Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dragon Age 2: Review

Length: 35-36 Hours
Score: 3/5
Version Review: PC

Let me start by saying that Dragon Age 2 is not a bad game it’s just an average game. The problem is when I think of Bioware and RPGs I don’t think of average I think of the best. Dragon Age 2 was such a crushing disappointment for many people out there that were in love with Dragon Age: Origins. Most everything that made Origins grand and epic was removed, changed, or gutted in order to shorten the development time needed. Not every change was bad like making combat much more fun for archers and melee characters. Not all removals were bad either like the removal of skill trees which were never very important anyways. I can see what Bioware was trying to do with the game to make it more fun to a larger audience by improving the combat, but the game suffered so much more in other areas.

Origins starts you off on your journey in the race and origin story that does a great job of bring the main plot directly to you very early in the game. You start with knowing who/what your enemy is and then everything from that moment on (including all main sub missions) is directly and clearly related to your struggle against your foe. Dragon Age 2 unfortunately does not give you this sense of purpose. After 15+ Hours of the game I still had no enemy to point to and I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the main story was in this game. The game is structured around a bunch of side missions that get extremely repetitive due to the repeating environments and feeling of why am I doing this? When the main story segments kick in they are far too short and far too spread out that they feel like teases. Not until the final hours of the game do you finally get that sense of purpose and a clear enemy. But even then it’s far too late and once again over too fast.
Dragon Age 2: Qunari Leader
One of the aspects of Origins that was most loved by fans of the original was the sheer amount of depth that the characters had. You could walk up to a character in your camp and engage in some of the most engaging and delightful conversation in gaming history. Each character had a wealth of history and stories to tell. Dragon Age 2 removes this almost completely making the characters speak only when they absolutely must. The characters in DA2 are each unique and well voice acted, but they just don’t feel as alive and it’s hard to feel as connected to them.

Repeating environments is perhaps the single thing that I disliked most in DA2. There are hundreds of missions in DA2 but each one takes place in one of 5 environments: Cave, Coast, Warehouse, Mountain Area, Street Alley. Let me clarify, I don’t mean just a cave or just a warehouse, I mean the exact same warehouse, cave, etc. every time. You go back to the exact same environment for a slightly different quest dozens of times. Not only does do the environments take away from any form of immersion, it makes each quest feel as repetitive as the next since the spawn points are mostly the exact same in each mission. Not to mention the entirety of the game takes place in one lifeless, boring city that had almost no feeling of immersion.

In origins, there were five or so lengthy main story missions that each had a purpose tied to the main plot, unique feel to them, and specially designed environments for each of these missions. When you went on one of these missions, you knew why it was important and how it affects the main story line. Dragon Age 2 decided to throw this concept out the window. Dragon Age 2 took me about 36 hours to finish doing most every mission. 30 of those hours take place in the same city, connected to the same repeating environments doing side missions that I had no idea what purpose they were for.

Dragon Age 2: Combat
Not all of DA2 is doom and gloom. This game does have Bioware’s quality voice acting and during what little main story there is, there are some very intense and exciting moments that save this game from being a flop. The main story is written well and complex but takes far too long to develop and is drowned out by the annoying constant side quests. The combat can be a bit repetitive at times, but is a lot faster paced and can be quite fun if you are a fan of action RPGs like Diablo. I recommend playing through this title at least once, but wait for it to hit the clearance bins.

Once Sentence Review: Dragon Age 2 is a major disappointment that turned my favorite RPG into just an average one.

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1 comment:

  1. shame on me i bought this game on steam
    i know u will buy DA3 but i wont. wasted money on DA2