When Dragon Age II Fell Apart

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

I enjoyed the beginning of DA2, it felt like it was really going somewhere. Act 3 was where it fell apart for me and the less said about the ending the better. It just feels like they needed more time...

I'll not totally blank the 3rd if they announce it, I'll keep an eye on it.

Aw Crap. I just rented out Dragon Age II, and although I didnt read most of the article for fear of spoilers, I feel like I'd be wasting my time playing it because of all these criticisms...

Darth_Dude:
Aw Crap. I just rented out Dragon Age II, and although I didnt read most of the article for fear of spoilers, I feel like I'd be wasting my time playing it because of all these criticisms...

You're in luck, Shadow Issac over on SA (now on an independant blog) has covered most of Dragon Age II up to the 'Loss.jpg' of Dragon Age II and yes there is something so bad in the game that deserves to be compared to that.

It starts off relatively shitty, but then it gets hilarious.

http://gigglesquee.blogspot.com/2011/11/and-here-my-troubles-began.html

Shadow Issac:
That's right motherbitches, it's Dragon. Age. Mother. Fucking. Two.

The myth. The legend. The game that finally killed off any vestiges of goodwill Bioware had accumulated over my past decade and a half of PC gaming.

The sequel to a game that Bioware spent over half a decade developing, Dragon Age 2 was developed in significantly less time. Like, barely over a year. Not much of that time was spent on pesky timesinks like "designing maps," "designing combat encounters," "balancing the combat," or "creating a remotely coherent storyline", as Bioware focused on what really mattered: writing a harem of psychologically broken dipshits who will gladly fuck you no matter how much they hate you. This last part was something Bioware actually used to publicize the game.

Following release, Bioware decided that anyone who didn't like this obvious masterpiece was a 4chan troll and started banning people en masse from the Bioware forums, and subsequently their EA Accounts. You read that right, criticizing this trainwreck amounted to a lifetime ban from any future EA games. Their solution to remedy this problem was to lock the Dragon Age 2 forum so that anyone without Dragon Age 2 linked to their Bioware social network account was unable to post. That policy persists to this day.

I'm not gonna try to go extensively into metagame knowledge and how shitty this game is compared to Dragon Age: Origins, as that'll just add more time and effort expended on what is probably the worst idea I've had since downing 5 pints of Pabst and 3 shots of Black Velvet then getting behind the wheel of my mom's toyota and driving to my parents' wedding anniversary dinner.

Before we begin this epic voyage through Dragon Age 2, a game where everything's shat up and none of the choices matter, some disclaimers:

I'm not doing any DLC. At all. Don't ask. No Exiled Prince, No Legacy, No Felicia Day's Retard Fuckfest Adventure.
I'm not taking reader input. At all. Much like David Gaider, I'm not going to let an annoying thing like audience input get in the way of the epic story I want to tell.
I'm probably going to put as much effort into writing these posts as Bioware did into making Dragon Age 2.
I hate this game. This LP will reflect that.

If you wish to read it all and don't mind a green background, the DA2 thread is currently located in the Comedy Gas Chamber since the Something Awful moderators had a whiny fit for some reason.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3449674&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1

I suggest you try reading it from there, since you get all the wonderful little commentary from the SA users and how damn painful it is for them to see a series they genuinely loved back in Origins (There is also an LP of Dragon Age: Origins being done by Corridor on the SA forums. It's got a billion times more effort poured into it, but unfortunately moves very slow.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3426752&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1
Page 79 and they still JUST finished up Lothering

In short, Shadow Issacs Dragon Age II LP is low effort, showcases the bad of the game very well however, gets better over time, but the forum posts between each update really sell it.

Meanwhile Corridor put a lot of effort into her Dragon Age: Origins LP, which is more informative, much funnier in my own view and can be seen as a good representation of the Origins experience even if you never played it.

There were obvious issues with the game that I noticed my first time through, but it wasn't until the second time that I truly noticed hos railroaded it was... Obviously I accepted pretty much every quest I came about the first time since I wanted to experience as much of the game as possible, but the second time I wanted to play the complete OPPOSITE way, but oh what's that? You don't WANT to escort this Qunari mage through the sewers since your character couldn't care less about putting his own neck on the line for it? Well screw you, do it anyway! (I think the worst part is that you CAN say no, but you can't CONTINUE until you say YES -_-)

SpaceMedarotterX:
snip

God damn it, I knew that this game wasnt great when I rented it, what was going through my mind..

Ah well, I've already payed, I might as well see how far I can get before I potentially give up.

...

I've heard the writing is good though...

-sobs in corner-

You know who's to blame, right?

image
http://i.imgur.com/WI9SS.jpg

If you want a good fantasy story, you get someone who knows their material. E.G. Anyone but her.

If your writers are slagging off basically a Who's Who of fantasy writing, then say they wants to make it more like Twilight, you get new writers. And comparing Harry Potter to Twilight? Just... no. Harry Potter has its flaws, but at least it's not an abomination in the eyes of God and man.

Mantonio:
You know who's to blame, right?

http://i.imgur.com/WI9SS.jpg

(I wish I could remember how to make pictures appear in the forums)

If you want a good fantasy story, you get someone who knows their material. E.G. Anyone but her.

Preword: for the record I have nothing against the GBLT community, I have no problems with the inclusion of GBLT people in games, I think it's great for showing the evolution of the medium, what I do have a problem with is retcons.

image

HA HA HA.

You know what the stupidest part of that post is? I mean besides the comparison of letting a spirit, that is a being that has no gender, entering Anders body meaning he's gay now (no not Bisexual, Bioware made it very clear that characters were HAWKEsexual, so Anders is completely straight, never having touched a man with the Female Hawkes) The funny thing is the conversation that can be used as evidence? Anders talking about his 'sexual adventures' in Fereldans circle?

He was telling them to OGHREN! Specifically, he and Oghren were ribbing one another! LOOK AT THIS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyld0O77uhQ

Evidence of the sexual liberty of Fereldans circle:

Oghren: So... mage, huh? What's it like?
Anders: To have all this power at my fingertips?
Oghren: No. To always have to wear a skirt? (Laughs)
Anders: Oh, you don't know the story behind the robes? You know how strict things are in the Circle, right? Of course you do. Well, the robes make quick trysts in the corner easy. No laces or buttons. You're done before the templars catch on.
Oghren: Really?
Anders: Just ask anyone.

This is literally like a fangirl drawing connections between whatever she can see so she can feel better about writing her Yaoi Fanfiction between Loghain and Cailan.

Oh but that's not the worst part of the Hamburgers writing of Anders, you know how in DA2 he's a terrorist who goes "The circle has to die! the chantry has to die, mages must be FREEEEEEEEE!"

Well see in Dragon Age Awakening? you meet a mage like that, and Anders HATES HIM. Anders literally says that while he doesn't agree with the harshness of the circle, it's still the best place for mages to wind up so they can learn to use their power. He's not drawn to some huge crusade, he just wants people who've learned to use their powers to reintegrate with the community. He outright laughs at the idea that mages would be better off without the circle.

This is what I hate, if you can not keep your canon straight, if you really wanted a Hawkesexual, emo mage boy reminiscent of Edward fucking Cullen to act as a terrorist to further prove that nothing you do matters, make a new character. Don't drag both Anders and Justice into the pit of shitty characters.

I mentioned in an earlier post .Hack//G.U. how it was the perfect game for a smaller scale story about the characters rather than the event. One of the characters in the game (the one in the picture reaching for Haseo's hand) is Endrance, HE (yes he is a guy, he is a love interest and you can even marry him at the end games event) is actually a previous character in the .Hack universe.

He was Elk, a mage with a cat-warrior friend who was a companion of the previous games hero with a different personali- wait a minute. Who was I talking about again?

The difference is Elk's transformation into Endrance actually made a whole lot of sense. Elk didn't make friends well, Mia (the Cat-Warrior) was an artificial intelligence, when The World was destroyed, she was killed and it left him all alone. When R:2 booted up, Macha, the remains of Mia, merged with Elk's PC turning him into an Epitaph user (Macha the Temptress). Elk changed his profession from mage to the R:2 equivalent of Mia's class, and he showed affection to a cat.

Now the cat was actually a computer virus given form and- look the .Hack series gets REALLY fucking weird at points, the point is Endrance knows this and DOESN'T CARE, he has been hurt so badly by the loss of friends that he's literally attached to anyone who needs him. Haseo ultimatly snaps Endrance out of his funk (and recruits him into the party) by telling him that he needed his help.

This is what makes Endrance fall for Haseo, it isn't looks, or being a guy or a girl or because he's suddenly a different person than Elk was. He's the same guy, so hurt by events that hurt a lot of people that anyone who shows him love or affection, is someone he latches onto.

It's actually called 'Pansexuality' it doesn't just transcend gender like Bisexuality, it transcends things like species. also the 'Sexuality' in it is really a misnomer, it doesn't literally refer to sexual love, it's more "This transcends gender, species, age, all boundries, I care for you as deeply as any love"

I'm FINE with that, it made sense for Elk to have changed so much after what he had suffered through.

For Anders? it doesn't make any sense that he's not only changed his entire outlook on life, but his philosophical beliefs. I mean Wynne accepts a fade spirit into her body, it doesn't change her at all, it doesn't randomly possess her and make her scream and snarl. The description of what happens to Justice doesn't gel with canon, Anders new personality and sexuality doesn't gel with canon.

It's lazy, completely and utterly lazy "I can't think of a new name and backstory for a character, so lets just ruin Anders"

EDIT:

Listen to Justice here, "Each individual should be judged as a separate person, you should always seek to atone, not wallow in vengeance, you should always seek to forgive others for their crimes, and even if they refuse your forgiveness at least you have tried"

So we have a spirit who isn't "RARGH JUSTICE MUST BE SERVED" and a mage who goes "Well no I don't LIKE how the circles run but it really is the best place for growing mages" and this somehow created "ABLOO BLOO BLOO MAGES ARE SO OPRESSED KILL ALL TEMPLARS, KILL THE CHANTRY!!!!!!"

tmande2nd:
Caesar still became the first Emperor of Rome

No actually he didn't... that was his nephew, (who to be fair was also called Caesar, since it was part of the family name.) The Caesar who was assassinated was never emperor.
[/pedantry]
OT: I liked the game. It was nowhere near as good as Origins, but I'd much rather play DAII than many many other games.

Undead Dragon King:
If the game had depicted that one side was clearly in the right and lorded it over the other faction whether you allied with them or not, that would be problematic storytelling. However, since the leaders of both factions are revealed to be inherently evil at the end, I think it was a refreshing look at the "no way you can come out of this smelling like a rose" ending.

Orsino wasn't so much evil as a fucking idiot. Here I am, having defended the inner keep with NO mage casualties, and he goes off on his whole woe is me, all hope is lost tirade and turns into a monster. It would have been a much better encounter where if you lost a certain percentage of mages he went insane and turned whereas if you didn't there were 2 encounters with Meredith, with the first structured differently and using templar adds with Orsino being fatally wounded at the end of it, which then leads to the docks encounter.

Falseprophet:
Did I think the story was perfect? Not at all. The framing device aspect with Varric could have been used a whole lot better. I didn't think so much time needed to pass between Acts: 12-18 months between Acts 1 and 2 and 6-12 months between Acts 2 and 3 would have been more than enough. Obviously rushing the game took its toll: the Qunari uprising in the climax of Act 2 should have left some permanent mark on the city, even having a few buildings rebuild to look different. Orsino and Meredith should have had some screen time in Act 2, to show them in a slightly more reasonable light in contrast with their zeal in Act 3. This article redeemed a lot of the overall plot for me, however.

That was an interesting read, thank you for linking that article

LiquidGrape:
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be so arrogant as to imply DAII was flawless. It clearly isn't. And highlighting what the game failed to do is just as important, if not more so, than to illuminate what it succeeded in doing. But considering the disproportionate amount of criticism the game has received ever since its launch, I tend to be on its defense.

Well, with all the butthurt this game generates, someone has to pass out the aloe vera. (Sweet avatar, btw)

ms_sunlight:

Undead Dragon King:

If the game had depicted that one side was clearly in the right and lorded it over the other faction whether you allied with them or not, that would be problematic storytelling. However, since the leaders of both factions are revealed to be inherently evil at the end, I think it was a refreshing look at the "no way you can come out of this smelling like a rose" ending.

This. I absolutely loved the ending - both sides are rotten, both choices are a compromise, and neither side will let you abstain from choosing.

The last act showed a city spiralling out of control into fanaticism and violence, and how can one person, even a Champion, stop that? Gamers are so used to being the Chosen One who gets to be all-powerful and decide how everything pans out. The real world isn't like that; DA2 chose to show that fantasy worlds don't have to be like that either.

The problem is that they seem to do pretty much the same thing throughout the entire game. Make a few things unchangeable, and you're presenting the limits of a character's influence (Morrigan's twist in Origins is a good example). Do it through most of the game and then do it with the ending as well? Lazy. The Witcher 2 is a fantastic example of a game in which you aren't The Chosen One, but your choices nevertheless have consequences (normally leading to Shit Scenario A or Shit Scenario B). You change the world, but you are not the be all and end all power within the world.

And let's just not start on the hideous, canon-ignoring, sequel-bait of a final cutscene.

(Oh, and Orsino is a fucking idiot, as is virtually every other mage in the entire game. It gets awkward defending mages when they ALL TURN INTO FUCKING BLOOD MAGES. And a rather large issue I had was that the game seemed to randomly ignore the fact that I was a mage too.)

LiquidGrape:

Kahunaburger:

ccdohl:
Also there's the addition of the craptastic dialogue wheel, lack of race choice, lack of aesthetic customization in companions, reused areas, those quests where you would find an item and bring it to some random person for some reason, and the goofy departure from the aesthetic of the first game. All of which make the game a huge step backwards from its predecessor.

Let's not forget those problems.

Or the atrocious writing. Seriously, this thing practically needs its own Plinkett review.

I'd argue that Isabela alone was probably the single best written character of 2011. Of many a year, I'd say. The sheer amount of player prejudice she attracted only to end up subverting (assuming the player wasn't simply a misogynist prick), makes for some of the most substantial characterisation I've ever encountered in a game.

I don't really agree with Isabella. She's basically the one-note sexist joke that it's inherently funny when women like having sex. Up to the point where the fact that she enjoy sex is revealed to be the result of (gasp) a traumatic past.

But a pirate who likes sex and loot could have been done very well, in the right hands. The people who think that the line "I like big boats, and I cannot lie" are funny are not the right hands.

Add to that her grudging rapport with Aveline (another excellent character) growing into a strikingly intimate camraderie of mutual respect, with the same catcalls and insults they had used initially transformed into terms of endearment, and you've got two of the finest female characters in the medium in one of the finest friendships in fiction, full stop.

Now Aveline I actually like. Except when she ends up accidentally written as a corrupt cop or winds up in clumsily-written romance subplots because Bioware.

But if one looks beyond the broken promises of that misguided campaign, I think Hawke's story is a strikingly personal one, filled with more heartbreak and failure than the thoroughly uninteresting 'AN HERO' Warden could ever hope to match.

If.

SpaceMedarotterX:

Darth_Dude:
Aw Crap. I just rented out Dragon Age II, and although I didnt read most of the article for fear of spoilers, I feel like I'd be wasting my time playing it because of all these criticisms...

You're in luck, Shadow Issac over on SA (now on an independant blog) has covered most of Dragon Age II up to the 'Loss.jpg' of Dragon Age II and yes there is something so bad in the game that deserves to be compared to that.

It starts off relatively shitty, but then it gets hilarious.

http://gigglesquee.blogspot.com/2011/11/and-here-my-troubles-began.html

Shadow Issac:
That's right motherbitches, it's Dragon. Age. Mother. Fucking. Two.

Shadow Issac thread! You're alive! But I thought you got *sniff* gassed?

I'm gigglesqueeing so hard right now.

Mantonio:
You know who's to blame, right?

image
http://i.imgur.com/WI9SS.jpg

If you want a good fantasy story, you get someone who knows their material. E.G. Anyone but her.

If your writers are slagging off basically a Who's Who of fantasy writing, then say they wants to make it more like Twilight, you get new writers. And comparing Harry Potter to Twilight? Just... no. Harry Potter has its flaws, but at least it's not an abomination in the eyes of God and man.

My brain just imploded. No wonder the story sucks! they tried to inject twilight! the only consolation is that the abomination they created suffered a swift death and didn't live on to propagate.

Kahunaburger:

LiquidGrape:

I'd argue that Isabela alone was probably the single best written character of 2011. Of many a year, I'd say. The sheer amount of player prejudice she attracted only to end up subverting (assuming the player wasn't simply a misogynist prick), makes for some of the most substantial characterisation I've ever encountered in a game.

I don't really agree with Isabella. She's basically the one-note sexist joke that it's inherently funny when women like having sex. Up to the point where the fact that she enjoy sex is revealed to be the result of (gasp) a traumatic past.

But a pirate who likes sex and loot could have been done very well, in the right hands. The people who think that the line "I like big boats, and I cannot lie" are funny are not the right hands.

What? It's never implied she likes sex because of a traumatic past. She was simply stuck in an unhappy marriage and wasn't really free to pursue a life of her own until after her husband was murdered. She had always 'owned' her sexuality, so to speak, she was just never allowed to express it.
Which she eventually does.
With her husband's murderer.

Also, for all of Isabela's obvious and enthusiastic debauchery, suggesting that she's a one-note character is quite reductive. It's those precise presumptions I think she so aptly subverts, especially when coupled with Aveline or Merrill; the characters with whom she seems most prone to share her past experiences.

Dragon Age II Banter:

Merrill: You've had many lovers, haven't you?
Isabela: Fewer than some think.
Merrill: But you never stay with them.
Isabela: No, why should I?
Merrill: But the act of lovemaking is so... intimate.
Isabela: I don't "make love." What I do is only skin-deep, Kitten.
Isabela: Don't worry your pretty little head about it.

Merrill: (Sighs) Why do you even like me? I must seem so dull.
Isabela: What brought this on?
Merrill: Your life has been... so exciting. The adventures, the duels, the passionate love affairs.
Merrill: Compared to that, my life is a stale, dry biscuit. (Sighs) I wish I had your life.
Isabela: No. You don't want my life.
Merrill: Why?
Isabela: Because you have a good heart, and you deserve better.

Merrill: Why are you smiling?
Isabela: No reason.
Merrill: Ooh, ooh! It's something dirty, isn't it? Tell me, tell me!
Isabela: It... it isn't anything dirty. I'm just... happy.
Merrill: Oh. That's good, too, but I was hoping for something dirty.
Isabela: Come by the tavern later. I've got stories that will make your toes curl.

Not to mention that she nurtures Aveline's self-esteem and confidence in her own sexuality.

Aveline: How are you so successful with men? You're not that pretty.
Isabela: Cast a wide enough net, and you're bound to catch something.
Aveline: (Laughs) At least you're willing to admit it.
Isabela: Trust me. I've heard, "Get away from me, you pirate hag!" more times than I care to count.
Aveline: Doesn't that bother you?
Isabela: Why should it? They don't know me. I know me.

Aveline: You're right.
Isabela: About?
Aveline: About knowing who you are.
Aveline: I'm the captain of the guard. I'm loyal, strong, and I don't look too bad naked.
Isabela: Exactly. And if I called you a mannish, awkward, ball-crushing do-gooder, you'd say...?
Aveline: Shut up, whore.
Isabela: That's my girl.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much heart and wit and, occasionally, implied sadness in her banter with the other companions I could quote it endlessly.
Finally, the scene where she finally admits to having genuinely intimate affection for Hawke is a really tender and well-judged moment, and it feels as if it is just as much an achievement for her as it is for the player.

I suppose one could argue that she's got the traditional 'heart of gold' personality, but when the execution is this fine, I don't have a problem with trope quotas.

That's actually a fair point. Many of the times I was playing it, I tended to arrive at that point and just want to scream "Wait! I'm helping you!", but since my only options were "kill everyone" or "kill everyone", the narrative does definitely break there. Mages and Templar working together in subversion of both Meredith and Orsino, people who seem to have lost both reason and control, should be a goal many Hawkes would go for. Here's a perfect opportunity to uproot both ineffectual leaders, form a great uprising that supports mage rights while still allowing the Templars to act as guardians, and yet the only option is "kill them all!", rather than try and explain. That's definitely a misstep.

Although, it's all moot anyway. Justice and Anders never met. Anders died when the keep fell, and Justice was left wandering around as a rotting corpse in a bog. Didn't seem to stop them from showing up, so it's not like the collective Dragon Age narrative doesn't have some serious gaps anyway. And, that's not even discussing things like this:

On reflection, maybe Dragon Age isn't the tight narrative we think it is. It just doesn't show until you really examine it. Like finding out your stained glass window, while still pretty, is a sheet of plastic glued to the glass.

LiquidGrape:

I suppose one could argue that she's got the traditional 'heart of gold' personality,

That's basically my argument - from my point of view, she comes off as a character written around "crazy, up against the wall, let's have it on right here" vs. a character written as a character with "sex-positive" being one of many character traits.

While I agree that Dragon Age 2 was a failure in general, the topic has just been beaten into the ground at this point. Still, it is nice to see someone at the Escapist actually admit it.

Kahunaburger:

LiquidGrape:

I suppose one could argue that she's got the traditional 'heart of gold' personality,

That's basically my argument - from my point of view, she comes off as a character written around "crazy, up against the wall, let's have it on right here" vs. a character written as a character with "sex-positive" being one of many character traits.

Well, I can't really see how you can argue that she's that particular kind of character considering the examples I brought up, but to each their own I suppose. While I posed the 'heart of gold' trope as being arguable I never got that impression myself, and I think she's far more subversive and multi-faceted than so.

My opinion on Dragon age 2...eh, it was ok.

It got a few things right:
The party members were interesting, even if not fully fleshed out. Some of them annoyed me in some respects, but there were none i hated to the level of Vaan and Tidus. In short, I'm happy to call them my party and to have gone through a game with them.

The idea of making it a more personal story, atleast as a concept it was interesting even if the execution was flawed.

The combat, mechanics wise, was more engaging and involving then Origins. I admit i dislike that it wasn't anywhere near as tactical as Origins was, although that was partly due to the encounters them

I also liked the fact that your character had a family with them, which sort of made it interesting and added a bit of motivation.

That said though, for all it got right, it fell flat on it's face on some other area's:

While i liked the combat mechanics...did you have to fight a WHOLE ARMY OF FOES every single battle? I mean if you'd tried to fight a horde like those seen in 2 in origins, you'd end up royally butchered if you weren't prepared for it. And yet here's Hawke and party cleaning house like it's nothing...i mean for gods sakes, your Dragon Age not Drakengard! You don't need the entire city coming out of the wood-works to murder you every single encounter, plus it makes no sense in some of these encounters how that works when you only saw about five people max in the room before-hand. And speaking of the City..

Kirkwall...by god Kirkwall. By the end of the game i just wanted to see the damn thing burn down so i could escape it. I understand what bioware were going for: Setting the game in one large location and some surrounding area's, and thus allowing the player to explore it as it unfolded to uncover new things to mark player growth. But..here's the issue: Kirkwall is bland, it's boring and it's conflicts trivial and add nothing to the mythos of the series.
In my opinion, i think they should have taken a look at Jak II when designing this game: That game did the idea of 'sticking to a city and it's surrounding area's for a game' really really well. The city changed, area's became open after certain moments and above all while each area was unique it was interesting and you wanted to explore it. Above all, it had interesting stories going on in it. Dragon age 2 should have done that with Kirkwall, and it would have been a whole lot more interesting but instead they made it feel like a chore. The city didn't change, it didn't evolve, and it was just the same freaking area's over and over again with no differences. So Bioware, tip for Dragon age 3, leave us out of Kirkwall and let us explore some more of thedas because i swear to the maker if i have to step so much as a toe-nail into that freaking place...it better be to send it crashing into the ocean never to be seen or heard from again!

And finally, as many others have complained about, The story. I admit the characters were interesting, and arguably one of the few reasons i was able to play through this game but..urgh, the story was pointless. It was nothing but filler so that we'd have something more interesting to go on for Dragon age 3. I understand we don't need to be fighting another Blight yet but there was absolutely nothing at stake until Act 3, and even that was handled poorly.

In closing: Dragon age 2 would have been better as a Tv Series. Something done sort of in the style of game of thrones where all the characters are connected but all have their own conflicts and stories going on in the shadow of an over-arching plot, as well as helping bridge the gap between Awakening/witch hunt and the third game which will likely be centered around the mage/templar war as well as that ominous third threat that's been lightly hinted at. But as a game sequel it failed, while the game on it's own merits was only 'ok' at best and even then it's problems are incredibly glaring.

I have spent time pondering how Dragon Age 2 just left myself, and seemingly many other players, kinda disappointed as well. Origins is my favorite game so I knew walking in to DA 2 it was going to be a nigh impossible act to follow but I did manage what I think would have been better execution.

Honestly I think it should have been a book or better yet, a comic book. The three act structure felt disjointed. The Qunari are just kind of there and they just used the lyrium idol to connect the beginning to end. If those and the different interesting side mission had been chapters or different issues revolving around Hawke then I think it would feel more satisfying story-wise. I think taking the player and personal choice out of it would also let the reader actually appreciate the story and not get so frustrated with moments when I at least thought "well how about I do this instead?". I like to refer to this as "Fable 3 syndrome". Of course then I would have to admit that Hawke was a pretty boring and uninspired protagonist.

Then it would likely feed into whatever they have stored up for Dragon Age 3, I figure at least.

A good review, shame Escapist allowed you to really criticize DA2 so late after it has been published.

The problem is that site gave them 5/5 and called it "A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be."

It's kinda ironic as for me this was the moment when *Escapist* fell apart.

This game was shit, everyone who ever played a decent RPG knew it. Story that made little sense, poor companions, HORRIBLE mechanics. Waves after waves of generic enemies spawning *from the air* around you, preventing player from even considering using some tactics of positioning. Reusing same location not even twice but many, many times. Dragging player's ass across the entire map several times to accomplish a quest, which is just another way of dragging the gameplay. It all was horrible in every aspect possible.

And Escapist gave them 100% score. I'm not sure there ever has been a better example of a paid review out there (and I'm not talking about money, you can bribe a reviewers with so many other things). Eighter this or you employ morons.

cieply:
A good review, shame Escapist allowed you to really criticize DA2 so late after it has been published.

The problem is that site gave them 5/5 and called it "A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be."

It's kinda ironic as for me this was the moment when *Escapist* fell apart.

This game was shit, everyone who ever played a decent RPG knew it. Story that made little sense, poor companions, HORRIBLE mechanics. Waves after waves of generic enemies spawning *from the air* around you, preventing player from even considering using some tactics of positioning. Reusing same location not even twice but many, many times. Dragging player's ass across the entire map several times to accomplish a quest, which is just another way of dragging the gameplay. It all was horrible in every aspect possible.

And Escapist gave them 100% score. I'm not sure there ever has been a better example of a paid review out there (and I'm not talking about money, you can bribe a reviewers with so many other things). Eighter this or you employ morons.

Oh it's bribes. Sorry mods but you had Dragon Age 2 plastered as your background, No body should have expected an honest review. It's not even just a matter of integrity, it's also EA's well thought out "Give this game at least X or you don't get review copies of X"

In the most recent case it's TOR, it has to get an 8/10 (Or Equivalent) otherwise reviewers don't get Mass Effect 3 review copies. Do you want to be the reviewer who's site doesn't get the latest 'Hot' release thus losing traffic to everyone else.

The opposite is this, No Review Copies of FFXIV were sent out, and EVERYONE tore it to shreds, It's 1 part bribe, 1 part fear.

Penny-Arcade is in a working partnership with BioEA, so they can't slag the games off, if they do the partnership breaks. I'm sure Gabe and Tycho aren't necessarily struggling for cash, but they run a company now. They also run a charity, and let me quote the founder of "Get Well Gamers" here.

This is from the Ar Tonelico III Let's play on Something Awful

"I would crossdress and sing for the organization" the context is that someone offered to Donate a PS3 if he recorded himself singing one of the games songs (he also worked as a Translator on the game) But the point is, when you know you can help out a charity, your own dignity means nothing.

If Gabe and Tycho bending over backwards for EA, means EA is donating to Child's Play, you better believe they'll be saying "So do you want us to fondle your ball sack as we suck you off?" because dignity means squat when your doing something for other people.

So yeah, controlled through fear, or bribes, EA gets the reviews they want. I don't think the Escapist employs morons even if I have read certain articles I've disagreed with, and butted heads with a few moderators in my time.

DA2 managed to get on my nerves from the start, gameplay wise, and story wise shortly after. Bioware keeps trying to inject that sens of drama and tragedy by killing off characters that have no meaning in the first 5 minutes.
The DA universe as well isn't something I'm fond of, they just crammed LOTR stylistics into The Witcher world affairs.
But I did sort of like the first one.

unacomn:
DA2 managed to get on my nerves from the start, gameplay wise, and story wise shortly after. Bioware keeps trying to inject that sens of drama and tragedy by killing off characters that have no meaning in the first 5 minutes.
The DA universe as well isn't something I'm fond of, they just crammed LOTR stylistics into The Witcher world affairs.
But I did sort of like the first one.

That's a good way to put it - it always struck me as trying to be lotr and asoiaf at the same time. The first one was good, but the setting kinda fell flat. Then I played Witcher and had an "oh, so that's what they were trying to do" moment.

Wait wait wait so are you saying that Dragon Age 2 isn't *ahem*, and I quote, "A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be"? I have a hard time believing that.

Some more cynical people may point out the obscene amounts of advertising for Dragon Age 2 the Escapist was doing at the time and maybe make a connection between the advertising and perfect score. I, however, like to think they were doing all that advertising for free because the game was just so damn good and they had to spread the word.

I'm a little disappointed that you weren't so thrilled something awesome happened every time you pressed a button (BUTTON, AWESOME! BUTTON, AWESOME!) that you would be able to overlook silly things like pants on head retarded story telling and horrible combat mechanics and rehashed dungeons, and . . . well it was probably just me because we all know that Dragon Age 2 was the pinnacle of role-playing games and what video games were meant to be.

Of course whenever Dragon Age 2 is discussed I feel the need to bring up the time my neighbor's dog took a shit on my walk way. I went out and scraped it up with my Dragon Age 2 disc. Needless to say my neighbor was furious when he saw this. He couldn't believe I'd have the nerve to get my Dragon Age 2 disc all over his perfectly good dog shit.

Dastardly:

Dennis Scimeca:
When Dragon Age II Fell Apart

Dragon Age 2's story is just plain broken.

Read Full Article

There's one point in particular upon which I wholeheartedly agree: If you give the player the choice, you must honor it. The corollary, of course, is that if you're not going to honor the choice, just don't present it as a choice -- which isn't a bad thing, it's just being realistic and ensuring your game doesn't draw attention to its shortcomings.

I find it interesting that your misgivings about both this game and Skyrim sound very similar, but read quite differently. In both games, you feel your choices eventually proved not to matter. Dragon Age II countermanded them, while Skyrim simply failed to give them enough weight. Both problems are very valid, and I think they're both equal-but-opposite examples of over-balancing a particular equation:

The number of options you can offer is inversely proportionate to the impact each choice can have.

If you offer more choices, the impact of each must be toned down, so that they can be allowed to coexist in a way that makes internal sense. If you want choices to truly feel epic and world-defining, you need to carefully control how many branches that tree has.

The over-example of "too much weight" is a game that presents choices that have no impact on the ending. In a way, that's what DA2 did with this storyline for you. You played your character one way, and things seemed to be going well, and right at the end the game tells you, "Wrong! You're THIS now!"

And the over-example of "too many choices" is a game that allows you go in a million directions, each of them pretty underwhelming. And that's where Skyrim is for many people. You've rocketed to the forefront of X number of elite groups (some public, some secret), you've killed potentially hundreds of the most fearsome creatures known to man and orc alike, you were once and possibly still are a werewolf or vampire, and you've either ignited or stopped a full-scale war several times over... and the best you get is a few passing mentions in the NPC dialogue.

This means we've successfully defined the two extremes. Hopefully the next step is just dialing in the sweet spot between them...

Oh God... I hope sooner rather than later...

Well Gaider, this was god awful, thanks for that

image

I mean it's not REVAN bad or DA2 bad, but ya know, pretty terrible.

Also love how it's "From the lead writer of Dragon Age: Origins" for a book set during DA2. Can't say I blame them

I agree that the ending for DAII was poorly done. which is a real shame as the rest of the game was pretty good. The only serious issue is the repeated dungeons from my point of view.

Zagzag:

tmande2nd:
Caesar still became the first Emperor of Rome

No actually he didn't... that was his nephew, (who to be fair was also called Caesar, since it was part of the family name.) The Caesar who was assassinated was never emperor.
.

As I understand it technically there never was a Roman emperor. We was "voted" consul for life.

Dastardly:

Dennis Scimeca:
When Dragon Age II Fell Apart

Dragon Age 2's story is just plain broken.

Read Full Article

There's one point in particular upon which I wholeheartedly agree: If you give the player the choice, you must honor it. The corollary, of course, is that if you're not going to honor the choice, just don't present it as a choice -- which isn't a bad thing, it's just being realistic and ensuring your game doesn't draw attention to its shortcomings.

I find it interesting that your misgivings about both this game and Skyrim sound very similar, but read quite differently. In both games, you feel your choices eventually proved not to matter. Dragon Age II countermanded them, while Skyrim simply failed to give them enough weight. Both problems are very valid, and I think they're both equal-but-opposite examples of over-balancing a particular equation:

The number of options you can offer is inversely proportionate to the impact each choice can have.

If you offer more choices, the impact of each must be toned down, so that they can be allowed to coexist in a way that makes internal sense. If you want choices to truly feel epic and world-defining, you need to carefully control how many branches that tree has.

The over-example of "too much weight" is a game that presents choices that have no impact on the ending. In a way, that's what DA2 did with this storyline for you. You played your character one way, and things seemed to be going well, and right at the end the game tells you, "Wrong! You're THIS now!"

And the over-example of "too many choices" is a game that allows you go in a million directions, each of them pretty underwhelming. And that's where Skyrim is for many people. You've rocketed to the forefront of X number of elite groups (some public, some secret), you've killed potentially hundreds of the most fearsome creatures known to man and orc alike, you were once and possibly still are a werewolf or vampire, and you've either ignited or stopped a full-scale war several times over... and the best you get is a few passing mentions in the NPC dialogue.

This means we've successfully defined the two extremes. Hopefully the next step is just dialing in the sweet spot between them...

A very good point, and something a good deal of most modern games that offer "morality choices" seem to do wrong. The most egregious example of this is Red Dead Redemption, which not only forces the player on numerous occasions to play in a way that is contradictory to the character, but also ends the game on a forced conclusion that makes no sense within the game world, or with the players choices, and then follows that up with an even worse ending that negates everything the first ending was supposed to accomplish!

Double post, damn catchpa errors.

Yeah this was my problem with the game. Exactly. You are railroaded into a series of continuously ridiculous fights, killing off pretty much every main character in the entire game. Seriously, at the end of my game the only survivors were my party members, some random templar dude and Hawke's uncle (I think). It wasn't just that they all died that was so dumb, it was that I killed most of them when I had no reason to. It felt like the writers had decided that the only way for them to be able to continue this story with the massive amounts of extra characters and potential choices the player had made was to have everyone die. So they did.

I actually thought the ending was the best part, and that all the stuff leading up to it was uninspired and fragmented. I found the catch 22 to be an insightful and disarming illustration of oppression, and the betrayal (You know what I mean) provoked both sorrow and sympathy. It's to bad they were framed with a fragmented narrative with a nonexistent pace, populated by sock puppets.

Blade_125:

Zagzag:

tmande2nd:
Caesar still became the first Emperor of Rome

No actually he didn't... that was his nephew, (who to be fair was also called Caesar, since it was part of the family name.) The Caesar who was assassinated was never emperor.
.

As I understand it technically there never was a Roman emperor. We was "voted" consul for life.

The word "Emperor" is actually from the latin "Imperator" which means a commander, leader of some kind or general. I'm using the word emperor in the context in which it was eventually used by the Romans, and in which we use it today, although it was in fact a gradual change, It was at least twenty years after Julius Caesar's death before the word really came to mean what it does today.
The first emperors were consuls many times each, but were not consuls all the time; their real power that made them overall rulers did not actually come from merely having been consul, but from their titles which were originally granted to Octavian (Julius Caesar's nephew) before he became known as Augustus, in gratitude for "restoring the republic". Over time he built up a staggering collection of titles, only one of which could normally be held at a time. This made him head of state religion, head of justice etc etc, until he in effect controlled most of what was going on in the country. The fact that his uncle had been officially awarded godhood helped with this as well, as he was able to call himself "divi filium" (Son of the deified, since Julius Caesar had adopted him as his son officially) On his death many of these were passed on to his successor, but it had been so long since there had been true republican government by this point that almost noone alive had ever seen it. For this reason Tiberius carried on pretty much where Augustus had left off, and the word "Emperor" began to be exclusively used about him.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here