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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 3959 Ratings

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  1. Mar 26, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have been looking through some user reviews and see strong negative comments, I have to agree that Dragon Age 2 is far below the expectations of Origins. From the simplified battle system, and more balanced jobs, specialization easy access, final boss meredith and orsino can't be compared to the archdemon, no races can be chosen, less branches in options and you just damned stuck in Kirkwall . But, I think Bioware don't mean to create an ordinary style of RPG, such as the usual "good vs evil" genre, but a story of someone from below to the top and showing of a sense of emotional belonging and family relation to the character, when the mother are killed, her brother ran off to the templars, if you don't bring him to the deep roads, all of that are worth giving points .to the game. The game also brought more moral thinking then origins, such as Anders that kill the grand cleric, and whether to sides with the templars or the mages, where the templars are oppressing the mages too much, but in the other side more mages become blood mages because of the templar oppression, the most interesting is when first enchanter orsino become an abomination. This game story is overcome the weaknesses of the entire game, and I think this game is worth playing to get yourself, a good story, rather than battle and action. Even though it is better to make a movie of it than creating a game to it, Ten is for the story, 8 is for the game, and for bioware developers that are working hard to emphasize the story to cover the gameplay itself. Expand
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    Dragon Age II is a very good game, but it is not a great game. It suffers from a distinct lack of polish, poorly recycled areas, several bugs and a distinct lack of pacing during the late-game. Despite this, I found the game to be engaging, intriguing and fun to play, with well developed characters, and interesting and atypical storyline and fun, tactical combat.

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

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

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

    A note should be made about the main character, since this is one area I found the game excelled. The player assumes the role of Hawke, a human refugee. Hawke can be male or female, a warrior, rogue or mage, and is completely voice-acted (by either Nicholas Boulton or Jo Wyatt depending on gender). Further, throughout the game the player has the option to pick from distinct 'personality' choices in dialogue. These fall broadly into 'helpful/diplomatic', 'sarcastic/humourous/charming' and 'aggressive/direct/rude'. The more the player picks one of these option, the more it cements Hawke's personality, meaning that when Hawke responds without player direction, he or she often reacts in the manner of the player-directed persona. Unlike the Paragon/Renegade selection in Bioware's other RPG, Mass Effect, the player is not penalised for switching from one personality to another, allowing more fluid role-playing. The reason I bring this up is because, for me (and opinions will vary), Hawke managed to walk the fine line between a player-customised character and a character in their own right. Hawke managed to be both *my* character and *a* character. In my experience, this is incredibly difficult to pull off and I feel Bioware should be commended for the accomplishment. For references' sake, I played an aggressively direct, sometimes sarcastic and rarely diplomatic female Mage. To summarise, Dragon Age 2 is a solid RPG with some interesting gameplay and roleplay systems, an engaging story and characters and fun combat. However, it suffers from lack of polish, recycled dungeons and somewhat underdeveloped tactical elements. The game probably needed another 6 months to a year in development to be the game it could have been. Overall, the Original may be the better game, but DA2 makes certain key improvements. It is not a great game, but it is far from a bad game. It is, indeed, a very, very good game, and well worth playing.
  3. Mar 29, 2011
    No, I'm not clinically insane, or a hack-and-slash fan. I actually do like the game enough that its flaws are overcome by the enjoyment, in my opinion.

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

    If it weren't for fit and finish issues, like the recycled maps and the more cartoonish face morphs, I'd say this was clearly the better game. They're enough of an issue to cause me to take two whole points off, I'll admit, but they didn't kill the game for me.
  4. Mar 30, 2011
    As a major fan of the previous game, I had Dragon Age:II preordered since September. Having now played through the game twice, I feel i can fairly review it. There's a definite lack of freedom and choice, which origins offered to players in abundance, and the lazy re-use of locations is a critical error by Bioware, it pulls down what is in all honesty a very decent game. The battle system has been upgraded and it much more efficient and enjoyable and the action is much smoother but at the cost of the lore of the game's predecessor
    The characters and dialog system, i thought, were better than the previous game, though the structured methods of character interaction was tedious. It felt harder to play the game 'your way', something Bioware normally prides itself on. The graphics were a lot smoother and generally prettier than Origins, but again the re-use of locations rather marred this. I found the game to be engaging with an interesting plot, but I didn't feel I could have such radically different play-throughs as I did on my re-plays on Origins. Personally I really enjoyed the game and it's characters, especially Fenris, and found their personalities to be deeper, if a bit more 'emo' than Origins. There is definite replay value, and Bioware should be proud of the game. It's just a shame they didn't spend a little longer designing levels and less time offering bonus DLC items on their website.
  5. Apr 8, 2011
    Once again I find an outstanding game with which I disagree with a majority of the reviews out there. Not only was this significantly better than DOA: Origins (a game I barely recall, only that it was a good game) but it is fantastic in story and quest: This is easily one of my favorite RPG's of all time which says a lot, as normally I do not enjoy a linear experience. Strictly speaking that is what this is: an elaborate fantasy novel with **** of lore and character development, nothing more. The combat is OUTSTANDING and reminiscent of the short-lived T.V show 'Legend of the Seeker' (one of my top 5 RPG moments occurs towards the beginning where a fight in the tavern breaks out into some sort of retro guitar-drum beat score and all hell breaks loose), though it is a little to easy on the easiest setting and a bit towards frustrating towards the higher end with little balance in-between. The graphics are fantastic and never miss a beat or hiccup and the character voicing is superior to even high-budget titles like Mass Effect. If you enjoy sick storytelling, tons of lore and a bit over-simplified combat that is short but gorgeous pick this up. The major con and what prevents this from being above a 9 rating for me is the replay value; there is no sense in playing a story-driven game more than once if the conversation choices (very narrow to begin with) have almost no real effect on the game world and only alter to one or two outcomes with a few different lines of dialog thrown in-between. Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2011
    This game is very different from the first Dragon Age, and I guess this is the reason for so much hate. Just about everything is different: the combat, the graphics style, the scale of story, and so on.

    The game is not Bioware's best effort by any means and clearly lacks polish, but giving it red scores out of spite is just childish, if only for one simple reason: recently there has not
    been a similar game by a different developer that could even come close. Expand
  7. Apr 12, 2011
    (Note: I basically explain in this review the actual game there is no spoilers or anything but it will basically give you the idea of why this isnt really a DAO sequel)

    Alright so after playing through Dragon Age Origins and the Mass Effect series, I picked up real quick on what Bioware was doing with Dragon Age 2... A lot of people expected this game to pick up, fill in some gaps and
    give use a new cause to well save the world as usual... This however is a middle ground game with a strong prologue plot. So itâ Expand
  8. Apr 12, 2011
    Dragon Age II is a good game if taken on its own at face value. You will see typically positive reviews by professional critics because of this reason. It is not however, very similar to its predecessor DA:O which is why there are so many negative reviews, more than likely die hard fans of the original. The combat seems a bit simpler and the fact that the story unfolds in a smaller area rather all across Ferelden makes it seems slightly less epic. You are also pushed into the role of a predetermined character, Hawke, rather than choosing from a varied selection as in the first, and the story will unfold in a more structured fashion, whereas the first left you more leeway. While I enjoyed the first more, I still thoroughly enjoyed Dragon Age II. The characters are memorable, and the story well told. The combat, while important I think, was never, and never will be my main draw to an RPG based game. If you are looking for a clone of the first DA:O you won't find it here, but if you are simply looking for a solid game to play through you should pick it up. Expand
  9. Apr 15, 2011
    Alright. I know there are many idiots in this world, but honestly, look at all these negative reviews. Probably a bunch of kids who quit after the first 5 minutes. (I admit, the beginning was dreadful.)

    But really, I agree that this game doesn't compare to Origins, but it is no where near a bad game. The graphics are good (with HD texture pack). The storyline is forgettable, but not
    bad. The combat is not as satisfying or challenging as Origins but it is decent. And people who say that the voice acting is terrible are being too harsh on DA2. The voice acting is not as amazing as some games out there (Origins), but it is not dreadful or anything close to it. You're all just sad that it's a console port. You use this 'console port' crap as an excuse to tear this game apart.

    This, of course, is just my humble opinion.
  10. Apr 16, 2011
    Judging by the review scores, I'm guessing there are a bunch of disappointed Dragon Age: Origins fans and/or perpetually depressed people purposely exaggerating minor annoyances. If you review Dragon Age 2 based on its own merits and not its prequel, its hardly the bad game other people make it out to be. Giving the protagonist a voice? Progress. Speeding up the game play and reducing the number of available special abilities? Better combat. The menu system is less complicated. The game is a tad bit shorter as well. Most adults/people with jobs hardly have the time to play a game as large as Dragon Age. Good decision in making the game easier to finish for busy people. The bottom line is that sequels are sequels for a reason. They "try" to make improvements for the better. If your going to harp about anything, talk about the reused level design and assets. That is something worth discussing. Expand
  11. Apr 19, 2011
    Although there is some restriction in gameplay and not so great like its precedessor, in my point of view, this is still a good game that worth to play. Hope in the next sequence, the creator should not get the same weakness and restriction that they have made in this game. They deserve to get a praise, though. 8.0 points
  12. Apr 22, 2011
    Don't come into this chapter of the Dragon Age saga expecting Dragon Age Origins 2, instead prepare yourself for a completely different experience. Don't believe the naysayers when they say this is a terrible game far from it, it's just not the game we all expected.
    The combat is faster, and much more enjoyable outside boss fights then origins was, and no less of a challenge on Hard or
    higher. The lose of the tactical camera is unfortunate and will take some getting used to for those that relied on it heavily in Origins like myself.
    The writing (specifically the party members interactions) is some of the best bioware has given us.

    There are some questionable decisions though, the re-use of dungeons is a big let down, as was the decision to limit party members to one outfit (understandable from a character perspective, but a letdown game play wise) and act 3 seems a little rushed.
    Also, playing as a Mage can be a bit jarring given the lack of a reaction it garners from characters in the world given the overall story within the game.

    Playing on anything other than a dx11 capable pc will be a big let down, the texture work, especially on the characters, is fantastic with the high quality texture pack, though some of the generic npcs still need work.

    All in all this is still an excellent game (even if it is below the quality we expect from bioware), and a must for the plot and character interactions alone, that is if you can get past the changes to the combat system and the vitriol from the online community at large.
  13. May 19, 2011
    A very good game for RPG-players. If you played original Dragon Age - you'll like it. It's not a very good graphics, but interesting story and game play. Enjoy.
  14. May 21, 2011
    I've been playing this game for about a month now, on my 3rd play through. When I first started playing I found the game a little easy as some people had complained, but then I change it to Hard, then completed my 2nd play through on Nightmare.

    I find that people forget that not everyone is a a hardcore gamer where everything in a game has to be a challenge. A lot casual gamers get
    frustrated at the complexity of some popular games and such. Bioware did a good job catering to all with this sequel, although the game story/decisions isn't as diverse and in-depth as DA:O it still tells a great story altogether.

    I like the changes to the combat system, its more fast pace, more interactive, I found that DA: O combat could get dry in long fights with its long cool downs and such. DA2 took a step in a different direction with lower cool downs, cross class combos, and faster combat.

    If you think this game is too easy, try playing it on Nightmare. I say some battles are near impossible on that setting.

    Overall I give it an 8, I like the game play, it had a good story, just wish I had more of a hand sculpting it. The game had quite a few bugs, and could of been a bit more polished before release. It's a solid sequel.
  15. AW8
    May 21, 2011
    My first playthrough was seventy hours of entertainment. Combat is fun, conversation is fun. I like that the whole game takes place in Kirkwall, and (mostly) moves in time instead of new locations. It's fun to follow questlines throughout the years. I prefer that party members have their own clothing, like in ME2. You don't have to manage them all, it's less punishing to pick a party member that you haven't upgraded in terms of gear. And you don't have to see the ones you don't use wear old, rusty armor because that's all you're going to let them have. You still get to customize jewelry and all the gear on yourself. there I like the skill trees, and the fact that the classes are more balanced in terms of abilites, for example, rogues can crowd control as well as mages now. Combat is just more fun than in Origins. Everything is faster and reacts quicker. The story isn't the same old "save the world"-type that Origins had, the story is much more original and interesting this time around, BW is fully using the factions they have created and are putting them against each other. The party members are also more interesting than in Origins. Voice acting is impeccable. Aveline's voice actor is making an incredibly good job.

    Crafting has been simplified, how you learn specialization classes have been simplified, don't really care.

    The minor complaints I have with this game is that often, enemies explodes in a blood for some reason. It's just comedic, and should've been left out. Then there's some sidequests that you receive when you find a lost object in loot or in the world, and you have to go to the person who's lost it and receive a small reward and hear both Hawke and the NPC exchange short, boring lines. Those quests should've just been removed, they add nothing to the game. Then there's the most awful thing with the game - the re-used locations. I'm not talking about the fact that a lot of the major plot takes place in the same locations, I'm talking about how cheap BioWare has been when making dungeons, warehouses and damn well everything. They just keep re-using the same maps, with some slight modifications, again and again. Some dungeons are used for at least three times in what is supposed to be different locations, and that's just sad.

    Overall, the game is just pure entertainment. They made the game less hardcore than Origins, but also improved things and made it more interesting. The world and lore they created in Origins are put to much better use as things aren't as good and evil anymore, the whole story is full of gray choices, even until the end - unlike Origins, there's no clear world-threatening pure evil. The conflict keeps you interested, surprised and entertained throughout the whole game.
    Avanost's review was shameless - but closer to the truth than all the 0.0's you see here. :)
  16. May 25, 2011
    While I still found this game to be great, it wasn't as good as DA:O. While I think that the gameplay got better, the dungeons got too repetitive and it was not nearly as replayable as DA:O. I think the story was just as good, if not better than DA:O.
  17. Jun 4, 2011
    Actually DA2 is what DA1 should be and the biggest disappointment is the disconnection between those two. DA1 had a far more flat story, huge problems with the camera, non-voiced player character dialogues etc. etc. It's main advantage was it's 'Baldurness' which - let's face it - has little room in modern RPGs.
    The problem with the whole DA series is, that it actually introduces nothing
    fresh: romance copied from Mass Effect, steering from Baldur's Gate + 3D, Grey Wardens concept from The Witcher, DA2 story (templar-mages confilct) from The Witcher, DA2 dialogue concept on Mass Efect and so on...
    Nothing new to combat...

    DA2 advantages - quite coherent story, interesting characters,
    DA2 disadvantages - walking same-looking locations over and over again...
  18. Jun 15, 2011
    It is perhaps impossible to review Dragon Age 2 without making comparisons to its predecessor. Dragon Age: Origins was a stunning achievement in late 2009, winning multiple game of the year awards and lauded as one of the best RPGs of the generation. Considering the daunting tasks that the game had to achieve and how well it succeeded - creating an immersive setting, establishing a fun and tactical gameplay system, and building a strong fanbase for future games to capitalize on - it's no wonder that the game took 5 years for the RPG veteran Bioware to complete.

    Comparatively, Dragon Age 2 was released in March of 2011, less than 1.5 years from the release of the original in November of 2009.

    That was probably the first clue that something was wrong.

    See the full text of the review here:
  19. Jul 14, 2011
    Overall a great game. Excellent story / acting. Play on Hard though, normal is too easy but Hard isn't too difficult if you've got a brain and plan out your builds / cross-class-combos a bit (or build some good tactics to have your companions use them). Fairly different feel from DA:O, but it's only a feeling - at the core the mechanics are very similar it's just that things happen faster. The story also feels a different - there's few things that characterize a direct sequel (like, the same characters, for example. Imagine if Empire Strikes Back had Luke and Han return for the occasional cameo!) However the new characters are very good and interesting, and there's enough tie-ins to DA:O that it doesn't feel like a different world. It's also hinted that the connection between Hawke and the Warden may be stronger than anyone realizes... I'm very much looking forward to DA3 to see if it's true!

    The only major downside is the lack of different levels - so many of them are reused that you can visit a "new" dungeon and have a pretty good idea where to go right away.

    Overall, I very much enjoyed it. Played it through twice, on Hard both times.
  20. Jul 16, 2011
    My beef with this game: NO replay value!!! This is a disaster!
    NO character creation, forget playing different races or alternative start. Combat reduced to button mashing. Almost entire game is set in the same city, yet they put no effort in making it beautiful and interesting to explore. Brown dusty streets and nothing to look at!
    To call this..abomination a sequel to Dragon age is insulting!
  21. Jul 20, 2011
    In some areas, it fell short compared to Dragon Age: Origins. In other departments, it surpassed it. If you aren't expecting Origins 2, you will like this.
  22. Sep 12, 2012
    Now that a few years have passed I can say Dragon Age 2 is actually a pretty good game. Sure, it's not an epic game like Origins but it's still pretty good. The combat is fast paced, highly varied from class to class and even from character to character, and much more frequent. It's a lot of fun to select spells, switch characters, select attacks, switch characters, complete cross-class combo and watch health bars plummet. It's a huge improvement on Origins and you have a lot more control over your companions. The Tactics menu is even improved so you can focus most of your attention on a single character and the AI will still perform adequately up to Hard mode. Dialogue is really improved. Say what you want about the Dialogue Wheel, it has made it a lot easier to choose a response and your no longer surprised when an NPC gets angry at something you said. in Origins you didn't always know when a particular phrase was sarcasm or animosity but now it's clearer and you can make better choices. You don't generally have five or six responses but the ones you do have are just as sufficient to make your impact. The player character is now pre-set and fully voiced in dialogue. This does take away from the 'create your own experience' aspect but Bioware has always had good dialogue and they did not disappoint. You can still role-play as Penis Johnson, now he is Penis Hawke which in my mind is just as juvenilely hilarious. Your companions are just as varied and can be just as interesting as in Origins but they have a lot more companion quests and they will no longer get pissed off and leave if you do something they don't like. You now have a Friend/Rival meter which offers bonuses for being at one end of the extreme, you can even Romance a character that has a -100 opinion. There are now more Romances and you can have several without other companions getting too jealous. Ferelden was a closed world with a few dozen maps spanning a continent but Kirkwall (not the wonderful tourist destination in Orkney) is comparatively small. It has about the same number of maps but they are meshed into a single city and therefore it feels much smaller than it actually is and it fails to create the illusion of a free world like Origins. You do have a lot more quests so now you will revisit the same map a dozen times which does get tedious well before the final chapter. You also never leave the city. I think they did this because they wanted you to feel attached and care for the outcome of its inhabitants. To a degree they succeeded but it is still lacking compared to the first game. The story is a lot more low key than Origins which is where many people get pissed off. Instead of destroying an unstoppable horror from consuming a continent as the leader of a mysterious and storied order, you are just a poor refugee who pulls him/herself up by his/her bootstraps to become the most powerful person in town. You can either be help an independent city-state remain free and happy or you can destroy it. It's closer to The Witcher than Origins but it gets the job done and is interesting enough to keep you going. Each chapter has a different goal and a different theme so even though you never leave the city it does change dramatically. Just don't expect to feel like you've saved the world but do expect to feel like you've created a city. And the most important aspect of any video game: Immersion. Yes, it's easy to get lost in Hawke and the voice actor does a really good job of reciprocating my intent for each given response. The world is still Dragon Age and there is a lot of depth there, just don't expect to sink as far as you did in Origins. In conclusion, it's a good game with a lot more positives than faults and most importantly it is fun. It has the 'Middle Game' problem where they don't want to introduce the big finale but they need a lot of filler and for filler Dragon Age 2 is the best there is. Expand
  23. Sep 23, 2011
    1st and foremost, taken on it's own merit, dragon age 2 is a good game. It tries to do a lot of things different from its predecessor and it has mixed success. Giving it a score of anything below a 5 is ridiculous. Why? Because it's still a good rpg. Having said that, there are things that stand out as annoying. I didn't like the constant reuse of dungeon areas but it wasn't a deal breaker. The choices you make don't really effect a huge proportion of the story either. Certain events are inevitable and the choices that have some presumable impact don't do it on the scale we saw in origins with choices effecting allies we could call upon in the end of the game. It's still a good game after the fact. Party members can still have their abilities and skills tailored if not their outfits. You have to play Hawke but it's not a bad thing. I find it difficult to see how dragon age 2 is continually slated and the Witcher 2 gets away with a lot less. For instance dragon age 2's controls are far more intuitive and easier to customize. If you play the Witcher 2 you have to exit the game before being able to effectively customize keyboard controls. Combat is even less strategic than da2 and party customization is non existent given that Geralt is a one man show. I think it's important to compare the two. Both are good games with there own faults but da2 is taking a lot of flack for not being dragon age origins 2. I enjoy da2 and I replay it a fair bit. It's definitely different, from the experience of dragon age origins but trying something a bit different is sometimes a good thing. Don't be put off by scores less than 5 in my opinion. It may not have been the dragon age 2 everyone was hoping for but it's still worthy of a good long play through or two.

    Unless of course not being able to change your party's outfits drastically, turns you emo
  24. Jun 27, 2013
    Dragon Age 2 is a mixed improvement over Dragon Age: Origins.

    The game is not as short as many people say. It's easy to put in about 40 hours on one playthrough, as long as you go out of your way to find side quests. If you just try to burn through the story, you'll come out at probably 15 hours. This is a departure from DAO, because in DAO you run into almost every side quest simply by
    visiting the story locations. In DA2 you have to search. This isn't necessarily good or bad, it's just a change that many people missed.

    The characters are at least as good as those in Origins, though they're not similar in personality. Stories are consistently multifaceted, with many correct points of view, and which characters you love mostly depends on which one you find the most convincing. Every character's motivations make sense from their point of view. I love Merrill, but I've met people online who think she's the biggest idiot of all time. Likewise, I hate Fenris, but some people love him. Bioware's curse is that they always make characters so deep and multifaceted that a significant portion of the audience hates most of them, because their personalities don't line up with that specific player's view of a good person.

    The story is completely different from Origins. Rather than a single epic climax, it has two climaxes, and the setting is halfway across the world from Origins. A completely different set of problems faces the characters in DA2. It's not a good or bad thing for the series, simply different.

    Combat has immeasurably improved. You can now actually stab with your daggers and swing your sword, rather than flopping every weapon through the air like a broken tennis racket. More spells are available for mages that allow them to funnel enemies into position for tanks, and every class has more methods of breaking up crowds (which were hopelessly annoying in Origins). The downside to this is that enemy AI has not noticeably improved from Origins, meaning that all your new abilities, it's easy to win after the first 10 hours unless you play on the hardest difficulty.

    As usual for a Bioware game, the characters are the incredible part, and they're better than ever. Only Mass Effect does characters as well, and that makes sense considering they're from the same developer.
  25. Nov 18, 2012
    I'm going to keep this short and simple. It's not DA:O - hell, it's barely an RPG, but it's a good game. I found myself wrapped up in the world, the characters, and the story, enjoying the combat and the tension, reveling in the soundtrack, and generally enjoying myself. There are a number of glaring flaws, but if you don't walk into it expecting Dragon Age: Origins, you'll probably enjoy yourself, just like I did. Expand
  26. Dec 11, 2012
    It's true. Dragon Age II did for Dragon Age, what Mass Effect 2 did for Mass Effect. This means the combat is more streamlined and there was more time left to put an effort into an epic storyline spanning several years of the protagonist's life. To me, this is a good thing. If you're an RPG conservative though, probably not.
  27. Mar 20, 2012
    Dragon Age 2 has been very much criticized by fans of the first game, and I understand why. It's true that the areas in the game are way to few and that the story and characters aren't as good, but I enjoyed this game a lot. It may not be one of my favourite rpg's, but it provides at least 40 hours of content. I'm not saying the game is flawless, cause the combat is certainly not as good as the previous one. It's less tactical and more like an mmo, but it's still fun to control 4 characters at once, and the boss battles are probably a little better. There's also better graphics, voice acting and music, and all in all it's actually a pretty good game Expand
  28. Mar 23, 2012
    Not as good as DA:O but still a lot of fun to play, besides the recicled caves and endless waves.

    The voiced PC gives the game a lot more depth and I also liked the faster combat and the more personal story.
  29. Apr 7, 2012
    I've bought the game knowing that it has many bad reviews and made Bioware fans angry. But I like this game. It's story is far better than the story of its predecessor. We have some plot twists, not many things are predictable. The gameplay is very dynamic, but it lacks of tactics. You can take control over your companions, but it's not necessary. The only use of that is when you try to avoid damage from area spells. Anyway, it is fun. Crafting system is also quite good. Main flow of the game is area recycling - you will march through the same caves, mansions and underground passages all the time. But it's not that you will come back to the same places - you visit completely new locations looking like several other places but with different doors locked, blocked passages etc. It's the same mistake that was made during developing original Mass Effect. It seems that someone was very lazy. Anyway, I am very fond of this game, especially its plot. At last, we are not saving the world, we are watching a political struggle. It's more mature than contemporary RPGs, particularly other games made by Bioware. Expand
  30. Apr 30, 2012
    I try to review based on the merrits of the game in question, not on its predecessors and not on ideas about how the game should have been. Dragon age is graphically great, the fighting is enjoyable and the story works well. The dungeons and other areas are very repetetive which was a little dissapointing but did not marr the experience. The inability to enhance armour on team mates also dissapointing. These are all minor issues and overall I really enjoted the experience and would recommend giving it a spin. Expand
  31. May 28, 2012
    The good: fluid, enjoyable combat; good characters; involving storytelling; nice character progression system.
    The bad: almost no replayability; the story leaves you at a rather awkward moment, leaving blatant room for a sequel; some strange gearing mechanics (like the sets that nobody will ever bother to collect; not many actual dragons(?).
    The ugly: constantly reused environments.
  32. Jul 19, 2013
    Dragon Age II is a very enjoyable experience. It has a greatly refurbished combat system that feels like DA:O while still improving on the clumsiness of the original, it feels smooth and enjoyable and significantly faster paced then the original. The story, while not following the grey wardens, is both well written with plenty of references to the DA:O story. The characters are well designed, and even though you are stuck in one city, the city feels vibrant and interesting. A great game to get if you want to get into Dragon Age or you played the first one and want more to do in the same universe. Expand
  33. Sep 24, 2013
    It was a solid game. The gameplay was just as good as the first game, the dialog was better, your actions have direct consequences later in the game (as you should expect from a Bioware game), and it was a lot of fun. My only real complaint is that they recycled maps so much. Every cave in the game is the same, only with some passages shut off. Same goes for mansions in Hightown, back alleys in Low Town, and Deep Roads areas. I also really like the endgame, it's exciting and sets the tone for the next game in the series. Expand
  34. Jan 18, 2013
    I could write paragraph after paragraph here about why DA2 isn't even 25% as bad as the majority of critics here would want you to believe, but it would be to no avail I'm sad to say. In the first place, I'm suspect of any rating between 0-3, I'm also suspect of 10's. I could see some people finding this game enjoyable enough to give it a 9, or annoying/disappointing enough to give it a bland mediocre rating of 4-6. I can see where some people don't think the graphics are better than in DA: Origins, but the graphics are fine --- not exceptional. The storyline was interesting and some of the characters were downright hilarious, so I really don't understand any complaints on that end. Sure, some of the dialogue could be better ... and all games seem to suffer from repetitiveness, some more than others. I do agree that they overused the same areas/caves which almost gave the game a DLC quality, but I can't see how that merits a drastically diminished overall rating. It's true that combat is simplified and any difficulty encountered relies more on the excessive respawning of mobs than on the mobs' AI and innate abilities .... and it's true that they removed the complexity (or hassle to some) of having to outfit/equip your companions ... still though, the story is fun and intriguing despite its slightly bizarre ending. Yes, it falls short of DAO, then again how many sequels truly surpass their predecessors? I was hesitant to give it an 8, but giving it a flat 7 seemed a bit too low. I think this is one case where the Critic Reviews are closer to the truth than the User Reviews ---- note that they range from 58 to 95. Buy this game on sale and decide for yourself. Expand
  35. Mar 17, 2013
    I'm very disappointed in the massive amounts of negative reviews for DA:2. It is not origins 2, it is not skyrim, it is dragon age 2 so stop trying to make it what you want it to be and enjoy the game for what it is! I understand to an extent where they are coming from, but for the most part it is a good game, and the number one complaint is it's not Dragon Age Origins 2 but a totally different game. Why can't each game stand on its own? I think DA:2 does. First to address the poor points of 2 in my opinion, one the world has very few locations. It is not open, but neither was origins. Origins just had more instanced places to go. DA2 focuses on a central location and unlocking small instances there for storyline and quests. It plays very similarly to mass effect 2 in that way. Which personally is fine by me, but many people criticize that feature.

    The other flaw to me is the combat animations can get a little over the top. It's a little bit borderline anime when you're playing a rogue. But to me it's a huge improvement over origin's animations (try playing a two handed dwarf in origins, you look ridiculous when you swing).

    The last flaw is you can't create your own hero or play races other than human. Boohoo. Playing a dwarf would've been fun but I can live with this.

    The good points, I like the fully voiced dialogue more. Instead of picking a fully written response you select a flavor of response or question and your hero speaks it, like you pick a humorous response or an angry one so you don't know exactly what he'll say. The game keeps track of what you pick and you start to sort of develop a personality. And it's much better than mass effect's series where you're always trying to be all bad or good because it doesn't work that way here so you can respond to each situation however you like and reactions are done individually and don't need to be unlocked that way.

    Another thing I like is the talent tree. It's an actual tree now so it feels like you're making more of a build instead of just picking a selection of skills. You can also combine effects with other classes for combos so there's some depth there. Battle is not as tactical as origins but in general I like the combat and talents.

    The story is compelling and good to me. It's not on such a grand scale as origins but you're following a family as they rise in importance and it's cool to watch it play out. There's still plenty of lore involved and it's immersive enough.

    In general it's not as deep as origins but still a very enjoyable game.
  36. Feb 6, 2014
    Let me start by saying that I first played this on Xbox 360, then PC, THEN played the first game. The PC version, while better looking, didn't seem optimized control wise for this game. The console version just seemed ... better. Some very interesting things here still, not a BAD game at all, but it is the worst incarnation of DA I've played outside of EA's attempt at a flash game version.
  37. Apr 11, 2014
    Before I start, I play games to enjoy them, not to criticize. AND THIS IS NOT DRAGON AGE ORIGINS!!! Very very very different game but i still really liked it borderline loved it. Positives I do like the dialog wheel much better than DAO's list. Absolutely loved the social conflict between the Mages and Templars. Preferred the combat. Despite no tactical view. Loved having voiced protagonist!!!

    Only being able to be human, while I am ok with that (due to the fact I like a voiced protagonist) it takes a lot of replay value away that DAO had witch made that game great.

    No tactical view. Though i prefer the combat in this one compared to DAO, when you play a nightmare play-through, you NEED tactical view!

    Not really a faithful sequel, it changed a little to much from DAO.

    Fourth, and my biggest gripe with this game that made me what to stop playing my second time threw, was the size of Kirkwall and how they reused areas. I would rather a game take another year to finish then to due what they did here. I would assume most people would have overlooked all it slights if it didn't reuse map after map. Come on Bioware change it up a bit! It was the must frustrating thing in the DA franchise, even more frustrating then the FADE!!!!
  38. Feb 17, 2014
    sure thing. this is not dragon age origins. what we loved about the first part is a total mess in da2. the other way around, everything not so cool about dragon age origins is made perfect in the second part. the teamfights for example are one of the best ive seen in strategic rpgs. the talent- trees are much better than in the first part and specially as mage i got addicted in lvling up.
    no question, story and characters are lousy compared to his predecessor. but if you see this game just as a good strategic rpg simulation you got a good game. there are not much games outthere with such good combat-simulation. shame, the other stuff went wrong.
  39. Jan 5, 2014
    I love to see how users all around the world acclaim other RPGs with massive stories, but feel disappointed by DA2. Why? It's arcade combat system? I find it pretty useful to have an easy way of fighting your way in the world, but have plenty of time to explore the story, people and places that this wonderful game has to offer. No doubt that DAO was more interesting in this aspect, combat, but still, this sequel gives you an interesting view over Thedas, and grants Inquisition plenty of opportunities. It is a lovely game, beautiful graphics, wonderful motions, great story, and most of all, the characters in it are full and seem so alive. Bad parts, it felt shorter, for some reason, compared to DAO. Still, one of the great games of this age. Expand
  40. Mar 31, 2011
    I loved Origins. Great game, a game in which you feel the weight of your decisions, you realize what you are doing, you realize that you are responsible for major changes in Ferelden. I expected something similar from DA2, but more refined and deeper. Sadly, what we get is an unfinished game instead of a masterpiece like the first game. It took me 20 hours less to beat Dragon Age 2 compared to Dragon Age Origins. It took exactly 40 hours. Just like Mass Effect 2. Or Mass Effect. You know what, that feels strange, like Bioware is trying to adjust the length of its games to 40 hours. Anyway, on topic, the game is better in almost every aspect than Dragon Age Origins: we have better combat system, better RP system (not simplified but adjusted) now warrior gets benefited from investing a point or two in Magic. Design of new inventory makes a lot more sense and is much more helpful. Quests are numerous, yes, but not very much unique... Graphical part is better than Origins in every way, but the fatal flaw of Origins never got rid of in DA2, - same locations. This is very sad part, actually, because it kills the unique feel of locations you visit and destroys the atmosphere of what's happening. In DA2 the decisions you make, don't feel the same way as in Origins. Storyline in general seems weaker, but its personal opinion. What's not personal is the way story is told. 10 bloody years. What the heck?! You do something important, a couple of years passes. You do something again and another couple of years passes. WHAT DO YOU MEAN?! What's he sleeping or something in between?! Conclusion: A very good game with nice combat system, nice graphical part, more intuitive dialog system, improved RP system, better design overall, great voice work BUT with poor storyline, poor locations, the blasted Kirkwall over and over and over again, abundance of DLCs, more of a popular product than a work of art. Sad. 7/10 Expand
  41. Mar 13, 2011
    Despite the constant copy & pasted maps, and being pretty much restricted to Kirkwall, Dragon Age II is still a very fun role-playing experience, and I would recommend playing it. I'm on my second run now, and still enjoying it... the game definitely has some low points (hence the 7), like the music, level design, repetitive (but still enjoyable at the end of the day) combat, and anti-climatic boss battles... the story is really good though, and the characters are too. All in all, a fun game to hold me over until The Witcher 2. Expand
  42. Mar 9, 2011
    I'm not going to go in depth, because no one will read this but here's what's changed in DA2: (PC) - combat is sped up - voiced MC - even linear than before - Enjoy not taking a long time for quests? Well you can complete some quests by literally walking five feet. - voice actors are hit or miss, the story feels disjointed and it feels a lot like your actions are meaningless, and the wheel adds nothing to the game. It's not even done properly like in ME2. Frequently your character ends up saying something totally different from the paraprhased note.

    Overall, it's not a bad game, but as a sequel to DA2, it simply doesn't stand up.
  43. Mar 15, 2011
    Dragon Age 2 is a big letdown for all of us Origin fans but if we can forget about Origins for a second and compare it to other RPGs Dragon Age 2 is a pretty solid game. At first I was extremely disappointed in DA2 and pessimistic towards it but when I gave it a chance I found myself unable to stop playing it (Completing the game twice). Pros:
    Many people will probably disagree but I like
    DA2â Expand
  44. May 6, 2011
    I enjoyed a lot of what this game changed. Unlike many, I enjoyed the change to the battle system, and I think that the battle system has been improved and streamlined from the first game. I am ambivalent about not being able to change anyone's armor but the main character, but I can live with that. I enjoy customizing my entire party, however, there is a different kind of enjoyment that can come from not having to worry about your companions gear very much(especially when half of them are very rarely used). I did not enjoy the fact that certain characters were essentially mandatory for much of the game if you did not pick a mage due to the fact that there is only one real healer in the game. I thought the story was decent. It was not the epic that DA:O was, but it was still interesting to see how one person inadvertently caused a chain reaction. There are three things that I really do not like about this game. 1. DA:O took me roughly 80 hours to finish and do everything there was to do in the game. This game took me roughly 25 hours to do the same. 2. This game uses recycled areas for the entire game. In all of the Acts of this game, you will be revisiting areas that you have already been to over and over and over again. This is probably my biggest gripe of the game. 3. There are too few references to the characters and events of DA:O. As a sequel, and specifically, as a Bioware sequel, I expected to have more appearances from characters of the first game. Also, when characters from the first game do appear, I felt unsatisfied. It seems that they put the characters in the game just to have an appearance rather than actually weaving them into the story of the game. That said, I initially greatly enjoyed this game. It is not a perfect game, but it is still fun. Expand
  45. Apr 11, 2011
    Saying this game is bad would be generally unfair. Bioware's biggest mistake in this case wasn't the game not being a true sequel but being advertised as such even though it is realistically a separate game. Think of Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate both playing in Forgotten Realms but being two separate story-lines where the events of one may be referred to in another. It's title should have been Dragon Age: The Kirkwall Chronicles. Story-wise I do have mixed feelings. I am not happy about the lack of alternative storyline aspects but the few being there are still entertaining enough to keep a player happy for a while. Companions still have their own personalities and your personality being a lot less mute than in the original Dragon Age titles certainly helps to blend in. On dialogue side the game presents you with a classical Mass Effect style wheel giving you options for certain type of straight answer or investigative questions - but unlike in Mass Effect series the obvious outcome is not always that clear and not always wholly different for the entire dialogue regardless of which conversation path you chose.

    Sadly the exploration side got a bit of a short straw, it is still there but due to lack of big locations quite limited. It seems a bit symptomatic for recent Bioware games: Exploration getting steadily removed from games altogether. However as saving grace it should be noted that the game allows you to progress in the main plot at your own terms without too much prescribed linearity.

    The combat system got a major overhaul but while it can be challenging on its own terms especially on higher difficulty modes. Its shortcomings are minor compared to the original Dragon Age title, in this case the lack of tactical camera, enemies coming from thin air and Nightmare involving some several issues making making it favour single target ranged combat should be noted. I believe the latter will be addressed by Bioware soon. Talent trees got improved a lot and leave a lot of room for experimentation and replay. Personally I found the issue of fixed but upgradeable companion armor quite an interesting idea. It would have been better though if upgrades would allow more flexibility.

    The old crafting system got replaced by a less hunter-gathering aspect but more one which people who played Mass Effect 2 are familiar with. Instead of gathering the resources into your backpack you are now mostly out for finding resource locations you'll have to tag/unlock depending on the locations you are visiting. The more resource locations you find the higher classes of runes, potions and poisons you can craft. Crafting also isn't done in the same spot but done at certain shop-like locations. While this hurts any fan of the classical gathering & crafting game I feel the old system did not actually limit you aside from backpack size whereas the new one obviously uses your cash as limiter. In the end I personally liked the old system more but to be fair the new system is achieving the same results in the end without forcing the player to reserve a large part of his backpack for resources and materials.

    Graphically it's looks are stunningly good even though it does lack the deliberately dark look of its predecessor title. Animations are well-down although the game overdoes a lot on the explosions side making it unnecessarily messy-looking when there is no reason for it. I do miss effects on weapons from runes and the lack of a bit more beautiful inventory graphics. The game's locations are well done although a lot of quests do lead to several previously locations. This does lead to a certain level of repetition but amusingly also to a lot of familiarity. The game however does a good job in keeping Kirkwall more than just one town although its lack of aging, progression and liveliness as the story goes on does make the town feel static and lacking the realistic feel of years spent within it. The whole story could be in fact one of a single 24 hrs. day when taking the persistent looks of the town's scenery into account.

    The GUI has been overhauled quite well and it's quite intuitive from the get-go. Nothing more to add this one is done well.

    What needs to be left noted is the relative subtlety of game's score, even though the score is quite excellent it does lack the certain epic factor which the original title was known for. Otherwise the atmosphere, combat and ambient are in parts a lot better done than in the original titles.

    In conclusion I think it is worth buy if you see it as a game within the Dragon Age universe or setting. If you are truly seeing a linear successor to the original Dragon Age titles you might not like it. It certainly does come with a lot improvements of its own but also another set of issues left to be addressed in another possible upcoming Dragon Age title. Perhaps both titles will give Bioware sufficient amount of material to find the real alchemy for an ultimate Dragon Age game.
  46. Mar 9, 2011
    Dragon Age II is a decent game, but fades in comparision with its predecessor. Most of the changes made just made the game less fun and less great. The only two positive changes are that the graphics have improved (slightly) and the main character can now talk.

    I regret purchasing it. I think it may have been worth $15 or so to me, so I would have preferred buying it at a huge discount,
    even 2-3 years later. But I would have gladly paid $100 for Dragon Age: Origins. Expand
  47. Mar 16, 2011
    shame people cant be realistic with reviews... just finished the game and heres what i think PROS: the new combat sysytem is great, allows for more fluid fights so great if you dont like to pause all the time. skill trees that are unique to chracters other than the main, encourages people to try diferant teams rather than the one team all the time. character stats remake, stats are much more role specific making it less strenuous by not having to balace stats. the storyline is extreamly adaptive and unless you actuly try to you will never play it the same way twice, also with the ability to create the backbone of the story with a DAO save.

    the game is based in a single town so the landscape get old. some DAO cons are follow into DA2 such as multiple sotryline 'busness ventures' that the player may invest into or buy and that do not actuly bring in any income other than a possible longer quest line for that 'venture'. some parts of the game put you at a fork with quests allowing you to take one and not the other however it does not specify that you wouldnt be able to do both you simply need to figure it out the hard way. gold just like in DAO is extreamly hard to come buy if your wanted decent items, if you do all the quests and sell everything you find you wil get about 250g total, depending on the dificulty alot of that will be spent on potions, runes and armour for your team so you will only ever have enough gold to buy one item that is 120g or there abouts and saving for it will take all game if you dont skimp.

    even tho this game has alot of cons i dont know any game that doesnt
    i had fun playing this game, i probly wont beat it with every class but i will certainly beat it one more time over on the hardest possible trying to get everything

    with a few patches this game will be much better

    and to all those people who rated this a bad game, i certainly hope your not waiting for D3 to come out coz it wont have much more specially not in the graphics department
  48. Mar 10, 2011
    In every single way DA2 is worst than DA:Origin. But it is a bit of injustice to give it less than 5/10. I know guys that you are disappointed. I expected something different too. In spite of all, it's still quite a good game, not perfect of course, not even near to perfect but it's still fun to play !
  49. Mar 10, 2011
    I'm giving it a 7 as there are a number of features that improvements over Dragon Age: Origins. Some of those include faster combat, a better spell/talent selection and advancement method, and a voiced player character. There are some other good points as well. Bad points would be things such as a more restricted inventory system for companions, less dialogue with companions one on one, and a story that doesn't keep you as engaged as the previous game. One thing the PC version really shines on is the graphics. DirectX 11 renderer shows some excellent quality even on high settings with AAx8 and AFx16. Expand
  50. Mar 11, 2011
    I'm putting my review here to counter the massive wave of bile and retardation - Yes, Dragon age II is severely flawed; no that does not ruin its entertainment value. The new combat system FEELS quite fun, despite being quite unbalanced (a party of three mages can eviscerate anything more easily than beating level one of a popcap game), and the quests/level design are all on par with its predecessor.

    Just because it's not as good as something else doesn't automatically make it bad. I'm enjoying it quite thoroughly, although nowhere near as much as I've enjoyed other Bioware games - Calling it AAA is a joke; Triple-B- would be more like it. good, but not great; and easily the worst Bioware game I've played, which isn't saying much.
  51. Mar 12, 2011
    Expectations are a b*tch. They have to be filtered out when trying to give some sort of a review...well at least to a point. A sentiment, not many users ( on metacritic anyway ) seem to share. I finished DA:O 6 times ( 4x on hard and twice on nightmare )... needless to say I love that game and I'm already thinking about the approach I'll take in the next playthrough.

    But now DA2 was
    released and yes...the first 2hours of playing this long-awaited game, really disappointed me. I think that's when some people alt-tabbed to their browser, went on this site and had to let off some steam. The strange thing is, although things don't really get better as the game goes on, I still had fun with the game ( and I'm still having fun with it now ). But the moment my destined-to-be spirit healer pulls off moves like "the last airbender" I new that this won't live up to my expectations. Here are my cons: - Menu/Icon-Design really doesnt hold a candle to the beautiful art we saw in Dragon looks like its been designed for a tron-movie-tie-in game
    - although Combat now looks much fancier, it's also much quicker, hence too chaotic at times and with top view removed it can be hard to keep track of everything thats happening
    - Enemies spawn into the battlefield, so you cant really tell how long a fight will go
    - Looting has lost a lot of its charm and restrictions concerning the equipment of your party members really takes away from the fun
    - the crafting system doesn't deserve the name
    - the skill trees and the associated restrictions are not to my taste - the gift mechanic has been changed dramatically, to the point of no recognition
    - it would also have been nice to see what the scale is on the friendship/rivalry bar, so that I know wtf 10 points in either direct are worth ( but I'm nitpicking, and I shall be the cop who stops it...erm me )
    - and yes: Carver is a douche ;)

    - everything that reminds me of DA:O

    I was also a fan of Mass Effect. And in the beginning, I was disappointed in ME2 aswell. Mainly due to the ( severe ) dumbing down of the skill-system ( which wasnt the most complex to begin with ). But ME2 provided some new gameplay features, great graphics, much improved action and once more a great epic story with diverse characters, making it, in the end a superior successor. DA2 fails to deliver anything new to justify the "dumbing-down" ( or streamlining, as the industry would like to brand it ) making it inferior to its predecessor.

    But even DA 0.5 is still good game, and certainly better ( if not by much ) then most recent rpgs ( fable 4, Ego Draconis, TwoWorlds II ). It's DEFINATELY NOT A 4.0
  52. Mar 13, 2011
    At the the time of writing this review I've left Ferelden behind in the wake of the blight and have arrived in Kirkwall, where I'm now preparing to leave on an expedition into the deep roads (Yea, they apparently reach this far). It's worth mentioning that I've done this twice, once as a warrior and once as a mage, to get a feel for how the story, dialogue and combat differs. I'm starting with the general stuff, and what I've seen of the game so far hasn't been bad. Character generation: I'm not going to bash the lack of a racial choice since the story is explicitly written for shemlin (human, for does who haven't played DA). A nice touch that has been added is that you start off by picking gender and class, after which you are thrust straight into a mock-up battle against hordes of darkspawn, culminating in a fight against an ogre and an epic takedown (now THAT is a good way to start a game). During this battle you get introduced to some of the abilities available to your class by allowing you to gradually use more and more of them, and you are also taught the basics. After the battle you are introduced to the actual character-creation screen, where you can modify your Hawke's appearance. You are unfortunately not allowed to distribute starting attribute points or selecting starting abilities. Those that have played DA:O will also note that the skills are missing entirely. Interface: In my opinion, the general interface of DA2 is an improvement over DA:O. There is less embellishment and more solid information. Other than that however, the general interface has changed little, mainly just replacing the the icons for items and abilities with simpler/more generic ones. In conversations the dialogue wheel feels rather simplistic, generally having 3 options ("kind", "joking" and "forceful") that will advance the conversation, with a 4th option to "investigate" the current line of conversation further. Sometimes, however, investigating may yield a new conversation-advancing option, and sometimes the game drops this system entirely opting instead to give you an explicit "bribe" option, a "take-action" option or a set of "unspecified" options, showing both the strengths of this approach (conversations can be more expressive, but don't HAVE to be) and the weaknesses (conversations can get really confusing when the dialogue is poorly written and/or acted). Combat: This is clearly a more action-oriented game than DA:O. Battles flow smoothly, without an obvious turn-system your character will chop away at the enemy as best they can, your character will make a lounge attack to close in on an opponent quicker when you order them to attack and the addition of "physical force" modifiers means that combatants may be staggered or interrupted while in combat (Something sadly lacking from DA:O). That said, pretty much all battles now follow the same formula: You engage an enemy that is (generally) in plain sight, as you wear them down they will receive a wave of reinforcements (they've apparently been hiding the whole time) that will generally attack you from behind. Depending on the battle, there can be as many as 3-4 such waves. On the up-side, this means that you have to plan ahead, conserve your strength and pick your targets well. On the down-side this means that combat will get very predictable, and you generally end up formulating a master-strategy for all battles. On another note, the injury-system is greatly simplified. An injury is just a handicap to your health, if you receive an injury (either from falling in battle, or setting off a trap) your maximum health is reduced. Thats it, don't expect any depth. The abilities are generally well balanced, and the addition of abilities that decreases the threat-level of a character (like the rogues "Evade") while disengaging them from close-combat are definitely welcome. In conclusion the combat-system is very reminiscent of DA:O with a few modifications (mostly for the better imho). Story & quests: Well-written and interesting so far, however with at least one major plothole. It is nice to have a story that let's you start without the weight of the world on your shoulders, letting you acclimatise to the world. The quests are generally more convoluted than they first appear and will often twist and turn to keep you interested. Graphics: The Game looks pretty good, in the sense that DA:O still looks pretty good. The graphics do not seem to have been hugely improved since DA:O. Buggy-ness: The game has been running rather smoothly for me. I pre-ordered the game off-of Steam and have been playing it a little each day since it became available. The one bug that I've noticed is that when you alt-tab out of the game and re-enter all menus stop working (i.e. they cannot be opened). Thankfully the game auto-saves as default. Conclusion: DA2 is worth playing, but it does not appear the part of a masterpiece. Expand
  53. Mar 13, 2011
    As of right now I'm about 10 hours into the game and must say that it's not as bad as everyone here seems to think it is. No, it's not nearly as good as the original but if you liked the original then chances are you will probably like this as well. DA:O was a complex RPG but I'm sure that might have thrown off a ton of people because DA:II seems to go too far in the other direction and simplify way too much. First I'm glad they changed the skill trees for the classes and got rid of the alternative skill tree (herbalism, posion, etc.) and instead opted to allow you to make anything as long as you had the recipe, coin, and ingredients to back it up. The skill trees, like I said, have been streamlined and I think they're far better in this since the trees aren't as linear and there are passive buffs that reward you for investing a lot of points in one tree. The combat is better in some aspects. Heal actually feels like a useful spell to have since it does so much this time around. The attacks also feel like they have more weight, especially as a mage, and I really like feeling like I'm having an affect on the battle rather than being a guy in the background clicking on things.

    That being said my main strategy seems to be "spam area of effect spells" which isn't really much of an exciting strategy. I think they went too far in simplification too, because now you can't get armor for your allies, which is a real shame because I enjoyed going through all the hidden side quests in the last game to get my allies equipped with godly armor, now it feels like I won't get that option. It also feels a bit too easy. I'm playing on normal and despite a few minor setbacks I've hardly died at all. I actually beat a creature in this game (no spoilers) that took me forever to beat in the last game on my first try! It was ridiculous!

    It's not a bad game, but I think they simplified it way too much from the complexities of the first one. If you liked the first one chances are you'll at least get a kick out of this. Maybe in Dragon Age 3 they'll learn from their mistakes and combine the strengths of DA:O and DA II and if they did that, I honestly believe it could be one of the greatest RPGs Bioware ever released.
  54. Mar 13, 2011
    I wonder whether some of these reviewers have actually played the game or are basing their reviews on the demo or hearsay. This shouldn't be taken to mean that the game is without major flaws; it definitely has problems, but the current user score of 4.0 is laughably low. An unconventional and well-told main story, supplemented by imaginative and fun inter-party dialog and a more cinematic presentation are all giant positives. There are some missteps here; the interface feels consoley, with too many clicks to get in and out of subsystems, and the inventory streamlining does some nice things (like the Junk tab) but the loss of party customization is inexplicable. Still, aside from combat I think the game is generally great with some minor lessons to be learned. Unfortunately, the game is primarily about combat, and while the core changes to the combat system are interesting, the encounter design is terrible; almost every fight in the game plays out the exact same way: an initial group is present or is spawned in somehow, and once you've beaten most of them a second wave spawns in. This is highly annoying, partly because it makes every single little fight more of a slog than it should be, partly because it makes the more important battles just more of the same, and partly because it breaks immersion (e.g., second wave coming from a room you not only just cleared, but to which you are guarding the only entrance.) This is exacerbated by the extensive re-use of levels; there are essentially one each of every environment, so every time you're in a cave it's a piece of the larger single "cave" level, and the same is true of the sewers, the wilderness, the wilderness. It's a dismaying lack of content that adds up to truly monotonous combat. There were times I kept playing only to find out what happened next in the story, and actually playing the game was an obstacle to that, rather than fun for its own sake. However, I did keep playing, and I found the ending satisfying (even if the boss fight mechanics, which should have been special and memorable, ended up feeling like minor variations on a theme I'd been listening to for forty hours.) The overall combat experience probably does deserve a 4 actually, but the rest of the game is top-notch. I'll split the difference and rate the game a 7. Expand
  55. Mar 14, 2011
    Dragon Age 2, isnt something what i expected it to be. Maybe i was hoping for DA:O sequal. The game does have improvment at some points. The combat is more fun now, it isnt clunky and the animations are smooth. It was nice to see my rogue just kill stuff with style. The spells and skills look nice, First time i casted rock armor i was amazed how much better it looked compared to DA:O. The new Qunari look nice, but in the game you dont see any female Qunari's also you dont see any female Dwarfs. The dialogue wheel is something they tried to take over from ME2, but it dosent fit for DA2. In a rpg i wanna be the character and choose what i say like i did in DA:O, but with the new dialogue wheel i often felt like i didnt bother reading any options. Making me pay less attention to the story. I always knew top was good, middle was neutral and bottom was evul. So i always clicked the top one and didnt bother reading anything else. Which was a huge letdown. In DA:O you had so many diffrent choices and you chose the option which felt what you would have said so you were thinking what you would do, you were in the game. Also the dialogue options were sometimes confusing, because i hoped it to say something diffrent and it kept me sometimes wondering if i pressed something wrong or could the other options say what i wanted to say.

    Companion customization is dumbed down. You can't change ur companion armor, except rings,necklace, belt and weapon. In a rpg i always want to customize all my characters. Or maybe it was too much to expect. 1,5 years to make a sequal isnt that much, comparing to DA:O and i guess Bioware didnt have the time to make armors for your companions. But not being able to change armors, resulted my main character who was a rogue, have more armor/defence than my tank. Even though you can upgrade your companion armors, by getting some special upgraders or doing companion quests it isnt as effective compared to DA:O, where you could give them your old set.

    Another thing about companions, you cant talk to them everytime you want. Basically if you want to know about them you need to wait for the companion quest to open. I always was checking all my companions, because i wanted to know about them more, but i never was able to talk with them unless they had a quest and that wasnt really what i was looking forward to. In DA:O you could talk with them everywhere, which was great, but now the only chance to talk with them is during companion quests and occasionaly cutscenes. In DA:O, you talked with them everytime gave them gifts, laughed at their jokes and dialogues, but now it feels like they removed it from the game. True the companions to have funny dialogue with eachother from time to time, but here i don't bother listening to them at all, unless its Varrick whos talking. Varrick will probably be the companion i will remeber. Compared to DA:O, where i loved Alistair, Morrigan, Shale, Zevran, Oghren and so on. The companions in DA2 arent that memorable.

    The theme is Kirkwall, you spend all the time in Kirkwall and its surrounding places. Kirkwall is a huge city and you can choose to visit at night and day, which is nice, but the city is empty. I mean there arent npc-s. The huge city seems kinda empty, but that isnt a big problem, the biggest problem is the dungeons and recycled areas. After ACT1 you will spend ur time revisiting the places u visited for several more times. Basically after ACT1 you have seen the whole game. Compared to DA:O, where there were so many diffrent places, citys this seems like they didnt have money or the time to make new dungeons. After revisiting a dungeon the 20-th time you know where the most treasures are and it isnt as rewarding and the game lacks exploration.

    What is the deal with DLC before the game is even released. They are trying to milk too much money out of the gamers who like the Dragon Age universe. There are 2 dlc-s already, which 1 has a new companion and the other has some bonus items. You can play DA2 without dlc-s easily, because those dlc don't add that much depth to the game. Also on hard/nightmare the game is challenging, however some places are unbalanced and make you wanna tear your hair out. To play on nightmare you gotta exploit all the weakness and the stupidness of the enemys ai. The game started feeling like hit and run. The game isnt as tactical as DA:O, yes you can play it tactically, but after waves and waves of enemys ur tactics mostly end up being useless, because enemy's come out of nowhere and just take out ur mage or rogue. So you never can be prepeared.

    Dont get me wrong Dragon Age 2 is a good game, but i always kept comparing it to DA:O. DA2 was rushed out, it wasnt polished like DA:O. If there wasnt DA:O i would give DA2 a score of 8, but it felt for me that it isnt as good as DA;O and i always compared to it. So imma give it a 7.
  56. Mar 14, 2011
    As the low "user score" shows there's a ton of negative feedback from the community on this game. Some is very valid, some is sensationalism.

    The interface; Big update since DA:O. Pretty much the entire UI is nicely set up, clean, and easy to use. The first thing that will hit when you first play the game (if you played the first) is they adopted the "dialog wheel" from Mass Effect, which
    was a huge bonus for myself. It was something i was wishing for when playing the first dragon age. Lots of people don't seem to feel the same way as me, but i guess it all comes down to person preference here.

    The gameplay; Very fast paced, which is fun but after a few hours and you start to gain abilities, it becomes an absolute cluster****. Spell effects going off everywhere, sometimes i cant even tell if abilities are from my party or from the enemy. The game is also very difficult. I started on normal, but after wiping to one of the boss fights for about an hour i gave up and switched it to casual. Apparently i am all of a sudden bad at video games, Haha. Don't get me wrong, I find the gameplay years ahead of the first game. Which im probably alone in saying, Its much more fun to just pick up and run with. One thing that disappointed me was the fact that you couldn't give gear to your group (except for rings/belts/necklaces) which i thought was a bit lame. The talent trees are well laid out, I would say mages probably have the best set up trees of all of them, they a lot have incredibly powerful spells. But thats not much different from DA:O except now the CC is toned down quite a bit. With my playthrough I chose a rogue. After a few hours i started playing one of the mage side-characters when in combat because of how powerful they are, thankfully after getting the rogue some more abilities i switched back and she's a beast now, lots of hard hitting abilities and the gameplay for rogue after you get up to level 8-9 is just so fast paced and fun.

    The story; Well... this is probably the weakest part of the game. When going through the storyline it feels a little forced, but I still find it engaging. I would say the story is a lot more accessible than the first game. I wont get into specifics so there are no spoilers but there have been a few points that made me facepalm and say "REALLY?".

    Graphics; I dunno where the complaints about this are coming from... It looks beautiful once you get the HD texture update. But it probably takes quite a newly updated computer to seriously run it at high settings.

    All in all, This game has some major flaws, but is well worth a play-through. I had a hard time getting into DA:O. But DA2 is much more accessible and fast paced for gamers that are newer to the RPG format. Which I guess can be viewed as a good or bad thing depending on your standpoint.
  57. Mar 15, 2011
    As fair as i can be... Almost a week ago this 35 year old man sat sipping an early morning coffee in egger anticipation of the postman visiting his door, because on this morning two great things where happening... 1. the day off work (not to mention the following three as well) 2. the much anticipated Dragon age 2 signature edition was arriving. I was planing on writing an in depth, insightful review but instead i am just going to list pro's and cons and a brief summery at the end. Pro's - Graphically its very good, the characters and landscapes are done with a very high level of detail i was only playing on medium settings and found some of scenery quite stunning at times. The spirit and mood of DAO is there, it pops its head up to say hellonow and then, not quite frequent enough for me to fall in love all over but often enough to keep my hopes up that it will blossom and flourish any minute now. the cast - i really liked the cast and supporting companions, i seem to be very loyal and stick with the first /tank/mage/healer that i come across in games and my fear was in this i would not take to the new characters as i would be missing the old ones to much but they grew on me instantly in most cases and for me the real reason i will revisit the game will be to tryout the characters that i did not use often in my first play through. combat - right this is tricky, im going to list comat in both the pro's and cons of the game because i do believe that improves have been made in some areas but bioware have dropped the ball in others, but as this is pro's lets stick with those first. First thing you notice is the visuals of certain abilities and spells, i played rogue in the original and in this one as well and the dynamic of this has been greatly improved, in DAO to perform backstab you had to position yourself behind your target and low and behold you could perform backstab, but targets dont often like to stand in the one spot so your character could end up chasing thenm around till they hold still long enough for you to perform backstab rendering it useless very often. In DA2 its a different story, at the click of a button you vanish, appear and perform backstab all in an instant making it a viable talent and much more pleasing on the eye . The other great thing about combat is the talent trees, there are at least six yes thats right six trees to choose from meaning you can play the same class over and over but have very different characters, experiences and results. Con's - Repetitiveness on maps, i wanted to play the whole game so i made sure i did all side quests before moving on the the main quest/storryline. I found myself repeatatly visiting the same cave/house/coastline to kill bandits/spiders/mercenaries (very similar to the bandits from where i standing) and after a while this felt like a chore rather than a joy, the quests themselves had very little imagination pretty much forgettable for the most part i can only compare it to my experience grinding in MMO's for money/XP. Something i have never before experienced with any bioware game before. combat - its easy, way to easy i was worried by my lack of a healer in the party and kept hoping to meet one down the line but i never did nor did i need to, i can only recall using 2 health potions outside of boss fights and this is with no healer in the party remember, this made fighting tedious, there was no feeling of danger at any time and the fights consist of hordes of mobs coming at you in waves but you feel like a man fighting toddlers, i personal felt like a bad ass for the first few fights but the novelty soon wore off and it became a bore, something in the way of me getting to where i wanted to go. Epicness - I keep comparing it to DAO which is slightly unfair but understandable as this is it's(supposed) successor but it just lacks the depth, variety and feeling of Epicness, overall the game still feels really good but when your riding on the coattails of Epic, really good just does not cut it.. Summery - Had this not been the follow up to Origins or a bioware game i think it would have been far better revived, i personally think Origins as close to a gaming masterpiece that you can get. and those are impossibly big shoes to fill but if anyone could i had faith bioware could. They did it with Baldurs gate, the squeal improving on the original in many ways yet keeping the same things that made everyone fall in love with the original, they did not pull that off this time. I just have the feeling bioware have gone from setting the standard to following the standard, taking the extraordinary and making it ordinary. Is this down to EA the timing of their involvement with bioware cant be dismissed as coincidence in my eyes, given biowares excellent back catalogue of games it strikes me as odd the would go from "sublime" to "quite good" all of a sudden on their own but maybe EA are an all to convenient scapegoat Expand
  58. Mar 15, 2011
    DA2 is a good game with improved graphics and fun companions but it's not quite a worthy successor to DAO. It stands alone better as an expansion. As an RPG, DA2 falls short on the story side and your choices don't seem to matter much. On the plus side, the combat is much faster and the shuffling present in DAO is no longer there. But it can be too fast and with the waves of enemies ninja-spawning, tactics don't seem to matter as much as they did in DAO. I found the game a bit dumbed down for a classic RPG but it was still very enjoyable as an action RPG. New models, especially the Qunari, look fantastic but it's unfortunate that Bioware chose to re-use the same environments for so many quests. It's a fun game and definitely worth a go if you're an RPG fan (I'm on my second play through now). Bioware has long been my favourite game company but I do feel let down by this entry in the Dragon Age world after so many years of superb gaming experiences with them. My fingers are crossed for another DA sequel with all of the legitimate concerns addressed. I don't mind waiting! Expand
  59. Mar 15, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While DA2 does not live up to the reputation of games previously released by the developer, it does offer numerous hours of enjoyable play. The storytelling mechanic is fun, aspects of the main storyline are intriguing and, yes, to my surprise, the combat is generally better than its predecessor (Dragon Age: Origins). But the game also has more than its fair share of warts, including the story and the rushed production schedule which shows itself in the reuse of environments. The story itself, generally one of Bioware's strengths, is sorely lacking in focus and direction. A number of different minor story paths are unfolding throughout the game and they are, for what it's worth, mostly tied up by the end and shown how they all connect, yet none of them on their own are terribly interesting and several of them are quite two dimensional. One of the "major" tensions in the game is that between the Templars, a militaristic order with the task of policing (oppressing) the city's community of mages, and the mages themselves who are frequently the target of accusations they practice particularly foul and evil magics. Unfortunately, while the leader of the templars is never shown in a particularly positive light, she does have some compelling arguments and some of her subordinates are positively good people. In contrast, the vast majority of mages are revealed to, in fact, be practicing exactly the kind of dark magic they are accused of. The only excuse the game really offers the mages is that they were "pushed" into it by the templar commander's overzealous persecution. It's a circular logic that may serve the story's purpose but ultimately rings a bit hollow.

    The game also reveals a horribly rushed production schedule. Environments are reused over and over. And I'm not talking about 90% of the game taking place in a single city. I'm talking about the "dungeons" themselves, or perhaps I should say "dungeon". There is precisely one outdoor random encounter (or "ambush") map that is reused for each such encounter. There is basically one cave map that is reused over and over again, the only difference being that certain doors may be closed or passages are blocked by rubble. There is one warehouse map, again used repeatedly for each and every warehouse. There is also one under city map, which looks a lot like a mine (including the mine cart), but doesn't make a lot of sense when that map is used for the sewers (a mine cart in the sewers, really?).

    There are plenty of other negatives as well. The lack of friendly fire in combat as well as significantly increased cooldown periods (compared to DAO) for the use of healing spells and potions argues in favor of simply spamming area of effect attacks rather than having to prioritize targets and fight strategically. Enemies now enter combat in waves, and frequently come in right behind or on top of you, tumbling out of windows or descending from the ceiling above. As a consequence, tactical positioning becomes almost pointless. Companion interactions are still entertaining but limited as compared to its predecessor, with fewer opportunities to explore their backstories and develop a sense of attachment to them.

    Despite these flaws, there have been improvements. The graphics are better and, on the whole, so is the combat. I didn't think I would say that, but I am enjoying the combat more than in DAO. Some of the "improvements" may have been ill-advised (discussed above), but the overall tempo and artistic style of the combat is improved. And while not up to the standard of Bioware's previous work, the story itself is perfectly serviceable and will keep most players going through from the prologue all the way to the end. If you can borrow the game from a friend, I'd advise you to do that. If you have to buy it to play it, I'd wait for a price drop before taking the plunge.
  60. Mar 15, 2011
    Is DA2 a bad game? No.
    Is DA2 a bad game by Bioware standards? Definitely.

    Currently Bioware seems to become a true EA Games drone, by wanting to release a game every year at the cost of quality. It is mostly the Bioware fans that are seriously pissed off at them, and are giving all the bad scores. People who don't care much about RPG's but much rather prefer action-oriented games like
    Call of Duty are the ones giving the high scores.

    Lets focus on the good parts first. The combat *looks* great, the companions are interesting, the graphics are pretty decent, the lore is still awesome to read, and the story while less epic than in DA:O, is still written very well. By industry standards, this is a very decent game.

    Sadly, there are also bad parts I need to mention. Like previously mentioned, the combat *looks* great, but when looking deeper at it, you'll notice it's actually pretty bland. Almost each encounter has waves of enemies (kill first group, 2nd group spawns, etc), and while interesting at first, it's overused.
    Speaking of overusing, if you have seen one cave / villa / sewer, you've seen them all. This is the biggest evidence of Bioware focussing on quantity over quality. They don't even give you a different minimap, certain passages are just blocked off.
    They've also reduced a lot of customization, with the excuse of 'streamlining' it. You can't even change your companions' outfit. But here's a newsflash Bioware: RPG fans LOVE customization. Sure, our companions may not always look great then, but this makes upgrading their outfits to more powerful ones even more satisfying.
    The biggest part of the quests you'll do are simple find and drop off quests, without even specific dialogue. You won't feel much of a connection to anyone or anything but some of your companions. Dialogue shouldn't feel like a bother, hence you should have the ability to skip it. But a total lack of it only makes us feel less involved. This goes so far that you don't even buy wares from merchants themselves, but from boxes next to them. BANG, and the immersion's gone.

    In conclusion: DA2 isn't bad, hell it's sometimes pretty good even. For the industry standard. But it's far, far away from the Bioware standard.
  61. Mar 20, 2011
    As a Bioware fan girl i will try to make as much of an unbiased review i can do for this game. I'm not blind to it's flaw. But dont want to bash it rediculously for some of the scandals on the game reviews.
    Even if some of the features of Dragon Age Origins return, this is not the same game at all, for the good and the bad. We return to Thedas the same universe and we still are playing a
    tactical RPG like the first one, who let you customise the enemies tactics (Richards that's not an unfinished feature, it's necesseries with all the customisations possibles, and it allow to to addapt the tactics to your liking).
    I wills tart out with the bads
    Less customisation than the first one, It's no longer possible to play an elf or a dwarf.
    Recicled environements
    Lack of environement variety
    straight lined missions

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

    It's not as good as the original but still a good game
  62. Mar 16, 2011
    May as well start by saying that if you're looking for a hard-core RPG, then Dragon Age 2 is not for you. It's RPG-lite at best. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you may have to adjust your expectations of the game. Initially I was dissapointed as I was hoping for a bigger and better DA:O, but it feels like bioware has taken DA in a completely new direction.
    I guess the easiest way to sum
    it up is that DA2 is simpler than its predecessor. The combat is faster and less tactical, even on the harder difficulty settings I rarely had to play with the custom tactics or pause to set up an attack. The loss of the tatical overview was dissapointing but I would argue that you hardly need to use it in this game. I actually enjoyed the more arcadey feel to the combat but I think the corpses that explode body parts all over the place at the slightest of touch was abit much!
    The game is centred around one major city and at 30+ hours long there's a reasonable amount of content to get through. The story starts slow (the first 6 hours feels like you are just plodding along) but the second half is definitely better than the first and develops into quite an engaging storyline. The writers do a good job of keeping it interesting but after spending 80% of your time in the same city you do find yourself wishing for newer landscapes, the choice of locales is limited.
    This leads me on to, in my view, one of the major downpoints of the game. The dungeon areas are horribly over recycled. You may not notice it for the first few hours but by the end it becomes jarringly obvious. It seems that blood mages and smugglers are more than happy to share a hidaway while bandits and spirits of the fade clearly swap interior decorators.
    The graphics are a step up from the original and the cutscenes look pretty good but you will find better elsewhere.
    The voice acting and script is competent without ever being spectacular and some of the characters are likable, even producing some chuckles. The conversation wheel works well and some of the choices you have to make are genuinely difficult.
    The skill trees give a pretty decent choice for customisation but some skills feel like fillers. I liked the new approach to crafting, not having to search for millions of ingredients and instead just discovering resources works well, but the range of recipes seems limited.

    I would recommend this game to anyone but for some it may be too bigger step away from the original. If you can look look past that you'll find an enjoyable game, that despite its flaws, easily gives you your moneys worth without ever being anything special.
  63. Mar 16, 2011
    Dragon age 2 (DA2) have put a real dynamic fighting BUT too many bugs in the strategic mode made this game disappointing. Too many details (conversation, equipement) with companions, choice of race and background of own characters, the cue aren't reflect sometimes what the characters said (it is perhaps a problem of translation, i don't know). In fact the fans of RPG will find less in Dragon Age 2 than In DA Origins. I have more said "it's a pitty" than "Excellent" in my play of DA2.
    My score is 7, sure there are gaps but it stay a real good RPG game. People wait perhaps too much from Bioware which perhaps have to take much time to finish Dragon Age 2. It's not an Epic fail, just choices from Bioware, not really satisfied their gamers.
  64. Mar 17, 2011
    Is it as good as DA:O? No. Ist it on my list of possible Game of the Year candidates? No. Was Bioware cutting corners left and right.. yes.. Let's face it, DA2 feels like it was rushed to the market without the care and attention to detail that made its predecessor special. DA2 suffers from repeating dungeons over and over again and disappoints me with a over simplified skill tree. Let's just skip over the whole party armor upgrading business and while we're at it, cram the stupid dialog wheel system from Mass Effect down the players throats. It's getting almost too casual now. Yes,I do feel like this title was produced with minimal effort, to rake in some more additional cash. And yes i do blame EA for it.

    Act 1 unfortunately being especially bland, while Acts 2 and 3 do pick up a quite bit, with my party members finally starting to develop some actual profile. But does it deserve a meager 0-4 scores? Hell no. It is still an entertaining title that will keep fans of the old DA:O or faster paced W-RPGS entertained for a good 20h if not way more. My first play thru took 38h. It has a decent storyline, it's technically 'sound' - not great, mind you, just average. I haven't experienced any bugs, crashes or whatnot. I liked the story, it even does lend itself to be played at least a second time through. Plenty of quests to go around, too. I think this title is getting bashed a bit too hard here.
  65. Mar 17, 2011
    Dragon Age 2 though being a good game is a big let down for RPG fans. It tries to cater to a very large gamer base thus sacrificing a lot of which made DAO a huge success. The story at best is average, the voice acting is average though it does shine at times, the combat is more of a hack n slash, enemies explode in countless bits with one hit from a weapon. The combat consists of waves n waves of enemies spawning at you out of thin air which is absolutely immersion breaking and it continues throughout most of the game in the same manner. The environments are reused again n again n again n again....... The companions are not that great no feeling of attachment, romance is not implemented well, no companion customization, poor inventory system. I could go on n on but Ill stop. Please Bioware check you priorities you can't serve two masters at the same time... Expand
  66. Mar 24, 2011
    The first 5 hours of this game SUCKS as you can see from my initial impressions below. But it gets better. Much better. By the second act I was really enjoying it. The story and characters are excellent, much better than Origins. If you could skip the first 5 hours I would give it an 8. This is an excellent game once it gets on its' feet
    Downloaded it and installed all the extra content.
    They wrecked the combat. Randomly appearing spawns, too much mana, etc. There are no tactics whatsoever.
    Most items so far are Hawke only. WTF is that? Items are screwed.
    The game has lost all the tactical tweaks that made RPG's different from shooters. It's just some crappy console game. Maybe it gets better.
  67. Mar 17, 2011
    BEFORE YOU BUT DRAGON AGE II READ THIS ***********This is not a bad game.*********** That is what i want to say right from the bat. Compared to Dragon Age Origins though, it is probably better in a few ways, and worse in a few, and i think this is what is pissing everyone off. Let me start with the good. --- The Story --- This is up to every person i guess, but i thought the story was fine, pretty epic feel, took a little longer to get into than the first, but other than that not too bad.
    --- The Combat ---
    Loved it, everything reacts when you click it, it looks good, took a while to get used to the slightly different roles of the classes this time, but i much preferred the combat.
    --- The Leveling ---
    It was different and i was skeptical at first, but i really enjoyed the leveling. The abilities menu was good and allowed for awesome customization of the character, by level 20 my character was exactly what i wanted.
    --- Crafting ---
    Much better, rather than have to collect a million elfroot, you find sources of it, and can craft things using money once you have find enough sources. Much cleaner more efficient and i actually used crafting this time round.

    Now the the bad, and i apologize in advance to Bioware for this, but i only do this because i love you.
    --- The Maps ---
    Oh god please please PLEASE give me some different **** maps. I was SO sick of playing through the exact same cave maps over and over again the only difference being some pathways are blocked off in each one. And if you are going to use the same map over and over PLEASE at least change the minimap to only show the paths you can reach, that way it might take me a little longer to work out its the same map. Seriously, the exact same mini map for every cave, for ever vault, for ever house, it gets so old.

    --- The Character Interaction ---
    Now i want to make a point clear here, i actually liked most of the characters, sure everyone thinks Anders is a bit of a whiney **** sometimes, but every game has one of them, however the interaction was a real letdown. I also liked how they talked to each, other some of their conversations were great.
    The first game was great you could take so much time talking to the characters learning about them any time you want.
    This game, they only talk to you if your getting a quest, otherwise its the same canned lines spoken back to you.

    --- The "Choices" ---
    Oh man did this annoy me on my second playthrough. Its just lazy developing. First time i played through i was thinking, hmmm maybe if i do stuff different i can improve that. People who have finished the game will know that there is an event towards the end of the game where it gives you an illusion of having played a part in it, but there is really no way to affect the outcome.
    There were a few things in the game that did this, and it feels like it only did it because they couldnt be bothered making different endings.

    --- The Setting ---
    Kinda ties in with the maps, but i think deserves its own criticism, there are what, 4 places you can go, and only one of them is a city. Whoopde friggin do. DA:O was interesting because it gave you a very diverse number of places you could go, the forests of the elves, the caves of the dwarves, the castle of the humans, or if you had DLC, the mysterious keep you could conquer.
    This game just used the same 4 areas, and a few other locations that were all pretty identical, and chucked different bad guys in them.

    --- Conversation Wheel ---
    I know there are some people that love this, but i am so sick of trying to say something and my character saying something else, especially if you are trying to make the conversation flow and don't notice the symbol on the wheel.
    Example: (Slightly paraphrased)
    Fenris: Mage guy wanna kill me good, wont be happy till he sees my cold dead body
    (I look at my choices and choose "Thats a shame", which is exactly what it says in the game, thinking i will be nice and supportive)
    Hawke: Thats a shame.... you have a great body ;)

    I mean come on, really? Sure there are the symbols, but thats just one example of when i didnt check it, and there are many others of me clicking the option that says "No i wont kill him" and Hawke says, "No i wont kill him, ill kill you instead RAHHHH" and i just sit there going oh balls.

    I could go on forever here but i wont, there were a few more good things, and many more bad, eg
    - lazy romance options, ie everyone is bi-sexual
    - every single combat situation has some SURPRISE guys attack you from behind EVERY TIME!!!
    - those damn quests where you find **** and give it to people for money that made no sense

    But in the end, i played the game through and am halfway through playing it through again, it is not a horrible game, but when you make game like DA:O and have that as a starting point, we set our expectations pretty high, and Bioware, you really didnt impress...
  68. Mar 18, 2011
    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
  69. Mar 18, 2011
    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.
  70. Mar 20, 2011
    While not nearly so epic as it's predecessor, Dragon Age II is still a pretty solid entry into the Bioware library. Interesting subject matter for a sequel, while more subdued than the original, it's in keeping with the flavor of Origins. The most disappointing aspect for me was in that it wasn't made clear for many hours into gameplay the direction the story was heading in. While you can theorize earlier on and realize tensions are rising among local factions, the "enemies" were not clearly defined. I feel this greatly crippled the ability for Bioware to establish the same intensity that was experienced in the previous entry and helped the story feel rushed and quite nearly shallow.

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

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

    All things said I did really enjoy this title. It was certainly entertaining for me. I just would have liked to have cared more, like I did for the original. Perhaps this title would have better served as an expansion for the original, as it seems most complaints are about technical issues as opposed to story content. At this point I just feel inclined to beg EA to leave Bioware alone to work their magic free of pressure from publishers.
  71. Mar 21, 2011
    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...
  72. Mar 21, 2011
    Good character development and story. Good use of lore w/in the story too. Combat is faster, but monotonous. Area maps and enemies are recycled ad nauseam. The inventory is tripped down to where only Hawke can wear armor or carry weapons. Mage Hawke's story is not distinct enough from the other two classes and needed to be for the story BW is trying to tell. Convos w/ companions are well done, but too short and too few in number. I still give the game a 7 as I did enjoy shaping Hawke's character. Finally, anyone into hard core or "old school" rpg should avoid DA2 like the plague. Expand
  73. Mar 22, 2011
    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. Expand
  74. Mar 23, 2011
    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.
  75. Feb 14, 2012
    To me, dragon age 2 feels like a needed punishment for bioware. They missed the point of the franchise. The took away things that made the original so loved. However, the backlash that followed was black and white. People saw that it was worse, and dismissed it with a lower score than it probably deserved. Dragon age 2 IS a dissapointment. It's also not a 'bad game'. It's a good game. It even shows glimmers of a great game. The characters are well written the world is good looking on a dx11 pc, and the combat - is more enjoyable. Where it looses it's footing is in it's scope and everything accociated with that. It feels like a DLC to a masterpiece, rather than the original masterpiece. And it certainly does not feel like a dragon age 2. However instead of giving it 0 just to prove a point. Objectivity must remain true. I enjoyed my time with this, and more i forgot dragon age origins, the more I ended up quite enjoying the journey. Expand
  76. Apr 3, 2011
    Bioware improved class balance and eliminated many of the difficulty spikes that plagued DAO, but at the expense of a great many options (e.g. dual wield and archery warriors are out). DAO combat animations often seemed slow and dull, but DA2 goes to the opposite extreme of being way too fast. The fun fatality animations of DAO have been removed in favor of opponents who literally get pulverized into component body parts in a cloud of blood, it looks ridiculous. Maps get reused a lot, every mansion and cave seems to use the same map. I didn't mind the game being set in a single city and visiting the same areas over and over, but the area is full of caves and almost all of them are identical. DAO reused elements, but the redressing hid the reuse quite a bit, DA2 lacks any major redressing of maps and the reuse is very obvious. The UI in DAO was horrid, DA2 improves upon it greatly, both in terms of clarity, aesthetics and screen real estate. The redesigned races are much more interesting, especially the elves which have a more fey-like appearance, as opposed to the short humans with pointy ears they were in DAO. The game is much more stable than DAO, DAO crashes frequently for me, whereas I have had only one crash on DA2 and that was with me cranking up the graphic options to see how high I could go.

    The characters were great, well voiced and Bioware went above and beyond in terms of the party banter and interaction. Having the different companions have relationships outside the main character was a nice touch. The story as well was good, not another 'save the world epic' where we have to ponder why the villains conveniently wait while the hero does all sorts of trivial side quests. I can't deny there aren't some lame side-quests in DA2 (those delviery quests) but overall the quests for your companions and the people of the city fit together with the main plot much better than they did in DAO, ME1 or ME2, simply because you aren't on this ultra-important mission to save the universe as we know it.

    The silent protagonist in DAO always bugged me, the fully voiced Hawke is a plus for me. The subtle effect your dialogue choices have on Hawke's personality is also a nice touch, if you choose the sarcastic option frequently, your Hawke will be more sarcastic in other conversation. The dialogue wheel is a mixed blessing, I liked the icons that give you a clue as to the tone of what Hawke is going to say, but sometimes the paraphrasing is so far off from what you expect, that you don't get the result you wanted.

    DA2 is a fine game that suffers from 2 main things, a rushed development cycle and Bioware's tendency to over correct for criticism in their previous games.
  77. Mar 25, 2011
    Dragon Age 2 is a decent sequel to its hugely successful predecessor. It does some things a lot better, but unfortunately there are some major problems that drag it down. Graphically, it is a step up, but like the original it is nothing special. You will not be disappointed but you will not be blown away. There is a high res texture pack available, but you will need a DX11 capable graphics card to enjoy it, which I sadly do not. A major talking point has been the combat. It is faster paced and more explosive than the original, but realism and immersion is removed by the enemies which now spawn practically in the middle of a fight and just appear out of thin air. Similarly, instead of spiders dropping down from caverns or trees, they now also just drop out of the sky. One particular delight, however are some of the boss encounters which have been beefed up and feel more challenging than the original, but it can still be a case of kiting the boss until you can use your special abilities then kite again. Nearly all the companions, apart from one or two are brilliant. The interparty banter is great and at times had me in fits of laughter, especially the chats between Merrill and Isabella. If you pursue a romance with any of them though, it somehow doesn't feel important like it did in Dragon Age: Origins which is a shame. It is also a shame that you don't really have to put any thought or effort into developing your relationships. The game practically tells you when you should be speaking to a companion, because it will add a new quest for you, and the revamped dialogue wheel tells you exactly what each option will mean. There is no longer the chance you may pick the wrong option. There are numerous cameos in DA2 by characters from Origins and Awakenings, dependant on the game history you choose at the beginning. The game allows you to import your Origins save into the game, or lets you choose from three canonical histories offering different choices. Sadly though, those choices have little to no impact on the game apart from a few different lines of dialogue. As with most RPGs, there is an element of choice, yet in this game it feels pointless. At one point, you are forced to side with a particular faction, yet you end up having to fight both faction leaders, which is perhaps a sign of laziness on Biowareâ Expand
  78. Mar 28, 2011
    The game is good. At first I was surprised there are so many negative reviews, but after reading through some, I realized that they were not about a game. This talk is about feelings, which were apparently hurt, as the ritual accusation of "dumbing down' a game surface again. Some people obviously fell in love with DAO and feel "cheated" now when the sequel proved to be a different game. Well, BG2 is very different from BG1 as well, but it was better (more dialogs, better graphics, less B/W approach to quests). Same goes for FO2.
    Same thing with DA2 - it's different from the original... So what? it's still better! The battles are not as boring, voice acting is good, NPCs are interesting, and there's plenty room for strategy and tactics (well, let's be honest, DA:O was not exactly ummm Total War kind of game, so what can you expect from a sequel...) I played both games on hard difficulty and I can't say DA2 is any less challenging - only it's more pleasant to look at which is apparently a CRIME in the eyes of some people. Oh and you can actually see to the end of a battle without looking at the watch a dozen times now. For those of us with jobs â
  79. Mar 29, 2011
    Not as bad as other people would have you think (battle system was good, some allies were endearing), but definitely not as good as the previous entry. The plot felt a bit rushed, the characters'dialogues were less polished and it didn't leave a lasting impression on me.
  80. Apr 3, 2011
    Dragon Age II is not a step in the wrong direction, just a confusing one. The gameplay is faster and more energetic, but less challenging and harder to control. The graphics are crisp and clean, but the textures and settings are not varied and recycled continuously. The worst part for me was the story. There are some really cool moments, and I had a lot of fun saying "Oh I wish I'd made this decision earlier, maybe I will next time." But going back a second time is the problem. I have no incentive to. The game, as hard as it tries to be multi-threaded, is ultimately linear.

    I personally had fun the first time and would recommend it to anyone who didn't play the first game or wished the first game had faster combat. But I can't say that the finished product really lives up to the potential the first game had.
  81. Apr 5, 2011
    not as great as the first series, but a good and enjoyable game nonetheless.
    what i really think was great is that the companion that you bring would have a significant plot alteration (although it would been great it there is more quest that could be affected).
  82. Apr 15, 2011
    A So So game. Doesn't feel like Origins at all. A good analogy might be. Dragon Age Origins = An Interview with a Vampire.. Dragon Age 2 = Twilight.. I gave it a 7 because, compared to other games, its a 7 but compared to DAO its more like a 5 or a 6. I still had fun, but it felt like a B movie type of fun..
  83. Apr 19, 2011
    Although a disappointment after DAO, this game, on its own merits, wasn't especially bad or good in my opinion... just middle of the road. I notice that most reviewers who rate this game highly do so while attacking reviewers who don't. I don't know what this means exactly (I should have studied psychology), but it's interesting. It's almost as if they're ashamed for rating it so high.
  84. Apr 20, 2011
    Dragon Age 2 is a fun game that gets a lot right, but is ultimately overshadowed by a rushed development. If Bioware had spent more time on the game and put less emphasis on streamlining, it could have been a masterpiece. While the game was released quite buggy, at the time of writing this most issues have been resolved.
  85. May 14, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. People who had been playing only for a couple of hours should not post reviews. finish the game and them write a review. Anyway this game isn't bad, it's just not what i wanted an it's not an RPG. I don't take the role of the main character, I watch a movie and once in a while I have to decide something, that's the only time when I feel I influence the world around me. By killing enemies I don't feel anything, because they respawn in the same area in the next act. The graphics are good, much better than in the first game but below ME. I hate the dialog wheel. I want to be the main character, so I want full control over him. Plus he sometimes says things that are not what was written in the wheel or things that are just stupid. Also the repetitive environments show that the developer was lazy. The characters are pretty interesting but they are too plain(you can tell that Aveline is all about keeping the law, Isabela is a thief and a whore, Meryl is socially retarded and so on). And I can't forgive Bioware for not letting me chose my own race. I mean, that's a key element of a RPG. The last complains are about the strange story telling(at times I said:e how did it come to this) and the crafting(it don't feel an accomplishment when I craft something) The unchangeable armor of the companion is so so because it saves me money and gives them some personality but it's a departure from RPG elements.. For me this is Dungeon Siege with a couple of RPG elements thrown in it. Damn large corporations who what more money with less work; this is Mass Effect in Thedas, just like Singularity is Wolfenstein in the 50', Fallout New Vegas is Fallout in another part of USA, every FIFA is the same and the list continues.
    All in all Dragon Age 2 isn't a bad game, some parts of the game are enjoyable but it's not an RPG and it's not Dragon Age. I would have called it Chronicles of Thedas: Kirkwall, not Dragon Age 2. Is it had another name and claimed to be an hack and slash adventure it would have given it a lot higher. But when I expect something and you give me something completely different it's unacceptable.
  86. May 20, 2011
    This game is not terrible by any means,but it makes you wonder what was bioware thinking when they repeatedly recycled environments and npcs'.The story is not quite what DAo was and it feels like it lacks detail and most of all the main point as to continue playing the game. The combat is still enjoyable,but it's more simplistic than it was before.Bioware was pursuing a more action packed game and they succeeded,but at the cost of Story,Items,etc... Expand
  87. May 18, 2011
    Dragon Age II improves upon certain areas in Dragon Age: Origins and, unfortunately, falls behind in others. BioWare has done a great job in terms of giving you more control of your abilities and party members. They've also done a good job at making the game a little more fast-paced; however, that isn't necessarily a good thing. In an attempt to make DA2 more "action-oriented", BioWare has removed certain elements of the game that made it feel like a true role-playing game - or at least one that lives up to the Baldur's Gate series. All in all, the game is quite enjoyable but don't expect it to be a bona fide sequel to DA:O. Expand
  88. Jun 14, 2011
    I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this game, my friends had convinced me to play it. I tried the demo for the 360 version and didn't like the controls. Tried the PC version and found it much more comfortable to use. The first game seemed very dull, long, and tedious by comparison. Thus my hesitation with picking up the sequal. I loved the characters and the story the most in DA2. There are a lot of strong female characters in this game and there are actually homosexual relationships for the male protagonist. Most of the previous Bioware games I've played have reserved homosexuality for the female protagonist. Dragon Age 1 had just one. Dragon Age 2 has two. Overall the game did not feel like it was meant only for the straight, white male demographic like many games out there are. The game is progressive with the fact that Bioware is clearly recognizing that the video game audience is growing and changing. I applaud them for going against the video game norm.

    The story takes a leap from the typical, predictable Bioware story. There are clear indications they tried to use influences from the Mass Effect series, however a lot of it such as the voiced protagonist and the dialogue wheel was a very good thing. The scenery could stand to have some variation and more creativity put into it. The ending felt a little rushed and if one is not careful, it's extremely easy to trigger it before you're ready by simply reading a message.

    Overall, I wouldn't call it game of the year, but it is an enjoyable game to be considered. I have and will continue to recommend it to customers and friends.
  89. Jul 8, 2011
    Ta gra nie jest najgorsza ( wiem że narażam siÄ
  90. Jul 18, 2011
    If you forget that this game is called Dragon Age 2, it is actually quite an enjoyable game. The combat isn't necessarily difficult but it is fast paced and there is quite a variety in combat styles to choose from. The story in itself is decent enough, although at times certain developments feel strained, making it too obvious that certain choices in the story are made to sacrifice good storytelling just to be able to insert some more (pointless) combat.

    Comparing this to Dragon Age: Origins would leave this game coming up short in every aspect. Had this game been called any differently though, it would not have received such a downright hostile reception as it is receiving on this website. Make no mistake, for the Dragon Age franchise, this game is not a step forward. This game offers less choice, a worse plot, and all in all not as much eye for detail. Of course, Dragon Age: Origins had been in the works for much, much longer, while Dragon Age 2 was clearly rushed out the door, leaving it rather unpolished and unfinished in places. There is no excuse for the way areas in this game are re-used. All in all this is a decent game, it's just not a great game.
  91. Feb 4, 2013
    I didn't think very much of Dragon Age II at release, though I found it engaging enough to play through twice (and purchase some *ahem* DLC Legacy). My overall view was it wasn't as bad as I'd been led to believe (though not as amazing as "professional" reviews made out either). A post Mass Effect 3 perspective does this game many favours; by comparison Dragon Age II is succinct, nicely made and high quality. It is missing a number of cRPG elements present in its predecessor, but for the most part it seems this was a successful attempt at streamlining things, the (free) hi-res texture pack makes a lot of difference, as does the DirectX 11 support. So for the most part; nicely written (though not devoid of contrivance or sloppiness minimal), excellent voice acting with some engaging and likeable characters with neat arcs. DA2's positives far outweigh its negatives. Expand
  92. Aug 29, 2011
    I can't believe I put in over 2000 hours playing DA:O! I expected to love this one, too. I liked the look, and the story, and in the end I would say the combat is somewhat improved. Too much change for change sake, reminds me of dogs marking their territory. Too much increasing of the challenge. Not sure if they are trying to appeal to FPS players or hide a shorter story, but it ruined the replayability. I may never hit 250 hours of game play. Expand
  93. Nov 2, 2013
    Sadly this just isn't a patch on the original, the leveling up system has been simplified which seems to be the thing to do these days (SADFACE) but the main problem with this game is that the characters and story are simply not as engaging as the original. These are the guys who wander about while the real, huge story of the original happens. These are the "also ran"'s. That's not to say it's a BAD game (unlike the butthurt brigade who seem to have decided to bomb this with 0's) it;s just not as good. Expand
  94. Nov 8, 2011
    I played the first game, which was amazing and unique. I loved the story and the gameplay, the sound and the graphics and the characters! And I had high expectations for Dragon Age 2 (DA2). However, I was surprised that they tried to make the game more action packed for the more causal gamer. The graphics have been improved and they have added a story that is more like a movie. The story telling is very typical Bioware which I always enjoyed, but I found that the impact of my decisions had less effect then in the previous game. The characters were also not as well built (no backstory, don't really get in touch with the personalities like in the first game). The gameplay is okay if you enjoy fast action/adventure type games, as opposed to the traditional 'pause' and lets plan our next move...which has been the tradition. Gamers who enjoyed the old system may be quite disappointed (hence the negative reviews). Overall a pretty okay game, but overshadowed by its predecessor. (Score 7.0) Expand
  95. Dec 4, 2011
    Amazed at all these butthurt fanboys giving this a 4 or below when it's clearly not a horrible game. No, it doesn't have nearly the depth of the first one, but on the other hand the combat feels greatly improved and the general interface, skill trees, inventory system and companion AI are extremely well thought out and eliminate a lot of the boringness that tends to go along with so many RPGs, such as wasting time on inventory management or babysitting every companion so they actually do what they're supposed to in battle. The story and character development aren't quite as gripping as the original, but it's still 100 times better than what you would get in most games. I found the game challenging on hard, without being frustratingly difficult - most difficult encounters can be figured out after a couple of tries.

    The worst thing about the game is probably the recycling of all the environments; the game could have used a few more templates for cave and dungeon design, or better yet use a Diablo style dungeon generator. The other bad thing is, because the game progresses more over time than over game area it feels much less epic than the original, you seem to have a lot less of a world to explore so to speak, and the cities and towns feel a lot more generic, and hence have much less atmosphere. E.g. the difference between the mage, dwarf and elven areas in the original was huge, whereas in DA2 all the town areas kind of look alike, apart form the general difference between rich and poor areas. I appreciate the game might have been worse on release than it is now, since I'm currently playing on the 1.03 patch and haven't experienced any real quest bugs, glitches or crashes yet. To sum up, this is a solid RPG that's worth playing, especially if you're into more tactics/combat based RPGs. It's not as good as the first one but it's definitely worth more than a score of 3 or 4.
  96. Mar 13, 2012
    This game really gets a bum rap as far as games go, and the reason for it is two fold. 1) The gaming media has so skewed the ratings system that most people think anything less than a 9 or a 10 is positively awful. This is a belief shared by big publishing houses, and by developers also. It has rendered the ratings system useless; and is, I believe, responsible in part for the negative overreaction to this game as evidenced by the inaccurate and unfair Zero's, One's, and Two's. 2) Bioware's Marketing Department is really really bad. They gave a distinct impression to the fan base about what Dragon Age "2" was going to be like, and then what was delivered was quite different. Which explains much of the backlash. Granted none of this was helped by the extremely short development cycle that resulted in a game that feels incomplete and has a really crappy, bland, and boring ending. In spite of this however I still feel like a lot of the really low user reviews are unfair, because IMO the game is decent. The engine runs much more smoothly, and is much more stable than in Dragon Age Origins. The Character based textures are much cleaner, and much prettier. The dialogue, and interpersonal interactions with NPC companions are much deeper and more emotive than in Dragon Age Origins. And the overall story arc is coherent and mostly complete, even if it ends a little abruptly, and crappily with SuperEvilNinja!Meredith. Claims that the combat has been dumbed down to flashy hack'n'slash mechanics are untrue. Combat runs almost exactly the same as in DAO. The differences are mostly cosmetic, with faster animations, a lack of "finishing" moves, and the missing isometric camera. Or are different in the execution/presentation of the combat scenes - example: The Parachuting from the Sky Heavily Armoured Waves of enemies, or occasional cut scene "finishing" move. Tactics work the same, and talents (although streamlined) work the same. The guts, the actual mechanics of combat are exactly the same. If DA2 were an exam, it would get a solid and respectable B IMO (with DAO getting an A). Expand
  97. Aug 29, 2012
    People are very negative about this game, and quite frankly, it doesn't deserve the hate it gets. Sure it isn't as good as Origins, but it is still a good game. I'm going to divide my review into Pros and Cons.
    Pros: The combat: Fighting in this game feels very fast paced, a very big improvement from Origin's which feels sluggish compared to 2's. Graphics: Being a sequel, it naturally has
    improved graphics. Voiced Player character: This is the first Dragon Age game that has your character voiced, and uses a dialogue wheel similar to Mass Effect's. I really didn't mind the way dialogue worked in Origins and KoToR, but when your character actually speaks, you kind of get more of a feel to what you're saying.

    Cons: Reuse of areas: A lot of caves and buildings are reused environments, just with different monsters and items, this is due to the publisher EA rushing BioWare for an early release. NPC Companions: The companions in this game are a step down from Origins, in Origins, you liked pretty much all of them, at least I did, they had a good back story, and you learn to like them as the game goes on, in 2, not so much, I really only like 2 of the companions, Merrill, and Varric, Anders is a character from Awakenings, DA:O's expansion, they really messed him up in this game, changing his personality completely. The Story: It's just not as good as Origins, it doesn't feel as epic, and no matter what you do, the endings are pretty much the same, feeling like you didn't have much choice in the story, which goes against normal BioWare games. Exploration: In Origins you got to explore a whole country, in 2, you get a city, which changes at day and night, and a little bit as the story progresses.

    Overall, it's a good game, just not as good as Origins, Bioware tried something new, and it didn't work out, hopefully they'll spend more time on Dragon Age 3
  98. Aug 13, 2012
    I felt that this game wasn't so much bad as it was a disappointment. While it takes place in the same world as Dragon Age: Origins and shares the same basic gameplay, it feels very different--and not in a good way. The item/inventory system has been vastly simplified but, unlike Mass Effect 2, this does not remove the need to manage loot: it just makes it far less rewarding for those who want to take the time, while still forcing everyone else to sort through a pile of generic rings, belts, and swords to see which are worth keeping. The combat system has also been changed to make it more action-oriented and fast-paced, and while it does make hacking or zapping enemies more fun, the changes remove much of tactical depth present in DA:O. Moreover, unlike its predecessor, most fights now feature waves of enemies which spawn all around your party (shades rising from the ground, thugs jumping down from buildings, etc.), making any useful strategy difficult. I did find that the characters and story in this game were pretty good--not quite as good as DA:O but still worthy--and I thoroughly enjoyed developing relationships with my party. One improvement is the friend/rival system, which means that unlike DA:O you don't have to suck up to party members to get their bonuses: each character has 2 unique bonuses, one for a friend and one for a rival. This game severely limits your main character by forcing you to be a human with the surname Hawke who must follow a single basic path throughout the game, and who has far fewer dialogue choices than in DA:O. The upside is that your character is fully voiced, so NPCs are no longer the only ones talking aloud. One significant fault of this game, however is that all the events after the intro take place in and around a single city, so you spend the whole game visiting the same locations over and over. This didn't have to be a major setback, but the developers failed to incorporate much variety into the locations: every cave, warehouse, backstreet, and tunnel look the same--they just reused the same blueprint for almost every location, with certain doors added to seal off unneeded areas. There is also a paucity of variety in enemies: you spend most of the game fighting the same spiders, bandits, and blood mages. Between these two problems, the game-play is far less fun than it could be. One final point is the graphics: overall they are improved from DA:O (except for the tiresome re-use), but for some reason the handful of characters from the first game just look AWFUL. Most look very weird and poorly done, like the artists did them over lunch one day. As someone who spent dozens of hours playing Origins, I was appalled to see my beloved friends looking so horrendous. Overall, I still think this game is worth playing--mostly for the story/character development--but unlike DA:O, this is not a game I can see myself playing again and again. Expand
  99. Jan 15, 2013
    I find the 4.2 too low for this game. Yes, it's not DA: Origins, it's not as good. Yet as a standalone game it's not that bad. It looks as good as DA:O (though it's supposed to look better, even if it feels like there was no progress...), combat system is waaay better, but everything else is worse. Your companions are not as interesting, your voiced hero feels wrong, and the responses a la Mass Effect are too few comparing to how much freedom you felt on the first game. Also, the game keeps reusing the same places over and over again, making it boring. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Apr 18, 2011
    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
    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
    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.