But! Dragon Age May Be Back On Track

By Alec Meer on June 14th, 2011 at 10:19 am.

Run, Hawke! Run from all the thousands of men who hate you!

EA may not have given Battlefield fans the answer they wanted to hear, but meanwhile, back in the kingdom of Ferelden, things might be looking a little rosier. Eurogamer had a chat with EA bigwig Frank Gibeau about the reception to Dragon Age 2. He was careful not to actually slag off the game or its makers, but he did imply that the negative feedback has very much been taken on board.

“We were clearly disappointed with some of the response from the fanbase, because we want them to be as excited about it as we are,” said Gibeau, who’s the head of the EA Games label. “We’re very proud of the game. We tried to innovate and do some different things with the combat system and some of the way we told story. For some fans it worked well. In fact, we brought a lot of new fans into the Dragon Age franchise. But to be honest, we lost some fans as well. They were not pleased with some of the innovations and things we’d done.

“We understand that and we’re listening. As we think about where we take the franchise next, we’re going to take that into consideration and really engage them.”

A FACT: the word ‘innovation’ does not mean the same thing to everyone.

In terms of where they “take the franchise next”, perhaps reckless tweeting means we already know it’s Dragon Age 3.

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148 Comments »

  1. Freud says:

    Infinite dragons.

    Game, set and match, Mr EA.

  2. Psychopomp says:

    Hopefully, Dragon Age 2 will end up being the DMC2 of the series.

  3. Premium User Badge Biscuitry says:

    And not Dragon Age 2.5: The Unnecessary Subtitle? The shock! The amazement! I may have to go and have a lie down.

  4. Kdansky says:

    I still don’t get the hate against DA2. Sure, repetitive scenery and too many pointless fights are boring, but that didn’t break the game.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      It broke it for me.

      I played through all 100 hours of Origins+Awakenings twice.

      I’ve yet to even finish DA2, though. I’m well into the final Act of the game, but nothing has yet to grab me and hold my interest enough to finish it.

      Plus, it really is the most tedious game I’ve ever played. Maybe that’s my fault for playing it on Nightmare, but 1/2 hour fights against bosses that have basically 2 different types of attacks (but shit loads of health to pad things out) are not my definition of fun.

      Nor is revisiting the same 7 or 8 locations for the entire game over and over and over.

      I give the game a 5 out of 10. The companions are interesting enough and the combat really is slightly improved from Origins (which merits the 5), but everything else about the game is awful.

    • Kdansky says:

      Don’t play AAA games (especially Bioware’s) on higher difficulty. They all just get more tedious.

      And Length isn’t a selling point, as most time in all Dragon Age games is spent in very mediocre combat. I’d like a “win all combat in one second” ability, it would improve the game by a huge amount.

    • Grygus says:

      The combat absolutely breaks the game in my opinion. Combat is tedious because of the ridiculous decision to spawn in extra waves in very nearly every single encounter. It’s predictable, which might be forgivable, but it’s also senseless, which isn’t. In an RPG where progress is based on combat, making me bored of fighting is a very bad move. In a tactical game having enemies appear in nonsensical locations is a worse one. The only reason I finished it was for the story and, without going into spoilers, I thought the ending was the least satisfying resolution possible. Even though I had some fun with DA2, I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth and zero desire to ever play it again. It’s not a train wreck, but the flaws are major.

    • Electricleash says:

      I only played the DA2 demo, and so maybe don’t have such a strong place from which to throw out my views, but from that experience I could not stand the new combat and control systems!
      Anime-style dash/sliding into combat from many meters away…. RUBBISH!
      Origins, granted, had it’s weak areas, but essentially managed to catch some of what Baldurs Gate (incidentally my benchmark for RPGs) was throwing in atmosphere, character and geographical scope.

    • soulblur says:

      @Juan Carlo

      Same with me, actually. I loved Awakenings in particular. Played through it twice. I’ve only played DA2 through once, and just don’t feel the desire to play it again. Which is a shame.

      Although I think for me the issue wasn’t as much the combat (although I do prefer the combat in DA1 – it feels a bit more thoughtful – the combat in DA2 had some nice touches). It was the ending. Rubbish, rubbish ending. Anders! Honestly, I just can’t really take playing through that again. Without spoiling anything for you, the game gives just enough choice to make you think you can do something, but not enough to actually make a difference. The game just made me very, very angry. But I liked the voice acting.

      Certainly wasn’t worth the preorder. That’s not going to happen again.

    • Bilbo says:

      The combat thing is definitely subjective. I don’t think it’s something anyone can objectively say is good or bad. I think the new animations were a step up from DAO, and improved the general flow of combat, but then they spoiled that improvement by making the enemies spawn in the way they do. Insinuating the style is some major departure from DAO isn’t exactly on the money, either.

      As for the plot, as is a recurring theme in DA2 comments threads I’m yet to bother getting to the end, but in my defence I didn’t finish DAO either – sure they’ve “tried something different” but with such flagrant reuse of environments it just comes off as a cynical move to cut costs rather than a positive decision. Wasn’t impressed with the narrative structure. On the other hand, I thought pretty much all the characters were improvements on their DAO counterparts – so again, mixed feelings there.

      Overall, the biggest problem for me is that it has the Dragon Age label on it, creating fixed preconceptions of what the game will entail. If people hadn’t gone into it expecting a sprawling, epic journey, and a more customisable player character, they’d probably be in less of a hurry to pan what is otherwise a pretty good package. It isn’t a 9/10 but judging it on its own merit, and not as a disappointing followup to a better game, it isn’t fair to go below the 6 or 7/10 mark, really.

    • Binman88 says:

      @Kdansky, you say you don’t get the hate, then go on to say that the game would be better if the combat was removed. Not only that, but you also say that most of the game is combat. So you think that the majority of the game is bad (or at least tedious), but don’t understand why people hate it? :|

      It doesn’t matter what the game’s selling point is, if you have to wade through a pile of crap to get to the good bits. A good game usually does all its mechanics well – like The Witcher 2 – where combat, role-playing and story are evenly paced and enjoyable aspects unto themselves.

      I’m exactly like @Juan Carlo – I played over a hundred hours of DA:O and Awakenings but I haven’t gotten around to completing DA2 because it’s just so dull. There’s absolutely nothing drawing me to the game like there was with the first. I haven’t even reinstalled it on my PC since reformatting a month or two back.

    • Dread says:

      The main problem is, you can play the game only on nightmare, if you want any challenge at all, since AoE friendly fire is only active on this difficulty. This actually makes most combats challenging and interesting, because you can very easily kill your own party if you misaim an AoE spell.
      But the random extra waves all the time as well as the one-shotting enemy rogues (especially templar rogues, honestly, those guys wear plate armor, how can they stealth?) were extremely annoying. Most of the time, when a rogue was with the enemy it was either trying to kill him before he stealthes or praying that he hits the tank, who is the only one able to survive their attack.

      Another big problem I had with DA2 was shoehorning the companions into one role. In DA1 I could make morrigan into a healer, sure, Wynne was a healer right away, but I wanted to have Morrigan in the party, so i made her the healer.
      In DA2 every companion is shoehorned into one role. You want a tank? You have to take Aveline, she is only one. You want a healer? Do it yourself or take Anders(who is inferior to yourself), the other mage companion can’t even learn the basic healing spell.
      I guess the party composition doesn’t matter on normal difficulty, but on nightmare you need a classic tank, healer, area-damagedealer, single-damagedealer composition massively limiting your options. On top of that, except for Varric, all the companions are of much weaker personality and much less interesting than those in Origins.

      I played though the game once and have no desire to do it again. If I play on nightmare I have to use nearly the same party as before and on a lower one it’s just an incredibly boring rush through the battles with little changes to the story.

    • noodlecake says:

      Initially I thought it was fantastic. If there was a way to bring the combat of DA2 into DA:O and DA:A then it would definitely make me enjoy those games a lot more.

      I played DA2 pretty much non-stop to the end which is very unusual for me. One of the most enjoyable gaming experiences ever. However on a second attempt I found the experience very dull and much less fun than when I replayed Origins. I think DA2 was good in lots of respects though and I think they injected a lot of life into that bland, slow, boring typical PC RPG combat format.

    • Wizardry says:

      Dragon Age II is a poor game and an especially a poor CRPG. It’s a boring, on rails, cutscene heavy game full of wave spawning combat encounters. The combat is incredibly poor by CRPG standards (which isn’t a very high standard to begin with) and the world is about as interactive as an inanimate object. I cannot understand why people can even begin to think highly of the game. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

      CRPG Combat was done far better way back in 1985 with Wizard’s Crown. That’s 26 years before Dragon Age II was released. World freedom and interactivity was done far better way back in 1988 with Ultima V. That’s 23 years before Dragon Age II was released. Character customisation was done far better way back when the genre started over 30 years ago. So what does Dragon Age II actually do that is noteworthy? A focus on cut-scenes to tell a story? We had films 100 years ago.

    • Premium User Badge Carra says:

      I played it and I had fun.

      But I had some big problems with the game. The city looks bland and unoriginal. Every district looks like the previous one. And re-using dungeons time after time? Please.

      For me it shows that they just wanted to rush the game by recycling some parts. From Bioware I expect a great game, not an OK game like DA2.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      @Wizardry

      As bad as DA2 might have been, please don’t use the term “on rails” to describe it, because that is not accurate in the slightest.

      The new Star Wars Kinect game is an “on rails” game. The Kinect Fable game was demoed at E3 as an “on rails” game (though Peter Molyneux has since come out and called that demo a “horrendous mistake”).

      Dragon Age II, however, is NOT an “on rails” game by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Wizardry says:

      In relative terms it most definitely is on rails. The player always knows what to do and when to do it. The player never has to discover what to do or where to go. Compare Dragon Age II to any number of 80s and early 90s RPGs and you’ll realise that they are worlds apart.

    • anonymousity says:

      It’s hilarious to see a game that gets criticised for giving up it’s old school style.

    • Whitechip says:

      @ anonymousity
      Welcome to PC gaming : Where elitist complain about any and everything.
      Points: Battlefield 3 DLC issue, skyrim being ported, and everything that has to do with Call of Duty.

  5. Orberi says:

    I just completed DA2 and i really enjoyed it. I’m gonna play it again too, which as rare for me.

    What is it that has upset so many people? I must have missed it.

    • fuggles says:

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/31/analysis-dragon-age-ii/

      Copy and paste dungeons, waves of enemies, irritating characters, poor world realisation… still as is obligatory I have to point out PCG prefer it to the witcher ^^

    • Aemony says:

      Not to mention the repetitive story telling, the disjoined story, your choices having no actual impact on the story at all (the illusion are there at least in ME2, in DA2 it is not) and the lack of actually seeing any kind of progress in Kirkwall, which the game was hyped for much akin to the Fable games. And yeah… The famous battle that made Hawke the champion… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPSV0fb9vQ

      There’s A LOT more to mention, but I’m over this shit. Though I’ve heard that the latest patch at least changed the pace of the combat, somewhat, to a more tactical approach.

    • Dlarit says:

      I mostly enjoyed Dragon age 2 but unlike the original i started to play it just for the sake of completing it in the last chapter, probably was the repetivite scenary that did it but overall i did still enjoy the game and look forward to some DLC to expand it and fingers crossed fix the issues.

    • Premium User Badge Oozo says:

      aemony:
      Why playing a fictional character told by another fictional character in a fictional world should be no fun, whereas playing a fictional character in a fictional world is, is frankly beyond me. I don´t mean this as an attempt in trolling, I just find it fascinating.
      What exactly is your problem there? Why do you think that this “second order” fiction is a problem in and of itself? Or is it just that you fear that your story is not the “canonical” one and Bioware might come out one day and say “Hey, it was all just a joke, and here is what REALLY happened”?
      I see why people have problems with the framed narrative (or, rather, the poor use of it), but it´s the first time I hear somebody say that they enjoyed playing the game less because it was less “real”.

    • bleeters says:

      @ Oozo

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but the ‘story told by another character retrospectively’ framing bugged me was simply because of how little it fulfills its potential. About the only thing the story uses it for in DA2 is to justify skipping out years at a time, pasting over glaring inconsistencies and enabling easy retcons further on down the line.

      On a mostly unrelated note, the ending is atrocious. We’re talking KotOR 2 levels of ‘everything falls apart’, here.

    • noodlecake says:

      Essentially people don’t like change. Give them Baldur’s Gate over and over with increasingly better graphics for eternity and they’ll be happy. That’s pretty much it. Especially in regards to PC gamers.

    • Blackseraph says:

      People don’t like change when it’s to the worse.

      DA2 was essentially mass effect with swords, and indeed I didn’t want one.

    • TariqOne says:

      I never got it either. DA2, for my money and excepting some rather bewildering bits at the end, had a FAR better story than DA:O. You’re not saving the world, you’re playing a role in the life and politics of a town and its citizens. I like the characters better, and I thought its voice acting was some of the best I’ve encountered. The combat was more fluid and fast-paced and visceral. And despite what people suggest you still can pull the camera back pretty far (admittedly not as far as DAO) and pause the action to micromanage your guys. I really liked the talent trees and you could create meaningful variations on the characters (though there were few tanking options, it’s true).

      On the negative end, there are fewer customization options for your character. The respawning waves were annoying at times, and yeah — recycled maps were rather bad.

      Overall, though, I found it a compelling and proper RPG with optional pausable near-turn-based party-based combat and the ability to make my own character to whom I connect. For those reasons, I certainly feel its a more proper PC RPG than The Witcher 2 with its stock main character and clicky-rolly consoley action combat system, but that’s a definite minority opinion around here.

    • Nick says:

      Its funny that people who say stuff like ‘people don’t like chage’ would be the first to cry buckets if their opinions were dismissed in such a cuntish way.

    • Kadayi says:

      Always good to see Nick bringing the classy to the RPS comments.

    • Nick says:

      How ironic. And apt, speaking of cuntishness.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Yeah, that “people don’t like change” comment was a rather douchebag comment to make, true enough.

    • Kadayi says:

      Wordy C**t > inarticulate neanderthal

  6. Cinnamon says:

    So the only problem with Dragon Age 2 is that it was too fresh, exciting and intelligent for us?

    • d32 says:

      Innovative, don’t forget innovative.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      It was so awesome it broke my brain so now I can only think it’s … meh.

      Being a rogue and doing a jump attack at someone so all their limbs explode off their body was kind of funny though.

  7. The Happy Stormtrooper says:

    With Dragon Age 3 “hinted” upon, should we expect confirmation of its DLC by the week’s end?

    • man-eater chimp says:

      Some hats and a new sword I believe…

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      A new sword? Already? Wait.. isn’t it actually an older sword if the dlc is announced before the main game? Hmm. ‘An ancient relic’ or something.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      You only get the new sword if you pre-order it from a specific retailer, though. Other retailers have to split all the hats between them.

  8. Dana says:

    Frank, ‘Innovation’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  9. luckystriker says:

    “We won some new fans and lost some old ones.” That’s a shocker…

  10. Hoaxfish says:

    I know it’s not what they meant but

    We were clearly disappointed with some of the response from the fanbase

    sounds like they are disappointed that the fans aren’t foaming at the mouth like idiots over everything they get shoveled, rather than that the feedback was because of a disappointing game.

    • FakeAssName says:

      yeah, that comment was not meant to imply that they were disappointed in themselves because people didn’t like their cheap ass game: he was saying they were disappointed that the “fans” didn’t shut the fuck up and jump on the bandwagon like they were supposed to.

      after all, the (american) Football fans have no problem with, so get with the fucking program people!

  11. magnus says:

    Accessibility is never a good thing, somebody always gets dissapointed. It’s invariably the one’s you really don’t want to dissapoint.

    • Kdansky says:

      Starcraft (either one) is a lot more accessible than Total Annihilation (or Supreme Commander). Minecraft is very accessible, Dwarf Fortress is not.

      And you think that’s bad? You don’t actually need to be inaccessible to be deep. Go is an incredibly easy game (the rules easily fit on half a page), and it is way deeper than Chess.

    • subedii says:

      I disagree that accessibility inherently means sacrificing what defines the core gameplay, there are intelligent ways to do it.

      However, I also disagree that Starcraft 2 is in any WAY more accessible than Supreme Commander (either, but particularly the second one). At least when it comes to multiplayer.

      In some ways (and I know this is going to be the source of a lot of hate) I’d say that Starcraft 2′s gameplay model is actually a good case study of what happens when you get shackled with mechanics not because they’re intelligent, but because they were simply design limitations of the original title that the hardcore fanbase adopted and now view and inseparable from the core gameplay.

      Basically I feel Starcraft 2 showcases the exact opposite: A game that because of its heritage, in some ways became less accessible than it could have been because that’s precisely what the hardcore fanbase wanted.

    • gwathdring says:

      I agree with the above comments in defense of accessibility. Specific elements can detract for a game but accessibility is not specific enough for you to claim it cuts the core from a game unequivocally. Unless elitism and exclusivity are core game play features. I can see that being the case. Maybe you have a Fantasy Intelligence Agency instead of a foot-to-ball team. Or if 50% of game content is pre-order DLC.

      Stairs are fun, and they get you to the building. But you can’t safely do an action roll down the stairs. And some urban short cuts just don’t work unless you have mountain bike tires and shocks … OR wheelchair ramps. Accessibility can be fun, even for those who don’t need it.

  12. RDG says:

    Dragon Age 3: The Kinect stories.

    “The old concept of moving your character has been automated by our awesomely new engine, giving you the freedom to slash the Blight JUST the way you want.”

    • Vexing Vision says:

      I’d buy a Kinect for that.

    • Aemony says:

      “All you need to do? Stare AWESOMELY at the screen, move a little or just idle in front of Kinect! During the development we’ve aimed to deliver something AWESOME everytime a player does ANYTHING. STARE at the screen; SOMETHING AWESOME HAPPENS! SCRATCH your ass; SOMETHING AWESOME HAPPENS! WALK away; SOMETHING AWESOME HAPPENS. STARE at the BUTTON on the screen while you PRESS IT on the controller, all while WALKING to the couch and SCRATHING your ass; AWESOME OVERFLOW!!!!!!”

      “BUTTON = AWESOME. STARE = AWESOME. MOVING = AWESOME. IDLING = AWESOME! ALL TOGETHER = AWESOME OVERFLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      BioWare and EA puts the ” l ” back in innovation!

    • FakeAssName says:

      don’t forget the Hot coffee styled interactive “love” scenes, now powered by Kinect!

    • Fwiffo says:

      I don’t get to write the phrase ‘simulated intercourse’ nearly as much as I thought Kinect would make me.

  13. TheSaddestSort says:

    Uh huh, sure it’s been taken into acount. In Dragon Age 3 they’ll let you press 2 buttons — two times the buttons, two times the awesome! Oh you and your complex innovations Bioware/EA …

  14. Snesso says:

    Personally, I’ve played Dragon Age: Origins 3 times and Awakenings 2. I LOVE it. Then, I finally decided it was time to get Dragon Age II, and… I didn’t even play for 3 hours. I hated the combat system, it felt too.. I don’t know, consoley? I choose the mage (usually my first choice in every rpg/mmo), and I always make it look old-ish and wise-looking, but instead I’m forced to play some stud with crazy staff skills shooting magic balls like they were candies. It was like playing some cheap action-JRPG, imo. Sure, it may have kept the “Bio Ware storytelling”, but I hated the combat system so badly that I couldn’t keep playing anymore.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I think the combat system is improved. It’s exactly the same as DA:O, only more responsive.

      When people criticize DA2′s combat system I think they are more criticizing the animations and layout of the enemies, as well as the awful wave.respawn system. The animations, reliance on wave combat, repetition of enemies, and general pace of the combat really does suck in DA2. In DA:O every battle seemed like it was thought out so you had to continually get better and strategize to win. In DA2, it seems like they just spammed the same hordes of enemies on you over and over with no regard for making the player use strategy.

      But I maintain that the bare mechanics of the combat system was improved–it’s just how it was used that sucked. Had they taken DA2′s combat mechanics and used the same thought and planning that they did in DA:O, DA2 might have been awesome.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yep. Exactly the same except no friendly fire. And no overhead camera. And a much smaller pool of powers, which operate in different ways. And significantly less ability to customize NPCs. And a heavy emphasis on certain canned cross-character combos. And a smaller, much less varied pool of enemy types. And various other changes that collected with the wave spawning and enemy positioning make for a combat experience that actually is very different indeed.

      In my books, much shallower, far more repetitive, and hardly ever any fun, hence my turning the difficulty down halfway through just to make it less time-consuming.

  15. Vexing Vision says:

    What I didn’t enjoy at all in Dragon Age 2 was the faux tactical combat.

    You can’t do tactical combat with random respawns from a random corner of the battlefield. Seriously, this is such a bad design, and since Dragon Age 2 was much more combat-oriented than DA1, the bad design impact multiplied.

    Oh, and the female characters had too much boobs. And I’m saying this as an avid DOA fan.

    • Aemony says:

      “But… but! Varric tells the tale! He is bound to exaggerate some parts!”

      Seriously, I had my doubts the very first time I heard that you do not play the events yourself, but merely Varrics tale of the Champion Hawke. That Varric was then portrayed as he was only made it all worse.

      In DA2 you do not play as Hawke. You play as Varric’s character Hawke. Whether or not this character is 100% equal to the ‘real’ Hawke is really questionable, especially due to Varric’s personality. That people finds it fun to play as a fictional character told by another fictional character in a fictional setting in a game is… beyond me… Nothing of what you do matters, as BioWare can always determine later to invalidate all your achievements by simply stating that Varric lied all the way through, a task perfectively suitable to his character.

      Do we have ANY real ‘proof’ that the Hawke you played as did in fact do all those things he/she did, and interacted with the world of Kirkwall and Thedas much as The Grey Warden did in Dragon Age: Origins? No. Sucks to be you, DA2 fans, but you don’t. The illusion of choice and interaction in DA2 is so horribly implemented that it’s easy to see through it all. >_<

    • subedii says:

      Basically, Varric is Verbal Kint?

    • Bilbo says:

      Aemony,

      you just described every game, ever. Your screen is an unreliable narrator. What’s stopping any developer from just pulling a Clue! on you whenever it suits them? That it’s a cheap dick move and bad writing, so they generally don’t. Same rules apply to Bioware with Varric. Enjoyment should be unaffected.

      #end

  16. Cronstintein says:

    I find it encouraging they’re looking for an “environmental artist”. Hopefully they’ll have more than one on staff this time.

    “Innovations” such as:
    +repetitive environments
    +removal of tactical view for PC users
    +5000% increase in meaningless fetch quests
    +making player choice usually meaningless a la mass effect
    +remov..er.. streamlining 80% of party equipment management
    …I could go on.

    Get real, Frank. You guys phoned it in and your fanbase called you on it.
    Replacing RPG elements with button mashy combat wasn’t what DA1 fans wanted? Who’d a thunk it?

    • MultiVaC says:

      Come on, he’s making a PR statement essentially admitting that they screwed up. It’s obviously loaded with euphemism, but bullshit is the native tongue of industry bigwigs. He’s not going to come out and say “the game was a piece of shit” or anything makes the game look bad (they are still trying to sell it, after all), but this is a close to an admission of error you can ever hear from someone like this. It’s pretty clear what he’s actually saying here.

    • Lilliput King says:

      MultiVaC is right. The statement is about as candid as you get from people in these positions. Realistically he couldn’t have gone much further, and he didn’t need to, because we all know what he means.

  17. Faceless says:

    I still patiently await a blend of Elder Scrolls’ open world and isometric old school CRPG gameplay. One day, one day…

    • Wizardry says:

      Ultima? The Magic Candle? Where do you think The Elder Scrolls got its inspiration from?

  18. WJonathan says:

    The only thing I got from those quotes is that EA believes that the opinions of players failed the publisher. In order for the next game to be better, we must all try harder to like what they’re doing.

  19. thegooseking says:

    Two things.

    1) I enjoyed Dragon Age II. Not unreservedly, but overall.
    2) I am not an idiot.

    I don’t think I really need to say any more. The seething hate is getting old, now, and more to the point, mostly seems to be centred on relatively minor things while ignoring the bigger picture.

    • Kadayi says:

      Likewise.

      Sure there are valid issues with the game, but there were a lot of things that it did that addressed some of the weaknesses of DAO and personally I found the majority of the characters a lot more interesting in terms of storyline.

      Key for me more than anything else is that Hawke actually felt like a bad ass ‘hero’ where as in the original game mechanistically you weren’t really any more capable than your NPC companions and certainly towards the latter half of DAO the game heavily favoured your Mages in terms of shock and awe, with you being part of the fighter/rogue mop up crew.

      There seems to be tad too much ‘hatin’ going on for a game that despite the complaints didn’t actually do a whole lot wrong save repeat environments (a knock on effect from squeezing the game onto 1 360 DVD) & a slightly mismanaged rail road ending (though if you’d paid attention to the intro cut scene you’d have known things had clearly gone pear shaped).

      No doubt Bioware Goldilocks having tried the two beds and found them too big & too small will now find the ones that’s just right with the new game. Still as the saying goes ‘haters gonna hate’

    • Blackseraph says:

      I really can put my list of criticisism here if you want to. Its quite long.
      Warning few spoilers!

      Waves in combat.
      Kirkwall, that city is colourless and bland.
      Reused areas.
      No inventory management.
      No diplomacy skill.
      Almost every quest is solved by slaughtering punch of people.
      Story?
      Timeskips, every interesting part of your story is just skipped over. I would have wanted to see how you get your house back, and hang around with nobility as a champion. But no we can’t have that.
      Hawke herself, why oh why you have to stick only to a damn human, you could have been adopted Hawke elf for instance.
      You can’t stay neutral between suicidal bloodmages and moronic templars. Seriously both choises stink why can’t you avoid them.

      There really is more, but I hope this demonstrated to you that there really are quite few problems with the game and not just few. Even if these weren’t problem to you they were to me. DA:O really wasn’t perfect but it was in my mind much better game that DA2 was.

    • Serenegoose says:

      Yeah, pretty much this. I’m just concerned that since they tried (and didn’t really do perfectly) the more personal, character oriented story and it went down like a lead balloon that it’ll be right back to a generic hero saving a generic world from a generic threat with stakes entirely too big to actually cause the player to get invested in the story. This is sad because I think the problem they had with the storytelling being about character rather than overarching ‘situation’ was that they never really launched into it, they always hinted that they wanted to do it but backed away from actually doing it.

      As for the combat, I was fine with it because I didn’t care, so I can’t really say much about that.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Blackseraph
      You need to lean the difference between making statements and actual game criticism.

      Simply writing a list of nebulous and vague complaints without some supporting statements and rationale doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

      Personally I’d bother dismantling most of what you’d said, but truth be told I’ve better things to do with my time than argue over the merits of a game months down the road. If you disliked it DA2 that’s your prerogative. But if you’re going to try and pass off statements as fact do some due diligence. Can’t revolve any quest without resorting to violence? I’m fairly sure I intimidated/charmed the merchant in the first act into handing over the money owed to the Elf smuggler.

    • Gormongous says:

      I agree completely with you, SereneGoose. The extremely tight focus of the story, flaws and all, and the believable stakes were light-years ahead of the “you are a hero, go save the world” stakes in the first game.

      I especially liked the idea of making an RPG that explored a sprawling time instead of a sprawling space, but I’m certain that all the people who missed the forest for the trees have scared Bioware away from that now. How many people who are blasting ME3 and SW:TOR for being so safe complained that DA2 wasn’t more DA:O?

    • malkav11 says:

      I honestly can’t recall a single quest that didn’t involve at least one multi-wave fight against a swarm of generic cannon fodder. (not counting the item collecting, which really isn’t questing).
      Even stuff like Aveline courting her fellow guard gets bogged down with pointless, story irrelevant combat.

      And FWIW, I would have described myself as enjoying Dragon Age II, despite its considerable flaws, up until Act 3. Act 3 was just plain BAD.

  20. thesisko says:

    Riiight. Guys, this is the same chap who is credited with these golden statements:

    “Mass Effect has a fairly complicated combat system. You’ve got story and choice. For some fans that don’t buy 12 games a year and maybe buy two or three, some of those things can be intimidating.”
    and
    “When you’re in this business now you have to be able to get to the widest possible audience. Games are so expensive to build now that you can’t have a sustainable business if you’re in the million unit seller range. You’ve got to be multi-million units.”

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      Interesting that big film studios use exactly the same excuse for releasing abysmal films.

  21. Robert says:

    I liked DA2 better then the Witcher.

    Am I a fanboy now, or can I put forth my opinion as fact as well?

    • subedii says:

      I don’t see anyone here accusing anyone else of being a fanboy.

      For that matter, you were the first person to use the term “fanboy” in this comments section. Instead of pre-emptively talking about being labelled one before you’ve really said anything, and just say what you want. Then people can actually read and / or discuss with your views instead.

    • Kadayi says:

      @subedii

      You missed his point.

    • subedii says:

      Outside of possibly the suggestion that people shouldn’t take their views on DA2 being bad as being factual or the status quo, I’m genuinely not seeing one, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to explain that to me.

      Either way, I stand by what I said. Nobody’s accusing him or anyone else of being a “fanboy” if you have a different opinion on the matter (as several of the above posters do), so just say what you want to. And then people can discuss it.

    • Kadayi says:

      @subedii

      There’s no outside about it.

    • subedii says:

      Then I guess I didn’t miss his point. *shrug*

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Video game forum variant of Godwin’s Law:

      As an online discussion about video games grows longer, the probability of someone using the word “fanboy” approaches 1.

      It makes no difference whether this is someone directly calling someone else a fanboy, or if someone is trying to ironically preempt this by claiming that others will probably call them a fanboy. In either usage, it pretty much invalidates the argument of whoever is using the word. (Or at least it should anyway.)

  22. Brutal Deluxe says:

    They were not pleased with some of the innovations and things we’d done.

    I love the subtext in that statement:

    Anyone who didn’t like it is scared of change, and therefore we now have to dumb things down for them.

    In a way, I hope the next one is shit. There are plenty of great games to enjoy, and it means by then I may even get around to playing stuff like frozen synapse, which I’m quite excited about after having watched TotalBiscuit’s report. Likewise I was actually pleased that I didn’t need to waste my life away playing duke nukem forever.

  23. glix says:

    I think I’m in the minority for mostly enjoying the combat, minus the enemy waves I had a lot of fun with it. The game really lost me with the plot though, and the time-skips. By the end I was left with the feeling of “why the hell am I playing when nothing I do matters?” I know some people find that refreshing in games, and I understand that, but part of the reason I like playing RPGs is being all ~chosen~ and special and affecting the world and all that.

    DA2 probably would have been a much, much better game if it wasn’t released so soon, I feel like it had a lot of unrealized potential that was wasted because of (presumably) EA pressuring the due date.

  24. Mordsung says:

    I’d like to preface this statement with the following:
    I am not a console gamer. I don’t play console games. I don’t own a console and haven’t since the original Xbox.

    Now, I liked DA2. I felt the combat was a massive step up from DA1 where I found the combat to be kind of tedious and slow.

    Being able to pull your camera back further doesn’t make a game more tactical. A game is more tactical when you have more tactical options and more synergy between character abilities. I felt DA2 had both of these in spades over DA1.

    Viewpoint has nothing to do with “tactical-ness”

    • glix says:

      It might not make it more tactical, but it’ll definitely make it easier to see what the hell is going on when you’re in Nightmare difficulty and can’t lay down any area attacks without murdering your own party because you can’t see shit.

    • Mordsung says:

      I had no issue going through the game on Nightmare (I actually always go through games on the hardest difficulty first). I even found the level of out-zoom to be pretty decent for most purposes. Sure, it wasn’t as far back as DA1, but it was easily far back enough to get a good idea of the field of battle.

      Sure, I may have had to pan around a bit more to get an accurate idea of who was where, but it wasn’t even something that clicked in my head as “bad”. I never even thought about it until I started seeing complaints about it.

      The ONLY big issue I had in DA2 was the reuse of the same maps. That was balls, I’ll wholeheartedly call Bioware out on that, but that was the only problem I had with the game.

  25. BigJonno says:

    This is where the seething hate becomes a problem. For every legitimate criticism of DA2 (and there are many) there are ten irrational nerdrage rants. Hopefully the genuinely good and interesting things about DA2 won’t get lost in a throwing the baby out with the bathwater fashion. The party characters were done well, Bioware did a good job of conveying that they had lives that didn’t revolve around you. It was incredibly refreshing to not have the entire story arc made obvious within the first hour or so of playing the game. The structure being something other than “OMG, the world needs saving RIGHT NOW, but will you go and find my lost kitten?” was great. There are few things I hate more than a RPG presenting me with loads of side quests and diversions when I’m supposed to be on a time critical mission; it’s a complete immersion killer.

    DA2 was an experimental title in a lot of ways, it’s just a shame that they fouled it up by making gameplay changes that were clearly going to piss off a lot of existing fans and cutting corners with the constant reuse of enemies and locations.

    • Kadayi says:

      Agreed. I think at times people like to out do each other in the ‘I was more outraged’ stakes and it can be detrimental to any critical discourse. Certainly there are valid storyline and game play criticisms, but at times it reads like some people have no tolerance for any form of change, and therefore EVERYTHING is terrible in their eyes.
      Personally I prefer a game to try something innovative and not quite hit all the marks (Mirrors Edge, Fable being good examples) rather than one that doesn’t attempt to move on form all that much.

      Still people love to complain, hell when DAO came out people bitched it out for not being enough like Baldurs Gate (‘wtf is with this MMO combat model!!’).

    • Enikuo says:

      Are you talking about the comment section here? Because, I’m not seeing it. In fact, it appears to be the other way around – the posters that like the game are coming off as hyper-sensitive.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Enikuo
      No I’m talking across a broader perspective, based on observations over a number of sites, threads and forums.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      Yes. It appears the DA2 white-knighters have their finest pair of sensi-pants on.

    • Gormongous says:

      Yeah, Spider Jerusalem, I have no idea why people who liked DA2 would feel defensive with cool heads like yours prevailing.

      “White-knighters”? Really? I liked DA2, that doesn’t mean I’m looking to sleep with it. It just means I liked it, and I have this foolish notion to tell other people why.

  26. wodin says:

    like fantasy books fantasy RPG’s are all to damn similar…someone needs to make an in depth fantasy game that innovates allround…from plot…to atmosphere…to game mechanics….I haven’t played one yet…infact I haven’t even seen one…The Witcher 1 and 2 as far as atmosphere are better than most ..but I still never completed them as I grew bored…

    What can be done I’ve no idea….it’s going to take a highly imaginative genius to breath new life into the fantasy genre be it book form or games…

  27. Deano2099 says:

    Cynical version: “DA2 sold less than DA:O, which is a shame as we were hoping to be able to ship a game with less than half the content of the first one for the same money”

    • jRides says:

      Yep, it seems they aimed for the wrong audience, theres just not enough farmville/MW/CoD fans looking for a nice easy lightweight RPG “game-experience” to justify more of the same.

  28. Rii says:

    The screenshot headlining this article looks like it’s from 300.

  29. Burning Man says:

    Over the last week, I have twice, in the middle of doing something completely unrelated, and while thinking about something random, yelled out loud, “AAAAH! DRAGON AGE 2!!”

    I think I need therapy.

  30. Premium User Badge Daiv says:

    What makes you innovate that?

  31. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    “They were not pleased with some of the innovations and things we’d done” Innovations? Hah.

    I enjoyed DA2 for what it was, but I’m sure as hell not buying another on release, no sir.

    Otherwise the games lead designer apologised for DA2′s faults in the mildly horrible land of ‘Bioware Social Networking’, which was nicer than someone pushing PR.

  32. Jahkaivah says:

    Bioware had two top selling game series, an action rpg and a traditional rpg.

    That was variety.

    Variety is good.

    • Wizardry says:

      How was Dragon Age: Origins traditional when it had MMO inspired real-time with pause combat? There’s nothing old-school about that.

    • Deano2099 says:

      ‘Traditional’ in this case meaning ‘in the tradition of Baldur’s Gate’, which basically re-invigorated the whole RPG genre.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Even Baldur’s Gate didn’t have MMO-style combat abilities. You’d have to wait for D&D 4e for that crap.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      I know I’m always pausing MMOs. The other people playing get so pissed.

    • Wizardry says:

      Eh? I said MMO inspired real-time with pause combat. I didn’t say MMO combat. Neither did I say real-time with pause combat.

      Baldur’s Gate has none of that active ability point buy system so that on each level up you gain a new spell/ability to stick in your bar at the bottom of the screen. Baldur’s Gate never had a cooldown system for active abilities forcing combat to revolve around cycling between the same set of abilities again and again like in World of Warcraft.

      Baldur’s Gate was AD&D. It was about each character being made up of the same set of derived statistics. Combat was far more determined by each character’s chance to hit, weapon proficiencies, current health, armour classes, saving throws and immunities as opposed to whether you can spam cone of cold enough to last the duration of combat. Spells were part of the game system. Most of them relied on saving throws and ended up modifying derived statistics or limiting opponents on a mechanical level. In other words, spells augmented the focus on statistics vs statistics.

      Focusing on spamming active abilities while waiting for cooldowns is an MMO thing. Combat plays out completely differently. When you read up about tactics and strategies in WoW it’s usually all about what spells to cast in what order, or which talents to pick. It’s not focused on common traits among groups of individuals. Who tanks in Dragon Age: Origins? The fighter, of course. If you have more the one? The one with the sword and shield talents. Who tanks in Baldur’s Gate? The one with the highest armour class against the type of weapons enemies have (piercing, slashing, bludgeoning, missile). Against spell casters? The character with the highest saving throws (paralyse, poison, death, rod, staff, wand, petrify, polymorph, breath and spells). How would you improve the odds of your good aligned party fighting a pack of evil monsters? Cast a protection from evil 10′ radius spell to increase each character’s armour class and saving throws against them by 2, while rendering your party immune to charm based spells.

      It’s a different game entirely. Baldur’s Gate is of the very traditional variety of statistics vs statistics. Dragon Age: Origins was about spamming abilities on a cooldown.

    • Deano2099 says:

      DA2 (seems) to be about spamming abilities on cooldown. DA:O was actually more about resource management. If you spammed abilities you quickly went out of stamina or mana.

      DA:O was streamlined for sure, but the mages still had a lot of those situational spells, the game just failed in having too few enemy types to make them useful, and generally being easy enough you didn’t have to bother with anything advanced.

      I do still see a direct line from BG to DA:O combat though. And the reduction in randomness and more clearly defined stats that didn’t need to you read up on AD&D is actually an improvement I reckon. Other changes not so much. But DA:O certainly felt closer to BG than WoW to me (and I’ve played them both a hell of a lot).

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I do still see a direct line from BG to DA:O combat though.

      In same sense that there’s a direct line from AD&D2 to D&D4, I guess…

      Shortly after DA:O was released, I remarked to someone that the combat felt like you were playing an MMO but controlling the entire party, which I thought was kinda neat. It may be more difficult than WoW, but it’s conceptually identical. Take each individual character and how they behave in combat; it strongly resembles an MMO and bears little resemblance to AD&D2.

      I actually enjoyed the combat in DA:O for what it was. But similar to BG? Nah.

    • Deano2099 says:

      WoW is designed so you use an ability every 1.5 seconds, so there’s no “dead time” in the combat. If you try that in Dragon Age you’ll go out of mana/stamina within 10 seconds.

      Plus, WoW alone has 3 different resource mechanics for combat.

      I only started DA:2 a few nights ago, but that one I can certainly see the WoW comparison a lot more clearly. It’s the difference between “What abilities should I use” (DA) and “What abilities can I use at this point in time” (DA2)

    • Wizardry says:

      @Deano2099: The Gold Box games’ combat systems are closer to Baldur’s Gate’s than Baldur’s Gate’s is to Dragon Age: Origins’. In fact, I’d probably claim that even earlier SSI CRPGs like Wizard’s Crown had combat systems closer to Baldur’s Gate’s than Baldur’s Gate’s was to Dragon Age: Origins. They are of two very distinct varieties.

      It seems to me that some people just can’t tell one real-time combat system from another. I wonder if these same people can’t tell one tactical turn-based combat system from another? You have to look past the point and click nature of real-time with pause combat systems and look at just how combat plays out on a mechanical level. AD&D is so very far away from Dragon Age: Origins’ mechanics that they are pretty much on two completely different sides of the whole genre.

      If you take World of Warcraft, add the ability to pause and allow the player to control up to four characters, the game combat would be far closer to Dragon Age: Origins’ than Dragon Age Origins’ is to Baldur’s Gate’s. Fundamentally different. But again, the fact that some people can’t look past the interface and visuals shows that people are just completely oblivious to mechanical differences between CRPGs.

    • Jim Reaper says:

      I was excited by Dragon Age 2′s combat at first. It seemed very visceral and immediate, but it very, very quickly became a dull hack n’ slash. Add to that the repetitive scenery, respawning enemies and paint-by-numbers quests and you get an uninspiring game. By the end I was losing the will to live. As for that end fight, tedious doesn’t quite cover it….
      So, they’d better have a re-think for Dragon Age 3, or it’ll be the first Bioware game in a long time that I won’t be buying…..

    • Jahkaivah says:

      “traditional” is relative, depends on what traditions really.

      It really doesn’t matter though, it’s was just the word I used to distinguish Dragon Age: Origins from it’s action orientated cousin (Mass Effect), by all means use another word if you can think of a more appropriate one.

      The point is Bioware had two popular games of distinctively differant takes on the genre, which was great, both tastes were fulfilled for action-rpgs and [whatever won't cause an argument]-rpgs, but now they’ve gone in a direction that loses that broader appeal, which is a damn shame.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Jahkaivah: Fair enough. But even then the argument doesn’t make much sense to me. Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins may have been quite different and aimed at different audiences, but what audiences? Both games had a focus on characters and narrative. Both games had party members with personalities. Both games were rather linear and were not open world. The only real difference between them as games is the combat. So we have an apparently good third person shooter catering to fans of the BioWare formula who like third person cover shooters, and a terrible “tactical” party based combat game, that has been done better by countless games before it, catering to fans of the BioWare formula who like… good tactical party based combat? So basically, BioWare should get a hell of a lot more stick for Dragon Age: Origins’ terrible combat. However, with the even worse Dragon Age II, people are pretending that Dragon Age: Origins was high quality and old-school.

      I just don’t understand the gaming masses sometimes. Baldur’s Gate II had the best combat out of all BioWare games and even that was average at best due to unsuccessfully shoving a turn-based combat system (AD&D) into a real-time with pause combat system. People should expect far greater things in 2011.

    • Deano2099 says:

      “If you take World of Warcraft, add the ability to pause and allow the player to control up to four characters, the game combat would be far closer to Dragon Age: Origins’ than Dragon Age Origins’ is to Baldur’s Gate’s.”

      I’d say they were probably equidistant to be honest.

    • Jahkaivah says:

      @Wizardry

      Not just combat, Dragon Age also had more of a focus on…. [insert word here] rpg elements like leveling and equipment.

      Mass Effect was criticised for it’s combat as well, differance was unlike DA:O it was given a sequel that properly addressed the kind of game it was and improved it accordingly.

  33. Kaira- says:

    IF they are making Dragon Age 3 and going back to roots, I do hope they go more for Awakening than Origins. Origins was rather dull and boring, both scenery-wise as story-wise when compared to Awakening, which had much smaller area in focus but still managed to be more varied and interesting than Origins.

  34. Vinraith says:

    I doubt very strongly they’re really going to change course back towards Origins-style structure and gameplay, let alone improving on it (which is what’s really needed, let’s not forget that Origins was pretty flawed in and of itself). For one, you have these lines:

    In fact, we brought a lot of new fans into the Dragon Age franchise. But to be honest, we lost some fans as well. They were not pleased with some of the innovations and things we’d done.

    That’s less “we screwed up” than “our silly short sighted fans didn’t appreciate the genius of our streamlining and accessibility improvements.” My guess is there will be a few token gestures towards the old school fans, but the march of “more accessible, more streamlined” will carry on unabated.

    If the storyline is a continuation from DA2, though, it almost doesn’t matter.

    • Kadayi says:

      DA2 was always going to be the middle act of a a bigger story. The game begins with the interrogation which pretty much spells out the fact that the ending is going to be some cataclysmic event of which Hawke was a witness to. I’m kind of amazed that people thought that Hawke was going to resolve the conflict at the end, given he/she earns the title the Hero of Kirkwall during the middle part of the game. The name is not a reference to the final events. It was always meant to be a cluster fuck situation. Certainly I think they needed to do a better job with respect to the head magician aspect, but otherwise it ended on the requisite cliff hanger that leads into the third game. One that references both the grey warden & Hawke as persons of interest.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kadayi

      To be clear, that wasn’t a criticism of DA2′s story not being self contained, simply a statement that since I don’t want to play DA2, if DA3 is a continuation of that story it’s not going to be accessible to me no matter how much they improve the gameplay.

  35. karthink says:

    I hope they realize that their “innovations” aren’t the reason most people hated DA2.

  36. Dreamhacker says:

    I attended an exclusive showing of DA2 at the Gamex convention in Stockholm, late-2010. The part that really sold me (in the anti-way, as in “scared me the hell away from the game”) was when the two flown-in developers proudly proclaimed: “We thought some parts of DA1 we’re lacking in action, so we’ve done some redesigning. Now, when you press a button, something awesome happens”.

    I felt ashamed for Bioware. They were distributing the game to a 17+ audience, but they were marketing to a 12- audience.

    Sometimes I fear the game industry will never be able to create a true successor to Baldurs Gate 2. For one thing, the respect for the CRPG legacy is non-existent. You can turn a revenue if you seek only to make money from game development, but you will never make a truly memorable game unless you strive for artistic perfection.

  37. aeromorte says:

    I couldnt care less after i get my hands on Skyrim i wont be playing anything else till 2015

  38. ScubaMonster says:

    So, why couldn’t they listen to this feedback before they released it? People were already upset with the info they were receiving about the game. If feedback is so important, why did they ignore it? Was it basically a mentality of “Bah, they haven’t played it, they’ll love it once they do”.

    I realize it’s probably pretty hard to reverse course once you set about developing a game and designing it’s core features, but usually changing up a sequel that dramatically would piss off a lot of people, especially when the sequel is being released a mere year later.

    • RP says:

      Agree, there were even some really arrogant replies from the development team along those lines (they need a PR person, because almost everything they said was a huuuge turn-off to me). That said, it’s hard to switch horses mid-race. I’ll be paying attention to what DA3 looks like, but if I have any reservations, like I did with DA2, this time I’ll save my money. Fool me once, etc.

  39. Hunam says:

    I take it Dragon Age 2 sold more day 1 than DAO but the tail dropped off very quickly, where with DAO it seemed to consistently sell for quite a long time.

  40. Wixard says:

    While I did beat DA2 once (DA:O as well) I found the first to be superior.
    DA2 had what seemed better writing in its story but poor execution, while DA:O had a decent enough story with superior execution.
    The sequel was really not precise enough to flesh out characters, skipping far to much from here to there.
    Combat was a vast improvement in my opinion.
    The enviroment recycling in and of itself wasn’t a bad idea. Many games do this, but not so blatantly and not so poorly.
    If you’re going to reuse the same map, you need to have it look generic enough that the player will want to believe it’s not identical. The next thing you need to do is drop all the identifying landmarks.
    If a player enters a place and walks up the same stairs each time they’re going to be annoyed. That’s what I mean by generic. Like the dungeons in a game such as The Witcher 1. Many areas were reused and a lot of people never even knew. (or cared) Houses dungeons and many more. No one ever once complained as far as im aware.
    Lastly: Polish. The “gear” was paltry, the party selection was paltry, the character development both in story and stats seemed poor at best.
    All that said i would still have given it a 7. Would i buy it again at $50? NO. At 30? NO. At 10? Yea. I will not pre-order DA3.

  41. Jimbo says:

    I ended up playing through DA2 twice, though more out of curiosity than any great love for the game. Act 2 (the Qunari one) is actually pretty well done imo, and can play out quite differently depending on your choices. Unfortunately, Act 3 (and really the main storyline as a whole) is garbage however you play it.

    I thought the combat on Hard was enjoyable enough for the most part, but it did suffer from a lack of variety and a lack of emphasis on positioning. There’s enough challenge on Hard that you have to think about what’s happening, but not so much that you are forced to build your party in a very specific way. The team combos were cool to play around with, but the companions needed more flexibility in the roles they could fill.

  42. Wizardry says:

    .

  43. Gar says:

    I havn’t played DA:O or DA2, but I intend to get around to trying these out at some point. Based on what I’ve been reading about both games, I think I’m going to play DA2 first, and then move on to Origins (So 2 won’t be a big disappointment for me following Origins). Or is this a bad idea for some reason I’m not aware of?

    • Kadayi says:

      You should play the games in sequence as how the events play out in DA:O (& DA:A) do have some narrative impact upon events in DA2.

  44. Nick says:

    Gosh, I hope dragon age 3 still has A for awesome combat.

    It’ll be a big wait and see, thats for sure.

  45. MythArcana says:

    One trend is not debatable for me; Biospam games suck. If you want console ports that offer severely limiting options, claustrophobic linear maps, bottlecap-deep characters, rushed production, bad ideas, and ENDLESS expensive DLC SPAM every 2 days…then BioSpam is for you! I’ll be playing something with depth and substance in the meanwhile.

  46. Walsh says:

    Baldur’s Gate had multiplayer.

  47. Tuor says:

    So, those “innovations” were designed to ensure that DA2 remained within the limitations of consoles and also met the expectations of what the average console player wants out of an RPG. But, of course, they couldn’t up and say that they were doing that, so the couched all these marketing terms to keep PC gamers from feeling like they no longer matter (that’s bad PR).

    Whether or not the above is actually true, I *believe* it to be true, and that’s enough for me. I wasn’t really planning on buying this game based on what I’d heard about it before release, and now I am not only glad I didn’t buy it upon release, I am certain I will never purchase the game.

    It’s a shame, but these companies seem all too eager to cash in on reputations that they had established long ago, and now there are only a couple of companies left that I trust enough to be willing to buy their games with little or no hesitation. BioWare *used* to be one of those companies, but no longer. Now they’re with nearly everyone else: I won’t buy their product until it has been released and I have carefully and extensively researched whether it is something I actually want to play. I no longer trust them.

    • michaelfeb16 says:

      You speak the truth. The list of companies I trust enough to preorder from has be dropping over the years. Before DA2, there were two companies on the list. Now only Valve is left.

  48. FunkyBadger3 says:

    There’s at least one game killing bug in the NPC scripting (a plot dependandt NPC can be killed in a fight which locks off any further progress in the game).

    Also, railroading NPCs into groups is never cool.

  49. The Hammer says:

    The sad thing is that Dragon Age is a series that party-based RPG fans really do need to see work, since there are hardly any big-budget games of the western RPG type any more.

    If they suck – which DA2 really seems to – then we’re buggered.

  50. Kaldor says:

    If you hate or enjoy it, DA2 is mediocre by definition. In aesthetics and design philosophy, it’s a rehash of what they already did in Jade Empire. Which was mostly a streamlined, PS1-fied KOTOR-formula. And it’s even less ambitious, their formula is old and tired. Atmosphere is mostly poor, the conflicts can hardly be taken seriously. And although the constant talk of your companions manages to keep you following the story, the cheesiness and shallowness of the characters and and many of the issues is the direct opposite of the advertised dark and gritty fantasy. It’s relatively unique in that there actually aren’t that many games with a strong focus on story and characters, and I think that’s the main attraction. But compared to some older games, it’s a halfhearted, generic and deeply flawed effort.