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Default Thoughts on DA2 after completing it

July 25th, 2011, 14:48
I'm probably about halfway through chapter three now.

I've had fun with most other boss battles.

Refusing the duel gave a much easier battle where the bloody Arishok seemed to have a good deal fewer HP. My problem with the battle wasnt so much difficulty as sheer attrition. He would have worm me out after 15 minutes or so unless he ran out of potions before that.

I agree that the waves could have worked as an occasional ingredient, but as things stand they break the suspension of disbelief, not to mention that they in the cases of more difficult battles make one resort to extremely cheesy kiting (the Xe-sth desire demon battle springs to mind).

Had the respawning and recycling been removed I'd say DA2 is at least as good as the predecessor and well up to Bioware standards, but due to those flaws it ends up as a B game.

There are a few other gripes with the game, but those are integral parts of the Bioware formula. The predictability of companion quests is a bit dull. All BW games have this but DA2 is together with NWN and ME2 among the most blatant offenders. I'd also prefer some mutually exclusive choices where I dont have the entire group tag along. Neither of those issues are likely to disappear in future Bioware titles though…
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July 27th, 2011, 15:49
Now I've finished the game

The ending was better than I expected and actually felt less rushed than the rest of the game, though I can see why a lot of players are too worn out by the repetition to enjoy it. It was nice that I actually got some of the choices that I wanted.

The main gripes of map recycling and respawning waves remain, but were less annoying during the end-game (new maps and fairly limited nonsensical respawning).

I'd add another complaint due to an issue that is minor but noticable. Since loot is level-scaled and the supposed named powerful stuff isnt you are likely to end up with the named stuff being considerably worse than the generic drops through much of the game, unless you skip a bunch of sidequests. I think this could have been handled by making sidequests mutually exclusive, which both would shorten the game a bit and increase replay value. I think that would make for a better game in most ways.

7.5/10 seems about right for this game. With more map diversity and no respawning it would be at 8.5 instead. So a solid game with some serious flaws, much like Mass Effect 1 or Jade Empire. Luckily even a weak Bioware title is decent. I wont bother with DLC unless it adds to the story a la Awakenings, but Ill gladly buy DA3.

I think the game would have been received much better if it had been from some other dev and there hadnt been a DAO to build up expectations. As things stand some sloppy design decisions obscure improvements (in ruleset and companion interaction where it is much harder to keep everyone happy).
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August 17th, 2011, 08:15
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
As things stand some sloppy design decisions obscure improvements (in ruleset and companion interaction where it is much harder to keep everyone happy).
I must say, I really liked the latter point. In DA2, it's not like "What, I said something wrong and now you hate my guts? - Awww, here, take a bone/gold ring/have a drink."
Despite this, I found some companions far easier to 'navigate' than others, and knowing this (at least partially) depends on my personal style of play is a certain plus.
For example, I got along naturally well with Aveline who was pretty cool with nearly everything I threw at her (up to a certain point, of course). We got along so well the world around us was full of angel wings most of the time .
Then there were others who caused me headaches around 75% of the day. Conversing with Anders felt like playing good ol' Minesweeper, just that Minesweeper didn't hump your leg when it didin't explode right in your face.
Yes, I guess this is what I really like about DA2. I didn't expect to like it, but it failed to disappoint me (okay, had I listened to the reviews back in the day, I wouldn't have bought Realms of the Haunting. Always see for yourself.)
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