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March 26th, 2011, 03:57
Yes, this was easily the worst part of the game for me personally. The recycled maps, combat that was boring and unappealing to me, the streamlining…none of that truly bothered me the way the story's immersion factor was simply snapped by this glaring design mistake. I actually found the story fairly engaging and I was mostly immersed in the tale up until this point, when the player's actions leading up to and including chapter 3 meant absolutely nothing.

Regardless of what you as the player believed in terms of which side you wanted to support, you were forced to battle against both sides. Being forced to attack the rebel mages who I wanted to support (!) (I'm a f***ing' apostate mage!!) was simply the most disappointing aspect of a mostly disappointing game to begin with. I know that Bioware's strength has always been creating linear, cinematic stories, but this was an all-time low for what I consider "corridor story-telling" that refuses to allow the player to make meaningful, personal choices that impact the game world and the characters within it. In some stories, at least it makes sense to have a linear ending. For example, in DA:O, what are you going to do, side with the Arch-Demon and the darkspawn? Or in Mass Effect, are you going to join the reapers? That doesn't make the lack of choice completely excusable, but at least it is believable and tolerable given the overarching storyline.

This is why I refer to DA2 as a missed opportunity from a story-telling perspective. They had a wonderful and unique set-up (one that avoided the "save the world" cliche) that could have implemented meaningful and difficult choices that allow the player to feel like their actions affect the game world, but they inexplicably tossed this opportunity out the window in chapter 3.
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