Not quite the same, but still a good sequel
This game has a good story that builds off of your previous game's choices if you have a saved game from the first Dragon Age
. This lets you feel like your choices have had an effect on the world as you start playing the sequel. The story itself may not be unique, but it is interesting and can keep you wanting to see more.
The graphics are very well done as you can usually expect from BioWare
. High graphics settings work very well and look great even on lesser graphics cards. It shows how well you can do graphically without forcing players to get the absolute best graphics cards to experience it.
The dialogs are great and can be humorous. The character interactions are as enjoyable as in the original. It is very easy to learn to love or hate your companions and that is very important in a roleplaying game.
As in the original, you have a lot of control over how your character looks. It's always nice to have such control even if you don't see a whole lot of your character's face in the game.
One very minor issue I have with this sequel is the choice of voice actors. I did not compare the credits with the original game, but some of the voices sounded the same even though the character was different. It is disorienting to hear the voice from a previous character used for a new character. They would have been better off having some more variety in the voice acting from that of the original, except with repeated characters (such as the return of HER -- if you played the game, you know who I mean).
I also miss the ability to put entire sets of armor on your companions. It isn't a huge concern, but when you have a pack full of different kinds of armor and can't let your companions use the majority of it, it takes away a lot from the game and is a large step backwards from most RPGs.
The achievements that you get are now on a "ribbon" that you move across. The original game had them in rows that allowed many to be displayed at once and made it easy to navigate. Now, you can see only a few at once and it's a pain to get a quick view of how many are left to unlock. It's definitely not game-breaking because you're not looking at that often, but it is worse than the original.
Character talents or skills are another thing that has gotten worse. In the original, they were in an easy to see format. Yes, they were more linear than they are now, but not by all that much. Now, you have to click on each category to see what is available and trying to see what requirements are needed to get the later skills takes more effort. They could have done a much better job laying out the skills than they did. Again, this is a minor issue, but it is another thing that went downhill.
The Bottom Line
This game is different from the original and that can be both good and bad depending on who you ask. The original was very well done and this game removed a number of things that made the original so much fun. Even so, if you're willing to take the time to get used to the differences, you will find that this sequel is still a great game.
Combat takes some getting used to after playing the original, but it doesn't take too long to no longer mind the differences. Gameplay itself is pretty much the same otherwise.
It looks from what I wrote above that there is more wrong with the game than right with it. That's really not true, though. Yes, the game isn't necessarily as good as the original because of some changes that really shouldn't have been made. However, none of these things are serious problems. They really only look bad when compared to the original. If you compare this game to different games, these issues really aren't issues anymore.
This game is a great game. The day I picked up my copy of the Signature edition, I started playing once I got home from work around 5:30 or 6:00pm. I played non-stop until about 11:15pm without realizing the passage of time. I hadn't even eaten dinner or had anything to drink. Few games draw me into them that well. I can play many games for that long without a problem, but I still notice the time. This game was just that engrossing.
Some of the changes may have been ill-advised, but it certainly is worth playing. If you enjoyed the original, you will enjoy this sequel. Just don't try holding it to the standards of the original, or at least be willing to get used to the differences.