Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age 2 review: A mature, challenging, modern RPG

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    4.50 / 5
  • User Rating

    3.00 / 5 (of 22 Reviews)
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    TBA (AUD)

User Reviews:

DaHye

0.0

1

Pros
yo momma
Cons
flapjacks
• • •

PCWorld obviously got paid for this review. After playing DAO, Dragon Age II just doesn't match up. It is limited in every way. How is there 'nothing wrong' with having limited maps to explore? Boring. The companions are shallow and stereotyped and I paid no attention to the storyline; who cares about some bitch who doesn't like mages? I got less play time out of Dragon Age II because I was bored of it so quickly. I only played it once, whereas I played DAO a few timest. At least with DAO you could make different decisions that actually affected the storyline. Consoles can eat my ass after what they did to Dragon Age

Dave

0.0

2

Pros
Witcher 2
Cons
Dragon Age II
• • •

I'm sorry did you mentioned that Dragon Age II is innovative? The recycled dungeons, waves of enemies spawning out of nowhere and lack-luster storyline are innovative? Along with PC Gamer and PC Format, I'm not trusting this site for reviews again.

Holly

2.0

3

Pros
hawke
Cons
characters & Map
• • •

The main plot is not to defeat evil as in DA Origins. It is more like choosing which gang to join. Your brother is a templar, your sister a Mage. I was very uncomfortable killing inocents. As a woman I valued the romantic aspect of DA origins. The characters are terrible. The only good looking man is a MONK! My choices are a homicial maniac or a skinny elf that hates my no matter what I do. Not very satisfying! After having my lover tell me he "appreciates me" a hundred times I tried to run him through with my sword. I was happy I could actually execute him at the end. I WANT MY ALLISTER BACK. The love interests if your playing as a man are worse, a trecherous pirate or a skinny deluded elf who wants to play with deamons. The yellow & black map is tacky. No epic game here. I have gone back to origins which I have completed over 20 times, and moved on to FableIII & Fallout new vegas. I am so disappointed since I LOVED DA ORIGINS.

Torun

5.0

4

Pros
The story and storytelling, the combat, the new talent trees, the voiced protagonist and the dialogue wheel, the companions, the romance and the side quests
Cons
Bad AoE targeting and badly written paraphrases sometimes
• • •

I agee with almost everything Matthew said. Borrowing from MMO RPG:s is not a bad thing. Especially if it makes the combat as good as in DA2.

My first thought after finishing DA2 was: this is probably the best game I have ever played. That was also thought number 2-10. Thought number 11 was: this was like reading book in the song of ice an fire series by George RR Martin. The storytelling blew my mind. I really liked how small things ended up significant and that things that seemed disconnected were really connected.

- The battles were awsome! I would not have thought that the battles of origins could be improved like this, because at the time they seemed perfect. Happy to be proven wrong! Loved the enemy waves, witch kept the battles interesting and dynamic. Targeting of AoE has to be improved though.
-Loved the voiced protagonist. I liked the dialogue wheel, but it can be improved. The paraphrases sometimes have nothing to do with what is said. But with wellwritten paraphrases, this problem would be solved (probably the only bad writing in this game).
-The side quests were much better than in origins. In origins it was 1. come to new area (ie Orzammar). 2. Speak to everyone to collect side quests 3. Begin main quest and while doing the main quests allmost all side quests are resolved at the same time and you barely notice them being solved.
- The story. Unique and so very good! Best story ever in a video game! And there are so many good stories out there. The best thing about it was that it was so packed with emotions and it really made me feel all of it. Sometimes I was crushed with sorrow and I love that a game can make me feel that way.

I have to add that I am a fan of old school RPGs and Baldurs Gate and Origins are among my favourite games all time. I say this, becaus people seem to think that every fan that like Da2 is a new to the series or that they didn't really like DAO much.

Tox

2.0

5

Pros
Great Console Gameplay
Cons
rushed, reused, and poorly balanced
• • •

Dragon Age II actually has very little innovation in it its even more Mass Effect 2 with elves than Origins was for Mass Effect 1. The conversation wheel, the character development and play styles are all very similar. The true shining accomplishment here is the change from play style from pseudo hack-n-slash turn based style to jump and dodge kingdom hearts style which is truly enjoyable with a controller, not so much with a rockin pause now button under your thumb. Sadly I feel like this new play style led to some very poor decisions in how to handle nightmare mode as a simply scripted npc does not understand the concept of a timed dodge. Strategy wise I found the lack of companion class redundancy really put a hamper on the game at times as I often wanted the mind and opinions(due to the story line) of one character with the skill set of the one that fit my build, too many of the characters are pigeon holed into their original setup without the ability to really switch out due to the new inventory system and the new talent system which has no npc specialization

Also, you really need to revisit your timeline on MMOs and pen and paper RPGs as WOW et all have borrowed heavily in their use of skill/talents/spells and their time-step(turn based) combat systems, while newer RPGs have switched to using "spam the same skills ad nauseum"(DnD 4th ed.), i feel this spamming is the true gift received by major MMOs as they tend to take the approach of having a single optimum hammer(skill) for each type of nail(situation) and while you may have access to other skills non will work as well and you end up using the same one over and over or in a repeated sequence

Lastly

TMZuk

1.5

6

Pros
Voice-acting and a few characters.
Cons
Everything else.
• • •

I doubt I played the same game as the reviewer. Because, in short: This game sucks!

It is inferior to DA:O in any way possible. Interaction with the world, combat, quests, setting and story.

To begin with: The game spans a ten year period within a single city, Kirkwall in the Free Marches (NOT in Ferelden), two minor excursions to the Deep Roads excluded. Interesting idea. However, even with so few areas needed for such a concept, we see no end of recycled locations. Furthermore, during the ten years, it seems each and everyone of the inhabitants of Kirkwall are quite content standing in one place, never bothering to move.

Gangs roam this city. And during a ten year period, they do not manage to learn a simple fact: Stay away from Hawke. Time after time your character is jumped by waves of hapless trash, lowering themselves to the ground in invisible ropes. Very immersive. And to add to that, the above mentioned unmoving "NPCs", (I hesitate to call the NPC's as it is impossible to interact with them in any way), has become so used to this so they simply carry on working or arguing during these combats, while swords and spells fly around their ears.

Spells. Kirkwall has a ban against magic, and the templars hunts down any rogue mage with fervent fanaticism. However, your character OR his companions can drop a fireball in front of a group of templars, use blood-magic openly or what have we, and not only do the templars not react, you can have a chat with them afterwards about just how horrid and dangerous those mages are. Profound, Bioware, profound.

Combat... well if you like bad seventies kung-fu movies, you'll love the combat. Ridiculous ten foot jumps into the air, absurd and unbelievable "skills", such as ramming your characters swordpoint into the ground, thus creating an earth-quake. Rogues that teleports around the battlefield, always ending behind their opponents undetected. Combine this with enemies that time and time again appear out of nowhere, and you have the absolutely worst combat ever seen in an RPG.

And in order to have this amazing combat-system, the classes are more narrow and restricted than ever before.A warrior can only use a two-handed sword or sword and shield. No dual-vielding, no bows. A rogue HAS to use a bow or two daggers. No swords for rogues, no no. A mage has a staff. It's as bad as basic D&D from the late seventies. Awful!

If I have to say something good about the game, it will be a reference to it's half-intersting story, the quality voice-acting, and some funny companions, notably Varric and Isabela. That's it!

What ever this game is, it is not an RPG. The flaws are so manyfold that a full list would take hours, there are many more than those I have adressed already. In short, Dragon Age 2 a disaster!

Lukas

4.0

7

Pros
A lot of things, but Isabella most
Cons
Reused dungeons and cliffhanger ending
• • •

I agree with the article. DA2 has taken a different path than its predecessor. It's innovative, it's different, it's a bit narrower perhaps, but it's still a great game. I did enjoy games like Baldur's Gate at their times, but everything has to evolve. Quite frankly, I wasn't THAT psyched by DA:O, actually I stopped playing it twice for some long periods of time. The second time I started playing it I actually abandoned all that I had achieved prior to that, because I felt like my Two-Handed specialized Warrior was quite weak and went with a Mage instead. After I finished the game I had to admit that it was indeed a good game, but there are a lot of choices that came with DA2 that made me quite happy. For example, inventory that it easy to maintain isn't really a nuisance and equally I appreciate that my party members attain their appearance throughout the game. I really enjoyed some characters and DA2 is also great to look at. Some people on the internet complained that DA2 looks worse than DA:O, I don't know what PCs they played the game on, but frankly it looks much better than DA:O ever could. I liked dynamic fights and the feel of power that comes with smashing hordes of enemies, until you hit a wall in a form of High Dragon. So in the end, story concentrating on an individual rather than saving the world cliche was refreshing and fun, but quite poor climax and the fact that neither Templars nor Mages were really sympathetic puts DA2 miles behind Mass Effect 2 for me. My hopes are that BioWare will come with their top shape presented in ME3.

xkg

1.0

8

Pros
isabella
Cons
DA:2
• • •

omg man - read something about lore of the game you are going to review
"The world of Ferelden might be more limited directly this time around..."
it Thedas World and Ferelden is just a kingdom - and Kirkwal doesnt even belong to that kindom as it lies in Free Marches
how can you review be any reliable if you dont even know what are you talking about ?

Mark

1.0

9

Pros
????
Cons
Just About Everything
• • •

DA 2 is a rushed hack job of a game in which it's made fairly obvious EA/Bioware has no respect for the DA franchise or its fans.

What they did with DA 2 is not innovation. Any review that you read which says differently is flat out lying. Innovation is not made with such a short dev cycle or linear storyline. The re-art of some of the monsters and characters is atrocious and don't even get me started with the storyline or flat characters. DA 2, if anything, is a step backwards in time reflective of when gaming just started if you ask me, though I truly fail to recall when a game re-used areas so profusely.

There are a few redeeming qualities about the game, but nothing that makes it worth the price tag, unless that price tag drops to about $10. Seeing as how DA 2 has hit bargain bins and is readily available on ebay and Amazon, that dollar figure isn't far off.

Sad for those of us who paid full price for a game that was so blatantly rushed.

gremli21

2.5

10

Pros
dragon age
Cons
dragonage2
• • •

I rarely play these games but really liked dragon age and origins.In game interface was was good in these but did take some time to learn.Never had any trouble running the game.So thought dragon 2 would be a follow up of the story,not.I just bought dragon 2 and immediatly interface face was almost cartoonish.nothing like the original.I want to know from ea why the change? players like myself like to see a continued story that's why I bought 2.I hope you go back to original interface and the story in 3 if ther is a 3.

Dan

2.5

11

Pros
Improved graphics, dominant personality system
Cons
Recycled maps, poor replay value
• • •

In DA2's defense the game was fun the first time I played it. I can't say the same for subsequent replays, however.

There is no sense of accomplishment or even gaining power because, regardless of what your title may be or how your choose to act, you will always be playing gofer: there is no political intrigue, no deals or alliances to be made, no influence to be had over how the city changes in the ten (actually seven) years your character "rises to power". It doesn't matter if you're a noble warrior or foolishly assertive mage in the mage-hating city of Kirkwall, you advance -unchallenged- in status in the exact same way; nor does it matter if you choose one side-quest over another because they have absolutely no consequence or any reminder of what you did (except a possible note in your house - the quest journal doesn't even keep track of what you did once you finish a quest, only that it's done).

Even more jarring is how plot quests are blatantly railroaded - it doesn't matter how much or little respect you gain from one faction, they will always try to overtake the city and leave at the conclusion of that quest; it doesn't matter how you approach (or skip altogether) a murder investigation, an NPC acquaintance will always die in a meaninglessly horrific manner; it doesn't matter how you treat a companion or what revelations you bring upon them, they will always betray you by murdering a building full of people; it doesn't matter who you choose to support throughout the game because you wind up killing the same people in the same order for the same reasons. While acceptable in any other genre, not even bothering to disguise such poor railroading in a modern RPG is disappointing at the very least (and in this respect DA2 is inferior to its predecessor, contrary to Matthew Sainsbury's assertion).

If you're looking for an RPG with multiple solutions to plot quests, Dragon Age: Origins does it better.
If you're looking for an RPG where your attitude towards others has consequences, Alpha Protocol does it better.
If you're looking for an RPG about rising up from nothing to become the key player between warring factions, Fallout: New Vegas does it better.

Dragon Age 2 is different from Dragon Age: Origins, however it didn't improve on the model so much as replace it altogether with elements inspired from different sources. It loses focus and a great deal of polish in the attempt, producing an utterly average game that is fun but also easily forgettable. That's not to say it deserves as heavy a backlash as it did, but it doesn't deserve the praise that all of the "professional" reviewers have been lauding upon it either.

MorroIan

4.5

12

Pros
Hawke, VA
Cons
Environment re-use
• • •

Well said Matthew I heartily agree, the changes are at teh base of most of the reaction. It would be a great pity if Bioware themselves rolled back the DA series given the innovations DA2 has introduced, they just have to persuade EA to give them more time to polish the game and ensure they have enough environments.

Tomwise

3.5

13

Pros
Story up to the ending.
Cons
rushed game, re-used environments, combat
• • •

Am I the only one that finds it funny that the author of the review thinks Kirkwall is in Ferelden? O_o

John

3.0

14

Pros
no more mages doing 'pew pew' in close combat
Cons
Combat, enemies coming out of thin air, re-cycled environments
• • •

The game is obviously made to suit new generation of players (mostly console) that think managing party inventory is waste of time and prefer characters jumping and doing all kinds of flashy things with their sword, to actual tactical combat. Most of the old RPG players (like me) won't feel the same about the game (and few might take that as a hint...that they're too old for video games =))
I'm not saying it's a terrible game...it's just disappointing to see where bioware is taking the franchise (opinion from an old gamers perceptive, who bought pretty much all of their games since Baldur's gate)

Sandra Kiel

2.5

15

Pros
Dragon Age Origins Fighting System
Cons
Dragon Age 2 Fight System
• • •

Ohm, eveybody says only the same. but there is a site that actualy says truth. da2 is sooooooooooooo fu**IN short. its longer then mass effect but shorter then origins. [-.-] and you guys says da2 is top??
and da2 is not ANYMORE a roleplaying game.
hah, its more a mix of sience finction and adventure.
and what with this human race-only?? some other people wants to play elfs or dwarfs.
another game that was top going to down..
i hope the next game you gonna publish (after the dlc's of da2) will more roleplaying and longer. and pls don't make these elfs looks like avatar. the elfs of dragon age 2 looks like the movie AVATAR. thats sick.
i just laughed to death when i saw them... [-.-]

Ferelden

5.0

16

Pros
Combat, Powers that Actually Do Something, Dialogue, Story
Cons
Occasional Bugs
• • •

I agree completely with the article- except I don't think anything will discourage Bioware.

Im surprised by the amount of negative reviews. This game gave me everything an RPG should- exploration, good enemies, plot twists, and story galore.

I don't miss endless inventory customization for 6+ other characters. It's a waste of time.

Also there are plenty of other "old school" RPG classics that take place in one local. "Eye of the Beholder" and Ultima Underworlds come to mind.

Potions, spells, bombs, powers, all actually work in this game. I'm surprised people didn't criticize DA 1 more for so many ineffective powers and talent trees. Again, another waste of time eliminated.

Goes to show people don't always want what works- they want what they're used to.

Zangree

3.0

17

Pros
some of the writting
Cons
rushed, rushed, rushed
• • •

"if you take risks, you'll piss off some very vocal fanboys."
But BW took risks with DA 2 not because they were aiming for something new and exciting but because of ridiculously short development schedule. To BW credit they have actually managed to release an ok game but, compared to DA:O, DA2 is a streamlined and simplified product. Still, it isn't surprising that BW is trying to sell this "rush job" as a well thought through and carefully crafted product.
So I do hope that other developers do learn that there will be a backlash is you take your customers too much for granted ...

Sam

2.5

18

Pros
Cross Class combos
Cons
The rest
• • •

The fan reaction is not against innovation. It is agaist the active removal of elements important to RPG players and turning an RPG franchise into a watered down, non-innovative action game. No real inventory. Enemy spawning in mid air, from no-where, in front of the player's face. Spawning always in 3 waves. No proper conclusion to the story (cliffhanger ending). The companions feel wooden except for Aveline. BioWare rushed this, and designed it for console action, and it shows in every little detail.

Eli

5.0

19

Pros
The culture
Cons
It was rushed
• • •

Dragon Age 2 has the potential to be the best thing that ever happened to the Dragon Age franchise. Well it and Origins. Yeah it was rushed and a lot of environments were reused over and over again, but let's face it, the same exact thing happened with Origins. What really makes DA2 stand out is the culture it holds. Bioware said they wanted to expand on the world of Thedas, and they most certainly have. But that's not the real reason I'm writing this review, because the thing that gets me most excited is the prospect of Dragon Age 3. The way I see it, neither Origins nor DA2 can boast of being the better game, because they are both fantastic in different ways. Origins excelled in the classic, doomsday Bioware plot, as well as in its expansive world and different origin stories. It was the classic RPG. DA2, on the other hand, is new and fresh, a game that takes risks and makes them pay off. It has better combat, a fully voiced character that you actually get attached to as if he/she were a real person, and a very reactive, very compelling non-linear storyline that pulls you in and never lets go. That's where Dragon Age 3 comes in. Imagine a game with the foundation of a classic RPG but also the culture and everything else that made DA2 brilliant. Such a game would be the best of both worlds, it would appease the fan boys and the action/adventure die hards. Such a game would be all but perfect. And that is what Dragon Age 3 has the potential to be. But like the article said, Bioware is being discouraged to try anything new. Well that's the best part: that game wouldn't be new, it would be the middle ground between two proven masterpieces. And in being both its predecessors, it would surpass them both as well. I very much hope that someone from Bioware will by chance read this, because I'm telling you, that game would top anything and everything else.

Jack

4.0

20

Pros
The World/Cultures/Politics
Cons
re-used environments and exploding bodies
• • •

I agree, for the most part, with the article. The game probably was a tad rushed, but I did feel like I learned a lot more about the world of Thedas in DA2 compared to DAO. I kind of would like to see the kind of direction explored in DA2 more--a story that focuses on politics, different cultures and philosophies, and even personal struggles to simply get ahead in society rather than the same cliched storylines of "journey across [enter harsh environment] and kill lots of [enter hostile creatures] to get [enter unique magic item] which is the only thing that can kill [enter dark evil being] to save the world." Been there and done that. DA2 felt new, and I enjoyed it. I liked having a house and feeling like I'm part of Kirkwall's politics--neutral, but being tugged on by different factions. Also, I'm going through it a third time and still enjoying it, and I enjoyed it more the second time through than the first--I was, at first, missing DAO after the first time through. It improved with the second play-through. To me, that's a good sign.

David

5.0

21

Pros
Combat, story and dialog
Cons
Re-used environments
• • •

This is a great game. It does feel different to DAO however it has that real story driven adventure that games like Oblivion and two worlds lack. The Combat is like a violent version of Kingdom hearts and the characters and generally likable unlike FFX13. The quests are deep and the side stories are interesting very much like baldur's gate 2. This game is absolutely fantastic and it probably the best RPG i've ever played. Thank you Bioware they dont make them like this anymore.

Joshua

4.0

22

Pros
you got Mass Effect in my Dragon Age
Cons
recycled enviroments
• • •

While Dragon Age 2 is no where near a large scope game as Dragon Age: Origins I feel that its still a great game in its own right, being a fan of the Mass Effect games to me the dialogue system was a welcome, combat is greatly improved but environments are recycled to the point that you'll be saying "haven't I been here before", the one thing that bugged me though was the fact that you could only pick human race as supposed to elf or dwarf as in the previous, all in all its not as huge and mind blowing as the first but its still a good game

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