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A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be. Buy it, steal it, beat up your little brother so you can play it.
The Review Busters
Overall the game was great. There are plenty of missions to keep you occupied. Multiple playthroughs are needed to get everything out of the game; probably two. But it will be less time consuming than the four possible stories that DA: Origins left you with. The storyline is engaging and the characters can really drive the story depending on your relationship with them and the things you choose to do with them. I would suggest buying the strategy guide along with it as it can peek ahead and tell you some of the things to expect with dialogue options, how to keep certain characters alive and how to unlock the most missions possible.
MS Xbox World
Dragon Age 2 takes everything that made the original so outstanding, and improves upon it effectively, offering another compelling, extensive, epic experience that will win you over with its rich character and tremendous attention to detail. Being the perfect balance between cinematic action, dramatic storytelling, and strategic RPG, it's a fantastic achievement that deserves to be played by any self-respecting gamer out there. It's time it emerged from Mass Effect's shadow and took its rightful place atop the action/RPG throne. My Chinese calender says 2012 is the year of the Dragon, but they might have to change it after playing this. The original won over 30 Game of the Year awards back in 2009. I just hope they had some left over for 2011.
Dragon Age 2 isn’t a perfect game but it builds on what Dragon Age began and does so with a high level of polish and approaches the genre differently to the first game. The combat system is a great addition and it provides the right mix of outright action and tactics, sacrificing none of Dragon Age’s depth if you take the time to experiment with it. That’s about it for now, have fun with the game and enjoy the story. Bioware might not win GotY 2011 with this (since Mass Effect 3 is coming), but they have certainly done a damn fine job on the game putting to rest any fears that I might have had about it since the demo. It isn’t Dragon Age, but frankly it doesn’t need to be since it’s its own animal and that’s the one thing you have to remember. There are a few minor niggles with it, such as the repeated locations and a few issues with object interaction in terms of selecting crates and so on to loot...it’s all minor though...
Dragon Age II manages to be the same great epic as its forebear in terms of sheer scale and ambition, while packing in superior visuals, improved gameplay and a stronger grasp on its own unique identity. Giving the hero a voice helps, as does the consistently engaging story, which draws you in from the off and doesn't let go. Dragon Age II is a rich and lustrous fantasy RPG that shouldn't be missed by anyone with a pulse.
Though it doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor when it comes to sheer breadth, Dragon Age II has quite a bit more soul. You'll certainly give a whit what happens to Hawke after you play through the frankly bizarre endgame. Stumble as it does in a few spots, its fundamentals work brilliantly, contributing to some of the most gratifying RPG combat we've played in a long time. If you've got 30 or so hours to spare, there are few games that will arrest your attention so stubbornly.
Dragon Age II es otra nueva demostración del fantástico momento de forma en el que se encuentran en BioWare. Sin renunciar al aroma clásico de la franquicia, el estudio canadiense realiza un interesante cóctel de nuevos/viejos tiempos que acaba redondeando un juego fantástico. Muchas horas de diversión apoyadas en combates frenéticos y el habitual buen gusto de sus responsables, para crear historias con gancho y personajes carismáticos.
Dragon Age II es una grandísima secuela, que mejora aspectos toscos y poco cuidados en el original, y que demuestra una solidez argumental y narrativa pocas veces vista. Quizás el cambio y el énfasis en la acción sea el principal escollo por salvar para todos aquellos que buscaban una continuación del estilo tradicional de Dragon Age Origins. Pero si consiguen solventar dicho problema de concepción, Dragon Age II se desvela como un juego completo (algo más corto, pero igual o más intenso que muchos otros que prometen decenas o cientos de horas de aventura), frenético por momentos, y con un diseño tan carismático como atractivo. Es sin lugar a dudas, una puesta al día de un concepto que ya maravilló a toda una generación de jugadores, y que, por compromiso y deuda, deberían estar obligados a probar. Bioware lo ha vuelto a hacer.
OMGN: Online Multiplayer Games Network
I actually thought the game was broken at first and was loading the same dungeon over and over again due to poor programming or something, but lazy level design aside, Dragon Age 2 is great. Not amazing, not breathtaking, and certainly not the second coming of the RPG, but worth a play through and several replays after. It’s a promising step in the right direction, and hopefully, Bioware can tighten it up and pull it all together before Dragon Age 3.
For those who enjoyed every minute of Dragon Age: Origins, it will take a bit to get acclimated to how things work within Dragon Age II. For those who didn’t like the original all too well, BioWare has added a host of new improvements to the sequel, which most likely is an improvement upon something you may have not liked. Whichever category you fall in, the Dragon Age series is an immersive experience that continues to reinvent itself. Whether you are simply about experiencing the story from beginning to end once, or trying to get every trophy/achievement possible out of the game, you can expect the action to last a minimum of 25-30 hours. If you haven’t already picked up Dragon Age II, I suggest you stop what you are doing and run down to your local retailer and pick it up.
Dragon Age: Origins var en kæmpe mundfuld i en tid, hvor så enorme spil er sjældne. Dragon Age II er en anelse kortere, men ikke desto mindre et stort spil med en fortrinligt indrammet fortælling. De tekniske opdateringer er kærkomne, selvom de ikke sætter spillet forrest i flokken. Der er nogle få men væsentlige svagheder, men ikke noget der står i vejen for underholdningsværdien. Hvad angår den endelige karakter, så var jeg ikke langt fra at skrabe endnu et tal af, men efter at flere af mine beslutninger i spillet spøgede i min hukommelse måtte jeg sande at det kun er de færreste spil der sætter et sådant aftryk hos mig. Når det kommer til Dragon Age II, er det en let anbefaling at give. Det er et dejligt spil at få tiden til at gå med inden foråret for alvor kommer i gang.
Jämfört med ettan ett något förenklat rollspel i en spelvärld som krympts betänkligt. Men serien behåller sin status som en av genrens starkaste historieberättare med intressanta karaktärer och en engagerande värld. Det är inte många spel som jag blir så här absorberad av. Dragon Age 2 når inte riktigt upp till föregångarens nivå för min del, men det är väldigt nära.
Dragon Age 2 si dimostra dunque un prodotto complessivamente straordinario, i cui pochi e trascurabili difetti, come un comparto tecnico migliorabile, sono oscurati da pregi tanto numerosi quanto innegabili. L'intensità e la qualità narrativa dell'esperienza proposta, i miglioramenti apportati al combat system e al sistema di interazione, uniti alla solita, storica profondità del concept di base, sono infatti elementi più che sufficienti per assicurare un'esperienza di qualità eccelsa in grado di affascinare, divertire, coinvolgere e stupire chiunque decida di immergercisi. L'indimenticabile avventura di Hawke rappresenta senza alcun dubbio una delle esperienze digitali migliori dell'attuale generazione videoludica e nessuno, indipendentemente dai propri gusti personali, dovrebbe privarsi della possibilità di viverla. Fidatevi.
Sammanfattningsvis så är Dragon Age II ett spel så magnifikt att jag bara vill krypa ihop i böneställning framför det. Spelar jag inte huvudstoryn så kan jag ägna timmar åt att bara snacka skit med dvärgen Varric, gapa över staden Kirkwalls snorsnygga design eller fundera på hur jag ska spela igenom det oändliga äventyret nästa gång. Så där har ni det. Bioware har gjort det, igen. De har inte övergivit någon utan istället visar de oss att utveckling är precis vad den här genren behöver, snarare än att nostalgiskt tillbakablickande. Är du ett fan av rollspel så är du skyldig dig själv att spela det.
Eine Hass-Liebe. Wie Sie vermutlich gemerkt haben, folgt auf jeden positiven Aspekt ein negativer. Und so verhält es sich auch im Spiel. Auf jede gelungene Wendung der Story folgt ein Haufen langweiliger Quests. Auf jedes Hui ein Pfui. Dennoch lodert die kleine Spannungsflamme beständig und jedes Aufflackern kann mich wieder fesseln. Alleine die Frage, „Kommt da noch was?“ quält mich so sehr, dass ich einfach weiterspielen muss. Sie dürfen „Dragon Age 2“ keinesfalls als Fortsetzung von „Origins“ sehen. Der chronologisch zweite Teil ist ein eigenständiges Spiel, das nicht nur in Puncto Erzählung eigene Wege geht. Wer sich durch den ersten Akt müht, wird belohnt. Bis dahin heißt es, Zähne zusammenbeißen.
Nonostante i molti dubbi che ne hanno accompagnato l’annuncio, Dragon Age II si conferma come degno sequel del suo predecessore: l’apparente semplificazione delle meccaniche di combattimento si rivela più che altro legata a fattori estetici, che riescono con successo a rendere l’azione più spettacolare senza sacrificare la strategia sottostante, così come la decisione di offrire un protagonista ben definito non va ad inficiare l’elemento ruolistico, salvo grazie all’eccezionale qualità delle quest e relativo sistema di scelte. Il risultato è un GDR eccezionale, impreziosito da un combat system efficace e divertente e da personaggi finemente caratterizzati, il tutto tenuto insieme da un arco narrativo ben bilanciato e ricco di temi interessanti. Per quanto un po’ di ulteriore pulizia grafica avrebbe potuto alzare ulteriormente la valutazione finale, Dragon Age II è l’ennesima conferma della maestria di uno degli sviluppatori più abili dei nostri tempi.
Dragon Age II is streamlined, not simplified. It's a great game within its own rights, but issues with the overall story, repetitive environments, and control scheme keep it from being truly fantastic. Even with those flaws, Dragon Age II is still an above-average RPG that's worth the time of just about anyone who likes Western-styled RPGs. With fantastic characterization, quality voiceover and graphics, and only a few minor issues, there's not a good reason not to play Dragon Age II. It's simultaneously accessible and deep with options for just about any level of player. The most important thing, however? Dragon Age II is fun. The 21 hours I spent with the game were all quality, though note that I play my RPGs quickly and tend not to do all the sidequests; the average person will probably get 30-35 hours out of it. BioWare has another winner on their hands and there's no reason that you shouldn't want to make your own Dwayne.
Nicht alle im Test beleuchteten Features lassen sich als simple "Pro"- oder "Kontra"-Argumentation klassifizieren, denn in Dragon Age 2 prallen einfach zwei Welten aufeinander. Was klassischen Rollenspielern wichtig ist, wird von Actionfans vielleicht müde belächelt und umgekehrt. Was sich an dieser Stelle schon festhalten lässt: Auch wenn wir all den klassischen Rollenspielelementen, die Origins noch besaß, nachtrauern: Die hervorragend inszenierte, actionreiche Story, die packenden Gefechte, die coolen Bossgegner, die kernigen Dialoge – das alles passt sehr gut zusammen und bietet einfach viel Spaß.
Ten Ton Hammer
There is no denying that this game is a stand-out product and another definite milestone in the continued evolution of single-player RPG epics. But to turn a blind eye to its blemishes simply because its story and voice acting are such incredible work, would be a dis-service to the industry, and to gamers. Calling them game-breakers, however, would be inaccurate and insulting to the hard work of Bioware's talented development staff. Sure, the game has its warts, but in the end they are outshone by the sheer enjoyment that comes from playing this title, and becoming the Champion of Kirkwall.
Following the 'Mass Effect' series, Bioware has reformulated and streamlined the experience within 'Dragon Age 2.' While it certainly comes with some backlash, the end product is a more cohesive, polished game that continues to transform into its own entity. For this gamer, who wasn't overly enthralled with the original, 'Dragon Age 2' hits their target mark by bringing me into the age of dragons with an overwhelming sense of excitement. I loved everything 'Dragon Age 2' had to offer, this is one RPG, all fans of the genre should check out. Gripping, complex, and delightful, role-playing games are rarely this good.
Wieder einmal liefert Bioware ein sehr gutes modernes Rollenspiel ab. Dragon Age II lebt dabei vor allem von der gut gestrickten Geschichte und Hawkes superben Begleitern. Wer Angst hatte, dass die Kämpfe zu actionlastig werden, darf sich beruhigt zurücklehnen. Gerade die Bosskämpfe sind knifflig und fordern euch zuweilen einiges an Nerven und Ideen ab. Dank Entschlackung ist das Spiel vergleichsweise kurz geraten, aber dafür stimmt die Wiederspielbarkeit. Langweilig wird es zu keiner Minute, auch wenn sich Grafiksets und Aufbau der Dungeons viel zu oft wiederholen. Grafisch hat ebenfalls Schritte nach vorn gemacht und bietet mehr Details, allerdings wirken die Umgebungen oft steril. Insgesamt ein würdiger Nachfolger, der Änderungen an den richtigen Stellen beinhaltet und vor allem eins macht: Lust auf einen dritten Teil. Warum trotzdem weniger Prozente als für Teil 1? Weil mir so ein bisschen die besonderen Momente fehlen, und mir das Ganze einfach ein bisschen zu klinisch glatt ist.
Dragon Age II is a much better game on consoles than Origins, but doesn’t quite live up to the legacy on PC. It’s a vastly different game in many regards, with a completely streamlined gameplay experience that I prefer, but more serious RPG fans – including those of Origins – might despise. It also doesn’t have the same allure by moving away from the spiritual connection with Baldur’s Gate. Despite these minor quarrels, it’s a great reboot, rather than true sequel, and continues to evolve the RPG genre as it becomes better suited to modern consoles.
Dragon Age 2 is game with some faults, but the good news is that the pros heavily outweigh them. Bioware have made this game easily accessible with a simple control and mission structure, not to mention some great story telling. If you are one of the gamers who is missing out on some great RPG action then Dragon Age 2 deserves your time and money.
If there is a criticism to be made, it's in the linear level and quest design. Though Kirkwall feels like an actual city in the Dragon Age world, the disconnection between each area and their overall design never expanding beyond following simple paths adversely affects the immersion. That and Kirkwall is built with a lot of brown and grey. This for a high-fantasy RPG, begins to negatively affect the overall experience. It also keeps a game that should feel epic and expansive in its exploration, well short of this mark. Which is a shame because DA2 gets quite a lot of things right, with a story that is deeply engaging at multiple levels, and featuring a cast of supporting characters that develop over the course of the game. The story of becoming the champion of Kirkwall is great, but without the sense of momentum that comes with having to travel far and wide to stop an underlying threat, the end result feels a little bit underwhelming. On the plus side, you fight a dragon at one point.
Dragon Age 2 si presenta come un’esperienza parallela a quella di Origins, pur mostrando chiaramente, soprattutto nelle vicende, un’innegabile continuità. La strada dello snellimento intrapresa dal team di sviluppo non rende infatti questo sequel superiore al predecessore ma lo pone -in un certo senso- sullo stesso piano. Se da una parte troviamo una riduzione delle linee di dialogo “collaterali” e, in parte, del libero sviluppo dei personaggi, dall’altra possiamo apprezzare un battle system decisamente più al passo con i tempi ed una narrazione che si focalizza con maggiore attenzione sul protagonista e sui suoi alleati, caratterizzati in maniera magistrale. A tutto questo si unisce quel pizzico di background socio-culturale drammatico che non può mai mancare in un RPG che si rispetti. Il quadro, che si chiude con un comparto tecnico leggermente migliorato, dipinge un’opera sicuramente da non perdere in un panorama sin troppo scarno come quello dei ruolistici di qualità.
There's a lot here to do, there's a lot to experience, which is great. On the whole this is a good game, you will enjoy it, and it's definitely worth getting and worth playing. An ending is just an ending for some people, and even I'm capable of ignoring a lot of 'niggles' that drive other people up the wall. Still, this game could have been better... should have been better perhaps, but if we're going to look at the wider picture there have been far worse games, far worse things to have happened in games. Whilst very specific, the story of Hawke is an engaging and compelling one indeed, and we urge you to discover it for yourself.
Every modification to the gameplay and structure of Dragon Age II is a clear improvement over the previous game. The combat is more responsive and bloody, you don’t need to fight the inventory system anymore, and conversations are more engaging thanks to the adapted Mass Effect wheel. There are downsides though; the semi-linear story and repetitive environments have a negative effect on what is otherwise a great role-playing game. Despite these complaints, Dragon Age II is a game I’m eager to replay.
Planet Xbox 360
Dragon Age II doesn’t quite carry the torch as well as Origins did, thanks to a few lesser items in gameplay and the lack of a genuinely moving story. That said, it’s still a splendid action RPG with hours worth of gameplay going for it and plenty of choices that will make you want to play through it repeated times. We’re actually on our second journey now. Glad my friend decided to bring corn dogs along.
Dragon Age II is a bit of a contradiction. It is both open and linear, limiting and filled with choice but these all combine together to produce another very compelling adventure. Some of the battles may be drawn out but there is always ample reward for perseverance. Dragon Age II is yet more proof of Bioware's dominance in RPG development and long may it continue.
In their reimagining of Dragon Age II, Bioware has transferred one too many points from storytelling and exploration to combat. That doesn't mean this sequel is beyond playable or even average; Dragon Age fans will likely have the heart to finish it without too many complaints despite its flaws, but even they will feel unsettled at times. Nonetheless, Dragon Age II carries enough from its triumphant predecessor that it doesn't tarnish the Dragon Age name too much, though it creates one of those weird moments in life where people realize just how much they can let slide for the sake of enjoying an experience. Much like a threesome. Uh, never mind.
Dragon Age II is a bit of a contradiction. It is both open and linear, limiting and filled with choice but these all combine together to produce another very compelling adventure. Some of the battles may be drawn out but there is always ample reward for perseverance. Dragon Age II is yet more proof of Bioware's dominance in RPG development and long may it continue.
Though I generally enjoyed Dragon Age 2 (enough to go for another playthrough), it's an enjoyment with significant caveats. It really seems like the biggest mistake is calling it "DA2," as it's just different enough from Dragon Age: Origins to not feel like a sequel, but more like a reboot. The different main character, the faster and more streamlined combat, and the overall structure makes it feel like a fine Dragon Age adventure, but not a direct follow-up to DAO. Ultimately, Dragon Age: Origins felt like a modern high-definition callback to the glory days of Infinity Engine RPGs -- it was a decidedly PC-centric game that got a sloppy port to the consoles. Dragon Age 2, by comparison, feels like a new console-focused action-RPG that should have been called something like "Dragon Age: The Hawkening" instead.
Game Informer Magazine
Part of me was disappointed with Dragon Age II. I hoped for an improvement on the original, but it ultimately feels like a step back. The new battle system is fun, but not nearly as satisfying or rewarding as Origins’. Since you don’t even have a main antagonist until the final hours, the story pales in comparison to the original. If you put those complaints aside and remove Dragon Age II from the impressive shadow of its predecessor, you’ll find an engaging action/RPG experience that still retains BioWare’s trademark clever dialogue, cool characters, and detailed lore.
Es war Qual und Freude zugleich, dass ich mir mit der Wertungsfindung von Dragon Age II viel Zeit lassen konnte. Der Einstieg ins Spiel fiel mir noch relativ schwer, für meinen Geschmack zuviel Action und zuwenig Rollenspiel. Mit beiden Aspekten kam ich allerdings im Laufe der knapp 35 Stunden die ich für ein erstes Durchspielen benötigte immer besser zu recht. Die „Hardcore“-Rollenspielelemente wurden zwar beschnitten, aber viele von ihnen sind noch da, man muss nur etwas tiefer graben. Viel mehr stört mich, dass gewisse Aspekte des Spiels nicht das Niveau erreichen, dass ich von BioWare gewohnt bin. Die Außenareale wiederholen sich immer wieder und auch die Stadt selbst löst in ihrer Gesamtheit nicht wirklich Begeisterungsstürme aus. Geschmäcker mögen verschieden sein und manch einer wird das Spiel sicher anders empfinden, aber für mich ist Dragon Age II eben nur ein weiteres gutes Rollenspiel, das sich einfach nicht aus dem – zugegeben großen – Schatten des Vorgängers befreien kann.
Dragon Age 2 is both a button smashing interactive movie, and a strategic immersive fantasy tale. Whilst the PC version is the best of the three versions, Dragon Age 2 is a good game in its own right and an extremely solid platform for the sequel to improve on by taking it to a larger scale and adding more variety.
It’s still far from perfect but Dragon Age II is a considerably more polished, focused and enjoyable experience than its predecessor. The visuals are more distinct, the animations are vastly improved and the voice work and orchestral score is once again fantastic. The core storyline is certainly a disappointment, but the great cast of characters, genuinely interesting moral decision making and brilliantly written dialogue more than make up for it. Dragon Age II might have a bit of work before it reaches the heady heights of Bioware’s space opera, but as a fantasy adventure, it’ll more than make do until the arrival of Skyrim.
Si la douche n’est pas aussi glaciale que ce que certains semblent le dire, Dragon Age 2 est tout de même moins bon que le premier opus. Si certains défauts du premier ont été corrigés, d’autres errances bien plus graves viennent plomber l’aventure. On se retrouve avec un jeu plus beau, plus accessible et plus grand public que jamais. Les puristes du RPG se sentiront trahis, les autres s’en contenteront et se surprendront à prendre beaucoup de plaisir à suivre les pérégrinations de Hawke. Mauvais RPG, mais bon jeu d’aventure, Dragon Age 2 est un jeu qui partage. A vous de voir quelles sont vos attentes.
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
My experience with Dragon Age II was not always fun, as the save bug was literally game-killing, but almost all of the boxes are checked for it to be a great game. It has a fantastic adventure story, compelling characters that you truly get to know and care about, and more action than I’d ever anticipated. The interface changes take a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, the action will keep your blood racing. If you find yourself not thrilled within the first half hour, give it another. The first hour is a grind, but you’ll be greatly rewarded once the adventure truly begins. I’m not in love with this game yet, but I’m willing to give it a second date.
In the end, DA2 is sure to be a divisive game. The purist, PC-RPG crowd will hate it for "dumbing down" one of the last remaining hardcore RPGs, while the console clan will love it for making a fantastic series more accessible. Everyone should cotton to the clever, twisty story and fully fledged characters. It's hard to say that DA2 is an overall improvement on Origins, but you can't deny that it's a bold step toward remaking the entire action-RPG genre - something we'll have to evaluate the success of with Dragon Age III.
Dragon Age II is another evolution of BioWare's RPG format. It features slick combat, interesting characters and an intriguing narrative that - for those who can ignore the presentational shortcomings - combine to make an incredibly immersive role-playing experience. However, the game's uninspired, repetitive environments and limited sense of adventure fail to provide a suitable platform for what could have been the defining RPG of this generation.
That, in a nutshell, is the story of Dragon Age II as a video game; a fragmented kaleidoscope of elements that finally form a rich, if imperfect, vision once everything is aligned. Some may find the apparent simplification disagreeable, but it's more a concentration of focus that allows BioWare to tell the more personal story of Hawke, and add polish to the world they have built around him. And noone builds a world like BioWare. For a good 40 hours, Kirkwall was my world, my city, my home. It just took a little while to settle in.
By the time the last sword was swung in Dragon Age 2, I had enjoyed some great conversations, participated in some thrilling battles and even been at the center of an interesting story. I just never could shake the feeling that it was a story I was telling myself.
Heeft Dragon Age II alle verwachtingen ingelost en is het zo dé role-playing game van het jaar geworden? Nou, daar valt over te discussiëren. In ieder geval is wél zeker dat Dragon Age II een totaal andere weg is ingeslagen en dat kan teleurstellend zijn voor sommigen. Qua gameplay is het meer Fable dan Dragon Age geworden, wat opzich ook positief geïnterpreteerd kan worden. Helaas wordt het spel door die gameplay wat eentoniger, en dat is erg jammer in zo’n mooie stad als Kirkwall. Het verhaal is namelijk weer leuk, met name dankzij de vele verwijzingen naar het vorige spel. De quests, het bloed, de veranderingen: dat valt allemaal goed in de smaak. En daarom is de game een aanrader, ook al is het een beetje jammer dat Dragon Age II niet is geworden wat vele mensen gehoopt hadden: de perfecte opvolger van Dragon Age: Origins.
For those who stick around, able to forgive the moments when the game spins its wheels, there's a substantial and muscular experience to be had. This game builds steadily to one of the more interesting climaxes in recent memory. It's never quite as great as it could be. Nor is it as successful as Mass Effect 2 at pitching itself across genres. Nevertheless, Dragon Age II presents an absorbing, sprawling story encased in blood-stained action RPG armour. For all the ideas that don't quite take flight, for all the design decisions that feel restrictive rather than liberating, when the credits rolled I was already itching to devote another 40-odd hours to reliving it all again. An enduring classic? Not quite. A satisfying epic? Absolutely.
My biggest critique comes in the form of companion customization; you can't upgrade armor for your party members. My jaw dropped when I tried to buy a new suit of armor for my tank, and got a "Restriction: Hawke" message for item after item. Belts, rings, amulets, and most weapons are fair game... but BioWare opted not to allow players to choose companion armor. It's a strange direction for an RPG, and in my book, a poor one. Even so, BioWare deserves credit for having the cojones to completely overhaul an award-winning tactical RPG and eschew stereotypical fantasy narratives and characters to create one of the most impressive video game tales ever told.
Cheat Code Central
This is a solid game, but it's a step backward for Dragon Age and Bioware alike. The question we all need to ask ourselves is whether we'd rather Bioware spend years (seven, by some accounts) working on an epic like Dragon Age: Origins, or if we'd rather they pump out markedly more flawed editions every eighteen to twenty-four months. I really don't know the answer.
Dragon Age II is a flawed, repetitive, and wholly derivative Western RPG, but still manages to be a vast improvement over the original and should greatly please fans of Origins. Fans of Mass Effect may also find enough satisfaction here to hold them over until ME3 releases, but make no mistake: if only one Bioware title is nominated for awards this year, it will not be this one.
In certain key ways, Dragon Age 2 is a step back. Regardless of how you may feel about the changes to the formula, however, it's still a great RPG that draws you in, thanks to the power of choice. Here is a game in which decisions have consequences that ripple outward, producing effects you may not have seen coming. What makes them more effective is that there is not always a clearly bad or good path to take--not in this world in which greed and anger course through the veins of so many, regardless of their affiliation. Personal connections in your family and adventuring party further complicate matters, ensuring there isn't one obvious way to continue. It's a shame that these intricacies were tempered by unnecessary simplification and unfocused storytelling. Nevertheless, Dragon Age II makes a strong impression, pulling you through with the promise of another fun quest, another character to meet, and another beast to slay.
Video Game Generation
Let’s be honest, here. I loved Dragon Age: Origins. When I heard they were making a sequel, I was all over it. Unfortunately, what I got was a cynical, dark game with fundamentally detestable characters, and where nothing really happens. All that said, and comparisons with its far superior progenitor(s) aside, Dragon Age II is still a good game, compared to any similar games on the market. When you take a (very) superficial look at it, the game feels like a step forward, with nicer graphics and a faster flow. Once you get into the heart of the game, though, you’ll quickly discover that it’s really a significant step backwards. And while it’s still an amusing way to spend a few hours, an ill considered misstep like this is far from a worthy sequel to a game much its superior. Wake up, Bioware. You’ve already proven you can do far, far better than this.
A much shorter development cycle shows under the Dragon Age guise, capitalizing on Origins' popularity. DA2 is certainly a well-acted and better-looking game by dropping its ported qualities, but without the thoughtful structure and fully realized world like that of Origins, it's one that exists in the hyphenated space of “action-RPG” where the first 5 hours are almost identical to last 30. The demo was a good taste of what Dragon Age 2 could have been, it's just a shame it never goes anywhere beyond that.
Unfortunately, Dragon Age II feels like a filler title to get from Dragon Age: Origins to Dragon Age III and to somewhat satisfy fans in the meantime. There are very few improvements from the original title save the musical score, and in a lot of cases the game seems to take a few steps back from its predecessor. Although Dragon Age II is a decent title there were a lot of expectations considering the critical acclaim Dragon Age: Origins received that in the end Dragon Age II does not match up to.
Xbox World Australia (XWA)
I can honestly say I had hoped for more from Dragon Age II. Considering Bioware have a history of nailing their sequels, I can't help but feel this was handed off to their reserves developers as the big guns work on Mass Effect 3. There's enough here to make it a passable, and still enjoyable, epic. The story escalates nicely, as the tale of oppression reaches a satisfying climax – even if the baddie is unknown for three quarters of the game. Accessible combat and rewarding character building make Dragon Age II a decent title for newcomers like me, but I can't help but imagine die-hard fans of Origins will feel alienated by the changes.
Dragon Age II is a good game and I think it’s important that people understand that. What it isn’t is an incredible game, or even a great game, and it certainly doesn’t feel like a worthy sequel to Origins. BioWare sought to make the console and PC experiences equal and they have pretty much succeeded in that, but the result is a loss in quality all around. While great characters and voice acting remain, BioWare’s hallmark ability to create a living, breathing world falls flat in this sequel. The world is dull and dead and the lack of visual style and variety makes it get old fast. Combat is certainly fun, but former Origins PC gamers can no longer get a strategy fix from it. If you’re interested in a fun romp around an action RPG, pick Dragon Age II up, but if you’re a Dragon Age fan looking to continue what you loved about Origins, you may be better off skipping it altogether.
For me the highs are higher than those in Dragon Age: Origins, but the lows are far, far lower. It never quite manages to reach the high bar that it sets for itself and that its predecessor set, and as a game that makes compromises to appeal to a bigger audience it sits uncomfortably between Dragon Age: Origins which sold a ton despite being as hardcore as they come and Mass Effect 2 which makes similar compromises but makes them better. In spite of all that and after the particularly bad taste it left me with for the first couple of hours I'm happy to say after some 45 hours on PC and around 10 hours on Xbox 360 I really enjoyed Dragon Age II. If you use the systems the game offers to you fully and crank the difficulty up you've got some of the most addictive, tactically taxing RPG combat around.
PC Gameplay (Benelux)
Of je nu een verstokte RPG-fan dan wel hack & slash-fanaat bent, Dragon Age II slaat de bal op te veel cruciale punten mis om lang je aandacht vast te houden. De zwakste BioWare-game in zeer lange tijd.
Forgængeren var bedre, og en del af designvalgerne virker unødvedigt begrænsede. Men Bioware formår trods alt stadig at levere et glimrende eventyr.
Die schwache Technik ist nicht mal schlimm. Aber nach Dragon Age war eine Entwicklung hin zu noch mehr Rollenspiel wünschenswert, nicht diese Kastration und diese Anbiederungen an schnelle Action. Wer hat denn bitte dieses 08/15-Frauendesign und das lächerliche Blutgespritze zu verantworten? Wer hat bloß diese 90-60-90-Mutter entworfen, die wie 20 aussieht? [..] Wenn der katastrophale Einstieg sinnbildlich für die kommenden fünfundzwanzig Stunden gewesen wäre, wäre das ein Verriss geworden[..]. Aber die guten Quests, die spürbaren Konsequenzen, die sehr guten Dialoge und vor allem ein Kampfsystem, das [..] ab dem zweiten Akt taktisch cleveres Partymanagement fordert, retten dieses Abenteuer in den befriedigenden Bereich.[..] Dass es nicht für eine gute Wertung reicht, liegt auch an einer ebenso kleinen wie sterilen Spielwelt, die mit roboterhaften Bewohnern, seelenlosen Tavernen und fehlenden Erkundungsreizen zu einer Abklapper-Kulisse degradiert wird.
It feels worryingly like Mass Effect: Tolkien Edition at times but the biggest problem with this action role-player is its lack of character.
Dragon Age II er resultatet av et kompromiss mellom konsoll og PC som plattform. Det er resultatet av at Bioware i stedet for å differensiere sine to store levende rollespillfranchiser, fører Dragon Age II nærmere måten Mass Effect 2 utspiller seg på. Det er rett og slett resultatet av retningen spilldesign generelt tar i 2011. Vi kan like det eller ikke, men Bioware forsøker å få deg til å fokusere mer på historien og mindre på å lage flasker med gift eller finne ut hvor mye større tallene blir hvis du tar på deg en annen sko. Dragon Age II er på tross av sin bunnsolide historiedel og noe mer lettfordøyde rollespillplattform, ingen Messias til rollespillsjangeren. Det er et svært velregissert og godt komponert eventyr som er hakket mer morsomt på PC enn det er på konsoll – men det var vel ingen nyhet. La våre ansikter nok en gang dekkes av blodsprut.
Smile, Dragon Age 2 works. But it is a far distance from showing any bravery, preferring the pale replacement of audacity with sheen. Dragon Age 2, like the first, feels like a whisper of a promise rather than a burst of fresh air, always heralding that maybe – just maybe – the next sequel will be better. For now, it is robust, enjoyable and promising. But most of all, it’s safe. It’s safe.
There's as much maturity to the game as there ever was - DA2 is a bloody, moody thing. But despite the way narrative has been re-structured and the combat made meatier, this sequel follows the old conventions of the genre too literally to develop an individuality beyond them. Two entries down the pipe, and Dragon Age is still experiencing the growing pains of a series that's more dedicated to studying fantasy games than developing its own personality in the genre.
At the end of the day, it’s best to completely divorce Dragon Age II from Origins: it really shares very little with it’s predecessor. While many elements from Origins were lost, the Dragon Age series gained an extremely competent battle system, and superior art direction. If Bioware really takes the shortcomings of Dragon Age II to heart, I have no doubt their next Dragon Age will be a surefire hit with critics and fans alike.
Dragon Age II does not have much to recommend. It doesn't technically do anything extremely wrong, but it doesn't do much right, either. It feels like it's trying to mesh together Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2, and the result is more of a bland sludge than a tasty peanut butter-and-chocolate combination. The characters are cookie-cutter, and the combat is dull and repetitive. Aside from a few interesting moments here and there, Dragon Age II feels like it's been spread too thin. There are occasional strong moments, but unless you're desperate for more of the Dragon Age setting, it would be best to replay Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect 2 instead.
Calm Down Tom
No matter how much you love Bioware RPG’s (and I really do) theres no way you can rate this up there with Mass Effect, KOTOR or even Jade Empire. Dragon Age 2 has many wonderful moments, but like its predecessor they’re spread thin and the game is painfully padded out. While Origin’s had depth, Dragon Age 2′s simpler story and structure mean it has no such excuse. If the series is to survive then significant changes need to be made. If they’re not, the next Dragon Age won’t be buffered by the store of good will critics seem to reserve for Bioware releases.
Dragon Age II isn’t a bad game, but it is a huge disappointment from such a respected and otherwise consistent developer. While the combat has been improved significantly, its failings in other areas – areas in which BioWare usually excel – are numerous and baffling. In the 32 hours it took me to finish the game, I spent the last 10 wishing it would hurry up and get to the good bit at the end. And then it turned out the ending was a bit non-committal and rubbish, too. A shame.
After nearly two dozen hours spent completing quests in Kirkwall’s various precincts, we were anxious for the Deep Roads expedition, which would surely serve as a bridge to a fresh new city or locale. Imagine our horror, then, when an all-too brief Deep Roads interlude spat us unceremoniously back out into Kirkwall to spend the remaining 25 hours settling a dispute between the ruling heads of the city’s templars and mages, leaving our wanderlust to smoulder unfulfilled. Instead of the road going ever on, over rock and under tree, our path reached an early dead-end in Kirkwall, where we remained like a child in an embattled marriage trying to convince our bickering parents to play nicely.
Vous l'aurez compris, ce Dragon Age II est globalement décevant mais je vous l'avoue, c'est un vrai casse-tête d'en parler en mal. Pourquoi ? Parce que Dragon Age II possède un univers extrêmement riche, un contenu immense et demeure très divertissant malgré ses écueils. Cependant, on espérait que même en s'orientant vers l'action (un choix très contestable pour de nombreux joueurs), ce nouveau titre saurait transcender la formule originale. Ce n'est malheureusement pas le cas, certains défauts du premier épisode étant toujours bien présents. Si graphiquement le titre est plus joli, la technique dessert toujours l'immersion dans l'intrigue. Et comme en plus, certains éléments (le choix de la race) ont été amputés... Dragon Age II demeure une belle aventure mais encore une fois, je vous le dis : "c'est bête ça...".
G4 TV: X-Play
Dragon Age 2 is decidedly uneven and most disappointing when you consider what the game would have been like if all its various components were as polished and considered as its best aspects. That's a tall order, even for Bioware; however, with the developer releasing games at such a remarkable rate and two more major titles with 2011 alone, it's not unreasonable to expect more ... much more. Along with Bethesda Studios, Bioware has forever altered the landscape of the western RPG, if not all games. With each release it's easier for the player to see their design and mechanics at work, which puts an increasingly greater burden on them to not just improve, but to reinvent. Unfortunately, Dragon Age II is not that watershed. The game is a hell of a lot of fun to play but, for its 70+ hours, you can feel the need for something new.
Dragon Age II permet de réaliser ce qu'aurait pu donner Mass Effect 2 s'il avait été raté. La simplification du système de jeu était attendue, mais on la pensait motivée par une aventure encore plus épique, servie par une histoire passionnante et une mise en scène spectaculaire, ce qui n'est pas vraiment le cas. Entre le peu de soin accordé aux quêtes, faites d'incessants combats dans des environnements recyclés à l'envi, l'impossibilité de négocier ces affrontements de façon stratégique et la médiocrité de la traduction française, l'ensemble n'est même pas du niveau d'Awakening, mais d'un gros DLC peu inspiré. Les amateurs de jeux de rôle tactiques refuseront donc de cautionner cette suite bâclée, en concurrence sérieuse avec Gothic 4 pour le massacre de franchise le plus manifeste de ces dernières années.
I want to like this game and as an old-school paper RPG player, it should pander to me at the most basic level. That having been said, I doubt I will ever really be a big fan of Bioware RPG’s as long as they keep this current system of character interactions. It will always feel like a rip off, not being able to talk to certain people at certain times, and further more not being able to converse with any more diversity than Pro, con, or aloof smart ass. It will always come off to me as robbing me of one of the chief reasons I play these games in the first place. To play a role other than myself. I think Bioware would be well-served remembering that there are four humors, not just three, and that complexity is the nature of the human, dwarf, or elven experience.
If there’s one positive to have come from playing the game, it’s that it’s increased my anticipation for the other two major Fantasy RPG sequels due this year; Oblivion sequel Sky Rim and The Witcher II, sequel to the out-of-nowhere smash hit PC game. Seriously, if you’ve got a PC and even a vague interest in Fantasy RPGs but haven’t played The Witcher, do it now. It’s what Dragon Age 2 should have been. Everything from the lack of plot to the low-poly modelling, rough textures and uninspiring, constantly recycled locations make this feel like a rush job, done on the cheap; can you say ‘cynical cash-in’? It’s telling that BioWare, obviously worried about future pre-orders, not only produced a Limited Edition only available to people who pre-ordered, but also gave away a free Mass Effect 2 download code for ALL purchases of DAII registered up to the end of April, presumably to ease the pain…