Why so much hate for Dragon Age 2?

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I don't get it either, to be honest. While there are points about it I don't like, I find that it ties with Origins in terms of general quality.
I liked the character of Hawke (and, yes, I know that can be variable depending on your responses), Varric and, to a certain extent, Merill and Isabella. Being confined to Kirkwall wasn't a great design choice as were the dungeons being repeated a lot, but I found the combat animations absolutely amazing and just that made it more fun to play than Origins' combat.

Cecilo:

Frozengale:
Origins isn't that great of a game. But for some reason everyone loves it to death. Dragon Age 2 was a rushed sequel which switched things up and angered the nerds. CHANGE BAD! That's all you need to know for why people hate Dragon Age 2.

Honestly I found Dragon Age 2 to be more interesting then Dragon Age : Origins. Origins felt like I was picking up an encyclopedia, lots of interesting stuff explained in a boring contrived manner. Dragon Age 2 felt more like one of those crappy Fantasy books. Where a lot of the time it misses the mark, but sometimes it just does something so interesting that you sit there and go... well that was actually fun.

Both have flaws a plenty, but I tend to overlook DA2 flaws because the parts that work in DA2 are so fantastic and fun. Where as DA:O while interesting and a good experience tends to trudge through mediocrity.

The way I like to see it is that anyone that prefers Origins to DA2 hates things that are fun and interesting.

In all honesty, I like them both. But DA2 holds a special place in my heart for being the first game to create a character that I actually found interesting and endearing.

It isn't just that change is bad. It is that change for the sake of change is bad. Change for the better is quite nice, and often accepted after a brief period of hate. But Dragon Age 2 does not offer up positive change. It changes the combat to appeal to more people, not because more people asked for it, but because they wanted to draw more people in who weren't going to buy the game in the first place.

It's story is pretty decent, and the characters in both DA:O and DA2 I felt were fine, they had personalities of their own, though again in both I could have done with a bit less "This is my way of thinking, It will never change, if you don't like it don't bring me along". At times it felt more like I was doing things I wouldn't do just to please my party members, because their approval made them do better in combat.

Really when it comes down to it, it's all subjective. People will always hate things, If you want to find out if you like it or not, the only real way to tell is to play it for yourself. No one else can tell you if a game is good or bad.

Change for changes sake is bad, yes. But it wasn't for changes sake. It was to clean up the combat, make it flow better, and to give a better feel to the way you can build and play characters. I personally think the combat is one of the few almost flawless things in the game. It's fun, its exciting, it's strategic, it's just all around good. DA:O combat was fun at times but only on boss battles really, the rest was boring and irritating. Even the boss battles could drag on and become irritating.

Everyone always says "OH BIOWARE IS JUST TRYING TO MAKE COMBAT APPEAL TO MORE PEOPLE!" And to that I say, "GOOD IDEA!" Making your game enjoyable to a lot of people is a good idea. The one thing that I have viewed in every Bioware sequel is that they try to streamline the annoying spreadsheet style management that some people have a hard on for and make it more around choices having a bigger impact. Big impact combat choices are much better then 1000x tiny choices having the same impact. As far as I've seen Bioware is getting better and better when it comes to combat. Button Mashing aside.

Frozengale:
Change for changes sake is bad, yes. But it wasn't for changes sake. It was to clean up the combat, make it flow better, and to give a better feel to the way you can build and play characters. I personally think the combat is one of the few almost flawless things in the game. It's fun, its exciting, it's strategic, it's just all around good. DA:O combat was fun at times but only on boss battles really, the rest was boring and irritating. Even the boss battles could drag on and become irritating.

This is both true and blatantly false at the same time.

DA2's combat was, simultaneously, amazing and absolutely horrendous. On the one hand, the core combat mechanics are really, really well done. It flows great, there's some real depth to be had with the effect-combo system, everything felt right, the controls were responsive, etc etc. I could go on all day about it.

Unfortunately... the combat encounters in DA2 were so horrifically bad that it's a struggle just to enjoy the combat mechanics. Almost every single encounter in the game boils down to: Walk into room. When you get to the center, you trigger combat. Wave after wave after wave after wave of mooks spawn from every direction and run straight at you. The only viable tactic is to stand in a clump in the middle of the room and AOE spam until everything is dead.

If they had kept DA:O's thing of a set, obvious-ahead-of-time style encounters, where you could actually take advantage of the fancy, deep combat system with clever use of tactics, it would have been fantastic. As it is, it's a painful slog with a few brief moments of fun.

The combat mechanics are one of the few things DA2 got right. Just about everything else (except Varric) is as close to objectively terrible as a piece of entertainment can be.

Agayek:

Frozengale:
Change for changes sake is bad, yes. But it wasn't for changes sake. It was to clean up the combat, make it flow better, and to give a better feel to the way you can build and play characters. I personally think the combat is one of the few almost flawless things in the game. It's fun, its exciting, it's strategic, it's just all around good. DA:O combat was fun at times but only on boss battles really, the rest was boring and irritating. Even the boss battles could drag on and become irritating.

This is both true and blatantly false at the same time.

DA2's combat was, simultaneously, amazing and absolutely horrendous. On the one hand, the core combat mechanics are really, really well done. It flows great, there's some real depth to be had with the effect-combo system, everything felt right, the controls were responsive, etc etc. I could go on all day about it.

Unfortunately... the combat encounters in DA2 were so horrifically bad that it's a struggle just to enjoy the combat mechanics. Almost every single encounter in the game boils down to: Walk into room. When you get to the center, you trigger combat. Wave after wave after wave after wave of mooks spawn from every direction and run straight at you. The only viable tactic is to stand in a clump in the middle of the room and AOE spam until everything is dead.

If they had kept DA:O's thing of a set, obvious-ahead-of-time style encounters, where you could actually take advantage of the fancy, deep combat system with clever use of tactics, it would have been fantastic. As it is, it's a painful slog with a few brief moments of fun.

The combat mechanics are one of the few things DA2 got right. Just about everything else (except Varric) is as close to objectively terrible as a piece of entertainment can be.

Yes I agree that the never ending battles got old really fast. It was obviously there to make you be more strategic about how you engage but they threw it in there so often that it became a chore. Honestly if it was just ONE reinforcement wave every 4 or 5 battles then it would have been fine, most likely.

Frozengale:
Yes I agree that the never ending battles got old really fast. It was obviously there to make you be more strategic about how you engage but they through it in there so often that it became a chore. Honestly if it was just ONE reinforcement wave every 4 or 5 battles then it would have been fine, most likely.

Nah, it was less the actual reinforcements and more that the enemies literally don't exist until after combat starts.

If you don't know what you're facing, you can't plan for it. If you can't plan for it, you can't employ strategy. If you can't employ strategy, all you can do is mindlessly push buttons and hope it doesn't get you killed.

They could have easily have had the same number of enemies to kill, even triggering in waves in most cases, as long as the player could see them coming and could devise plans for it. It would have been preferable to have less mooks and more tougher opponents, but if you really want the player to feel like a badass (which the rest of the game seems to imply they wanted), nothing's better than mook waves.

They just needed them not to spawn after combat already started.

I also do not hate Dragon Age 2. It's pretty good if you want your pretty fighting moves and particle effect fix, along with some jrpg-ish characters and dating sim gameplay.

Ohh about the part where even my own MOTHER who was the one that played the games was able to notice that ALL THE FUCKING DUNGEONS AND CAVES WERE THE FUCKING SAME!

Seriously, she liked the narrative overall but Dragon Age 2 was terrible to the point where my mom who loved the first one just didn't like the second one because of how noticeable the content was just constantly re-used.

Dragon Age 2 was very bad compared to Dragon Age: Origins.
- The combat was quicker and more spectacular, but IMHO too spectacular (exploding bodies from a backstab?).
- The waves of enemies, spawning out of thin air, threw every thought about protecting your mages out of the window.
- The characters were very annoying and differed a lot from their DA:O counterparts. Anders for example was really nice in Dragon Age Awakening and I loved his quirky humour. He was a good replacement for Alistair. In DA2 he became a whiny, possessed mage with terrorist tendencies. I hated his changed personality so much that I killed him off. Merrill was a stupid naïve elf, and should not have been a love interest. The only character I did like was Varric.
- The main character was bland
- The art direction was bad: I hated what they've done with the Qunari. Sten was a really cool character in Dragon Age: Origins due to his dry remarks and he looked normal. In DA2 the Qunari were changed to some kind of demonic giants.
- The story was bad. First story was going on a treasure hunt, second story the growing tension between Qunari and humans, the third about Mages and Templars. At the end of the game I didn't feel Hawke had accomplished much except getting a champion's armour, and getting filthy rich.
- Speaking of armour, why did they remove the option of equipping the other characters. I liked how I could put my old Blood Dragon armour on Alistair, while I got my new Black armour instead. In DA2 this option was removed.,
- The ending was bad. I hated how both choices were bad choices. The templars were evil, but so were the mages. It felt like my actions had no effect at all.
- The blatant reuse of the same dungeon, over and over again is inexcusable.
- No mod kit what so ever. What made the PC-version of DA:O really great were the mods. I liked how you could change the appearance of the characters. You could even install a nude mod if you were into that kind of thing! Dragon Age 2 had none of that.
- The DLC was really not that good. Dragon Age Origins had at least a few short extra missions and an expansion which mad it a bigger game. DA2 only had the Julian DLC which was no more than Day 1 DLC, and a few weapon packs.

The game is bad, if you compare it to its predecessor. It's abominable if you compare it to real RPG's like Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment.

After this disappointment I set my hopes on ME3, hoping that it was a onetime mistake of Bioware. Sadly... it wasn't.

I don't intend to read the whole thread, just to check if someone else have alreadt written what I'm about to say, so here it goes.

Dragon Age 2 isn't a bad game... If it wasn't for the fact that it was made to follow Dragon Age Origins.
I mean, DA:2 didn't have huge problems any more than ME:3, since they just seemed so much the same.

My main problem with DA:2 was the simple fact that: No matter what I chose, it would always end in the same! I side with the Mages and I end up killing them. I side with the Templars and BAM! I slice the throat of the knight-commander.
No matter what I did in the game, it all ended in some kind of repeating story...

Which is also the reason for me not being able to complete the game more than once.

As others have mentioned, a lot of the hate stems from DA:O providing such a superb base to build on yet Bioware choosing to dismantle and change that base as opposed to building on it. Honestly, all they really needed to do was tweak the graphics slightly, tweak the combat very slightly (add Warrior area attacks like in DA:A) and just expand on the story.

Instead they used DA:2 for a testing ground of new ideas, most of which didn't work and, it not only made for a poorer game, but it also drew a line in the sand between Bioware and it's fans. How? It essentially sent the message that Bioware were more interested in appeasing it's masters at EA than them, by subscribing to the logic of "Mass Effect sold to the masses, so apply a Mass Effect template to DA for sales" - A move which was mind-numbingly stupid, and which I dare say many genuine Bioware employees warned their employers about (Brent Knowles?).

Also, Bioware's determination to stand it's ground on issues such as a voice protagonist and dialogue wheel is alienating fans further. I'm just playing - and loving - Fallout: New Vegas, FF5 and DA:O (again), is there really any need for a voiced protagonist? None of them have one and they are all amazing. When we see money and resources spent on things such as a voiced protag, yet receive a game where the same environments are used over and over, it just shows poor resource allocation IMO.

But, as a game, DA:2 isn't THAT bad.....is it?

Well, for me it is. Key elements which make it pap for me are........

1) Out of context atmosphere.
When the Darkspawn turn up looking and moving like Jackie Chan extras and rogues spin-kick potions at opponents how anyone can be anything other than detached from a fantasy RPG feel is beyond me. Seriously, how this wasn't spotted in 3 seconds of play, never mind making it to the final game, is unreal. That's not to mention the spiky armour, crap backdrops, and overall blandness throughout the game. It just has very little FRPG about it, and if you're creating a fantasy RPG then basing it on FRPG elements and not 70's kung-fu movies shouldn't be that hard a piece of logic to get your head around or implement.

2) Crap combat.
Wave upon boring wave of tactic-less button mashing is not good. Even more so because within 2 seconds you suss that applying a Mass Effect style, action-based, combat system to an essentially tactics system falls flat on it's arse without either the challenge of a targeting mechanic, or the rhythm of a block & riposte function. Essentially all they did was remove the need to think, and replace it with nothing but the need to mash on a button. Very poor.

3) Dire story and setting.
Seriously, at what point does this ever feel remotely epic? The ending maybe? You're just an errand boy and at no point do you ever get any real emotional rush, good or bad. The story shifts so much between chapters that it feels random, and you don't ever develop and real connection with anything.

And tied in with the context issue, to create a world where the combat, uniforms, and characters are OTT and slightly wacky, but then try and set the tone of the game as a gritty, earthy, downtrodden one where back-ally rucks are it's mainstay just totally goes against all that. I could buy into the OTT combat if I was fighting a dragon on a cliff foot 500ft in the air, leaping from ledge to ledge in an overly-fantastical array of moves. Spin-kicking potions in a dull back-ally for the 50th time is not only boring, it contradicts what it sets out to be.

Oh and let's not forget the busty, slutty pirate leader who bares all as often as possible, but who also spends months at sea with a crewful of drunken vagabons who's very job description is to rape and murder others. Yeah, that ship would be nothing but smooth sailing lol.

4) Hawke.
What a tit. A schizophrenic tit who's not only about as likeable as a clag-nut, but who also does a 180o u-turn in his personality every time you switch between dialogue options.

There are many other failings in the game, but they are they key one's and I think the reason that it's hated so much is because so many of said key issues are so simple/basic, and so easily avoidable.

I liked what they were trying to do. Telling a story of a man who isn't pre destined to do something great. But who is sort of thrown into it against his wishes. Doing what he must to build a life for him and his family. I liked that part of the game. Eventhough the first act: collect x amount of gold at a very tedious rate, kinda sucked :).

What they didn't do right was the following. You had like 5 different dungeons which got reused 100 times over. That is just you being lazy. I wouldn't mind revisiting a dungeon after 10 years in game have passed. But not every fucking time.

Combat sucked. I don't hate console's, for same games they work perfectly. But DA origins was developed for pc users and had a much better combat system. DA2 just had a crappy combat system. It reminded me of god of war ffs. A lot of people would say it was more fluid. Yeah... in a sense that it required no strategy whatsoever and was mainly just a button mashup. I liked that you had to pause the game and issue orders in the first DA. Strategy baldur's gate style. This just doesn't fit with a RPG. But thats my opinion. If someone else liked it, that is theirs.

The fucking loading times...

Overall it felt like a rushed out game with a crystal core, wrapped in shit. They wanted it to be playable by a broader community (I got nothing against that bit), but in doing so destroyed core gameplay. The game's story felt like a prologue to the third dragon age, rather than being a story that can stand on its own and lead up to the next chapter.

Conclusion: it sucked and i'll be very wary off buying DA3

Firstly, I love the game, but even I have some issues, I'll stick to character comments (lets ignore the reused area chat)

There's the good,
Fenris: I like his backstory and he doesn't immediately want to jump into bed with you (unlike most of the other companions)
Varric: Always in my party, tells good stories, doesn't kiss you're arse (or you... damn shame!)
Aveline: Solid character, good fighter and seems to care in a "big sister" kind of way.
Bethany: less annoying than her twin, (who I end up with more often as I tend to play DAII as a mage)

The bad,
Anders: Annoyingly annoying.
Merrill: Everyone she cares about dies.... and it's all her fault!
Anders: Did he invent hair dye? his eyebrowns are black and his hair is blond!
Isabela: put em' away love, I'm not interested.
Anders: I've spoken to you once and you're bithcing at my boyfriend that "you'd be better for me" Go jump off a cliff!

Mausthemighty:

- The story was bad. First story was going on a treasure hunt, second story the growing tension between Qunari and humans, the third about Mages and Templars. At the end of the game I didn't feel Hawke had accomplished much except getting a champion's armour, and getting filthy rich.

I pretty much agree with you 100% on everything you said except for the bit I didn't cut out. I agree that the story wasn't what it should have been. But what I did like about it was that Hawke was never supposed to be a 'hero'. Not in the traditional sense of a hero anyways. He was just a man trying to flee with his family and start a new life. In happenstance he becomes someone of importance in the city. And at the end he is thrown in the centre of a tragedy. Not because he really chooses to be there. Rather because he doesn't really have a choice.

That is the core of the story for me anyways. The execution of the story however does suck. Your choices don't really matter. You are just along for the ride. But I do like the concept they were trying out. If that matters for anything at all :).

It's my BioWare favourite. The Isabela/Aveline relationship alone is the best thing to ever come out of that studio.
It's also one of few games to explore a theme of disempowerment, something I'd love to see a lot more of. Shame the marketing tried to sell it as something completely different. The game was infinitely more interesting than anyone had any reason to expect.

I love DA. Played through it 6 times.
I also like DA2. It has its fair share of problems like the dungeon recycling, the much smaller scale or the enemy wave mechanics and fewer dialogues. Therefore it is a step down from DA which makes it a disappointment. However I genuinely believe it is still a decent game, not great or anything but simply okay.
Some things are just blown out of proportion e.g. the change in the combat system. If you compare it to DA the only thing they really changed is that they cut the activation/cast times and the isometric view which I have to admit I did not use that much in DA. All in all I liked the combat in DA2 better because of the missing activation times it was more fluently what put the dent in the fun was the wave mechanic and the lack of tactics due to the lackluster AI but tbh DA was plagued by the last two as well.
It had some pretty good moments e.g. the first time around I had Bethany with me in dwarven ruins without Anders. Her death came out of the blue nor can you influence it in any kind of way after you made you choice on who travels with you but it kinda paid off despite being a little bit constructed.
I also felt that your companions were fine. There was nothing game breaking there.
The art I even consider to be improved. Finally Elves and Quanri look really distinguished from humans. Thanks to the personalized armor designs of your companions the diversity was better there as well (too much copy paste designs in DA:O) though I agree that being unable to completely equip your companions is a step back.
Anyway I enjoyed DA2. Not as much as DA:O nor do I think DA2 is a great game. But someone saying DA2 is the worst game ever has either no idea how low quality can get or is simply a hater. Either way it is not worth discussing with someone like this.

I hope BioWare takes some complains too heart and improves for DA3.
E.g. I don't need a voiced protagonists. Instead give me more dialogue options as it was with DA:O. A more open and none linear approach in map design would also be greatly appreciated give me a chance to exploit terrain or formations. Do not recycle maps. The combat mechanics themselves are fine IMO but abolish the waves and improve the AI tenfold so not every fight is a cluster fuck e.g. split up groups and give them a certain visual range and field.
Give me a group of 4 because then I can mix up my party better. With a party of 3 I'm bound to the holy trinity unable to change the set up even in the slightest way.
Give us mod tools on the PC, mods for DA:O were great!
And so and so forth...

Images:
The reason why it gets a lot of "ITS THE WORST" isn't that its the worst game ever made but it was one of the worst disappointments in recent years in almost every respect. Even ME3 was great in so many ways up until that ending.

This is, honestly, the reason. The game isn't, all told, actually bad. The sins people point to are committed in some form or fashion by the first. The problem is that the game isn't what DA:O fans wanted. It basically suffers from Invisible War syndrome. That game, also, wasn't really a bad one; it just wasn't the game a Deus Ex fan wanted from the franchise.

Ishigami:

I hope BioWare takes some complains too heart and improves for DA3.
E.g. I don't need a voiced protagonists. Instead give me more dialogue options as it was with DA:O. A more open and none linear approach in map design would also be greatly appreciated give me a chance to exploit terrain or formations. Do not recycle maps. The combat mechanics themselves are fine IMO but abolish the waves and improve the AI tenfold so not every fight is a cluster fuck e.g. split up groups and give them a certain visual range and field.
Give me a group of 4 because then I can mix up my party better. With a party of 3 I'm bound to the holy trinity unable to change the set up even in the slightest way.
Give us mod tools on the PC, mods for DA:O were great!
And so and so forth...

Unfortunately Bioware have already confirmed that they are going with a voiced protagonist again for DA:3 (Inquisition). I've no problem with that if it's done well and doesn't effect other areas of the game, but I'm obviously skeptical as it didn't work before.

Also, you can only be a human again and the dialogue wheel returns (so less chance of more dialogue options).

They are however looking to implement a more open-world design.

Eclectic Dreck:

Images:
The reason why it gets a lot of "ITS THE WORST" isn't that its the worst game ever made but it was one of the worst disappointments in recent years in almost every respect. Even ME3 was great in so many ways up until that ending.

This is, honestly, the reason. The game isn't, all told, actually bad. The sins people point to are committed in some form or fashion by the first. The problem is that the game isn't what DA:O fans wanted. It basically suffers from Invisible War syndrome. That game, also, wasn't really a bad one; it just wasn't the game a Deus Ex fan wanted from the franchise.

Sorry, but for reasons stated in my long post above I'd still say the game was a average RPG at best.

Your right in what you say though, the backlash was certainly made worse due to expectations not only been missed, but missed by some distance. However I still think DA:2 is a "meh" game at best.

A summary would be:

- Re-used levels, that were pretending to be something else. That is to say, they used the same warehouse, but put it in a different location and a different name. Rather than simply going back to it. Considering the city itself was pretty damn small, it made the game feel very small.

- The story lacked pacing. The three chapters feel very disjointed. I didn't feel that it was so bad between the first and second. But the second and third felt like they were hammered together. The third chapter was completely underwhelming as well.

- The lack of obvious consequences. Being an apostate mage made no difference. Nor did being an apostate blood mage. Both of these should have drastically changed the events of the game considering how the Templars treated even the most innocent of legal mages.

- Two choices, both providing the same outcome. Pretty much everything you choose to do has the same consequence, bar a line or two of dialogue. If a choice doesn't affect anything, it may as well not be there.

- The combat was too over the top. Personally I quite liked the mechanics more than Origins, but the visual aspect felt like an extreme anime. Enemies would explode into a bloody mess when you stabbed them with daggers, for example. The two handed swords also belonged in a JRPG. Plus the magically appearing waves of enemies.

- Most of the companions lacked any subtlety and were pretty much stereotypes and clichés. Except Varric, who is quite possibly the best video game companion ever.

- Auto-dialoge. Sadly they have said this will be in DA3 as well. Putting words into our characters mouths stops them from being "our" characters. People don't want their own personal character expressing opinions and desires that may contradict the character they have created.

ThriKreen:
Would it have been better if instead of being advertised as *2*, implying a sequel, instead it had a subtitle like the first one, like say "DA: Kirkwall" or "DA:Hawke's Story"? And DA3 being "DA: Inquisition"?

So it might alleviate the thoughts it was a sequel as opposed to another story in the same setting?

In some ways I think that may have helped.

Some people would have no doubt still complained, but I think it is generally accepted that sequels tend to follow in the same "mould" as the game before it. Dragon Age 2 tried to be something different I think.

Personally I don't hate the game, and it didn't bother me, I just felt that it needed another year in development to be above average.

gyrobot:
It was supposed to be called Dragon Age: Exodus

Fun dev fact: sometimes game projects have a code name for the initial development phase until a proper game title has been decided on, so you'd often seen legacy resources referencing it as it might not have been caught and removed or renamed in time. Not saying you're right or wrong, just that one should be careful and take legacy references like that with a grain of salt.

Although from some digging around, that subtitle existed in some script reference here and there, and it had a logo.

I can't comment on why they went from Exodus to 2, other than maybe the game's themes itself didn't have much to do with an exodus at all (haven't played it), and there wasn't any good alternatives to use so they stuck with 2. Or it was a PR move to get people to buy it thinking it's a sequel.

Legion:

Some people would have no doubt still complained, but I think it is generally accepted that sequels tend to follow in the same "mould" as the game before it. Dragon Age 2 tried to be something different I think.

Yes, that's my thinking, they should have stuck with a subtitle to temper expectations. One would notice there's no need for a subtitle for ME1 to 3, since it's all of the same character and story. Even the DA:Awakening expansion had a subtitle, as it could have the Grey Warden continue their story, or a new one.

Legion:
Personally I don't hate the game, and it didn't bother me, I just felt that it needed another year in development to be above average.

Remember to add a year of dev to your estimates, there's always a stage of planning and prototyping before a game is actually announced. Usually as a small team works on what it would be about, make a sample level of gameplay, a vertical slice, to show to the publishers to insure funding and a green light to start on development. Some sort of roadmap has been made (a game design doc) for the game's progression as well. So a sequel usually goes faster as the engine has been developed and the content creators are used to the tools, the setting is more familiar to the writers, etc. Anything after that though, well... feature creep, planning, scheduling, dev team decided on another direction, who knows.

ThriKreen:
Would it have been better if instead of being advertised as *2*, implying a sequel, instead it had a subtitle like the first one, like say "DA: Kirkwall" or "DA:Hawke's Story"? And DA3 being "DA: Inquisition"?

So it might alleviate the thoughts it was a sequel as opposed to another story in the same setting?

Yes, yes it would. At least, as far as I'm concerned. I didn't mind it as a game, I just don't think it's a sequel. It uses the same universe, some previous characters and references some previous events in the last game...but I don't think it's a sequel. It's not a continuation of Dragon Age: Origins, it's a different story in a different area in Thedas that has little to nothing at all to do with Origins.

One of my least favorite things about the game was the shift in art direction. I really, really did not like how any of the previous characters looked in DA2. Especially Alistair and Zevran. I didn't particularly care for the cast of companions this time around, either. Especially Merrill.

"I'm going to use blood magic and do anything else that's forbidden to learn about Elven history! What? You don't like that? Well fuck you I'm right, not wrong and I'm doing it anyway!"

I'd like Anders more if he wasn't so whiny.

Fenris is a total dickbag about mages, even mages that help him. I can understand his dislike, but Jesus, dude, shut up about me being a mage, already.

Carver's a total twat toward you if you don't actively agree with everything he thinks and says and throws a total hissyfit if he can't convince you.

I didn't have much of a problem with Varric, Isabela or Sebastian, honestly. And I've got nothing to say about Bethany because I've never had her for longer than the intro(My Hawke was always a mage).

Eclectic Dreck:

Images:
The reason why it gets a lot of "ITS THE WORST" isn't that its the worst game ever made but it was one of the worst disappointments in recent years in almost every respect. Even ME3 was great in so many ways up until that ending.

This is, honestly, the reason. The game isn't, all told, actually bad. The sins people point to are committed in some form or fashion by the first. The problem is that the game isn't what DA:O fans wanted. It basically suffers from Invisible War syndrome. That game, also, wasn't really a bad one; it just wasn't the game a Deus Ex fan wanted from the franchise.

Whoa, don't get me wrong, I still think the bad outweighed the good in DA2. It is a badly made game.

Legion:

- The story lacked pacing. The three chapters feel very disjointed. I didn't feel that it was so bad between the first and second. But the second and third felt like they were hammered together. The third chapter was completely underwhelming as well.

Ok im going to admit i did not complete the game so i can comment on act2-3 transition but i thought the change between the first 2 was terrible

if i recall it was 3 years? but whenever you talk to people after that they almost act as though that was the first time you spoke to them in those 3 years which i find so stupid. they all reminisce slightly about meeting you 3 years ago and each one brings up the term "3 years" and no indication is given to ever talking to them or spending time with them. heck even with your own mother who was in the same house does this. it drove me nuts and made me nearly quite right then! however i stayed on for a few more quests before giving up

I think the more important question is why are we still talking about Dragon Age 2? The game is a thousand years old!
On topic; I didn't hate Dragon Age 2. I thought it was fine. I actually beat it 3 times. It is an enjoyable albeit shallow little adventure. I mostly liked playing on Nightmare and making some new builds.

Exius Xavarus:

Carver's a total twat toward you if you don't actively agree with everything he thinks and says and throws a total hissyfit if he can't convince you.

Heh, I actually loved the Carver rivalry. I actually felt like it was one of the most realistic sibling relationships I've seen in a game.

Raikas:

Exius Xavarus:

Carver's a total twat toward you if you don't actively agree with everything he thinks and says and throws a total hissyfit if he can't convince you.

Heh, I actually loved the Carver rivalry. I actually felt like it was one of the most realistic sibling relationships I've seen in a game.

I'd enjoy it more if Carver wasn't such a total child if you didn't do everything how he wanted it. :/

I found that DA2 is much more enjoyable when viewed as a Character drive story not a plot drive. Its been awhile sense i played the game so I can't give and specific example. But the character interaction and the fact that you build your Hawke's personality makes it much more about the characters then the plot.

I have a like/dislike relationship with DA 2. The first and worst problem was the vigorous recycling of maps. It showed a real lack of polish and felt like padding. Having new collectibles show up on the same Hub maps every act is boring and practically punishing the player.

Plus the game is bitchy at times, I recently just replayed DA 2 as a rogue and enemies would frequently be stuck at one HP and just wouldn't freaking die even after four critcal hits.

However, this is just skimming the true issue with Dragon Age 2. The problem with alot of players was the fact that it was like Mass Effect, which isn't really a critcism. I like the conversation wheel in DA2 because it tells you if your being peaceful, neutral (witty), or aggresive. Then it takes it a step further by marking flirty and special options. So thumbs up there; only dumbasses criticize ideas for being unoriginal when it helps the game.

But I'm willing to take it a step further by saying that Dragon Age 2 tried to copy too much from the ME to ME 2 transition. If you will recall, Mass Effect 2 wasn't as much of an RPG as Mass Effect 1, and Dragon Age tries to do the same thing. The gameplay is more fast paced, "Action-ier", and more streamlined than Origins (which I personally like because Origins was freaking slow to the point of players being sick of the area once they were done.) The same could be said about the story as well, I took a mission and then replayed it and was surprised on how quick it actually really was after I skipped all the dialog.

But this has its downsides, and I'm sure the RPG fans of the original criticized it because of the sudden change in speeds.

Onto the real problem for me, I find that both games have abhorrant DLC practices. "Oh, here's a item pack, that will be 3 bucks. We don't want you to go earning your equipment in-game when you can pay us for it." Whoever thinks this is a good decision should be robbed and have their money spent on in-game content for World of Warcraft or something. This should be the reason DA 2 is hated if nothing else.

A lot of the people who hate on DA2 came from Origins, which had a country-spanning, "Save the World," narrative with a large bunch of companions and a great set of DLC.

2 suffered from EA rushing it out and getting its DLC cut so DA3 could be started, but what did come out (Sebastian, Legacy and Mark of The Assassin), are enjoyable stuff. It's also got a smaller narative... which makes sense. Hawke's not a person trying to save the world, they're just trying to get by and get caught in the chaos.

I enjoy it, and recently finished a replay.

I am surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but do we all remember how the game started? Varric is being interrogated by that seeker lady and we are treated to a nice over the top action sequence (in which your sister's boobs are huge, which always makes me laugh). The entire game is framed as Varric telling a story, and we all know that Varric exaggerates all of his stories. They even cut back to Varric throughout the game to remind you of that fact.
Why does Flemith look nothing like she did in Dragon Age 1? Varrik never saw her and he is spicing the up the story.
Why did the combat go from gritty to over the top, blood-flying, back-fliping, wave spawning action? Once again Varrik is telling the story.
Why did every mage in kirkwall seem to practice blood magic? Varric is telling the Templar lady what she wants to hear.
The examples go on and on from there.

Dragon Age 2 doesn't have a contradictory atmosphere, in fact it stays true to itself the entire game. This same thing can be seen, to a lesser extent, in the DAO DCL were you play as Leliana. Not to say the game is without flaws, but it is much, much better than most people think.

I didn't hate it. I just found that I couldn't even finish one playthrough out of sheer tedium.

The game was amazingly boring. Almost every battle had two or three incredibly predictable moments where additional waves would be spawned in like the Putty Patrol. Environment recycling is pretty common for Bioware games but in this one it was almost farcical. The characters were amazingly dull, the story was urbane and typified by obnoxious melodrama and pretensions towards meta-narrative. None of the loot ever elicited a response greater than 'Huh.'

So when I stepped outside my character's house one in-game morning and noticed his torso had become invisible for the billionth time thanks to some graphical bug, I just closed the game and went back to flicking paperclips into the dustbin for amusement.

tealc25:
I am surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but do we all remember how the game started? Varric is being interrogated by that seeker lady and we are treated to a nice over the top action sequence (in which your sister's boobs are huge, which always makes me laugh). The entire game is framed as Varric telling a story, and we all know that Varric exaggerates all of his stories. They even cut back to Varric throughout the game to remind you of that fact.
Why does Flemith look nothing like she did in Dragon Age 1? Varrik never saw her and he is spicing the up the story.
Why did the combat go from gritty to over the top, blood-flying, back-fliping, wave spawning action? Once again Varrik is telling the story.
Why did every mage in kirkwall seem to practice blood magic? Varric is telling the Templar lady what she wants to hear.
The examples go on and on from there.

Dragon Age 2 doesn't have a contradictory atmosphere, in fact it stays true to itself the entire game. This same thing can be seen, to a lesser extent, in the DAO DCL were you play as Leliana. Not to say the game is without flaws, but it is much, much better than most people think.

Someone at Bioware dusted off a Lit Theory 101 textbook and turned to the entry for 'unreliable narrator'. That doesn't make the game better, it makes it pretentious.

Dragon Age 2 is a game I initially defended. I'm a rabid fan of the original, having put more hours into it than any other game including Skyrim, so I pre-ordered it and expected nothing less than the second coming of Andraste, Jesus, and the first coming of The Great Pumpkin all rolled into one. And when I got it... I was disappointed in the extreme. And over time my opinion of it grew less and less.

There are some things it does better than Origins, things I hope stay with the series. The combat was made a lot more streamlined and console friendly, with the welcome ability to catch up to enemies running away from you and use archery talents without an errant twitch from the left thumb stick interrupting you, but pretty much everything else was made markedly worse. The combat, while streamlined, lacked the intense tactical feel of its predecessor, and it halved the available specializations while keeping only the least interesting ones(Spirit Warrior, Arcane Warrior, Champion, Ranger, Keeper, Battlemage, Legionnaire Scout, Defender..we'll miss you. No one mourns Shapeshifter, I don't think). The story royally shat the bed as well in Act 3, and gave us one of the worst final battle speeches I have ever heard. Shepard does a good final battle speech and has a backup orchestra to help him along, so why couldn't they pilfer that along with the dialogue wheel? Then there is the truly anomalous amount of fetch quests, the dip in character quality(I am looking at you, Merril), and the wave based combat that made careful planning useless when it could be ruined by five enemies spawning behind your mage when you weren't looking.

And then we get to the Inventory Screen. OH GOD, the Inventory Screen. I have a 42 inch widescreen TV, and I still couldn't read the text. And while I'm at it, the entire loot system was crap was well. In Origins, if it had an enchantment, it had a suitable backstory ranging from grim to humorous. In DA2, I can get fifty different amulets called "amulet" with differing enchantments, which makes sorting through them an absolute nightmare. The mechanic introduced to compensate, the star system, is absolute bullshit as well, because half the time it lies to me. How is +44 attack better for my mage than +3 mana regen? Hint: MAGES CAN'T MISS! The only inventory system that experienced a worse change was Assassins Creed's between Brotherhood and Revelations.

And at last, we come to the last straw. The end of the line. The point of no forgiveness. The Darkspawn design. WHAT. THE. FUCK. They used to be scary. They used to have complex models that were interesting to look at. They used to have a bestial cunning, a dark humor in their laughs. Now they have straight, pearly white teeth, dead eyes, Genlocks and Shrieks have been completely scrapped, and they don't even have the appearance of something that's tainted. I'm sure the intent was for them to be more like a horde of insects, but it looks more like a horde of coked up bums with excellent dental hygiene.

I wanted to like it, but I couldn't. I know it has its fans, and I won't tell them to stop playing it. I just hope DA3 has more going for it than the Frostbite 3 engine.

(The Arishok was badass, though :) )

The reason that anyone plays that game is for the story. The story, and all the subsequent arcs off of the main story can be seen on YouTube, without ever playing the game. People are now posting entire game stories on YouTube, like Devil May Cry and DMC4 can be seen in one hour long video.

I beat Dragon Age two, romped with Isabella, saw Aveline and Isabella become friends, and all. Whatever I didn't see, I went to YouTube to watch and that was that. I had no desire to replay as a new class because the combat isn't all that great. I appreciate the real time feeling, but it plays more like a game that should have been turn based or something...it's not as gritty as Amalur, or Dragon's Dogma (which is what I prefer for combat in RPG's).

The story is great, but there needs to be something in a game that makes me come back after the story is finished. There was unfortunately nothing there after the game is beaten, so I sold my copy back. I did the exact same thing with Mass Effect 2, and I'm not bothering with Mass Effect 3.

I mean going through a bandit cave that was a spider dungeon 15 minutes ago is literally the laziest game design Ive ever seen and having the whole game take place in one town is nothing short of not epic at all. I mean it had some decent aspects and I really liked the ending I got, so I'm not saying it's the worst game in the world, but at the same time, I could totally understand why someone would say it's god awful.

For me it turns an mediocre RPG into a more mediocre action title.... if they added more features and not took them out like Mass effect 2 I would not hate the game...then again I hate the first one for being so half assed.... meh I am full of hate these days :P

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