A solid game overshadowed by it's predecessor. - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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A solid game overshadowed by it's predecessor.

 

When Dragon Age:Origins hit the store shelves, many gamers praised it for it's intuitive combat,intriguing story which was shaped by your race and origin (hence the subname), among many other things. Almost 2 years after that Dragon Age 2 hit the store shelves, and while it's still a solid game it does not deliver the same experience that Origins did.

Dragon Age 2 tells the story of Hakwe and his rise to power in the city of Kirkwall, where he is dubbed as the Champion of Kirkwall. The series appears to have taken quite a few cues from is brother Mass Effect, as now the character is voiced and strictly human. Dragon Age 2 takes away the origin stories that made the first one so popular in order to give the main character a solid background. Players can still choose their favorite class between warrior, mage and rogue. The game alters a bit from this decision. Players can also import their save files from DA:O to see various cameos from some of the main characters of the original game,though due to some glitches the cameos may not work properly,nevertheless this addition is rather meaningless.

DA2 trades the strategic combat from Origins in favor of a more faster hack n slash combat.While some may like it,those who enjoy a more tactical approach will probably despise it. Console players will like this type of combat better than the one from Origins (Console version of Origins didn't have a a strategic combat). Nevertheless this is not the game's weakest point. In terms of graphics the game takes a more cel shaded approach, it looks fitting on the franchise though not everyone will like it.

The game's weakest point has to be the story, as weird as that may sound for a Bioware game. The first act of the game consist of doing a lot of fetch quests to gather 50 gold in order to do an expedition. Through these fetch quest the main characters and plot are introduced, sadly this missions are so sporadic that it may take some time to understand what's going on. The second act is where things pick up, there is a civil war and this when Hawke becomes the champion. Followed by that is the third act in which the main conflict is finally detailed and at the last five minutes the arch enemy is revealed.

It does not help the story,the fact that you are constantly reminded of the Grey Warden's heroic deeds  throughout Felderen which brings us to the main problem of the story, it does not have the same level of greatness that DA:O had. While your Grey Warden is roaming through the lands of Ferelden uniting the people as one to destroy the blight, Hawke is stuck in one city doing fetch quest for almost everyone, to a degree in the same vein of a GTA game although the latter does it a whole lot better. The main conflict of DA2 is one of the many conflicts the Warden had to deal with. All in all DA2 feels a lot smaller in scope compared to is predecessor.

The game's other major fault has to be the repetitive locales. There are around 10 or 12 caves,cellars,dungeons,etc. Most of the time you'll be passing through the same places though a bit altered (ie: closed doors to where you passed already). This can be forgiven in a short game, but when a game that is 50 or 60 hours long does it, it takes a toll on you.

Dragon Age 2 has it's shining spots too. The cast of characters is one of the best and their story and missions are some of the most interesting you will find in the game. The dialogue is cleverly written and humorous at times but serious when it needs to be. The conversations between Hawke and his companions feel natural and gives then a personality of their own, most of them are quite charming and entertaining (Isabella and Varric are some of the best characters out there).

All in all Dragon Age 2 is solid game that many will enjoy for is hack n slash, but those looking for a compelling narrative or unique enviroments may want to look elsewhere. Dragon Age 2 manages to bee a good game but not an oustanding game like it's predecessor.

 

 

 

 

Comments
  • If I was judging this game based on each of it's parts, I would give it's combat a 8.5, story a 7, and gameplay an 8. It feels weird to say the story is the worst part of a Bioware game, but it is true. I will say however that I applaud Bioware for making this mediocre game. That is because they are doing something different. Instead of following the traditional Bioware 3-act format, they went with something different, albeit worse. With the combat, they went with hack-and-slashing over tactical, which isn't as good, but different. Whatever. My final score of this game would be a an 8. While it's mediocre, it still is fun.
  • I skipped over this one for almost the exact reasons you stated in your review... skill.
  • Good Review, i don't know much about dragon age but iv'e seen gameplay.. and that IS weird the story being the weakest as a bioware game..

  • Good review im not gonna get this because i didnt like the first one

  • I disappoints me that Bioware rushed the game because it feels rushed to me, the only real problems I have with the game is the repetitive environments and the story  

  • I noticed you were just saying "he" when it should be "he/she"; just an observation.

    But yeah my complaints were pretty much the story and the repeated environments. The repeated layouts actually didn't bug me much but the lack of even a main antagonist/main dilemma really did.