Dragon Age II Xbox 360

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4.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2346 Ratings

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  1. Jan 6, 2012
    2
    Dragon Age 2 suffered the burden of being the sequel to a highly beloved critical success, and falling completely short of the origins of the series.

    Areas of dissatisfaction include; - The game was obviously very rushed, given its development cycle in comparison to Origins, and suffered for it. Recycled area maps are obvious evidence of this, with "new" areas being the same tired,
    Dragon Age 2 suffered the burden of being the sequel to a highly beloved critical success, and falling completely short of the origins of the series.

    Areas of dissatisfaction include;

    - The game was obviously very rushed, given its development cycle in comparison to Origins, and suffered for it. Recycled area maps are obvious evidence of this, with "new" areas being the same tired, repeated maps with different doors blocked off. It is visually jarring, especially considering the beautiful environments that Bioware has created in the series, and it shows quite clearly how corners were cut to a spartan extreme.

    - The game is focused very tightly on the city of Kirkwall, and this was compared by Bioware to how the beloved Baldur's Gate 2 was very focused on the city of Athkatla. The execution failed, however. Whereas Baldur's Gate 2 was a mammoth game that contained many environments outside of the main city, and many hours of gameplay to be spent there, Dragon Age 2 offers mere brief field trips into small, reused environments. Kirkwall itself is a let down; while being very visually appealing, the sheer lack of things to interact with, buildings to enter, and people to have conversations with leaves us with an extremely shallow urban adventure compared to the depth of BG2's Athkatla. Kirkwall, and the areas surrounding it, feel more like a stodgy field trip to a prison-turned-museum than the vibrant city-based RPG that might have been.

    - The artistic style of the game was a significant step down from the last installment. While there were some improvements (such as the re-imagining of humanoid races like elves and qunari to be more visually distinct from humans), the game was done a disservice in much of its visuals. The near photo-realism of Origins, coupled with its dark, gritty visuals to go with the tone of the world, was strength of the series that was too soon abandoned. Dragon Age 2 falls into the "stylized realism" trap, essentially cutting the corners of its visuals, offering *less* character customization than Origins, and brightening the world to a gaudiness that is inappropriate for a Western RPG set in a dark, medieval setting.

    - Visually, combat was a very jarring change from Origins. While the combat in Origins was slow, it was visually pleasing; players were treated to seeing the full arcs of weapon swings, weapons and armor felt heavy, and the game appealed to a strong medieval visual aesthetic. DA2 takes a turn towards anime; rather than having your warrior decapitate a foe in a beautifully rendered arc of his weapon, your characters swings his sword in a blur and suddenly enemies all around you explode in a maelstrom of random body parts. This step down from a beautiful, satisfying sense of aesthetics in Origins to childlike, immersion breaking anime-physics makes DA2 hard to take seriously in a side by side comparison to the grit and realism of the original. Compared to the visuals of competing games like The Witcher 2, DA2 seems like a cartoon.

    - For a game that was lauded by Mike Laidlaw for its innovation in moving choice into gameplay, DA2 offers merely the illusion of choice. The only outcomes the player can affect are minor details that are largely unimportant to the narrative. The player is blatantly subjected to a rail road, being forced every step of the way down a very tightly controlled narrative. Quests tend to be non-negotiable, outcomes remain fixed regardless of seemingly different choices, and the player character is stuck merely reacting to events that are beyond his/her ability to influence meaningfully. For a game that was marketed on the significance of choice, this is an unforgivable shortcoming.

    - The final act of the game is further evidence of rushed development. The act progresses very quickly, with precious little time spent familiarizing the player to extremely important characters that were introduced at the last minute with. Meredith and Orsino show up at the end of the story, and the game's conclusion is forced before either character is able to really play their role. The story falls apart, becoming a rushed railroad that doesn't make good narrative sense from every perspective (such as Orsino's fixed role regardless of the player's final choice). Compared to the highly superior act 2, act 3 was an narrative anticlimax no matter what big events are thrown in.

    - The extent to which the roleplaying aspect of the game was sacrificed in favor of being "streamlined" is both tragic and poorly executed. The sheer amount of FedEx quests is one thing; but the lack of story context is laughable. You pick up an item, you get a marker on you map, you hand in the item and get xp and gold. These quests clearly serve no purpose but to fill your purse in a convenient way, offering no context at all for your actions. Roleplaying game so bare-bones as to have the player play fetch without even being bothered to offer a rationale for it.

    Bad work.
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  2. Jan 7, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game really is a letdown...as a person who played Dragon Age: Origins 9 times through by writing this review. There are only a few things improved in Dragon Age II...Combat and in the aspects of character creation don't get me wrong, NOT being able to play any other races sucks badly but i loved creating a female hawk I could live with the voiced character..it didn't seemed very odd since i also love Bioware's other franchise Mass Effect; Only god knows how much would i enjoy to blow up a certain mage companion (the elf one) I mean i could live with the emo character but the thing made me frustrated was especially moral choices..AND MYSTERIOUS CHARACTER RESURRECTIONS REGARDING THE CHOICES OF THE FIRST GAME...You see i killed this lovely companion in the first game and imported my save to only see BIOWARE SIMPLY DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN THING about your moral choice..or role playing therefore this game has a real RPG value its a "auto-attack hack'n slash" yeah that's it . Expand
  3. Jan 27, 2012
    4
    Scoring this game is complicated for me. One the one hand, I will admit to it being a good time killer. But as a sequel to DA:O, which I absolutely loved, it falls completely flat. The story felt unimportant, several of the characters were just annoying, and the copy-paste maps were simply insulting to the player. If "epic adventure" is what you had in mind when you picked this up, you'reScoring this game is complicated for me. One the one hand, I will admit to it being a good time killer. But as a sequel to DA:O, which I absolutely loved, it falls completely flat. The story felt unimportant, several of the characters were just annoying, and the copy-paste maps were simply insulting to the player. If "epic adventure" is what you had in mind when you picked this up, you're going to be sorely disappointed. For $10 though, there are worse ways to kill several hours. Get it if you have absolutely nothing better to play, but prepare to end up wanting to strangle whoever green-lit DA2- truly a mistitled game if there ever was one. Expand
  4. Jun 13, 2012
    4
    A disappointing sequel. It seemed like Bioware left their core fans behind in an attempt to try and gain a more mainstream audience. DA2 fell short do to things like: re-used maps, simplified combat, boring characters, a weak story, a lack of important decisions, locked companion armor and many useless items.
  5. Sep 20, 2012
    4
    Requires no brains to operate. STAY AWAY fans of Dragon Age Origins. As a long-time of Bioware, Dragon Age 2 for me was the first tangible indicator that something was really wrong with them and they were no longer interested in making great games--- only milking their franchises. The gameplay is bland, the dungeons freakishly recycled and the gameplay requires no brains. It you hate yourRequires no brains to operate. STAY AWAY fans of Dragon Age Origins. As a long-time of Bioware, Dragon Age 2 for me was the first tangible indicator that something was really wrong with them and they were no longer interested in making great games--- only milking their franchises. The gameplay is bland, the dungeons freakishly recycled and the gameplay requires no brains. It you hate your money, burn it in the fireplace just don't buy this game. Expand
  6. Sep 5, 2012
    0
    For a game that really only had to improve on the fluidity of combat, they changed pretty much everything from the first game, for the worse I might add. Combat seems to be the only thing they got right, for the most part.

    The story was linear not allowing for multiple outcomes to situations. Bringing a hero through tragedy is okay, but absolutely dropping the story after the downfall
    For a game that really only had to improve on the fluidity of combat, they changed pretty much everything from the first game, for the worse I might add. Combat seems to be the only thing they got right, for the most part.

    The story was linear not allowing for multiple outcomes to situations. Bringing a hero through tragedy is okay, but absolutely dropping the story after the downfall is not. The point of a hero is the journey back from disaster and the choices that they make shortly after tragedy. Dragon Age 2 after every major event skips ahead in time missing all those pivotal choices. Immense tragedy with no option for justice is a good way to piss people off, not get them emotionally invested. because there was no proper response to events it made me realize that this is a game, and I don't want to play it anymore because my reaction was not expressed. Not even close. That's the opposite of immersion.

    Speaking of immersion, the use of a main voice actor could have been an amazing addition, IF... the tone of the voice were more versatile. RPG's requires that you feel like you are the role you are playing and when you cannot be aggressiveness sharp-tongued or be righteously stern then voice acting obliterates immersion. Forcing voice acting into pansy good guy, cheery joker, and jack-off bad guy, means you do not get real characters but cliche stereotypes. And when you are choosing multiple reactions during a scene you get unrealistic multiple personality mood swings.

    Party Character options got an axe to the face. No ability to equip characters with armor and no ability to choose any skill tree, killed this game for ever RPGer that played, and loved Dragon Age: Origins. One of the great things about DAO was that if you didn't like someone in the party, you could give that role to someone more interesting. The fact that I had to run 90% of the game with the soulless, emotionless, thought and humor inept Aveline because she was the only tank, was... well the dumbest character choice I've ever come across in a game.

    Lastly, I'll quickly touch on the combat. Really the only problem I had with the combat was the cooldown system. In DOA there was a dedicated tank and a dedicated healer, for the most part. This system works, use it. Healers were made extinct because of the over-powering cooldown system. I downloaded a mod to lower all cooldowns making this game faster paced and much more fun since the healer was viable again.

    Needed mods to enjoy:
    http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/mods/3194#content (Armor for Party Members)
    http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/mods/2407#content (All Skill Trees for Party Members)
    http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/mods/2186 (Reduce All Cooldowns)
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  7. Oct 28, 2012
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a bad game. It may be a sequel to Origins in name, but the game itself tells a very different story, and that;s the ultimate problem. Not only is Dagon Age 2 a huge departure from the original, but it's also worse in almost every way.

    Level re-use is easily the worst offense. The game lasts about 30-35 hours on normal difficulty and if you complete all the side quests.
    Dragon Age 2 is a bad game. It may be a sequel to Origins in name, but the game itself tells a very different story, and that;s the ultimate problem. Not only is Dagon Age 2 a huge departure from the original, but it's also worse in almost every way.

    Level re-use is easily the worst offense. The game lasts about 30-35 hours on normal difficulty and if you complete all the side quests. In that time, you will revisit the same three or four dungeons over a dozen times. To call this game repetative would be an understatement.

    The combat in the game is a mixed bag. It often feels like Bioware was trying find a happy middle ground between God of War and the original combat system. Because of this, combat suffers and both camps are left unsatisfied. While the combat is more flashy than the original, things quickly become chaotic when "waves" of enemies begin attacking. Combined with overly long cool downs for your main abilities, combat feels more like a chore.

    Graphically, the game also fails to impress. From the art direction to the textures, the lighting, and atmosphere (or lack there of) all fail to rise above the mediocre level. Kirkwall (the city you are imprisoned in) is full and lifeless. NPC's are tucked away in corners and never interact with you. The city lacks detail and looks very unfinished because of it. Character models are too clean and also lack detail. That said, animations have been improved from the original and look more fluid.

    The UI has been redesigned and for the most part, it looks a bit cleaner. Sadly, functionality has taken a hit. Unlike Origins, the "tier" system that was used to determine the value of an item has been replaced with a "star" system. This makes it very difficult to manage inventory and find matching sets of armor. The "junk" bin still exists, but is primarily used to store things that you randomly pick up around town instead of it's role in Origins as a folder to store all your unwanted gear in before selling it to a merchant.

    The story fails to make a compelling case for the player to care about what's goin on within the city. The two central conflicts are the Qunari invasion and the Mage/Templar conflict. This may come as a shock to those who expected the story to pick up where Awakening left off. These two major conflicts essentially go nowhere and leave the player out in the wind. They feel very forced thanks to the abysmal writing that's present.

    Because the writing is so poor, the characters and character interaction really suffer. Unlike Origins, you cannot simply talk to your companions whenever you like. Instead you have to wait until you get a message in your journal telling you to go visit that character. Interactions are often very brief and feel forced. The most annoying part about this is you must travel across Kirkwall to preset destinations in order to talk with your companions. Which means you have to sit through load screens before you get there.

    The characters themselves range from uninteresting to almost interesting to "I want to kill that guy". Unlike Origins, which had truly interesting and deep characters with a a good amount of dialogue, Dragon Age 2 offers characters that feel like cardboard cut outs that are simply there to amuse or frustrate you. Anders frustrates you and Isabela amuses you. Banter is actually far more interesting to listen to than real dialogue.

    Unlike Origins, Dragon Age 2 uses a voiced-protagonist. The voice acting is terrible and sounds like there was just no effort put in. The dialogue wheel has been imported from Mass Effect to replace the dialogue tree from Origins, leaving the player with only three responses in most situations: Good, sarcastic, and evil. The wheel simply doesn't work as well as it does in Mass Effect despite Bioware adding pictures to the center of the wheel to help players understand what's good, sarcastic, and evil.

    At the end of the day, Dragon Age 2 is an uninspired mess of a game. While there may be some redeeming qualities to be found, it is without a doubt a step backward for the series. It does to many basic things wrong that the first game got right the first time. It fails to deliver compelling characters and a strong narrative. The world of Thedas has never felt smaller and Kirkwall is more of a prison than a city. My advice to anyone who enjoyed Origins and Awakening is to replay those great games and forget about Dragon Age 2. But if you absolutely must play it, I strongly suggest you rent it or borrow it from a friend.
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  8. Feb 16, 2013
    2
    Worst. Bioware game. Ever. At least Mass effect 3 did a pretty good job of covering up its crappyness. With dragon age 2, however, bioware seemed to think it a rather amusing joke to throw as much said crappyness as possible at their consumers, AND BOY WAS THERE A LOT OF IT!!

    First off, the only two characters in the game that were even marginally interesting were the antagonist, and
    Worst. Bioware game. Ever. At least Mass effect 3 did a pretty good job of covering up its crappyness. With dragon age 2, however, bioware seemed to think it a rather amusing joke to throw as much said crappyness as possible at their consumers, AND BOY WAS THERE A LOT OF IT!!

    First off, the only two characters in the game that were even marginally interesting were the antagonist, and Varric, the dwarf without a beard!!!

    Nobody reacted to ANYTHING you did (EX: stealing from a guard, using magic RIGHT. IN FRONT. OF TEMPLARS, drawing your weapon in public, etc. I thought this series was going to evolve, not devolve). It`s not a living, breathing world like ME1s and DA:Os were: it`s a bland, empty, artists nightmare filled with carboard cut outs in place of NPCs. The facial animations are terrible. Half the NPCs look like they had their faces partially melted, and the elves looked like retarded little fairy creatures. bu-but the protagonist is fully voiced!!

    Whoopdie. Fu--ing. Doo. Does it make up for the other 98% of the games bad parts?

    But the combat is more action oriented!

    Did dragon age ever NEED to be a mindless hack n slash?! Did it ever need to be something so witless that only the hapless little lab monkeys at EA games and Activision would find it enjoyable?!

    Somethings rotting in the state of bioware and it has a name: Electronic. Goddamned. Arts.

    Dragon age was, WAS, the spiritual successor to Baldurs gate and Neverwinter nights. But now it`s a final fantasy wannabe, complete with final fantasy rejects (Fenris. Nough said).

    Who in their right mind would give this game a score any higher than a 3/10?! Oh, that`s right: the bought and paid for game ''journalists'', if that`s what you want to call them. Personally, i think a more appropriate term for them would be: corporate spokespersons. Pay no attention to those pravda rejects.

    This game is NOT AN RPG by ANY stretch of the imagination: it`s a witless hack n slash for six year olds, and should be burned in the streets along with similar games like mindjack and, lets count sand (okay, i made that up, but you get the point). Unless you`re six years old and don`t know any better yet, DO NOT buy this game!!
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  9. Feb 4, 2013
    1
    A waste of time. The beginning was very promising. Interesting new talent system, good graphic, new world/adventures. So much to discover.... Ye not really. The first act was kinda good, but there will much more to see in the second? No! You walk the following 20 hours in the same dungeons. To be precise: There are only 2 cavemaps total, whatever cave you enter, you are on the same mapA waste of time. The beginning was very promising. Interesting new talent system, good graphic, new world/adventures. So much to discover.... Ye not really. The first act was kinda good, but there will much more to see in the second? No! You walk the following 20 hours in the same dungeons. To be precise: There are only 2 cavemaps total, whatever cave you enter, you are on the same map just another entrance. this map recycling!! The whole game world map is as big as one event in Dragon age Origins. The "boss fights" are very poor also. No special abilities for your main hero. This game was way to fast published, and the fault goes 100 to EA Expand
  10. Aug 18, 2013
    6
    Dragon Age: Origins was an incredible game for the depth of it's story and characters, the consistency of it's world, and the many twists and surprises that keep things quite interesting along the way. Big shoes to fill. And while Dragon Age II makes many cosmetic and interface improvements over it's predecessor, in the big picture it simply falls flat in trying to deliver anything closeDragon Age: Origins was an incredible game for the depth of it's story and characters, the consistency of it's world, and the many twists and surprises that keep things quite interesting along the way. Big shoes to fill. And while Dragon Age II makes many cosmetic and interface improvements over it's predecessor, in the big picture it simply falls flat in trying to deliver anything close to experiences of DA: O.

    First the good. The games menus, skill trees, and inventory have been completely redesigned to offer a more streamlined and less cluttered presentation. Skill trees for combat abilities look amazing, and the ability to upgrade certain abilities with addition perks adds even more depth. Combat itself has also been redesigned to have a much tighter action feel. Attacks and magic feel powerful and look great. I also like the fact that dialogue options provide a range from diplomatic to aggressive and your character is voiced, giving a cinematic feel to the experience.

    Now for the bad. While a lot of attention was given to streamlining the look and feel of the game and it's combat system, the games improvements over it's predecessor rarely reach bellow the surface level. Firstly, the story arch of the game simply sucks. At many points in the game I literally felt that the writers were making things up as they went along. Dragon Age: Origins was exceptional in how it tied even many side quests back into the main quest of the game, giving the entire game world an amazing connected and consistent feel. And while DA II at times comes close, it ultimately fails flat at ever opportunity. Characters feel shallow and downright annoying in some regards, and felt more like chatty accessories then actual companions who share a common stake in journey.

    But perhaps that is the games biggest short coming. You will spend hours traversing back and forth completely the most trivial and unrewarding quests only to reach the chapters "climax" which usually consists of around 20 mins of pretty fun combat, only to kick you back into the mundane story where another few hours of errand running until the next big plot point. I am greatly disappointed that the "blight" that was the main focus of the first game is but a mere side note here.

    You play the part of a refugee fleeing the blight with his family. The game starts promising, but quickly goes to hell once you arrive in the city that you will spend the remainder of the game in. You are not a Grey Warden. You are not concerned with the blight. Hell, you ran from it. You are essentially an inconsequential thug who turns to pretty crimes and murder to make ends meet in the city. Although the story implies you become something special, a "Champion", essentially you play the part of an opportunist who has no real great purpose or calling other then aspiring to move up from the slums to the "High Town" estate your family once owned. Sound exciting?

    The high point of the game for me was a venture into the Dark Roads which presented some of the coolest environments and enemies of the game, one of the only points in the game were a little nod to the world of Origins is given. But you are not there for any meaningful purpose other then to loot treasure so your families wealth can expand. There is nothing epic or noble about it. But then again, there is nothing epic or noble about anything you will do in this game.

    You will spend hours questing in preparation for exciting battle sequences that are over in less then half an hour. Then it's back to the city where the next set of fetch quests and killing contracts await, none of it resembling anything with purpose.

    Story aside, the game can still be entertaining at times. But perhaps the most unforgivable aspect of Dragon Age II are the inconsistencies between it's world and the world of origins and the fact the plot is at best half the quality of what we were given in Origins. I completed the game as mage, and while I still enjoyed the experience, at no point did I feel the kind of emotional connection I felt the world and characters of Origins.

    You can pick it up in the bargin bin of most game stores now for quite cheap, which I'd say is the only way I can honestly recommend playing this game without feeling too let down.
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  11. Nov 12, 2014
    8
    I enjoyed this game every bit as much as Dragon Age: Origins, and hence I'm giving it the same 8/10 rating. Where Dragon Age 2 excels is in Bioware's mainstay: story and characters. It's a sizable improvement over DA:O in both regards. As much as I loved the characters in the original, I have to say I was even more invested in the characters of DA2. And the way Varric narrates theI enjoyed this game every bit as much as Dragon Age: Origins, and hence I'm giving it the same 8/10 rating. Where Dragon Age 2 excels is in Bioware's mainstay: story and characters. It's a sizable improvement over DA:O in both regards. As much as I loved the characters in the original, I have to say I was even more invested in the characters of DA2. And the way Varric narrates the story is just genius! It's obvious focusing on a smaller world led to a more focused and detailed story.

    I also like the wave combat that some people deride. The problem with large battles that don't use the wave mechanic is that you get overwhelmed to begin with, but if you somehow manage to make it through that the battle becomes a breeze as you mop up. The wave mechanic takes care of that by preventing you from getting overwhelmed early, and still presenting a challenge later on in the battle. Unfortunately, I think they'll steer clear of this in the future given the negative criticism they received.

    Graphics also received a bit of a boost, though not as much as could have been hoped.

    Now the bad. The world is smaller than even I would like, and I'm not a huge proponent of open worlds (I've yet to find an open world that offers the amount of detail I desire in games). You're confined to one city and the surrounding area. What's worse is that even though the game area is small, different locations look almost exactly the same. It's blatantly obvious and very disappointing. However, if you can overlook that laziness it doesn't really have an impact on the gameplay.

    Another thing I don't like is that they seem to have gone away from tactical combat and focused more on action-oriented gameplay. I dislike this direction a lot. I can get that from other games. I want Dragon Age to to tactical.

    DA2 is a great game that people have unfairly punished for being too small. 0/10? Get a life! 10/10? Get real! This game is worthy of at least a 4/10 from even the strictest critic, but it has too many flaws to be perfect. I give it as 8/10 because I truly believe that's what it deserves. It's a hell of a lot of fun, and could have been even greater if Bioware allowed themselves the time to polish the game.
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  12. May 26, 2015
    10
    The game is not better than the first, but does not deserve a 4. The game is good .
  13. Nov 16, 2014
    9
    DA:2 is a wonderful game with rich, rewarding storytelling, and a highly satisfying degree of player agency over the contents of that story. The NPCs are memorable and wonderfully realized; the dialogue tree is streamlined in a way that feels snappy and responsive, while respecting my choices as a players; and the game does a great job of representing a world where nothing is good or evil,DA:2 is a wonderful game with rich, rewarding storytelling, and a highly satisfying degree of player agency over the contents of that story. The NPCs are memorable and wonderfully realized; the dialogue tree is streamlined in a way that feels snappy and responsive, while respecting my choices as a players; and the game does a great job of representing a world where nothing is good or evil, but rather ambiguous shades of grey. To that point - Dragon Age 2 is possibly the first game that made me question my in-game moral compass, and re-evaluate my decisions based on the outcomes of the story. Every decision is a shade of grey, and every perspective in the game can be justified logically - and so it becomes immensely satisfying to make different choices and to explore the nuances of the political struggles going on in city of Kirkwall. Although DA:Origins was also a fantastic game, I felt like I always knew what the "correct" or "morally acceptable" decision was, and I was rarely torn over what to do. In DA2, these lines are far less clear, which is I believe truer to the original vision of the franchise and ultimately more satisfying.
    One complaint I have heard repeatedly is that DA2 lacks traditional RPG elements and is more of an action game. If you are only looking at the system, that might be partly true. However, the most important part of an RPG game to me is the ability to play a character and take on a unique role (RPG = Role Playing Game). Deciding what my character wears is okay, but deciding what my character does is the absolute essence of an RPG. DA2 focuses on this aspect of playing a role, and I personally found this focus delightful. I also appreciated the very personal story of DA2, which touches on big world-altering events, but is ultimately more about the individual lives of the people in the story. It is a smaller, less epic story than DAO, but I do not think this is necessarily a bad thing. It is simply different. I will admit that some of the larger story threads do not ultimately pan out in a satisfying way, and I was disappointed by this. But the story of Hawke and his/her friends did hold together, and did feel satisfying.
    Regarding other complaints i have seen about the game. Yes, there are repeated environments. Is this really the most important aspect of a game? The caves are noticeable and a slight detractor, but they are short areas that are not very important. The city of Kirkwall is huge, and I really enjoyed getting to explore one location in depth over time. By the end of the game, I felt like it was truly my city, and I had come to care about what happened to it. So, I can understand the complaint, but from a story perspective the choice has some merit in my humble opinion.
    I suppose whether or not you enjoy DA2 comes down to whether you need an epic, sprawling, world-shaking story line to enjoy your RPG content, or whether a more personal story that scratches the surface of the outer world is more your cup of tea. I enjoyed both DAO and DA2 a great deal, but they are very different games with different sensibilities. That said, there are things that happen in 2 that feel like they will have major repercussions in the world of Thedas, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing what the next game has in store.
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  14. Nov 3, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I loved it

    -Your not a god or anything anymore which i like more.
    -Your just some - He Or She- In the wrong place at the wrong time
    -Starts with the blight yusyusyusyusyus
    -Combat 10 times better than origins
    -The story is pretty good you have to understand alot of da to like it tho

    10/10 I loved it till the end
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  15. Jul 30, 2015
    7
    Dragon Age 2 isn't a bad game but at the same time it doesn't hold a candle to Dragon Age: Origins.
    I'll start with the good. Dragon Age 2's story is still good bringing the focus on one of the most interesting plot points of DA:O which was the relationship between the Mages and Templars, and the Qunari plot was my favourite part of the game, I loved the back and forth between Hawke and
    Dragon Age 2 isn't a bad game but at the same time it doesn't hold a candle to Dragon Age: Origins.
    I'll start with the good. Dragon Age 2's story is still good bringing the focus on one of the most interesting plot points of DA:O which was the relationship between the Mages and Templars, and the Qunari plot was my favourite part of the game, I loved the back and forth between Hawke and the Arishock.
    Other plot devices such as the companions stories were even better than DA:O, The tormented and possessed mage that was Anders, the light hearted care free nature of Isabella and the interesting conversationalist that was Varric.
    Combat this time round gains a few things but also looses a few for example, the combat is more fast pace and fun but at the expense of tactical prowess. The movements are more fluid and you are not locked to an enemy and can switch between them but you can't do executions any more, stuff like that.
    The companions are just as varied as they were in DA:O but some are hit and miss.
    Aveline Vallen: She is boring as hell, I understand she needs to be the grounding element but she acts more like a mother than a friend.
    Fenris, (or Leto): He is one of the more intersting characters being a slave from Tervinter and has the most interesting abilities in the game, when I need a warrior he's who I take.
    Varric: He is the best character to chat with and one of the most stable relationship wise, even if you disagree with him he respects your decision making it hard form him to hate you.
    Anders: I can't say much about Anders without spoiling it but I will say he is interesting. Fans of Dragon Age Awakening will know him from that. The most interesting thing about him (besides the obvious) is the fact that he changes as a character over the game from a light hearted man to an angry spirit.
    Isabela: She is probably the only Female character worth romancing in this game, she is the best for companion banter and quite often makes me laugh but she is too predictable in her nature making certain plot twist quite obvious.
    Merrill: I tend to forget Merrill because even though she has an interesting story line she is quite a boring person who rebells against her Keeper which is a switch from her DA:O character who seemed to be confident and obedient elf.
    Sebastian Vael: He has one of the most interesting personalities of your companions, he gives you insight into the chant of light through they eyes of a brother of the chantry and unlike Liliana he sees the flaws in it and brings up some valid points. Plus is armour is cool.
    The Hawke twins are two sides of a coin, Bethany is loving and caring (and the only other attractive female character in this game) while Carver generally hates you and everything you do. As a whole they weren't around long enough to make a lasting impression.
    Now the bad: Dragon Age 2, while better looking, is considerably smaller than DA:O but quite a margin which is surprising because all they seemed to do is copy and paste the same room over and over again which to be frank is insulting. The areas are small as well with Kirkwall being about half the size of Denerim and the Wounded coast which is the largest area of the game is smaller than the Brecilian Forest.
    The events of DA;O and DA:A are pretty much swept under the rug, people only mention it in passing when it would be much better if you just had the same character, the entire plot of DA:2 is to set up for Dragon Age: Inquisition and in that respect I feel cheated.
    Now the ugly: The worst thing about DA:2 is the choices, all of them suck. With regards of dialogue you're restricted to GOOD, FUNNY or EVIL which is not how a choice system should work, it's like the Paragon and Renegade system in Mass Effect 1 where being a Renegade makes no sense, why do this and save everyone when you can let people die for the sake of being an **** IT MAKES NO SENSE! Over all I stand by my statement that DA: 2 isn't a bad game, if you never played DA:O you would probably give it a 9/10 but it had the unfortunate disposition of being a sequel to a perfect game so sorry DA:2 but you get a 7.3/10
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  16. Mar 31, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age Origins was an excellent game.

    Dragon Age 2 is a big disappointment for me. Specially because there's no epic feeling at all. Why I have to spend 90% of the game going around Kirkwall doing small "kill this guy", "bring this stuff" missions? I'd like to battle hordes of enemies, be part of an epic story, command an army, lead a desperate mission or kill the king.. I don't
    Dragon Age Origins was an excellent game.

    Dragon Age 2 is a big disappointment for me.

    Specially because there's no epic feeling at all.

    Why I have to spend 90% of the game going around Kirkwall doing small "kill this guy", "bring this stuff" missions?

    I'd like to battle hordes of enemies, be part of an epic story, command an army, lead a desperate mission or kill the king.. I don't know, something EPIC, difficult, impossible for no one but my character and his foes.

    But what I got in exchange is... hey, you can be a small smuggler/assassin.. and spend hours and hours of gameplay just moving around this city, doing "no one cares about it" missions.

    **** I want to be a hero! That's why I buy a game with "DRAGON" in its cover!
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  17. Apr 16, 2011
    1
    Let's see, where to start? Dragon Age: Origins was one of my favorite games in a long while. This game is a shell of that game. That's actually an insult to our shell-covered brethren. I would say that the graphics are much improved, but that's kind of a hollow endorsement in that you keep seeing the same graphics over and over and over. There is really no excuse for recycling the same mapLet's see, where to start? Dragon Age: Origins was one of my favorite games in a long while. This game is a shell of that game. That's actually an insult to our shell-covered brethren. I would say that the graphics are much improved, but that's kind of a hollow endorsement in that you keep seeing the same graphics over and over and over. There is really no excuse for recycling the same map over and over with some lame obstacle keeping you from exploring the same map you saw five minutes ago. Some say the combat has improved, but I am not one of them. The game teases you by suggesting that you set a tank at the choke point to protect your mage or ranged character, only to then see enemies fall from the sky behind you. You can back up to what looks like a 4 story building and enemies just drop from the sky. Pathetic. Where to go next? Oh yeah, the loot system. I can see this conversation playing out. Some wasted dude in the corner says "Hey, let's make 80% percent of the loot they find worthless". Some equally wasted dude says "Okay, that sounds cool and to top that, let's have them sell their cool looking 3 star weapons with cool names when they pick up plain 4 star weapons with cooler names like"dagger"". Seriously, you couldn't take the time to make all the weapons have names that represented their properties? Once again, pathetic. Okay, and why do enemies explode? That just seems juvenile. This is a mature rated game right? Why appeal to the basest of gaming instincts? Blood everywhere!!! Stupid. I wish I could think of a movie sequel that disappointed as much as this game "sequel" did, but I'm drawing a blank. That's probably because I'm drinking, which I had stopped doing until I tried to finish this game. Actually, in retrospect, Dragon Age:Awakening was a better sequel to DA:O than this game. Did I mention that there is absolutely no story here? A bunch of random fetch quest with no real purpose. And tell me, how do I pick up a random item from a chest and magically know to give it to some random person for, get this, a 1 gold piece reward? Insanely stupid! I rarely use exclamation points by the way. This is the saddest follow-up to a great game that I have ever encountered. I thought Mass Effect 2 was a step down from the original, but it was okay. I hear they are looking at online co-op play for DA3. I fear what we have on the horizon is a "Call of Dragon Effect" where, in an effort to maximize profits, Bioware decides to appeal to the brain-dead co-op button mashers at the expense of those of us who actually like RPGs. I have bought every Bioware game since I started buying games because I trusted them. That ends now. Expand
  18. Apr 19, 2011
    4
    Here lies a perversion of the original Dragon Age. Shedding anything that made it special, leaving it devoid of a soul and presenting the bare-bones minimum for this game to be functional. Repetitiveness lazy level, enemy, and quest design all make for a mediocre game.
  19. Mar 30, 2011
    4
    Without a doubt, a middling, muddling attempt to cater to the hack and slash / Mass Effect fans while TRYING to lightly cater to the fans that made Dragon Age Origins a hit. In the end it succeeds at doing neither. From reusing maps that are surprisingly similar in design from random quest #33 to random quest #85 (which was surprisingly similar in design to the map used in random questWithout a doubt, a middling, muddling attempt to cater to the hack and slash / Mass Effect fans while TRYING to lightly cater to the fans that made Dragon Age Origins a hit. In the end it succeeds at doing neither. From reusing maps that are surprisingly similar in design from random quest #33 to random quest #85 (which was surprisingly similar in design to the map used in random quest #10), to the tactic-less approach to combat. Companions who were, for the most part, never really a "stand out" kind of lot. No Urdnot Wrex, no Tali vas, no HK-47. They're OK, but they are no Wrex. I also felt no real sense of purpose, no feeling that what I was doing was shaping or changing the future of Kirkwall, other than having Hawke move from rags to riches. Every event I played, seemed lifeless and self contained in their Acts, with no real significance or impact on the overall. My only one true praise is that it at least looks better than the drab lifeless world experienced in the first (and still superior) game. Expand
  20. Apr 2, 2011
    1
    Utter betrayal of a loyal fan base. Designed entirely to accommodate a simplistic console community. Origins was a massive success both critically and financially, so why did Bioware suddenly think everything needed to be changed in a sequel. If its not broken don't fix it.
  21. Apr 18, 2011
    0
    When will companies learn that value does not equal labor. Supply and demand is how the economy works. Bioware ruined any interest I had in this game by destroying its value by adding DRM. Someday maybe companies will learn not to treat legitimate customers like criminals. Until that day I will not be playing anymore games with DRM. Especially not ones from Bioware or EA.
  22. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    I pre-ordered this purely on how much I enjoyed DA:O. Boy do I regret that.

    Endlessly repeated landscapes, stuck in a single city, with no motivation, just a bunch of fedex quests and ever repeating spawns of enemies out of thin air. I miss being able to customize my companions armor. I miss having more than good, snarky & evil conversation choices. I miss the feeling of exploring a
    I pre-ordered this purely on how much I enjoyed DA:O. Boy do I regret that.

    Endlessly repeated landscapes, stuck in a single city, with no motivation, just a bunch of fedex quests and ever repeating spawns of enemies out of thin air.

    I miss being able to customize my companions armor. I miss having more than good, snarky & evil conversation choices. I miss the feeling of exploring a whole world. I miss the old Anders, and ser-pounce-a-lot.

    The voice-acting is meh; there's no Claudia Black here. The graphics are improved, but so repetitive, it's hard to care.

    I've finished Act 1, bored, and unable to work up the motivation to continue. I won't be pre-ordering DA:3. Renting maybe.
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  23. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    Along with several other people here, I have never written a review or commented on a game before, but I felt the strong need to voice my opinion about DA2. It just isn't a good game at all. How is it possible that the gaming industry critics have given the game such a favorable review?? Surely they are getting paid by EA in some form or another - we already know that at least one biowareAlong with several other people here, I have never written a review or commented on a game before, but I felt the strong need to voice my opinion about DA2. It just isn't a good game at all. How is it possible that the gaming industry critics have given the game such a favorable review?? Surely they are getting paid by EA in some form or another - we already know that at least one bioware employee (name of Avalone I think?) has posted here with a perfect score. That isn't really bad, and I don't mind that so much, but it sure makes me wonder what else EA/bioware is up to. Here's a message to all RPG fans out there wondering whether to buy this game or not... you will be hugely dissapointed if you enjoyed DAO - because all of the things that made DAO great are missing in this game. Trust me when I say this (because I have no hidden agenda), the general consensus of the user reviews is a lot more accurate than the critics reviews. All of the things that you've read about the game from the user reviews (repeatiing dungeons, hack and slash style play, poor dialogue choices, non-immersion, no caring for characters, no sense of being part of a bigger world), it's all true. Stay away from this one - you can find a much better way to spend $60! Expand
  24. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    A dumbed down experience. Hack and slash combat, cluncky graphics, recycled enviroments bad pacing, boring storyline, bad dialog and companions. All the naysayers have been right since day one, this game has not been made with the spirit of an rpg and it's an insult to what Bioware used to be.
  25. Apr 7, 2011
    0
    Utterly disappointing. I was intending to write a long thought out review explaining in detail my dislike of this game. But why should I bother? Bioware obviously couldn't be bothered to spend time creating a faithful sequel, so likewise I won't bother spending time writing a thorough review. I have totally lost faith in Bioware.
  26. Apr 9, 2011
    2
    As soon as the corporate behemoth that is EA swallowed up Bioware, this was the inevitable result- trying to get an RPG, a game genre that will always appeal to a specific rather than general audience, and make it appeal to the masses of Gears of War and Halo fans. In the process they rushed development, leaving in several game-breaking bugs, and decided to re-use all the environments inAs soon as the corporate behemoth that is EA swallowed up Bioware, this was the inevitable result- trying to get an RPG, a game genre that will always appeal to a specific rather than general audience, and make it appeal to the masses of Gears of War and Halo fans. In the process they rushed development, leaving in several game-breaking bugs, and decided to re-use all the environments in the game (of which there are no more than what, eight?) so the player spends most of his time either in the same very few city locations (day or night versions), or in caves or mansions which all look identical but in which different random doors will be impassably locked (even to my lockpicking expert rogue) and unbreakable, and different passages which have been seemingly concreted up. What is in Act 1 of the game the entrance to a warehouse is magically transformed 3 years later to be the entrance to an alleyway, despite being clearly the door to a building. To compund this, areas are far too small. For instance, apparently the Elven Alienage area of Lowtown is where all the thousands of elves in the city live, despite consisting of about 12 houses and a big tree. There's no sign of any effort whatsoever to even give the impression of a larger city beyond, as in Mass Effect and other games. Areas outside of the city are made up of strange winding path-based areas with no open areas whatsoever, and various versions of the one-size-fits all dungeon/cave/underground base area. Undetailed, unrealistic environments like this have only previously been acceptable in RPGs because gamers knew that the price you paid for having loads of different places to explore was that they would inevitably have to be a bit scaled-down and simplified. When there are so few different areas in the game, it's inexcusable. Combat is a major problem too: even IF my character wasn't now moving at half-speed due to a bug. Acts 1 and 2 are absurdly easy, and almost every fight can be won in seconds by basically bashing A. In Act 3, suddenly the difficulty level shoots through the roof, which is not helped by the unbalanced economy of the game- i've been everywhere, done everything, looted all the corpses and opened every chest, yet there are items on sale in shops that cost four times the gold my character has got his hands on in the entire game. Basic healing potions etc. are far too expensive. How my character affords to maintain his 'estate' (which has about four rooms and one double bed, despite at least six people living there) is beyond me.
    And then there's the story-telling. It shows how terrible it has generally been in games if people think this is good. One example (trying to be spoiler-free for anyone fool enough to actually buy this game): a companion ends up in a situation where they have to do something that would haunt most of us for the rest of our lives, although they have no choice. They have destroyed all that mattered to them. But seconds later, that character will, it seems, have forgotten all about it and be back to making mildly humourous remarks.
    To sum up: it's broken, it's boring, and Bioware games should in future be approached with caution.
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  27. Mar 16, 2011
    3
    Really disappointing.They simplified everything,the first game had decent game mechanics and a slightly better combat system,it feels like a game released in beta stage,and worse of all,i've even payed for this game
  28. Mar 14, 2011
    1
    Such a dissappointment from Dragon Age 1, everything that made the Origins fun and interesting has been stripped out and replaced with "EPIC" violence and a failed attempt at trying to gain access to the young violence fanatic. Oh, and it would've been high, BUTTT, this stuff about Bioware padding Metacritic with employee's writing reviews, i feel a -5 is in order
  29. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    After enjoying Dragon Age: Origins and Awakening, I've been waiting for Dragon Age II with much excitement. I grabbed my hands on a copy of DA2 on release date, went home, unwrapped the foil from the box and put the disc in my PS3. After setting up the options to my personal liking I was ready to start the journey. Let's start playing.

    I'm writing this review while I am 18 hours in to
    After enjoying Dragon Age: Origins and Awakening, I've been waiting for Dragon Age II with much excitement. I grabbed my hands on a copy of DA2 on release date, went home, unwrapped the foil from the box and put the disc in my PS3. After setting up the options to my personal liking I was ready to start the journey. Let's start playing.

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

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

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

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

    All of the things really break the immersion for me. I want to equip my characters, I want to have cool traveling bunch, I want to explore the world and I want to feel that I am in something big. Sadly DA2 doesn't do any of that.
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  30. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    Currently I'm struggling to finish this game. The more I play it the more I think this is the ugly child of Mass Effect and Devil May Cry (or insert your own hack and slash title here). This isn't the Dragon Age i know, because its anything but Dragon Age apart from name and a few standout features. Could call it a stripped down version of it.

    I don't really need to state the so called
    Currently I'm struggling to finish this game. The more I play it the more I think this is the ugly child of Mass Effect and Devil May Cry (or insert your own hack and slash title here). This isn't the Dragon Age i know, because its anything but Dragon Age apart from name and a few standout features. Could call it a stripped down version of it.

    I don't really need to state the so called 'problems' of this game as its been highlighted already but here a quick run though.

    - Reused Maps - Trying to get more content into this game? Good excuse. Try telling that to the people in the same office. The one who produced Mass Effect 2. Reused maps in ME? Not in the same league as Dragon Age 2 where most of the maps were near identical. Evident of being lazy? Id say so.

    - Item management - No armor customization for your teammates? Whether you could call this being streamlined or not, I don't know. Bioware possibly couldn't be asked to add skins for each armor equipped by our team mates.

    - Respawning Enemies - I remember watching a video of a bioware producer saying Dragon Age 2 demonstrating the game as a 'tactical' game. Well .... if I saw him id tell him hes a BSer. Its more akin to a hack and slash game then anything else, not more so for the lack of auto attack (Im playing 360 version), but the respawn of enemies at anytime, from anywhere. You can throw tactics out the window.

    I could go into more but its already been highlighted, but whether Bioware is just being rushing this game out the door by EA, being lazy or just making this game more streamlined goes it just hasn't worked for me and alot of people. Are they just concentrating all thier efforts on Mass Effect 3 and neglecting this once awesome game? Everyone have their own opinions. For sure. But with the bad press, fan backlash (anyone who thinks otherwise is a tool) and ever decreasing review scores from the public.

    This is anything buy Biowares finest. You can be sure that when DA3 is being hyped up in a few years time, they will use DA2s negativity and downfall as a way to promote its squeal.
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  31. Mar 19, 2011
    4
    Besides the discussion of to much action, gore, comic like design and the Hack ´n Slay fights which is a question of taste for sure. You can see, that DA2 had not enough time.The hardcore recycling of enemies and levels ist just bold. Dialogues are simple, predictable and don´t go into depth. And the hero Hawk never shows any kind of emotions. I love Bioware gamesBesides the discussion of to much action, gore, comic like design and the Hack ´n Slay fights which is a question of taste for sure. You can see, that DA2 had not enough time.The hardcore recycling of enemies and levels ist just bold. Dialogues are simple, predictable and don´t go into depth. And the hero Hawk never shows any kind of emotions. I love Bioware games for the epic story lines and great emotions. I even loved Mass Effect 2, so its quite clear that I´m not that kind of hardcore traditionalist, but DA2 has nothing to do with RPG any more. Its RPG light or RPG fast food. Easy to consume. Easy to forget. I miss the spark, which brings me to play this game again and again. I finished the game one time now and I not going to play it again. So my recommendation: DON´T GIVE MORE THAN 10 BUGS. If this is the future of Bioware´s understanding of RPG, I will never buy a game of this company again. EA and Bioware are going in the wrong direction . Expand
  32. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    Everyone has said everything that needs to be said. I finished the game (mostly) today and...wow, I've never been so disappointed. Not only did I waste $69.00 buying this junk, I also wasted hours of my life. Sigh.
    EA has eaten BioWare up and pooped them out. I've lost hope now :(
  33. Mar 20, 2011
    0
    It is deeply unfortunate to see that a certain game company appears to be artificially inflating the metacritic game score on DA2 with a lot of one shot, single reviewer posts. But I urge people looking at the reviews to consider the date frame in which they are posted, the reviewer history and the abnormally high score given.

    DA2 is an poor game, both in terms of what we expect to see
    It is deeply unfortunate to see that a certain game company appears to be artificially inflating the metacritic game score on DA2 with a lot of one shot, single reviewer posts. But I urge people looking at the reviews to consider the date frame in which they are posted, the reviewer history and the abnormally high score given.

    DA2 is an poor game, both in terms of what we expect to see from a Bioware title and from the DA franchise. What people have said about the slow/nonexistent story, dumbing down of the game, the poor dialogue, substandard graphics, horrid dialogue wheel... it's all true. This game is NOT worth the $60 to buy it, and is not worthy of Bioware.

    I simply cannot adequately express my disappointment with this game as a long time Bioware fangirl. It's wretched, and I can only hope that Bioware learns the harsh lesson and returns to the format and attention to detail within the RPG genre that made them great in the first place.
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  34. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was a big fan of bioware. I bought Baldurs gate 1 and 2 ,Neverwinter nights 1,Jade Empire,Sonic The dark Brotherhood,Mass Effect 1 and 2,Dragon Age Origins and Dragon age Awakening And Dragon age 2 .I was dissapointed with Mass effect 2 it was streamlined and didnt fixed the errors of the previous game because i WAS such a fan of bioware forgive them and hoped Dragon Age 2 was the return of The Great Rpg Creators they were.
    Sadly This isnt true Dragon age 2 is not a roleplaying game ,more of action game with a very weak combat and a mess that is the story,this game is a cashin on Dragon Age origins success it was rushed. Spoilers :The Storyline in Dragon Age 2 isn't all that coherent and doesn't really make sense. You have one leader inspired by a magic weapon that influences attitude...but the other leader...their decisions at the end of the game make NO Sense really. The entire game Really doesn 't make coherent sense. It's like whoever made the storyline wanted to make 3 different games and then tried to link them all up nicely at the very end.
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  35. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    I've always thought of Bioware as a safe choice when buying a game. When EA took over I was worried that they were going to ruin another good game company, but surprisingly most of the games came out were good ol' Bioware (maybe abit rushed) with some useless DLC content that I did not care about. That was uintil I came across this joke of a game.
    First of all the world feels soulless and
    I've always thought of Bioware as a safe choice when buying a game. When EA took over I was worried that they were going to ruin another good game company, but surprisingly most of the games came out were good ol' Bioware (maybe abit rushed) with some useless DLC content that I did not care about. That was uintil I came across this joke of a game.
    First of all the world feels soulless and small. Well actually, the world feels small because it is small. Quoting a critic "You cant have an epic story on your backyard". That pretty much sums it up.
    The game feels more like a grind than a RPG - You're basically running the same linear dungeons over and over again with enemies that have slightly different color and name. Even the bosses are recycled.
    Combat requires no strategy at all, you can basically buttons mash your way trough the game. Increasing difficulty just requires the player to have more potions and the patience to spam the buttons longer. Sure the people looking for a simple game might enjoy it more, but anyone actually looking for a challenge should not bother with this game.
    Something that Bioware has always gotten right is the story, but not this time. Most of the charaters feel hollow and boring, charater cameos from DA:O just makes you wish you were playing DA:O instead.
    The story itself is rather non thrilling and the side quests are very repeative.
    The graphics are outdated (PC) to say the least and there are some annoying gliches with some of the older graphic cards. If the game looks like it was made 10-years ago, it should atleast work with older hardware.
    I could go on pointing out flaws in this game, but I think i made my point - Dont bother paying 60 bucks for a crappy game. If you absolutely must play this game, then do yourself a favour and wait for the GOTY version with all the DLC content and bugfixes.
    When compairing to other games this game does not deserve a 0 though, but on a Bioware scale it absolutely does. It is definitely by far the worst game they have ever done.
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  36. Apr 12, 2011
    2
    The crticial reception of Dragon Age II is one of the most glaring examples of just how terrified the enthusiast video game press is afraid of upsetting publishers. They wouldn't dare tell you at what point this is a focus-driven rushed-to-market insult to video game consumers everywhere. I never played the original Dragon Age so I'm not an irate fan of the original... there is just notThe crticial reception of Dragon Age II is one of the most glaring examples of just how terrified the enthusiast video game press is afraid of upsetting publishers. They wouldn't dare tell you at what point this is a focus-driven rushed-to-market insult to video game consumers everywhere. I never played the original Dragon Age so I'm not an irate fan of the original... there is just not much to defend here. There isn't a single battle in the game (including bosses) that doesn't involve waves and waves of enemies spawning out of thin air waiting for you to mow them down. Sometimes, even when you give them a gentle whack, they explode into a dozen pieces... which I guess is suppose to make me feel like a bad ass. The entire game takes place in one city made up of a few small disconnected areas and the same two or three dungeons that are reused for the entire game. They even try to trick you into thinking this is a new area by blocking off doors you were previously able to go through and opening other ones. Why can't you go through that door you see this time around? Who knows! You just can't click on it! Look, when asked about this problem in an interview, the developers claim they had two choices: give us all original content and cut the game length down to a couple hours or reuse the same areas over and over until the game lasted twenty-five hours. If that doesn't give you an idea of how rushed this product is, I don't know what will. There is not 60 dollars worth of content here and yet so many people have already bought this game because the video game press is looking out more for themselves and not for us. The sad part of this is that underneath it all, the character interaction is great even if the overally story arc, like the rest of the game, is not well thought out at all. It's clear there were talented people working on Dragon Age II, but they weren't given the liberty or time to make this into a good product. Buyer beware. Expand
  37. Mar 31, 2011
    1
    The stats on the game tell the story Dragon Age Origins requires 20 GB HD space while Dragon Age 2 requires 7 GB HD space. why duplicate scenes, less game!
  38. Mar 11, 2011
    2
    I've played this all of the way through before writing anything. I've always been a Bioware fan, but seriously, DA2 is disappointing and I cannot see how the bulk of review sites can ignore some its fundamental flaws. Granted I can see how the combat has improved for console platforms, but it's really the rest of the game that leaves me feeling irritated. For instance, the dialogue optionsI've played this all of the way through before writing anything. I've always been a Bioware fan, but seriously, DA2 is disappointing and I cannot see how the bulk of review sites can ignore some its fundamental flaws. Granted I can see how the combat has improved for console platforms, but it's really the rest of the game that leaves me feeling irritated. For instance, the dialogue options and conversation interactions have really been dulled down - I assume this is due to the fact that Hawke is now voice-acted. I would love to sit down and talk with whoever came up with the 'sarcastic' replies for Hawke - he just sounds like an idiot. Taking the character of Isabella as an example - we get it, she is a sex addict - there is no need to constantly remind the player over and over again aside from the obviously intended hit with the younger male audience. There is no connection with the characters, you just don't end up caring what happens to them. The exception to this in my opinion is Merrill, whose dilemmas and underlying story fit in more with what I'd come to expect from Origins. The constant 'cameos' from older characters only reinforce the lack of interest with the supposed main cast of this installment. The story is definitely a lesser scale than origins, which makes me feel quite angry as to the marketing propaganda hinting at some sort of epic ascent to 'power'.

    Whilst the combat mechanics are a little more streamlined, as is item and inventory management in general, this doesn't fix the issue of repeated zones, reuse of assets, the low variety of enemies and the incredibly annoying 'walk-into-an-area-and-keep-spawning-stuff' ideology. Perhaps it is my fault for having expectations that were too high, or not checking beforehand that the entire game was essentially going to be set in one relatively bland city with a few outdoor areas which would be reused at periodic intervals as 'years' progress.

    I see a lot of the positive reviews being given here with scores of '10'. I just don't see why. Especially the 'OH MY GOD IM LEVEL 7 AND THIS IS AMAZING' - I too was still 'giving it a chance' at that stage hoping that it would open up and improve. Others suggest increasing the difficulty somehow compensates for the bad storyline and being locked into only a few zones just so that you can engage in slightly harder repetitive combat where on occasion people jump randomly from the sky, up from the ground or pop out of nowhere.

    I'm not a professional review writer - and I've never posted a review on metacritic before despite being a deidcated PC gamer for well over a decade. I just felt massively let down as a player and as a fan of DA:O that the experience of DA2 was quite simply a let down. Honestly it feels as if they sat down after the Awakening expansion and thought 'lets do that again with a new character and implement some of the ideas we couldn't fit into the scope Awakening - we'll call it Dragon Age 2'.

    P.S. Bring back more of the mage schools and spell combos. Why remove them?
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  39. Mar 20, 2011
    3
    If you liked the nwn series, DA:O or even the witcher you may than i suggest to try the game first before buying. You may prepare for some serious disappointment.
    There would be nothing wrong with the game if there were some 'Diablo' letters on the cover, but it is a tremendous disappointment and dumb down if you expect a rich and interesting game.
    Its basically pure hack&slash (Diablo
    If you liked the nwn series, DA:O or even the witcher you may than i suggest to try the game first before buying. You may prepare for some serious disappointment.
    There would be nothing wrong with the game if there were some 'Diablo' letters on the cover, but it is a tremendous disappointment and dumb down if you expect a rich and interesting game.
    Its basically pure hack&slash (Diablo Style) with a soso story and some nice characters. The graphic feels cleaner and worse than in DA:O, the combat was streamlinded and quickend, but is esthetically totally unpleasing. Its never elegant, its never eye catching eye candy, i never bothered taking a screenshot, while i have hm ~2k screenshots from the first game.
    Now there are some nice additoins. The voice over feels good, and some options like the possibility to give funny answers is an enrichment, espeically if thats what comes first in your mind anway .
    But the repetitive dungeons, boring map, boring graphics, missing items, everythin feels like it has a huge stamp on it "MAKE the over 10 MIL copies SELL with just 1/2 year development EA order". That just wont work. It was definately my last Bioware game i ever preordered before reading user reviews. / as such its interesting to see how commercial reviewers join Bioware´s epic fail.
    What should they do better: Well stop trying to do a DIABLO clone (knowing that the real diablo would be delayed and thus sniffing blood) - but stick to your theme, stick to what you know best. Deliver a full rich and good - but well yes, costy - RPG environment again. And yes, keep the EA guys away from Product planning.
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  40. Mar 13, 2011
    3
    Vast amount of visual bugs which give horrible performance with a Geforce 580. Even when the game is running smoothly, I can't help but notice the obvious copy-pasting of dungeons/caves. The feeling that the quests are all going to the same places as other quests all the time. God knows what the popular game review sites are on, this is no where near on par with Dragon Age: Origins, letVast amount of visual bugs which give horrible performance with a Geforce 580. Even when the game is running smoothly, I can't help but notice the obvious copy-pasting of dungeons/caves. The feeling that the quests are all going to the same places as other quests all the time. God knows what the popular game review sites are on, this is no where near on par with Dragon Age: Origins, let alone an improvement. I liked the combat more on this one, but everything else brings it down and nullifies it. Very mediocre and most likely rushed game; unexpected lackluster installment to the acclaimed Dragon Age: Origins. Expand
  41. Mar 14, 2011
    1
    This games claims to be mature RPG from one of best RPG developers in the world, It simply is not true.
    Before i start with pros and cons, let me just say a thing or two about mature rpg:
    1. It is not mature (yes there is sex and some quests are rather interesting), but flashy combat, quests that are so dumb (discover a item on floor and bring it to someone for reward is insult of
    This games claims to be mature RPG from one of best RPG developers in the world, It simply is not true.
    Before i start with pros and cons, let me just say a thing or two about mature rpg:

    1. It is not mature (yes there is sex and some quests are rather interesting), but flashy combat, quests that are so dumb (discover a item on floor and bring it to someone for reward is insult of intelligence). There is no real group dynamics, story so far is refreshment from usual rpg epic default, but i don't mention this as a necessary good thing - you are driven solely by making a name for your self in one rather small town. It is ok to have this, but you expect more at the end. This is just: ok, and that is it, what now?

    2. RPG - where to start....it just doesn't feel like one. Inventory is a big part of rpg for me - i like to play around with items, have meaningful icons, distribute with my members, combine what is best and generally play around with crafting etc. Here they take most of it away. There are no icons, party customization is awful, if you get DLC armor & weapons, you will be using it alot because it is very powerful...crafting is just basically purchasing from a stand...no open world, feels very limited with location recycle... i just can't get into the character and into setting.


    To be clear, haven't played game through...i started by single session of 8 hours, than 6, than 4, than 2.. yesterday i just chilled on couch, had absolutely no wish to turn it on (in DA:o it was quite opposite, my desire to play got bigger with progression). Not really sure if i will be able to finish it (difficultly is not an issue).. it just doesn't captivate and mesmerize like RPG should.


    PRO: no bugs, some very interesting quests, combat can be fun sometimes, top notch voice acting
    CONS: inventory, party chars not very interesting, fight is not tactical at all, no open space, narrow corridors or walls most of game (don't mind dungeon crawl now and then, but this is nowhere near so far), dialog wheel (absolute rpg abomination) and yes for me - no epic struggle as culmination of all the efforts...


    For me a big letdown, if you liked origins and enjoy classic RPG experience do not buy this game until it is not on some discount or used...don't think I'll ever play this more than once if i manage to get interested enough to complete.

    P.S. If this is what RPG is going to be from now on - i must be getting too old and this simply is not for me.
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  42. Mar 16, 2011
    1
    Game - disappointing year. is certainly in the game and the good moments, improvements and new approaches, but unfortunately, disadvantages outweigh all its advantages. in pursuit of excess income, usually leaves the crude product, which subsequently will only exacerbate the situation and standard condemns the continuation of game to fail. ea company should reconsider marketing policy.
  43. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    The game for me has had it's ups and downs. But the lack of depth with characters, rehashed environments and the extremely shallow game play personally proved too much to bear. What is even more annoying from a consumer point of view is the DLC on day one. Why provide extra content from the release date especially after consumers are paying £30-40+ for such a lackluster title?
  44. Apr 18, 2011
    4
    First I believed it was great deserving a 9 or 8, then after a few hours of playing the game I understood that it was a poor plot with characters not as likable as in ME 2 or DA:O and deserved more like a 7 or 6. Then I discovered a bunch of bugs piling up that underscored the impression of a rushed game and deserved more like a 5 or 4. The average user score of 4.4 is correct in theirFirst I believed it was great deserving a 9 or 8, then after a few hours of playing the game I understood that it was a poor plot with characters not as likable as in ME 2 or DA:O and deserved more like a 7 or 6. Then I discovered a bunch of bugs piling up that underscored the impression of a rushed game and deserved more like a 5 or 4. The average user score of 4.4 is correct in their unbiased verdict. Expand
  45. Jul 25, 2011
    0
    Epic Fail...................................................................................................................................................
  46. Mar 14, 2011
    0
    "Darker, sexier, prettier" were the advertising words for this sequel. Unfortunately the ONLY thing that actually has got better (in some parts of the game) is combat dynamics. Story line itself is very narrow comparing to original DAO, darkness has been replaced with fierce button smashing combating and then sex... well that's completely REMOVED. Okay, you actually can get to kiss someone"Darker, sexier, prettier" were the advertising words for this sequel. Unfortunately the ONLY thing that actually has got better (in some parts of the game) is combat dynamics. Story line itself is very narrow comparing to original DAO, darkness has been replaced with fierce button smashing combating and then sex... well that's completely REMOVED. Okay, you actually can get to kiss someone and invoke some dirty dialogue, but anyone who has actually played DAO will be very disappointed. There's no passion, no mature decisions to be made and absolutely nothing to see in terms of mature gaming. It looks like this sequel is more targeted to 13 years old console gamers than to people who actually played and enjoyed the original Dragon Age.

    The only thing that could save the game amongst DAO players would be fast introduction of expansions and toolset, that would make possible to enchange game in mentioned areas. Without that, I think the game is doomed and will only result financial loss and more sadly, ruin the name of Dragon Age.
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  47. Mar 21, 2011
    2
    DragonAge: Origins was a great game but DA 2 is just **** Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy thisDragonAge: Origins was a great game but DA 2 is just **** Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Don't buy this game Expand
  48. Mar 15, 2011
    4
    This game has lots of cutscenes. In between the cutscenes, you press the "A" button.

    On the plus side, I do not believe the game has given me any infectious diseases.
  49. Mar 16, 2011
    2
    Thanks metacritic for deleting my honest opinion about this game. Gaming really has taken a turn for the worse, when you can't express your opinions on a bad game without it getting deleted. You should be ashamed of yourselves, you and BioWare.
  50. Mar 16, 2011
    2
    First time / long time, and so I want to thank Metacritic for years of excellent service to the gaming community. I've enjoyed reading the reviews, both professional and personal, and I base many of my buying decisions on what I glean here.

    I finished DA2. I could certainly talk about the game's many egregious failures (most of which have been covered here), but I think it's more
    First time / long time, and so I want to thank Metacritic for years of excellent service to the gaming community. I've enjoyed reading the reviews, both professional and personal, and I base many of my buying decisions on what I glean here.

    I finished DA2. I could certainly talk about the game's many egregious failures (most of which have been covered here), but I think it's more interesting to think about this game in the context of what is happening to the RPG genre in general. FFXIII was, after a nearly interminable wait, the weakest FF ever. DA2 may well be the weakest Bioware game of the modern era. Atari is out of the RPG business, as are many others. And although the EuroPGs like Gothic may be to some players' tastes, I find them too heavily invested in a 'realistic' medieval setting. Seriously ... the PS3's been out for years now. Where are the RPGs?

    I can't remember the last time I played a truly great Fantasy RPG. Some (The Last Remnant) had intriguing ideas but failed in other areas. Some are just dull. DA2 is not a terrible game (merely a mediocre one), but it is a terrible RPG, because it makes you give up on the things that are supposed to matter the most ... exploration, character growth and story.

    By the end I was skipping almost every conversation. I knew what I said wouldn't matter. The idea that Kirkwall is 'vast' is a shameful lie. Daggerfall was vast. LOTRO and WOW are vast ... it takes hours to traverse them. Fallout: New Vegas was ... well, not vast, but pretty big. Gothic was sizable, if repetitious. DA2 is microscopic. Eensy weensy. Really truly small in scope, ambition, diversity ... you name it.

    Why do all mages perform the same four spells (and why are they mostly designed to prevent you from killing the mages immediately?)? Why are shades randomly appearing in Lowtown? Why do trash mobs rain from the heavens like the worthless copper you gather from the corpses? Why do the shops withhold their inventories for years? Why is crafting so utterly meaningless? Why is most of the treasure you collect useless? Why can't your companions wear armor? Why is this game's idea of 'strategy' flooding the screen with identical foes?

    It's not enough to trash this worthless, shameless cash-in of an RPG. That's easy, but insufficient. What we need is a revolution.

    Indie developers, are you listening? Do you remember, as I do, the days of Vagrant Story, FF6, Valkyrie Profile? Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Neverwinter Nights? Do you remember when there was an embarrassment of riches for Fantasy RPG gamers? Think about what we could do now. Imagine Bioware's production values and visual storytelling married to REAL innovation.

    This review is a call to action. Let's bring REAL RPGs back, on both the PC and the consoles, and relegate this overhyped, overvalued junk to the dustbin of history, where it belongs.
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  51. Mar 18, 2011
    0
    EA is posting their own reviews here and possibly elsewhere online to manipulate reviews. The 10/10 review by Avanost is fake and posted by Bioware:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/g4jei/ea_admits_to_manipulating_online_review_scores_in/
  52. Apr 12, 2011
    2
    A classic example of a game not matching the overall franchise's core values and brand. DA Origins was strongly designed and communicated as a solid old-school Western RPG hearkening back to Baldur's Gate, which itself was strongly influenced by the pioneering Ultima games from the 80's and 90's. Halmarks of these games are 1) large, non-linear open worlds 2) strategic combat 3)A classic example of a game not matching the overall franchise's core values and brand. DA Origins was strongly designed and communicated as a solid old-school Western RPG hearkening back to Baldur's Gate, which itself was strongly influenced by the pioneering Ultima games from the 80's and 90's. Halmarks of these games are 1) large, non-linear open worlds 2) strategic combat 3) character statistic and equipment customization for the protagonist and supporting party members. DA II fails on all accounts.

    There's obviously still a decent market for the traditional western RPG, as DA Origins sold a LOT of copies. And let's be honest, DA Origins wasn't a masterpiece by any means, but it at least targeted a specific segment of the market and served that segment decently well.

    This was bad brand management. Whoever is in charge of the DA franchise at EA should be canned, he's done incredible harm to the DA brand and ultimately devalued EA's investment in Bioware.
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  53. Jan 4, 2012
    2
    Very poor writing, removed everything interesting about the first games combat system. This game was clearly rushed out the door in an attempt to see if an RPG could be made with reliable selling sequels every year like a shooter or sports game.
  54. Mar 17, 2011
    3
    Real dissapointment. The dialogues and side quests itlesf are great. But thats all. Main quest is basically missing (I was not sure what Im trying to achieve in the main plot until like 35hours in the game. Till then the main plot feels like series of random side quests. Where most of them really have nothing to do with game ending). There is so few locations that it is smallest game IReal dissapointment. The dialogues and side quests itlesf are great. But thats all. Main quest is basically missing (I was not sure what Im trying to achieve in the main plot until like 35hours in the game. Till then the main plot feels like series of random side quests. Where most of them really have nothing to do with game ending). There is so few locations that it is smallest game I played in loong time. Still they managed to put around 40hours of quest into such samll environment. That means you are always fighting at the same locations over and over again. The fights are stereotype with spawning enemies without any logic. It just sents same waves again and again. Boss fight are not interesting at all. The bosses have just bigger size and HP. So you fight it like normal enemy - you just need to spent 15 minutes on it. Resulting in boredom. Considering that the enviromnent is not build for the quests, but the quest are put into generic enviromnent, the atmosphere is really low. It does not matter if you go deal with bandinds, investigate murder, releasing prisoners or dealing with blood mages. It will happen o nthe same generic street (with flegmatic NPCs around) each time. The result feels much more like a datadisk or DLC, than a full game. Its just few small locations with lots of quests thrown into them without any logic. Expand
  55. Mar 20, 2011
    4
    The only redeeming quality of this game is its combat system, but even that system is flawed. Enemies tend to come at you in waves. So be aware that any time you think you're picking a fight with three bandits, their entire bandit army is waiting around the corner to punch you in the sack. This wouldn't be so bad except for the implications it has for aggro control. New enemies can't beThe only redeeming quality of this game is its combat system, but even that system is flawed. Enemies tend to come at you in waves. So be aware that any time you think you're picking a fight with three bandits, their entire bandit army is waiting around the corner to punch you in the sack. This wouldn't be so bad except for the implications it has for aggro control. New enemies can't be aggroed until they spawn, so they are gong to immediately jump on your mage/healer/rogue/weakling and ignore your fighter until you scramble to save the lives of your squishy party members.
    That said, the combat is a bit more fun and manageable than its counterpart in DA:O.

    But the rest of the game has just gone downhill. Bioware really disappointed me with this title. The story is watered down and hard to accept. The breadth of its predecessor was sacrificed for "accessibility" to a wider audience. In fact, the whole game takes place in one (small) town. But besides that, other features I dislike are: Your companions don't get new armor, period. You can purchase "upgrades", but you can't put any loot on them. You don't get to choose a race anymore: you're human, and that's all there is to it. The game reuses the same areas for quest after quest after quest. Most of the loot you find (50-75%) is junk. Literally, it's junk. It goes in the junk tab of your inventory. And its only purpose is to be sold for a pittance to merchants. Really, Bioware? You couldn't just give us more cash in treasure chests? You had to add "broken chair" or "mangled darkspawn dagger" into the mix? Are you kidding? This whole game was a massive disappointment. I will never pre-order another Bioware or EA title again. No, you can earn your money from now on. You don't get to get away with crap like this anymore.
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  56. Mar 11, 2011
    0
    I Can't believe after 6 or so RPG's, BioWare still hasn't seemed to notice there mistake.

    In this game, you play as a boring character with the lamest voice ever. The conversations are dull and boring and they make you feel like you want it to be over. Not to mention how bad the voice actors are in this particular title. This game feels like it was funded out of BioWare's pocket money.
    I Can't believe after 6 or so RPG's, BioWare still hasn't seemed to notice there mistake.

    In this game, you play as a boring character with the lamest voice ever. The conversations are dull and boring and they make you feel like you want it to be over. Not to mention how bad the voice actors are in this particular title. This game feels like it was funded out of BioWare's pocket money. Dragon Age: Origins had a very bad combat style but a decent storyline nonetheless. This game has a button mash combat style with a lame storyline. The ending sucks. Save your money.
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  57. Mar 13, 2011
    0
    Dragon Age II is very disappointing, If you were an avid fan of the first game and it's expansion and decided to make a perfect run-through of it with the intention of importing it into dragon age II like I did, you will be sorely disappointed.

    Nothing that comes from imports has any real affect on anything in Dragon Age II's already dismal storyline. The only thing you can expect to see
    Dragon Age II is very disappointing, If you were an avid fan of the first game and it's expansion and decided to make a perfect run-through of it with the intention of importing it into dragon age II like I did, you will be sorely disappointed.

    Nothing that comes from imports has any real affect on anything in Dragon Age II's already dismal storyline. The only thing you can expect to see are cameo appearances from previous acquaintances and tiny references to your exploits no doubt intended to make you feel nostalgic and happy. These feelings quickly fade when you realize you paid $60 however.

    The gameplay is very tedious and boring. The only noticeable difference on a casual playthrough between combat in DAII and DA:O is that you now have to mash the Attack button repeatedly instead of pressing it once per target.
    There is a new aspect to combat with the advent of cross-class combos, in a casual or normal playthrough you can go the entire game without using one, but in higher difficulty playthroughs the game is practically balanced around taking advantage of these combos, it really feels like they added this feature in an attempt to make the combat seem fresh. What I mean by that is that enemies seem to have a higher amount of health just because they want to make people use cross class combos in the first place and because of that, it feels like just another complication.

    If you do not own a 60" HD Flatscreen TV, expect to squint to read the minute font and the minimalistic Interface they decided to use in this game even if you have 20/20 vision. The only aspect of the game that is an exception to this is the chat wheel that pops up when you interact with NPCs at least you know what decisions you are making...

    The environments are great until you notice that there are only about 20 in the game,Deep Roads, Cave, and Dungeon environments have about 2 variants and that's it. Those 6 different environments are the same ones they use for every dungeon and cave in the game. The only difference between these environments is that certain passages are either closed or open and loot containers are shuffled around.
    Named unique locations feel bland and unchanging. Environments such as the town of Kirkwall (where the games events are centered) don't even change over the course of the 10 years in which this game takes place, aside from superficial things like rearranging loot containers that are placed around said environment. That isn't to say that the people inside Krikwall don't change however, because they do...well the important people do, there are no events that take place in the game that impact the entire city in a noticeable way (until the end anyway, and seeing as it's THE END, you don't get to see how the city changes anyway).

    Cutscenes have a tendency to warp the character models causing them to stretch and shrink very rapidly, I can't fathom how something as obvious and disruptive to immersion as this got past bug testing.

    The new talent trees aren't really as big an improvement over DA:O's talent trees as they were portrayed to be. They are a small improvement however if only for the fact that it is harder to decide where to spend the point you just earned.

    The stories and intimate relationships of your comrades that you can experience are as good as ever, but this one good quality is not enough to raise the average score that quantifies the rest of the game.

    The music never really caught my ear but it didn't sound bad either, I don't know whether it is the hallmark of a good or a bad soundtrack if you can listen to it without realizing that you are in fact listening to it in the first place.

    I only hope that they take full advantage of all the plots and storylines that they have left open in this game and set themselves up to explain in DA:III when the time comes. DA:II is only a stepping stone in terms of plot, only serving as a build up in events with no real feel of accomplishment or advancement. The story feels stagnant and unimportant to be honest.
    We learn next to nothing of Flemeth (aside from the fact that she's still alive despite anything you might have done to her in DAO) and there is no new information or plot points that concern the darkspawn at all. Yeah that's right, nothing new about darkspawn or Flemeth. The problems that Bioware introduces in this title seem trite and unimportant when compared to the first games events.

    I feel really sad when I say this, but to me it seems that Bioware has finally decided that it loves money more than the stories that they craft, especially when DLC is available to purchase off the shelf from day one... I mean what the hell is that about? Just include it with the game you sellouts....

    My advice? This game is good enough to rent but definitely not worth 60 bucks.
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  58. Mar 14, 2011
    1
    To already give a conclusion before I even arrive at the meat of this review, Dragon Age II feels incredibly rushed, and is a definite step down from the original, which already was quite mediocre. This unfortunate turn in quality leaves us with a sloppy, uninspired, dumbed down, and generally unlikeable game, which pales in comparison to some of Bioware`s gems.

    Gameplay; 1.0/10 The
    To already give a conclusion before I even arrive at the meat of this review, Dragon Age II feels incredibly rushed, and is a definite step down from the original, which already was quite mediocre. This unfortunate turn in quality leaves us with a sloppy, uninspired, dumbed down, and generally unlikeable game, which pales in comparison to some of Bioware`s gems.

    Gameplay; 1.0/10

    The combat in DA2 is a huge step back from Dragon Age Origins. The underlying system is the same, but by upping the pace and letting the player control normal attacks directly, combat feels incredibly dumbed down, which becomes rather boring, rather quickly. Successful attacks are met with a slashing sound. The fighting styles between the three classes (warrior, mage, rogue) feel as almost the same, as do different specializations within a class. Difficulty levels are incredibly unstatic, enough to accomodate neither gamers looking for hack `n` slash action, nor for gamers who want full control over their party, and utilizing the pause menu to issue tactical commands for setting up combos.

    STORY: 1/10

    The tale within a tale narrative structure is kinda interesting at first, but any curiosity you might have quickly dies down, however, as poor storytelling makes you lose any connection to Hawke you may have had at the beginning. There are two issues with the plot devices used in DA2. The first is the timeskip. Between each act of the game, there is a gap in which you do not participate. This makes you feel less engaged at the start of the next act, because whatever new predicament Hawke finds himself in, you were not there to experience it. Moreover, Hawke occasionally meets people that he supposedly met during a timeskip, but you as a player have never met. This really wrenches you out of Hawke's shoes, as you realize that despite controlling Hawke's actions and choices for certain parts of his life, you are ultimately just a spectator.

    The second plot device that I have trouble with is something that is common in RPGs. Basically, you have a main objective, but have to do a bunch of other stuff before you can achieve that objective. DA2's side quests are incredibly boring (more on this later), thus making this common RPG plot device much more obvious. After literally spending hours doing side quest after side quest that have no relation to the main plot whatsoever, it's easy to get sidetracked and forget what Hawke's main goal was in the first place.

    Finally, conversations in DA2 are a step down from the ones in DAO. The fully written dialogue choices from DAO are done away with. Instead, DA2 uses a dialogue wheel similar to Mass Effect. What this means is that Hawke talks exclusively in one-liners, and that conversations are all short and to the point, presumably so they wouldn`t get in the way of the mind-numbingly boring action. Moreover, all conversation choices are marked with an emotion icon (heart, halo, you get the idea). While potentially useful, what these icons really do is making sure gamers don`t have to think about how to phrase a response. Instead, conversation quickly boils down to choosing the stance you want to take, like in the much better, but also quite rushed, Alpha Protocol. Conversations with random NPCs are gone too. Now, every conversation is with a quest-giver. This makes Kirkwall a horribly lifeless place, as everyone you talk to just wants you to help solve their problems. It also means that no one talks to you about Dragon Age lore in the game. Instead, all lore is obtained through the Codex, and not conversations. This means that people who hate reading on a screen like me aren't able to learn much about the lore of the DA universe. Then again, it wasn`t interesting in the first place, but still.

    Conclusion;

    Dragon Age II is an incredibly messy game, which smothered any potential it had with bugs, missed opportunities, and general laziness. Kirkwall is a lifeless place, á la the settlements in Borderlands, while dungeons are reused and reused and reused untill you can literally traverse them with your eyes closed. This, of course fits with the dumbing down of the other elements of DA2. The developers spoke of trying to capture the audience of the Call of Duty series, which is, in my eyes, a grave mistake; firstly because this`ll leave RPG-fans and more serious gamers in the cold, and secondly because COD-fans rather occupy themselves with things like Bulletstorm and sports games, outside of COD.

    DA2 could have redeemed itself with other features, like the score, but fails with that too.

    My final verdict;

    GAMEPLAY; 2/10
    STORY; 2/10
    SCORE; 4/10
    REPLAY VALUE; 1/10
    GENERAL FEEL; 1/10

    This adds up to around a 1.5, but seeing as things like gameplay are much more important than the score, I have to give this game a 2. Bioware dropped the ball big time with this game, and I look forward to Mass Effect 3 with fear, anticipating a failure of a game, much like Dragon Age 2. (1.0)
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  59. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    I don't like being lied to. Bioware LIED to us. When people want to buy an RPG they don't buy an ACTION GAME they buy an RPG. Do you understand bioware? We don't like your obvious buyout of game reviews. We don't like having our RPGs turned into Action games. We don't like being told a million times how something is "Epic" and then only lasts "25 hours". RPG PLAYERS DON'T WANT ACTION GAMES!
  60. Mar 19, 2011
    3
    Dragon Age 2 is not a worthy successor to Dragon Age Origins: The combat while not as bad as expected is overshadowed by awful story, awful character development, one of the most disappointing endings I've seen in a while, and completely pointless inventory system and commerce (torn trousers anybody?). There's no reason to care about anything that happens in this game, the characters areDragon Age 2 is not a worthy successor to Dragon Age Origins: The combat while not as bad as expected is overshadowed by awful story, awful character development, one of the most disappointing endings I've seen in a while, and completely pointless inventory system and commerce (torn trousers anybody?). There's no reason to care about anything that happens in this game, the characters are forgettable with the exception of the dwarf Varric and maybe Avelline and the storyline has no clearly defined antagonist and is poorly paced (seriously, where is the beginning, middle and end?). I'm shocked that Hawke had a motivation to get out of bed in the morning when all he has to do all day is pointless fetch quests in the same drab, tired environments with a bunch of people he's supposed to care about.

    Garbage, if you must play more Dragon Age - go back and play the first one, faults and all.
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  61. Apr 23, 2011
    4
    Negatives: Dumbed down combat. Consists of mash this button till that guy dies, now do it again here. Simplistic level design. Honestly, I was insulted that they pushed this half-finished game onto us. Terrible.
  62. Mar 14, 2011
    3
    The worst BW game. There is nothing to comments here. do not even think about buying it. Linear plot, miserable battle system, it is not even an RPG, it's more like a bad action...
  63. Mar 22, 2011
    0
    Incredibly disappointing. Lots of boring fighting in the same boring environments. Story doesn't tie in with gameplay. Feels very rushed. What has happened to one of my favourite developers :(.
  64. Mar 15, 2011
    3
    What a disappointment. This is not worthy of Bioware or Dragon Age Origins. The game is dumbed down to the point of no longer being an RPG but a dynasty warriors game with worse dialog.
  65. Mar 16, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm very sorry to say that Bioware's latest visit to Thedas represents for me everything that is wrong with the RPG genre of late, if inventory management, character customization/development and epic storytelling aren't for you then stay clear of the genre, there are already genres out there that cater for players who don't want to micromanage, who don't want to get involved in the fine detail. If you're an RPG purist then a small piece of you will die if you play this game.

    Saying that, I don't think the game deserves a reactionary score of 1-2, I also certainly don't think it deserves a score of 9-10 and have to wonder if the people giving these high scores are new to the genre/series or gaming in general. It has some good points and some very very bad points.

    The Good:
    Varrick - Possibly one of the best characters in any RPG of late, I played alongside this character throughout the whole game and he made a significant improvement to the experience!

    Narrative - The perspective is fresh and makes a nice change from the usual 'mysterious prisoner' opening of many other RPGs.

    Combat Looks - The combat looks good I have to admit, even if it feels somewhat empty, the manoeuvres and magic effects are excellent and the Rogue feels like a force to be reckoned with now that the archery skills and damage have been beefed up.

    Qunari
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  66. Mar 16, 2011
    3
    Per quanto concerne la mia esperienza di gioco, in un'ottica GDR, dopo diverse ore di gioco a questo nuovo titolo, devo dire che è davvero poco appagante.
    Non c'è immersione: ci si limita a galleggiare in superficie, intuendo che poteva esser fatto molto di più.
    La grafica è abbastanza curata, anche se preferivo i toni più
    Per quanto concerne la mia esperienza di gioco, in un'ottica GDR, dopo diverse ore di gioco a questo nuovo titolo, devo dire che è davvero poco appagante.
    Non c'è immersione: ci si limita a galleggiare in superficie, intuendo che poteva esser fatto molto di più.
    La grafica è abbastanza curata, anche se preferivo i toni più maturi di DAO. Quello che non va proprio bene è che ci saranno una cinquantina di location che vengono riproposte allo sfinimento, il che non aiuta certo ad immergersi in un gioco di ruolo, dove l'ambientazione dovrebbe essere resa minuziosamente a video.
    La grafica dei menù è a dir poco oscena. Mi chiedo, con una grafica tanto scarna, come sia stato possibile rendere il sistema di menù più confusionario rispetto al precedente DAO... mah: ci sono riusciti, proponendo, ad esempio, un sistema grafico di avanzamento nei talenti che richiede ogni volta di visualizzare un albero di skill, impedendo una visione globale ed un confronto veloce tra le varie abilità.
    Il sistema di dialoghi è abominevole: in base a quale malato ragionamento non si può più cliccare sulla esatta frase che il nostro PG dovrebbe pronunciare, con senso chiaro, ma si deve interpretare una linea di scelta che spesso ci mette in bocca cose che non volevamo dire?
    Lasciamo perdere il combat system, e la gestione dell'inventario, il sistema di crafting, la possibilità di interagiore con gli altri personaggi in senso ampio, che di ruolo qui hanno mantenuto solo ed esclusivamente la dicitura.
    Coerenza a video rispetto alle abilità dei PG, a quelle che dovrebbero essere le loro effettive capacità e limitazioni: inesistente.
    Si salva qualcosa? Forse la storia sì, quella si salva, anche se è raccontata in modo non più che discreto.

    Ma parliamo di altri aspetti: COERENZA ed IMMEDESIMAZIONE..
    Ogni mondo, quello reale, ma anche quelli immaginari, ha delle regole.
    Regole sia fisiche imposte dalla natura, forza di gravità etc, sia convenzionali imposte dalla società, sistemi giuridici, etc., sia di altro tipo.
    Queste regole sono fondamentali perché qualsiasi mondo possa funzionare.
    Stessa cosa in un gioco fantasy, in cui i personaggi si muovono in un mondo di certo immaginario, ma comunque con delle regole.
    Se, ad esempio, un mago passa tutto il suo tempo a studiare magie, di certo non avrà potuto studiare le tecniche di combattimento corpo a corpo... se volesse imparare queste tecniche dovrebbe sacrificare parte del suo tempo (leggi: punti abilità) e così si creerebbe un personaggio ibrido mago/guerriero, che però non eccelle in nessuna delle due classi.
    Stessa cosa per le caratteristiche fisiche del guerriero: un'arma a due mani implica colpi più lenti, ma più potenti.
    Insomma le "regole dei mondi" fanno sì che se tiri la coperta da una parte, la accorci dall'altra...
    E allora?
    Semplice, tutto ciò è fondamentale per due cose importantissime: CREDIBILITA' e, quindi, IMMEDESIMAZIONE.
    E l'immedesimazione è tutto ciò a cui punta un GDR.
    Se faccio venir meno il realismo fregandome delle regole, tutto il mondo immaginario creato crolla, e non è più credibile: e la mancanza di credibilità fa venir meno l'immedesimazione.
    Per questo la COERENZA è tanto importante, in ogni sistema-mondo fantasy: perché rispettando il realismo (con riferimento alle regole del mondo immaginario creato) permette l'immedesimazione.
    Se in un film di cawboy ambientato nel passato del nostro mondo ad un certo punto gli indiani si mettessero a volare come pipistrelli, lo spettatore verrebbe catapultato di forza fuori dalla storia e comincerebbe a ridere.
    In un mondo fantasy, quindi, il realismo è ancor più importante che nel mondo reale: per il semplice motivo che nel mondo reale il realismo c'è per forza... e ci mancherebbe! Mentre in un mondo immaginario va creato e mantenuto con arte e sforzo e fatica: ma è prprio da quel realismo che nasce la magia!
    Ora, Dragon Age 2 non rispetta le regole del mondo in cui è ambientato, e quindi non è credibile, e quindi non è coerente e quindi chiude le porte in faccia all'immedesimazione.
    Cosa comporta ciò? Che:
    - se DA2 fosse un DGR, sarebbe davvero un pessimo GDR
    - se DA2 fosse un gioco action, sarebbe un brutto gioco action se paragonato ad altri del genere (soprattutto dungeon siege...)
    - se DA2 fosse un misto action-GDR, lo troverei tirato via e poco studiato.

    CONCLUDENDO
    Dopo aver giocato per diverse ore la versione definitiva di DA2, purtroppo, devo confermare le mie impressioni inziali.
    Brutto gioco, fatto in fretta e male: basta guardare la ripetività delle location o la scarnissima grafica dei menù.
    Coerenza zero, tatticità zero, personaliazzione zero.
    La storia si salva, ma non è assolutamente ai livello di DAO.
    Io ragiono nell'ottica GDR, che è quello che mi aspettavo di trovare e che mi sarebbe piaciuto giocare.
    Peccato!
    Spero che alla Bio ritrovino presto il senno e sfornino un GDR che sia un GDR vero!
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  67. Mar 16, 2011
    2
    I really loved Dragon Age : Origins. It was a refreshing RPG. A great release for the PC in a long while. Of course that created high expectations for DA2. I pre-ordered the game just to get Signature Edition and then came the rumours that it's a game suffering from consolitis... I had to keep my faith as I wanted to believe the developers wouldn't snub PC gamers... Then came the Demo...I really loved Dragon Age : Origins. It was a refreshing RPG. A great release for the PC in a long while. Of course that created high expectations for DA2. I pre-ordered the game just to get Signature Edition and then came the rumours that it's a game suffering from consolitis... I had to keep my faith as I wanted to believe the developers wouldn't snub PC gamers... Then came the Demo... my worst fears were justified. i didn't finish the demo as I wanted to believe the final game would be different. In the end... it's worse than I thought. Pure consolised displays, 0-day patch for High Res textures, armour only for the main char, selected "upgrades" for the companions... It's a very disappointing sequel to one of the best games ever.
    Overall, if taken on it's own. It's a decent game. When taken as a sequel to DA:O... Maybe if u play it on a console it wold be good. I don't know. I won't buy another sequel until it hits the bargain bins..
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  68. Mar 17, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is the "Phantom Menace" to Dragon Age: Origin's "A New Hope". Thank you George for making this comparison possible and instantly recognisable by nerds everywhere. In many ways, I wouldn't need to say anything more than that, but I will anyway: When writing a review of Dragon Age 2, you probably have to say a few words about where you are coming from first. Are you theDragon Age 2 is the "Phantom Menace" to Dragon Age: Origin's "A New Hope". Thank you George for making this comparison possible and instantly recognisable by nerds everywhere. In many ways, I wouldn't need to say anything more than that, but I will anyway: When writing a review of Dragon Age 2, you probably have to say a few words about where you are coming from first. Are you the wide-eyed fanboy or the disgruntled, estranged hater formerly known as a "true" fan? Then you claim to be neither, but the one true voice of reason who's got a neutral view on this issue. Personally, I have bought and played repeatedly pretty much everything Bioware published since Shattered Steel and I've enjoyed each game on his own merits. I loved Planescape Tormet, Baldur's Gate 2 just as much as Jade Empire, even though that game is radically different in terms of combat. I'm saying that to illustrate that I am very well capable of enjoying a game that does not have the traditional isometric view of tactical combat.

    Dragon Age 2 however, I cannot get into no matter how much I want to like it. This game is a train wreck of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age and not in a good way. Let's take a look at some of the "bad" things. First of all: Combat. I cannot, for the life of me, see how anyone could view the new system as an improvement. They tried to make combat incredibly fast paced and action packed, but somehow this does not play out the way it's intended, at least not for me. Seeing a guy in full platemail armed with a huge two-handed weapon move faster than Neo in the Matrix doesn't just break immersion for me, it shatters it beyond all hopes of repair. Most enemies die in one hit now and they do so in a spectacularily silly and over the top gory way. There's more blood in here than in the silliest splatter movie I ever saw. There's a fine line between "adult" and "graphic violence" and enemies EXPLODING into 20 gallons of blood and shishkebab upon being stabbed in the chest once. To compensate for all the insta-kills, enemies now spawn in waves by the dozens. This robs the individual enemy of any significance. How can I be intimidated by a blood mage or a horrible demon if there's 20 of each under every other rock? Beats me. The sadest thing about DA2 is that it actually fails where bioware usually excells. The story and dialogue. Take the human noble origin story in Dragon Age Origins, for example. Before everyone dies a gruesome death you spend some time to get to know them. Thus, when they do die, their death has some impact on you. In DA2, we skip the first part in favor of turning the gruesomeness of the death up to 11. The thing is, if some random red shirt dies twice as horribly, I don't care twice as much. The "main story" if it can so be called, is anything but an improvement over the original as well. Granted, you are not saving the world, which in theory can make for an interesting story as well, but many people take this fact alone to mean the story is brilliant. Unfortunately, that is not quite true. The writing is incredibly ham-fisted at times. I cannot count how often the game prevents you from using obvious solutions to problems simply because the plot requires that this problem cannot be solved in a simple manner. This adds to the "rushed" vibe the game gives off in general. There's barely any "fluff" anymore. You cannot talk to your companions at will anymore, for example. Some of the events of DA:O are imported and the game shoe-horns them into DA2, but if you spend even 2 seconds thinking about "Why was Alistair here just now?" you'll notice that he had no significance to the plot, provided no insight whatsoever and was there simply as a little bit of fan-service. Oh yea, and the RPG part got dumbed down some more, but that was to be expected I guess and is barely worth mentioning in light of all the other shortcommings the game has. Still, rating the game a 0/10 as many people do is just as silly as rating it 10/10. There is good to be found if you can look past your expectations for a bit. Some of the quests are indeed well written and fun. The voice actors did a really good job, almost without exception. Flemeth's new look is a vast improvement over her old one, too bad she is in the game for about 5 minutes, tops. It's almost like she notice "Oh snap, this is gonna hurt!" and flapped out of the game on her dragon wings. I cannot say I blame her. In conclusion, Bioware lost a lot of credibilty with me for this game. No longer will I blindly buy whatever they release. Once burned, twice shy. The shady things they did here on metacritic are not helping that image. I hope they learn a lesson from this disaster and can recover and return to what made them successful in the first place instead of succumbing to EA's corruption for good.
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  69. Mar 18, 2011
    3
    It's rather unfortunate how this game turned out. The combat is no longer tactical, it simply requires you to hit your abilities as the cooldowns refresh. The story is bland, and makes it difficult to press on, nothing "hooks" you. If this game had been released as a stand-alone title not under the Dragon Age name, it wouldn't have been nearly as disappointing. Also, 27 different DLC'sIt's rather unfortunate how this game turned out. The combat is no longer tactical, it simply requires you to hit your abilities as the cooldowns refresh. The story is bland, and makes it difficult to press on, nothing "hooks" you. If this game had been released as a stand-alone title not under the Dragon Age name, it wouldn't have been nearly as disappointing. Also, 27 different DLC's at launch is rather excessive and a terrible trend to follow. I'm all for DLC, but I want game expansion that couldn't have been included on the disc. Expand
  70. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    The copy paste RPB of the decade everything in the game is the same copy paste the mines a all the same the caves a all the same and the areas around the city a all the same, armor only have diffrent colors.

    Im having trouble playing for more than 10 min at the time before getting bored This game is dumbed down to console players with no brains at all You can sit and watch a movie just
    The copy paste RPB of the decade everything in the game is the same copy paste the mines a all the same the caves a all the same and the areas around the city a all the same, armor only have diffrent colors.

    Im having trouble playing for more than 10 min at the time before getting bored
    This game is dumbed down to console players with no brains at all

    You can sit and watch a movie just pressing R and still win a battle
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  71. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 2 has been awaited ever since its announcement, and given Bioware's Reputation, it can be forgiven if people where mouth watering over the release of this game.

    Dragon Age Origins / Awakening rearly set the benchmark for fantasy world RPG'S, more in depth and detialed than any other fantasy type RPG game before it. Emulating the success of Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights
    Dragon Age 2 has been awaited ever since its announcement, and given Bioware's Reputation, it can be forgiven if people where mouth watering over the release of this game.

    Dragon Age Origins / Awakening rearly set the benchmark for fantasy world RPG'S, more in depth and detialed than any other fantasy type RPG game before it. Emulating the success of Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Mass effect. all truely great rpgs and excellent ways to spend your free time playing. However after playing the game for 12 hours or so, i started to notice alot of things that seemed , to be the same, I ignored these at first, these being the same map layouts of caves, alleys, coasts etc constantly visited but with different enterances and exits. Then i started to noitce how bland the backgrounds were, how average the graphics felt, and the sense of epicness seemed to be vanishing the further i progressed into the game. Then i started to notice the quests started becoming quite tedious, go here kill something, go here talk to this person and kill something, go here get ambushed by more mobs etc, felt very disjointed. There rearlly isnt any choice, just the illusion of choice, one of the most frustrating things for me is the lack of gear, and gear / weapons you can equip yourself and your allies with almost everything you pick up being vendor trash and mostly useless. You cannot spec any ally , they all have set roles, with only 1 choice of tank (really annoying), one automatic choice of healer (unless you are a mage) and a real lack of companion and character development that was so enjoyable in the first DA:O / DA:A. The voice acting in my opnion is good, but some of it felt "static", Varric and Isabella are excellent, and Hawkes Male voice is okay, but the Female voice of Hawke to me sounds alot better. You are able to customise Hawkes appearence which is great, because i felt that the default male hawk looked like something of of thunderbirds with his rediculiously looking square face and jaw. If you think Dragon age 2 would be an excellent straight sequeal to DA:O , then just like me you will be terribly disapointed.

    There are some good additions to the game however, the simplifed gear / options menu is nice and feels like the same system they used in mass effect 2, however i feel its to simple for people like myself who are RPG veterans and i feel its a little insulting. There should be an option to use the default system from DA:O or choose the "New and improved" version from DA 2.

    Combat has been completely toned down, there is almost no tactics involed at all, like some people say, its all AOE spam / Keep tank on main threat mob, AOE SPAM / Heal, AOE SPAM, Kill main tank mob, repeat for almost every single fight. The freedom of combat is much better than DA:O however but its so simple my 8 year old son could win every fight without evening trying.

    Im going to finish this review buy breaking it down into "PROS" and CONS", so its easier to make my points.

    PROS:

    - Good Story - Hawke is an excellent addtion to the DA Universe.
    - Simplified Combat easy to pick up and play for new RPG players.
    - Credible Voice Acting.
    - Lots of side quests to keep you enterianed along side the main storyline.
    - The Graphics are good once you have downloaded the textures pack.
    - The Improved crafting system in favor of the tedious one from the first game.
    - 25+ Hours If you do every single side quest and explore everywhere in the game.

    CONS:

    - Combat is too easy, its no challenge to good RPG gamers.
    - The simple gear interace is frustratingly hard to read and compare item to item.
    - The same areas re-used over and over again, simply cut and pasted with different enterances, very boring and bland to play threw.
    - There is no epic feel to the game, the story pans out and leaves you hanging, you feel as if you have only played half a game.
    - The lack of customise options for your crew is rearlly frustrating.
    - Hardly any major boss fights.
    - Once you have played it twice with a male and female hawk, it will gather dust until decent DLC comes out for it.
    - Bioware have sold an unfinshed game, it costs £34.99 at least and you have to pay a further £14.99 or so to get the DLC available straight away, IT should be included in the game!.
    - Leaves you hanging and wanting more, and leaves you feeling very dissapointed.

    Theres an old saying "If its not broke dont fix it", so then why did bioware ruin such a promising game with a seemingly rushed production.
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  72. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    Just played Dragon Age 2 for some time and Iâ
  73. Mar 21, 2011
    4
    I wanted to like this game. I really did. It was one of only two games I've ever pre-ordered in my life. I've been playing Bioware games since the original Baldur's Gate, and I've loved them all almost without reservation. And then there's DA2. I'm a gamer who values a coherent narrative, a sense of immersion in a game, and -- if nothing else -- at least the illusion that the choices II wanted to like this game. I really did. It was one of only two games I've ever pre-ordered in my life. I've been playing Bioware games since the original Baldur's Gate, and I've loved them all almost without reservation. And then there's DA2. I'm a gamer who values a coherent narrative, a sense of immersion in a game, and -- if nothing else -- at least the illusion that the choices I make in a game will matter in some way. Unfortunately, DA2 falls short on all three areas. I'll admit, I enjoyed the combat until about half-way through the second act, then it just got repetitive and bland. I didn't mind the lack of companion customization, and I could even forgive the lack of item descriptions. But this is a game that seems to go out of its way to destroy any immersive qualities it may have had. Kirkwall never changes, regardless of your decisions and in spite of the fact that the game supposedly takes place over a ten-year span. Nothing is ever different. If you visit a marketplace in act 1, it will look exactly the same TEN YEARS LATER in act 3. I can forgive a lot, but when Fenris still has the battered corpses of the enemies I killed in his mansion after ten years? Yes, it's a little thing, but the little things matter. Oh, and they use the same four or five maps for every single quest line in the game. Given that most people will put thirty to forty hours of gameplay into this thing, you can bet that you're going to be tired of seeing the same damn map and killing the same damn enemies on that map after the twentieth time you visit. But for me, the biggest kick in the shorts was the overall narrative. Or rather, the fact that there wasn't one. There is no overarching story to this game. Instead, you're given three 'mini-stories' separated by the passage of time. I could forgive this, if Bioware had put in some decent plot and storytelling into these three acts. Unfortunately, they didn't. The totality of Act One's plotline can be summed up as follows: "You need money to get to Act Two." That's right, the entire first third of the game is a glorified toll gate. Admittedly, Act Two is far better, and actually held my interest all the way through to the fantastic end-of-act finale, but then it devolved into a massive Charlie Foxtrot (look it up) in Act 3, with nonsensical revelations flying fast and loose from every corner. And, naturally, Act 3 is where the bulk of the games bugs show up, causing some quests to fry out and become un-completable, and causing other quests and cutscenes to start out-of-order in a manner that yanks me right out of any immersion I might have attained. By the half-way marker in Act Three, I realized that I just didn't care a whit about anything. Thanks to the lack of any extended narrative, I had no reason to care about Kirkwall and its citizens (which wasn't helped by the fact that the entire city seems to live in a static bubble of time where nothing ever changes), and I didn't even care about my companions all that much, despite each of them being fairly well-realized in their own ways. I suppose one could argue that the main narrative was supposed to be Hawke-centered, but I couldn't muster up a shred of care even for my character, because he never felt like a protagonist. All throughout the game, I felt like little more than a glorified errand boy, a bystander relegated to the sidelines while I watch the game's story unfold without my help or the need for my direction. Oh yes, you do rise to power over the years, but it's an empty power, a power forced on you by the game's narratives rather than by your own conscious decision to pick it up. I felt as though every choice I made in this game was superfluous, that no matter what I did, everything would work out exactly the same. This game was supposed to be the story of a man struggling to power in a new and dangerous city. I honestly felt like I was an NPC in what was supposed to be a me-centered storyline. There were some things I loved about DA2. The characters were fun to play around with, and the dialog was top-notch throughout the game. My favorite parts in the entire production were the banters between your party members. But ultimately, they are fluffy sweet icing on a cake made of asphalt and failure. The lack of immersion, the lack of a coherent narrative, the endlessly-repeating levels, and the nagging sense that nothing you do really matters in the grand scheme of things make this one of the most disappointing Bioware entries I've ever had the misfortune to play. Expand
  74. Mar 21, 2011
    0
    Absolutely disapointed, DA II feels like a long trailer for the first expansion. The effects of having played Origins are minimal and also disappointing. Where is Morrigan? Didn't you say the story with her isn't over? And what about Orsino the first enchanter becoming a Golem of Amgarrak with blood magic?!? This is just cheap recycling of already available monster designs. And then allAbsolutely disapointed, DA II feels like a long trailer for the first expansion. The effects of having played Origins are minimal and also disappointing. Where is Morrigan? Didn't you say the story with her isn't over? And what about Orsino the first enchanter becoming a Golem of Amgarrak with blood magic?!? This is just cheap recycling of already available monster designs. And then all the glitches and bugs: Killed Zevran in part 1, but then he shows up again. After Bethany returns at the final battle she seems to be invincible. everytime she dies I didn't have to revive her, she just resurrected without injury. As if the game wasn't already too easy. Playing on normal I just had to load maybe 2 or three times without ever using any special ability of my warrior. When Monsters appear you could just go to the toilet or watch TV, because you'll win the fight without doing anything. Okay, when there is a demon or a dragon you have to use a few portions. Also the money in the game is useless because these's nowhere anything nice to buy. I could go on like this for hours. I loved DA1 but this was just a big big disappointment :( Expand
  75. Mar 22, 2011
    0
    This is basically a cash in on the popularity of the first game...with complete disregard to what made the first game a success. Designed to completely ride off the name alone. Hardcore fans and the original target audience of the first game were thrown to the side in favor of trying to draw more people. Every aspect of this game is truly inferior to the first game, and borrows directlyThis is basically a cash in on the popularity of the first game...with complete disregard to what made the first game a success. Designed to completely ride off the name alone. Hardcore fans and the original target audience of the first game were thrown to the side in favor of trying to draw more people. Every aspect of this game is truly inferior to the first game, and borrows directly from Mass Effect 2. In some ways, you could simply say this game is Mass Effect 2 with swords.

    Combat is no longer strategic or turn based. It's a complete hack n' slash game that's completely about flash with no difficulty whatsoever. Dialog is copy/pasted from Mass Effect 2. And customization is extremely watered down to the point where you don't even get to equip your party members. Even skill trees have been reduced and dumbed down. Dungeons are largely copy/pasted and look the same throughout the game making any potential exploration almost pointless and largely unrewarding. The only high point is perhaps the story, but even then, some will have issues with the reduced scope and style/method of the storytelling.
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  76. Mar 28, 2011
    4
    Giving this a 4 (should be a 6) to counteract all the lies and "user" reviews written by people associated with the company and the outright lies fed to us by the game review industry (they're obviously getting something for giving the game such inflated scores). Hard to suspend disbelief in regards to the story line, tedious gameplay, lazy environment creation, linear gameplay, nearlyGiving this a 4 (should be a 6) to counteract all the lies and "user" reviews written by people associated with the company and the outright lies fed to us by the game review industry (they're obviously getting something for giving the game such inflated scores). Hard to suspend disbelief in regards to the story line, tedious gameplay, lazy environment creation, linear gameplay, nearly every quest havingg nothing to do with the story and the inability to make the player care about the characters is enough to stay away. If we support this type of mediocre game creation that is all we are going to get. Expand
  77. Mar 29, 2011
    4
    I'm really digusted with how the critics have managed to forgive this game's glaring flaws. Not that there aren't things about the game that I love. It has excellent characters and an addictive, refined battle system... It's just a shame that the ridiculous amount of recycled content really kills it for me. There aren't even that many explorable areas in the game, and those that areI'm really digusted with how the critics have managed to forgive this game's glaring flaws. Not that there aren't things about the game that I love. It has excellent characters and an addictive, refined battle system... It's just a shame that the ridiculous amount of recycled content really kills it for me. There aren't even that many explorable areas in the game, and those that are there are all narrow corridors that are re-used over and over for the entire game. Also, the storyline apparently spans nearly a decade, except the only way you would know that are the cut-scenes at the end of each act (of which there are three) telling you a number of years have passed... except, NOTHING, literally NOTHING changes over the years. At the beginning of Act 3 your party starts off standing in the exact spot where you finished Act 2 as if no time had passed at all. Laughable. This game could have been a classic had only more time been put into development. As it is, it's only recommendable if you think you can overlook these huge flaws and enjoy the strong combat and fairly interesting cast. Expand
  78. Mar 29, 2011
    0
    Dragon Age 2 was a disappointment, plain and simple. A lot of you Bioware fanboys are trying to say that you have to judge this game based on its own merits and not those of its predecessor, WTF?! Is this game's title not DRAGON AGE 2?! So quit spewing Bioware's BS and develop an informed opinion of your own! And for the Bioware developers of DA2 who decided to post their own positiveDragon Age 2 was a disappointment, plain and simple. A lot of you Bioware fanboys are trying to say that you have to judge this game based on its own merits and not those of its predecessor, WTF?! Is this game's title not DRAGON AGE 2?! So quit spewing Bioware's BS and develop an informed opinion of your own! And for the Bioware developers of DA2 who decided to post their own positive reviews to try to save the user review score, you should be ashamed. You're obviously biased and user reviews should reflect the gamers, not the creators trying to shield themselves from the negative backlash of their own failures. Whatever good intentions that may have been possessed going into development of DA2 were wasted, the game is only worth mentioning as the titanic failure that it is in the wake of Dragon Age: Origins. The character and background artwork/animation are poor design. The storyline, if it even exists, is pathetically weak. Character interaction w/ companions is tedious as sin and not worth the effort due to lackluster personalities. The inability to equip companions w/ unique armor strips the game of one of the fundamental values of the RPG genre and is in my opinion the worst detraction from DA2. Recycled maps? Even the reviewers who gave DA2 a good review bashed Bioware for the recycled maps. And the new combat system that so many reviewers want to boast about effectively turns this game into a hack and slash button masher devoid of tactical approach. The same system used in ME2 was possible w/out detraction because the characters were equipped w/ ballistic weapons and could use cover that created seperation of opposing forces and still allowed the player to effectively perform as a team leader when making decisions for the team. DA2 on the other hand requires players to engage in close combat which works as a major distraction from the rest of the team's welfare because the player is personally caught up in their own struggles so distinctly. Dragon Age: Origins benefitted from the almost 3rd person POV because it allowed the player to control a character right in the midst of a battle but the player could still easily step back and view/alter the other companions behaviors w/out adversely affecting the character they controlled. All said, Bioware is still the best in the business at what they do, I just hope for future titles that they go back to their roots and return to producing games that reward their true fans, not dumbed down garbage for the ignorant masses Expand
  79. Mar 31, 2011
    2
    Very dissapointing for a Bioware game.
    Gameplay short and pretty pointless .
    Storyline..well there just isn't one . City of kirkwall..like a quiet village on a sunday Fighting..arcade beat em up. The storyline was hugely uninspired, I was bored after the first 2 hours and this stayed right through to the end,thank goodness it was short TBH. Fighting waves of random darkspawn with
    Very dissapointing for a Bioware game.
    Gameplay short and pretty pointless .
    Storyline..well there just isn't one .
    City of kirkwall..like a quiet village on a sunday
    Fighting..arcade beat em up.

    The storyline was hugely uninspired, I was bored after the first 2 hours and this stayed right through to the end,thank goodness it was short TBH.
    Fighting waves of random darkspawn with no objective made it a chore.
    Kirkwall was a HUGE dissapointment in itself.An empty city on par with chernobyl
    Save your money as this was a let down..or buy it and post yourselves here like I have
    Expand
  80. Apr 15, 2011
    1
    Everything is bad: design, storyline, characters (except Warric), copy-paste locations (really copy-paste), mindless boring combat with spawn frags from the space... it is just a one more asian MMORPG, just it's not MMO and RPG and it is from bioware. Don't waste your money and time!
  81. Apr 20, 2011
    3
    Wow. This game has failed on so many levels. It's almost the complete opposite of "Dragon Age- origins" Every room is the same, every cave is the same, the map is small, the story has no driving force (no finishing line) and the main character's only motivation seems to be money. I did like the companions and the combat was greatly improved but, overall, it's weak
  82. Apr 20, 2011
    0
    A dumbed-down RPG, simplified for console users, rapidly released to capitalize on the success of DA Origins and Bioware's reputation. Combat is a clickfest, more akin to a streetfighter game than an RPG. Enemies teleport in, everyone warps around the battlefield, everyone flips around like ninjas, and fountains of blood erupt from every wound. The storyline is simply a grouping ofA dumbed-down RPG, simplified for console users, rapidly released to capitalize on the success of DA Origins and Bioware's reputation. Combat is a clickfest, more akin to a streetfighter game than an RPG. Enemies teleport in, everyone warps around the battlefield, everyone flips around like ninjas, and fountains of blood erupt from every wound. The storyline is simply a grouping of unrelated quests. The zones are totally linear, and are continually reused (every cave looks like one of two possible cave templates, etc). Conversation options have little or no impact on the story. Graphics are ok, though nothing special. This game is not an RPG. It is nothing like Dragon Age Origins. I am a huge fan of previous Bioware games, but I'll never buy another until I read user reviews several weeks after release. Expand
  83. May 17, 2011
    1
    I used to be a feeble "biodrone". One of those many who believe that Bioware can do no wrong and that everything they touch turn to gold. That all changed when I played this game.

    **** you Bioware. **** you.
  84. May 17, 2011
    0
    Refrain from buying this game if you have any expectations. While the game is not a complete disaster when regarded as a standalone game, you will get disappointed if you want to play it because you liked Dragon Age: Origins. Basically it is just a thumbed down, simplified version of its predecessor. My rating is not only game related, but mostly Biowares fault. While I would give the gameRefrain from buying this game if you have any expectations. While the game is not a complete disaster when regarded as a standalone game, you will get disappointed if you want to play it because you liked Dragon Age: Origins. Basically it is just a thumbed down, simplified version of its predecessor. My rating is not only game related, but mostly Biowares fault. While I would give the game a 4-5/10, Biowares extreme failure forces me to make it 1/10. How can a gaming company even dare to censor people opinions about the game in their forums, having workers write ridiculous hymns of praise on metacritic and paying major magazines money to give outrageous scores? Just refrain from buying Bioware products if you can avoid it. Don't support companys with such low ethical standards until they feel the consequences. This is the only way to hurt them for deceiving people in such a shameful, pathetic way. Greedy bastards. But now to the game, which I played to the end. DA2 had 18 Months of development time, while DA:O took about five years. This manifests throughout the game which looks nice in the beginning, but lacks quality the longer you run around doing mindless, uninnovative quests. The combat system itself is fun at first but gets annoying due to it repetitiveness and unfair spawn system. A typical mission looks like this: Go to a cave, do x, collect y. Encounter enemies which spawn in weird waves that make no sense at all. When you run into the middle of a room you can be sure that enemies spawn right around you and the first thing you have to do in every fight is moving your fragile casters around the place and kite monsters so they don't die. Monsters are killed, many more enemies spawn for an unknown reason (couldn't they just be there from start) right in your casters again. Repeat kiting. Expect this to happen in 95% of all fights. And why do monsters suddenly spawn in hordes when there was not the slightest sign of enemies seconds before the encounter? Challenge in the fights come from unfair mechanics like hordes of monsters spawning in your ranged characters. This was so annoying, I can't put enough emphasis on it. Boss fights suck. On higher difficulties they are next to impossible due to near infinite health rather than intelligent design. You will do the same few button combinations for half an hour if you decide to fight that dragon/random other boss on hard difficulties. Often the result is endless kiting until the boss is finally dead - not worth it. A really sad game mechanic for a hyped 2011 game but probably the only possible outcome for a game which is rushed to make more money from the franchise. Next annoying thing is the game recycling as you advance through the game. While the main city Kirkwall and 4 locations outside of the city are not too shabby at first, EXPECT TO SEE THEM OVER AND OVER AGAIN THE WHOLE GAME. EXPECT INSIDE LOCATIONS TO BE SEEN DOZENS OF TIMES WITH DIFFERENT ENEMIES. Every house, every dungeon, every cave is used multiple times. Seriously, there is no excuse for this in any way. Next thing are shallow companions inculding a crappy dialogue system. Low friendship/romance options are usually maxed out by pressing the "friendly" or "heart" answer 3-4 times. Clicking through the choices couldn't be simpler and has really nothing to do with role playing. Random pirate **** which offers sex to you the minute you talk to her, eerie looking elves on crack and other rather uninteresting characters you can have fight along your side. The storyline is another failure, since there is NONE. You flee from darkspawn to Kirkwall and try to become a champion there, which you are later on by collecting generic herbs, fighting some bad boys and rescuing maidens. There is no real mainplot which guides you through the game, generally you don't have a clue what to do next or what happens, since you will start running from one questmarker to another. At a certain point I didn't even bother to read quest texts anymore but rather collected the exp from certain generic, really, really, boring sidequests. This game is tricky though, at first it made me think "Aww.. what a bunch of haters, the game is not too bad. Nice fighting, decent graphics." But then you realize more and more that the hate has a foundation. The foundation is bad game design which can hardly be considered standard in a 2011 AAA+ game. Basically you end up running around in the same textures over and over again, slaying the same models of enemies over and over again as you advance through the three acts in the game. I also did not like the unlogical choices you are forced to make later on, but this is rather my personal taste on the story, which I found really awful. Do not buy this game if you are searching for a good role-playing game. Expand
  85. May 17, 2011
    0
    The worst game of the year . Don't buy it, it's better to spend money on something else. Everything is inferior to the first game. I don't know what to say about this thing.

    very poor game
  86. May 17, 2011
    0
    Bioware DA two vendetta squad with "o" scores will fail. lowering TW two ratings ? thats not good idea.

    screw u bioware with ur sh..y game. played da two and for me thats the worst pile of sh.t i have ever played.


    DA two SUCKS
  87. May 22, 2011
    1
    Bioware releases another misogynistic jaunt into the Mary Sue world of 'the dragon crap.' There is hardly anything of substance to recommend this train wreck to a discerning connoisseur of RPGs. Every element of its design can be described as 'embarassingly awkward.' Animation, art direction, dialogue, writing, combat. It's a list of sad mediocrities as long as your arm. The fact of theBioware releases another misogynistic jaunt into the Mary Sue world of 'the dragon crap.' There is hardly anything of substance to recommend this train wreck to a discerning connoisseur of RPGs. Every element of its design can be described as 'embarassingly awkward.' Animation, art direction, dialogue, writing, combat. It's a list of sad mediocrities as long as your arm. The fact of the setting and characters being a shameless copy of Michael Moorcook's classic Elric of Melnibone series aside, the game itself behaves like a confused child. Does it want to be a brawler with peripheral RPG elements? Or an action RPG with brawler combat? In either situation the designers have failed to deliver on both satisfying combat or a compelling story that ever rises above the juvenile. Look to the masters at CDProject with their latest RPG epic, The Witcher 2, for inspiration in your future games, Bioware. You certainly won't find it making shallow sex simulators based on generic fantasy worlds. Expand
  88. Jun 4, 2011
    3
    I really enjoyed the first game a good deal and ultimately found the sequel to be a big letdown. The combat is more enjoyable and I the companion AI seems more flexible and responsive. The main character feels like it has a bit more personality having a voice. That is about as good as it gets.

    The narrative does not feel as cohesive as the original game nor does it feel like it has the
    I really enjoyed the first game a good deal and ultimately found the sequel to be a big letdown. The combat is more enjoyable and I the companion AI seems more flexible and responsive. The main character feels like it has a bit more personality having a voice. That is about as good as it gets.

    The narrative does not feel as cohesive as the original game nor does it feel like it has the same epic sense. The lighter roleplaying elements and the more limited character creation choices detract from the freedom of the roleplaying experience. I did not feel like I was forging my own destiny/story in DA 2 like I did in DA:O. The game world design sucks; the city hub setup that lasts for the whole game is uninspiring both in layout and in visualizations. The repeated use of the same scant amount of maps/areas throughout the entirety of the game is repetitive and speaks of cheap, lackluster game design. Overall DA2 is mostly a letdown as a sequel and part of the Dragon Age world. The overall experience feels a bit more streamlined but at the cost of being much more on rails than the sequel, as well as having a narrower and less epic storyline and being entirely too repetitive and un-immersive. Honestly, I am in the third act of the game, almost near the end, and I just can't find the interest to finish it.

    Poorly done Bioware, poorly done.
    Expand
  89. Nov 10, 2011
    0
    Big Bioware fanboy. This game was an attempt to bring people to the genre who don't understand it at the cost of people who do. I'll probably avoid DA3 because of how much this game offended me. It's not the worst game ever, if it wasn't a Dragon Age game it would probably be a 5 or 6/10 because it was playable. However the fact it has to be compared to DAO which was one of the best RPG'sBig Bioware fanboy. This game was an attempt to bring people to the genre who don't understand it at the cost of people who do. I'll probably avoid DA3 because of how much this game offended me. It's not the worst game ever, if it wasn't a Dragon Age game it would probably be a 5 or 6/10 because it was playable. However the fact it has to be compared to DAO which was one of the best RPG's ever makes it hard to give this anything other than this score. Expand
  90. Mar 12, 2011
    4
    I'm a person who very much enjoyed Dragon Age 1, Mass Effect 1 and 2. And RPGs in general.
    I hadn't read any reviews or any info really on Dragon Age 2 before impulse buying it in a store. I never thought it could be bad given it's frikkin' Dragon Age by frikkin' Bioware.
    After having played it for 8-10 hours it became clear to me that I'm not really having fun. I don't care about the
    I'm a person who very much enjoyed Dragon Age 1, Mass Effect 1 and 2. And RPGs in general.
    I hadn't read any reviews or any info really on Dragon Age 2 before impulse buying it in a store. I never thought it could be bad given it's frikkin' Dragon Age by frikkin' Bioware.
    After having played it for 8-10 hours it became clear to me that I'm not really having fun. I don't care about the characters, I'm not sure who the bad guys are, the quests just seem unimportant.
    So I played for another 3 hours thinking SOON I will be hooked like I had been so many times before by Biowares stories. But I just got more and more disconnected. Running straight to main plot quests, skipping dialogue - something I usually never do.
    Now I'm done. 10 hours spent on the game and $70 later. The game is going on a used games market website. If I'm lucky I can get 2/3rds of what I paid for it.
    This leaves me worried for my favorite franchise, Mass Effect 3. Lets hope Bioware finds their way again.
    Expand
  91. Mar 11, 2011
    0
    It is indeed a good action game, but it should not have by any means the words "Dragon Age" in its name unless it had been advertised as a spin-off; it is just like if Halo Wars, instead of a spin-off, had been Halo: Reach. A sad day for wrpgs.
  92. Mar 21, 2011
    1
    I have never played a bad Bioware game before. As retaliation, I'm giving it a 0. The game is probably nowhere near that bad, but I bought it at full price based on liking the first and loving Bioware products - I'm done with trusting Bioware and will now check reviews before buying. Never again soil your name with crap, Bioware!
  93. Apr 7, 2011
    4
    DA2 was a very basic game to me. Quest seem more like chores and the story seems flat. I did like the combat system though it put you more into the action in every battle. I'm very suprised at Bioware for this one they usually never put out average games like this.
  94. Sep 30, 2011
    1
    Feels like a budget expansion release, should have cost 15 and be DLC for the original. 1 setting, same dungeon every corner not to mention none of the deep combat of the original.
  95. Mar 11, 2011
    1
    Another bad game from a bad company, just a button jamming slasher. Too many complaints, the combat, subpar conversations (YES , NO, HELL YES, NO) , terrible graphics and a boring world killed the immersion entirely. Rent this, do not buy.
  96. Mar 22, 2011
    0
    Refrain from buying this game if you have any expectations. While the game is not a complete disaster when regarded as a standalone game, you will get disappointed if you want to play it because you liked Dragon Age: Origins. Basically it is just a thumbed down, simplified version of its predecessor.

    My rating is not only game related, but mostly Biowares fault. While I would give the
    Refrain from buying this game if you have any expectations. While the game is not a complete disaster when regarded as a standalone game, you will get disappointed if you want to play it because you liked Dragon Age: Origins. Basically it is just a thumbed down, simplified version of its predecessor.

    My rating is not only game related, but mostly Biowares fault. While I would give the game a 4-5/10, Biowares extreme failure forces me to make it 1/10. How can a gaming company even dare to censor people opinions about the game in their forums, having workers write ridiculous hymns of praise on metacritic and paying major magazines money to give outrageous scores? Just refrain from buying Bioware products if you can avoid it. Don't support companys with such low ethical standards until they feel the consequences. This is the only way to hurt them for deceiving people in such a shameful, pathetic way. Greedy bastards.

    But now to the game, which I played to the end. DA2 had 18 Months of development time, while DA:O took about five years. This manifests throughout the game which looks nice in the beginning, but lacks quality the longer you run around doing mindless, uninnovative quests. The combat system itself is fun at first but gets annoying due to it repetitiveness and unfair spawn system. A typical mission looks like this: Go to a cave, do x, collect y. Encounter enemies which spawn in weird waves that make no sense at all. When you run into the middle of a room you can be sure that enemies spawn right around you and the first thing you have to do in every fight is moving your fragile casters around the place and kite monsters so they don't die. Monsters are killed, many more enemies spawn for an unknown reason (couldn't they just be there from start) right in your casters again. Repeat kiting. Expect this to happen in 95% of all fights. And why do monsters suddenly spawn in hordes when there was not the slightest sign of enemies seconds before the encounter? Challenge in the fights come from unfair mechanics like hordes of monsters spawning in your ranged characters. This was so annoying, I can't put enough emphasis on it. Boss fights suck. On higher difficulties they are next to impossible due to near infinite health rather than intelligent design. You will do the same few button combinations for half an hour if you decide to fight that dragon/random other boss on hard difficulties. Often the result is endless kiting until the boss is finally dead - not worth it. A really sad game mechanic for a hyped 2011 game but probably the only possible outcome for a game which is rushed to make more money from the franchise.

    Next annoying thing is the game recycling as you advance through the game. While the main city Kirkwall and 4 locations outside of the city are not too shabby at first, EXPECT TO SEE THEM OVER AND OVER AGAIN THE WHOLE GAME. EXPECT INSIDE LOCATIONS TO BE SEEN DOZENS OF TIMES WITH DIFFERENT ENEMIES. Every house, every dungeon, every cave is used multiple times. Seriously, there is no excuse for this in any way. Next thing are shallow companions inculding a crappy dialogue system. Low friendship/romance options are usually maxed out by pressing the "friendly" or "heart" answer 3-4 times. Clicking through the choices couldn't be simpler and has really nothing to do with role playing. Random pirate **** which offers sex to you the minute you talk to her, eerie looking elves on crack and other rather uninteresting characters you can have fight along your side.

    The storyline is another failure, since there is NONE. You flee from darkspawn to Kirkwall and try to become a champion there, which you are later on by collecting generic herbs, fighting some bad boys and rescuing maidens. There is no real mainplot which guides you through the game, generally you don't have a clue what to do next or what happens, since you will start running from one questmarker to another. At a certain point I didn't even bother to read quest texts anymore but rather collected the exp from certain generic, really, really, boring sidequests. This game is tricky though, at first it made me think "Aww.. what a bunch of haters, the game is not too bad. Nice fighting, decent graphics." But then you realize more and more that the hate has a foundation. The foundation is bad game design which can hardly be considered standard in a 2011 AAA+ game. Basically you end up running around in the same textures over and over again, slaying the same models of enemies over and over again as you advance through the three acts in the game. I also did not like the unlogical choices you are forced to make later on, but this is rather my personal taste on the story, which I found really awful.

    Do not buy this game if you are searching for a good role-playing game.
    Expand
  97. Mar 13, 2011
    2
    Very disappointing. A complete step backwards from DA:O in every respect-- graphics, gameplay, characters and storytelling. This was a rush job, and it shows. I'm saddened that BioWare doesn't think very much of their playerbase to not callously use them as an apparent cash grab by charging inflated prices for a substandard product.
  98. Mar 28, 2011
    5
    This game will get a 5 or a mixed review from me. The game was such a mix of good and bad. On the one hand, the characters were awesome,( perhaps a little too exaggerated at times) the quests were fun and actually had a story behind some of them, the combat was greatly improved from the first game, and Bioware did something different, not the standard four to five main missions beforeThis game will get a 5 or a mixed review from me. The game was such a mix of good and bad. On the one hand, the characters were awesome,( perhaps a little too exaggerated at times) the quests were fun and actually had a story behind some of them, the combat was greatly improved from the first game, and Bioware did something different, not the standard four to five main missions before confronting th final boss. The bad side is something that could have been fixed if the 'EA Overlords' allowed this game to become more than a cash grab: development for a couple extra months. Seriously, how hard is it to release a *finished* game? The game itself is so buggy, the last quarter of the game convinced me it was rushed out the door, no polish or final testing. I pre-ordered the Signature Edition, and enthusiastically looked forward to a game from the best developer of rpg's out there. They did put out a great story,but they also put out a mess of a game. As a college student/casual gamer, this game convinced me to put down the video games for awhile. I have sadly never been more convinced what a waste of time video games can be. Expand
  99. Mar 11, 2011
    3
    Sad to see how far the once great Bioware has fallen. DA2 is a rushed, dumbed down travesty of a game designed to cater to the lowest common denominator of brain-dead console gamers. The mechanics are overly simplistic, the plot and characterisation are bland and the supposed 'dark' side of the game feels like it was driven completely from EA's focus groups. And that's before we even getSad to see how far the once great Bioware has fallen. DA2 is a rushed, dumbed down travesty of a game designed to cater to the lowest common denominator of brain-dead console gamers. The mechanics are overly simplistic, the plot and characterisation are bland and the supposed 'dark' side of the game feels like it was driven completely from EA's focus groups. And that's before we even get to the isse of Day 0 paid for DLC. Expand
  100. Mar 10, 2011
    2
    As a sequel to DA:O this is a total let down. It is sad that i pre-ordered it at all. I would have never expected this from BioWare.The game itself is a total console port and I couldn't say anything good about it. Everything is just dumbed down, except maybe dialogues. Totally linear story. You could compare it's graphics to Gothic II. I guess I was expecting just too much. It has noAs a sequel to DA:O this is a total let down. It is sad that i pre-ordered it at all. I would have never expected this from BioWare.The game itself is a total console port and I couldn't say anything good about it. Everything is just dumbed down, except maybe dialogues. Totally linear story. You could compare it's graphics to Gothic II. I guess I was expecting just too much. It has no similarity to DA:O but if you like action rpg's you might like it and if you loved DA:O, just don't bother.. Expand
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.