Dragon Age II - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Ho-Oh2224
Current rank: 3.5 Stars. Next Rank at 8000 Posts.
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posted: 3/17/2011 7:20:56 PM - Report Post            I rate this game   edit post

While playing it I was engaged, I won't lie, however reflecting back on it a week afterwards, I feel the story was lackluster, but the actual gameplay fun. What kept me going was trying to get my character the strongest and best-specced he could be, not dying to reveal the next plot element. Much of it was predictable and fairly generic, highly unlike previous Bioware installations; needless to say I expected more with this sequel.

I felt the major improvements shone through on the graphical and combat levels the most; what needed improvement the most was the environment and inventory. The game ran far smoother than its predecessor, and looked better as well. The combat was far more interesting and seemed like more was going on, but strategy was still highly necessary on the two higher levels. My major gripe with this game was the recycled environment-- every single cave looked identical. The plants were in the same location, as with the rocks, vines, stairs, etc. Why does a cave on an ancient mountain look the same as one a few feet from the ocean shore? Why does every single "gang" reside in the same warehouse? It was just laziness on the dev's part. The inventory (and by this, I mean the items you collect, not the actual UI of it; I felt that was adequate) was so simplistic to the point it was infuriating. Only Hawke has the ability to change armor, all other companions have to wear the same exact thing the entire game, sans little "upgrades" you find throughout the world. The weapons all looked near the same, and I got tired of finding the same Wooden Staff after about the fiftieth time.

All in all, try the game out if you like the series, just don't get your hopes up for anything revolutionary. It's not a bad game, it just feels slightly incomplete or rushed. (Which it was; DA:O took a good 5 years to make, DA2 only one.)

 
cass5083
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posted: 3/18/2011 3:56:31 PM - Report Post            I rate this game   edit post

I couldn't wait for this game to come out due to the ridiculous amount of hours I spent enjoying Origins, but after one full play through, I must admit it left me a bit disappointed. The storyline, mostly the side quests, was the most disappointing part to me. It all seemed very rushed and not complete as far as that was concerned. The ending was not even close to a surprise. I had figured out how it was going to end by about year seven, I believe it was. It was nice to run into some of the characters from the original, but your interactions with them felt very awkward, incomplete, and in some cases like it was just thrown in there and didn't really add anything to the story. For instance, when you meet King Alastair, it just felt like it didn't belong in the storyline to me. Overall, the entire storyline felt much shorter than the original. In the end it didn't really matter which side you chose and everything felt like it didn't really matter since the outcome was the same. Big disappointment me to me considering, Bioware has always been one of the best, in my opinion, as far as storylines are concerned.

The graphics and fighting were definitely much better than in the first one. Fighting was faster paced than in the first one for sure. I was however disappointed with the amount of different areas to go to. Origins was definitely better as far as taking you to different locations and things not looking the same everywhere you went. In DA 2, every cave and warehouse was exactly the same. I found myself rushing through quests that took me to them just so I get out of them. They get a big yawn from me for that.

I have two gripes as far as quests are concerned. The first is why do I have to keep going back to the same place I was half an hour ago every 2-3 quests? Seriously, they needed more areas to go to for missions. Why would any gang use the exact same spot my character had been at and slaughtered every bad guy previously to something ultra secret? Come on guys! My second gripe is, all the companion and side quests seemed very generic and bland aside from a couple. Not was I expected at all from the Bioware.

The last thing I want to touch on is character/companion customization and skills (at least that is what they called them in Origins) or the lack there of in my opinion. In Origins and Awakening you or one of your companions could make poisons, grenades, traps, potions, and runes. In DA 2, they completely dumbed that down and now you just order whatever you need and that's assuming you have found the resources needed throughout the small world. I enjoyed the old system much more. Customization, especially as far as your companions are concerned, was also a change for the worst. Armor drops like it's going out of style and can be bought in multiple forms as well, but you're telling me only Hawke can equip it. Bring the only customization system back. Rune slotting was also changed. You can no longer remove and reuse runes. Instead you can only replace them. I literally waited until almost the end of the game to even slot any runes, due to equipment changes about every 2-3 quests. The weapon selection was pretty bland as well. Pretty much the same special bonuses mixed and matched over and over again with only minimal gains in damage with each upgrade. Bioware gets a big two thumbs down from me for these changes.

Overall, I'd rate the game about a 5 since it was a 50/50 split on changes and features that I liked or hated. I hope they do better on the expansions for this game and listen to the feedback they get from everyone on it. Despite my disappointment, I plan to do another play through making completely different choices to see if I still feel the same about the game.

 
Zackman
Current rank: 2.5 Stars. Next Rank at 2000 Posts.
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posted: 3/24/2011 9:55:52 PM - Report Post            I rate this game   edit post

Just finished Dragon Age 2 tonight. I can agree with just about everything in this review. Long, bloody, entertaining action RPG. Hopefully Dragon Age 3 and Mass Effect 3 will be 10/10 I have faith in Bioware. If not there's always Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim.

 
Neo7
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posted: 4/17/2011 6:55:42 AM - Report Post            I rate this game   edit post

This is a test review

 
Balseraph
Current rank: 1 Star. Next Rank at 100 Posts.
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posted: 4/27/2011 12:17:47 PM - Report Post            I rate this game   edit post

A little bit generous with the ratings aren't we? C-

This game shouldn't have been labeled Dragons Age 2. Like Gothic 4, both games capitalizing on the success of the predecessors by naming them sequels but releasing a fundamentally different game from the originals, very misleading to the fan base.

Pros:
- Good Story (very interesting plot where you'll be wanting to discover whats around the next turn)
- Great Environment (enjoyable scenery and ambiance)
- Fascinating characters & interactions (their personalities and backgrounds were unique, the voice acting was nice)
- Some stunning visuals (really like the look of the Qunari)

Cons:
- Seemingly too linear (it doesn't really matter what you do or how you act, the end result is going to be practically the same though the means to the end may be somewhat different)
- Recycling & reusing of game content to a great extent (you'll find yourself entering the same cave system again and again to clear varying enemies)
- Customization, the lack of (not being able to equip companions with armor of your choice for one)
- Hack & Slash style game play (found myself constantly clicking, especially since there's no target auto acquisition, meaning you have to individually click on everything you want to attack, it wont just go for the nearest enemy, nor does it attack someone who's attacking you, you'll just stand there getting pounded until you die)
- Difficulty settings need adjustment (unless you play on nightmare the game's pretty much a joke, the problem is on nightmare friendly fire is on, and since companions like to crowd the plate and your damage massive, AoE is particularly devastating....mmmmm party wipe!)
- Control over companions & their use of tactics lacking (grr they just don't listen sometimes!)

All and all it wasn't a bad game if you weren't expecting a continuation of Dragon's Age Origins, very low replay value in my opinion, i uninstalled half way through my second play through.

[Edited by Balseraph, 4/27/2011 2:20:23 PM]

 
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