User Score
4.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2265 Ratings

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  1. Mar 15, 2011
    9
    Excellent game that holds up to it's predecessor quite well. Sure, it has it's share of flaws with the recycling of dungeons as the biggest one, but I'm on my second play through and having a blast with different dialog options and outcomes. Just ignore the zeros from old school RPG elitists still hung up on Baldur's Gate.
  2. Mar 15, 2011
    9
    Dragon Age 2 is a much better game than most people give it credit for. The overall visuals of the game are a major improvement over the original, the plot and character development (despite it not having the grand scale of the first one) was fleshed out better this time around, and it was a little more unique than the usual BioWare fanfare.

    To start, the game is called "Dragon Age" not
    "Warden Age", or at least since the last time I checked. You are not a god-like hero who can face an entire Blight with little to no assistance. People need to remember that the scale of a game does not equate to its quality. You play a refugee who is simply trying to insure the survival of his family, only to find himself thrust into the role of a hero. Not only does the main character have a personality this time around, but also a voice. He/She also has to face some very human situations as the years pass by. Some situations you might find yourself not knowing what the right thing to say is. This isn't because BioWare doesn't know what they are doing, it is more along the lines of them shying away from "Light" and "Dark" decisions and simply adding a shade of gray. Sometimes it comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils. Just because you don't see an immediate reaction to your choices, does not mean that they won't play a role later on in the game either. To sit there and say that DA2 is completely linear would be saying the same for every other BioWare game ever made, which most of you can't honestly do.

    I understand that quite a few of you might be frustrated by the lack of locations, but then again we go back to my argument over the scale of it. Your rise to power makes you the "Champion of Kirkwall" not the "Champion of the Free Marches" so it is understandable that you are only set to the amount of areas presented to you. Don't even try and say that Dragon Age: Origins didn't recycle locations either. That was one of the first things my roommate griped about when playing DA: O for the first time.

    Ah, on to the classic "RPG/Not an RPG" argument. Correct me if I'm wrong, but RPG stands for "Role Playing Game". The game allows you to customize your character's appearance, stats, abilities, and class. This seems to be something you do in just about EVERY RPG. People fail to realize that RPGs aren't becoming more like Action Games, it is actually the other way around. More action games are implementing more RPG elements. Also RPGs give you an option that most Action Games, if any at all, don't... Choice. Your actions and choices affect the storyline, even if it is only to a small degree. Most Action Games have you follow a very linear storyline and don't have a lot in the way of story or other forms of immersion.

    The combat hasn't changed, other than the fact that the A button now has to be pressed repeatedly rather than hitting it once and then walking away until your target is dead. Potions can't be spam consumed constantly throughout a fight, which makes you think a little more about when the proper time to use one would be. Your special attacks and abilities are even set to the same style as the first one! Combat that is more fast-paced doesn't make it simply a hack and slash. I love Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age: Origins. Their combat works well for me too, but just because DA2 decided to be less traditional, doesn't make it any less an RPG.

    I especially love the little things that BioWare decided to do. The little nods, references, and cameos from the first game. It was nice to see some familiar faces and hear of the exploits of my hero from DA: O and DLC. Unlike some of the people who claim to love BioWare, but refuses to support their product, the day-one DLC was also in DA:O, not to mention it was also free to those who actually BOUGHT the game. If you pre-ordered the game you were even bumped up to a Signature Edition for free! We're talking close to $40 of additional content at no charge. So please don't be mad that you actually have to pay for something else since you decided not to buy the game. I'm broke, so the whole "I can't afford to buy a game from a developer I really enjoy" is a pretty invalid argument if I can still manage to do so.

    All in all, Dragon Age 2 wasn't the best game BioWare ever made, but it was very much enjoyable and an improvement (and welcomed addition) to an already amazing franchise.
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  3. Mar 15, 2011
    9
    First off, this is a great game. If you are expecting a classic RPG like Baldur's Gate, this game is not it. In my opinion, the only people that should gripe about that aspect of this game are people playing the PC version. The "classic RPG" does not translate well on a console. I think the game play mechanics are an improvement over DAO. The story is excellent and moves the game alone at an enjoyable pace. The story is exactly what everyone has come to expect from a Bioware game. You definitely can see the resemblance to ME2 with the updated interface. I did not run into any major bugs during my play through. If you liked DOA, you should pick this game up. Expand
  4. Mar 16, 2011
    9
    The fast paced combat is one of the greatest improvements I have ever seen in a game. The story was satisfying and interesting. The only negative I experienced, was the repetitive scenery. Personally loved everything else and agree that most of the negativity you see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. Most seem to have been expecting Dragon Age Origins 2.0. All in all, the game was worth the money and entertaining. Expand
  5. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    Da 2 represents the splitting of the old and new.An immersive game that grows with time like the first.Great characters,great setting and fantastic combat.There is a lot of skilled needed on the harder settings which is where it should be played.Superior class system than Origins.
  6. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    After waiting months for this to come out and finally getting the chance to play it, I must say that I am very disappointed with DA2. I have no idea why Bioware would choose to take what one of and I believe is the best role playing game (DA'O) and turn it into a version of Diablo. Bioware has taken out what made this game exciting and fun. The combat gameplay is a joke, in normal mode you may as well just sit back and go to sleep as your team destroys everything in its path...Much to easy. The biggest difference you feel right from the start is that unlike the original, this game feels..well..like a game. When you played the orginal for hours on end, you started to bond with the members of your group. You actually felt like you were part of a team and at any moment they might stop and speak to you. That is gone in DO2. It feels like a game and gets boring after the first few hours. I cant see me playing this game again, unlike the original, which I played through 6 times. Hopefully the guys at Bioware will wake up and spend the time to give us a DA3 that lives up to the first. If not, I see Dragon Age going BYe Bye...At least in my home. Expand
  7. Mar 25, 2011
    10
    Yes, the maps can get repetitive and boring. Yes, it is disappointing that you are only basically one location throughout the entirety of the game. And yes the second and third acts feel rushed and all too brief in comparison with other Bioware games. However, the gameplay is undeniably better than Origins and the skill tree system of character evolution is a step up from the linear one seen in Origins. DA2 is a great rags to riches story with its share of triumph and tragedy moments. Most of the characters throughout the game are unique and memorable, and there are a few laugh out loud moments with their dialogue (see Varric and Isabella). I believe DA2 is meant to be a stepping stone for the franchise, sort of another prelude. Much in the way Origins set up the world of the Dragon Age Franchise, DA2 set up the story of the Dragon Age Franchise. Expand
  8. Mar 27, 2011
    9
    Pros: -Likeable cast with emphasized individuality -improved performance -improved character design -greater depth to the combat tactics menu -Interactions with party members feel more personal -combat works better on console -improved spell effects -cross-class combos Cons -repetitive environments -lack of a tactical view during combat -main story lacked cohesion Score representing my overall enjoyment of the game: 9/10

    Thank you,
    Roguish98
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  9. Apr 5, 2011
    10
    Dragon Age 2 is fantastic. The 'Story within a Story' perspective is outstanding, and I love the fact that the gameplay has a stream-lined, action oriented feel to it. The story itself and the dialogue that goes with it are fun and engaging, and really play on the fact that the story is being told by someone else. I really enjoyed DAO, and I think DA2 is a great experience in a world crafted by one of the gaming industry's most dedicated and inventive developers. Bioware are outstanding.
    The bottom line is: This game is fun. Do yourself a favour and play it.:)
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  10. Mar 26, 2011
    9
    Many of us have been waiting to get our hand on the sequal to Origins. But when that day finally arrived, many of us thought it was a bad game, even awful. For me, this is... not true. Yes, the game can be different than Origins, but they still manage to keep the core. What I mean with 'Core' is very simple... -> If you've played Origins, you'll feel the resemblance, but with a much more fluent Combat System.

    POSITIVE:
    - An incredible story finished with a climax ending.
    - Stunning graphics
    - Fluent gameplay
    - Cool interaction/involvement with the characters
    - 3 very different classes, each with subclasses

    NEGATIVE:
    - Repetitive surroundings (especially inside buildings/caves)
    - Somewhat annoying bugs that kill quests

    All in all, Dragon Age 2 delivers. It's a worthy successor and I hope they'll make exciting DLC in the near future.
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  11. Mar 30, 2011
    10
    Dragon Age 2 is an RPG that takes a close look at a large, living world full of culture, racial clash, national identities. If you loved DAO you won't love DA2 for the same reasons. If you come into DA2 with an open mind, like you should all games, you will find a high quality story filled with characters who have their own opinions and viewpoints. You will see the journey of a man (or woman) named Hawke, who was dealt a bad hand and had to flee his his country. He arrives in an alien culture and quickly realizes he must learn a whole new set of politics to make his way as a foreigner in the city of Kirkwall. You know the beginning of his story and the end right from the start, but you get to fill in the large blank in the middle and explain how he made the decisions that got him to the end. I am a huge fan of Bioware. And I feel like Bioware is one of the only developers devoted to creating high quality, large storied worlds the way they create their RPGs. I find all the negativity towards DA2 as peoples lack to manage their expectations before a game is released. No game that is in working condition and has so much high quality content deserves a 0 unless that person hasn't managed their own expectations. Expand
  12. Feb 22, 2012
    9
    Wow I see allot of people on here whining and giving low scores because Dragon age 2 wasn't as good as DAO.too all you people giving low scores go back to you're pc's and stop giving bad reviews to a good game just because it went another route.dragon age 2 is a great game and I think if you like rpg's and a good story go get this game.nuff said.
  13. Mar 13, 2011
    9
    Fantastic Game.. I love all Bioware games.The immersion and combat of this game are unmatched! A truly moving and fun epic. Anything negative you'll see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. For what it is, it is flawlessly executed and endlessly entertaining
  14. Mar 14, 2011
    9
    DA2 took me 36 hours of gameplay (skipped 10+ quests). Good:
    Bioware games are always about the story - and it is the best story written by David Gaider so far. Connections between DAO/DAA and DA2 are far more complex than in Mass Effect 2. Crafting system was nicely improved. Combat changes may seen controversial, but itâ
  15. Mar 14, 2011
    10
    Can't understand the negativity aimed at the gam from some people. As a fan of RPGs for many years games and any other medium, I have still found Dragon ge 2 to be an excellent game. It is a lot more enjoyable then Origins and the Mass Effect style of play works brilliantly. Doubt I would normally give a ten but to bring the score were it should be I am.
  16. Mar 15, 2011
    10
    I have played Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age II and can say I really enjoyed both games. Dragon Age II is a very different story than Dragon Age Origins. Dragon Age II is actually a more complex story in many ways and your decisions will often come back to haunt you later in the game. I am not sure why so many people are posting negative reviews about this game. It was very interesting and makes me want to find out what happens next in the Dragon Age world. It did feel like the actions I took as my character had an impact on the story and the events that unfold. I have just started my second play through and expect to have just as much fun as the first.

    It is a darker game than Dragon Age Origins with a lot of serious and terrible things that your character must deal with.
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  17. Mar 15, 2011
    10
    This is easily the greatest game of all time, bar none. I can't believe this silly little casual hipster nogaem /v/irgens find this game so difficult, they have to take out their hate on it. Silly boys, don't hit on this game.

    Spoilers. This game rules the schools
  18. Mar 15, 2011
    10
    This game is fantastic. The combat, the characters, the graphics, and the story are all dramatically improved over the first game. Like the original Mass Effect, there is some repetition in some of the side quest environments, but the side quests are written well enough that it is still worth it. All in all, this is the most fun I've had playing a game in a long time.
  19. Mar 19, 2011
    9
    Once you get past the horrible inventory system and if you can get past the reused dungeons, this is a really solid game. The game is also very long and I loved the unreliable narrator. The story is about the player rising from being nobody to being the champion. The story and the characters felt really diverse and I have the feeling that there should be enough content for a second or third playthrough. This is based on my experience of finishing the game on nightmare difficulty on a mage. Playtime 60 hours but that doesn't include all the reloading I would guess. Expand
  20. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    I understand that people could dislike DA2 (even if on day one is too early to give a judgement), but giving a 0 is too much. Anyway, here is my first review!
    I'm actually playing it, I'm finishing third act and I'm having a blast. Inventory is better than origin, combat is more arcade, yes, but playing on hard or nightmare is still really difficult and requires a lot of micromanagement
    (and a lot of use of pause button!). The companion are quite lively and they tend to interact more often than in origin. And, as much as the gift mechanics of Origins could be amusing, the gift and interaction system used in DA2 is more functional and easier to understand. If there is something I don't like, that's the environment, that's build around four or five standard maps that never change... That's disappointing, since Origins had a really nice amount of variety.
    All in all, I'm really loving DA2 and I can't wait to start my second and third play-through, making entirely different decisions.
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  21. Mar 16, 2011
    9
    When I played the first one, I didn't like it that much, the combat was frustrating for me on the 360, and I had to turn EASY some times, The Rogue had the most terrible armor looks and the control of the others party members was terrible. When I played on the PC was my best experience with the game, the combat problems was all sorted out. The fact the main character had no voice wasn't something I cared but it did felt weird, after I played Mass effect and they said the character on DRAGON AGE II would be full voiced I though that great because Makes you more into the game, you can be in contact with the world more. The combat on this game IS AWESOME soooooooooo much better than the first one, even from the PC, I think it is great that with mass effect it is 3dpersonSHOOTER/RPG and with this is action/RPG it's different, fun and visceral. My rogue now is wayyyy cooler in the looks and the art style in my honest opinion is beautiful. The story is smaller in greatness compared with the first but I think this is just the start of a BIGGER ARC that they wanted to tell the players it is like with the first was ALL THE PLOT, and this one is the first PART, like BATMAN BEGINS :P. My only complaint is the repetitive maps like caves and inside warehouses that it is kinda tiresome, and the bugs/glitches with the quests that is kinda of a let down but NO WAY should keep you in the way to enjoy this awesome game. I AM SURE the third one is gonna close the mouth of EVERY ONE who is giving this game a bad score. IS NOT a 10 like mass effect 2 but it is definitely is a 9 like the first one In general and 10 in combat/looks.
    Here waiting for another Bioware IP. Spy, western, jade return, super heroes, mafia :P
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  22. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    I liked the game alot actually though I seem to be one of the few who did. Its not Baldur's gate 2 or even Dragon Age: Origins but on it's own merits its a good game. Dragon Age: Origins was too easy on Nightmare difficulty and this game surely isn't.
  23. Mar 16, 2011
    9
    Personally, i am very much enjoying this game. I'm about 30 hours in, and I'm maybe 23rd's of the way through. The story is compelling, if a little unfocused at times, the gameplay is fun and challenging, and the voice acting is mostly solid (except, unfortunately, that of the male lead, much like in Mass Effect. Why hire the talented voic actors for the smaller roles?).

    People
    complaining that this is not a roleplaying game seem to lack an understanding of what the genre is, with most of the complaints being that this is not as tactical a game as it's predecessor, which i suppose is true enough, although the harder difficulties still require both skill and strategy. So no, it is not a tactical role playing game, it is action role playing, but roleplaying none the less. You play through a complex, multifaceted story, making key decisions that affect your character, your companions and the surrounding world. This is what i'm after in a RPG, not excessive micromanagement. For that i'll play an RTS thanks. While graphically subpar, I thought this was great fun, and enjoyed it every bit as much as Origins. No, you can no longer change the armour of your companions, but i fail to see the problem, as there are plenty of barbie dolls and fashion games for people who think putting a different coat on a pirate or different armour on an elf girl is integral to the experience. There are similar complaints that you can not make your archer use a sword... Why would your archer use a sword? To me this made the roleplaying more solid, not less. Your companions are people with their own talents, who make thier own choices. They are not simply extensions of the main protagonist.
    Then again, most of these complaints seem to come from those who are angry that Bioware did not simply make the first game all over again. ironically, early fan reviews of origins were every bit as negative, as it was not identical to Baldur's Gate. If you want DA: Origins or baldur;'s gate, then by all means, play them, they are fantastic. Dragon Age 2 is it's own game, and a good one at that.

    I was disappointed with the frequently reused maps, and there are a number of bugs I would not expect in a AAA title, which is what stopped this getting a 10 from me.

    If your on the fence, try the demo and decide for yourselves. If you go in with an open mind, I think most people will find something to truly enjoy here.
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  24. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    DA2 has it's head up it's ass. Sorry, but it's true. I think there are alot of fans that are just disappointed because of the arrogant flare being displayed in the game. The mob won't tolerate arrogance, or perhaps someone is sick that is in charge. I don't doubt they worked hard, I don't doubt they tried to make it fun.... but that was the point... it was fun, but I couldn't fall in love with the product because there were places in the game that just left a bitter taste in my mouth. Like going to 4 difference places.... but it's all the same map? What the hell were you guys thinking? I tried to fool myself for DA2 and couldn't do it. But.... it's still a very good game COMPARED to the games out there. The 0's in the scores are just people who resent being left in the dust as DA2 tries HARDER to win new customers rather then keeping old customers satisfied. GET USED TO IT. I give it a 10 to even things out. Because those who believe it's a 4.2 will be missing out. It's worth your 60 bucks compared to the garbage out there. Those of you who gave it a 0? Get over it. Support them this time, because they got something big coming along that will make alot of people happy. Expand
  25. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    Fantastic game. A masterpiece. Bioware as always have shown that they the best rpg developers. The combat, a plot, and characters are incredible. Game is ideal in all. Thanks for Fenris, Anders, Isabella and certainly Hawk. The original plot holds throughout all game. A one minus - repeating locations. But this isn't neccesary. I always buy your games. Thanks once again that you have made!
  26. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. dragon age 2 best game of all times... I do not know why at this game such low estimation, but is better rpg you can't find... Bioware as always have surpassed itself Expand
  27. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    The demo failed to impress me but after spending hours playing through the game I'm fully converted! piles of missions to keep me wandering about and the much derided Kirkwall and the Freemarshes are massive and beautifully detailed - no you can't armour up your companions but you can change their weapons, rings etc. and set up individual tactics that make them behave differently each time you play. yes it's more "fight-y" but the animations are spectacular - well done Bioware (don't know why the reviews are so negative !!) Expand
  28. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    I have put in about 12-13 hours into this game and have found that people seemed to just be mad at the fact BioWare has just changed how they feel an RPG should work. I personally feel that all genres need to evolve and am glad that BioWare is doing their best for the RPG. Anyone who is mad that this is not an exact replica of Dragon Age: Origins needs to stop. The game is titled Dragon Age II not Dragon Age: Here's the first game again.

    That being said, I have found that overall the game is very good. Sure there are some minor problems to it but they can easily be overlooked. If you want the game to be more tactical you can up the difficulty to Hard/Nightmare but I have found that even on normal you still have to keep the situation in mind and not blindly charge in. So far the story seems to flow pretty well, with a small disconnect in between chapter 1 and 2 (currently at the beginning of 2). I feel like the conversations are well done even if sometimes the responses are a little corny. Overall I would give the game a 9 so far but with all the haters in the world I will leave it at a 10.
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  29. Mar 16, 2011
    9
    Dragon Age 2 is not Origins 2.0. It has faster combat, less loot sorting, and a more cinematic presentation. These changes were bound to create division among the fanbase. Neither of the camps are necessarily wrong per-se, but many members of them are simply focusing on the changes, not the game as a whole. Dragon Age: Origins had a somewhat traditional top-down tactical style of combat. DAII retains some of Origins' tactical elements ( the radial pause menu, for example) but increases combat pacing and decreases its difficulty. The new combat looks, and feels more intense, and to me at least, more fun. The mentality to the changes in combat seems to be geared towards cinematic presentation, which is extended into other facets of the game as well, like the dialogue system.

    DA II has a fully voiced protagonist, and the dialogue is chosen from a wheel that offers a thought that the character translates into speech. The system, while borrowed from Mass Effect, fits into the game quite nicely. The dialogue choices you make will also determine how your character behaves when you don't have direct control. By having the character speak, Hawke feels like a character, rather than a puppet. Dragon Age II's plot is somewhat unconventional. It isn't necessarily about Hawke himself, but the consequences of his actions on the world surrounding him. The writers accomplish this by utilizing a framed narrative, one of your companions, Varric, tells the tale in three acts. For the most part there is no central villain to defeat, as the whole setting is morally gray. While the main plot is interesting in its own right, the characters that follow Hawke are some of the most intriguing characters in any game period, whether you love em' or hate em'. The games weakest component is its visuals. On an artistic level, it finds its own ground in the crowded fantasy genre, but suffers due to continually recycled environments. I understand that the central location of the game, the city of Kirkwall, is bound to be recycled since the game takes place there over the course of 10 years. And each district is fairly visually distinct. However, the surrounding environments are inexcusable. The first time you go into a mine , it looks great. Then, you enter another mine, for a separate quest, and it is the EXACT SAME, visually, and its actual layout. Sure, it makes some sense for one cave to look visually similar to another, but every side location should have its own unique layout. On a technical level, textures on some clothing and armor A common complaint has been that you can no longer customize your companions weapons and armor. You can still customize the accessories that they wear, and can enchant their gear as you see fit. I don't find this change particularly bothersome, as I find sorting through loot to be tedious. Less time spent in menus, to me, is a good thing. And besides I would rather my companions have a few sets of unique armor, than wear the same armor that everyone else does.

    Dragon Age II is a role-playing game in the simplest sense. Bioware gives you a role, Hawke, and you play it. With its cinematic presentation, and new narrative direction, it marks a change. Dragon age wasn't "dumbed down" it was changed. The game industry is not static, it grows and evolves. DAII isn't perfect by any means, no new things are. But its faults don't mean that it isn't a game that shouldn't be enjoyed.
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  30. Mar 17, 2011
    9
    DA2 is a really good game, and thank God its not like DA:O cause that was only popular because it brought back the old RPG environment for the "old RPG and DND fans". Sure it had it's great moments but but think of it, role-playing doesn't mean you need to spend all your time managing your every move in combat but to have fun while talking with your companions, and this way it's more fun and there are still hard encounters where you can not survive without pausing all the time. Tha dialogue system is simpler but to be honest, when you wanted to be rude with somebody in the DA:0 you chose a bit harsh and aggressive answer and when you want to be good, you chose a kind one. It's all the same, just visually different. Sure the places that you visit can be a bit boring after some time but that's it. A tone of side quests and possibilities and companions are great, they are fun to listen to while wondering the city and have a pretty good background. I l really like this game, and for all the haters...
    Come writers and critics, Who prophesize with your pen, And keep your eyes wide, The chance won't come again, And don't speak too soon, For the wheel's still in spin, And there's no tellin' who, That it's namin', For the loser now, Will be later to win, For the times they are a-changin'.

    Remember how everyone cried about ME2 after the first game?
    Good Job BIoware, we love you !
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  31. Mar 17, 2011
    9
    Dragon Age 2 is for me, an excellent game. Have simplified and improved the class system making the game accessible and very entertaining. The RPG elements are still present but rather the player and help each ballasting in deep mechanical game pc own that do not benefit at all.

    Graphically the game has been improved and the animations of the scenes to levels magnificent and gifted the
    game of impeccable artistic finish and much better than its predecessor.

    As for the game system contains numerous ethical issues to be resolved by the player avoiding the dichotomy good / bad as simplistic in many RPGs.
    For me it is a great buy for any role player. I'm not at all agree with the comments of people who will surely do nothing but destructive criticism of the game.

    For me an excellent RPG and a very good purchase.

    note. Not working for Bioware and I'm unemployed .... XD
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  32. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    After playing through the game I think its a solid game. It is very different from Dragon Age: Origins, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like the game is more streamlined than Origins. It reminded me more of Knights of the Old Republic than Baldur's Gate. I enjoyed my first playthrough and and am working on my second and there will probably be a few more over the next few months. So, if you are expecting a rehash of Origins, you'll be disappointed. It's a completely different game, but it's still a fun game and has plenty of merits of its own. Download the demo, give it a whirl and see for yourself. Expand
  33. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    I truly believe this game is amazing. The graphics are much better IMO in this game. The combat is vastly superior then DAO. I often got bored while fighting in DAO. The changes were huge and there are downsides such as reused maps but I stand by Dragon Age and Bioware and Im able to evolve just as they tried. Heres hoping even more in DA 3!
  34. Mar 17, 2011
    9
    I've been playing RPG's as well as every Bioware title all my life and I enjoy them thoroughly. I thought Dragon Age 2 was a fantastic wild romp through the impressive city of Kirkwall. I found the combat to be infinitely more satisfying than in Origins with it's faster pace but it still retained the pause and play tactics of the original. The ability to give your party up to 20 tactics each is also awesome. The production values are pretty impressive too with fantastic camera work and good voice acting. The game really feels to me like a fantasy version of Mass Effect 2, and that's not a bad thing in my book. Sure there are some changes to the core gameplay like the dialog wheel and the stripping away of armor from companions but it still definitely feels like another AAA Bioware title. I'm even more impressed that they did it in such a short time as well. The game, for me on my first playthrough, lasted right on the 45 hour mark and I enjoyed every minute of it. Expand
  35. Mar 18, 2011
    9
    Dragon Age 2 shakes things up, and as a result as caused a polarizing view of the worthy RPG. The gameplay is faster than it's predecessor and the story more intimate. Instead of travelling Ferelden to stop a massive archdemon from destroying the world, the creators have streamlined the game into the city of Kirkwall. Kirkwall itself is a complex city-state in political turmoil. You play Hawke, a refugee from Lothering, fleeing the events of the first game. The changes to the game are audacious. It's an intimate story about family, politics, and religion all set against the backdrop of dark fantasy. It's deceptively clever. While the game starts slowly and feels aimless, you realize as you play through that every decision, every mission you go on, ends up effecting the world and how you play your character. Instead of traditional "save the world from evil", Bioware has given us a game that plays out in wonderful shades of gray.

    The voice acting is superb, the characters complex and interesting, and the gameplay, while not your traditional rpg-style, is visceral and dynamic. Don't be fooled by the low ratings. I don't believe anyone should review a game based on ten minutes of playing it. By Act 2 of this game, you are so emotionally involved with Hawke and his companions, there is real immersion and emotion. Bioware is known for creating classic characters. In Knights of the Old Republic, you have HK-47. In Mass Effect, you have the wonderfully blunt Wrex. In KOTOR 2, there is wonderfully slippery Kreia. And in both Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, you have a number of characters that rank up there with the best characters the industry as produced. And in Dragon Age 2, there's the wonderfully crafty dwarf known as Varric. As the narrator of this story, he becomes something of its heart and soul.

    People in this day and age like to make snap judgments. In the history of gaming, I've never seen more childish reviews of a game. Don't let this 4.33 fool you. This game, while not as epic as the original, is infinitely satisfying and groundbreaking. Worth every penny.
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  36. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    The game is excellent. After reading over a bunch of the 0/10 ratings that people are giving it here on Metacritic, I will begin my review by addressing the biggest complaints I've seen.

    First of all, the graphics ARE better than DA:O. That's really not debatable (one can look at the engine that was used or simply compare screenshots of the game). There are a lot of negative remarks
    about the fighting. As an XBOX player, I am actually happy with the updated fighting mechanism. The fights are faster and more fluid, but are still RPG fights- when it all comes down to it, the fights are still turn based- this is hidden a little, but go play a game in the Fable series then this game and compare and you'll see that the basic turn based elements are still there. It may feel like the buttons are press-and-slash, but you will notice that a head-on fight will result in you getting hit once in between every hit you attempt. There has been criticism as the the small number of talents/spells you have. I have not added up the total number compared to DA:O, but it is very comparable. Many of the reviews bash the story telling. Most of these, however, admit that they haven't played the game through or that they gave up on the game. Considering the fact that you don't even have the whole story revealed until the end of the game, those who haven't played it through don't have credibility to speak about the story. As someone who has played it through, I must say the story is VERY good. I dare say better than DA:O (as much as I love Origins). The difference is that, after Lothering, you can pretty much guess the way the rest of the story will play out in Origins. Conversely, It is impossible to see the story in DA2 coming since so many plot elements aren't revealed until the end of the game. It is very well done.

    It is true that the talking mechanism is simplified into a wheel, giving fewer conversation options. However, it is simply a carryover from Mass Effect and functions in a very similar way. I did appreciate the plethora of conversation options in DA:O, but the fact that Hawke has a voice compared to the "Silent Hero of Fereldon" more than makes up for this since it makes the protagonist more 'real'. The complaint over DLC is unjustified. If your pre-ordered before January, you got the signature edition for the price of the retail edition, which came with the day 1 DLC free. There is only x amount of room on a disc, and Bioware didn't have enough room to include everything, hence the "Day 1 DLC". You pay $60 for a full disc, it isn't unreasonable for Bioware to charge extra for content that comes in addition to the full disc. Now that I've addressed the complaints I've seen, my final comments are simply that this game is excellent. I will admit that it takes a few hours to get into it, but in that sense it is like a good book (the beginning is a compilation of what seems like random events, but as you play on these events start to weave together in a very satisfying way. I would highly recommend this game and its DLC- Sebastian's story in the DLC is quite engaging. Overall, its a step below Mass Effect 2, but a step above Mass Effect and DA:O. A very satisfying game to play.
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  37. Mar 19, 2011
    9
    Dragon Age 2 does take a different turn from its predecessor but I do not understand all these low ratings. It is a good game. It functions well and it's engaging, so it at least deserves a 2. The graphics are better, the fighting is better, the loot is better organized and the skill system is stream lined. They have even gotten rid of all the useless spells that I never used. Not only is the combat more fast-paced and involving but the micro-managing of your party is better as well. It may seem like a little change, but when you issue orders, the game doesn't automatically pull you back into the combat like in Origins. Like I said, small change but it makes so much of a difference. I replayed Origins and found the combat slow in comparison. The only problem I've had with the game is the lack of locations. The story is also less grand than Origins, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ignore the trolls and at least rent it. It may not be your cup of tea, but if it is, you'll have a lot of fun. Expand
  38. Mar 19, 2011
    9
    This game is really fun, and I don't understand the negative reviews. I am having a great time with it. I think the conversations and story line are great. there are a few annoying things here and there but for the most part even if it is "dumbed down" this game deserves wall better than the average score it has right now
  39. Mar 20, 2011
    10
    This game is excellent. Do not be fooled by all the fanboys who are giving it an extremely low review simply because its not exactly like Dragon Age: Origins.
    The combat flows much better, and is still quite tactical if you put it on the harder settings. The new conversation system is a bit dumbed down but its worth it to have a character with a voice, I believe. There are a lot of little
    changes that I could probably nitpick to death but most of them grew on me.
    This is worth giving a shot, trust me. Its a very solid game. Its not the dumbed down action fest that everyone makes it out to be. In many ways, I'd call it superior to Dragon Age: Origins.
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  40. Mar 20, 2011
    10
    Forget the haters, this is a great game. Loved every minute. Easily the best RPG I have played since DAO (and that includes ME2). Graphics and gameplay are top notch. Only criticism is recycling of maps.
  41. Mar 22, 2011
    10
    A truely brilliant game. The refinements to the class system are an improvement, combat is even better than the first game (which I also enjoyed), and the game is well paced. A good story and interesting characters, that's well written and brilliantly voiced acted.
  42. Mar 22, 2011
    10
    Much better than origins. Better story better choices and better gameplay. I actually cried during one part of the game. The ending could have been a little better but this is one of the best games I've ever played.
  43. Mar 23, 2011
    10
    Never put my four-penny worth in on anything online before, but, with so many bad reviews, I felt I had to chip in... So, I gave it a ten. Not a real life ten but a computer game ridiculous marking system 10. There are faults. It's not perfect... What is? Ok then, what is wrong? 1) Recycling of environments you cheap ass Bioware swine. 2) Not being able to re-clothe the rest of your party.- though actually after a while you kinda forget that as there's plenty of cool stuff for the main protagonist to collect, so...
    3) If you're ass kickingly good at battle strategy then the difficulty level doesn't go up high enough...
    4) Dialogue choices- they could have stretched to 4 or 5 choices some of the time if not the amount you get in Dragon Age 1.
    5) And, well, for me... that's about it.
    A confession.
    I'm a gamer.
    Not a strictly rpg gamer, or a strictly fps gamer, or whatever... just a gamer.
    What did I like?

    1) The changes made to the combat seem to me improvements. You press a button something happens without having to wait. It doesn't mean you can play this like Fable-( which incidently I did like- that's Fable 2 not 3- which had multiple story-telling faults) If you do play this like Fable you will have your butt handed to you.
    2)The graphics are way better than the first.
    3) Hearing the hero speak makes a nice change.
    4) Non-linear story that strayed from the usual 'I will become a totally mighty hero...' quest- I don't know, given the context of this being a pop-culture fantasy, it just seemed a little more adult, maybe?
    5) The comedy was up to the usual standard.
    6) The characters felt rounded. 7) It was Dragon Age- ie I've run out of things to say that were wrong or right because 85% of this game is the same thing we've come to ecpect whatever all those bad reviews say. The differences make up 15% and I'd say two thirds of those are improvements and a 1/3rd, or 5% of the total, are missteps.
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  44. Mar 25, 2011
    9
    This game was immense, immersive and enjoyable. It is different than the original, but expands the arc and breadth of the series in a way that has me very excited about future iterations. As for the gameplay mechanics complaints--I really don't get it, there's a difficulty slider for that. Combat has as much depth and complexity as a player would like, assuming the player levels past the first two hours before posting a review with a 0 score because the game doesn't have their favorite potion crafting shortcut from the original. The art, animations, and voice acting are beautiful.

    The game takes place in three distinct acts, and the quality really shows through in the second and third. What will be really interesting going forward is seeing how the open-endedness of the original (and the sequel, to a lesser extent) is reconciled with the need for a stable canon to build on in future editions. Right now the more perverse imported saves and gameplay choices already don't seem to fit with story arc, and I think that problem will only compound as the threads come together in future editions. The first two games have given us two major characters we really care about, and there is a platform to build on with that in an amazing setting, but something has to give. I lean towards hoping that the designers retcon a reasonable canon going forward...but I also hope that said canon looks a lot like my imports, while somehow resolving the fact that both The Warden and Hawke look a lot like me. Holding the game back from a 10 are the excessive setting reuse and the launch bugs--in my play-through the chronological jumbling of Merrill's companion quest cutscenes was the major one here. That said, the game could have still reached a 10 with a higher ratio of interpersonal cutscenes and role playing to mindless murder of waves of henchmen. The set up is all there--great characters (including art and voice) and a great conversation mechanism, but still not nearly enough relationship catharsis and interaction with those characters! Especially later in the game. The issue of realism and roving hordes of minor enemies could maybe be resolved with a preference slider for random encounters. The implementation solution of completely undeveloped side quests with no depth at all beyond some Twitter-length codex entires and places to go to kill enemies was hollow.
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  45. Mar 27, 2011
    9
    In a nutshell Dragon Age II is a Dragon Age game with a clear focus and direction and because of it you as the player have to sacrifice certain things ( race choice, certain RPG elements, ect. ) in order for the story to be told with that clear focus. It can make people angry at first, but give it a chance. The game feels much more like a complete story. If you forget about all the external reasons you should hate the game ( the betrayal to PC gamers, the simplification of the RPG aspects) and you pick the game up and play it you will NOT be disappointed. This is one of the best games I've played in years and topples the first game completely. Why? The characters are so much more interesting and likable. RPG's ( including the previous Dragon Age ) contain too many cynical and brooding characters. In Dragon Age II there is only one and he's almost a caricature of himself - Fenris. Varric is such a likable person, a robin hood in dwarf form with all the charm and a bit of storytelling. Party chatter as you run around the world is hilarious, sad, engaging, and really adds to the experience.

    The new combat system ( I know ). I was afraid and initially appalled that they would take the RPG style system and degrade it to a hack and slash style play.... but... its so much more FUN! And natural on the 360, I know, sorry PC players. I played a rogue and it required precise tactics and timing to use all your abilities it was really involved for "hack and slash". Beyond that the story is really well done as well and there is a real sense of progress. I really felt as though I started out a weary refugee looking for shelter who worked her way into a place of respect and financial stability for her, her family and her friends. The citizens revile you at first, a cursed Ferelden rat... and eventually they call you Champion and hail your name. There were quite a few WTF moments with quests and character backgrounds where I stared mouth agape at the horror and unexpectedness of what was happening and then shook my head and said wow, they really did that? That's awesome.

    Allowing romances open to any gender. THANK YOU Bioware. As a female gamer I felt very set aside in the previous game ( and in both the Mass Effects ) when it came to romance choices for female lead characters. Unlocking romances for anyone gives everyone the ability to experience the same thing and not get stuck with some lump, or none at all because of unrequited love ; )

    What could be better?

    The character interactions are SO stunning it leaves the player wanting more. I truly felt like I made friends while playing the game but the companion quests and encounters are too far and few between. This goes for the main plot as well. It would have been better to have a little more fleshing out.

    FIX THE BUGS. I was afflicted by the save bug which caused every 20th or 30th save to corrupt and sometimes I would have to restart the console because the game would be stuck eternally attempting to save. On top of that the game doesn't recognize my old Dragon Age saves so I couldn't import.... that was a huge bummer as my previous choices weren't reflected in game. I cringed every time the characters would refer to the hero of Ferelden as "he" when in my experience.... surely that was not the case.

    Bring back random chatter with NPCs. When the only NPCs that converse are questgivers it makes the world feel less alive.
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  46. Mar 28, 2011
    9
    Not sure why this game is getting such negative reviews from the user-base. I think they've improved on every aspect of the first game which was a little clunky and aimless at times. Combat is a lot easier to manipulate and direct with the streamlined interface and overall it feels like you're more in control without having to sacrifice as much of the stop-start mechanics required in the first game to set everyone's actions up one by one. The ally AI is much improved and I find they employ the correct attacks to sync up with mine as my main character to get the best results. Playing as a mage I found all spells to have much better feedback in terms of the effects and damage they can do. The storyline is typical Bioware - they certainly know what they are doing and despite a slow start it settled quickly into the epic game you'd expect with myriads of characters whose lines were personal and meaningful throughout. Very little repetition of common lines across multiple peripheral characters you are used to seeing in other RPGs. 'Hardcore' RPG fans who are slating the game have probably made their mind up before playing it simply because a few of more mainstream reviews have described the streamlining that has taken place and automatically decided it means 'dumbed down' when nothing could be further from the truth. This is by far the most natural-feeling RPG interface on the Xbox360 so far and they make good use of the controller buttons and interface. It also performs extremely well will slow-down only occurring very very briefly in some of the most populated fighting scenarios. I would highly recommend any RPG fan to play it through. Expand
  47. Apr 2, 2011
    10
    Reading so many reviews, I am baffled by the amount of gamer negativity to this game! Looking at this game, there have definitely been some changes from the original game- however to look past them and judge DAII on it's own merits is the right way to review this game.

    Storyline- The cinematic feel of this game far exceeds the original, and whilst the scope of the game is centered solely
    around the events in one main city (and a few outlying areas), to me this still felt like an epic journey where your actions had true consequences upon the outcome of the game. The storyline behind each of your companions is fleshed out very well, and offers a deep experience and distraction from the main story. As usual Bioware comes through with a great storyline, a deep fantasy world to explore and great development of the characters within the story.

    Graphics- Not of the same caliber as a Mass Effect title, however, it is still a nice looking game. Length- My first playthrough took me 52.5 hours, and my second took me 50 hours. Some people are talking about an extremely short game, whereas it is not short at all. If you explore this game and exhaust the gameplay in this game you will get a lot of value for your money out of this title.

    Combat- this is where the big improvement in this game lies. The fights are now faster paced, and for those who argue it is not as deep an combat experience as DAI, I completely disagree. The combat is fast paced, and full of action- whilst still giving you the option to slow things down with the "wheel" to issue orders to each of the member in your party (which is my personal preferred way of fighting). On top of this, the "combat tactics" still exist for each character, where you can set a bunch of orders for each of your companions to follow- adding a depth of strategy to how you want your team to fight when you are not issuing direct orders. Miscellaneous- There is still plenty of loot, and character development is still there with the ability to level up characters and customise them to your playstyle. Enchanting weapons and upgrading armor returns as well. in short, the RPG elements have been retained to an acceptable level (even though some people may disagree with not being able to equip armor on your companions).

    My conclusion is that DAII is a great game, and whilst some things have been simplified/streamlined, there is no doubt that this has not had a negative effect on the game. I can imagine some RPG purists may find it hard to overcome this, however, should people judge this game on it's own merits they will find a deep, rewarding and entertaining experience from Bioware yet again!
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  48. Apr 3, 2011
    9
    Giving a game that has many obvious merits a "zero" rating is just an annoying way of looking bitter and foolish. I played, and enjoyed, DA:O on PC and 360. That being said, it was obviously made for PC. Looking back at my calendar of 2009 I scarce remember the big fallout of console gamers crying foul about the fact that DA:O was clearly made for PC. Rather the console gamer simply felt blessed that Bioware attempted, seemingly, the impossible, to port a Baldur's Gate-esque game to a console with not-so-terrible results. DA2 is a good game. It, and all games, have their problems (the repeating dungeons just seem lazy) and if that bothers you terribly then by all means, rant. To complain that the problem with this game is development time though is ridiculous. Plenty of Maddens or 2K sports games are put out every single year with little to no improvement and the reviewers are more than happy to give them 8/10 or 9/10's. This game is different. It is not DA:O. It doesn't take away what DA:O was and is though, so if you want Origins then play Origins, if you want something different then play this. It is addictive, with good characters, story, and gameplay. But it's not Origins. If you can remember that, then you'll probably reserve your 'zero' review scores for the games they rightly belong to (Barbie's Horse Adventures, never played it but I mean, come on) and not Dragon Age II Expand
  49. Apr 12, 2011
    10
    I agree that Dragon Age 2 has been dumb down a notch. It has taken the mainstream path to lure in more young players. This is the road that all games take now days when money talks and unique gameplay walks. None the less. You will not find a better game in this genre for a few years. It is money well spent. Not only for the quality of the gameplay, graphics and voice acting but also for the extensive campaign.

    The game should be considered as a action-rpg from now on. If you are the one who love the old pen n paper play style and prefer baldurs gate 1 & 2 in front of Dragon age 1, then maybe you should take a second thought, but I would suggest you to pick this up anyway. It's not money wasted, no matter what your preferences are.


    /dancodan
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  50. May 17, 2011
    10
    Absolute masterpiece of storytelling. The combat system puts Bayonetta to shame and the RPG side of things makes other such games seem like Manic Miner by comparison. Bioware simply cannot fail!
  51. May 17, 2011
    10
    Baldurs Gate, Planescape Torment and now Dragon Age 2. This pinnacle of RPG's has taken the storytelling and interactive combat to another level. Its smooth combat aided by the future generation of quicktime events proves that turn-based RPG's are a thing of the past. Extreme unprecedented level of detail makes the cities feel alive and it makes it feel like you are living in the game.

    A
    must buy for any oldschool RPG fanatic. Expand
  52. May 17, 2011
    9
    I'm a fan of RPG titles since Pool of Darkness on old Commodore 64. Dragon Age II certainly took a risk in going for more action oriented rpg, but personally I liked it. Heavy re-use of maps and NPC's appearing as if teleported are the only big minuses in an otherwise entertaining and fast moving show.
  53. Aug 31, 2011
    9
    Don't listen to any of these ignorant people about this game. Anyone who gives this game less than an 8 is just buttsore that DA 2 wasn't EXACTLY the same as DA:O. This game is amazing for what it is and that is a western action rpg with a fantasy setting and rich strorytelling with plenty of choices and custimization bioware is known for. People shouldn't even listen to "user" reviews about video games or movies anyway. Everyone just gives things zeros based on their own biased feelings of nostalgia. That or they just say the game is completely garbage because of one or two flaws or simply the fact that a game is popular/mainstream....lol. just listen to the critic reviews from a respected video gmae magizine or website, these people do this for a living and know exactly what to rate on without own personal feelings or prefrences. Expand
  54. Mar 13, 2011
    9
    There is something wrong with everyone that is saying that this is a bad game. It's not perfect but it is very fun, has great controls, a good story and characters, and the graphics are better then the first one. This game is very fun and most people giving it a bad score just either liked the first one too much or are just very extreme PC gamers that think the game is broken or something. So if your looking for a fun, sometimes addictive RPG then you should definitely pick up Dragon Age 2. Expand
  55. May 12, 2011
    9
    Wow,thats all I can say about alot of people on here Giving Dragon age 2 a score of zero and bashing a great game.you who gave such low scores just don't know what great games are made of and only focus on the same old point and click crap you can buy on pc's.Now don't get me wrong I loved and I mean I love Dragon age 1 but I do enjoy dragon age 2 alot more since I have more options available to me the player.so please have some consideration for a great game...in my book Dragon age 2 is amazing. Expand
  56. Mar 18, 2011
    9
    It's a good game, stop being stupid everyone, its intensely annoying.

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  57. Sep 4, 2011
    9
    Having played through DA:O + awakening twice, i can say i am a big fan. Yes, i do agree some of the changes: taking skills away, having to use a lot less tactic, etc i'm not too fond of. On the other hand, it does a lot of things right. I just finished DA2 and i can honestly say it's still a very good game. I enjoyed it a lot and the whole negativity around it is just overreacted. My biggest gripe was only the recycling of the area's, which is VERY OFTEN. The game isnt as good as the first one, but considering they worked 5 years on that and 1,5 years on this, it's not surprising. I just hope they get more time for the next. Imo bioware never fails to deliver. If that makes me a fanboi so be it. Expand
  58. Apr 17, 2011
    10
    I am TRULY baffled by the user reviews on this game, especially seeing that Mass Effect 2 got a 90. I thought the critics score was too low! Also out of 2,883 ratings on Gamefly the members give it an 82.(xbox 360) What is going on with the people on this site? The game is nearly flawless, perfect 10!
  59. Mar 13, 2011
    10
    I believe that this games shining points are its story and well crafted world. it manages to pull out some of the most sincere dramatic story telling I've seen in the last few years. The battle system has changed since origins, i would like to say it has improved but I'm still just learning, i know the team said they were trying to make the skill tree's more simple but i don't think their description of abilities and their effects were effective. secondly the game could have been polished and tested for bugs a little bit more. while no bugs are game breaking some can be used to circumvent difficulty.

    Overall I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the story a lot, the end of chapter's 2 and 3 were great closers for those particular story arc's. I truly loved how side quests and secondary quests would tie into the storyline, and would often times give you background on what is happening currently and also foreshadow what will happen in the future. There are few if any plot twists and points that aren't founded in or logical in the game.

    Boss fights were much improved over the first game many of them seemed unique in approach, and challenging if a plan isn't devised or your squad isn't adequately set up. The game seemed to miss the sweet spot for length, took me about 45 hours play time to beat on my first run-through, it will probably drop down to around 30 on any subsequent play-through. Ideally it would have been 60 hours. But i can't knock them for leaving me wanting more.

    Gripes are that I don't have nearly as much control over my party roster as I would like because all the companions are glued to one weapon type, or have a unique specialisation without the ability to learn another specialisation.

    Inventory has been simplified with a new star system telling you how good an item is compared to your level. The old system from origins seemed to make more sense to me due to the fact that in this game most equipment only has one name, so you will be stuck with numerous items that say belt, or sword, and they all would have different effects stats and bonuses. This becomes a problem when you start trashing loot and finding the ones you do want to keep against the ones you don't becomes a hassle.

    The most important thing though is that I thoroughly enjoyed this game and I am about to start up my second play-through.
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  60. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    bien mieux que le premier a mon sens, plus action et l'histoire se laisse suivre, le peu de decors ne derange pas car ils vont de paire avec l'histoire, inutil d'avoir 200 decors different pour ne pas s'en servir corrctement.
  61. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    Dragon age 2 is an amazing game! It has graphics, and combat, and role playing game mechanics. There is also dialogue. I want to be a dragon, but Flemeth says I can't :(
  62. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    DA2 is a game that is a change. The story centers around things that are about to change, and the game itself "seems" that it is a radical change from its roots. From me these changes are for the betterment of the overall story telling that Bioware strives to show us. For myself I felt as though the game had a much better set of developed companions, and the interaction between these companions are much more complex and personal.

    Also this game may seem like there is a lack of an over arching plot and therefor its a "bad" game. In this there is a truth, its hard to see this over arching plot. In a lot of ways DA2's separate acts are each there own mini story in which hawke is a center piece of. Yet the over aching plot is there and it has been some thing that Bioware has told use many times, why did Hawke make the choices he did and how come he was always in the middle of it all?

    For me this game was a fresh and brave take on story telling in games. With the lake of a big evil to fight the story becomes more about you (or hawke) and less about the enemy that you need to kill. I see this as being a great addition to the mythos of the Dragon Age universe.

    (Oh yea, I also love the changes to combat)
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  63. Mar 16, 2011
    9
    Alright, first off I'll say that I have read many of the reviews here and keep seeing the same things coming up: "The story isn't any good" "the interactions between characters sucks" "the combat is hack and slash".I do hope that people actually finish the game before they review it here (although i highly doubt they do) because how can you say the story sucks if you haven't finished it. While the story is not quite as "epic" as it was in the first game, it still has it's own appeal and I, for one, felt myself being pulled into it and not wanting it to end. As for the Character interactions, The dialogue wheel is a good addition. While it is not quite as well done as the Mass Effect wheel, it still adds something to the game as I think it helps you to grow more attached to your character due to the fact that your main character is voice and not simply a stoic and unspeaking being. Now the hack and slash game play, It may seem like a hack and slash at first glance, but as others have said if you turn up the difficulty you will have to use the tactics so many enjoyed about the first title. And really people complaining about the change to an active attack button instead of pressing the a button and watching your character continually attack is in my view just laziness. The combat looks more appealing in Dragon Age 2 than it did in DA:O, but admittedly feels more like an action rpg than a basic rpg. The people saying that the graphics are worse, are absolutely wrong, no question about it. While it is a different art style, animations look more fluid and characters themselves look more believable. The only thing holding this game back from getting a 10 from me, is the recycled environments, much like Mass Effect. While they do try to switch it up, sometimes starting you on different ends of the same recycled environment, it still makes exploration disappointing at best. Overall i think this game is getting terrible reviews by users because they either simply loved the first game and do not enjoy the changes and so they overcompensate, because people didn't like Dragon Age to begin with, or finally because people have written reviews before finishing the game. It is a wonderful expansion on the Dragon Age universe, with improved graphics and gameplay, lovable characters and a wonderful and sometimes emotional story, and it's probably the best game of the year so far for me. Expand
  64. Mar 16, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. DA2 is clearly a polarizing game. But I think that it's a very good one, even if it fails to achieve greatness.

    Technically DA2 far outstrips Origins. The gameplay simplifications lead to a product that reminds me of the polish that you would expect in a Final Fantasy game. There is less choice (bad) but the the focus is significantly improved (good). And the shackles of an old fashioned D&D type system have been left well behind which if a good thing given the progression that has been made in the genre over the years.

    The quests are excellent and do a good job of balancing paint by numbers with assistance (do I really want to spend 30 mins searching an area for what I need) .

    The story is something of a mixed bag (at times I got sick of the whole apostate thing) but it is refreshing (and brave) to avoid the tired cliche of saving the world from the rampaging demon / dragon (or both the the case of the original DA!) The characters are strong too and while not as compelling as in its predecessor there is a bewildering amount of nuanced dialog. Ambiguity and choice are also extremely well implemented.

    Uncharted 2 is still the best PS3 game IMHO. Demon's Souls is next. DA2 is not at that level but f you are an RPG fan and can be prepared to get beyond the early button mashing and play on a high enough difficulty level there's a game that's not to be missed here.
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  65. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Loved it. Hated 2 things. Somewhat of a gay sex agenda right off the bat. Nothing against gays, but having 2 men flirt with me before having any chance at a female sets a certain tone I didn't care for. The Mother's death seemed to have no purpose for the main plot and all it did was upset me. My last remaining family member gets mutilated and killed in front of me and it seems to just be some random act of insanity. Expand
  66. Mar 29, 2011
    10
    Great game 10 out of 10......well done bioware keep up the good work....:-)...............................cannot wait for the movie...................
  67. Mar 16, 2011
    9
    Twenty hours into the game the world seems to continue to expand. The combat remains true to the original while increasing the pace of the combat. Boss battles are far more inspired than most RPG's. I encountered one boss where I had to manage my part to heal, tank the boss, take out adds, run behind a pillar before it does a huge aoe. It felt very much like doing a WoW raid, but without the incompetence of other players. Only thing that holds this game back from a 10 are the use of the same locations for many of the quests. It breaks the immersion when you realized you been to this same spot 10 times to save mages, fight dragons, find bandits, locate an item ect. Expand
  68. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    Most of the hate for this game is entirely unfounded. I know there are several groups from several forums who have said they intended to down rate this game, without having played it, out of the "principle" of it, and I think we see much of that here. Some people wanted nothing but DA:O v 2.0, but Bioware made the choice to innovate and try to reach a broader audience.

    Is DA2 the same as
    DA:O? No. They did change the game up, and hardcore fans of DA:O may be disappointed. Does that make DA2? No. But people are having a hard time seeing past the changes. I am a huge fan of Dragon Age: Origins, and I am also finding that I am quickly becoming a big fan of Dragon Age 2.

    ***The combat is, to me, less tactical and on a normal setting easier, but it is much more engaging and fun. I adore DA:O, but there were times when the combat felt like it was just dragging on and on and on and would never end. The animations in DA:O for combat were sluggish and pretty basic. In DA2 they are much more catchy and action packed, they make you feel like your character has some real talent, and lend to you feeling powerful.

    ***It is unfortunate that we no longer have options for other races for our PC, but I feel so much more connected to my voiced character than I ever did to my Warden in DA:O who was mute and expressionless most of the time. She felt so lifeless, and the PC now has a personality all her own that develops with the dialog options you make as the game progresses. Always take the witty approach, then you characters dialog even on things you do not choose reflects this. Always take the stern approach, same thing.

    ***Companions are still interesting, I think they did a great job of writing them and didn't find one I didn't like, though I feel we do not get enough time to get to know them. Party banter while we are out and about is increased, but talking to your party members when they are at their homes (vs. being at a camp now) is very low, and usually only triggers by picking up certain items or progressing to a certain point in the story. I would have liked to get to know them a bit better, as what I did get to know of them was truly interesting.

    ***The game does reuse certain maps and dungeons, which I find unfortunate, but DA:O was not free from this and did it as well. It is more noticeable for DA2 though, as we are in the same city/area spanning 7 years of the game. I honestly didn't find it bothering me TOO much, but I would have liked to see a bit more variety in the dungeons.

    ***The last thing I will touch on is the story and writing. DA2 isnt a big epic story about one truly evil big bad that is out to destroy or take over the world. You do not get the same kind of sense of urgency or threat as you did in DA:O. This is by design, and honestly, by request. MANY fans begged for this on the official forums, and yet now they complain about it.

    ***The story is more about the smaller events in the characters life, about what happened to this person to shape them into the individual they are, they are about the things they happened to Hawke and his/her family and their city which lead them to eventually becoming the Champion of the city. I actually enjoyed the story and it was a nice change of pace for once. The ultimate climax and culmination of these events was interesting and I enjoyed the ending boss battles. ***The writing for the game was very good. There are many endearing moments in the game through dialog and the quests, many hilarious, and many heartbreaking. The writing and voice acting were extremely enjoyable and I never really felt it lacking at anytime. I feel completely immersed into the game because of it.
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  69. Mar 17, 2011
    9
    I have no idea how anyone would be able to successfully play this on a console on the harder settings. I was a bit afraid they would have made this game easier due to some of the press pre release. But, as they say, only the easier settings have been made easier. Nightmare is alot harder, especially at the start. And the game is difficult in some ways which we are not accustomed. You cant actively tank stuff. You cant as easily control threat. Its more about movement and position tactics then other games. Usually, using such tactics are exploitive, due to game design, like pathing etc. And its not perfect in this game but its a step in the right direction. Expand
  70. Mar 17, 2011
    9
    This is a great game. It is not a direct continuation of the Origins storyline, so if that is what you are looking for, you might be disappointed. The story does survive on its own though, and you get the impression that there is a much bigger picture forming in the background that Bioware will reveal in a later game. The tale is epic, to be sure, but not in the formulaic hero-saves-the-world kind of way. In fact, you could debate whether the hero (if Hawke can be called that) actually saves anything or instead sets everything on fire. The combat is faster paced than it was in Origins. If you like that, you will enjoy this game. If not, it might be a bone of contention for you. It's nice to see more detail in how the characters fight. For instance, mages wielding their staffs as actual weapons is one of the little improvements that actually adds a lot to the game. It was disappointing to see finishing moves removed, and the exploding bodies is kind of cheesy. I liked Origins combat, but I like DAII's combat as well. If Bioware could synergize the two systems, they'd have something great. The characters are interesting and have a lot of depth. There are so many directions you can go with each of them. You control their fate throughout their game and some choices you make will decide what the future holds for them or whether they even survive at the end. The biggest downside I found to this game were what I perceived to be laziness in design. Reusing maps was an obnoxious shortcut that gave some parts of the game a repetitive feeling and had me rolling my eyes. The game also takes place in a very enclosed geographic area that can get boring after awhile. I also disliked how I had to run over long distances to find an exit just so I could move to a new area of the city. But these dislikes are minor in comparison.

    Overall, I enjoyed this game immensely. I feel Bioware is putting a big story together. The scope of DAII's story was not as big as DAO in the traditional sense, but it seems like this game is setting us up for something big later on.
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  71. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    10.00 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 cliché 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.
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  72. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    I loved it. People can hate on Bioware all they want but this game was fantastic. The beginning seemed a bit slow at first, but I don't believe it could have been any other way. The manner in which the story ramps up the juice first slowly then with greater speed had me questioning my decisions and at one point sitting in shock. This was a great game. Yes it is different, and I applaud Bioware for smashing the mold on a tired old game system that is simply no longer needed in this day and age. This was not DnD, this was not Dragon Age: Origins. This was something new and beautiful. RPG's were never supposed to be about hitting action keys and spending hours on a leveling process. It is about playing a role.

    In Dragon Age: 2 you play the role of Hawke, starting out as just a guy trying to get by, you are inexplicably pulled into a whirlwind of events happening in your new home. The new interface is clean, and the fact that it fades from view when not needed is fantastic. I have loved the programmable controller button concept since Fable 1, and I choose my characters skills to keep me off the radial menu. The potential to either directly control your associates or just let them hang back and do their job was wonderful. I hate pausing a game. As to the story I found it to be intriguing. At first, despite hype I had read since the game was announced, I truly didn't know what was happening. I started to wonder how long I would have to do all these side quests... then BAM something big happens. From that point it just gets bigger. This game literally had me in shock. At least twice I set my controller down and just stared at my giant screen. One time I reloaded just to make sure I had understood what had happened. I was confused that after such a short time I genuinely felt close to a character I had largely ignored. Bravo Bioware!

    This game defies the standard that so many people have begun to believe comprises an RPG. It takes the story and gameplay and merges them into something that begs to be called art. Is it for everyone? Well it should be! There is no excuse with the computational power at our finger tips not to finally advance the genre. This was a bold move and I think one that pays off. Love it or hate it, the game has finally changed. As to the current accusations that Bioware employees tried to inflate the rating here. If that were the case then you would have seen far more positive reviews. How naive to think most companies from game developers to hardware manufacturers do not inflate reviews every chance they get. I am glad in this case for had I not seen the article on another site I would not have realized that so many people, many of which could work for Bioware's competitors had written bad reviews of a game I deeply enjoyed. So here I am. I agree whole heartedly with Avanost that dislike for this game largely stems from an inability to let go of conventions. We gamers are constantly derisive of anyone who "clones" another companies games (one in particular comes to mind in the MMO space) and yet the moment true innovation, skillfully executed hits the shelf we cry foul and crawl back in our familiar box unable to contend with change. I am disappoint in all of you!

    I say cheers Bioware! Now go use that engine for Old Republic 3... I want to smash things with a lightsaber!!!
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  73. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    I don't know why people are being so harsh on Dragon Age 2. All i wanted from this title was to feel that i was really THE CHAMPION OF KIRKWALL! And it did! The history isn't as epic as the first one, there isn't a great threat to humanity. Instead we have a deep history about a human and his family. It tells how he rise to fame and fortune. I really loved this game! I played KOTOR, Dragon Age Origins and i also loved them all. Dragon Age 2 has a special place in my heart, it was the first game that i completed 100%, i really wanted to feel that i was Hawke and never wanted his 10-years-long adventure to come to and end... But it did and now i want Dragon Age 3 as bad as ever! Expand
  74. Mar 20, 2011
    9
    People seem to forget that no game is ever perfect when it's first released. A lot of the tech issues, like auto attack and the SDTV formatting issues will be resolved in patches. (SDTV owners switch over to a widescreen format via your console settings and you'll be fine in cutscenes until a patch is released.) With that said I thoroughly enjoyed DA2. The storyline was engaging enough that I could not put my controller down until I reached the end and the credits rolled. BioWare gave you many choices throughout the main storyline. Some made me have to walk away and take a break to actually think about it. There was brilliant work done with the VAs and the graphics look more polished and smoother. Having Hawke fully voiced was a nice change from Origins and something from the Mass Effect series that I wished Origins had had in the first place.

    Yes, combat may have been "dumbed" down a bit to try and appeal to a wider audience but you can still pause and micromanage your party if you wish. Auto-attack would've been nice however I didn't miss its absence when I played as a rogue/warrior as I actually liked being â
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  75. Mar 22, 2011
    9
    This game deserves much more recognition than most people are really giving. It is an overall improvement all over the first. A more cinematic approach to make you feel more close to the characters and the combat is now fast-paced without losing its strategic way. I've played the demo and I'm very satisfied with my experience, I'm definitely buy the full version. They made the game a dark fantasied Mass Effect and that is awesome. Good job Bioware! You are always improving and for that I am your loyalist. Expand
  76. Mar 22, 2011
    10
    I like the game. It's face paced, exciting, with enough story and emotional turmoil to fill in the gaps. The story is perhaps a bit sparser than in other (BioWare) games, or at least much more focused and small scale: it's about YOUR character, not about EVERYTHING. That said, I still find the story interesting, even compelling.

    It's true that much has been trimmed (streamlined, dumbed
    down; the term you pick depends on your expectations going in). The inventory is very simple, you only choose armor for your own character, although you can pick weapons and accessories for all of your companions, as well as yourself. There's still attribute customization, and quite a lot of skills; however, the skill system is much more about getting a few powerful active abilities, rather than lots and lots of semi-meaningful passives. I, for one, prefer this system (although I was a huge fan of BG, NWN, KotOR, etc.). It makes me feel much more in control in combat: I know what everything does and how to use it. It makes combat fun, and not at all cumbersome.

    It seems to me that many of the negative reviews stem from the game not meeting people's expectations. I'm sorry to hear those people were disappointed, but I think that if you go in with an open mind, you'll find an excellent game.
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  77. Mar 30, 2011
    10
    UUUUGH where do i begin, the combat is terrible, there are only 4 dungeons in the entire game, only difference are weather or not some doors are unlocked, the game is FULL of bugs, and they took away one of the most original and best features of origins, being able to pick your race and background.

    i could make a list of stuff taken out of this game since origins, and think of only a
    couple good additions.

    The one upgrade since origins is the art style, which i liked, bur even so, most people dont.

    And on a final note, BIOWARE you might possibly have the worst marketing department EVER.

    Well you post fake reviews in metacritic advertising your game, then accuses 4 chan of doing the same thing against you. then you ban a guy from playing a game that he payed for because he broke a rule on your forum.

    All in all DA2 isnt Horrible, but its not that good, and as a sequel to DAO it just plain sucks.

    If you want a good RPG just wait for Skyrim
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  78. Apr 2, 2011
    10
    Dragon Age II si è evoluto nel corso dei mesi rimanendo costantemente in bilico su un sottile filo all'apparenza sempre in procinto di spezzarsi. Fin dal primo incontro in una delle fiere di settore, vedere dal vivo il sequel, talvolta anche provandolo in prima persona, ci trasmetteva sensazioni sempre diverse talvolta persino in contrasto tra loro. Ogni tanto rimanevamo con l'amaro in bocca, altre volte uscivamo dalla sessione di test esaltati e non sono mancate le volte in cui ci siamo sentiti completamente indifferenti nei confronti del gioco. Questo miscuglio di stati d'animo li abbiamo riprovati anche nel corso delle prime, lunghe ore di gioco in vista della recensione; ma fortunatamente più ci siamo lasciati trasportare dal flusso degli eventi e più le nostre sensazioni negative venivano dissolte e soppiantate da quelle positive. Dragon Age II è evidentemente un titolo schizofrenico che ha costretto BioWare a raggiungere grandi compromessi in fase di design nel tentativo finale di realizzare un gioco di ruolo action profondo e dettagliato nei contenuti ma allo stesso tempo immediato e semplificato nelle meccaniche di gioco.
    In questo sequel sono decisamente più presenti e meglio delineati soprattutto nelle caratterizzazioni dei personaggi. Rimane la scelta multipla senza alcun tipo di limite temporale con l'aggiunta di una piccola indicazione visiva che dovrebbe suggerire al giocatore l'approccio di Hawke al dialogo se si sceglie quell'opzione. Il sistema funziona piuttosto bene, soprattutto nella componente di approfondimento al dialogo: è infatti possibile indagare durante le chiacchierate per avere maggiori elementi di storia e, a seconda dei personaggi presenti nel party, talvolta si sbloccano opzioni per far partecipare alla discussione o per far agire i propri compagni. Purtroppo non mancano delle volte in cui inevitabilmente si fraintende la scelta che si sta per fare e soprattutto ci sentiamo di criticare la precisa scelta di BioWare di eliminare del tutto una competenza del protagonista nella persuasione: scordatevi quindi opzioni di dialogo per evitare combattimenti o raggirare l'interlocutore se non in casi rarissimi previsti dalla storia stessa. Ma arriviamo al cuore di Dragon Age II: i combattimenti. Qui si esplicita con forza quella ricerca di un compromesso operata da BioWare durante la realizzazione del suo progetto. E' evidente come si sia voluto semplificare e rendere molto più immediati, attivi e probabilmente coinvolgenti i combattimenti spostando il focus sull'azione in tempo reale quasi a voler ricercare l'anima più action di un qualsiasi RPG d'azione che si rispetti. Il risultato è buono solo in parte ed è estremamente legato al livello di difficoltà scelto (che può comunque essere cambiato in qualsiasi momento del gioco). Giocando infatti ai livelli facile o normale si andrà avanti suonando con forza il pulsante X, quello del colpo standard, quasi sul limite del button mashing di un qualsiasi picchiaduro a scorrimento. L'importante è gestire adeguatamente il mana o il vigore a seconda della classe per attivare le varie magie e abilità speciali e aver "configurato" i membri del party a ogni cambio di livello attraverso il menu delle tattiche, ripreso di sana pianta da quello di Origins. In questo modo ad esempio sarà possibile impostare, anche automaticamente attraverso dei set pre-impostati, l'aggressività dei compagni di squadra e far gestire all'intelligenza artificiale l'uso delle loro abilità. La cosiddetta pausa tattica è sempre presente con la pressione del grilletto sinistro ma sarà necessario solo negli scontri più difficili bloccare l'azione per far magari bere una pozione a un compagno o indirizzarlo verso un nemico in particolare. Il risultato è un'azione costante, frenetica e anche piuttosto adrenalinica ma che ovviamente tralascia in blocco la profondità tipica di una gestione avanzata del party.
    Gestione che diventa invece cruciale e costante se si scelgono i due livelli di difficoltà maggiori ma con un drammatico rovescio della medaglia: comandare manualmente i compagni diventa un'esigenza fondamentale per superare anche gli scontri con i nemici più stupidi, soprattutto se questi si presentano in grandi numeri, pena la morte costante dei personaggi più deboli o l'uso incessante di pozioni (a discapito dell'economia del protagonista). Ma così facendo viene fuori tutta la macchinosità del sistema di controllo che si appoggia a un menu radiale che compare quando si utilizza la pausa tattica e che serve a dare qualsiasi tipo di comando. L'impossibilità di muovere liberamente la telecamera (se non tramite l'uso di magie e abilità con area di effetto) e un sistema di targeting basato sull'angolo di visuale dei personaggi contribuiscono a rendere ogni scontro una sorta di micro-gestione certosina. Sicuramente questo stile può soddisfare i giocatori di ruolo più incalliti.
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  79. Apr 6, 2011
    10
    The game is tremendously disappointing. There is no story, the characters are unlikeable, the dialogue is terrible and the voice acting worse, there is no pacing in story or battles, and skills and character options have been dramatically whittled down since the original. Towns are empty, boring and lifeless. And there's only one town to explore. The same 5 dungeons are reused over and over and linear and simple. There is almost no equipment in the game and companions can't even wear armor. The same 4 enemies continually jump you to the point where it feels like the entire game is killing bandits. Enemies continually respawn so tactics are useless and the game degenerates into a button mashing mess. One fight in the entire game is difficult and mainly because it requires hitting attack hundreds of times.

    I bought the game excited and traded it in wary of bioware. I will rent Mass Effect 3 first and hope the development team doesn't get their hands on that game. Until then I will buy Planescape Torment and play a real RPG>
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  80. Apr 22, 2011
    9
    First of all, the credentials. I've been playing video games for 30 years. I even had a game review published in PCGamer a long time ago. I've enjoyed Bioware games since Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Star Wars KOTR, all the way through Dragon Age. Anyone who is hating on this title is either crazy or bitter. Dragon Age 2- compared to any other modern video game, is excellent and definitely above average. You can script your characters to do certain things, activate spells or abilities, or behave in certain ways. This scripting cuts down the micromanagement, but allows you to more fully enjoy the game. Pluses: Interesting characters, sweeping story, and well over 30 hours of gameplay, and that's not completing most of the sidequests. Cons: Graphics look a little dated, dialouge options often lead to the same outcome, combat is mostly button mashing. I was disappointed importing your character has very little effect on the game. Many of the negative . It's not perfect.

    I definitely would recommend this game for RPG fans. You wont be disappointed.
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  81. Apr 28, 2011
    9
    +Awesome, lore, world, and characters
    +Voice acted characters make the game more cinematic
    +More unique armor, and weapon builds
    +Archer's are now fun to play
    - Rehashed maps
    -no clear antagonist
    -boring special classes
    -playing as a mage is hard to swallow w/ Templars all around
  82. May 3, 2011
    9
    I enjoyed this game much more than DA:O and it ranks among one of my all time favourite CRPGs.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I've put almost 100 hours into this game and have done an (almost) full clear on the hardest difficulty. I dove through forums and the wiki for optimized builds, and the only other Bioware game
    where I've done that was Baldur's Gate 2 (not NWN or DA:O or ME). Solo BG2 monk shoutout !
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I think the difference was that I actually cared about DA2's setting of Kirkwall and the characters. DA2 has an amazing cast of companions and actually tells a story through Acts 1 and 2, rather than feeling like the 4 disjointed quest hubs of DA:O.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Varric, Isabella, and Merrill are charming, feel alive, and are superbly written. Varric and Isabella are better stereotypical comic relief than Alistar and Merrill is actually more adorable than Leliana (Merill really reminds me of Aerie from BG2 now that I think about it!). Fenris is also a better broody character than Morgana, and I can see why female dragon age 2 fans get wet for him. In DA2 I cared to visit the homes of my companions, whereas in DA:O I always avoided people like Sten in the camp, who seemed as interesting as an excerpt from a dwarven trading contract.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    And, best of all, the combat and item management was indeed streamlined to not get in the way of the actual 'game' (which is the story and characters). And I love min/maxing and I love seeing the cross class combo +%s and overpowered abilities rather than the vague and moderately useful mechanics of DA:O (e.g. taunt shifts all threat, rather than just increase it, backstab will move your rogue immediately behind the enemy, and 2h weapons have innate splash damage). I enjoyed either rapidly and viscerally clearing 'trash' in a dungeon or celebrating the rapid defeat of an encounter with two assassin characters, rather than groan when another level of dungeon loaded up for Andraste's Ashes in DA:O which meant more tedious combat and looting.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The best design decision the developers did was put heal and group heal on a long cooldown. Combat is then focused on CC and then killing either an elite enemy or AOEing many enemies as fast as possible, rather than all prior Bioware games of just CC and healing a tank. In fact, unless you have fragile melee to protect, it's better to build your tank for damage or build your tank to enable status for your DPS to combo off.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The game does not get a perfect score though as it is obvious the developers were given a harsh time constraint. Replayability is hit hard by the repeated levels and the main plot of Act 3 leaves much to be desired, but overall, the huge advances in characters and combat make up for it. I also understand the fluidity suffering on consoles, from the youtube videos I've watched. I know I am in the minority, as it seems a lot of people hate this game. The game clearly had to cut corners, and there are no epic battles with legions and legions of men which I think may have disappointed a lot of people. But in the end, the corners they didn't cut were simply amazing. I've always loved character driven games and DA2 is a superb one.
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  83. May 7, 2011
    9
    I have very much enjoyed this even more so than I had with the original. FOr me personally Hours =/= Quality There were a lot of parts of the original where I felt were not necessary such as 2-4 hours in the Deep Roads and Fade. But this is not a review for that game but the sequel which I felt it did a lot of things right like I stated earlier. What It did right for me was the Voiced Protagonist which is a huge bonus for the game because in the original your character was a catatonic shell which is fine for games like Bathesda or Portal but the game which the camera pans to your character when it isn't needed there was no emotion in your character. Also they added the tone of your character so not only do you get to have a voiced character but you can pick a tone for your character like sarcasm or diplomatic. I can't wait to see if they do this in Mass Effect 3.
    The talent system was overhauled which is a huge benefit because you can actually pick and choose what you wanted to do unlike Origins. I gave it a 9 because there are/were some bugs that made a few of the side quests broken(Which have been patched now) Bioware had also reused most of their maps and then they didn't even hide it you can tell in the minimap its the same area and if a area blocks you off you can clearly see there is another part on the map. Overall I thought it was a fantastic game and doesn't deserve the bombardment of **** users giving it a low rating because its the flavor of the week for them.
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  84. May 13, 2011
    10
    The Metacritic score for this title has been unduly influenced by a legion of die-hard Dragon Age: Origins fans who are angry that the sequel doesn't offer more of the exact same game. A lot of things were changed, and that's upsetting for some fans. But here's the thing: judged on its own merits, DA:2 is a frickin' great RPG, and in most ways it's a better game than DA:O. In fact, DA:2 is my new favorite RPG of all time, which is why I gave it the 10 rating.

    If you're the kind of gamer who really likes to "role play," there has never been a game like DA:2. Your ability to create your own character and personality, to forge relationships with the other people in the world, and to make decisions that matter is unparalleled. Yes, they re-use the same maps a lot. So I guess if you mostly care about having the background change a lot when you're playing, then don't play this game. But if you liked Planescape: Torment or KOTOR, play this game. If you like wrestling with difficult moral choices...if you're the kind of gamer who can fall in love with a story or a character, or be heartbroken by them...play this game. If you're a role-player...play this game.
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  85. May 13, 2011
    10
    i loved it. heres my breakdown will go in descending for what i feel is impotent in a game.

    Graphics - It weird the graphics i'd have to say look better some times then worse then DA:O at others. For every improved look like the Qunari and elves you get a odd one like Alister face just looked weird.

    Music- Made you feel like you where in the moment with your character cant ask for
    more.

    Voice Acting- Is very well done they spared no expense, I was very happy with all the voice casting.

    Combat- It was way more entertaining the Origins but even on hard was to easy i never really used the cross combo thing they talked about so much. Also the re-spawning of enemy's got annoying fairly fast. That all aside come was still fun and i enjoyed it even with a big of repetition.

    RPG elements- You did have the range and depth of choices you did in Origins. That being said you got more then you did in oblivion and fallout combined. Also you end up just using the DLC gear right from the get go witch is both sweet and since i never used anything else but DLC armor i have no reason for anything in the game. Sorta makes looting a bit pointless

    Overall - This is a fun game but it seams to suffer from the middle child syndrome witch i believe is why its getting so many negative reviews. Its has no real ending upon beating the game i just felt like i needed to put in disk2 or something. i'm Giving this game a 10 not because it really should get one it deserves more like a 7/10 but theres no many people hating on it irrationally i feel the low 4.5 rating will stop people from experiencing the game.
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  86. May 17, 2011
    10
    A total garbage game that pretends to be an RPG like the wonderful The Witcher 2 but its nothing more than a pure repetitive hack'n slash with some conversation. Suck it down BioWare employees.
  87. May 27, 2011
    10
    Fun game. The bad things: too simplified, not being able to change your party members is a no-no in RPG ('action' RPG's or no). Auto-attack should be an option, constantly pushing the attack button is just a chore and adds nothing to combat - which is way too easy.
    Good stuff: Although the combat is easy, it is still fun. Most strategy will be things like 'kill the mage first' or 'use ice
    weapons', pretty basic but still enjoyable. Graphics are great. But, what got me to like the game despite the RPG-sins were the characters and story. It was refreshing not to have a simple 'go kill ultimate baddie and save the world' arch like in origins. Ultimately the games weakness (easy combat) puts that much more focus on its strength (plot and characters). Personally I hope they return to a top down, baldur's gate-style rpg for the next installment, but this is still a fun game even if sometimes you just wait for the next plot device and watch people explode. (and the PC version is much better)

    I would give this game an 8, but all of the fanboy rage '0's need to have some counter-balance, so +2.
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  88. May 28, 2011
    10
    A game that should not be compaerd to its predecessor but considered in all minds as a great game on its own. It may upset the previous game's fans and lack Origins' expanse but it is immersive, fun and exciting throughout with quite a few memorable characters and options to explore.
  89. Jun 19, 2011
    10
    This game has blown my mind. At first I was skeptical due to the harsh user critics, but after playing it through for myself I can confirm that this game is not only an improvement over its predecessor, but also an inspirational game in every sense of the word. Take it from me: any and all negative reviews must be trolls, since I can't seem to find a damn thing wrong with this game. A truly great game, Dragon Age 2 is poised to be an instant classic. The graphics, the storyline, the animations, the combat, the voice acting, the game itself is unparalleled to many modern titles that refuse to move forward (I'm looking at you, TW2). I'm glad the developers of Dragon Age 2 appealed to not only a much wider audience, but also to their hardcore fans. I love the fact that I can now discuss the Dragon Age 2 series openly and with many fans around the world starting a conversation is as easy as taking a dump. As for us hardcore fans, we called out to them for change, and they delivered. I'm glad to see a much wider array of romance options. Dragon Age 2 is a leading developer in the support of equal rights in video games, as me and my girlfriends have all agreed.
    I wish I could give this game a 20/10, but even that won't balance out the amount of trolls, haters and downright flamers that this game has angered because of it's innovative nature.
    Keep on truckin' BioWare!
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  90. Aug 25, 2011
    10
    oh and metacritic sucks go ahead and ban my account i aitn going to use it again hahaha hmm i wonder if i can delete my account myself hmm must look into that
  91. Aug 28, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. wow people are picky. Bioware is a AAA developer and this is their worst game in years but like i said they are a AAA developer and even the worst of their games are at least an 8/10 compared to other games. To be honest the personal character choices available is what makes this game stand out, the choices in this game have been well refined although we don't see some of them carry over from dao. Also i don't get the hateing on hawk yeah he doesn't kill like 3 high dragons but he is a realistic character with problems as compared to the warden. All in all this game is not terrible but it is not biowares best. Expand
  92. Aug 31, 2011
    10
    Seriously a 0, I wouldn't even give Halo reach a 0. When I saw Dragon Age 2, received a negative review, I lost all hope in gamers. Now gamers are just a mob of hipsters that follow the leader. Dragon age 2 was superior to Orgins in every way. The combat was better, the story telling was amazing and graphics were good. I was so impressed with the game I beat it, replayed it imediately after. I have Orgins on the Pc and DA2 on xbox, after DA2, Orgins is unplayable. Origins is basically a single player WoW, you have spells on massive cooldowns while most of the fight is auto-attacks. I know a lot of gamers try and act like they're old school and love old style combat, but if you like old style games so much, play your old games then. A game should strive to be like it's cinematics, and due to tech limitations we couldn't but now it's possible. I've been playing games since commodore 64, and I always like when a company takes a step forward. Bioware always does that. Sad that most people don't want games to advance. Expand
  93. Feb 13, 2012
    9
    Now that I've played it, I can see why players pan it. I will agree that there are somethings that I hated about it (such as the lack of changing equipment for other playable characters, and a small world) but the gameplay is very addicting, there is also something to do with 100s of side quest, and the cast of character.
    Making it the best $50 I've ever spent.
  94. Apr 20, 2012
    10
    Don't listen to haters, this game is brilliant. However, be warned that DA2 it's not like DAO, in any sense (well, just in the name maybe). This is a completely different game, with different mechanics and a diferent protagonist. To me, much much better than the first game regarding gameplay and narrative.
  95. Apr 7, 2011
    9
    This was an extremely solid game with a ton of content, a lot of fun dialogue and gameplay which was improved over the original. The story is a bit fragmented and the ending is an enormous cliffhanger, but the amount of content and dialogue available to you in this game makes up for such shortcomings.

    In my opinion this was overall a much better game than the original.
  96. May 30, 2011
    9
    What the **** is everyone **** about? "Oh, this game is SO NOT DRAGON AGE ORIGINS..." Okay, what the hell is the game's name? DRAGON AGE 2! It's a different game you ****ing idiots. I for one love this game, and I cannot put it down. Don't listen to these emo **** DA2 is a solid game in its own right. Sure it may be different, but it's still a solid RPG. Bioware, you're doing a great job. Don't listen to some dumbasses who are cutting themselves because you changed the battle system on them. Expand
  97. Apr 6, 2012
    9
    This games predecessor Dragon Age: Origins is one of my top 10 favorite games of all time, one of my top 3 favorite Bioware games, and Bioware is my favorite game developers of all time, so naturally I had high hopes for this game, and it for the most part didn't disappoint, it's not as good as Origins but it manages to be a fantastic RPG that you'll love every hour and night of sleep missed you spend playing this fantastic game, it took me a little ove 33 hours to beat, Origins was a reminder of old school RPG's, this one feels more modern but manages also to maintain that classic feel, there is a lot of content to sink into, lots of side quests and hidden secrets to find, the story is great and really sets the pace for future entries in this fantastic series, and kudos to Bioware for doing something different with it's story than other RPG's and it's previous ones, also you have the ability to import you save from Origins, granted it doesn't do much other then alter a few lines of dialog and cameo appearances, but it's still a pretty sweet addition, and the characters as always with Bioware games are fantastic and extremely likable but not all are Bioware's best, the graphics are better than Origins but there not all that great, and the soundtrack and voice acting are fantastic and they gave us the conversation system of their Mass Effect series and my only complaint are that sometimes your character will talk on his own, but for 99.99% of the game your making the decisions but it's still irritating to have my character talk without my permission, and the gameplay has been changed from the originals, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worst, on the plus side it's more interactive so your not just watching battles play out, but on the down side a lot of the time your just mashing the A button until you abilities recharge, but it's still fun, so in closing it's not as good as the first, but Bioware once again created a fantastic game and RPG that I'm already wanting to play through again, and I'm going to try and play the DLC in the near future, once again I'm blown away with what Bioware has done, and this game has only increased my faith in this fantastic company and this fantastic series, in my personal opinion this is a must play, truly fantastic. Expand
  98. Apr 10, 2011
    9
    This game, the storyline, the quests and the characters are all fantastic! In particular interactions between party members as you walk around really bring them to life! The combat animations and sound effects are perfect, defeating hordes of weak enemies has never felt so satisfying for me, you can really feel the force behind your attacks!

    The only reason this doesn't get a perfect ten
    is because of the lack of 'heroic stats' that was present in DA:Orgins, which kept track of the damage dealt, received, strongest enemy defeated etc. for all your characters. If that could at some point be modded in, this would be one of my favourite games ever! Expand
  99. Apr 28, 2011
    9
    It has been really hard to actually come up with my full opinion of this game. It wasn't until I had a chance to play it on both the xbox 360 and computer that I finally had it down. All together I won't be saying anything revolutionary: Just as there are elements of DA2 that improved upon elements of DA:O, it also seems to have deviated in some areas that made DA:O great.
    1) Combat-In
    this area, what system you are playing it on has a huge impact, just like Origins. From the console player's perspective, I greatly enjoyed combat. It felt more fast pace than before. From the PC perspective, there is a definite issue, as one of the greatest parts of Origins was the tactical slant fights took. You can still do a lot of tactical maneuvers in DA2, but it is strained, and mildly unneeded in everything but the hardest playing difficulties. So in my opinion combat succeeds in the console format but definitely falters a little on the computer.
    2) Story - In this area, I think the game did great. While Origins showed us the slightly more stereotypical apocalyptic setting, DA2 does something different, showing the after effects and repercussions of such an event. Characters felt more unique and alive, something I didn't think possible as I loved the characters of DA:O. While the story itself was more confined, at all times you do get a sense of a greater impact from your actions, which I believe will cause people to keep returning to this game when further installments in the series come out, something I didn't get from DA:O. 3) Graphics and Sound - I loved the soundtrack, being of fan of Inon Zur. The graphics were also very good, and I enjoyed the cosmetic changes made to Darkspawn, and even to returning characters in the game like Isabella. My greatest complaint about the game comes in here thou. Map design was horrible in comparison to DA:O, being incredibly linear, and having all of 3 or 4 unique dungeon designs. Things got fairly stale when you realize that you have been to the same dungeon 30 or so times.

    All in all, I did love the game, and it did more things right than wrong in my opinion. Some fans of DA:O will undoubtedly find faults with the game, just as the same fans may greatly enjoy the ride.
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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.