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Customer Review

66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bugs, Glitches, and Heartache, March 14, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dragon Age 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
+1 Month and still no patch.

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Review for the XBOX 360 version of the game.

I've loved Bioware's games. Dragon Age Origins is one of my favorite games. My first play through took 60 hours and when I finished, I promptly restarted the game. The story and the conflict were engaging. The characters were unique and likable. All-in-all DA:O was a delightful throwback to games like Baldur's Gate. I can't recall many games in recent memory that hooked me as fast.
However, here I am, debating on whether or not I will ever play through Dragon Age 2 again. This game needed at least another year or two of development. It's either the result of rushed development, tight resources, or laziness.

First the Good: The graphics on the XBOX 360 version are an improvement over DA:O. The animations are improved. The soundtrack is better. The button pressing combat creates a hack-n-slash experience with mixed results. However, it does provide a more interactive experience than DA:O where you tapped a button and then watched as your character began engaging the enemy. Although, I imagine PC users will likely be ticked by this change.

The story has some amazing moments. Whoever wrote the Qunari pieces in the second act should get a raise. Those scenes were all gripping and amazingly done. Also a few of your party members really stand out. The characters "Varric" and "Merill" are great and their dialogue is very well done.

The Bad: Good graphics don't mean anything if you see the same maps and the same textures throughout the entire game. By the end of the first act, I had grown tired of Kirkwall. I had seen everything. Every cave, every mansion, every beach rely on the exact same underlying map. So the cave is always the same. It always looks the same. Bioware changes things up by blocking where you can go on the map, but 1/3 of the way through the game and I found I had seen everything. This just feels lazy. Maybe they ran out of time or resources or perhaps they were constrained by the limits of the DVD format. I don't know and I don't care. This sucks. 30-45 hours of the same thing.. over and over and over.....

The story details a political conflict. It's a political conflict that I don't want any part of because there is obviously no winner. There is no "good" or "bad" decision. Just shades of gray. No blight, just politics. I'm not rushing towards a great conclusion. I'm rushing into a Greek tragedy! Characters behave irrationally. Only thing I knew for certain was whatever decision I made, I'd pay for it later. Beyond that, your choices don't matter. You have the same boss fights regardless of which side you ultimately pick. It doesn't make story sense. I thought my choices would determine who the ultimate baddie would be, but no, you end up fighting both sides regardless of what you do. It feels forced. I played as a mage. The game centers around the conflict between mages and templars, but most templars didn't even seem to notice the fact my character was a mage.

Then there are bugs. One character's quest became bugged. It was a bug that revealed the ending of her quest chain, thus spoiling the story. I went online and found that many other people have experienced the same thing. A problem even more noteworthy if you have engaged in a "romance" with said character.

A few other bugs my friends and I have noticed:
* No achievements for DA2 Exiled Prince DLC. That's 5 achievements for 130 gamer points that currently do not work.
* Final boss fight glitches. Character remains stunned and villain is finished off by NPCs.
* You can't finish quests in the third act. NPCs fail to engage when you approach.
* Targeting problems with mages.
* Monsters in various boss fights fail to appear, but still damage player and NPCS.
* Game crashes when loading an area often resulting in a corrupted save file.
* Game triggers that are supposed to reference decisions from DA:O, Golemns of Amgarak, and Witch Hunt fail to work.

The game allows you to import your save from DA:O. For the most part, it doesn't matter. You get an extra side quest or get a forced cameo. Your choices don't impact much of anything. However, on a few occasions where the game could reference my decisions, I discovered that DA2 got my decisions wrong. I didn't spare the Architect!

On normal difficulty and higher, battles go on too long. My characters always feel woefully underpowered. Monsters will seize on one character (almost always the rogue). At this point you run said character around for a bit waiting for monsters to engage someone else. It's stupid, but one of the only things I've found to work in some of the tougher fights. Party members ignore commands. There's a cool down on potions and an increased cool down on healing spells.

I seriously could go on, but I'll spare you. I'm not alone in my complaints. Several of my friends pre-ordered as well. We've had group chat sessions that have turned into something of a Dragon Age 2 therapy session. Honestly, I'm hurt. I loved DA:O.

I pre-ordered this game and I won't make that mistake again. I'll wait for reviews for Mass Effect 3 and any subsequent DA game.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2011 12:48:29 AM PDT
In retrospective, I think I should have rated this game lower. The game destroys it's own cannon. Characters from the past game make cameos and then act out of character. Endings provided after Awakenings and Witch Hunt are directly contradicted by events in this game. I'm going to sell my copy. I've made up my mind. No more play-throughs and I'm not buying any DLC or expansions for this. I know a lot of people are waiting for patches. (The bugs become worse and more noticeable in the 3rd Act. Final boss fight and the boss' armor has no texture and is instead a solid gray? really Bioware? Who tested this thing?) However, there were bugs in DA:O and they were never fixed. So, I wouldn't hold my breath on a patch.

So ticked right now....

Posted on Mar 21, 2011 5:51:41 AM PDT
DanG says:
Agree. Entirely.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 12:42:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2011 12:43:18 AM PDT
Cheezr says:
Unfortunately, I agree with you as well.
The bugs which prevent one from finishing a long and tedious quest are unforgivable and the reuse of the one underground map was at first funny but now i just wonder 'what were they thinking'?
No wonder it is amazon's deal of the day today!

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 9:06:08 PM PDT
Great review, I agree with you on every point you made.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 9:48:18 PM PDT
Yeah, the bugs are unforgivable. I find it interesting that none of the major reviews (IGN, Gamespot, 1UP) really even mentioned them. I had to re-load nearly every major boss fight in the third act because of bugs.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2011 7:38:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 31, 2011 7:40:22 AM PDT
Prometheus says:
"No achievements for DA2 Exiled Prince DLC. That's 5 achievements for 130 gamer points that currently do not work."

I don't care much for the game as there are just too many bugs in it that make it more and more unplayable as you continue it and that it has no soul, but you can fix this problem by downloading the Exiled Prince DLC a second time but first delete the Exiled Prince DLC is already on you hard drive. Then you will get them if you care to play this boring and tedious game a second time.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2011 11:06:02 PM PDT
Thanks for the tip. Yeah, I'm not sure re-downloading the Exiled Prince DLC will happen. This game just wasn't worth the headaches.

Posted on Apr 18, 2011 1:23:34 PM PDT
I totally agree with this review, one other thing that kinda annoyed me about the reuse of set locations was that nothing changed over 10 years!! The city "fell" into deeper chaos and filth but every area looked exactly the same, the characters looked exactly the same, there was no sign of age on anything! They could have at least attempted to add a bit of detail to city (since it basically was serving as a character itself) but nothing.

This game was definitely a mixture of lazy and rushed. A lot of people blame EA and maybe thats the truth, but over all the creators and designers could have worked on this a bit harder. I keep thinking DA is just the red headed step child of BIOWARE and Mass Effect is now their golden goose.
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