Mar 7, 2011The advancements in RPG mechanics would be enough to set it apart, but the real achievement of Dragon Age II is in the story-telling. I could point out the improved combat and graphics till there's blood covering my face, but BioWare is one of the few companies that uses the advanced computing power available to modern game designers to let you actually play a role.
Mar 8, 2011It really seems like the biggest mistake is calling it "DA2," as it's just different enough from Dragon Age: Origins to not feel like a sequel, but more like a reboot. The different main character, the faster and more streamlined combat, and the overall structure makes it feel like a fine Dragon Age adventure, but not a direct follow-up to DAO.
Mar 8, 2011A flawed, repetitive, and wholly derivative Western RPG, but still manages to be a vast improvement over the original and should greatly please fans of Origins. Fans of Mass Effect may also find enough satisfaction here to hold them over until ME3 releases, but make no mistake: if only one Bioware title is nominated for awards this year, it will not be this one.
Mar 17, 201110.00 Dragon Age 2 is not your standard "Hero against the world" or "Hero slays a dragon" story. This is a story about conflict, politics, oppression and personal drama. Unlike most games, it offers no "good" or "evil" way out. That alone is one of its strongest points. I'll list my personal pros and cons first:
+ Breaks out of the stale "Hero defeats an ancient evil" formula.
+ Companions are all well defined, plot heavy and not just people with ten dialogue options
+ The combat system is fast and furious, it feels involved and largely improved
+ No more "You gave me 5 gifts. I wuv you" = "Romance" nonsense. Romances take time, feel real and are part of the drama
+ Side quests and Companion Quests are woven into the main story
+ It no longer takes "approval" to get to know your companions. Friendship and rivalry offer different paths, you are no longer punished for disagreeing with your companions
+ Importing DAO saves add wonderful touches and REAL cameos, unlike the hack job called Awakening
+ Gorgeous graphics
+ I encountered only two quests I could not finish
+ No hours of sludging aimlessly through the Deep Roads or the Fade, killing everything in sight
- Re-used enviroments. While the enviroments they DID create are gorgeous in color and finely drawn, there are too few. Hopefully this will be fixed via a patch.
- Much as I like the companion interaction being spread out, I'd have liked to see more and I'd have liked to customize them fully. But worry not, the modders are already at work
This game is not was not meant to be a direct sequel to DAO. They tried going down that road with Awakening and we know that was a disaster. It is a bold, new way of picking up a conflict that was already hinted at in the original. Also, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The tragedies unfolding in this game cannot be blamed on an antagonist or an ancient evil but on, pardon the RPG pun, human nature. There were so many moments in this game when I was teary eyed or yelling "No, no, NO!" at my screen. I don't want to spoil anything however. Is it a perfect game? No. Was DAO a perfect game? Hell, no. DAO was horribly bugged, the last third of the game was badly written and rushed and never mind its formulaic nature and clichÃ© ending. I love both games though. DA2 represents change and many do not like change. I happen to love it. I cannot wait for the newest DLCs and expansion and DA3 can't come soon enough either. I know the haters will pounce down on my review. It'll be an honor though, because I don't care what they think.… Expand
Mar 18, 2011Hi All,
I'd just like to say that this game does not deserve a ZERO! I know some people will be angry at me, but anyone who gave a 0 score should seriously take a step back and think about it... I have revised my previous review from a 9 to an 8 - or 7.5 if the scale would permit - after about 38 more huors of play, but a zero???!!! What is wrong with you??!! If this game ain't your cup of tea then I can see giving it a 4-5, but any score lower is a clear indication that you SHOULD NOT BE REVIEWING VIDEO GAMES! I have been a gamer for over 20 years, and I believe a score of lower than 4 must come from someone who has not looked at this game objectively. If you hate the genre so much, stick to FPS and racing games, because your review can not be taken seriously. As a added note, anyone who has been following Bioware from the beginning (ehem... - Silvermaul) I understand your frustration caused by this games lack of ability to meet the high standards set by games like KOTOR, Baldur's Gate (one of my all time favorites) and of course who can forget Mass Effect 1 and 2 - however, this is still a decent game. ZERO! - come on folks, that is ridiculous!… Expand
Mar 10, 2011Dragon Age 1, although not the BGII second-coming I was hoping for, offered a close-to-perfect compromise between micro-management of Inventory, Spells and Tactics and hack-and-slash action -- this is what I buy RPGs like this for. Dragon Age 2 takes a different approach: attacking is, for the most part, fire and forget, spell management is limited and inventory is over-simplified. Moreover, the story is convoluded and didn't motivate me to keep playing. Good dialogue and voice acting redeems this game a bit, but nothing can save it from it's pander-to-the-lowest-common-denominator simplicity.
This game is definitely not worth $60, either on PC or console. Either hold out for the bargain bin or until you can find it used, or just pass (you're not missing much).… Expand
May 19, 2011I love RPGs. I loved Dragon Age Origens. This game is not an RPG. Very linear playthrough; I played both endings (yes, only 2 endings!) and your choices don't really matter.
You can't talk with your companions whenever you want like in Origens so you don't feel as connected to them. My iPhone is messing up so that's all I can type now but shame on you, Bioware… Expand
May 19, 2011This game,simply put,is an absolute train wreck-the lead designer should be fired for this stain on bioware's legacy-dumbed-down gameplay,awful graphics(is it 2006?)and "quests" that are not only an absolute bore,but feel like work,not fun-and isn't that the point of gaming in the first place?Combat is repetitive,with wave upon wave of drone enemies attacking,again and again ,ad nauseum..(why do they explode,anyway,absolutely ridiculous!) Bottom line,people,be glad i played this abomination,that way only one of us had to suffer..a total waste of time and money, avoid at all costs! i give it 1 point because it boots up.… Expand
Dec 31, 2013This game is not only one of the most disappointing sequels ever made but a terrible RPG overall, to boot. It feels like a rush job EA ordered Bioware to put on the market to fill the void in their schedule before Mass Effect 3 came out. If you did not play the first Dragon Age game, you might think this is okay, at best. If you loved the first game, however, you’ll most likely find Dragon Age 2 an abomination worthy of being hunted down by Templars.
There is no continuation of any loose threads from the DA: Origins story other than a few characters making lame cameo appearances. This despite a cliffhanger ending where Morrigan (and possibly your Warden character, with her) disappear through a mirror portal to an unknown location. Instead of bothering with any of that stuff, Bioware thought you might enjoy playing the life of Hawke, a refugee who ends up in the city of Kirkwall and stays as far away from the plot of DAO as possible. So what does he do? Well…nothing, really. Just wanders around Kirkwall & its environs.
To give you something to compare this to, imagine that the second Lord of the Rings movie decided to take a break from all that heavy stuff about Frodo, the One Ring, Sauron, etc and instead followed the life of a guard in the village of Bree. That’s what Dragon Age 2 is like.
This is doubly disappointing since the story & characters in DA2 are completely uninteresting and silly. It’s like reading fan fiction. There are a few returning, minor characters from the first game who were pretty cool there but are ruined by Dragon Age 2’s dull-witted dialogue & stupid plot choices that cannot be changed no matter what. Oh and pretty much everybody but Hawke’s sister and the dwarf guy are bisexual, which again, is silly and seems designed by a 10-year old boy: “I want male or female Hawke to be able to have sex with everybody!”
The game tries to pretend like your choices make a difference but they ultimately don’t. The first game explored a very complex relationship between Templars & mages. DA2 turns everything DAO spent telling you about this relationship on its head. DA2 wants to paint a portrait of Templars just being jerks while mages are poor victims who should be set free. Except that every time you side with a mage over a Templar, the mage decides to turn into an evil demon to gain more power. This includes the head enchanter during the final part of the game. To me, that seems pretty conclusive proof that maybe the Templars are right. There isn’t anyone to root for and you end up killing pretty much everybody.
The atrocity doesn’t stop at the story & characters, unfortunately. Gameplay is broken as all you need to do is talent up the dwarf’s crossbow damage. I literally ended up running around & spamming the attack button in every fight, including bosses. I barely even needed to heal myself except during a few fights. A huge letdown from DAO’s combat system that was very strategic and required you to pay attention to what you were doing to beat many groups of enemies.
The most unforgivable sin this game makes, though, is that of its reused environments. It’s bad enough the story takes place over several decades, giving Bioware an excuse to drudge up the same old environment maps after a “10 year later” subtitle. However, they also reuse the exact same maps for supposedly different areas. One, in particular, is the “cave map” that appears whenever you go inside a cave dungeon. It’s not supposed to be the same cave every time, but IT IS the same cave. They don’t even do palette swaps or rearrange any items. The most they do will be to block off section of the map or start you from the opposite end to try and make it feel fresh. Ditto for the “mansion map” and “underground map”. It’s the laziest thing I’ve ever seen in a game, especially for a AAA budget game.
To recap: uninteresting gameplay, terrible story, stupid characters, and walking again & again through literally the same maps for 30+ hours. If that sounds like fun, have at it. As far as I’m concerned, though, the Dragon Age franchise is dead well before its time.… Expand
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Published: May 4, 2011The release of Portal 2 exposed a divide between game critics and users. While that title's user scores have rebounded, others haven't. We take a look at the games with the biggest score differentials between professional reviewers and gamers.