Dragon Age II

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Dragon Age II

Post by zeb k on Sat May 26, 2012 11:24 am

I haven't made a review lately, because for the last week or two I've been playing Dragon Age II(which for those of you who don't know, is the sequel to Dragon Age Origins), and since I did all the side quests and so on, I have a whopping 51 hours and 40 minutes on it(freakin' hell those DA games can be long), and now that I'm finally finished, I'm writing my magnificent review of it.(I hope that no one has already written a review for it(to lazy to look) but I don't care because I'll be damned if I let those 51 hours go to waste.)

Character & customization
Remember in Origins when it asked you to pick a race and class you might have been a bit disappointed that they only had the normal old fantasy RPG races and classes, when you were hoping that you could play as a Kerkumbery or burkheild or a half cow half dragon, or a cobra with ears that it can fly with, or a pig with dogs for legs that spits out flaming cats at 600 MPH? ...... No? Oh well, guess that's just me. So Origins had the normal old Human, Dwarf, and Elf pick, with the normal old perks(dwarves can't be mages but are resistant to magic and so on), and then you had to pick between the Mage, Warrior and Rogue class. I never got why anyone ever played as anything besides mage, because while the warrior can do a big attack the takes half an enemies health away, and a rogue can stealth or whatever, a mage can rain fireballs down from the sky every 30 seconds or so, and can freeze 10 enemies solid with a single ice blast spell, and blast enemies that get to close away from them, and just in general be kick a$$. Anyway back to the point, in Dragon Age II, the development team must have been talking when one said: "Remember how the races were a little to normal in Dragon Age Origins?" And the other said: "Yeah, but hey it'd be cheaper just to cut them all out instead of spice them up a bit", so in DA2 you can only play as a human. Again you can a mage, warrior or rogue, and playing through as a mage I felt that the game was bias towards me. It was clearly made to be played through as a warrior. You can be male or female, but in Mass Effect style they gave you an unchangeable last name, "Hawk", and so you end up being called that for the entire game.

The gameplay isn't all that different from Origins, and while some may nickpick at BioWare for not being original, this is what a game should do. If they make a game that people enjoy, in the next one they shouldn't change it all around just to be original, they should improve the original gameplay, and I thought that they did a pretty good job of it. The combat is also improved, with rogues actually being a little useful, and the classes being a bit more balanced(mage was still the best). One problem with the combat is that I never really felt that it challenged me that much. I mean, maybe it was my amazing majesty and skill, or the fact that I was a mage, but I don't think that my whole party died once in the entire game, and the only time that my main character died was when either: A: I was controlling a different character, and the stupid AI decided that it would be good to have a mage go and try to fight a battle axe wielding maniac with a wooden staff, or B: when I wasn't paying attention(since even if you don't do anything your character will fight) and when I looked back at the screen my character was dead. but dying isn't a big deal, as you can just take control of one of the other 3 characters in your party, so you only have to reload a save if all the people in your party are dead, and as I said, I never had to do that. Anyway, back to not being challenged, maybe it was because I was level 23 or 24 at the time, but even the final boss fight was fairly easy. I mean the boss had so much health that he/she/it probably drip feeds themselves Special K every morning for all the health it's got, and a big attack as well, but I mean, none of my party actually got there health down to the point where they needed to be healed.

Story? I mean, it doesn't really have a defined story. There isn't anything that you are trying to achieve throughout the game or anything.
*Possible small spoilers*
Okay so there are three sections, or acts, in the game. So in the first one, it's about in the same time as Origins, with the blight going on, so naturally you start the game running away from darkspawn, I dunno why, since they aren't that tough, but anyway, you run away to the city of Kirkwall, an old slave prison and not at all cheerful place. So you are just another refuge, but then you can get in, and then a at skips forward a year, and you are trying to get to go on an treasure hunt thingy to the deep roads with a couple of dwarves. But you have to have enough money to pay for the whole damn trip, since apparently they had planned it without any money, so you have to go on a series of quests to get it, and do a bunch of other stuff, and then once you have it, you embark on a great voyage, which it seems they didn't have enough time to finish, so it's only an hour or so long, not even the longest quest in Act I. So once you finish the expedition, you go back to Kirkwall and are rich. Then it skips forward 3 years or so, and Kirkwall is having problems with the Qunari, a race of people that seem to be either Lord of the Rings Uruk-hai or Deviss when someone makes a spelling mistake. Razz So just when you think that this may be the story, that all gets cleared up and the time skips forward another little bit, and then there's another main quest. So it isn't exactly the best story in the world. Now a lot(most) people said that the ending was [Say hello!], and I have various views on this. For one thing, the ending was pretty much there so they could make a sequel. I'd be willing to bet(if I had any money) that they will make another game with the story that is implied in the ending of DA2. So if it's only there to make a sequel, than it's obviously not the best. And I can understand how a really hardcore Dragon Age fan would get ticked off because it doesn't give you any info on what happens to your characters, or to any of your companions or anything. So the ending wasn't great.

So in DA2(unlike DAO) you can now romance any of you companions, regardless of gender(except for one), and also the companions are more believable. The dialog between them when your just walking around can be quite entertaining. They took out the simple like/dislike thing for companions, and instead put in this thing which can be pretty weird. It's a sliding bar, where one side is rivalry, and the other is friendship. The weird thing is, you can have a romance or whatever with either friendship or rivalry, and each one seems about the same. Maybe I'm simple, but I prefer the Origins scale.

I think that Origins was better story wise, and in some other ways, and DA2 was better in it's own way. So first off, I want to change my previous DAO rating of 3 starts to 4. There. And now, for Dragon Age 2, I'm going to give it 3 stars. I really enjoyed it, but the lack of any real story or an ending took off at least a star. So just so you know that I didn't only give it a lowish rating because of bad gameplay or anything like that. You can get this game for 10 bucks on Amazon, so I'd say that for the 50 hours of gameplay I had, it's definitely worth it.
(looking back at this, I release that this is a loooonnngggg review)
zeb k

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