Dragon Age II review

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  • Kayden - March 16, 2011 10:46 a.m.

    My thoughts on Dragon Age 2 for the PC. cons music: in particular there is a harp section that sounds like it was from mass effect 2, if you were that rushed just use the music from dao and not from your other franchises. gfx: many issues with dx11 and neither bioware or nvidia are providing feed back, bioware is just taking info but nothing specific to get this narrowed down, why? I can see the wire frames of the tessellation being used, i can pan the camera into rocks using it levels: cookie cutter levels really? bioware has been about quality not rehashing, i can see how well that ea\bioware merger is working out for you, the bottom line it looks like not the games like what bioware use to be about. my biggest problem is with the minimaps they don't reflect the sections cut off they just used the default so you get the feeling that they are bigger but u quickly find out it's all smoke and mirrors. money, loot and rewards: i find it very debilitating for the game to only give you money for items as if you walked into a pawn shop to sell your families fine jewlery or silver. i bought a staff for over 8 gold ($800) i barely sold it for 60 silver ($60). this is unacceptable especially when I was in the same chapter and the value shouldn't have changed that much, then u put in 50 gold for an expedition and you only get back 50 gold from it?!? or the mining area u become a partner in you have no control over wages and u get no regular income from it?!? the worst economic structure i have ever seen in a rpg hands down. dlc: I find that the black emporiums content like the dog was supposed to be in the game from the get go because more then 1 person interacts with the dog. then there is the prince dlc which is a companion that literally looks like he was plucked from the game just to have us spend another $7 on the game, also I am finding a lot of bows which this prince would greatly benefit from but i don't have em so i just sell all of them. this is just pathetic, i know you want more money but taking content out of the game you were going to release with it anyways is just plain greedy. all the content is on the disc or download from steam & etc it just needs to be unlocked with your account no joke, they are being greedy. characters: why do the elves looks like they are the Na'vi from Avatar but with lighter skin?!? pros gfx: explosions, magic effects movement all really well done. mainly because they aren't using dx11 it's all dx9 and limited to consoles so they only focused on that nothing else for dx11 which is very sad. the facial animations actually reflect the emotion trying to be portrayed by the voice which isn't always easy in a game as big as this, nice to see they paid attention to that. sound: voice acting is top notch. environmental sfx right on everything playing the way it should and the npcs interacting with the ppl on the street is a nice touch. gameplay: it is nice to play this game with out it feeling like combat is a chore as it did in the first, this is quicker and the pay off is seen immediatly, with the ai actually following the combat tactics you painfully setup. the over arching good and bad is gone, is this bad? No i don't think so. it lets you make decisions that only effect the ones around out in your party, so it isn't like the guy two continents away know who u are before u get there and I like that. it frees you up to take the party u want for certain missions and make the more roguish decisions with out feeling like such a jerk. story: still the strongest selling point for any bioware game and this one does not disappoint here. there are times it feels like the main story is about binding all the little stories together and not bringing you the point of where you are the champion, it's just different not necessarily bad but many may not like it. controls: gone is the full task bar for my main char, good thing to cause it was confusing keeping everything straight at 1920x1080.
  • sirdilznik - March 16, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    The graphics looks fairly good, the animations are great, the voice acting is quality, and the cut scenes are really nice. Despite all this I find the game boring. The combat controls make me feel like I'm playing a MMO (not a compliment) and it feels really repetitive (bunch of enemies appear, tear through enemies with exaggerated moves, bunch more enemies spawn all around you out of nowhere, lather, rinse, repeat). It feels like they couldn't decide whether to make an Action RPG or a Tactical RPG so they tried to do both and partially failed on both accounts. It's really hard to play the game tactically when enemies constantly appear out of thin air all around you. Even if you pull aggro to your warriors with taunt and/or use aggro lowering abilities with the other characters, how do you keep the mages and archers out of harm's way when there usually is no clear direction enemies are coming from, they just pop in out of nowhere right next to you (I understand that for assassins and such but pretty much all enemies do this). I dunno the game just feels tedious without any real sense of purpose. It's like doing grinding in a MMO or in a jRPG in between quests, but the quests themselves feel like that. The game just feels like a step back instead of a step forward.
  • revsears - March 16, 2011 9:05 a.m.

    I've not yet finished but so far, I'm extremely disappointed. The action in the fights is improved, but i loved the tactical fell of the original, and this seems only to do lip service to that, even on Hard setting. I'm still in the beginning section but so far there is no real drive to complete the story, i'm just on an aimless quest for 50 gold. I also feel first into the bad guy roll, so far i'm hoping my Warden shows up to kill Hawk the mass murderer. It's hardly realistic that every romance able char is bi. Anders certainly seems changed for the worse. I can't see a logical reason I can't change my parties outfits, I wasn't a fan of Morrigan being stuck like that the whole time in DA:0 why in increase it this go around? It makes them feel more static and less dynamic. I loathe that my only romance options as a straight male, are a pirate with Allegory Jesus Porn or a blood mage. Lelliana and even Morrigan seemed more on the side of Good then these two.
  • Spybreak8 - March 16, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    @ Shinn Yeah good point, I was amazed to see the manual being about 20 pages long. That's very rare with modern day games now but you can learn a lot of strategies and tips by reading it, (like the cross-class combos for example). It's all about staggering, disorienting and making enemies brittle.
  • Shinn - March 16, 2011 3:53 a.m.

    Far too late to the party to hold any relevance, nothing that has been said in this review hasn't been shouted at me by hateful teenagers. It's a great game, the actual combat mechanic is more complex (read the manual please people), it's not as good as Origins blah blah blah.
  • CaptCOMMANDO - March 16, 2011 3:32 a.m.

    Why DIDN'T this get a super review? But its still a reasonably good review regardless...
  • hester2 - March 16, 2011 3:02 a.m.

    Kind of disappointed that you guys didn't reference the PC version. It's much more similar to Origins, outside of not equipping your allies' armor (although you can equip everything else except for Varric's weapon). You want to micromanage, turn off the tactics. You want difficulty, crank it up.
  • morganjanzen - March 16, 2011 2:41 a.m.

    LAME!!! I lost loads of respect for Mass Effect when I played part 2 and it was dumbed down to a simple shooter. I was thinking of getting DA2 but now I wont for sure. Thanks for the review!!!
  • Spybreak8 - March 16, 2011 2:38 a.m.

    Disappointed not to see a super review and it looks like DA2 is mainly a subjective thing. I'm in Act 2 right now and loving it. I really didn't love Origins and I'll be honest I like scifi over fantasy, mainly because it's been done so many times, so that's my personal opinion. One thing is for sure they did a great job presenting the lore, world and characters this time. I've read all the codex entries in this game, I'm probably a minority on that matter lol.
  • asspills - March 16, 2011 1:54 a.m.

    If i were to want to get into Dragon Age, should I go for this one, or Dragon Age 2? Assume that if I choose one, I won't ever get the other one. Would it be better to buy the improved, but dumbed down sequel, or the original?
  • ObliqueZombie - March 16, 2011 1:51 a.m.

    I wasn't exactly... impressed with the demo. Yes, yes it's a demo, but dammit, it should be exactly what we'd expect from the full game! While I didn't play through the entire Dragon Age: Origins (I guess I lost interest... ?), I like combat that's more... intelligent. Something that takes just *that* much more brain usage. Kinduv like comparing Halo to CoD: Halo just adds more depth with Armour Abilities, reticule bloom, physics, etc., whereas CoD is more "aim here fast shoot good dead!" So, personally, I would've prefered the same combat as the first, as well as a wider, more open area to explore. @lilbuddha, ME2's combat was dumbed down? Hell, what games did you play? It was refined, not changed.
  • Redeater - March 16, 2011 1:46 a.m.

    Also why did we wait a week for a one page review? I know you people are busy but this seems pretty absurd.
  • Redeater - March 16, 2011 1:44 a.m.

    I thought the story was actually better then the first Dragon Age. While the combat didn't bother me as much as it did some people I found the fact that you are running through the same 7-8 "dungeons" pretty inexcusable. I'm almost done my second playthrough and I have probably played the coast level 30-40 times......AND ITS THE SAME FUCKING THING EVERYTIME. Sadly a well deserved 8.
  • NotBraze - March 16, 2011 1:03 a.m.

    @Spacegrass I don't know what game you're playing, but there's no way the Dragon Age II I'm playing would run on a PS2, and it's definitely superior graphically to Dragon Age: Origins. I also think the writing and acting are loads better, compare a conversation with Leliana in the first game (is she actually talking to me or reading from some Ferelden Encyclopedia?) to a conversation with Varric in this game. The characters in DAII act like real people rather than vessels to spout of expository dialogue for half the game. Yes, later in Origins the characters became more fleshed out, but the early conversations were almost drudgery.
  • FauxFurry - March 16, 2011 1 a.m.

    What a co-inki-dink. That's exactly the score that I'd give it. It's about what I'd expected from the demo,a Jade Empire-styled game set in the world shaped by the events of Origins but one that tells its own (sometimes disjointed and meandering)tale. It's mighty fine if you didn't want another 'classic' style BioWare game but bad news if you were hoping for 'more of the same but better'. Bioware could have saved themselves a lot of grief by refraining from slapping a 2 on the end of the title and just given it a separate subtitle like the other installments in the series besides Origins (Journeys,Legends)have.
  • Ganonpork - March 16, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    pshhhhhhh. I played through the original 3 times and the demo was super fucking cool. i cant believe you'd make this game share the same rank as one reviewed by the lovely mister Barrat in which you play as a retarted buzz lightyear shooting purple water guns (Reach).
  • Spacegrass - March 16, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    Funny how the critics all seem to love Dragon Age II, but the average user review on Metacritic gives it a 4.1. Having played the game, I'm inclined to agree with the users. I've been a Bioware fan since Baldur's Gate, but this time they've really sold out. Everything about the game seems rushed; the graphics look like something from a PS2 game, the writers and actors just didn't care, and the combat is absolutely ass terrible. Combat encounters trade quality for quantity; instead of challenging battles that require tactical planning, you're up against waves of weak enemies attacking from all directions. Spells and abilities take longer to cool down, and very few have area effects, so you'll spend most of combat just spamming the attack button. There's also EA's terrible business ethics to contend with. They've been whoring out DLC to the point of charging you $10 on release day for something that should have been in the game. Worse still is the DRM on PC versions; like all DRM, it makes no sense because pirates find a way around it, and it just ends up punishing people who buy a legitimate copy. I really did want to like this game. Bioware has provided me with some of my fondest gaming memories, from Candlekeep to the Collector base. With this, though, Bioware has sold its soul to a corporate monster, and I fear they've been lost forever.
  • babyhenchy1 - March 16, 2011 12:38 a.m.

    Sorry typo. It's NOT a great BioWare game just a good one. Which translates to better than most other games you'll find from most other developers.
  • babyhenchy1 - March 16, 2011 12:34 a.m.

    I'm so glad to see that the haters aren't rushing here *knock on wood*. I don't think this game is as good as Origins and is one of the weaker games BioWare has made in a while. I will say that streamlining really worked for Mass Effect 2 but I don't think it was really the best move here. It also felt a little rushed and a little easy (though the Arishok pissed me off). It's a great BioWare game but it is a good one but that's still better than the great games from most developers.
  • OnyxOblivion - March 16, 2011 12:31 a.m.

    I'm part of the console clan, and I hate the overly simplistic nature, and abundance of mandatory side-questing.

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More Info

Release date: Mar 08 2011 - PS3, PC, Xbox 360 (US)
Mar 11 2011 - PS3, PC, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3, PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: BioWare
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Language, Violence, Sexual Content
PEGI Rating: