Mar 16, 2011Sadly Bioware seems to have succumbed to possible pressure from EA to quickly produce a sequel to DA:O. This is reflected in many aspects of the game and most importantly in the environment and story. The environments are static and because you spend the whole game in the same city you will visit the same places hundreds of times.
The story misses a clear drive and remains vague throughout the whole game. In the end I had the feeling my decisions did not have any 'real' impact on the conclusion of the story (if there even is one). Certain things that happened simply did not make sense to me. Furthermore the ending leaves a lot of questions unanswered. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it reminded me of the ending of KotOR 2, which is definitely not a good thing.
A final sign of hasty production of this game is perhaps the removal of certain features from the first game. One of these is that you can no longer choose what armor your companions wear, making most of the armor useless since you can only wear armor suited for your own class. Perhaps Bioware had to remove this feature because they did not have the time to adapt the armor for different character models?
In the end I had some fun with DA II (the fighting is great although it is quite easy) but it left me thinking "Was that all?". You can do better than this Bioware!… Expand
Mar 16, 2011DA2 is a game that is a change. The story centers around things that are about to change, and the game itself "seems" that it is a radical change from its roots. From me these changes are for the betterment of the overall story telling that Bioware strives to show us. For myself I felt as though the game had a much better set of developed companions, and the interaction between these companions are much more complex and personal.
Also this game may seem like there is a lack of an over arching plot and therefor its a "bad" game. In this there is a truth, its hard to see this over arching plot. In a lot of ways DA2's separate acts are each there own mini story in which hawke is a center piece of. Yet the over aching plot is there and it has been some thing that Bioware has told use many times, why did Hawke make the choices he did and how come he was always in the middle of it all?
For me this game was a fresh and brave take on story telling in games. With the lake of a big evil to fight the story becomes more about you (or hawke) and less about the enemy that you need to kill. I see this as being a great addition to the mythos of the Dragon Age universe.
(Oh yea, I also love the changes to combat)… Expand
Mar 16, 2011Alright, first off I'll say that I have read many of the reviews here and keep seeing the same things coming up: "The story isn't any good" "the interactions between characters sucks" "the combat is hack and slash".I do hope that people actually finish the game before they review it here (although i highly doubt they do) because how can you say the story sucks if you haven't finished it. While the story is not quite as "epic" as it was in the first game, it still has it's own appeal and I, for one, felt myself being pulled into it and not wanting it to end. As for the Character interactions, The dialogue wheel is a good addition. While it is not quite as well done as the Mass Effect wheel, it still adds something to the game as I think it helps you to grow more attached to your character due to the fact that your main character is voice and not simply a stoic and unspeaking being. Now the hack and slash game play, It may seem like a hack and slash at first glance, but as others have said if you turn up the difficulty you will have to use the tactics so many enjoyed about the first title. And really people complaining about the change to an active attack button instead of pressing the a button and watching your character continually attack is in my view just laziness. The combat looks more appealing in Dragon Age 2 than it did in DA:O, but admittedly feels more like an action rpg than a basic rpg. The people saying that the graphics are worse, are absolutely wrong, no question about it. While it is a different art style, animations look more fluid and characters themselves look more believable. The only thing holding this game back from getting a 10 from me, is the recycled environments, much like Mass Effect. While they do try to switch it up, sometimes starting you on different ends of the same recycled environment, it still makes exploration disappointing at best. Overall i think this game is getting terrible reviews by users because they either simply loved the first game and do not enjoy the changes and so they overcompensate, because people didn't like Dragon Age to begin with, or finally because people have written reviews before finishing the game. It is a wonderful expansion on the Dragon Age universe, with improved graphics and gameplay, lovable characters and a wonderful and sometimes emotional story, and it's probably the best game of the year so far for me.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. DA2 is clearly a polarizing game. But I think that it's a very good one, even if it fails to achieve greatness.
Technically DA2 far outstrips Origins. The gameplay simplifications lead to a product that reminds me of the polish that you would expect in a Final Fantasy game. There is less choice (bad) but the the focus is significantly improved (good). And the shackles of an old fashioned D&D type system have been left well behind which if a good thing given the progression that has been made in the genre over the years.
The quests are excellent and do a good job of balancing paint by numbers with assistance (do I really want to spend 30 mins searching an area for what I need) .
The story is something of a mixed bag (at times I got sick of the whole apostate thing) but it is refreshing (and brave) to avoid the tired cliche of saving the world from the rampaging demon / dragon (or both the the case of the original DA!) The characters are strong too and while not as compelling as in its predecessor there is a bewildering amount of nuanced dialog. Ambiguity and choice are also extremely well implemented.
Uncharted 2 is still the best PS3 game IMHO. Demon's Souls is next. DA2 is not at that level but f you are an RPG fan and can be prepared to get beyond the early button mashing and play on a high enough difficulty level there's a game that's not to be missed here.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Loved it. Hated 2 things. Somewhat of a gay sex agenda right off the bat. Nothing against gays, but having 2 men flirt with me before having any chance at a female sets a certain tone I didn't care for. The Mother's death seemed to have no purpose for the main plot and all it did was upset me. My last remaining family member gets mutilated and killed in front of me and it seems to just be some random act of insanity.… Expand
Mar 16, 2011Twenty hours into the game the world seems to continue to expand. The combat remains true to the original while increasing the pace of the combat. Boss battles are far more inspired than most RPG's. I encountered one boss where I had to manage my part to heal, tank the boss, take out adds, run behind a pillar before it does a huge aoe. It felt very much like doing a WoW raid, but without the incompetence of other players. Only thing that holds this game back from a 10 are the use of the same locations for many of the quests. It breaks the immersion when you realized you been to this same spot 10 times to save mages, fight dragons, find bandits, locate an item ect.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011Most of the hate for this game is entirely unfounded. I know there are several groups from several forums who have said they intended to down rate this game, without having played it, out of the "principle" of it, and I think we see much of that here. Some people wanted nothing but DA:O v 2.0, but Bioware made the choice to innovate and try to reach a broader audience.
Is DA2 the same as DA:O? No. They did change the game up, and hardcore fans of DA:O may be disappointed. Does that make DA2? No. But people are having a hard time seeing past the changes. I am a huge fan of Dragon Age: Origins, and I am also finding that I am quickly becoming a big fan of Dragon Age 2.
***The combat is, to me, less tactical and on a normal setting easier, but it is much more engaging and fun. I adore DA:O, but there were times when the combat felt like it was just dragging on and on and on and would never end. The animations in DA:O for combat were sluggish and pretty basic. In DA2 they are much more catchy and action packed, they make you feel like your character has some real talent, and lend to you feeling powerful.
***It is unfortunate that we no longer have options for other races for our PC, but I feel so much more connected to my voiced character than I ever did to my Warden in DA:O who was mute and expressionless most of the time. She felt so lifeless, and the PC now has a personality all her own that develops with the dialog options you make as the game progresses. Always take the witty approach, then you characters dialog even on things you do not choose reflects this. Always take the stern approach, same thing.
***Companions are still interesting, I think they did a great job of writing them and didn't find one I didn't like, though I feel we do not get enough time to get to know them. Party banter while we are out and about is increased, but talking to your party members when they are at their homes (vs. being at a camp now) is very low, and usually only triggers by picking up certain items or progressing to a certain point in the story. I would have liked to get to know them a bit better, as what I did get to know of them was truly interesting.
***The game does reuse certain maps and dungeons, which I find unfortunate, but DA:O was not free from this and did it as well. It is more noticeable for DA2 though, as we are in the same city/area spanning 7 years of the game. I honestly didn't find it bothering me TOO much, but I would have liked to see a bit more variety in the dungeons.
***The last thing I will touch on is the story and writing. DA2 isnt a big epic story about one truly evil big bad that is out to destroy or take over the world. You do not get the same kind of sense of urgency or threat as you did in DA:O. This is by design, and honestly, by request. MANY fans begged for this on the official forums, and yet now they complain about it.
***The story is more about the smaller events in the characters life, about what happened to this person to shape them into the individual they are, they are about the things they happened to Hawke and his/her family and their city which lead them to eventually becoming the Champion of the city. I actually enjoyed the story and it was a nice change of pace for once. The ultimate climax and culmination of these events was interesting and I enjoyed the ending boss battles. ***The writing for the game was very good. There are many endearing moments in the game through dialog and the quests, many hilarious, and many heartbreaking. The writing and voice acting were extremely enjoyable and I never really felt it lacking at anytime. I feel completely immersed into the game because of it.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011I have no idea how anyone would be able to successfully play this on a console on the harder settings. I was a bit afraid they would have made this game easier due to some of the press pre release. But, as they say, only the easier settings have been made easier. Nightmare is alot harder, especially at the start. And the game is difficult in some ways which we are not accustomed. You cant actively tank stuff. You cant as easily control threat. Its more about movement and position tactics then other games. Usually, using such tactics are exploitive, due to game design, like pathing etc. And its not perfect in this game but its a step in the right direction.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011This is a great game. It is not a direct continuation of the Origins storyline, so if that is what you are looking for, you might be disappointed. The story does survive on its own though, and you get the impression that there is a much bigger picture forming in the background that Bioware will reveal in a later game. The tale is epic, to be sure, but not in the formulaic hero-saves-the-world kind of way. In fact, you could debate whether the hero (if Hawke can be called that) actually saves anything or instead sets everything on fire. The combat is faster paced than it was in Origins. If you like that, you will enjoy this game. If not, it might be a bone of contention for you. It's nice to see more detail in how the characters fight. For instance, mages wielding their staffs as actual weapons is one of the little improvements that actually adds a lot to the game. It was disappointing to see finishing moves removed, and the exploding bodies is kind of cheesy. I liked Origins combat, but I like DAII's combat as well. If Bioware could synergize the two systems, they'd have something great. The characters are interesting and have a lot of depth. There are so many directions you can go with each of them. You control their fate throughout their game and some choices you make will decide what the future holds for them or whether they even survive at the end. The biggest downside I found to this game were what I perceived to be laziness in design. Reusing maps was an obnoxious shortcut that gave some parts of the game a repetitive feeling and had me rolling my eyes. The game also takes place in a very enclosed geographic area that can get boring after awhile. I also disliked how I had to run over long distances to find an exit just so I could move to a new area of the city. But these dislikes are minor in comparison.
Overall, I enjoyed this game immensely. I feel Bioware is putting a big story together. The scope of DAII's story was not as big as DAO in the traditional sense, but it seems like this game is setting us up for something big later on.… Expand
Mar 17, 201110.00 Dragon Age 2 is not your standard "Hero against the world" or "Hero slays a dragon" story. This is a story about conflict, politics, oppression and personal drama. Unlike most games, it offers no "good" or "evil" way out. That alone is one of its strongest points. I'll list my personal pros and cons first:
+ Breaks out of the stale "Hero defeats an ancient evil" formula.
+ Companions are all well defined, plot heavy and not just people with ten dialogue options
+ The combat system is fast and furious, it feels involved and largely improved
+ No more "You gave me 5 gifts. I wuv you" = "Romance" nonsense. Romances take time, feel real and are part of the drama
+ Side quests and Companion Quests are woven into the main story
+ It no longer takes "approval" to get to know your companions. Friendship and rivalry offer different paths, you are no longer punished for disagreeing with your companions
+ Importing DAO saves add wonderful touches and REAL cameos, unlike the hack job called Awakening
+ Gorgeous graphics
+ I encountered only two quests I could not finish
+ No hours of sludging aimlessly through the Deep Roads or the Fade, killing everything in sight
- Re-used enviroments. While the enviroments they DID create are gorgeous in color and finely drawn, there are too few. Hopefully this will be fixed via a patch.
- Much as I like the companion interaction being spread out, I'd have liked to see more and I'd have liked to customize them fully. But worry not, the modders are already at work
This game is not was not meant to be a direct sequel to DAO. They tried going down that road with Awakening and we know that was a disaster. It is a bold, new way of picking up a conflict that was already hinted at in the original. Also, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The tragedies unfolding in this game cannot be blamed on an antagonist or an ancient evil but on, pardon the RPG pun, human nature. There were so many moments in this game when I was teary eyed or yelling "No, no, NO!" at my screen. I don't want to spoil anything however. Is it a perfect game? No. Was DAO a perfect game? Hell, no. DAO was horribly bugged, the last third of the game was badly written and rushed and never mind its formulaic nature and clichÃ© ending. I love both games though. DA2 represents change and many do not like change. I happen to love it. I cannot wait for the newest DLCs and expansion and DA3 can't come soon enough either. I know the haters will pounce down on my review. It'll be an honor though, because I don't care what they think.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011I loved it. People can hate on Bioware all they want but this game was fantastic. The beginning seemed a bit slow at first, but I don't believe it could have been any other way. The manner in which the story ramps up the juice first slowly then with greater speed had me questioning my decisions and at one point sitting in shock. This was a great game. Yes it is different, and I applaud Bioware for smashing the mold on a tired old game system that is simply no longer needed in this day and age. This was not DnD, this was not Dragon Age: Origins. This was something new and beautiful. RPG's were never supposed to be about hitting action keys and spending hours on a leveling process. It is about playing a role.
In Dragon Age: 2 you play the role of Hawke, starting out as just a guy trying to get by, you are inexplicably pulled into a whirlwind of events happening in your new home. The new interface is clean, and the fact that it fades from view when not needed is fantastic. I have loved the programmable controller button concept since Fable 1, and I choose my characters skills to keep me off the radial menu. The potential to either directly control your associates or just let them hang back and do their job was wonderful. I hate pausing a game. As to the story I found it to be intriguing. At first, despite hype I had read since the game was announced, I truly didn't know what was happening. I started to wonder how long I would have to do all these side quests... then BAM something big happens. From that point it just gets bigger. This game literally had me in shock. At least twice I set my controller down and just stared at my giant screen. One time I reloaded just to make sure I had understood what had happened. I was confused that after such a short time I genuinely felt close to a character I had largely ignored. Bravo Bioware!
This game defies the standard that so many people have begun to believe comprises an RPG. It takes the story and gameplay and merges them into something that begs to be called art. Is it for everyone? Well it should be! There is no excuse with the computational power at our finger tips not to finally advance the genre. This was a bold move and I think one that pays off. Love it or hate it, the game has finally changed. As to the current accusations that Bioware employees tried to inflate the rating here. If that were the case then you would have seen far more positive reviews. How naive to think most companies from game developers to hardware manufacturers do not inflate reviews every chance they get. I am glad in this case for had I not seen the article on another site I would not have realized that so many people, many of which could work for Bioware's competitors had written bad reviews of a game I deeply enjoyed. So here I am. I agree whole heartedly with Avanost that dislike for this game largely stems from an inability to let go of conventions. We gamers are constantly derisive of anyone who "clones" another companies games (one in particular comes to mind in the MMO space) and yet the moment true innovation, skillfully executed hits the shelf we cry foul and crawl back in our familiar box unable to contend with change. I am disappoint in all of you!
I say cheers Bioware! Now go use that engine for Old Republic 3... I want to smash things with a lightsaber!!!… Expand
Mar 17, 2011I don't know why people are being so harsh on Dragon Age 2. All i wanted from this title was to feel that i was really THE CHAMPION OF KIRKWALL! And it did! The history isn't as epic as the first one, there isn't a great threat to humanity. Instead we have a deep history about a human and his family. It tells how he rise to fame and fortune. I really loved this game! I played KOTOR, Dragon Age Origins and i also loved them all. Dragon Age 2 has a special place in my heart, it was the first game that i completed 100%, i really wanted to feel that i was Hawke and never wanted his 10-years-long adventure to come to and end... But it did and now i want Dragon Age 3 as bad as ever!… Expand
Mar 18, 2011This game is not truly DA2. It is a well designed game, but unfortunately instead of building on the success of DA:O, it takes bits and pieces from that game and tries to go in a new direction. I give the company credit with trying to change and improve upon the game. However, if you are trying to make a series of DA games, you probably should have taken the time to improve the original games shortcomings before releasing this game. All that said. I thoroughly enjoyed this game(enough to play through it 4 separate times). Just keep in mind that you are not getting Dragon Age: Origins 2. You are getting Dragon Age: Kirkwall.
I would have rated it a 5 because of its succession behind DA:O, but instead I chose to rate the game based on its own merits and shortcomings.… Expand
Mar 19, 2011.. Well, where do I start. There were various of bugs and glitches in the game I didn't quite enjoy. One of them prevented me from getting an extra party member. And another one pretty much never allowed me to die. In this game, your more of an errand boy/girl through out the game. But; it stuck with DA:O story very well. The same map/area is contently reused over, and over again. But; you are in the same area through out the game. That was the bad review. The good: It was.. At the right pace. Everyone rants on about how it was TOO fast. DA:O was too slow. While in DA:O I found myself hitting one button in a fight; and then going to the bathroom or something else while I waited for the fight to be over. Maybe every now and then I hit a button. I found myself actually staying for the game; actually playing the game. and lots more. The graphics had minor improvements. The storyline may not be as good as DA:O; but it's still quite impressive for what it was (It's a sequel with a good storyline? Bonus points). Some of you said that this game is too fast paced because of it's animations.. What? No; animation is for effects. While the combat may look as though it's faster; the average fight in DA:O and DA2 has minor time differences. I found myself using the same strategy in both games. Think of what to do; do it, and make minor changes if I it didn't go as plan; but except I have to repeatedly hit A, which I enjoy; I have something to do while I think of my next plan. I also find it a little harder to stay alive nDA2 then DA:O (Mainly cause of a healing tree taken away). Classes are as balance as they were in DA:O. Oh! Your character talks! I found this really shocking. And I recently discovered that your personality is set by how often you make a choice. For example; if you were to talk in a joking way a lot, your tone of voice will change and adjust to that depending how often you used it. I thought this was a very interesting game mechanic. You and other characters have there own set of personality (of course). And none of them are really boring either. (Well except for Fenris). I know I'm suppose to talk about the game; but it really bothers me that people actually give this game a big zero. Is the game so bad; even in comparison to the original, that it had to be given a zero? I even hear that this is the last game you will EVER buy from Bioware. Really now? Jees' calm down drama queen. "This game was a rushed game" This I agree with. The game didn't get enough time I would like to assume. But yes; rushed would be one of the right words during the production of this video game. You guys also seem to LOVE including un-related games into the subject as well. Comparing them for your own purpose to make this game look bad. I'm honestly starting to think you guys are just going with what people are saying. And not actually playing the game to your fullest. I even find some of yo using the same lines as the next guy. You play this game with your hopes way to high; and expectations even higher.] I kept my expectations low. The second I heard Dragon Age 2 was coming out, I thought "Eh; it's probably going to be a bad sequel like every other movie.game." But it wasn't! The game was surprisingly a lot better than I imagined it to be; sure there were some minor improvements needed to be done, but over all it was still good. Don't just listen to what others say; hell, you don't have to listen to what I say; just look up a video of the game play, if you like; try, if not; then whatever. This game does NOT deserve a straight zero. MOST of you guys aren't even reviewing over the story! I know I might be taking some lines from BigLou, I know I'm a bit hypocrite. But I swear to you right now; I wrote all this down before I read his.… Expand
Mar 20, 2011Without going into to many details. Great voice acting, love the way your character stay in voice character should you be angry, funny or serious. However that alone does not carry a hole game. DA2 is infact incredible repetitive with the method of reusing areas for pretty much everything throughout the hole game, while the environment is very well made and detailed it gets very and i mean very boring really fast. Everything from the city to the dungeons are reused over and over and over, very tireing and you are constantly sitting with a feeling that somethings gotta change soon, but it never does.
Moving on to combat. I got abit of mixed feelings on this one, while i enjoy the faster combat and the class cross combos you can do i absolutely hate the exploding bodies and massive gore that spew all over the place. Fatalities is another thing i liked from DAO but were totally removed from DA2 with exploding enemies. No much strategy in combat either, while you still got the tactical setup for your party there is no strategy to be made on the go, you can still pause and issue orders but you can no longer zoom as you did in DAO. Planning a combat in DA2 isnt to great either anymore considering the game just throw hordes of weak enms at you from all direction making it a total mess for any type of planning. Its clear the combat was not designed for your typical RPG but more of a hack n' slash type.
Story time. The Hawke start interesting with them fleeing Lothering. Its all a nice setup for well, nothing. After that you just go around picking up side-quests and do main quests with any real story behind you, without any real sens of a goal or any sens of having a villian to fight. They make it clear that its all about Mages and Templars, but your in for a huge suprise when you realize that everything you did getting to the end didnt matter one bit. Every choice you make have zero matter on the world around you.
Your party. You got a emo elf which is clearly some homage to J-RPGs, a naive elf, a brute ginger female, a pirate whore and a dwarf. You can romance either of em except two. Sadly DA2 have also gone taken a step back here, the romance that had a nice touch in DAO is just blend and dull in DA2.
Dialog wheel. While i dont mind it to much, its abit to simple. Gone is persuasion, now you get a clear picture of what is what. If a romance option is ready the wheel make it clear with a heart shaped icon. Very simple, maybe to simple (?).
Bugs and glitchs. Way to many, and that baffles me. Since iv never played a bioware game where so many glitchs and game breaking bugs actually took out the fun.
Closing. Being a bioware fan and a fan of Dragon Age Origins i say that BioWare did not come through this time around. DA2 is short, unfufilling, lack and sens of purpose with the characters and the hole game have been simplified beyond words, it dosnt feel much like an RPG anymore. I think might have tried to appeal to a to wide of an audience and came up with something that didnt quite work. In short, it feels very rushed like it had a deadline they just barely made.
I will look forward to Mass Effect 3 and hopefully Dragon Age 3. And i hope BioWares once and for all start improving their sequels, and dont let a deadline or something else get in their way of making a great game.
My first thought was a solid 7, but after completing DA2 and learning that nothing you do matters it has lost all appeal to me. So sadly, very sadly i give DA2 a 5. =(… Expand
Mar 20, 2011People seem to forget that no game is ever perfect when it's first released. A lot of the tech issues, like auto attack and the SDTV formatting issues will be resolved in patches. (SDTV owners switch over to a widescreen format via your console settings and you'll be fine in cutscenes until a patch is released.) With that said I thoroughly enjoyed DA2. The storyline was engaging enough that I could not put my controller down until I reached the end and the credits rolled. BioWare gave you many choices throughout the main storyline. Some made me have to walk away and take a break to actually think about it. There was brilliant work done with the VAs and the graphics look more polished and smoother. Having Hawke fully voiced was a nice change from Origins and something from the Mass Effect series that I wished Origins had had in the first place.
Yes, combat may have been "dumbed" down a bit to try and appeal to a wider audience but you can still pause and micromanage your party if you wish. Auto-attack would've been nice however I didn't miss its absence when I played as a rogue/warrior as I actually liked being â… Expand
Mar 22, 2011This game deserves much more recognition than most people are really giving. It is an overall improvement all over the first. A more cinematic approach to make you feel more close to the characters and the combat is now fast-paced without losing its strategic way. I've played the demo and I'm very satisfied with my experience, I'm definitely buy the full version. They made the game a dark fantasied Mass Effect and that is awesome. Good job Bioware! You are always improving and for that I am your loyalist.… Expand
Mar 22, 2011I like the game. It's face paced, exciting, with enough story and emotional turmoil to fill in the gaps. The story is perhaps a bit sparser than in other (BioWare) games, or at least much more focused and small scale: it's about YOUR character, not about EVERYTHING. That said, I still find the story interesting, even compelling.
It's true that much has been trimmed (streamlined, dumbed down; the term you pick depends on your expectations going in). The inventory is very simple, you only choose armor for your own character, although you can pick weapons and accessories for all of your companions, as well as yourself. There's still attribute customization, and quite a lot of skills; however, the skill system is much more about getting a few powerful active abilities, rather than lots and lots of semi-meaningful passives. I, for one, prefer this system (although I was a huge fan of BG, NWN, KotOR, etc.). It makes me feel much more in control in combat: I know what everything does and how to use it. It makes combat fun, and not at all cumbersome.
It seems to me that many of the negative reviews stem from the game not meeting people's expectations. I'm sorry to hear those people were disappointed, but I think that if you go in with an open mind, you'll find an excellent game.… Expand
Mar 22, 2011I could write an essay on this game. I'll keep it short.... Good: *Classes and skills have much more synergy. *Companion dialog remains witty and amusing. *Companion quests are fun. *Initial story is OK *Crafting is streamlined. - Some don't like this change, it made the game less tedious. The BAD: *The game and environments are hollow. Kirkwall is nice, but it is a ghost town. All dialog is scripted.
*Copy and pasted environments are a kick in the balls.
*Imported saves from DA:O hold no impact.
*Dialog wheel is misleading.
*Most boss fights are just tedious attrition kites.
*Linear environments. You literally cannot explore at all. There are no hidden goodies to be found.
*Para dropping enemies. All fights come in waves of enemies that appear out of nowhere.
*Linear story. Your actions have zero impact on the MAIN story.
*You cannot interact with companions past the rare and quick scripted events.
*Character cameos from DA:O are forced and hold no meaning.
*Day 1 DLC that tries to milk more money out of you. Another kick in the balls.
*The game falls flat in the end. The outcome is the same, regardless of everything you've done.
*Most equipment is junk, most loot is junk. - Literally. You just killed a boss? He drops... Junk and one good item. -If you are lucky.
*Side quests are hollow and pointless. You loot an item and magically know to give it to x or y stranger for gold. ZERO dialog.
*Enemies just explode, not finishers are satisfying animations.… Expand
Feb 4, 2012This game is an insult to players who have played DA:O. I do not see how Mike Laidlaw could have allowed this half***ed game to be released. Does he really think customers are that dumb that we wouldn't notice the recycled maps? Or he just didn't care because he's making good money off it? I played DA:O beginning to finish over 10 times and couldn't even finish DA2 a second time as a mage versus a warrior. I could go on and on but it's not worth it. I will wait and see DA3's USER reviews first before I think about buying it. Same goes for ME3(… Expand
Mar 29, 2011Dragon Age 2 was a Good game, However it had many flaws in it which keeps it from receiving a better score from me. DA:O was a game that was almost the perfect RPG but it too had flaws as in a slow combat system and shotty graphics for the 360. While DA 2 Fixed the slow combat system it went away from the core of what made DA:O a great game. For it didn't have varied areas and you were stuck in one city the entire game. While the story and the side quests were amazing, but the areas were just used over and over again and after awhile you just started to get bored of doing the same thing over and over. The only saving grace for this was the combat system was fluid and the story was amazing.
I can only imagine that if Bioware kept this game in development for another 6months it would have produced a much better game. As it stands sadly while the game was fun it just wasn't as impressive as DA:O was with it's epic feel of adventure, and settings. DA2 had a better story and combat system however it just fell down on variety and the feel of epic. Cause really I'll never forget going into the Deep Roads and the mage tower in the first game, The experience these places produced were one of a kind.… Expand
Mar 30, 2011UUUUGH where do i begin, the combat is terrible, there are only 4 dungeons in the entire game, only difference are weather or not some doors are unlocked, the game is FULL of bugs, and they took away one of the most original and best features of origins, being able to pick your race and background.
i could make a list of stuff taken out of this game since origins, and think of only a couple good additions.
The one upgrade since origins is the art style, which i liked, bur even so, most people dont.
And on a final note, BIOWARE you might possibly have the worst marketing department EVER.
Well you post fake reviews in metacritic advertising your game, then accuses 4 chan of doing the same thing against you. then you ban a guy from playing a game that he payed for because he broke a rule on your forum.
All in all DA2 isnt Horrible, but its not that good, and as a sequel to DAO it just plain sucks.
If you want a good RPG just wait for Skyrim… Expand
Mar 30, 2011Dragon Age 2 is the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins but some could actually argue it's more of a side story. You don't actually continue the actions and decisions from the first game, you can still pick an Origins' save or a set list of what happened in the world of Dragon Age. Instead you take on the role of Hawke, a similar Mass Effect protagonist like Commander Shepard (in fact many design aspects of Mass Effect 2 are infused into Dragon Age). This time you're also given a voice for the main character, which I found to be enjoyable and helpful in my immersion. The game is played out by what one of your companions is describing, which I thought was a nice fresh way of storytelling. This is similar to what the Call of Duty franchise did with Black Ops. The player has the option to bring over their character from Origins or create from three classes; a warrior, rogue, or a mage (all with varying gameplay styles). Throughout the game you'll be able to unlock more skills and develop a specific skill tree. The combat feels fresh. At many times tactical, this depends highly on difficulty chosen, with the player's decisions on how to counter what enemy with what skill/companion or what sequence of moves to use. There is an overwhelming amount of character progression with the main character along with many of his/her party members. The world that Bioware has crafted is told very well and often times similar or repetitive information which was given in Origins feels fresh and interesting. There are a set amount of environmental pieces however that you'll frequent and at times you may find yourself stuck with a serious glitch, (certain party friendship bonuses can actually give you a negative effect if they're not enrolled in your current party) that affects the difficulty immensely. You might also not like the exclusion of companion armor management but this will come down to personal taste, I believe. Those issues aside I found Dragon Age 2 to be a very fun RPG that I grew attached to the characters and the believability of the world that Bioware created. The plethora of side quests, the little improvements over Origins (the inclusion of item ratings/accessible hotkeys/superb voice work/an enjoyable art style,lore,story/quests showing up on the world map now), the streamlined dialogue system and overarching story makes Dragon Age 2 a buy for any RPG fan. Recommend… Expand
Apr 2, 2011Dragon Age II si Ã¨ evoluto nel corso dei mesi rimanendo costantemente in bilico su un sottile filo all'apparenza sempre in procinto di spezzarsi. Fin dal primo incontro in una delle fiere di settore, vedere dal vivo il sequel, talvolta anche provandolo in prima persona, ci trasmetteva sensazioni sempre diverse talvolta persino in contrasto tra loro. Ogni tanto rimanevamo con l'amaro in bocca, altre volte uscivamo dalla sessione di test esaltati e non sono mancate le volte in cui ci siamo sentiti completamente indifferenti nei confronti del gioco. Questo miscuglio di stati d'animo li abbiamo riprovati anche nel corso delle prime, lunghe ore di gioco in vista della recensione; ma fortunatamente piÃ¹ ci siamo lasciati trasportare dal flusso degli eventi e piÃ¹ le nostre sensazioni negative venivano dissolte e soppiantate da quelle positive. Dragon Age II Ã¨ evidentemente un titolo schizofrenico che ha costretto BioWare a raggiungere grandi compromessi in fase di design nel tentativo finale di realizzare un gioco di ruolo action profondo e dettagliato nei contenuti ma allo stesso tempo immediato e semplificato nelle meccaniche di gioco.
In questo sequel sono decisamente piÃ¹ presenti e meglio delineati soprattutto nelle caratterizzazioni dei personaggi. Rimane la scelta multipla senza alcun tipo di limite temporale con l'aggiunta di una piccola indicazione visiva che dovrebbe suggerire al giocatore l'approccio di Hawke al dialogo se si sceglie quell'opzione. Il sistema funziona piuttosto bene, soprattutto nella componente di approfondimento al dialogo: Ã¨ infatti possibile indagare durante le chiacchierate per avere maggiori elementi di storia e, a seconda dei personaggi presenti nel party, talvolta si sbloccano opzioni per far partecipare alla discussione o per far agire i propri compagni. Purtroppo non mancano delle volte in cui inevitabilmente si fraintende la scelta che si sta per fare e soprattutto ci sentiamo di criticare la precisa scelta di BioWare di eliminare del tutto una competenza del protagonista nella persuasione: scordatevi quindi opzioni di dialogo per evitare combattimenti o raggirare l'interlocutore se non in casi rarissimi previsti dalla storia stessa. Ma arriviamo al cuore di Dragon Age II: i combattimenti. Qui si esplicita con forza quella ricerca di un compromesso operata da BioWare durante la realizzazione del suo progetto. E' evidente come si sia voluto semplificare e rendere molto piÃ¹ immediati, attivi e probabilmente coinvolgenti i combattimenti spostando il focus sull'azione in tempo reale quasi a voler ricercare l'anima piÃ¹ action di un qualsiasi RPG d'azione che si rispetti. Il risultato Ã¨ buono solo in parte ed Ã¨ estremamente legato al livello di difficoltÃ scelto (che puÃ² comunque essere cambiato in qualsiasi momento del gioco). Giocando infatti ai livelli facile o normale si andrÃ avanti suonando con forza il pulsante X, quello del colpo standard, quasi sul limite del button mashing di un qualsiasi picchiaduro a scorrimento. L'importante Ã¨ gestire adeguatamente il mana o il vigore a seconda della classe per attivare le varie magie e abilitÃ speciali e aver "configurato" i membri del party a ogni cambio di livello attraverso il menu delle tattiche, ripreso di sana pianta da quello di Origins. In questo modo ad esempio sarÃ possibile impostare, anche automaticamente attraverso dei set pre-impostati, l'aggressivitÃ dei compagni di squadra e far gestire all'intelligenza artificiale l'uso delle loro abilitÃ . La cosiddetta pausa tattica Ã¨ sempre presente con la pressione del grilletto sinistro ma sarÃ necessario solo negli scontri piÃ¹ difficili bloccare l'azione per far magari bere una pozione a un compagno o indirizzarlo verso un nemico in particolare. Il risultato Ã¨ un'azione costante, frenetica e anche piuttosto adrenalinica ma che ovviamente tralascia in blocco la profonditÃ tipica di una gestione avanzata del party.
Gestione che diventa invece cruciale e costante se si scelgono i due livelli di difficoltÃ maggiori ma con un drammatico rovescio della medaglia: comandare manualmente i compagni diventa un'esigenza fondamentale per superare anche gli scontri con i nemici piÃ¹ stupidi, soprattutto se questi si presentano in grandi numeri, pena la morte costante dei personaggi piÃ¹ deboli o l'uso incessante di pozioni (a discapito dell'economia del protagonista). Ma cosÃ¬ facendo viene fuori tutta la macchinositÃ del sistema di controllo che si appoggia a un menu radiale che compare quando si utilizza la pausa tattica e che serve a dare qualsiasi tipo di comando. L'impossibilitÃ di muovere liberamente la telecamera (se non tramite l'uso di magie e abilitÃ con area di effetto) e un sistema di targeting basato sull'angolo di visuale dei personaggi contribuiscono a rendere ogni scontro una sorta di micro-gestione certosina. Sicuramente questo stile puÃ² soddisfare i giocatori di ruolo piÃ¹ incalliti.… Expand
Apr 6, 2011The game is tremendously disappointing. There is no story, the characters are unlikeable, the dialogue is terrible and the voice acting worse, there is no pacing in story or battles, and skills and character options have been dramatically whittled down since the original. Towns are empty, boring and lifeless. And there's only one town to explore. The same 5 dungeons are reused over and over and linear and simple. There is almost no equipment in the game and companions can't even wear armor. The same 4 enemies continually jump you to the point where it feels like the entire game is killing bandits. Enemies continually respawn so tactics are useless and the game degenerates into a button mashing mess. One fight in the entire game is difficult and mainly because it requires hitting attack hundreds of times.
I bought the game excited and traded it in wary of bioware. I will rent Mass Effect 3 first and hope the development team doesn't get their hands on that game. Until then I will buy Planescape Torment and play a real RPG>… Expand
Apr 11, 2011Dragon Age II offers a lot of solid RPG gameplay and fresh storytelling. Many of the issues of Dragon Age: Origins have been resolved and the visuals are generally improved. However, BioWare has also made extensive changes where there was no obvious need with mixed results. As a big fan of the original, my initial reaction to Dragon Age II was disappointment and frustration with some of these changes. The game slowly grew on me and by the middle I was enjoying it on its own merits and was still engaged by the story and character progression through to the end of the lengthy game and already thinking about a second play through.
As a sequel, Dragon Age II didn't live up to my expectations, but is still quite a good game. Hopefully BioWare has the opportunity to move forward with this franchise in the future rather than taking another step laterally.… Expand
Apr 15, 2011This may be a step down from origins but its still a good game and there are some improvements. Most of the beginning of the game you are doing boring quest that have you going from one place to the other then the other then the other... But once you get further into the game it gets more enjoyable. There are some unexpected moments along the way. The customization from the first game was mostly taken away seeing how your character is picked for you but you can pick his/her face and that about it besides armor and weapons. Dont get me wrong i still like this game but the first one was better.… Expand
Apr 20, 2011Not as good as "Dragon age: Origins" but not bad. I find it good that the combats are now more action-packed. The story is interesting but not as epic as it was in Origin. What i really hated was the copy-paste levels. In every Chapter the levels were the same. I am a little bit disapointed but nonetheless it is a good game.
Apr 22, 2011First of all, the credentials. I've been playing video games for 30 years. I even had a game review published in PCGamer a long time ago. I've enjoyed Bioware games since Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Star Wars KOTR, all the way through Dragon Age. Anyone who is hating on this title is either crazy or bitter. Dragon Age 2- compared to any other modern video game, is excellent and definitely above average. You can script your characters to do certain things, activate spells or abilities, or behave in certain ways. This scripting cuts down the micromanagement, but allows you to more fully enjoy the game. Pluses: Interesting characters, sweeping story, and well over 30 hours of gameplay, and that's not completing most of the sidequests. Cons: Graphics look a little dated, dialouge options often lead to the same outcome, combat is mostly button mashing. I was disappointed importing your character has very little effect on the game. Many of the negative . It's not perfect.
I definitely would recommend this game for RPG fans. You wont be disappointed.… Expand
Apr 22, 2011I've been a fan of Bioware since KOTOR, but I am the first to admit that with Dragon Age 2, they dropped the ball. Big time. The product of one year of lazy and extremely rushed development, this game remains good compared to other videogames on the market, but as per Bioware standards, it is truly mediocre. The sequel to the masterful Dragon Age Origins falls (very short) in every domain but the graphics. The levels are re-used ad nauseum, the characters are boring and unlikable (the worst thing that can happen to an RPG), the story is a deconstructed mess, the fighting is more dynamic but less deep... Overall, the game is a severe failure and a huge step back.… Expand
Apr 28, 2011+Awesome, lore, world, and characters
+Voice acted characters make the game more cinematic
+More unique armor, and weapon builds
+Archer's are now fun to play
- Rehashed maps
-no clear antagonist
-boring special classes
-playing as a mage is hard to swallow w/ Templars all around
May 3, 2011I enjoyed this game much more than DA:O and it ranks among one of my all time favourite CRPGs.
I've put almost 100 hours into this game and have done an (almost) full clear on the hardest difficulty. I dove through forums and the wiki for optimized builds, and the only other Bioware game where I've done that was Baldur's Gate 2 (not NWN or DA:O or ME). Solo BG2 monk shoutout !
I think the difference was that I actually cared about DA2's setting of Kirkwall and the characters. DA2 has an amazing cast of companions and actually tells a story through Acts 1 and 2, rather than feeling like the 4 disjointed quest hubs of DA:O.
Varric, Isabella, and Merrill are charming, feel alive, and are superbly written. Varric and Isabella are better stereotypical comic relief than Alistar and Merrill is actually more adorable than Leliana (Merill really reminds me of Aerie from BG2 now that I think about it!). Fenris is also a better broody character than Morgana, and I can see why female dragon age 2 fans get wet for him. In DA2 I cared to visit the homes of my companions, whereas in DA:O I always avoided people like Sten in the camp, who seemed as interesting as an excerpt from a dwarven trading contract.
And, best of all, the combat and item management was indeed streamlined to not get in the way of the actual 'game' (which is the story and characters). And I love min/maxing and I love seeing the cross class combo +%s and overpowered abilities rather than the vague and moderately useful mechanics of DA:O (e.g. taunt shifts all threat, rather than just increase it, backstab will move your rogue immediately behind the enemy, and 2h weapons have innate splash damage). I enjoyed either rapidly and viscerally clearing 'trash' in a dungeon or celebrating the rapid defeat of an encounter with two assassin characters, rather than groan when another level of dungeon loaded up for Andraste's Ashes in DA:O which meant more tedious combat and looting.
The best design decision the developers did was put heal and group heal on a long cooldown. Combat is then focused on CC and then killing either an elite enemy or AOEing many enemies as fast as possible, rather than all prior Bioware games of just CC and healing a tank. In fact, unless you have fragile melee to protect, it's better to build your tank for damage or build your tank to enable status for your DPS to combo off.
The game does not get a perfect score though as it is obvious the developers were given a harsh time constraint. Replayability is hit hard by the repeated levels and the main plot of Act 3 leaves much to be desired, but overall, the huge advances in characters and combat make up for it. I also understand the fluidity suffering on consoles, from the youtube videos I've watched. I know I am in the minority, as it seems a lot of people hate this game. The game clearly had to cut corners, and there are no epic battles with legions and legions of men which I think may have disappointed a lot of people. But in the end, the corners they didn't cut were simply amazing. I've always loved character driven games and DA2 is a superb one.… Expand
May 7, 2011I have very much enjoyed this even more so than I had with the original. FOr me personally Hours =/= Quality There were a lot of parts of the original where I felt were not necessary such as 2-4 hours in the Deep Roads and Fade. But this is not a review for that game but the sequel which I felt it did a lot of things right like I stated earlier. What It did right for me was the Voiced Protagonist which is a huge bonus for the game because in the original your character was a catatonic shell which is fine for games like Bathesda or Portal but the game which the camera pans to your character when it isn't needed there was no emotion in your character. Also they added the tone of your character so not only do you get to have a voiced character but you can pick a tone for your character like sarcasm or diplomatic. I can't wait to see if they do this in Mass Effect 3.
The talent system was overhauled which is a huge benefit because you can actually pick and choose what you wanted to do unlike Origins. I gave it a 9 because there are/were some bugs that made a few of the side quests broken(Which have been patched now) Bioware had also reused most of their maps and then they didn't even hide it you can tell in the minimap its the same area and if a area blocks you off you can clearly see there is another part on the map. Overall I thought it was a fantastic game and doesn't deserve the bombardment of **** users giving it a low rating because its the flavor of the week for them.… Expand
May 13, 2011The Metacritic score for this title has been unduly influenced by a legion of die-hard Dragon Age: Origins fans who are angry that the sequel doesn't offer more of the exact same game. A lot of things were changed, and that's upsetting for some fans. But here's the thing: judged on its own merits, DA:2 is a frickin' great RPG, and in most ways it's a better game than DA:O. In fact, DA:2 is my new favorite RPG of all time, which is why I gave it the 10 rating.
If you're the kind of gamer who really likes to "role play," there has never been a game like DA:2. Your ability to create your own character and personality, to forge relationships with the other people in the world, and to make decisions that matter is unparalleled. Yes, they re-use the same maps a lot. So I guess if you mostly care about having the background change a lot when you're playing, then don't play this game. But if you liked Planescape: Torment or KOTOR, play this game. If you like wrestling with difficult moral choices...if you're the kind of gamer who can fall in love with a story or a character, or be heartbroken by them...play this game. If you're a role-player...play this game.… Expand
May 13, 2011i loved it. heres my breakdown will go in descending for what i feel is impotent in a game.
Graphics - It weird the graphics i'd have to say look better some times then worse then DA:O at others. For every improved look like the Qunari and elves you get a odd one like Alister face just looked weird.
Music- Made you feel like you where in the moment with your character cant ask for more.
Voice Acting- Is very well done they spared no expense, I was very happy with all the voice casting.
Combat- It was way more entertaining the Origins but even on hard was to easy i never really used the cross combo thing they talked about so much. Also the re-spawning of enemy's got annoying fairly fast. That all aside come was still fun and i enjoyed it even with a big of repetition.
RPG elements- You did have the range and depth of choices you did in Origins. That being said you got more then you did in oblivion and fallout combined. Also you end up just using the DLC gear right from the get go witch is both sweet and since i never used anything else but DLC armor i have no reason for anything in the game. Sorta makes looting a bit pointless
Overall - This is a fun game but it seams to suffer from the middle child syndrome witch i believe is why its getting so many negative reviews. Its has no real ending upon beating the game i just felt like i needed to put in disk2 or something. i'm Giving this game a 10 not because it really should get one it deserves more like a 7/10 but theres no many people hating on it irrationally i feel the low 4.5 rating will stop people from experiencing the game.… Expand
May 18, 2011It's a Great Game, but ya they could have done better, but still a good buy for PC, I like that the main character can talk, gives more life to your character, the story so far for is great, my favourite character is the dwarf Varric, he is a good Narrator, gives more flavour for the Story...
May 18, 2011The only saving grace of this game is the storytelling. Every feature of the original game was scaled down or removed. I literally am not able to name one aspect of the original game that they made deeper or more involving. This has 'rush job' written all over it, a real disappointment for me personally since I loved the original so dearly.
May 27, 2011Fun game. The bad things: too simplified, not being able to change your party members is a no-no in RPG ('action' RPG's or no). Auto-attack should be an option, constantly pushing the attack button is just a chore and adds nothing to combat - which is way too easy.
Good stuff: Although the combat is easy, it is still fun. Most strategy will be things like 'kill the mage first' or 'use ice weapons', pretty basic but still enjoyable. Graphics are great. But, what got me to like the game despite the RPG-sins were the characters and story. It was refreshing not to have a simple 'go kill ultimate baddie and save the world' arch like in origins. Ultimately the games weakness (easy combat) puts that much more focus on its strength (plot and characters). Personally I hope they return to a top down, baldur's gate-style rpg for the next installment, but this is still a fun game even if sometimes you just wait for the next plot device and watch people explode. (and the PC version is much better)
I would give this game an 8, but all of the fanboy rage '0's need to have some counter-balance, so +2.… Expand
May 31, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In my opinion Dragon Age II is not much like the Dragon Age: Origins. There is no prolonged battles, there is completely different dialogue system (which by the way is taken from the Mass Effect) and a totally different concept (we are fighting basically not with darkspawn, but with problems in Kirkwall). But still, in spite of repeated locations and unfinished written story, it is still fun to play. There is pretty various and interesting characters (Merrill, my favorite :3), simple but elegant locations, and a lot of drama.… Expand
May 28, 2011A game that should not be compaerd to its predecessor but considered in all minds as a great game on its own. It may upset the previous game's fans and lack Origins' expanse but it is immersive, fun and exciting throughout with quite a few memorable characters and options to explore.
Jun 2, 2011I just recently beat this game after a friend let me borrow it. And I find myself almost sad to give it back, as I truly do love it. I went through as a mage and made all the wrong choices which hurled toward every one of my family member's deaths. No, not on purpose, and I was actually attatched to these characters. It was a horrible feeling, and yet so good. The many ways the game can play out, the dialogue, the combat... EVERYTHING was very well done! The people up at BioWare deserve more respect for this game. It's unfair how poorly the other so-called "players" rated this game. Dragon Age II is amazing and deserves no less than an amazing rating.… Expand
Jun 19, 2011This game has blown my mind. At first I was skeptical due to the harsh user critics, but after playing it through for myself I can confirm that this game is not only an improvement over its predecessor, but also an inspirational game in every sense of the word. Take it from me: any and all negative reviews must be trolls, since I can't seem to find a damn thing wrong with this game. A truly great game, Dragon Age 2 is poised to be an instant classic. The graphics, the storyline, the animations, the combat, the voice acting, the game itself is unparalleled to many modern titles that refuse to move forward (I'm looking at you, TW2). I'm glad the developers of Dragon Age 2 appealed to not only a much wider audience, but also to their hardcore fans. I love the fact that I can now discuss the Dragon Age 2 series openly and with many fans around the world starting a conversation is as easy as taking a dump. As for us hardcore fans, we called out to them for change, and they delivered. I'm glad to see a much wider array of romance options. Dragon Age 2 is a leading developer in the support of equal rights in video games, as me and my girlfriends have all agreed.
I wish I could give this game a 20/10, but even that won't balance out the amount of trolls, haters and downright flamers that this game has angered because of it's innovative nature.
Keep on truckin' BioWare!… Expand
Aug 28, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. wow people are picky. Bioware is a AAA developer and this is their worst game in years but like i said they are a AAA developer and even the worst of their games are at least an 8/10 compared to other games. To be honest the personal character choices available is what makes this game stand out, the choices in this game have been well refined although we don't see some of them carry over from dao. Also i don't get the hateing on hawk yeah he doesn't kill like 3 high dragons but he is a realistic character with problems as compared to the warden. All in all this game is not terrible but it is not biowares best.… Expand
Aug 31, 2011Seriously a 0, I wouldn't even give Halo reach a 0. When I saw Dragon Age 2, received a negative review, I lost all hope in gamers. Now gamers are just a mob of hipsters that follow the leader. Dragon age 2 was superior to Orgins in every way. The combat was better, the story telling was amazing and graphics were good. I was so impressed with the game I beat it, replayed it imediately after. I have Orgins on the Pc and DA2 on xbox, after DA2, Orgins is unplayable. Origins is basically a single player WoW, you have spells on massive cooldowns while most of the fight is auto-attacks. I know a lot of gamers try and act like they're old school and love old style combat, but if you like old style games so much, play your old games then. A game should strive to be like it's cinematics, and due to tech limitations we couldn't but now it's possible. I've been playing games since commodore 64, and I always like when a company takes a step forward. Bioware always does that. Sad that most people don't want games to advance.… Expand
Nov 28, 2011While this game is a step in the wrong direction for the series, overall it is still a fine game. As long as you can overlook some of what they took away, and appreciate the faster paced combat, and more confined space, it is a worthy edition to any rpg gamer's collection. Pros - Likable characters - Clever writing - Good amount of content - Fun gameplay Cons - The game feels very confined when compared to origins - The first chapter of the game is very slow, and filled with "fluff" quests - Graphical glitches occur fairly often - The game seems to have been developed around the release of dlc.… Expand
Nov 17, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game didn't meet my expectations and failed miserably on some fronts.
I don't understand how people can rate it 9 or 8.
I gave this game a fair 4 for the following reasons.
1;The Non-Linear plot of the game keeps you interested in this game to the very end. I used to take different decisions at a save point just to see how the story unfolded in each case.
I finished the game as "Male Warrior",then beat it again with a "Male Mage".The point here is that the game doesn't end once beaten but there is a possibility to explore the game in 6 different classes/genders each having substantial effect on the story-line.
2;Then the choice to choose your character's Gender and class in the beginning of the game is something which is unique and deserves praise.
3;The graphics are just "fine".
4;The XP system is quite good.
1;The game has very few main quests which are actually a part of the story.a good chunk of quests are wasted on "Deep Roads Expedition" as a means to raise money for the expedition. They should have had more main quests which would gradually unfold the story and keep the Gamers interested not just the side quests which are meant for gaining XP,money,Amulets,Junk e.t.c
The side quests are a liability.
2;Even on "Nightmare" difficulty level,the battles seem too easy.
3;i personally felt that the "Warrior" and "Rogue" class had very few good moves as compared to the "Mage" class.
***The worst part is that the "Negatives" overshadow the "Positives" of this game.***
This game did all that was needed to defame it successor DA:Origins which was the "Game Of The Year" and succeeded. The success of sequel should not be expected to come from the reputation of the prequel.The "Dragon Age" name carries a distinct weight and importance but this game leaves you disappointed. I am very disappointed with this game and i don't think i'll be following "The Dragon Age" franchise in future.
Bioware truly didn't deliver what was expected of them.… Expand
Feb 13, 2012Now that I've played it, I can see why players pan it. I will agree that there are somethings that I hated about it (such as the lack of changing equipment for other playable characters, and a small world) but the gameplay is very addicting, there is also something to do with 100s of side quest, and the cast of character.
Making it the best $50 I've ever spent.
Jan 4, 2012Dumbed down RPG. Japanese slasher arcade combat with acrobatic knights in heavy armor, parachuting waves of zergling enemies, also in heavy armor. Idiotic wheel dialogue system where your written phrases differs from Hawke actually saying. Location that game uses n+1 times. Shallow companions. Etc etc etc.
A shadow of Origins.
Jan 6, 2012Dragon 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.… Expand
Jan 7, 2012This 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
Jan 9, 2012Dear EA,
We all know that you corrupt the poor developers who join your money-making operation, and I don't mind any more. I don't even care that you have sucked the soul out of Bioware, who used to be one of the best developers in the industry. It hurts, but I can deal with you killing talent in the way that you do. It's in your nature. I'm beyond complaining.
But killing Dragon Age? After all the promise the first game had? All that potential, just wasted? Even you, EA, must recognise that you've crossed a line too far this time.
So go ahead. Kill my favourite developers. Drain the life out of the whole industry if you have to. But leave Dragon Age alone. For the love of Ferelden, please, stop Mass Effect-ing what was once the greatest RPG franchise of this generation. Even you have to draw the line somewhere.
Jan 17, 2012The story of dragon age 2 has a number of problems but the most evident one is that it doesn't have any relevance to the dragon age series in the slightest. In fact It feels more at home in the assassins creed universe. My best guess at bioware's thinking is that they wanted to cash in on the success of the assassins creed games and were pushed for time by EA their publisher. The gameplay would be fine if not for the fact that this game bears the title of dragon age 2. The second game in a series is supposed to improve upon a game, refine and add to the mechanics and deliver a better experience. Dragon age 2 dumbs down already simple combat bringing it to a pathetic hack and slash style. Complexity and large numbers of abilities have been thrown out due to bioware attempting to build the game for a controller one of the worst design decisions that can ever be made yet I see repeated over and over. Basically the game is a simplified husk devoid of any interesting lore or gameplay. Do not waste your money on this garbage.… Expand
Jan 27, 2012Scoring 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
Feb 28, 2012Certainly a mixed bag, Dragon Age 2 gets a lot of unfair criticism in among the well landed blows. Coming out only 16 months after 2009's Dragon Age: Origins, the follow up feels rushed and unpolished. The new more action oriented combat system, while pacier than its predecessors pedestrian fighting, also lacks some of the tactical planning, and could have done with more development. Worse is the repeated use of the same maps over and over, which makes the exploration feel repetitive. However, despite the quick turnaround the story does not suffer much for it. Eschewing the epic battle against all odds of the previous game (and many other game narratives), DA2 is a character study of the (male or female) protagonists Hawke and his or her friends and family, told over 7 to 10 years, in 3 main acts. Fully voiced (using the same kind of dialogue wheel system from Mass Effect) and well written and acted, there are many subtle and clever subplots and arcs woven through the main narrative, mostly involving a cast of well developed characters all with back stories ranging from intriguing to powerful. BioWare have at least tried something different with the storyline, and while it does get a little restrictive towards the end, it is mostly successful. If it had had a few more months to solidify the story, and polish up the gameplay and environments, it could have as much improved over the original as Mass Effect 2 was to Mass Effect. However, the gameplay problems, while disappointing, are by no means terrible, and the game is still an entertaining experience for 30-40 hours or so. That hate this game gets is certainly extremely excessive, and it should not deter BioWare in trying out different types of story to tell.… Expand
Mar 3, 2012The first RPG game I ever played was KoTOR. From then on I was instantly hooked, even calling it my favorite game. I bought every Bioware release from then on. Although Oblivion eventually replaced KoTOR as my favorite RPG/game of all time, Bioware continued to make me happy. I enjoyed Jade Empire, loved Mass Effect, and honestly I was mesmerized by Dragon Age. No story has fully engrossed me as Dragon Age did. The characters were real. The plot was fantastic and felt as though ti was fully customizable and world that was yours to develop. Lets get this out of the way first, I have always been a console boy. Now onto DA2.... I have never been more let down by a video game. EVER. If you thought Mass Effect 2 was bad then you're in for a rude awakening. Mass Effect 2 at least kept me interested in the ME world. I have completely lost interest in everything relating to the DA world. I was bored the second hour into this game. The combat, is only slightly entertaining... for the first couple of fights. There is no tactical advantage at all. The only reason I finished the game was to finish the game. The game was pure filth. I honestly cannot say any more that anyone else hasn't said. Even those who have been at Bioware for years agree with most here. If you go to Wikipedia you'll read this:
During the pre-development of the game, Brent Knowles, a veteran lead designer who had been with Bioware for a decade and the central figurehead behind Dragon Age: Origins, decided to resign during the designing process of Dragon Age II and eventually left the company, stating "I'm not the same person I was when I started, and BioWare isn't the same company." He later went on to clarify his decision to leave, elaborating "I never thought Dragon Age 2 would be a terrible game. It was just that a highly cinematic, action-leaning RPG wasnâ… Expand
Mar 5, 2012This game was a big disappointment for me. A huge step down from the original. The world is so incredibly small and limited. What I thought was the starting city turned out to be the entire game.
If you haven't played Dragon Age Origins 1st, absolutely don't buy this. Play the original.
Mar 6, 2012Put shortly, an abomination. Completely disregarding any input from the player or its predecessor, this game is, again put shortly, a solipsistic mess. This is an un-game. Its greatest positive influence is that it makes other games better in comparison. Not seem better, but actually making them better games by its mere existence.
Mar 19, 2012I played this game a lot. Probably too much, come to think of it. There are many unfair criticisms being lobbed at this game, but as in everything, all the unfair accusations have a root in fair complaints and problems, which Dragon Age II has in abundance. The game is much more linear than it's predecessor, which did alienate a lot of the original fan base. But I find more often than not that RPG gamers are among the worst for their rabid attachment to the past. Games evolve, and that's the way it is. I treat this as an evolution of the first game, and I do believe there were several missteps. Maps were reused, only one environment for the whole game, limited DLC, etc. These things all bugged me, but I took something else away from this game. A promise, for a war akin to the battle against the Reapers in Mass Effect, only this time on an ethnoreligious basis. Only time will tell if Bioware can deliver their promises; and they've done good so far.… Expand
Apr 3, 2012If this game didn't have the "Dragon Age" in it's title, it wouldn't have gotten any attention. It's a crap game with a good trailer. The story is confined to the same city and dungeon maps you'll see till you can run through them blind. Your "friends" can barely be called that as they all just pine over some obsession for the course of the game. The character customization is far less than previous or comparable games. And the combat isn't fun or tactical. The RPG element have been stripped to appeal to action gamers. They want a wider audience, but it just ends up alienating anyone older than 12. Finally, the story tries to be dark. It's not dark. It's damn bleak. The vast majority of the people you meet are the worse for the encounter and nothing you do can ebb a coming war. At the end, everything stands in ruin and you just walk away. Personally, I don't play videogames to be depressed. I play to save the world and be the hero. They went for dark, they hit train wreck tragedy.… Expand
Apr 20, 2012Don't listen to haters, this game is brilliant. However, be warned that DA2 it's not like DAO, in any sense (well, just in the name maybe). This is a completely different game, with different mechanics and a diferent protagonist. To me, much much better than the first game regarding gameplay and narrative.
May 19, 2012Unfortunately for Bioware, Dragon Age WILL be judged and compared against its predecessor, Dragon Age: Origins. This is something to be expected, and this review is written with such a thing in mind.
And indeed, compared to its predecessor, this game fails to to be equally or even half as good. The combat feels more arcade-like, the abilities watered-down and samey. For me, the worst thing Bioware did was essentially eliminate what made DA: O so much fun; the need to use strategy during battles, the need to pause and plan out actions, the use of the abilities of different classes to form a strategy (for example a mage's cone of cold spell to freeze an enemy and stonefist, or a critical hit, to shatter him, and many other combinations). Another, very cheesy aspect of this game was that some of the characters' weapons and armour would automatically upgrade with their level, and for other characters you had to purchase specific upgrades. I'm not an autist by any means, but part of the fun of DA: O was setting up your characters with the correct equipment.
Atmosphere was also another thing I found lacking in DA II. In DA: O, you really got a sense that you were fighting the Blight (especially when you were at Camp). In DA II, the story doesn't seem to have had any effort put into it, the characters feel boring and uninspired . Just think of Sten, Morrigan, Oghren, Wynne and other DA: O characters, all of which were interesting in their own way. It just feels boring.
This is by no means a complete review, as I'm not so great at structured writing, but these are indeed my thoughts. My cents.… Expand
Jul 3, 2012This game, along with Fable 3, destroyed my RPG soul in the space of six months, as these two releases made me realise that big studios no longer give a monkeys about producing a technically proficient game; rather, they're more interested in rushing a half finished product out the door as soon as possible to bring in the cash.
My proof? The game is graphically inferior to Dragon Age 1, for a start. Not really sure how that's possible but it's true. The script has either never seen an active revision by a team of writers before release, or the whole team are raving idiots. This is the same company that brought us the amazing Jade Empire... it's beggars belief a game of this low quality passed through their doors.
Gameplay? Awful. So very dumb to the extent that this is a generic hack and slasher with little to no requirement for strategy. Again, in stark contrast to the first game. Character development - something that should be a standard for an RPG, right? Nope. Nothing. In fact, three months after playing this title I dare you to recall three names from it. The sound effects and general atmosphere, so immersive in DA1, are completely gone. So how about the ability to move around the open world, discover places etc.? Nope, it's as linear as they come. In fact, it's almost a dungeon crawler. DA1 let you off the beaten track for a while which worked, even if you had to go back to the main story after a while; DA2 doesn't let you do this at all, ever. This would be forgivable, if the story was fine tuned and memorable, but no, no, no. It's completely generic and something your average 15 year old emo could write in a week. The completely irony is that if they'd taken the original Dragon Age graphics engine and overall game and just slapped a new story on it with reskinned characters, then they'd have had a hit. Instead, they managed to balls up everything (and I mean everything; not one single improvement and no redeeming qualities introduced) on the previous game.
So thanks Bioware and Lionhead, you've destroyed my gaming innocence and the long held hope that some gaming studios actually gave a monkeys about making a decent game first and a profit second.
The worst game of 2011 when taking into account the overall execution and expectations of the title. So bad, that I can no longer play Dragon Age: Origins without feeling angry about the franchise as a whole.
So, just like Fable 3, this is potentially a franchise killer. A heartless, soulless train wreck of a game that doesn't deserve so much as $10 from anyone unlucky enough to find this in a bargain bin somewhere down the line. A game so bad that whenever I check for a review of a new game on a website, I check to see what score they gave Dragon Age 2. If it's anything over 6/10, I move on, as it'd be a ludicrous score. For me, 2/10, and those two points are solely for the fact that the game works when you put the disc in and it responds to the actions of your control pad. That's it.… Expand
May 25, 2012Dragon Age 2 is way different from Origins, mostly in bad ways. Storywise it is very loosely connected with the original. Warden is barely mentioned just like everything else from Origins, though there a a couple of short fun cameos. Moreover much of the lore is neglected, for example in Origins Abominations were described as the worst beings ever and there are only some. During DA2 the player however fights hundreds of Abominations and if mages are willing to reject their humanity so easily I just can't side with them, although otherwise I feel they're harshly oppressed and templars are the enemies.
The story of game itself has 3 loose and incoherent acts with focus on templar oppression of mages. The concept is original and refreshing, but execution is half-assed. Aside from that there are no proper sidequests, which are replaced with eavesdropping fetch quests that absolutely suck. Game area is also awful centering just on 1 ugly barren city with a couple of small dungeons and such areas that are used over and over and over.
Some people like the new more active combat, but I hated it. It's just smashing attack button with special moves thrown out as soon as possible. What completely ruins the system is the waves of spawning enemies. Even the smallest of fights becomes dragged and there is almost no planning or strategy possible. This is the first game ever in which I decided to lower the difficulty to easiest possible even though I didn't get stuck, but I just wanted to shorten the battles. There are also less skills and customization options than in Origins.
On the positive notes Bioware still knows how to write characters, sort of. Varrick especially is great and he gets some support. Not every character is good though, and romances are absolutely horrible. Additionally I was surprised how at the very end I had troubles deciding when the time of the big choice came, the point-of-no-return was set up well and from there on the game got kind of interesting. At the very end I was even looking forward to seeing more.
Summary: Dragon Age 2 is mostly terrible. It looks bad, it sounds bad, story is disconnected and retconning, gameplay is yawnworthy. None of the big things work. However there were some good scenes and conversations, which don't manage to save a lot. On the plus-side they managed to have me intrigued enough to wish for Dragon Age 3, but if it looks to be of the same rushed quality I'm not buying it even at half price. This game just feels rushed and obsolete, there was no reason to make this game other than to milk gamers.
Jun 13, 2012A 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.
Oct 23, 2012This is the worst video game i have ever played without a doubt. You will go to the same cave 100 times, and each time the game will rename the cave, telling you it is a new and mysterious place you have never seen before. And then its just the exact same cave. Bioware has no shame for releasing something like this.
Jun 25, 2012Bad game. Bioware took everything I loved about DA:O,and destroyed them in DA2. Stiff, locked, and awkward hack and slash really messed up DA2 for me. The characters in DA2 is no where as interesting and heartfelt like Origin. What happened to the many choices I can pick? Why am I getting a choice wheel? This is not f'n Mass Effect. Also, Tons of fetching/killing quests that will have you backtracking the same map over and over and over again. DA2 and ME3 really dropped my confidence in Bioware's game quality.… Expand
Jul 2, 2012After playing the marvellous game that was the original Dragon Age this will be nothing but a disappointment to any person who chooses to play it. I suggest you instead use your time wisely and instead grind you way to the next prestige level in Call of Duty
Sep 20, 2012Requires 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
Sep 5, 2012For 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)… Expand
Oct 28, 2012Dragon 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.… Expand
Dec 12, 2012There is allot wrong with this game. It feels like it was rushed and released far to quickly. The repeated environments and rather poorly rendered character models (aside from Isabella) are proof of this. HOWEVER, production SNAFUs aside, the game is pretty good. I loved the almost all the characters (I just love Merrill to bits!) Story is really dark and really focuses on the Templars vs Mages theme. A really clever comparison to the church vs free thinking of the dark ages (but I'm sure the average gamer didn't notice this.) Overall: A good really good game with a great story and solid combat mechanics, but it should have left in production for at least a further 6 months. This is what happens when you rush. A shame.… Expand
Jan 4, 2013Dragon Age 2 is a bad game. The Bad: The game is short almost feel rushed, the story is lacking beyond believe, characters are not memorable, encounter areas get recycled throughout the game, your followers can't equip armor, the soundtrack is bad, enemies appear out of nowhere. The Good: Mediocre combat mechanics. It's almost as if they didn't really gave their all to create this game, and i think the one to blame should be EA, the publisher who probably rushed this game and didn't gave Bioware enough time to make yet another master piece.
I bought this game on day one solely because it's "little" brother Dragon Age: Origins was such a great game, and i was disappointed.
When comparing Dragon Age 2 to it's "little" brother Dragon Age: Origins, you start to wonder what went wrong. it takes some effort to ruin such a game, especially when the ground have been taken care of by their previous game.
There were days that i swore loyalty to Bioware, those days are gone.… Expand
Feb 16, 2013Worst. 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!!… Expand
Feb 4, 2013A 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
Apr 7, 2011This was an extremely solid game with a ton of content, a lot of fun dialogue and gameplay which was improved over the original. The story is a bit fragmented and the ending is an enormous cliffhanger, but the amount of content and dialogue available to you in this game makes up for such shortcomings.
In my opinion this was overall a much better game than the original.
May 30, 2011What the **** is everyone **** about? "Oh, this game is SO NOT DRAGON AGE ORIGINS..." Okay, what the hell is the game's name? DRAGON AGE 2! It's a different game you ****ing idiots. I for one love this game, and I cannot put it down. Don't listen to these emo **** DA2 is a solid game in its own right. Sure it may be different, but it's still a solid RPG. Bioware, you're doing a great job. Don't listen to some dumbasses who are cutting themselves because you changed the battle system on them.… Expand
Apr 6, 2012This games predecessor Dragon Age: Origins is one of my top 10 favorite games of all time, one of my top 3 favorite Bioware games, and Bioware is my favorite game developers of all time, so naturally I had high hopes for this game, and it for the most part didn't disappoint, it's not as good as Origins but it manages to be a fantastic RPG that you'll love every hour and night of sleep missed you spend playing this fantastic game, it took me a little ove 33 hours to beat, Origins was a reminder of old school RPG's, this one feels more modern but manages also to maintain that classic feel, there is a lot of content to sink into, lots of side quests and hidden secrets to find, the story is great and really sets the pace for future entries in this fantastic series, and kudos to Bioware for doing something different with it's story than other RPG's and it's previous ones, also you have the ability to import you save from Origins, granted it doesn't do much other then alter a few lines of dialog and cameo appearances, but it's still a pretty sweet addition, and the characters as always with Bioware games are fantastic and extremely likable but not all are Bioware's best, the graphics are better than Origins but there not all that great, and the soundtrack and voice acting are fantastic and they gave us the conversation system of their Mass Effect series and my only complaint are that sometimes your character will talk on his own, but for 99.99% of the game your making the decisions but it's still irritating to have my character talk without my permission, and the gameplay has been changed from the originals, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worst, on the plus side it's more interactive so your not just watching battles play out, but on the down side a lot of the time your just mashing the A button until you abilities recharge, but it's still fun, so in closing it's not as good as the first, but Bioware once again created a fantastic game and RPG that I'm already wanting to play through again, and I'm going to try and play the DLC in the near future, once again I'm blown away with what Bioware has done, and this game has only increased my faith in this fantastic company and this fantastic series, in my personal opinion this is a must play, truly fantastic.… Expand
Jan 7, 2013This game is awful. For me, not because of the scenes, graphics, etc. but because of the terrible game play. The story telling makes feel like a marionette whereas my choice could make it different in DA1. The equipment design is a miracle and Bioware never thought to give patch on them instead of thronging DLCs for money. I will not pay DA3 ever.
Apr 13, 2011Dragon Age II suffers from the same ailment as Fallout: New Vegas - people were expecting their worlds to be completely shattered, and when it wasn't, they went onto Metacritic and started trolling the threads and giving the game "0" ratings. This game is not a 0. It's not a 5. It's also not a 10, but a 7 or 8 is fair. Why? It's a fun game! It might not be what you expected, and it might have eliminated some of the elements that you enjoyed from DA:O, but it's also drastically better in a number of ways. What shocks me is how people call this came "dumbed down" in relation to DA:O, when really very few mechanical elements changed between the games. First, I don't see why people are saying the combat system got a "complete overhaul" and is "dumbed down." It's the exact same combat system, except you have to press A over and over to make your character use his/her basic attack, instead of your character simply automatically attacking the target. There's still the same hot buttons, same radial menu, same tactics slots for your companions, same everything. Combat is nearly identical in terms of interface to DA:O, except now it LOOKS a whole lot cooler. Not dumbed down in the least, unless you thought DA:O was dumbed down, too. Second, the use of the Mass Effect dialogue wheel vastly improves conversation, making the story far more engaging. Playing a character with a discernible voice and personality is a lot more fun than playing an awkward mute. As is typical of Bioware games, the characters are well-developed; the voice-acting and writing are excellent, and the story is unfolded in an interesting, compelling manner. Again, maybe you can call this dumbed-down, but many people happen to prefer it.
Third, the graphics are markedly improved over the original. DA:O couldn't hold a candle to many of its contemporaries, including Mass Effect 2. DA2 stands on its own as an impressively designed, intricately detailed and beautifully rendered world. Though somewhat limited in scope (you'll spend most of your time in Kirkwall), you'll embark on enough excursions outside - to mountains, coasts, mines, the Deep Roads - that you won't feel claustrophobic. Finally, I think the classes and skill trees are much more intuitive and well-balanced than in DA:O. You also level more evenly than in DA:O. To me, the skill trees makes more sense and have real benefits associated will completely filling out certain ones as opposed to dabbling in several. There are some really diesel abilities and passive traits in the latter portions of the skill trees, and it gives your characters more defined roles. There are some issues, as it's not a perfect game. The inventory system hasn't been fixed, and you still end up collecting a lot of meaningless and essentially worthless loot. While you still have to fully customize your own character's weapons, armor and accessories, you can't customize your companions' armor (still their weapon/shield and accessories, though). You CAN purchase "upgrades" that add slots for runes, increase attack, defense, etc. It seemed like they were thinking of implementing Mass Effect 2's no-inventory system, but abandoned it at some point without removing the hallmarks of its once-intended existence. It's also annoying when you think you've eliminated a group of enemies, only to find that a new group has spawned ON TOP OF YOUR RANGED ATTACKERS. However, it becomes very obvious early on that this is something that will happen in every battle. If you keep getting killed by these rear-spawning enemies, you're not playing the game intelligently. The game isn't going to stop doing it just because you don't like it, so be aware of that and move your mages/archers as SOON as you finish off a set of enemies...not that hard. Also, there are a good number of fetch quests which don't relate to the main story line. Many of them have interesting little side stories, but they go get old after a while. However, the storylines carry over from act to act, and the quests you get in later acts depend on your actions in prior acts. This adds an interesting element to the consequences of player actions, and it gives the game high replay value.
Overall, I think people rushed to judgment on this game. It really is still very, very similar to DA:O, with more of an illusion of change rather than actual, substantive changes. The important facts are that the graphics are better, the story-telling is better (although the story itself may not be), combat is more fun and it remains a highly customizable experience within the confines of its more linear storyline. Not a bad game at all, and definitely not worth all the 4.5 it current has per user reviews.… Expand
May 16, 2012An average RPG, that's below the Bioware standard.
Whereas Bioware used to be the flagship RPG developer, this was the game that sunk their boat.
It feels more as if playing a spin-off series than a serious sequel. There are time when textures and models in the game will look great; and then you'll suddenly see hundreds of things that look like they were made 10 years ago.
The story feels rushed and there's nothing coherent or engaging about it. It's like the entire game is just a series of sidequests.
When you do quests you will see the same cave 100 times. They actually literally use the exact same cave design over and over again, it is a laziness you often don't see in RPGs these days, what were they thinking?… Expand
Mar 7, 2012Dragon Age II is my biggest letdown in video game history. DA: Origins is one of my favorite games this generation, and I was very stoked for DA2. Alas, I was just set up to be disappointed, everything that was great about the original has been replaced or removed. The entire game takes place in one city, unlike Origins, where you went from city to city in the world. The combat has been sped up, dumbed down, streamlined, however you want to describe it. The combat devolves into mashing the attack button over and over and OVER. Against mobs that respawn out of nowhere, simply to inflate the game's difficulty by throwing more enemies at you, instead of making the enemies harder. If I wanted to mash the attack button all day long, I would play Dynasty Warriors, I thought this was an RPG? The writing and the "story" are laughable, especially by BioWare standards. All in all, a major letdown and the start of a once great video game developer going down the toilet. R.I.P. BioWare.… Expand
Apr 17, 2012Not a bad game, but it's not what it should be.
It's really hard to find any improvements over the Origins. The graphics are technically better but the art style is worse (locations are empty, characters are to "clean"). I like that the combat is faster and the animations are more dynamic (it's really cool to watch your mage casting spells) but they have overdone it (mages make pirouettes, rogues teleport, warriors fight with swords twice the size of you character). The endless waves of enemies that spawn out of nowhere is the worst aspect of the game to me (THE WORST!). The story is meh and player impact on it is very small.… Expand
Mar 23, 2011After finishing the game, I can say that while I had fun playing it, I was pretty disappointed; mostly by the story. I feel that, very similar to the differences between Mass Effect 1 and 2, this game was much simplified compared to Dragon Age: Origins while the graphics and actual gameplay were greatly improved. The only difference from the Sci-Fi Bioware offerings is that Dragon Age 2's story is much worse than ME2, and it isn't quite as polished. I'll go further into my problems with the story (spoiler filled) later in the review, but here is my problem at its most basic. The whole game just feels like a series of side missions, there isn't any over-arching story or conflict. I can boil the story down to the following 7 parts:
1. Spend hours and hours earning money to go into the Deeproads
2. Go into the Deeproads for about an hour or two
3. Kill more time waiting for the Qunari problem to boil over
4. Fight the Qunari
5. Kill some more time waiting for the Mage vs Templar problem to boil over
6. Pick either crazy side and kill the other
7. Game Over
Regarding the gameplay itself, while the responsiveness of the action is greatly appreciated, it quickly turns into a button masher, especially for fighters and rogues. There are very limited skills, basically they were all copied and pasted from DA:O. The skill trees are very annoying, as some things are completely useless but you have to purchase them if you want the better skills in that tree. They started a good idea by allowing you to upgrade skills, but I wish they had further developed this. In battle, I generally only had 3 or 4 skills I used in battle, then I'd wait for them to refill while spamming the A button. I wish there were more special attacks or combos, instead of the multitude of attribute changing skills that take up an exorbitant amount of stamina, and even uses percentages to further eliminate any benefit of leveling up your stamina. One addition I'd gladly welcome in the next dragon age game, would be some sort of leveling system for the basic attack animations. It'd be nice to have different patterns you could choose and upgrade, to reduce some of the dullness of the button mashing gameplay. There were surprisingly many glitches and problems, most glaringly with the save system. I'd say that almost every other save would fail. These fails were best when the system realized some sort of problem and gave an error message (happened very often). The next worse, was when it appeared the save succeeded, but when you tried to load it the file was corrupted. The only way to tell this has happened is to look at the save, and if the text is blank the save failed (happened often). So if this is your last save, make sure it worked before quitting your game. The last and worse save problem is when the autosave fails, and the save bar just keeps turning and turning (happened seldomly, twice for me). Because of this, you can neither save nor load a game, and your only option is to turn off the system of go to the dashboard. Thankfully, you can save very often (I think I had over 300 saves) so all of these problems weren't too bad. There were also other problems with the animation, where some characters merged during conversation (I noticed this with Merril and Isabella in the Hawke Estate) and some weird stuff with Hawke (most notably his arm disappearing into his body). There were also a few problems with the story choices you made conflicting with each other, but I'm not sure if these were errors or just bad story telling. There were further glitches where the Exiled Prince DLC Achievements do not work at all, and the items you were supposed to get from DA:Legends and other offers didn't work. The Special Deliveries chest, while always having the quest insignia above it, could never be opened.
One of the most annoying and sloppy parts of the game, was the level design. The developers went crazy with the copy and paste button, with every type of dungeon, building, and outdoor area being exactly the same. Now I understand that this needs to be done in certain cases to minimize development time and cost, but they were just so sloppy and even lazy with the details. Specifically all of the maps for every area, it's always the same exact map. To provide some variance between the areas, all they do is lock doors in buildings, put up little rock road blocks in the outdoor areas, and pave over holes in caves. Yet the map still shows the area you can't go to. Now how hard would it have been to cut those parts of the map off, and copy and pasting the wall next to the door to make it look different. Related to this issue, why did Bioware take this apparently huge Dragon Age world, and limit your gameplay only to Kirkwall? Either Hawke suffers from some form of agoraphobia, or he had some magical ankle bracelet that won't let him/travel 1 mile away form the walls of Kirkwall.… Expand
Mar 23, 2011When I go to rate a game that I played I base my score off of my desire to continue playing that game from the time I first turn it on until the time I beat it. Games like DA:O, TES, and ME to a point; even when I wasn't actually playing the game I was thinking about what I wanted to do next or where I wanted to explore next. DA2 I really had to push myself through the game just to finish it. Don't get me wrong DA2 isn't a bad game by any means, it just isn't a great game. Some parts were improved over DA:O (combat, voices, and plot to a point) while other parts of the game seem to have been rushed through development (recycled environments, consequences of your decisions, and bugs) . I played this on the 360, which I think was part of the problem. The number of bugs I ran into was insane, a few bugs here and there are to be expected but multiple game breaking bugs is unacceptable.
All things said as a stand alone game (assuming you never played DAO) I think DA2 is a 6/10, meaning its barely above average.
If i were to rate DA2 with DAO in mind it would have to be a 4/10.… Expand
Apr 3, 2011This game would have received a 9 from me, but I am giving it a lower score due to the fact that it has very unacceptable game breaking bugs, which prevent people from finishing the game. I liked the game enough to forgive the bugs if only Bioware had been prompt in releasing a patch, but nearly a month after the release we are still waiting. I liked the game too much to give it a 0-1 like some hater have done, but I cannot give it a high score either, because as it currently stands the game is broken. I cannot encourage others to buy a broken game. I am surprised that the so called professional game reviewers could score the game so high, did they actually play the same game that I did, and did they do a complete play-through? It is really a shame, because unlike the a lot of the people who felt negatively towards the game, I was really loving it, until my Hawke character slowed down making him unusable in battle. I still want to love this game, but the way that Bioware is handling the patch is killing my respect for them. They make excuses, but no apology, they seem to feel they are entitled to screw up this way and it is perfectly acceptable, but it really isn't. I don't work in gaming, but considering that I have seen other companies put out patches in one-two weeks after release, why is it different for Bioware? Please Bioware, get it together. From the looks of the customer reviews you have already lost a lot of fans, and I would hope you would do everything in your power to hold on to the ones who still love you. Fix the game please, and QC future releases better. Please do not become the next SquareEnix - a company that used to make good games but now just pisses fans off.… Expand
Apr 7, 2011Dragon Age 2 was a let down from the previous Dragon age game. The more "Spartan" like fighting scheme did not work as well as I first thought. It became less about tactics and became more "Get Money!" and endless pressing of the attack button. It was a good game with a plot that did not enjoy me Although it was a good enough game to play to pass the time.
Apr 10, 2011This game, the storyline, the quests and the characters are all fantastic! In particular interactions between party members as you walk around really bring them to life! The combat animations and sound effects are perfect, defeating hordes of weak enemies has never felt so satisfying for me, you can really feel the force behind your attacks!
The only reason this doesn't get a perfect ten is because of the lack of 'heroic stats' that was present in DA:Orgins, which kept track of the damage dealt, received, strongest enemy defeated etc. for all your characters. If that could at some point be modded in, this would be one of my favourite games ever!… Expand
Apr 25, 2011This game is a mixed bag both for newcomers to Dragon Age and to players of Origins. On the one hand, the conversation and elements of combat are improved. On the other hand, there's lots to be disappointed in. This is the best game I've played that I'd rate a 7 out of 10. While disappointing in some aspects, it is still fun to play. Unfortunately, the overall story does not feel as epic as Origins, but the characters are good. There's a little too much sexual innuendo from just about every companion in the game, instead of one or two where appropriate. Probably the worst part of the game is the reuse of the same city, and the same 10 or less "zones" in 3 different Acts. Also, the maps are reused without updating inaccessible areas of the maps. Is the game fun? Yes, I think so, but be forewarned, it is not the game we all hoped for.… Expand
Jan 21, 2013The immense negative feedback to this game is completely ludicrous. The best argument is that it's not like Dragon Age: Origins, and that is completely unfair. The fact is that DA:O did a few things better than DA2 does, and that DA2 does a few things better than DA:O did. The combat isn't better or worse, it's just a different style. DA:O may have had a more epic tale, but DA2's focus on one man's family and struggle is of a different tone. The characters are still brilliant, and the dialogue is still entertaining. The more defined art style choices help improve DA2. The boss battles are epic, and the DLC is high quality with variety of missions including brawls, hunts, stealth, etc. The best thing to come out of DA2 is that if Bioware takes the best bits of DA2 and blends them with what people loved about DA:O, then Dragon Age 3 will be a truly fantastic classic of a game. Don't listen to the negative reviews, as they all seem based in hatred of change. DA2 is not a step backward nor is it a step forward....it's a step sideways that allows the Dragon Age franchise to fine tune it's personality, style, atmosphere, world, and gameplay.… Expand
May 1, 2011Faulty 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.
Apr 22, 2011Above 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.