Dragon Age 2

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Rinnon, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    So I just got through Dragon Age 2. Was wondering if anyone else has finished yet and what they thought about it.

    There are not plot or character spoilers in here, but if you don't want even structure of the game spoiled, don't read the next paragraph.

    I feel like the game needed a few more months in the oven, to iron out bugs and add a bit more to the later chapters. The last chapter felt... rushed. Almost like they didn't finish making it and had to push things along to release. Frankly, I feel like the game needed a whole extra chapter to allow plot and character bits to stew a little longer before the climax. The ending felt very... abrupt.

    But what does everyone else think?
     
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  2. JCD

    JCD Rookie

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    Though it's being treated as the worst game ever made by some, I think it's passable. Compared to the original it's an atrocity though. The story is awful, the dialogue is never more than decent (often being ridiculously awful) the gameplay is incredibly dumb, the characters are bland, the environments are recycled so much that EVERYWHERE IS THE SAME ALL THE TIME JESUS and it's buggy as hell.

    This game needed a few YEARS extra development, not months. Very disappointing.

    I'm sure once the 85th patch comes out with the 7billionth piece of DLC though, it'll be just great.
     
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  3. TheDiesel

    TheDiesel Rookie

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    My friend pushed me to all Hell to buy it, but instead decided to wait for Dynasty Warriors 7 to release on the 29th of this month. Considering all points, I think I may have made the right decision.

    For now, I'm looking to rent it, play it on the easiest difficulty, and play through for the story. After playing the demo and seeing how mundane the combat is [funny I use this term not for DW7 but for DA2], the only redeeming factor was just playing through to see what happens.
     
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  4. JCD

    JCD Rookie

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    That is quite literally the only reason to play, yeah. I tried out all the different difficulty levels and was astounded about how weirdly it was all done. It doesn't seem like increasing the difficulty makes the game a whole lot harder, except for certain enemy types. It's ridiculous that you can mow through hundreds of fodder-soldiers until someone with a prefix before their name comes along and eats you to death with ease.
     
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  5. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    Yeah, I think I still must have liked it better than you did JCD. XD

    Gameplay wise, I didn't really have that many problems. Yes, the areas were recycled, but that didn't bother me all that much. The combat was alright, but since I play these games on Casual it didn't really matter that much to me. Combat is just kind of the filler between story bits to me. I liked the skill trees quite a bit, and the actual animations during combat grew on me too.

    I think where the game really lost me was the plot holes and incomplete story lines. Some side quests I found interesting didn't feel concluded. Some companion quests didn't feel fleshed out enough, or in some cases where bugged and put in random order (That's not acceptable.) The way that conversations were handled were done like Awakening instead of like Origins, which sucked too. I liked being able to talk to my party members whenever I wanted... not have them give me generic 1 liners when they didn't have a quest to give me.

    The Main plot I enjoyed, but some of it didn't make sense. I heard my wife saying the exact same thing as I was thinking during some parts "Why are you attacking me!? I'm on your side! I hate that person too!" I came to a point were someone I thought was my friend was like "Why do you support this person after all you've done for us?" And I was thinking to myself "Uh, what the fuck are you talking about? When have I ever supported, or appeared to support, that person?"

    The ending felt really... incoherent. Characters did things that were out of character, people showed up who shouldn't have logically been there. NPCs did things for no other reason than for there to be a boss fight. Yeah, needed more time in the oven, I actually could feel the rushed aspects of the game.
     
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  6. Kijan

    Kijan Rookie

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    Hope BioWare is going to learn something out of this. Now I'm scared about Mass Effect 3. :(
     
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  7. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    I highly doubt it's Bioware, it's EA here that is the problem. I feel like all of these issues stem from the fact that the game needed more time in development. It is very very rarely that the Dev studio is the one who wants to release early. It's usually the publisher that pushes a release date on a Dev, and forces a game out before it's fully cooked. After playing through the issues I had with DA2 in my mind, I feel like the issue are not a problem with the foundation. The foundation of the game is good, the story they were wanting to tell was good... But I can tell things were cut and rushed. I'm almost 100% positive the original script they had planned was not what we got. I wouldn't be surprised if they cut 25% of it to get it out in time. Especially considering the way the ending was thrown together... or the way things kind of fell apart in the final act.

    It makes me sad. =(
     
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  8. Kijan

    Kijan Rookie

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    Is there no way for the developers to say 'fuck you' to the publishers?

    What would be the consequences of such doing I always wonder... :p
     
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  9. JCD

    JCD Rookie

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    Neither are blameless, but after watching the developer diaries for DAII, I firmly believe that the staff at Bioware had actually no idea what they were doing. Didn't they hire a five year old as lead designer?

    (Slight exaggeration perhaps, but I think the guy was still super young.)
     
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  10. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    I liked it, read my review or blog for why because most of what I would say will be reposted here.
     
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  11. Bretimus_v2

    Bretimus_v2 Hey kiddo!

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    All of this is disappointing to hear. Especially since I'm working on DA:Origins and Awakening right now. Well, looks like I'll hold off on this purchase for a bit at least.
     
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  12. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    I hadn't seen that. I was TRYING to kid myself into thinking that Bioware was blameless here, so if you don't mind...
     
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  13. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    I have a lot to say in response. I'll put it here, because I want to be direct, and I can't hide spoilers in a comment.

    [MAJOR SPOILERS]


    The main disagreement I have with you there is that the "choices" you make are merely illusions. They aren't even good illusions. At the beginning of the game, when you pick either to go with the Mercs or the Thieves, there is 1 different quest. After that, while the quest giver is different, the actual quests are the same. There is an illusion of change, but no real change there. It does not actually change the quests you end up getting.

    Next, you mentioned that decisions you make, changed the world. Also not true. Almost no matter what you tried to do, the same events would come to fruition. Example: With Merril's side quest, it always had the same ending. Even if you kept saying "Don't build the mirror" and "I'm not giving you this item to help you build it." No matter what, it led to the same conclusion. Every choice you made along the way was irrelevant with regards to where the story was going.

    I'm not saying this is a terrible thing, most games don't even give you the illusion of choice, but Origins did a much better job of this. In Origins, if I wanted to kill the elves to get an army of Werewolves, I could do that. I got to pick which dwarf was going to be on the throne. These choices had lasting effects and they felt like they mattered both long term and immediately. DA2 had lip service, with no real change to the world.

    Secondary quests were the same, as were main quests. Very very few choices were real choices in this game. Did you save that Half-Elf mage from slavery? No matter what, in the next act, you're going into the fade at the behest of the keeper. Same quest no matter what you did. Did you kill Varrics brother, or save him? No matter what, same quest next act for his story. It goes on.

    With regards to your talking about the characters having passion and strong stances on certain positions... the ending of the game ruined that. In Dragon Age, if you poison the Ashes with Lilleana there, she straight up attacks you! As she should. At the end of the game when Anders blows stuff up, I spared him. The only person who left was Sebastian (Good on him). But Fenris and Aveline stayed... In fact, after I told them I was siding with the mages, they STILL stayed with me! That made no sense! I don't see them straight up attacking me, but both of those characters were very very morally opposed to what was happening. Aveline SHOULD have said something like "I can't help you do this, I'm going back to command the Guard and ensure everyone is safe." Fenris SHOULD have straight up left. He hates mages, no matter how much he may like the Champion, it was completely out of character for him to stay with the Champion.

    Lastly, the entire theme was belittled by the ending. The major underlying theme was the problem of the dangers of the Mage's potential, and what to do about that. The conflict was of course that Merideth was pushing so hard that Mages were resorting to blood magic to escape her judgment, and she was using that as justification that what she was doing was right. It was a truly wonderful way to present the theme. The First Enchanter and Merideth were great characters, especially because neither one actually was wrong. I could totally relate to either of them. The First Enchanter wanted her to understand not all Mages were evil, and she wanted him to understand she was doing what she was doing for the sake of the protecting the people from the mages, and the mages from themselves.

    But then the last 20 minutes ruined that. The First Enchanter uses blood magic and turns into an abomination. Why would he do that? No more than 5 minutes ago he was encouraging his mages to run, spread the word of the injustice here, and help other circles rise up for just treatment. Suddenly using Blood Magic was completely out of character for him, it contradicted everything he had been saying up to that point. All so that we could have a big demon boss to fight. And THEN we discover "Oh, Merideth has that Idol that makes people crazy." Which completely ruins her character. Suddenly, she's not just a strong willed Templar who might be going too far, even if she believes what she's doing. No, that would be too complex and thought provoking. Instead, she's just straight up being influenced by an ancient evil, making her the clear as day bad guy. Why would they ruin the theme by doing this? They took a complex situation with complex characters, and simplified them as much as possible so that we could just fight two "clearly evil" bad guys. Absolutely terrible. It almost completely negated who you sided with anyways! Either way, you are going to be fighting 1 evil abomination, and 1 evil possessed Knight Commander. Again, illusion of choice, and nothing more.


    [/MAJOR SPOILERS]

    Sorry, that was a bit of a wall of text. But my Wife and I both felt the same way after finishing it, so I had a lot of time to discuss with her what we actually had problems with.
     
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  14. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    I'm pretty sure he actually was 17. The writing staff was composed of the types of people you usually find writing bad fanfics and a bunch of the other guys

    And really, both are pretty much to blame. it's been a slippery slope from the last few games. Though honestly, after Mass Effect 2 and all the things they were releasing about this game, if you didn't expect it to be mediocre it's kinda surprising.

    The one thing I'm surprised hasn't come up is the whole debacle about the guy who criticized Bioware on their forums and had his entire EA account turned off, meaning he wasn't able to play any of the games.
     
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  15. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    I don't really look at trailers and press release stuff usually, I prefer not knowing anything going into a game.

    Question about that banning though. Was he just criticizing Bioware, or was he also swearing and being a jackass? I mean, if I came on the GR forums and was like "Hi GR, I have some problems with your site, here's what they are and here's how I think you can improve them." I'm pretty sure people would be fairly receptive. But if I came on here and was like "GR SUCKS! UR WEBSITE IS ASS GO IGN" or something like that, I hope that I would be banned.
     
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  16. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    He was actually being very civil about it, but ended his argument with "I wonder if Bioware sold their soul to the EA devil?" give or take a bit.
     
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  17. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    Not bad, but this is where I got to disagree, RInnon.

    SPOILERS



    For one, the illusion of choices argument is in all of the games anyway. The urn of sacred ashes quest, for example, I had Leliana on my team in a playthrough and despite destroying the relic she stayed with me because I had a high enough approval with her. We never fought, except Wynne who totally objected and tried to kill me...and while it was an out of character moment it did make sense because she liked me so much.

    Similar situation in the endgame with Fenris for me. I sided with the mages and he just walked off. Meanwhile I decided to kill Anders to placate Aveline and Sebastian, and continued on. I later had to convince Fenris to fight with me, and I think I got lucky that our rivalry was high enough because he reluctantly agreed to join the fight on our side. So there is some fluidity to their actions. I guess it depends on how high the meters are, but they still behave in character dependent on what occurs in game.

    In regards to the quests in Dragon Age II, the companion quests your right, they have a finite solution that needs to be told, especially since three of them are in the main storyline, being your sibling, Isabella and Anders. The choices you make with them affect how they see you, not the world around you though. For the companions that is what is most important, since it changes the group dynamics immensely thanks to the friendship/rivalry system. Other quests such as helping the mages or templars, how you deal with the Qunari and the Arishok, etc all lead to the same outcome, but what occurs is different and again change how the companions look at you in game. Helping mages so many times vs helping templars will piss off one half of the group and befriend the other half...its a constant give and take.

    As for Meredith and Orsino, I think the point was that when pushed to extremes and despair people lose themselves, no matter how passionate they are. I was shocked and kind of pissed about Orsino turning into a Harvester, but at the same time the lines before he said anything pretty much made it sound like he gave up. Meredith you can see was going mad the entire time, and it became a ends justifying the means type of deal. Both of them lost sight of their duties as mage and templar, not due to outside interference with possession or blood magic, but because both were pushed to extremes thanks to conflict. They are still complex characters in the end because they both lament their actions, yet fight onward because they think they are both right in the end when they are really both wrong.



    END SPOILERS

    But that was my take on it. Good stuff though in the end.
     
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  18. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    Longo:

    If that was the worst he said, that's pretty ridiculous to ban him for such a minor thing. Glad I'm having this chat with Link on here, where I don't have to worry about being kicked out of both the forum AND my game.

    Link:

    [SPOILERS]



    You're right about the illusion of choice being like that in most games. But my expectations were higher here, because of Origins. Is it fair for me to expect more of DA2 because of what DA:O did? Maybe, maybe not. But yeah, maybe the urn wasn't the greatest example. Better examples would be things like which dwarf you put on the throne, and did you destroy the anvil. Did you save Connor from the Demon, and if so, did you kill the Arlessa to do it, or did you use the Circle? Did you kill the elves, or kill the wearwolves, or break the curse? These are all things that when you were done, the world had been changed for it. If you killed the elves, there weren't any elves in that forest. If you saved the Anvil, there was an army of Golems waiting for you. Did you put Alistair on the throne, or did you exile him to far off lands, and leave Anora in charge, while sending Loghain to his death against the Arch Demon? These are all massive story changing events. There were almost no events like that in DA2. Where what you did significantly changed something.

    Some brief examples of what I would have liked to see. When I donated to the Feralden refugee fund (5 Sovereigns), I was hoping that in the next act, people would be talking about how much better the refugees were doing thanks to generous donations in the past. When I killed that mage who had kidnapped a young elf girl, and the noble father was pissed at me, I was hoping that was going to result in some problem in the future. When I refused to kill a noble even though I took the job from the Mercs, because I thought the Noble was doing the right thing, I was hoping that would result in SOMETHING. ANYTHING. But none of it did. It was all just filler. None of those things are mentioned again when you get to the next act. Even Fable was capable of doing things like this, and that wasn't even that good of a game! I just expect more from DA than this.

    With regards to Fenris walking out on you, it would seem likely that he did not for me, because I had him at max friendship. I still stand by my statement that despite max friendship, it would have made more sense for him to walk away.

    That kind of brings me to the Rivalry system though. You agree that most choices don't result in world changing events, but rather change how your companions view you. The problem was, there was NO difference in how they treat you, if you're rivals or friends! I had Merril at max friendship, and my Wife had her at max Rivalry. Not only did we both have the exact same quests, all of the lines were the same too! Even when you go visit her house, she says the same thing! No change in demeanor, no change in attitude. It didn't seem to make ANY difference! So now not only do these "choices" you make not affect the way the world turns out, it doesn't even really affect the way your companions treat you! They still give the same quests, and same conversations, with all the same dialogue options.

    As for Meredith and Orsino we might have to agree to disagree. I was also shocked and pissed when he turned into the Harvester, but his lines just before it weren't enough to convince me it made sense. Everything we know about him painted him as a proud man, who was doing the best he could to insure his mages were treated well. Using blood magic was proving Meredith right, something that his character would know, and avoid. I expected him to die before using blood magic. Even if you're correct and it wasn't actually out of character though, I still feel the ending was cheapened by having them both be wrong and evil. Had the game been more morally ambiguous it would have held a much stronger punch. If neither of them turned into demons or some such thing, we'd be in a situation where both were genuinely doing what they thought was best, motivated only by their own desire to protect people. That would have been a strong conflict. Instead, it was a crazy Templar vs an Abomination. It made it almost TOO easy to just kill them and feel you did the right thing. It would have been GREAT if you killed one of them not really knowing if you did the right thing.


    [/SPOILER]

    It might seem that with all this complaining I didn't like the game. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it while I played it. I will probably play through it again at some point. I was just really disappointed that they didn't do more with what they had.
     
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  19. JCD

    JCD Rookie

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    I gotta say Links, I disagree with your review completely, especially when you mention that it'll change gaming. If it does so, let's be under no illusion here, it will NOT be for the better. This game is a cash cow and while enjoyable...ish, I think that it is one of the single largest disappointments for me in gaming history and is sorely underdeveloped.

    That being said, I'm glad you got enjoyment out of it, I'm glad a fair few people have.

    At least there's SOME reason for it's existence.

    lololololol
     
    #19
  20. Rinnon

    Rinnon Rookie

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    Origins had been in development for over FIVE years. It was announced at E3 in 2004, and released In DECEMBER of 2009. Bioware was bought out by EA in 2007. So for at least 3 years, Bioware had been working on Dragon Age free of any EA influence.

    Less than 4 months after Origins released, an expansion had already been pushed out the door, not to mention the plethora of DLC (of questionable quality) that had been released and was continuing to be released. The fact that DA2 is out no more than a year after Awakening is pretty telling. It took 5 years to make Origins, and only 1 to make DA 2? Seems pretty clear to me that SOMEONE wanted this game out and making money as soon as possible.
     
    #20

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