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3.0 out of 5 stars
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3.0 out of 5 stars
Platform: PC|Edition: Standard|Change
Price:£14.99 - £67.99


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Dragon Age II is the successor game to Dragon Age: Origins, although not a sequel in the traditional sense. It takes place in a different location with a (mostly) different cast of characters with, unusually, a much smaller and tighter focus than the first game in the series. These changes have proved controversial, with praise for the focus, the writing and the characters being contrasted with harsh criticisms of gameplay changes and problems resulting from the game's rushed development.

BioWare released Dragon Age II in early 2011, only eighteen months after the release of Origins. Electronic Arts, which took over BioWare shortly before Origins's release in late 2009, is alleged to have mandated a 'quickie' sequel to be developed on a very tight time schedule and budget to help make up for the lengthy (and therefore expensive) five-year development of Origins itself. There was resistance to this at BioWare - the lead designer of Origins quit in protest, fearing the game would suffer from being rushed out of the door - but ultimately they had to comply. At the same time, EA seem to have been rather impressed with Mass Effect 2 and various mechanics from that game, such as the dialogue wheel and the loyalty missions, were transposed over to Dragon Age II.

The result is a schizophrenic game that hangs between some excellent conceptual ideas, characters and writing but in which the gameplay feels like it's been compromised to make up for it. It's still very playable and very enjoyable, but it does feel like a game that's been rushed out before it was fully ready.

To deal with the bad issues first, the most annoying problem is combat. Battles in the game start in the traditional manner with you spotting a bunch of enemies and engaging them. However, most battles will see additional 'waves' of enemies arriving (usually just as you think the battle is about to end) who can't be seen coming and can attack from any direction. Early in the game there seems to be more care taken about how these enemies arrive (jumping down from rooftoops or rushing in from nearby buildings) but by the end the designers have given up and enemies simply materialise directly onto the battlefield. This means that positioning your characters in the best place to have an impact on combat is now futile, as you can be swamped from any direction at any time and not be able to do anything about it. The developers help you out by turning off the 'friendly fire' option on area-of-effect spells (you can switch it back on again at the higher difficulty levels), so you can firestorm the heck out of massed gangs of enemy without fear of sustaining injury, but this simply removes the (limited, but still present) tactical realism of the first game and makes the whole thing feel too arcadey.

This is not helped by the fact that Dragon Age II has simplified inventory management beyond even the heavily-streamlined mechanics of the original. Your companions' armour cannot be changed at all, although you can give them different magical amulets and rings. Only Hawke's weapons and equipment can be changed at will.

Another major problem is the re-use of the same maps for locations. All the mines in the game have exactly the same lay-out as one another. The same is true for mansions, caves and sewers. The developers drop different partitions into the maps to try to change things up, but they are all clearly the same places (and the mini-map never changes to take into account the partitions, often resulting in you going down dead-end passages which are shown as being open on the map). Obviously this is a result of the crippling budget issues, but even so it's repetitive and monotonous to the point of boredom.

The final issue is the lack of choice in the game: major events happen in the game which it is impossible for you to influence, even when it feels like you should be able to (some of Anders's actions in the endgame, most notably). This silliness reaches its zenith in the climactic battle where you have a lot of choices to make and the battle ends up unfolding more or less the same way regardless. The much greater freedom and resonance from your decisions seen in Origins is absent here.

So, weaker combat than Origins (and Origins itself was riddled with some major problems in that regard anyway), a lack of choice and some seriously bland locations should all make for a poor game, right? Not entirely. Dragon Age II does do a lot of other things right.

Most importantly, it is far better-written than Origins. Dialogue is less expositionary and portentous. Instead, it's more naturalistic and enjoyable. The voice acting is superior right across the board and the companion characters are more interesting. The 'loyalty mission' mechanic from Mass Effect 2 also helps in this area. Each companion has their own interests, problems and issues to deal with, and by helping them out you can improve their loyalty to you. This will determine who stays with you, who turns against you and who flees during the culminating battle. It's a nice idea as completionists will want to complete all of the companion quests, resulting in a better understanding of the characters (in Origins there was a whole bunch of characters I left in camp and never bothered with because the game never gave me a reason to use them over my core team) and their relationships with one another. BioWare have done a better job of giving the characters their own arcs (some rather tragic) and making them deeper and more complex than those from the first game.

Additionally, the story and worldbuilding are much better-integrated with one another. Origins suffered from presenting Thedas as yet another epic fantasy identikit landscape, with the more interesting background elements (such as the the templar/mage tensions and the Qunari) kept to one side in favour of dealing with the generic horde of generic monsters. Dragon Age II, on the other hand, brings these elements front-and-centre and makes them far more compelling as a result. The game also tries to make up for its lack of scale and smaller number of locations by using Kirkwall as a city in which the affairs of the larger world are both reflected in micro and can also cause reverberations across the continent, acting as a sort-of medieval fantasy version of Babylon 5's titular space station. It's an idea that almost works, though the fall-out from the events of this game will not fully be explored until Dragon Age: Inquisition (the forthcoming third game in the series). Dragon Age II substitutes the epic scale of Origins for something more focused and intimate which has its drawbacks (Kirkwall is a well-designed city but you'll be sick of it by the end of the game) but broadly works in furthering the game's themes of tolerance, coexistence and family.

Dragon Age II (***½) is a far cry from the unmitigated disaster some have labelled it as. It has some problems, sure, but then so did Origins. In fact, the two games seem to have swapped their issues: Origins had better combat but poorer writing. Dragon Age II's combat is less satisfying but the writing, story and characters are superior. Ultimately, the two balance out, leaving Dragon Age II a reasonable - if flawed - companion game to the flawed - but enjoyable - original game.
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on 10 August 2017
awsome
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on 20 March 2011
First of all: in my 20 years of C-RPG experience I've never written a game review before, and that's because I've never felt the need to do so. I believe that with Drageon Age 2 a worrying trend is emerging, a trend I would like to address here: short development phases (18 month for DA2), incomplete game world and story, simplistic game play to broaden the audience, demanding full price for a game while preparing DLCs to fill in the remaining gaps. Bioware was once regarded "the bringer of rain" after a drought in the genre of RPGs (for the PC). But now they could play the opposite role: if they are the most prominent agents of the genre (besides Bethesda) and their games are setting trends, then other companies will follow their example, if they haven't already. To be more detailed I'll point out aspects that annoyed me the most:

Game world:
- The most insolent recycling in a state-of-the-art RPG I've seen so far: dozens of times you walk through levels which are IDENTICAL, and I mean identical. Every corner, texture, model, architecture, lighting etc. are exactly the same, just with another label (for example "cave xyz" instead of "cave abc").

- The main game world consists of just 15 to 20 small or very small locations in a city (small means an area which takes 20 seconds to 60 seconds to cross, very small means a simple flat)

- There are no (more or less) diversified regions like snowy mountains, deserts, jungle, forest, real dungeons, castles, other towns etc., just this one city and three outer regions that are not noteworthy

- The few existing places look sterile and somehow empty although there are a few people standing around, but they are just copies doing nothing. There are no animals, no interesting props, no interesting architecture, no waving foliage, no sounds of wind, loud chatter etc.

- Most of the levels are extremely "tubular": just one way, no possibility for exploration. If you use such level design, you should use it for thrilling script events, as seen in COD, to propel the storytelling, but that's not the case with DA2.

A proper game world would have been to expensive...

Game play:

- 90% of game play consists of running and killing: go to place X, kill everyone, talk to person Y to have a reason for killing and then go to place Z and kill everyone. Most of the time there are no alternative ways to solve problems (the only exceptions are found in dialogues with companions). But hey: that's what the world is about, ain't it?

- Interactions with the environment are not possible, just run, fight, talk, (rudimental) barter. No environmental riddles, no forging, no eating, no sleeping, etc. Would be to complex, eh?

Items and Inventory:

- Companions can't be equipped with armour, just with a weapon, a ring, a belt and an amulet. Would be too complex...

- In the inventory and shops items look absolutely uninteresting and the same: each type of item has the SAME grey and white icon, for example the same symbol for a sword. The only differences are the values of the item. Too much effort giving them a distinctive look?

- Most of the time the few items you can purchase out-value the few items you find in your travels

- There are no real item sets or unique items

- Why does a plate armour take exactly the same space / weight in inventory (= 1 Slot) as a ring or an amulet (= 1 Slot)? Too much to think about?

Combat:

- Remember, you have to fight and fight and fight, and sometimes to fight, but don't worry: there isn't much to do, sit back and watch, no tactics needed (you could raise the difficulty but that just means opponents don't take as much damage and hit you harder).

- No overview allowed: forget Dragon Age Origins or Baldur's Gate, not immersive enough, has to be a close look over the shoulder like in Mass Effect 2, or say COD!? Another "advantage": the game world seems to be larger than it actually is.

- In many fights there are up to four or five waves of the same opponents like in good old arcade gaming. That's a challenge RPG-players really enjoy.

- If a fight ends successfully health, mana and stamina of all your companions are restored instantly. No need for rest, healing etc.... Waste of time, there are more interesting fights waiting 10 yards ahead.

- Ammunition is for prigs: arrows and bolts are created the moment they are shot, no buying needed.

Dramaturgy:

- The backgrounds and dialogues preceding and following missions are of high quality, BUT what about a larger conflict, to what end am I killing hordes of idiots? Is there any greater inner or outer threat than a killer whom the player seeks to kill? The Qunari are a threat, for twenty minutes of game play. Templar and Magicians don't like each other and there's a fight, but that's it. No threat and no thread. Calling Hawke "Champion" is an exaggeration to cover that he hasn't achieved much. The whole game is "unepic" and seems to be merely a chapter of an epic game, if that.
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on 12 April 2011
This game is a hateful and lazy attempt at cashing in on the success of the brilliant Dragon Age: Origins. By the time you have completed the same dungeon for the 10th time on the pretence of a different quest, you really feel ripped off.

And almost every enemy is essentially identical, some are bigger than others. The big spiders are fun. The big dragons chase you around for ages because if you stop, it will kill you, while your rogue with the crossbow does tiny amounts of damage so it takes 10 minutes for the thing to die.

And whether it is EA, Bioware, or both, they need to get a grip of what makes RPG players enjoy RPGs - character customisation for all of the party, making the game as you want it, diverse quests and interest magic items that do more than give you some tiny, inconsequential stat boost.

The story in this game could have been written on the back of a cigarette packet down the pub. I want a great game with a solid story with some interesting twists, not a reasonably boring story interspersed by really tedious combat.

If you read almost every mainstream review of this game, the reviews hark on about the awkward dialogue of the first game, the disappointment of the first game. I don't remember them saying that the first time - it appears that criticising the first game endlessly and talking up this games alleged improvements was considered the best way forward.

I am guessing that those reviewers do not get out much. The dialogue, character interaction and 'adult' themes of this game could have been written by a 13-year old whose sum total of life experience and interaction with the opposite gender is his computer club at school and Loaded magazine. It isn't even as though the 'adult' stuff is that good either.

And because you want to give this game a go, and you are willing it to be better than it is, you keep on playing it until you realise that it really is as bad as you suspected it would be from the opening half an hour, and it has just sucked 30 hours of your life away that you will never, ever get back.

I have given it 2 stars because it I did play it for a considerable number of hours, so it deserves a star for value for money, and I cannot exactly get those wasted hours of my life back.
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on 27 March 2011
This was the first big title that i decided NOT to pre-order, however with all the fuss about some reviews being wrong & others right in saying it was poor, i decided to make my own mind up and just buy the damn thing to see. Initially i was very disappointed with the new look which was too modern & ruined the immersion a little, but was easier to navigate, and the blazing fast battles all the while struggling to play it while it crashed 3-4 times in the opening hours play. I gritted my teeth & saw it through though, to see if it improved, and i am glad i stuck at it at least.

I do though have to agree that in quite a few ways it is "not as good" as the original or should that be unnecessarily "changed" from the original ? so like the changes i mentioned already, plus, you cant change companions clothing(but can upgrade them) or buy goods from the seller via conversation(click on chest or table) or explore vast areas(locations reused)...The main story is okay & while the sub stories were a bit more interesting in comparison. Not all the characters were great, with the odd exception like my personal favorite, the cheeky, suave Dwarf Varric. Who would had fitted right in, if he had been in the original game. Still, they do briefly throw in some characters here & there form the previous game, like, Flemeth, Allister, Bohdan & Sandal for example, which offers up some nice continuity at least. And companion quests can effect the main plot to a certain degree. The combat is more smooth & finishing enemies is more rewarding.

Visually the game isn't brilliant, which is surprising as they reuse area's over & over, so no real excuse as they would of had more time to make these fewer area's look much better. As usual you have a say in what happens & outcomes, the new conversation wheel, the fact our character talks & the felxibility of character creation feels as though it's ripped out of Mass Effect, with Agressive/fight, Neutral/cocky, Friendly/avoid violent options. You can ask your companions for their thoughts & the consequences of your actions can come back to haunt you later on in the game for good or bad. Chances are you will have a different story to tell from another player in a single play through, and there is some replayability as you can change your decisions or play another style, which are worth returning for if you enjoyed the previous play through enough. The original DAO was very good & will be more popular than this offering that makes helluva lot of changes, often not all for the better. Which maybe the downfall here as people expect it to be bettered allot more & the changes maybe a bit too different. If you can get past the first couple of hours, it will start to grow on you for the remaining 40+ it will take to finish it.

In conclusion, DA2 comes with big changes that are in some cases welcome & others unnecessary. It's not as good as the original, but still enjoyable. I hope they learn from the mistakes they made here & make DA3 something special & more memorable.
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on 12 March 2011
Dragon Age: Origins was a bit of a moving back to the glory days of Baldur's Gate for Bioware. Sure, it didn't have the D&D rule set and it had some questionable mechanics (like cool down periods for spells) but it did have a strong story, engaging characters, many many different and colourful locations and so much to do.

And then Dragon Age 2 came along a week ago, and Bioware must have hated how good Dragon Age: Origins really was because they decided to get rid of almost everything that made Dragon Age: Origins so popular. The combat has moved from being reasonably tactical, to button mashing/clicking. Gone is the overhead camera, spamming of abilities increased, people jump all over the place, combat now sees enemies respawn in mid air in the middle of combat, and to make it all even less forgiving: all the cool locations are replaced with a single big dull city for the huge majority of the game, crafting has been kicked out and replaced with something far less agreeable, the characters you meet feel far more clichéd and uninteresting and the story is pretty yawn worthy not to mention it has quite a lot of cracks in its pacing.

To make matters worse, the game feels like it was badly rushed, with almost no area of the game receiving much attention to detail. From the music to the voices to the graphics, it all makes you feel as a cheap sequel. The city fails to convince (the guards eagerly tells you that it's overcrowded and full, yet the streets are almost deserted in the game - this is one of the many immersion-breaking things you'll find) and it really feels a great deal more like a game and less like a world to explore. Bioware didn't find this to be enough, so they ended up re-using the exact same locations a dozen times over in the game with minute differences. They already did this for certain ambushes in Dragon Age: Origins, but it's a great deal worse here, more evidence of how rushes this game was.

And there's soooo much more to mention - the user interface that barely has any flair anymore (compared to the beautiful hand-drawn graphics of the first game) and feels as flat and dull as the game itself. And what about how you can no longer outfit your team members? And standard icons for all items you pick up meaning you can't tell the difference between them. Or what about spending half the time running across the city doing errant after errant, backtracking a great deal through the same areas (I think Bioware were confusing their upcoming MMO with DA2) or how selecting an enemy is a nightmare - half the time if I want to cast a spell, I have to rotate the (very annoying) camera several times before my cursor will finally light up to confirm a target. And then there's the totally unbelievable characters - like how the death of your brother doesn't evoke any reaction from you, or how characters behave totally unrealistically, entire scenes that feel like they came right out of a B-movie (especially the first hour or so before you enter the city). And of course, the terrible AI of your party members which is completely turned on by default (in the first game it was advised to turn it off as well) but turning it off means making the game even less enjoyable. And did I mention it's way too easy on "normal"?

In the end, if you enjoy button mashing buttons and just seeing flashy effects, you might enjoy this. IF you're a fan of the old Bioware RPGs like Baldur's Gate, be prepared to be very disappointed. This is far more Mass Effect: Fantasy Edition with far worse combat than Baldur's Gate. All I can say is: don't buy this. Don't send EA and Bioware a signal that they can neglect the PC community like this. Dragon Age: Origins sold millions on the PC - there was no reason to focus on consoles for the sequel and yet they did. So don't support them.
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on 24 March 2011
A lot of what I'm about to say is already covered by others reviews but I feel it's worth writing this (however badly spelt) on the off chance Bioware and EA folk read the reviews.

I have just finished my male warrior (on normal difficulty) run through of DA2, which according to Steam took me 28 hours So to put that in context for a start, almost 2 weeks for 25 hours of DA2 compared to 4 days and 48 hours for the first run through of DAO, with DAO I was half contemplateing taking time off work sick to play it with DA2 at times it seemed more of a chor, so heres a list of things I liked and disliked and I hope it helps and sorry it's a lil disjointed :)

Character creation:
Like most people i was incredibly dissapointed to learn you could only play a human, I can understand it in ME as Earth exists we have a vested real life interest and connection to the planet we are defending and people we are serveing throughout the game. I had no such feeling with Kirkwall, infact the majority of the population are so thick I wanted to leave as quickly as possible but obviously couldn't, It's a fantasy world and as a result being able to play differn't races is kinda essential otherwise all you do is destroy replayability.
had the designers decided that you could only play the specificly modeled main character that would have been a deal breaker and I wouldn't have even bothered with the title but the charatcter creater is there and it is a pretty decent one that I think most people will get what they are after and be able to make Hawk a little piece of their own.

Quests:
There isn't a single quest line I can think of in DA2 which has the same Epic feel as Andraste's ashes from DAO, the quest generally fall into 2 catagory's, "Go fight loads of folk to and end boss or to collect something" or "Find me shinny things" This automatically has the feeling of an MMORP rather then an RPG especially since on the rare occasions you are doing talky thing (Talking to the Qunari for the Vicount for example) these more often then not are not solvable without fighting anyway.
My main issue though is staill that quests are small, linear and after you've been on the same map a few times incredibly predictable.

Graphics:
I have no major issue with the graphics, only things I would mention is that the clipping isn't always great, on "Recomended" graphics settings which for my computer is fairly high the game would crash every 2-3 fights (although that problem was easily overcome with no huge impact to the feel of the game) and whoever does the modeling can't model human hands at all... First time I saw them it literally freaked me out.

Combat:

Good stuff -
: I love the new combat moves that the models do, the rogue and Mage stand out the warrior is still pretty "meh"
: Some people have said they don't like the new skill trees but I think they work pretty well actually, some of the skills themselves are another matter
: The character classes seem a lot better blanced then in DAO, I no longer like to have 3 mages in the group for maximum firepower

Bad stuff -
: The before mentioned predictabilty, 99% of fights start with 3-7 enemy's with more jumping in all around you dureing the fight usually in 2 more waves... if this was a once in a while thing it might be a great feature but everytime just makes it incredibly dull especially as a warrior who is meant to be getting hit but is waiting for the only taunt he has to recyle so all he can do is hit one enemy who is attacking the rogue with his incredibly low damage [/grumble] this basically makes most fights exactly the same - "Warrior holds agro on first group - 2nd and 3rd groups arrive all degenerates into a mass melee where the rogue dies 25-50% of the time"
: There is no tactical overview for on the rare occasions you can actually use tactics
: XP seems random... I go the same amount of XP for killing a single bandit archer (he never even shot) as i did for killing 3 waves around 16 bandits in all - this makes no sense!

Companions and Voice acting:
Good stuff -
mostly the Voice acting and companions are done reasonably well, though no where near the Depth of character as in DAO.
Merrill, Isabela, Varrick are all great as long as you look at DA2 as a seperate game, Fenris is on the border but I'll lump him in with the good guys :)

Bad Stuff -
: Anders is the odd one out companion wise, he isn't voice acted very well and I spent most of the game avoiding him despite the fact he is the only healer you have access to which sucks muchly.
: Hawke male voice acting is also fairly bad, he tries to be hmourous and fails, he tries to be Sarcastic and fails... Only thing he did was dry and flat through the entire experience.

Level design:
As i think everyone with 1 star has written, the levels in the game are extremely limited... Again FANTASY WORLD< I'D LIKE TO SEE SOME OF IT! Theres meant to be 3 major cit's in the free marches, why is there no quests to them to ask for aid or any number of interesting side plots? through my 25 hours of play I must have done the same cave system (even when not the same cave) 8 times... Boooooorrrriiiinnngggg
I knew where all the end places where for the quests even when not showing on the map from the start after being to the coast (It's almost always on the little island in the south) Basically this was something that DAO got 100% right and DA2 has fallen over died a slow aggoniseing death, seriously words cannot describe how crap this part of thegame is.

In conclusion, I wouldn't recommend this game. Just wait for ME3 it'll be the same experience just you know more immersive, interesting, compelling, pretty and fun... Hopefully
Although i can't give back the game and get my money back i can avoid the DLC but believe me, if I could I would.
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on 15 April 2011
As someone who spent far, far too much time playing Dragon Age: Origins, I was more than willing to give the sequel a fair chance. This in spite of the fact that the warning signs were there from the day Bioware announced the game, with the screenshots, previews and the rather abysmal demo all giving me a cause to think whether I should cancel my preorder. But I soldiered on, and finally finished it last night. I would have done so sooner, but for the first time with a Bioware game, I stopped playing for a week, as I simply had no motivation to go on.

My reward? A buggy, repetitive game that tries to be both Action and RPG, but is simply not fun to play at all. As an RPG it is on firm rails, you barely have any impact on the events. As I don't want to spoil the plot for those brave souls planning to play the game, let's just say I felt more like a viewer than a doer when the main plot events occurred. Since the adverts all said that your character was changing the world, this felt like a major letdown. As an Action game it just doesn't mesh, what with all the combat being pretty much the same: You are walking around when somewhere far away an enemy spawns. You go to meet the threat, and dispatch the first group of enemies. Then, no matter where you are or if it is realistically possible, a second wave either spawns from nowhere or quite literally parachutes in at the opposite end of where you are. Kill those, and your reward is a third wave. Kill them, collect the loot, which in most cases is armour no one, not even the player character, can wear or some useless item that goes in the "junk" portion of your inventory.

Case in point: Amazon has four screenshots advertising this game, all with a caption that is wrong. Nonlinear narrative: The whole game is pretty linear, both in story and in gameplay, with some of the maps being basically single pathways with little room to explore. (btw. "seen one, seen them all" literally applies since every area is a recycled version of one of four-five basic maps.) 10 years of gameplay: No, it's more like four years, with massive timeskips in between acts. Cinematic quality experience. No, it's quite buggy and ugly, with some effects (I'm looking at you, blood spatter!) embarrassingly ugly. Completely updated graphics. No. In many cases the graphics are quite downgraded from Dragon Age: Origins. Compare the skeletons lying on the ground in both games, and you will see what I mean. Many NPCs are rendered in a low resolution graphic that burns the eyes. This does not even consider the change in art style, which is a hit or miss affair. The elves for example now look like something out of a horror movie. This is actually quite immersion (and lore breaking) since the first game went to some lengths to explain that elves were supposed to be considered beautiful and desirable to humans. Well, not anymore!

I could go on and on, but I think this game kind of accidentally reviewed itself: While staying at the local tavern in Kirkwall, I wished to hear what my companion, Isabela, had to say, so I clicked on her. She said: "I'm bored. Let's go do something fun." And so I did.
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on 20 August 2012
I'm a few hours in to DAII and sadly it's feeling so similar to KOTOR II. By this I mean the difference between KOTOR (Knights of the Old Republic) which was an excellent game, and in my humble opinion helped put Bioware on the map. Bouncing off of the success of KOTOR, KOTOR II was released. This was a rushed job, with a badly put together story, full of plot holes and restricted dialogue options, not to mention full of bugs.

This is the general feeling I get from DAII. The original Dragon Age was a great game. Because it was such a success, Bioware has decided to cash in, rushing another game in the series out. It feels much more simplified than DA, both in the maps, characters and dialogue options. The story also feels much less engrossing. I just hope that the ending will not be as shockingly poor as in KOTOR II!
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on 13 February 2013
Well, firstly, I have to say that I'm probably going to just repeat what a lot of reviews have already stated. But I don't think I'll be as harsh on some of the aspects of the game.

When I started the game, and created my character, I was really psyched. The quality/graphics was incredible with so much more options when customizing your character. Additionally, your character now also talks when you choose dialouges in the game, which makes it much more realistic.

I was also impressed with the changes they had made to the battle side of the game, in some regards. I actually didn't mind the "hack and slash" factor that many others have been complaining about. In one way it makes the game more fast paced. However, some bosses were ridiculously difficult to kill in normal mode (I think I spent over 10 minutes on a boss down in some dwarven dungeon, with almost all of my companions dying in the process) - therefore sometimes it was impossiblen not to switch to the easy/casual mode, just to make it through the fight, and to keep from getting bored.

Something I definitely agree on that many others have mentioned is the repititon of locations and the less than impressive story line. I found myself running through the same caves and dungeons up to the point where it became truly ridiculous. Additionally, almost all quests sent you to locations you'd already been, so you didn't get the experience of seeing new places like you did in Dragon Age: Origins. Also, the ending was very underwhelming. Without spoiling anything, it was just as if you were waiting for something more to happen, and it never did. I did however, quite like the way they'd designed the storytelling - with one of your companions telling your story as you go along, to someone else.

As for the romance in this game... Well, it kind of sucked. There was no way to interact with your companions unless there was a specific quest that belonged to them, and even then you had to go to their homes, since there is no "campsite" in this game. Although some characters seemed promising at first, they turned out to be quite stereotypical and not as dynamic as the options in Dragon Age: Origins (Alistair really is the masterpiece of Bioware). There were also only one or two gifts you could give in this game, which also was a bit of a let down.

All in all, it feels like they just wanted to get another game out there as soon as possible after the success of Dragon Age: Origins to make money. Which is really a shame, because this game had so much potential. I think it was an okay game - I might play it again at some point, but it's much more likely I'll play Dragon Age: Origins again, for the fourth or so time.
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