Mar 7, 2011The advancements in RPG mechanics would be enough to set it apart, but the real achievement of Dragon Age II is in the story-telling. I could point out the improved combat and graphics till there's blood covering my face, but BioWare is one of the few companies that uses the advanced computing power available to modern game designers to let you actually play a role.
Mar 8, 2011It really seems like the biggest mistake is calling it "DA2," as it's just different enough from Dragon Age: Origins to not feel like a sequel, but more like a reboot. The different main character, the faster and more streamlined combat, and the overall structure makes it feel like a fine Dragon Age adventure, but not a direct follow-up to DAO.
Mar 8, 2011A flawed, repetitive, and wholly derivative Western RPG, but still manages to be a vast improvement over the original and should greatly please fans of Origins. Fans of Mass Effect may also find enough satisfaction here to hold them over until ME3 releases, but make no mistake: if only one Bioware title is nominated for awards this year, it will not be this one.
Mar 12, 2011Dragon Age II is an astoundingly good game. Having now played for around 10 hours I can say with a measured opinion that it has met andDragon Age II is an astoundingly good game. Having now played for around 10 hours I can say with a measured opinion that it has met and surpassed all my expectations. I completed Origins and poured over 112 hours into the game. I am by no means a simple fan boy and would have been bitterly disappointed had I not thought Bioware had put the same level of skill and commitment into the sequel. I have not been disappointed and I fail to see where and why all the user criticism spawns from on this page. I loved Origins and I feel no hesitation in stating that I believe DA2 is a much improved game.
The pacing is much faster and more exciting, whilst keeping the focus of the narrative throughout - something Origins failed to do at times (there's a Blight going on?).
The action and fighting dynamics have seriously been improved. Remember people this is the Xbox 360 version we are reviewing and as a console version, it's fighting mechanics have been vastly improved. It's fluid, it's faster and ultimately, it's more exciting. There seems to be a theme arising that people believe it is more like a button basher now. Can I remind you that the sole difference there is that now rather than simply pressing A once and having the character automatically attack, you now do so yourself. I fail to see why this is a negative.
The story is gripping and the character dynamics and interaction is as superb as it was in the original but with the vast improvement of a fully voiced character. Furthermore, the characters are equally as funny, original and likeable as they were in the original - with the exception of maybe Morrigan (a favourite of mine).
The graphics are, as expected, a considerable improvement and the scale of Kirkwall is impressive. Another complaint stems from the fact that the majority of the game is played within it's boundaries but this is by no means a bad thing. In fact, it makes perfect sense for the story which is being portrayed.
Please, if you are considering buying this game, do not be put off by the overtly harsh criticism on this site and do so. If you are a fan of rpgs and most particularly if you enjoyed the first game, I implore you to play this game: you will not regret it.… Expand
Mar 17, 2011Most of the hate for this game is entirely unfounded. I know there are several groups from several forums who have said they intended to downMost of the hate for this game is entirely unfounded. I know there are several groups from several forums who have said they intended to down rate this game, without having played it, out of the "principle" of it, and I think we see much of that here. Some people wanted nothing but DA:O v 2.0, but Bioware made the choice to innovate and try to reach a broader audience.
Is DA2 the same as DA:O? No. They did change the game up, and hardcore fans of DA:O may be disappointed. Does that make DA2? No. But people are having a hard time seeing past the changes. I am a huge fan of Dragon Age: Origins, and I am also finding that I am quickly becoming a big fan of Dragon Age 2.
***The combat is, to me, less tactical and on a normal setting easier, but it is much more engaging and fun. I adore DA:O, but there were times when the combat felt like it was just dragging on and on and on and would never end. The animations in DA:O for combat were sluggish and pretty basic. In DA2 they are much more catchy and action packed, they make you feel like your character has some real talent, and lend to you feeling powerful.
***It is unfortunate that we no longer have options for other races for our PC, but I feel so much more connected to my voiced character than I ever did to my Warden in DA:O who was mute and expressionless most of the time. She felt so lifeless, and the PC now has a personality all her own that develops with the dialog options you make as the game progresses. Always take the witty approach, then you characters dialog even on things you do not choose reflects this. Always take the stern approach, same thing.
***Companions are still interesting, I think they did a great job of writing them and didn't find one I didn't like, though I feel we do not get enough time to get to know them. Party banter while we are out and about is increased, but talking to your party members when they are at their homes (vs. being at a camp now) is very low, and usually only triggers by picking up certain items or progressing to a certain point in the story. I would have liked to get to know them a bit better, as what I did get to know of them was truly interesting.
***The game does reuse certain maps and dungeons, which I find unfortunate, but DA:O was not free from this and did it as well. It is more noticeable for DA2 though, as we are in the same city/area spanning 7 years of the game. I honestly didn't find it bothering me TOO much, but I would have liked to see a bit more variety in the dungeons.
***The last thing I will touch on is the story and writing. DA2 isnt a big epic story about one truly evil big bad that is out to destroy or take over the world. You do not get the same kind of sense of urgency or threat as you did in DA:O. This is by design, and honestly, by request. MANY fans begged for this on the official forums, and yet now they complain about it.
***The story is more about the smaller events in the characters life, about what happened to this person to shape them into the individual they are, they are about the things they happened to Hawke and his/her family and their city which lead them to eventually becoming the Champion of the city. I actually enjoyed the story and it was a nice change of pace for once. The ultimate climax and culmination of these events was interesting and I enjoyed the ending boss battles. ***The writing for the game was very good. There are many endearing moments in the game through dialog and the quests, many hilarious, and many heartbreaking. The writing and voice acting were extremely enjoyable and I never really felt it lacking at anytime. I feel completely immersed into the game because of it.… Expand
Mar 9, 2011Comparing Dragon Age 2 to Dragon Age: Origins, it improves some things but also losing some things in the process.
The combat this timeComparing Dragon Age 2 to Dragon Age: Origins, it improves some things but also losing some things in the process.
The combat this time around is fasted paced and satisfying. However, it does take a step back from the tactical RPG that Dragon Age: Origins was. You can still pause the screen to choose actions but the absence of the Tactical Overhead View just simply baffles me. Why would Bioware remove such a good idea and feature from it's sequel? I have no clue.
The player character can now speak in conversations, must like Mass Effect. This in my opinion is a good thing because the silent protagonist in Dragon Age: Origins was really awkward and left much of the decisions you did pick in conversations up to you imagination of what was truly said.
Facial animations are far better but the overall graphics seem lacking in some ways. On the console version I noticed Dragon Age 2 to be alot smoother and less jagged, but seemed less polished. I don't think Bioware was trying to make another Dragon Age: Origins, but was trying to go for something different.… Expand
Mar 19, 2011simple.. repetitive and predictable. good bye dragon age.....
now you have a action game masked as rpg. run around the same caves andsimple.. repetitive and predictable. good bye dragon age.....
now you have a action game masked as rpg. run around the same caves and "dungeons" one time and other let you with the feeling of be playing a bad chinese MMO made to extract you money with micropayments. and probably thats what EA want with the forthcoming dlc,s.… Expand
May 19, 2011I love RPGs. I loved Dragon Age Origens. This game is not an RPG. Very linear playthrough; I played both endings (yes, only 2 endings!) andI love RPGs. I loved Dragon Age Origens. This game is not an RPG. Very linear playthrough; I played both endings (yes, only 2 endings!) and your choices don't really matter.
You can't talk with your companions whenever you want like in Origens so you don't feel as connected to them. My iPhone is messing up so that's all I can type now but shame on you, Bioware… Expand
Mar 17, 2011This sequel reminds me of the disappointment I felt when I played CoD3, after loving CoD2. Same game engine, but a completely different takeThis sequel reminds me of the disappointment I felt when I played CoD3, after loving CoD2. Same game engine, but a completely different take on the game and game world. Not so much a sequel as a homage or reboot.
DA2 really feels like it was made by a different studio, one with no regard for stylistic continuity.
I'd argue DA2 is more linear than past incarnations of this genre and doesn't shape up to offerings like Mass Effect that continue plot and character decisions across sequels. Mass Effect and DAO made me want to play them again to see how things would have turned out had I made different decisions. My choices in DA2 felt inconsequential, at least individually. The world itself is fairly linear as well, rather than the story or action pushing you forward - the maps / landscape forces you to move in a specific direction.
Perhaps my biggest disappointment was when I realized I could not import my character from DAO, I had to be a specific new character. I could pick my gender and class, although they all looked very similar, but there were less options than DAO which went beyond the typical 3 classes and 2 genders to offer up different races and unique back stories. I really think RPG fans expect more from this genre than a choice between Mage, Warrior or Rouge. I loved DAO and to be honest was hoping for more of the same with DA2. I played DAO through as three different characters - each experience had enough unique elements to keep me coming back for more. I especially liked that I could import my characters into the expansions packs and really enjoyed Awakenings (which in my opinion felt more satisfying as a sequel than DA2).
DA2 does allow you to import key plot points from your save game, although considering the first character I met in DA2 from DAO was one I killed in DAO - I'm not sure what impact this actually had. To be fair I think the part of DA2 I'm referring to is set before I killed said character in DAO (yep it's a kind of parallel story line as opposed to a continuation), but even so the character looked completely different. Had the name not been mentioned several times, I would not have guessed it was the same character.
DA2 also has none of the detail or depth of DAO.
It's highly stylised compared to DAO, icons replace images of weapons and armor in the inventory for example. Part of the fun of DAO was considering the look of the character as much as the features of items - but in DA2 with items represented by icons and the wider camera, you tend to just pick items purely on their stats like an old school Ever Quest game. Icons are a lot more abstract / stylised as well, so aren't always obvious what they represent - particularly the spells and skills. Likewise many back story elements and cut scenes are highly stylized 2d flash style animations. Similar to the flashbacks in the cartoon Mulan. The abstraction / style comes across as an animation cheat rather than an artistic decision.
The camera perspective is higher and wider than DAO, which has the effect of taking you out of the action and makes the battle field look more like Dynasty Warriors or Warriors Orochi - it's often confusing and the wider view means you see less detail in the charters and models. This is compensated for by the inclusion of non-interactive elaborate "finish him" cut sequences when you kill a boss. Combined with the faster pace and the single action button for attack that triggers combo / attack animations - the fighting feels very much like the Samurai button mashers I mentioned. The combat in DAO was always pretty basic compared to other RPGs, DA2 has simplified it further. The speed of the action also means less detail and more animation cheats for things like spells. Again this more realistic timing has been replaced by stylistic animation loops. Action is broken up by the turn based system, but even this doesn't feel as rewarding as DAO, with the wider view effecting enemy selection. There seems to be more enemies as well, but you seem to be able to take more damage and dispatch them faster than DAO as well. The gaps in the enemy waves allow you to regenerate, so all these aspects combined mean there's less reliance on the turn based tactics and more button mashing. The specialization system is similar to what was on offer in the DAO Expansions, but the layout isn't as clear. With specialization groups displays as trees rather than in a matrix with prerequisites. AI tactics seem better, but probably because combat is less complicated. In terms of visuals, you won't be having any Red Dead Redemption moments.
Bottom line is it really doesn't feel like a sequel. It feels more like a poor copy or a stylistic re-imagining… Expand
Jan 19, 2014Do 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 shopDo 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… Expand
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Published: May 4, 2011The release of Portal 2 exposed a divide between game critics and users. While that title's user scores have rebounded, others haven't. We take a look at the games with the biggest score differentials between professional reviewers and gamers.