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Default Dragon Age 2 - Review Avalanche

March 9th, 2011, 01:52
Well, the tsunami of Dragon Age 2 reviews have arrived and no doubt NA players are already well into the game. All the reviews so far are positive - some very much so - although I'd say the trend at this (very) early stage is a litte lower than Origins. I'm going to highlight a bunch of major sites and then line-list a handful.
Let's start at the top end, with PC Format awarding 95%:
To say Dragon Age 2 is BioWare at its best would be a high accolade indeed. It’s the proud parent of some of PC gaming’s greatest moments, vivid roleplaying worlds that we gamers exchange anecdotes from like the old folks trade war stories. It has set the benchmark high, and fans have set their expectations even higher for this, the sequel to 2009’s best RPG.
On the other hand, GameSpot has a very positive review but notes several disappointments on the way to 8/10. They point out the combat is "much less tactical" and aren't as impressed with the story as others:
Dragon Age II is an enjoyable and complex role-playing game, featuring expansive questing in a fantasy world tinged with political intrigue. During this lengthy adventure, you face gigantic dragons, villainous mages, and greedy slavers, all while exercising the power of choice to steer various story elements as you see fit. It's often terrific, even if it doesn't meet the standard set by Dragon Age: Origins. Several areas, such as inventory management and skill progression, have been stripped down in one way or another—a case of developer BioWare inexplicably fixing that which wasn't broken. The story, too, has seen a downward turn, failing to connect its various (albeit excellent) quests to a clear central goal. It's easy to see these and other blemishes because the game that spawned this sequel was so exceptional, and ultimately the superior game. And yet on its own terms, Dragon Age II is still a great experience, depicting a kingdom threatened not by invading monsters, but by the demons of fear and distrust.
Eurogamer says 8/10 and, surprisingly, found the new full-voiced Hawke "inert". Still, they obviously enjoyed it and here's some closing remarks:
For those who stick around, able to forgive the moments when the game spins its wheels, there's a substantial and muscular experience to be had. This game builds steadily to one of the more interesting climaxes in recent memory.
It's never quite as great as it could be. Nor is it as successful as Mass Effect 2 at pitching itself across genres. Nevertheless, Dragon Age II presents an absorbing, sprawling story encased in blood-stained action RPG armour.
IGN's score is 8.5/10 and they say "every modification to the gameplay and structure of Dragon Age II is a clear improvement over the previous game", although I didn't feel their own main text supported that. On linearity:
I thought the narrative style was to allow for branching storylines, but aside from a few impactful choices, it's actually fairly linear, which is disappointing. Another problem is that the ending is a cliffhanger, which makes it feel more like a prologue rather than a standalone title. The plot is very entertaining though and chockfull of crazy moments that will make you go "OMG" and "WTF." Occasional slow spots can make what you're doing feel pointless, but the ending makes it clear that Hawke's time in Kirkwall is incredibly important to the Dragon Age canon.
VideoGamer has the lowest score we've seen so far at 7/10. Like Eurogamer, the companions didn't really grab them:
[quote]
But Origins also had its cast to fill the personality quota: Alistair's straight British wit, Morrigan's femme fatale sass. Unfortunately it's when the best original characters from Origins start making cameos that DA2's league of characters begin to feel like the B-team. The sequel's gang are well-developed - each of them has a darker side that becomes clearer in their companion quest - but they're still functional more often than memorable. Varric is the closest you'll find to a likeable comedy figure, as a sort of dwarf hedonist, but he never quite pulls the same punches as an Alistair; he manages to be amusing only in the sense that none of the others really are. Elven mage Merill is brilliantly voice-acted with a neurotic Welsh accent, but again she seems to disappear into the background - partly b…More information.

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March 9th, 2011, 01:53
The Joystiq thing was interesting as he was clear in not liking pretty much anything that made the PC version of the original part of the cRPG tradition. So I was surprised when he turned negative and ended up at 4 stars.

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March 9th, 2011, 01:57
lol all those that gave 9 or above must have been high
even 8,5 is insulting
not to mention, some sites called it rpg of the decade buhahahaah
EPIC FAIL
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March 9th, 2011, 02:05
Those are pretty good scores, so far it has been a good game. Haven't played a lot yet though, maybe 2 or 3 hours now.

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March 9th, 2011, 02:13
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Those are pretty good scores.
By what measure? It already ranks at the bottom of BioWare's mainstream releases. Factor in the fact that day one reviews tend to score more highly than later reviews, and, well…
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March 9th, 2011, 02:19
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
By what measure? It already ranks at the bottom of BioWare's mainstream releases. Factor in the fact that day one reviews tend to score more highly than later reviews, and, well…
8 to 10 seems fine to me, it's not like we are seeing 5 and 6's here. I'm not sure what the problem with the scores…sure they are not as high as their other games(at some sites) but they are far from bad. It has a better overall score then say a game like Risen had. Regardless, it's not getting panned as many thought it would.

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March 9th, 2011, 02:24
Well, I'm relieved that at least it's not receiving many 9+ scores. 8's are actually pretty low for a mainstream company that can practically do no wrong in the eyes of most "critics." It seems to me that Bioware finally crossed the line with too much streamlining, to the point that even mainstreamers feel that the game isn't deep enough. Hopefully this will serve as a lesson for other developers that an RPG has to be at least somewhat deep to differentiate itself from action games.
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March 9th, 2011, 02:39
I'm about 3 hours in… not much combat after the demo area to be honest, so I find it hard to comment much more than I already have. I will say I have noticed a bit more of the feeling that I'm playing the game differently that it was designed. You certainly CAN pause and plan, but I have to admit in the full game it is feeling more like forcing it than I thought with the demo. That said on hard mode, even with pausing and planning, I got killed over and over by the second ogre.

I'll save more comments for a later time but right now I am enjoying myself. The art design is truly spectacular in my opinion, I am in constant visual heaven walking around. Dialogue and characters are Bioware norms, nothing super special and nothing lower than average for them yet. Maybe not quite as good as Mass Effect story and presentation wise… we'll see as it goes on.
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March 9th, 2011, 04:27
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
8 to 10 seems fine to me, it's not like we are seeing 5 and 6's here. I'm not sure what the problem with the scores…sure they are not as high as their other games(at some sites) but they are far from bad. It has a better overall score then say a game like Risen had. Regardless, it's not getting panned as many thought it would.
That depends on your perspective. I'd agree personally - 8/10 is a fine score. I'm not sure EA would agree, though - one of their goals with the changes would have been to get 9/10 and 10/10s like Mass Effect 2. I think BN is right and while noone sane would say this is bad, EA might be mildly disappointed.

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March 9th, 2011, 04:34
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
That depends on your perspective. I'd agree personally - 8/10 is a fine score. I'm not sure EA would agree, though - one of their goals with the changes would have been to get 9/10 and 10/10s like Mass Effect 2. I think BN is right and while noone sane would say this is bad, EA might be mildly disappointed.
True, 8's are far from bad for most games, but to EA/Bioware, 8's certainly are low. And similar to what I said in my previous post, the fact that mainstream sites are giving a big-budget, heavily-hyped game from one of the most popular developers in the world less than 9's - and claim that DA2 was unnecessarily streamlined in areas that didn't need it - speaks volumes.
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March 9th, 2011, 04:36
Its getting destroyed in player reviews for the PC version on Amazon.com. I'm surprised at how negative it is there for a Bioware major rpg game. Dragon Age Origins was well received there. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, its still early.
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March 9th, 2011, 04:41
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Its getting destroyed in player reviews for the PC version on Amazon.com. I'm surprised at how negative it is there for a Bioware major rpg game. Dragon Age Origins was well received there. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, its still early.
heh, how many of those reviews are from before it was released? I never trust scores like that.

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March 9th, 2011, 04:42
I have noticed that the user reviews seem lower for the most part than the sites reviews .
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March 9th, 2011, 04:48
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
heh, how many of those reviews are from before it was released? I never trust scores like that.
Then would you trust an extremely early review from PCGamer that is mysteriously higher than any other score?
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March 9th, 2011, 04:50
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Then would you trust an extremely early review from PCGamer that is mysteriously higher than any other score?
Lets be honest, you are going to see what you want to see here no matter what I say so, enjoy playing the forums, I'm going to play DA2

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March 9th, 2011, 04:57
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Lets be honest, you are going to see what you want to see here no matter what I say so, enjoy playing the forums, I'm going to play DA2
Just a joke rune, no need to get offended . Have fun with the "RPG of the decade," I'll just wait for a real RPG to come along
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March 9th, 2011, 05:02
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Just a joke rune, no need to get offended . Have fun with the "RPG of the decade," I'll just wait for a real RPG to come along
I never thought it was the rpg of the decade, but oh well.

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March 9th, 2011, 05:04
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
That depends on your perspective. I'd agree personally - 8/10 is a fine score. I'm not sure EA would agree, though - one of their goals with the changes would have been to get 9/10 and 10/10s like Mass Effect 2. I think BN is right and while noone sane would say this is bad, EA might be mildly disappointed.
so.

8 is the new 6?

i'm behind the times.

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March 9th, 2011, 05:07
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Its getting destroyed in player reviews for the PC version on Amazon.com. I'm surprised at how negative it is there for a Bioware major rpg game. Dragon Age Origins was well received there. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, its still early.
Anyone reviewing a 40+ hour RPG on day one like that isn't very trustworthy.

Also knowing amazon user reviews I bet half the negative ones are all about the DRM.
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