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4.3

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 3959 Ratings

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  1. Mar 27, 2011
    4
    Utterly 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?
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  2. Hax
    Mar 13, 2011
    4
    Dragon 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!
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  3. Mar 8, 2011
    4
    While I would like to create a long, fully elaborated review on the game to explain the core features and everything in depth, I honestly cannot, as the game is without much merit whatsoever.
    The combat took a system which felt unrefined in DA:O and rather that improving it and making it better, just completely ruined it to make a system without thought or challenge. 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.
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  4. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    Just dire. Did not think BioWare could make games this bad. Is it the EA effect? This is neither a proper action game nor a proper RPG - it's some mutant ugly hybrid trying to appeal to both types of gamer, and failing. And a cliffhanger ending? So much for epic story - just an ad for some DLC or DA3. The graphics are worse than Dragon Age 1, like some 2005 console port. The combat is just a button mashing cartoon, dumbed down from DA1. LOTS of things have been cut. It's short - like 12 hours for the main campaign. The characters you meet feel lifeless, and the same scenery is recycled. To hide this, BioWare stuck in lots of bink cinematics and sex scenes. Get ready to be fleeced with tons of DLC now that will raise the cost of this disgusting trainwreck to over $100. Last BioWare game I buy â Expand
  5. Mar 8, 2011
    4
    The slovenly PC gamer review is the worst of all. Everything I want to say has been said. Save your money and teach Bioware a lesson

    That is all...
  6. Apr 22, 2011
    4
    A dumbed down collection of kicks in the balls version of ORIGINS. Don't bother. But probally the biggest kick in the balls, is at the very start: You can only pick one race. What a rip-off! That's part of what made Origins so fun! Another kick in the balls, is that they dumped the whole "Go from place to Place" aspect (Another feature that makes Origins so fun) and instead you're stuck in this boring, lifeless, dumb town with NPCs who keep spouting the words "Hello. Hawke, is it?" every time you get within a 5-feet radious of them. GAAH!! Expand
  7. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    I would much rather replay Dragon Age Origins than have spent money on something that is not as well polished as I have come to expect. It's not horribad, it's just not what I wanted. Your mileage may vary.
  8. Mar 8, 2011
    4
    Critics, wow 80+ review average.
    Us poor saps that believe them and have to spend money on the game 60- review and that is probably only because of people voting 100% for no reason other than Love of the dev's previous work.

    Personally combat is terrible- stats, skills, crafting all useless. There are no tactics required. The Story and characters are poor to laughable, don't even get
    me started on the childish "romances".. And honestly I've said enough, not wasting anymore time on this abomination. Expand
  9. Mar 8, 2011
    4
    I gotta say, this game is utter garbage. You would think that they would improve SOME things from the first DA, but no, they go ahead and make a rpg for ten year olds. Let's add a couple of curse words and then charge people ten bucks for downloadable content on the first day. I mean, you completely disrespected everyone that the first game was made for. The combat is atrocious, the dialog is too simple, so far the decisions i've made in the game are pointless and have no weight to them. The graphics are a step up though. All you gotta do is look at the main characters last name, hawke, to tell that the developers have no clue on how to make a TRUE rpg game. Hell, the main developer left in the beginning of development! That should have been a sign for me to not buy this game. It is truly one of the most disappointing games i've played in years. Expand
  10. Apr 18, 2011
    4
    Yet another example of EA destroying a gaming studio. Bioware started dying when they hooked up with EA. DA2 is a dumbed down extremely linear corridor-style RPG for ADHD meatheads who can't stand being challenged a little. Why are there so many nonsensical interactions happening? Templars witness tons of mages using magic, yet they only react if scripted.... And worst of all, continuously recycling maps in an RPG...!? Epic fail of a money grab. Studio execs are catering to the mindless spend-happy platform gamers and we end up with all these overly simplified and utterly easy games that feel like you're running down endless hallways. RIP Bioware. Expand
  11. Mar 8, 2011
    4
    This is a complete insult of a game, an obvious attempt to milk the cashcow. BioWare's reputation has taken a hit because of this game. This is a review of the PC version which is a port of console version. Before I get into the PC aspects I will open the bag and say that BioWare flat-out lied about the console version having auto-attack. They knew that feature would not be included, after openly saying it WOULD be included but admitted a mear 12 hours before release that their had "been a mistake". A BOLD FACE LIE.

    Onto the PC version thoughts.

    The conversation is dribble, utter dribble. For a RPG to have such a uninteresting story, AND method of story telling in a AAA title is insulting. Pressing escape is half the gameplay time, because the story is garbage. Camera view is horrible, worse then the first game. Another sign that the game was rushed. They didnt want to put in the resources in order to make this happen.

    The characters are uninspiring, very generic. The textures are uneven. Some a good while other are unacceptable.

    The combat is the only thing acceptable. If they had completely removed all story and dialog and just stuck with combat, called it a hack and slash and not named it dragon age, I would be a happy camper. I would have not been suckerpunched.

    The fact their really is no point to the inventory system considering they cherry picked what items could be equipped, shows a complete sense of ineptitude. They refused to put in the effort for "Items" and made 10% effort in what is considered baseline expectation. Considering in the first game you could pick a multitude of races to be, in this they allow for only ONE shows their lack of consideration for anybody interested in this genre.

    BioWare: Focus groups, critic bribery, lies and excuses won't save you from the laughing stock this game is, I'm sorry the only thing u can do is laugh all the way to the bank because this game is a joke and I hope you all are proud of yourselves.


    P.S. Don't F'up ME3 or the MMO.....Fool me once shame on you fool me twice......
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  12. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My experience with Dragon Age 2 has been a complete mess (similar to all the Bioware/EA PR incidents that have been happening lately) since I picked the game up on release date, fully regretting it. While the presentation, graphics and sound of the game are bordering on average the biggest difficulty lies with this less than mediocre game relying on the name of it's predecessor for sales while failing in all the areas that should have been improved. While the graphical style is good and does make for a nice looking game the extremely low resolution textures and terrible models of certain people in Kirkwall stand out extremely badly, not only that but because every location in the game is repeated ad naueseum you notice it every single time. There is literally nothing in the soundtrack that stands out compared to some of the tracks in DA:O that really drives home the point that the composer mentioned in an IGN interview about being rushed by EA to push the game out as soon as possible. Now it is the gameplay that really causes the game to fall apart and where the poor work that was put into the game is clearest. The two main portions of the game- combat and conversation- were terribly done due to their desire to appeal to as many non-RPG fans as possible without attempting to cater to their true fanbase, the most insulting part of the game. The combat was pointless and repetitive where fights without 20 enemies falling out of the sky as reinforcements was an oddity and a severe lack of tactics became obvious as I never had to make custom tactics on the hard difficulty. Conversation under the mass effect wheel was even worse than it was in mass effect with the vaguest statements being available on your "choices" which hardly change a thing in the game and only give you an illusion of having a decision. Not only that but the story was so terribly written it must be embarrassing for anyone from the original DA:O team to play through it: a refugee where everyone that you care about dies, constant fast-forwarding that give you no incite on your character, random plot devices being thrown in such as the lyrium idol turning into Meredith's sword which seemed more like a "HEY REMEMBER THIS FROM 3-6 YEARS AGO?", random DA:O cameos that make absolutely no sense without explanation, stupid decisions by NPCs that they make for no reason and without any explanation such as Orlin using blood magic, Merril being kidnapped without any mention and still having the ability to use her to save her from her own kidnapping, terribly written romances (obviously Twilight referenced)... I can't keep going on without feeling sad for the state of this sequel, Bioware and the current direction video games are taking. There isn't even any lasting appeal to the game as you already play through the same area 100 times by the end of the game anyway. The idea about centering the story and game around a single city and how it was influenced by your character and what changed during your life isn't a bad idea but the implementation where nothing else changes in the scenery and absolutely everything remains the same for the 7 years of gameplay just pulls away from any semblance of immersion this game can give you. Just save your money, you'll find way better RPGs from budget studios than you will from Bioware now it seems. Expand
  13. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    I've played the first part of the game (PC version). Well, DA2 is absolutely below any average expectation, an insult to RPG games: the combat mechanics are directly mutuated by a consolish system which simply brings the player to "press a button repeatedly" (or by clicking in my case)... And "something awesome" DOESN'T HAPPEN. Animations are mediocre and feels like watching a japanese cartoon. During dialogues, npc's are stuck like mannequins and facial animations are poor. Did I say dialogues? Oh, yes... Dialogues are simply awful, are they written by a 12 years old boy? They are poor in content and in words themselves, with no "verve" and inspiration, the same fantasy rpg-like pattern always replicated. Well... Wow! Technically the game is discreet, neither generous in details, nor scandalously lacking of polygons (don't expect something great anyway). To finish, the plot isn't interesting at all, there is a sensation of deja-vu everywhere, and voice acting doesn't help. A reccomendation: don't buy this game and wait for The Witcher 2. Expand
  14. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    Boring button-mashing combat, okey story, dull dialogues, lame dialogue options.

    Overall, should not be classified as an RPG. Way too linear and laughable so-called "romance".
  15. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    Playing this game is like having "just" sex with the same girl for more than 1 months. Boring.

    That's your Waterloo, Bioware, Let's put down the hats.
  16. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    Bioware went the wrong way to create a Hack&Slay so Console players would enjoy it! But the PC-players are disappointed.

    I pre ordered the game and got it yesterday. And i was shocked after i played it for more than 3 hours. The Story is so lame. And the HD texture Pack is just the try of Bioware to satisfy the pc-player
  17. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    Terrible decepción. Se ha consolidado el juego en PC. ¿Ha esto ha quedado reducido el legado de Baldur´s gate?
    Graficos desfasados, falta la visión cenital.
    Parche con texturas de casi 1GB tras su venta.
  18. Mar 10, 2011
    4
    I thought that DA:O (decent game though it was) was the beginning of the end for Bioware and this just confirms it. Bioware have, in the past, given me more value for money than I could ever hope for. And for that I am ever grateful. But this game, this game is a disgrace. Companions I know little about and a main character that I care about even less. Extremely repetitive dungeons, lack of any driven storyline, poor artwork, far too much (oversimplified) combat in any given period of time, environments pared down to the bone, uninspiring weapons, uninspiring armor, uninspiring enemies, not a few essential elements deliberately left out so that they can be put back in via DLC. The list does not end here.

    This game is just disrespectful to all fans of Bioware. It is so obvious that it was rushed purely for money making purposes without any care for fans or even for Bioware's own integrity. Their marketing department nowadays is tacky, untruthful and quickly becoming synonymous with unadulterated greed on one hand and total BS on the other. It's fine making money boys, but where the hell has your pride gone?

    I thought I'd get double digit playthoughs of DA:O. I managed 2. I tuned out of this one after 10 hours. I'll give you this one Bioware. I'll give you this one because you have done fantastically well by me in the past. But please, get your pride and integrity back.
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  19. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    Turned an unrefined RPG with a lot of promise into a hack-and-slash with a color coded dialog system which gives you the ability to be, good, bad or stupid. I was expecting something better, having felt DA:O I had expectations for improvements and create something pretty amazing. It's not a bad game, it's mediocre, EA and Bioware should learn to under promise and over deliver not, over promise and under deliver. If you like God-Of-War, but find it too complex, pretty and polished, you might want to consider buying DA2. Expand
  20. Mar 12, 2011
    4
    I still do not believe in like Bioware sold out so well for EA, and transform one of the best RPGs of all time in a toxic **** like DA2 specially made based on the consoles, and the worst is that I played all versions and all are garbage.
  21. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    What an utter disappointment. DA 2 feels like god of war. I have trouble even calling it a real role playing game, conversation options are simple and dumbed down, decision making is relatively unimportant, gameplay remains quite linear. The world is small, the story uninspiring, the voice acting is some of Bioware's worst. As far as combat goes, it really feels dumbed down from DA:O (which already felt dumbed down to me). Animations are overdone and the art direction is absolutely ridiculous. To top it all off, levels are recycled to an absurd degree and the game runs like crap on Nvidia hardware despite not looking especially great. Expand
  22. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    My feeling is that if your going to copy a Final Fantasy game make it FF7 rather than 12. To be honest Bioware should have had the decency to remove the party and go with a single protagonist, instead of perpetuating the farce that this is a sequel to a really good modern rpg. Take my advice, if your looking for an immersive, challenging and fun rpg experience with a great story go to GOG.com and buy Baldur's Gate 2. Hell, break out your old PS2 and fire up FF7, you'll thank me. Expand
  23. Mar 10, 2011
    4
    The first game was very good. This is just crap. I liken it to the step backwards neverwinter nights 2 was when compared with the first neverwinter nights.
  24. Mar 22, 2011
    4
    this game is mass game culture triumph:
    1..all game aspects are simplified - EA has to attract mass consumers
    2. game was made really fast - productivity is important
    3. Just about everything in this game feels as being below average due to above-mentioned; Playing this game is like eating Mcdonadl;s junk food; how about new term for this type of games - Mcgame? RIP Bioware
  25. Mar 10, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age II is a slap in the face of CRPG fans. The combat system has been revamped to an action-oriented style. The aerial tactical view from the first game is gone. Targeting specific enemies is often problematic, due to the limited camera view.
    The graphics are average, and not on par with Mass Effect 2. A dialogue system, similar to the Mass Effect series, is used in Dragon Age II.
    You'll get to choose from a set of paraphrased dialogue options rather than full text lines. These paraphrased dialogue options rarely have the expected result, which turns the dialogue system into a confusing guessing game.
    Most of the game takes place in Kirkwall. There are only a few outside locations. Several cave maps are identical, despite the relatively small game world.
    The item system, or more precisely party management, has taken a turn for the worse. You only have full control over the equipment for your main character. You can't change the armor of your party members.

    Bioware turned Dragon Age II into an action RPG, and tailored it for consoles. They simplified the dialogue system, added hack-and-slash combat, and removed a fundamental RPG feature - the party members equipment management. Dragon Age II has some good points like storytelling, but that's about it. The bad parts outweigh the good ones. It's sad to see a company, which released a masterpiece like Baldur's Gate II, fall to such a low level.
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  26. Mar 14, 2011
    4
    I rated DA2 4/10. Let me explain why I deducted 6 points from maximum to get this score.
    First: you cannot equip your party members. This is an RPG for god's sake and most of the equipment you find gets trashed as it cannot be used by anyone except the PC. Sorry Bioware, this is not how RPGs work.
    Second: dumbed down dialogue system. Again, RPG means role playing. How can you "play the
    role" if you have no idea what your character is about to say?
    Third: copy-pasted locations. You will spend a lot of time there and you will learn them by heart. One particular foundry is where three different quests take place. Four quests will have you search one particular warehouse. All caves are similar, etc blah-blah-blah. Trust me, you will be tired of visiting the same locations over and over again.
    Fourth: glaring errors in lore and storyline. The dalish camp stays in one place for six years even though they are supposed to move. Mages (mostly enemy mages but your companions as well) can teleport even though official "laws of magic" say this is impossible. And I'm just scratching the surface here.
    Fifth: boring combat. Bioware designers believe that sending in waves after waves of enemies on party from all sides is challenging. It is not, it's stupid, unimaginative and overly repetitive. First I was outright laughing at enemies appearing out of thin air then it just became annoying. And by the way, you can throw tactics out of the window too: what point is "trying to hold a chokepoint" as in-game tips suggest when you have enemies popping out of nowhere all over the place?
    Sixth: immutable storyline. Sure, your hero does have a profound impact on the game world but your choices are of little, if any significance.
    There's only one thing that does matter in DA2 - the story. It is indeed set in stone but it is great and keeps you moving forward despite all of the game drawbacks. I suggest to knock down the difficulty level to Easy and just enjoy the narrative. Pretend you're watching an interactive movie and you might actually enjoy it - even though the endless battles can still bore you down to death.
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  27. Nov 6, 2011
    4
    Horrible. port of console with average graphics and poor level design. Fast and easy combat where enemies popping everywhere. I finished this game and its really disappointing again Origins. I hope that DA3 will be much better
  28. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2. What could possibly have been more exciting than a new bioware rpg? True, I wasn't impressed with Mass Effect 2, but the changes in that game (stripped down inventory, character interaction, ammo, etc) still worked because Mass Effect was a new game and the changes felt right to what they were trying to create. Unfortunately, this same ideology does not apply to a game that is supposed to be primarily an RPG. Rpgs are a very hard creature to pin down. Somehanics then a lot of games become rpgs. More relevantly, according to Bioware, this includes games such as Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, which by the way, are not rpgs in any sense of the word and unfortunately were used as models for DA2. My defense for this position is that you have no freedom in those games to create a character who is your own. The ending has been decided for you, who your character is has been decided for you, where they've come from has been decided, and where they're going has been decided. An rpg must allow for freedom in the universe and DA2 fails horribly at that.

    My biggest problem with DA2 without thinking about it as an rpg is that combat is terrible. Yes, they "streamlined" it and it moves faster. But you know what the sped up version of tactical combat is? It's hack and slash. And the game becomes a hack and slash not because of the way combat is mechanically implemented, but because each battle in DA2 begins with maybe 4 or 8 people appearing out of thin air, and then when you've killed a certain number of them another 4 to 8 pop out of thin air. What this means is that there's no planning or positioning involved in combat as no matter what you do, there's just going to be more people popping up out of nowhere to deal with. Aggro doesn't work as well as it should, there's very little healing (and it all has huge 40-120 second cooldowns), and the best option for winning a fight is to spam aoe spells until everything is dead. The story isn't compelling. A huge part of the game is just you running around trying to get as much money as possible. This doesn't go away throughout any part of the game. In additon, the choices in the game aren't anywhere near as important as they were in any previous bioware titles. But the worst part about it is that there's no freedom to really choose. This an RPG, which means there must be a certain level of freedom. Well, when you've decided who my character is and what they're doing and how the story ends (there's only one ending) I don't really have much choice.

    This game is not an rpg. It is an action adventure game. If the Dragon Age series was supposed to be an adventure game this game would be better, but unfortunately it is supposed to be the spiritual successor to BG2. and the sequel to Dragon Age Origins (hence why there is a 2 after the title). The fact that it fails to be an rpg is heartbreaking and leaves you out in the cold asking, how did things get like this?
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  29. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Worst Bioware game ever. Balance is absent, RPG elements are generally absent. Some minor, yet sometimes strange improvements could not overcome the casual game play. So in short: 1. It is not Dragon Age 2. It is generally not an CRPG 3. GUI absolute sucks. Looks much more like road sings than the fantasy RPG GUI 4. Game balance is awful 5. Most of the "improvements" are making the game close to unplayable 6. Game play is generally lame and way to casual for CRPG

    Still cant believe, that this is game by Bioware...
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  30. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Really, all I have to say can be summed up with something I said to a co-worker earlier today, "The ending screamed 'We're going to finish this game with DLC.'" I don't want to have to pay $30-40 more to finish up a $60 game. I don't want to buy a book, read through it, and discover the last 50 pages have been ripped out. I'm seriously getting sick of the rampant growth of DLC as a business practice - especially for single-player games. Expand
  31. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a fun and accessible game but at the expense of many of the qualities that made Dragon Age: Origins such an engaging experience. Being the 2nd release in the franchise, many of the changes are disappointing if you're expecting a game with as much depth as the first. It stands strongly enough on it's own but for fans of the first it feels like a watered down, rushed sequel. Taken on its own, it's an enjoyable game if you can look past all the stripped out features (or if you didn't care for them in the first place).

    Highs:
    -fun
    -smoother, faster combat
    -good level of polish

    Lows:
    -lack of content: if DA:O was a full course meal, DA2 is from the fast-food menu
    -recycled environments: the same maps are used over and over again with no changes, yet the player is supposed to believe they are completely new locations. Some areas sealed off with magic concrete slabs filling an open doorway. Serious deja-vu from Oblivion's cookie cutter dungeons, however Oblivion's at least had some different layouts, these are EXACTLY the same
    -enemy mobs now respawn in multiple waves during combat, including respawning out of thin air in the middle of your party making tactical party placement an exercise in futility
    -weak loot (lack of armor pieces, generic item names: "ring" "amulet" with no flavor text)
    -lack of armor customization for party members
    -lack of unique/relationship dialogue between main character and party members
    -conversation options are often misleading or unpredictable based on the summarized text shown
    -voiced main character dialogue undermines roleplaying experience and pigeon-holes your character into playing one of 3 stereotypes: pretentious do-gooder, sneery jokester or belligerent bad-ass.
    -lack of customization for PC interface (ie. font size, resizable GUI windows that use all of the screen instead of a tiny window that you have to scroll through, etc.)
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  32. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Bring me the head of the guy who sanctioned the release of this one. A rush job and not much more. How some supposed professional reviewers are giving this game scores in the 80s or 90s is beyond me. I spent several hours doing tedious quests in order to fund an expedition to get......some more money. I think. Whilst doing said quests I was interrupted on a far too regular basis by hordes of easily despatched nobodies whose time would have been better employed raging against whoever dared call this an RPG. My character, his mind numbed by such repetitive combat, was then bamboozled by several overpowering outbreaks of deja vu, before being seduced by a rather bizarrely rendered elf who had pipe cleaners where her arms should have been. My character shrugged all this off, after all he had free will didn't he? He didn't have to do this. But some guy and some woman kept telling him how his life was planned out from the start and what will be, will be. Somehow he made some friends and they wanted to come along for the ride for no particular reason at all (maybe they thought I would be able to get them out of Kirkwall or perhaps even get them some new armour - sorry about that). Let's plod on. Or maybe let's not eh? This game fails to deliver on many things. It's biggest fans will be people who aren't legally old enough to play it. That's your choice Bioware. Fair enough. Goodbye. Expand
  33. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age II plays like WOW in sigleplayer. that is, it is a completely nobariner, there are no need to apply tactics, skills or or any thing like that. so if you are in for some point and click action, it looks good and plays well, if you were hoping for a great story, intelligent gameplay and a level of sofistication beyond tetris, then you would be wasting your money.
  34. Mar 11, 2011
    4
    Pretty much stripped everything out of DA:O that I liked,

    I actually do like the reactivity of the combat now ( it feels much faster and smoother), but outside of that it feels like a downgrade in everyway. Basically they decided to limit my choices in every avenue that they should have been expanding them.

    I actually like equipping my companions and choosing what they are using in order
    to tailor the party to my needs.

    I enjoy picking crafting classes.

    Not having the isometric pullback camera is just a freaking joke.

    Using the same "cave" for every mission, or the same layout of every building is just pathetic. Gaming should be about options. If you wanted to make a game that was more "Accessible" that is fine, create toggle switches. Let those of us who actually enjoy the details have them, let people who don't want to worry about it turn those options off. Seriously this feels like a step backward in so many areas it is hugely disappointing.
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  35. Mar 12, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I won't go into details about the "technical" parts of the game (UI, combat, graphics, etc.) some were fine, some weren't. What disappointed me more was the story. It seemed...vague and vain to say the least. A lot of things left unanswered in DA:O which I was expecting to be answered in DA II. Yet they remained as vague as they were. Maybe it was wrong of me to expect something like that...The only way to be pleased by DA II is to see it like an expansion of DA:O, a story that is preparing you for what is coming next. Expand
  36. Mar 12, 2011
    4
    This game in crap. No exploration, tons of bugs, tons of more bugs, awful difficulty calibration, crappy graphics. They made this game in few months just because EA command it!
    It's turned to a great rpg to a casual action rpg.
  37. Mar 12, 2011
    4
    Shortly summed up, i thought DA2 was awful.

    To go a little more indepth, Bioware has done away with things like companion equipment (apart from accessories), changed the camera to an "up your butt" forced view, and max zoomout isnt far at all, its extremely difficult to see much if you are playing a ranged character (like a mage).

    To top the insult off, they have introduced spawning
    waves of enemies, and lots of "flashy" deathmoves with gore whipping all over the place. This has a lot more in common with an action game than it does a role playing game. Definitely the low point of Bioware's career :/ Expand
  38. Mar 12, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age Origins = RPG Masterpiece Dragon Age 2 = Casual Action RPG

    Do not say a bad game, it is not, but compared with its predecessor is casual garbage. Maybe if not take the name of Dragon Age would be a good idea.
    Anyway, Bioware you went to the dark side of force.

    Greetings.
  39. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    I suggest you don't buy this game. It does so many things wrong it actually damages the rpg genre.
    The game consists in following yellow markers on the mini map to complete "quests", knowing how to read is not really necessary to complete the game.
    The story is very underwhelming and never motivates the player to keep going on. And it's quite short.
    Aside from the deep roads and the city
    all game quests are done in the same 4-5 ambients recycled over and over again (A abandoned mansion, A creepy cellar, A natural cavern (the most used by far). and so on). It's a fraud.
    The combat system is not too bad on hard difficulty if you cripple your party enough (i've played with no belts rings and amulets) and if you have a bad party setup. Otherwise it's too easy. Nightmare mode is not well though out and it's just annoying.

    What I like about the game is the quest system. There should be more varied quests, but the fact that during the second act you face the consequences of the choices you made during act 1 is nice.
    Companions are ok i guess, but I never cared much for any of them.

    Suggestions for the future: - Playing an rpg should not be like walking along a corridor, it should be more open ended.
    - Combat doesn't need to be frenetic. It can also be tactical or it can be both. Just no one wants a lackadaisical button-pressing. Gamers just need to have a fun and hard "nightmare mode".
    - Final bosses should be more varied. For God sake there are billions of really original and fun fights in WoW's dungeons. Is it so hard to get some ideas from there? I liked the boss of the deep roads though.
    - Itemization is not too bad, personally I like it if it's less streamlined with just a few really powerful items (not gamebreaking but with particular properties, like the "immune to flanking" amulet) dropped by really hard to beat enemies (think Final Fantasy secret bosses like Ozma, Dark Eons, Omega Weapon).
    - Some say that a complex level-up and party personalization system scares away non-rpg players. There doesn't need to be one. The game can also be completely skill based.
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  40. Mar 13, 2011
    4
    The game is nothing. But I was infuriated with the problems of conservation and the same type of location. I was expecting more.ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
  41. Mar 13, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This review is coming from someone who absolutely loved Dragon Age: Origins and came into Dragon Age 2 with high expectations. I fully expect that if I didn't like Origins so much I'd give this game about a 5 or 6.

    I just completed this game as a sword and shield tanking warrior. Dragon Age 2 has many good qualities but just as many faults. The combat in this game reminds me of old arcade games with enemies constantly spawning in from the sides while you beat them up. Most of the fights in this game involve enemies swinging down from the rooftops like monkeys. I spent most of my battles trying to pick up aggro on stray enemies spawning in behind my mages. I enjoyed the new combat animations, but not much else. The dual wielding dagger Templars doing back flips in full plate was pretty entertaining.

    Another problem with the combat is the lack of npc character specializations. You can't, for instance, make Isabela an archer or make Fenris a tank. Your only choice for a healer for most of the game is Anders. With my warrior I felt like I was forced to take Anders with me even though I didn't really like him. It feels a lot like having to take Wynne with you in Origins if you weren't a mage. At least there you had the option of making Morigan into a healer. Also, as I'm sure many previous reviews have stated, you can't change your companion's armor. The graphics do look pretty good. However, there are so few environments that the visuals eventually lose their appeal. You literally see everything you are going to see in the first act of the game as far as environments go. I wish that Dragon Age 2 had at least one more substantial area to visit. There were a few graphical glitches I encountered such as the shield on my warrior's back appearing and disappearing during dialogues.

    The plot starts off strong, gets weaker in the middle, and ramps up near the very end. This game really hammers you with the whole Templars vs Mages concept and doesn't stop. I was getting tired of being reminded around every corner that the two groups just don't like each other. I guess they are just trying to explain that to new players who haven't played Origins, but even then it seems excessive. Along this line, it appears that every mage in the city of Kirkwall can just whip out a knife and perform blood magic. I was shocked by the amount of blood mages in this game. It really got old fast.

    I really liked the Qunari in this game, and looked forward to all the segments involving them. They were voiced well, and by the end of the game I thought they would have made a much better antagonist than the actual antagonist.

    I enjoyed the voice work and the music of the game for the most part. Some of the pronunciation of certain locations in the game have changed from Origins (I cringe whenever an elf says Arlathan), but that is my only complaint. The characters are believable and are quite interesting. Their voices are pretty quiet though, requiring me to crank up the speaker volume and lower the soundeffect/music volume to hear them well.

    The side quests in this game are quite mundane. You usually either go somewhere and kill some guys or you bring some item you found back to somebody in the town. There are so many side characters involved in these quests that you quickly forget who they are when they show up later. I'd have characters appear and say something like, "You killed my brother!!!" and I'd just be standing there thinking, "I did?" It helps that several of these encounters have a dialogue option along the lines of, "Who are you again?"

    The game froze on me about 8 times, with about two cases of quests not working correctly. I had just completed a character quest with Anders, and the quest text told me to speak with him in his clinic. When I went to his clinic and clicked on him, all he did was speak one line of dialogue. The quest remained in my log until the end of the game. I found out later that some other quests I thought I had completed didn't show their ending scenes.

    It took me about 30 hours to complete the game, doing all of the side quests I could find and beating optional boss encounters. It was pretty fun in the beginning, but I gradually just wanted to hurry up and complete it near the end. For every one thing that Dragon Age 2 does right, it does one thing wrong. I can't recommend paying full price for this game, but you should pick it up after the price has come down a bit or steam has a sale. Well, only if you enjoy the setting of Origins. I can't really imagine someone getting much out of this title without having played the first game.
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  42. Mar 13, 2011
    4
    Sorry for my language (the translator of Google)
    I do not know what to say about this game.
    This is a step backwards in the role-playing games
    This console ****
    This game is worth only 4 points out of 10
  43. Mar 13, 2011
    4
    Excellent combat and crafting system likable characters (for the most part) go a long way to making this a great game, unfortunately this is an rpg and as such is dragged down by linear quests, boring and extremely repetitive quests.

    What can I say? at the end of the game I felt extremely disappointed, some things are improved and yet we're still stuck crawling through narrow and
    claustrophobic dungeons which seemingly include the city you spend all your time in...This is just a massive let down from an amazing franchise. Wish I was a professional reviewer though, they must be paid very well.... Expand
  44. Mar 14, 2011
    4
    As a stand alone game, Dragon Age II is a passable and entertaining game. Nothing fancy or groundbreaking, but entertaining non the less. However, it does have its flaws. The caves, houses and locations in the City of Kirkwall - the location of the majority of the game - are constantly recycled. Does that location look familiar? It probably is, because even though the missions change, the locations quite often don't. You'll find yourself slogging through a location you visited half an hour ago. Sometimes, the game spices things up and you start of where you left the location during your previous visit.

    The combat is pretty smooth and visualy appealing but also rather simple. Positioning your party to best use the lay of the land is not needed and also not usefull because enemies spawn pretty much out of nowhere from all sides of the map in a neverending tide. That well placed mage, screened by your warrior and rogue just got jumped on by a group of enemies that just were not there.

    As for the storyline, following Hawke's rise from refugee to champion is a novel idea and has merrit, but story's lack of a clear goal and sense of urgency makes it lack a soul. As a result side-quests feel like filler and of no import. Now there is one thing that truly vexes me, the impact of my Warder from Origins in DAII. There is none, merely comments on his past actions which is a far cry from Mass Effect II, where the choices made in ME I had strong consequences.


    DA Ii is ntertaining, but with flaws and would've scored a 7. DA II only becomes a '4' (see my user score) when you compare it to Dragon Age: Origins. origins had a compelling storyline, fleshed out locations, entertaining characters you could bond to, a clear goal to work towards and tactical combat.

    Why Bioware took such a radical approach to a very much acclaimed game as Dragon Age Origin is beyond me.
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  45. Mar 14, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a step backwards in many ways from Dragon Age: Origins. DA:O was supposedly the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate and while it fell short of that lofty goal, it did manage to be a great step in the right direction and a great first entry for a new RPG franchise. A sequel merely needed to build upon that success by giving the fans more of the same with a new story to sink their teeth into. Sadly DA2 fails to do this. Many of the great features of the original have been removed. The origins choice and playthrough at the start where a race/class is chosen and it affects the character entirely, has been removed. Full dialogue options have been removed in favour of a simple good/bad/neutral choice. Combat has been made very simple and less tactical. The overhead camera has been removed.

    It has the better graphics that we would expect from a sequel but the substance and the depth and richness that would have been needed to cement this is as a great RPG franchise have been forgotten in favour of flashier animations, extra voice acting and simpler gameplay to appeal to a mass market.

    This is bad enough but the game was also rushed. The environments are recyled to a very noticeable extent that ruins immersion and the gameplay feels linear in comparison to better rpgs.

    I do not know if it is possible in the modern gaming market to produce something with love and care like BG was but Bioware, if you are listening - please go back to your roots and make a TRUE baldur's gate successor! Or at the very least make sure that Dragon Age 3 is more like it's origins.
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  46. Oct 16, 2013
    4
    It was a huge disapointment. i bought it as soon as it came out on steam, after a couple days i realized the game sucked, at first i thought it might be a good game, then it starts. a lot of talking where they try to create the ilusion your choices matter pave the way to the opening fight of the game. the skill tree is pretty standard only 3 classes to choose from but the fighting system is one of the crappiest i´ve ever seen. you either pause a lot to control each char or let them fight on their own, either way it´s ridiculously easy. then a LOT more talking before another easy fight. it requires neither skill nor strategy. and it´s like this the whole way through. no real action, you have to do what the game wants and go where it sends you. no replayability whatsoever. not worth 10bucks Expand
  47. Mar 14, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. DA2 just didnâ Expand
  48. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    If you liked and are expecting the same quality of game as Mass Effect or Dragon Age Origins this game is not for you. I wanted to like this game, but after 10 hours of game play I've had to put it down and doubt I'll be finishing it. I wish I could get my money back - my opinion of BioWare has been absolutely shattered by this. There's a few things that I found absolutely unexceptable:
    1)
    Reuse of the same locations (one cave, one warehouse, one coastline) the entire game. All the maps feel like hallways with no sense of open exploration you expect in RPGs.
    2) Item drops are just uninteresting and uninspired. Most things are just named belt, or ring, the graphics for items don't really change, and you can't really use much of what drops anyways. They actually have a "junk" category... why are you making me pick up junk in the first place?
    3) Dialogue/relationships between characters is pretty shallow/contrived/immature.
    4) Ending is abrupt - ends in 7 years... where's my decade they advertised?
    5) Combat is horribly dull and uninspired. There's no strategy, you just fight wave after wave of enemies that spawn out of nowhere. 6) Many of the quests are just tedious and boring. This just feels like a very stale and poorly executed RPG with none of the innovation, twists, and intelligence I'd expect from a AAA title.

    I'm not sure where the "professional" reviews are coming from but I feel like they can't have played the game for very long because it's just so obviously a subpar game.

    Bleeeeeh
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  49. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a poor game and extremely disappointing. While some changes from DA:O were made to "improve" the game, the result is appalling and a joke. Some principles of what makes a good "RPG" are universal and can be assessed objectively, such as a unified overarching story that makes sense, varied combat and environments, and the ability to immerse yourself in the game. Unfortunately this is not possible in Dragon Age 2 for a number of reasons:

    1. After completing the game, I struggled to recall what the main purpose of my journey was, or what I achieved. Honestly, what the hell was the point of Act 1??? I don't want to give away spoilers, but it was very difficult to enjoy a story that was put together in far too short a space of time and where there was no direction in character or plot development.

    2. The re-use of the same environments was an insult to any gamer who spent their hard earned cash on this product. It is not asking too much to play a 30+ hour campaign without seeing the same environments ad nauseum. I believe I literally saw a total of 10 environments a dozen times each. If the designers couldn't get some more environments designed within the release date, then they need to push the release date back. Gamers expect more for their money, and rightly so. We are not stupid 12 year olds who cannot see the cust-cutting short cuts that have been taken.

    3. Re-spawning enemies in battles. I mean honestly, is there anything else that could make it more difficult to immerse yourself in Kirkwall? You find a set of enemies, proceed to kill them, then randomly 20 more sprout from the skies. Is there an explanation? NO! It just happens and you deal with them. Sorry, but this is just extremely lazy programming and game design. You wanted to make the game challenging so you just add more baddies. Well, from a game design point of view this may have been the easiest option, but how many modern classic videogames employ such a draconian approach to game design? None. This was disgusting and a discgrace and I expected better for a supposedly AAA title.

    4. The loss of real decision-making. It would be hard to describe this section in detail without spoilers, but it should be noted that although the game presents itself as giving you a "choice" in your story, the sad fact is that no matter what options you take in the story, there is little to no bearing on the final outcome.

    5. The game feels "incomplete". While DA:O had it's own well contained story, and a lot of DLC and even a full expansion, the original product itself felt complete. The story made sense, had a beginning, middle and conclusion (as all stories with STRUCTURE have). This game does not have structure, and feels like a petty cash grab to throw in some more overpriced DLC. Honestly, I don't mind DLC, but the core product should be complete enough that it doesn't feel like I have to buy DLC to enjoy my experience. Give me a complete product and story for my money, not this farce. (I believe this may just be an approach that EA adopts, as I swear to god that the Sims 3 was also one of the world's most incomplete games)

    6. The city of Kirkwall is a joke. Do you honestly think I didn't see how you made all the high buildings so that you didn't have to create a greater draw distance, or add textures or design to objects in the distance? Sorry, but there shouldn't be so many "high rise" buildings in a game set in an era that is similar to medieval europe. Where are all the other towns and cities? The forests? Nothing, just one bland city with too many buildings blocking any views.

    7. Gameplay. So you said that the game can still be played tactically but you took out the tactical view and made enemies need a single button to be killed? Lazy, boring and stupid This was blatantly lazy from a design point of view, I'm sure you saved some money in your design on the game, but you have lost money on future purchases with this rubbish.

    Granted there are some redeeming features such as improved graphics (in comparison to DA:O) and the new dialogue system show promise, however this is never fully realised as Hawk is rather bland and generic and hardly customisable, leaving little to the imagination. Therefore a 4/10 is a fair assessment. I would like 36 hours of my life back and 100 AUD.

    EA/Bioware may have made a conscious business decision to expand their audience, but this business decision has backfired on them as they have lost a customer (and likely many more), and let me tell you, the COD ADD audience that this game is targeted at are largely uninterested in a fantasy RPG that takes way too long to complete considering there is so little content.

    By the way, I understand this is my first and only review, but I feel so strongly about this game that I felt the opinion should be expressed. I am not a troll, just a very angry customer who has been ripped off.
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  50. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    There could be a long list of things I could mention that are just wrong with this game. Lets just say if you like Dynasty Wars, console button mashing, over the top animations, lazy implementations of game themes and finally, you like your RPGs, well, not as RPGs but as arcade style games, then you will love this. If you like traditional RPGs, save your money as this is pure powder puff. Very disappointing. If you play it, remember to keep inserting $1 to continue... Expand
  51. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    I've now logged in over 25hrs into Dragon Age 2 and am simply not impressed. Everything about Dragon Age: Origins was absolutely epic, the story, the characters, the combat etc. DA2 changed a lot of what I loved about DA:O. I know there are a lot of folks clamoring about people giving this game poor reviews because it isn't a real DA:O sequel, but I'm not sure I fully understand this. DA:O was excellent, the formula worked IMO, I just don't understand why they changed so much. I'm a HUGE Bioware fan, so giving this game a poor review wasn't easy. The story is very week in my opinion. I feel no attachment what so ever to the main character and sup[porting NPCS, they seem extremely generic. In DA:O the work hung in the balance and you were at the center. With DA2 it just doesn't feel the same at all. The two launch DLC, which I feel is a total scam are absolutely not worth it. I have to pay to respec my character? What a load of junk.

    Save yourself the cash and wait for a few of the soon to be released RPGs. DA2 misses the mark by a long shot in my book. And don't be seduced by the "professional" reviews. They all seem infatuated with the new combat system, which I feel makes this game so much worse.
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  52. Mar 17, 2011
    4
    I always like the games of Bioware, all of them are greats. But this one, was really disappointed for my: -No character creator (Race and origin like the first part) -To short dialogues and with the companions its worst -The characters looks like comic a not like the DAO (darkspawn looks like living dead, Qunari looks like a ogre) -The main character, in my opinion, its no a good choice. I dont like his appeareance, the voice.
    -The combat its to low qualiti in comparation to DAO.
    -The skils are to simple and the spells too, has no details.
    -No air camera

    Sorry, but im disappoint.
    I really expect a sucesor of Origins, and this one was another type of game.
    This is no Dragon age 2, its an Action Game based in the world of Dragon Age.
    I Hope Bioware make a great game in the Tird part

    Best Wishes
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  53. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    No multiplayer, very short, HUGE amount of copy paste, allot less skills, allot less items, enchantment system could have been flushed out and made far better then it is, and worst of all this game will not have a toolset.
  54. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    Bottom line, If I didn't play DAO, this game would be ...ok. But if it was not labeled DA2, I would never have bought it. I understand the move to cater to console, I don't agree with it, but I understand it. I feel like i just got kicked in the nads by my grandma after she promised me fresh baked cookies. How disappointing... and painful. I'm a casual gamer, but man, i was really looking forward to this one, I don't think Ive ever been so let down with a game release. Why would they alienate their loyal RPG supporters? It just seems foolish at best. I'm not outraged, just annoyed and confused to the core. I feel/felt nothing with this game and that is possibly the worst thing that can happen when playing a "RPG" title.

    -Graphics were ok, but lack of effort takes away considerably. Cut and paste! Really? Mods were released for DAO with more original thought(and my hat tips to all of those who work on mods...for free, Dev team was paid, whats their excuse?). And speaking of which, no tool set info...c'mon guys. DAO tool-set was released far after the game, but to leave everyone so in the dark makes me think that there isn't even one being planned, and the elusive attitude about it is just a way get more sales. what happened with auto attack on consoles...."a mistake was made", right. And it only came to attention a day before release, which makes no sense, because the game was already sent off, and we would all have seen this "mistake". Clear, in your face, deception. The good,(i suppose)Lots of gore, fast paced, voice acting is acceptable, interesting characters.
    The bad, Story in general, cut and paste used frequently, cant even dress companions, no tool-set, dumb dialogue choices, No tactics needed, Buggy, and most importantly the sheer amount of recycled material from other titles. Graphics models=DAO, but with a new format to screw over modders. Menu/dialogue=Ripped right out of ME series. What exactly took two years to develop in this game?

    As a standalone game, its a 6. entertaining for about 90 minutes, then repetitive...literally.
    As a sequel to the GOTY DAO, its a 0. doesn't even deserve to stand in the prequels shadow.
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  55. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    DA:II is, in essence, a role-playing game without the role-playing. Bioware has never been a studio which creates particularly interactive environments, but the large, wide-open spaces of nothing in particular seem particularly jarring in this game because there is so little else to occupy the gamer. Dungeons are recycled. Citizens stand around, doing nothing and having no relevance: there is no pretence at their having any significance other than being part of the (non-interactive) furniture, rather than offering even the little one-liners which BioWare managed as long ago as Baldur's Gate. Quest-related characters cannot be engaged until the relevant quest has been triggered: if discovered before the appointed time, they simply stand around, looking ominous. The engaging and entertaining party interactions of the previous game have been simplified to the point of worthlessness. The party members are flat, dull and lifeless. The inventory now contains a "junk" slot, into which the vast majority of items go, as if the studio were acknowledging the pointlessness of an inventory-loot system in which the armour of three of four part members cannot be modified. The aesthetic of the game grates: Hawke and co. heft swords of frankly comedic proportions, while the armour in which some characters are kitted out seems to have been designed by people who have heard of armour, but never really seen it up close or fully understood its purpose. While other reviewers have raved about the qualities of the "dialogue wheel," I fail to see what advantages it actually offers over a list of answers. As with Mass Effect, an unwary player may be tricked into selecting an option on the basis of the synopsis on the wheel, then have Hawke say something while, which not entirely unrelated, is hardly what was foreshadowed. This is a gimmic which needs to be quietly abandoned. Even to characterise this as an "action RPG," in an effort to deflect from the fact that the game offers no immersive qualities, would be misleading, because combat is a simplified version of the same old pause, point and click. The game's increased emphasis on individualism, emphasised by the camera angles, makes approaching battles from a tactical, party-orientated perspective less rewarding and less intuitive than in DA:O. There are, of course, flashes of decent writing and some of the voice acting is quite good, but it doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor. All told, this is a game which might engage fans of "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance," or "Diabolo," but gamers seeking the escapism and immersion of a "proper" role-playing game will be sorely, sorely disappointed. Bioware flaunts the positive reviews of a number of respected reviewers on its website. My only question at this stage is: can I have a go at the game they played? Expand
  56. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    It's sad that this game has turned out how it has. Where i would play DA:O hours on end cause it immersed me into a beautiful world with diversity and a compelling story, i have to take a break from DA II every half hour because of the fatigue the game gives me, it's the same thing over and over, covered in bland and repeating surroundings and a general 'meh' feeling toward anything character or story wise.

    I miss bird eye view alot when positioning party members, which is a shame since you haveto reposition alot due to enemies spawning out of nowhere. Simplified loot system is so uninteresting and easy to get around with that it's an annoyance to be bothering with.

    Managing companions has been reduced to giving them jewelry. I never liked Massive effect to start with and the introduction of that wheel selection thing is just horrid to me.

    In the end i felt like all options that would activate some braincells have been reduced to such simple tasks that i can't find it more challenging than setting one foot in front of another. It's so straightforward and linear :-S

    The character selection system is restrictive and doesn't offer in any way what DA:O did, not at all. I don't feel like i'm playing a unique character at all in this game.

    This game might of been received better if it hadn't been named the sequel to DA:O. But even if you take the first game out of the picture it still doesn't add up to a very good game in it's genre. I'd say i would rate it a 6 without ever playing DA:O. It's just not good. :(
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  57. Mar 17, 2011
    4
    Welcome to the first game to be designed by a focus group. Made to appeal to everyone and ends up appealing to nobody. Poor story, poor characters, no exploration, retarded romances and just a general dumbing down of all the core elements of the first game. (an RPG where u spend the entire game in the one place???). Hugely disappointing.
  58. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    This sequel is really disappointment, absolutely not at the level of the first chapter. The gameplay is simple hack & slash console game, boring landscape, repetitive dungeons...
  59. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    One word, disappointed. The gameplay, story, mechanics are all just plain boring. Bioware should of took a page out of blizzards book and done an open beta prior to releasing this game. The huge backlash from the community could of been avoided if they would of done so. Is it the worst RPG Ive ever played? No. Could it of been better if it wasn't rushed out the door? Absolutely. To the critics giving it higher then an 8.. you should be ashamed of yourselves. I highly doubt they even played the game. Not one comment on how Bioware reused the same dungeon mapping over and over.. seems like something worth mentioning. DA2 gets a 4 just because Isabele is as hot as a videogame character can be. Expand
  60. Mar 17, 2011
    4
    After enjoying Dragon Age: Origins and Awakening, I've been waiting for Dragon Age II with much excitement. I grabbed my hands on a copy of DA2 on release date, went home, unwrapped the foil from the box and put the disc in my PS3. After setting up the options to my personal liking I was ready to start the journey. Let's start playing.

    I'm writing this review while I am 18 hours in to
    the game, somewhere in Act II I presume. The reason I play RPGs are to feel immersion, connected to the main character and it's companion, a interesting story, to explore the world and to find epic loot. Dragon Age 2 is lacking major in every department. Let me tell you why.

    The characters feel too generic, except for Varric and Anders. Their personalities are boring, their stories are boring and the fact that BioWare doesn't give you an opportunity to feel connected with them makes it even worse.

    The story is telling the tale of how you become the champion, but to be honest I don't see it going anywhere. You do some side quests to make money, go on an expedition and after that do some more side quests. In my 18 hours of play I still don't have the feeling I am doing something important or amazing. To end with a positive note on this subject I do like the way they are presenting the story.

    Exploring the word in DA2 is just drama. 90% of the game is taking place in a not so appealing city to say the least. So there's not a lot to explore, but hey we still have dungeons, right? You can scrap that from your list. There are just a few layouts and they are, sadly, reused for every dungeon. So there goes all your of exploring the world. While killing some mobs, you mostly find some loot. It might contain something epic, but sadly you can't wear it because it's another class. So you'd say let's equip one of my companions with it. But some genius at BioWare decided no one cares about equipping their party members, instead we let the player buy upgrades of armor for their companions. Thanks for not taking the weapon and accessory slots away. To end on a positive note the improved combat system is something I enjoy. It's a lot more action based and a lot smoother. From time to time you just don't want to pause the game to play it like a strategy game, but just like a hack 'n slash game.

    All of the things really break the immersion for me. I want to equip my characters, I want to have cool traveling bunch, I want to explore the world and I want to feel that I am in something big. Sadly DA2 doesn't do any of that. ***Posted my review in the PC deparment, because for some reason it doesn't allow me to post it in the console department***
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  61. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    A SHADOW OF ITS FORMER SELF! Normally bioware do a good job of upgrading their sequels (Example Mass Effect 2) they get rid of the probelms they had with the first. But i'm sorry to tell people but bioware have made a big boo boo with this sequel, they simplfied to the point of embarrassment and the element story that was so so solid in Dragon Age: Origins has all but disappeared, you seem to just do the quests because you want to see if the main story is going to get start and it doesn't! Big disappointment can't believe i preorder it! Expand
  62. Mar 17, 2011
    4
    I can certainly understand why there is so much hatred for this game after finally playing it through. Rarely have I experienced such an anger while playing a game. Dragon Age 2 is a shockingly pathetic combination of a weak story, retarded game mechanics, ugly graphics (compared with ALL current games) and extremely annoying companions and NPCs. It is unbelievable that they dare charging 60 bucks for this piece of trash. I would rather cut both my hands and legs than to ever buy another Bioware "product" again ("work of art" my ass!). To the extremely lucky who have not yet bought the game but are curious to try (curiosity here only brings more pain than good), I humbly advise you to torrent the hell out of it (Dragon Age 2's shoddy quality doesn't even justify your patient waiting for its price tag to drop to 10%!). Just torrent, try and then utterly forget it! Expand
  63. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    Origins had a lot more epic and exciting story. Idea of putting story in one city, with 2-3 locations near it is really catastrophic. Combat is not that satisfying as it should be and inventory is awful. In Dragon Age Origins we didn't have so much restriction for armors and weapons like here. I was really surprised by that, but in the wrong way. Graphics, well, I can't complain too much about it because my graphic card doesn't allow me to experience high or medium quality settings. Characters...there's only one worth mentioning and that is Varric because it seems they only finished him and that the others were in work by the time game was out. Main character is finally voiced and it doesn't seem so dumb like in Origins, but I expected more. I really wanted to like this game, especially because it is from Bioware. But call of money and greed from EA made this game the biggest flop this year. I will give it a 4, only because it gave me 35 hours of gameplay and because the main character isn't so dumb. I really hope this won't happen again, this rushing and placing a half-finished product on the market with Mass Effect 3. Expand
  64. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    Disappointed at how Bioware could deliver a half-finished game. The intention was there, with the interesting characters and some development, but the game feels rushed and unfinished as whole.
  65. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    A grand let down. From the reused locals, to the lackluster quest lines, Dragon Age 2 never stops feeling stale. If your looking for a engrossing depth defying role playing game, Dragon Age 2 can't fulfill.
  66. Mar 18, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a huge step back from the first game. While you get to explore a whole country, with lots of different scenarios, and do all sorts of different missions on the first game, here you will only visit half a dozen places and only do missions that feel like side quests. There are 2 things that I thought were improvements, the main character with a voice is one, and the new combat system, but the combat itself wasn't very well explored. It is too predictable, and there is no variation with the enemies. The main plot is very week, it gets interesting in the last 2-3 hours of the game, .. but the rest is simply there to fill some space (so about 30 hours of filling) The developers obviously rushed this project, and the game just looks like it was made by lazy people. Rings that are just called "ring" but with different specs, "belt", etc.

    overall the experience isn't terribly bad, but it's not up to DA:O standards and not up to bioware's reputation.... I find it hard to believe that bioware thought this was a good game to release.
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  67. May 4, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. â Expand
  68. Mar 19, 2011
    4
    thats simple.
    DA2 is the jar jar binks of western rpg. seriously. why Ea enjoy taking good companies and killing them and filling the carcases with crap?
    EA buy maxis and kill the simulation genre. the last hit with spore and now is doing the same with rpg and bioware.
  69. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    I read a few user reviews myself before starting this game, so my expectations were not too high. Still I was disappointed from the start. Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game just many little details that are amiss. The battle system is mediocre - even later in game there is not a lot of variety. The Story itself gets burrowed by a flood of side quests. At first they seem interesting, but after a while you start stumbling about side quest after side quest. Thanks to the in-game map that shows you when and where you have to go to solve a quest, it boiled down to "go to location and kill/collect X, then come back to get reward". The main story itself is stretched thin over several in-game years.
    Bottom line - there are worse games and if the DA world interests you, you could take a peak. Personally if I had to choose again, I would wait and pick it from a bargain bin in a few months.
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  70. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    Without going into to many details. Great voice acting, love the way your character stay in voice character should you be angry, funny or serious. However that alone does not carry a hole game. DA2 is infact incredible repetitive with the method of reusing areas for pretty much everything throughout the hole game, while the environment is very well made and detailed it gets very and i mean very boring really fast. Everything from the city to the dungeons are reused over and over and over, very tireing and you are constantly sitting with a feeling that somethings gotta change soon, but it never does.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    My first thought was a solid 7, but after completing DA2 and learning that nothing you do matters it has lost all appeal to me. So sadly, very sadly i give DA2 a 6. =(
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  71. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    Generally a very bland and disappointing experience versus other "RPGs" and especially vs its legacy. This game is a linear shooter, barely an RPG and only very distantly related to the first game, Dragon Age Origins, a very strong traditional CRPG. It basically feels like a completely separate team was told to build a console shooter based in the Dragon Age universe. At its core DA2 a very simple refined shooter: 1) you run from nondescript environment to the next, 2) spamming AOE attacks to deal with the same waves of enemies, and 3) running circles around tedious boss fights. This is not however an RPG by any stretch: 1) the story is almost non-existent (I'm in Act 2 and no clue), 2) there is no character development, 3) the skill trees are there, but given how streamlined combat is, there is no strategy involved, 4) only the main character inventory can be changed (other than weapons) limited. In summary: Overall: 4 (Gameplay: 5, Story: 3, Graphics/Sound: 6, Fun: 2). Replay value: 0 Expand
  72. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    As a fan of Dragon Age Origins and Bioware in general I was very much looking forward to this release. Some friends tried to dissuade pointing out the obvious such as this sequel followed far more quickly than Mass Effect 2 for instance. This is only important since it means that the time and care Bioware is famous for putting into their games could be lacking. Sadly despite the suspiciously glowing reviews from the major reviewers this game has not delivered. Much like with Mass Effect 2 before it Bioware has chosen to take the dumbing down route. A route which might I add is wholly unnecessary as the original games were incredibly successful. Now granted DA O wasn't perfect. But it had the depth that a real RPG needs. This one sadly does not. Crafting? Gone. Legitimate dialogue choices? Gone. Interesting interactions with the other party members? Gone. Ability to customize parties gear? Heavily restricted. Varied and interesting backgrounds? Gone. The point is this game is incredibly watered down. It doesn't even really feel like an RPG, more like an action game with some heavily watered down RPG elements. I'm still going to finish the game. After all I paid good money for the thing. But I am extremely disappointed in Bioware. The watering down in Mass Effect 2 was bad enough, this is unforgivable. Expand
  73. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Before starting Dragon Age 2, I went back to a Lothering saved game from Dragon Age: Origins to study the look of the NPC's; I wanted my Hawke character to resemble one of the NPC's from the original game... perhaps that seems strange, but I thought it would be fun from a role-playing perspective. I realized at that time that the DA:O NPC's had just a few basic models/molds that were then copied to populate the city. I was somewhat shocked, because I hadn't really noticed that during my first two DA:O playthroughs. I mention this because DA:O definitely "cut corners": linear pathways/not very open, clone NPC's populating cities, multiple dialog choices that lead to the same outcome, etc. The beauty of DA:O, however, was that the Bioware mages (developers) created Disney-like illusion: an epic storyline, characters you could have in-depth conversations with (at the time of your choosing), the ability to modify your companionsâ Expand
  74. Mar 22, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game; it just devolved into something that is unworthy of carrying the "Dragon Age" title and the burdens that comes with it. The previous game was a marvelous and a near-perfect take of what a next-gen RPG could be, probably not too great on the consoles, but its as true as an RPG gets on the PC. Fans of Origins have to lower their expectations or rather set it accordingly, because to be honest, it's just that different.

    I don't really like to compare games to other games and franchise, but I do compare them when it comes to sequels, because the purpose of a sequel is to surpass the previous one, and in this case Dragon Age 2 fails to please. It just feels like a different, less impressive franchise. The improvements are only a little bit on the graphics, I really do enjoy the faster pace of the battle, and the span of 10 years the story takes. That said, the rest is just regression, as Bioware erased away the defining feature of the previous game such as; customizable party member's equipment, multiple races to play, multiple endings, unique builds that you can come up with (such as dual-wielding arcane mage and warrior with bow), varying areas, and that is not all, unfortunately. I give it an honest score of 4, as it is less than a half of what Origins were. To be noted that this is not a rant of rage, its just a lament of a dissatisfied loyal fan of RPGs and Bioware itself as a great video game studio.
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  75. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    Bioware need to learn that rushing out or fast tracking a game for a quick buck is a sure fire way to lose there fanbase. While the combat system and graphics (if maxed out with high texture pack) are cool the plot of the game is a complete joke.

    Story wise it's very bland and unlike every other Bioware RPG it dosen't make any difference what dialogue options you pick for 95% of the game
    as the final outcome is exactly the same and this totally kills replay value. The fact that so many characters can't be saved from their fate really bugged me and killed the idea of being the hero of the story. Expand
  76. Apr 12, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After finishing this game, I can find very little good to say about it other than the character development is really well done for the party members. Dragon Age 2 is very inferior compared to Dragon Age: Origins, and the ending is absolutely terrible. The combat is really repetative, the environments all look exactly the same, and the plot is completely linear. I originally gave this a good rating before I finished it, but after going back to try and change the events concerning the main characters nothing happened. The ending is a non-ending that leaves you confused, angry, or both. Expand
  77. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Ender008
    Mar 23, 2011
    4
    I honestly cannot justify going into very much depth on the mechanics of DA2--all I can say is that I feel horribly betrayed. It's nothing short of a tragedy to see the squandered potential of the title of sequel to DA:O. Dragon Age 2 is a step back for the series, and after playing a few hours of it, I found myself starting a new character in Origins. DA2 is
    unsatisfying, and barely tries to even present the illusion of choice. I felt no attachment to Hawke; the fact that he's fully voiced actually managed to push me away even further. This game doesn't even deserve the title of RPG, nor does it deserve the lore of Dragon Age. I pray to the developers that they'll rectify this disaster of a game by returning to RPG style gaming for the next Dragon Age. I honestly felt my IQ drop as a played the unfortunate mess that is Dragon Age 2. The only thing positive to come of this is that I will be joining the modding community of DA:O to help extend its lifespan for those of us who appreciate what a work of art it is. Please stay away from DA2 if you have any sense.

    [EDIT TO MY FIRST REVIEW:] I started to read through other reviews to see what others thought of the game to see if I could find any redeeming qualities and I stumbled on something that I absolutely needed to share, because it sums up what's so horrible about DA2. Someone posed this as a positive point, yet where's the roleplaying aspect in this? Here is the quote: "There's also the thing where no matter what speech option you pick, Hawke comes off sounding completely badass and awesome."
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  78. Mar 23, 2011
    4
    Instead of building on the Strengths of Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware created a game that failed to capture the imagination of gamers everywhere. A failed sequel in every way, the game should have been marketed as The Kirkwall Chronicles; a story that bears no relevance to its predecessor. The adventure that follows is repetitive, tedious, and very shallow. A Dragon Age for Dummies, where its strength lies in its recycled approach to maps, characters, story and quests. The Plot is miserable, your actions donâ Expand
  79. Mar 24, 2011
    4
    Worst Bioware game ever in this company. They sold their souls to the EA money. Storyline is absent. Boring, monotonous tasks in the same locations are forgotten immediately. The dialogues are long and have no humor.
  80. Mar 24, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It was evident that Dragon Age 2 was a rush job; much of the complexities that were in Dragon Age: Origins were stripped from the sequel. There are no skills to invest in such as Coercion, Pick-pocketing, and etc. Much of the class and skills are simplified into shorter trees of advancement. If I wanted to bring Merrill for the majority of my adventuring and needed healing, the problem was that all of the characters had their own skill and specialization trees and Anders the mage was the only one with a Healing skill tree. So yes, bad Merrill, no healing skills for you! The story wouldâ Expand
  81. Mar 25, 2011
    4
    I would like to just say first and foremost that this is not a terrible game, just not a particularly good one either. so I shall start with the positives, the new combat system I feel is a great success, it feels fluid and powerful, the graphics with the high resolution texture pack are impressive, and the companions are generally likeable (except Fenris).

    So now sadly onto the bad. It
    is tiny, and by that I mean miniscule, every quest occuring in the same place, or the same cave, which is somehow in ten different places but identical. I mean this game spans what, a decade, and nothing changes in that time, whatsoever. This also means that for a Bioware RPG the completion time is just not up to scratch.

    Now my major pain with this game is the simplification of everything that made Origins great, and makes RPG's as a genre great, in an attempt to what, appeal to a greater market, there seems to be this idea in the world of games development that simple easy games sell in mass. I don't entirely disagree with that sentiment, but I work in a DIY store, so the employees couldn't be considered gaming nerds, they are ordinary people with consoles (and they all loved Origins by the way) and they all say Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is one of their favourite games, and do you know how many of them like Dragon Age 2. Not a single one. So the very market this game was dumbed down for hates you for it, and as a result you have very nearly alienated a strong Bioware fan, luckily I have faith Mass Effect 3 will be great.

    So in conclusion, play this if you like small, simplistic RPG's with not enough character development, environments, or soul. All in all I'm pretty peeved I paid £28.98 for a game that seems lesser to Origins expansion pack. So Bioware if EA tells you what people want in games again, tell them they don't know anything about making games and to leave that to the professionals.
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  82. Mar 25, 2011
    4
    As a so-called sequel to DAO, DA2 is a huge disappointment. I've played through twice. Basically, it suffers from the rush to release syndrome: lack of time means lack of creativity and imagination. The game is just boring; it is stale, ordinary and cheaply made. Because the game called itself Dragon Age 2, I expected something better, even extraordinary. Not necessarily an exact clone of DAO, but at least a continuity in the feel of DAO, its tenor and spirit, in writing that believed in itself, in actors in whom you could tell relished their roles, in plots and subplots that got better as the game went on.

    I can tell when a game is really great: I get addicted. I can't stop playing it. I don't want to go to bed, I don't want to go to work. Even more frightening, I don't want to eat. On the first playthrough of DA2, I thought something was wrong with me because I got bored. And annoyed. I could walk away from it and not feel withdrawal symptoms. And the more I played the more frustrated I became that there was just nothing that was very interesting about it. Even the ending was a non-event.

    I scored DA2 below average, a harsher than usual judgement simply because it was a Bioware product. Next time I will know better: no more pre-ordering, never trust a demo or a trailer, and wait until the user reviews come out.
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  83. Mar 26, 2011
    4
    Verdict: NOT WORTH IT - Short shallow RPG, little replay value - Maps are very few and excruciatingly reused - Story provides no followup to Origins plot - Dull forgettable hero and characters - Stripped down inventory takes much of the interest out of finding proper loot and dungeon crawling - Whole game seems like a mere excuse for future DLC content On a more personal note and strictly regarding the story, I can't fathom how you could fail so miserably on writing a proper plot with so many rich loose ends left over from Origins.
    I'm not saying the sequel should tie into the first episode to be good, but if you're going to branch out of an excellent and bestselling first story, you really do have to make it good, and DA2 isn't. A tale that boils down to climbing the social ladder while finding an ominous strange artifact (left unexplained for DLC profit) belongs in a Tombraider setting, not a Dragon Age Origins sequel. Mike Laidlaw should definitely be sacked and I should be reimbursed.

    Though compelled to give less, I rate it 4 points because of the excellent art and map design.
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  84. Mar 26, 2011
    4
    After playing the original Dragon Age to death and back i can't help but wonder how on earth Bioware could possibly get this wrong?

    The way that almost every other quest has you go to the same location over and over again is beyond a joke and is enough to put off even the most avid Dragon Age fan-boy, the entire city of kirkwall feels claustrophobic and small along with it's drab browns
    and grays littered all over the place.

    The new cast of companions are boring and dull, you don't get the option to get to talk to them or get to know them while exploring the various areas, aside from Varric the majority of the cast are entirely forgettable ( I was shocked to find a Welsh character in the game, but to my disappointment she's just as boring as the rest)

    The new U.I, while more streamlined, is by no ways as well presented as it is in origins.

    Also the story is some what weird when compared to the original, for almost a third of the game your sat there wondering what you are supposed to be doing or when the game will even start.

    To say they treated PC customers well with this game is a joke, buggy direct x 11 from the get go (Had to download beta drivers to get it to run), had to download a 1gig H.D texture pack separately just to get the game to look some what decent.

    If your a fan of RPG games then i suggest you give this one a miss and if you haven't already played origins i suggest you go pick up the original with all the D.L.C, it's a FAR better game by a huge stretch.
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  85. Mar 29, 2011
    4
    There is a lot about this game that I love. It has excellent characters and an addictive, refined battle system... It's just a shame that the ridiculous amount of recycled content really kills it for me. There aren't even that many explorable areas in the game, and those that are there are all narrow corridors that are re-used over and over for the entire game. Also, the storyline apparently spans nearly a decade, except the only way you would know that are the cut-scenes at the end of each act (of which there are three) telling you a number of years have passed... except, NOTHING, literally NOTHING changes over the years. At the beginning of Act 3 your party starts off standing in the exact spot where you finished Act 2 as if no time had passed at all. Laughable. This game could have been a classic had only more time been put into development. As it is, it's only recommendable if you think you can overlook these huge flaws and enjoy the strong combat and fairly interesting cast. Expand
  86. noa
    Mar 29, 2011
    4
    I liked the original Dragon Age, and most other Bioware titles. This game, however, was a huge disappointment. As a prospective buyer, you may wonder about the disconnect between user reviews and professional review scores. I would put it like this: Dragon Age II is like the student who goes to class, memorizes all he needs to know, and does well on the exams, but never actually understands the material. In the same way, DA2 has a story, but it fails to come together, and at the end you're left wondering "That's it? Did I miss something?" DA2 has locations, but as early as the first Act, you will have seen every single one of them, and hopefully you liked them the first time around, because you'll see them again, and again, and again. DA2 has sleek skill trees allowing you to customize your character, but the gameplay has been so dumbed down (even on harder difficulties) that there's just no incentive to try things out, or if there is challenge, it is of the frustrating, repeat the same thing over and over kind (boss fights where the boss has ridiculous amounts of hitpoints come to mind). I could go on, but most of my complaints have been voiced already: this game is not worth your money. Expand
  87. Apr 12, 2011
    4
    Disappointment is only part of the story. Not to go into the repeated argument that Dragon Age 2 isn't Dragon Age: Origins, for surely it is not, the game stands very short of what one might consider entertaining on its own merits. The way that this game was designed is often times very counter-intuitive that one has to wonder what the developers were thinking when they came up with the original conception. The presentation of the levels is perhaps at the top of the list. There seems little to justify reusing maps short of economic reasons. Yes, there are plenty of games out there that reuse maps, but in Dragon Age 2, this practice goes up into a totally new level where an exceedingly large percentage of the game takes place in the same levels, over and over again. You can have literally twenty or more quests in one single area, and thus you will find yourself revisiting the same areas continuously for the entire game. Even the main storyline (if one can consider it such), takes place in the same areas, and often requires you to do a circuit on the more prominent ones. Little more needs to be said on how annoying this can be.

    In terms of what you do in this game, the truth is, not a whole lot. Almost every quest, every mission, involves you either killing something, looting someplace, finding something someone lost, or simply returning a random item you pick up on the ground to someone you somehow, through the gift of clairvoyance, know who it belongs to. The graphics, while often claimed to be artistically rich, are a step down from Dragon Age: Origins. In fact, its almost a step down from Neverwinter Nights 2. If you wish to see the proof of this, then look up screenshots of Alistair or Leliana, and compare those with the same in the original Dragon Age: Origins and make an opinion for yourself. The main problem, however, is not so much in character modeling, but the overall atmosphere seems like a painting or a cartoon. I can admire paintings, but the Van Gogh depiction of the Dragon Age world probably will not seem as engaging to the average gamer, and does little justice to portray the dark fantasy setting that the original game tried to portray. The other issue with this game is the combat. The combat has been simplified slightly to make it more accessible to the console gamer. This is admirable. Some aspects of the system are in fact, easier to use. The primarily flaw, however, is not about the controls, or accessibility, but by the way combat was handled in the overall context of the game. Your encounters will almost always consist of fighting waves of enemies that spawn out of thin air when you least expect it. Actually, the more you fight these waves, the more that you will expect another wave coming every single time you encounter enemies. While this certainly makes the game more challenging, you will find that immersion will be brittler than ever before in a video game. The story is flat and unengaging. It is often argued that the story in Dragon Age II is a more personal one, without the cliche of always having some big bad boss at the end. I can certainly see the personal aspect of this, but that is also one of its crippling flaws. There is no clear cut antagonist in the game. Nothing that really motivates you to sit down and wonder why you do something in the game. All the "villains" in the game have almost nothing to do with you, and you will often find yourself doing quests for people out of philanthropic reasons (or greed, because they pay you) than for any great reasons. In essence, your character in the game is just another errand boy, or girl.

    The whole game takes about 30-50 hours to complete, but unfortunately, the main plot hardly makes even a fraction of that time. There isn't really a main plot, in fact, for the game is divided up into three acts with almost completely unrelated segments of storytelling. The rest, of course, is filled in with sidequests fitting for the errand running hero that you are. Most of the characters in the game are also forgettable. Almost all of the companions you meet in the game, allies if you wish, are so two-dimensional that you just have to wonder what happened to all the magic that was instilled into characters like Thane, or Jaheira, or Morrigan, or even the scaly lizard of a jukebox bard named Deekin. With the exception of maybe one or two, most of the characters have flat personalities whose depth never goes below the skin. Their motivations only go as far as their graphical portrayal, such as as the dutiful warrior, the stuck-up holyman, the ignorant mage, and a slutty rogue. They are either black, or white, with no grays in the middle. I had to take a point off for each of the points mentioned above. It is truly difficult to, in good faith, to recommend this title to anyone. Its not a broken game, but its so poorly designed that it can hardly hold up on its own.
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  88. Apr 2, 2011
    4
    People are right putting the lowerest score, it can be only be zero to destroy instead to improve. People is angry.
    Copy and paste the same locations. Inconsistent lore like players allowed to be mages without any reason (grey warden? no). Brilliant dialogues but too few. This is an expansion camouflaged by tons of side quests and almost experienced romances.
  89. Apr 4, 2011
    4
    I almost cannot believe bioware made this game. Its nothing but a glorified DLC. Combat and UI have improved but the storyline is something I never became emotionally invested in. Graphics and plot + reused dungeons and zones makes this seem like a lazy effort. Take out the title Dragon Age and just call this Hawke's Adventures the DLC and lower the price from 60 bucks to 30 and then it would be worth buying. Expand
  90. Apr 4, 2011
    4
    Huge disappoint if your a fan of the first one. First thing you'll noticed is the "consolization" of menu screen. Where the first game had a book overlay for your map, spells, inventory, etc... this one takes you out of the game to an over simplified menu for same information. The UI overlay is ugly to look at as well. The graphics overall appear worse off than the first and yet the game runs horrible as it shows lack of optimization for PCs. Only one available race to choose from. Most of the game takes place in one city. Dungeons maps are reused over and over again. There is more bad than good. Can't believe critics are giving this game high marks. Bioware must have spent alot of money paying off reviewers instead of spending it on game developement. Expand
  91. Apr 7, 2011
    4
    Less than great. I bought it sight unseen because of how fully realized and fun DAO was. Never making that mistake again.

    I get the sense DA2 was just too rushed. The combat, the quests, endless map rehashing and even recycled music from DAO just hugely disappointed me. Fairly weak story on top of it. And yes the ham fisted handling of dialog was just sloppy and very unappealing. For
    example you get +10 rival with Anders when you pass on his homosexual come-on. I get the sense this is an old guy's idea of giving something for everyone and an equally dated concept of PC approaches to sexuality by actually increasing rival points for choosing "Not interested". The flashiness of the combat, the 'edgy' dialog, all of it just adds up to a very dated and cynical delivery of someone's idea of what people are supposed to want instead of the openness and focus on a quality game I got from DAO.

    I am trying to be fair and try to factor out my frame of reference with DAO but at best I can still only come up with a slightly below average rating. There are far more in depth reviews here than mine but they're accurate. I rate it below average without my DAO bias, which would otherwise have made it higher. In all truth I played it once and have absolutely no desire to play it again. The one play added up to some 20+ hours of game play vs the 50+ of its predecessor
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  92. Apr 12, 2011
    4
    This game is an embarrassment of Dragon Age origins. The game is nothing like origins, which is the whole controversy, the story isn't compelling as Origins. The characters are so conventional they seem almost lifeless and limited interactions doesn't serve well. Combat is nicely flowed together and much more smoother then origins, but the lack of challenge and constant enemies can make it all too repetitive. But what really tears me up is that DA2 facilitates for newer gamers with neglecting the older fans. Whatever choices you made in origins have minor or no significant impact on DA2. This game suffers from an overload of enemies, recycled environments and is missing that unique fantasy element that makes rpg 's so grand. Expand
  93. Apr 12, 2011
    4
    Okay, did anyone else think the whole.. every mage popping into an A-bom immediately was a little much? its completely unpresidented from the last origins game, and makes the mages ACTUALLY seem evil, unlike in the other game when they seemed moreso like slaves, a brutal waste of time you have to take breaks to stare at your recipt for buying the game before pushing yourself through the bogus and repetetive side quests, followed by an underwhelming finish were NO ONE WINS, and on top of that, poor graphics, compaired to the games of this time, shugun total war 2 is beautiful in compairison, and also the storyline is too linear, whether im evit or not, the story comes out the same, whether i chose one side of the other i kill them both, its a terrible plot, terrible everything, terrible game, try again Bioware Expand
  94. Apr 15, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The worst Bioware game I have played. Cost cutting decisions, more than any other decision Bioware made, is what ruined this game. Let me be clear - game publishers need to manage costs - but they still need to deliver a first rate gaming experience. Bioware needs to deliver quality story telling, rather than rush a second rate experience out the door. I've listed what I think the most glaring cost cutting flaws in the game are: 1) My choices don't matter. I am constantly forced back into the same story loop. While I understand that there are limits on story divergence, my choices need to be about more than the flavor of the game I am playing. Not every choice I make needs to alter the story line. But some do. And at least a few need to fundamentally alter the course of the game. 2) Characters should be memorable, and not flat. If characters can just sort of fit whatever I want to do, then ultimately it's obvious that I'm playing a video game and not interacting with soulful representations. The game ruins the veil of "suspended disbelief" so critical to fantasy on so many occasions by just allowing characters to go along with whatever I want. Fenris, for example, HATES mages, and refuses to join my fight with the mages. Good for him even though it would have made my end fight more difficult. Then, because I manage a pithy one liner about slavery, he joins my party. IF he hated slavery and mages all along, the game should have built up this conflict more within his character, so that we could see the final crisis and denoument, not have him flippantly choose one side because it's what the player feels like doing. 3) Repetitive use of scenery. Origins got annoying after a while with the same monsters, but the scenery constantly changed. Dragon Age II made this worse by having me fight the same monster models and in the same settings three times in a row. 4) Every male model looks like they are on roids - how about some varied body types? What about the sinewy rogue? The willowy mage? Why as a mage are my muscles still exploding from my robes? 5) Sexuality should be more than a lifestyle choice for my romantic options. In Dragon Age, some characters were bisexual and others were not. Some got offended by homosexuality. This added an extra appreciated wrinkle to the game. Cost containment I could accept: 1) Focusing on fewer origin stories. Valuable development time could be saved if only a few major storylines are played. So, if I only get three origin stories instead of 15 possibilities I am OK with that. However, these three should be divergent not as close together as possible. E.g. female elven mage, male human warrior, male rogue dwarf. 2) Reuse of monster models. Every game has to do it, I get it. 3) Limitations on the number of big decisions that alter a story arc. Understood that these cannot pop up all over the place, but there need to be some and a few need to be big ones. Mass Effect 2 demonstrated that if you have enough divergent story arcs, origin stories are less important. 4) Simpler combat systems. I get it that there are more console games to be sold than PC games. If due to economies of scale I have to have a simpler combat system, I can handle that to if it is still fun and challenging like in Mass Effect 2. I accept the above cost containment, and it's because I expect the game designer to spend extra time making sure that what it DOES do is exceptional. No one has infinite resources. Rather than wisely spending its gaming investment dollars on the areas of most return for its gamers, Bioware was solely focused on their financial returns. They have made it clear that all I am to them is a dollar sign and they plan to cash out on the Dragon Age franchise. Very well, Bioware, your gaming audience understands, and I for one will sit out the next Dragon Age unless user reviews are 8.0+. You can buy off publications but not your user base. Expand
  95. Apr 21, 2011
    4
    Could have worked as a stand alone title but did not feel like a sequel to DA:O. It was almost as if the developers were trying to fix what was broken in DA:O and improve upon it but the problem was there wasn't a lot wrong with the first title in the Dragon Age franchise. Loved DA:O did not care for Dragon Age II.
  96. Apr 22, 2011
    4
    Disappointing, a watered-down version of the first.

    The game engine and UI has been improved. I prefer the newer talent trees. And the characters are quite engaging and held my interest. But the story is very watered down and it takes place in the exact same stages over and over. The repetition in stages, as well as combat, almost make the game intolerable. Aside from a (very) few key
    events, player choices seem largely irrelevant. For some utterly baffling reason, only Anders (and the player) can learn to heal. I felt as if I was forced to use Anders and Aveline (the tank) if I was to adopt any strategy. Characters that are unused might as well be dead to you.

    It is a decent enough game (and the final battle is actually quite epic), but I felt like the media critics got this absolutely wrong. It has its charms, but it is largely an unworthy sequel and I regret spending $70 on this product. Wait for the price to drop before purchasing this one, you won't be missing much.
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  97. Apr 22, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers. The whole game feels rushed and incomplete, more like a doodle than a landscape. Even the main questline reuses areas that are both geographically and conceptually different, there is a Cave environment, a Warehouse environment and an Undercity environment. Get used to these because you will see them, often. The game takes many of the elements of the first game and discards them on the basis that it's easier to throw away concepts than fix them, discarding the Crafting system in favour of purchasing the crafted items after finding permanent resources in the game.

    Most of the characters are completely unlikable, Anders springs to mind almost immediately. The handling of the games "Romances" for lack of a better term is almost unforgivable, the writing is blunter and less interesting than a cheap fanfiction. The game's fans urge that the Romances are completely voluntary and are a side aspect to the game, this is at odds with the game it self, the Romances are aggressively forced upon the player, with heavy skill benefits for players who partake, as well as some characters actively disliking you if don't show interest in romancing them.

    The ending is just appalling, every faction in the game ends up betraying you, regardless of your choices, just so you have to fight them all. This is unforgivable in an RPG that promotes the value of a choice.

    This game is much, much less enjoyable than the first game in the series, which offers both more features, better writing and more choice.
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  98. Apr 25, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very bad game... It´s not Dragon Age it´s "Dragon Effect" (but worst). It no have the essence of the firts game... bad of work EA and Bioware... In the game, your decisions are useless...you cant change nothing in the world, all the facts happen without your help...your partners are lineal, they aren´t charming like in origins...is a step back in rol´s game... (sorry for my english...im spanish...) Expand
  99. May 18, 2011
    4
    Probably the biggest disappointment of the year thus far. Dragon Age Origins was such a well-crafted RPG, so what went wrong with the sequel? In short, the game went casual. Everything that catered to the RPG fans out there has been simplified completely. Sure, I can welcome a simplified conversation system, and I can welcome some easier skill management, but where the line is drawn is at the combat. What used to be a strategic combat system is now along the lines of Dynasty Warriors, having players spam a single button to do most of the dirty work, occasionally pressing other buttons to trigger skills. On top of that, the visuals seem very dated and more importantly the maps are simplified, in fact the maps of dungeons in the beginning of the game remain the same by quests near the end of the game. Reusing maps, really? I can't see any effort put into this game, and this is very disappointing considering I've loved everything else that Bioware has put out. Unfortunately the copypasta of the same maps and the barbaric combat is just not my thing. Expand
  100. May 22, 2011
    4
    There is no much more to say about this game that hasn't been said. This is a game that was made purely to satisfy investors at EA and in the long run it will even fail at that. It is in essence a piece of trash that disappoints at every level. Avoid like the plague, don't take it even if they pay you.
  101. Apr 22, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers. The whole game feels rushed and incomplete, more like a doodle than a landscape. Even the main questline reuses areas that are both geographically and conceptually different, there is a Cave environment, a Warehouse environment and an Undercity environment. Get used to these because you will see them, often. The game takes many of the elements of the first game and discards them on the basis that it's easier to throw away concepts than fix them, discarding the Crafting system in favour of purchasing the crafted items after finding permanent resources in the game.

    Most of the characters are completely unlikable, Anders springs to mind almost immediately. The handling of the games "Romances" for lack of a better term is almost unforgivable, the writing is blunter and less interesting than a cheap fanfiction. The game's fans urge that the Romances are completely voluntary and are a side aspect to the game, this is at odds with the game it self, the Romances are aggressively forced upon the player, with heavy skill benefits for players who partake, as well as some characters actively disliking you if don't show interest in romancing them.

    The ending is just appalling, every faction in the game ends up betraying you, regardless of your choices, just so you have to fight them all. This is unforgivable in an RPG that promotes the value of a choice.

    This game is much, much less enjoyable than the first game in the series, which offers both more features, better writing and more choice.
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

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