Average User Score: 8.5May 17, 2011The developers improved on the original game in every way. In stark contrast to what Dragon Age 2 was, The Witcher 2 is an example of whatThe developers improved on the original game in every way. In stark contrast to what Dragon Age 2 was, The Witcher 2 is an example of what happens when a developer cares more about the experience of the player than lining their own pockets. No needless junk was added to garner more sales. No EA gathering your information and restricting your access to the games you purchase. Do yourself a favor and buy this game from Gog.com. That will ensure that more money reaches the developer instead of dividing it up with middlemen like Steam or Gamestop. This title is a masterpiece and should be played by anyone who enjoys RPGs.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.4Mar 13, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This review is coming from someone who absolutely loved Dragon Age: Origins and came into Dragon Age 2 with high expectations. I fully expect that if I didn't like Origins so much I'd give this game about a 5 or 6.
I just completed this game as a sword and shield tanking warrior. Dragon Age 2 has many good qualities but just as many faults. The combat in this game reminds me of old arcade games with enemies constantly spawning in from the sides while you beat them up. Most of the fights in this game involve enemies swinging down from the rooftops like monkeys. I spent most of my battles trying to pick up aggro on stray enemies spawning in behind my mages. I enjoyed the new combat animations, but not much else. The dual wielding dagger Templars doing back flips in full plate was pretty entertaining.
Another problem with the combat is the lack of npc character specializations. You can't, for instance, make Isabela an archer or make Fenris a tank. Your only choice for a healer for most of the game is Anders. With my warrior I felt like I was forced to take Anders with me even though I didn't really like him. It feels a lot like having to take Wynne with you in Origins if you weren't a mage. At least there you had the option of making Morigan into a healer. Also, as I'm sure many previous reviews have stated, you can't change your companion's armor. The graphics do look pretty good. However, there are so few environments that the visuals eventually lose their appeal. You literally see everything you are going to see in the first act of the game as far as environments go. I wish that Dragon Age 2 had at least one more substantial area to visit. There were a few graphical glitches I encountered such as the shield on my warrior's back appearing and disappearing during dialogues.
The plot starts off strong, gets weaker in the middle, and ramps up near the very end. This game really hammers you with the whole Templars vs Mages concept and doesn't stop. I was getting tired of being reminded around every corner that the two groups just don't like each other. I guess they are just trying to explain that to new players who haven't played Origins, but even then it seems excessive. Along this line, it appears that every mage in the city of Kirkwall can just whip out a knife and perform blood magic. I was shocked by the amount of blood mages in this game. It really got old fast.
I really liked the Qunari in this game, and looked forward to all the segments involving them. They were voiced well, and by the end of the game I thought they would have made a much better antagonist than the actual antagonist.
I enjoyed the voice work and the music of the game for the most part. Some of the pronunciation of certain locations in the game have changed from Origins (I cringe whenever an elf says Arlathan), but that is my only complaint. The characters are believable and are quite interesting. Their voices are pretty quiet though, requiring me to crank up the speaker volume and lower the soundeffect/music volume to hear them well.
The side quests in this game are quite mundane. You usually either go somewhere and kill some guys or you bring some item you found back to somebody in the town. There are so many side characters involved in these quests that you quickly forget who they are when they show up later. I'd have characters appear and say something like, "You killed my brother!!!" and I'd just be standing there thinking, "I did?" It helps that several of these encounters have a dialogue option along the lines of, "Who are you again?"
The game froze on me about 8 times, with about two cases of quests not working correctly. I had just completed a character quest with Anders, and the quest text told me to speak with him in his clinic. When I went to his clinic and clicked on him, all he did was speak one line of dialogue. The quest remained in my log until the end of the game. I found out later that some other quests I thought I had completed didn't show their ending scenes.
It took me about 30 hours to complete the game, doing all of the side quests I could find and beating optional boss encounters. It was pretty fun in the beginning, but I gradually just wanted to hurry up and complete it near the end. For every one thing that Dragon Age 2 does right, it does one thing wrong. I can't recommend paying full price for this game, but you should pick it up after the price has come down a bit or steam has a sale. Well, only if you enjoy the setting of Origins. I can't really imagine someone getting much out of this title without having played the first game.… Expand