Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 75
  2. Negative: 1 out of 75
  1. Mar 7, 2011
    100
    The 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.
  2. Mar 31, 2011
    95
    Dragon Age 2 takes everything that made the original so outstanding, and improves upon it effectively, offering another compelling, extensive, epic experience that will win you over with its rich character and tremendous attention to detail.
  3. 94
    Manages to be the same great epic as its forebear in terms of sheer scale and ambition, while packing in superior visuals, improved gameplay and a stronger grasp on its own unique identity.
  4. Mar 9, 2011
    92
    Though it doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor when it comes to sheer breadth, Dragon Age II has quite a bit more soul.
  5. Mar 9, 2011
    91
    An excellent role-playing game, and a logical and direct evolution of the previous game, more action-focused and more polished, although its action focus won't please everyone.
  6. Mar 8, 2011
    91
    It may be difficult for hardcore gamers to ignore the revamped combat system, but once you calm down and excuse some minor flaws, you'll find an amazing game in Dragon Age II.
  7. Apr 22, 2011
    90
    Above all, it seems like Dragon Age II is an experiment. If you're a fan of the first game and expect a direct continuation, either in story or mechanics, you'll be disappointed. If you're not willing to put up with some rough edges and some mechanics that don't quite work as intended, you'll end up having a hard time. But if you're going for a game that has some of the best storytelling in RPGs in a while, or you're looking for a BioWare RPG to tide yourself over until Mass Effect 3, you won't do much better right now than Dragon Age II.
  8. Apr 1, 2011
    90
    Bloodier, muddier and cleverer than Origins, this is a story as much about Kirkwall as about Hawke, a stepping stone setting up what I can only imagine will be one hell of a conflict in the threequel. Perhaps above all, though, it's still the most fun you can have with dragons without being eaten alive.
  9. Mar 23, 2011
    90
    BioWare set the bar quite high for themselves with the Dragon Age: Origins. With big-but-subtle changes, the developer tries to address a larger audience with the second game, but this doesn't mean that these changes aren't fit for the hardcore demographic. On the contrary, Dragon Age II keeps the deep RPG-elements and the gratifying story that turned the first part into such a well received game.
  10. Mar 11, 2011
    90
    Dragon Age 2 is a great RPG for PC and consoles, but it lacks a bit of complexity.
  11. 90
    Some great storytelling and enjoyable fighting prove once again that Bioware is the king of modern role playing games.
  12. Mar 8, 2011
    90
    It's not better than the predecessor and the constant reuse of the environment feels cheap. However it's still got that great storytelling, characters and hard moral choices that is the series signum.
  13. 90
    Dragon Age Origins was an enormous mouthful in a time where huge games are a rarity. Dragon Age II is somewhat shorter, but nevertheless a big game with an exceptionally well-framed story. Most of the new additions and updates are welcome, even if they don't put the game at the front of the pack. Easily recommended.
  14. Mar 8, 2011
    90
    You will either love or hate the game - I do both. Every twist of the story is followed by boring side quests. But the little story flame keeps burning and every flare of it keeps me in the game. I want to know what this is all about, even if it is only because I want something to happen.
  15. Mar 8, 2011
    90
    Although, visually, it still fails to reach standards of pure excellence, Dragon Age 2 proves to be a fantastic fantasy-RPG that will undoubtedly satisfy both fans of the genre and potential newcomers.
  16. Mar 8, 2011
    90
    Despite the change in pace, graphics and tactics, Dragon Age II is once again one of the greatest RPGs of our time, thanks to an interesting storyline, fascinating characters and a fun, over the top dark fantasy combat system.
  17. Mar 7, 2011
    90
    BioWare have comprehensively hit back at detractors of the original game and Dragon Age II delivers a distinctive fantasy RPG with far broader appeal and personality than before. Mega-nerds may feel slighted that they can't dig into the mechanics quite so easily but few would argue that this slicker, more streamlined approach isn't a vast improvement. [Apr 2011, p.73]
  18. 90
    Next to its predecessor, Dragon Age II may be a slightly altered beast, but the minute Isabela slyly chirps "I like big boats, I cannot lie" to a Desire Demon in the murky Fade, you'll realize this game offers some of the deepest, nerdiest, most worthwhile 40 to 60 hours you'll ever love losing sleep over. [April 2011, p.70]
  19. Mar 21, 2011
    89
    If you like your RPGs old-school with plenty of Tolkien and Dungeon Master mixed in with sword wielding warrior women and moody elves, then Dragon Age is for you.
  20. Mar 23, 2011
    88
    Dragon Age 2 is a perfect example of how a great sequel should be put together.
  21. Mar 21, 2011
    88
    Dragon Age II might stir up a little controversy for the radical changes BioWare implemented in the series, but many of them were done to make the game more accessible. It's still the Dragon Age many of us know and love, it's just growing up a bit. If you're looking for a fantastic adventure with incredible dialogue, vastly improved visuals and visceral combat, this game won't disappoint.
  22. Mar 12, 2011
    88
    BioWare streamlined the whole Dragon Age experience, making it more involving and dynamic than the first one: the great story and dialogue management are amongst the game's higher points, while we would have liked something more from the too basic visuals and level design. A recommended game, even to the most conservative players.
  23. Mar 8, 2011
    88
    Dragon Age II is streamlined, not simplified. It's a great game within its own rights, but issues with the overall story, repetitive environments, and control scheme keep it from being truly fantastic.
  24. Mar 16, 2011
    87
    Combat may take some time to get used to, but overall a spectacular game from Bioware.
  25. 87
    The new battle system and the action gameplay are nice. Only the level design is obviously too repetitive. The game looks and feels a lot more accessible than its predecessor.
  26. Mar 11, 2011
    86
    Gripping, complex, and delightful, role-playing games are rarely this good.
  27. Aug 3, 2011
    85
    I'll give Bioware points for trying to do something different in their world, but they really did have it right the first time in terms of character building and the scope of the story.
  28. Mar 21, 2011
    85
    Ultimately, I was left with two of the three things I expect from a BioWare game - fantastic story and brilliant characters.
  29. Mar 19, 2011
    85
    I just think by making the game simpler, they have created a fun playing game, but not a very deep one.
  30. Mar 9, 2011
    85
    Dragon Age 2 is slightly different from Dragon Age: Origins. The gameplay structure presents lots of simplifications that fits the game better on consoles, and the storytelling (dark, mature and deep as always) is more focused on the main character and less dispersive. In the end, in a complete different way, the game is as good as the prequel, but aimed at a different kind of gamer.
  31. 85
    Despite a bitch-slap of an ending (setting it up for a sequel no doubt), there's some really great moments in this game.
  32. Mar 8, 2011
    85
    The combat is more responsive and bloody, you don't need to fight the inventory system anymore, and conversations are more engaging thanks to the adapted Mass Effect wheel. There are downsides though; the semi-linear story and repetitive environments have a negative effect on what is otherwise a great role-playing game.
  33. Mar 10, 2011
    84
    Dragon Age II doesn't quite carry the torch as well as Origins did, thanks to a few lesser items in gameplay and the lack of a genuinely moving story. That said, it's still a splendid action RPG with hours worth of gameplay going for it and plenty of choices that will make you want to play through it repeated times.
  34. Mar 31, 2011
    83
    I enjoyed the game for what it was but you have to go in expecting a new experience and something different from Origins and I don't want to knock it for what was I expecting, but rather rate it for what it is instead. This may be Dragon Age 2, but it is not Dragon Age: Origins 2.
  35. Mar 21, 2011
    83
    Dragon Age II is a bit of a contradiction. It is both open and linear, limiting and filled with choice but these all combine together to produce another very compelling adventure. Some of the battles may be drawn out but there is always ample reward for perseverance. Dragon Age II is yet more proof of Bioware's dominance in RPG development and long may it continue.
  36. A technically impressive and deeply detailed fantasy adventure, but one lacking in vision. [May 2011, p.102]
  37. Mar 14, 2011
    83
    In their reimagining of Dragon Age II, Bioware has transferred one too many points from storytelling and exploration to combat.
  38. Mar 8, 2011
    83
    It 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.
  39. Mar 7, 2011
    83
    Part of me was disappointed with Dragon Age II. I hoped for an improvement on the original, but it ultimately feels like a step back. [Apr 2011, p.85]
  40. Mar 8, 2011
    81
    Dragon Age II is still a good role-playing game, but in more than one way it is inferior to its great predecessor.
  41. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    The purist, PC-RPG crowd will hate it for "dumbing down" one of the last remaining hardcore RPGs, while the console clan will love it for making a fantastic series more accessible. Everyone should cotton to the clever, twisty story and fully fledged characters.
  42. Mar 14, 2011
    80
    It features slick combat, interesting characters and an intriguing narrative that - for those who can ignore the presentational shortcomings - combine to make an incredibly immersive role-playing experience. However, the game's uninspired, repetitive environments and limited sense of adventure fail to provide a suitable platform for what could have been the defining RPG of this generation.
  43. 80
    Dragon Age 2 is a long, epic adventure that will give you your money's worth. It's just that some of the execution didn't feel spot-on. The story needed work, and the characters sometimes felt flat.
  44. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    My biggest critique comes in the form of companion customization; you can't upgrade armor for your party members.
  45. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    A fragmented kaleidoscope of elements that finally form a rich, if imperfect, vision once everything is aligned. Some may find the apparent simplification disagreeable, but it's more a concentration of focus that allows BioWare to tell the more personal story of Hawke, and add polish to the world they have built around him. And noone builds a world like BioWare.
  46. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    By the time the last sword was swung in Dragon Age 2, I had enjoyed some great conversations, participated in some thrilling battles and even been at the center of an interesting story. I just never could shake the feeling that it was a story I was telling myself.
  47. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    A 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.
  48. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    It's a shame that these intricacies were tempered by unnecessary simplification and unfocused storytelling. Nevertheless, Dragon Age II makes a strong impression, pulling you through with the promise of another fun quest, another character to meet, and another beast to slay.
  49. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    It's never quite as great as it could be. Nor is it as successful as Mass Effect 2 at pitching itself across genres. Nevertheless, Dragon Age II presents an absorbing, sprawling story encased in blood-stained action RPG armour.
  50. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    Dragon Age II unfortunately isn't the perfect sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. However the game itself is still very good, so lovers, unite!
  51. May 1, 2011
    75
    Faulty game mechanics and disappointing maps, combat scenarios and storyline direction aside, Dragon Age II still has a surprising amount of intrigue hidden beneath the blemishes. The depth of character relationships, as well as the complex nature of the world of the Dragon Age franchise are a savior to a game that would otherwise forever be remembered by its mistakes.
  52. Mar 18, 2011
    75
    Unfortunately, Dragon Age II feels like a filler title to get from Dragon Age: Origins to Dragon Age III and to somewhat satisfy fans in the meantime.
  53. Mar 16, 2011
    75
    While I don't feel DA2 has changed my expectations of RPGs, I had a blast playing it, which doesn't often happen with sequels released within the same hardware generation.
  54. Mar 15, 2011
    75
    Τhere was no time nor passion for Dragon Age II. But still, the gameplay mechanics are great and the battle system is so furious and rabid that could challenge even the most hardcore RPG players. And at the same time, it can be a great introduction into the Dragon Age Universe for the less experienced ones.
  55. Mar 11, 2011
    75
    DA2 is certainly a well-acted and better-looking game by dropping its ported qualities, but without the thoughtful structure and fully realized world like that of Origins, it's one that exists in the hyphenated space of "action-RPG" where the first 5 hours are almost identical to last 30. The demo was a good taste of what Dragon Age 2 could have been, it's just a shame it never goes anywhere beyond that.
  56. 74
    I can honestly say I had hoped for more from Dragon Age II. Considering Bioware have a history of nailing their sequels, I can't help but feel this was handed off to their reserves developers as the big guns work on Mass Effect 3.
  57. Mar 30, 2011
    70
    Uninspired and sorely lacking invention. [Issue#70, p.78]
  58. Mar 29, 2011
    70
    It continues to be a good RPG, with some flaws and it's very similar to the first, but if you are thinking of starting up in the Dragon Age saga, buy Origins.
  59. Mar 22, 2011
    70
    It's a deeply flawed game, to be sure, wasting a wellspring of potential for no discernible reason, but one that should be played for being unafraid to show people at their weakest and most vicious. If the metric of a good game is that I keep coming back to it despite it's faults, Dragon Age II certainly qualifies.
  60. Mar 21, 2011
    70
    Dragon Age II felt unfinished. Bioware gave too many restrictions with the adventure in terms of where you can go and where the story might take you. They also unnecessarily changed things up in the inventory system which didn't help the overall experience at all. The game still feels fun, but it's a lot more tedious/frustrating than the original.
  61. Mar 15, 2011
    70
    Slightly dissapointing. It's not a bad game but a much worse one than the first chapter of the saga, and we're sure that BioWare can do far better than this.
  62. Mar 10, 2011
    70
    Dragon Age 2, like the first, feels like a whisper of a promise rather than a burst of fresh air, always heralding that maybe – just maybe – the next sequel will be better. For now, it is robust, enjoyable and promising. But most of all, it's safe. It's safe.
  63. Mar 9, 2011
    70
    Despite its game mechanics being streamlined to cater the console-audience with a high tempo and a smaller set of statistics, Dragon Age II is still a massive role-playing adventure. With its immersive storyline and good class system, it its yet another Bioware game in the collection of great role-playing experiences.
  64. Mar 8, 2011
    70
    While Dragon Age II doesn't quite measure up to it's predecessor, the streamlined approach was a solid effort - if Bioware can somehow marry the best parts of Origins and Dragon Age II, it will produce one of the best RPGs the world has ever seen.
  65. 70
    The frustrating thing is we have a feeling Dragon Age II is going to be criticised most for its gameplay changes than its storytelling failings. You might not like the new direction but it works as BioWare intended. But the story you carve with your new combat skills doesn't always seem worthy of such risky innovation.
  66. Mar 8, 2011
    70
    Despite the way narrative has been re-structured and the combat made meatier, this sequel follows the old conventions of the genre too literally to develop an individuality beyond them. Two entries down the pipe, and Dragon Age is still experiencing the growing pains of a series that's more dedicated to studying fantasy games than developing its own personality in the genre.
  67. Mar 11, 2011
    65
    There are occasional strong moments, but unless you're desperate for more of the Dragon Age setting, it would be best to replay Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect 2 instead.
  68. Mar 28, 2011
    60
    It's quick, painless and will leaving you wanting more. Perhaps it doesn't bear the weight other RPGs do, but it carries its own and smoothly enters players into its world. Overall, it may not challenge, but it does please.
  69. Mar 23, 2011
    60
    There's a lot to like in BioWare's latest, but the sad truth is that even before the halfway point you'll have seen pretty much everything the game has to offer, several times over in many cases. [Issue#107, p.86]
  70. Mar 21, 2011
    60
    Dragon Age II isn't a bad game, but it is a huge disappointment from such a respected and otherwise consistent developer. While the combat has been improved significantly, its failings in other areas – areas in which BioWare usually excel – are numerous and baffling. In the 32 hours it took me to finish the game, I spent the last 10 wishing it would hurry up and get to the good bit at the end. And then it turned out the ending was a bit non-committal and rubbish, too. A shame.
  71. Mar 11, 2011
    60
    The claustrophobic setting is the game's most glaring weakness: you can't have an epic adventure in a single city any more than a child will be content to endlessly explore his own back garden. [Apr 2011, p.82]
  72. Mar 8, 2011
    60
    Dragon Age II is blessed with a deep universe and a ton of content, but it's sadly undermined by its technical side. Even though, visually, the game goes beyond the original, it still forgoes some elements of its predecessor in order to become more action-oriented, which is a choice that will most probably keep dividing opinions. We'd have hoped to see this sequel install the franchise as a must-have by correcting the shortcomings of the original. Instead, we'll have to make-do with finding it most entertaining indeed, but without any added praise. Too bad.
  73. Mar 28, 2011
    50
    Bioware has stripped away the veil of grandiose adventure, and what's behind the curtain is a truly uninspired RPG.
  74. Mar 11, 2011
    50
    Quotation forthcoming.
  75. Mar 22, 2011
    25
    Defying all expectations, BioWare managed to take one of the most memorable Western RPGs in recent history and completely destroyed everything that made it so good.
User Score
4.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2254 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Mar 8, 2011
    0
    I have been following Bioware through their first ever steps. I own all their RPG titles until this day. Sadly this will be the last Bioware title I will own. As such an old fan I came to appreciate the effort put into game making. Titles such as Baldur's Gate, KOTOR will always be memorable. What can someone say about Dragon Age II though? The gameplay is dumbed down to the point of hack/slash. Thanks but no thanks, Diablo III will do a better job than this. Storytelling is linear and non thrilling. Tactics are next to non existent and inventory, customization are a shadow of what is expected for an RPG game of this caliber. That said I think 60 bucks for a game rushed to please the mass fan base it too much. 30 would be good for this quality.. Full Review »
  2. Mar 9, 2011
    4
    Sadly DA2 is no roleplay Game in my Oppinion anymore. The only thing this game has is fighting (with much blood and exploding hordes of enemies - like the Marketing said.. for every button something flashy happens) also there are no Skills anymore, beside the fighting skills... The other thing is the story presentation, which Bioware still is good at.
    But things like the restricted inventory and kodex entries (50% percent of the things you find are nondescript junk?? really?), the MMO Interface.. this all makes it to an Action Adventure at best. As a roleplay game it sadly fails in nearly every way :(
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 8, 2011
    2
    Soulless, disappointing, misstep (if not outright misshapen). Bioware has long been a gem of rich storytelling and having the ability to define gestalt. However, glamor doesn't make a game. The graphics & sounds effects are clean, dark, & too simple to bring reference to the genre (they're more suited to modern, the future, or a tech setting). The quality of voice & story leaves one wondering that budget cuts were in the wrong areas--quite frankly, the game feels low rent, a sellout, & hoping to be a cash cow--or else promising to deliver to an immature crowd. The deviation from the genre just doesn't work. Given critic reviews of the game vs. user reviews, I wonder that critics are now as out-of-touch as Tom Cruise. As much as I feel that Overlord was an underrated game by critics, I call this game far too overrated. It's a huge let down. Let RPG fans mourn the loss of Bauldur's Gate, the downfall of it's "successor", & pray Skyrim is better, not bastardized, nor as dumbed down. Full Review »