User Score
4.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2229 Ratings

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  1. Apr 10, 2014
    1
    Combat dumbed down. The art-style changes made since DA:O are awful. Companions are mostly bad and boring. Re-used areas all the bloody time! The game is a disaster and the biggest disappointment I had experienced with Bioware.

    The 'awesome' button killed the game. I hope that it won't kill the franchise when DA:Inquisition goes live.
  2. Mar 18, 2014
    7
    While most people try to compare this game to Bioware's other games and along with it, the previous title in the series. I'm taking a different approach to the review of this game. Sadly this game wasn't as fun and didn't hold the same replay to me as other games of the game genre, However it's worth a few play throughs just to see all the stories at the beginning. Not to mention the game play is solid, and the story isn't half as bad as the others make it out to be. Having played many games in this genre this is one of the top 3 choices for me when I feel like playing an action RPG. Expand
  3. Mar 3, 2014
    6
    On a technical level dragon age 2 outshined origins.
    Pros:
    Better graphics but just below average.
    Gameplay is better. But nothing special.
    Fully voiced character.

    Cons:
    Repititive.
    Boring.
    Not very open.
    Bad facial animations that detract from the experience.
    No feel for impact in gameplay, feels flat.
    Bad setting.
    Worse characters.
  4. Feb 17, 2014
    0
    Once again bioware destroyes a series with their second game...
    Its mass effect 2 all over again...
    Everything is so dumbed down and minimal you feel like you are playing a game made for retards...
    This game killed the series and bioware is never getting money from me again!
  5. Feb 6, 2014
    9
    Gameplay is where DAII was the weakest, though the Xbox version felt more RPG-y than the PC version. I never finished it on Xbox, though as far as I got, it wasn't glitchy or anything, just not the best combat system. This deserves more love than it gets.
  6. Jan 19, 2014
    0
    Do not buy it. It's a s**t without any sense... It's not an RPG it's a poor arcade game unable to give you anything just leave it on the shop shelf. I don't understand: is there a connection between the creation of the origin platform and the sharp deterioration of the games produced by electronic arts? The witcher 2 it's thousand times better
  7. Jan 4, 2014
    9
    This game is an example of how great an RPG can get. The character creation is extensive and how you can integrate what you did in DA Origins makes me want all other RPG's to have that feature. The graphics are good and the world is well made and the quests are well made. Definitely my 2nd favorite RPG trailing only the mighty Skyrim. My only problem is the game might seem confusing until you play the game for a few hours and you get the hang of it. Definitely recommend it for all who love The Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect, or lovers of a well made RPG. Expand
  8. Dec 31, 2013
    0
    This game is not only one of the most disappointing sequels ever made but a terrible RPG overall, to boot. It feels like a rush job EA ordered Bioware to put on the market to fill the void in their schedule before Mass Effect 3 came out. If you did not play the first Dragon Age game, you might think this is okay, at best. If you loved the first game, however, you’ll most likely find Dragon Age 2 an abomination worthy of being hunted down by Templars.

    There is no continuation of any loose threads from the DA: Origins story other than a few characters making lame cameo appearances. This despite a cliffhanger ending where Morrigan (and possibly your Warden character, with her) disappear through a mirror portal to an unknown location. Instead of bothering with any of that stuff, Bioware thought you might enjoy playing the life of Hawke, a refugee who ends up in the city of Kirkwall and stays as far away from the plot of DAO as possible. So what does he do? Well…nothing, really. Just wanders around Kirkwall & its environs.

    To give you something to compare this to, imagine that the second Lord of the Rings movie decided to take a break from all that heavy stuff about Frodo, the One Ring, Sauron, etc and instead followed the life of a guard in the village of Bree. That’s what Dragon Age 2 is like.

    This is doubly disappointing since the story & characters in DA2 are completely uninteresting and silly. It’s like reading fan fiction. There are a few returning, minor characters from the first game who were pretty cool there but are ruined by Dragon Age 2’s dull-witted dialogue & stupid plot choices that cannot be changed no matter what. Oh and pretty much everybody but Hawke’s sister and the dwarf guy are bisexual, which again, is silly and seems designed by a 10-year old boy: “I want male or female Hawke to be able to have sex with everybody!”

    The game tries to pretend like your choices make a difference but they ultimately don’t. The first game explored a very complex relationship between Templars & mages. DA2 turns everything DAO spent telling you about this relationship on its head. DA2 wants to paint a portrait of Templars just being jerks while mages are poor victims who should be set free. Except that every time you side with a mage over a Templar, the mage decides to turn into an evil demon to gain more power. This includes the head enchanter during the final part of the game. To me, that seems pretty conclusive proof that maybe the Templars are right. There isn’t anyone to root for and you end up killing pretty much everybody.

    The atrocity doesn’t stop at the story & characters, unfortunately. Gameplay is broken as all you need to do is talent up the dwarf’s crossbow damage. I literally ended up running around & spamming the attack button in every fight, including bosses. I barely even needed to heal myself except during a few fights. A huge letdown from DAO’s combat system that was very strategic and required you to pay attention to what you were doing to beat many groups of enemies.

    The most unforgivable sin this game makes, though, is that of its reused environments. It’s bad enough the story takes place over several decades, giving Bioware an excuse to drudge up the same old environment maps after a “10 year later” subtitle. However, they also reuse the exact same maps for supposedly different areas. One, in particular, is the “cave map” that appears whenever you go inside a cave dungeon. It’s not supposed to be the same cave every time, but IT IS the same cave. They don’t even do palette swaps or rearrange any items. The most they do will be to block off section of the map or start you from the opposite end to try and make it feel fresh. Ditto for the “mansion map” and “underground map”. It’s the laziest thing I’ve ever seen in a game, especially for a AAA budget game.

    To recap: uninteresting gameplay, terrible story, stupid characters, and walking again & again through literally the same maps for 30+ hours. If that sounds like fun, have at it. As far as I’m concerned, though, the Dragon Age franchise is dead well before its time.
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  9. Dec 30, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. All right fakers, enough, I'm sick and tired of this. Every review is the same and most have you only wrote one review. this is also the same with DMC. Dragon age two is amazing. I like the sense of style with the characters and even hawke. It sucks how he acts like sheperd but he's still a fun characters. the moves are excuted flawlessly for each class i have tested and the game provides challenges. The quest line is pretty interesting and varric's story telling is pretty funny. This game is great especially when you import a complete dragon age orgin's story which includes DLC. I especially liked the free day one dlc, the black emporium. This game should be looked by proffesinoal reviewers, not wannabes who get their fix off ruining good games. Expand
  10. Dec 16, 2013
    4
    If the title is not "dragon age", I might give it a 7 out of 10. The voice acting and the dialogue are good and often funny. The combat and customization is easy to adapt. The whole game is neat. The auto-saving is handy and well-done. However, it is supposed to be the sequel of the DA:origins, but it just goes horribly wrong.
    I didn't play many WRPG games, but I also never played a
    modern game where the game setting is A SMALL CITY. The abuse of reusing maps is just unforgivable. None of the characters is interesting. The romance is just dull. The story is way too linear and stupid to say the less. I am also amazed that Bioware surely has a twist way to turn an epic story to something beyond turd. Like in ME franchise, you think the whole plot is to unite everyone to fight reapers, but it turned out synthetics vs organics is the only core. In dragon age, you got the idea that unite everyone to fight the blight, but no, no, no, the actual and the only conflict in DA is Templars vs Mages. wtf, bioware. Expand
  11. Nov 11, 2013
    8
    I must be the only person in the world who preferred this game to dragon age 1, the game play was more immersive and the story-line was just plain better than the all to common line of the previous, whilst not so grand in scale the intricacies of this story were a cut above. If I were to criticise it in any way it would simply be that it is a lot easier than the first. If you enjoyed Kingdoms of Amalur or dragons dogma then this game is definitely worth your time. Expand
  12. Nov 11, 2013
    1
    could in the original). And I never knew who to choose, as they are all flat, shallow and extremely hard to sympathize with. They've also ripped of the function to actually do any real talking to them, meaning you're stuck with a bunch of idiots that from time to time will chit-chat with each other about "quirky" stuff. While this was a nice perk of the original game, in this game it just makes the game feel even less interesting.

    They've changed the dialog system as well. While you chose from different speech alternatives in the original, which often had a range of options besides the good or evil one, this game will provide you with three types of answer. The good one, the evil one, and the "funny" one. But the character will seldom say exactly what you wanted, as you won't know for sure what the outcome will be. I find the new dialog system to be shallow, and overall makes the conversations uninspiring. While the protagonist do have a voice over, I must say that I actually felt less attached to him/her because of it, as I thought it affected my roleplay in a bad way.

    They have tweaked the battle system, including giving it more of a hack and slash feel. This actually felt nice the first 10 minutes, but as you'll soon realize that there's about 5 different fiends in the game and that you'll for some unexplained reason keep getting attacked every 30 seconds, it stops being fun in an instant. And not only will you keep getting randomly attacked, they've also made the fiends come in waves; meaning you will keep fighting the same guys forever and ever before you're done and may proceed with whatever the hell you were supposed to do. The classical RPG feel is completely taken away as well. I often found myself wishing that there was an "auto fight" button to use, so that I didn't have to engage in any fighting at all.

    As for the story. I'm still not sure what the story is about. The game is sectioned into acts, but there's overall no real goal to it. You just revisit the same handful of places in the game over and over (with minor changes, a dungeon door may be closed in one quest, but open in another one. But it's still the same place revisited.) Doing fetch quests for NPC's you don't care for at all, and won't remember 10 minutes after you're done. The main story is just a couple of minor events badly folded together into something supposed to look like an adventure, I guess. The game also takes for granted that you do care for minor NPC's, but since they all look alike and just feels like slightly different versions of each other, you won't remember them and definitely won't care one bit for them. Your only motivation to do stuff in this game lies within the hopes that maybe, one day, something interesting may happen.

    Because there is, for instance, no satisfaction in trying to collect new, badass weapons and gear. You'll just have to sell most of the stuff you find, since your party members can't use most of it. I'm still unsure on what you may buy for all the money though, there's very little interesting things to spend the money on.

    The only thing I did like with this game, was whenever you got to revisit any of the characters from the original game. Which is about 2-3 minutes of this dreadfully long game. Whenever I got to see any of the original characters, it just made me feel agony over that I was playing this pile of junk, when I might as well just replay Origins for the umpteenth time.

    So there you have it! Dragon Age 2 is a game without any satisfactory fighting, story, dialog, characters, environments or quests. I wish I could get my money back.
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  13. Nov 6, 2013
    10
    I'll be honest, this is my favourite game game of all time. The combat is a huge step up and the story is extremely compelling, people need to stop treating this game like its a horrible game just because you like your precious dragon age origins so much and this game wasn't 100% the same
  14. Oct 9, 2013
    10
    Well you guys, I loved it. The characters, music and setting were all spot on. My only qualms about it was that it didn't develop much in the lore, because obviously the first Dragon Age was the first game and introduced a whole new world of fantasy to me as well as only being able to choose the one race to play as. The combat was a vast improvement where attacks felt more powerful and the skill tree was much more tightly focused with less useless "filler" spells. I think the only reason people hated this is because Bioware took the game in a different direction and focused on the one city and a genuinely unique story this time around instead of the clichéd "evil horde, one saviour to stop it" plot. PC gamers don't like change, which is why new things bomb. Dragon Age 2 actually put me in mind of Planescape in many regards since it's setting revolves around the one central hub, which is the city of Kirkwall, and a lot of the enjoyment from the game stems from your companions, all of whom were excellent in DA2 and easily the equal to, if not superior to those seen in Origins. Even Anders was given a much needed overhaul so he's not just an Alistair clone this time around. Expand
  15. Sep 24, 2013
    0
    Patético. Como juego es pésimo: la historia no es mala, pero está muy mal llevada, repetición de áreas ad infinitum (y más allá), detalles muy poco cuidados. Aburrido y repetitivo hasta la saciedad, con un combate simplificado a más no poder y un inventario de risa. Llamarlo rpg es insultar al género del rol. Ignoro cómo pudo alguien pensar que después de empezar una saga con algo tan bueno como DA:O y luego cambiar el formato hasta convertirlo en algo como ésto, iba a ser una buena idea. Expand
  16. Sep 18, 2013
    5
    This is a disappointment when compared to Dragon Age Origins. The story is haphazardly told, on the first release the combat is lopsided with difficulty spikes and cheap tactics(enemies that literally spawn on top of your weakest characters with no time to react or regroup), your characters are mostly one note individuals(they butchered the character of Anders), lackluster loot, button mashing combat, simplified ability tree's. However there is some joy to hear your party members converse with each other and the graphics are improved over DAO with a more unified art style. This is a lackluster sequel in nearly all ways and doesn't really let you PLAY a ROLE in the world of Dragon Age despite the illusion that you are. The story ends the same exact way every time, every major event that happens in the game happens the same way every playthrough, unlike DAO that allowed you to affect the major events through dialogue and gameplay choices. After the patches and DLC, this is playable and is only recommended for die hard fans of the series. If you're interested in Dragon Age, do NOT start with Dragon Age 2, it is a black spot on the world that will most likely turn you off to the rest of the series released. Expand
  17. Aug 30, 2013
    1
    Just boring as hell.

    When I played this game I was devastated. The complete change of artistic and gameplay direction was an unexpected and not at all pleasant shock.

    The worse aspect is the combat. Completely ruined. Enemies just spawn and spawn from nowhere, making any kind of tactics useless. Its just hack and slash and really dull. The character progression is streamlined, and
    it's OK I suppose but not very involving. You can't do anything with your companions and they aren't very interesting apart from a few exceptions.

    I loved DA:Origins and really wanted to like DAII. I tried to play this game for about 11 hours but just found the combat to boring and the story not interesting enough.

    I've sold it now and wouldn't recommend it to anyone, the worst of all worlds. It's just boring as hell.
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  18. Aug 18, 2013
    6
    Dragon Age: Origins was an incredible game for the depth of it's story and characters, the consistency of it's world, and the many twists and surprises that keep things quite interesting along the way. Big shoes to fill. And while Dragon Age II makes many cosmetic and interface improvements over it's predecessor, in the big picture it simply falls flat in trying to deliver anything close to experiences of DA: O.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You can pick it up in the bargin bin of most game stores now for quite cheap, which I'd say is the only way I can honestly recommend playing this game without feeling too let down.
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  19. Aug 7, 2013
    0
    It's unfortunate that this game was such a supreme disappointment, especially since the first Dragon Age was hailed as the glorious revival of the old-school fantasy RPG genre. The visuals and character designs are all a giant step back, as they are somehow markedly worse than it's predecessor and everyone looks like they're fresh off the pages of an independent comic book from the 90s. The combat feels more like a dumbed down Dynasty Warriors knockoff than anything that belongs in an RPG, and the strategic aspect has been left to the wayside as the solution to most encounters is to mash buttons against constantly respawning hordes.

    All of this would be forgivable, however, if the most important parts of any RPG were handled well: plot and characters. Unfortunately these aspects are once again nothing but a disappointment. The story is centered around one single, lifeless city that you aren't given a reason to care about and most, if not all characters seem like they were intended to only appeal to the one who created them. Nobody in your party is sympathetic or relatable in any way as they seem like gross caricatures who constantly act in extremes.

    I'm not sure who this game was made for. Fans of the first game will be put off because of the myriad changes that make the experience radically different in ways no one wanted. Fans of the RPG genre itself will be put off because game plays like an uninspired hack and slash title from a decade ago and the story is a jumbled mess that constantly trips over itself in attempts to be edgy and extreme. That, coupled with the fact that development was clearly handled by Bioware's B-team make the entire affair come across as a soulless cash grab.
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  20. Aug 1, 2013
    3
    I often wonder what people would have felt playing this game if its predecessor did not exist. Probably a little less let-down. DA2 is more intensive when it comes to combat, but that's not the problem. The plot is poor, characters are not that appealing, and it feels linear and simplistic. Might have done better as a large XBLA arcade game in some ways. Another nail in the coffin for Bioware.
  21. Jul 21, 2013
    6
    Dragon age: Origins was pretty great. The sequel has been dumbed down to be an action game with automatic healing and enemies appearing out of thin air. A sad example of what happens when studios try to go for a broader audience. Don't know if that worked here but at least RPG fans were disappointed.
  22. Jul 19, 2013
    0
    This is the most disgusting and miserable game that I played. I did not expect this from Bioware!
    A terrible battle animation, faceless companions, horrible redesign of the elves. I have no words that would express how disappointed me this trash!
  23. Jun 11, 2013
    8
    8. Not a 10. Not a 9. 8. Just saying so that y'all who loved Origins so much don't think I'm just gaga about the game. About Origins. I give it a 4 at best. I don't see why everyone liked it so much. Sure, you have your die hard RPGrs who will love just about anything. But really, why didn't Origins pass off into obscurity? The only reason I can think of is that there weren't enough other RPGs at the time of its release and that it had the stamp "BioWare" on it. Barring those two things I don't see how Origins ever made it off the shelves. Expand
  24. Jun 6, 2013
    0
    Have you ever played Dragon age Origins and felt you liked it? well dont g here, its the direct opposition of Origins.

    Nothing Works: Bad story, bland or boring characters and nothing to care about.

    Every thing is a mess.
  25. May 12, 2013
    9
    After hearing opinions and reading reviews, I'm convinced most people who despise this game do it for one reason only it is not Dragon Age: Origins. They try to justify their hatred for the game by blowing minimal flaws out of proportion. Here is my opinion.

    Dragon Age 2 has amazing combat. It is all subjective, and many would prefer the MMO-reminiscent auto attacking and occasional
    move selecting layout, but I highly prefer this more engaging, action-RPG "button mashing" style. The attribute trees have been cleaned up, the 3 classes now all have defined options and roles.

    The characters in this game are not shallow. I do get tired of listening to them all whine about their pasts and their personalities, but just because they are annoying does not mean they are weak. Most notably, Anders and Isabela have extreme character development depending on how your relationship with them is.

    And, yes, just to get it out of the way, the game has flaws. They overuse dungeons like there is no tomorrow, the NPCs eyes are unreasonably bright, the overall graphics are lackluster (but highly improved from Origins,) everyone has the same outfits and looks the same, the story is arguably weaker (depending on your tastes, I thought it was weaker,) and of course we were all led to believe Flemeth would play an important role in the beginning but she never showed up after the first act.

    The flaws are existent, but they are not deal breakers and they are not the meat-and-bones of the game. The combat is strong, the story is solid and the characters aren't a bunch of walking cliches. This is a GOOD game, it's just not Origins.
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  26. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    If DA2 came before Dragon Age origins, I think then that this would have worked a little better.

    Alas, this is not the case, and when we compare Dragon age 2 to Dragon age Origins, most of us feel disappointment, but if DA2 was a standalone game however, it would have done a little better in my eyes.

    Downgrade in graphics, lazy design, less customization, and a cast of characters I
    hated half of. The argument here is that DA2 did better on the action standpoint, but I disagree, and found that it was even less fun than the first game.

    DA3 will have to pull of a sodding miracle to save this game franchise, Bioware is going down hard, and not much can pull it's boots out of the fire from the damnation it received from this game, and ME3.
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  27. Apr 12, 2013
    6
    A game so hated because of its predecessor so loved. lol The amount of hate that DAII has gotten just goes to show how great DAO was, and how far from the mark its sequel was. DAII was a rushed game. They re-used the same caves/areas for most of the playthrough. They didn't have enough options for the player. There were more gay romance options than heterosexual, and your party mates kept trying to hit on you while you went on grand adventures lol. Even with the different answers/paths you can take, they all lead to the same ending lol. This is the last game I'll ever buy from Bioware, their mass effect series is overrated and this one is just bad and ppl know it. Expand
  28. Mar 15, 2013
    6
    As a huge fan of Dragon Age: Origins, I couldn't help but feel very disappointed by Dragon Age II. The gameplay whilst more fluid was made far too easy and basic for an RPG, It loses the thing that made Origins fun which was challenging tactical gameplay, the characters in DA2 are decent but they are not as good as the Origins cast and the decision to make the whole game take place in one city and some area's nearby it was a huge mistake and one of the most blatant examples of reusing locations, Dragon Age Origins felt huge in scope but DA2 feels limited, bland and disappointing, I hope BioWare can return to form with Dragon Age 3 because another game like DA2 would be a massive disappointment considering how great DA: Origins was. The game also has one of the worst endings I've seen in recent times, It's like BioWare doesn't know how to end games recently. Expand
  29. Feb 23, 2013
    7
    Dragon Age II is not BioWare's finest game, nor is it the most polished game they've ever released, but I think it's an underrated game whose finer qualities are overlooked because of its flaws. Inevitably it is compared to its predecessor, the superb Dragon Age: Origins. The first Dragon Age game was a labour of love, years in the making.

    Dragon Age II, given even half the time that
    BioWare had to work on DA:O, could have been another polished, memorable, well-loved game, albeit one that took risks and changed the formula of its predecessor. Instead, due to publisher pressure, they were forced to put out a game with recycled maps and less content and features than I suspect they would have liked. Its strength lies in its story, its characters, and the themes it contains. With Hawke they attempted to dissect the classic Hero's Journey, and I think they nearly succeeded.

    I refuse to believe that BioWare deliberately trolled fans by putting out an inferior product or were just looking to make a quick buck. Fans are welcome to gripe and nitpick about this or that detail they didn't like or this or that element they thought was poorly implemented or altogether absent. It wasn't a perfect game, but I believe the blame lies with the publisher and they hold executive power over the developers of games under their banner. Like LucasArts when they stupidly forced Obsidian to release Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords early in order to have it available for X-Mas, Electronic Arts made a critical error in forcing BioWare to release Dragon Age II before it was truly ready for public consumption. Blame EA if you must blame anyone.

    Underneath the messier, uglier aspects of Dragon Age II lies a good game, one that could have been a great game. I hope Dragon Age III will be the game that DA2 was never allowed to be. I hope it is able to strike a perfect balance between what made DA:O great and the things that worked well in DA2.
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  30. Feb 16, 2013
    2
    Worst. Bioware game. Ever. At least Mass effect 3 did a pretty good job of covering up its crappyness. With dragon age 2, however, bioware seemed to think it a rather amusing joke to throw as much said crappyness as possible at their consumers, AND BOY WAS THERE A LOT OF IT!!

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

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

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

    But the combat is more action oriented!

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

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

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

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

    This game is NOT AN RPG by ANY stretch of the imagination: it`s a witless hack n slash for six year olds, and should be burned in the streets along with similar games like mindjack and, lets count sand (okay, i made that up, but you get the point). Unless you`re six years old and don`t know any better yet, DO NOT buy this game!!
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  31. Feb 14, 2013
    7
    I am a huge DA:O fan, beat the game four times and got all the achievements except for some of the DLC. It was and still is one of my favorite games ever. DA: 2 is a decent sequal and a respectable game. Its terribly low reviews are a cause of two issues. Misleading PR and dramatically different style in both visuals and story.
    The Good. Dragon Age 2, was well polished visually and
    mechanically both in terms of stability and core game mechanics. Animations, cutscenes and voice acting are all well done, dialog and body movements when conversing received a much needed upgrade. Combat is fluid, visually pleasant, stable and easily accessible while retaining its difficulty to master. What is best about the improvements in combat is fundamentally it is still the same combat system, just flashier. For those who were die hard tactics and micromanagers in DA: Origins will still find all the challenge and depth if they knock up the difficulty rating (normal is far to easy).
    The game also makes cameos of prior characters and impressively they actually make comments and intertwine some events which occurred based upon your prior save.
    Some character quests and and core character events were well done and excellently pull some empathy and create suspicion and even worry.
    The best upgrade or improvement in my eyes for DA 2 is the conversation reactions and animation. They were sorely lacking in the first but was made up for by the fine writing and excellent voice acting.
    Much of the conversing with party members was improved, as with the first one, chatting and your actions impact your party and their attitude towards you. The implementation of the Rival Friend system was an excellent move which allowed you to purposely piss off the characters you hate and treat them like dirt without the worry of losing the benefits and stat bonuses or risks of leaving which the first game offered.
    The Bad. Most of the 'bad' stuff in the game really was not all that bad, but the DA:O fanbase simply did not want or expect certain changes.
    Truly the worst part about this game is its story. Although not the worst I have seen, played or read, it suffers more flank and critique because it is the sequel to DA: Origins. Origins had a massive and immersive story where everything and one felt like it belonged and all the choices and action which took place felt like they and you the character had weight and influence in the world.
    Much of these feeling is gone in the second. It removes itself from the beloved Ferelden and all its politics, characters and world which the prior game setup and established. The new story by (keyword here being contrast) contrast feels weak. It also makes no attempt to continue the original story, where they left off with many questions which I cannot say specifically due to spoilers.
    Streamlined RPG. This game is noticeably less customizable and very much less open than its predecessor. They removed the party armor system and simply have it upgrade by buying items in stores which have no visual reflection or upgrade on your party members. The only true weapon and armor customization you may have is with your character, even this though is oddly lacking in variety.
    Many people will disagree with me on this point; the loss of 'choose your own story' element. I loved the take back and traditional move DA:O did with its conversation. The old choose your dialog option took me back to my youth when I read those old choose your adventure style novels which heavily influenced the game. The new Mass Effect dialog wheel is not bad and helps make the conversations flow but I would have prefered the old dialog option.
    Lack of immersion. Never in the game, did I feel fully pulled into the story, or very attached to many of the characters. Their introductions were often random and usually had little impact or relevance to the story. Many of the quests you go about feel tacked on and are there simply as filler. Though to their credit, many of the side quest even if they were boring did get mentioned and had some consequences which affected later story.
    Some of the combat (events) felt very superficial. Like the whole purpose of the quest was just an excuse to go and kill something. Not like DA: O where several quests were literally you talking and making choices which would later affect the game.
    In conclusion, Dragon 2's biggest flaw is it is the sequel to a fantastic and possibly impossible to outdo game. Many of the issues with the first game were resolved and improved upon, while its lack of story polish and open world and adventure feel removed. Character dialog as a whole was less believable (I know its a fantasy game) and several characters felt forced or unnecessary. However, many decent story elements remain Narrative is strong, many actions of the first game influence the second. If you liked the fisrt one, its worth playing the second. Just expect some changes. Good and bad.
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  32. Feb 7, 2013
    6
    Ok this is my first review here and I read many negative reviews of this game, that's not completely true. Its main problem is that it's a sequel and as so, it's impossible not to compare with its prequel. The story itself is really appealing but there is nothing of the freedom of the first one (and its expansion). Reducing the exploration to a single city and some random external places simply does not work in a fantasy game. Maybe in a futuristic game where cities are giant, but here...
    And the dungeons: seriously? A couple of identical maps with just some different texture??? They even didn't bother of removing from the map areas not used in that particular cave!!! I spent hours searching to access a place displayed in the map before understanding that in some other exactly identical dungeon elsewhere that area was just accessible normally!!!
    It's not true that characters are flat, some are nice, some really intriguing, but again, do you want to compare Leliana from DAO with Isabela? No way.
    The combat is interesting, you basically control a party of 3 members but you can choose only 2 of them and use a combination of strength, agility and magic. At hard level it can be hard but just because the enemies appear from nowhere. If you can accept that the Darkspawns (demonic zombie-like creatures) could potentially rise from the ground, you simply can't accept humans appearing from nowhere in an harbour! You are almost constantly ambushed reducing possible tactics considerably. Things that were not happening in the previous game and that also makes mages almost useless, even because really depotentiated. So the best way? Pure strength and an healer just in case.
    The sound is average, nothing memorable, but it's not the first thing I look in a game. Surely I notice if it is very bad and this is not the case. Some cinematics are indeed really good.
    So why a vote of 6 and not lower? Well because if you don't compare the 2 games and for a moment you forget was developed by Bioware, a company that produced among the others Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect (I have all their RPGs) it's a decent game, probably with no replay value, but I played it and finished in few weeks because at least the plot was intriguing and I was hoping something interesting happened. I tried only 2 DLC, those that came for free with pre-order edition and they didn't add as much as the golem in DAO for example.
    An average game that will not stop me from waiting Dragon Age III, for any random player who wants to try an RPG there are better options, but if you read about it and love the settings (Thedas is a really interesting world) it's surely worth playing it.
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  33. Feb 4, 2013
    2
    A waste of time. The beginning was very promising. Interesting new talent system, good graphic, new world/adventures. So much to discover.... Ye not really. The first act was kinda good, but there will much more to see in the second? No! You walk the following 20 hours in the same dungeons. To be precise: There are only 2 cavemaps total, whatever cave you enter, you are on the same 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
  34. Feb 2, 2013
    6
    Combat is good, Dragon's are barely there, Story is hard to understand, graphics are good. You barely can understand the story, is there any sense? A C- for me
  35. Jan 25, 2013
    9
    Quite possibly my favourite Bioware RPG of all time. The framed narrative, the measured pace of the development of Kirkwall as you interact with it and the room it provides your NPC companions to grow in all cannot be recommended enough. Yes it has a few problems with the end narrative being pretty firmly on rails, and re-use of environments so if you think these things are going to be a problems I will see the game is not for you. Likewise if coming to it from an endless Dungeon Crawling D&D background, and just want to play more of the endless brownfest of Dragon Age:Origins then this sequel is set to disappoint. If However you are more of a Story based gamer, who has always felt that Bioware sells itself short on the NPC and narrative side of things prepare for a much improved and suprisingly enjoyable game.

    In a nutshell if your favourite tabletop RPG is D&D 3.5 stick with DA:Origins, if it is Exalted play Dragon Age 2.
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  36. Jan 23, 2013
    8
    Every time I play this game, at some point I can't help but imagine an EA exec telling a group of programmers at Bioware that there should be fighting at least once every 4 minutes and 30 seconds in this game. The battles, while fun, are often meaningless and repetitive, which is probably my biggest gripe with Dragon Age 2. This is a good game, however. The characters and setting were well executed and the RPG elements are still left in touch from the first game in the series. While there is definitely some lazy level-design, most of the game is more polished than the first Dragon Age. That said, I think EA has to stop promoting generic gameplay as an attempt to reach out to a broad consumer base. It didn't work in Crysis 2 and Dead Space, and it doesn't work well in this game either. The sales of those first two games and the current price of EA stock should be a wake up call: EA should let its developers get funky and stop trying to copy Activision's business model, cuz its just not working. Expand
  37. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    The 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
  38. Jan 7, 2013
    6
    This 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.
  39. Jan 4, 2013
    4
    Dragon 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.
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  40. Dec 29, 2012
    0
    I expected MUCH more. Dragon Age: Origins had an excellent concept and was much more enjoyable overall. This game definitely does not deserve to be part of the main series. The fact that you're forced to be in one town for most of the game shows how lazy EA is getting.
  41. Dec 12, 2012
    7
    There 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
  42. Nov 13, 2012
    6
    OK I have no clue what bioware was thinking when they made this game why did they change the game so much. Like when I heard they were making dragon age 2 I immediately perordered cause the first one was so good but as it turns out its half as good just with better graphics. I mean why not pick up were first left off why is that I only get the city to explore. I mean everything that made to first one good was left out. Though the combat was improved. The story was OK I guess just didnt stack up to origins. Plus it didn't mention anything about my character from origins nethier. Idk the game just felt dull and boring Expand
  43. Oct 28, 2012
    4
    Dragon Age 2 is a bad game. It may be a sequel to Origins in name, but the game itself tells a very different story, and that;s the ultimate problem. Not only is Dagon Age 2 a huge departure from the original, but it's also worse in almost every way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    At the end of the day, Dragon Age 2 is an uninspired mess of a game. While there may be some redeeming qualities to be found, it is without a doubt a step backward for the series. It does to many basic things wrong that the first game got right the first time. It fails to deliver compelling characters and a strong narrative. The world of Thedas has never felt smaller and Kirkwall is more of a prison than a city. My advice to anyone who enjoyed Origins and Awakening is to replay those great games and forget about Dragon Age 2. But if you absolutely must play it, I strongly suggest you rent it or borrow it from a friend.
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  44. Oct 23, 2012
    0
    This 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.
  45. Sep 20, 2012
    4
    Requires no brains to operate. STAY AWAY fans of Dragon Age Origins. As a long-time of Bioware, Dragon Age 2 for me was the first tangible indicator that something was really wrong with them and they were no longer interested in making great games--- only milking their franchises. The gameplay is bland, the dungeons freakishly recycled and the gameplay requires no brains. It you hate your money, burn it in the fireplace just don't buy this game. Expand
  46. Sep 5, 2012
    0
    For a game that really only had to improve on the fluidity of combat, they changed pretty much everything from the first game, for the worse I might add. Combat seems to be the only thing they got right, for the most part.

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

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

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

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

    Needed mods to enjoy:
    http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/mods/3194#content (Armor for Party Members)
    http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/mods/2407#content (All Skill Trees for Party Members)
    http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/mods/2186 (Reduce All Cooldowns)
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  47. Aug 23, 2012
    5
    I liked origins quite a bit but this sequel disapointed me. First, positive: Um... the loading screens were cool i guess. The writing had some funny bits, and there were... maybe two characters who weren't really annoying. So Negative: The choice of different races and histories are gone from the first game. You play as Commander Shep- i mean "Hawke". Speaking of Mass Effect the game has a similar dialogue wheel. You can choose between 3 types of dialogue Angelic, Evil or Funny. It's a pain in the ass because you aren't sure what Hawke will say so all of a sudden you'll mean to be intimidating but end up being racist. The actual gameplay isn't extremely different the major change is that instead of a single group of enemies you'll usually start a fight and then have to fight of several waves of enemies. This gets really tedious and can drag on a lot. The rpg elements are really dumbed down. The absolute worst part however is that there are maybe, if i'm being generous 20 different environments in this game. You'll be going throught the same areas about 5- 7 times each. It gets realy annoying. The story's not awful but there are some real annoyances. The framing device is good and it leads to one or two great moments since the narrator's somewhat unreliable. The party members are almost universally obnoxious though. All of them have One character trait and they neer shut up about. One guy used to be enslaved by a mage, so he never shuts about how he hats mages and being a slave. Other memorable characters include slutty pirate and naive elf girl who consorts with demons mage who is literally posessed by a demon. It's a bad sign when you should really have killed several of your party members. This game was clearly rushed. It's certainly not awful and it may be worth checking if you got it for like five bucks or just borrow it, or particularly like the setting but overall i'd say wait out and see what happens with Dragon Age 3. Expand
  48. Jul 3, 2012
    2
    This 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.
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  49. Jul 2, 2012
    0
    After 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
  50. Jun 25, 2012
    0
    Bad 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
  51. Jun 18, 2012
    0
    I created an account just so I could review this game.
    This is a sequel that takes a step backward in almost every area of the game.
    It doesn't even compare to Dragon Age: Origins.
    Skip.
  52. Jun 13, 2012
    4
    A disappointing sequel. It seemed like Bioware left their core fans behind in an attempt to try and gain a more mainstream audience. DA2 fell short do to things like: re-used maps, simplified combat, boring characters, a weak story, a lack of important decisions, locked companion armor and many useless items.
  53. Jun 13, 2012
    8
    Sure, the game is more mainstreamed and its a little easier. Boo Hoo. It is still fun and entertaining. The characters have depth and the voice acting is good. The story is weaker than the first but it is still good and entertaining.
  54. May 25, 2012
    3
    Dragon 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.

    *
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  55. May 19, 2012
    3
    Unfortunately 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.
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  56. May 16, 2012
    5
    An 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?
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  57. May 15, 2012
    5
    Yes, its dumbed down and no, its not really a RPG game anymore. Its a hack-and-slash action game with some RPG content in that you can chose which silly sidequest you want to do next and you can chose skills and attributes when you level up. The whole point with the baldurs gate series and neverwinter night and DA:1 was the delightful strategy moments in the battle. You planned your battle, you skills, your ability points, what characters to pick for what quest and so on. Forget all that. Just take the characters that bores you the least and spam powers until every spawning mob is dead.
    With that said, and realised, its actually kinda fun. Its actually a great hack-and-slash game. I sit in my chair and click until everything is dead, i loot some stuff, i click past conversations that only annoy me. But its not boring. Its not an RPG game, its not in the least challenging (and i play on the most difficult setting), but its casual fun. Therefore i give it a 5/10. Its ok. Not good, not bad, its enjoyable when you feel like you dont have energy to think.
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  58. Apr 28, 2012
    2
    Even without comparing it to the previous title, it's not a good game. But taking into account it being a sequel, 2 is a generous rating. Really.

    Let us begin with story. Entirely forgettable, detached from the former title, it didn't keep me playing at all. The certain... decision in its presentation actually detracts much from the experience than adds anything. Characters were bland and
    forgettable to the point I only remember one of them. My own "avatar" behaved stupidly, mostly because of bad representation of dialogue options that always seemed to mean the opposite from what I've planned.

    The graphics were good. But! Level design... Ugh. Reusing the same and same and same dungeons over and over is a crime in AAA title. That alone is simply insulting. Not that there were any breathtaking sceneries out there, mind you - the locations are horribly limited. And I mean - horribly. Another stupid decision was to remove the option of giving your companions armors. No, they are instead limited to QUEST UPGRADABLE ones! So no giving them latest loot - that would brake IMMERSION. The fool who thought of this idea should be fired on the spot. Immediately.

    Combat. While having nice moves, combat is surprisingly dull. Really. Enemies appear out of nowhere, you usually get waves of them. Tactics are nonexistent, magic is weak, skills are boring, the only battles that require you to actually think are the bosses - but this doesn't save the game much. Whenever a combat occured, I thought: oh, another Generic Combat Filler.

    I would consider this game a refund fodder. It feels rushed, looks rushed and is rushed. If this is the direction future RPGs will go, I am out of this train.
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  59. Apr 24, 2012
    3
    Behold one of the worst sequels in history: Dragon Age 2, the adventure of Hawk in copy&paste Land. If you ever wanted to see serious recycling this is the game for you
  60. Apr 20, 2012
    10
    Don't listen to haters, this game is brilliant. However, be warned that DA2 it's not like DAO, in any sense (well, just in the name maybe). This is a completely different game, with different mechanics and a diferent protagonist. To me, much much better than the first game regarding gameplay and narrative.
  61. Apr 17, 2012
    6
    Not 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
  62. Apr 11, 2012
    1
    The amount of critic reviews here giving this game a positive score is truly astonishing. Only explanation I can think of is that EA has spent a lot of money persuading the gaming media to give good reviews.

    As someone who is a big fan of Bioware's earlier games, this game was a severe disappointment. Not going to spend too much time writing this review as, frankly, it isn't worth the
    effort. Suffice it to say that if you are looking for an RPG avoid this like the plague. If you want a dumbed down, console action game then maybe you will enjoy this.

    Really a shame, used to be able to rely on Bioware to make decent RPGs but since EA bought them out they haven't released a single good game.
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  63. Apr 10, 2012
    1
    Unbelievably disappointing. I can't fathom why they abandoned what proved to be an awesome style of game (Dragon Age Origins) in favour of generic garbage like this.
  64. Apr 6, 2012
    9
    This games predecessor Dragon Age: Origins is one of my top 10 favorite games of all time, one of my top 3 favorite Bioware games, and Bioware is my favorite game developers of all time, so naturally I had high hopes for this game, and it for the most part didn't disappoint, it's not as good as Origins but it manages to be a fantastic RPG that you'll love every hour and night of sleep missed you spend playing this fantastic game, it took me a little ove 33 hours to beat, Origins was a reminder of old school RPG's, this one feels more modern but manages also to maintain that classic feel, there is a lot of content to sink into, lots of side quests and hidden secrets to find, the story is great and really sets the pace for future entries in this fantastic series, and kudos to Bioware for doing something different with it's story than other RPG's and it's previous ones, also you have the ability to import you save from Origins, granted it doesn't do much other then alter a few lines of dialog and cameo appearances, but it's still a pretty sweet addition, and the characters as always with Bioware games are fantastic and extremely likable but not all are Bioware's best, the graphics are better than Origins but there not all that great, and the soundtrack and voice acting are fantastic and they gave us the conversation system of their Mass Effect series and my only complaint are that sometimes your character will talk on his own, but for 99.99% of the game your making the decisions but it's still irritating to have my character talk without my permission, and the gameplay has been changed from the originals, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worst, on the plus side it's more interactive so your not just watching battles play out, but on the down side a lot of the time your just mashing the A button until you abilities recharge, but it's still fun, so in closing it's not as good as the first, but Bioware once again created a fantastic game and RPG that I'm already wanting to play through again, and I'm going to try and play the DLC in the near future, once again I'm blown away with what Bioware has done, and this game has only increased my faith in this fantastic company and this fantastic series, in my personal opinion this is a must play, truly fantastic. Expand
  65. Apr 3, 2012
    8
    While I found that it clearly does not live up to its predecessor or other BioWare titles, I still thoroughly enjoyed the game while I played it. I liked the gameplay and combat, while it's hard for me to say whether it is an improvement or downgrade from Origins, it is certainly different. The scope of the story is quite limited (most of the game takes place in the same general location) and it certainly does not have the epic feel that you may expect. While on a smaller scale than usual, the story is still great. The party dynamic and character interactions make up the strongest parts of the game and in that aspect keeps it on par with most of BioWare's other works. All in all, of the nine BioWare games that I've played, I would rank this one as #8, however it remains quite enjoyable in my opinion. Expand
  66. Apr 3, 2012
    1
    If 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
  67. Mar 19, 2012
    8
    I 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
  68. Mar 14, 2012
    0
    This game sucks so bad.
    Graphics are not as good as the first DA.

    Also, the environment just repeats over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over...


    See how it felt to have to read that?
    That's how it feels to play DA II.

    The game sucks hard.
  69. Mar 14, 2012
    3
    An absolute mess of a game. Buggy, full of nonsensical subplots and scenery that is constantly recycled in a way that just comes off as lazy - this game did not impress me. In terms of story and writing, it paled in comparison to Dragon Age: Origins and just came off as a cheap sequel you would see in theaters (like Speed 2). While I found some of the artistic re-designs of familiar races was refreshing and gave more distinction, overall the game suffered from the lack of a coherent and compelling story. Some of the characters got on my nerves and combat had little substance. The entire game seemed to forebode some "great threat" that we never see or understand, and the ending simply gives a cliffhanger into the next game. On top of this, the DLC is terrible and slapped together with little care. All in all a poor game that I would recommend to nobody. Expand
  70. Mar 13, 2012
    7
    This game really gets a bum rap as far as games go, and the reason for it is two fold.

    1) The gaming media has so skewed the ratings system that most people think anything less than a 9 or a 10 is positively awful. This is a belief shared by big publishing houses, and by developers also. It has rendered the ratings system useless; and is, I believe, responsible in part for the negative
    overreaction to this game as evidenced by the inaccurate and unfair Zero's, One's, and Two's.

    2) Bioware's Marketing Department is really really bad. They gave a distinct impression to the fan base about what Dragon Age "2" was going to be like, and then what was delivered was quite different. Which explains much of the backlash.

    Granted none of this was helped by the extremely short development cycle that resulted in a game that feels incomplete and has a really crappy, bland, and boring ending.

    In spite of this however I still feel like a lot of the really low user reviews are unfair, because IMO the game is decent.
    The engine runs much more smoothly, and is much more stable than in Dragon Age Origins. The Character based textures are much cleaner, and much prettier. The dialogue, and interpersonal interactions with NPC companions are much deeper and more emotive than in Dragon Age Origins. And the overall story arc is coherent and mostly complete, even if it ends a little abruptly, and crappily with SuperEvilNinja!Meredith.

    Claims that the combat has been dumbed down to flashy hack'n'slash mechanics are untrue. Combat runs almost exactly the same as in DAO. The differences are mostly cosmetic, with faster animations, a lack of "finishing" moves, and the missing isometric camera.
    Or are different in the execution/presentation of the combat scenes - example: The Parachuting from the Sky Heavily Armoured Waves of enemies, or occasional cut scene "finishing" move.
    Tactics work the same, and talents (although streamlined) work the same. The guts, the actual mechanics of combat are exactly the same.

    If DA2 were an exam, it would get a solid and respectable B IMO (with DAO getting an A).
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  71. Mar 8, 2012
    3
    The graphics seem cartoonish and while I like the art for the Qunari, the darkspawn look like clowns with a leather fixation. The environment is endlessly recycled.
    The story is disjointed. The three acts could very well be three separate stories being told. While I like the frame-narrative idea, but the implementation was poor.
    The real killer are the choices or the lack of them to be
    precise. Play the game in 2 completely different ways and you wind up with the same experience will only minor changes, your choice of character class has greater impact on the story than any other choice in the game.
    Thanks to the dialog wheel you have 3 ways of saying the same thing, yes, sarcastic yes or angry yes. It also doesn't help that what it says on the wheel isn't what Hawke says. Too often I was screaming "that's not what I wanted to say." The dialog itself between NPC's is actually very good and the only thing that kept me going through the game.
    Combat, the less said about it the best. Endless waves of generic foes which half the time seem to attack you for no reason what so ever. Too often I found myself asking who are these people and why am I killing them?
    All and all this is a poor game and nothing more than a shameless attempt to milk money off gamers. Stay away.
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  72. Mar 7, 2012
    3
    Dragon 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
  73. Mar 6, 2012
    0
    this game is so bad that it hurts. bioware needs to be purged. once a great company, now they pander out garbage left and right. also, hamburger helper
  74. Mar 6, 2012
    0
    Put 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.
  75. Mar 5, 2012
    2
    This 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.
  76. Mar 3, 2012
    0
    The 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."[10] 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
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  77. Mar 2, 2012
    6
    One word could describe Dragon Age 2; mediocre. Or one could say 'disappointing.' After playing the fun, action-packed demo, expectations were high for Dragon Age 2. After actually playing the entire game, one would notice the many faults in gameplay, fallacies in the logic and worst of all: a motiveless plot. However, as much as a PC gamer could see, the gameplay is dumbed down for console gamers. There is no sense of suspense because the game is too easy for both PC and console gamers. While it's predecessor, Dragon Age: Origins, was fun for both the PC and console (more so on the PC) because it required something that Dragon Age 2 lacks; strategy. Dragon Age 2 is reduced to a simple button masher if the difficulty is on Normal.
    BioWare's Dragon Age team must change writters. The typical gamer could sit down for one whole playthrough and poke holes through the plot. Writters for both the dialogue and plot. Dialogue is lazy. Simply put, the characters have no reaction to your lines. For example, you pick the humorous option on the dialogue tree and only few characters actually react to joke, i.e. Flemeth.
    Also, it feels as if the Dragon Age team got lazy and decided to steal a lot of elements off of it's sister franchise, Mass Effect. The dialogue tree, the pause menu, last name only being mentioned (Hawke/Shepard). While, yes, it is only natural that the company "steals" elements from it's own sister game, but it seems all too similar. One major reason why Dragon Age: Origins did so well was because it felt different from the typical BioWare RPG.
    Another example of BioWare's laziness was the usage of the same levels or areas. Through one playthrough, you'll notice Hawke go through the same dungeon 3-4 times.
    As much as one would complain about the leap from more PC oriented to more console oriented, there are some elements that deserve recognition and praise. For example, the skill tree is easy and intuitive, as mindless as the button mashing is, it's better for console gamers (such as myself) in contrast to Dragon Age: Origins where one would just hit one button and it would auto-attack. The graphics as well as very colorful (sometimes) and the models itself are much better than the predecessor.
    In the end, Dragon Age 2 was rushed and hopefully BioWare understands what went wrong and in the next game, they improve and make entire better game. I cannot see giving this game more than a generous 6/10.
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  78. Feb 29, 2012
    7
    It is so sad that the story in DA2 was so bad. In my opinion, DA and DA2 should never have been related.
    BUT the game did have som really good gameplay and fairly god visuals
  79. Feb 28, 2012
    0
    This was the most disappointing game that I ever played. Not because it was the worse, but because it did not measure at all to the first one. There's only one city during the whole game. The dungeons are reused with the entrances reversed and some rooms blocked. The characters are flashy, but not very deep. You can't equip your NPC's now - what's up with that?! It's a terrible failure in light of the previous game - it's as if the game was not made by the same company. I don't know what else to say. Expand
  80. Feb 28, 2012
    7
    Certainly 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
  81. Feb 24, 2012
    10
    I was expecting something akin to Mass Effect in Medieval times. The only reason I bought it was because I had finished ME1 and ME2. I had not played Origins yet. In the end I found it fantastic, I had come to love a handful of the characters and grew especially attached to my style of playing, bring up the difficulty and you actually have use some strategy to win. No doubt they tried to cut costs with environments. I loved it so much I bought Dragon Age Origins Ultimate edition, which was much more pure RPG. In the end if you've played Mass Effect you should get this game Expand
  82. Feb 22, 2012
    9
    Wow I see allot of people on here whining and giving low scores because Dragon age 2 wasn't as good as DAO.too all you people giving low scores go back to you're pc's and stop giving bad reviews to a good game just because it went another route.dragon age 2 is a great game and I think if you like rpg's and a good story go get this game.nuff said.
  83. Feb 13, 2012
    9
    Now that I've played it, I can see why players pan it. I will agree that there are somethings that I hated about it (such as the lack of changing equipment for other playable characters, and a small world) but the gameplay is very addicting, there is also something to do with 100s of side quest, and the cast of character.
    Making it the best $50 I've ever spent.
  84. Feb 12, 2012
    6
    I had low expectations for Dragon Age 2 when I started playing it. As much as I loved Dragon Age: Origins, I did play the 360 version, which was horrid horrid PC port, with terrible washed out graphics and a disappointingly unmanageable UI. So when I saw that Dragon Age 2 was a lot more console friendly, I was pleasantly surprised. The UI is much more pleasurable to use on a console and is overall less frustrating and more intuitive. However, it's really hard to overlook the many many flaws in game design present throughout Dragon Age 2. Firstly the story lacks any of the ambition and scale of the DA:O and instead opts for a more intimate family affair. Which is fine, and does lead to some more memorable moments with your party members which DA:O sometimes really lacked. But, you never feel like you're really part of anything and the links to the first game (you're originally from Lothering) feels a tad contrived. Secondly, the game world is so small and has zero variation. You spend the entire game within the same city, every now and again going to the countryside for a nice stroll. That was a terrible design choice made by Bioware. The world of Dragon Age is so extensive and full of interesting lore, so why not let us explore it?! But, for me, the biggest insult of this game was the way in which they use the exact same maps for different areas of the game. One cave in one area of the countryside, will have the exact same layout as a cave in another part of the countryside. They are the exact same places but certain areas have been walled off, as to bring about the illusion of the caves being different places. In fact, they don't even bother to adjust the mini-map, so even if a door in one occurrence of the one cave design is blocked off, the passage that it is blocking will still appear in the mini-map! That's just disgraceful and for me, has tarnished Bioware's name as a company who produce high-quality games. It's lazy game design at its worst! So, lacklustre story and terrible environment and location design. But, I feel like there are areas of Dragon Age 2 which aren't quite as horrific. The levelling system and talent trees are pretty much exactly the same as Dragon Age Origins, just with a sheen of gloss. The combat, although now less tactical, does look a lot better. In particularly the mage characters now look like more of a part of the action, actually moving their bodies to cast spells instead of just shuddering in the corner while rogues and warriors dance about like in DA:O. But I think they went a bit over kill with the Rogues (why on earth do you have to kick Poison flasks at enemies? That just looks a bit turd really). Overall, I did strangely still enjoy Dragon Age 2, despite the fact it suffers from some terrible terrible design choices, simply because some of the characters are well implemented into the fledgeling story. Anders in particular had a story which simply out-shone the rest of the game and the Mages vs. templar debacle could be quite promising eventually. I actually cared what happened to Anders and I really liked what happened (more dark, unstable, psychopathic characters please!). I think that might have been the only reason I ended up completing the game. I hope that Bioware can learn from there mistakes here and try to put some more effort into a series that is quite obviously loved by many. Just look at the fan rage on here! That's representative of a seriously disappointed fan base. Expand
  85. Feb 8, 2012
    3
    The best thing i can say about this game is that it is relatively stable... That's it... The game play is, for the most part, more or less the same as origins except simpler and with less emphasis on tactics, due to enemies spawning all around he group during fights. The character customisation has been, inexplicably, cut down(even though in the expansions for origins it was improved). Many of the more interesting spells from origins have been entirely removed and the player now lacks the ability to decide what their characters wear. Non of this would matter, however, if the story or setting was interesting. They aren't. The story is confused and dull and the same goes for te environments. The main city feels dead with little to interact with. Outside the city, much the same except here the cut-and-paste environments get more noticeable...

    To sum up, EVERYTHING about this game smacks of a lazy developer doing the absolute minimum to make a quick buck. Bioware, you owe me £30...
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  86. Feb 4, 2012
    0
    This 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
  87. Feb 1, 2012
    6
    Dragon Age 2 is an enormous disappoint. I feared the worst when Brent Knowles, the lead designer of Origins, left Bioware because he didn't like the direction the company was taking with Dragon Age. My fears have been justified. First I will say that this game is not horrible, nor is it broken. In fact, a few things are better. The graphics, for example, and the character models are far more realistic, but that us really where it stops.

    Gone are the epic locales and diverse dungeons, replaced with one city and tons of recycled areas. Gone, for the most part, is the epic, emotionally driven story. Gone is the crafting, and several of the customization options for part members. Most importantly, gone is the complex, challenging battle system, replaced with dumbed down skill trees and button mashing galore. This feels more like an action game now, when it shouldn't. Origins set the tone for the series as he successor to Baldurs Gate, giving us deep, complex battles that rely on wit more than brawn. Why did Bioware do this? For sales I am sure, but I would venture to say their plan backfired because so many of you have already voiced your opinions about this tragic disappointment if a game, and thank you for doing so. Bioware needs to hear us out! Mass Effect is a great action RPG series that is streamlined for a larger audience. Bioware sought their wants and needs, but where are ours? The gamers who long for deep, intriguing combat that requires the utmost strategy have been left to wallow in the shadows! Voice your opinion so that Dragon Age 3 returns to its roots!
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  88. Jan 28, 2012
    10
    I'm not sure why Metacritic has played host to this massive tirade against DA2, but I'd like to do my part to rectify that. I don't usually like trying to skew the average with my score, and I'd usually give this game a 9, but I'm going to give it a 10 to try to balance out the hordes of people unthinkingly giving this game a 0. DA2 is a fantastic game that improves massively on its predecessor in the only aspect that really counts: the story and the characters in it. The characters are complex and have lives outside of the protagonist's party, and their relationship to you evolves much more organically. The story is unique, well-told and a huge breath of fresh air compared to the stale sword-and-sorcery, kill the horde of bad guys story in Dragon Age Origins. It's the saga of a family and a city. It has some flaws, namely the reused environments and Isabela's breasts, but overall it's a huge improvement, and we need to see more RPGs like it, that take story and characters more seriously than inventory management and combat pacing. Expand
  89. Jan 27, 2012
    4
    Scoring this game is complicated for me. One the one hand, I will admit to it being a good time killer. But as a sequel to DA:O, which I absolutely loved, it falls completely flat. The story felt unimportant, several of the characters were just annoying, and the copy-paste maps were simply insulting to the player. If "epic adventure" is what you had in mind when you picked this up, you'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
  90. Jan 17, 2012
    0
    The 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
  91. Jan 9, 2012
    1
    Dear 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.

    -Loco
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  92. Jan 7, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game really is a letdown...as a person who played Dragon Age: Origins 9 times through by writing this review. There are only a few things improved in Dragon Age II...Combat and in the aspects of character creation don't get me wrong, NOT being able to play any other races sucks badly but i loved creating a female hawk I could live with the voiced character..it didn't seemed very odd since i also love Bioware's other franchise Mass Effect; Only god knows how much would i enjoy to blow up a certain mage companion (the elf one) I mean i could live with the emo character but the thing made me frustrated was especially moral choices..AND MYSTERIOUS CHARACTER RESURRECTIONS REGARDING THE CHOICES OF THE FIRST GAME...You see i killed this lovely companion in the first game and imported my save to only see BIOWARE SIMPLY DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN THING about your moral choice..or role playing therefore this game has a real RPG value its a "auto-attack hack'n slash" yeah that's it . Expand
  93. Jan 6, 2012
    2
    Dragon Age 2 suffered the burden of being the sequel to a highly beloved critical success, and falling completely short of the origins of the series.

    Areas of dissatisfaction include;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Bad work.
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  94. Jan 4, 2012
    0
    Dumbed 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.
  95. Jan 4, 2012
    2
    Very poor writing, removed everything interesting about the first games combat system. This game was clearly rushed out the door in an attempt to see if an RPG could be made with reliable selling sequels every year like a shooter or sports game.
  96. Dec 30, 2011
    8
    After a slew of negative reviews, I thought I would put my two-cents worth in - its a decent game, immersing, visually stunning, challenging, and I am playing it though to the end. There are a few niggles - the character control could be better, repetitive maps, and slow dialogue - but there is a thing called the 'escape key' which allows you to read and then skip the slow speech.
    And yes,
    you can get male and female characters in bed - but is that such a bad thing as to pan the game to death?!
    Yes, there are better games - but this definitely adds something to the RPG genre and is worth a look.

    And no, I don't work for Bioware :)
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  97. Dec 29, 2011
    1
    Honestly, the game is bad. Really bad. The story is slow and bland and the characters are annoying (please bioware, stop constructing dating-sims instead of making rpgs) at best, and hilariously bad at worst. The storytelling technique could be interesting, but it's really hard to tell since the story and characters are so of-the-wall bad that you just can't believe what you're seeing sometimes.
  98. Dec 21, 2011
    1
    This is without a doubt the worst RPG I have ever played. Period. It's the RPG equivalent of repeatedly smacking your head against a wall. Combat is atrocious, characters are lame, dialogue is crap, and the story is boring and full of holes. Do yourself a favor, give this stinker a wide berth.
  99. Dec 20, 2011
    4
    Played on its own merits without any idea of DA:O this game would be quite solid.
    Having loved the original, and feeling like I was taking part in an epic quest that actually meant something, I was sorely disappointed with the follow up. Admittedly the first 10 hours or so were pretty Rad I thought, this was in part due to the fact that I was high as **** when I first got the game, but
    soon enough not even a big stack of weed couldn't improve this bland follow up. The action orientated combat didn't bother me as much as it has others, where it really let me down was the constantly repeating environments, the original had me trekking all over the place to a number of awesome locations, the sequel has going through the same old bland locales over and over. One of the few reviewers who must not have been paid off by EA put it best with "you can't have an epic storyline in your own backyard" or something like that, you get the gist. All in all its not a "bad game" in my mind, but not worthy of being the sequel to the excellent original. If you come to the game having never played the first you will probably enjoy it for what it is. Bioware really need to rethink there game plan for no. 3 especially since Skyrim is now out and has absorbed 80 hours of play time and I haven't really done jack **** so far. In summary, pay more and get Skyrim instead. Shame on you Bioware.Shame on You. Expand
  100. Dec 20, 2011
    0
    This game is a monstrosity. After a beautiful and well-written game in DA:O, BioWare took everything about the game, burned it, dumbed down gameplay and made hack/slash combat and a boring story, and what you have is the Dragon Age name tarnished forever. The effort or this game was lazy and rushed. They were very lazy in this game, and BioWare should be ashamed. I will never play a DA game again. But at least there is Skyrim :). Expand
  101. Mar 9, 2011
    0
    Sadly DA2 is no roleplay Game in my Oppinion anymore. The only thing this game has is fighting (with much blood and exploding hordes of enemies - like the Marketing said.. for every button something flashy happens) also there are no Skills anymore, beside the fighting skills... The other thing is the story presentation, which Bioware still is good at.
    But things like the restricted
    inventory and kodex entries (50% percent of the things you find are nondescript junk?? really?), the MMO Interface.. this all makes it to an Action Adventure at best. As a roleplay game it sadly fails in nearly every way :( Collapse
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 75
  2. Negative: 1 out of 75
  1. Aug 3, 2011
    85
    I'll give Bioware points for trying to do something different in their world, but they really did have it right the first time in terms of character building and the scope of the story.
  2. May 1, 2011
    75
    Faulty game mechanics and disappointing maps, combat scenarios and storyline direction aside, Dragon Age II still has a surprising amount of intrigue hidden beneath the blemishes. The depth of character relationships, as well as the complex nature of the world of the Dragon Age franchise are a savior to a game that would otherwise forever be remembered by its mistakes.
  3. Apr 22, 2011
    90
    Above all, it seems like Dragon Age II is an experiment. If you're a fan of the first game and expect a direct continuation, either in story or mechanics, you'll be disappointed. If you're not willing to put up with some rough edges and some mechanics that don't quite work as intended, you'll end up having a hard time. But if you're going for a game that has some of the best storytelling in RPGs in a while, or you're looking for a BioWare RPG to tide yourself over until Mass Effect 3, you won't do much better right now than Dragon Age II.