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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics What's this?

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4.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2261 Ratings

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  • Summary: EA announced that a new installment in the Dragon Age series will arrive in the first quarter of 2011.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 75
  2. Negative: 1 out of 75
  1. Mar 7, 2011
    100
    The 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.
  2. Mar 11, 2011
    90
    Dragon Age 2 is a great RPG for PC and consoles, but it lacks a bit of complexity.
  3. Mar 21, 2011
    89
    If you like your RPGs old-school with plenty of Tolkien and Dungeon Master mixed in with sword wielding warrior women and moody elves, then Dragon Age is for you.
  4. Mar 8, 2011
    83
    It 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.
  5. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    A 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.
  6. 74
    I can honestly say I had hoped for more from Dragon Age II. Considering Bioware have a history of nailing their sequels, I can't help but feel this was handed off to their reserves developers as the big guns work on Mass Effect 3.
  7. Mar 22, 2011
    25
    Defying all expectations, BioWare managed to take one of the most memorable Western RPGs in recent history and completely destroyed everything that made it so good.

See all 75 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Mar 8, 2011
    10
    The immersion and combat of this game are unmatched! A truly moving and fun epic. Anything negative you'll see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. For what it is, it is flawlessly executed and endlessly entertaining Expand
  2. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    I loved it. People can hate on Bioware all they want but this game was fantastic. The beginning seemed a bit slow at first, but I don't believe it could have been any other way. The manner in which the story ramps up the juice first slowly then with greater speed had me questioning my decisions and at one point sitting in shock. This was a great game. Yes it is different, and I applaud Bioware for smashing the mold on a tired old game system that is simply no longer needed in this day and age. This was not DnD, this was not Dragon Age: Origins. This was something new and beautiful. RPG's were never supposed to be about hitting action keys and spending hours on a leveling process. It is about playing a role.

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

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

    I say cheers Bioware! Now go use that engine for Old Republic 3... I want to smash things with a lightsaber!!!
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  3. Mar 8, 2011
    8
    You can really tell that the developers wanted to follow in the footsteps of ME2. The game is streamlined and the inventory is cleaned up a great deal. It is by no means a bad game, and i'm finding it very enjoyable and worth the money I spent on it. If you're looking for a direct expansion of DA:0 then you may be left wanting; but if you're looking for a new experience it's definitly worth your time. Bottom line is, you have to ask yourself, has Bioware let you down before? If you answer yes, you might want to pass on this title. You really have to look at it as a completely new game, rather than an expansion, or even extension of DA:O, and if you can do that, then you'll have fun with it. Expand
  4. Mar 10, 2011
    4
    Dragon Age 1, although not the BGII second-coming I was hoping for, offered a close-to-perfect compromise between micro-management of Inventory, Spells and Tactics and hack-and-slash action -- this is what I buy RPGs like this for. Dragon Age 2 takes a different approach: attacking is, for the most part, fire and forget, spell management is limited and inventory is over-simplified. Moreover, the story is convoluded and didn't motivate me to keep playing. Good dialogue and voice acting redeems this game a bit, but nothing can save it from it's pander-to-the-lowest-common-denominator simplicity.

    This game is definitely not worth $60, either on PC or console. Either hold out for the bargain bin or until you can find it used, or just pass (you're not missing much).
    Expand
  5. Mar 29, 2011
    3
    As a fan of Bioware, I can honestly say that I never expected quite an "exprience" like the one I received from this game. Bioware, to me, is a forward thinking developer of Great Western RPGS and experiences like the Mass Effect Series, Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age: Origins and of course, Knights of the Old Republic. Despite my great anticipation of Dragon Age 2, the game feels very rushed from the stand point of the story, which is completely linear and somewhat unsatisfying, a rare failure by Bioware. The "rushed to the shelves" feeling also comes from the lack of Item descriptions and the complete failure of the Inventory System. Companion Armor is nonexistent and probably 80 percent of the items you will loot are useless as you are unable to equip them based on your characters stats or your character's build. (Warrior, Rogue or Mage) Thankfully, you have access to several vendors and storage almost immediately , unfortunately, it still requires either going back to your home base to store or constantly visiting vendors to unload several pairs of "Torn Trousers" you have come across in Thedas. The generic item names also led to several things being sold that weren't meant to be sold, thus more trips back to the vendors. This caused a large disconnect from the game world for me.

    The Story is spilt into three Acts, with each one hinging on a end act climax. Bioware really pushed this game as an "Interactive Framed Narrative", where your choices have real consequences, but nothing could be further from the truth. Every descision your character makes all leads to the same result, regardless of how you play through the game. Bioware has already written the end before you kill you're first Darkspawn, all you are doing is telling them if your Character is a jerk or a nice person. Little to no depth from the standpoint of the PC, you're character is billed as one of the most important people in the world by the end of the game, but you feel dragged along since you're choices just don't matter.

    Promised fresh new enviornments was what i was also looking forward to, alas, the game failed to deliver in this respect as well. The Environments are bland and HEAVILY recycled, giving you a deja vu feeling everytime you are sent to a quest location. You are constantly revisiting the same areas over the course of the story with no real change, despite being told over a decade, nothing in the city or the surrounding landscape, outside of a few corpses to loot, ever changes. The Battle system, which was tweaked to be more natural feeling on consoles was hit and miss. I liked the new skill trees and the new animations, even if they were a bit "over the top" however, the "wave fights" were handled poorly with enemies basically dropping off high buildings or out of the sky, in some cases. This also made the "tactical" side of combat completely useless with enemies poping in and out all the time.

    The story was driven by the sidequests, but there were only a few that actually mattered to the overall story of the game, the rest felt like "filler", but there was always a unique hook or angle from which the quest went. Some of the later side quests were bugged, further leading to the assumption that the game was rushed. Act 1 and 2 were hit and miss but the Last act, act 3, was an absolute nightmare, it was buggy, glitched in some respects and led to a hollow, empty ending.

    The dialogue was witty and clever, for the most part. Utilizing a Conversation wheel, like Mass Effect, along with a voiced character really added to the experience in the sense that you could, at least navigate responses, even if you couldn't affect the story in any measurable way. The Bioware writing and lore salvaged what little respect the game gets from me. Certainly, its hard not to see this has an attempt to blind the gamer with unfulfilled promises and cheap flair. The questionable release of a DLC pack day one that seems like it was meant to be part of the original game as well is disappointing. Hopefully, Bioware will realize that trying to totally reinvent something has risks. I'm glad that the same development team isn't working on other Bioware products. This game clearly isn't worth what was charged for it and I think you would've seen an even bigger outcry had Bioware/EA charged extra for the Signature Edition (instead of just setting a "Pre-Order By" deadline)

    A disappointing ride from start to finish. Clearly not a product that stands up with its predecessor or any other Bioware titles that I've had the pleasure of playing and enjoying.

    No need to try and reinvent the wheel if its still working, Bioware. You have a strong enough team of writers that just minor tweaks to the Origins system would have brought this game much more widespread acclaim amongst the consumers.
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  6. Apr 7, 2011
    1
    Does bioware not know what rpg means anyway? I feel geberous giving it a 2 and not a zero just for the effort but it feels like there was no effort put in this game. the thing that made DA:O great was its rpg elements and DA2 has none infact.... WHY BIOWARE WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU WTF!! thats what im screaming inside my head while playing this game.. Expand
  7. 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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See all 926 User Reviews

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