Critic & User Reviews
posted by Huppydog (PORTLAND, OR) Mar 28, 2011
Member since Mar 2009
33 out of 39 gamers (85%) found this review helpful
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.
posted by 00Domwin (PIEDMONT, SC) Mar 12, 2011
Member since Jan 2008
98 out of 123 gamers (80%) found this review helpful
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).
Bioware phones one in..
posted by Istrix (NORFOLK, VA) Apr 12, 2011
Member since Apr 2011
24 out of 29 gamers (83%) found this review helpful
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.
Disappointing Standalone, Awful Sequel.
posted by A_Silent_Dream (RIDGELAND, MS) Mar 29, 2011
Member since Mar 2011
18 out of 24 gamers (75%) found this review helpful
Let me tell you how not to do it.
1. Lethargically designed, repetitive maps. One thing I noticed only about an hour into the game was how similar a cave looked to another, except that where a walkway used to be, there was what looked like a concrete slab covering the door. Every cave is either a mirror reflection of itself or has some of the multiple corridors sealed off to create the illusion that each cave/dungeon is different. Furthermore, the map goes away and you are left to re-explore every area of a map that you have just visited within the past hour, despite knowing every layout of the map. This was absolutely the biggest nerve-grating, teeth-clinching thing I hated most about this game.
2. Inventory system. I did not enjoy the restriction of armor to the main character (other characters' armor levels with them). By far, though, the most annoying feature was that once I found a new armor, weapon, or belt, I had to cycle through and find it to review its stats. The option to immediately review (upon discovery) stats would help.
3. Restricted exploration outside of Kirkwall. Besides that fact that you couldn't walk five minutes in the game without having to encounter another load menu, the majority of the game is limited to walking around the city and performing mind-numbingly boring tasks in the same major areas.
4. Sidequests, Sidequests, Sidequests. Detached and rarely pivotal in shifting or enriching the storyline. Beef them up or at least make them topical.
5. Combat System. An overall improvement, but buggy (missed assignments in combat) and the potion cooldown was not a welcome adjustment.
6. Plot. Unengaging, Disconjointed. There are three acts, and they are for the most part unrelated, and as such I could not invest in the whole.
posted by TanzKommandant (CHICAGO, IL) Mar 15, 2011
Member since Mar 2011
38 out of 52 gamers (73%) found this review helpful
Beyond that, the experience lacks immersion. This is primarily due to the repetitive nature of the quests (go fetch) and the repetitive nature of the environments. Maps are re-used constantly and the majority of the game is spent in one town. Very odd decisions.
The characters lack depth as well. There just doesn't seem to be a real draw to get to know your party and care about them as in Origins. Even townsfolk come in two shapes - cardboard interactions or no interactions possible at all. This is fairly similar to the lack of effort put into the maps.
To top all this off, the day the title was released, BioWare released a whole mass of downloadable content. Is this because the game was rushed to the production line and these items should be in the game but a lack of time kept them out or was this planned all along as part of the continued money grabbing trend we see purveying the gaming world. Perhaps both?
All in all, it's a shame we see titles which should be great churned out to make a quick profit and giving no care to the gamers. Anymore, for every 10 games that come out maybe one is good and that speaks to a larger tragedy at hand.
posted by Jcavatar (FRUITPORT, MI) Mar 13, 2011
Member since Jul 2010
40 out of 57 gamers (70%) found this review helpful
Equipping armor on your team has been taken away, and I noticed on some of them their armor changes as the game progresses, BUT the game makes no mention of this, you start buying stuff for your team and then notice they can't use it, kind of annoying.
Worst aspect is the laziness of the levels, after what can be considered the second act after deep roads. I hoped it would be like the first game and have different areas to explore, not in this game, you get the outlying area, the city and a night version of the city and a lot of the side quest are ran through the same maps way too many times, I love the new updated graphics but with the small selection of areas, your left wanting to see something new after a while. Think mass effect but you only get to play 30 hours on the citadel.....
Overall I want to give this game a ten for the story alone, the game peaked at the right moments and most of the side quests were compelling and had an impact on the overall story, I'd call them sub plots or lead in plots. If they had improved the gameplay instead of streamlining it, this game would have been a solid ten.
way too buggy, Bioware screwed the pooch
posted by rcc7898 (HICKORY, NC) Apr 2, 2011
Member since Aug 2010
8 out of 11 gamers (73%) found this review helpful
Dragon Age II: Gaming Dumbed Down
posted by MrVicchio (SAN ANTONIO, TX) May 18, 2011
Member since Dec 2009
12 out of 17 gamers (71%) found this review helpful
Picked up a "Gathering Resource"? Yep, you'll know it, every time! You get a message, music, art. Armor? Don't worry about that stuff, as long as it has more stars then what you are wearing, it's better. Your comrades will wear their own gear TYVM.
The combat, while better in terms of fluidity, is BORING. It's a button masher. It's... Double Dragon meets Dragon Age. I'm 10 hours into the game, and the grind of getting through lame combat just to hit the next plot point...
Sorry Bioware, you developed a pretty game, with good controls, but ruined it with the dumbed down hand holding, easy combat and weak story that really... I just don't CARE about the "champion" I'm playing.
Don't waste your time
posted by number_2 (MARTINEZ, CA) Oct 29, 2011
Member since Apr 2011
3 out of 4 gamers (75%) found this review helpful
So not as good as the first one
posted by kreets (CARL JUNCTION, MO) Apr 16, 2011
Member since Jan 2010
7 out of 10 gamers (70%) found this review helpful
Decent, but barely that.
posted by twhiting9275 (WATERLOO, IA) Mar 18, 2011
Member since Mar 2011
19 out of 30 gamers (63%) found this review helpful
That's about all the excitement this game got from me. From problems with preorders (getting it on time, etc) to absolute horrific gameplay to recycled maps, it just doesn't get much worse than this game.
Having played this through twice now, I can honestly say, this game leaves a LOT to be desired there. I'll have to play it through a 3rd time at some point in the future just to get the achievements that EA/Bioware was too lazy to test and make sure they unlocked properly, but that's for some point in the future.
If the game feels like it's recycling things, that's because it is. The same map gets used over and over again for almost every dungeon. It's quite pathetic, honestly.
Forget it, just forget running a rogue and stick with the defaults they have. They have screwed over this class so much it's not even funny. From forcing users to 'buy' potions/etc (rather than the rogue making them) to forcing users to spend every stat point into cunning just to get certain chests open (literally), this class is pretty much a joke now.
It's allright, honestly. I've seen it compared to Fable 3, and that's not too far off base. There's not a TON of replay value in the game itself, but it's passable.
At the heart of every RPG is a story, and this one at least tries to entertain. Too bad the rest of the game couldn't keep up with that. From poor voiceovers to recycled maps, well, this game is just barely above average or decent.
Best RPG I've played in years
posted by Twizlex (DAUPHIN, PA) Mar 8, 2011
Member since Jul 2006
73 out of 122 gamers (60%) found this review helpful
Probably the first and most important thing to note is that Dragon Age II plays a bit differently than the first game; it is much more action oriented. This may make some of the hardcore fans (i.e. nerds) cry foul because the deep RPGness of the combat has been streamlined, or as they may consider it, "dumbed down." It is not quite as tactical or technical, but there is no more auto attacking -- you actually slam the A button to attack dudes while your specials are cooling down, which are mapped to the X, Y, and B buttons, with RT acting as a toggle for a second set of X, Y, B skills. It makes combat flow a lot smoother, but some people may not like it.
The story is the next thing that needs addressed. The first Dragon Age seemed to have a rich world that you get plopped in, but it didn't really do a lot with it. You could tell that there was a lot of lore, but BioWare didn't embrace it. This game, however, really immerses you in the story and tells an awesome tale. This fact alone is what makes Dragon Age II such an awesome RPG; the great graphics and fun combat are just icing on the cake.
You start the game as Hawke, male or female, and can choose your character class from a rogue, warrior, or mage. The game is then told through flashbacks, but everything is still pretty much in chronological order; you don't play parts in the future and then jump further to the past again. A lot of characters from the first game also return for this one, and there is a vast improvement in their looks thanks to the updated graphics. For example, Flemeth looked like an old hag in the first game, but now I kinda want to do her. Anyways...
If you like RPGs, you should definitely play Dragon Age II. But if you don't like RPGs, well, why are you even reading this? Play it!
This in no Dragon age orgins
posted by xboxfan77 (PORTLAND, OR) Mar 12, 2011
Member since Mar 2011
15 out of 25 gamers (60%) found this review helpful
Dragon Age II
posted by jbur074 (LEWISVILLE, TX) Mar 24, 2011
Member since Mar 2011
8 out of 13 gamers (62%) found this review helpful
Wow! Just Wow!
posted by Gaidin85 (INDIANAPOLIS, IN) Mar 8, 2011
Member since Mar 2011
39 out of 71 gamers (55%) found this review helpful
-The fighting is faster and more intense than the original while still keeping most of the strategy in place.
-The dialog is much simpler, and much more impressive now that your hero speaks.
-The graphics are A LOT better!
-Menu system is quick and clean.
Cons: (None really unless I'm being very picky)
-Can't switch between weapons on the fly anymore like in DA:O.
Long story short, if you like RPG's, buy this game now! Or at least rent it.
another game full of bugs
posted by Cheezr (LANTANA, FL) Mar 16, 2011
Member since Sep 2008
3 out of 5 gamers (60%) found this review helpful
So far i have one dungeon where the leader suddenly can not perform any actions as it seems the 'A' button just stops working and then if you try to summon your group instead they are scattered so far away that they are useless, come on I would expect this from Bethesda but et tu Bioware?
What's the point of spending the money to develop a game of this size and skimp on the QA?
33 Hours and still going strong.
posted by Artisgr8 (KENMORE, NY) Mar 12, 2011
Member since Oct 2006
17 out of 32 gamers (53%) found this review helpful
I will admit this games story is very dry for the first 15 hours, then it begins picking up in the 2nd 15 and gets crazy around the end of where I am at now.
People can keep cutting this game down for what it isn't or is but at its heart it is basically Dragon Age: Mass Effect 2. I say this because the menus are basically the same, the dialogue options are run the same way and your party can only be upgraded via weapons and abilities not appearance. Oh and it is somewhat dumbed down like ME2 was.
Ah why a 10 you ask?
First off is length because this game will easily take me over 35+ hours to beat which is rare in todays gaming industry.
Second is the gameplay " its a hack and slash game and the tactics are non existent!" someone on here said. First off tactics are easy to set up and make the game a lot easier. Second when I hit my x button as a rouge , I teleport behind the guy and 1 hit him and he explodes, Where was that in the first game? When you hit a x,y,b button something violent and awesome happens. HUGE PLUS! ( MAGE OGER EXECUTION :D)
I loved DA1 and yes it is sad to see some of the things go , such as the hugely impacting decisions like what faction to support, what person to let live or what to do with certain objects and how it affected the game. Not to mention the how each origin affected gameplay. But in truth the new positives off this game from my stand point far out way the negatives in terms of this game.
The one really bad thing about this game though is that a lot of the areas are re- used!
Don't read these reviews on here that give it a 5! give it a shot, play the first one even to get used to the game and have fun. After all there is over 30+ hours of gameplay on one play through of the game, there is 3 classes you can choose and a bunch of awesome armor and weapons to collect.
posted by thecoz (SAN ANTONIO, TX) Mar 14, 2011
Member since Oct 2009
4 out of 7 gamers (57%) found this review helpful
This game starts out great, quick fighting, great graphics, and superb cut scenes and acting. As the game goes on, several things will become frustrating.
You cannot easily switch betweens weapons, being a rogue basically loses its charm.
The entire game is played on around 20 or so maps that you play over, and over, and over. This murders the replay value of this version.
The maps are small and tight, exploring is pointless.
Any open area (meaning fenced in city courtyard or so) you do fine ALWAYS serves as an arena for a boss battle at one point in the game.
Fighting loses strategy and becomes button mashing with a healer standby. Stopping your mashing to incorporate a strategy doesn't really benefit you, so it is abandoned early in the game, and for good.
Weapons increases are so incrimental that it becomes pointless to invest in one.
This game essentially feels like a cookie cutter type game, albeit a polished one, hurried out to the mases who will greedily consume the mass amounts of expensive DLC coming their way. Still, it's a good rent, and a decent playthrough; but the longer this game goes on, the more you just want it to end.
Giddy with excitement when it arrived in the mail-
posted by Droppo (MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, WA) Mar 14, 2011
Member since Dec 2006
13 out of 25 gamers (52%) found this review helpful
Graphics are noticably sharper than in Origins. Music is good as always for a Bioware game. Voice acting is some of the best I've experienced. Writing is clever although sometimes slightly predictable. All character attacks, both physical and magical, have been beefed up to feel much more powerful and to look amazing. Nothing like popping up behind a half dead darkspawn using a backstab attack and finishing him off with one move that splits him in half like Darth Maul at the end of Phantom Menace. Plus a few bloody chunks dropped for good measure.
Anyone who enjoyed Origins will probably get caught up in DAII fairly easily. It has made a few changes to the gameplay, but overall it still feels very much like Origins except hopped up on some serious steroids. Replayability is through the roof too. I see myself going for at least 5 full playthroughs. Three character classes of mage, warrior, and rogue, plus different weapon styles within those groups. A rogue could focus on dual wielding or archery, for example. Warrior could be giant two-handed weapon or sword and shield. Mages have so many spell groups to choose from, you have to come back to experience them all. Why am I still writing this? I have darkspawn and giant spiders to kill.
Good, Bad, and Ugly
posted by Learix (NOBLE, OK) Mar 14, 2011
Member since Jun 2009
9 out of 18 gamers (50%) found this review helpful
I do NOT miss the Origins combat system. It was clunky, slow to respond, and imprecise unless you spent twenty extra minutes painstakingly picking out ever detail. I like to have that option for harder fights, but shouldn't be necessary for a handful Darkspawn. I do miss the ability to use the D-Pad to select your focus point however. Bioware made a mistake removing that feature, because no matter how I've tried, it's all in how my character approaches.
I do like the balance they brought to the classes. In Origins, playing anything but a Mage was a waste of time. Warriors could hit and could take them, but were no where near the Mage versatility. Rogue could pick locks and disarm traps, and that was about it. In DA2, from playing some of the party members, I've noticed a much more balanced experience.
The graphics are cleaned up, and not as grainy as they were in Origins, but they are still lacking compared to some of the other games out there as far as crisp clean views without glitches. The story is semi hard to follow, as you're following the exploits of a character that earns them a reputation. As such, there are a ton of quests, most of them sides. It doesn't have quite the scope of Origins as far as pulling me into the game, but it is VERY fun, and very good for what it does offer. If you're an RPG fanatic with an open mind to change, you'll love DA2. If you're a die hard fanboy... you'll most likely hate it and should rent it before considering a purchase.
This is definitely no dragon age origins.
posted by HippieKid (EAST DUBLIN, GA) Mar 11, 2011
Member since Jun 2010
12 out of 25 gamers (48%) found this review helpful
The bad things about this game are the graphics. It kind of reminds me of final fantasy 7. Haha. Not to mention that the graphics glitch up in some scenes when you are talking to someone. They kind of did the same thing they did with the mass effect series. It started out great, but then they messed it up. It's kind of like they just threw this game together just to get money. They should have took their time instead of rushing this game to be released. We want a game thats well thought out and perfect in every way, shape, form, andashion. These days, game designers only spend up to a year on making the projects. That is NOT enough time to make a great game.
The dungeons all look the same. You can't equip armor for your party members, and if you can I haven't figured it out. Some of the enemy drops disappear before you get to pick them up. I don't know if I'm the only one that's happened to or not. The story is not as interesting as the first DA. In the first DA, you get to pick your class, and your origin. On DA2, you only get to pick your class. So it's basically the same old story over and over again, nothing ever different. I played and beat dragon age origins at least 3 times cause each time was unique. This is just another epic fail RPG game.
Maybe later on they will restore DA, but this just wasn't it. Don't waste your money on this unless you are renting it!
Bioware's worst game in a long time
posted by oblonglego (RICHLAND, WA) Apr 10, 2011
Member since May 2007
6 out of 12 gamers (50%) found this review helpful
Dragon Age 2: The Great Sell Out of Bioware
posted by Gajoma (AUSTIN, TX) Mar 8, 2011
Member since Mar 2011
27 out of 60 gamers (45%) found this review helpful
I will start off by saying Origins is one of my favorite games. This game doesn't hold a candle to the true RPG gameplay of the first. This is a button masher strategy game. I found myself just mashing the A button the whole time while throwing in a spell every now and then. I see now the first one had a reason for having auto-attack. (Funny story, Bioware said they actually forgot to put auto-attack in the console version. Lies?)
Next, the art style... The art style in origins reminds you of a true fantasy story. The art style in this reminds me of Gears of War. Everything is damned spiky. Every woman has D cups also. The Darkspawn look like bald white dudes(with spikes everywhere), ogres look like towering oafs compared to the first ones(with spikes everywhere). Your main character takes the biggest blow in my opinion, with the tacky looking blood painted over his nose, he reminds me of a Indian.
I know that Bioware has said they wanted to appeal to the more "casual gamer" aka "We want to appeal to the Call Of Duty crowd" words from Bioware themselves. But, in the end it is the true series fans and Bioware fans that end up taking the worst hit. Not to mention all the DLC's that were released before the game even came out. A 560 ms point character download on DAY ONE? They are basically making you pay for content cut from the game. Yeah, that isn't wrong at all.
Just wait until you see Sandal... ENCHA-- OH MY GOD, what is that?
posted by JahSoulSun (LINDENWOLD, NJ) Apr 4, 2011
Member since Feb 2010
3 out of 6 gamers (50%) found this review helpful
What did I just play?
posted by MtgTyler (ELMER, LA) Mar 17, 2011
Member since Jan 2011
3 out of 6 gamers (50%) found this review helpful