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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4170 Ratings

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  1. Apr 12, 2011
    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.
  2. Apr 2, 2011
    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.
  3. Apr 4, 2011
    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
  4. Apr 4, 2011
    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
  5. Apr 7, 2011
    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
  6. Apr 12, 2011
    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
  7. Apr 12, 2011
    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
  8. Apr 15, 2011
    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
  9. Apr 21, 2011
    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.
  10. Apr 22, 2011
    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.
  11. Apr 22, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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.
  12. Apr 25, 2011
    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 cant change nothing in the world, all the facts happen without your help...your partners are lineal, they aren´t charming like in a step back in rol´s game... (sorry for my spanish...) Expand
  13. May 18, 2011
    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
  14. May 22, 2011
    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.
  15. May 23, 2011
    I played this game to completion and i had a mediocre time. Having just bought The Witcher 2, i realised that there was more variety and ingenuity during the first 2 hours of that game than ALL of Dragon Age 2. Why oh why did Bioware recycle SO many of the environments? It's pathetic just how copy-pasted this game is. My only wish now is that Bioware don't mess up Mass Effect 3.
  16. May 20, 2011
    When I first saw DA2 I was blown away. Its combat became a lot better than the first installment, it looked and felt refined. Then I started to know better. It has like 10 re-used area and they did not even bother to alter them after chapter 1. It has nothing to do with a roleplaying game it is much more like a hack and slash. Your decisions count literally nothing. You have basicly one ending and cannot alter the flow of the game in any possible way. It is really what it looks like: Varrick's story, not yours and not even Hawke's. I think the worst part is that the whole mess want's to take itself seriously and ends up with a plothole ridden meaningless tale where the only thing that matters how it looks like. The problem is that after a few hours you actuall saw everything combatwise so the story should keep you interested, but it fails hardly to do so. I had to actually force myself to finish the game. The first two chapter is quite good if you can forgive several smaller plotholes, but the chapter 3 and the ending is the worst garbage I saw in a long time in an "rpg". Also it was marketed as an 18+ game. Please... The only thing that is hardcore in this is that people explode literally if you backstab them. I honestly hope BW leaves EA and fires some of the responsible guys... I love BW please do something to reverse the spiral!!! Alo this was the very last BW game I pre-ordered. I lost my faith even in ME3... :-( Expand
  17. May 20, 2011
    It's really sad they spoiled the game so much.We were waiting for something like DA:O and got nothing but a raw Mass Effect:Medieval.Thank you,EA guys...I believe it's their fault.Entirely.
    Though,battle animation is nice.
  18. May 21, 2011
    What bioware have doing to the splendid dragon age universe.
    The new combat system introduce in dragon age 2 is absolutely ridiculous.
    It's look like an hack and slash, too much gore, too much asian H&S style.
    The ennmy reinforcement pop in front of you, so you can not make any strategie as you don' know how lmany ennmies they are.
    The story and compagnions are interesting, boss are
    the only real combat challenge
    The city of kirkwall is splendid but without life (static pnj, always same group of people).
    All quest use always the same environnement (kirwall, beach, etc...).
    Graphic are good in dx11.
  19. May 21, 2011
    I was a huge fan of the first game with multiple playthroughs and was looking forward to the sequel being as impressive but unfortunately DA2 is bland and hugely disappointing. The amount of reuse maps get is really something I have never seen before and its impossible to get excited about visiting a new area when you have already seen the same textures 20 times before. I gave up on the game half way through, just couldn't get myself to play it anymore 4/10 Expand
  20. May 24, 2011
    The discrepancy between user and critic opinions says it all about bioware. This game is a travesty. I still rate it 4 and not 2 is because of respect towards other bioware game series and sometimes the mindless action is enjoyable. This game is far worse than origins which itself was only an okay game. Everything in this game is done wrong. EVERY character is cliche (except Varric though the only one i liked was Fenris), the story is almost nonexistent, caves and even ROOMS are recycled a thousand times, graphics are terrible, enemies explode into a shower of blood when poked with a goes on and on. A complete and utter failure. Shame on you bioware. And screw you EA for i feel you had a big hand in this abomination. Expand
  21. Jun 1, 2011
    The sequel to the decade's best RPG game created. Now the question everybody has asked; Does it live up to the sequel?
    Unfortunatly that is a BIG F NO. Dragon Age 2 fails in every single way and is not a worthy sequel. The 'enhanced graphics' was an utter sham. The health bars looks like something from Mass Effect and the dark, grim graphics approach in Origins was imported terribly in
    Dragon Age 2 and felt like they over done it in some areas. I would say that the only good aspect in this game is the many design concepts that they have developed and succeed.
    Overall for players that played through Dragon Age Origins casually like any ol' game, Dragon Age 2 but be as enjoyable. If you're a die hard Origin lover like me Dragon Age 2 may make you cry from such failures it made. If you simply want to know the story and explore more of the worlds, I suggest renting it .
  22. Jun 6, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I frown upon games that seem to have more money put into marketing than into the actual art/engineering from under the hood. Dragon Age II seems like such a game. I envision the developer being forced by the publisher, maybe even against the studio's strategy, to release something that would appeal to the mass of COD players out there. Had my hopes pretty high after Dragon Age: Origins.
    The character design is clunky at most (the hero's sibling death scene from the beginning feels like "ok, let's get this over with, and fast, because we have an awesome button to mash" - no emotional involvement, sterile at most), the remaining developments feel rushed and often interrupted by fast-forwards in time (you don't get to experience the "impending doom" from DA:O anymore). You're basically this Hawke person, bullying and pimping around through a world nothing links you to.
    The spell effects look way better than in the first game, the camera is worse, the combat dynamics also lack, the story is weak, characters unmemorable, level design through copypaste, If this is what gaming is going to, I'll first boycott the $$$ hungry a$$e$ in charge, then I'll resort to more lucrative activities if my efforts prove to be in vain.
  23. Jun 5, 2011
    Compared to the first Dragon age this game is lacking in the story line department. Though there are many ways to play through it I found that unlike the first, once was enough. Another Blah sequel that could of and should of been so much more.
  24. Jun 9, 2011
    Bioware has created some great games. Dragon Age 2, when compared to most other developer's lineup, would come across as slightly above-average. Overall, it's not a bad game. But it's not a good one either, and when compared to other games that Bioware has put out, it comes across as outright bad. It has its good points:
    -The combat animations have been improved
    -Varric and Aveline are
    both excellent characters
    -The storyline, at face value, is good
    -The skill trees are a good way to go in my opinion However, its bad points heavily outweigh the good ones: -The combat has been "simplified" to the point of being able to click auto-attack and just let your character do the work on every difficulty level but Nightmare. -The combat situations have been reduced to randomly spawning enemies that have little to no reason to be there in the first place.
    -Enemies get "reinforcements" during every battle that immediately surround you and eliminate any strategic positioning of your characters that was so key in DA:O
    -Dungeons are re-used throughout the game; there are about four total dungeon maps, and every "new" area consists of those maps re-used with areas closed off or opened. Enemies remain much the same as well.
    -The other characters feel very shallow. As Hawke, you get to know them over the course of ten years, yet I feel like by the end of any other Bioware game I got to know more about my companions than Hawke ever did, despite only knowing them for a year at the very most.
    -Graphics seem worse than in DA:O, and certainly are worse than other recent Bioware games. Everything looks flat and dull.
    That's not everything, but those are the big things. Overall, it feels rushed and very much geared towards console players, which isn't a bad thing in itself, except that Bioware left out and changed things that didn't need to be changed so that console players would have it easier, even though it made playing the game on PC more annoying and much less immersive.

    This game doesn't deserve the high scores critics gave it, and, while not as bad as people make it out to be, definitely ranks among the worst Bioware games to date.
  25. Jun 10, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It looks like it was designed by a two teams: a group responsible for combat/character design and another responsible for story. The trouble is that they didn't talk to each other, and the resulting game doesn't make any sense. People on these review threads complain about other things: the GUI, the recycled areas, the waves of goons, but the crux of the problem is that the game didn't do anything for them and they don't even know why... and so they blame it on the details. Well, I'll tell you why: it's the story. To begin with, it's one of the least interesting sub-plots of Origins made into it's own game. The beauty of western RPGs is their appeal to moral ambiguity, but this only works if the conflicts within the game are an analogy for something in the real world. That doesn't happen with the concept of mages and blood magic. (Why is blood magic evil? Well, who cares really.) But it goes beyond the basic concept, the trouble is the game ignores what choices you make in the game. It ignores who you decide your character is. It gives you almost exactly the same plot whether you're a mage or not. It gives you whiny companions who keep following you and fighting for you even if you denounce them. You can get the captain of the guard help you assist smugglers and assassins. You can get mage-hating Fenris to help you fight for the mages. ...and the NPCs very rarely acknowledge anything about who you are or what stance you've taken. That's if they acknowledge anything at all: many of them stand around quietly as if stoned. The plot is full of holes and cringeworthy scenes, and there are at least two dangling plot threads that are never addressed (Flemeth and the return of the Wardens). If you don't know much about the game before playing it, you'll have no idea what the goal is or where the game is heading because the dangling plot threads create the misleading impression that something important will happen, but it doesn't. The result is an alienating experience. You don't feel that the character you've created matters and the world he inhabits doesn't make sense. It's not an RPG. There is no role here. Stay away from this game. Expand
  26. Jun 13, 2011
    A letdown compared to DA1, expected more. The combat system is more hack/slash with little need to think. Extensive reuse of certain area maps. Story telling isn't as good as DA1, characters are forgettable (I didn't feel for or connect with any character).
  27. Jun 24, 2011
    Dragon Age II would be a moderately OK CRPG if it had been made by an unknown developer and published standalone. As a sequel to Origins, it's a disaster. Pluses: still a well-crafted story, side plots, romances, etc. Minuses: pretty much everything else. Forced to play as a Human. Constant location re-use, with the same map standing in for every cave in the country, for example. Top-down view gone, and teleports enemies down in random places during encounters, ruining the excellent tactical combat system inherited from Origins and replacing it with a slog (there is a *lot* of combat). Awash with meaningless side quests; I ended up scooping them up in MMO style and following glowing objectives, not remembering or caring what it was I was actually doing. Even the main quest is a flop: the main character is someone that things just happen to, and appears to have no real effect on the world, even though the game keeps insisting that you're AWESOME really. Completely fails at doing an epic story that doesn't involve saving the world, making you feel like a nobody instead (see Mask of the Betrayer for how this should be done). I no longer believe the word of the professional reviewers who gave this disappointment 90% scores. Expand
  28. Jul 12, 2011
    I was skeptical when I heard Bioware had "made a lot of changes, but did not stray too far from the feel of the first game" (paraphrased from a Bioware dev video). Before I share my thoughts of how the parts of the game should be rated know this; I did not finish the game. "Why are you rating it then?" you might ask, well I'm here to tell you that I stopped playing the game because the ratings I'm about to share are how I felt when I decided I should stop. Here's how I rate the individual parts of the game:

    Story: 6, The game is tedious, and never feels like you're getting anything done. The game just feels like a bunch of side quests that you're forced to do (whereas other games like DA:O had a main quest line, and separate side quests that you could do IF you wanted)

    Combat: 5, although the combat looks nice and has some fun abilities, over all it becomes very repetitive and makes it so you don't feel any real satisfaction when completing any type of battle.

    Speech: 7, the speech mechanics that they imported from the Mass Effect series was a good addition to the enjoyability to the game (instead of needing to read and choose long responses like in DA:O) however I wasn't quite satisfied with the male voice acting. It seemed too foreign for the context of the conversations. For example, in the Mass Effect series, the voice of Shepard makes you feel like you're asking the questions and accusing enemies, but the DA2 character seems too banter-like making it hard to relate to.

    Customization: 1, There's is little to no customization in the game. Bioware is known for detailed character creation (including looks and abilities) so I'm disregarding that in this section of the review. Everything else doesn't come anywhere close to par with Bioware's history.

    Exploration: 0, What exploration? If by exploration you mean walking around 1 city, then I give it a 10. If by exploration you mean exploring wonderful landscapes, multiple cities, beautiful mountains and beaches and more, (like in DA:O) then 0, or even -1... Basically you spend the whole game in one boring city... If you played the first one, basically think of Denerim, except 4 times bigger, and you cant go anywhere else except a patch of land for elves, and eventually a non-explorable Deep Roads map.

    Mechanics: 9, Probably the only thing that Bioware actually improved upon is the UI, including menus and hotbars. Easier to use, and smoother to respond. This section includes graphics. The characters look more like Mass Effect rather than Elder Scrolls 4 (even though Bioware didn't make that :P but still)

    Overall, this game is a complete disappointment as a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. If Bioware can combine the mechanics of DA2 and the playability of DA:O, then Dragon Age 3 will probably be Bioware's console gem (That is if you don't include Mass Effect 3 and SWtOR)
  29. Jul 30, 2011
    Despite its wonderful action sequences and revamped combat system, I am thoroughly disappointed with this mess of a game. Wonderful voice acting, character development, and a slightly interesting plotline mixed with generic....VERY generic dungeons and caves made this game unbearable for me. The copy and paste dungeon designs made me rage as I remembered the genius level-design and immersion that presented itself in the very first Dragon Age. The developers really dropped the ball on this one. Expand
  30. Sep 14, 2011
    I have always enjoyed Bioware games...until the last couple of years. This game includes multiple 0-day DLC that are integrated obtrusively directly into the game. You will receive a quest, which will then ask you to give EA your credit card information to complete. The combat looks wonderful but is regrettably very shallow; enemies drop directly on top of your characters (spawn in waves), making any types of strategic approach impossible. Hit and miss chances are not even calculated, taking "press a button and something awesome happens" to it's logical extreme. This has the unfortunate effect of making every fight a grueling battle of attrition that lasts quite a long time. The story leaves much to be desired; it's admirable that Bioware wanted to do a more personal story, rather than a grand epic. However, this sentiment falls flat on it's face in multiple ways. The first several hours of the game involves running around town and doing MMORPG style quests for random NPC's, this was very tedious and boring; and it took me quite a long time to build up the motivation to continue. Interactions with companion characters and NPC's are dumbed down into clearly marked categories. These seem to be Goody-Goody, Smartass, and Evil. Many NPC's can't be interacted with at all, and spout one line of dialogue when clicked on. This is by far the majority of the NPC characters in the world, and it's very reminiscent of SNES era Japanese RPGs. The environment is very limited, and very often copy pasted. You will travel the same caves and interior rooms over and over. Optional content is very shallow, and while fully voiced always results in you killing people. As mentioned earlier, the quests over-all have a very MMORPG feel to them. I completed this game in 25 hours. Due to Bioware's decision to strip modding capability from this sequel, I will likely never play it again. I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone, there are much better things out there to spend your money on. Expand
  31. Oct 4, 2011
    Having played to the end I can definitely say this is a step backward from the first game. While the original might have needed slight improvement many of the role-playing elements here are overly streamlined and are now lacking depth. The main problem for me though is the agonising repetition of locations which has held back any thought of going through the game a second time.
    I might
    have given this a 5 if I had a better graphics card but then graphics in these types of games aren't that important. Expand
  32. Oct 4, 2011
    It isn't a really bad game. But compared with DAO, Kotor 1+2 or BG 1+2 it is completely useless. Just another milestone on biowares way down to become a casual game company.
  33. Nov 10, 2011
    To fans of Dragon Age: Origins be warned. This game does NOT do its predecessor justice. The first few hours of the game were fun, I enjoyed the smooth feel of combat and enjoyed Varric's humour very much. However the charm of DA2 wears off after you find yourself completing meaningless quests in the same area you had visited a couple of hours before. Bioware constantly recycle quest environments and have put little effort into making the game as challenging as DA:O. In fact, every fight in the game is the same: You kill one wave of enemies and another instantly appears out of thin air. I am very disappointed in this game and it was no surprise to learn Bioware plans to create Dragon Age 3 by using the best parts of Origins and the best parts of DA2. I'll admit, combat is a major improvement for DA2, but the characters (except Varric) develop weakly. The story could have been soo much better (especially with regards to the Templar v Mages conflict) but it was just poorly executed. If you loved DA:O then heed this warning: The game has clearly been aimed at an audience difference from fans of the original. Do you remember the epic scene of King Cailan at the beginning of DA:O? Do you remember how mad you were at Loghain? You will NEVER feel that affectively connected with any characters in this game. This is a terrible, terrible piece of unimaginative work from Bioware.

    I cannot stress enough how bad it is that they reused the SAME areas over and over again for quests and how enemies materialise out of thin air. If you play on the hardest difficulty the enemies do not get smarter either, they are REALLY stupid.

    If you are about 15-16 or under, are a casual gamer who enjoys a quick 30 minute dip at a game each session, or if you like a quick action-orientated game then I could recommend this title to you. If you prefer detailed storyline, intricate characters, epic storytelling then DO NOT PURCHASE THIS GAME. I don't know how it is getting such rave reviews, but I'd imagine this is coming from its target audience (which is good I guess, considering that is what it was aimed at) but if you loved DA:O NEVER let this game EVER touch your Xbox or PC, EVER! It's quite funny to see how the XboX users found this generally positive than PC users (suggesting a consolified marketplace now).
  34. Nov 11, 2011
    Sorry but no, this is how you ruin a good game (DA:O) with potential.
    If you liked the first one chances are you will not like much this new chapter.
    My vote could be a bit higher, but form this new franchise i was expecting way more than a console hack&slash with decent graphics.
    What bugged me more is the total lack of customization, you can just choose if bein female or male,mage
    warrior or rogue (which is just a weirdo fighter) but are forced to be human and forced to be a friggin Hawke that jumps and squeals like a weirdo to chop heads (yes even if you'r a mage you make weird moves).
    Story is decent, but straight: run here do this, run there do that, skip some ages, run there again (yes locations r repetitive) , skip some more ages and BAM ..the end!
    I felt abosolutely nothing about the character, it wasn't me, i didn't care at all, unlike the first episode.
    Next time we'll be forced to play a male warrior named Bingo Bongo with no option to choose?
  35. Mar 11, 2012
    A poor sequel to DA:O. Copy pasted areas, inconsistent difficulty, and a feeling of being hemmed in.

    A shame really since it was a promising IP and one of the first BioWare games I just didn't like that much.

    That said, I did see it though to the end but it felt like a chore not a joy.
  36. Nov 29, 2013
    Why the hell Bioware strayed from the success of Dragon Age: Origins' gameplay mechanics so much I'll never know. I was terribly disappointed by the camera and extremely linear gameplay of DA II. Stay w/ what works Bioware....PLEASE.
  37. Apr 24, 2012
    Behold one of the worst sequels in history: Dragon Age 2, the adventure of Hawk in copy&paste Land. If you ever wanted to see serious recycling this is the game for you.
  38. Sep 24, 2012
    This game is not even a shadow of its former self (DA1). Insultingly reused content, stuck in just one city, very short duration, combat system is worst than DA1's, a dull plot and many more negative aspects and litle to nothing positive to comment here. I give this game a 3 because it's a Dragon Age... or maybe not. I don't know. But this game is an insult to every Dragon Age fan.
  39. Apr 29, 2012
    Dragon Age II was the most enjoyable game I will never play again. The companions were great, their side stories were interesting and their dialogue was hilarious. I loved how deep and rich the characters were, as I do in all Bioware games I have played to date. The game is completely different to DA:O with the choices you made having minimal impact in DA2, which is really disappointing as this game is supposed to be a trilogy. The gameplay changes were interesting, they are not DA:O but they make for a different game rather than a worse one. I also enjoyed how the main character is more involved within the storyline, however, the gear system was very limiting and I found myself just getting the special "class" set of gear that is available in each act, it really felt like I was back in the day playing Diablo II again but with less customisation. The main plot was very interesting and kept me playing despite the problems of the game. Sadly, the plot within the final act just turns into an abysmal mess and this really damages the experience of the whole game, I absolutely loved the plot in this game but it had such a weak storyline by the end. I play RPG's for the rich immersion I get and despite its final act I still do feel Bioware delivered a wonderful experience overall in this area. By far the biggest disaster of the game, one the developers surely were aware of but decided customers are utterly stupid and won't notice, was the reusing of maps. Not only are maps reused over and over within the world, they are all repeated again every act. No attempt is even made to hide the reuse of maps, the mini map doesn't even show the changes and doorways just appear blocked. This made the game extremely repetitive and I found myself grinding through the same set of maps endless times trying to get my story fix and reach the ending. For this reason alone I will never play Dragon Age II again. This was a disgraceful result from a company that has such a strong reputation for creating worlds to explore and interact with. I really tried to be understanding of this game, I love the games Bioware make and have been a long time fan. Unfortunately, for me Dragon Age II Act by Act started great, stayed great (but annoying in regard to the maps), and then went uncontrollably downhill until the ending. Overall it fell very short of not only my expectations but also what I consider an industry minimum. DA:O was an enormous success and a much desired modern rehash of some classic fantasy RPG's (Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights), I have no idea why they just didn't improve on an already acclaimed format. I'm not saying DA:O was what I wanted in Dragon Age II, I like to mix things up, but Bioware has dropped its standard (except for characters) trying to be different and that is the problem that I have with DA2. I have the feeling that Bioware and EA will need to re-evaluate a lot of things before DA3 if they want to redeem the Dragon Age trilogy. Expand
  40. Jul 12, 2012
    This game would have very likely received a slightly higher score from me had it not been named "Dragon Age II". Going into this, I had some (reasonable) expectation that the quality of the RPG would live up to its predecessor, and unfortunately I was disappointed in almost every way possible. The voice protagonist is an entertaining novelty, but I would have gladly given it up if it meant a richer story and more immersive environment rather than simply trekking about a city running errands for dozens of hours. BioWare really dropped the ball with this one, and I hope they can get the franchise back on track with Dragon Age III. Expand
  41. Jan 19, 2013
    As a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins this game was a big disappointment. You can tell this game was rushed like crazy with the ridiculous number of recycled dungeons, enemies, and graphic tilesets. This should have been a great game but instead fell victim to EA's ongoing overhype-and-overrush-quality-be-damned business strategy at making new games. The fact that most critics gave this game a 90+ score just shows how lacking in integrity game journalists are. Expand
  42. Jul 26, 2013
    Dropped it after reaching the first city. The plot is alwful. There is just nothing to do there. You take a pointless role of a bounty hunter and are told to go some place to grab some riches. Well, I don't find it motivating enough. There was no feeling of story at all.
  43. Jan 5, 2014
    Let me just get my gripes out of the way first. I think this game should be compared to DAO in every way since it's called DA2. Having said that, it is a step backwards in almost every way if not no improvement whatsoever. The graphics are bland and uninspiring. That and I can detect no technological improvement in the graphics from DAO, and I have the settings all the way up with HD skins. The character faces seem like they have no expression, something I'd expect bioware to put alot of effort into. And the levels are just the same bland corridors over and over again most often blatantly reused from other parts of the game. The combat is imo no improvement on DAO despite the new character animations (conspicuously the only visible improvement from DAO) and somehow just feels more tedious. I mean, sending several waves of enemies for every battle? seriously? The story is just way below bioware standards too, it meanders from one random plot point to another seemingly unconnected and giving a frustrating feeling that you don't know what is going on or why things are happening and I'm 19 hours in. Having said all this, it might be worth it for die hard fans of DA to pick up the game on discount off origin if you're looking for more of the DA fantasy universe. For everyone else, it just feels like a waste of time and money. Expand
  44. Jaz
    Feb 23, 2013
    For the original Dragon Age i wrote: Very immersing story, believable world, interesting NPCs, fun and demanding combat. Well, Dragon Age 2 has nothing of those.
  45. Aug 28, 2013
    It's not awful but it isn't really fun. Take what you will from the combat and the graphics. They're not terrible but they're nothing to marvel at. In my opinion what killed this game is the combo of the repetitive environments and the lame story. The story is heavily cliched and fragmented. The narrative is constantly beating you over the head with the struggles of traditionalism and tolerance and it gets really old. I wish they would have diversified the narrative a little bit because the story and the environments felt like they were stuck on repeat for hour after hour. Even the characters didn't seem to change their outlooks very much over the course of the game, the hallmark of a frustrating and unfulfilled story. Expand
  46. Jul 18, 2014
    How the mighty have fallen. Dragon Age II marked the end of Bioware as a serious RPG developer. This is a long winded dating simulation game. Huge amounts of resources have been wasted in cut scenes and NEVER-ENDING blather about the sexual politics of the NPCs. Everything else in the game has been totally neglected. There is not even a city to explore. Only one dungeon, re-used for all encounters. Limited and impaired loot. Limited and impaired encounters. A 'new' art style so much worse than the old one. And a story that railroads the player into a single (horrible) 'Hawke' character. Dragon Age Origins was good but flawed. This game is WORSE in ALL areas. One can conclude that if fan wrath about this game contributed to new management in Bioware that MAY be a good thing. Cross your fingers for Inquisition. 2014 will allow us to see if Bioware still has what it takes as they go into direct contest with Larian (Divinity Original Sin) and Obsidian (Pillars of Eternity).

    We pray for a Bioware redemption of course! All the best Edmonton!

  47. May 31, 2014
    I've put so many hours into DA:O it's not even funny, and compared to that, DA2 was just disappointing.

    First the good: voice acting is top notch, characters are well thought out and portrayed, and the bioware storytelling shines through, though there's not much story to tell. I had no real complaints about the combat or skill systems, I actually thought it was a nice improvement.

    The bad: Every single encounter is exactly the same: wail on the bad guys, SURPRISE more bad guys came out of NOWHERE! oh, it's a boss fight? do it 3 more times! The difficulty of battles fluctuates wildly, you'll go from mowing through the normal encounters to wiping instantly in another.
    The story is meh. Nothing really happens. It's confined to the city, and, aside from some token appearances of DA:O characters, has nothing to do with that story. It might as well be a completely different world.

    The nits: in typical Bioware fashion, bugs abound. For instance, for the entire end of my game, Varric had no body. just a floating head.
  48. Sep 21, 2014
    First let me say: I quite liked this game. So why am I giving it only a 4? Because I don't think it's a good rpg. I enyoyed the combat and like the dragon age lore, so that really helped me to enjoy the game. But lokking at it more objective- it has a lot of problems. Level recycling, a lifeless and static world (the npcs in kirkwall are just standing there and doing nothing), bad graphics (the comic look doesn't help in a "mature" rpg). Choices don't really matter. The story execution is bad, while the idea behind it was good. Excessive violence, while the sex scenes are "censored" (characters in full clothes). And again, choices don't matter. Expand
  49. Mar 15, 2011
    Incredibly disappointed with this. I was a huge fan of DA:O and was eagerly awaiting the sequel but this is nothing short of shameful. The combat system is absolutely terrible - sometimes change is bad. Very very very bad. Contrary to what some think, a negative score does not equal troll - it's a farce or a release from a company capable of oh so very much better than this. I'm so very sad that this game turned out like this - really was looking forward to it so much. :( Expand
  50. Apr 1, 2011
    Awful...I thought the user reviews might be a bit off, so I took a chance. After loving the first game so much I can now see why everyone says this is just horribly bad. I will not go into all the problems with the game as they have been explained over and over...but I'll just say that Bioware has completely done themselves a disservice by completely removing the challenge and strategic combat of the first game. Just plain awful from story to disappointing indeed. Expand
  51. Mar 9, 2011
    console, dumbed down game, since the first trailer I knew this would happen, no distance view, fast paced hack and slash, no freedom do develop YOUR character, uninteresting companions ... it is and failed attempt to make DRAGON EFFECT tried the demo, hated it, thank heavens I did not pre-ordered it bioware is dead to me, but we still have obsidian, paradox and cd projekt
  52. Mar 9, 2011
    I really appreciate the detail that is evident in the texture pack on the PC. I've got a hefty desktop, but with settings on the DX11 renderer on very high, my system lags. Apparently it's an issue with nvidia drivers, I installed the beta ones. Still lags. If I can run Bad Company 2 on Max Settings and Pull 45 FPS, there is NO reason this game should stutter. I've got an i7-960, 6 GB of Ram, GTX 470 1280 mb GPU...I can only imagine the problems for people with midrange systems.

    I though the art is a standout feature, the lighting is significantly improved.
    Disappointed by the streamlining in general. Not being able to equip my companions with better armor seems counter intuitive at times. Combat seems faster but I don't like watching people explode from dagger hits or arrows. I thought the "300" style finishing moves in DA:O was more realistic and gritty.

    Animation is choppy and ridiculous at times. Watching Avalene poke someone with a mace thrust is just silly, running looks choppy. I miss the "sync kills" (dawn of war term for cool finishers). It appears that the number of animations has actually decreased. I find myself wishing that Bioware had created a Return of The King Styled action game or something. It just feels awkward. In Mass Effect shots are based on skill, in addition to the stats for your weapons so it feels like you have an impact. In Dragon Age 2 that's not the case.

    Locations are recycled several times. I found myself getting lost because I thought I'd already been in an area, but it was a new quest using the same resources.

    My biggest disappointment is in the dialogue and character development. Conversing with Sten was a challenging experience. Now talking to my new companions, I know how they will react based on a picture.

    I don't like not knowing what I'm going to say and just having a picture to base it off of. It really doesn't translate intent that well as summarized at times. I don't feel as attached to my characters because I can't chat to them anymore except when the game allows it.

    I miss isometric view. I find myself having trouble aiming skills and hopping between characters to get formations for combat because the camera swings wide to compensate for being in a wall. It's frustrating.

    The UI isn't as pretty. I miss the portraits with the Mana and Health Bar. Looks Sleeker than the Red and Yellow. Also, found myself bored with the quests. No sense of urgency like the warden had. Just, oh I returned some random trinket. Cool. One Gold. Some neat twists. If you wanted to take something from Mass effect, wouldn't have minded those "action interrupts" where I end up shooting someone in the middle of their speech.

    I'm pretty disappointed. I played 20 hours. I know everyone is passionate on both sides. I hope those of you who enjoy the game have a good time. Bioware is an Amazing Studio despite this game and all the crappy DLC you've made. I will buy this game when it's 20 dollars on Steam just becuase I love you guys. And I might even beat it. That being said...


    It feels to me like another "Witch Hunt" that is 60 dollars and with pretty streamlined tweaks to appeal to Angry Birds fans that want to "Hit a button and make something cool happen so they can get back to playing Madden or Call of Duty on their Xbawkz."

    Console games for me, are a disposable experience, fun but fleeting. I can enjoy a round with a friend, but when I PC game, it's a big deal for me. It's my only hobby that I can still enjoy in my pathetic life.

    I mean to say that I don't feel immersed in the world. I was actually getting bored and having to try and struggle through. I know some games take some time to warm up, (here's looking at you, KOTOR 2) and then get (mostly) good. So far 20 hours and I'm glad I can take this back tommorow and get a refund.


    Mount and Blade was a lot more fun combat wise and there was no story, made by a small dev team. Would have liked either more animations or direct hack and slash. I really don't like action games though.

    Except Crash Bandicoot. That game was Amazing. Like, all of them. Maybe you should make DA3 like Crash Bandicoot, Wrath of Cortex. I feel let down overall.
  53. Oct 8, 2011
    Dragon Age II is like taking everything that made Dragon Age: Origins good, strip it away, add a mediocre mainstreamed gameplay with repetitive actions and environment, a story where your choices doesn't affect the outcome at all and the most boring overall game I have played in a long time. Yes, the combat is more action packed and flashy, but it ultimately is also a lot more boring, because it stripped away the entire strategic element. I speak this after completing the game on Hard and not needing any sort of healer or crowd control at all. A simple combo of damage, damage, damage and damage was more than enough due to the fact you can easily set up group kills with the Disorients or Frozen, easing up the gameplay even further. The game, is bad, and I suggest buying Origins instead if you're new to the Dragon Age series. Expand
  54. Mar 10, 2011
    The Dragon Age story has lost it's soul with this console-implementation. It's incredibly dumbed down, and feels like a simplified game you would expect on an iPhone or mobile device. While the graphics are indeed amazing, the voice acting fine and the interface slick - it's just disappointing. The unusually high average scores from professional "reviewers" just shows how large the divide between commercial expectations and end-user expectations really are. Expand
  55. Mar 16, 2011
    Alright, so I finished this, and while it may have been a good stand alone game from a lesser known developer, this is not a $60 epic from a critically acclaimed company that we were promised.
  56. Jun 8, 2011
    All I can say is - I played this for 3 hours - Stopped - and reloaded DA One
    The story might be great if I had continued with it..maybe, but the gameplay mechanic and combat is nerfed beyod recognition.
    Why? Bioware Why destroy the depth of a great game. You've been nerfing stuff since BG2 - what next? Pong? I fear for Star War the Old Republic - probably turn out with the gameplay depth
    of a spit puddle. Expand
  57. Mar 26, 2011
    Bioware itself sets the bar for quality RPG, where the act out role was paramount. Now act out the role can not, in principle, the class character only changes the way of killing meat, not the sollution quests . ring of conversation way interactive system (hello Mass Effect) also does not help back the role. Since by the choice of possible answers, we only permit the tone of the conversation. (Good-neutral-evil). Sad to see how Bioware rejects all "unnecessary" gameplay elements to please a wide audience. Perhaps if the game was called Adventure not RPG, she would have received a much higher score. If only player would not be bored running around the monotonous dead locations. Expand
  58. Mar 16, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So, it takes 14 hours to get past the first 4 years of game play and during that time you're just hoping the game gets better from then on. Nope, the game stays at the same level of tediousness and is painful to complete. The ending doesn't even feel like an ending. When the credits started rolling I just wanted to throw something. Final verdict: painful waste of $60. Expand
  59. Jul 5, 2011
    The User ratings have this one almost dead on. No it's not the worst game out there but just because you can make a game look relatively pretty doesn't mean it's good. Dragon age suffers from one game breaking flaw, greed. EA and Bioware show their true colors here. They have changed everything that made Dragon Age Origins such an incredible game. Not in the name of improvement but to sell more copies. I do see how some of the changes could have been for the better if done properly yet others are just senseless. The battle system needed reworked if only for the console versions. However the changes they made left it feeling less like an RPG and more like a bad hack and slash. Gone are all the deep character customizations. You simply choose gender and class. No more custom backstory. If this was any other franchise it would have been better off. Calling it a sequel to Dragon Age simply ruined it. No one buys a sequel hoping it will be more simplistic with a simple story and fewer options. If you buy a sequel to a beloved franchise you expect it to improve on itself. The story is borderline garbage and the way it's delivered is even worse. Don't get excited for some upcoming exploration or engaging plotline as the game will simply skip ahead just as you're getting into it. Yes this dungeon looks exactly like the last one just make a left here instead of a right. Bioware has openly admitted to using the same dungeon layout multiple times. Here is the bottom line. I like many others was expecting a sequel. Hoping to continue my story or atleast flesh out the world of Dragon Age. Instead I was sold a crappy 5 yr old baldurs gate wannabe with modern graphics. I was not expecting Mass Effect Medieval Edition. Bioware is hands down the most overrated developer around. They consistantly make terrible games that have great stories. They really should just consider making movies instead of games. We would all be better off. Expand
  60. Mar 11, 2011
    Waste of time and money, shouldn't be labeled as an RPG, more of an action/adventure hack & slash... Loved DAO, so disappointed with this game:( Why would you take perfectly good game and ruin it? for a quick profit that's why
  61. Oct 25, 2011
    Compared to Dragon Age: Origins this game is totally uninspired and boring. It seems they took everything that was good in the prequel, removed it and replaced it with everything that was bad in DA:O. The combat system is too simplified and the story never takes off.
  62. Mar 22, 2011
    Pros: Ambient music is nice and not intrusive. Voice acting, the characters are believable. The storyline is all right thus far. Some eyebrows raised at Aveline, but. The Qunari are excellently portrayed, even the physical changes seem right. Cons: The graphics are on par or worse than the original. The camera keeps shifting up, obscuring large portions of the field unless you use the keyboard. Combat is way too quick, it allows little or no time for strategy or adjustments, it's usually over before you have time to implement them, anyway (it literally took about 10-12 hours before I had to use my first health potion.) The characters are way too far away, meaning you often have to squint to figure out what the hell you're doing. Sets are constantly recycled, even in the main storyline. I can understand side-quests, but you could have crapped out a level or two for the main line. And, the minimap does not accurately reflect the area. Bioware, seriously, what the hell were you thinking? Barely playable, definitely not worth $60. Dragon Age 2 was seriously rushed. Ten of these cons are easily fixable with a little time and beta testing. Didja skip a step? And, to the critics: What game were you playing, and or/smoking? I'll take both. Expand
  63. Mar 9, 2011
    This game is boring, like its predecessor. It's also shorter in length, (as indicated by the size of installation and number of words written for dialogue, compared to DA1), and dumbed down to a hack and slash game. Games like this or CoD:Black Ops make me question the validity of critic reviews. Somehow these 'big' games get positive reviews no matter what, even when the majority of players disagree. If there is a lesson to be learnt, it is that you should trust reader reviews, at least on this website; they're really helpful and detailed. Critic reviewers, on the other hand, are probably forced to write positive reviews on famous games made by famous developers, or maybe they're too scared to be honest about how bad these games really are. Ugh.

    Mass Effect series is much better than DA in my opinion. DA has bad story, bad graphics, bad dialogues (cheesy), and boring combat. DA2 "improved" this lackster combat by simply transforming it into a hack and slash game that can be enjoyed by simpletons who like to press a button. (Dynasty Warriors anyone?) Unlike DA1, DA2 is made with consoles in mind, and as such, the depth of the gameplay is gone from what I already considered a mediocre game. Last but not least, no, I am not blinded by PC elitism; I enjoy console games as much as PC games. I just think that DA was better off as a PC game. If I really wanted a hack and slash game, I could find many games superior to this. But there aren't that many PC RPGs anymore. DA was never to my liking, but at least it rejuvenated a dying genre. DA2 does not.
  64. Mar 8, 2011
    I can rant a lot about the game-play being horrible, the graphics being sub-par, the CC being plain dumb; but the real thing that pisses me off is the story. This game has an awkward plot and an ending that made my eyes bleed in horror. It is unbelievable that I paid 60 dollars for a completely needless cliffhanger ending. Someone has got to answer for this crime against gamers in general...
  65. Mar 8, 2011
    The gameplay is dissapointing at best, insulting at worst. In an attempt to streamline the gameplay for consoles, the PC version has suffered. No isometric view means it is very hard to see the action and micro manage your group. The very quick cooldowns and lack of difficulty coupled with the bad camera effectively make pausing the game a waste of time. The game reusues the same cave layout with the exact same door placement and the exact samevisuals from start to finish. You enter many caves yet somehow they are all the same. If you thought Mass Effect was bad then DA2 will blow your mind. The dialogue is very poorly written. It reads like a bad harlequin romance novel, something of the grade that you'd find in a trashy teen vampire cash in. The voice work feels dead pan and boring for any non party member NPC and that coupled with the unrealistic fangirl-like writing makes for some truly cringe worthy scenes. One character tries so hard to be cute, so hard to appeal to the "moe" loving crowd that her lines make her seem borderline retarded. It works with little girls because they are young and the stupidity can be excused. But when a grown woman speaks like a nervous 14 year old and calls swordsmen "sworderers" that "do something with a sword" then you start questioning this person's IQ. The game has the textures of an N64 game and that isn't even an exageration. There are pictures floating around the internet showing the low res (even with the supposed high res pack) of the ground, the buildings and the people most of all. All the NPCs asside from those in Hawke's party and in cutscenes look as detailed as the Happy Mask Salesman from Majora's Mask.

    This is a bad game. Don't buy the hype.
  66. Mar 8, 2011
    Bioware has officially alienated the entire audience that made Dragon Age: Origins the hit that it was. Graphics:
    In short: The art style rework looks horrible. The new orcs and hurlocks look like rejects and don't convey a threatening visage at all. In general, all the new enemies lack a sense of danger or urgency, which I think is the main flaw with the game (main point later). The new
    draw distance does look great, but there are so many poor textures in the game, it honestly makes you go "What is this". Just for reference, I am playing the game on my PC with full graphics in DX11 mode, so it's not my computer it's just either laziness on Bioware's part or my standards are too high (For DA:O it wasn't). The new cities look great, as do the caves, but honestly the new landscapes look bad compared to the original.

    I think this is where most of the problems derive from: Combat and animations are too fast. There is no need for tactics because the game boils down to to a hack and slash (especially at the lower difficulties. This mindless fighting leads to no memorable fights unlike the first game, which is another point. Nothing in this game is memorable. Your companions feel hollow. They all have back stories and some are interesting but it's hard to connect with any of them. It might just be the fact that Hawk is voiced over himself, but I just felt detached from the entire experience unlike the first game. I was no longer able to choose my back story, choose how I started the game, and feel like I was the protagonist of the game. It honestly mimicks an JRPG such as final fantasy. It's weird, I originally thought the voice over would be similar to mass effect, but it ended up just making the game feel like a movie. Thinking back I think the main issue with the disconnect was simply the story. In most Bioware RPG's you are a normal bloke, and something bad happens and you get drafted into a special league of people to solve the problem. In DA2, I was simply "told" that I was the champion kirkwall, all I accomplished, everything that I was and would be was predefined. The story telling medium really just made it feel terrible, extremely similar to the vibe I got from Fable 3 (Also another terrible RPG). The story is simply too disjointed, where most of the story line entail quick missions that involve mindless running through hurlocks and friends, killing everything, all to recover an item or to meet/rescue someone. It just felt terrible.

    I rated the game a 3. It is "meh", which in my book is a 5, but I feel that Bioware has royally screwed up on this game. The alienation gives it a 3. Note at Bioware: You can't say that you are "improving" a game by removing everything that made the original a success. You have alienated the PC gamer group (I'm sure the game is fun more so on consoles) and it will show. Catering to the console audience will be your demise, as the PC community is what originally valued your games and gave your company the notoriety that it has today. Yes DA:O had clunky issues, but what you have done in order to improve and streamline the game has backfired horrendously, and it shows. It really does. Just looking at the original and the sequel compared, it's as if the sequel should have been the original, everything just seems a stepback.

    Or maybe because it's Bioware, everyone will buy it and say that it's fit for worship. Who knows, but the future of RPG's look grim.
  67. Mar 8, 2011
    DA:2 stands testimony to the fact that Bioware has gone the way of many other developers in the last few years; tailoring experiences and titles for a younger, more mainstream audience, and less of the gamers of yesteryear. Much of the complexity of DA:O is completely missing, and what remains has been stripped to the barest semblance of what it was in the previous title. Many of the mechanics and elements are directly attributable to Mass Effect 2 (Resource "Locating", Conversation Wheel, etc), which makes the game feel like a Dragon Age flavored Mass Effect, and what few mechanics are newly implimented (Namely the combat) feels like it belongs in a Hack&Slash, Gauntlet-type game. Pair all that with a totally stripped down Inventory/Character management system (Feels bad man) reminiscent of Fable 3 and other new-RPG titles that feel "Depth bogs down storytelling", and you've got one abomination of a title. I was looking greatly forward to this release, hoping for grand things from the people who brought us DA:O, but what I've got is an attempt to bring in newcomers to the genre which strays so far from the "Brilliance in the basics" of basic RPG conventions that it feels like i'm watching a linear movie take place in the city of Kirkwall. Overall, the reasons for score follow:

    Graphics: 5 (Being an obvious console port, at least they took the time to create a Hi-Res texture pack and release specialized drivers in coordination with a major video card company. This shows effort, albeit the wrong way of approaching it) The graphics are lackluster and feel very grainy. Running on full dx11 / highest graphics settings, the game still seems to me to be less beautiful and cinematic than DA:O. Mysterious. Would have been a 2/10, but the extra effort to make the port prettier for PC gives them credit.

    Gameplay: 2 The combat (I'm playing on Nightmare) is challenging but not in a tactical way, like DA:O was. I loved how in DA:O i felt like Baldur's Gate, pausing every few seconds to assess and re-assign new actions, move to new locations, and have a very rewarding experience from a tactical standpoint. DA2 feels like i'm playing a rpg-ized Gauntlet Legends and prancing around pressing one of my six one-shot-kill buttons on wave after endless wave of the same four enemies. Pausing is of little value, as the combat is instantaneous-speed for all actions and most of the important things occur too fast to feel cinematic or rewarding. Character Development/Story: 1 I'm not a fan of predestined stories being told in retrospect, but the storytelling is EXCELENT. If only the story they were telling me was any good, or the characters had any real depth to them. The voice acting is well done, the tones and undercurrents of the narrator's persona are well scripted, but that all means naught if the story itself is a weakly contrived ascent to power of a predestined hero, followed about by his caste of hollow-headed, unemotional minions. All in all, this would have been a higher score if they didn't try to use DA:O as a starting base for this game, but they're following an EXCELLENT story with a VERY poor one, maiming the legacy they're coming from in the process. The weak story is the most terrible flaw in DA2, as everything else can be forgiven for a beautifully crafted tale.

    Overall, it's about a 3/10, not because it actually deserves a 3/10 as an independent title (It'd be closer to a 6 or 7), but because it's Dragon Age 2. Not an independent work, or a new series basis. It's the much anticipated sequel to an amazing game, and fails in almost every way to advance or even match it's predecessor. It feels like a half-hearted attempt to drag Halo and Fable players into the Dragon Age universe and hold their hands all the while. 0/10 for naming it Dragon Age. 6-7/10 for actual production value and quality of product.

    p.s. I registered with Metacritic just because of this game.
  68. Mar 8, 2011
    Oh how the mighty have fallen. Dragon Age: Origins was basically the last frontier of Classic RPG's out there, and it's follow-up can't be further from that title. Dragon Age 2 is a massively dumbed down version of DA:O, with shallower combat that basically negates the need to pause the game and issue orders, which doesn't help you at all on Nightmare mode. Items are basically useless at this point as well, since the only person that can use armor is Hawke. Yeah, you heard me, you can only use the armor you collect during the game on the main character. You can't equip anything except belts, rings and amulets on your companion. The characters themselves are emotionless and don't even begin to compare to the first one. Remember how fun it was to hear Morrigan and Alistair fight about every small little thing? None of the new characters even begin to reach that. They're boring beings with only a superficial motive, and most of the time they won't have an opinion regardless.

    There are many more bad things I could say about this game, but I don't feel like spending the time to write them, because BioWare certainly didn't feel like spending time to make this game good.
  69. Mar 9, 2011
    The game was advertised to me as the second coming of Baldurs Gate 2, as a game that would save the wrpg genre, and as a sequel to the DA: Origins, which although had it's own problems, was good enough.

    Well, DA2 is bad. It plays more like action-jrpg than a wrpg. Many things that made DA: Origins so good and appealing to me were butchered in the sequels, most prominent amongst all are
    the options for creating your character, which were severely limited.

    The dialog is laughable, I've seen fanfiction better written. The dialog wheel is atrocious compared to system in the previous game. Many times choosing an option, that didn't relate to spoken words much, and hearing the dialog made me cringe.

    The graphics and art direction are godawfuly bad. the textures and locations would look good in a PS2 era game, but not on PC in 2011. Textures are low resolution, object blocky, and locations empty of decals. Completely void of anything worthy of interest - just plain ground with a texture pasted on. Games from 5 years ago are eye-candy compared to this.

    And why are there so few people everywhere? Wasn't Kirkwall supposed to be a city bursting with citizens and other scum?and end up with, what, five people at most on screen? It's ridiculous.

    Also, DLC. On day one. DOZENS of DLC. Publishing a half-finished game and then making you pay for the rest of your goddamn game is just **** And the high-res texture pack released as a patch only few days after the game? Really? If someone tells me this game wasn't rushed, I will smack him in the head.

    This game shouldn't have been released for another few months at least. Maybe it will get good, after a year or two, with multitude of patches and mods... but relying on the community to fix your half-finished game is just plain pathetic.

    3/10 , had some minimal fun, would get a refund if could.
  70. Mar 8, 2011
    really dont like what bioware and EA have done to this game i really liked the first game but this one doesnt fill like an RPG to me it feels more like a action game.I got very bored very quickly of the combat in DA2 i dont like the dialogue wheel it is fine in a game like Mass Effect but not in a RPG its just stupid.Also why cant you change your teams armour all rpg in know have that option sorry but this game is poor Expand
  71. Mar 9, 2011
    Up until release of this game, I was cursing the name of EA, and to a lesser extent Bioware, for gouging their customers with endless amounts of DLC and maiming their game in the name of money, more money and even more money. I was sure, absolutely and completely sure, that the game would be amazing, that when it came out all my fears and hatreds would be allayed and I would be dining in a smorgasbord of RPG wonderfullness punctuated by plot, intrigue, character development and strategic gameplay that rivaled the best RPGs ever made.

    And then the game came out. And then I knew, exactly, why EA was gouging people for money.

    Because the game sucked. Because the plot was linear, unexciting and predictable. Because there was no character development. Because everything that could be fun and important in the story was skipped over in a cinematic. Because there was no causality, there was no flow, there was absolutely no explanations given for extremely important bits of plot development aside from some badly voice acted dwarf telling a story to some equally as badly voiced french chick.

    Why? Why was all of this skipped over? Why was all of this glossed over and forgotten and put on the shelf? Why did Bioware literally go through potentially one of their biggest and most beloved franchises with a blowtorch and acid?

    Because NOW, dear readers, Darkspawn explode into BLOOD when you kill them! And so do people! And you swing a sword around really fast and do this really cool thing where you slide on the floor and 'scythe' through a bunch of mobs and then make a sweeping arc with your sword and take out enemies and then OMG another wave of enemies appear and THEY TOO EXPLODE INTO BITS OF BLOOD. IF YOU STUB YOUR TOE, THE ROOM IS FULL OF BLOOD.

    Dragon Age 2 is a travesty. It is the apex of companies attempting and failing to bring their games to a console audience for the sake of brand recognition and more money. It is the absolute failure of Electronic Arts and Bioware.

    They managed, somehow, to take a good game, a good franchise, something that would have taken minimal work to make into an excellent sequel, and run it into the ground like a mole machine.

    Congratulations, EA. You successfully transmuted gold into guano.

    Don't buy this game.
  72. Mar 9, 2011
    I was honestly hoping the demo was a quick hash together of what Bioware was trying to showcase. But unfortunately, it isnt.

    For a company that has prided and based its core values on polish and presentation, Bioware has let out a sloppy, poorly executed let down -Technically and creatively.

    The creators made a fatal error in judgement storywise, telling the game in flashback (which
    instantly detaches you from your character, because subconciously you dont believe you are making choices which will affect the outcome. You've already made the choices, now you're just "replaying" them back).

    On top of which, the actors were badly miscast. Hawke sounds like he is trying out a bad imitation of Sean Bean, and spends so long getting his Queen's English correct, it completely loses all emotion from the role. The others fare just as poorly, with the exceptions of the pirate woman, Isabella, and the cameo of Flemeth, Kate Mulgrew reprising her role and as expressive as ever. When you compare it to Origins, the diversity and depth of character in the actors voices alone made the experience feel more like a movie than a video game. The gameplay is repetitive and dull, with no thought seemingly gone into expanding on Origins' systems, just simplfying them for a console audience. This goes into the animations and art, which are leaning purposefully towards Japanese RPGism. Fast, unrealistic animations and a complete detachment from your characters movement all lose the charm the original cast, even with its minor flaws. The darker, more brooding look could have worked in its favour, if it had held to the principles Origins set out. Also, for some reason, cities like Kirkwall seem far less cluttered or "lived in" than places like Lothering, or the cities from the previous game. No litter, or copious amounts of barrels or gear lying outside houses or places of work. Again, you get the nagging suspicion this was cut for speed of production.

    The Qunari (an important race in DA), also, are completely redone - as if the creators didnt like the idea they had already set in motion 2 years and 6-12 months of production thinking ago. So they changed their look completely.... midway through a trilogy. Granted if George Lucas had done this with Gungans, we'd of all breathed a sigh of relief. But to do this seriously in what a company was billing as one of its major franchises is a little bit ...unnerving. What if Tolkien had decided he thought Dwarves were too small midpoint through publishing Lord of the Rings? Just changing things willynilly through a series or trilogy pangs of a lack of creative integrity and professionalism. If this becomes a trend, whats to stop JJ Abrahms changing the character of say... Chekov, in the next movie, to a female? It is these sort of amateurish small mistakes that pile on top of one another in Dragon Age 2. The small things that came off in Origins were what made and built up the game a popular following. The only, and i mean only, really redeeming feature of Dragon Age 2 - that not only lives up to, but equals, and then betters the original - is Inon Zur's wonderful soundtrack. He got the feeling of epic brutal savagry mixed with dark, poigniant despair in the original immediately, and he pulled off the grander, more unrelenting nature of what this game was *supposed* to be brilliantly. This man should be writing scores for Hollywood, not games.

    So all in all. The graphics are a let down if you dont have DX11 (cant even access high rez textures if you dont). The gameplay is a detached, unfeeling, boring mishmash of the original. The story also detaches you from your character in a way Origins never did; and the rough edges are enough to cut yourself on.

    If you love music scores though, you'd be better served waiting for the inevitable Dragon Age 2 soundtrack to be released however, rather than buying the game itself.

    So sad. One of the most anticipated games of the year has been a complete and utter let down. ... It was only time i guess before Bioware's tremendous record of creating wonderfully playable and engrossing games, came to an end. I just didnt expect it would be Dragon Age to do it.

    I rated it a 3 purely for Inon Zur's music. If not for him, i would've put this even lower. Dont listen to the professional game critics - they get paid and given incentives by the big companies. Listen to all these reviews from actual *gamers*
  73. Mar 9, 2011
    Like many others I have to say that DA2 has been a disappointment. Others who have mentioned that DA2 is like a fantasy Mass Effect game is actually insulting the Mass Effect series; Mass Effect I/II were great action-oriented RPGs in their own right and should not be lumped in with this incomplete game called DA2. When you played Mass Effect you felt as if you were in a futuristic world. When one plays DA2 you fell like..... well you dont feel anything really. I've played RPGs for over 25 years and I have to say without a doubt that the interface in DA2 was one of the worst ever conceived and used in any RPG game to date. DA:O used a very stylistic, engrossing interface that featured bloodied parchment to display multiple fantasy elements. DA2 uses a characterless, lifeless interface that does not support a fantasy setting (nor a futuristic setting for that matter). In fact if a gamer was just shown the DA2 interface without prior knowledge to the game he/she would have problems identifying what genre of game they were looking at; this should never be the case.... ever.... If that wasn't bad enough the producers decided to simplify the game so that my 3 year old daughter could participate in combat... and WIN!!! Now I know what youre thinking....'He's just saying that... He's exaggerating..' The really sad part is no... Im not. My 3 year old daughter did in fact fight one of my battles and actually killed several creatures before the battle was over (difficulty was on hard). The inventory/character screens are also TERRIBLE! For example.... the equipment that my character has equipped are represented by symbols..... SYMBOLS!! You dont even get a graphic icon to represent the equipment; its all done with symbols much like from a map legend!! I cant tell one ring or amulet from another except when i mouse over and get a very detailed description such as this 'RING +3% to physical damage'; no item history, no description, not even a picture.... I could go on and on and on, but why should I? I really wish I read the user reviews before purchasing this game. I would have honestly passed on this one and thats really sad considering Im the biggest DA fanboy going! I cope with this game like I cope with the movie series "The Matrix", I just pretend that only the first Matrix was ever created.... Expand
  74. Mar 9, 2011
    Alright, after reading most of these reviews and playing the game for a few hours. I want to share a few glimpses of what I got out of the game. Well, first of all, I'd like to address the combat. In DA:O it was tactical, you had to use your brains, rushing straight-forward was a no-no. In this game, you basically spam one or two abilities on group of enemies and wait them to die. Maybe get a heal spell from a mage or gluck down a health potion. The combat is seriously boring and repetitive, it actually makes you wish you'd just get over with and move on with the plot without beating dozens of same looking monsters in same looking environments. Now about the areas, the recycling is hell of a bad thing. Having to run the same looking mine cavern really isn't what I define as immersive. Couldn't Bioware put any more work on the areas instead of recycling every type of area (there's one cavern, one beach etc.) for the duration of the game?? Really now. The dialogue and conversations.. well they aren't bad, the voice acting is nice but.. does it really matter what you choose? It always ends up in the same situation as with every other choice. Sigh, I really expected too much of this game. It is dumbed down heavily from the original, for the CoD-playing little boys who want to see flashy gore and easy, casual gameplay. I'm going to join the bandwagon and give this a low score, for pity's sake. If it would had been a standalone game, maybe it would been decent. But this is a sequel to a great game with great combat and great dialogue. This game takes two dozen steps backwards in everything. And what's with the stupid exploding bodies? Really, I see an archer shoot a thug with an arrow, and the thug explodes into 6 pieces?! And some of the characters are just lame beyond imagination, namely this one elf.. He's a one big cliché, I've got to say. I'm already tired of this game and I haven't even finished it.. Expand
  75. Mar 10, 2011
    I say briefly - this is not a RPG game, it's a true slasher. Beautiful, dramatic, easy slasher with a very simple plot. Epics? It is not. Romance? Very little. Tactics in battle? Minimal. Conversations with the characters - in its infancy.
    Make a better once more DLC for the first part, please.

    Excuse me for my poor English.
  76. Mar 10, 2011
    Took me 18 hours to finish playing it to 100%. Most of that was traipsing around identical areas and fighting the same waves of enemies I fought since the beginning with larger health bars. The writing is mainly horrid much like the non-branching storyline. I don't think i've been quite this pissed about a game before. It starts out okay and just rolls downhill at a constant pace. Gets even worse if you redo certain parts (or open the debug console) and realize there's almost no branching paths to speak of. Expand
  77. Mar 10, 2011
    (skip to the paragraph starting with "Then along came DA2" to skip the DA:O-related intro) As a PC gamer, DA:O was my introduction into RPGs. And I have to say, even getting started was daunting to me. I had envisioned a vast open world of freedom, choice, adventure and fun, based on the reviews I had read and all the buzz I had been hearing about the game. Instead what I got with the first Dragon Age was a linear, repetitive, unimaginative and boring affair where nothing really seemed to come alive and "choice" was a thinly-veiled illusion conjured up most ham-handedly by uninspired developers. Also I did not care for the looks of this world and its inhabitants, which does not help immersion one bit (bland lighting, unimpressive structures, flat and unexpressive faces, goofy armor, ...). What got me the most though was a thing called "level scaling". Gone is the thrill of slaying a beast that once seemed completely indomitable, after having spent hours "training" your characters in preparation for your revenge. Instead everything and everyone simply levels up along with you. Disgusting. Then along came DA2. From what I was reading this true sequel to the Dragon Age saga promised to be substantially different from DA:O, and I was excited. Even though DA:O was a huge letdown, it had kindled within me the hope for something truly epic and inspired. I had been reading various outcries from die-hard RPG fans and DA:O fans, but since the latter game had disappointed me so these outcries only strengthened my conviction that DA2 might actually be different; and I might actually enjoy it. Not so. Take all the negative comments on DA:O above (uninspired, unimaginative, linear, ugly, repetitive, devoid of actual choice, ....) and multiply them by any factor you may deem impressive, and you have DA2. * The corridors of DA:O have become even narrower and more confining; * The level design is unapologetically lazy (copy-pasted dungeons and caves); * The choice of story-progressing replies has dwindled to a basic three; * The graphics are at a playstation 2 level (although the overall style has improved); * Combat has been dumbed down to a button-mashing fest artificially rendered more difficult with mid-fight enemy spawns (only remotely enjoyable difficulty setting is "nightmare" but as said before the difficulty is artificial); * Kirkwall (where all but the entire game takes place) feels and looks artificial and devoid of any bustle and - indeed - life itself; I could go on and on about how much I have started to loathe DA2, but in the end it really is my fault for pre-ordering a game which promised to be "different" but turned out to be merely "worse". Much worse. Expand
  78. Mar 10, 2011
    As a Player of Baldurs Gate 1 &2 , Planescape Torment , Morrowind and all the other RPG´s which deserve to be called "Role Playing Games" i am shocked were the Genre is heading. I played Dragon Age origins and enjoyed it. I loved it, Really! That´s why this game hurts so much. But now Bioware made a game where i have to think : Is this a RPG or a Action Adventure/Hack´n Slay ? THIS, Dragon Age 2, is the Call of Duty of RPG´s. DA2 doesn´t even deserve to be named a RPG. One Town, No Worldmap, ridiculous characters, a "not so interesting Story", Graphics from 2005 (Hello bioware, we have 2011 now, Even the current console generation hardware is bored to death with this program), really bad environments, no armor management for party mambers and always the same cloned level structures like the dungeons in Oblivion. They oversimplyfied everything in this game. DAII does not make ONE simple point better than part 1. A downgrade all along the line. DA II is no RPG. It´s a slap in the face of every single person who loves role playing games. Expand
  79. Mar 10, 2011
    Dragon Age 2 is RPG lite. A significant amount of what made the first game, Dragon Age: Origins, endearing has been either removed or watered down. Combat is unfulfilling, it is very difficult to lose. Battles are won by keyboard mashing, not tactical planning. The synergy between the Classes has been decreased, and you are left with the feeling that your party members are only following you to provide comic relief. However, even their comedy is no relief. The dialogue in DA II is stilted and the characters are poorly developed. In many cases, the main character's dialogue options are reduced to oversimplified stereotypical one liners. Oh, don't worry if you lack basic communication skills and cannot discern the meaning of simple phrases, DA II tells you when the main character is joking or serious. Bioware no doubt attempted to create something greater than Origins. Sadly, the changes they made to the original were unnecessary or poorly executed. DA II feels like a B-rate movie. After the novelty fades away, you will want your money back. Expand
  80. Mar 10, 2011
    I'm too tired to be angry any more...Now I'm just sad. It's fun...kinda. But it is a gesture of disloyalty to the avid fans of Bioware. It's basically Dynasty Warriors meets the Dragon Age Universe. And the lore IS the absolute only reason I'm playing this game. I'm going to hold out on condemning Bioware. They are my favorite gaming company and I really hope they get the message that the people who have been buying their games year in year out are hurting right now. I understand companies make money, that's what they do but this is not going to gain them the popularity vote. I mean, Jesus Christ look at the damn user metacritic score! Hell, look at the critic score, 8.3 for a contemporary Bioware game? That's the first time in a while that a Bioware game wasn't automatically slated for a nomination in all of those RPG of the year titles. Truth is, I love you Bioware...And I have to believe that you won't cheat on me with those Australipithicene Afarensis console gamers anymore but...OH MY GOD YOU'RE A WHORE!!!! (crying ensues) Expand
  81. Mar 10, 2011
    I hate 'simplification' and 'dumbing down' - this game is the epitome of that. If you loved DA:O you will HATE this game. If you loved ME2 you will probably love this game. Made for unintelligent morons, like most games, unfortunately there are dramatically more morons than intelligent people - so Bioware is going to make a lot of money, and smart people no longer can trust Bioware. If you liked this game your intelligence is in question. Expand
  82. Mar 10, 2011
    Very boring gameplay your in the same location for most of the game i got very bored of the fighting tactics very quickly it is simply not an RPG it is more of a hack and slash game very linear paths to follow dumd down dialogue wheel like mass effect 2 cant change your parties armour like the first game no over head camera all in all this game is no were as good as the first game very dissapointed. Expand
  83. Mar 10, 2011
    It would be nice to say that Dragon Age II fell short of lofty promises and unrealistic expectations for a sequel to a quite successful game. It would be nice to say that, but DA2 is in every sense of the word rushed, and oozing focus-group driven development. DA2 is to RPGs what a mockup of Avatar done in Poser would be to film: an anaemic, shallow, mass-market appeal piece of shlock that also happens to look like crap. The same four (count em, four!) different dungeons will be trawled through the entire game, with some minor variations in which doors are hard-locked. The enemies are similarly monotonous and repetitive, coming in three types: basic, auto-attacking warriors and archers, and spellcasters that will hang back. No difference in behaviour or special abilities seem to exist between the different species of monsters. Fighting the same endless waves of spider-people and dwarf-orc "run up and attack" monsters with no variation quickly dulls the mind, which is almost comforting given the writing, setting, and level design. The encounters in which these brilliant tactical AIs are presented consist of copy-pasted waves of monsters spawning from nothing, ad nauseaum. The levels are incredibly linear, and one quickly realizes anything resembling an open area will probably just mean lots of spawns of identical mobs before trundling down the next corridor. Despite being a triple-A title from a star studio, the game manages to look like Poser models battered in jaggies and fried in tones of brownish-red low-res textures. The "Push button; receive Awesome", fun-finds-you game design leaves little or nothing to the player's imagination or skill. The dialogue is offensively cheesy, even by generous RPG standards, and the ridiculousness and awkwardness of the romances and massive out-of-place gazongas on ancient crones and tiny elf women speak to state of mind of the writers and who they were writing for. Maybe Bioware is too high on a decade's success to realize they too are capable of producing trash when churning out the most tepid, repetitive, cash-in sequel imaginable in as little time as possible. Maybe the blog posts by senior designers about the old staff not being on the project and the design going entirely another way tell the story. Either way, leaving aside the questions of developing for consoles and DLC, leaving aside expectations from old-school RPGs: Dragon Age II does not stand on its own as an RPG. It is a dull slog and a massive failure of a game. Save your money and please, vote with your wallet. Keep your hopes up for the Witcher 2 and Deus Ex 3 for quality franchise RPGs in 2011, but give DA2 the widest possible berth. Expand
  84. Mar 10, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Being a fan of both Dragon Age Origins and the Mass Effect series I looked forward to this release with glee, but after completing Dragon Age 2 I am sorely disappointed with it. While at first the faster game play while in a battle was refreshing by the end of the game each battle felt hollow, in comparison with Origins each battle requires much less thought or strategy and I would often find myself simply pressing the same combination of number keys at the start of a battle, using a health potion if needed then repeating the same actions until the game decides weather it would send an additional 8 enemies into the fray after the first group had been dispatched or allow me to continue a quest. The game seemed content to throw a large army at the player simply for walking along a path between quest points and to do so at every possible opportunity, one stretch of road I remember would have taken the players group a mire 30 seconds to traverse unopposed but instead it took the better part of 10 minutes because the group was set upon by a band of undead, short distance up the road another pack of undead would attack and after they had been dispatched a third group of miscellaneous rouges decided there number was being served. I expect a game to throw a large group at the player once in awhile but must a quest involving the retrieval of a herbal plant or an unimportant crystal require the attention of a horde large enough to sack a moderately size town Every Time? The enemies the game presented me with end up not acting the part of a band of rebels or thugs intent on kidnap or slaughter of innocents but as pebbles in the bottom of my shoe, striped of character in my mind by the sheer tedium of having to fight the same groups of 7 or 14 enemies every turn of the corner to finally reach a bag containing ultimately worthless and trivial items. Dragon Age 2 shares more in common with an MMORPG than it does it's predecessor in that you will be spending a large amount of time doing fetch quests like returning a lost piece of clothing or freeing some damsel in distress until you reach some arbitrarily decided point where the main plot is allowed to resume. Dragon Age 2 greatest weakness is in the way it treats the story, while Origins had a somewhat cliche but warm over arching storyline, giving vaguely defined goal that slowly solidifies as you make progress, Dragon Age 2 there was very little to grip my attention or engage my curiosity, the game leads the player forward by glimpses of coming glory told from a future vantage point where the actions the player had taken or had suffered were judged and debated for there merits and sucked all mystery and opportunity of total surprise out the window, you were constantly made aware of what you would become and the story completely skipped so many of the small but vital aspects of storytelling. For those of you that have played DA2 Demo, I felt that the Hawke responded in a cold and matter of fact way to your siblings death no matter which conversation option you pick, that there was lack of effort from some of the voice actors and that sense that the event lacks in gravity never left my mind through the game, Bioware seems to have forgotten how to create realist characters that actually give the impression of life, all the companions conform to one trait of there character at all times, for example one companion will join you as an outcast of their people due to their one core trait and at the end of the game and personal quest line they carry and react the same way they had upon first meeting the player, caring for their people but never says anything if in the course of their quest line you end up killing their people or not, they just feel like a cardboard cutout and unfortunately this is not isolated. As for the main plot itself, I went from one major plot to the next without feeling any real need to do the involved quests because it is hard to feel that my main characters attempt to save up the money to Buy A House (Act 1; Hawke attempts to get on the property ladder.) is worthwhile after running fetch quests for pennies nigh on 4 hours. To boot the ending to the game had me questioning weather or not my characters moral choices had anyway bearing whatsoever on anything at all, aside that it all lead up to what was in essence a promotion for Dragon Age 3. Before this game had I asked myself what was the worse Bioware game I had ever played, I would probably not answer that question very well, And unless Dragon Age 2 is the beginning of a downward spiral, I can answer that question without thinking. fans of Origins story and lore should stay well clear of this game, and to anyone one else I'd say wait for a drop in the price. Expand
  85. Mar 10, 2011
    I'm a girl and I finished the game so I'll write from my perspective. I like smart games and this one wasn't so smart. The conversations were boring, hardly no wry humour, romance (Hawke and Anders) was rushed. The worst part was that you weren't able to speak to your heroes unless you went to their room AND you were lucky enough to see the yellow arrow above their heads. The tiny conversation was held and then it was just "back to normal". I've played Dragon Age: Origins and I know that they could do better. Srsly, were you saving money on voice actors? I also missed the camp or at least some house where EVERYBODY hangs out.
    Secondly, I hated how the game felt like an action game. Well, it is. I hated it. It should be an RPG, not Half Life.
    I hated the ending. There's hardly any continuity of DA:O and on top of all that, there's this unresolved ending. "so this is the story about the champion" - kthxbye. The story feels unfinished. And no, I won't buy the DLCs.
    Revisiting old locations was boring. The city was awesome with the day/night system, but it was still sometimes boring.
    The game was too dumbed down. Where was the button for selecting all party members? There wasn't any. I had to hold shift and click every one, which was annoying. Sometimes I selected all members and just clicked on an enemy and waited 2 minutes until they kill him. Boring.
    I missed the camera from above. I missed being able to equip all party members. Collecting armor was no fun.
    I liked the cutscenes, the loading screens, the art, the music. That's it. I suggest to Bioware that they merge DA:O and DA2 for DA3, if there will even be one.
  86. Mar 10, 2011
    Two words: huge disappointment. While DA2 by itself might not be too bad by console standards, but it's absolutely horrible and degraded sequel to one of the best CRPGs. I really regret my decision to preorder. Spending $60 not only didn't buy me a good game, but also I've just spent the money to encourage developers of this garbage.
  87. Mar 11, 2011
    I loved DA:O and mass effect 1 and 2 but Dragon age 2 is clearly a rushed product. Shallow characters, shallow ,story, no real choices. No sense of exploration like DA:o becouse of Re-used places over and over again. This game would have needed 1 more year of development to feel complete.
  88. Mar 11, 2011
    Yes, I created a meta critic account just to post about my disappointment with this game. I have heard it said that it should have been marketed as something like "Hawke's Story: A Dragon Age Adventure" - this would have made much more sense, because this certainly isn't the sequel to that enthralling rich game that was DA:O. It has been simplified to the point of boring. Who is Hawke and why the well should I care about him? I get to pick snippets of words and then he goes and says something completely different. With the inclusion of the speech wheel I no longer have to work out what is the good, evil or neutral response - I can just pick the pretty picture. I no longer have to discern if my investigative questions will provoke a reaction, cause the big question mark tells me that they are just questions. I can't change the character the way that I want to, I am fighting arena battles instead of "random encounters". What REALLY annoys me is that this game flies in the the face of what DO:A was suppose to be "a spiritual sequel to the late great baldur's quest". This game seems more akin to a MMORPG guest hunt. The shame bioware... the shame... I am also now no longer interested in Knight of the Old Republic MMO. In fact... that is what this game reminds me of. Die by the sword... but without VSIM. Expand
  89. Mar 11, 2011
    Pointlessly removed the overhead "isometric" view from the PC version. Hacky, unmotivated writing and mediocre graphics. Cut and pasted quest areas. Bioware took a good but imperfect first game and turned it into a focus-grouped monster.
  90. Mar 11, 2011
    I am very disappointed by this game, it just make you dumb-boy pressing 1,2,3,4,5. Everything is bad, absolute regress comparing to the first part. This is actually not RPG, this is something different and I don't like it. Shame to developers, I expected much more.
  91. Mar 11, 2011
    1. Shockingly disappointed beginning with character creation Recycled hair styles from DA:O used in DA:II character creation (this is especially awful because the modding community has already produced a vast number of beautiful hairstyles for DA:O available through mods) Tattoos from DA:O were re-used in DA:II and not improved upon -No freedom to choose race Only 3 classes Unable to customize default Hawke face (can't even change his eye color)

    I went from my first playable experience as hawke being totally awesome, high level with skills/spells/armor to being 100% useless and weak in a span of 2 minutes...this approach made me feel like playing my low level pathetic hawke was lame.

    2. Uninspired introduction to game (I didn't care about Hawke's family)

    Hawke's family didn't seem interesting to me, at all, except for bethany who was actually kinda hot and interesting but my yeah awkward...

    Hawkes mom has the same voice as my human noble mom in

    DA:II failed to capture my interest from the get go, leaving me feeling unmotivated to play the game, and disinterested. Whereas, ME1, ME2 and DA:O all managed to capture my interest early and in a powerful way

    3. Playing an entire game in 1 city... is failure.

    Playing 80% of the game in the same city removed the feel of exploration and adventure (it would be like removing every location from ME2 and forcing Shepard play the entire game on the citadel, epic fail)

    Re-used dungeons, locations etc, this is so beyond fail for many reasons but when I think back to diablo 1, even way back then they had an awesome randomized dungeon/location concept working so you never felt like you were in the same spot twice, why not use this approach?

    4. Companions were much weaker than in DA:O or ME1 or ME2!

    Maybe you set the bar too high with Morrigan, Leliana, and Alistair and shot yourself in the foot? Because these DA:II companions just don't cut it, by any standard.

    ME1, ME2, DA:O companions blow DA:II companions out of the gaming universe

    DA:O chatting with companions was vastly superior and more personal to DA:II approach.

    I hated not being able to dress my companions and change their items

    5. The Story is...where?

    Hawks story is a bit uninspiring. I don't really care about Hawke or his rise to power. It feels insignifcant to me. Poor story, especially compared to DA:O, ME1, ME2 etc. The best part of playing DA:II is the comfort that at least I have Elder Scrolls: Skyrim to look forward to.
  92. Mar 11, 2011
    It shouldn't be titled DA2, for it is Mass Effect: Dragon Age Mod. You can easily see how rushed the game is and each area is recycled over and over again.
    As a sequel to DAO, the game SERIOUSLY disappointed me.
    Sadly, BioWare chose to rush out a mediocre action RPG instead of further enhancing DAO cRPG elements. I hope that they have not fully forsaken Classic PC RPGs altogether, for
    easily forgettable mediocre Action console gaming. Expand
  93. Mar 11, 2011
    The only honest review I saw of this game from a pro was Adam Sessler (THANK YOU ADAM.) He kept it honest that it has a great story but the combat ruined it. Between the flashy animations that looked like the damn Power Rangers fighting grey faced goons to (speaking of the Power Rangers) how about that Rita Repulsa...I mean newly designed Flemeth?

    Even past the initial stage its just
    Kirkwall...and limited dialog that does have some impact on the game...but the damn thing isn't long enough to really make you get into it. Only in the 3rd act does the story pick up.

    We expect more from developer Bioware. The publisher EA? Not so much.
  94. Mar 12, 2011
    As an old school crpg player I originally bought Dragon Age Origins due to Biowares steadfast mantra that the Dragon Age franchise will be a resurrection of the crpg genre. So I bought Origins, it was pretty good with some flaws. Figuring Biowares next entry in the series would clean it up and be at BG NWN levels of quality I continued to support them. Then DA2 was announced and the first game play was shown. From the increasingly Dynasty Warriors esq combat, to the unbelievably horrible graphics and art style changes. We were told to wait by Bioware and their more rabid fanbase, that I couldn't form an negative opinion because I haven't played it. Well its out now, and its just as big a pile of mediocrity as I suspected it would be. The Dialog is for one, is utterly terrible. Some of the best gems are "Im Hungry" and "I want to be the Dragon!". The Dialog wheel is also another terrible "INNOVATION!" thrown into Dragon Age due to the success of MICHAEL BAY PRESENTS MASS EFFECT! Not only do you not know what you will say with the wheel sometimes what you say is not at all what the words are on the wheel. With the addition of only 3 options with Upper Right being NOBLE GOOD BRIGHT, middle JOKE LOL JOKE JOKE JOKE. and bottom I KILL PUPPIES FOR SATAN BECAUSE!. To go along with that you have tiny pictures of the tone of what you will say. Red for Renegade....errr, green for good, and purple for idiot. The graphics and art style. While im not one to put much in graphics a game needs to at least have a good art style and use its assets well. I actually wouldn't care about this if the game had any GOOD aspects. Sadly it does not. Bioware said that the original Dragon Age didn't have an art identity and for the sequel they wanted to make it so different that you would immediately say THATS DRAGON AGE! Good idea right? Certainly. Except they already accomplished this. Very few games do Dark Medieval Fantasy anymore. DAO was one who did and it looked gorgeous on the PC. Which is where the game belongs. So now DA2 gets a new art style ok im down with it until. Its generic WOWesq light colors with terrible terrible exaggeration and jaggies. Combat. One look on youtube for Dragon Age 2 Combat will show you what I mean. lets just say AWESOME BUTTON is not awesome. This is just scratching the surface. All this combined with EA banning people from even playing because of posting negatively about DA2 on Biowares forums, along with Biodevs saying any negative review is some magic **** raid, along with EA slipping in securom on your machine without telling you "which is highly illegal I might add" along with constant locks and bans for anyone who post constructive criticism. All makes for one sour second entry into the series. OH GOD NO! STANLEY WOO HAS FOU This meta critic review is inappropriate. lock down End of Lineâ Expand
  95. Mar 12, 2011
    Only went half through the game and already lost interest. Can't believe this game comes from bioware and is entitled "DA". The plot is not even decent, and all dialogues are plain & boring. Staring to worry the trend bioware is adopting and the future of DA series.
  96. Mar 12, 2011
    Listen, I have never taken the time to actually sit down and write a review for a game before, and I've been playing both PC and consoles for years. This game actually pissed me off to the point that I'm going to say something. I am actually angry I paid 60 bucks for this game. I have never complained about spending money on a game... even bad ones... ever.... and I bought NFL Head Coach! Who thought it was a good idea to make a sequel to a game by REMOVING content from it? Am I crazy? The story is fine, and just like Mass effect 2, I will finish the thing and just chalk it up to an expensive day at the movies, which this has basically been. I will not however play the game again. Once I know what happens in DA2, I will go back to Origins and start a new game, or maybe dig Neverwinter Nights out of a closet.
    A couple of bullets:
    + I am not an RPG purist. The new talent trees is fine, I could care less about the DPS of a dual wield warrior vs Dual wield Rogue. The new COMBAT however, is ridiculous. Why does everyone turn to red jello? Why do I feel like im fighting waves of Foot Soldiers from the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles arcade game? I thought the final battle of ME2 was stupid, but there isnt a single fight in this whole game that wasnt retarded. Why are people repelling from the rooftops? Why am I fighting random gangs of people every time I walk around at night? Who are these people? why are they angry? Why do they insist on fighting me if they are all dead after two swings of the sword?
    +Why is every environment I walk through identical to the last one? I actually read a forum post where a Dev said they removed the overhead view to allow for more detailed environments... ALL THREE OF THEM! WHAT A LOVELY WAREHOUSE! WHAT A LOVELY STREET! WHAT A LOVELY CAVE! I swear to god, on my last run through the same exact cave in the mountain I swear I saw Hawk yawn.
    +Why have three conversation options if they all have the same result? Why talk at all? chances are the person im talking to will be red pudding after one hit with the boom stick.
    +Why cant I choose my race? why cant I dress my team in the stuff I want? Better Question, WHY AM I PICKING UP LOOT THAT NO ONE CAN USE?!?! Just have everyone drop coin! why am I carrying junk?!!?
    +These things wouldnt bother me if the game title didnt have a "2" at the end of it. Why would you remove content from a game in the sequel? Why would you limit the options and level of involvement in a game THAT HAD IT IN THE FIRST INSTALLMENT. I heard the Dev's were streamlining the game because it sold well on consoles and they were appealing to that group. Did the console people ask for less of a game? Did anyone ever consider that the console people bought DAO because it had a lot of immersive elements that other games didnt have? again

    I PAID MORE MONEY FOR LESS GAME. I would have posted this review on Biowares social site, but I dont want to have my accounts locked and game accounts voided for daring to criticize my betters.

    the three points I gave this game are out of loyalty to the Bioware I once knew.
  97. Mar 12, 2011
    Dragon Age 2 has been simplified to appeal to a wider audience. The dialogue wheel from Mass Effect (good, bad and cheeky choice), action-combat, less customization (no race selection, limited party equipment control). Instead of improving the game they dumbed it down. It's also obvious that Dragon Age 2 had a short development cycle. Less play time, recycled environments, small game world, even the story is below Bioware standards. What a disappointment to true role playing fans! Expand
  98. Mar 13, 2011
    The Dragon Age franchise has been tossed into the corporate machinery and spat out as a bruised and crippled shell of its former self. The game manages to deliver a thoroughly mediocre and disappointing experience to both RPG and casual gaming fans alike.

    The combat could possibly be the largest flaw with the game, however it is but one of many large flaws. Many skills and abilities
    present in DA: O which made the game an overly tactical, challenging and rewarding experience have been removed in favor of more 'exciting and fast paced' combat. In Dragon Age 2's case 'exciting and fast paced' equates into the mindless ability bashing. Combat now relies heavily upon 'wave' mechanics. Where instead of individual mobs of enemies the player will be bombarded by wave after wave of enemy turning an epic skirmish into a tedious exercise of endurance. Most side quests are trivial and generic which furthermore offer no further insight into the game world and hold little other responsibility other than keeping the player distracted for a few extra hours collecting X number of items..

    The visuals have undergone an upheaval, yet surprisingly manages to look worse than its predecessor.
    The combat now resembles something out of a Devil May Cry game, rather than the style set in DA:O. The visceral and realistic style of Origins now replaced with an over sensationalized gratuitous flood of warrior aerobatics and bloody explosions. Many Caves, mountains, roads used again and again presumably due to constraints imposed by the soulless suits over in EA pushing for a speedy release and a fast cash-in. Dragon Age: Origins was a modern day throwback to classic RPG games: It incorporated engaging Tactical gameplay , interesting characters and appropriate use of dialog selection and an immersive fantasy setting imbued with a touch of gritty realism to provide a satisfying fantasy experience. Because of this the game was critically acclaimed and sold very well.
    Now letâ
  99. Mar 14, 2011
    The game is decidely rushed as is apparent in repettitive scenery and combat, poorly fleshed out narrative with stereotypical characterization. It is basically the anti-thesis of what one expects from high quality RPG's from the company that used to set the bar themselves. Not only does the game itself have little merrit, the name behind it makes it all the more tragic. Poor show Bioware, really hope you can step up your game. Expand
  100. Mar 13, 2011
    Dragon Age:Origins had everything going for it and instead of taking everything that the fans loved and expanding on it, the development team completely ignored them and took the game in a completely different direction.
    Immersion/Atmosphere: This is the biggest problem because those are gone from the game. The quests are uninspiring "run between arrows on the map until the quest is
    completed" type. You can't speak to your companions unless you are in a specific place, which takes away from the immersion. For the large portion of the game you feel like a glorified errand boy. The dialogue wheel is a disaster, since the choices range from "Nice, Cunning, and Jackass", and are conveniently marked by the appropriate icons, so you don't even have to read the text. This doesn't feel like the same caliber of RPG that DA:O was.
    Surroundings: Bland and uninteresting. Unless small brown dull dungeons are your thing.
    Characters: Most characters are pretty one dimensional and are not well written. The only decent one is Varric. Inventory/Abilities: The star rating for items is very annoying. Why not just equip it FOR ME already, if you obviously know what's better for my character? The abilities don't have any thought put into them, with names like "Weapon and Shield". Why not name a talent tree "More HP" or "Stabby Stabby"?
    Interface/Icons/Graphics: Interface is an annoying fest of red and black screens. If you want to laugh, try to go through talent trees and click on icons for abilities and guess what they are. It's basically impossible because they are so poorly drawn. On the plus side, the sex scenes look like two mailboxes banging each other :D
  101. Mar 9, 2011
    I was honestly hoping the demo was a quick hash together of what Bioware was trying to showcase. But unfortunately, it isnt.

    For a company that has prided and based its core values on polish and presentation, Bioware has let out a sloppy, poorly executed let down -Technically and creatively.

    The creators made a fatal error in judgement storywise, telling the game in flashback (which
    instantly detaches you from your character, because subconciously you dont believe you are making choices which will affect the outcome. You've already made the choices, now you're just "replaying" them back).

    On top of which, the actors were badly miscast. Hawke sounds like he is trying out a bad imitation of Sean Bean, and spends so long getting his Queen's English correct, it completely loses all emotion from the role. The others fare just as poorly, with the exceptions of the pirate woman, Isabella, and the cameo of Flemeth, Kate Mulgrew reprising her role and as expressive as ever. When you compare it to Origins, the diversity and depth of character in the actors voices alone made the experience feel more like a movie than a video game. The gameplay is repetitive and dull, with no thought seemingly gone into expanding on Origins' systems, just simplfying them for a console audience. This goes into the animations and art, which are leaning purposefully towards Japanese RPGism. Fast, unrealistic animations and a complete detachment from your characters movement all lose the charm the original cast, even with its minor flaws. The darker, more brooding look could have worked in its favour, if it had held to the principles Origins set out. Also, for some reason, cities like Kirkwall seem far less cluttered or "lived in" than places like Lothering, or the cities from the previous game. No litter, or copious amounts of barrels or gear lying outside houses or places of work. Again, you get the nagging suspicion this was cut for speed of production.

    The Qunari (an important race in DA), also, are completely redone - as if the creators didnt like the idea they had already set in motion 2 years and 6-12 months of production thinking ago. So they changed their look completely.... midway through a trilogy. Granted if George Lucas had done this with Gungans, we'd of all breathed a sigh of relief. But to do this seriously in what a company was billing as one of its major franchises is a little bit ...unnerving. What if Tolkien had decided he thought Dwarves were too small midpoint through publishing Lord of the Rings? Just changing things willynilly through a series or trilogy pangs of a lack of creative integrity and professionalism. If this becomes a trend, whats to stop JJ Abrahms changing the character of say... Chekov, in the next movie, to a female? It is these sort of amateurish small mistakes that pile on top of one another in Dragon Age 2. The small things that came off in Origins were what made and built up the game a popular following. The only, and i mean only, really redeeming feature of Dragon Age 2 - that not only lives up to, but equals, and then betters the original - is Inon Zur's wonderful soundtrack. He got the feeling of epic brutal savagry mixed with dark, poigniant despair in the original immediately, and he pulled off the grander, more unrelenting nature of what this game was *supposed* to be brilliantly. This man should be writing scores for Hollywood, not games.

    So all in all. The graphics are a let down if you dont have DX11 (cant even access high rez textures if you dont). The gameplay is a detached, unfeeling, boring mishmash of the original. The story also detaches you from your character in a way Origins never did; and the rough edges are enough to cut yourself on.

    If you love music scores though, you'd be better served waiting for the inevitable Dragon Age 2 soundtrack to be released however, rather than buying the game itself.

    So sad. One of the most anticipated games of the year has been a complete and utter let down. ... It was only time i guess before Bioware's tremendous record of creating wonderfully playable and engrossing games, came to an end. I just didnt expect it would be Dragon Age to do it.

    I rated it a 3 purely for Inon Zur's music. If not for him, i would've put this even lower. Dont listen to the professional game critics - they get paid and given incentives by the big companies. Listen to all these reviews from actual *gamers*

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

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