My brief jaunt into Dragon Age II.

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Posted by Hailinel (24272 posts) -

Well, I gave it a shot.

After Animasta asked me to at least try the game before criticizing it, I went out and bought a cheap copy of Dragon Age II on Saturday. That is, seventeen dollars cheap, at least. Even then, I think I paid too much for hit. But anyway, fair's fair, and I decided to at least give the game an honest try.

Hoo boy.

It's bad. I mean, really bad. The gameplay is decidedly Dragon Age (even though tthey apparently had to patch in the auto-attacking after release? What?), which is fine. I enjoyed the first Dragon Age. But god damn, I don't remember the fights in Origins being anywhere near this tedious. People seriously aren't kidding when enemies just fall out of the sky and come in waves. And too many fights are stretched out by too many waves. For fuck's sake, stop spawning, you assholes, I just want to do this quest!

And as for the quests, they range from the fairly interesting to menial tasks that shouldn't even qualify. Tracking down a murderer or hunting down a blood mage I can understand, but finding a random nicknack and turning it in to some random person in town for a pittance of a reward and a hilariously detached thanks? (Seriously, I just returned a woman's remains to you, dude. Why are you treating this as though I just returned your cheap-ass watch?) And this is pretty much all the first act is. Random quests that often mix together (I can't count the number of times I forgot which quest I was specifically on because so many involved either looking for someone or tracking something) until I have enough money to go on the Deep Roads expedition.

For the most part, I played the game on the standard difficulty, and in the rare times it wasn't brain-dead easy, it suddenly spiked into "fuck you" territory. Like a room in a cave filled with spiders, undead, and a lich, all suddenly swarming out of nowhere. After playing that battle maybe seven times, I finally got out of it by the skin of my teeth with only Varric left alive, running through the halls and desperately holding on to those last few precious hit points long enough to be allowed another healing potion.

And that rock demon at the end of the Deep Roads can suck it.

And then there's the faults in the story. I understand that this is all being told in flashback from the recollection of an unreliable narrator (which will make it easy for Bioware to retcon by saying Varric was making shit up), but it just gets weird, especially toward the end of the Deep Roads, when oh, wait, Bethany is dead because Darkspawn. And yes, this is just oen possible outcome of that scene, but just the way it's handled, where it cuts in after five days of hiking through the Deep Roads only to suddenly reveal she's ill. It almost feels like a DM somewhere just expelled Bethany's player from the group and killed the character out of spite.

The whole act is nothing more than an elaborate set-up comprised of uninteresting bullshit with a character death thrown in at the end, because I don't know. It's not even so much that Bethany dies as much as it is the manner her death is depicted. It felt clumsy.

Anyway, after that, I started in on the second act, got as far as Hawke's mansion, and pretty much had enough. I'm pretty sure I know what to expect at this point. Tedious bullshit quests, Hawke's mother gets murdered and turned into a zombie bride (is there a particular reason why Hawke's entire family has to be murdered as they are? I mean, holy shit, guys), and something major happens a the end that leads into Varric's next echange with the interrogator as a lead-in to the following act.

At this point, I've had enough. Maybe my interest is tempered by my knowledge of what's to come (Anders, Orsino, and Meredith all being colossal dipshits, blood mages fucking everywhere), but seriously, this game is just dumb. It's bad enough that I spent fourteen hours running around in the first act mostly doing a lot of nothing before story time in the Deep Roads, but if I have to fight one more wave of bandits falling from the sky, it'll be one too many. Seriously, seventeen bucks is too much for this game.

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#1 Posted by Hailinel (24272 posts) -

Well, I gave it a shot.

After Animasta asked me to at least try the game before criticizing it, I went out and bought a cheap copy of Dragon Age II on Saturday. That is, seventeen dollars cheap, at least. Even then, I think I paid too much for hit. But anyway, fair's fair, and I decided to at least give the game an honest try.

Hoo boy.

It's bad. I mean, really bad. The gameplay is decidedly Dragon Age (even though tthey apparently had to patch in the auto-attacking after release? What?), which is fine. I enjoyed the first Dragon Age. But god damn, I don't remember the fights in Origins being anywhere near this tedious. People seriously aren't kidding when enemies just fall out of the sky and come in waves. And too many fights are stretched out by too many waves. For fuck's sake, stop spawning, you assholes, I just want to do this quest!

And as for the quests, they range from the fairly interesting to menial tasks that shouldn't even qualify. Tracking down a murderer or hunting down a blood mage I can understand, but finding a random nicknack and turning it in to some random person in town for a pittance of a reward and a hilariously detached thanks? (Seriously, I just returned a woman's remains to you, dude. Why are you treating this as though I just returned your cheap-ass watch?) And this is pretty much all the first act is. Random quests that often mix together (I can't count the number of times I forgot which quest I was specifically on because so many involved either looking for someone or tracking something) until I have enough money to go on the Deep Roads expedition.

For the most part, I played the game on the standard difficulty, and in the rare times it wasn't brain-dead easy, it suddenly spiked into "fuck you" territory. Like a room in a cave filled with spiders, undead, and a lich, all suddenly swarming out of nowhere. After playing that battle maybe seven times, I finally got out of it by the skin of my teeth with only Varric left alive, running through the halls and desperately holding on to those last few precious hit points long enough to be allowed another healing potion.

And that rock demon at the end of the Deep Roads can suck it.

And then there's the faults in the story. I understand that this is all being told in flashback from the recollection of an unreliable narrator (which will make it easy for Bioware to retcon by saying Varric was making shit up), but it just gets weird, especially toward the end of the Deep Roads, when oh, wait, Bethany is dead because Darkspawn. And yes, this is just oen possible outcome of that scene, but just the way it's handled, where it cuts in after five days of hiking through the Deep Roads only to suddenly reveal she's ill. It almost feels like a DM somewhere just expelled Bethany's player from the group and killed the character out of spite.

The whole act is nothing more than an elaborate set-up comprised of uninteresting bullshit with a character death thrown in at the end, because I don't know. It's not even so much that Bethany dies as much as it is the manner her death is depicted. It felt clumsy.

Anyway, after that, I started in on the second act, got as far as Hawke's mansion, and pretty much had enough. I'm pretty sure I know what to expect at this point. Tedious bullshit quests, Hawke's mother gets murdered and turned into a zombie bride (is there a particular reason why Hawke's entire family has to be murdered as they are? I mean, holy shit, guys), and something major happens a the end that leads into Varric's next echange with the interrogator as a lead-in to the following act.

At this point, I've had enough. Maybe my interest is tempered by my knowledge of what's to come (Anders, Orsino, and Meredith all being colossal dipshits, blood mages fucking everywhere), but seriously, this game is just dumb. It's bad enough that I spent fourteen hours running around in the first act mostly doing a lot of nothing before story time in the Deep Roads, but if I have to fight one more wave of bandits falling from the sky, it'll be one too many. Seriously, seventeen bucks is too much for this game.

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#2 Posted by Zajtalan (1163 posts) -

hey man dragon age 2 is alright.

#3 Posted by Draugen (636 posts) -

I disagree with you...

#4 Posted by Aetheldod (3542 posts) -

@Hailinel: Wel at least you played it ... too bad you didnt liked the game (I for one love it and managed to pull over a 100 hours into it) , although you may be close to the coolest part of the game (the Arishock) would sugest to keep on playing a bit more.

#5 Edited by evanbower (1210 posts) -

@Hailinel: I'm with you all the way. Dragon Age 2 might be the most disappointed I've been with a game that I paid full price for.

#6 Edited by Opus (148 posts) -

Awful game, if you can consider it that, I would have enjoyed it much more if it was a novel so I could have skipped the bullshit in the middle they called gameplay. I may have been jaded since I loved Dragon Age: Origins, but I can note poor decisions when I see them:

I played it when it released, when you had to button mash to attack. I have to question how such a terrible idea was approved. But according to your post it only took them a few months and a shitstorm to change it.

Copy/Paste dungeons.

Complete disregard for your anything you did in Origins. (Usually something people don't care about for sequels, but in this case it was one of their selling points.)

The worst use of a dialogue wheel. You can either be nice, a dick, or a sarcastic dick.

None of your allies knows of the word "compromise", or "understanding" because everything has to be a difficult decision.

Fans of the franchise were expecting a love letter, but received a bill with that one. Probably the worst thing I paid money for that year.

#7 Posted by WarlordPayne (698 posts) -

There were wild difficulty spikes in Dragon Age: Origins same as there are in DA2 and the story in DA2 is leagues better than what passed for a story in DA:O.

The waves of enemies spawning out of no where and that rock demon are bullshit though.

Regardless, Dragon Age 2 is an okay game. You hated the game before you ever played it, it's not surprising that you couldn't manage to enjoy it.

#8 Posted by MegaLombax (384 posts) -

I thought it was okay. Apart from the repeating dungeons, i thought it was okay. Quite enjoyed the game while it lasted. Origins was a far superior experience though.

#9 Posted by Sergiy (21 posts) -

@WarlordPayne said:

the story in DA2 is leagues better than what passed for a story in DA:O.

What? Please tell me you're joking.

Being a glorified delivery boy is not a great concept for a story.

#10 Edited by HH (609 posts) -

dude, first off its a combat game, and you're getting annoyed because you have to engage in combat?

anyway from your review it sounds, more than anything else, like you didn't want to like it.

i was reluctant at first because of the new animations and the fully voiced aspect, but i did love the gameplay, played on nightmare first time and poured 200 hours into a memorable challenge. fuck the story, but i could say that about every single game i've played. the story making any difference is purely optional, and i think it's missing the point to put too much emphasis on it, even if it is those hopeless literary adolescents bioware at the helm.

#11 Posted by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

I have a healthy hate for Dragon Age 2 as much as the next guy, but you should finish the second act at least. The qunari are perhaps the most interesting part of that game. Also I think the part where my Bethany died is when I crossed over from serious disappointment to actively disliking Dragon Age II.

#12 Edited by mandude (2669 posts) -

@HH said:

dude, first off its a combat game, and you're getting annoyed because you have to engage in combat?

anyway from your review it sounds, more than anything else, like you didn't want to like it.

i was reluctant at first because of the new animations and the fully voiced aspect, but i did love the gameplay, played on nightmare first time and poured 200 hours into a memorable challenge. fuck the story, but i could say that about every single game i've played. the story making any difference is purely optional, and i think it's missing the point to put too much emphasis on it, even if it is those hopeless literary adolescents bioware at the helm.

No, he said he was getting annoyed because the combat was shitty and tedious, not because he had to engage in it. For a lot of us, enemies falling out of the sky and popping up from the ground in waves, has no place in a strategy game.

#13 Posted by dr_mantas (1829 posts) -

Well, I liked it. Different strokes and all that.

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Where are the pictures of your playthrough? You can't take 's thing and not include the pictures. Hell, even a stick figure comic with a random JC Denton cameo would suffice.

#15 Posted by EXTomar (4633 posts) -

The problem with Dragon Age 2 is that it is called Dragon Age. Otherwise it is a perfectly serviceable action game.

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#16 Posted by mpgeist (597 posts) -

You got farther than me in the game, and i didn't go into it expecting to hate it. Kudos to you man.

#17 Edited by AndrewB (7567 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

...blood mages fucking everywhere...

That would make it a much more interesting game.

Nope, I'd agree with you. Dragon Age 2 was tolerable enough and is something I might play through again some day, but only because I feel like some of the character writing redeems an otherwise messy game. The part where enemies spawn out of nowhere is intolerable. In Origins and Bioware game previous, there was a layout of enemies which were often difficult, but you were able to strategize against them in order to win. In Dragon Age 2, it's a matter of holding back to unleash your abilities only when you'r on the brink of death from the 5th wave of enemies which appear before your very eyes. On top of being absurd, it doesn't make for a fun game.

And when you go back and play Origins, it just blows away the sequel in every regard, and that's a huge problem.

But man, Aveline. AVELINE. That woman has my female Hawke's heart, and mine.

#18 Posted by Brodehouse (9775 posts) -
@mandude Well, you see there are two options to make a tough encounter; send waves against the party and try to grind them down, or just pack a room with 12 dudes. The problem with the second is that it creates huge difficulty spikes and snowball situations. If there are so many enemies in the room the party will either die immediately from pure overwhelming numbers, or they'll find an exploit and suddenly it's as faceroll as any other fight. It's the reason why Uncharted sends 3 teams of 5-6 dudes against Drake instead of sending 18 guys right off the start; the latter would be supremely frustrating.

With all that said; yeah, the fights in both Dragon Age games range from monotonous to ridiculously cheap and difficult. I don't think either of them has really been able to nail down an even, strategic difficulty. Awakening has been the best Dragon Age campaign yet. Maybe DA3 will be more like that.
#19 Posted by Gabriel (4058 posts) -

The biggest fuck you comes toward the end of the game, stop playing.

#20 Posted by Brodehouse (9775 posts) -

And yeah that stupid knickknack return item shit is fucking ridiculous. They had that shit in Dragon Age Origins and it was fucking ridiculous there too. Just about all the sort of tertiary quest stuff in every BioWare game is awful, they're just there to pad out the length because otherwise people would rattle their stupid chains because there's no stupid side missions. The only game that has had good tertiary missions was ME2.

Getting mad at the wheel is hysterical, because it's the same thing as the list. I've actually gone through the Origins conversation trees, and where they don't get stuck in infinite loops (theres a conversation with a dwarf named Filda that you can make loop forever unless you select one specific option) it progresses in the same straight lines, generally offering you 3 (sometimes 4!) ways to respond to someone. Most of these fall in nice, snarky, and asshole. Sometimes there are two versions of asshole. They still have the 'more information' options that return you to the progression choices, but they're not demarcated easily like Mass Effect. People who rage against the wheel and say "the list had way more options!" like straight up, no. Do the research. You can remake DAO and replace the list with the wheel and it'll fit in pretty easily (though sometimes there are 4 options, but then again, that happens in DA2 sometimes as well).

#21 Posted by bio595 (307 posts) -

Would have to disagree with you on pretty much every single point except copy pasta dungeons and the Rock Monster.

For me Bethany didn't die because I had Anders with me. Anders should be in everyones party because he's a healer but primarily because he's a mage.

Mages are the Swiss Army Knives in Dragon Age.

In DAO, I was a mage and rolled with both Wynne and Morrigan because mages are the best!

#22 Posted by Hailinel (24272 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Where are the pictures of your playthrough? You can't take 's thing and not include the pictures. Hell, even a stick figure comic with a random JC Denton cameo would suffice.

I'm not aping his thing if I'm not doing those things, am I? :P

@Brodehouse: After having played it, I can see how the wheel is not really all that different from the list, but I still have problems with it. The short phrases for each option don't do the best job of telling me the tone that Hawke is going to take, nor always be indicative of what she actually says. I ended up shying away from the sarcasm and aggressive responses most of the time because I couldn't tell from those brief snippets how Hawke was going to specifically respond and I didn't feel like upending any tables that much. The icons also just made me more likely to shy away from certain dialogue options. It actually came to a point where I wasn't even reading the options and just picking upper-right because I didn't trust that the tone of the other options would be what I actually wanted or expected.

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#23 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

I like the mechanics of Dragon Age 2, it's the content that's the problem.

For me, Dragon Age 3 will be fine if they just provided a lot of varied, unique content on top of DA2's systems. No more of this one cave/house/warehouse bullshit.

#24 Posted by Brodehouse (9775 posts) -
@Hailinel I agree that there are more "I didn't really want to say that" moments in DA2 compared to the Mass Effect. The writing in general in ME is better than Dragon Age, when I think about it.

I recommend you stop making the up-right choice and start making the down-right choice. I played my first Hawke as a mostly good girl, and I like her well enough but she's kind of a blank cipher. The diplomatic options really don't present her as a real character. But then when I played an aggro Hawke the game got so entertaining. It's so amusing to watch this unreasonable, perpetually angry and possibly violent man walk into every situation with a chip on his shoulder. It's like watching Don Draper in Middle-Earth. There's one scene where two people are arguing in your house and Hawke responds with the dominant personality; "What's going on? Can I help?" "Ooh, I hope there are seats left..!" and "Everybody shut up!" and of course the latter is hysterical. Just walk into a room and immediately you're angry. AggroHawke isn't necessarily fun to play as, but so fun to watch.

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Tuesday."
#25 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7614 posts) -

Going into something readily wanting to dislike it, will usually end with you disliking it.

But yeah, DA 2 certainly disappoints. I liked the idea of the game trying to centre around a more common character and their ties to a specific city. I remember them talking about how the game would span over a decade and you'd see the city and characters change over those years.. but none of that actually seems to happen in the game, and while some of the characters are pretty interesting, the events feel pretty meaningless. I don't see how this needed to be "Dragon Age 2" or how the third game will connect to the story here at all. The pseudo moral choices annoyed me a lot too. They obviously tried to set up the Mages vs Templars thing as a moral gray, but failed by making the Templars outright evil assholes. Instead of there being any kind of complexity, you're left with the typical good vs evil choices.

Overall, the game just feels very rushed, with a lot of sloppy mechanics (enemy waves, copy & pasted dungeons, etc.) and it's very obvious that it started out as an expansion for Origins.

#26 Posted by Abendlaender (2779 posts) -

Yeah....Dragon Age 2 was pretty bad. I don't think it is AS bad as people make it out to be but it's just a lazy, boring, ugly, repetitive and dumb game....so maybe it IS as bad as people make it out to be

#27 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

I've been playing through all three concurrently (origins, awakenings, and DA2) and that makes me more easily see the problems with each; by the end of awakenings I was so fucking bored with the combat that I couldn't take it, plus awakenings was way way too easy (hand of winter + elemental mastery + a bunch of cold improving armors made short work of just about anything) and origins had two of the most annoying dungeons I've ever played (fade + deep roads). I'm still in the collecting money phase too (I'm done with that, but I still have some errant quests I haven't done) and I certainly hate some parts of it, the fact that you can't equip armor to your party members annoys me so muchhhhh. Though I think your preconceived notions played a role in you not liking the game (I do the same thing so I realize I am being hypocritical, still)

Also the thing is when I had Carver (in my first playthrough), he never died since I never brought him, but instead he hated me and joined the templars. Good to know!

#28 Posted by triviaman09 (797 posts) -

Dragon Age II is pretty good. Combat is not its strong suit. I really enjoyed the story, though, and the game at large.

Hey, guess what guys? DA II is a divisive game.

#29 Posted by sthusby (382 posts) -

@Zajtalan: YUP

#30 Posted by sthusby (382 posts) -

@AndrewB: I fucking hate that you can't romance Aveline. She is the love of my life, and all I got was a little kiss. Bittersweet.

#31 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Where are the pictures of your playthrough? You can't take 's thing and not include the pictures. Hell, even a stick figure comic with a random JC Denton cameo would suffice.

I'm not aping his thing if I'm not doing those things, am I? :P

I still think he's gonna sue you for trademark infringement.

#32 Posted by Chop (1996 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Sitcom Hawke was pretty fantastic too. Everything she said was completely out of place and insane.

So, uhh..bad but in a good way?

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#33 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

Just know that it only gets way worse from where you are.  Act 1 isn't even the dumb stuff.  They start laying all of these awful threads throughout Act 2 that just end up going nowhere or feeling meaningless.  Act 3 is the blood magic stupidity climax you already know about.
 
The combat feels like the misguided compromise of wanting to be 'bad ass' (enemies with almost no hp that explode when you touch them) with the reality of the console hardware (we can only have a few of these guys on screen at once so we need to spawn them continuously).
 
Oh, and the unreliable narrator was a cool idea that I was looking forward to, but they never really do anything with it.  One moment with Varric later and one clever throwaway at the very beginning of the game.  You're right, they will probably just use it as an easy out later.

#34 Posted by Brodehouse (9775 posts) -

Just want to add, if the game had a five act structure it would be pretty much a Shakespearean tragedy. But I don't think people want to play a tragedy, they want to win at the end. Hamlet ends up with the protagonist dead, his enemy dead, the rival dead, the love interest dead, the comic relief dead, the protagonist's mother dead, everyone is fucking dead. And the kingdom gets taken over by a foreign power in the last three minutes. I don't think people want that. I think they want The Lion King, where Simba kills Scar and becomes King.

#35 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

Dragon Age 2 is fine. It's more Dragon Age. I had a lot of fun with it. I went back to play Origins to compare the two, and I don't see how Origins is all that superior. I've played worse sequels.

#36 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

No thought to bring the former grey warden in to the deep roads eh. Sarcastic hawke was my favorite hawke. Also you should meet the qunari before writing the game off. I enjoyed the faster combat and more focused story

#37 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5140 posts) -

Not liking a game doesn't mean they are bad. DA2 has a lot of problems but it's not really bad.

#38 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -
#39 Posted by Mike76x (555 posts) -

@Animasta said:

Also the thing is when I had Carver (in my first playthrough), he never died since I never brought him, but instead he hated me and joined the templars. Good to know!

Leave Carver at home, he joins the Templars.

Leave Bethany at home, she is put in the Circle

Take either with you, they die

Take either with you and Anders, they become wardens

#40 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11587 posts) -

Oh wait, so the game you were intent on disliking from even before release fulfills your expectations? Hmmm.

Dragon Age II has serious and evident issues. Does that stop me from proclaiming that I think it has one of the better supporting casts of a Bioware game and that the combat is still pretty good, enemies appearing out of thin air notwithstanding. Does that mean that it's a "good" game? Hell if I know. I think people would've been a lot less angry had they not straight up called it the sequel to Dragon Age Origins, despite the part where it takes place in a different part of the world, was clearly made in less than half the time that the first game was, and attempts to stretch 20 hours worth of assets into a 40 hour game.

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#41 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Fun game, so much potential but this wasn't anything near what it should have been. But hey, why listen to gamers or make new IP's when we can fuck up old ones right?

#42 Posted by WarlordPayne (698 posts) -

@Sergiy said:

@WarlordPayne said:

the story in DA2 is leagues better than what passed for a story in DA:O.

What? Please tell me you're joking.

Being a glorified delivery boy is not a great concept for a story.

The story in Dragon Age: Origins was as cliched, bland, and predictable as any fantasy game I have ever seen. There are orcs and you're the only one who can stop them! How revolutionary.

#43 Edited by EXTomar (4633 posts) -

Dragon Age Origins was unusual because no one makes games in that style any more. Dragon Age 2 is much more "typical". I'm not sure the story in either is defensible and I get the feeling Bioware agrees where they will ignore it and change direction on a whim.

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#44 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@mandude Well, you see there are two options to make a tough encounter; send waves against the party and try to grind them down, or just pack a room with 12 dudes. The problem with the second is that it creates huge difficulty spikes and snowball situations. If there are so many enemies in the room the party will either die immediately from pure overwhelming numbers, or they'll find an exploit and suddenly it's as faceroll as any other fight. It's the reason why Uncharted sends 3 teams of 5-6 dudes against Drake instead of sending 18 guys right off the start; the latter would be supremely frustrating. With all that said; yeah, the fights in both Dragon Age games range from monotonous to ridiculously cheap and difficult. I don't think either of them has really been able to nail down an even, strategic difficulty. Awakening has been the best Dragon Age campaign yet. Maybe DA3 will be more like that.

Both of those scenarios can be pretty bad, but if tough combat always came down to 2 shitty methods of execution, we'd stop putting combat in games. Case in point: the general consensus on Dragon Age: Origins was that it was a pretty good game.

Waves can work well in a game like Uncharted, but that's only because at no point does the game expect you to plan your strategy for battle. In the case of Dragon Age, however, you're expected to pause the game regularly and make decisions based on how the battle is progressing. The game expects me to make calls like "there are only three enemies left, so I wont be wanting for a health potion if I use my last one now." If, when I defeat my adversaries, more enemies literally claw their way out of the ground and keep the fight going, I can't make those informed decisions and my 'strategy' turns out to be nothing more than a big gamble.

#45 Edited by Viking_Funeral (1757 posts) -

Awww... you didn't get to the point where you realize that Acts 2 & 3 are just repeats of the areas from Act 1. It doesn't really sink in until half-way through Act 2, and in Act 3 it will have you tearing your hair out. You also missed the chance to fully see how the story has pretty much no direction, as in Hawke is merely reacting to a lot of randoms stuff happening in Kirkwall while playing errand boy for 10 years, and that in the final act everyone decides to go batshit insane at the same time. Good stuff.

@AndrewB said:

And when you go back and play Origins, it just blows away the sequel in every regard, and that's a huge problem.

Oi, does it ever.

I also agree that Aveline was great, though in a non-romancable kind of way. Only redeeming character in the DA2 by my standards.

@WarlordPayne:

If anything, Dragon Age: Origins is a massive rip-off of George R. R. Martin's metaplot in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Or Game of Thrones for those who didn't read the books. All the way down to the Nights Watch being the only ones who can stop the Others, and everyone else is too busy fighting among themselves to care.

#46 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

I don't know why the fuck I haven't been following you, but I am now...for what it's worth, nothing basically. But I'm a 100% with you on this. I played through the entire game once, in hopes of it getting better, but the more I played the more I was disappointed. I tried re-playing it a month ago I think, played it for 30 minutes before I deleted it, again.

#47 Posted by sodacat (214 posts) -

Aveline wasn't just a redeeming character, she was the game's actual protagonist. She's the one who gets character development, and Hawke only gets involved because Aveline asks her to help out. I will not be at all surprised if Aveline is the one running Kirkwall in DA3.

#48 Posted by Opus (148 posts) -

@WarlordPayne: That's a crude way to sum up Origins, that's the equivalent of summarizing Lord of the Rings as "There are these guys that have to destroy this ring, but the place to destroy it is in hostile territory!" It's the journey, not the destination.

Everything that happened to your awkward group in Origins was far more memorable, what made those events memorable was the ability for player to decide the outcome and make it their own game. Too many of Dragon Age 2's critical plot points were predestined "nothing you did matters" moments. Presumably because it was much easier to write than keeping up with each person's morality, but it was also very lazy since they did it once before and had the gall to call this a sequel. The only time you could make decisions with variable outcomes were in side quests with throwaway characters that you never hear of before or after you've made your choice.

Dragon Age: Origins is like watching a Drama at the theatre, whereas Dragon Age 2 is watching a Michael Bay film at the theater.

#49 Posted by Jimbo (9796 posts) -

I liked Origins well enough, but I think DA2 made Origins look a lot better than it actually was. I actually quite liked Act 2 of DA2 (the Qunari stuff), but everything else storywise was awful. I found the combat strangely compelling. The group combo / gambit stuff has so much potential, but nobody has really nailed it yet.
 
Against my better judgement, I'm still interested in DA3.

#50 Posted by WarlordPayne (698 posts) -

@Opus: But in Lord of the Rings there was a journey. In Origins you can go to the city where the final battle takes place, which is also where the main antagonist is hanging out, and dick around there for hours knocking on doors and tossing corpses down wells from nearly the start of the game .

The bulk of the game is in you recruiting armies and every single one of those recruitment quest branches could be cut from the game in their entirety and it wouldn't affect the overall story at all. They're all completely self contained and have no bearing on the main plot outside of which faceless units you hurl at the darkspawn in the end.

I agree that some of those missions could be entertaining but they're no more a part of the main plot than the recruitment and loyalty missions were in Mass Effect 2.

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