Dragon Age 2 Review: 6 Pros and 11 Cons

 

By Posted 20 Mar 2011, 09:40

Following the release of Dragon Age 2 it has been met with a lot of negative feedback, and while the game is good as an action RPG, we are getting reports that DA2 falls short for depth, which is just what a game like this needs.

Check out the pros and cons below that are thanks to one tipster (Maran), and let us know what you think about both the positive and negative, and feel free to give your overview of Dragon Age 2.

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Pros:
1, Humor, the companions had some great lines!
2, Return of a few old faces but once again few major parts for loved characters. Thankfully the new characters are quite a lot of fun, but lack any what you would call evil characters. Chaotic Neutral at best.
3, Somewhat more balanced classes, with melee two hander’s being the new arcane mages. You can still make tank mages, when you understand how overpowered AOE is generally and how blood magic can also become overpowered once again.
4, Generally speaking if you just want to blow off some steam and not care about what you are killing or why, it is an enjoyable experience in maybe 30-minute bursts.
5, Interface is fine. There are some small odd bugs with character faces or camera angles being limited so it works and is practical.
6, Couple of great quests amongst the many terrible ones. The Serial killer quest was an example of what Dragon Age Origins was in many ways, a small glimpse of greatness.

Cons:
1, Repetitive Areas, which limit the desire to finish the quests let alone replay anything.
2, Limited Armor selection, making for more basic gameplay. AOE everything equals win, making for completely mindless combat unless you are playing on nightmare.
3, Your quest choices don’t affect the story, they just add fluff; it is tough to shake the feeling and that is the biggest disappointment of all. This problem is even more exaggerated with the reuse of areas.
4, No real ending for the companions we’d spent 50 hours or so with, what happened to anyone? No Epilogue, no closure. Knowing Bioware they won’t wrap this up in the sequel either as we’ll have all new characters.
5, Bad pacing and quest design at times. This was hinted above, the serial killer quest finding your mother is a great quest and an example of feeling compelled to finish it. As an example of bad pacing, I’d finished quests before being told I had them, which in my first hour or two confused the hell out of me. Pick up an item in an office and talk to a random NPC – then I’d been rewarded with no idea I had a quest or any dialogue except a thank you, bizarre.
6, A further example of pacing problems, waves of enemies making all fights feel the same, bar one or two boss battles which thankfully break up the repetitive AOE, AOE, AOE, Heal (Maybe or just yawn), AOE combat.
7, Too few healer NPCs.
8, No Mod Support to fix the above or give us replay value, which this title really needs help with being set in the same landscapes. With Mod tools people could have fixed the waves and perhaps opened up a few new areas but no dice.
9, Reusing the same concepts all the way through the game. (Bandit Waves), (Demons, Demons, Demons), (Mages and Templar’s are all insane, You won’t find much attachment to any of them, and to be honest an option to kill them both at the end of it all was needed. At the end of it all though it doesn’t matter a bit, as it all players the same anyway).
10, Less interaction with companions, and instead being forced to run around the city (Again) just to talk to them.
11, There is not an area of the game that was made more complex, engaging or added any depth, not one.

Do you agree with the pros and cons listed above? Let us know your thoughts on Dragon Age 2.

Thanks Maran

  • Whiggles

    Completely agree with the above, and I would also add the criminal lack of the top-down tactical camera from the first game.

    On the whole, the game just felt like a rush job to me. Even the interface looked like placeholder art.

  • tommy Cñhristian

    I completely agree. Although I love the graphics. But, something still missing. I’m not free to create a character. And, I love to play jokes with the Origins conversation. Why don’t Hawke became a sidekick and I create another character towards the story? Bah, I miss morrigan. Not flemmeth ^^ thanx

  • Eviltom

    Agreed. The game was made for pc and console at the same time, so it was made simple and short for console fans who (generaly) found DA1 too difficult and complex. DA1 was developed for pc with all its RPG elements intact. Then it was converted to console form, but kept most of its features.

    Its a bit like mass effect, ME1 had lots of armour and weapons to customise your squad with, ME2 just had upgrades. (ME1 and 2 are still awesome games)

  • Edible Consumer

    Disagreed and have serious doubts about the reviewer. Finding random items that can be returned for a reward is not a "quest" until you actually find the items. Stripping pointless conversation out of mindless seek-and-find quests was a massive improvement over the Chanter's Board sending you all over Fereldon for little benefit and no story advancement.

    It may nod have been as complex as its predecessor, but that was a plus for me and my wife. Replaying Origins involved being forced through some of the longest, most frustrating areas of the game, with long detailed maps that involve nonstop combat. I know some people prefer that, but fighting through legions of darkspawn gets as dull as the repeated dungeon maps on a second playthrough. For me, what you call fluff was the selling point of the game. Playing through multiple times with different combinations of companions, attitudes and choices lets me relive a story multiple ways as opposed to unlocking all the different endings(text screens following an epic but virtually identical conclusion, just like here… minus the text screens). Bottom line: it's a fun game, with awesome characters and an involving, complex story. There are lots of differences from the first, which you either embrace or dislike, and a story in which the conflict doesn't have a single villain, as some people prefer, but a conflict that shows how people with the best intentions can become monsters. Everyone is welcome to their opinions, but some of the criticism being heaped on this game is bandwagon, overinflated complaints("quests are confusing, I don't know where I got this hat quest!"). Some criticism is fair, but this was an overly simplistic review with criticism expanded on and praise minimized, skewed from the beginning. Most of these same complaints are found in reviews rating the game 8/10, which is what I'd give it.

    • User

      Are you working at Bioware? Only those guys can say stuff like that…

  • guest

    game felt rushed, corners were cut where they shouldn't have been. some of the companions were strong but the interaction with them was totally lacking, especially in contrast to the original DA which felt disappointing. the first DA offered more replay value as far as I am concerned…wouldn't replay this one. also the depth of the first da story was far greater than da2 and their were ultimately a ton more hours of game play in da but only 30-40 tops in da2. disappointing.

  • Ziggy Stardust 777

    Bioware always intended to turn Dragon Age into a viable franchise, that was made clear long before Origins was released. They're even working on an animated film.
    This game was definitely produced under duress. You get nothing more than a shallow aknowledgement of the actiosn that you took in Origins. The epilogue at the end established the game as a complete story unto itself as well as an introduction into this new fantasy world and its mythology.
    Did you notice that a lot of the codex entries were reused from Origins? There's less info in this one than the first. The ending was a big great tease, you got a hint that your in game actions had consequences that won't be confirmed until the sequel.

  • Ziggy Stardust 777

    There was no mention of Morrigan's child or lack thereof, clearly intended as the inciting event in a great struggle. We get a cameo from Flemeth to remind us she has sinister intentions. Dragon Age II was nothing but a great big tease for the REAL sequel. EA just wanted another expansion pack while Bioware took their time on the follow up.
    Bioware, you are forgiven. I have confidence that you will make up for this with a truely Spectacular conclusion to what you started in Origins. A subpar game from you was still an above average effort for most studios. EA, how dare you exploit the confidence and customer loyalty of Bioware's fan base!

  • Xefyr

    Definately agreed. The graphics and combat system are fantastic and definately hook you into the game in the first ten minutes of gameplay, but too many shoddy elements seem to drag it down after that initial captivation wears off.. Much of what appealed to me in DA:O were the beautiful sights and scenery (Anvil of the Void, Ruined Temple of Andraste, lengthy fade visits,, etc), but such breathtaking landscapes are pretty rare in DA2.
    I can also appreciate that DA2's storyline wasn't centered around becoming stronger all game long in order to defeat one mega-baddie at the end(yet there's still only a single final boss possible?), and I did quite enjoy the overtones of predjudice, fascism, and moral ambiguity throughout. It would've been a bit nicer if player choices had a bit more story weight to them as well, but I guess what really turned me off was that I assumed the blight would still be a central theme to the game, not just what seems like screwing around in the Dragon Age universe. Saving people from themselves is cool too, but by the end I was hoping I could somehow just wipe out Kirkwall completely and be done with all their bickering. Maybe move to Tevinter?

  • Robb Carr

    As with many above, I too felt the game was rushed into release. There were countless gliches, freezes, and random noticable breaks in some of the cutscenes. The story line was dull, the weapons, and armour for the NPC chars were lacking. I hope that Bioware considers making a new one based on the first DA and doesn't decide on doing a sequel(That's not even conected to the old DA) to this one.

  • Sandral

    I only play PC RPG's and have been blessed to have played all the best. Dragon Age II as definitely the worst of the so-called best — or maybe there should be a new category – second best.
    After getting a buzz from the 'fighting' and 'story' when I started playing other RPGs, I discovered that my best buzz was achieving 'survival', meaning never losing a fight throughout the entire game by reading everything, preparing well, being prepared to run away if a battle is going badly, etc.
    Okay, so every RPG has a few battles where a mysterious lightning bolt comes from the sky, and you die. I think there were maybe two or three in Dragon Age Origins. Dragon Age II? Maybe 15. I wasted so much time on ridiculously unbalanced battles that at the end I was just glad to say I finished the game. Totally forgettable story line, and really poor quality control on battles to ensure fairness.
    This game is the worst quality that Bioware has ever put out, except maybe KOTOR II without all the mods and fixes added. Well, at least that one still had a pretty good story despite a lousy ending.