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Default The Escapist - How Dragon Age 2 Fell Apart

January 20th, 2012, 23:44
An editorial at The Escapist discusses how and when Dragon Age 2 fell apart. The author is critical about how DA2 handled the narrative choices. A sample:
So I return to the point where Dragon Age II fell apart, the "Best Served Cold" quest. My Hawke would have been overjoyed to learn of a rebellion against Knight-Commander Meredith by Templars and Mages combined! What an opportunity to not only unseat a maniac who was threatening to destroy the city, but to also forge a new bond of cooperation between the two factions whose rivalry had been at the heart of Kirkwall's tensions!
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January 20th, 2012, 23:44
I cant argue with what the author has written. As the story and the reuse of textures and dungeons was what made me disappointed in Bioware.

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January 21st, 2012, 00:32
I pretty much agree with the author as well. I played the game a few times and enjoyed it as a diversion and for other entertainment reasons. However the sad fact is that your choices are mostly irrelevant as no matter what you end up with the same ending.

Course there could be some carry over into the next game that then makes the decisions in DA2 much more important based on who you sided with.

Still I wasn't overly happy with DA2's quality or content so not even sure how I feel about DA3.

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January 21st, 2012, 00:41
Yup, that was the reason why I have never finished DA2. I just couln't have been bothered to choose any of the paths which were being forced on me by BioWare.
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January 21st, 2012, 01:24
Its funny - a friend and I were talking about this just the other day and the author captures exactly how we felt. It seemed like bioware had left in many of the choices they planned but, in a rush, ham-fistedly had them point to the same exact events as their diametrically opposed alternative choices did.
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January 21st, 2012, 01:59
Blah blah some guy at the escapist didn't like Dragon Age 2 either.

Sick of this shit, 2011 GOTY for me.
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January 21st, 2012, 02:06
I remember when The Escapist gave DA2 a perfect score. Flip floppers.
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January 21st, 2012, 02:10
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
Blah blah some guy at the escapist didn't like Dragon Age 2 either.

Sick of this shit, 2011 GOTY for me.
Well mine is better than yours go Witcher 2

I remember when The Escapist gave DA2 a perfect score. Flip floppers.
Different reviews. The Escapist has had three one postitive and 2 negitive. Its always funny though when a game gets high godlike reviews from paid sites and mixed reviews from players. Funny isnt it?

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January 21st, 2012, 02:14
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
Blah blah some guy at the escapist didn't like Dragon Age 2 either.

Sick of this shit, 2011 GOTY for me.
Is that a convoluted way of pleading insanity?
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January 21st, 2012, 02:14
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Different reviews. The Escapist has had three one postitive and 2 negitive. Its always funny though when a game gets high godlike reviews from paid sites and mixed reviews from players. Funny isnt it?
Greg Tito is the only one there who seems to have really loved it; he's also the games editor for the site though which might explain why his minority opinion got top billing. He's really inconsistent with the scores he gives - giving DA2 a 5/5 and TW2 a 3.5/5 but considering both to have been Game of the Year contenders. His staff should probably replace the scores he gives with an emoticon describing his personal mood on the day he wrote the review.
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January 21st, 2012, 02:28
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Greg Tito is the only one there who seems to have really loved it; he's also the games editor for the site though which might explain why his minority opinion got top billing. He's really inconsistent with the scores he gives - giving DA2 a 5/5 and TW2 a 3.5/5 but considering both to have been Game of the Year contenders. His staff should probably replace the scores he gives with an emoticon describing his personal mood on the day he wrote the review.
I agree. I just find it funny how huge developers are given Glowing reviews but a smaller company gets lower review scores with the same problems or bugs.

Its nothing new but it does show favoritism or blindness to brand names and that's not good when your a professional reviewer.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; January 21st, 2012 at 04:48.
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January 21st, 2012, 04:32
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I agree. I just find it funny how huge developers are given Glowing reviewers but a smaller company gets lower review scores with the same problems or bugs.

Its nothing new but it does show favoritism or blindness to brand names and that's not good when your a professional reviewer.
Yeah I've found that chief editors or topic editors tend to be more inconsistent in their review scores (or rather consistent in this particular funny way). Perhaps its because their job results in them being more revenue conscious than a staff writer would be; perhaps this colors their expectations and opinions even if it is not always something they do intentionally or are inherently aware of.

Maybe it makes sense to have a degree of separation or two between your reviewers and the business side of your operation. It would help with the perception of ad-revenue related bias even in cases where it is just perceived as well as situations where it is more real.
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January 21st, 2012, 07:28
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
Blah blah some guy at the escapist didn't like Dragon Age 2 either.

Sick of this shit, 2011 GOTY for me.
Did you even read that review? I think the article was pretty much spot on. That's exactly how I felt after finishing DA2.

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January 21st, 2012, 07:42
I don't believe having Orsino and Meredith both be driven to dark and unforgivable places is a narrative flaw. Neither side gave an inch, neither side tried to come to a real compromise, neither side wanted to listen to the other. The frustration with the lack of acknowledgement of each sides needs and desires pushed both figureheads to the same bad place, and in Dragon Age that means demons. And a couple of boss fights. It's a cautionary tale about failing to understand the other sides perspective and the massive damage that can cause. I get it. It's pretty awesome, honestly.

Seriously, DA2 had a very clever narrative and plenty of fantastic writing. Not to mention some of the best voice acting since DA:O. Sure, there's plenty of mechanical flaws and some hilariously bad dialog mis-steps, (I'd install a mod that removed every joke Hawke tells, seriously) but the game overall is one of my favourite RPGs ever. I have a feeling its greatness will be recognized a few years ahead.
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January 21st, 2012, 07:49
I did not read the article as I wasn't able to finish da2 and may yet still try. So I want to avoid too many spoilers.

So forgive me if i'm off topic. The thing I don't understand about bioware is that they had a good quality game in DA: O. Instead of tweaking, refining and expanding on it they decide to pretty much scrap it and start over.

They had me hooked on the story and companions as well. I'm not generally one who likes companions either, but I would pay good money to find out what morrigan , leliana and shale are doing these days. And what of flemeth. Did I really kill her?

And to me the origin stories were innovative and genius.

Why throw all that momentum away?
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January 21st, 2012, 08:37
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
Seriously, DA2 had a very clever narrative and plenty of fantastic writing. Not to mention some of the best voice acting since DA:O. Sure, there's plenty of mechanical flaws and some hilariously bad dialog mis-steps, (I'd install a mod that removed every joke Hawke tells, seriously) but the game overall is one of my favourite RPGs ever. I have a feeling its greatness will be recognized a few years ahead.
And have you noticed how rich and deep characters were? How nicely streamlined companions were and how cleverly tactics were rendered obsolete? Or the masterful reuse of areas? You are right, world simply isn't quite ready yet for such a masterpiece!

Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Why throw all that momentum away?
Hubris by BioWare (We can make a game of equal quality to DA:Q in 15 months) or blackmail by EA (You have to make next DA installment in 15 months or else) or both…
Last edited by zahratustra; January 21st, 2012 at 08:53.
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January 21st, 2012, 09:30
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
And have you noticed how rich and deep characters were? How nicely streamlined companions were and how cleverly tactics were rendered obsolete? Or the masterful reuse of areas? You are right, world simply isn't quite ready yet for such a masterpiece!\
None of those points have anything to do with this article or what was being said in my post. You okay?

I do disagree with one of your little points there, though. The characters were complex and interesting, equipment management aside.
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January 21st, 2012, 09:37
the author was spot on.
the lack of choice was deplorable, and much worse to me than the reuse of textures and complete change of combat which i got used to even if it was worse in many ways.
with origins you could not only start the game in so many different ways but you could end it that ways too. in dragon age 2 neither of those were options. i can maybe see a tragedy angle presuming they want to start the next game with as narrow as focus as possible only because in the next game you will presumably play hawke again. still the choice with mages versus the templars cheapened both of their main leaders and it makes the game seem like everyone in the game is batshit crazy and just a blood drop away from demons. it makes the qunari seem level-headed. but i guess at least bioware sticks to themes even if they over do it like the dysfunctional family soap opera that was the mass effect 2 cast.

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January 21st, 2012, 09:50
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
They had me hooked on the story and companions as well. I'm not generally one who likes companions either, but I would pay good money to find out what morrigan , leliana and shale are doing these days. And what of flemeth. Did I really kill her?

And to me the origin stories were innovative and genius.

Why throw all that momentum away?
Some of those questions are answered in DA2. I wont spoil it for you but if you read the new Dragon Age novel called Asunder it will give you some answers. It sets up the world and lore for the next game. Wynne plays a part in the book with her son.

Shale is also in the book and we see her future is not so great also. Gaider just loves to make unhappy endings for the original npc's. He should stick to writing novels as the narrative is better than the games.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; January 21st, 2012 at 11:20.
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January 21st, 2012, 10:31
Originally Posted by EscapistReview
Bottom Line: A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be.

Recommendation: Buy it, steal it, beat up your little brother so you can play it.

5/5 stars
Credibility, something else they leave up to escapism.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Different reviews. The Escapist has had three one postitive and 2 negitive.
It's the only one that comes up on a search for the dragon age 2 review, they knew what they were doing.
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