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4.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4573 Ratings

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  1. 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?
  2. 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
    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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  3. 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
    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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  4. 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......
  5. 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
    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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  6. 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.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
  7. 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
    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.
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  8. 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, andIf 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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  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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 extremelyWould 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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  12. 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 beingI 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
  13. 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 inDragon 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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
    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.
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  16. Mar 19, 2017
    6
    Great, nontrivial story, unbelievable relations with party members and interesting dialogs. It's sad fighting system is a complete crap. I definitely encourage to play this game, however prepare all patience you have to endure long, numerous battles giving no satisfaction.
  17. 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,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
  18. 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 orAs 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
  19. 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 andAll 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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  20. 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
    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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  21. 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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  22. Dec 4, 2015
    6
    This game is BETTER than DAI because its still a story driven RPG.Its not unplayable like DAI, its cheaper dumbed down version of Origins but still with same mechanics. Not like DAI which is completely different game genre (bad single player mod for mmo/action hybrid).
    Problem is, the story is really badly constructed and kind of pointless - you have 3 separate chapters that go nowhere
    This game is BETTER than DAI because its still a story driven RPG.Its not unplayable like DAI, its cheaper dumbed down version of Origins but still with same mechanics. Not like DAI which is completely different game genre (bad single player mod for mmo/action hybrid).
    Problem is, the story is really badly constructed and kind of pointless - you have 3 separate chapters that go nowhere and then the game ends on a cliffhanger.
    Main complaint when it come out was only 1 City and map recycling, but to me that wouldn't matter if other core elements (story&gameplay) where satisfying. They are not and its a boring game.
    I gave it a 6 because, if you really lower expectations and play it for the lolz it still has glimpses of Origins in it. And I hated this game when it came out, but I still finished it and even replay it once after a couple of years. With DAI, no way 4h in it and uninstall.
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  23. 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
    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.
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  24. 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.
  25. 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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  26. 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
    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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  27. 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 finallyThe 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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  28. 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 dimensionalI 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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  29. 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,
    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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  30. Oct 1, 2015
    6
    Tier 3
    + A highly underrated cast of supporting characters that provide unique and fun perspectives and stories in the world of the franchise
    + Despite stilted pacing, the arcs of the narrative stand well on their own while still providing a good, interconnected story and an interesting conclusion + Good side quest stories that fill out the world ? Gameplay feels more visceral than the
    Tier 3
    + A highly underrated cast of supporting characters that provide unique and fun perspectives and stories in the world of the franchise
    + Despite stilted pacing, the arcs of the narrative stand well on their own while still providing a good, interconnected story and an interesting conclusion
    + Good side quest stories that fill out the world
    ? Gameplay feels more visceral than the first installment, but becomes tedious with time as the player simply mauls endless waves of enemies
    ? Some players will take issue with the fact that the story is contained to just one geographical area
    - Due to a rushed production pipeline, the developers reused several locations in immersion-breaking ways throughout the game
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  31. Nov 23, 2014
    6
    First of all: This is my personal opinion, so you should be aware, that your view of the game could differ. I am a fan of Dragon Age Origins (379 Hours on my Steam account) and played DAII for 211 hours.

    + A good storyline (not as good as DAO, but not bad either). + 3 different personalities for hawke (Diplomatic, Humorous, Aggressive) + Choices depending on multiple aspects like
    First of all: This is my personal opinion, so you should be aware, that your view of the game could differ. I am a fan of Dragon Age Origins (379 Hours on my Steam account) and played DAII for 211 hours.

    + A good storyline (not as good as DAO, but not bad either).
    + 3 different personalities for hawke (Diplomatic, Humorous, Aggressive)
    + Choices depending on multiple aspects like class, weapon of choice or companions.
    + Fully voiced Hawke.

    +/- Graphics. (I dont really care about graphics)
    +/- Some choices dont really have an impact on the story (Side with the qunari for example has the same end as siding against them.....unless ;) ).

    - The Combat system is like a **** anime: Unbelievable and exaggerated.
    - You are forced to play a human. This takes a lot of the immersion of the game (compared to DAO).
    - The Levels are like most of the negative reviews here: If you´ve seen one, you´ve seen them all. Repetitive, annoying and boring.

    In summary: The game is neither good nor bad. It has many flaws but also plenty of positive aspects.
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  32. Dec 16, 2014
    6
    I actually enjoy the game quite a bit even though it is a step down from origin or a step up depending on your point of view the gameplay in my opinion has been improved because of the action combat that makes you feel more immersed into the game. the story is not as good as in origins or in inquisition but its still very good but the choices you make usually have very little impactI actually enjoy the game quite a bit even though it is a step down from origin or a step up depending on your point of view the gameplay in my opinion has been improved because of the action combat that makes you feel more immersed into the game. the story is not as good as in origins or in inquisition but its still very good but the choices you make usually have very little impact overral in the world. and one definate step down is the companion cast some of them are just not very interesting unless you like great gameplay and don't really care about the story i would say its best if you just buy inquisition or origins instead Expand
  33. Sep 10, 2016
    6
    The game is decent, in terms of plot - excellent. Unfortunately the developers decided to economize on the game that's why locations are so few, very repetitive and small, mops you fight with spawn unexpectedly. Shields, robes that you're offered are also monotonous. Let's focus on the fantastic, the best of all 3 games plot though. It's immersive and intriguing, you feel like buildingThe game is decent, in terms of plot - excellent. Unfortunately the developers decided to economize on the game that's why locations are so few, very repetitive and small, mops you fight with spawn unexpectedly. Shields, robes that you're offered are also monotonous. Let's focus on the fantastic, the best of all 3 games plot though. It's immersive and intriguing, you feel like building your protagonist future. I especially liked the way dialogs were constructed based on 3 different responses. I didn't expect such facilitation would work so well. To sum up, if Bioware were given more time, it would be much better, Expand
  34. Jun 7, 2017
    6
    0/10 can't romance rage demon
  35. 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 andThe 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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  36. 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 hadDo 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
  37. 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 IWhile 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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  38. Apr 18, 2011
    5
    This game takes away many of the components that made Dragon Age Origins' such a compelling RPG. The gameplay and story have all been turned inside-out.

    The combat has been dumb downed in a way that strategy is not much of a requirement anymore to go through many of the game's battles. I've not found a need to even touch the TACTICS system of the game, even on hard, and possibly
    This game takes away many of the components that made Dragon Age Origins' such a compelling RPG. The gameplay and story have all been turned inside-out.

    The combat has been dumb downed in a way that strategy is not much of a requirement anymore to go through many of the game's battles. I've not found a need to even touch the TACTICS system of the game, even on hard, and possibly nightmare. It's mostly just pressing the "R" key, watch pretty visuals and see things blow up. Instead of the strategic element we are so familiar with, Bioware gives us a much more fast-paced and more fluid, action-oriented fights that last much shorter than Origins'. This is still no saving grace to the brainless combat that Bioware thought would be a better alternative.

    The story is where things really start taking a toll for the worse. Origins' had such a compelling story. You travel around Fereldan recruiting and getting aid from different armies to stop an incoming blight. In this game, you go around doing chores for people in the city. A step downwards, considering it was made by Bioware, the same company that brought us classics like Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect. Shame on you, Bioware. It's a decent game at best. There's no real thought needed in this game, but it's fast-paced combat could interest newer players for awhile.
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  39. Zri
    Apr 23, 2011
    5
    Disappointing. The great writing is there as you would expect, and the interaction between your character and your companions is still great, but there are some glaring problems with Dragon Age 2 that Origins didn't have. Combat is just terrible. Enemies pop out of nowhere in waves. The game itself says you should guard choke points with warrior classes to protect others, but thenDisappointing. The great writing is there as you would expect, and the interaction between your character and your companions is still great, but there are some glaring problems with Dragon Age 2 that Origins didn't have. Combat is just terrible. Enemies pop out of nowhere in waves. The game itself says you should guard choke points with warrior classes to protect others, but then continually spawns mobs both in front of and behind the party as the waves progress, meaning that tactics generally go out the window. Long cooldowns on many abilities mean that combat tends to focus on regular hack and slash rather than use of abilities. Companions can only use non-armour equipment, which means the majority of the items you find are useless.

    I suppose the best way to describe what I thought about this game is this: In Origins I played it through multiple times with different races and classes to see all the areas and uncover different stories. It was a pleasure to play through. Dragon Age 2 I will only play through once (barring a bout of amnesia) and as I was going through it felt like work; just trying to advance the story to find out what happens next, because you're always in the same damned areas you've been in the rest of the game and there's nothing new to keep you interested.

    Bottom line: Dialogue good, game design bad. Might as well have been a book.
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  40. Mar 26, 2011
    5
    Dragon Age II tries to change stuff when it's not necessary, such as the dialogue wheel. The combat system is... improved, but not by much - it's almost too fast and fancy now.

    The story line is completely broken. It doesn't even conclude properly. You're spending the first act of the game doing side quests, the second and third act is really where the game begins. Repetitive levels and
    Dragon Age II tries to change stuff when it's not necessary, such as the dialogue wheel. The combat system is... improved, but not by much - it's almost too fast and fancy now.

    The story line is completely broken. It doesn't even conclude properly. You're spending the first act of the game doing side quests, the second and third act is really where the game begins.

    Repetitive levels and being set in ONE city (plus its outlying regions) doesn't help much either.
    I'm not a fan of giving a voice to the player either, as it feels like I'm watching a film. One or two of the companions are pretty good, the rest are acceptable.
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  41. Nov 13, 2011
    5
    DA II failed to be remotely as good as the first game. Much as Mass Effect 2 was nowhere as good as the first one, Bioware has tried to make it "easier" with a lot less elements of role play. Instead of making a great PC game, they have made a console game and ported it over the PC. I give the first one a 10, this one was hardly worth playing, was it not for Isabela's great lines, itDA II failed to be remotely as good as the first game. Much as Mass Effect 2 was nowhere as good as the first one, Bioware has tried to make it "easier" with a lot less elements of role play. Instead of making a great PC game, they have made a console game and ported it over the PC. I give the first one a 10, this one was hardly worth playing, was it not for Isabela's great lines, it wouldn't be. Expand
  42. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    Bioware's identity crisis and tribute to the color brown gets a sequel with an even greater identity crisis. If Dragon Age: Origin's crisis came from its overly generic universe, it was at least an honest attempt to recreate the magic of Baldur's Gate, even if it had none of the charm of Forgotten Realms, needless micromanaging, and 1% of the monster variety (Darkspawn and dragons, yay. IBioware's identity crisis and tribute to the color brown gets a sequel with an even greater identity crisis. If Dragon Age: Origin's crisis came from its overly generic universe, it was at least an honest attempt to recreate the magic of Baldur's Gate, even if it had none of the charm of Forgotten Realms, needless micromanaging, and 1% of the monster variety (Darkspawn and dragons, yay. I thought dragons were supposed to be hard to kill and usually optional?). In Dragon Age: 2, the identity crisis extends to the gameplay, where it either feels like a dumbed down version of Dragon Age: Origins, or a really bad God of War, depending on your personal preferences. This is really too bad because the dialogue is solid; they replaced the mute character of Dragon Age: Origins with a Mass Effect-style dialogue system and the story is decent enough for an RPG, in my opinion. It just doesn't feel like enough to make up for the bastard-child gameplay. Expand
  43. Mar 25, 2011
    5
    Pros: Combat is more fluid and fun, graphics are of high quality if un-optimized on the PC, texturing is attractive

    Cons: Single location, multiple reuse of maps, missing main story/thread, random quests that pop into and out of your journal, seem to have little effect on the world, lackluster companions with fewer and more black and white dialog choices

    TLDR: Ultimately tedious and pointless.
  44. Mar 8, 2011
    5
    Its really sad whats happened to Bioware. They went from making deep and enjoyable games to producing watered down garbage that seems utterly amateur. They went from DA:O, which had terrible graphics, bland skill sets and items, and boring combat mechanics, straight into some kind of button mashing monstrosity where the best tactical challenge they can create is making monsters do x timesIts really sad whats happened to Bioware. They went from making deep and enjoyable games to producing watered down garbage that seems utterly amateur. They went from DA:O, which had terrible graphics, bland skill sets and items, and boring combat mechanics, straight into some kind of button mashing monstrosity where the best tactical challenge they can create is making monsters do x times normal damage. Whats sad is it can't all be blamed on EA's acquisition, Dead Space 2 was a beautiful game. I think the days of people who actually cared to make good RPGs is gone. Expand
  45. Dec 9, 2011
    5
    I cancel the preorder of this game, 3 days before the release. I have to say more?
    I cancel the preorder after I tried the demo. Some days ago I had the opportunity to test the final game for a long period and I have to say: My decision was totally right!
    The game is not really so bad, but is too much simplified. The first Dragon Age was really good and sometimes remember me the great
    I cancel the preorder of this game, 3 days before the release. I have to say more?
    I cancel the preorder after I tried the demo. Some days ago I had the opportunity to test the final game for a long period and I have to say: My decision was totally right!
    The game is not really so bad, but is too much simplified. The first Dragon Age was really good and sometimes remember me the great period of Baldur's Gate 2 :'( Dragon Age 2, is a kid-fanbase game. It's much near Diablo than to Baldur's Gate 2. All was simplified and changed in bad mode (IMHO): Inventory, graphic, fighting, etc...Anyway, I love the first Dragon Age and MAYBE I buy DA2 and finish it when an all-in-one edition will be available. But I don't like the Bioware method. They make a good 1st game (Mass Effect 1, Dragon Age 1), then they devastate them in 2nd chapter....
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  46. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    Preordered this game for PC because I enjoyed Origins so much (had at least 350 hours logged on steam). Played the demo beforehand. Tried to ignore all the negative press it was getting, as well as the hype EA was pushing out. I felt I knew what to expect. I'm about half way through the game so far, but I will finish it. So far though, while there are some things that it did a bit betterPreordered this game for PC because I enjoyed Origins so much (had at least 350 hours logged on steam). Played the demo beforehand. Tried to ignore all the negative press it was getting, as well as the hype EA was pushing out. I felt I knew what to expect. I'm about half way through the game so far, but I will finish it. So far though, while there are some things that it did a bit better than Origins, the sum of its parts is leaving me frustrated and disappointed on many levels, as a fan of Origins.

    Pros:
    - Aesthetic design is improved (Textures not included sadly). Some of the character models feel better constructed as well, such as dwarves, elves, Qunari. They feel like their own distinct races. Not a huge fan of Hurlock redesign though, but it doesn't bother me too much. Overall, the world has its own distinct feel now and not quite so much a mish mash of undetermined Lord of the Rings/Baldur's Gate aesthetics.
    - The environments (what few of them there are) look nicer, in terms of design (again, not graphically or in terms of textures), than Origins. - Combat animations look nicer (some don't like them, I feel they're better looking than Origins).
    - Combat itself doesn't feel as chunky, and is, generally, more fluid.

    In the Middle:
    - Voice acting. Overall it's about the same as Origins. Generally it's better in terms of differentiating races, and they sound a bit more varied but I get annoyed with Hawke's voice though and a few other NPC voices have made me cringe from time to time. Not really a Pro or Con.
    - Music is pretty much the same quality as Origins. Not really a Pro or Con.

    Cons:
    - Graphically, it looks worse than Origins due to lack of decent textures and overlarge polygons. Bioware lied about this point apparently (claiming it to be graphically superior to Origins).
    - Tactically, combat is a nightmare, since Bioware removed isometric view on the PC (apparently for no good reason). It's annoying trying to place an area of effect spell or trying to position party members when you can't see everything that's going on in a nice overhead picture. Instead it makes you switch between characters to get a total view of the combat which can be a bit confusing when trying to coordinate attacks.
    - Plot. There doesn't seem to be much of one. This is probably the most frustrating thing of all for me. Origins was compelling, not because the story itself was so original, but because the central conflict was always apparent. In Dragon Age 2 there is no central conflict. It just skips around to various side-quests that all feel equally unimportant. As a result, the game itself feels messy, unorganized, uninteresting. Which is a shame.
    - There is hardly any interaction with characters. In Origins you could interact with anyone at almost any given time and explore rather detailed dialogue trees. Dragon Age 2 follows the model of Awakening more closely in the sense that you can't really delve deep into characters except at scripted events. It all feels very shallow and as a result the characters seem completely uninteresting. It's almost like your characters don't need to be there. They chime in at certain points during certain quests but there's no exploration of personality to speak of. Truly disappointing.
    - There are too few environments. While the environments that do exist feel nicely designed, it get's extremely tiring having to back track constantly between the same few areas you've been to over and over again (Kirkwall, Wounded Coast, Sundermount, etc.).
    - The Dialogue wheel, surprisingly, felt very irritating in this game. I didn't mind it at all in Mass Effect, but in this game it doesn't feel satisfying at all. Hawke still doesn't say what you want him to, despite the "helpful" chat icons that appear in the center of the wheel. By far I would have preferred written out dialogue like in Origins. At least then I could properly gauge others reactions towards my choices.

    This game is quite disappointing. And the more I write the more annoyed I get with it to be honest. There are some fun things about it, but overall the game feels incredibly rushed. Bioware should be ashamed for claiming such a game to be a "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate. While that title may have been more pertinent to Origins, Dragon Age 2 doesn't feel like any Baldur's Gate game I've ever played. This game definitely doesn't compare to the first. It's not satisfying. It's not interesting. It doesn't feel very deep in any sense. I doubt I'm going to get much replay value out of this game. Hell, I'll probably just replay Origins after this... or sell it back so I can afford the Witcher 2.

    Truly a big damn shame. Wait for the price to drop significantly or just rent it. Game isn't any way worth $60 new.
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  47. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    As the sum of it's parts Dragon Age II adds up to a soon to be forgotten game. This is not inspired storytelling or game design - it feels as compelling you would expect from a component of an over-managed, fully monetized IP franchise. It thrills me in the same way as a new release of Crystal Reports would.|||||||||

    No RPG is perfect, but the story and game system are supposed to
    As the sum of it's parts Dragon Age II adds up to a soon to be forgotten game. This is not inspired storytelling or game design - it feels as compelling you would expect from a component of an over-managed, fully monetized IP franchise. It thrills me in the same way as a new release of Crystal Reports would.|||||||||

    No RPG is perfect, but the story and game system are supposed to work together to cover each other's faults. Good combat, crunchy stats and equipment obsession help you when the story lags and compelling story gets you through so-so gameplay. It just doesn't happen in DA2.|||||||||

    There are some excellent quips and a few of the NPCs are great characters, but that's a given for any professional RPG. The dialogue wheel is clumsy, the male main character's voice makes me twitch, the story never really takes of in a meaningful way and the narrative style is lazy. Even a good twist or two later will not unmake 30 hours of meh.|||||||||

    There are many, many, many nitpicks and issues like the horrible "loading..." mid-level and the fact that enemies are made of high explosive jello, but they are too many to name here.|||||||||

    Perhaps the biggest problem is that Bioware's unconcealed purpose for making DA2 was to make you buy DLC for DA2. |||||||||

    This is just part of a massive, cross promotion strategy and it plays like it.|||||||||

    It doesn't deserve the 0 scores that it's getting here, it deserves this 5. It's a phoned in effort that will not be joining the pantheon of great Bioware games.|||||||||

    Buy it when it's repackaged on Steam with all DLC.|||||||||

    Two years from now.|||||||||

    At $9.99.
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  48. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    Think of everything that made Dragon Age Origins a great game. Now subtract all of that and you have Dragon Age 2. The EA Games hammer of crap has really taken it's toll on poor Bioware, and it shows. It's a complete lobotomy of the RPG genre. Striped down to nothing more than a casual action RPG.

    For shame I say.
  49. Mar 10, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While DA:O was actually interesting story wise, it really didn't have engaging combat.

    But for DA2, it had amazing combat, but most of the time the quests are boring where waves upon waves of enemies are thrown at your repeatedly, and the story is sooo terrible. There isn't many places to explore either. It looks like Bioware didn't even try to do anything about the story.
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  50. Mar 10, 2011
    5
    Less depth, less of a story, less of a game. Half of what the first game was. Went the hack and slash route and eliminated a lot of the RPG features within the game...If it did not eliminate them, they altered them in a "dumbed down," way. It seriously seems the creators catered to a whole new customer and I'm curious to see if this trend continues. I'll be one sad panda if this trendLess depth, less of a story, less of a game. Half of what the first game was. Went the hack and slash route and eliminated a lot of the RPG features within the game...If it did not eliminate them, they altered them in a "dumbed down," way. It seriously seems the creators catered to a whole new customer and I'm curious to see if this trend continues. I'll be one sad panda if this trend continues from this type of developer. Expand
  51. Mar 10, 2011
    5
    Bioware didn't try and improve the aspects of Dragon Age that made it a great game. They tried to make it better for consoles at the expense of PC gameplay. This is the same hack and slash console game that comes out every other week, it has nothing unique or interesting about it.

    I can't help but remember FF13 when I played this game. Like FF13 Dragon Age 2 isn't a bad game, but the only
    Bioware didn't try and improve the aspects of Dragon Age that made it a great game. They tried to make it better for consoles at the expense of PC gameplay. This is the same hack and slash console game that comes out every other week, it has nothing unique or interesting about it.

    I can't help but remember FF13 when I played this game. Like FF13 Dragon Age 2 isn't a bad game, but the only thing I feel playing it is disappointment. The things that made origins such a fun and unique *PC* game are gone. In its place is a hack and slash console game. The graphics are straight out of 2005, and poorly optimized. The UI is terrible and made completely for consoles. Like Mass Effect 2 the classic rpg elements are almost completely stripped out of the game. The only character you equip is Hawke. Your equipment choices are more restricted by class than in origins. The detailed dialogue system is gone, your given 2-3 word statements that are labeled paragon, snark, or renegade. Everything that changed was changed for the worse. Bioware has changed since the EA buyout. The great RPG elements of their games are being phased out for broader appeal, and it just makes me sad.
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  52. Mar 11, 2011
    5
    DIFFICULTY:
    Played this game on hard and challenge was nice, tho it was what I'd expect only from normal. Even worse lately started a nightmare play and found how though this game is with friendly fire when camera is so low and you go a whirlwind killing two companions who suddenly got on your back. Redeem items/ DLC kills this game by swiftly powering up character, lowering not that high
    DIFFICULTY:
    Played this game on hard and challenge was nice, tho it was what I'd expect only from normal. Even worse lately started a nightmare play and found how though this game is with friendly fire when camera is so low and you go a whirlwind killing two companions who suddenly got on your back. Redeem items/ DLC kills this game by swiftly powering up character, lowering not that high difficulty, tho at least this time i didn't get annoying guy with big Exclamation Mark telling me to buy DLC to unlock his adventure.

    COMBAT:
    Combat is fast paced, loosely tactical based but to be honest i was glad to play rogue moving back and forth since I'd die of boredom playing mage just standing like a tower and auto-attacking whole time while waiting for cooldowns (tho gets slightly better with more spells). Wave format was more annoying than anything else since it didn't allow to properly plan for usage of high cooldown abilities especially Taunt-like. On other hand re-positioning mages after each new group spawned was sometimes required but annoying, even more on nightmare. Tactics were very useful tho sometimes i wished there would be "Turn off all tactics" UI button so i could micromanage team better on especially challenging encounters without turning them off 1 by 1. Also found them lacking especially in "positioning" department like go to biggest group of mobs and taunt or stay away from boss at max range, and my favorite move out of fire/spell.
    Force effect is very nice addition making combat more real and i only wish i could exploit it more.
    Character development:
    Tree's are nice and with nice synergy but sometimes it's hard to do proper build with all those requirements. By far worst one was rogue tree one requiring to take 3 skill of which only 1 can be active at a time only to improve one we really want. Overall was happy with trees and choices even tho i still don't find use for some of them.
    Attributes on other hand were total disappointment being forced to basically max 2 of them to wear armors made character customization hard to say the least. At end game my rogue was fast, deadly and very dead whenever he drew attention since i didn't spend enough points in stamina. Situation gets more tricky for Player Character when companions only have to spend points in one stat or some times 0 to use equipment.

    COMPANIONS:
    I liked most of them and found most of them useful at one time or another. Their stories where nice, and only added to their appeal. Only thing i didn't like was low choice of them or rather thanks to their sole focus specializations makes it very hard to play them differently or create dream team. At one point choices i made almost made me loose vital teammate whom i'd not be able to replace.

    GAMEPLAY:
    Time play somehow vital role in this game where some quests can be done at night where others only in day time, switching between both is easy but u somehow detached from time. Best one was "come meet me tonight" and then i went on a 2 week trip (lore wise) and yet person was still waiting not annoyed by my coming late. Sometime i felt like i did a lot of quests and yet only 24 hours passed.
    Also people you meet on street also feel somehow detached telling about events long passed as if they happened yesterday.
    There was plentiful of quests even tho annoyingly usually go to location you've already seen and kill, kill, kill and after killing all those minions kill boss or tell boss how you're in only for peaceful solution or to save them all from extermination. Still some quests were still nice. Other annoying thing was handing completed quest, going back home to grab new letter and back to same quest giver for next one as if he couldn't tell me from start. Last item it's nice that they tell you which quest ends chapter, but why didn't they do same with last one...
    Dialog system is on one hand good you exactly know whether you'll answer "Diplomatically", "Ruthlessly" or "Ironically" on other hand you don't really choose what you'll really tell so why bother with text lines in first place just place 4 icons (one more for investigate) and be done about it and don't give me illusion of proper dialog.
    Crafting system is great and feels somehow right.

    STORY
    Story at first is very chaotic and then gets cleared only to plunge you straight back into chaos, and at the end you are Champion whatever it really means. It's nice to see choices you made at one time explode in your face later on, tho I feel somehow cheated by dialog system. SUMMARY:
    Very nice fantasy themed RPG I only wish it wasn't branded continuation to completly different game I felt dragon age origins was.

    I liked: Story, Companions, Boss fights
    I disliked: Dialog System, Wave combat, Time detachment, Repeatable zones, DLC making game easier.
    Could be better: Attribute distribution, Tactics system
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  53. Mar 11, 2011
    5
    Not a best RPG ever. Not a worst. But what is really disapointing - it's not RPG I expected from BioWare. It's completely new-school RPG. While playing, I wasn't thinking about BG or PS:T or even about ID. Well, everything that was on my mind - Devil May Cry and Mass Effect 2. In DAO we can see camouflaged D&D, here we can see camouflaged ME. Combat system now feels better - more quick,Not a best RPG ever. Not a worst. But what is really disapointing - it's not RPG I expected from BioWare. It's completely new-school RPG. While playing, I wasn't thinking about BG or PS:T or even about ID. Well, everything that was on my mind - Devil May Cry and Mass Effect 2. In DAO we can see camouflaged D&D, here we can see camouflaged ME. Combat system now feels better - more quick, more beautiful, BUT less tactics. Roleplay - well, for me there's more roleplay in BBC2 - I can be a medic, a pilot, a stormtrooper etc. Dialogs in DA2 are great...would be great if game would be slasher or sort of. But for RPG they're very bad.
    Story - better then in DAO. But not exellent. Nothing more to say.
    Visuals, sound, music, decorations - not too bad, but for BioWare this "not too bad" transforms into just "bad".
    The game is not too bad for consoles - but it bad enough for PC. It's not completely awful, but I don't know for whom I can recommend it. let's just better wait for Wtcher 2, The and Skyrim. But I'm afraid DAO was last good oldschool RPG. And BW transformed into developer of casual console ****.
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  54. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    To start, Dragon Age II is not actually bad enough to deserve the scores of 0-2 that many people are giving it. The problem is that it really is not very good either. People have come to expect a certain standard of quality from Bioware, and DA2 simply does not meet that standard.

    Combat is horrible. In fact, it is probably DA2's worst flaw. On the recommended combat difficulty setting,
    To start, Dragon Age II is not actually bad enough to deserve the scores of 0-2 that many people are giving it. The problem is that it really is not very good either. People have come to expect a certain standard of quality from Bioware, and DA2 simply does not meet that standard.

    Combat is horrible. In fact, it is probably DA2's worst flaw. On the recommended combat difficulty setting, playing the game feels disturbingly similar to watching a mediocre film. You spend the early levels of the game clicking a few buttons every 15-20 seconds. Groups of enemies never pose a serious threat, yet still live long enough to make combat tedious. Combat improves later, especially if you raise the difficulty, but it never reaches the tactical depth or difficulty offered frequently in its predecessor.

    Dialogue is mediocre. There are fewer options than there were in Origins, the quality of the writing is surprisingly low for a Bioware title, and much of the voice-acting is disappointing.

    The new art style is matter of taste I suppose, but I personally dislike it. To begin with, changing the appearances of various established creatures was in rather poor taste. The Qunari now resemble something from The Lower Planes while the Hurlocks are reminiscent of Skeletor. The "visceral" combat is simply preposterous. The amount of gore if you can even call it that is so exaggerated that it makes combat even less satisfying. My character's sword should not produce similar results to an airstrike.

    As with the previous game, the graphics were mediocre while the musical score was quite good. It would hardly be fair to blame Bioware for the fact that certain people insist on selling and developing for six-year-old hardware that wasn't even all that it was made out to be on release. The problems with Nvidia cards are not so easily dismissed, however. There is a little thing called testing that is supposed to prevent little things like that. That being said, the game performs quite well on my modest dual-core ATI/AMD machine.

    Overall, I would say that DA2 will be worth purchasing for fans of the first game when it sees a drop in price. Until then, it is not worth your time or money. As an RPG and a sequel, DA2 is mediocre at best.
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  55. DKN
    Mar 12, 2011
    5
    I am really disappointed with DA2, it has poor story, poor characters and npcs, combat system is completely awful, with mobs constantly spawning in waves from absolutely random locations you can forget tactics and positioning.
    Why is there an inventory and loot in this game at all is a mystery to me, you donâ
  56. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    Let me start out by saying I liked dragon age origins. It had a good story, memorable characters and a real good setting. The only problem I had with the game is that combat became very tedious. Dragon age II fixes the combat by making it fast-paced and a better leveling system. Sadly it removed everything that made the first game worthwhile. Boring characters and story realy put me of the game.
  57. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    A veritable tour de force of mediocrity, corner cutting and action gaming. I struggled to find any semblance of a RPG here. This is BioWare's hero, not mine. I felt as if they were playing the game for me for long periods. Good job too in some respects otherwise I would never have finished it and got at least some value for money. If this game wasn't rushed to hell then Bioware/EA need toA veritable tour de force of mediocrity, corner cutting and action gaming. I struggled to find any semblance of a RPG here. This is BioWare's hero, not mine. I felt as if they were playing the game for me for long periods. Good job too in some respects otherwise I would never have finished it and got at least some value for money. If this game wasn't rushed to hell then Bioware/EA need to start firing people - starting yesterday. Combat bereft of tactics, cave deja vu, camera angles, boring quests - I won't go on repeating what others have said. There were some good moments and this is not a 0/10 game, but neither is it a 10/10. It's definitely not worth paying full price for it - maybe when it's half price you will feel that spending your money was not in vain. My main motivation for signing up and writing this was after reading the Escapists review for this game which is absolutely shameful. Either the reviewer has an IQ slightly above Isabella's chest measurement or it's the other, obvious, less savoury possibility. Expand
  58. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    I haven't yet played this game, and I honestly don't know if it's good or bad. I'm posting this to warn everyone who sees it not to trust the average user score, as obviously one person or a small group has been posting multiple ratings to bring down the score. My evidence for this:

    1. The ridiculous number of ratings. The game has been out for three days, and has more ratings for
    I haven't yet played this game, and I honestly don't know if it's good or bad. I'm posting this to warn everyone who sees it not to trust the average user score, as obviously one person or a small group has been posting multiple ratings to bring down the score. My evidence for this:

    1. The ridiculous number of ratings. The game has been out for three days, and has more ratings for the PC version than the original PC DA has, which has been out for about a year and a half. It has over twice as many ratings as the PC version of Black Ops. It has (as another pointed out) over six times as many ratings as WoW: Cataclysm. 2. The very similar writing style in evidence between a great many reviews.
    3. The great disparity between the user rating here and on other sites. Gamespot has an average user rating of 7.1, IGN has 6.7, Game Informer has a 6.0. The 4.0 here is too far out of line to be believable. Whoever is doing this, please, get a life. If you're seriously THAT mad because a game doesn't fit your traditional PC-centric mold, and you just HAVE to bring down that average score on Metacritic, you really need to develop some other interests. Seriously, it's unhealthy.
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  59. Mar 12, 2011
    5
    It's hard when reviewing a sequel to separate the game itself from the series. If this was a review of this game alone it would definitely score a 7, however, this is a poor showing by both Bioware and Dragon Age standards. I'd like to pick up some of the features that haven't been highlighted that much in the negative reviews, the main one being the story. The main quests and side questsIt's hard when reviewing a sequel to separate the game itself from the series. If this was a review of this game alone it would definitely score a 7, however, this is a poor showing by both Bioware and Dragon Age standards. I'd like to pick up some of the features that haven't been highlighted that much in the negative reviews, the main one being the story. The main quests and side quests felt entirely disconnected from both each other and themselves. The main story itself was so convoluted it made virtually no sense (especially the last act and very especially the ending). Featuring both unbelievable characters, limited choices and hammed cameos from the cast of the original game (at one point someone pops up says "hello" and then, for no apparent reason, disappears with no explanation).

    Dragon Age: Origins, Awakening and its various DLC's were wonderful in that they fleshed out a remarkably believable, intriguing and novel world. This sequel has failed not only to enrich or develop that world but in some places has completely ignored things that were established in the first game (e.g. the relationship between mages, blood mages and abominations). Add to this the fact that, although many of the strategy features remain (for instance the ability to pause) enemies now come in waves (appearing - often quite literally - from the ether) making it impossible to plan out a battle; thus reducing the pause feature to a safety net to use potions. In addition there are roughly six different enemies and maps in the game which are reused ad infinitum and combat becomes little more than an endless wave of indiscernible creatures. One unfortunate consequence (among many) is that the game lulls you in to a sense of complacency broken only by a contrived boss fight, which crop up once in a while. These battles are so unbelievably and incomparably difficult compared to the trash that winning them always appears to be more a matter of luck than judgement.

    All this said this is a very good game, but it bares a very similar relation to Dragon Age: Origins as Mass Effect 2 did Mass Effect 1. Faster combat, better graphics, with a less gripping story, poorly fleshed out companions and a very disappointing amount of RPG or customization elements.
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  60. Mar 13, 2011
    5
    Payed 60$ on steam just because of a review, and got what?! DAO was weak enough, but this ...! Simplifying everything to nothing.

    Dialogs reduced to 2-3 phrases, and thats great! Cause world and chars are totally empty. Their acts are so nonlogic and unpredictible, that in a half an hour i was just clicking icons. "Be nice", "be rude". Why DA2 is so gay?! Seriosly, in a few hours 3 f..
    Payed 60$ on steam just because of a review, and got what?! DAO was weak enough, but this ...! Simplifying everything to nothing.

    Dialogs reduced to 2-3 phrases, and thats great! Cause world and chars are totally empty. Their acts are so nonlogic and unpredictible, that in a half an hour i was just clicking icons. "Be nice", "be rude". Why DA2 is so gay?! Seriosly, in a few hours 3 f.. proposing "their services" and not even one girl blinking.

    Enemies are just fallin at you from nowhere like in some DMC. Do you need any tactics in chess when opponent can put any figure anywhere he wants?..

    Plot reminded ME2. Just get 50 sovereins (10 companions) to get to the new chapter. And you call that a scenario? Written in 15 minutes?! I dont even know what i'm doing when takin quest in 2 clicks, killing some more enemies, done in 2 clicks. What was is?!

    Locations look like Orzamar entrance. Sooooo lowpoly. No more to say.

    3-4 hours of DA2 was enough. Looks like nothin left of Bioware i ones knew. Bye guys.
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  61. Mar 13, 2011
    5
    Compared to other RPG or action games, DA2 is a quite good game. Compared to other Bioware's games is dreadful. In all kind of senses, as for graphics, history, gaming and strategy. Really bad choices made by EA. If you are a Baldurs Gate / DA Origins fan you shouldn't buy this game.
  62. Mar 13, 2011
    5
    I was very disappointed in Dragon Age II because they changed or removed a lot of things that I enjoyed in the first game. Some things have been improved like inventory management but the highly stylised character animations are a real turn off.
  63. Mar 13, 2011
    5
    While I think the "0" and "1" ratings here are unwarranted and a little unfair (this isn't E.T., people), I do agree that this was a shockingly disappointing game; why Bioware chose to so drastically alter a new, highly successful franchise is beyond me.

    Their mantra while developing this game seems to have been "repetition, repetition, repetition!". Most combats proceed exactly the same
    While I think the "0" and "1" ratings here are unwarranted and a little unfair (this isn't E.T., people), I do agree that this was a shockingly disappointing game; why Bioware chose to so drastically alter a new, highly successful franchise is beyond me.

    Their mantra while developing this game seems to have been "repetition, repetition, repetition!". Most combats proceed exactly the same way: random group of enemies encountered - group killed - second wave attacks - group killed - end of encounter. This might not be so bad if the strategies you used to defeat these groups weren't roughly the same every single time. Alas, I found myself mindlessly clicking the same buttons to defeat the same enemies in the same number of waves for the entire duration of the game. The environments are repeatedly re-used as well. Not only do you find yourself returning to the same cave for like five different quests, but that same cave layout is used for other quests as well. Then there's mansion levels, warehouse levels, and city levels; they're all the same. How lazy can Bioware get? You never even get to venture beyond the city of Kirkwall and its four adjoining (repeatedly re-used) environments. That said, the story wasn't terrible (although I don't think it compares well to DA:O). I would argue that the basic mechanics of combat have been improved as well; it's snappier, faster-paced, and generally cooler looking. Unfortunately, they took a great deal of depth out of the game when they "streamlined" (gutted) the abilities and skill trees. The end result is a great looking combat system that is less strategic, less active, and more repetitive than the one in DA:O. They have the framework, but they didn't do anything good with it.
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  64. Mar 14, 2011
    5
    Not the best Bioware game. Im not a hardcore player myself, but after 5 or 6 hours of gameplay I was kinda sick of copy&paste caves and visiting same locations over and over again. Combat system is also weak (press "1-9" to kill, repeat 20 times thanks to the constant respawns). The game from "complete & forget" category
  65. Mar 14, 2011
    5
    Why the lack of interesting and diverse locations? Why one repeating cave and houses over and over again? Why waves of enemies spawning from the ceiling? Why the brutal requirements in DX11 in 5 year old looking game? Why no interesting and surprising puzzles? Why many other things i don't want to even remember? If it wasn't for DA:O and if it wasn't Bioware I would give 7 points but likeWhy the lack of interesting and diverse locations? Why one repeating cave and houses over and over again? Why waves of enemies spawning from the ceiling? Why the brutal requirements in DX11 in 5 year old looking game? Why no interesting and surprising puzzles? Why many other things i don't want to even remember? If it wasn't for DA:O and if it wasn't Bioware I would give 7 points but like this i fell it deserves 5 points max.
    Btw. I didn't like many things in DA:O (skill system, class imbalances) but it was still a pearl in comparison to this game.

    PS: Why so high scores from magazines? Does EA pay that well? It was the same with NFS:Shift and I completely understand people who give 0 points as a defense against so exaggerated ratings.
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  66. Mar 14, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well its been 4 days and I went through DA2 twice to try out the impact of different decisions. Did my second run through on casual to get over the repeated dungeons asap. A good game on its own but it shouldn't be called DA2. Yes yes we all want change but not too much shall we? We can't franchise Macdonalds and not sell burgers!

    Some plus points first. It was nice to hear my character speaking, but this is nothing extraordinary. Music was average, and the environments were well designed and nice to look at (I like the wounded coast sky), if one ignores the reuse of environments and the static nature of everything. The grey area of decisions is a good step forward, but it was not used properly and left players (me at least) hanging. Cliffhangers are good, but a balance is needed. There was no closure at all (not to mention the cliffhangers from DAO).

    I must say, that if Kirkwall was ruined and converted entirely into one expansive dungeon, it would have been kinda cool (Like ghastheim in good ol' ragnarok). It would have served excellently as ONE major quest, but the content given to us was far to short and limited to be DA2 in its entirety.

    Also, the entire of DA2 had to do with mages. The problem is that the enemy mages were useless! They casted less spells than their demonic counterparts and there are so many interrupts available to stop them (or to kill them in one shot). In DAO, a battle with just 2 emissaries could be fatal if you didn't plan your tactics properly. In DA2, a rogue can tank 5 mages that do nothing but shoot at you with their staves. As one of the core classes of the story, this was one major disappointment. Improvements to the combat system were definitely appreciated, and I liked the junk system as well. However, I felt that the items were just bland, and there was no kick from getting an EPIC item from a boss kill. The star system wasn't really helpful.

    I missed how expansive the word of DAO was. Yes you can say that DAO was just in ferelden and it is good to move out of ferelden but the fact remains that the entire DA2 was in one city! Uptill "chapter 3", I was still thinking that the entire game was just one small chapter of a larger story, and was waiting for some epic war against tevinter to materialize. How disappointed I was when the game suddenly ended (WAY TO SUDDEN).

    One major attraction of RPGs is the variety: of environments, of creatures and of items that a player faces. It is an expression of human imagination: it is thrilling and refreshing. Cutting back on these three aspects is most disadvantageous: they the pulling factors that retain old players and draw new ones. Remember how deep we could go into the deep roads in DAO? Remember the myriad of creatures found in each area in DAO? There was so much variety just for every single chapter, and now this? Obviously there has been a massive shift in corporate strategy, and from my financial background, this is one colossal red flag. Note that DAO is just one basis of comparison. All successful rpgs (Diablo, WOW etc) tend to have large varieties of enemies and deep lore. Also there were some comments on how the escape from lothering didn't feel like an escape. Well I think the demo sums up what you can expect from the game. I remember other 'escape' scenarios in other games, like Maiev running away from Illidan as the cave collapsed all around her, or the Protoss evacuation from Aiur. These were ancient games but with whatever technology they had, the missions actually embodied the urgency of an escape. It is this lack of atmosphere, coupled with the reuse of environments, that has degraded the utility of DA2.

    Also, you rescued Flemeth, one of the characters that has had an excellent redesign, and she was like "KTHXBYE". What? Thats it? Ain't even a cliffhanger.

    Such a pity for a game with an excellent foundation. There were so many advances and improvements (including good looking characters), but the developers did not realize the full potential of their creation. There is no need to rush games to increase revenue (why else would you rush it?). Investments have long horizons are take time to realize their true value (Look at blizzard!). Was it worth it to risk Bioware's reputation (You cannot deny all these honest, negative reviews when they are the majority!)? Will I buy DA3? Yes, but only because DAO was really good, and because I am waiting for Diablo 3 to come out (which better not be a disappointment) and have nothing to play in the mean time.
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  67. Mar 15, 2011
    5
    Not worthy of the Dragon Age franchise. Short, uninteresting, characters, repeated dungens, no world map, limited party customization, rag to riches storyline. Very dissapointed.
  68. Mar 15, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A little dissapointment for this game im not suprissed for thisgame its been a big hype and im from begining been sceptic this game is not bad bad very bad graphics,simple combat,not so good story and many people wil sad that this games is bad but its not but bioware im dissapointed Expand
  69. Mar 15, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First let me explain where my review comes from: I found Dragon Age: Origins by accident. My husband was playing it, it seemed interesting, as a bit World of Warcraft and Fable fan, I could get on board with the levelling up, gaining skills etc. On my first play through, within ten minutes, I was engrossed in the Dwarf Noble Origin- I screamed when my brother died and when my other brother turned against me, I swore at the screen and vowed vengeance. I play for the story, not so much for the combat. The character development and plot drives me, and DA:O had this in bucket fulls as well as giving me loads of room to create my own back story, present stories (what's happening in camp etc) and future happenings of my Grey Warden. The same, however, cannot be said for DA2. I tried to view it away from Origins, I tried to judge it withot bias, even though I knew the changes were happening - I tried to avoid all spoilers and even avoided the demo. I wish I hadn't. People say not to compare it to DAO, but it's a Dragon Age Game, it's the same franchise, it even has the number 2 after the title, so yeah, people ARE going to compare it. So compared to DAO the whole game just feels shallow and empty. There is no big bad guy that's pressing you to complete tasks, that's urging your game play forward. DAO allowed me to feel that if I moved away from my PC when I came back the Darkspawn would have overrun Ferelden and all would be lost! DA2 makes me feel that I can go away and never come back and everything will still be the same.
    Below is a lit of things that I want to pass comment on.
    * INTERFACE is pretty looking and very sleek. However, I don't like the positioning. Minor personal thing.
    * COMBAT ANIMATIONS I'm a 29 year old woman, not a 14 year old boy. Really, the flashy kicks and the exploding mannequins just took the p***. Bodies just don't explode when you stab them, nor do their heads and limbs fall to the ground like broken mannequins. It's a game aimed at the 'Mature' market, not 'Teen'. COMBAT itself is tedious. I fight a group and I go phew!... then suddenly there's freaking ninja style drop down waves of MORE bad guys to fight... really? I have to go through the same fight THREE times before I can go on? Bored now. Especially as I DON'T CARE about combat in a RPG game. I'm playing a role, a character, I'm building a story. Sure I want to cut the bad guys down, but c'mon!
    * AREAS - repetitive, boring and dull looking. I liked the day/night switches though, but I miss being able to jump to the 'World' map tho.
    * DIALOGUE - UGH. The wheel needs to go. NOW. Voice Acting needs to shush. The Actor was good, she did well, but I felt I was watching someone else play, instead of me. Hawke never feels mine.
    * ARMOUR - like that you can hide helm, don't like that armour is not customisable. * ROMANCES / COMPANIONS. This is one area that interests me the most. I LOVED the different companions that DAO provided. They all stood out, all had their own personalities, all added a little something to the story. I felt connections with them - with DA2 it seems that you're TOLD you have relationships with them once you've met them. I romanced a certain mage, who told me in Act 2 that for three years he had lain awake each night aching for me... REALLY??? I told you you were handsome, but other than that, I really haven't spoken with you - 'cept in quests. The romances in Origins made you work for them. You had to say the right thing, you had to stroke their ego a bit, you had to listen to their stories, enquire, and learn about them. This is just a quick fix. On the COMPANION front, the banter is good as we're walking around, you tend to learn more about them from that than you do from talking to them. It's more a we're TELLING you what's happening instead of SHOWING you. However, VARRIC - I want him in my life full time. I had him at my side the whole way. The only other character I enjoyed hearing the story of was Aveline, which surprised me as I didn't think I'd like her. I felt disconnected with the rest, even my sister - she was apparently my best friend, but I didn't KNOW her. Also I miss the 'accidental', sometimes awkward, talks. I HATE running to a home for a chat.
    * STORY - ahhh the big one; the thing you watch a movie for, a reason you read a book, the whole point of my playing a game. To me Story is the most important element of a game. After the first 20hrs of playing I still didn't really know where the game was going; I just had to get enough cash to go to the Deep Roads on an expedition that lasted about an hour of game play, if that. By hour 35 I have completely lost interest in WHY I am playing this and I ended up closing down and restarting Origins. I will finish DA2 some day, but it won't be any time soon.
    TLDR? Overall a 5 - lots to do in game, but no REAL point to it so far.
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  70. Mar 15, 2011
    5
    What killed the game for me was the heavy re-use of area layouts. I'm all for re-using the same textures when generating area's of minor importance but to use exact mirror images of area's constantly is just down right criminal in a triple A title. Towards the end of chapter 2 and in chapter 3 I started to miss out on crafting components and codex entries because I was just over going toWhat killed the game for me was the heavy re-use of area layouts. I'm all for re-using the same textures when generating area's of minor importance but to use exact mirror images of area's constantly is just down right criminal in a triple A title. Towards the end of chapter 2 and in chapter 3 I started to miss out on crafting components and codex entries because I was just over going to check out 'hidden cave number 3' that looked not only the same as hidden caves 1 and 2 but also other area's in the game i'd already been through multiple times. Wish i'd kept count of how many times I had to revisit sundermount and it's two caves that are the same anyway for example.

    I can live with less companion customization, I can deal with the romances being disjointed due to time elapses, hell I can even deal with the fact that none of my decision really effect the gameplay in any real way but to only have a very limited number of area's in the game to begin with and then just re-use them over and over... unforgivable. If this was a vast sprawling world I'd happily accept it but if you sat down and tallied up all the area's and caves in the game the percentage of overlapped content is depressing.

    As for positives I liked the skill tree layout, I found that to be an improvement. Combat was a little more refined, though the leaps in difficulty on some of the fights was a bit weird (if you can call just throwing more waves of enemies that appear out of no where or huge boss hp pools with easy to avoid mechanics difficulty of course). Some of the random companion interaction could be amusing, personally it fell short of the DA:O interaction but others surely would disagree which is fine, personal opinion there.

    To sum up DA2, when I finished DA:O I immediately through myself into my next playthrough to see what else there was to explore. When I finished DA2 I tried to replay playing a more evil persona and couldn't even force myself to get past the 20 minute mark. Where as parts of my first play through felt like a chore due to the issues I mentioned above, every part of my second playthrough has felt that way.

    Maybe it's because I fall into the catagory that has been playing rpg's for a very long time (as opposed to those who just jump on message boards and say they have to try to get credibility) and if a game doesn't have enough innovation it doesn't impress me or maybe DA2 is just lacking in general. Either of these factors could potentially modify my score, I can't rightly say to be honest. All I can say is at the Dragon Age 2 did not leave me with a feeling that i'd played an enjoyable game at the ending credits.
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  71. Mar 16, 2011
    5
    I'm kinda split here. The negative aspects cannot be ignored, and the actual price paid per hour entertained, cannot be ignored. I think I reached about ten hours playtime in the game before I started feeling really cheated. After this point it became less and less fun and the recycled stuff became more and more annoying. I wouldn't necessarily consider it straight ten hours of playI'm kinda split here. The negative aspects cannot be ignored, and the actual price paid per hour entertained, cannot be ignored. I think I reached about ten hours playtime in the game before I started feeling really cheated. After this point it became less and less fun and the recycled stuff became more and more annoying. I wouldn't necessarily consider it straight ten hours of play time either due to abundant cut-scenes and what felt like a walking noncombat pace to go here then there.

    So about $6 per hour of entertainment. I could pay $8 for a 2 hour movie ticket, this game can be compared to a slightly interactive movie...

    Negative points: 1) Limited mob diversity. This includes AI. The AI for Assassins across the few mob types, undead, templar, insert faction here... are all the same. This shows with Undead popping healing pots. I bet all the archers and the ranged spiders have the exact AI/Abilities too. 2) Almost all mobs have previously been created and produced for a previous title(this compounds point1, why not finish the duplication you already started?). 3)Constant reuse of maps(I should have asked how many DVD's it took to install before purchase). I think the very first map in the prelude is even partially copied for the Wounded Coast map. Caves are done over and over with the same mini-map on your radar(even though some passages are blocked), even the spawn triggers are in the same locations(So fail). 4)Crazy player interrupts. Fight a mini-boss/boss that takes a larger area than you can see or hit and this gets worse. You will stumble and get interrupted if the Dragon walks next to you. Don't forget about getting stun locked into an invisible wall in that reused cave map. I'd also like to add that I noticed quite a bit of Dragon Effect 3. Watching some of the interaction with the characters looked exactly like the model movements in ME2. A lot of the character models felt very ME2ish, not just the male Hawke and human male Shepard. Don't see it yet? Order a drink at the hanged man and then take Shepard for a drink somewhere, same exact interaction/body movement. I understand the whole concept of not reinventing the wheel. But you don't want that to visually creep into totally unrelated titles. With the amount of copy pasta in this game(AAA title I might add), the developers fail IMHO, because it should have been out at least six months sooner. Or I guess the blame could be put on the tracers, I mean artists. I'm feeling quite lazy so I'm not gonna list the positive points in my review, and there are some. Like EA/Bioware I'm not gonna finish what I started/promised. Too bad I can't make large profits from duplicated-half-finished reviews. I will finish by informing reviewers that said something in the effect of: "Revel, savour and bask in the brilliance; this is a game that no gamer can afford to ignore. Everything here is bigger, better, brighter, faster, longer, sicker, cooler than the series has ever been before" You can find your check in the corner of the round room, but first bend over real quick. And metacritic here's to you stripping all my newlines from 3.277k characters to create a wonderful wall of text for everyone not to read.

    tl;dr Metacritic gets a critic.
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  72. Mar 16, 2011
    5
    It takes a special talent to take something so good and to screw it up sooooo bad. If I didn;t know better I would think it was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the genre and the game as a whole.

    Combat is unbelievable with exploding bodies and spamming adds at every turn. Complete lack of RPG content - cannot converse with companions or merchants as in DA:O, romances have gone back to
    It takes a special talent to take something so good and to screw it up sooooo bad. If I didn;t know better I would think it was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the genre and the game as a whole.

    Combat is unbelievable with exploding bodies and spamming adds at every turn. Complete lack of RPG content - cannot converse with companions or merchants as in DA:O, romances have gone back to the 1950's and the elves look like they were cross bred with the little green men from Mars. Inability to tweak companions gear and all the wasted inventory made me want to cry. Lack of any real coherence to the story, lack of consequence from your decisons and lack of any sympathy towards your companions (or should I call them what they really are? Swords for hire?) equals a boring game without anything that endeared the original to me. I will NOT be buying any DLC in the near future and will think a second and third time before buying anything else from EA/Bioware in the future.
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  73. Mar 17, 2011
    5
    At first the game is enjoyable, but that turns sour once you complete your 20th or so fetch quest. The game hooks you in and grabs your attention, then your realize you have been in the same damn city/dungeon that you were in for the last five hours. Never have I felt claustrophobic in a video game. This game was rushed and it shows; big-time. In Dragon Age Origins, I felt captivated byAt first the game is enjoyable, but that turns sour once you complete your 20th or so fetch quest. The game hooks you in and grabs your attention, then your realize you have been in the same damn city/dungeon that you were in for the last five hours. Never have I felt claustrophobic in a video game. This game was rushed and it shows; big-time. In Dragon Age Origins, I felt captivated by the unique cities and landscape. In DA2 you feel trapped in a very small sandbox. The combat is improved, but the story, characters, art, lore, and scenerary are all half-assed. I expected better from Bioware, very disappointing. Expand
  74. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    I`m big fan or RPG games, hell big fan of Bioware but come on, OK lets start with graphic really great (compered with DA-O)but i don`t think it has more than few maps and who play RPG games for great visual, we play for story, making our character more and more better with next level, going trough lots of mission to get that perfect item, so at the end of the game we can see how ourI`m big fan or RPG games, hell big fan of Bioware but come on, OK lets start with graphic really great (compered with DA-O)but i don`t think it has more than few maps and who play RPG games for great visual, we play for story, making our character more and more better with next level, going trough lots of mission to get that perfect item, so at the end of the game we can see how our perfection look like. Fighting well big zero click this and yeee this explode click that and wow another explosion, story well i can dig it but this is part 2, the story should have been much better you have 3 dialog and that is it? come on i have finish 5 time allover ahead Dragon age origins just because of story, and now i play DA II i`m level 11 and still trying to find good reason for play(damn how a great commercial and reputation can make you feel stupid for paying 50 euro). Skills really you can chose what ever you want, trust me i`t going to look great when you click to use it and there it end it`s value , inventory well i like how they handled resource but that is it if you want to upgrade armor of your companion you need to look out trough all town just sad. Items also i don`t see some great innovation there, and what the f*ck is junk. if you liked first dragon age this one is going to be huge disappointment, really how it get that great critic review i don`t know, this is what it is a mediocrity game with nothing special, and please guys from game industry enough of DLC and promo item that we need to pay, make it free or don`t make it at allâ Expand
  75. Mar 17, 2011
    5
    A disappointment compared to Origins. While I did enjoy it im not going back for a 2nd playthrough anytime soon, this is the complete opposite of origins which i could not get enough of. The responsiveness in combat was nice but i felt it made the game play more like an action than an tactical rpg. The problem with Dragon Age 2 is that it sorta sits half way between origins and mass effectA disappointment compared to Origins. While I did enjoy it im not going back for a 2nd playthrough anytime soon, this is the complete opposite of origins which i could not get enough of. The responsiveness in combat was nice but i felt it made the game play more like an action than an tactical rpg. The problem with Dragon Age 2 is that it sorta sits half way between origins and mass effect and this results in players interested in either 'genre' being disappointed. I find it strange that bioware completely changed the game rather than improving on it like they did between mass effect and mass effect 2. Expand
  76. Mar 18, 2011
    5
    Copy/Pasted dungeons and building interiors : Check
    Inability to customize companion armor : Check
    Very limited companion interaction : Check Uninteresting protagonist : Check Less than half the abilities/spells compared to its predecessor : Check Lack of tactical combat : Check Mediocre storyline : Check Boring side quests inserted into the title for the sole purpose of increasing the
    Copy/Pasted dungeons and building interiors : Check
    Inability to customize companion armor : Check
    Very limited companion interaction : Check
    Uninteresting protagonist : Check
    Less than half the abilities/spells compared to its predecessor : Check
    Lack of tactical combat : Check
    Mediocre storyline : Check
    Boring side quests inserted into the title for the sole purpose of increasing the playtime: Check

    To sum all the above up, Bioware going down in flames : Check

    I had high hopes for this title and I really thought that it would improve as I continued to play the game. I was bored from the start, but instead of writing a scathing review after just 10 hours of play I decided to give the game a chance and played the game to completion before writing this review. At times during the game play experience I found that I was trying to force myself to enjoy it. The game really does feel incomplete and buggy at times and never truly draws the player into its world. I loved Dragon Age : Origins despite its few flaws and I was hoping that this game would improve upon that winning formula, instead of taking one step forward it seems that Bioware has taken 2 steps back with this title.

    Bioware and/or EA were not generous enough to give this product the extra year of development that it probably required, so I'll be generous and give it a 5 out of 10 score which is more than it deserves.
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  77. Mar 18, 2011
    5
    Dragon age 2 should be called, "Assassin's Creed 3: The Dragon Age edition." If you are looking for the same great experience of an epic, sprawling RPG, then look elsewhere. They removed any sense of epic struggle, moral ambiguity in making large and important decisions, and perhaps more damning, they removed the element of exploration that is so prevalent in many RPGs. Instead, we areDragon age 2 should be called, "Assassin's Creed 3: The Dragon Age edition." If you are looking for the same great experience of an epic, sprawling RPG, then look elsewhere. They removed any sense of epic struggle, moral ambiguity in making large and important decisions, and perhaps more damning, they removed the element of exploration that is so prevalent in many RPGs. Instead, we are given an ultra-linear story, one city to explore (the whole game mind you, just like assassin's creed, but actually assassin's creed has more than one city!) and absolutely no exciting pacing. By the middle of the game you are utterly sick of running menial tasks. There is no sense of a greater purpose like there was in the original Dragon Age: Origins. On top of this, there is clear evidence that Bioware was cutting corners any place it could just to save time and money. Environments are repeated sometimes between 4-5 times, but are supposed to be completely different areas. You'll think to yourself, "Hmph, I've been here before!" quite a few times. If you loved Dragon Age: Origins, I can imagine you'll buy the game anyway, but don't expect the same experience; it's gone. Expand
  78. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Commander Hawkes incredible city runner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I suppose I have to say something good about the game too. Well the good thing is I won`t trust bioware assuring that they are not dumbing down or forgetting us old RPG gamers.
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  79. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    Okay, let me preface this by saying that i am not one to prescribe to the mob mentality of trolling video game forums and dumping heaps of praise/criticism on games unnecessarily. I understand that video games, like most things, are subjective and may appeal to some but not all. However, i feel overwhelmingly compelled to point out the flaws in this title, because of the depressingOkay, let me preface this by saying that i am not one to prescribe to the mob mentality of trolling video game forums and dumping heaps of praise/criticism on games unnecessarily. I understand that video games, like most things, are subjective and may appeal to some but not all. However, i feel overwhelmingly compelled to point out the flaws in this title, because of the depressing trend of the "consolization" of the big AAA releases, to the point that finding quality PC titles yields as much fruit as searching for unicorns. What makes this bastardization of a title so much more rage inducing is that the original dragon age was a game which harken back to the roots of PC rpg's and offered an epic story strategic gameplay and a level of complexity that was engrossing and satisfying. This is not a true sequel as much as it is an unveiled attempt to draw more people into the game by delivering dragon origins "light'. To call this game an utter crap storm, might be a bit excessive, yet that is the feeling i got when i played the first ten or so hours of the game. I really hate this game, but not because it is a bad game. On its own, played on a console, it would be an awesome experience. However, it should not be the sequel to what was one of the strongest pc releases of the last decade, when it is in fact as step back. My point in writing this little tirade, is to add more voices to the growing mass of pc gamers becoming frustrated with the iterative releases of FPS like COD:BLOPS and the horrible ports of console games to PC. I am sick and tired of the graphical enhancement, and innovation possible on PC's being hamstrung and tired needlessly to the 5 year old and aging consoles. I want a game that is not cognizant of the limitations of consoles and designs a game with them and mind and only later attempts to sling the crap together to release it on PC. That is why i took this game back to gamestop got my money back and preordered the witcher II. That is a PC game and is an example of what a PC game should look and feel like. So while dragon age 2 is not a bad game it is not the game that DAO was and anyone looking for a similiarly satisfying experience should look elsewhere. console = 8 PC = 5 Expand
  80. Mar 19, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Improved several things from DA:O, while taking large steps backwards on others. Having a voiced character whose dialogue would change based on whether the PC typically chose diplomatic/sarcastic/direct dialogue options was a big plus. The combat skill trees were an improvement. And in my opinion, letting characters simply upgrade their armor instead of micromanaging was an aspect I enjoyed as well. Steps backwards are most obvious in areas Bioware typically shines. You cannot talk with party members unless they are giving a quest. So instead of Hawke taking time to get to know the party, the game gives quests letting you know when they want to talk to you. The storyline is hit and miss. The first 2/3 of the game are actually pretty decent. Showing a refugee rising up from the slums to eventually have a hand in saving the city from an imminent threat. Then act 3 happens. Normally, this is where choices the PC in Bioware games really come out to shine in the conclusion to a story. But no, turns out everyone in Kirkwall is just crazy. Instead of having the chance to rule Kirkwall, the player simply gets to kill the largest factions in the game even after siding with one over the other. It really felt like a DLC meant to set up the future of Thedas more than a standalone game. Easily the worst Bioware ending they've done and really depressing considering the great job they've done in the past on RPG stories.

    However, Bioware is known for writing great and engaging stories in their games. In DA:O, the Warden was tasked with uniting a divided country to push back the Blight that threatened everyone. Simple on paper, but Bioware did a good job in creating dynamic factions with different motives and concerns in a way that immersed you into Ferelden. In DA2, Hawke shows up and things just happen around him. But despite claiming the players choices dramatically affect Kirkwall as time passes, this simply isn't true. Too often the player is presented with multiple dialogue choices, but will experience the same outcome.
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  81. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    If you are into putting your money into something that is already horribly overpriced, no closer, a rushed feeling, a console port, and limited decision making when it comes to Bioware games then this is for you. This game is following the ever so trendy genre of a cliffhanger so they can milk the series as much as possible. They are taking a page out of Kotick's book and are wanting toIf you are into putting your money into something that is already horribly overpriced, no closer, a rushed feeling, a console port, and limited decision making when it comes to Bioware games then this is for you. This game is following the ever so trendy genre of a cliffhanger so they can milk the series as much as possible. They are taking a page out of Kotick's book and are wanting to get the most bang for their buck, which makes sense economically, but doesn't make sense when playing the game. Sure the original game had some moments that could be explored in the future but it gave closer to the storyline that it set out to tell. This sequel leaves too much out there and is pretty much if anything a bridge to a next game and isn't a real game itself. DA 2 would have a lot of these issues fixed if it wasn't rushed out. I am again sure it was good for a business stand point but for the player it just feels like a let down from the best RPG makers out there. I remember when games were actually made for the PC instead of us having to deal with an inferior console port. They limited the camera angle on DA2 so you are pigeon holed into playing as the consolers. This might just be an issue for me but eventually I got over it. The reason they said for this is because they didn't want to spend the money on making textures for the drop down camera. When all they really had to do was black out the screen in parts where they needed textures. Lastly I would except a lot more of Bioware from a game. A lot of the storytelling elements just don't make any sense. I am not going to go into any of them and if you want you can go to their forums and read what others are saying. Overall an average game and I have no idea how a score of 8 can be average. Corrupt game reviewers not wanting to give the game a score that it deserves is pathetic. Expand
  82. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    First of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden theFirst of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden the audience, demanding full prize while preparing DLCs that shall fill in the remaining gaps. Bioware was once regarded as "the bringer of rain" after a drought in the genre of RPGs (for the PC). But now they could play the opposite role: if they are the most prominent agents of the genre (besides Bethesda) and their games are setting trends, then other companies will follow their example, if they haven't already. To be more detailed I'll point out aspects that annoyed me the most: Game World:
    - The most insolent re-use in an state-of-the-art RPG I've seen so far: dozens of times you walk through levels which are IDENTICAL, and I mean identical. Every corner, texture, modell, architecture, lighting etc. are exactly the same, just with another label (for example "cave xyz" instead of "cave abc").
    - The main game world consists of just 15 to 20 small or very small locations in a city (small means an area which takes 20 seconds to 60 seconds to cross, very small means a simple flat)
    - There are no (more or less) diversified regions like snowy mountains, deserts, jungle, forest, real dungeons, castles, other towns etc., just this one city and three outer regions that are not noteworthy
    - The few existing places look sterile and somehow empty although there are a few people standing around, but they are just copies doing nothing. There are no animals, no interesting props, no interesting architecture, no waving foliage, no sounds of wind, loud chatter etc.
    - Most of the levels are extremely tubular: just one way, no possibility for exploration. If you use such level design, you should use it for thrilling script events like in COD to propell the storytelling, but that's not the case for DA2. A proper game world would have been to expensive...

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

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

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

    Dramaturgy:
    - The backgrounds and dialogues preceding and following missions are of high quality, BUT what about a larger conflict, to what end am I killing hordes of idiots? Is there any greater inner or outer threat than a killer whom the player seeks to kill? The Qunari are a threat, for twenty minutes of gameplay. Templar and Magicians don't like each other and there's a fight, but that's it. No threat and no thread. Calling Hawke "Champion" is an exaggeration to cover that he hasn't achieved much. The whole game is "unepic" and seems to be a chapter of an epic game.
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  83. Mar 21, 2011
    5
    Enjoyable, but, ultimately, disappointing.
    I suppose that, after loving Dragon Age: Origins, I can't be blamed for having high expectations. Even when they were 'hyping it up' I was like 'that's just marketing'...but along w/ the anticipation, there was, of course, some worry.
    After my first playthrough (somewhere between 60 - 70 hours. I like to be thorough: my first DA:O was a little
    Enjoyable, but, ultimately, disappointing.
    I suppose that, after loving Dragon Age: Origins, I can't be blamed for having high expectations. Even when they were 'hyping it up' I was like 'that's just marketing'...but along w/ the anticipation, there was, of course, some worry.
    After my first playthrough (somewhere between 60 - 70 hours. I like to be thorough: my first DA:O was a little under 110 hours), I definitely had mixed feelings. It was enjoyable, but even while I was playing, the thought that 'it could have been SO MUCH BETTER' kept nagging at me.

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

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

    Conclusion:
    Is the game worth getting? I still think so. Is it worthy sequel to DA:O? Hmm. I personally wouldn't like to think of it as a sequel...just the second game in the same setting, and contributing to the story of the setting as a whole. On it's own, it's a decent enough game, but definitely feels 'rushed out'. As a sequel, DA2 is disappointing. Would I recommend it to anyone? Yes, but grudgingly and warning him/her to be patient, as I do think the story, as a whole, is quite good. If anything, it feels like the entire game is a 'set up' for something else, like a 2nd movie or book in a trilogy. It is my sincere hope that, if all the negative feedback is to go by, Bioware takes their time on the third game. It sucks to be disappointed, after all.
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  84. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    I was a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins, so naturally I was really looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, like so many before me I was left disappointed. My biggest complaint would have to be the recycled environments. I can forgive Bioware for using the same city and surrounding areas due to the fact that the whole story takes place in Kirkwall, but when I'm forced to fight throughI was a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins, so naturally I was really looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, like so many before me I was left disappointed. My biggest complaint would have to be the recycled environments. I can forgive Bioware for using the same city and surrounding areas due to the fact that the whole story takes place in Kirkwall, but when I'm forced to fight through the same few dungeons (it's still the same dungeon no matter how many paths you block or open up) and explore the same homes over and over again I just can't help but wonder if they really thought their fanbase would be okay with this. I'm also not very fond of the multiple waves of enemies. I don't mind big battles, but it just seems a bit stupid when the second waves always just sort of materialize out of nowhere. I could go on and on about my problems with this game (voiced protagonist, dumbed down rpg mechanics, weaker writing, etc.) but I'll end this on a happier note. Despite everything mentioned above, this still feels like a Dragon Age game. The story (although a little weak) kept me interested enough to finish the game and a few of the characters actually grew on me. Overall this is a disappointing game, however there are still enough positive aspects about it for it to not be a complete waste of money. Just a minor one. Expand
  85. Mar 22, 2011
    5
    Seems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather thanSeems like one of the times they make a game add a "2" to the name and milk it for all it's worth. Changing the game to suit the largest audience relying on the original's success and in the process ruining what could have been a great sequel to an excellent original. Instead it's a "lowest common denominator" situation, overflowing with violence, sex and pubescent attitude rather than continuing and expanding Dragon Age.

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

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

    It would have been better if they simply used everything from the original (gameplay, style etc) and simply added a continuation of the story.
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  86. Mar 24, 2011
    5
    Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
    The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of
    Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
    The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of cartoons/anime than dark fantasy.
    Non-combat skills like coercion or survival have been stripped from the game and overall the game feels strongly focused on combat and action.
    The story itself isn't bad, though the pacing seems somewhat odd at times. The companions are generally likable, though companion interaction takes place mostly during the companion quests.
    The city of Kirkwall, to which the player is mostly confined, feels unfortunately lifeless. NPCs are basically static background, which wouldn't be much of a problem if the game's story wouldn't take place almost entirely inside the city.
    Dungeons consist mostly of a few maps that are recycled over and over, with various passages blocked off by locked doors. Unfortunately the mini-map doesn't reflect the blocked passages, making the lack of variety in maps even more obvious.

    The game is certainly ok for a beginner RPG, but it cannot compare to BioWare's masterpieces by any means. It lacks the depths and complexity that Origins had and would have better been marketed as a spin off game than a sequel.
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  87. Apr 23, 2011
    5
    Very disappointing sequel. It is sadly inferior in almost every way to its predecessor. The combat has been reduced to button-mashing which is somehow expected to appeal to more people. Also, this game absolutely reeks of shortcuts taken in the name of pushing this pile of garbage out the door. Environments are used over and over and over. Gone are the interesting descriptions ofVery disappointing sequel. It is sadly inferior in almost every way to its predecessor. The combat has been reduced to button-mashing which is somehow expected to appeal to more people. Also, this game absolutely reeks of shortcuts taken in the name of pushing this pile of garbage out the door. Environments are used over and over and over. Gone are the interesting descriptions of items. Forget trying to talk to your companions in any meaningful way unless a quest is involved. Every conversation ends with a feeling of 'that's it? That's the end of the conversation? Where's the rest?' Forget the realism of having half your companions bisexual. Now everyone everywhere is bi all the time, because according to lead writer David Gaider, doing otherwise would have cost too much and taken too much time. Do you like games where your choices matter? In Dragon Age 2 your responses are now limited to three (friendly, snarky, hostile) instead of potentially multiple ones as in DA:O. And those choices have almost no impact on the story. It's incredibly linear and no matter how you respond to people, the outcome is always the same. The disjointed, clunky, and cliched story builds to a decision at the end between two factions and you have to choose between them, only to find at the last second that no, you'll have to fight both. It feels incredibly contrived, and blatantly obvious that Bioware didn't want to take the time to really give you choices that matter because it would make it harder for themselves in a sequel to take those into account. The worst is that instead of acknowledging these issues as faults, Bioware is staunchly defending the awesomeness of these changes as "streamlining" the game. Well I'll tell you what, Bioware, a poptart is a pretty streamlined breakfast. I still prefer steak and eggs. Expand
  88. Mar 25, 2011
    5
    Any one who loved Balder's gate plane scape or DA:O will hate what they did to DA 2. Its rushed in all regards from reused levels to waves of enemies that pop out of thin air. The story is sub par the characters are shallow and you have 0 choices that make any difference to the game world. This game is at its very best absolutely average in all regards.
  89. Mar 26, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Short version: High expectations not met. Disclaimer: If you never played the oldschool PC RPGs and loved ME2, go for DA2. It is a good game. This review is from the POV of one of those oldschool gamers well experienced with Bioware's track record.

    High expectations not met. That is the one-liner best to describe DA2 with. DA:O was the best PC RPG of recent time and hyping for a sequel was understandably easy. I have to add that I also played Mass Effect 1+2 and enjoyed those games. And actually thought the changes made to simplify ME2 were fitting. However I was pretty disappointed with the main plot in ME2 and the progression was "collected" at certain bridges to make the storytelling easy, but guiding the RPG experience too much.
    Due to this I was utterly disappointed with DA2. They use the same insulting progression that leaves the player with a feeling of running down a one-way tunnel. The side-quests are entertaining, but they leave a sour taste in the mouth when you realize that they overshadow the main plot. The main plot quests feels like just another side-quest and you just do not feel Hawke has any reason to consider those quests more important than the others. Like going to the deep roads. The plot's reason for Hawke to go there was to earn money, yet in parallel you have the family story and the fact that Hawke's mother actually works on getting their estate back. Personally I would have said screw-it to Bertrand and done something else to work my way up. There was nothing in the plot that indicated that the deep roads would make a major impact, yet you somehow knew you had to go because the author of the story had decided to build the plot there. Very forced and fake.
    Same with the companions. They each have their own stories and it feels more like they cross path with Hawke rather than joining in his quest (perhaps because there is no quest when Hawke picks up his companions). It feels like they went with the ME2 recipe, but forgot that ME2 had a credible reason for Shepard to fly around the galaxy getting his team together. In DA2 Hawke magically manage to keep his companions around and they will join him on the quests even if he continuously piss them off. It just seems fake.

    I can accept the changes they made. I miss the crafting, the companion gear, the ability to shape my companions pretty much how I want them, and the need to use your brain in combat. But none of those changes are game-breaking. At most they would bring the score down from 9/10 to a more average 8/10. Mostly because the gameplay is still fun.
    I am not very fond of the emphasis put on cross-class combos though. The point will be missed by the lazy gamers the game is dumbed down for, and the better gamers will spend 2 minutes setting up tactics and have access to "EZ-mode" in all game difficulties. The tactics works so well that you can trivialize all combat but the boss-fights (which also explains why people complain about the Rock Wraith fight - since it is the first time you cannot sit and watch your 3 companions do everything).
    However the lack of engaging story and the ditching of the non-linear plot from DA:O totally butchers the game's potential. Had it been a non-franchised game from an unknown developer it could have gotten away with being an alright game. But with the expectations to a Bioware game and the Dragon Age franchise it falls way below what a customer would expect.

    Add the overly positive critic reviews and you have a recipe for scamming the gamers. DA2 is in no way worth the $50 pricetag. Not when compared to Bioware's track record, where you got really deep games for that price.
    And because the main problem with the game is the storyline, DLC will not be able to fix it. No matter how many more sidequests you add to the game it will not change the fact that you feel you are running down that one-way tunnel for no other reason than because "that is what Hawke should do".

    It is by no means a bad game. And if your experience with RPGs is limited to Mass Effect, then by all means throw your money at DA2. Unless you really hate swords and magic you will not be disappointed.
    However, if you are part of the older PC gamer tradition and are familiar with Bioware's ability to write fantastic plots worthy of comparison with great fantasy novels, then you better prepare yourself to be disappointed.
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  90. Mar 26, 2011
    5
    I went into this game expecting it to be different and, hopefully, challenging; It wasn't. Forget the story, forget the characters, forget the port quality shine, forget everything but the core game play of the first. The difficult and deep combat system was the meat and potatoes of that game. Out of everything, that is what kept me coming back for more. I have not been that into a gameI went into this game expecting it to be different and, hopefully, challenging; It wasn't. Forget the story, forget the characters, forget the port quality shine, forget everything but the core game play of the first. The difficult and deep combat system was the meat and potatoes of that game. Out of everything, that is what kept me coming back for more. I have not been that into a game since... well the last good game bioware made.
    I have beaten the game, albeit begrudgingly. It reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I remember going to see it in theaters with my dad and the first scene was great but it quickly went down hill and the only reason my dad and I didn't leave was because we loved the first one so much. "Come on Paul, lets go see a different movie." "No, it might get better in a few minutes. How many times can she say, "INDY!!!"" This game feels like the Temple of Doom. The only reason I could play though it was because I loved Origins so much, but the reason I found this game so mediocre was because I loved Origins so much. The only thing that has overshadowed this 'let down' was the fact that PC Gamer gave this game a 90+ rating.
    I used to wait for the mailman to get my copy of PC gamer every month for fifteen ducking years. In fact when I cancelled my subscription they called me back offering a free year but I'd had had enough. Either PC gamer is out of touch or they are trying to sell the game for EA. Either way I can no longer get an unbiased review from them. The 'review' PC gamer gave DA 2 seemed like it was just emailed to them from EA with some gift cards packaged in. Now don't get me wrong, there are some things about DA 2 that I liked. Except that those wonderful improvements were small potatoes compared to where Bioware screwed up. The clumsy exposition and dialogue was fit for a cartoon network after school special. I'd rather watch the Golden Girls with my girlfriend, who almost left me when I got into the first game.
    What I am trying to say, is that we, the customers, should make a statement. DON'T BUY THIS GAME! On its own it is an average game but, given the circumstances, it must be a great game. So don't buy this game, don't pirate this game, and don't buy/read PC gamer until they all get their **** together. I would have rather waited another year or two for a better game then be here telling everyone how pissed I am.
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  91. Mar 28, 2011
    5
    Quite a disappointment. Stagnant environments are but a tiny issue. While the combat has a decent flow to it, the exploding bodies cheapen the feel of combat after a time. Skill trees and leveling are well done and I didn't mind the unchangeable companion armor as much as I thought I would. The millions of generic rings and self labeled "junk" drops wear on the nerves.Quite a disappointment. Stagnant environments are but a tiny issue. While the combat has a decent flow to it, the exploding bodies cheapen the feel of combat after a time. Skill trees and leveling are well done and I didn't mind the unchangeable companion armor as much as I thought I would. The millions of generic rings and self labeled "junk" drops wear on the nerves. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As far as story goes, Acts 1 and 2 were good enough and pretty enjoyable. When it came to Act 3 (the final), however, the fact that the player's choice is an illusion is made all too clear as one is railroaded down an unchanging series of events. This wouldn't be too bad save for the fact that it almost seems that Act 3 is unfinished, and that the two 'endings' are actually just one ending, stretched to fit two different alignment choices at the end. Because of this, one ending seems blatantly preferable to the other as it's the only one that makes sense. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PROS
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Combat (Characters felt powerful)
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    * Voice Acting (Though voiced protagonist likely limited the storyline)
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    * Act 1, Act 2 are fun enough, if not fleshed out enough to shine
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    * Companions interact with each other in cut scenes and through banter
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    * The story telling method: a reflective narrative that adapts to the player's decisions (however minor they are)
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    /////CONS/////
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Character felt less like a 'champion' and more like a footnote in history
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    * Act 3 and its terribly assembled plot/ No satisfying ending
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    * Recycled environments (you will memorize loot spots, etc.)
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    * The game actually feels rushed, spotty, and hollow at points - I don't think anyone would say that this game would not have benefited from more development time. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Ridiculous Boss HP - makes some fights more grind than challenge
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    * Economy and crafting are limited and limiting
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    * No background humor, the world and lore are lacking personality (Just copy/pasted from Origins where it isn't bland)
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    * Quests are extremely repetitive
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    * Loot is overly simplistic and "Junk" is a terrible, terrible concept
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    Overall, this game isn't the worst thing in the world, but it falls short in many places. I hope the inevitable sequel can benefit by avoiding the mistakes of Dragon Age II.
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  92. Mar 30, 2011
    5
    I just have one question for Bioware but I don't expect it will ever be truly answered: exactly how many Bioware employees remain from the team that made KOTOR....never mind some of the older games such as Baldur's Gate? Seriously guys, before hiring a new employee to become a part of Bioware you should test them on knowledge of your older games to insure that they've actually played them.I just have one question for Bioware but I don't expect it will ever be truly answered: exactly how many Bioware employees remain from the team that made KOTOR....never mind some of the older games such as Baldur's Gate? Seriously guys, before hiring a new employee to become a part of Bioware you should test them on knowledge of your older games to insure that they've actually played them. I suppose that even if most of the team is still intact (which I highly doubt) EA has worked their magic to kill yet another great development team..

    That's all I have really, the other "reviews" here go into details about why the game itself is a low point for Bioware. And just so you don't think I'm some bitter old school RPG'er...I loved KOTOR 1&2, Mass Effect 1&2, Jade Empire and DAO.
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  93. Mar 31, 2011
    5
    I am so flabbergasted, that I have no clue what to write about this game. The first Dragon Age is probably in my top 5 of all time, so this had a lot to live up to; and seeing BioWare as the company behind it, who was I to predict a disappointment? They've proven, with Mass Effect 2, that they can do sequels. And not just "sequels", but sequels that, in my opinion, outdo theirI am so flabbergasted, that I have no clue what to write about this game. The first Dragon Age is probably in my top 5 of all time, so this had a lot to live up to; and seeing BioWare as the company behind it, who was I to predict a disappointment? They've proven, with Mass Effect 2, that they can do sequels. And not just "sequels", but sequels that, in my opinion, outdo their predecessors.

    Sure, the combat is now much more fun and responsive this time around, but that's about the only thing they've changed for the better. Where is the well-written dialogue with the companions? Much of my time spent in Dragon Age: Origins, was spent exploring the past and the future of my fellow companions, yet here I only get to visit their homes twice during the course of the entire game, leaving many personalities woefully unexplored.

    And where are the compelling characters? In Origins, we had a wide array of interesting personas, yet here we have only a couple of memorable people - most of which I'll probably forget, 'less I force myself through more plays. Fenris was one of the first companions I got, yet he was still a complete stranger to me in the end; I knew nothing about him or his wants or anything - except his tunnelvisioned hatred of mages. The romances don't work at all. After trying to flirt around with Isabela, over the course of what must be seven or so years in the games time, I finally get to bed her. Twenty minutes later, she tries to bed a cameo from Origins. What the heck? Talk about a lousy pay-off, immediately making me regret ever trying to sweet-talk her.

    The characters aren't as complex and compelling as in Origins (or any other Bioware-title). An example is Meredith, who's presumably the big bad: she hates mages. Why? Because that's what templars do, and she's a templar. We're not really given any reasons why she carries this extreme hatred, but alas. Compare her to Loghain, who wasn't even the main evil force of Origins: a haunted war-hero, standing up against a dynasty he saw as everything he fought against in his days of glory. He had an understandable motivation that we, as players, could understand, yet still find appaling. Meredith in contrast is just a McGuffaw-carrying evil force. To think this is the same developers/writers that gave us Garrus, Mordin, Jack, Tali, Morrigan, Sten, Leliana, Minsc, Jaheira and Jon Irenicus is just mindbaffling beyond belief.

    And don't get me started on the recycling. You'll run through exact replicas of boring mountainous-cave-with-paths-randomly-blocked and earthy-tunnel tens of times in the course of the game. Clearly a sign of this game being rushed to the shelves. Also, all combat-encounters will have you swarmed with enemies randomly teleporting in or rapelling down building, completely making you disregard what could otherwise have been a good revamp of the combat-system. Kirkwall is a really desolate and lifeless city, yet whenever combat is near, you're suddenly swarmed by thirty bad-guys - and after that, sixty more.

    Is it a horrible game? Not at all, but it's treading around so far below what it should/could/would have been that it's a travesty and a major disappointment. To consider it's the same company that made the masterpieces of Baldur's Gate 2 and Mass Effect 2, can't do anything but leave you completely dumbfounded. What happened, Bioware? You used to be the pinnacle of the great gaming industry, but now you've rushed out an unpolished turd.

    This single game has made me decide not to pre-order Mass Effect 3, for fear of it being just as unpolished a game as this - and I likely won't buy Dragon Age 3 (did I mention that this ends in a **** cliffhanger?) if it's met with the same scorn as this installment of the series. Bioware singlehandedly ruined my blind love and trust for them in one sweep, and it's one I doubt they'll be able to reclaim anytime soon.

    Final words: Go play The Witcher, Baldur's Gate 2, Mass Effect 1+2, or hell, even replay Origins instead of buying this. Don't trust the obviously paid shiny reviews.
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  94. Apr 1, 2011
    5
    I want to like this game but I just can't do it. The characters and story in this game seem small and unimportant. Almost random with no big "hook" to keep you committed to the story. It is a kind of fun time-waster but seems brainless. The sidequests require no thought at all. Just look at the map and go exactly where it tells you to go. Instead of trying to solve problems or questsI want to like this game but I just can't do it. The characters and story in this game seem small and unimportant. Almost random with no big "hook" to keep you committed to the story. It is a kind of fun time-waster but seems brainless. The sidequests require no thought at all. Just look at the map and go exactly where it tells you to go. Instead of trying to solve problems or quests you are just following the road map. In combat you generally face a room full of enemies and after you kill them, a whole bunch more just "parachute" into the screen. Are we supposed to pretend this is not happening? It ruins the flow of combat. And unfortunately this is a combat-RPG. I will finish playing through it but not purchase DLC. Expand
  95. Apr 6, 2011
    5
    Not as bad as people say it is but it's definitely not "good" either. I give this a 5 because it's such a repetitive game with recycled locations and quests. The boss fights look like they were tripped from WOW. The character dialog can be interesting at times but you're basically forced into a canned character concept defying the whole point of a fantasy RPG. Also, many of the events ofNot as bad as people say it is but it's definitely not "good" either. I give this a 5 because it's such a repetitive game with recycled locations and quests. The boss fights look like they were tripped from WOW. The character dialog can be interesting at times but you're basically forced into a canned character concept defying the whole point of a fantasy RPG. Also, many of the events of DA:O don't seem to matter very much in this game. The character of hawk is non compelling. On the plus side there are some OK graphics and environment design. Expand
  96. Apr 6, 2011
    5
    A good stand alone game, but doesn't live up to Dragon Age Origins. The story suffers the most, as the characters are far less interesting the crux of the plot considerably less epic and the narrative consistency of the world has fallen by the wayside. The inventory interface is terrible the DLC invalidates the need for any equipment for the first act and the dialog tree is irrelevant.A good stand alone game, but doesn't live up to Dragon Age Origins. The story suffers the most, as the characters are far less interesting the crux of the plot considerably less epic and the narrative consistency of the world has fallen by the wayside. The inventory interface is terrible the DLC invalidates the need for any equipment for the first act and the dialog tree is irrelevant. It's still worth buying, but only after the price has dropped a little. Expand
  97. Apr 17, 2011
    5
    The game tries hard to appeal to a wider audience. Tries to go the story route more than the strategy route. Unfortunatelly even on the story part, the game lacks depth. You have nor real background info on your character, you do not know why you are doing what you are doing and the things you do often seem artificial and not natural. One example: Instead of gathering 50 gold to make aThe game tries hard to appeal to a wider audience. Tries to go the story route more than the strategy route. Unfortunatelly even on the story part, the game lacks depth. You have nor real background info on your character, you do not know why you are doing what you are doing and the things you do often seem artificial and not natural. One example: Instead of gathering 50 gold to make a living you gather 50 gold to invest them in something. In order to get to those 50 goldcoins you do a lot of different quests. A few of them are good, but most of them involve running around for ages seeing the same stuff over and over again... back and forth back and forth.... the story has it peaks, but is overshadowed by really bad character integration. The class you play doesnt matter much do the dialogues. Even the world does not react if you are using magic on the streets, which is forbidden in the game. Combat wise, the game is very chaotic. There is no top down view anymore, so you often have problems with controlling the party or getting a good overview. Handling of NPC equipment is reduced to a minimum and there is no "common goal" that unites your party, but rather loose ties that dont really justify the actions of the companions. To me it didnt make much sense in most cases.

    The game didnt develop naturally but feels forced by guidelines: "We need to have this, we need to have that... " In the end they should ve listened more to their stomach I think. Mediocre game with some good story moments, but lacking in most other areas.

    I can only say this:
    "If you try to please everybody you will end up pleasing noone"
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  98. Apr 19, 2011
    5
    the game was obviously rushed the combat gets very repetitive after a while and the maps are recycled the story is shorter but although it's a good one i say it's very disappointing game but still if u like stories and rpg in general it s still a good one
  99. Apr 20, 2011
    5
    I realy wonder how people can give a game a 0 rating, whatever. This game ain't bad, it is a bit above average.
    It has flaws, obviously. The graphics aren't that good, the obvious console controls are just slapping you in the face from time to time, but it is infact a fun game.
    It took me about 16 hours to complete, I did most of the sidequest and I died quite alot. The strongest aspect of
    I realy wonder how people can give a game a 0 rating, whatever. This game ain't bad, it is a bit above average.
    It has flaws, obviously. The graphics aren't that good, the obvious console controls are just slapping you in the face from time to time, but it is infact a fun game.
    It took me about 16 hours to complete, I did most of the sidequest and I died quite alot. The strongest aspect of this game is obviously the story, which kinda feels just like a bridge between the last Dragon Age Origin DLC and the next DA game, or possibly Dragon Age 2 DLC.
    I would recommend buying it if the game wasn't so repetetive, had more variety and overall, was just more fun. I am a person, that does realy not care about graphics at all, all I got is a PC, which isn't good, so my graphic limit is mostly at medium.. and a medium resolution. It is a fun game if you just complete the story and just look the other direction when a flaw just walks next to you. Characters are fine... didn't think they would have much depth in it, because it was mostly going for Hawk. It's a 6/10.
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  100. Apr 19, 2011
    5
    First RPG from Bioware that can be humbly summarised as a mediocrity or even below. While it still shows us that the team has decent writers and artists, a lack of strong design leadership and quality is something we did't see in Bioware RPG's before. It's a linear adventure with watered story and, to some extent, fun to banter with characters, so-so combat and.. that's it. Dragon Age 2First RPG from Bioware that can be humbly summarised as a mediocrity or even below. While it still shows us that the team has decent writers and artists, a lack of strong design leadership and quality is something we did't see in Bioware RPG's before. It's a linear adventure with watered story and, to some extent, fun to banter with characters, so-so combat and.. that's it. Dragon Age 2 lacks freedom of choice (one we have is actually a masterfuly done illusion, which waves if you try to replay game second time), exploration; to some extend, character customisation; puzzles; it does't give player any tactical challenges. Dragon Age 2 also laughs at many DA:O aspects and characters, beating any decentness from them with black emo stick, and fails to deliver long, gripping dialogues. Overall, one can have some fun with this game, but it's almost painful experience to begin with. This game does't worth it's 60$, and makes you sorry and sad for yourself, your time and money after. Expand
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

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