Why was Dragon Age 2 so bad?

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I've been reveling in the complaints on ME3's ending, and that's cool and all but I keep hearing people complain about DA2. I've played it and liked it well enough, all the zones were constantly reused and there wasn't much of an overall story but I loved the revamped combat and the frenemy thing. It seemed like they just streamlined and removed a lot of the junk and clutter. But when I hear things like "Completely destroyed the in-game universe" I get a little curious.

Yes I did use the search bar and didn't find anything. Also can we try to keep the conversation here about Dragon Age? I get that everyone's pissed at ME right now but that's not the point of this thread.

I'd put my bid on, while it's a perfectly fine game on its own, when compared to its papa DA:O, it isn't quite up to snuff. Same thing with BioShock 2, a decent game on its own but it doesn't live up to the original's legacy.

I suppose, honestly I liked it much better than Origins. Origins was just too brown and clunky, I'm honestly only able to play as a Mage, otherwise I'm bored to tears. Liked the story though, generic but fun.

Basically everything was rushed. So you wind up with wonky combat, first-draft writing, shoddy plotting, and re-used everything.

Kahunaburger (love that name BTW) could you expound? Combat was much more enjoyable to me, the only problems I had was the lack of a targeting system, but that's a holdover from Origins. I'll admit there wasn't a ton on the overall story, but I did think the Qunari invasion and the eruption of the Mage-Templar war was interesting.

Did indeed re-use just about all they could, I'm down. But the writing seemed fine to me, it kept me engaged. Could you give an example?

I guess if you were after an action RPG it was okay. It had a lot of re-used assets and the story was 100% railroaded. I didn't mind the combat so much, but that's because I prefer twitch gameplay and was very disappointed in the lack of tactical choices everything-except-mages got in DA:O.

The party of four characters not the baldurs gate traditional 6 which gave more tactics involved. Limited amounts of weapons and inventory items in comparison to baldurs gate, neverwinter nights even dragon age 1. The shopkeepers never had anything of value other than your healing.

Repetitive dungeons, holding hands with dialogue choices that were colour coded "Red for aggressive eg", Human playable only (which is a huge negative for any rpg as far as I am concerned for lack of choice). Extremely linear story and maps were not of any substance.

There is no doubt it was rushed. The clipping in that game! >< I am no graphics whore but the floating weapons on your back annoy the hell out of me, not to mention other small graphical issues. However, the graphics do do their job well enough for me so those are minor quibbles. I enjoy Dragon Age 2 for a cheeky light-hearted social RPG. That is the only area where it shows merit despite the constant cheesy 1 liners. Usually, I play it in small sessions where I will do some quests throughout a 2 day/1 or 2 night cycle. (I keep track of time myself by doing 2-3 quests in a day and then 1-2 quests at night.) Save and put it down for a bit. A month or two later load it up, repeat. It can never really captivate me long but it does somehow scratch a small itch that is good for killing an hour or two.

It has some pretty fun characters in it (aside from Anders, whatever sibling, and Fenris) but the story is mostly retarded. My big thing is that I like where they were trying to get with the title and where it would have reached had EA given them the time to develop it. I see potential in it and it used to make me wonder where the series would possibly go the next time around but as Bioware's track record has been going downhill, for me, my outlook isn't as hopeful nowadays. In that regard, it ended up being a mediocre tongue in cheek adventure.

Thanks Dexter. I get some of the criticism now I suppose, but it's nothing I didn't figure. Bioware was lazy and rushed DA2 out the door, if they had put in another year's work it would've been much better and have fixed many of the problems. I will say I liked the visual redesign of much of the world, seemed more vibrant and stood out to me in a lot of places.

In my opinion it wasn't a bad game at all. In fact I liked it far more than the original.

The original origins had an interesting idea with the different origins for your characters that I honestly don't think I've seen in anything else and I applaud it for that, but past that intro section, other than a few relatively minor instances, every warden went through the exact same story. Your origin never felt like it influenced more than aesthetics and the first couple hours of gameplay.

Hawke however removed that issue by being a single fleshed out character, admittedly like Commander Shepherd, but it gave the character a voice and personality that was missing from Origins. I'm not one for full on "roleplaying" a game so I always saw the choice to include a mute lead character, in a game that's otherwise completely voiced, as lazy. And that goes for ALL voiceless protagonists in otherwise voiced games. Heck I thought it was lazy as far back as the legend of Zelda, once they started having text conversations and plot at least. Basically if someone or something speaks to my character he'd better speak back.

The art style was a vast improvement as well. The first game looked beautiful but generic. I can best describe my impressions of it as Oblivion: lightly singed edition. DA2's art style had just that STYLE. It set it apart from other fantasy games. Yes areas were reused but the game had a much smaller scope than the first one. It would have been more jarring to me if the area HAD been completely different every time I went into the same cave.

Combat in DA:O was clearly designed for PC first and once I got used to it I could do ok but as a console gamer I was never really comfortable with it. Any game that uses an auto attack feature while I'm left to just trigger spells and abilities when the cooldowns run out I cannot get into fully. It felt like I was paying WoW. And I HATED WoW. DA2's more action oriented gameplay was actually fun and I felt like I was having more of an impact. was it button mashy? Of course it was but literally ANY basic attack command is better than auto attacking.

The plot in DA:O was of course epic and huge in scope. But in the end it had to be in order to build the world. On DA2 they took a chance on a more personal story of one man's rise to power and his struggle to find his place in an unfamiliar city. It didn't need to be a massive epic tale. It was a character study, and in my opinion a rather good one.

Sorry I went so long but I just really enjoyed the game and have never really understood the hate. But then I will always admit that everyone is entitled to their opinion.

all the zones were constantly reused and there wasn't much of an overall story but I loved the revamped combat and the frenemy thing. It seemed like they just streamlined and removed a lot of the junk and clutter. But when I hear things like "Completely destroyed the in-game universe" I get a little curious.

More or less. It was a decent game with some flaws, but some people like to go overboard with hyperbole.

For the record I enjoyed Dragon Age II More then Origins. Though I understand all the great points people have for origins, I just liked II more. Most people are just hurt that the second one wasn't like the first in many ways. For me, fun will always win out, and I had more fun with II.

Well, here goes, why not.

1. The Plot. There is none. The game is about Hawke's rise to power, but that's not a plot. It's a character arc. The hero's rise is an intrinsic element of any classical fantasy tale. However, his/her rise must always be driven by some main, overriding plot. Taking that arc out and trying to make the story just about that might work in some story types, but not in a linear, structured narrative.

2. Combat. There were actually a couple things wrong with the combat, so I'm breaking it down into subgroups.

a. Mechanics. The combat this time around was designed to be faster, more impressive and more engaging to the player. For many people it failed all but the faster part. Stating why it failed is a matter for opinion I suppose, but I think it was because it was trying to be two combat systems at once. Part of the game was trying to be a brawler, with button presses required for each attack/skill use. The other part of the game was trying to be more like Origins: tactical party-based combat. Trying to be both of these things, I feel, made the combat lacking all around. It didn't have the control and finesse that good brawlers do, but it couldn't be a good tactical game because of many of the mechanics (speed, lack of to-hit, etc.).

A parallel I like to draw is the difference between the Witcher 1 and the Witcher 2. The two games had radically different combat systems, but fans didn't begrudge the switch because the developers went the whole way and made it a damn good brawler. Furthermore, combat in the Witcher 2 still felt like the Witcher 1, even though it had a radically different system, because of how it was presented. Which brings me to the next topic:

b. Presentation. Combat is disturbingly poorly presented in DA2. There is hardly any build up to most of the fights, for one thing. If you do anything but walk around the city in the daytime you will be attacked, but the battles are over as fast as they began and no weight or consequences are ever attached. This makes them feel incredibly artificial, like they're happening in another dimension or something.

Enemies also have no impact since most of them are nameless, faceless, nobodies that are jsut there to make Hawke look awesome. There are also too many of them. A tough fight in Origins might have a single mage backed by four warriors, but DA2 never presents a challenge unless there's a boss and a dozen cannon fodders. This goes further to making to the fights seem artificial.

The last thing the game fumbles with the presentation is the animations. They're incredibly visceral, fast-paced, and cool-looking... for the first couple of hours. Then they just start feeling overdone and boring. There's no sense of weight to the character's movements, and the way they swing their weapons makes it look like they're using blow-ups rather than real weapons. It's the final nail in the coffin for making the fights seem fake.

On the other hand, the magic effects and models look much nicer than they did in origins.

3. Characters. the final thing I'll talk about are the characters. One of the big changes this time was the main character had both a set name and a voice. Yet, somehow they managed to have less personality than the characters I played in Origins. I think a large part of that is tied to the fact that there is less dialogue this time. Since the voice actors had to record 3 responses to everything someone said, the writers seemed to compensate by giving fewer chances to respond and shorter lines.

Another reason might be that all responses this time around (or nearly all) had to be shoe-horned into the Nice, Sarcastic, and Asshole categories. This meant there could be no more than three responses to anything, and they all had to fit their predetermined roles. Origins, on the other hand, could have a multitude of responses, and they left it up to the player to decide whether the character added a sarcastic tilt to it.

Which brings me to the voice actors themselves. They both suck. Moving on. No seriously, the voice actors for Hawke (both genders) are easily the worst of the main cast. Why? Why do that?

Anyway, the only other thing I'll say about the characters is that it was very hard for me to care about my companions since most of them had no logical reason to follow me around. Especially if they didn't like me. In fact, my first meeting with Anders went very badly since I thought he was an ass for leaving the wardens. Yet, despite my snide remarks and his open hostility he was more than willing to follow me around and obey orders. I also never took Aveline since THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD TO BE FOLLOWING ME AROUND TOWN SHE HAS A VERY DEMANDING JOB SHE DOESN'T HAVE THE TIME!!!!


Despite all that I did enjoy DA2. It's a decent game, if nothing else. It just makes a number of mistakes that I largely think is the result of not enough development time. It would probably have seemed better if it wasn't a sequel to a much better game. I'll be interested to see if BioWare can turn things around with the third installment, or if they'll just do a rush job to milk whatever is left of name recognition with the series.

Honestly... If you can completely disregard Dragon Age Origins. You'll probably enjoy the game.

They were trying too hard to be Mass Effect but it doesn't reduce the game to utter shit.

Because it was a shoddy expansion turned sequel.

Well one thing is it shouldn't be called Dragon Age (Drama Age would probably be more accurate), but then you get to the low and cheap content, shallow combat, meager story,...

If they made it half price and put it out as a new IP I would say it's a pretty decent atempt, but instead it was a cheap IP cash grab so it is pretty horrific.

Having environments being reused was really annoying and a sign of laziness.

No sense of exploration.

I didn't like that you can't change the armor of your companions.

Save the Mages, save the Templars, doesn't matter either way, you get to fight both of the bosses and there is only one ending with no variation. DA:O handled the epilogue much better.

For a game called Dragon Age 2, it had very little to do with Dragon Age 1. There were a couple of minor characters that were in both games and aside from some similar themes, that was it. The stories were completely independent. Frankly, I was hoping DA2 was going to show what happened to the Morrigan and her baby. You know the one that has the soul of old god in it.

Rehashed zones and mobs. A plot so thin it's starting to tear.

I'll put in spoilers for those that haven't played...

Overall it was the product of a rushed game that tried changing too much too quickly while using a script penned by a pissed Sloth.

Dragon Age Origins paved the way for what could have been a great series. It just seems they took what some of us loved about Origins and threw it out to be replaced with tripe.

Now if you can overlook the constant reuse of the same dungeons and warhouses, the shit over arching plot and the rushed feel, then it isn't a bad game. It has decent gameplay and some good characters but that is it.

But above all else, it wasn't a sequel. It didn't follow on and had virtually nothing to do with Origins. I get they want to change characters every game (you get a new one in DA3) but it's hard to give a shit when you know they are going to vanish at the end.

The problem is mostly "They changed it now it sucks" outrage leading to people idealising Origins to an absurd degree, while blowing DA2's legitimate flaws out of proportion.

They are both games that manage to be very good, despite large flaws.

I liked the revamped combat they did on consoles.


But the rest of the game was shit. It was clearly rushed. And my God, the writing was terrible. Every thing from the overarching story (if the game really had one) to the single sentences characters threw out was just TERRIBLE. Down there with the worst I have heard/read in an RPG.

I think it was the expectations - people were (probably rightfully) expecting a game that is like Origins, only newer.

I myself enjoyed it thoroughly and have re-played it more often than Origins. Good thing they did away with the voiceless protagonist, and I loved the characters; those I didn't love I loved to hate.

They took DA:O and turned it into Fable.

That's about it in a nutshell.


There are many reasons, but primarily it's because EA forced them to rush it out when it was pretty much incomplete. They copied and pasted the same dungeons constantly, you couldn't talk to your companions as much as you could in Origins and the story was horribly paced. IMO and many others anyway.

It butchers the great lore and art style of Dragon Age Origins.

The weapons and armour were stupid and had no weight.

Combat was crap and out of an anime, no tactics involved.

Story was boring and static.

Didn't have the atmosphere of the first game.

Choices had no consequences.

Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

I can't really add anything new to what's already been said, but I think it's all very objective. I didn't hate Dragon Age 2, the problem was that I loved Origins. I missed the character relationships, the detailed interactions and a few other things. But 2 brought fresh and slightly better combat, rather pretty graphics and a fairly intriguing story rooted in Grey Vs. Grey morality. And yet, I still prefer Origins.
I just think that Dragon Age 2 went in a very different way to it's predecessor and it shows. Whether it's "bad" or not is purely based on opinion, but I can see what those who claim it is are saying.

Basically this:


Yes, why the fuck does Isabella HAVE FUCKING LICH HANDS? And your sister? And your mother? Half the women in the game HAVE FUCKING LICH HANDS...

Basically this:


And these also sum it up:


Also make sure to read my Review for a detailed answer, although bear in mind I tried to be as "objective" as I possibly could at that time and my memories of it are even worse than that: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.271648-Dragon-Age-2-A-Review

First things first. You don't like the change in aesthetics. So what a lot of people don't.
Secondly you gave the game a 5.7/10 and call it bad. Well hate to break it to you but 5-7 is average 8-9 is good 10 is amazing. If you want to call a game bad then it needs at least a 3/10.
Is DA2 worse than DA:O that is Yes. But does that make it a BAD game. No it doesn't


Is DA2 worse than DA:O that is Yes. But does that make it a BAD game. No it doesn't

Yeah, the bad writing, gameplay, artstyle, and level-design are what make it a bad game.

When it was first conceived DA2 was supposed to be an expansion to DA:O. Remember, the overall plotlines for the DA universe were sketched out before the programming work on DA:O actually began. Essentially it was meant to introduce the character of Hawke and set up the justification for the shattering of the Templar/Mage status quo. But then EA went, we want a full sequel now and not several years down the road. And things got ugly. They churned out the game in a year and a half, and the quality REALLY suffered for it.

1) Schizophrenic story. 1st act is a waste of time, game ends in act 2, start new story in act 3.

2) Unlikeable characters. When the Kaiden of your game is one of the better characters, you have a problem.

3) ADHD combat trying to pretend it's tactical

4) Cartoonish art style

5) Reused and boring environments



Is DA2 worse than DA:O that is Yes. But does that make it a BAD game. No it doesn't

Yeah, the bad writing, gameplay, artstyle, and level-design are what make it a bad game.

even with all those faults the person I had originally quoted only gave the game a 5.7 which IS NOT A BAD SCORE despite how people view scores right now. If its such a bad game then why the hell is it not a 3 or 4?




Is DA2 worse than DA:O that is Yes. But does that make it a BAD game. No it doesn't

Yeah, the bad writing, gameplay, artstyle, and level-design are what make it a bad game.

even with all those faults the person I had originally quoted only gave the game a 5.7 which IS NOT A BAD SCORE despite how people view scores right now. If its such a bad game then why the hell is it not a 3 or 4?

Ah, so you have a gripe with the scoring system, not the idea of Dragon Age 2 being a bad game. Don't mind me, then.

Because it was God of War Effect not Dragon age 2. Dragon age: Origins was one of my favorite games and then Dragon age 2 comes along, I am so excited and then I get THIS! It is mediocre at best and that doesn't fly in a Bioware game. Well, at least until EA took over.


Secondly you gave the game a 5.7/10 and call it bad. Well hate to break it to you but 5-7 is average 8-9 is good 10 is amazing. If you want to call a game bad then it needs at least a 3/10.
Is DA2 worse than DA:O that is Yes. But does that make it a BAD game. No it doesn't



Despite all of its faults and blemishes it is not a total disaster or necessarily a bad game like some people make it out to be and in parts even shows promise that it can have a stronger story and narrative than DA:O, if you have the ability to wear blinders towards all of its shortcomings and focus mostly on the characters and dialogue of the main storyline you might actually end up enjoying it...
Other than that, it isn't really on par with customary Bioware quality standards one has come to expect and I'd give it a 5.7/10 , really Bioware?

Sounds like he's saying it isn't a BAD game to me.

On topic, never played it but hated the first one so maybe I'll enjoy this version. I'll see if GAME has a copy for a fiver tomorrow.

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