadly does not. Crafting? Gone. Legitimate dialogue choices? Gone. Interesting interactions with the other party members? Gone. Ability to customize parties gear? Heavily restricted. Varied and interesting backgrounds? Gone. The point is this game is incredibly watered down. It doesn't even really feel like an RPG, more like an action game with some heavily watered down RPG elements. I'm still going to finish the game. After all I paid good money for the thing. But I am extremely disappointed in Bioware. The watering down in Mass Effect 2 was bad enough, this is unforgivable. Expand
  65. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Before starting Dragon Age 2, I went back to a Lothering saved game from Dragon Age: Origins to study the look of the NPC's; I wanted my Hawke character to resemble one of the NPC's from the original game... perhaps that seems strange, but I thought it would be fun from a role-playing perspective. I realized at that time that the DA:O NPC's had just a few basic models/molds that were thenBefore starting Dragon Age 2, I went back to a Lothering saved game from Dragon Age: Origins to study the look of the NPC's; I wanted my Hawke character to resemble one of the NPC's from the original game... perhaps that seems strange, but I thought it would be fun from a role-playing perspective. I realized at that time that the DA:O NPC's had just a few basic models/molds that were then copied to populate the city. I was somewhat shocked, because I hadn't really noticed that during my first two DA:O playthroughs. I mention this because DA:O definitely "cut corners": linear pathways/not very open, clone NPC's populating cities, multiple dialog choices that lead to the same outcome, etc. The beauty of DA:O, however, was that the Bioware mages (developers) created Disney-like illusion: an epic storyline, characters you could have in-depth conversations with (at the time of your choosing), the ability to modify your companionsâ Expand
  66. Mar 22, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game; it just devolved into something that is unworthy of carrying the "Dragon Age" title and the burdens that comes with it. The previous game was a marvelous and a near-perfect take of what a next-gen RPG could be, probably not too great on the consoles, but its as true as an RPG gets on the PC. Fans of Origins have to lower their expectations or rather set itDragon Age 2 is not a bad game; it just devolved into something that is unworthy of carrying the "Dragon Age" title and the burdens that comes with it. The previous game was a marvelous and a near-perfect take of what a next-gen RPG could be, probably not too great on the consoles, but its as true as an RPG gets on the PC. Fans of Origins have to lower their expectations or rather set it accordingly, because to be honest, it's just that different.

    I don't really like to compare games to other games and franchise, but I do compare them when it comes to sequels, because the purpose of a sequel is to surpass the previous one, and in this case Dragon Age 2 fails to please. It just feels like a different, less impressive franchise. The improvements are only a little bit on the graphics, I really do enjoy the faster pace of the battle, and the span of 10 years the story takes. That said, the rest is just regression, as Bioware erased away the defining feature of the previous game such as; customizable party member's equipment, multiple races to play, multiple endings, unique builds that you can come up with (such as dual-wielding arcane mage and warrior with bow), varying areas, and that is not all, unfortunately. I give it an honest score of 4, as it is less than a half of what Origins were. To be noted that this is not a rant of rage, its just a lament of a dissatisfied loyal fan of RPGs and Bioware itself as a great video game studio.
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  67. Mar 21, 2011
    7
    Good character development and story. Good use of lore w/in the story too. Combat is faster, but monotonous. Area maps and enemies are recycled ad nauseam. The inventory is tripped down to where only Hawke can wear armor or carry weapons. Mage Hawke's story is not distinct enough from the other two classes and needed to be for the story BW is trying to tell. Convos w/ companions areGood character development and story. Good use of lore w/in the story too. Combat is faster, but monotonous. Area maps and enemies are recycled ad nauseam. The inventory is tripped down to where only Hawke can wear armor or carry weapons. Mage Hawke's story is not distinct enough from the other two classes and needed to be for the story BW is trying to tell. Convos w/ companions are well done, but too short and too few in number. I still give the game a 7 as I did enjoy shaping Hawke's character. Finally, anyone into hard core or "old school" rpg should avoid DA2 like the plague. Expand
  68. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    I've always thought of Bioware as a safe choice when buying a game. When EA took over I was worried that they were going to ruin another good game company, but surprisingly most of the games came out were good ol' Bioware (maybe abit rushed) with some useless DLC content that I did not care about. That was uintil I came across this joke of a game.
    First of all the world feels soulless and
    I've always thought of Bioware as a safe choice when buying a game. When EA took over I was worried that they were going to ruin another good game company, but surprisingly most of the games came out were good ol' Bioware (maybe abit rushed) with some useless DLC content that I did not care about. That was uintil I came across this joke of a game.
    First of all the world feels soulless and small. Well actually, the world feels small because it is small. Quoting a critic "You cant have an epic story on your backyard". That pretty much sums it up.
    The game feels more like a grind than a RPG - You're basically running the same linear dungeons over and over again with enemies that have slightly different color and name. Even the bosses are recycled.
    Combat requires no strategy at all, you can basically buttons mash your way trough the game. Increasing difficulty just requires the player to have more potions and the patience to spam the buttons longer. Sure the people looking for a simple game might enjoy it more, but anyone actually looking for a challenge should not bother with this game.
    Something that Bioware has always gotten right is the story, but not this time. Most of the charaters feel hollow and boring, charater cameos from DA:O just makes you wish you were playing DA:O instead.
    The story itself is rather non thrilling and the side quests are very repeative.
    The graphics are outdated (PC) to say the least and there are some annoying gliches with some of the older graphic cards. If the game looks like it was made 10-years ago, it should atleast work with older hardware.
    I could go on pointing out flaws in this game, but I think i made my point - Dont bother paying 60 bucks for a crappy game. If you absolutely must play this game, then do yourself a favour and wait for the GOTY version with all the DLC content and bugfixes.
    When compairing to other games this game does not deserve a 0 though, but on a Bioware scale it absolutely does. It is definitely by far the worst game they have ever done.
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  69. Mar 21, 2011
    3
    The storyline really isn't bad and certain side-quests are of interest, often tying into the bigger picture. Unfortunately the mechanics and gameplay have been popamole'd to the extreme, with many of DA:O's best things "streamlined" (dumbed down) or removed. Companions range in quality from very good (Varric) to very bland (Fenris). The re-use of maps is unforgivable and makes even theThe storyline really isn't bad and certain side-quests are of interest, often tying into the bigger picture. Unfortunately the mechanics and gameplay have been popamole'd to the extreme, with many of DA:O's best things "streamlined" (dumbed down) or removed. Companions range in quality from very good (Varric) to very bland (Fenris). The re-use of maps is unforgivable and makes even the above-mentioned side-quests a grind at times as you run through the same cave you've seen 100 times with a door blocked here and opened there. Bioware's attempt to "streamline" the game in an attempt to attract younger action game fans seems to have failed big. Not only have they failed to draw in a significant amount of those based on early sales but they have also jaded those of us who love a proper RPG and had faith in them to improve on the original title. Instead, not only is this much inferior, even the rushed out expansion to DA:O, Awakenings, is a better game than this. I worry for Mass Effect 3 now... Expand
  70. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    Bioware need to learn that rushing out or fast tracking a game for a quick buck is a sure fire way to lose there fanbase. While the combat system and graphics (if maxed out with high texture pack) are cool the plot of the game is a complete joke.

    Story wise it's very bland and unlike every other Bioware RPG it dosen't make any difference what dialogue options you pick for 95% of the game
    Bioware need to learn that rushing out or fast tracking a game for a quick buck is a sure fire way to lose there fanbase. While the combat system and graphics (if maxed out with high texture pack) are cool the plot of the game is a complete joke.

    Story wise it's very bland and unlike every other Bioware RPG it dosen't make any difference what dialogue options you pick for 95% of the game as the final outcome is exactly the same and this totally kills replay value. The fact that so many characters can't be saved from their fate really bugged me and killed the idea of being the hero of the story.
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  71. Mar 21, 2011
    5
    Enjoyable, but, ultimately, disappointing.
    I suppose that, after loving Dragon Age: Origins, I can't be blamed for having high expectations. Even when they were 'hyping it up' I was like 'that's just marketing'...but along w/ the anticipation, there was, of course, some worry.
    After my first playthrough (somewhere between 60 - 70 hours. I like to be thorough: my first DA:O was a little
    Enjoyable, but, ultimately, disappointing.
    I suppose that, after loving Dragon Age: Origins, I can't be blamed for having high expectations. Even when they were 'hyping it up' I was like 'that's just marketing'...but along w/ the anticipation, there was, of course, some worry.
    After my first playthrough (somewhere between 60 - 70 hours. I like to be thorough: my first DA:O was a little under 110 hours), I definitely had mixed feelings. It was enjoyable, but even while I was playing, the thought that 'it could have been SO MUCH BETTER' kept nagging at me.

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

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

    Conclusion:
    Is the game worth getting? I still think so. Is it worthy sequel to DA:O? Hmm. I personally wouldn't like to think of it as a sequel...just the second game in the same setting, and contributing to the story of the setting as a whole. On it's own, it's a decent enough game, but definitely feels 'rushed out'. As a sequel, DA2 is disappointing. Would I recommend it to anyone? Yes, but grudgingly and warning him/her to be patient, as I do think the story, as a whole, is quite good. If anything, it feels like the entire game is a 'set up' for something else, like a 2nd movie or book in a trilogy. It is my sincere hope that, if all the negative feedback is to go by, Bioware takes their time on the third game. It sucks to be disappointed, after all.
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  72. Aug 25, 2011
    8
    A good if somewhat tragic story in the Dragon Age universe, that is smaller than the first game's but spread over a ten year time span. I still find the design of some of the characters to be off-putting and the story is not quit as epic as advertised, but I enjoyed my playthrough and getting to know more of the Dragon Age world.
  73. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    You know, I was so excited about the release of this game. But, even the demo left something to be desired. The storyline was mediocre at best and they could have made a better looking game if they used DirectX 10 instead of the lagging DirectX 9. But, that is not even the biggest problem. If you even say one wrong word on the BioWare Forums (which are now run by EA), they can not onlyYou know, I was so excited about the release of this game. But, even the demo left something to be desired. The storyline was mediocre at best and they could have made a better looking game if they used DirectX 10 instead of the lagging DirectX 9. But, that is not even the biggest problem. If you even say one wrong word on the BioWare Forums (which are now run by EA), they can not only ban you from the forums for a few days, but also ban you from using/registering your game on the account. Meaning you will have to create a completely new account in order to play. Might not sound like a big deal, but if you have been with BioWare games for a while, all of your games and stats will be gone from the new profile.

    BioWare has really bit the big one when dealing with EA. Welcome to Nazi Gaming.
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  74. Mar 21, 2011
    2
    Just finished playing the demo! It was fantastic!!! NOT!!! IT WAS A STEAMING PILE OF **** How could they do this to Dragon Age Origins!?

    â
  75. Mar 22, 2011
    1
    Refrain from buying this game if you have any expectations. While the game is not a complete disaster when regarded as a standalone game, you will get disappointed if you want to play it because you liked Dragon Age: Origins. Basically it is just a thumbed down, simplified version of its predecessor.

    My rating is not only game related, but mostly Biowares fault. While I would give the
    Refrain from buying this game if you have any expectations. While the game is not a complete disaster when regarded as a standalone game, you will get disappointed if you want to play it because you liked Dragon Age: Origins. Basically it is just a thumbed down, simplified version of its predecessor.

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

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

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

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

    Do not buy this game if you are searching for a good role-playing game.
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  76. Mar 22, 2011
    2
    Don't believe the hype. This game is so riddled with lazy design choices that it's insulting. The designers thought it would be a good idea to copy-paste the same dungeons over and over again? Not to mention most of the fights play out EXACTLY the same way: kill initial wave and then kill one or two more which swarm in from all directions. There is no variety. For 60$ bucks I wasDon't believe the hype. This game is so riddled with lazy design choices that it's insulting. The designers thought it would be a good idea to copy-paste the same dungeons over and over again? Not to mention most of the fights play out EXACTLY the same way: kill initial wave and then kill one or two more which swarm in from all directions. There is no variety. For 60$ bucks I was expecting a triple A release and what I got was tepid shovel-ware. I have learnt that you should always base your purchase off user reviews and not the "critic's" reviews as they're all under the publishers control. I'd give it a pass or at the very least wait until the "platinum" edition comes out which will also be cheaper and have all the DLC. Expand
  77. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    I was a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins, so naturally I was really looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, like so many before me I was left disappointed. My biggest complaint would have to be the recycled environments. I can forgive Bioware for using the same city and surrounding areas due to the fact that the whole story takes place in Kirkwall, but when I'm forced to fight throughI was a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins, so naturally I was really looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, like so many before me I was left disappointed. My biggest complaint would have to be the recycled environments. I can forgive Bioware for using the same city and surrounding areas due to the fact that the whole story takes place in Kirkwall, but when I'm forced to fight through the same few dungeons (it's still the same dungeon no matter how many paths you block or open up) and explore the same homes over and over again I just can't help but wonder if they really thought their fanbase would be okay with this. I'm also not very fond of the multiple waves of enemies. I don't mind big battles, but it just seems a bit stupid when the second waves always just sort of materialize out of nowhere. I could go on and on about my problems with this game (voiced protagonist, dumbed down rpg mechanics, weaker writing, etc.) but I'll end this on a happier note. Despite everything mentioned above, this still feels like a Dragon Age game. The story (although a little weak) kept me interested enough to finish the game and a few of the characters actually grew on me. Overall this is a disappointing game, however there are still enough positive aspects about it for it to not be a complete waste of money. Just a minor one. Expand
  78. Mar 22, 2011
    10
    I found the artwork absolutely gorgeous, and the interface extremely slick. Some things were 'streamlined' compared to the first, but I much preferred the new interface. Combat was still challenging and required strategic placement and use of skills - though I did miss friendly fire on Hard mode. I loved the new ability trees and crafting mechanics, which didn't feel like a chore. But whatI 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
  79. Mar 22, 2011
    1
    Biggest disappointment of years... Dialogs for idiots and fight is a freaking hack n slash... Dragon Age 1 was best RPG since the great trio (Torment, Baldur, Fallout) and this is just a n unfunny joke...
  80. Mar 22, 2011
    0
    Inferior in every way to dragon age origins. The Graphics are worse, yet the game engine performs worse as well (a bad combination), the dialogue wheel leaves you feeling like you have little control of what your character says, battles consist of you defeating wave after wave of cannon fodder enemies requiring nothing more than pushing attack keys with no tactics whatsoever. The mostInferior in every way to dragon age origins. The Graphics are worse, yet the game engine performs worse as well (a bad combination), the dialogue wheel leaves you feeling like you have little control of what your character says, battles consist of you defeating wave after wave of cannon fodder enemies requiring nothing more than pushing attack keys with no tactics whatsoever. The most unforgivable of all is the horribly boring story, gone are the tough/meaningful decisions and grand scope of the original. Combined with the continuation of slimy day one dlc marketing leaves me not wanting to play anything made by bioware in the future. Expand
  81. Mar 22, 2011
    1
    -enemies warp in from nowhere

    -massive discontinuities in game lore -samey-classes, indistinguishable abilities -zero difficulty -literal copy-pasted environments (didn't even bother to black out unused portions of copied minimaps) -story suddenly ends bizarrely in the super-short last act, despite all the build up -no tactical camera -waves of identical enemies, each presenting no
    -enemies warp in from nowhere

    -massive discontinuities in game lore

    -samey-classes, indistinguishable abilities

    -zero difficulty

    -literal copy-pasted environments (didn't even bother to black out unused portions of copied minimaps)

    -story suddenly ends bizarrely in the super-short last act, despite all the build up

    -no tactical camera

    -waves of identical enemies, each presenting no challenge

    -less interesting items

    -all quest and stories are basically unsatisfying

    -Basically bioware hates magic, and went through all the trouble of creating a magical fantasy world to spend the whole time telling you how evil magic and fantasy would be.

    -The Male/Male love interest is a psychopathic nancy. Despite the constant complaints bioware has received on its mincing stereotypes since Skye in Jade Empire.

    -At this late date, despite tireless efforts from fans, and years of negativity towards their decision, it is still not possible for two male characters to love eachother and be together. Or for that matter to even both exist and be sane.

    -I mean come the **** on. The voice actors recorded romance dialogue in Both ME, ME2, and DAO. Bioware cut it because they hate gays.

    -If you hate gays, I guess you should buy this game to support a company that is as bigoted as you are. Pay the hate!
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  82. Mar 22, 2011
    2
    FIRST 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
    FIRST 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
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  83. Mar 22, 2011
    9
    9/10 (would have given a 9.5 or so), because it's obviously not perfect, but I think it's a very good game. The new combat system is really a step in the right direction -- more action, more gore, more fun. I don't like all the characters, but I don't get the feeling like I'm supposed to like all the characters. The ones I do like, I like a lot, and the ones I don't like, I hate. I'm not9/10 (would have given a 9.5 or so), because it's obviously not perfect, but I think it's a very good game. The new combat system is really a step in the right direction -- more action, more gore, more fun. I don't like all the characters, but I don't get the feeling like I'm supposed to like all the characters. The ones I do like, I like a lot, and the ones I don't like, I hate. I'm not talking about the way they've been characterized, but I mean their actual personalities. I find the game very engaging.

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

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

    Technically, the graphics are very nice, and the game actually has less bugs (for my system at least) than Dragon Age: Origins did. Overall, the game would have gotten a 10/10 if it weren't for the companion armor system (which I don't like).
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  84. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    Seems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather thanSeems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather than continuing and expanding Dragon Age.

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

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

    It would have been better if they simply used everything from the original (gameplay, style etc) and simply added a continuation of the story.
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  85. Mar 22, 2011
    0
    I made an account on this website just to post a review for this. I heard about the game and was initially excited. I thought it would be another good RPG from BioWare to hold me over until Skyrim came out later this year. Huge pissing disappointment there, I uninstalled this putrescent piece of garbage after less than an hour of playing it. Right off the bat you get greeted with totallyI made an account on this website just to post a review for this. I heard about the game and was initially excited. I thought it would be another good RPG from BioWare to hold me over until Skyrim came out later this year. Huge pissing disappointment there, I uninstalled this putrescent piece of garbage after less than an hour of playing it. Right off the bat you get greeted with totally flaccid graphics and dialog, randomly thrown into a mind-numbingly stupid hack and slash zombie encounter. Right then and there I knew I had wasted my sixty bucks. Safe bet I won't be buying any BioWare products in the future, even their much anticipated MMO. Btw, it's pretty much certain that their reviews were bribed. This piece of **** doesn't even deserve a 30%. Back to playing RIFT and dusting off my Oblivion and Morrowind when I wanna play a decent single-player RPG! Expand
  86. Mar 22, 2011
    6
    First off, I am a veteran of Dragon Age: Origins, but still enjoyed this game. I played the game to completion in about 25 hours. Instead of going into a mega-rant about why I gave this game a 6/10 instead of a higher score, I will break it down into simple Pros and Cons: Pros: - Character development is more enjoyable than in DAO
    - Player can feel "connected" to these characters and
    First off, I am a veteran of Dragon Age: Origins, but still enjoyed this game. I played the game to completion in about 25 hours. Instead of going into a mega-rant about why I gave this game a 6/10 instead of a higher score, I will break it down into simple Pros and Cons: Pros: - Character development is more enjoyable than in DAO
    - Player can feel "connected" to these characters and immerse themselves somewhat into the world
    - Desire to finish the storyline (which is not very cohesive)
    - References to DAO Cons (Much more substantive list)
    - My biggest gripe is that the game is not finished. The ending is lackluster, incomplete and basically set up to sell you, the customer, more DLC's and expansions that will inevitably finish the story
    - Huge let down with character development - after Bioware spends so much time connecting you to your side characters, everything is just left "hanging" at the end of the game
    - Battle system significantly dumbed down
    - No customization for other character's armour, limited weapon customization
    - Glitchy, Buggy quests ruin the game in some spots (crucial quest points with Merill are still bugged at time of writing)
    - The script is extremely corny in some places, making things absolutely cringe-worthy in many many parts of the game
    - EXTREMELY limited environments. Dungeons are recycled over and over again, by the end of Act 1, you've probably seen every environment that can be offered to you. This ruins the game environment in many places when you think to yourself "Wait... haven't I been here before?"
    - Non-cohesive storyline in many cases, quests do not seem connected
    - Choices don't really affect your ending, contrary to many other Bioware games

    Tl; Dr? If you are a fan of the original game, you will be disappointed with the dumbed-down combat, story, environments, incomplete ending, and so on. If you are looking for a hack-and-slash game, without much development, you may enjoy this game more.
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  87. Mar 22, 2011
    7
    I just finished the game on pc and i'm still not sure how I should feel about this game. It's definatly a fun game. The story, dialogue wheel and combat mechanics is a positive change for me but the fact to you play the whole game in 1 city and that all the dungeons are the same puts alot of it's charm backwards.

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

    I give it a 7 cause it has dragon age slap on it and i'm a fan of the series.If it had been a new rpg I would have rated it a 5 or maybe 6.
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  88. Mar 22, 2011
    1
    Awful game. Some console slasher, no strategy, only mashing buttons. 0 as the whole game is. No story line, no memorable characters, only ONE location for all game, awful quests, degraded inventory (why i can change my companions armor?). This game was made as a quick money making mashine. I was your fan bioware sins first Never winter. But today i lost all hope in you.
  89. Apr 12, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After finishing this game, I can find very little good to say about it other than the character development is really well done for the party members. Dragon Age 2 is very inferior compared to Dragon Age: Origins, and the ending is absolutely terrible. The combat is really repetative, the environments all look exactly the same, and the plot is completely linear. I originally gave this a good rating before I finished it, but after going back to try and change the events concerning the main characters nothing happened. The ending is a non-ending that leaves you confused, angry, or both. Expand
  90. Mar 23, 2011
    0
    I'll just leave this here:

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

    ............. btw I'm giving this a 0 to do my part to offset the 10s given by the EA/Bioware review writers.
  91. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Ender008
    Mar 23, 2011
    4 I honestly cannot justify going into very much depth on the mechanics of DA2--all I can say is that I feel horribly betrayed. It's nothing short of a tragedy to see the squandered potential of the title of sequel to DA:O. Dragon Age 2 is a step back for the series, and after playing a few hours of it, I found myself starting a new character in Origins. DA2 is
    Ender008
    Mar 23, 2011
    4
    I honestly cannot justify going into very much depth on the mechanics of DA2--all I can say is that I feel horribly betrayed. It's nothing short of a tragedy to see the squandered potential of the title of sequel to DA:O. Dragon Age 2 is a step back for the series, and after playing a few hours of it, I found myself starting a new character in Origins. DA2 is unsatisfying, and barely tries to even present the illusion of choice. I felt no attachment to Hawke; the fact that he's fully voiced actually managed to push me away even further. This game doesn't even deserve the title of RPG, nor does it deserve the lore of Dragon Age. I pray to the developers that they'll rectify this disaster of a game by returning to RPG style gaming for the next Dragon Age. I honestly felt my IQ drop as a played the unfortunate mess that is Dragon Age 2. The only thing positive to come of this is that I will be joining the modding community of DA:O to help extend its lifespan for those of us who appreciate what a work of art it is. Please stay away from DA2 if you have any sense.

    [EDIT TO MY FIRST REVIEW:] I started to read through other reviews to see what others thought of the game to see if I could find any redeeming qualities and I stumbled on something that I absolutely needed to share, because it sums up what's so horrible about DA2. Someone posed this as a positive point, yet where's the roleplaying aspect in this? Here is the quote: "There's also the thing where no matter what speech option you pick, Hawke comes off sounding completely badass and awesome."
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  92. Mar 23, 2011
    0
    I was really impressed with DA and DA:O but unfortunately DA 2 was a total let down. The whole game has a recycled cookie-cutter feel, especially with the quest design. All the game does is take you around to the exact same areas in each Act, but just with different quests. Laziness anyone? There isn't even a true world map like the original Dragon Age. It feels very constrained, and thereI was really impressed with DA and DA:O but unfortunately DA 2 was a total let down. The whole game has a recycled cookie-cutter feel, especially with the quest design. All the game does is take you around to the exact same areas in each Act, but just with different quests. Laziness anyone? There isn't even a true world map like the original Dragon Age. It feels very constrained, and there are about 3 different types of enemies: humans, darkspawn, and spiders...what a joke. If I could return the game for a full refund I would do so in a heartbeat these guys will never get my money again charging 60 dollars for something that is probably worth about 10. I could go on but wasting more time with this game is pointless, just want to warn people out there in case they are wondering about buying the game, and just look at the "Critic" reviews being all positive and the Users (who actually play the game more than an hour, unlike the critics) and decide for yourself. Wait for a better game this isn't it. Expand
  93. Mar 28, 2011
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is much worse than the first part, talents are bad, story is too short and quests are so simple so i didnt have to think to finish them, the game was made for stupid people who dont want do anything just watch the grafics. Expand
  94. Mar 23, 2011
    1
    WARNING: Most of the 9's and 10's on this site are obvious attempts by BioWare employees to skew the negative reviews this game has been getting. It's already been confirmed that an engineer at BioWare named "Avanost" (real name: Chris Hoban) left a 10/10 review for this game -- with ridiculous praise, to boot! Google it yourself if you like. Anyhoo, I am now 2/3 of the way through inWARNING: Most of the 9's and 10's on this site are obvious attempts by BioWare employees to skew the negative reviews this game has been getting. It's already been confirmed that an engineer at BioWare named "Avanost" (real name: Chris Hoban) left a 10/10 review for this game -- with ridiculous praise, to boot! Google it yourself if you like. Anyhoo, I am now 2/3 of the way through in this game and am finally giving up. I'm going to trade this puppy in before its value goes below $7.00 (which is what EB Games offered me). I thought the game would get better but it definitely _doesn't_! I finished the first one (on the PC) and after playing through the second, I feel that the name "Dragon Age" shouldn't be anywhere in the title. This is a hack'n'-slash game through-and-through -- and when I say that, I don't mean in a good way either. I'm saddened to say it, but buy this game at your own risk. Expand
  95. Mar 23, 2011
    3
    Terrible game. It's poorly written, has no MAIN PLOT whatsover. It feels like a crappy collection of side quests. You never really get to know any of the characters. The combat is abysmal, and felt like crap to play.

    Just go play Dragon Age: Origins again, and you'll get 100 times the enjoyment out of that than this crap.
  96. Mar 23, 2011
    7
    The story is good, but riddled with fetch quests. This isn't the best game Bioware has made but they've set the bar pretty high with titles like the original Dragon Age and the Mass Effect series. Fans of RPGs will eat this up, while your average lover of adventure games will find enough appreciation in the storyline to justify trying it out too.
  97. Mar 23, 2011
    0
    What else can I say that hasn't been said? This is what happens when money hungry companies take control over everything. We get crap, crap, and more crap. Take a great game that took years to develop, dumb it down for the console kiddies, call it a sequel - since you can make more money that way - and just shout a big "screw you" to every gamer who enjoyed what the first one was about.What else can I say that hasn't been said? This is what happens when money hungry companies take control over everything. We get crap, crap, and more crap. Take a great game that took years to develop, dumb it down for the console kiddies, call it a sequel - since you can make more money that way - and just shout a big "screw you" to every gamer who enjoyed what the first one was about. Nothing about this game is on par with Dragon Age: Origins. Nothing. It's a piece of garbage. How the developers let this happen is beyond me, and they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to be released.

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

    As a standalone RPG, this game deserves a 4 or 5 out of 10. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the luxury of being reviewed on its own merits, as it's following a truly great game. By that relative measure, this piece of trash deserves a zero.
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  98. Mar 23, 2011
    3
    The combat system revamp does not bother me. What does bother me is when party members don't ****ing hold position when I tell them. Let me give you an example: fighting the first dragon you come across in the deep roads. I want to kite the boss back to a better position, I tell my party to HOLD POSITION, meaning that unless I get a loading screen, or a cut-scean, they should not moveThe combat system revamp does not bother me. What does bother me is when party members don't ****ing hold position when I tell them. Let me give you an example: fighting the first dragon you come across in the deep roads. I want to kite the boss back to a better position, I tell my party to HOLD POSITION, meaning that unless I get a loading screen, or a cut-scean, they should not move from that spot under any circumstances no matter what. What actually ends up happening is that the horrible party AI system decided to teleport them to me three times in the course of no more than a 15 second walk from where I told them to HOLD POSITION. Since I'm playing on nightmare and my party for the most part is completely useless anyway, due to iffy at best aggro mechanics, (I have abandoned my warrior since she does so little damage, once the 10 second taunt is up, it all runs to the casters anyway), and party member's AI being too stupid to move out of the way of 1 shot kill boss mechanics, I have abandoned my party almost all together. This has let to the already nearly non existent party member story lines, to be nonexistent all together since it is not worth it to bring them with me.

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

    My largest gripe BY FAR is how lazy the level design team was: FIVE count them FIVE times, the game reused the EXACT SAME DUNGEON. I don't mean, oh you have to go back into the dungeon, no, a completely different area has the EXACT SAME DUNGEON layout, even the set pieces are the same. This game has no re-playability at all, $60 is a rip off for this piece of garbage, maby $20 is worth it. I wouldn't know, I'm glad I torrented it or I woudl have been pissed off that I wasted $60.
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

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