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Average User Score: 4.3Mar 9, 2011After trying both DA:O and DA2 i can say for sure that DA2 improves a lot of things .. and while few changes might at first seem a downgradeAfter trying both DA:O and DA2 i can say for sure that DA2 improves a lot of things .. and while few changes might at first seem a downgrade .. they simply are for the better to the overall experience ... removal of ability to choose from three races is compensated by a framed narrative (along with time skips) and a more rewarding story with a protagonist that actually has a personality and a voice .. it is nothing as simple as SAVE THE WORLD FROM EVIL plot in DA:O .. sure DA:O has all those morally ambiguous tough decision to cover up for the cliche "save the world" story .. but those still exist in DA2 and even better since many of them take effect after time skips and you have to deal with the consequences of your choices sooner than you think .. add that to a story about the rise of the main character from a refugee to a hero and all the political struggles and friction between the different factions in the city and you have a very interesting story.
As for the combat .. i don't understand how can someone in their right mind like the cumbersome laggy fest DA:O combat was .. having "dice based" combat mechanics in a real time game is an atrocity .. it isn't turn-based nor is it hex based RPG .. it is real time .. the combat system must be responsive and fluid not cluncky and laggy like in DA:O ... and DA2 did it just right .. you move and attack with the fluidity of an action game (and just like any RPG in real time MUST be like) and still have all the tactical depth and strategy of DA:O intact (pause and issue order, FF damage on any difficulty higher than normal, AI tactics assignment, cross-class combos .. etc etc etc) .. and all those who claim otherwise have no freaking idea what they are talking about.
As for the Dialog and conversation wheel .. first i have to say i'm super glad the main character actually has a voice (because giving everyone and their grandmother a voice in DA:O except your own character was a bad joke) .. and the whole dialog wheel works just great and is slightly different from ME .. it rewards consistency and affects your tone and dialog even in conversations that doesn't involve much choice ... also the friend/foe system is quite nice and it rewards consistency as well .. just hoped there were bigger rewards than just a single passive skill .. but still quite a big improvement over DA:O.
As for the items .. while it might seem like a step back that you can only fully equip Hawk .. it is actually a step forward .. now whenever you get a new item you won't spend 20 mins checking the inventories of your entire party to see if someone might benefit from it .. it is just cumbersome and annoying .. i'm not playing an RPG version of Sims .. i want to play the game itself not stare at menus for 20 and 30 mins arranging and managing a bazillion items for half a dozen characters .. blah .. you can still upgrade your characters gear and also quip them with accessories .. fair enough and makes the game far more accessible and playable.
As for the grahpics .. yes .. it isn't top of the line indeed .. but for me a great art direction like in DA2 more than makes up for it ... i don't care if they don't use technology (X) or technology (Y) or if the shadows are or aren't dynamic .. only graphics junkies do care about this nonsense .. the art direction in DA2 triumphs the extremely generic fantasy art and soulless designs of DA:O and looks very close to the concept art.
Finally i have to say DA2 is an excellent game that improved a ton of things from DA:O and is a move in the right direction .. the only thing it might be lacking in is content .. it should have been lenghtier than it is now .. but it is forgivven since you will replay it over and over again.
a final note: to all the DA:O fanatics how keep making "zero" score reviews (probably using multiple accounts) .. you guys are a joke .. shame on you .. if anything you have shown how desperate you are .. really people .. get a life.… Expand