DRAGON AGE 2 or Kirkwall never changes

Let’s not waste time with pleasantries:

Rabidgames is pissed off.

Let’s have a look: Dragon Age 2 tells the tale of Hawke, the heroic Champion of Kirkwall. It is an epic story told in 3 acts. Problem is, Bioware relied on using the same stage without any design changes for all 3 acts! You wander through the very same dungeons – but hey, sometimes you enter from the other side and parts of a dungeon are locked. Granted, there are a dozen of locations but nothing ever changes there in the kingdom of copy & paste, hence known as “c&p”. Yes, the game spans about ten years, and, the Maker help me, it seems Kirkwall is a place where time does not exist. Everything always looks exactly the same; the city itself, a Dalish camp outside the city walls, name it. Even the characters are immune to change.

Unfortunately, it gets worse.
First of, the story is actually not really epic, especially it isn’t compared to the events of Origins. You start as a nobody escaping Loithering during the Blight and become a true Champion. It is not necessarily bad but the scale seems tiny after Origins.

Furthermore, you cannot change your companions’ armour any more. Yes right, Bioware went all Mass Effect over it! You can add minor stuff to the armours, that’s it. Now, this means 66.6% of all the armour pieces you find in those c&p dungeons are pretty much useless – why? It’s not for your character class! Smart move, eh?
At least you can still change weapons and accessories (rings and necklaces). Hooray! That’s what we want: less choices!

For some racist reason, Hawke is strictly human. At least, women are considered equals in Kirkwall so you can still play with a female Hawke. Smart move; that way, Bioware didn’t have to think about making the world more open and interesting from different characters’ point of views. Good for them, bad for story depth.

Ok, Rabidgames admits: It ain’t all bad.

The battle system is alright (don’t play on easy though) although it only plays out perfectly only if you control all your characters in a single battle (again, mages are the most fun), the characters are ok but not awesome, the story is ok, too – but strangely, you get most of it by reading your journal … come on Bioware: do you really expect casual gamers to read in a game? If not, why making the game more casual then?

Rabidgames says:
It is not easy to hate and like a game at the very same time – but Dragon Age 2 pulls it off!
On the one hand, Bioware commits despicable cardinal sins like shamelessly c& p-ing the whole backdrop for 3 acts, omitting large chunks of group customisation and making a RPG look like a casual Devil May Cry clone! On the other hand, the battles are fun, the story is dark and mature, there are some interesting characters … but for some reasons, as soon as you are in Act 2, the game feels more like a chore – and let’s be honest, that is a big mission failed.

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