gamers (85%) found this review helpful
Now I see why the sequel came out so quickly after Origins. It looks, feels and tastes very rushed and lazy. I'm starting my 3rd go round as the 3rd different character. I played Origins for months... it took several weeks just to finish the first try. The areas were huge and there was a lot of backtracking to re-meet people and do favors for people you got to know and either love or hate. The story was deep and well thought out, the game play was addictive and I felt immersed in a world of tales and adventure.
Not so with II.
It tries very hard from the beginning to get you into the story by testing your virgin mettle with a few easy foes to give you the hang of what's about to happen and offering a few short story lines from our old friend Flemeth and few new people and some "heart breaking" dialogue and decisions that don't change anything later that I know of.
When you finish the opening scenes and expect to battle your way even more in to Kirkwall through The Wilds, you are expecting a few hours of game play into The Wilds like in Origins. Not so much. You never see The Wilds. The story cuts right past it.
Next scene. You are indebted for a year to work for people. You expect to do chores for a year, killing people etc...etc. Not so much. You never see the next year. The story cuts right past it.
The Deep Roads. You would expect to be in The Deep Roads for a few days or weeks depending on how much time you have. It warns you to take care of anything else before you go. Not so much. You will fight a few people and depending on the difficulty you will be done with this scene in a couple of hours and never see The Deep Roads again.
Every task seems like just a short cut scene in between cut scenes. The game can be beaten too quickly and the only replay value is achievements and waiting for costly downloads to fill in the blanks of the action they left out.
gamers (80%) found this review helpful
I would like to say, upfront, that this is a fun game. I had trouble putting down the controller and my thoughts often strayed to this game when I wasn't playing. With that said, I am fairly disappointed with the game overall.
This game feels like it wasn't properly managed in some form or another. Origins was a rich, full world that was fun to explore and get lost in. Two isn't as much. A few more corners were cut with this game as a lot (A LOT) of assets are reused. It wasn't bothersome at first, but when when you went through the same cave for the 40th time it got rather tiresome. It feels like parts of the game are much better than others and that lack of balance tends to break any sense of immersion.
The battle gameplay is also a bit too much of a cluster ____ for my tastes. I thought the pacing and flow of Origins was much better.
The one big plus for me in DA2 was there were more moments in conversation/cut scenes where I had to set my controller down and think about my actions. I was trying to play self-interested do-gooder (does good for the rewards. Looks out for #1 but tries to maintain a selfless image. I really try to avoid playing the "saint" unless there is a gameplay benefit like in Mass Effect [worst part of ME, but i digress]) and there were quite a few instances where putting my best interests first would cause me to do something awful while doing something good would get me nothing in the end.
I have been recommending this game to my friends and I would recommend everyone try it. There is a fun game here, it just happens to be hidden underneath a chaotic and sometimes frustrating battle system and that cave you could have sworn you've been in before (several times).
gamers (83%) found this review helpful
It appears that bioware has become comfortable enough with themselves that they no longer feel the need to produce a high quality product.
That being said, I didn't find this game horrible, but it was a let down. The combat system was nice, though I think it would have befitted from a second basic attack button that didn't require recharge. Pounding the A button as a warrior got old pretty fast. As to the shameless repackaging of the same maps.. well it's been addressed enough in all these other reviews that all I feel the need to say is this: The level designers should be ashamed of themselves, we've seen in their other work what they are capable of and this is way below what we should expect to see from bioware. Graphically the game was passable, but clunky. Collisions seemed off and there were a lot of weapons poking through the shoulder armor which irked me. I would have expected that they would have paid more attention to something you're going to be seeing all the time. On the subject of the armor I found the same problem I had with the first game in that there was little variation between the armors and nothing to really get excited about in getting to higher levels to get cool looking gear, just the same old red steel armor and that pathetic looking round wooden shield. Off the negative I did find the voice acting to be solid, and the story was fair, though towards the end I was mostly going through the motions just to see an ending, which without spoiling, didn't really move me too much.
All things said and done I'm glad this was a rental. I'd have been really upset to have shelled out $60 for a completely unpolished product. I played completely offline to see what kind of out-of-the box experience bioware would deliver and nothing about it makes me want to check out any of the DLC. I'd sum the game up as worth killing a little time with, but certainly not worth owning.