So as the second installment of the Dragon Age series, it wasn't quite what I was expecting, though that's not a bad thing. Most of the reviews have focused on comparing DA 1 to DA 2, but I encourage fans to think of the game as an offshoot more than a direct descendant to DA 1.
There are a couple of drawbacks, I will admit. In DA 1 you could upgrade your parties armors and such (not just accessories). You can't do that in DA 2, which is somewhat disappointing, but you get used to it.
The combat for the game is slightly different as well, with button mashing real time instead of turn based, which I liked just because I hate the idea of not being in control, which most of the turn based games feel like to me.
The rest of the game in my opinion is great. The game takes an interesting approach. It was tough to really figure out what the overall goal of the game was. Was it resolving the struggle between mages/templars? Was it battling a new evil in the Deep Roads? There just never seemed to be a clear story line. In DA 1, you were building up to the fight with the Arch Demon and carrying on the line of the Grey Wardens. But its unclear with DA 2; until I looked at it another way. Most video games have that driving story line, that clear objective you were working towards. But this one was different, you just kind of an average guy. It felt like you were living out your characters day-to-day life, which was different and exciting for me. At first it was annoying that I was stuck in the city the whole time, instead of travelling the world, but then it grew on me, adding to the feel of being with the character from day to day. It created a sense of being the character, instead of playing him.
And although the storyline really doesn't have anything to do with DA 1, there's the cut scene at the end that suggests the two will tie together eventually. I truly hope so. I would hate for Dragon Age to become the next Knights of the Old Republic and just forget about it.
Great game, the only issue I had was that when you explore or even when you do main missions, the areas you go into keep repeating. One very small issue I had was that you really don't get as connected as you would like to the characters. Howver if you really wanted to get connected to the characters you would most likey be going out of your way a lot.
First off, this review is coming from someone who logged over 300 hours in Dragon Age: Origins. Bioware decided to take a new approach to this game, give it a more Mass Effect appeal with hack n slash combat. With a few excellent upgrades from the first, they fell in a lot of other areas.
Story: A refugee becomes the savior of the city of Kirkwall. Which for the record, you hardly ever leave the city, so if you were hoping for a big world adventure, your out of luck. Basically the story revolves around the Chantry against the Mages. You can be good or bad, and if you import Dragon Age: Origins character in you get unique dialogue and quests. The story will keep you amused, but not on the edge of your seat. 6/10
Characters: Excellent job here. They made each character very unique in their own way. Each character has a skill tree only they can use, and all of their personalities shine very bright. Easy to fall in love with the characters and how they react to you. 10/10
Combat: Yes and No. While more abilities add more fun to combat, it just seems a little over the top. It's fast paced, and very rugged, as in you have to mash buttons. Aside from playing as a rogue not much strategy involved, which sucks. You can set up your party skill trees and they react very good, but if you enjoyed how the first game felt, you will hate this game. 5/10
Graphics/Sound : Very good, a lot more voice actors and sound effects, visuals are more bright then the first game. 9/10
Replay Value: This game is LONG! One playthrough without side quests, knowing what your doing, will last you a good 30 hours. With side quests, your looking 50 to 60, because there are a lot. From my perspective, once I was finally done I really didn't want to go through all that again. But I do see future replay as different classes and personalities. 7/10
In summary, Bioware did do a good job on this game. But I think they strayed from the path a little too much. Definitely worth a rent