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Default Dragon Age 2 - Review @ Destructoid

March 23rd, 2011, 08:46
Destructoid's Joseph Leray has reviewed this game, giving it a 7-Good, and here's why.
As a general rule, Dragon Age II gets better the more you play it – the story comes together, the combat becomes more intricate, and the quests become more interesting. A few bugs – two glitched minor quests, a bug in Merrill’s dialogue, and couple missing textures – notwithstanding, Dragon Age II is a remarkable game for the way it juxtaposes its flashes of brilliance with some baffling decisions. It’s a deeply flawed game, to be sure, wasting a wellspring of potential for no discernible reason, but one that should be played for being unafraid to show people at their weakest and most vicious. If the metric of a good game is that I keep coming back to it despite it's faults, Dragon Age II certainly qualifies.
Score: 7 — Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
Thanks to Chrisis1717 in this thread on the Bioware boards for the heads up
More information.
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March 23rd, 2011, 08:46
Thumbs up. I liked it more than DAO, (gameplaywise) , but the chars are bland. Although they try to keep the drama up, with deaths , betrayals and so on, the NPC's / actors (80%) aren't convincing(mostly dwarves and humans).
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March 23rd, 2011, 13:25
I thought it got worse the more I played it… I kept waiting for more areas, more choices and more drama but I got none of it.
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March 23rd, 2011, 15:40
I'm around 15 hours in (takes me FOREVER to play these games) and I like it quite a bit. The characters are more subtle this time around. And I like that they don't just offer up an avalanche of info and back story the way they did at the campsite in DA1. I liked the Leliana character, but the only way to get to know her was to listen to her go off on long speeches all the time.

We'll see. I'm still a long way from finishing and maybe my opinions will change. It's simplified, but for me it's also more fun. The simplification didn't necessarily make it more fun, but I'm just plain enjoying my time with it more than I did DA1.
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March 23rd, 2011, 16:28
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I'm around 15 hours in (takes me FOREVER to play these games) and I like it quite a bit. The characters are more subtle this time around. And I like that they don't just offer up an avalanche of info and back story the way they did at the campsite in DA1. I liked the Leliana character, but the only way to get to know her was to listen to her go off on long speeches all the time.

We'll see. I'm still a long way from finishing and maybe my opinions will change. It's simplified, but for me it's also more fun. The simplification didn't necessarily make it more fun, but I'm just plain enjoying my time with it more than I did DA1.
A lot of the game's main issues do not present themselves in act one. When you're in act three and walking around the same exact environments for the 100th time and you're noticing your choices have had no effect on anything then some of the simpler flaws become apparent.

Though surely the lack of companion customization and the endless enemy waves, also big problems, present themselves right away.
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March 23rd, 2011, 16:44
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
When you're in act three and walking around the same exact environments for the 100th time..(snip)
On a light note, this recently released fan-mod fixed this for me, as I installed it when I reached Act II. Yes, I still walk in the exact same enviroment as Act I, but I can now *see it more clearly*!!
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March 23rd, 2011, 18:20
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
A lot of the game's main issues do not present themselves in act one. When you're in act three and walking around the same exact environments for the 100th time and you're noticing your choices have had no effect on anything then some of the simpler flaws become apparent.
Why do people expect their choices to change history? It's a BioWare game.

I do know that some of my choices cause a few quests to be different in all the game. Goes from having asked something to somebody in another quests, to having a specific companions in it.
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March 23rd, 2011, 18:52
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Why do people expect their choices to change history? It's a BioWare game.
I'd say it's because the story had some great potential for choices that could make an actual impact. While Bioware has always been mediocre in the choice department, they truly wasted the potential to allow the player to have an impact on the game world…and wasn't that the whole point of the condensed setting and story that takes place in one city?
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March 23rd, 2011, 20:00
It is clear to me, at least, that Bioware wanted this story to end in a certain way, setting up things, making plot points? for future games in Thedas, the DA world. And let's face it: Bioware choices have at best been -ahem- illusions, as least when it comes to the main quest. In BG1 and BG2, you're always a certain someone. In the sidequests, there have been maybe a little more variety of choices; in DA: O, both the Arl Howe and the Cicle questline proved to be this way. They were, imo, way way, too long…

Oh, and i DA:O, you Warden always kills the Archdemon - or tell another to do it, -eh- I mean kill the Archdemon. Because it is their fate…it has been written! - Well, maybe people shouldn't write so much then

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March 23rd, 2011, 20:10
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
It is clear to me, at least, that Bioware wanted this story to end in a certain way, setting up things, making plot points? for future games in Thedas, the DA world. And let's face it: Bioware choices have at best been -ahem- illusions, as least when it comes to the main quest. In BG1 and BG2, you're always a certain someone. In the sidequests, there have been maybe a little more variety of choices; in DA: O, both the Arl Howe and the Cicle questline proved to be this way. They were, imo, way way, too long…

Oh, and i DA:O, you Warden always kills the Archdemon - or tell another to do it, -eh- I mean kill the Archdemon. Because it is their fate…it has been written! - Well, maybe people shouldn't write so much then
I agree with you 100%; Bioware is a master of only giving the illusion of choice, not actually implementing choices that truly effect the game world. However, my point was that given the condensed setting and unique exposition of the story (i.e., not being the "chosen hero born to save the world from impending doom"), they had a perfect opportunity to implement real choices, and they did not take advantage of this opportunity. This frustrates me, mostly due to the fact that I don't get the point of condensing the setting of a story to a single location if the potential to change said location is not taken advantage of. If a story is going to be fixed and lack player choice, then I would much rather have a larger game world with multiple locations to explore.
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March 23rd, 2011, 20:27
Yes, yes… Bioware have never been super choice guys. DA2 is even more obvious about your lack of effect on the story than their usual though. Graded on a Bioware scale of choice and consequence it's pathetically low… compared to something like New Vegas it's in a different universe.
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March 23rd, 2011, 20:32
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
It is clear to me, at least, that Bioware wanted this story to end in a certain way, setting up things, making plot points? for future games in Thedas, the DA world.
Yes, but of course ! It is clear that they wanna do a full franchise out of this world/setting !


Dragon Age : Origins
Dragon Age : Legends
Dragon Age : Journeys
Dragon Age : Redemption
Dragon Age : The Stolen Throne
Dragon Age [: Hawke]

This is called "cross-selling". And I'm sure (my intuition says me this) that they might try out what Blizzard does in terms of cross-selling, too …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 23rd, 2011, 21:00
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Yes, but of course ! It is clear that they wanna do a full franchise out of this world/setting !


Dragon Age : Origins
Dragon Age : Legends
Dragon Age : Journeys
Dragon Age : Redemption
Dragon Age : The Stolen Throne
Dragon Age [: Hawke]

This is called "cross-selling". And I'm sure (my intuition says me this) that they might try out what Blizzard does in terms of cross-selling, too …
No need to list all of these Alrik, there is a couple of interviews where BioWare rep says Dragon Age is a franchise and their plan was/is:
  • 1 game every 3 years (they reduced that to less then 2 years)
  • small DLC every months (didn't really happen that way)
  • bigger DLC every 6 months (didn't happen)
  • "expansion" every year (Awakening)

Throw spinoff and books with all of that.
Last edited by azarhal; March 23rd, 2011 at 22:33.
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:11
Yes. It's terrifying.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 23rd, 2011, 23:05
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Yes. It's terrifying.
Um, I fail to see what the problem with in trying to setup a franchise in the world they developed. It's kind of scarey when you look back at RPG games in the last decade and see how many don't have their own worlds, but our borrowed from table top games/books/movies. For all their percieved faults, I don't find them trying to develop their world as a bad thing , sorry.

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