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Default Dragon Age 2 - Reviews at GameCritics and Kotaku

March 23rd, 2011, 21:39
Gamecritic's Brad Gallaway has reviewed DA2. The score 2.5/10 - and here's why.
Defying all expectations, BioWare managed to take one of the most memorable Western RPGs in recent history and completely destroyed everything that made it so good. I have absolutely no idea how such a respected development house could have made so many colossal mistakes and turned out such an unpleasantly rushed, shallow, utter waste of time… but they did, and it is.
On Kotaku, there is another sort of review. It is written by Thomas Muller in Kotaku's Let's Rant-section. Here's a snip:
Core storytelling that reeks of professional polish, with genuine characters and not a word out of place. And city that is devoid of life and character,that changes far too little to hold attention, surrounded by lore and history that only presents itself in written slabs of texts and in the offhand dialogue of NCPs. Still glued to our screens.
Thanks to galvdogs on the Bioware DA2 forums for finding this.
Do you think Brad Gallaway's review accurately reflects DA2?
More information.
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March 23rd, 2011, 21:39
… no? The score is obvious flamebait looking for more hits, and I suspect it will succeed.

The Kotaku review is a lot more accurate and honest about the qualities and shortcomings.

DA2 has some obvious issues and some design decisions that won't please everyone. I still finished it, and I very frequently end up saying 'ok, I'm 20 hours in and the gameplay is the same and the story is predictable, I am moving on to the next game'. And I'm looking forward to doing another run through once some time has passed and (hopefully) some bugs fixed.
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March 23rd, 2011, 21:43
I agree with moonmonster….hoping we move on from all this soon.

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March 23rd, 2011, 22:05
Interesting snippet :
That is what Dragon Age II seems to have done. The reviewers hate the damn thing then award it a 90, seemingly struggling with a rogue hand when they come to the end of their complaints.
More :

Are we starting to see a pattern here? Everything bad about Dragon Age 2 is balanced and made up for in another way, in ways that go so far into the territory of awesomeness so as to make anything forgivable.

But is that, in itself, forgivable? Should gamers be allowed to be slowly tortured as long as there is addictive, beautiful bandit-slaying morphine on hand?
And last :

They have charts or something, ingrained instinct for the gamer’s psychology, which led them towards a formula that makes you play even though you writhe at the artificial nature of the construct.

“ 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, 22:16
Well, he give his reasons , and the style doesn't suggest trolling. He just seems to REALLY not like the game. But it sure is a very harsh score. Although this is of course an outlier, I would think Bioware can't be too happy wirh the reception this game has received. Wonder what the conclusions will be that the EA managers will draw from this.
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:21
2.5 is really bad like not playable bad. I won't touch this game ever but its no 2.5 from what I played of the demo, more like 6 or 7.
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:24
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Although this is of course an outlier, I would think Bioware can't be too happy wirh the reception this game has received. Wonder what the conclusions will be that the EA managers will draw from this.
EA: "Still too complex! More streamlining!! TWO Awesome Buttons!!!"

As far as the first linked review, at first I was ready to dismiss it as simple Bio-hate. I mean, a 2.5/10? That's not a reasonable score at all and should be used only for utterly broken games IMO.

However, if you pay attention to what he says instead of the score, he actually makes several good (and fair) points. He isn't just trolling the game, and most of his criticisms are actually quite valid IMO. It's a shame that his review won't be appreciated as such due to the absurd score (and some occasional usage of over-the-top rhetoric), but if you value the content of a review instead of skipping right to the score, it's actually a decent review.
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:35
2.5/10 is not a fair score for DA2, though it´s still not as off mark as 9 or 10/10 some other sites gave it, in my opinion.

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March 23rd, 2011, 22:40
I'd be curious to see what games (if any) they've ever rated so low or lower.

I'm only ~15 hours in and it certainly has problems, but 2.5/10? That's silly.
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:46
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I'd be curious to see what games (if any) they've ever rated so low or lower.

I'm only ~15 hours in and it certainly has problems, but 2.5/10? That's silly.
Agreed, I would think that a score that low would imply that the game was buggy or broken to the point that it couldn't be played.
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:50
I agree with a lot of his complaints and have found it somewhat annoying that many reviews seem to ignore how illusory almost any presentation of "choice" is in the game.

At the same time a 2.5 does not seem to be justified except perhaps as a statement of dissapointment. Quite a bit about the game pissed me off - some of those things were only particularly noticeable if I reloaded and redid a section hoping for a different result. If I was asked today if I would buy the game I would say no - but the lowest I could understand giving it would be a 6/10. A 7/10 seems more reasonable and for those who had not played the previous version or did not expect anything but a well narrated hack&slash on rails then an 8 seems understandable.
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:55
I agree with Nerevarine. Leaving aside 2.5/10 score moonmonster, would you care to point out which of Greg's comments you disagree with and why?
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March 23rd, 2011, 22:57
Originally Posted by moonmonster View Post
… no? The score is obvious flamebait looking for more hits, and I suspect it will succeed.

The Kotaku review is a lot more accurate and honest about the qualities and shortcomings.

.
wanna conspiracy theorise huh?! well i can do it too! not everyone gets the money from EA for good reviews, ever thought of that huh?

ever thought that kotaku is just a series of regurgitated inane articles from other sites designed to create traffic because the owners rely on the success of that website(and others) to put food in their belly and to sleep in a substandard house rather than a cardboard box full of roaches?

tbh, though, the score most likely means they were disappointed by the changes made by the game, the derpsome dialogue with inconsistent characters that biowear is known to copy & paste in every new game they make. from their view

calm down bro, i was once baffled when someone didnt like x-apocalypse when i was a teen.

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March 23rd, 2011, 23:12
2.5 is ridiculously stupid, but then so are numbers at the end of a review in general.
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March 23rd, 2011, 23:23
I agree that a number system is kind of silly. But they do indeed use a number system. And I'm curious as to which (if any) games have ever rated lower.
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March 24th, 2011, 03:15
I would give it a 5/10 if I was feeling generous. It is a testament to how far Bioware have fallen. Over 5 million copies of the BG games sold, this will be lucky to even sell as many as DAO (pc copies).

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March 24th, 2011, 03:44
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I'd be curious to see what games (if any) they've ever rated so low or lower.

I'm only ~15 hours in and it certainly has problems, but 2.5/10? That's silly.
This is why I'm glad I review only for sites without scores anymore …

Because whether or not you like the score, everything he says is *true* - whether you agree on the 'extent' is debatable, and whether or not it matter is also debatable … but the claims of trolling are not supported.

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March 24th, 2011, 03:46
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
This is why I'm glad I review only for sites without scores anymore …
Same here. Heck, it was my initiative to drop scores from GB reviews. All they do is distract people from the actual content of your review.

2.5/10 sounds unreasonable for anything but a thoroughly broken game. Then again, nothing about DAII makes me think the Escapist's 100% was a particularly justified score either. So it goes. It evens out, if on the high end of even.
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March 24th, 2011, 05:19
I don't agree with 2.5 out of 10. I'm only about 10 hrs in and i'd give it a 5 right now.I will say it's nice to see a score match the review, if you agree with the score or not you have to admit it matches his review. Too many reviews read like a 4 or 5 score then some how a 7,8 or 9 pops up at the end.

I posted in another thread and was told that a 7 for a triple a title is actually a bad score. If that's true than a 2.5 is way to low but, on an actual 1 to 10 scale I don't believe a 2.5 is totally crazy. A little low in my opinion but not crazy, especially if you agree with everything in his review. (which i'm waiting till I finish to decide)
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March 24th, 2011, 05:23
With the little I've played though it does seem like da2 should have been the first game. Then dao would be the second game with all the improvements.
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