Reviews for Dragon Age 2 (EU)
Not as great as Origins, but still a fine RPGSganotak | Jan. 23, 2014 | See all Sganotak's reviews »
Being released in less than a year after Dragon Age Origins was done with it's DLC, it was widely suspected that Dragon Age 2 would be a rushed product. This is partially true as DA2 doesn't even come close to the greatness of Origins. However it is still a great RPG bearing Bioware's seal of quality
Unlike Origins, in DA2 you play as a fully voiced character with a fixed race and background, similarly to Bioware's other epic, Mass Effect. This character, Hawke (whom you can freely customize in gender, appearance and class), is forced to escape Lothering with his family after the Darkspawn attack and settle in the city of Kirkwall, where the events of the game will take place
The story is good but it lacks the consistency and scope of Origins. It consists of three main acts, which are not very connected. Don't be worried though, the narrative is still the strongest part of the game and there are lots of different decisions that you make throughout the storyline that will affect later events. The dialogue system is very reminiscent to that of Mass Effect and most of the followers that you will acquire during your quests are interesting and full of personality.
The combat received a major overhaul and became more flashy, stylish and streamlined. I loved Origins' old school combat system but I have to admit that I enjoyed the changes that DA2 made a lot, since it achieved a good balance between tactical and action gameplay.
The graphics sport a more cartoony look but retain the gory and brutal animations that made Origins so awesome. The musical score is also impressive and the Voice actors do a very good job at bringing their characters to life
What's wrong with Dragon Age 2, is that it made a lot of compromises due to it's short development time. The majority of the action of the game takes place in the city of Kirkwall, so you will be visiting the same areas over and over again, even when you venture outside the city's walls you will soon realize that all the dungeons and outdoor areas are generic and identical. Another major problem is the lack of loot variety and most importantly follower customization, which was present in Origins. Finally, despite it's strong narrative and plot, Hawke's story arc seems really minor and irrelevant to the events of Origins and the universe of Dragon Age in general
Dragon Age 2 may take several steps forward for the series, but at the same time it takes an even or greater number of steps back. It is impressive however that Bioware despite all the pressure to quickly release a sequel for the widely successful Origins managed to deliver another great story-driven RPG. Therefore I strongly recommend this game.
50/50Mscigniew | Jan. 3, 2014 | See all Mscigniew's reviews »
Ok this one is pretty hard to judge,why?Because the first Dragon Age is legendary,almost perfect.With that in mind expectations go high,and DA 2 does not meet them.The game came out simply unfinished,you can feel it you can see it,its all over the game.But looking at DA 2 without the burden of DA:O,its decent piece of RPG,the fighting is done very effective,its simply fun to slay enemies.Story aint bad but not as epic as first one.After I dealt with unfullfield expectations I must say that I did enjoy the game and will remember it for a long time.
If ill judge it by DA franchise standards I will give it 5/10 But as a solo RPG I give it 8/10
Mixed Opinonakaman16 | Dec. 20, 2013 | See all akaman16's reviews »
This game isn't bad, it just fails to achieve the heights of the first game. Its combat is improved with its animations looking slick but its suffers from pacing issues as you tend to be in one location the whole game, this starts to get tedious as you will be given the same fetch quests, I didn't feel invested in the characters, I didn't feel like what I did mattered in the grand scheme of the story. The game is a mixed bag the combat is fun and challenging but the story fails to deliver, hopefully the next game in the series will learn from the short comings of this tittle.
A tacky hat on an otherwise brilliant outfit.Dancer087 | Nov. 26, 2013 | See all Dancer087's reviews »
There's something a little bit ominous going on when a game series goes from 'Origins' to 'Awakening' and then to simply '2'. You don't have to explore much further before it's apparent that something has been compromised along the way.
Don't get me wrong, the game is competent enough to be fun and engaging. It's major flaw however is It's streamlining of most of the primary mechanics - such as combat and dialogue. So, instead of having a plethora of responses and topics to discuss you're given a Mass Effect-esque pie of saying something which is either, good, bad or blah. The placement of these morale alignments are always in the same place so you don't even need to pay attention to what you're saying in order to achieve the desired response.
The Combat has been overhauled from 'tactical and challenging' to simply, 'sexy looking'. While the combat system of the previous games in the series were reminiscent of games such as Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic, the new system is much more similar to Dynasty Warriors. In the same way with the dialogue, you no longer really need to pay much attention to what you're doing in order to do well.
Had this game been released under a different name and a different story, it would have done very well. And so I can only really recommend this to anyone who has never played any previous Dragon Age title. If you're a fan of the the first instalments and are looking to carry on the epic adventure, I'm afraid you've been doomed.
Simply a Solid GameLleris | Oct. 7, 2013 | See all Lleris's reviews »
Now, many will gripe over how it wasn't better than Origins. Having played both, I agree in many senses that Origins was better. However, there was very little in Dragon Age 2 that I didn't enjoy. The storyline was satisfying and left me in great anticipation for DA3. Gameplay was mostly fluid and suffered no major problems for me. There may have been a few bugs and glitches here and there, but even Skyrim and Oblivion had these in their immense worlds.
I think it is due to the fact that I played 2 before Origins which leaves me without the stigma of disappointment.
Is Origins better than 2? Yes. Does this prevent 2 from being an awesome game? By no means.
Perhaps you expected more after playing Origins, but in all due honesty, it's not a bad game if you look at it as a stand-alone game.
Cursed by Origin's excellencenemesis44uk | Aug. 19, 2013 | See all nemesis44uk's reviews »
DA2 is the much maligned sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. PC Gamer UK had the temerity to award DA2 95%, earning it the everlasting scorn of the entire internet.
To be sure, this is not a 95% game, but neither is it as bad as a lot of people would have you believe. It has been cursed by DA:O's excellence and to be fair, ANY game would have struggled to live up to that burden of expectation.
DA2 has a clearer, brighter palette (not so much brown) than the original game and a simplified combat dynamic. I was chopping off trolls' heads with gleeful abandon. It is a very different game to the first, but there is still a lot of enjoyment to be had.
Minor quibbles are that it lacks the storyline of the first game, or the races that you can choose.
On the plus side, it has superb voice acting, interesting NPCs and an easier difficulty level than the first game.
I wholeheartedly recommend this game, especially if you were put off by the first one. To people who loved the first game, treat this as a side project and lower expectations accordingly, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Distant from Origins, but good to playMarcoCav | July 3, 2013 | See all MarcoCav's reviews »
Dragon Age II, while distancing himself from its predecessor Origins, remains an excellent role-playing game where the action is particularly strong and the gameplay seem to wink at people who is not fan of this genre. There is no doubt that fans of the predecessor and lovers of hardcore RPG probably will watch with annoyance most of the compromises reached by BioWare.
Distant from Origins, but good to playMarcoCav | July 1, 2013 | See all MarcoCav's reviews »
Dragon Age II, while distancing himself from his predecessor Origins, remains an excellent role-playing game where the action component is particularly strong and mechanics seem to wink at someone who is not super passionate and fanatic, but that is not ashamed to to deepen certain elements of the gameplay that this sequel has to offer. There is no doubt that fans of the predecessor and lovers of hard-core RPG probably will watch with annoyance most of the compromises reached by BioWare.
Could be better.Matis221 | June 18, 2013 | See all Matis221's reviews »
If you don't played Dragon Age: Origins before you could say it's a good game. But besides better graphics it't worse then first game. Story is good, characters in the game too, but locations are very repeatable. You go to one cave and it looks very good, but when you go to second and third, you see the same first cave but with closed one or two entrances.
For me it was good game but this recycling of locations made my rating worse.
Ok. Not as good as Origins.Digiclipse | June 2, 2013 | See all Digiclipse's reviews »
Dragon Age 2 is an ok game at best, the new combat style and graphics feels fresh in comparison to the previous game. However i find the areas you go to to be boring and on more than one occasion a clear copy paste job of a previous area. The whole rise to champion of Kirkwall feels slightly rushed and not well thought out. In fact the story in general pales in comparison to the first game and is fairly boring. The return of a few DA:Origins characters make an appearance however not for long which was disappointing. The combat overhaul however feels nice and brutal and allot more involving with a nice selection of skill trees to go down. There are no executions however which once again is disappointing and the fact that there is only 3 classes and the choice of a male or female human is annoying as well.
For the price however it's not too bad and i hope DA3 changes allot or goes back to how DA: Origins was. All in all the game is disappointing in many ways and not worth full price, could have been so much more and it pales in comparison to the first.
The most daring RPG in a long time. And it works.Harbinger_87 | May 23, 2013 | See all Harbinger_87's reviews »
Well. who would have guessed that? See, "Dragon Age: Origins" was a nightmare. Not the "absolutely horrible and unplayable" kind. No, "DA:O" was perectly playable. But it was a nightmare, because behind the glossy facade, it was such a generic, safe product completely devoid of every bit of amibition. It created the most generic fantasy universe you could think of and still felt that it had to explain every last bit of it to death. Perhaps I should be grateful for that, because if they hadn't covered the basics of the Dragon Age universe in such mind-numbing detail in the predecessor, "Dragon Age 2" wouldn't have turned out as swesome as it did. "Dragon Age 2" does everything a good sequel should. It takes the first game as a basis and does it's own thing from there, trading in the massive scale of the predecessor for a lot more personal, intimate story about one man's (or woman's) rise to glory. It doesn't pull this off quite perfectly, but all in all it does what it does quite remarkably. See, while "Dragon Age: Origins" was THE story of Thedas, where nothing could go unexplained for a second and the game was a lot more interrested to show off it's flashy landscape than let's say tell a story, "Dragon Age 2" feels a lot more believable, like a very mundane story about someone who lives in this magical realm. And this is a bold step for an RPG and one the genre ultimately should do more often. The rest is just the icing of the cake. Most of the gameplay-changes are very welcome, like simplified inventory-management for companions and more elaborate skill-trees. The dialogue-wheel, that was borrowed from the "Mass Effect"-games also creates a very smooth dialogue-flow that makes conversations more believable. And while the hub-based gameplay might seem like a step back from the "adventuring around"-structure of the predecessor, it gives more personality to the surroundings and characters you'll encounter, since you'll return to places more often and see changes over time. And the characters are absolutely fantastic. Varric Thetras alone justifies this game. Of course there are drawbacks. The often lauded dungeon-cloning is as bat as it's said to be, although BioWare also did this - albeit to a lesser extent - in "DA:O". But here it gets ridiculous at times. And the enemies that spawn in waves also tend to make the battles a lot more chaotic and less strategic. And you'll face a barrage of strangely implemented fetch-quests from time to time that aren't a lot of fun. But apart from that, "Dragon Age 2" is a huge step up for RPGs in general and a prime example for how the often overlooked plot-issue should be handled nowadays. And on top, it's a perfectly playable and fun modern RPG.
A really bad gameAntix | April 28, 2013 | See all Antix's reviews »
The 'level design' - and you have to use that term loosely - just consists of a few a very narrow corridors. The areas are shamelessly reused. How a developer can get away with making about 6 tiny areas for a ~40 hour long game and calling it a day is beyond me. The game mostly takes place in a city and its surroundings. Needless to say, they never even bothered to design a city, only 3 separate and very small areas, basically streets, that you can fast travel to.
The combat is frantic. Gone are the strategic battles of Origins. A lot of enemies bumrush you in the small corridors and you have to press the awesome button. On top of that, it is very tedious, since each and every single encounter you have will contain about 4-5 waves of the exact same enemies literally teleporting in out of nowhere just as you're about done with the last wave to bore you to death. Ridiculous game design. Not to mention that most encounters are random i.e. you just walk around and explore and don't see your enemy right up until the fight begins. Quite ironic from the company that bashes JRPGs. The difficulty curve is pretty much nonexistent if you keep your equipment in check since level scaling is in effect. A Hurlock won't be easier to kill at lvl20 than it is at lvl1.
Your character, Hawke, has 3 stock replies locked in their respective places so you don't have to do much thinking: Good, funny or aggressive. Funny is especially bad. Like "wanting to punch whoever wrote that crap" kind of bad. Good or aggressive is most of the time what you'd expect. Emphasis on most of the time, since the few words they put in the dumb dialogue wheel can be misleading. Sometimes extra options or questions show up but most of the time they're just stuff that isn't worth asking or has already been answered.
The party members feel like wasted potential. You have to visit them in their homes so they all explain their backstories in about 2-3 conversations over time and all have a chain of quests tied to it. At the core, they're not all that bad but they are extremely one dimensional and sound like a broken record over the single event that has shaped their lives. You end up not caring much about them. But hey, they're mostly bisexual and you can romance them since that's obviously more important than the rest of the game, so it's all good. Their armor isn't customizable but weapons, stats and skills are up to you.
Finally, the story. If you last long enough (trust me, that's difficult) to make it to the final act, you'll have a story on your hands that, while predictable, isn't all that terrible and at least you get the 'epic' high fantasy feel for a while until you meet a laughable final boss. The first act just feels like a needless prologue and you will feel a general lack of urgency or motivation throughout it. Act 2 is more bearable but still nothing to write home about. The side quests are all derivative and boring.
Lazy game design, bad writing, and poor production values are what make this a title that isn't just hard to recommend, but should simply be avoided by anyone. The icing on the cake is that overall, the game feels like a slap to the face for the people who had hope in the Dragon Age franchise and took it the exact opposite direction from what they were hoping for.
Just not that goodStebsis | Feb. 13, 2013 | See all Stebsis's reviews »
I don't really know what it is, but I just can't like this game. It feels like DA2 has solid mechanics, combat at least is better than in Dragon Age: Origins, but everything else feels just watered down. I'm not one to judge a game because it's different from previous ones, heck I really like where Metal Gear Rising is going, it looks awesome even though it's not anything like previous titles in the series. DA2 was rushed out by EA in only little over a year after superb DA:O, that's not nearly enough time to create a full fledged, big budget RPG, and it shows.
The first problem in the game you see right when you start it, you only get to be a human and there're no Origin stories like in previous one, you don't get to explore different cultures of elfes or dwarfes, or feel like what it's like to be an oppressed mage, it's just the same beginning. The second problem is the main character him/herself, Hawke. Especially the male voice actor is just bad, I just couldn't like him no matter what and eventually I had to start all over again with female. Male sounds so monotonous and boring, but female is much better and I really liked her voice.
You choose between 3 classes, rogue, warrior or mage, and mage out of these 3 is definitely the best and most interesting as DA2 basically is a tale between a struggle between templars and mages, as a mage you get to feel like you have more bigger part in it and choises you make, especially if they're against your fellow mages, have weight in them, and in combat mage plays the most fun, even though they scrapped my favorite specialization from DA:O, arcane warrior. And this is the best part of the game, combat. It's fun, fast paced while still maintaining its strategic elements. They didn't dumb it down but made it a lot better.
But the meat of DA:O was characters and the stories you experienced through your travels to defeat the great evil, archdemon and blight which were a threat to the whole world. DA2... yeeeah, not so much. Hawke and his family in the beginning escape the blight to other country, this takes place roughly around the beginning of DA:O, but DA2's story spans for years. This might seem like a neat idea, but it's not. Story is divided in 3 parts and you take part in different powerstruggles and explore caves. Oh yeah, the caves, the goddamn caves. There're like 5 games in the game total, and you explore these caves all the time, every frigging cave looks the same. It's annoying and developers clearly didn't have any time to make even those 5 caves interesting places to explore.
And characters, oh boy are they bad. There're only 1 or 2 good ones, but most are just annoying and can't hold the candle not even near the ones in DA:O.
DA2 just isn't that good story, character or world wise and those were the best things about Origins. Combat is the only thing better here. If you played DA:O, I wouldn't recommend this. If you haven't played either one, play this one first, it might give you more satisfaction, but as a sequel you can't but compare these ones, and DA2 just loses completely and I can't help but to take that into account after the masterpiece DA:O was.
Dragon Age 2xydanus | Jan. 16, 2013 | See all xydanus's reviews »
Dragon Age 2 is like a dumb version of Dragon Age Origins. Bioware took away tactical gameplay and put more casual friendly combat system to its place. Combat is not bad at all, but since i was big fan of the first game, second one does not feel like a real Dragon Age.
Game design is the most idiotic that I have ever seen. They really re-used same areas constantly and did not even try to hide it by putting different objects here and there. And you will notice that way too often.
But Dragon Age 2 is a good game. Story is interesting and there are new companions that have a story to tell. New gameplay is smooth and more action than it was before. Some may like it more.
I suggest to buy Dragon Age Origins, but if you already played that, this one is worth of its price.
Good RPG, but far from its predecetoroginer | Dec. 11, 2012 | See all oginer's reviews »
Dragon Age 2 is an ok RPG, with average character customization, but that's not much more. The game is very linear, some maps are nothing more than small corridors, and the combat has turned into a more action game, without the strategy involved in the first game.
The story is nice, keeps you interested in the game, specially if you've played the first one (I'd highly recommend doing so before starting playing this one).
So overall it's good value, it's entertaining, but nothing more. It's far from the gem that Dragon Age: Origins was.
Ugly gameZinzun | Sept. 24, 2012 | See all Zinzun's reviews »
So,the first Dragon Age was a great game.Many quests,many locations,well underlined character and a good story. This sequel is awful:story is non-sensical and boring like hell,main character is simply a doll without personality. The gameplay indeed is terrible:you must only push a button the whole time,it's not strategic or action,simply boring. All locations are the same,using the same places again and again and again. I reached the second act,then uninstalled the game.Ugly.
Origins was bettersanyi777 | Sept. 23, 2012 | See all sanyi777's reviews »
I think Dragon Age 2 is a good game, but not as good as the first was. You can only play as a human, and there is only one story-line. The combat system improved, and the characters are great too. If you want a fantastic Rpg, try Origins.
Not as good as the first one but still a solid gameThulfiqaar | July 26, 2012 | See all Thulfiqaar's reviews »
Don't listen to the people that are too hurt by the fact that they changed it the game to be different than the first one. Sure the first one was brililant in pretty much every way, but that doesn't make Dragon Age 2 bad far from it.
The fighting/action in the second is actually to be honest better. If only they could implement the zooming out function like they did in the first one it would have then been perfect!
The storyline is still epic and everything will feel familiar from the first game. It's still the same "theme".
You will love your companions, unfortunately the game doesn't go as deep in the characters and their development as the first game does, but trust me it's still a good story and the characters are all good with excellent voice acting.
Replay value is pretty good as well, simply because the fighting style and action in this one is just so good and you would like to experiment with it a bit.
Ok sequelnicolaidynbru | July 13, 2012 | See all nicolaidynbru's reviews »
Dragon age 2 is not the best game. The combat is really fun, but it feels like some spells are missing. You can't really make a good healer and aura's are a big part of the game.
One of the biggest issues with game is that you are in the same areas over and over again. The only difference is the time and some minor graphical changes throughout the game.
I played it through ones, but it isn't a game like origin that you can play through again and again. My suggestion is buy DA:O and skip DA2.
Not much freedom, but a great deal of story!stephen1212 | Oct. 26, 2011 | See all stephen1212's reviews »
One of the biggest gripes that you hear about this game can be countered by saying it is NOT Dragon Age: Origins 2, but Dragon Age 2. It is not a follow up, its the same universe, and does come after the first game, but it is a different game.
You play Hawke, whether male or female, a refugee from Ferelden, the town of lothering to be specifc, if you have played the first game, you know that is the first little town you come to that is ravaged by the darkspawn. This is a change from the first game, and makes it more inline with Mass Effect, rather than older RPGs. You character is voiced and acted out, which makes for a more cinematic experience rather than a free gaming experience.
You still have choices to make, that affect the world and characters but the everything is on a smaller scale than Origins BUT it is still a very good game, the combat is changed from origins to be a closer more action based combat, again in keeping with Mass Effect, I personally found it to be very good, tight fights make you really work.
With it being so close in combat, it was easy to get dragged into one character instead of group, which I found brilliant for an action RPG, sometimes combat is too dull from a higher group orientated view point.
The story, does not delve into some areas where you expect it too, but it is a very good story, and the final act is just brilliant. It took me about 40 hours on one playthrough, but I looked in every crook, and alley.
For the price it is, I would pick it up in a heart beat as it is great value for the amount of play.
Terrible sequelBas92 | Oct. 26, 2011 | See all Bas92's reviews »
Dragon Age 2 is a terrible sequel in my opinion. While it's set in the same universe as Dragon Age, they basically removed everything that made Dragon Age Origins so great. You can no longer choose between three different races. You're forced to play as a boring human character now. The seperate origin stories are also gone. Bioware also took a different approach for the art style, Dragon Age 2 has cartoony visuals. It doesn't look that bad but I prefer DA:O's more realistic visuals. The worst change however is the combat system. Dragon Age Origins (on the PC) had a top-down view and fun, tactical battles where you constantly had to pause the game and issue orders. Dragon Age 2 however is pure hack&slash with "awesome" killing moves. While it certainly looks cool, they really dumbed down the combat system. So we have one race, no origins, a crappy combat system, a totally different art style... and finally this game is much, much shorter than DA:O. One playthrough in DA:O could easily take 100 hours while in DA2 it takes only 20 hours to complete the game. The fact that this game was created in 1 year proves that this game was rushed. Hell, Bioware even admitted it. Some people might enjoy this game but if you liked DA:O, stay away from this garbage. WIth Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 2 Bioware is shifting to action games instead of RPG's but I really hope that they're not forgetting their core RPG fans.