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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 2326 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 12, 2011
    10
    Dragon 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.
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  2. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    Most 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.
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  3. Mar 9, 2011
    8
    Comparing Dragon Age 2 to Dragon Age: Origins, it improves some things but also losing some things in the process.

    The combat this time
    Comparing 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.
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  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 ofDragon 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).
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  5. Apr 28, 2011
    3
    Another disappointing cash run from a major developer. Clearly rushed; yet most mainstream review blogs and magazines pander to Bioware andAnother disappointing cash run from a major developer. Clearly rushed; yet most mainstream review blogs and magazines pander to Bioware and give praise to this abortive money grabber. Don't these reviewers know they lose the trust of their readers when they do this? Expand
  6. Mar 16, 2011
    1
    Game - disappointing year. is certainly in the game and the good moments, improvements and new approaches, but unfortunately, disadvantagesGame - disappointing year. is certainly in the game and the good moments, improvements and new approaches, but unfortunately, disadvantages outweigh all its advantages. in pursuit of excess income, usually leaves the crude product, which subsequently will only exacerbate the situation and standard condemns the continuation of game to fail. ea company should reconsider marketing policy. Expand
  7. 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 orderedThis 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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See all 937 User Reviews

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