Nov 13, 2011DA 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
Mar 9, 2011Bioware'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
Mar 25, 2011Pros: 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.
Mar 8, 2011Its 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
Dec 9, 2011I 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....… Expand
Mar 9, 2011Preordered 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.
- 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.
- 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.… Expand
Mar 9, 2011As 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.… Expand
Mar 9, 2011Think 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.
Mar 10, 2011This 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.… Expand
Mar 10, 2011Less 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
Mar 10, 2011Bioware 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.… Expand
Mar 11, 2011DIFFICULTY:
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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… Expand
Mar 11, 2011Not 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 ****.… Expand
Mar 12, 2011To 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.… Expand
Mar 12, 2011I 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
Mar 12, 2011Let 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.
Mar 12, 2011A 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
Mar 12, 2011I 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.… Expand
Mar 12, 2011It'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.… Expand
Mar 13, 2011Payed 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.… Expand
Mar 13, 2011Compared 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.
Mar 13, 2011While 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.… Expand
Mar 14, 2011Not 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
Mar 14, 2011Why 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.… Expand
Mar 14, 2011This 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.… Expand
Mar 15, 2011This 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
Mar 15, 2011This 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.… Expand
Mar 15, 2011What 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.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011I'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.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011It 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.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011At 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
Mar 20, 2011I`m big fan or RPG games, hell big fan of Bioware but come on, OK lets start with graphic really great (compered with DA-O)but i don`t think it has more than few maps and who play RPG games for great visual, we play for story, making our character more and more better with next level, going trough lots of mission to get that perfect item, so at the end of the game we can see how our perfection look like. Fighting well big zero click this and yeee this explode click that and wow another explosion, story well i can dig it but this is part 2, the story should have been much better you have 3 dialog and that is it? come on i have finish 5 time allover ahead Dragon age origins just because of story, and now i play DA II i`m level 11 and still trying to find good reason for play(damn how a great commercial and reputation can make you feel stupid for paying 50 euro). Skills really you can chose what ever you want, trust me i`t going to look great when you click to use it and there it end it`s value , inventory well i like how they handled resource but that is it if you want to upgrade armor of your companion you need to look out trough all town just sad. Items also i don`t see some great innovation there, and what the f*ck is junk. if you liked first dragon age this one is going to be huge disappointment, really how it get that great critic review i don`t know, this is what it is a mediocrity game with nothing special, and please guys from game industry enough of DLC and promo item that we need to pay, make it free or don`t make it at allâ… Expand
Mar 17, 2011A disappointment compared to Origins. While I did enjoy it im not going back for a 2nd playthrough anytime soon, this is the complete opposite of origins which i could not get enough of. The responsiveness in combat was nice but i felt it made the game play more like an action than an tactical rpg. The problem with Dragon Age 2 is that it sorta sits half way between origins and mass effect and this results in players interested in either 'genre' being disappointed. I find it strange that bioware completely changed the game rather than improving on it like they did between mass effect and mass effect 2.… Expand
Mar 18, 2011Copy/Pasted dungeons and building interiors : Check Inability to customize companion armor : Check Very limited companion interaction : Check Uninteresting protagonist : Check Less than half the abilities/spells compared to its predecessor : Check Lack of tactical combat : Check Mediocre storyline : Check Boring side quests inserted into the title for the sole purpose of increasing the playtime: Check
To sum all the above up, Bioware going down in flames : Check
I had high hopes for this title and I really thought that it would improve as I continued to play the game. I was bored from the start, but instead of writing a scathing review after just 10 hours of play I decided to give the game a chance and played the game to completion before writing this review. At times during the game play experience I found that I was trying to force myself to enjoy it. The game really does feel incomplete and buggy at times and never truly draws the player into its world. I loved Dragon Age : Origins despite its few flaws and I was hoping that this game would improve upon that winning formula, instead of taking one step forward it seems that Bioware has taken 2 steps back with this title.
Bioware and/or EA were not generous enough to give this product the extra year of development that it probably required, so I'll be generous and give it a 5 out of 10 score which is more than it deserves.… Expand
Mar 18, 2011Dragon 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
Mar 19, 2011Commander 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.… Expand
Mar 19, 2011Okay, 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
Mar 19, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Improved several things from DA:O, while taking large steps backwards on others. Having a voiced character whose dialogue would change based on whether the PC typically chose diplomatic/sarcastic/direct dialogue options was a big plus. The combat skill trees were an improvement. And in my opinion, letting characters simply upgrade their armor instead of micromanaging was an aspect I enjoyed as well. Steps backwards are most obvious in areas Bioware typically shines. You cannot talk with party members unless they are giving a quest. So instead of Hawke taking time to get to know the party, the game gives quests letting you know when they want to talk to you. The storyline is hit and miss. The first 2/3 of the game are actually pretty decent. Showing a refugee rising up from the slums to eventually have a hand in saving the city from an imminent threat. Then act 3 happens. Normally, this is where choices the PC in Bioware games really come out to shine in the conclusion to a story. But no, turns out everyone in Kirkwall is just crazy. Instead of having the chance to rule Kirkwall, the player simply gets to kill the largest factions in the game even after siding with one over the other. It really felt like a DLC meant to set up the future of Thedas more than a standalone game. Easily the worst Bioware ending they've done and really depressing considering the great job they've done in the past on RPG stories.
However, Bioware is known for writing great and engaging stories in their games. In DA:O, the Warden was tasked with uniting a divided country to push back the Blight that threatened everyone. Simple on paper, but Bioware did a good job in creating dynamic factions with different motives and concerns in a way that immersed you into Ferelden. In DA2, Hawke shows up and things just happen around him. But despite claiming the players choices dramatically affect Kirkwall as time passes, this simply isn't true. Too often the player is presented with multiple dialogue choices, but will experience the same outcome.… Expand
Mar 20, 2011If 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
Mar 20, 2011First of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before because I've never felt the need for it (by the way: apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker). With Drageon Age 2 I believe a worrying tendency emerges I have to adress: short development periods (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic gameplay to broaden the audience, demanding full prize while preparing DLCs that shall fill in the remaining gaps. Bioware was once regarded as "the bringer of rain" after a drought in the genre of RPGs (for the PC). But now they could play the opposite role: if they are the most prominent agents of the genre (besides Bethesda) and their games are setting trends, then other companies will follow their example, if they haven't already. To be more detailed I'll point out aspects that annoyed me the most: Game World:
- The most insolent re-use in an state-of-the-art RPG I've seen so far: dozens of times you walk through levels which are IDENTICAL, and I mean identical. Every corner, texture, modell, architecture, lighting etc. are exactly the same, just with another label (for example "cave xyz" instead of "cave abc").
- The main game world consists of just 15 to 20 small or very small locations in a city (small means an area which takes 20 seconds to 60 seconds to cross, very small means a simple flat)
- There are no (more or less) diversified regions like snowy mountains, deserts, jungle, forest, real dungeons, castles, other towns etc., just this one city and three outer regions that are not noteworthy
- The few existing places look sterile and somehow empty although there are a few people standing around, but they are just copies doing nothing. There are no animals, no interesting props, no interesting architecture, no waving foliage, no sounds of wind, loud chatter etc.
- Most of the levels are extremely tubular: just one way, no possibility for exploration. If you use such level design, you should use it for thrilling script events like in COD to propell the storytelling, but that's not the case for DA2. A proper game world would have been to expensive...
- 90% of gameplay consists of running and killing: go to place X, kill everyone, talk to person Y to have a reason for killing and then go to place Z and kill everyone. Most of the time there are no alternative ways to solve problems (the only exceptions are found in dialogues with companions). But hey: that's what's the world about, ain't it?
- There are no possible interactions with the environment, just run, fight, talk, (rudimental) barter. No environmental riddles, no forging, no eating, no sleeping, etc. Would be to complex, eh?
Items and Inventory:
- Companions can't be equipped with armor, just with a weapon, a ring, a belt and an amulet. Would be to complex...
- In the inventory and shops items look absolutely uninteresting and the same: each type of item has the SAME grey and white icon, for example the same symbol for a sword. The only difference are the values of the item. To much effort giving them a distinguishable look?
- Most of the time the few items you can purchase outvalue the few items you find in your travels
- There are no real item sets or unique items
- Why does a plate armor take exactly the same space / weight in inventory (= 1 Slot) as a ring or an amulet (= 1 Slot)? Too much to think about?
- Remember, you have to fight and fight and fight, and sometimes to fight, but don't worry: there isn't much to do, sit back and watch, no tactics needed (you could raise the difficulty but that just means opponents don't take as much damage and hit you harder).
- No overview allowed: forget Dragon Age Origins or Baldur's Gate, not immersive enough, has to be a close look over the should like Mass Effect 2 or say COD!? Another "advantage": the game world seems to be larger than it is.
- In many fights there are up to four or five waves of the same opponents like in good old arcade gaming. That's a challenge RPG-players really like. - If a fight ends successfully health, mana and stamina of all your companions are restored instantly. No need for rest, healing etc.... Waste of time, there are more interesting fights waiting 10 yards ahead.
- Ammunition is for prigs: arrows and bolts are created the moment they are shoot, no buying needed.
- The backgrounds and dialogues preceding and following missions are of high quality, BUT what about a larger conflict, to what end am I killing hordes of idiots? Is there any greater inner or outer threat than a killer whom the player seeks to kill? The Qunari are a threat, for twenty minutes of gameplay. Templar and Magicians don't like each other and there's a fight, but that's it. No threat and no thread. Calling Hawke "Champion" is an exaggeration to cover that he hasn't achieved much. The whole game is "unepic" and seems to be a chapter of an epic game.… Expand
Mar 21, 2011Enjoyable, 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.
- 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).
- 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
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.… Expand
Mar 22, 2011I 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
Mar 22, 2011Seems 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.… Expand
Mar 24, 2011Dragon Age II feels more like a RPG lite than a true successor of Origins, it's not a really bad game but in many ways it leaves a feeling of disappointment.
The combat, while faster than in Origins, feels shallow and tedious due to the wave mechanic employed in most battles. The gritty, semi-realistic animations have been replaced by over the top combat animations that remind more of cartoons/anime than dark fantasy.
Non-combat skills like coercion or survival have been stripped from the game and overall the game feels strongly focused on combat and action.
The story itself isn't bad, though the pacing seems somewhat odd at times. The companions are generally likable, though companion interaction takes place mostly during the companion quests.
The city of Kirkwall, to which the player is mostly confined, feels unfortunately lifeless. NPCs are basically static background, which wouldn't be much of a problem if the game's story wouldn't take place almost entirely inside the city.
Dungeons consist mostly of a few maps that are recycled over and over, with various passages blocked off by locked doors. Unfortunately the mini-map doesn't reflect the blocked passages, making the lack of variety in maps even more obvious.
The game is certainly ok for a beginner RPG, but it cannot compare to BioWare's masterpieces by any means. It lacks the depths and complexity that Origins had and would have better been marketed as a spin off game than a sequel.… Expand
Apr 23, 2011Very disappointing sequel. It is sadly inferior in almost every way to its predecessor. The combat has been reduced to button-mashing which is somehow expected to appeal to more people. Also, this game absolutely reeks of shortcuts taken in the name of pushing this pile of garbage out the door. Environments are used over and over and over. Gone are the interesting descriptions of items. Forget trying to talk to your companions in any meaningful way unless a quest is involved. Every conversation ends with a feeling of 'that's it? That's the end of the conversation? Where's the rest?' Forget the realism of having half your companions bisexual. Now everyone everywhere is bi all the time, because according to lead writer David Gaider, doing otherwise would have cost too much and taken too much time. Do you like games where your choices matter? In Dragon Age 2 your responses are now limited to three (friendly, snarky, hostile) instead of potentially multiple ones as in DA:O. And those choices have almost no impact on the story. It's incredibly linear and no matter how you respond to people, the outcome is always the same. The disjointed, clunky, and cliched story builds to a decision at the end between two factions and you have to choose between them, only to find at the last second that no, you'll have to fight both. It feels incredibly contrived, and blatantly obvious that Bioware didn't want to take the time to really give you choices that matter because it would make it harder for themselves in a sequel to take those into account. The worst is that instead of acknowledging these issues as faults, Bioware is staunchly defending the awesomeness of these changes as "streamlining" the game. Well I'll tell you what, Bioware, a poptart is a pretty streamlined breakfast. I still prefer steak and eggs.… Expand
Mar 25, 2011Any 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.
Mar 26, 2011This 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.… Expand
Mar 26, 2011I 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.… Expand
Mar 28, 2011Quite 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. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Combat (Characters felt powerful)
* Voice Acting (Though voiced protagonist likely limited the storyline)
* Act 1, Act 2 are fun enough, if not fleshed out enough to shine
* Companions interact with each other in cut scenes and through banter
* The story telling method: a reflective narrative that adapts to the player's decisions (however minor they are)
* Character felt less like a 'champion' and more like a footnote in history
* Act 3 and its terribly assembled plot/ No satisfying ending
* Recycled environments (you will memorize loot spots, etc.)
* 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
* Economy and crafting are limited and limiting
* No background humor, the world and lore are lacking personality (Just copy/pasted from Origins where it isn't bland)
* Quests are extremely repetitive
* Loot is overly simplistic and "Junk" is a terrible, terrible concept
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.… Expand
Mar 30, 2011I 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.… Expand
Mar 31, 2011I 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.… Expand
Apr 1, 2011I 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
Apr 6, 2011Not as bad as people say it is but it's definitely not "good" either. I give this a 5 because it's such a repetitive game with recycled locations and quests. The boss fights look like they were tripped from WOW. The character dialog can be interesting at times but you're basically forced into a canned character concept defying the whole point of a fantasy RPG. Also, many of the events of DA:O don't seem to matter very much in this game. The character of hawk is non compelling. On the plus side there are some OK graphics and environment design.… Expand
Apr 6, 2011A 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
Apr 17, 2011The game tries hard to appeal to a wider audience. Tries to go the story route more than the strategy route. Unfortunatelly even on the story part, the game lacks depth. You have nor real background info on your character, you do not know why you are doing what you are doing and the things you do often seem artificial and not natural. One example: Instead of gathering 50 gold to make a living you gather 50 gold to invest them in something. In order to get to those 50 goldcoins you do a lot of different quests. A few of them are good, but most of them involve running around for ages seeing the same stuff over and over again... back and forth back and forth.... the story has it peaks, but is overshadowed by really bad character integration. The class you play doesnt matter much do the dialogues. Even the world does not react if you are using magic on the streets, which is forbidden in the game. Combat wise, the game is very chaotic. There is no top down view anymore, so you often have problems with controlling the party or getting a good overview. Handling of NPC equipment is reduced to a minimum and there is no "common goal" that unites your party, but rather loose ties that dont really justify the actions of the companions. To me it didnt make much sense in most cases.
The game didnt develop naturally but feels forced by guidelines: "We need to have this, we need to have that... " In the end they should ve listened more to their stomach I think. Mediocre game with some good story moments, but lacking in most other areas.
I can only say this:
"If you try to please everybody you will end up pleasing noone"… Expand
Apr 20, 2011I realy wonder how people can give a game a 0 rating, whatever. This game ain't bad, it is a bit above average.
It has flaws, obviously. The graphics aren't that good, the obvious console controls are just slapping you in the face from time to time, but it is infact a fun game.
It took me about 16 hours to complete, I did most of the sidequest and I died quite alot. The strongest aspect of this game is obviously the story, which kinda feels just like a bridge between the last Dragon Age Origin DLC and the next DA game, or possibly Dragon Age 2 DLC.
I would recommend buying it if the game wasn't so repetetive, had more variety and overall, was just more fun. I am a person, that does realy not care about graphics at all, all I got is a PC, which isn't good, so my graphic limit is mostly at medium.. and a medium resolution. It is a fun game if you just complete the story and just look the other direction when a flaw just walks next to you. Characters are fine... didn't think they would have much depth in it, because it was mostly going for Hawk. It's a 6/10.… Expand
Apr 19, 2011First 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
Apr 21, 2011There I was loving everything DA1 deluxe was offering and DA2 come out and HOLY CRAP! what did they do to this game? combat has turned into some button bashing crap devoid of any tactics, graphically it doesn't seem enhanced at all... in fact the texturing seemed much lower even AFTER downloading the DX11 texture pack... totally ruined the gameplay so much that its hard to care about the story at all.… Expand
Apr 22, 2011Dragon Age 2 is not, overwhelmingly, a bad game. What little there is to be found endearing in Dragon Age 2, unfortunately is dwarfed by issues which go to the core fantastical aspects of a role-playing game, those which should be the highest on the list of priorities and in terms of attention to detail, but were evidently almost complete afterthoughts in terms of execution. Dragon Age 2 ticks all the necessary boxes on paper, but fails to deliver on too many to be worthy of Dragon Age heritage.
Environments in Dragon Age 2 lack variety, use of color palette, textured surfaces, remarkable geometry, landscapes and architecture. To some extent it lacks an appreciable depth of field, somewhat owing to the lack of camera control but mostly due to the sheer absence of ambience. According to Dragon Age 2, in the Free Marches you will struggle to find a single living organism that is not humanoid, the few exceptions being confined to dungeons and necessarily so as to provide some degree of enemy variety. Dungeon design is sadly linear, and the contemptuous re-use of dungeons, caves and buildings, speaks to the very limited abilities of the frenetic copy-paste monkey that works in the level design sub-department.
The story is merely an interwoven series of loosely or altogether unrelated events, which limp along sluggishly in anticipation of core storyline development. The framed narrative is employed desperately to try and give connectedness to the disjointed combobulation of quests, but ultimately is used far too ineffectually and limitedly to achieve this. Short scenes of framed narrative between Varric and his "host" all but gloss over the concerns of almost an entire chapter in mere seconds, before once again thrusting another tedious act of grinding through the same handful of environments and dungeons on the player, this time for, purportedly, different reasons.
Also concerning with regard to story development was the painstaking effort taken to segment each act, the first desperately trying to convey uncertainty, the second an illusion of stability, and the third, predictable and unsatisfying, proffering an ill-conceived cliche to lead in to Dragon Age 3. Morality was shambolic. Far too often it was born out of a dialogue option, invariably confused with the horrible conversation wheel, further still by ambiguous paraphrasing, and then turned into a wedge issue between two or more companions competing to be your "friend" or "rival". /golfclap
The problem with this logic barren system of morality, friends and rivals, is in so much that rivals and friends tend not to party or group together, and certainly not in the circumstances presented in this particular tale. This abomination of morality which presents in Dragon Age 2, is actually the moral consequence of actions on relationships, as opposed to actually being held to account for moral decisions oneself. The conversation wheel really has no place in a fantasy wRPG. I literally lost count of the number of times I chose a paraphrased option based on what it said, rather than the wheel icon, and heard the protagonist deliver a line completely at odds with the tone of the paraphrasing. I don't think i've ever quick-loaded more times in a single game play-through in my entire life. In fact i'm sure I quick-loaded less playing through Origins on Nightmare.
Dragon Age 2 lacked the often dark, dry, mature, double-entendre rich, witty banter that ensued from companion interaction, as in Dragon Age Origins. In stead it has been replaced with cheap jabs between two companions, very occasionally humorous and even then, far short of witty, and far too often of questionable intent. No, even frolicking elves can't redeem a conversation between Varric and Isabela.
DA2 had the potential to be a good game, even a great one. Unfortunately it missed the mark by a lot. It wasn't due to sequel expectations, but a significant drop in the quality of product. I'm certain even Bioware is not so far removed from reality, as to have been aware they were not releasing an AAA sequel to Dragon Age Origins. If Bioware was really sincere about trying to capture a wider audience, well, good luck to them with that in the future. Once bitten, twice shy.… Expand
May 1, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Dragon Age II is the sequel of the award-winning roleplaying game Dragon Age: Origins. You play as Hawke, a human trying to survive in the world, and follow his journey to become the Champion of Kirkwall. But although the game boasts improved graphics, combat, and animations, it simply doesn't hold up to its predecessor.
After seeing the success of Mass Effect 2, both in sales and ratings, BioWare tried to copy the same formula to the Dragon Age franchise. Unfortunately, Dragon Age already established itself as a classic roleplaying game. BioWare themselves called it the "spiritual successor of Baldur's gate", one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Most fans believed that Dragon Age II would follow up on the success of Dragon Age, which led to much disappointment after realizing the changes to the game.
Graphically, the game sports more stylized art than the first game. The characters are more jagged and move more fluidly. The textures and details are far more fleshed out for some NPCs, but for others look absolutely dreadful. As for the environments, it's a different story completely. Kirkwall feels like a bland, half-created, static world with no real life. After ten years, you would think a city changed even slightly. This comes off as lazy and rushed and truly deserves to be criticized.
DA2 tries to fix things from Origins. Unfortunately, it fixes what isn't broken. While Origins almost felt turn-based, Dragon Age II feels incredibly chaotic. It has a more dynamic, cinematic action, but comes off as "a button-mashy God of War clone" in several instances. With your attacks going everywhere and spells flying all over the screen, it becomes very difficult to manage.
What made combat more enjoyable were the animations. Your character no longer moves in battle like he desperately needs to go to the bathroom, and you don't fire bolts out of a staff like you're shoving a pole forwards. Attacking with a staff in Dragon Age II is, aesthetically, better. The same goes for attacking with weapons. The animations in Dragon Age II are vast improvements to the original.
But sadly, the game falls flat with its equipment, map, dialogue, and leveling system. No longer can you equip party members with the armor you pick up. Each party member has three or four specific armors throughout the entire game, and that's all. Everything else is either for Hawke or ends up as vendor chow. BioWare most likely made this change due to negative backlash over Mass Effect's inventory system. There are two problems with that. One, Origin's inventory system wasn't difficult at all. It was very friendly and easy to navigate. Two, Mass Effect wasn't a standard RPG. When Mass Effect 2 came out and revealed the lack of a companion inventory system, it didn't matter much because Mass Effect had already made itself out to be a different type of game. As for Origins, it painted its skin as a RPG, which is why having no equipment system for party members in DA2 is highly disappointing.
In DA2, gear is scaled absurdly. Nothing you earn in the game feels valuable, as it will simply be replaced in a few levels. Quest rewards and powerful lore items will be swapped for standard swords in no time at all, which defeats the purpose of earning those rewards in the first place and ruins immersion. Despite having such lackluster scenery, DA2 also reuses its dungeons. Not just once or twice either. It uses a dungeon to death. Get ready to see one area recycled over and over again with different doors opened and closed.
The wheel from Mass Effect has made its way into Dragon Age. It's a gift and a curse. As a gift, it allows for easier navigation of desired options. If I want to tell Aveline something friendly, I choose the option with the blue feather. As a curse, it allows for easier navigation of desired options. The whole intricacy of Origins' dialogue system was that it didn't blatantly tell the player 'make this choice to gain approval' or 'make this choice to lose approval'. If the game has to tell the player what an option does, then it isn't a very clear system. But also, in the first game it was hard at times to decipher whether or not an option was kind or sarcastic, given that the PC had no voice. It's a hit and miss addition. And I'm sure giving the PC a voice certainly did improve the game for some other gamers. But not me. Hawke felt bland as Kirkwall itself.
In Origins I was the Warden, a humble dwarf who rose from the slums and vanquished the Blight. In DA2, I was Hawke, a man that's conveniently in the right place at the right time. I feel like I'm along for the ride, not like a hero. Maybe it's just me. I love Origins, I love BioWare, and I had fun playing this game, but really, it isn't worth more than $39.99. If you're looking for something to pass the time, get it. Otherwise, stay clear.… Expand
May 12, 2011Aside from re-used maps, my biggest complaint is that the characters and story were not as developed as they could have been. I had no emotional connection to Hawke or his/her family. I had no significant attachment to any of Hawke's party members. And, no matter what "decisions" Hawke made, the story was going to progress a certain way.
May 14, 2011I'll say it simply. As a standalone game, and not as the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, I might have rated it a 7. It is a pretty good game, I had fun playing it. But in all honesty, it has very little replayability and the story and characters are far from compelling. This may be the first game I ever sell back.
The best parts of Origins, for me, were the characters, story, and general feeling of immersion. I felt like I really shaped my Warden, and that her relationships really mattered. I felt like I was the driving force behind the story, and my character seemed to actually affect the characters around her. The little side characters (such as Kaitlyn in Redcliffe, where you could help her out and see that one day she might end up marrying Teagan) made Ferelden feel like such a living place where I liked to spend my time. The main villains were complex (Loghain) and had deep-seated motivations (Howe). It wasn't a perfect game, but it's one that I love to play endlessly and never feel I've had enough of, even after 5 or 6 playthoughs.
Dragon Age 2 just feels totally severed from what Origins started. The story sounds very interesting in theory; the frame narrative seemed like a cool idea. At the end of the day, it ends up feeling more like a gimmick that puts a sort of barrier between you and Hawke. It's hard to feel close to Hawke when 7 of the 10 years of the story are narration, retold to you by Varric. Also, because the story of your protagonist is being told to you in the past tense, it feels more like discovering what has happened instead of MAKING something happen. To me, this is a downgrade. It's ESPECIALLY a downgrade when you have played through the story and realize that it isn't really compelling enough to be WORTH finding out what happened. When you finally know what they've been talking about this whole time (and how dire it supposedly is) it does feel like a big let-down.
One of the biggest disappointments about this game, for me, was the relationships with the characters. You can't talk to them outside of their "homes" (i.e. out and about in the world), and not only that but when you do talk to them in their homes, they will only have a conversation with you if it's part of a quest (whether a mini "conversation" quest or an actual sidequest for that character). Romance is also a joke in this game. After having just picked up Anders as a character, I hit on him once and we were basically in a full-fledged relationship. There is no build-up, no complexity. I feel cheated.
This game was a big disappointment, and I say that having had pretty low expectations (thanks to the demo and all the information that came out prior to its release about the 'new' systems). The best thing I can say is that combat is more fun to play, and the classes are MUCH, MUCH more balanced and (in my opinion) no class is inherently more fun than any other class. However, I'd GLADLY go back to slightly boring combat but a killer story. This game is just meh. I'm praying that Bioware realizes their mistakes and if/when they make DA3, they take a few steps back in the direction of Origins (story/character-wise). If they do, I will probably forgive them :)… Expand
May 22, 2011The first truly mediocre game by Bioware. I enjoyed DA: Origins very much and pre-ordered this as soon as it became an option, sure it would be more of the same greatness. Recycled dungeons, waves of space-invaders type enemies, terrible dialogue, nonexistent script and worst of all, plasmatic choices that do not matter in the slightest, this is a travesty of an RPG and a shame upon all it's creators. As a stand-alone game it's merely mediocre, a good natured if clumsily executed fumble at indie gamemaking.… Expand
May 18, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Boring game with awful graphics. It is one of the worst sequel in history of mankind. A slap in the face for fans of DA:O, seriously where did they get the idea to main the masterpiece that DA:O was into this piece of filth. Everything's dumbed down and simplified, what on earth were they thinking. Don't buy this game, buy DA:O instead.… Expand
May 18, 2011It's a Great Game, but ya they could have done better, but still a good buy for PC, I like that the main character can talk, gives more life to your character, the story so far for is great, my favourite character is the dwarf Varric, he is a good Narrator, gives more flavour for the Story...
Mar 18, 2012I am a fan of the DA:O and the expansion Awakenings. I wont go on a hate fest like soo many, I perfered the original dragon ages as they were mainly made for PC and in my opinion better made, You also had different beginnings for different classes which was a plus. I do not mind the gameplay of dragon age 2, or even the graphics. The thing that i really hated on dragon age 2 is the reuse. Basically 1 cave with blocked off areas etc etc and stuck in one town (going out to smallish places) limited the sense of adventure, that is my reason for the low score is because they cheapen out on this game and took a lot of shortcuts, the first made you feel epic, this it was barely on the positive side.… Expand
May 23, 2011Most of us, fans, compare DA2 to DAO and can not help being upset, It is however fully understandable that console gaming influences every single genre nowadays and an RPG designed to fit both PC and X-box/PS3 can not retain old DnD-alike style due to its unpopularity amongst evolved intellectual beings who master a stunning ability to chose between all three icons when a dialog commences. Given that one may doubt DA2 would have disappointed console players. But those lads surely do not appreciate copy-paste dungeons, go 'n kill MMORPG quests and tiny corridors. And that we PC and console users have in common. This game would have scored 9/10 if it was called "Hawke: adventures of a homeless thug". Unfortunately it claims to be a DA sequel. Personally I admire Bioware regardless of this unique case, for my belief in them capable of making masterpieces can not fade away only because of EA.… Expand
May 24, 2011I don't think this game deserves the REALLY low scores it has gotten but I too am dissapointed in the game. DA:O was a fun rpg with an engaging story that I enjoyed and actually played through several times to see what the different outcomes were. The sequel on the other hand feels like they dumbed it down. I'm not the most savvy of gamers on here but even I could tell this just didn't feel like it was made for the PC and lacked the appeal the first one had. If you HAVE to play this, wait for it to go on sale.… Expand
Jun 1, 2011Gameplay makes the game, ultimately and that's the biggest failing in DA2. Plenty of reviewers have already mentioned the wave-based combat system and recycled environments. Put simply, they ruin the gameplay. You simply can't face the same enemies, over and over again, using the same tactics, over and over again, in the same maps, over and over again. It's not hard: it's boring.
I wouldn't recommend this game for that reason alone. It simply becomes unplayable and boring somewhere by the beginning of the third Act. The combat/talent system breaks at that time too as there are no more appealing abilities left to pick for the next eight levels to make the game more interesting. There's nothing left to the game by the end of Act II.
To add insult to injury, the game railroads you into making the decisions it wants you to make. The voice acting and cinematics are neither compelling nor interesting. Overall, this is probably the worst Bioware game to date.
I tried to like this game. I really did. On reflection, however, it gets a fail mark of 5 out of 10.… Expand
Jun 16, 2011Inferior to DA Origins in almost every way. Doesn't warrant an in-depth analysis, so I'll just skim over it... DA2 has small, forgettable characters, in a small, forgettable, story, in a small, forgettable "world." (world = 1 city) The entire first act is just fetching quests; you're an errand boy. You can't customize your companions' armor. You can't talk to them when you please. The quests are all "scattered" randomly throughout the ONE single city where a vast majority of the game takes place. This means there's no sense of progression, as you can basically do any quest in any order (usually based on whichever one is closest to you). The city doesn't age or change, and neither do you. The graphics, or more accurately, the art design, is simplistic and even cartoonish.
COMBAT WAS A JOKE. Childish consolized hack n' slash garbage made for kiddies and monkeys.
Choices mean nothing. Not even an illusion of something. It makes almost no difference whatsoever what you do or say, to the overwhelming majority of events in the game.
They did improve the crafting, and arguably the skill-trees. Also, being either 'negative' or 'positive' to a companion can still get rewards with them.
Anyhow, I could barely play this garbage twice, and then, just to try and get my money's worth.
Don't go to the official forums; the mod fascists strike down anyone not kissing the game's ass, while the cheerleader fanboi trolls have free reign. They've pretty much gotten what they deserve out of this slop; future DA projects won't sell now that the truth is out.… Expand
Jun 18, 2011Dragon Age Origins had its number of flaws. One would expect that these flaws are reduced/removed in its sequel. This is not the case. Most of these flaws are still present in Dragon Age 2, including new ones which Bioware labelled as "innovative ideas". One of these "innovative ideas" is the new story structure. The story of Dragon Age 2 is told in a frame narrative. This might have been a good feature, if it was implemented correctly. The primary and mostly only reason Bioware uses a frame narrative is to rationalize the time-skip which happens during the game. Another "innovative idea" is to confine the player to a single city called Kirkwall. This city is split up into several areas, which can be accessed through fast travel on a "world" map. The areas aren't connected directly, thus the city feels like a small place. The city is too clean and empty. There is supposed to be a refugee crisis, yet there are almost no refugees in the streets. The game spans 10 years and Kirkwall never changes. There are certain NPCs which stand around in the same spot, spouting the same stuff for years. This is immersion breaking. Here is what I expect from a city, which basically is the whole game world: A huge free-roaming and lively place, which features a dynamic day and night cycle with tons of NPCs who have a daily schedule. This city should change dramatically over the course of the game. Now let me get to the next flaw of Dragon Age 2: Reused environments. This problem was already present in Dragon Age Origins to some extent. The developers have outdone themselves with Dragon Age 2. Caves, warehouses, back alleys are being blatantly copy/pasted throughout the game. This problem is even more grave, considering the small game world. Combat: The combat system is more action-packed. Enemies spawn out of nowhere. You kill a group of enemies and another wave of enemies appears, it is dull and repetitive. Dialog: The conversation system has been imported from Mass Effect. You are reduced to good, evil and humorous answers, instead of a large number of responses that weren't black and white in Dragon Age Origins. Clearly a step back compared to DAO. Party: You can use up to 3 party members. The problem is, that you can only change the equipment of the main character and not that of your party members. If there are party members in a RPG, then I expect to have full equipment control over them. Graphics: The graphics are a mixed bag. Bioware should consider licensing a game engine (e.g. Mass Effect series), instead of using their own game engine. Sound: Nice score and good voice work. Violence and Sexual content: The blood and gore content has been increased compared to DAO (exploding enemies, even more blood on your characters after a battle) the sexual content is still on the usual Bioware-underwear-sex level. Bioware could learn a thing from CD Projekt's (e.g. The Witcher 2) approach to sex in video games. Conclusion: Dragon Age 2 turns out to be a mediocre game, due to the number of flaws. The reason for most of these flaws is probably a short development cycle and "new innovative ideas", which were included to appeal to a wider audience.… Expand
Jan 27, 2013Wow, where to start. I played Dragon Age: Origins. I also played other Bioware RPG games dating back to the Star Wars Old Republic games... and I haft to say... this was by far... the worst game they ever made. Thought I liked a few changes they did, I also feel they took two steps forward and 6 steps back. This game is not and shouldn't have been be called a Dragon Age game and be named something else. Since DA2 and DA:O are completely different... First off... The combat. I loved the combat style and killing-blow animations in Dragon Age: Origins. It's Lord of the Rings style hack and slash, blood gore, ect... Thats what was expecting in DA2 from DA:O... I was so disappointed. Though I liked the now fast paced style action (Without pausing). The attack animations, the sounds... it was all terrible and unsatisfying. Plus, the selectable classes were all mashed into only 3 classes. Plus where is my option to play as a tank?! I played a Tank in DA:O... For the games setting, looking back to Star Wars and Mass Effect, I though that I would be able to play my character again from previous saves, or what I did in DA:O would be immensely relevant to the next sequel. Boy, was I wrong. Besides a few differences in dialog what you did in DA:O DOES NOT MATTER, and doesn't even effect the story in hardly anyway. In DA2 it all plays out 95% the same with, or without DA:O saves. But, the meat and bones of the game is the story and the characters... The story, the game takes place in a large city, thought i was surprised at first since I was expecting another cross country adventure as in DA:O, but no. Besides venturing out of the city walls every so often, 75% of all the activity take place in the city. In the same places, same districts, same streets, same buildings, same home, same room, same alley same cave... the only thing that changes is the name of the enemies. Its absolutely repetitive! All it is, is hacking through respawns all in hope the story will get better. But, it doesn't! The story lacked depth and it felt so vague! What happened to the epic battles against the dark spawn orcs? The Arch Demons? It is all gone. Though the Darkspawn is the ultimate evil in the Dragon Age universe you will only fight them on a HAND full of occasions. You will find yourself killing spiders... more spiders... some zombies... demons, and endless re-spawns of humanoids. All in the same places you cleared a hour or so ago. For the characters, besides Varren and Hawks sister... I hated them all... All of them. They all feel so hollow as I did not care for them. Plus, Hawks sister either dies(If you bring her to the Dark Roads) or she gets captured and jailed till the very last scene in the game! WTF? So you and Varren are stuck with a Sesame Street gang... I was not to big on Romances in RPGs, but DA2 has even less to offer. For females you have a STD ridden pirate whore, A frail and awkward elf that looks under-aged and a lesbian ginger woman. For males you have a Pretty boy elf that is always pissed off, Anders who is a whiny heterosexual wuss! Me myself, I found ever reason not to like any of them. Plus, they had to make the only normal some what attractive characters your brother and sister... So scratch them too... This game was a HUGE disappointment... This game didn't even give me any nostalgia what so ever... There was also, no crafting, no armor for your companions besides weapon and jewelry... But, to end on a positive note, the game was in a way fun to play. The UI was well dressed and organized, and the game was not as long as DA:O, but it was fairly full of content. I do think i got my monies worth of entertainment (As in time wasted). Plus, the game works and is well polished as I found NO bugs or glitches while playing. It was a very solid platform, no lag, no crashes. Which is rare in games these days. I am generously giving this game a 5/10. Simply because this game would have been INCREDIBLY good and popular if it was not related to Dragon Age; with it's title changed to something else. But, naming this game Dragon Age... Bioware simply shot themselves in the foot.… Expand
Jul 24, 2011If you want to see how a company cashes in on a hot property by churning out a terrible sequel, then look no further then DRAGON AGE 2. The first dragon age was a classic for the ages, and this game is a classic for the dumpster. I knew withing the first 20 minutes playing this game that something had gone horribly wrong! For example the first time i used a "shield bash" attack, the enemy literally exploded and his arms and legs and head fell off. I can not begin to explain hwo humoursly stupid it looked and how horrified i was. Not horrified by the ultra violence, but horrified by how gosh darned stupid it was. Maybe i shouldnt have played the orignal DRAGON AGE ORIGINS from beginning to end the week before DA2 was released, because it really showed how far the game had sunk. I will make this review a bit shorter by saying the characters, story, equipment, enviroment, and for some reason even the graphics seemed to take a step or two in the wrong direction. If the first game had never existed, then this game would have been OK and thats about it. It plays just like every other console action-rpg out there today and that the problem right there. Dragon age origins was designed to be a PC GAME that got ported to consoles, and the Dragon age 2 is a CONSOLE GAME that was ported to the pc. Thats it in a nutshell. The two games were designed and made for two different groups of people and those two groups of people will see this game in two totally different ways.… Expand
Aug 2, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game was a LARGE disappointment.
As a big Dragon Age fan for it's great story, character development and etc, this game was a downer.
Every aspect of the game got worse.
The only thing that kept me going for the game and not just throwing it out the window were the action sequences. They were improved over the last game and kept me playing.
However, the story and character development was horribly poor in this game.
Not to mention this game shoves homosexuality to your male character's throat.
After you have helped Anders' in his acceptable quest mission, he wants you to be his boyfriend.
If you neglect that request, Anders' disapproves of you because you are straight. This is very dumb and has made this game shameful. The story was poor and has not connected to anything, and what disappointed me the most that we did not meet most of the characters from Dragon Age 1. I really wanted to at least stumble open Oghren and Dog.
The characters have no original story whatsoever. It's like shoving down a pile of stupid stereotypical ideas down into a bucket and just accepting them into this game. Every single imaginable stereotypical character is in this game.
Emo person who hates the world? Check.
A wench who has sex with everyone? Check.
A person who keeps crying and needs your help? Check.
A person that has infinite stories to tell you? Check. (Actually, even although it might be stereotypical, this character was really acceptable and funny at times).
And what annoyed me the most is the main character.
He had NO development WHATSOEVER. This person was either the dumbest knight in existence of video gaming or the writer was he dumbest writer in the history of life.
This game is unplayable due to a very unpolished city. You could think, the game is focused only in a city and a mountain, and the city looks like crap. There are many games that have lots of locations and every location is carefully polished? But no. This game has offered no decorations or landmarks to the city or mountains whatsoever.
If you do optional quests you will be bored by the game. The game uses repetitive hallways and rooms for every single mission and you never see any new locations or interesting plot twists.
Unless you do not care about story and only the action, you can try getting this game. But it is not worth y our money. Rent it or buy it on a sale. And by sale I mean at least 50% off.… Expand
Sep 10, 2011After having played DA2 for a while and calming myself down from the initial rage - it took months believe - I can write a review of this game with reason.
Is DA2 a bad game per se? No, it's not. It's fun in its own way, but If the game was called "Grandma Hawke killing ugly monsters" I wouldn't have problems with it, maybe I would have enjoyed it, but fact is it's called Dragon Age 2; THAT is a problem.
The combat system, with all its flaws is fun and well thought. With a higher level of difficulty it manages to be quite tactical and yet frenetic. But for all it's bloody glory it's still not as good as the first title's system.
The graphics are not bad, but they're not improved either. They look more polished, but the old flaws of the first Dragon Age - like the low quality textures - are still there. The fact we see the same locations all the time it doesn't help much.
The companions, with the exception of Varric and Aveline, are not very imaginative. Moreover there is one I loathe with passion: Fenris. If a "Mary Sue Grand Prize" will ever be created I think he'll win the 2011 edition hands down. I don't think I've ever met a character so predictable and uninteresting I could speak his own lines before he delivered them.
The thing that puzzles me is that Dragon Age 2 looks more like a Mass Effect 2 sequel than a Dragon Age one, and it just does not make sense, given the fan base. The game mechanics, the storytelling, even the character design are very similar, DA2 manages to be even more linear. For example trying different dialogue options in a different play-through gives similar results in a lot of side-quests, and sometimes even in the main ones. Of course there are multiple endings, but the fact is that they are poorly executed and some of the companions will end doing things that don't have sense at all!
One of the problems is that Dragon Age was marketed as the spiritual successor of Baldur's Gate; and it was. It expanded the concept, added a great storytelling, compelling characters, but it was true to its roots. Everyone who loved Baldur's Gate loved Dragon Age too, maybe more. So we were expecting a title that was similar, expanding the concept, but remaining true to its roots. With DA2 it was not the case, the game was something different and at times not even a roleplaying game. There is no exploration, limited character development and interaction.
Looking for innovation is not a bad thing, but the game is not innovating in any field and so it's hard to appreciate it, even if, as I said, it's not that bad, but it's a rushed job and it looks like one.… Expand
Dec 16, 2011LetÂ´s be fair about this one. While I share the disappointment of most Critics about this game:
Compare it with most other PC games itÂ´s still way above average. Compare it with Origins it fails utterly.
After a long thirst in the PC: RPG world DA:O came along and delivered what we had missed since Knights of the Old Republic 1, almost Planescape Torment maybe: a damn good story in an RPG with atmosphere and well made none-archetype characters.
This sequel now lost most of what made itÂ´s predecessor special, the Matrix 2+3 of the gaming industry; somehow making part 1 worse in the bargain because the name is tainted now. ThatÂ´s why we are rightfully angry about it. We paid money for it but the love is gone, they ripped us; the cow gives milk because itÂ´s famous now. Why not exploid that?...
but ...if theyÂ´d named it different, weÂ´d all buy it and probably give it an 8 out of 10. Because this is what the genre has become. Predictable characters slashing their way to the next loot. Like watching a Wesley Snipes movie.… Expand
Dec 21, 2011When compared to is epic predecessor, DA: Origins, this is a joke. It features slightly improved combat, but the story is so goddamn boring and dull! Bioware should have spent twice as much time on this as they did, to make sure it is worthy of its name, and not just some linear, uninteresting spin-off.
Feb 28, 2012Hmm.. Mixed senses.
This is not 'thrash game' like many others. Just mediocre action with some cinematic value..
But it is not Dragon Age. Where is the characters? Full, long and deep story? Nothing here. Just 1-2 story sketches in the mid-late game and then it fail. =(
All my DA hopes is for the third part.
Many graphic glitches too..
Feb 29, 2012Compared to most other games Dragon Age 2 really isn't that bad with a decent story and overall good combat but unfortunately for Dragon Age 2 it stands in the shadow of dragon age: Origins and almost all rpg games (except for a select few) pale in comparison to dragon age: origins. People hoped for another game as equal in greatness as it's predecessor and were greatly disappointed. I hope this doesn't discourage the game developers from developing dragon age 3.… Expand
Mar 28, 2012A so-so game that probably feels worse than it truly is because it is the sequel to one of the best games ever, Dragon Age Origins. It is a much, much smaller game, made even smaller by limitations such as you can't equip your companions with armor and in some case even with weapons of your choice; you spend most of your time running quests in a very few different locations, instead of the enormous world of Origins; and when you do travel to other places, you find they re-use the same maps as places you've already been to.
The saving grace is really the combat, which is fast and quite a bit of fun once you get used to the new system. Still, even that has its serious drawbacks: encounter design ranges from run-of-the-mill to amateurish, full of immersion-breaking nonsense like knights in heavy armor dropping from the sky all over the place in mid-battle as waves of reinforcements. There is also really only one way to build each character, a far cry from the flexibility of Origins.… Expand
Jun 18, 2012I played this game before Dragon Age Origins and, since I couldn't compare it with its predecessor it didnt feel that bad... Sure, the hack and slash combat wasnt the best idea for a RPG and the story was kinda dumb, but overall it felt like a mediocre game, not a terrible game.
Then I played Dragon Age Origins and understood where all the hate was coming from: Dragon Age 2 butchers the franchise in pretty much every aspect.
I stick to my original feeling for the game at this review since i did not replay it after playing Dragon Age Origins and give it a 5: Far from great, still not absolutely terrible game. But if I had to compare it to DA:O, I would give DA2 a 2 at most.… Expand
Aug 8, 2012Bioware were pretty bold when they made Dragon Age 2. Sadly few things got improved from the first one. The combat though pretty to look at feels dumbed down, and the new conversation wheel is a complete disaster hurting a big part of the game. A lot of features from the first one has gone missing and overall it feels a lot more simplified. The writing feels uneven and has more downs than ups and the story lacks real choices despite despite being alright apart from that. The games biggest flaw however is that its feels rushed. Bioware must really like the environment because they are recycling material like never before. It really get embarrassing, especially considering that the environments weren't that great the first time.Its still a decent rpg though. Just don't expect to much.… Expand
Jul 18, 2012Okay, the combat in this game is really fun: you can simultaneously choose the moves of every member of your squad, can switch perspectives to complete the fight as a different squad member, and are asked to be highly strategic during some intense battles. Also, the story is fun, even if it pales in comparison to the more nuanced narrative of Mass Effect. Why the low score? Well, in some ways, this feels like a beta-test version of the game. The dungeons are all obviously using the same one or two maps. The shopkeepers simply run out of items if you buy their whole supply. Enemies don't regenerate when you return to areas later. All of this leads to a game that feels unfinished. It is entertaining enough, but I would never recommend this game without pointing out its serious weaknesses.… Expand
May 31, 2013To put it simply this is a total let down after the fantastic first game. I was able to play it all the way through once but had no desire to play it again, It was helped greatly by the post launch day patch but it took them several days to bring that online.
It certainly is not the worst game I have played but it was by far the WORST that Bioware ever produced and it shows that the change to EA was NOT good at ALL for Bioware… Expand
Sep 2, 2012Although I do not think it's fair that this game is getting a score of 1, it really is disappointing. The graphics are decent but not much if any improvement from Origins, but the gameplay itself took a huge nose dive. The thing that bothers me the most is the way the maps and quests are setup, it's totally generic, rushed, and to be honest seems incomplete. Seriously, after a few hours of play all the dungeons and a lot of areas are repeated and used again, and makes the game feel lame. The story as well was overall pretty terrible, I have no idea how they went from such a well written story in Origins to a game that really doesn't add up. I would have to recommend not wasting your cash on this, stick with Origins and the DLC/Expansion/Character Texture improvement mods.… Expand
Mar 4, 2013Dragon Age Origins was the best RPG to come out in a long while. Though DA2 was good over all by the standards of the first game it was a let down.
First the good parts.
It was better than most any game that came out around the time it was released and many that were made before it. The graphics were acceptable but not a home run. There are side quests to do and the character leveling and UI were acceptable. Interaction in the story line was good and though there was only a little room to customize the story through your decisions. Some of the old DAO flavor was there. Over all a good but not great game.
The bad parts, mostly comparing to Dragon Age Origins
DA2 felt much more linear than DA. There was less content over all than DAO and less options of things to do.
Graphics were rushed
It is easy to see for any serious gamer that the game was rushed. The textures could have been better. The map areas were limited and more recycled that DAO. I would have liked to have more area on the maps provided. It reminded me of some of the older games because things were recycled as much as they were.
A Console game
This game was console based with PC as an after thought. Big mistake on Bioware's pare because the made most of the DAO fans mad. It was a more of a console button masher than a true PC game.
Lacking in content
Though there was a lot of content as a sequel it was too short compared to DAO. The content was not as decision based as DAO. There was no real main map like in DA. At the end I found my self saying "That's it?"
I say, over all it is a good game but don't get your hopes up too much if you already played the first one.… Expand
Feb 8, 2014Well, the combat IS better. Kind of. Faster, with more colors, mages are no longer helpless weaklings... The rest is much worse than in DA:O.
Skill trees are chaotic, GUI is designed with "click as much as you can" motto in mind... And the locations. One single city, two outdoor locations, two dungeons, repeating over and over again (with different names and different doors locked so while it is still the same, you always get lost).
Enemies are most funny. In DA:O you came into full room and cleaned it. Here, you venture into empty room (they all are) and the enemies start coming from all directions, including the mile long corridor, you just cleaned. And from walls. Which is OK in the city and hilarious in caves. The idea of 100 bandits, hanging by the ceiling, waiting for their 10 fellas to die before sending another 10-men wave to get slaughtered... Boooooring...… Expand
Mar 14, 2011This sequel I must admit was a big letdown they took what was a challenging strategic game for PC and dummed it down to a button mashing console game. The combat system in DA: O was a bit slow but turning every kill into a messy kill just makes it boring, every time I slice a group of foes in half with one swing I feel like pulling out my hair...aah! Nonetheless the narration has improved though the story has suffered, regurgitating codex from the previous game no use reading them. I must say I was very disappointed with the leveling up too, who told them to dumb it down to attributes and abilities that clearly don't add anything as I can hack all foes to death with normal attacks. I must say that the graphics though are better and the narration actually gets you to like your character.
I don't see myself playing it the 4 times I have played through DA: O( maybe one more play through is in order to remember a true masterclass).That said my only salvation is that the Witcher is coming out later this year I hope they don't disappoint… Expand
Mar 14, 2011I've waited for this game filled with hope that it will be at least as good as its excellent predecessor, but as soon as I've started it, quite honestly I was at a loss for words. I still am, but I will still write a couple of lines in hope to, if nothing else, feel better about buying it. Everything immediately felt wrong - the graphics looked weird - somehow improved, but also somehow completely off and worse (really cannot explain better), the controls clunky, camera erratic, combat system so wildly different to anything before, but after 10 hours of playtime still not getting any better or more familiar in my opinion. The story feels completely disconnected, I have yet to feel any kind of connection to the game, love for the characters or appeal for the storyline and so it goes on and on and on... Not a disaster if viewed without its predecessor in mind, but just a weird, unnecessary game.… Expand
Mar 27, 2011Utterly disappointing. I've been a Bioware fan since the first Baldur's Gate and I can't believe what they did to Dragon Age 2. What were they thinking? Maybe they were blinded by the buzz of how Mass Effect 2 was received and decided to implement a same kind of system to DA2, who knows?
I loved the DA: Origins, it essentially resurrected the classic computer rpg genre for me. I even welcomed the few compromises for the console versions in the Origins, because despite those alterations it was still basically the same game we all know and love.
Unfortunately, in Dragon Age 2 they took it all away and created a some kind of deformed monstrosity of a dumbed down hack'n slash action game with adhd-button-mashing-orgy of a combat. No space for tactics or strategies, and the teammates' AI is retarded. Even the abilities/talents system was simplified and aside from few exceptions, worse than in the Origins. To give the game some slack, I won't even go to the graphics thing (which was later remedied a tiny bit by the high-resolution texture pack, at least for PC). The only good thing is the storytelling part (which has always been Bioware's strong suit), and even the story lacks in some parts.
I honestly can not recommend buying this game for any reason, except if you're so into the story or settings that you think you can bear with the game to the end. I could barely finish the demo when I first played it. I'm so sorry Bioware, but this time, you screwed up. What happened?… Expand
Mar 13, 2011Dragon Age: Origins was one of the best RPG games I have played so far and I really loved it. But this, so called "sequel" was such a disappointment and it had nothing to do with Origins. I have a very hard time understanding why on earth would Bioware let this game come out when it wasn't even done. The game is full of bugs, very bad graphics, bad story, very short gameplay for being a RPG game.
I only recommend getting this game when its less expensive. I paid 50 bucks for a half @ssed game.
Bioware you should be a shamed!… Expand
Mar 8, 2011While I would like to create a long, fully elaborated review on the game to explain the core features and everything in depth, I honestly cannot, as the game is without much merit whatsoever.
The combat took a system which felt unrefined in DA:O and rather that improving it and making it better, just completely ruined it to make a system without thought or challenge. Unless you're on hard mode, there is nothing to discuss as far as combat goes, you may as well be watching a film.
For which matter, the story is far, far below Bioware's standards. Ploddingly written with a conversation wheel that not only dumbs down decisions to their smallest parts with "GOOD BAD SILLY"~esque replies, but are poorly written as they are. Voice acting is a nice touch, however, though it's frequently done without emotion. I'd like to write more on the game, but after a mere few hours with it I honestly have no drive to play it any more. That didn't happen until Orzammar with DA:O.
Graphics are an utter trainwreck. I'm not even going to go into this. Game outright bugs out, runs horribly or doesn't run at all, despite looking awful WITH an optional HD fix. Utterly pathetic showing on PC.
If you want the game, do not buy it now. Wait for a sale or a GOTY version with a reduced pricetag. Putting out a game that's blatantly this unfinished and rushed in a year that has many, many blockbuster titles that look stellar is quite frankly a ludicrious move, and Bioware have proven in the past that they are better than this tripe.… Expand
Apr 12, 2011Despite some advancement in storytelling approach and liberal borrowing from Bioware's Mass Effect approach to gameplay, Dragon Age 2 on the PC has a lot of bugs and is populated with re-used settings that make this feel like a play performed on a stage with two sets.