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Default Dragon Age 2 - Review Avalanche

March 9th, 2011, 16:29
Originally Posted by SAGO View Post
so.

8 is the new 6?

i'm behind the times.
8 has been 6 for some time now, for pre-release copies from major publishers. A game has to be significantly broken before a site like GameSpot would give a major EA release lower than an 8 on a release-day review. If they did that, they could forget about getting review copies in the future.

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Nightmare difficulty might be its only saving grace, imo. I believe it was the only mode where the spells could affect your companions as well as special attacks. That's an absolute must in my opinion. Any of this FF off nonsense isn't worth my time.
I dunno bro, I don't think friendly fire meshes well with this combat system. Not that I've played this game, note.
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March 9th, 2011, 16:39
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
I dunno bro, I don't think friendly fire meshes well with this combat system. Not that I've played this game, note.
I thought friendly fire was done well in DA:O, and I don't think the actual system has changed that much.

Anyways, I still don't get the decision to not include it as an option for any difficulty level.
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March 9th, 2011, 17:12
From what I've seen of the demo, FF would cripple combat in this game. Too freaking fast. There's a difference between wanting a challenge, and wanting to incorporate realism, but the lag time between the selection and casting of a spell and where it actually lands…I'd need to break out my scientific calculator, and, well…eff that.
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March 9th, 2011, 17:26
To me, DA2 definitely isn't the spiritual successor of Baldur's Gate.
I enjoyed DA:O and later DA:A being satisfied with what I was given and the mods did a whole lot of good as well.

But DA2? In one word: underwhelming. Mainstreamed, cash-milking approach focused on revenue. Shame.

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March 9th, 2011, 17:45
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
8 has been 6 for some time now, for pre-release copies from major publishers. A game has to be significantly broken before a site like GameSpot would give a major EA release lower than an 8 on a release-day review. If they did that, they could forget about getting review copies in the future.
I'm not sure they wouldn't get review copies. I agree with the rest though. 8 is the lowest score you can expect to find for a major release on a major website. If the score is lower than 8 they think the game has serious issues.
The story is different for minor releases.
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March 9th, 2011, 17:56
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I thought friendly fire was done well in DA:O, and I don't think the actual system has changed that much.
You may be right, as mentioned, I haven't played the game, only the demo. And I did always use friendly fire in DA:O because it just makes sense. But from the demo combat seems a bit too frantic, and without a tactical camera and with wild swings of two-handed weapons (not sure they count), I don't know how well it works.

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
I'm not sure they wouldn't get review copies.
Do you think any site can get review copies just by requesting them? Or even every magazine or professional site? You can always request them, and you will probably get a reply and rarely an outright stated denial, but whether or not they're actually shipped to you depends pretty heavily on your relation with the PR department. I'm not being speculative or anything here, I know for a fact that is how it works. How bad the PR department is about it varies wildly though, some companies are a lot more giving in review copies than others. Some maintain blacklists. It's just a fact of life.

GameSpot might not be the best example because it's a bit too big for a publisher to snub, realistically. I always find it a pity such large sites don't throw their weight around more efficiently. It's not like journalists couldn't stop this downward spiral if they really wanted to. There's little motivating them to, though.
Last edited by Brother None; March 9th, 2011 at 18:49.
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March 9th, 2011, 19:02
Brother None pretty much hit the nail on the head. The combat is now a bit too fast paced for FF, but Hard works out just fine.
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March 9th, 2011, 19:04
I'm a few hours in, split between a male mage and a female dual wield rogue.

*** Disclaimer- the following is based on someone's experience playing DA2, not just the demo. It is also an opinion based on the PC game as it actually exists, and mostly uncolored by what he wished it to be, or a comparison to some elusive "better" game he played in the past. ***

Right now I'd give it a 7/10. The fast paced combat is a little too fast, especially at first, but you adapt to the speed and learn the rhythm of the game after a little while. I've been playing it on Normal, which feels a little too easy, though I barely made it past the first "real" ogre in the beginning part with my rogue. The mage had it easier there. I may bump up the difficulty today when I play, though I'm still undecided which character to go forward with. The male voice over sounds a little better to me, though through mild spoilers I've heard there's a well-done companion later on who is a mage… so a non-mage main character might be the way to go.

The city of Kirkwall (what I've seen so far) is very well done. I'm happy that most of the game will take place in a city. A city environment feels more real as an enclosed space. The demo did a horrible job showing the graphics of the game. The starting wilderness is ugly, but as I said, the city looks really, really nice, and is populated with (mostly non-interactive) people.

Lots of cinematics and cut scenes which are mostly very well done. So far the characters aren't the most exciting, but I've really only stuck my toe in the water.

The quest/map system is a bit confusing to me still, though I imaging I'll get the hang of it. The inventory (so far at least) uses pretty generic icons for items, so mousing over and reading descriptions is the only way to see what is what. Pretty annoying.

*** Disclaimer- the following is my opinion comparing DA2 to DA1 ***

I felt pretty much the same way about DA1 as I do about this one at this point. I really liked it, but felt it was missing a spark, or energy. Ultimately, DA1 got kind of boring to me, and this one may well end up the same. However, I'm very happy that (so far at least) I haven't been thrown into a "save the world" scenario, though I'm sure that'll change knowing 90% or RPGs.

Regarding my comment about city vs. wilderness, I thought the Korcari Wilds in DA1 was a joke. The dangerous scary journey through the unknown endless wilderness resulted in about an hour of game play on a small map that was hallways with trees for walls. A city is a more natural fit for an enclosed map.

It's a fun game so far and worth playing. I still don't understand the scornful anger some people are expressing towards Bioware over it, but human behavior has always been puzzling. For now, I'm going back to playing DA2.
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March 9th, 2011, 19:05
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
8 has been 6 for some time now, for pre-release copies from major publishers. A game has to be significantly broken before a site like GameSpot would give a major EA release lower than an 8 on a release-day review. If they did that, they could forget about getting review copies in the future.



I dunno bro, I don't think friendly fire meshes well with this combat system. Not that I've played this game, note.
not to mention that gamespot is owned by IGN which is owned by rupert murdoch, a man who is called ''The gold digger''

oh yeah, he owns fox news too.

how many people are aware of this new score system?

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March 9th, 2011, 19:09
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
*** Disclaimer- the following is based on someone's experience playing DA2, not just the demo. It is also an opinion based on the PC game as it actually exists, and mostly uncolored by what he wished it to be, or a comparison to some elusive "better" game he played in the past. ***
I see what you did there.

You ARE from the midwest. You have passive/aggressive down pat.
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March 9th, 2011, 19:17
I think it's an important point to keep in mind.

In my opinion, games like this should be looked at critically the same way someone looks at movies critically. Movies are there to make money, but they are (some of them anyway) forms of art. An RPG is a form of interactive art.

So I don't look at a director's previous movies, decide they were better than their current one, and use that opinion to excoriate or deride their current project. Each should stand on its own.

I respect that many will not like DA2, and I'm not even sure if I will like it in the end. Again, DA1 was only mediocre-to-good in my opinion. But to judge a release based so heavily on comparisons to previous games is to reduce them to mere commodities, and not as individual pieces of art.
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March 9th, 2011, 19:54
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Do you think any site can get review copies just by requesting them? Or even every magazine or professional site? You can always request them, and you will probably get a reply and rarely an outright stated denial, but whether or not they're actually shipped to you depends pretty heavily on your relation with the PR department. I'm not being speculative or anything here, I know for a fact that is how it works. How bad the PR department is about it varies wildly though, some companies are a lot more giving in review copies than others. Some maintain blacklists. It's just a fact of life.
I know. Once or twice a year such stories are posted. But …
GameSpot might not be the best example because it's a bit too big for a publisher to snub, realistically. I always find it a pity such large sites don't throw their weight around more efficiently. It's not like journalists couldn't stop this downward spiral if they really wanted to. There's little motivating them to, though.
… I meant that. A few publications per country are simply too big to be blacklisted. They might get one review copy late because some mysterious accident happened. Coincidents, etc. But after that it's back to normal.
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March 9th, 2011, 20:02
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
In my opinion, games like this should be looked at critically the same way someone looks at movies critically. Movies are there to make money, but they are (some of them anyway) forms of art. An RPG is a form of interactive art.
This can only work for games which can be consumed like a movie. For longer games or games with a lot of replayability it's impossible because a paid reviewer can't consume the whole thing due to budget restrictions. A position I can understand and respect - it's an important economic principle to work only when you are paid.
But how can he form an opinion on a game he has only played for a few hours? Then you read weak excuses like "If the start is mediocre the whole game can't be good" or "I have so much experience in this genre, I can tell for sure how good a game is after playing for a few hours".
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March 9th, 2011, 21:11
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I think it's an important point to keep in mind.

In my opinion, games like this should be looked at critically the same way someone looks at movies critically. Movies are there to make money, but they are (some of them anyway) forms of art. An RPG is a form of interactive art.

So I don't look at a director's previous movies, decide they were better than their current one, and use that opinion to excoriate or deride their current project. Each should stand on its own.

I respect that many will not like DA2, and I'm not even sure if I will like it in the end. Again, DA1 was only mediocre-to-good in my opinion. But to judge a release based so heavily on comparisons to previous games is to reduce them to mere commodities, and not as individual pieces of art.
I agree to some extent - each game should be judged on its own merits. But like movies in a series (like say the Matrix trilogy or Star Wars) it is also fair to judge them with regards to how they fit in and advance the series. With movies this would mainly relate to plot, characters and visuals (all of which would be applicable to Biowares games). E.g. is it just more of the same or does it bring in a new aspect? Is the plot developed in a way that makes sense? Are the character interesting, do they develop in convincing ways, does the new cast fit in (hello, Jar-Jar). For games its natural to also include the gameplay in that discussion. Both aspects - the game in itself and its standing as a sequel - should imho be part of the analysis.
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March 9th, 2011, 21:51
i've just tried the demo. been playin' a fightah, its p.cool…
..for a dynasty warrior game.

is the demo like the full thing, watchers?

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March 9th, 2011, 22:24
IGN doesn't own GameSpot, just as an aside.

-= RPGWatch =-
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March 9th, 2011, 22:48
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
From what I've seen of the demo, FF would cripple combat in this game. Too freaking fast. There's a difference between wanting a challenge, and wanting to incorporate realism, but the lag time between the selection and casting of a spell and where it actually lands…I'd need to break out my scientific calculator, and, well…eff that.
Yeah. I have heard tactical gamers say nightmare is a fun mode to play this game on but honestly hard is plenty hard enough for me personally and I can't imagine FF with this game's speedy and crazy combat. You'll have plenty of challenge without it… just imagine that people who can control fire can also decide who it burns, it will make your life easier.
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March 9th, 2011, 23:26
70% 4Players.de:

Was ist das denn, BioWare? Ich war aufgrund der interessanten Erzählperspektive zunächst neugierig. Und ich habe trotz der bösen Omen der gamescom auf eine Einsicht gehofft, was die Kamera auf dem PC sowie die Taktik im Gelände angeht. Aber ich bin letztlich enttäuscht von diesem Nachfolger! Die schwache Technik ist nicht mal schlimm. Aber nach Dragon Age war eine Entwicklung hin zu noch mehr Rollenspiel wünschenswert, nicht diese Kastration und diese Anbiederungen an schnelle Action. Wer hat denn bitte dieses 08/15-Frauendesign und das lächerliche Blutgespritze zu verantworten? Wer hat bloß diese 90-60-90-Mutter entworfen, die wie 20 aussieht? Immerhin darf man nach der schrecklichen Demo aufatmen: Wenn der katastrophale Einstieg sinnbildlich für die kommenden fünfundzwanzig Stunden gewesen wäre, wäre das ein Verriss geworden - so viel Oberflächlichkeit ist man von den Kanadiern nicht gewohnt. Aber die guten Quests, die spürbaren Konsequenzen, die sehr guten Dialoge und vor allem ein Kampfsystem, das zwar zunächst stark nach Hack`n Slay riecht, aber spätestens ab dem zweiten Akt taktisch cleveres Partymanagement fordert, retten dieses Abenteuer in den befriedigenden Bereich. Ja, es hat dramatische Höhen, aber auch so viele Tiefen. Dass es nicht für eine gute Wertung reicht, liegt auch an einer ebenso kleinen wie sterilen Spielwelt, die mit roboterhaften Bewohnern, seelenlosen Tavernen und fehlenden Erkundungsreizen zu einer Abklapper-Kulisse degradiert wird. Und trotz der fehlenden Weite recycelt Bioware auch noch Höhlen - das ist arm. Ja, die Spezialisierungen der Gefährten sind jetzt verzweigter! Aber man bemerkt gar keinen Unterschied, ob man nun einen Schurken, Magier oder Kämpfer spielt - alle müssen nur effizient Schaden verteilen, keiner hat besondere Rollenspieltalente! Es bleibt auch deshalb ein fader Nachgeschmack, weil die Kanadier auf diesen "mutigen" Stil auch noch "enorm stolz" sind. Sie bemerken gar nicht, dass sie damit an dem vorbei entwickeln, was sich Rollenspieler alter Schule (alle anderen sollen WoW und Sacred zocken) eigentlich wünschen. Es geht dabei nicht um endlose Statistiken und Skilltabellen, es geht um mehr Tiefe, mehr Geheimnisse, mehr Seele! BioWare ist auf dem PC mit seinen Epen groß geworden, sie haben ein Genre jahrelang bereichert. Jetzt jetzt sind sie als Entwickler kleiner geworden, ihre Magie ist verflogen. Hoffentlich können The Witcher 2 und The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim die Lücke füllen.

Pro
clevere Erzählperspektive
Rollenspiel mit vierköpfiger Party
einige interessante Charaktere
zehn Jahre Geschichte beeinflussen
taktisches Party-Management
viele moralische & politischeKonflikte
Handlungen mit Konsequenzen
viele Talente & Spezialisierungen
große Gegner fordern gute Taktik
sehr gute Dialoge mit Sprachausgabe
gute Mimik und ansehnliche Kleidung
Moralsystem ohne Gut-Böse-Kitsch
amüsante Zickereien in der Party
Magiesystem mit Immunitäten
gute deutsche Sprecher
gutes Gift-/Runensystem

Sonstiges
gute Integration alter Spielstände
taktische Verhaltensmakros anlegen
Neulinge können Vergangenheit wählen
mehrere Schiwerigkeitsgrade
optional auf englisch spielbar
Story-Zusammenfassung in Ladepausen
Hilfen, Hinweise, Blut & Co abschaltbar
Liebesbeziehungen möglich

Kontra
schrecklicher Einstieg
zu viele Kanonenfutterkämpfe
schwache Hauptgeschichte
plumper Blutspritzautomatismus
Kisten öffnen/Taschendiebstahl ohne Konsequenzen
Wachen/Passanten reagieren nicht auf Kämpfe
schwache Landschaft und matschige Texturen
kleine Gebiete mit künstlichen Grenzen ohne Erkundungsreize
einige geklonte Höhlen/Katakomben
unübersichtliche Kämpfe
Umgebung spielt kaum taktische Rolle
nur eine Stadt, keine Weltkarte
erhöhte Perspektive gestrichen (PC)



Sonstiges
steriles Menü/Icondesign
magere Charaktererschaffung
schlecht designte Frauenfiguren
kein Lager für die komplett Party
steriler Kodex ohne Bilder & Artworks
Fernkampf manchmal ohne Kollisionsabfrage

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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March 9th, 2011, 23:36
Try to get a translation o it. This is the worst piece of criticism I've read this far - and it might come from an old school role-playing gamer, one who *really* wants to "play a role" !

This review goes exactly into the direction I've read before :

- too much concentration on the combat part
- no real performing (read: playing) of a role (roughly translated "but one doesn't notice any difference whether one is playing a Mage, a Rogue or a Warrior - the only thing each one of them must do is doing a lot of damage")
- too many & paste areas ("Dragon Age 2 : The Guttenberg Game !" - by me)
- many good points, but equally many bad points, too

This as a brief and rough summary by me.

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March 9th, 2011, 23:46
I've played now for about two days and so far I like what I see.

Combat is really a lot faster and I missed the numbers telling me how hard I hit. I'm playing at normal difficulty which seems to be relatively easy. That doesn't mean that I haven't had my ass kicked a couple of times. The first time was that second ogre…

Difficulty picked really up after you leave Kirkwall for the first time for longer. I really struggled there and had to repeat some of the fights half a dozen times before I got them right (meaning somebody survived them). Cause for that could also be that you actually have a lot of abilities to choose from and I'm still figuring out what works best.

Spoilers….

The first hours you play in Kirkwall and in the nearby wilderness. I liked how they made you part of the city. After getting into the city, you try to raise 50 gold pieces to become a partner for an expedition into the deep roads. And you really feel how much money that is for your character because it takes you a really long time.
I didn't like the inventory system all that much, because you get only icons for your items, no "real" images. But they got rid of those crates with gold pieces in it. Now you find moth eaten scarfs, trousers with holes in it and the kind of stuff people really could throw away for you to find. All these items are labeled as "junk" so it doesn't interfere with your weapons, armor and other useful stuff.

I liked the way the integrated you into the city. When you start playing in Kirkwall you've been there for a year and you know some people who can tell you jobs or do you a favor. What you are doing really has an effect on little things in the story later on. That can be a letter, an enemy or a quest you wouldn't get if you decided differently. Some things you do catch up with you in game years later. The story and quests are actually a lot better as you would think after playing the demo. Your companions are not forced on you but hang around after you got to know them and did them a favor. You can pick them up or leave them. They have their own place in Kirkwall so they are not all hanging around at your house which I liked better than the DA:O way. The only exception I found so far is Varric who has to be at your side when you go into the deep roads. But seeing that he and his brother are your partners in the expedition it fit. Although I had to change my party around because of it.
I also liked the way you were interacting with your sister. You can take her side in conversations, let her talk and do favors for her. I didn't feel all that much for my brother who died in the opening scene but I took my sister everywhere with me and really liked the character. I'm not that big a fan of the conversation wheel and really hated it in the demo, but I have to say it worked pretty well for me in the game.
End of these Spoilers…


It's not DA:O and for sure no Baldur's Gate 3 but so far I'm having fun.
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