User Score
4.3

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 3959 Ratings

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  1. Feb 19, 2013
    7
    There is mixed feelings on this game, as it not a "true" rpg, but after a while the game grew on me. I must also say, that this game now only cost just under 20USD which makes it good value for money. However had I paid full retail for this game I would most likely give it 5.5 or 6/10. But for 20USD this is a good game and the storyline is good, not mass effect good, but good.
  2. Mar 17, 2014
    7
    I've played it mostly for the plot. I am preparing for DA: Inquisition. This game is much worst than Origins. Simpler, poorer and making impression that developers were in a hurry. Many times You have to travel through the same maps. Main plot is concentrated around one big city. Even big bosses aren't very challenging. It is totally not as good as in the E3 trailer. RPG elements are also much weaker than in DA:O.
    But despite all issues it is still good 40h of worthy game. If You like the climate of DA You should definitely play it. Class balance is better than before and npc are finally doing something smart. Characters are nice, plot quite good, music great, and graphics still nice. Worth of trying before DA:I premiere.
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  3. May 2, 2013
    7
    More like Dragon Age Episodes.
    If DA O was like a tasty soup, then consider DA 2 a watered down version of that same soup. Hence my rating doesn't go lower, because there is still some goodness left. enough to enjoy the game. Still, here comes the bad:
    So what happened? It honestly appears as though EA has twisted Bioware's nuts and asked them to make a sequel in such a short time. The
    main problem in Da 2 is the content, or rather the lack of it. 3 different stories occur and then the third one leads to a cliffhanger ending. Choice system this time is annoying this time which leads to the mages screwing up no matter what you choice is. Half the character roster is annoying and we are limited to 1 city (which still manages to be repetitive in itself).

    But i guess there is enough good that will still make DA O fans play this. For other ppl, pick up DA O instead its a better game
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  4. Nov 7, 2013
    7
    Goods
    - Love the new gameplay
    - Good character customization
    - Voiced MC
    - Choices
    - Faster gameplay

    Bads
    - BORING CHARACTERS
    - BORING STORY BEFORE YOUR EXPEDITION

    Extras
    - Will never be as good as the first BUT i still recommend giving this game a try if you're really into RPGs
  5. Feb 22, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There are many unforgivably bad things about this game that make me sit and stare at the screen, hardly daring to believe that a game could have this bad an effect on me. I have just received the achievement that I have entered 50 caves (That all look exactly the same, Maker help me!) and it is only act one. Which leads me to believe that there are about 300 caves in the game...But enough about that, everyone knows about how lazy EA are. What I am tearing my hair out about is the bows. WHY DO I NEED BOWS? WHERE ARE THE RANGED CHARACTERS? Oh look! A bow for 133 sovereigns, I will give it to Varric. Oh damn it! He can't equip other bows! Oh, good thing there is a DLC to get an archer. It only costs 7$. Wait, what? 7$! I guess Hawke will have to be a bow wielding rogue. I shoot an arrow at the enemy. The enemy explodes into big chunks of meat and bones. Eish! Well at least they seem to be biodegradable. Oh and the bone pit! I get that you can tell Varric you want to start a business, but you end up with negative 15 sovereigns. At least the game is alright though. Expand
  6. Mar 13, 2011
    6
    An unworthy sequel to a great game. Dragon Age 2 falls short in every single way except the story, that being the story is vastly unrelated to the first game and waits for proper tie in with the expected next sequel. If you were expecting a new game with new innovations then you will be sadly mistaken. If you want closure to stories pertaining to those of Dragon Age Origins/ Awakening then you this will only cause more questions than before. My advice for any dragon age fan is to wait for the next one and then play this, this barely has any purpose as of right now. Expand
  7. Mar 14, 2011
    6
    The game's a bit of a rushed mess. I don't mind the streamlined combat, inventory, or even the cookie cutter locations, but at the end the story just breaks down under it's own weight. Character motivations make no sense, both factions are so unlikeable that it's hard to really choose who to go with, and to top it off it makes absolutely no difference who you side with anyway since you're just going up against waves of lunatics on both sides the whole time. Expand
  8. Mar 9, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age 2 certainly is a step backwards for the series in a few respects, but at it's core it still provides an entertaining role playing experience. My biggest gripe with the game is the control. The right mouse button is both attack and camera control. Without the tactical camera of it's predecessor the camera needs to be constantly adjusted to get a good view of the battlefield, and even then the camera moves on it's own whenever the characters do anything. This makes is quite difficult to target enemies in the heat of battle. The violence looks quite silly as the characters swing over sized weapons in quick exaggerated movements like an anime. The enemies just look slightly stunned every time they get hit until their HP reaches 0 and the pop like kind of meat balloons.

    The characters and interaction however are one thing DA2 does right, and I feel it's the most important part of an RPG experience. The Dragon Age world is well fleshed out with enjoyable characters (Although some feel very familiar of previous Bioware games). I quite liked DA2's "over time" feel. The game takes place over a long period of time, and you can really feel the characters and world change.

    Overall I feel that DA2 technically disappointed, but still entertained.
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  9. Mar 9, 2011
    6
    Reading some of the negative user reviews on meta-critic,I wonder if this is not just disbelief that Bioware would venture into a different direction. I personally have no objection for a company, entertainment or not trying new ideas. Dragon Age II is an experimental game. Yes, it does retain a quantum of Origins, however much of it's predecessor has been stripped away. What was stripped away will definitely irk fans of the first. The inability to customize equipment for companions. The change in chat dialogue. The graphics, and faster combat pace. Lack of spell combination's. No death animations. Whatever one's reasons, surely you can find fault in this product. The glaring, yet easily fixable issues of this game, fall in the games mechanics specifically the A.I. Tank A.I is awful, you'll find yourself (no matter what difficulty) controlling the tank character. The character(s) will activate taunt when enemies are not present, and attempt to spam it's damage reduction moves constantly. Your companions hardly adhere to positional commands either. You'll find yourself using the hold position command, and manually controlling the party. Scripts, must be improved in future patches, if Bioware/EA wishes to sell future DLC's. The good in this game, is the storyline. The game engine runs smoothly on many systems as well. Bioware has always done a excellent job optimizing their products. The characters are believable, yet may or may not hold the same charm as the first games'. The voice acting for the main is exceptional, both male and female. The voice acting in general is very good. The combat can get frustrating, but it retains the "joy" which Origins brought. The skill system is much improved, they condensed it but hardly loses any of it's flare. You'll just have to evaluate this title for what it is: A Different Approach. Expand
  10. Mar 12, 2011
    6
    Do not pre-order anymore Bioware Games, I repeat, do not pre-order. Next, look at the gaming sites that advertise Bioware titles, you will notice they are also the ones that tend to satirize a bad game, ie Penny Arcade. Frankly, its a good thing Bioware worked with Penny Arcade before the game was released, because I have a feeling the guys at Penny Arcade would skewer the game.

    The
    problem I have is I don't think they actually play tested the game at all. Play on Nightmare mode as a mage and then try to get through intro, try it just try it. They've nerfed healing to the point where its Fecking useless. They put in a cool down on healing potions so can't use them when you need to use them now there is a shared timer. The AI is horrible, you turn off tactics and your fecking tanks run out of cover to get hit by crossbowmen.

    I truly hate Bioware now for this game. The positive non game player reviews of this game is crap, they damn well aren't from fans. If I have anything to tell Bioware it is this:

    1st) Fix TACTICS, give a switch to turn it OFF or ON without having to individually turn off a tactic per player
    2nd) When I don't give a character an order, they should damn well stay put and not rush into a fire of ranged fire
    3rd) Give me the DLC that I paid for at the beginning of the game, don't make me run all over the place trying to find it
    4th) Do actual play testing. I am your market, you took a fan boy who buys all of your products and turned him into someone who will NEVER PREORDER FROM BIOWARE AGAIN IN ONE GAME. Did you actually have people play the intro and see what they thought
    5th) Play test all of the difficulty levels ALL. Nightmare should be beatable by someone who is highly familiar with Bioware and understand the basics, but OH F no, you guys couldn't do that could you.

    You get a 0 from me on this game. Read the reviews here from other posters and release a patch to fix the troubles or you are going to have an Elemental on your hands and destroy your Brand Name.
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  11. May 11, 2011
    6
    Bought the game on release day before reading any reviews, installed it but not even entered kirkwall after reading the user reviews. The massive changes in the game and the negative reactions to it left no enthusiams in me and made me stay away of it. The only advise I can give: Don't read any reviews after you bought a game.
  12. Mar 31, 2011
    6
    Problems with Bioware turning into a pretty shady company aside, I can't believe they thought this would pass as a real sequel. There is no main plot, you're playing a tactical rpg that's mostly in a city, and the reinforcements thing is just retarded. Your party members are still a hoot and the gameplay isn't awful tuned like this, but they needed more than 18 months to make it amazing. Oh and it looks worse than Dragon Age: Origins, and even sadder is the HD graphics mod that isn't from Bioware doesn't even make it look better. I guess the company that made Baldurs Gate and Mass Effect is long gone; hope Mass Effect 3 isn't crap like this. Expand
  13. Mar 15, 2011
    6
    The simple truth is that this game is not up to par with what I have come to expect from Bioware. The game is not terrible, but it is not great by any means. The Graphics are very good, and the animations are much more fast paced than origins, however I dont care. I dont buy RPG games for thier High end graphics engines and expansively voiced cutscenes (which the game delivers) I buy them for an engrossing story arc, which, while not terrible, is not as well written or epic as previous Bioware titles. The lack of an overhead view is not a game-killer, but would have still been nice to have, and the camera controls take a while to get used to, multiple camera modes would have been better. The thing that bothers me most, is the cut down inventory mangement, as due to the way companions are designed, I basically end up with three choices for most pices of equipment, 1. Wear it 2. Sell it 3.carry it around forever. The environmental reuse is quite obvious. they didnt even reconfigure the one cave template they had for most cave areas, I get that they did it to save time, but how hard would it have been to make it a different shape using the same art pieces. Ok so enough of the bad, here are the games actual redeeming qualities: Combat is done really well, it is fast paced, fluid and farily enjoyable. The leveling system is much better than origins, with a much more clear and customizable approach to picking abilities and specializations.
    In summation, while the game is not aweful, its not up to par for Bioware, and I wouldnt consider it up to par for a AAA title.
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  14. Nov 1, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age 2 is still a average to good game from Bioware. After putting 50 hours in this game, I can understand why so many people hate this game, but if you calm down and try to enjoy it you will find it has its won merit. I spent 45 hours on my first play through in hard difficulty, right now still on my 2nd play through in nightmare difficulty. Story wise, I read a lot of reviews saying how shallow the story is. However, I think the reason is most people are used to 'the lord of ring' formula. This game is not about slaying evil like the first game but a story through Hawke's life in Kirkwall. It seems there is no clear goal for the story, but there are lots of lore about dragon age world. The plot is simple, just about How the Ferelden refugee Hawke gains power in Kirkwall. But through Hawke's life you will find the conflicts between Qun and Chantry (the religion conflicts between human and qunari), you will know more about Dalish's and surface dwarves culture and of course you will learn more about the struggles between Templars and mages. The most engaging part of the game is Hawkes family and companions all have their own story, you wont feel they just suddenly pop out. Though the plot is pretty linear, you can still make lots of choices, side with different forces and influence how they will end including the companions. Origins did better Companion characters. Dragon age 2 is similar to Awakening. You can not interact with companions unless there are companion's quests. Of course there are a lot of quests from companions. Through those quests, you can push them to Friendship or Rivalry with Hawke based on your dialog choices. It's actually interesting to see how different they will treat Hawke as friend or as rivalry. And one thing I like about dragon age 2 is you actually can see how the companions are interacted with each other through cut scenes, also they will act differently as friend or as rivalry. To avoid the spoilers, I do not want to talk about companions in dragon age 2, but generally Origins' companions have more distinct personalities, of course you can see several cameos of them. Also the Warden in first game is cited a couple of times. as for combat, Many hardcore rpg gamers may hate this combat system. I can see the reason behind that. But generally combat in dragon age 2 is better and well balanced despite the animations. I did not play in easy and normal difficulties, because I know they are not designed for PC gamers. However, I found the hard mode is a satisfying tactical combat experience. Mages and rogues are vulnerable to physical damages and their actions will be interrupted often, so you will need to pause often and relocate them to avoid damage and use warrior to taunt enemies wisely. Boss fights will take quite a while, because of their huge amount of health and continuous reinforcements, however most bosses in the main plot are not very challenging, the hard parts are all in side quests. So it wont be very difficult to finish the game in hard mode. I played in nightmare for a few hours, it really takes a long time for a single battle, because you either have to relocate party members or kite frequently to avoid friendly fire or you have to kill enemies one by one without skills or spells with area effects. And bioware is being lazy on this, they put even more health and resistances to enemies but not working on AI, so some battles are just being tedious at the end. The environment design is the major flaw of this game. A lot of recycle dungeons and recycle music from Origins. I can see Bioware really rushed this game to be released (or EA forced them to rush). However, I probably will tolerate this, since this is really not the thing I care about. Because of the revamped combat system, I can see a lot of people will lose interests in this game, Though personally I do enjoy my first play through for 45 hours and I still have a couple of side quests I found but did not finish them. It's certainly shorter than Origins which took me 60 hours for first play through on hard mode. But this is still a good game if you really get into it. if you like party based tactical combat like dragon age origins and world of warcraft, I suggests you start with hard difficulty and most likely you will like dragon age 2. Expand
  15. Mar 17, 2011
    6
    I think people are being a bit tough on DA2. When compared against Bioware Standards, it is indeed their worst product to date. But that's like saying the smallest diamond in the mine- I'll take it. When compared to other games that have been released lately, DA2 was a good reprieve. I think it suffers from Apple-ification. Origins was slow, clunky, half the skills were worthless, half of the characters had no personality (Sten, Lelianna, Oghren Pre-Awakening? Really?), the dwarf area... ugh. The dwarf area... Dragon Age 2 tried to streamline all of Origins' flaws. Battles were quicker. Travel was quicker. Quest Markers were visible from far away. Not every conversation involves 6 soliloquies. Unlike most people, I actually rather enjoy the plot. Everything that was changed sounds like it SHOULD be better it just... it kind of plays itself- and you're along for the ride. Like the Matrix. The first had a few action scenes that were intense because of the lack of action scenes elsewhere. The second was almost entirely action scenes, and by the end you were ready to fall asleep. I think developers should look at DA2 and see what happened, what went wrong. I think a lot can be learned at what happens if you oversimplify and over-streamline your game. There is something to be said about requiring a bit of effort before the reward... otherwise it quickly loses its appeal.

    I can't give DA2 less than a 6. Because it IS all good stuff. But what it lacks is what is missing between said good stuff.
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  16. Mar 8, 2011
    6
    I am extremely disappointed by Dragon Age 2 as a RPG game style, but if you can cast away the nostalgia of Baldur's gate, you'll find a good game nevertheless. Too bad this series have to continue like that, since the previous system was so much better... Why did they want to butcher the combat system like that ? They should have tried to improve it, not drastically change it ! On hard difficulty, it feels like a hack'n slash ! But sadly, this is how developers tend to do their games... And sadly, it works beautifully. I won't say this game is stupidly bad, it's not. It's a good game, but far from being a real sequel to one of the best RPG of these last years, The Witcher included. I guess we'll have to wait for The Witcher 2. Expand
  17. Mar 8, 2011
    6
    Im doing my best not to rate this lower than I feel because of all the bogus 9/10 reviews given to this game by big name gaming sites. This is not a 9/10 game by any stretch, 8/10 maximum.
    I felt this game was a huge step backwards from DA:O, its like Bioware put hardly any effort into it this time around. Almost everything is worse; the dialog, the graphics, the gameplay. I did enjoy the
    new skill system, and I'll give them props for fixing it. But it is still nothing special and pretty boring, it's just better than DA:O's level up system which was a travesty.
    All in all, this game is not good, but it is enjoyable. And the fact that certain sites are rating this 9/10 should be a big 'red flag' on which sites not to trust in their big budget game reviews.
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  18. Mar 8, 2011
    6
    For all those nay-sayers, smooth talkers and ESPECIALLY PR personnel at Bioware...you've severely disappointed the fans of Dragon Age: ORIGINS. To stray so incredibly far from your roots by overly simplifying the core mechanics of the game stinks of consolization - the bane of many serious, entertaining pc games to date. The nerve with which their PR personnel promised that it wouldn't be simplified and would in fact be a deeper experience is complete and utter **** This was a rushed product backed by (necessary) hype based on the original game's success, because if they'd shown the game exactly as it could be played, it would definitely have lost sales. I preordered this game WITH the understanding that it'd be Dragon Age 2 NOT Dragon Effect: Consolization 101...I've seen a fair share of games that have gone down the gutter that way and sad as i am to say down that road also has Dragon Age 2 gone. The Mass "effect" should have stayed with it's progenitor as it's fine as it is unless they decide to Dragon Agify Mass Effect 3. Hold that thought...that might actually make a good game. Bioware do it! PS. I don't even know whether I'm being sarcastic or not... Expand
  19. Mar 9, 2011
    6
    DA2 is a game I wanted to like. I still do in some ways. It's not a BAD game - just disappointingly average.
    For one, it doesn't feel like a true RPG anymore - the whole flow and feel of the gameplay is completely different. It is clear that in order to expand the audience, Bioware is abandoning old-school RPG's.

    While DA:O combat was a bit on the slow side, DA2 goes into the other
    extreme, with animations that are too fast and too ridiculous. Oversized weapons, combat moves that defy lore at every step and poor balance.
    DA2 features lots of enemies that one can dispatch with ease, turning even abominations into wusses and throwing them at the player en masse.

    Still, the setting is just as strong as it ever was, and it - and the characters - remain the biggest appeal of DA2. It's only a shame that Bioware created a setting I'd adore to explore, only not in their game.

    For those who love old-school, true RPGs - this game will be disappointing.
    For those who like more action-oriented hack-and-slasher, this may be a good game.

    Objectively, I'd rate it to be between the 4-9 range depending on your choice.
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  20. Mar 9, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Dragon age 2 is an insult to my intellect. This game gives me a good reason to find a new hobby. Instead of a classic tactical story driven old school crpg I found some kind of action game for retards. Big boobed pirates and dancing mages [I think bioware calls it dynamic casting]. Fells like a cheap imitation of god of war. Expand
  21. Mar 9, 2011
    6
    While the game has dialogue that seems much more fluid and the ability to hear your character speak is nice, the game placed the road block of having to be in specific locations in order to speak to each individual member of your party. I'm not sure if that is the major reason for not caring very much about my party members, but the reality is that I don't care about them.

    The
    environments in the game are very redundant and it doesn't take very long to feel like you've been fighting in the exact same locales for the last 10 hours. It also doesn't feel like you travel much, if any when changing places in the game.

    The combat system is more refined although I found from time to time that clicking on individual targets to switch was annoying, and the moment that I tried to reposition myself behind a character I found myself having to re-click the same target to resume attacking.

    When it came time to ditch side quests and perform things relevant to the actual main storyline, I found myself far more interested in what was going on, but when you take into account the fact that in modern western RPG's side quests are 90% of what you do in the game that doesn't mean much.

    Honestly, while this game has things that are notably better about it when compared to other RPGs and occasionally the original game itself, I found myself very quickly getting bored with this game.
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  22. Mar 11, 2011
    6
    DA:O was not a bad game, even the good i think. I was hoping that DA2 will be even better - I even made â
  23. KLS
    Mar 11, 2011
    6
    Setting, Story, Characters and Environments are horrible. RPG elements are dumbed down. That dumb blood all over the characters, that bland and desaturated colors, repeating locations... gameplay is freaked out - its horrible! Its not something that i was waiting from Bioware :-///
  24. Mar 11, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age: Origins was like a father, whom you haven't seen for 10 years, returning home one day, apologizing for his absence, bearing gifts, telling you many stories, resulting in the two of you bonding and having a good time. All is well until he mysteriously disappears again and turns up 1 year later as Dragon Age II, an abusive, burnt-out junky with only one thing on his mind: domestic abuse.
  25. Mar 11, 2011
    6
    I would like this game a lot more if they hadn't put Dragon Age on the cover. I do like the new art work that has gone into it but the game feels a lot different. Side character development doesnâ
  26. Mar 11, 2011
    6
    If you play more than 6-8 hours it is good, if you play more than 12-15 hours it is really good, and if you play 35-40 hours are you finished :( Its a nice game, down play the demo and say it sucks ore play 2 hours and say it sucks...after a while it gets really exciting and tactical more than DA:O.
    PS: I not kidding you i have played each RPG the last 20 years, Dragon age 2 is good!
  27. Mar 12, 2011
    6
    Not the best Bioware RPG ever. A lot of copy/paste, strange design decisions (corpses in the house of one of the characters staying there for six (!!!) years. Game is about seven years long but there are no big changes in this little world. Bugs do not let me finish some quests. Ending (not just it, actually) looks like a good place for DLC. Want to know true end? Just pay EA/Bioware 5-10 (more?) dollars. I spend on this game money and now I don't think, that it was a good idea. I could write much more, but do not see any need in it: just look at demo and think on your own about 50-60 euro/dollars (1000 rubles) you can spend on it. Does it really cost so much? I don't think so. Expand
  28. Nov 9, 2011
    6
    Not the most polished game, a little rushed, EA has taken control and mind wiped everyone at Bioware. Why must big publishers ruin a new franchise that was looking to be a mega hit regardless if it was not "actiony" enough.
  29. Mar 12, 2011
    6
    Going into this game, I had extremely high hopes, most of which were smashed against the cliffs of mediocrity. Dragon Age II is nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to cash in on the incredible success that was Dragon Age: Origins. That said, the game has both positive and negative features that one must take into account.

    First the negative: Dragon Age II takes place mostly in a
    single environment, the city of Kirkwall. Kirkwall is neither attractive nor welcoming in ways Bioware both wanted (art style, ambiance) and ways they most probably did not want (repetitiveness). The set pieces in this game repeat themselves at an unacceptable rate. The combat is more tuned to consoles than to PC gaming, and as a PC gamer, I found this entry in the Dragon Age saga rather boring in terms of combat. While there is blood and gore, it is at a ludicrous level, obviously meant to appeal to the ultra-violence/God of War crowd. What makes combat worse is the fact that enemies spawn in waves, often in absurd quantities, and the player will often have to engage in combat for no reason at all, as mindless thugs will spawn in the streets frequently. If you are a fan of Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you will be horribly disappointed by the game's background, writing, and pace as well. Dragon Age II is repetitive in the nature of its quests. There is little gray area to be seen in this game, and such themes as slavery, and "blood magic" (slitting one's wrists to conjure evil spirits or kill people) obviously denote evil, and place a decidedly moralistic overtone on the game. There is also nowhere near enough loot and new equipment to keep the scavenging aspect all-too-crucial to a role playing game interesting. Finally, the whole game is told retrospectively through the narrative of a secondary character, and the plot ends with a massive, pointless cliffhanger. Rather than write a good game with a sense of closure at the end (e.g. DA:O or KOTOR), Bioware has chosen to go the "Halo 2 route" and try to keep us guessing. If only I cared. Now for the good. The combat in this game is, I suppose, rather entertaining for Console players. Despite their repetitiveness, the set pieces are quite pretty. Also, the protagonist, Hawke, actually has a voice, and his dialogue works much like that of Commander Shepard in Mass Effect. Indeed, the lending of a voice to the protagonist actually strengthens this game's otherwise mainly weak narrative. Hawke is a very human character, who is well-acted and who responds believable to situations both grave and light well. On the topic of response, the lip-synch and character design in this game are also fantastic. Each of the game's secondary characters has a unique design, makes them the only visually appealing part of the game. If you wish to know, the secondary characters all have well-written back stories as well, which are actually more interesting than the game's main plot. Other than that, the game is fairly lengthy (my play through lasted about 24 hours) and technically reasonable, meaning that it doesn't crash and lag as much as a game like Fallout: New Vegas.

    In conclusion, Dragon Age II is a decent game. In my opinion, it is nowhere near as bad as other reviewers say it is. Perhaps, they are overreacting because they expected a game closer to the original. Honestly, I was as well. That said, I was able to enjoy this game by putting it aside from Bioware's other work. Such a title is far below their standards; however, it is still a serviceable game and a fairly good adventure yarn. My suggestion is don't bother with the PC version: wait a few months and buy it half-price or rent it for a console. Despite Dragon Age II's myriad flaws, it is still a serviceable game, just not one that is worth sixty dollars.
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  30. Mar 13, 2011
    6
    Having now played Dragon Age 2 for several days, and having seen the incredible hatred leveled against it, I feel I must write a review for this game. Story: First and foremost, the most important thing in any RPG: the story. DA2 plays less like a grand 'let's save the world' adventure and more like 'let's do some stuff in a fantasy setting'. Now you may see this as a negative critique, but it isn't. DA 2 takes the world, politics, races, and organizations that were all introduced in DA:O and makes you intimate with them. Very intimate. The story is told through a framed narrative, but I'm sure most of you are aware of this so let's move on. Back to the intimate part. The entirety of the game takes place in and around the city of Kirkwall, a city with a long and bloody history (but, hey, that's pretty must to be expected). You and your family flee there from Ferelden following the Blight, and you decide to stay there and gain fame and fortune. In the first act of the game (there are 3 in total) you must collect 50 gold in order to fund an expedition to the Deep Roads. That's it. No evil wizard trying to kill the king, no dragons attacking the castle, and no damsels in distress. Just do quests and get gold. I feel this lack of story direction is both the game's largest strength and greatest weakness.

    RPGs are often plagued with the problem of trying to make the player the center of the world while also allowing them to make the decisions they want to make. In DA2 you aren't the center of the world. Not at the beginning anyway. And the whole driving force of the game is that your character wants to make a name for themselves. The greatest strength part: you are not given a list of goals to accomplish and instead you are basically let go to do as you please. The greatest weakness: it just doesn't feel epic enough. In terms of amount of gameplay it is certainly epic, just not in scope. You don't fight armies of darkspawn, or save a kingdom. You do quests. Lots and lots of quests, and many of them are indeed very interesting and some are tied together in interesting ways. You save mages from templars, you save templars from blood mages, you fight Qunari, you rescue nobles and their sons, you stop crime, you cause crime, you go into the fade and vanquish demons, and so on and so forth. I cannot stress how much I enjoy having a huge amount of quests in an RPG. It's fun, but doesn't feel meaningful.

    Combat: The essentials from DA:O are there. You have a tank with a sword 'n board and they hold aggro, you have a rogue who stands behind people and stabs 'em, and you have a mage who heals and casts fireballs. The underlying mechanics are not as different as many people seem to believe. How these mechanics are presented/implemented in different ways. Movement, attack speed, and attack damage have all been buffed while the health of many enemies has been decreased. To balance this out, there are a lot more enemies. I'm playing the game on Hard, and it's somewhat uneven. Some fights are ridiculously easy, while others are very difficult. At least it makes sense that killing seasoned Qunari warriors will take a lot longer than killing a band of hapless street thugs. The combat animations are flashy, bloody, and filled with lots of thunder and fire. Many people call the combat dumbed down, and many people call it simplified. So I'm just going to say this; the combat is fun, but if you preferred the more tactical combat of DA:O then you won't enjoy this. This doesn't mean the game is bad. Somethings just aren't for everyone.

    Graphics: Looks fine on my PC. If you're one of the people complaining about the graphics in an RPG, then you're trying to hard to hate this game.

    Sound, Voice Acting, and Music: Good but not great. Varric easily gets my vote for the best voice-acted character.

    Bottom line: If you are someone who wants this game to be Baldur's Gate 3, then it's not for you. Don't get me wrong. I'd love a Baldur's Gate 3 to come out. But this isn't it. And you just have to live with that. DA:2 has flaws just as DA:O did, they're just different flaws. The story doesn't work 100%, but it at least was a stab at something different. There's this strange notion that Bioware 'dumbed' down DA2 for the 'stupid masses', but honestly I think this idea is overblown. In fact, many of you who hate this game must think I'm a member of the masses who plays Halo and Call of Duty non-stop. And I'm not. I'm a HUGE fan of roleplaying games. Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Morrowind, Oblivion, KOTOR, ME+ME2, DA:O, and now DA:2. I like all of these games and love some of them. DA:2 is a fun game with hours and hours of questing filled with moral ambiguity in one of the best new fantasy worlds to come out in a long time. Even if the story that holds it all together is not as good as other Bioware games, I really don't care so long as I'm in the world of Thedas.
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  31. Mar 13, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I haven't played DA:O so I can't comment on any changes. However, as a newcomer to the Dragon Age series, I have to say I did enjoy the game somewhat. I've played Mass Effect 2 and it was personally very fun but lacking in RPG elements (e.g. weapon/armor customisation was very poor). Dragon Age 2 does fix that somewhat because I personally felt I had more control over my character. On the contrary of most of the reviews I've read, I thought the voice acting was pretty well done. Occasionally I felt that the characters were a bit more fleshed out than those from Mass Effect 2... However, it was annoying because I knew things were happening but the game didn't really explain what. For example, I had no idea what the Qunari where and the Qun and their rivals or something. I never really got what was happening apart from the fact that it was "MAGES vs TEMPLARS!!!!!" and then finally it was war between the mages and the templars etc. etc. A bit too predictable if you ask me.

    Gameplay was very fun though. I played as a mage and those skills are pretty fun. The pause system is very useful. I have to admit I did play on 'casual' (flame me if you want) because occasionally I would forget to check what was happening with my teammates (ME2 teammates wouldn't die so easily :P). Biggest problem with the gameplay was the levels. Seriously Bioware? Everytime I go into a cave the layout is exactly the same. Am I to believe that the insides of the mansions are exactly the same! The overuse of the same level designs is SO ANNNOYING! Blegh. Soundtrack was decent. Nowhere as memorable as those in Mass Effect 2. I liked the music during the fighting. But otherwise, no music apart from the one from the trailer is really stuck in my mind.

    Graphics seems decent. Having played Mass Effect 2 I didn't hate the graphics in Dragon Age 2. I haven't tried the high res pack though. I would have thought that Bioware should have included it in the game rather than being offered as a downloadable. I have to say though I want to explore the Dragon Age world more but Dragon Age 2 doesn't really provide that experience.
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  32. Mar 13, 2011
    6
    Heres a Realistic review from someone who played the game on mostly nightmare/hard difficulty so didn't suffer from the 'button mashing' hack and slash crap people claim it to be, but it simply isn't . The Dialog is somewhat drastically dumbed down from the first, you can only be a goodie goodie, a clown who doesn't take **** anything serious, or an ass, there is no in between like the first, i.e. it adopted mass effects slightly less than interesting dialog system bioware seem to love so much. The combat on hard and nightmare is NOT a hack and slash, on nightmare EVERY single encounter has to be micro managed or you will die, on hard all minor encounters can be done with minor micro management but all bosses require full micro management again, the combat is much improved to DAO, its far less sluggish and much more fluid so its a definite plus, DAO itself was just a tedious slow hack and slash on normal/easy anyways so to claim different is stupid. The plot is quite a bit weaker than the previous one, there doesn't seem to be much of an overall plot to the story and it seems second rate from what I would compare to most Bioware games and this looses it major points in my book, for the most part it was very generic and sometimes boring and predictable. The inventory system is dumbed down as in its mostly only about your character now, but honestly thats personal preference, I liked it much more than I disliked it, as it removed a lot of the tediousness from DAO. Graphically, in some cases its improved upon over the original, in others its just bad, the constant reuse of the same bland generic 'block' city really made it get tedious at some points and they reuse the same 20 or so areas over and over and over and over and over, until your eyes feel like they are bleeding. Its not a horrible game, I did however enjoy origins more, but the combat in this was definatly an improvement, just it is a total hack and slash on normal/easy no other way to put it, if you want a true tactical RPG experiance you have to play Nightmare/Hard. I give it a 6/10, some improvement, a lot of dis improvement from the original in other area's of gameplay Expand
  33. Mar 14, 2011
    6
    My main gripes with this game are the combat system, the recycled environments and the lack of choice. I don't mind the flashy new feel of the combat, but the enemies-popping-out-of-thin-air -system is cheap and underwhelming. In my mind an RPG is supposed to promote game play where positioning and tactics play a major role. This was possible in DA:O since the enemies you saw where the ones you were going to fight but now reinforcements pop out of no where blowing tactics out of the water. One might argue that it's there to crank the difficulty up, but that's just wrong. There are many ways to make a game more difficult which are not as cheap as this. DA:O was plenty difficult on the hardest difficulty without this system.

    Lets get to the recycled environments. I don't mind having to visit the same place a few times, but when you have 3 templates for a building interior which are used for 20 different buildings it gets old and fast. Same goes for caves etc.

    This game also lacks one of the most important aspects of RPG's, actual choices that affect what happens in the world. There are some minor things you can decide on, but nothing that truly affects the world around you. You can solve a situation a few different ways but in the end the result is almost always the same.

    A lot of people seems to think the story is something horrible but I don't share that view. It's not a great story but it's also not a complete train wreck.

    There are a lot more flaws in this game like the VO acting which is done without emotion, uninteresting characters and bugs.

    Don't get me wrong, it's an OK game, but it feels very rushed. The sad thing is I know Bioware can do a lot better than this.
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  34. Mar 14, 2011
    6
    Good game but falls short in a few crucial areas that will put people off playing it thro to the end. First I would like to say that this is a good game if you are an avid rpg game player. Since there are not many rpg genre offerings from high profile developers it can be cursed with over critisim and over hype, unfortunatly DA2 has been jumped on in regards to massive over critism. Let me put is this way. It does not deserve anything above a 6 or 7, from me personaly, I enjoyed it on a game level but not on a story level. Mainly because there is no drive, no narrative and there certainly is not climax or plot twists that make your eyes water or have an emotinal breakdown. This for me, is a deal breaker, a good RPG needs to suck you in emotionaly, the better the story/game the more of yourself you invest in it and the greater the enjoyment. (Old gamer moment incoming) BG2 is a perfect example huge long game, similarly split into acts each with an overriding point to them. You must escape, you must find a way to rescue your sister, you have been thwarted but the baddie while getting your sister, you must escape again, you must stop the baddie all to the backdrop of an evolving narative of you are the child of a god and someone is screwing it all up. Its pretty simple stuff here, but DA2 has none of that. You have no purpose or anything to focus as a goal, it's a bunch of unconnected quests that don't add up to a greater whole. There is a massive void in this game called "the main plot" and without it feels like Hawk (the MC) is just spinning thier (and your) wheels as there is no purpose to what they are doing in each of the acts. It is such a shame, there are so many great things about this game that I did enjoy like the voice acting, the companions themelves with thier quests/development and enjoyed the writing itself (mostly). Sadly this only magnifies the fact that the core is missing. Expand
  35. Mar 14, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There's a lot of things to like about this game, and a lot of things to dislike. Combat is over the top, the story is unfocused and weak, and the entire scope of the game feels a lot less epic than Origins did. This has already been discussed at length in most of the reviews. For the purposes of time, however, I'm going to focus on the thing that bothered me the most. For me, the MOST annoying factor is the fate of the siblings. You only get to have your sibling for the first act of the game. At the end of the Deep Roads, no matter what you do, your sibling leaves the party, either dead or with another faction - the Circle, the Templars, or the Grey Wardens. This was annoying for me. Getting to know the family that came with Hawke was one of the big draws for me. Why give us a character and let us get to know them only to take them away before half of the game is done? It seems almost like it was done because of the development time - like they didn't have the resources to do both stories for the entire game since you only get one or the other, and so, to cut corners, they took them out of the equation for most of it. It's not even the fact that I used Bethany as my healer - I liked her as a CHARACTER beyond that, and so her fate was particularly upsetting for me. It's probably not fair for me to judge the game harshly because of this, but I do. If the sibling was able to rejoin the party sooner, perhaps towards the end of Act II or at the beginning of Act III, I wouldn' mind as much. I'd even enjoy it. It would add some drama. But by removing the ability to get around this, to find another solution, it forces you into losing the sibling and removed one of the better connections I had to the main character. Combined with the fate of the mother, it was just too much. With so many unavoidable tragedies, I started to detach myself from everything that was going on, and made me question why Hawke would stick around after all of that personal loss instead of just moving on to somewhere better. Expand
  36. Mar 15, 2011
    6
    I am a massive BioWare fan, and their games are my favorite of all time especially Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. But this game was a huge disappointment. It had no identity. The Action was too "actiony" even for a action RPG let along a RPG.

    The stages and levels were rehashed and used over and over again. Difficulty was sending the same waves of mobs at you over and over again.


    This is probably BioWare's worst game to date. I usually went around saying "BioWare games can't fail" I guess I was wrong. This game didn't really fail but was average at best.
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  37. Mar 16, 2011
    6
    This game starts out with well intentions. You are tasked to save your family from the incoming darkspawn, who would of thought that would of been the most epic moment in the game. From there you will see the same buildings caves and good ole beige kirkwall the rest of the game. now if we want to break down the game into factors like other reviewers i will so i won't get taken down for spam. I will be comparing this game to its predecessor.(although i probably should compare it to fable or god of war since thats the way this incarnation is set up.)
    Gameplay: this game is nothing but a Spam R fest on most difficulties while removing most if not all tactical aspects of the game with the inclusion of respawning enemies. not to mention the lack of decent specializations for most classes. Sound: 7/10 i think this is the one aspect of the game that was done well so i will not bag on them more than i have to.
    Graphics: Worse than the first game even with the Hi-Res pack explain that to me.
    Story: it was going fine throughout act 1, but after and during act 2 and 3 the game just lost me and the ending was very sub par. When you complete the main story most people including my self are sitting there reading the credits thinking this is it? this is my epic 10 year story to end like this?
    Replayability: With out Origins story i dont see this game being played much more than 1 or 2 playthroughs for most my self i didn't need more than 1 to know i was done with it.

    All in all buy the first game if you haven't bought it and were thinking of buying this one. If you already have the first one save your money for the witcher 2 or skyrim, and give DA:O another run through cause its clearly a superior product.
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  38. Mar 16, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age 2 seemed like it had a good potential at first, but ultimately feels like a rushed product that didn't receive the care and love it deserves. I wouldn't say I regret the purchase, but it certainly left me a little disappointed and lowered my interest in the franchise.

    But there are some good points buried somewhere in there. The story is decent, albeit predictable, and
    presented clearly enough that it flows naturally without those "wait, why is this happening?" moments. Voice acting is for the most part remarkable and quite possibly the strongest point of this title, breathing life into our cast of companions. Nothing as memorable as Morrigan's personality, but characters such as Varric make for decent substitutes. Combat, while overall arguably inferior to its predecessor's, is more responsive and abilities more distinct from each other, which is a good thing.

    However, there are more negative points than I'd like to list. Graphics are at best average, with low resolution textures that are very distracting, especially during cutscenes. Areas are reused over and over again (houses, caverns, warehouses) which totally kills the sense of danger, and any motivation you might have had to explore their world. Combat is more focused on killing hordes of weaklings and far too easy, bordering on hack & slash more than a strategy rpg, although some boss battles are interesting. Many fun elements from the first game have been removed (crafting, isometric camera, consumables diversity, companion conversations, etc), further supporting the hack & slash mentality while removing a great deal of depth. Menus design is inconvenient (talents all thrown together, no easy distinction between character-specific, general, unlockables), some informations are on different tabs for no reason (why are resistances shown alone on their own tab again?). At least the in-game UI is decent.

    Long story short, they tried and didn't quite get there. I can only hope they'll be given all the time they need for whatever DA game comes next, instead of getting another rushed one.
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  39. May 15, 2011
    6
    This game is disappointing, no doubt. However what's even MORE disappointing is the fact that a bunch of inept little turds have given this game false zeros to drag it down. It's still a good game, there is NO denying that unless you are just irrational or dishonest.
  40. Mar 16, 2011
    6
    DA2 is very impressive at first. A huge step up from Origins in terms of graphics and fluidity of the interface, making it much faster paced and exciting to watch. It's really beautifully done. However, the whole idea of a great RPG should be that it's like reading a great story (only better, since there's no reading!), so a great plot is an obvious necessity. Simply put, the plot of DA2 is boring. .
    In comparison to Origins, everything is on a much smaller scale. Rather than moving across a country to thwart the apocalypse, all you do is move around a city increasing your fame, and putting out minor fires in your personal life and local politics. Sure, the political implications of the characters' actions are sort of interesting, but on a much smaller scale than, say, saving the world. .

    My other complaint is that the setting is so limited. Spending the entire game in one city means they had to reuse the same settings over, and over, and over, and over. And over. I get that it's hard to design maps and textures, and that reusing them somewhat is necessary, but they really went to far with the recycling. We aren't just talking about going back to the market district a few times, or playing through a map once, then revisiting it later under different circumstances (that can even be cool sometimes, like in Origins you revisit a familiar city during a siege and all the familiar sites are burning). We're talking about repeatedly performing "new" missions in the exact same cave, with the exact same rooms, only you're supposed to pretend it's different. "Gee what a coincidence, this is the 8th quest I've been in a cave with a staircase EXACTLY like this one." There are times when they use map layouts designed for the deep roads as if they were sewers beneath the city. COME ON!! :(
    .

    It just feels like they wrote a game with about 10 hours of gameplay worth of plot, then tried to stretch it out with a bunch of filler missions, without drawing up new settings. I'd almost say it feels like an expansion pack in it's laziness, but that would be going too far since the graphics and gameplay engine really is all new. Maybe the best description would be to say this is an all new game, but just a really lazy one. One they wrote half of, got tired, and just threw together some filler in the end to round it out. .

    I won't include any spoilers, but I will say that the game's claim that you rise to power to become the most important character in the world, is ridiculous. More like you rise to power to be "pretty important, I guess."
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  41. Mar 16, 2011
    6
    When considering the value of a sequel to a game that usurped such a loyal and respective fan-base, as that of Dragon Age:Origins did, people's expectations as to what was attractive, what made it stand out amongst its crowd of predecessors at the time, are held firm at the hip. Now for myself, remaining a casual gamer, Dragon age origins was a surprising recall to everything I had forgotten I loved, enriching fantasy and an RPG with surprising depth that pulled at my most sensitive heart, and brain, strings.

    For so many others, based on its positive feedback, origins seemed to have one of those, you know, time and place circumstances to its release. The market for this genetic breed of game had been at a seeming standstill, if I recall, and Bioware began a roll. However, in this day and age when success snowballs everyone wants a push to add to it, but that's irrelevant right now.
    I knew Dragon Age 2 was in development last summer but my focus was redirected until about two months ago, before its official release, when I remembered I never beat Origins. Taking matters into my own hands, I revived the title and conquered the Archdemon. I was excited again, but nothing near over-excited. The story was gripping and I wanted to know where it was going.
    Now on to Dragon age 2, sorry I felt I just needed some background established as I think there are multiple angles to approach this Bioware title.

    The initial impression was satisfaction, which did continue a few hours in as well. To clarify, I played on the ps3 platform. Buttons were mashed, graphics were displayed, dialogue was chosen and incurring in me was upon the urge and feeling more was just around the corner. And I kept going. And kept going. What I stumbled upon was the dust-ravished cliffs of never-ending. It all pulled its own weight up until I identified just what was unsettling inside me. It simply lacked. It had no bow; no shiny decor of paper with polar bears shaking snow globes. Maybe a fancy name tag, but that was about. After saving one entry, I noticed the gameplay hours were at about 20 then. What did I remember about those 20 hours? practically nothing. I was trying to understand the Arishock, predicting the next turn of events, and knowing the Wounded Coast had way too many quests for me to want to go back to the same dungeon for the 10th time. I found nothing really jumped, no lines very memorable, albeit the voice acting was entertaining and well done, and felt little to no sense of reward after I did anything for anyone. At the end of the day, it was primarily how much cohesiveness it lacked. It felt consistently uni-lateral, I knew I was going from point A to B and my options were noticeably clear cut. Perhaps this is because of the constant pick and chose business, such as with the mages and templars; the overall theme left a dry taste in my mouth. For the hardcore fans, it is a bit unrealistic to expect the same novelty the first game created, a modicum of change will always exist somewhere. For the Crew of producers or whoever, the respect in audiences across platforms for Origins was for a reason, RPG fans wanted its immerse experience, not button press equals awesome.

    At this point it may appear a negative review, however, this is not wholly my intention. It is still apart of the Dragon age franchise; it holds meaning (even if half of it will rely on buying all 10 dlc packs or whatever >_>) . The dialogue is not entirely nonsensical, I still thought about the answer and character relations were still a strong suite. One can suspend their ulterior schema for rpg when playing on console in this case, it can be enjoyable to randomly blow up enemies, but in context of seriousness...well.
    In my own opinion, DA2 could have been more thoroughly developed, improving environments and progression but the fundamentals would be changed no matter what e.g the skill trees, inventory, combat, or what qualms have you. Being able to accept these qualities, it helps when in the casual gamer status, what only remains to be seen is if the true workers at Bioware will take the 'good' and the 'bad' from this series and release something great latter on.
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  42. Mar 16, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age 2 did disappoint me, because it's not as good, as Dragon Age Origins! There isn't ANY aspect that is be better, than DAO. That said, it's not a terrible game, but it isn't good either. Pros: - The Story is quite okay. - The characters aren't bad. - From the technical view point it's quite stable (expect for DX11). - The graphic is good enough. Cons: - Don't like the new combar system. It's too fast, the spawning of waves of enemies isn't realistic and it feels like stupid hack&slay.
    - RPG features have been cut or removed. Character customization, char. development, inventory, equipment and the diolog wheel are probably the main issues here.
    - Why the useless and ugly comic style? DAO looked much better! Realistic characters and dimensions of equipment build up much more atmosphere.
    - Boring levels without any details. They weren't made with "love".
    - The same boring places are repeated and repeated and repeated again and again and again.
    - DX11 doesn't work correctly. Have to play it with DX9, even though my PC is extremely strong.
    - The High Def. Textures Pack wasn't included in the released version.
    - No Signature Edition on Steam...
    - DLCs before release! Selling me have the pie again...
    - The featured items are too strong/good. It's a balance problem. Summary:
    - The game was released too early.
    - The game has a very poor atmosphere.
    - Too many aspects and features were cut or removed.
    - The game has been dumbed down even more.
    - Don't like the "evolution" from "rpg" to "action".
    - It can't live up to DAO.

    Remarks:
    - Bioware/EA try to bleed the Dragon Age franchise out so that they have enough money for SWTOR. Shame on you! Dragon Age Origins was your most successful franchise so far? Why destroying it then by changing the winning team?
    - Of course people have to compare Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2! It's the same franchise and it shares the same name ...
    - I was stupid enough to trust Bioware and pre-ordered the game. This is a mistake, I won't repeat. Where is the quality people are used to?
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  43. Mar 17, 2011
    6
    Not quite the masterpiece that was Dragon Age Origins, but very far from being a terrible game. If this had have been the first game I would have given it a 10/10. However it did not improve at all on the original and removed some of the best features of the game. Lack of overhead tactical view, atrocious camera controls and nonsensical enemy spawns were what drove the score down for me. Bioware has clearly abandoned their loyal PC fan base in favor of the younger console generation. Shame. Expand
  44. Mar 17, 2011
    6
    Plot is good, companions are at least as interesting as in the first installment, but probably because the game was rushed (its 1,5 year since Origins are on the market) its overly simplified. Interiors are repeatable, running around Kirkwall is boring after a while, and game stutters on DX11 mode when using GF cards. Throw in some bugs and glitches, and i recommend waiting for new drivers and some patching before trying it out. Don`t get me wrong - the game is good, but its not as good as Dragon Age one. Expand
  45. Mar 17, 2011
    6
    I played with demo only and i tried to read everything what i have found about DA2..now i am really really disapointed. DA:O was a dream me and i replayed and ended it some days ago..I really thank you Origins but understand fully the people why give you 0 point to DA2. I gave 6 point you because i know you havent made bad game. But i wont buy this game now because i would like to believe you never make bad game. Expand
  46. Mar 22, 2011
    6
    MadJackMcMad
    Earl


    A fair and balanced review. Although choice is the epitome of recent Bioware offerings, choice is not given here. Three races are reduced to one, and six origins are reduced to one. As such, I could only play as the queasily named â
  47. Mar 17, 2011
    6
    - The high respawn rate destroys the immersion and the tactical part of the game
    - The combat is boring, because of the long cooldowns, the high costs and waves of standard enemies
    - The quest design is sometimes great and sometimes bad
    - Many skills are useless (Dispel Magic, Panacea (40 % cost for +50 health regeneration), ...)
    - The recycled areas destroy the immersion and the need to
    explore the game Expand
  48. Mar 18, 2011
    6
    Spawning enemies in front of your eyes, repetitive locations, boring quests, lots of the same demons from Dragon Age: Origins, no ability to change armor of your companions, money make no use in this game anymore, the ending of the game is quite the same and no matter what path you choose, imported saved games from DA:O make no significant role. Final word: this game is bad sequel.
  49. BaM
    Mar 19, 2011
    6
    Like many others here, this is the first time that I've been motivated enough to write a review for one of these games. Mostly, it's because of where the game fails. Also, I have to say right away that I've been disappointed with how Bioware has responded to user criticisms. Please get a crisis management consultant, who will give you a much better approach to this, which will start with "oops, we tried our best but it didn't work for a lot of you so let's figure out how to improve in the future." This would have added to your credibility instead of the current reputation-killing approach.

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

    Staying in the city wasn't a bad idea, but it needed more life and depth. I found the repetitive scenery a big minus. I found the endlessly similar battles with the more and more boring waves of unrealistically appearing enemies to be harder and harder to accept. The 123 "rings" and "amulets" really took almost all value out of the items we collected and used. It also led to the other complaint, that so many things that were named still look the same. I would rather have a few, quite different and interesting items that I can grow to love for a while. I like overall the tension between the different factions and I would have liked the game to focus on and develop these even more. It worked much better for Act 2, and I was ready to stop the game by its end (though I would have liked to see that plot developed even more; it would have been worth it). Act 3 as a build up of the earlier other tensions could have been great, but it was defeated by the apparent need to make every encounter a battle with something bad. So instead of a gripping choice between two imperfect, human, and sympathetic sides, I get numbed out by endless, unjustified, and similar battles.
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  50. Mar 18, 2011
    6
    Origins pulled you in and didn't let go - I wanted to marry it and devote my life to exploring every facet of the game. It was what I look for in a woman - it was rich, deep, engaging, beautiful, and filled with brutal, visceral combat. We had something real together, the kind of thing you can build a real life on.

    I feel like DA2 got me drunk and gave me herpes.
  51. Mar 19, 2011
    6
    The worst part of the game is that the environments are consistently recycled. It ruins immersion, kills suspension of disbelief. This in turn makes other, minor quibbles I might have the game all the more annoying. I would say it is even worse than first Mass Effect in this regard. It's original Halo bad (read: one corridor). Additionally, to try and make it look as if they are not constantly recycling environments they block off some doors of areas and pretend that this makes it a different place. Imagine if all of Baldur's Gate took place in two sections of Baldur's Gate and two outdoor areas and one cave. That's right, there's one cave. You'll get awful familiar with it and the one warehouse, one mansion, and one coastal strand. Apparently the Maker was busy having awesome god-sex with Andraste when divinely designing Kirkwall and its environs and just said, "Screw it." At one point I was in the whorehouse and said to myself, "There are a ton of books here." Turns out the reason why there were so many books in the whorehouse is because the whorehouse uses the mansion environment. So they just cut-and-pasted the thing library and all. That's dickish, but the coup de grace is that the minimap does not reflect when they close off sections of a recycled area to make it look a little different. So oftentimes there are these large pieces on the minimap that look accessible, but are not. The first time I encountered this I didn't understand what was going on and I was convinced I was missing a secret switch and looked for a solid five minutes before realizing the game developers were either rushed or lazy and hadn't bothered to patch up the minimap. The plot is ambitious and it works in part and fails in part. It does give the impression of years passing. But this comes at the cost of telling what are essentially three separate stories with much smaller scale than the epic Dragon Age, NWN, or BG plots of yore. You're essentially dabbling in the petty politics of a single city. The loremasters of Dragon Age have gone to such lengths to create such a big and detailed world, why are we trapped in this tiny, consistently recycled environment? If you want to tell a story over the course of 10 years, why not put in a lot of globe hopping? The dialogue and the characters at least are interesting. I liked most of the party companions and their banter. I'm not entirely against the Mass Effect wheel making an appearance. I really enjoyed the companion sidequests. Those were much more compelling to me than any of the main plot line quests. I actually liked many of the changes to combat people complain about so much. Cross-class combos are interesting and make warriors and rogues feel more worthwhile. It also adds a bit of skill in using them against enemies at higher levels of difficulty. Yes, rogues now do teleport into position to backstab, which yes, is dumb. But in comparison to the above, it's hardly even worth noting as annoying. Finally, why the hell did they make it so I can't equip armor on companions? My inventory was constantly laden with plate mail and leather armor my mage could never equip and my companions just kept their pre-fab armor that automatically improves with leveling and upgrades stored in the most random places of all Thedas. One of the most enjoyable parts of an RPG is improving your characters. This does not just come from leveling. In Baldur's Gate, NWN, Morrowind, Dibalo when you find your first good piece of plate armor and throw away your stupid rusty chainmail, you feel like such a badass. Here, you don't get to do that for 6/7 party members. That's just lame. Some people complain about the graphics. Overall I'd say they're fine. Some textures stand out as very low-res. That's lame, but compared to some of the complaints above, negligible. Graphics don't really make or break a game for me. It's the story, it's the adventure. It's how immersed I can get in the game. In short, it's decent. The plot is at least trying to do something new, even if it doesn't entirely succeed. Bioware still writes good dialogue and the characters are worthwhile. But the game is crap compared to what I hoped it would be. If it had even just been as good as Dragon Age I would have been happy. Alas, it got substantially worse. I'd wait for it to hit the bargain bin if you've got time on your hands and like the genre. Do not pay full price, and if any of the above sounds unbearable to you, just don't invest at all and read a summary of plot somewhere while waiting to see if they botch DA 3.â Expand
  52. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    Just finished a first play through. Diverting and enjoyable enough to finish, but a far cry from DA:O. The story arc was certainly less compelling. I found the "voiced protagonist" a nice addition, and found the new dialog system to be rather nice overall (though sometimes a bit *too* explicit about which dialog routes to take -- especially for developing romances). The combat system was much less enjoyable than DA:O. Everything looked and felt a lot more like a console game, with talents that were sometimes awesome to see in action but hard to fathom as "making sense" in the DA:O universe. I really missed being able to scroll back to the "tactical view" of the battlefield. I was shocked that the anti-magic powers of Templars seemed to be diminished to the point of non-existence. I experienced at least one serious glitch in a chapter 3 quest (rescuing a kidnap victim, but the "bandit leader" I found on Wounded Coast can't be interacted with -- I presume that some interaction is necessary at this point to kick off a conversation and/or battle -- there's no other hint about how to proceed beyond "Go to the Wounded Coast" and I certainly searched that area thoroughly and found nothing else). I'm also not sure whether there's a bug related to finding the "Spindle weed" crafting resource -- I think I checked all areas pretty thoroughly, but ended the game with "3/6" found (and I needed 4 for a particularly spectacular potion). Despite all this, I'll probably play it at least once more -- it had its moments. There was enough of a cliffhanger ending involving a character from the original game that I can at least hope for the possibility of another sequel that hopefully recovers some of the strengths and plot interest of the original game.

    I wouldn't recommend a true DA:O fan to rush out and buy, but it may be worth a play through once it becomes a loss-leader or if you can purchase it used.
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  53. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    Bioware keeps saying they improved Dragon Age. Apparently "improved" = "subtracted from" at Bioware. But still I think some of the lower reviews are based on the expectations coming off of Dragon Age: Orgins. This game is just ok, in the same way Arcania or Risen were ok. I could tell they were bad games, but there was plenty to enjoy within. Bioware has abandoned the PC crowd that created them. My advice is rent this on console, and spend no more than $10. The DLC is nothing to be missed. Expand
  54. Mar 20, 2011
    6
    As a die-hard Bioware aficionado, I'm slightly disappointed with some aspects of DA2, and extremely disappointed with one particular aspect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I haven't read any of the other user reviews yet so as not to bias mine, but I see a lot of negative reviews. I don't feel the need to be overly harsh; Dragon Age 2 is an enjoyable game with interesting mechanics that I would like to believe will have a series of redeeming expansions, or better yet, an excellent finisher in Dragon Age 3. Story-wise, it feels a bit like a trailer for a (hopefully) fantastic game to come; I wish they could have made it epic in its own right in a similar way to other mid-trilogy titles (Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, Mass Effect 2, etc).
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  55. Mar 21, 2011
    6
    My review is mixed. Dragon Age 2 is a great game only if you haven't played the first game. If you haven't played D.A.Origins you wont miss the several different origins depending on your race. You wont miss the strategy part when having a fight. You wont miss the feel that you play a game in a huge map. You wont miss the different dungeons that you encounter all the time. If you haven't played D.A.O. Dragon Age 2 is a great game. But then if you haven't played Dragon Age Origins and you see this review know that you shouldn't play it after you finish Dragon Age 2, as you will make an account to Metacritic and write a similar review like mine Expand
  56. Mar 22, 2011
    6
    First off, I am a veteran of Dragon Age: Origins, but still enjoyed this game. I played the game to completion in about 25 hours. Instead of going into a mega-rant about why I gave this game a 6/10 instead of a higher score, I will break it down into simple Pros and Cons: Pros: - Character development is more enjoyable than in DAO
    - Player can feel "connected" to these characters and
    immerse themselves somewhat into the world
    - Desire to finish the storyline (which is not very cohesive)
    - References to DAO Cons (Much more substantive list)
    - My biggest gripe is that the game is not finished. The ending is lackluster, incomplete and basically set up to sell you, the customer, more DLC's and expansions that will inevitably finish the story
    - Huge let down with character development - after Bioware spends so much time connecting you to your side characters, everything is just left "hanging" at the end of the game
    - Battle system significantly dumbed down
    - No customization for other character's armour, limited weapon customization
    - Glitchy, Buggy quests ruin the game in some spots (crucial quest points with Merill are still bugged at time of writing)
    - The script is extremely corny in some places, making things absolutely cringe-worthy in many many parts of the game
    - EXTREMELY limited environments. Dungeons are recycled over and over again, by the end of Act 1, you've probably seen every environment that can be offered to you. This ruins the game environment in many places when you think to yourself "Wait... haven't I been here before?"
    - Non-cohesive storyline in many cases, quests do not seem connected
    - Choices don't really affect your ending, contrary to many other Bioware games

    Tl; Dr? If you are a fan of the original game, you will be disappointed with the dumbed-down combat, story, environments, incomplete ending, and so on. If you are looking for a hack-and-slash game, without much development, you may enjoy this game more.
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  57. Mar 23, 2011
    6
    While entertaining, this game doesn't come close to its predecessor. There are two problems with DA2: first it has a number of extremely silly design flaws, and second that it differs from Origins in many respects without bringing any improvement to the table.

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

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

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

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

    What EA/Bioware have done to Dragon Age is, in Talleyrand's words, worse than a crime - it's a mistake.
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  58. Apr 23, 2011
    6
    This game isn't as bad as one may be led to believe. If you ignore the "Dragon Age" in it's name and judge it on it's own, it can be an enjoyable 50 hours or so. The problem is, it isn't Dragon Age anymore. Dragon Age Origins was a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate and it showed. The sequel tried to reach out to people who didn't like BG and DAO, by borrowing heavily from Bioware's other game Mass Effect. To top it off the game was very clearly rushed.
    Some of the biggest things you'll notice...
    - You can't customize companion armor. Their excuse is that they wanted to create unique models for companions that wouldn't fit regular armor, but it comes off as laziness.
    - The world doesn't change in the 7 years the story spans. Nothing changes from the location of NPCs to clothing, to companions houses (item locations and such).
    - Combat is faster paced. I actually like that.
    - You get a lot of useless item called junk. Why? Who knows, as the name suggests they serve no purpose other than to be sold.
    - Areas are reused to an extreme. Caves are always the same cave, mines the same mine, houses the same house, ect. This really starts to get annoying after about 2-3 hours of gameplay.
    - The story initially gives you little reason to care, and when it looks like it's picking up it's abruptly ended. No conclusion, and your actions have NO effect on how things turn out.
    - You have little impact on the overall story. In the first game you got to make decisions that had a huge impact on the world. Here, you're lucky if it changes a line of speech later on.
    - The dialog wheel will often do a poor job at representing what your about to say. If you've played Mass Effect you know what I mean.
    - Bodies explode when it's not fitting (ie a stab in the back would not cause a body to explode into a million pieces)

    Still the story is alright, despite never being concluded (clearly there is a sequel planned) and combat is improved over DAO. It's probably not worth the full $60 they are asking, but if you can find it for $35-$40 you'll get your money's worth.
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  59. Mar 27, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age 2 is not DA: Origins. Origins had one of the best plots ever in an rpg and you literally cared about every character. Most of all you had a goal. A purpose you cared about. Even the greatest games failed in this area (Oblivion comes to mind). There are only a few changes in DA 2, the details of which you can hear screamed about in every other review. One of the most annoying is that you cannot equip the character outfits. This was made according to the designer because people all dressed all their characters the same and it bored him. So now your choice is.. to dress your characters the way He wanted you too. In addition the combat is seriously dumbed down. Rather than fighting a few powerful enemies and using tactics to defeat them mostly youre fighting waves of weak enemies with a couple "bosses" thrown in. On Hard or Nightmare difficulty this is still almost as interesting as the original game because on the tough fights you literally act/pause/issue orders/act/pause/issue orders. It isnt a game breaker though. What breaks this game more than anything was an egotistical designer deciding he knew better than the customer and forcefeeding us a lame plot you dont care about, his personal preferences on character equipment, and truely bizarre recycling of content. You only have afew areas to go to in this game and you will go to them again, and again, and again. Note: you can check out his softball interview to verify all of the above.

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

    Having said all that: This game is fun. Its not worth the full price and it shouldnt even be mentioned in the same breath as DA:O, Mass Effect, Baldurs gate etc. But if you can pick it up for 10 or 20 bucks.. its certainly worth it as its isnt Unfun. Perhaps Bioware will decide its customers are more important than the egos of its employees and fire the person responsible for this disappointment. Lets hope so because bioware is without question the best RPG company in the business.
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  60. Mar 28, 2011
    6
    This game isn't horrible. It's simply a mediocre game which was hyped to be the ultimate RPG ever. Unfortunately, it hasn't lived up to the hype. This doesn't mean that there is no enjoyable content - just that there isn't enough to warrant the over-the-top reviews. The first 20 hours of gameplay are both extremely cliche and repetitive and lack any sort of immersion - you do the same generic "go over and kill something" quests and almost nothing is influenced by your character background or prior decisions. On the other hand, the game suddenly thrusts even the most minor decisions unto the player in the ending, which seems extremely inconsistent. There are also some design decisions that really outline the fact that the game was rushed to meet deadlines - first of all, free area exploration, something that was the staple element of every BioWare RPG from Baldur's Gate through Jade's Empire and KoTOR up to DA:O, is missing. No longer you can wander through the city at night and talk to strangers - no, right now anyone in the city brothel will talk to you only if you have a valid quest there. Add to this the generic locations which differ only in decorations and in blocked passages (which are blocked in-game but not on the location map - which gives a truly pathetic impression in a game with a budget as big as DA2 had) and you get an impression that somebody's trying to sell you an average product as a huge hit. Sequels for much less marketed titles, namely Divinity II and Two Worlds II, have done much better in terms of fulfilling expectations and improving upon the original, whereas here one can't shake the overwhelming impression that the only factor driving the favorable reviews is BioWare's reputation. The discrepancy between official reviews and user reviews, especially on such a huge sample size (over 2000 user reviews at the time of this writing) has to be telling, too. To summarize - if you have money to buy any title on the market and you are a fan of cPRGs, DA2 will suffice as entertainment - if you manage to plod through the first 20 hours or so. If you have a limited amount, DA2 would probably be my fourth choice this year - behind Two Words II, Divinity II and the upcoming Witcher II. Not horrible - just not good enough. Expand
  61. Apr 1, 2011
    6
    An astonishingly disappointing entry from Bioware. As a fan of many Bioware games, of Dragon Age: Origins, as well as other classic RPGs, I was all set to return to the world of Thedas & continue in what should be a landmark Bioware RPG... Right? No, not so much. In fact, in complete contrast to RPGs where I just couldn't close the game, where the game cried out for 'just one more hour!' - DA2 I had to make an effort to play it.

    Negatives:
    Complete lack of immersion would be my number one killer for this game. Companions requiring you to be at their home before you can talk with them, terrible space-age user interface, the same unmoving NPCs for an entire decade of gameplay, in-combat spawns (!), the absolutely identical three-four buildings/dungeons reused throughout the entire game - these are just the beginnings of why I didn't immerse in DA2.

    Mass Effect 2 managed to paper over any repetition issues with an engaging story, and combat that was diverse enough that you had to occasionally engage the braincell. Not so with DA2. In fact, strategic planning goes out the window thanks to the spawning system - you can never be sure when the next batch of enemies will mysteriously appear. No isometric-style view was very lacking.

    The characters & story are not much better. Try as I might, I just can't engage with DA2. It's not for lack of effort - the writing and voice acting is excellent - it's just that whoever produced the overall story arc seems to have completely forgotten how to do it. Imagine if the opening of Baldur's Gate had begun with explaining how you were the child of Bhaal destined to defeat Sarevok, dropped you at the encounter with Sarevok bypassing Candlekeep entirely, and some NPC gets killed. Emotional involvement? None. Mystery? Well you've just told me the ending.

    Everyone and their dog can figure out that the protagonist of an RPG will be someone important - take Mass Effect 2; everyone knows Shepard is the hero, but we got to make him/her the hero in ME1 from humble roots - Shepard's Our hero. Hawke starts the game as badass numero uno for hire, and there's no emotions of success or progression involved.

    The companions are awful, barring Merrill & Varric. I found it hard to like any of the others, mainly because they spent so much time diametrically opposed to practically anything I did, for no adequate reason. I honestly felt I couldn't win; that any choice I made had the potential to have my current companions' friendship/rivalry oscillating back & forth yet again; that for each conversation, they have just met you.

    No origin stories, no different race perspectives, little in the way of meaningful influence from DAO, and a story that bludgeons you over the head with the primary warring antagonists, yet inexplicably allows you to make either no meaningful decisions about them or such polarised decisions, all left me feeling railroaded. The distressing thing is that it has all the hallmarks of Bioware great storytelling, and yet somehow manages to be irritating.

    The inventory & loot & armour system are so cut down as to not even be worth bothering with. Your loot is only really useful to you; you can't outfit companions with a different look beyond weapons. Even useful loot is all 'A ring' or 'A belt' with no meaningful descriptions.

    Positives:
    A voiced protagonist in my view really helps the game & immersion, what little was to be found.

    The graphics & sound are generally excellent & good to look at. It's just unfortunate that so much potential was wasted on the same recycled environments. The stale repetitive combat is at least good to look at, with lovely animations & explosions and so on, although mages annoyed me with their ninja-like staff wielding.

    Despite all the immersion-breaking, the core design of the UI is good. The actual interaction bits of the UI were sensible, with good visual feedback, and finally, a decent character level editor that explains what does what.

    The dialogue wheel of ME2 makes an intro, and I loved the concept, especially a decent feedback system for what option was flirting, what was nice, and so on. However I deserve to preview the full text of what Hawke is about to say and not be incredibly surprised when my flirty flippant remark turns out to be rude & unfunny.

    Applause goes to the continued adult treatment of issues like child abuse, same-sex relationships, blood (everywhere), violence, and generally treating an adult audience like adults. Long may this continue. I was disappointed the romance & sexual themes were not handled with a bit more in-depth focus and a bit less 'consider this foreplay! - fade to black', but it's a start that they're in there at all.
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  62. Apr 8, 2011
    6
    I loved DAO. I played it to completion at least 4 times. I loved the different endings, the total freedom to roleplay, and I found the characters, which from the superficial level seemed totally cliche (bastard prince, wicked witch, drunken dwarf...) thoroughly engaging. I loved all the little permutations. As such, I was expecting great things from DA2. I think like a lot of people, maybe I expected too much - or perhaps I just expected Bioware to be aware of why such a large portion of its fanbase loved it too. Quite honestly, if DA2 was marketed under a different name, I'd give it an extra 2 points. It loses marks because it's a poor follow-up to a game that was, pretty much, the only high-end party-based RPG around (Mass Effect isn't as strong strategically and lacks companion customisation, while The Witcher forces a main character on you and lacks party dynamics).
    My basic feeling is, given another year in development to properly work on the story, sort out the bugs, and tweak the comabt, and DA2 could have been a masterpiece. The ideas are there. But the execution is sloppy, the game lacks cohesiveness and there are far too many elements which fail - not least being, if the entire storyline is about oppression of mages, why you can make your main character a mage and no-one says anything. Even when you use magic in front of a Templar's face. If they really wanted to pull off this impression of a world of prejudice and oppression - they needed to work the mechanics around it. As it is, it's fun.... but it's never going to be a classic. Also, given this, I'm not sure whether or not I'll bother with DLC for this game... it seems to me the EA marketing machine has already brought in far too many cash-ins everywhere.

    The Pros: The continuing stories of characters you meet in every act is quite interesting and does vary MINORLY depending on your decisions.
    Companions are, once you get to know them a little, interesting, though Bioware have once again done what they tend to do for expanions and 'rushed for time' games and made characters that are mostly known for their unusualness (e.g. Varric - very NOT traditional dwarf) - still, they've got the writers to back this up. There is no 'right choice' in most scenes; this is not a good vs evil choice. DAO had that too (with the exception of the werewolves/elves) but not to this extent.
    Therw was one moment in the endgame where my jaw literally hit the floor :) Bioware still tell a good story. Unfortunately, there's not enough genuine story to make the whole game feel connected.

    Cons:
    The main cons seem minor, but are so repetitive that by the end of the game you;'re beating your head against the wall, and they have been repeated more times than DA2's single 'cave' map, so I won't rant too much.
    Overwhelming re-use of maps: every cave in the game is identical, and I have played story missions where you enter different caves at different locations consecutively and play the same map - just one you start at the other end.
    Combat flaws - the respawning of enemies out of nowhere, the lack of tactical combat, the 'pretty' spell effects that obscure the actual battle, the fact that every boss battle is almost identical (horde of minions at every quarter health lost) and one of my main gripes - dragon battles should feel epic, not like yet another boring hack'n'slash encounter!
    Related to both the above, the numerous predictable low-level mobs that appear in the same locations every map and leave the game feeling like a slog, not an exploration.
    Incredibly boring loot, plus the lack of ability to change companion armour - every item gives one or a combination of +attack, %damage, % damage resistance, and +stamina/health/regeration. Most of it looks identical. In DAO I took on hordes of enemies to complete an armour set that game me stuff nothing else had - here, everything seems the same so I can't be bothered.
    The neon yellow arrows over anything quest-related, which rules out any exploration possibility and means most quests are just a matter of running from arrow to arrow to arrow; apart from a very few exceptions, if it doesn't have an arrow over it's head, you can't interact with it. Completely brain-deadening. The exception is the couple of 'extra' quests which can be obtained, which ar virtually identical in structure to one another and ddon't even give you very good rewards...
    The achievements! I mean seriously, did they set those achievements for 5 year olds or what? getting one of switching the damned map from day to night makes me feel like a kid being patted on the head because it wiped it's own bum. Seriously, Bioware, we're not idiots.
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  63. MJR
    Apr 9, 2011
    6
    Well...I'm pretty sure this game could have been made better (an understatement). Looking at all the negative reviews I do understand that everyone is trying to make the point that they are very disappointed but it isn't as bad as you might think. First I'll start with the cons. It is certainly no DA:O but it still has a good story although it really suffers for a lot of the "improvements" that were added. For one thing its world is absurdly small. You had all of Ferelden to roam around in DA:O but in this? I don't know who made the decision but Bioware should have a job opening in that department. Other departments that should have openings are: where ever the decision was made to take out finishing kill animations, whoever decided ragdoll still isn't necassary (I mean really it's 2011), whoever thought up that irritating emo elf Faric or "who-the-eff-cares" as I think of him, and whoever decided it was a good idea to have day 1 DLC and have the players revisit every freaking location multiple times.

    Pros: Well...its still Dragon Age. They have that going for them. It really doesn't improve on the first at all and in many cases steps back but it will feel familiar. It is undeniably in that DA universe. Another improvement is that the character you play has a voice and a control wheel for dialogue like Mass Effect.

    Speaking of Mass Effect why did its sequel take such a wonderful leap forward while this one still more or less chokes on the dust of its predecessor? I
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  64. Apr 11, 2011
    6
    Good graphics, combat and music. The story is alright in my book. There are still many bugs present in the game. For instance, one quest did not even show up in the game world. I'm disappointed in Bioware's decision to recycle the areas throughout the game. At some point, you will know when and where to expect traps and treasures. Also, the game doesn't feel very lively any more at some point. Replayability is high due to the various class combinations that are possible. I hope that the next installment will be more akin to Dragon Age: Origins. Expand
  65. Apr 13, 2011
    6
    Yes, it's not Dragon Age: Origins or an Elder Scrolls game, but it was fun to play!

    The bad news: reused maps (extremely so), too linear, relatively short and seemed like a rushed job. In terms of story, it seems like half of it. Nothing like DAO's epic 'Lord of the Rings' scale epic fantasy.

    The good news: great quests, improved combat, Mass Effect-like speech, great characters and
    great voice acting. Oh and there are one or two fun parts.

    Not a complete train crash, its totally playable. Let's hope DA 3 has more to offer.
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  66. May 18, 2011
    6
    I really liked the first one... although I always preferred the Mass Effect games... and The Witcher... I really wanted to like this game... and guess what! I liked it... it was not this epic adventure, which the first one was... it was nowhere near the masterfully executed Mass Effect... it did not even hold a candle to KOTOR... BUT it WAS fun. But let me get to the specifics: The graphics are for todays standards very bad. OK, face animation is great... but the designs and the cartoony art style... did not work for me. The story did not seem like a whole story... but random scripted events tight together... Although the years advanced... Kirkwall stayed the same... the same almost dead and unimpressive city... characters did not age, at least not visually!
    The whole sub story with managing the Bone pit... completely wasted... Locations looked often very similar if not exactly the same... the music was unimpressive, the fighting was ridiculous over the top...

    I could go on like this... BUT IN THE END... AS LONG AS IT LASTED... I had fun with it... despite it's numerous flaws and design short comings... The characters were interesting, the story seemed intriguing... but ultimately turned out to be mostly about nothing... just a random string of scripted events... I think the only reason I really can recommend the game... is for it's characters...

    It is nowhere as good as the critics-score... but it is better than the User-Score...
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  67. Apr 23, 2011
    6
    Before game came out I had big hopes for it. Demo was pretty good ..but very misleading for what the game really is. DA2 is very linear game that take place around one location with very linear quest (go and kill, or bring me this and that) graphics are better then first Dragon Age but not much engine was just tweaked and updated to 2011 standards. Combat is satisfying, changed to more hit&slash paste so you font have to pause game on every encounter but it's still available for those playing on harder difficulty.overall game is a let down after what dragon age 1 was and not worth 30£ (full price) good rent material

    6/10
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  68. May 1, 2011
    6
    First, I loved DA:O. It was an amazing game and I had very high hopes for DA2, but unfortunately it's a big let-down. By no means is it a bad game, but it lacks the 'magic?' of DA:O leaving it indistinguishable from its competition.

    DA:O did a great job with the companions - Alistair, Morrigan and Leliana were great characters with great dialogue--the game did an awesome job expounding
    on their backstories and personalities as time passed and the major plot-line advanced. Other than Varric, the companions in DA2 feel rushed, irrelevant, artificial and unnatural. This is a major blow to the game as companions are so central to DA:O's success.

    The changes to the dialog system were good, as was the move to a MassEffect-like friend/rival system.. this isn't dumbing-down and is one of the few improvement over DA:O.

    The fighting, while very cool at first, becomes excruciatingly repetitive very quickly. How many freakin' Shrieks did the developers think we needed to kill? I mean if you're going to build this complex and finely-tuned combat system, why the hell would you populate the maps with Shriek after Shriek, then a big Shriek or spider, over and over and over...

    I was very disappointed by the lack of different locations in the game. You spend pretty much the entire game (~40 hours?) in one city - Kirkwall. That's it. In DA:O you explore an entire continent, from the the cities to the mountains, hidden temples, castles and battlefields... In DA2 you go uptown then downtown, a trip to a cave, and that's about it.

    Overall I'm really disappointed - all they had to do was keep doing what they did so right with DA:O, but apparently that wasn't the plan. To be fair, it's a decent game, but it could have been so much better, and the franchise as a whole has probably lost some legitimacy.
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  69. May 18, 2011
    6
    Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V dungions, boring quests, boring NPCs, RPG elements very stupid gay-crazy-Anders... WTF Bioware? Only interesting side of the game - battle system. "Interesting" only because other things BORING! Oh my God, why?
  70. May 5, 2011
    6
    I loved the first dragon-age - The way they made the game personal was a triumph of storytelling. Each betrayal and setback was met with unlooked-for hope and new opportunities. Each character was interesting and worth listening to (for the most part). The conversations were fun! And the ending was epic in every sense of the word.

    This is NOT Dragon Age: Origins. The first problems
    show up in story immersion and emotional investment for the person playing the game. The game forces you to be human, then you find out immediately that the dwarf is telling this story, and he likes to lie. Once is enough, but they keep interfering in this manner. I kept hoping we would break in and save him, and the real story would begin. But no ... And they make it worse by making the characters bland. The choices people make are poorly motivated (or poorly communicated), on almost every single occasion, and there are often no options to help them mature, or avoid stupid mistakes.

    Even fighting slavers - which usually feels very satisfying - seemed like a morally 'meh' thing. I've never felt so ambivalent about pursuing slavers.

    On the technical side - the decision to remove the tactical camera angle left me with constant problems selecting where I wanted the team to go. If the camera angle is wrong, the computer won't allow me to tell the team to go there. But it gets worse - the game auto-rotates the camera while you're moving, making it even more difficult to keep the angle appropriate for movement.

    So what makes this game utterly forgettable? The endings. They are forced, and there is no real opportunity to fight for a just cause. It made me feel dirty, and betrayed, and there's no option for justice or satisfaction. Maybe that was the goal, but this is not why I play Bioware games.
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  71. May 24, 2013
    6
    I have changed my score for this game based on the fact that it has very little replay value for me since I bought and played it.
    They removed most of the things I love about rpgs and especially from DAO and flashed up the combat a lot. Saying that I liked some aspects of the combat but not enough to justify the removal of all the crafting and personalising of characters and party
    members.
    I missed terribly the immersion from being able to converse with my team members whenever I liked and of course the romances were for me totally lacking especially compared to other Bioware games.
    The story was pretty dark and bleak, death of loved ones a constant theme throughout the game, not much fun to play of you are struggling with your own grief in rl. The mirror of transformation a nice idea but the awful ghastly shop with the droning and terrible shopkeeper...who likes that kind of place? Twelve year old boys?
    It's an ok game but a HUGE let down after Dragon Age Origins. I've also missed the player made mods as there was no tool kit released for this game. Therefore our modding community have been extremeely limited in what they could do with the game. Such a shame.
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  72. May 17, 2011
    6
    Good Rpg but not great like Dragon Age: Origins was.
    Few locations, poor customization for companions, too short but good story plot.
    I've finished and un-installed it......
  73. May 19, 2011
    6
    The Good: I enjoyed this game and the dark storyline. Most of the characters particularly Hawke were fantastic. The combat was fast and fun, and I enjoyed many of the side quests in this game.

    The Bad: The final fantasy styling was ridiculous. Really, a 5'2" elf wielding a 6'2" sword that is a foot wide all over the battle field. I thought I was playing a game version of yu-gi-oh or
    Voltron. Also, the pirate wench was insane. Really, I'm insulted by ME2 and DA2 with their Alicia Silverstone look alikes in tight clothes (or none). I'm in my 30s and yes I enjoy some eye candy, but it played more like a high school drama than an adult oriented RPG. The reuse of levels was the killer for me...I was bored out of my mind about half way through the game.

    I'm generously giving this game a 6 only because the production quality was high. Still was it high out of effort or because there was so little to develop for?
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  74. May 22, 2011
    6
    By the time Dragon Age 2 launched, I had my mind completely set that the game would be a complete and utter disappointment. However, despite it not deserving it's status of the finest RPG this year, it was an incredibly fun ride, that seemed to end rather abruptly and somewhat strangely. My biggest disappointment with DA2 was the overall departure from the combat style of the first. Although I could still individually order my troops, the combat itself seemed more like a downgrade. The story however was a welcome change from the 'ancient evil will destroy the world' bag. I found the political intrigue between the Templars and Magi to be quite involving, even though not having a main villain did detract slightly from the experience. Another complaint I had were the overall graphics quality. I don't like to think of myself as a graphics whore, but what I saw in DA2 was nothing short of lazy developing. Cookie cutter caves, and city dwellers that were a step above cardboard cutouts are not permitted in this day and age. With it's main competitor right now being the Witcher 2, which seemed to pride itself on detail before it's release, the kind of laziness Bioware displayed here is a slap in the face. I look forward to your letters. Expand
  75. Sep 10, 2011
    6
    This game is not up to standard with today's AAA games. the environments are boring and lifeless, I've spent more time looking at the mini map than my surroundings simply because there is int much to look at. The dungeons are a copy and paste of one and a other. I wont complain about the fighting, it's fast ,exciting and you need to use strategies in most fights.
    The best part of dragon
    age 2 is the conversation system. The graphics are a lot better, the voice acting is excellent and the dialog choices are fun however, the story line is not that engaging. Dragon age 2 feels cheep and unfinished, I do not recommend. Expand
  76. May 25, 2011
    6
    If this was any game, by any developer, completely stand alone game that wasn't a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, I would have probably given it a higher rating. But as it is, Bioware has set a certain standard in it's games. Never once have I played a Bioware game that didn't adhere to the very finest standards of quality. ... until Dragon Age 2. It feels rushed, watered down, and downright uninspiring.

    Dungeons are frequently re-used. In Dragon Age 1, some maps would be re-used, typically in random encounters and the like where it didn't really matter. In Dragon Age 2, this is taken to a whole 'nother level. In general, level design has taken a hit as well. It's just less interesting. Less features. Less attention to detail. The world doesn't feel lived in anymore. Feels like a film set.

    The combat has serious issues. The combat mechanics aren't glitchy, but very poorly balanced. Either it's face-rollingly easy, or extremely difficult, with very little in terms of a middle ground. The difficulty also comes from the unforgiving wave mechanic that has units spawning out of nowhere in waves, which means it's virtually impossible to recover from mistakes. Did I mention that potions are on a global cooldown? Sometimes, games with broken mechanics are redeemed by the amount of love put into them by the developers, but this game feels mostly as an attempt to see just how many corners can be cut before people react. And clearly they've cut one corner too many.

    To re-iterate, by industry standards it's not a bad game. But by bioware standards, it's disappointing. If you find it on a discount, by all means pick it up for the story if nothing else, but don't expect another masterpiece like Dragon Age: Origins.
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  77. May 26, 2011
    6
    Pleasant, but a little bored me. And the graphics ... This is not the DA1.
    Good entertainment, but not an outstanding game. I expected something more.
    Now I'm waiting for DA3 - I hope it will be much better!
  78. May 29, 2011
    6
    The story setting and atmosphere does feel exactly as though it is the Mediterranean of DA:O's setting. 2's storytelling is shallow. It's not a bad game; It feels like a hack-and-slash spinoff of the original game instead of a sequel. If Dragon Age 3 approaches the quality of Origins, 2 could be this franchise's equivalent of an odd number Star Trek film.
  79. Jun 8, 2011
    6
    Would be a 7 or 7.5 if not for the huge drop-off from Dragon Age 1. Story--7. It focuses on the conflicted hinted at in the first game. Some of your decisions will carry on to future quests, but not nearly enough influence in the end. My defense for this is that the developers clearly have a trilogy in mind, so the 2nd one has to end the way they designed. But yes that's extremely frustrating, giving the feeling that all your decisions and effort was worthless. Hey, that's life sometimes. Character interactions--9. Banter in your group is fully voiced, and really lets the character jump out. It was also fulfilling to see some of the old characters from the first game make an appearance, some quite important. Graphics--8. I couldn't run it high or on D11, but it was a significant improvement on the original. Exploration--3. The killer for a lot of players. Dungeons were reused over and over again, unacceptable for such a big name release. When freely roaming the areas, NPCs and environment felt less interactive.Combat and talents--8. Solid, every character, even ones of same profession, felt different enough and close to character.

    All in all, the game is entertaining and has its moments. However, it fails as an RPG, and it doesn't deserve to stand beside the original Dragon Age. Sure glad I didn't pre-order this!
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  80. Jun 11, 2011
    6
    On the positive side, DA2 vastly improved the combat system making combat in DA2 much more interesting and intense than combat in DA1. Additionally, implementing a Mass Effect sort of voice/RP system dramatically improved the overall "feel" of the game making it much more enjoyable on the surface than DA1.

    Unfortunately, DA2 missed the mark in one key area--a compelling plot. Although the
    central idea of the plot was an excellent one, its execution throughout the storyline left much to be desired. This is largely due to the mostly forgettable cast of DA2. I'll never forget Zev, Alistair, Morrigan, Sten, Wynn, and Lilliana, but the only DA2 character that really sticks out in my mind is Fenris. Part of what made DA1 great was its ability to pull you into the plot so that you cared -personally- about what was going on. Even when you weren't playing the game, you were thinking about something you had just experienced in DA1, and pondering the overall implications of your decisions. Also, your quest seemed far more epic with the whole kingdom relying on you to deal with the massive threat to Ferelden. None of these things seemed present in DA2. Part of this reason, I think, was the pre-determined outcomes of the 3 main divisions of the plot. In DA1, you could really change the plot dramatically depending on your actions, DA2 offered no such abilities. Thus, a player felt far less "in control" of the plot. Additionally, elements of the DA2 plot seemed senseless or random, for instance the event that befalls your brother/sister after the deep roads excursions, the reasons your party members may sometimes leave you, or the fact that in the final confrontation -both- bosses act...they way they do. Without significant plot support to back these up, these actions seemed out of place, and confused the player.

    Despite all of these serious plot issues, though, DA2 is still extremely enjoyable to play. It's certainly not as enjoyable as DA1, but is certainly more fun that Awakenings. It's still worth playing, and will certainly provide you enjoyment, even if not at the same caliber as DA1.
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  81. Jun 12, 2011
    6
    I can understand the frustration and disappointment of a lot of the players. I was expecting the follow-up sequel of Dragon age Origin to be as good if not better than the original. I was one of the people that was showered with joy when I heard how soon the sequel would arrive. Looking back now, I really wished they put more time in this sequel because it clearly showed that it was being rush. Once again I don't like repeating what others have said already. Just to summarize the negative aspect of the game. Heavy level re-use, decisions that aren't as impactful, difficultly is too easy, game breaking bugs and overall story feel very detached. However with that being said, this is not a bad game. If you have to judge this game as a stand-alone, it's a average if not very decent game. The AAA voice over work brings the character to life and the rich lore are the game's strongest point. I actually enjoy the new battle system even with its issues. We have to remember guys, that bioware is trying something new and is brave enough to take some risk in its decision. We don't want to play the same game over and over again and they're trying to delivery something different. It's just that they didn't get it right this time but that doesn't mean they should go back and clone the very same game that they been making since the hay days. Just one thing though, bioware, please stop with the 20 dlc on launch day. If you have half as many item in dlc than in the actual game, you're doing something very wrong. Expand
  82. Aug 29, 2011
    6
    Dragon Age: Origins was one of best games I have ever played so I expected from Dragon Age 2 to be even better than original. I was wrong. Dragon Age 2 is a good game but is simpler in all means than Origins It looks like Mass Effect with dialogue wheel, no option to change companion armour, less opportunities to talk with them witch resulted in weaker characters and more action in combat. Combat is faster and more exciting but also simpler with almost no tacticts or difficulty. Spels and talents are easier to use and unlock and that is not bad thing. Story is really weak and all you are doing is jobs to some guys in Kirkwall. Ah, yes DA2 is placed in only one poorly designed city with a lot of area recycling that makes it sooooooooo boring to do quests involving those parts of city. It is a good game but a lot weaker than DA:O in every part. Expand
  83. Jun 15, 2011
    6
    -Combat system too simple - no brains required.
    -Story weak at the start - get's better later on.
    -Companion complexity doesn't get near DAO.
    -Repeating maps to a ridiculous degree.
  84. Jul 15, 2011
    6
    The pros: Combat is fun. The graphics are better. The companion approval/disapproval system is better. Music is decent, voice acting is mostly excellent.

    The cons: The story is very very disjointed, there is no sense of direction. You cannot talk to your companions whenever. The interface is ugly. Voiced protagonist. Waves and waves of enemies which fall out of the sky and explode at the
    slightest touch. Whole game is in 1 small city. Extremely repetitive, boring quests. Underwhelming ending. Overall: Disappointing. Could have been so much better. It is still fun though, and if you're curious about the world of Thedas, then get it for that reason at least. But don't expect more Origins. This is a very different kind of game. Expand
  85. Aug 28, 2011
    6
    Dargon Age 2 is fun definitely, but it lacks that which Origins had: Quality. Playing through Dragon Age 2, you'll quickly noticed recycled landscapes. Another disappointment is the rigid nature of the story line. Your decisions matter, they just don't matter THAT much. I enjoyed playing this game on Nightmare, very very difficult since friendly fire was impractical but I like a challenge, even if it comes from bad mechanics rather than hard to master combat. Expand
  86. Nov 2, 2011
    6
    As a very big fan of the RPG games, like Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale etc. and after playing Dragon Age : Origins + Awakening, i really couldn`t wait for this game. Everything what developers showed us on trailers looked amazing, new battle system, new story, everything. Then day of relase came and i was more suprised than ever. After Dragon Age : Origins i expected something good as it or even much better, but EA and Bioware suprised me with wrong decision. Ok, let`s say the main plot wasn`t that bad but could be better, side quest was almost the same and then cherry of the top of the cake THE SAME CAVES. Ok, i can understand that making some maps or caves can be very boring but if you are making game when all the caves are the same, then something is wrong, oh and one small minus for equipment for team members which you can change apart of weapons... that sux. Anyway, apart of those mistakes everything was quite ok, new battle system is very interesting, new dialog system is quite good aswell (BUT DELETE THIS SYMBOLS NEXT TO EVERY SENTENCE). If you are big fan of RPG, you can play it but don`t expect from this game too much. Expand
  87. Jun 4, 2013
    6
    All in all, Dragon Age 2 isn't a bad game, but I could never shake the feeling that the game would've been better suited as an expansion pack. There are probably about 10-15 hours of Bioware quality content that doesn't feel like filler amidst the MMO-like pedestrian quests (Playing this after The Old Republic couldn't have helped that feeling one bit); if they had cut off the fat and delivered a more focused title I believe this game would've been much better off. Still, I don't regret playing it, and the moments of greatness pulled me through the moments of mundanity. Origins remains the far superior title, but if you absolutely love the Dragon Age universe you're missing out on quite a bit of good stuff if you decide to skip the second outing.

    Score: 6/10
    Time to beat: 37 hours doing all but two quests
    Play this if: You love the Dragon Age universe and don't mind a few filler quests
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  88. Oct 16, 2013
    6
    So the story is great and I would love to give it a better score but, the rest of the game is kind of a step back from DA:O thanks to the short development cycle (unless you hate iso tactical battles, DA 2 is much more action filled combat wise).

    Cons:
    Enemies are done via waves, very annoying and doesn't add tactical depth
    Art assets are reused like crazy. There's only 2 or 3
    dungeons, 2 houses, and a warehouse that gets reused all game long
    No ability to create your own character. You will be a human from a set family, all you can pick is class and looks.
    The Mass Effect convo wheel has been added giving misleading information about what your character will actually say when picked
    Very linear. You can explore maps but the extra areas are just hall ways/rooms
    Short for an RPG, took me about 25 hours to do everything

    Pros:
    I found the story to be epic. I knew the Templar/Mage setup from DA:O had issues

    TL;DR if you played DA:O and liked it, you'll probably want to at least try this on sale to see the build up to DA: I. If you like the combat from The Witcher, you can probably stomach this.
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  89. Jan 26, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Dragon Age 2 is a pretty average RPG that strips back the good parts of the last game and replaces them with cheap versions of it.
    I'm giving it a six as it's a quick game, which allows it to be replayed very easily. Even though the replay value is so low, the player still has a chance to go back and play with a different personality Hawke, and romance different characters.
    Good points include unbelievably quick combat that feels action-packed, witty dialogue, a wide range of weapons that look different from one another, and kinda interesting characters with different pasts.
    The downside of the characters are that there are just too obvious stereotypes with them. You have a warped Mage who wants to free his brethren and an elf who hates mages. Put these two together and you just have hate-spew. Other downsides include being unable to tell the party to HOLD and stay where they are, as when you move, after a certain distance, they follow you; being unable to use half the armour and weapons you find as characters have specific armour; being unable to mod the game apart from tiny tweaks; the list goes on.

    Not bad if you're only gonna pay $20 for it, but any more than that and it's not really worth it.
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  90. May 6, 2012
    6
    THE GOOD: Combat is more fluid and abilities make more sense than DA1. Scripting the characters works also better. Story is fine, characters are interesting. THE BAD: The game mainly plays in a city. It looks like it has different buildings, but in reality its just one house. Whenever you enter a mansion, its exactly the same from inside. Oh, a door is barred here, and you enter through the cellar, but its still the same house. There is one cave in the game. Well there are multiple caves, but from inside its THE SAME. You enter from a different direction, a rock slide blocks a path you could walk in "the other" cave. But its exactly the same map. There's that hill. Well there's multiple hills, but you get it. You're basically exploring the same area from a different entrance point, and some passages blocked off here and there. There's several Warehouses in the city as well. They're all the same. One word comes to mind: LAZY. Yeah, I felt kind of ripped off, cheated. Like the thought I wouldn't notice. Well I did. Another bad thing is that combat consists of waves of enemies popping out of nowhere. Suddenly they're there. You kill them and *pop* another group pops out of thin air and is beating your healer up. I really hated those two aspects. I really really hated the lazy repeated environment. This alone is the reason why I discontinue buying DA. This bores me immensely when "exploring" the world consits in entering the same places, pretending I'm somewhere else. If I want to pretend something, I won't buy a game for it. I'll just pretend. Expand
  91. Jun 3, 2012
    6
    I personally love the new combat, but everything else was dull. Dragon Age Origins was a plot driven game and the story for DA2 felt very weak and dull. DAO also had vast varieties of places to explore but the island centric game felt too confiding. Character development for your companions are boring and you never really "care" for any of them.
  92. Aug 8, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There are some improvements in combat visuals, and the mechanics is a lot easier to handle, which attract newcomers to the DA series. But for those who enjoy the complex combat system of DA:O (I consider myself one of them) some disappointment might come from this game.
    The game is not a brilliant achievement in graphics (and sometimes it does disappoint, in trees, buildings and the sky) but the characters are pretty well modeled. Reusing locations is also a bad thing that must be noted.
    The storyline could be better, its true. This game is basically babysitting a huge city and (the final act of the game) witnessing what will be the story for DA:Inquisition.
    The quests are pretty entertaining, but the secondary characters can sometimes be quite forgettable.
    Conclusion: Dragon Age 2 is a GOOD game, but it falls short of DA:Origins.
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  93. Aug 24, 2012
    6
    A lot of people got their hate on for this game. If you payed $60 expecting a reasonable sequel to Dragon Age:Origins I don't blame you.
    I read the reviews and eventually bought this game anyway when the price was much reduced.
    This is a great example of a low end $20 bargin bin game. There is fun to be had. Interacting with the characters on your team is where most of the fun lies. And
    the plot is simple yet functional. Its a tad predictable but it doesn't really get in the way. They recycle maps like a son of a gun. I mean several years are supposed to pass between acts and your player is generally stuck in the same city. It would be cool if you could watch the city grow and evolve or maybe show off some of its devastation as the game progresses. I mean by the end of the first act I was sick of all the same old places that went basically unchanged as the game went on. Because every warehouse is exactly the same everywhere right? Just the way they designed the maps it feels very sandbox. But it is a solid play. And while it isn't "Epic" in any sense of the term I went into it with modest expectations and it didn't disappoint.
    Don't get me wrong they killed the franchise here. DA:O was an epic and could have started an epic franchise and its a shame this is the sequel. But looking at it as a stand alone game its alright.
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  94. Aug 22, 2013
    6
    The Failure of Dragon Age II is likely to become a saving grace for Bioware. The waves of often vitriolic criticism of the game have surely awoken a sense of professional pride and seriousness in Edmonton. If the developers take it all in and take it to heart we should be able to expect amazing things from Bioware from DA Inquisition. Thus finally the failures of this game will finally prove to be GOOD for the studio and great for gaming. For all the great content in their games, Bioware has always had trouble with linearity of plots, and with limited exploration in their worlds. After they dropped the Dungeons and Dragons rule set, they never really developed a satisfactory alternative. While they hinted at building an interesting fantasy world in Thedas, they NEVER actually did so. Basically Bioware has been coasting on its Baldur's gate reputation for WAY too long. And their trust in their own ability to 'tell a story' has blinded them into missing the key design elements of world building. If gamers were less tolerant of the flaws in Dragon Age Origins, they would have noticed that it really WASN'T nearly as GREAT as generally credited. Having an adventure that simply ends with a mega battle, with no enduring world, no real-living environments is actually pretty weak compared to any number of 'open-world' RPGs. Origins was good enough but what was the business with all that DLC going nowhere, adding nothing? Even Awakenings was just another 20 hours of assorted tale-quests that lead to NOTHING. Dragon Age II was bad, but it was not that different from the way Origins ended: with just random, boring pointless, rudderless 'stuff to do in Thedas'. Bioware never looked like making the world live, or of getting serious with building proper character classes or systems where you could have continuous adventures and take a character from creation up to high level. Maybe after the screaming, the hollering and the backlash, they will put their heads down and get serious at last about RPG design. Maybe they will make Thedas a world worth exploring, and allow the players to create characters and stories that will let us invest emotionally (and creatively) in that world. Maybe Bioware will finally grow up and become the developer we always imagined they would be, rather than confused incompetents who lost their way and ended up giving us more than a decade of MEDIOCRE RPGs. Let's hope so. Let's send up a prayer and an encouraging cheer to Edmonton! Thank them for setting the release date for Inquisition a healthy long time into the future (Fall 2014), and ENCOURAGE them, to RESTART this franchise with rock solid foundation so that Thedas becomes THE FANTASY GAME WORLD of CHOICE for all of us. Simply blow our minds with the BEST RPG EVER. You can do it guys! Kisses!

    THE GROT REVIEW CRITERIA: After a long time writing reviews like an anus, think its time to set a few bad habits straight: Stop insulting designers. Show some respect for the design process and getting games in circulation. Hence (1) No Red scores. (2) Game scores as follows: Bad Game 5/10. Poor Game 6/10. Mediocre Game: 7/10. Good Game 8/10. Great game 9/10. Stella Game 10/10. To get 10/10 it must be a game that can be (theoretically) play-able for 1000+ hours. Not only great but near endless fun. Games may be bad or poor but making them should earn respect. Thus even the worst POS will still be a 5/10. 0/10 no longer exists in my vocabulary. Yellow is the new red. For the sake of accountability: you can reply if needed: Orctowngrot: Tim Rawlins: timtimjp@yahoo.com
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  95. May 6, 2013
    6
    I was thoroughly heart-broken after playing this game. Most of what I had loved from the original game was stripped. The approach of having a "framed narrative" was interesting but I feel that the story just did not deliver (I had to ask myself midway through Act 2 what was my purpose for continuing) and it was certainly not of Bioware calibare. The characters were almost one dimensional with a particular elf who would not look out of place in Stephanie Meyer book. The recycled areas quickly got boring and the gamed ceased being an adventure. But most of all I hated the combat: enemys that explode as if they were made of of balloons filled with cranberry juice; endless waves of trash mobs which seems as a vain attempt to make the game feel longer; bosses battled that bordered on ridiculous (*ahem* Meredith and Corpyheus).

    In the end this game didn't not feel like Dragon Age I will admit in conclusion that there are worse games out there but certainly Bioware is better than this rushed mess. I hope for better in the third installment; having played The Witcher 2 and Tomb Raider the bar is set pretty high now.
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  96. Aug 20, 2013
    6
    This game is classic 'two sides of a coin' to me. The graphics, the dungeons, the changes in the races suck for me. Badly. The new combat system worked fine with me, as I played the game quite a time and didn't compare it anymore to part 1. But I loved the story, I loved the feeling that I'm not really the star of this game. That all the other characters had lives of their own, which did not always involve me. I really enjoyed that I with all good intentions walked kneedeep and deeper into That's what this game really made special for me.

    I think, without EA Dragon Age 2 would have been one of the best RPGs I ever played.
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  97. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    The game, while good, doesn't live up to the Dragon Age game, but to the Dragon Effect name. Storywise it's _just_ fine but the rehashes (every area is reused at least 10x somewhere else), lack of dialogue freedom, boring repeated quests, and streamlined plus simplified gameplay elements help bring out the terrible fact for everyone to see. This game is not a sequel to Dragon Age and shouldn't be called DA:II. It's a complete spinoff of the original game and should be treated as such.

    While good enough on its own two feet the game is brought down by sharing the title of the best RPG of the former decade. If you, as like others, are intent on enjoying the game then do not go into it with DA:O fresh in your mind. It will shatter your every expectation and leave you numb from the betrayal of BioWare.
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  98. Mar 11, 2011
    5
    Do not buy this game, yet wait until the GOTY or Ultimate or whatever crap the put out with ALL the DLC. You can especially tell it was rushed because the music was all from the original and the demons were just ported from the first and no Genlocks!. Many locations were simply copy and paste. While I can see the simplified inventory, combat felt stilted rather than simplified and had obvious bugs. I am very disappointed in Bioware. This is all too bad because I did find the story and the characters interesting. Expand
  99. Mar 21, 2011
    5
    While DA Origins certainly was a spiritual successor to Baldurs gate, this second installment certainly is not. There are things I certainly do like about DA II , such as the Champions dialogue and realistic graphic and character advancement, the Qunari for example look more evolved and some of the textures in the towns and the fighting areas. I have however played over 25 hours now and I am starting to see what Bioware have done. They have concentrated mainly on the "action" side of the game and removed some of the hardcore RPG elements that made Origins an instant success with RPG fans from the PC market. Fights are now alot faster, animations look sleek and some of the elemental spells and skills now look amazing. However, I am very dissappointed with the fact I am unable to change elements of my party's Armour, I am only able to find upgrades littered sporadically around the world map, via merchants. I am also unable to craft within my party, so they have removed the alchemy and poison making abilities and re routed the player to the merchants. You are also unable to gather raw ingredients to make your potions and poisons. Now you only have to find "sources" of raw materials, which then enable you to make the more advanced recipes with the more sources you find.
    I must say I am also dissapointed with the world map, it doesn't give you a sense of travel, it just zones you in. They have removed the random element of meeting trouble on the road too, so those random clearings you would come across filled with bandits seem to have been dropped also. I am only 25 hours into the game but I am also finding the dungeons and maps quite generic and repetitive thus far and I am hoping this may change. To summarize, we are living in an age where Console gamers now have the power to determine the future of the PC market, they are numbing down games for lazy gamers who just havent got the time and effort to really get stuck into their RPG's. I am a Mass Effect fan and I've really loved the ME series thus far, but they have practically butchered the Dragon Age series to fall in line with a heavy dialouge success that they have had with ME. I love heavy dialogue but all they needed to do was keep the same ingriedients they had with DA : Origins , with the main character dialogue like they have done in the second installment and that would have been perfect. I have been enjoying the game so far, and reccommend it if you played Origins, but if you loved Origins for its Baldurs gate nostalgia you will definately be dissapointed with DA II. Lets hope they can salvage it with some good DLC.
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  100. Mar 15, 2011
    0
    I am a massive BioWare fan, and their games are my favorite of all time especially Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. But this game was a huge disappointment. It had no identity. The Action was too "actiony" even for a action RPG let along a RPG.

    The stages and levels were rehashed and used over and over again. Difficulty was sending the same waves of mobs at you over and over again.


    This is probably BioWare's worst game to date. I usually went around saying "BioWare games can't fail" I guess I was wrong. This game didn't really fail but was average at best.
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

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