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on August 17, 2015
This review is strictly about ordering this game as a PC download from Amazon. I hope the game is awesome but I haven't gotten to play it yet. I bought and downloaded the game. I have never purchased a PC download from Amazon before. Everything goes smoothly until you open the game menu and hit Play. Then a program tells you that it has to check the release date. Takes about 45 seconds to then tell me ERROR, 'Release Check Date Failed'. with no other option then go to a website that then asks you to download a support tool if the game isn't working. Well that program froze and wont download at all. I'm bummed about it all not working and loosing money as I cannot return the product.
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on July 31, 2015
This isn't so much a review of the game itself, this is a review of the downloading process as a whole. I do want to state upfront that I don't know how much of this is because of Amazon and how much of this is because of the game developer. It took hours, HOURS, to download. After that irritation, I expected to just be able to get right into the game, Im a huge DA fanatic, but it made me go through a Release Date Check, something I had never heard of before. I tried doing the date check many times and got an error every time. I had to go through an hour an a half long process with Securom before I was able to do any playing. It was unbelievably frustrating, and would be almost impossible for someone without computer knowledge. Long story short, the whole process took longer and was more frustrating than anything I have done on the computer in a long, LONG while. I apologize to Amazon for them taking any blame that isn't theirs, I just wanted people to know how much of a turn off this whole process was.
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on January 26, 2014
I had already owned the xbox version and most of the DLC. In preparation for the next one in the series, which I will be buying on the PC, I needed to replay through the PC versions. Got this one on sale for 5 bucks at Xmas 13.

The game does however use origin, which is ugly and bad compared to Steam. I wish it had used steam also but EA had to use their own system when steam was already doing it right.

This did come with the bonus DLC if I remember right, as in the DLC for the extra store called the emporium is included along with the mabari hound I believe but I think thats it.

I loaded the game to make sure it worked and everything seems fine. I have to play through the PC version but with the ability to use mods and more to improve graphics etc it is much better then the console versions.

The gameplay itself compared to the first in the series is drastically different.
1. The actual fights are faster and much easier even on higher difficulties.
2. The default attacks for each person are much better then the first and you feel as if non ability attacks actually do some damage.
3. The level design is much simpler in this version, places are constantly reused, the same texture gets used hundreds of times for level designs.
4. The ability to use mods is a huge improvement. I am able to use a texture mod to make everything in the game use 4k resolution textures.
5. The gameplay itself much the same as the first in the series.
6. Conversations are now much more limited. This is where I start taking points off. I loved having 6 or sometimes even more choices in a conversation with anyone, there were many outcomes for each choice and it branched off in huge ways. Now the conversations use the Mass Effect style of choice and give you 6 options and tells you which ones are good or bad for companion talking.

All in all I enjoyed this game MUCH more then the first in the series because I could replay this one faster and easier and see all the endings/achievement hunt. Now I need to prepare for the next in the series with a new save to continue from.
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on February 22, 2014
I debated buying this because of everything I'd heard about the game. It went on sale for $5 and I figured, why not. I went in knowing the common complaints about this game and with expectations set accordingly.

- So, yes, there are endlessly recycled dungeons. It's cheap and lazy -- I can understand having multiple quests in the same location to maximize reuse, but it would be nice if different cave systems had different layouts.
- I miss the camp system from DAO, where you could talk your companions as much as you wanted -- now each romance path has fairly few scenes and development before it jumps into the relationship.
- the battle system is faster and not as slow and tactical as DAO.
- not as epic or heroic as DAO -- in DAO I felt like I made an actual difference, in DA2 it felt like everything went to hell regardless of your choices

So, that's quite a list of cons. But I went into the game knowing all of these things in advance, and with the right expectations I managed to enjoy the game. I love Hawke's voice acting and personality development -- sarcastic Hawke is very fun to play. I loved Varric and Fenris, and the party banter was still as funny as DAO. I connected to my Hawke's struggles, even though they played out on a less epic scale. I think that Hawke having a more defined background and personality helped with the writing -- I like being able to pick a gender, and that's about as much self-insertion as I need. And I got used to the battle system and started enjoying the cross-class combos.

Ultimately, I play RPGs to experience a story and be immersed in another world, and DA2 managed to achieve that. Just lower your expectations and don't expect anything as good as DAO.
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on October 21, 2013
***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

I originally came into contact with the Dragon Age games due to my friend. She went on and on about a certain elf named Fenris and I was dying to know what she was talking about. And, so, I sat down and watched her play...and thus my addiction began.

Very differently than most other people, I enjoy Dragon Age 2 more than Dragon Age: Origins. Origins felt slow and when I played it, I felt like I was stuck in the castle forever. I wasn't very keen on the looks of the characters or of how hard it was to use a mage. As a result, by the time I got to the second game, I was not fond of mages in the least and still sucked at playing as them. I am a rogue through and through. But that is an opinion and preference and I'm talking about DA2, not Origins. So, I suppose it is best to simply dive right in.

Plot/Story Line: 10/10
I greatly enjoy the storyline of DA2. It isn't as in depth as some would like and I even find it falling short in some areas in comparison to others.
Dragon Age 2 takes place about a fifth of the way through Origins, give or take. In the beginning of Act 1, Hawke (you) and your family are fleeing the destruction of Lothering during the fifth Blight (this is after the beginning cut scene with Varric and Cassandra). After you flee your home and make it to Kirkwall, you spend a year working off your debt to get into the city. When the year is complete, you are looking to make some coin and that is basically the whole goal of Act 1. This act is where you find all of your party members (save Aveline and either your mage-sister, Bethany, or your warrior-brother, Carver) and begin your journey. Act 1 is focused mostly on the Deep Roads Expedition. There are various side quests (like "Bait and Switch," "Tranquility," and "Fools Rush In") that gather who is to be in your party along with simple fighting or find-and-deliver quests that both save up money for the Deep Roads and help to level up Hawke. To cut down on spoilers and save time, you basically save up 50 Sovereigns, complete several quests and then go to Bartrand (Varric's brother) and insert yourself into the Expedition. Who you take in can also affect several outcomes so it is wise to plan your party carefully.
I won't delve anymore into the story to keep from spoiling excessively. As a general overview, there is much time that passes and it all syncs relatively well with its predecessor.

Various Tasks (Quests): 9/10
I know most people find the Quests annoying but, again, I seem to be different. Yes, I will admit that some of the quests are pure Hell. (DO NOT ACCEPT ANY QUESTS FROM THE HERBALIST!! It is just awful!!) There are a lot of quests, however, that can be really entertaining depending on who you take along. For instance, "The Long Road" quest centers around Aveline trying to court Guardsmen Donnic and, though monotonous and a bit tedious, it is very entertaining to see such a woman as Aveline falling over herself and flailing about like a fish. The flirting options are also very entertaining with Aveline, though she refuses your advances. The end result is worth the work and, if you're an Aveline-loving fan, be sarcastic when she says "I don't know how I can every repay you..." (or something to the affect) and she kisses you. I shocked prior-stated friend by disproving her theories of Aveline. Back to the important part--most of the time, who you have on your team can bore or entertain you. With "The Long Road," Isabella is a must-have. Her witty comments are just amazing and her argument with Aveline is priceless. I take Isabella everywhere just to hear how funny she is.
Overall, there are several quests that are very entertaining and some you just wish would end. That's how it goes and every game has those love-hate moments.

Development of Characters/Character Profiles: 10/10
The characters in this are amazing. I love them so much. However, you can tell that this game is geared more towards men than females because of how farther the female story lines are.
The "main" characters (excluding yourself) consist of Varric, Aveline, Fenris, Anders, Isabella, Bethany/Carver and Merrill. "Varric" is a rogue-dwarf and the storyteller of Dragon Age 2 who is always seen with his trusty Bianca. He makes his wonderful reappearance in DA2 by being drug in at the beginning to be questioned about the Champion (i.e. You). You cannot romance Varric. "Aveline" is a woman Hawke meets when running at the beginning of the game. She is a complete warrior type woman and you are there when she loses her husband to the Dark Spawn. You are relatively close to her which is good because she eventually becomes Captain of the Guard in Kirkwall making her a huge asset. You can flirt with Aveline but I don't believe you can be with her. "Fenris" is a former slave and an elf. He escaped his captor Danarius but, as time goes on, you learn that Danrius is still searching for him. He is the quiet one that, being a warrior, is very strong. His story doesn't really evolve until the Second Act in the quest "A Bitter Pill." You can romance Fenris and there are two sexual scenes with him (that I know of). "Anders" is a mage housing an entity known as Justice. He makes his reappearance as the "Grey Warden" in the quest "Tranquility." Anders is the softer type and is VERY easy to romance. You can romance with him often and the results bear fruit very early on in Act 2. He does deceive you so, unless you ask the right questions, you'll never known. "Isabella" is definitely one of the stronger, female characters with an absolutely amazing story line. She is a rogue-pirate who makes her reappearance in "Fools Rush In" at the Hanged Man. Her dealings with the Qun are interesting to say the least. She is very flirtatious and loves to tease others. Out of everyone, her in-game banter is the funniest. But her more feminine side is sad and she has a lot of inner turmoil. "Bethany"/"Carver" is various. If you are a mage, your sister dies but your brother lives. If you are, say, a rogue then the opposite occurs. Overall, Carver has a more defined story addition but neither really matter since you lose them for some time after the Deep Roads. So there isn't much to tell about them. "Merrill" is arguably my least favorite character makes her reappearance early on in DA2. She is a Danish Elf who does use blood magic on occasion. There are two or three quests specific to Merrill and you meet her when executing a task given to you by the Witch of the Waste, Flemeth (who is MUCH prettier in DA2 than in Origins!).
Overall, the characters are interesting and they develop and grow nicely through the prolonged time of DA2.

Cut Scenes (Both Clean as well as Sexual): 10/10
There are many cut scenes in the game which play important roles in the overall point of the game. Cut scenes are mostly used in this as important places and highlight interesting options. As strange as that sounded, basically...they are one of the best parts and what makes DA2 my second favorite game of all time.

Graphics: 9.5/10
The graphics are very nice. But what else would you expect of a PS3? On the PC, the graphics can be set to look more like the PS3's but even unadjusted, they are still very nice. The fluidity of the characters could be a bit improved but it isn't awful. Overall, they heighten the game more than cause problems.

Weaponry: 9/10
The weapons are nice but I wouldn't say great. With how hard it is to level your character, if you don't put specific attributes is certain places, adding weaponry for some characters can be really hard. They weapons function effectively enough but I just wish they would ease up a bit. Then again, this could just be a person view compared to how it actually is.

Attributes/Abilities: 9.5/10
There are so many abilities! That is my main thing when I first started the games. I was surprised at how much there was...and then I read into them and learned and pointless some of them were. I won't list any because everyone has their own preferences but there are some that are just not worth adapting--that's not to say that there aren't any amazing ones. There are some abilities that function wonderfully and can make/break a duel. The attribute system is much easier in DA2 than in Origins, in my opinion. Overall, there is more good than bad in this area.

Voice Overs: 10/10
I love them! The actors portray their characters well and some of them are familiar voices that many of us know and have come to love. This is one of the better voice acting-work I've seen. Each character is very distinct and they don't lump together. You know when you see Merrill you'll have a high-pitched panicking voice coming your way versus Isabella's expecting deep, seductive sarcasm. It's very nice to see the lines cut so neatly.

Character Banter (Background, specifically): 15/10
The score goes over for the banter. It is absolutely wonderful! You can find out so much about each character just from the banter or you can have fun little voices making jokes in the background as the time goes by. For instance, if you have Bethany and Isabella on your team, you can eventually hear them talking about Isabella and how she was once married. This is a fact that you don't really know for sure until the background banter. Another example of a more entertaining one is of Isabella and Fenris when Isabella speaks of how slavers sometimes covered the slaves in oil to make them glisten before asking if Fenris used to glisten. The result is strange, disturbing and truly a laugh-out-loud moment. The banter moments are completely worth stopping and listening to.

PC versus PS3: XX/XX
The PS3 version is very nice and I love it's controls much more than the PC--for the most part. The Abilities are easier to access in the PC version rather than the PS3 and it is easier to pause the game in the PC version. I'm not very fond of how the camera and attack units work on the PC at all. You use the right-click of the mouse to both move as well as attack. If you are a mage/archer, you can be attacking an enemy before suddenly running off to that area and into the midst of a fight. They should have had the movement on the left-click and the attack on the right. One of the better features is the loading time. The PC occasionally lags and stops responding on the loading screen but that's only for a few minutes and it isn't a problem with the game play. Meanwhile, the PS3 takes forever it seems to load from place to place! I hate waiting so, on that instance, I prefer the PC.
Overall, they both have their pros and cons. I prefer some things on the PS3 version in comparison to the PC. That's just how it goes. And everyone is entitled to their own opinion. For those wondering what this review was about--it was simply my own little snippet on Dragon Age 2 and what I enjoy/do not enjoy about the game. :)

AWARDS:

Best Story Line: Isabella

Best Quests: Fenris

Best Graphics: Varric

Best Weapons: Varric

Best Attributes/Abilities: Hawke (Warrior)

Best Banter: Isabella

Best Voice Over: TIE--Fenris/Isabella

Best Cut Scenes: Fenris

Best Romance (Male): Isabella

Best Romance (Female): Fenris

Best Sex Scene (Male:) Merrill

Best Sex Scene (Female): Anders

Best Line Final Act Line: Fenris

(All of the Best Categories are purely opinionated. They are by no means official and strictly my own views.)
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on April 23, 2013
Overall:
Not recommended for PC. Beautiful environments, excellent music, fluid in-game animation, fantastic sound, very good voice acting, sophisticated story with complex characters; but the game suffers from technical issues.

Story:
The story involves mages, knights and elves but possibly not in ways that you are used to seeing them. Here elves are not necessarily beautiful, knights are often not good and mages are oppressed as much as they are feared. In between quests and a lot of fighting you have many opportunities to have brief conversations with characters in animated vignettes.

Gameplay:
Nearly 360 player-directed view and fluid movement that is hard to describe but easy to learn and (mostly) easy to use though enclosed stairs can be tricky. In a couple of places the game stalls if you run into an area where something specific is supposed to happen. You have to run back a little and return to get it going again.

Technical:
There was an unresolvable download error. The Amazon rep was ignorant and obnoxious (the second Amazon rep was polite and helpful and we were able to solve the problem).I played the demo before buying and scanned my PC to confirm that I could run the game but the actual game crashed repeatedly. Search crashes+Dragon Age II to get an idea. I was only able to finish the game by doing many things including reducing the resolution to 1024 x 768.

Misc:
Origin does not obviously try to put a web leash on you. The company asks for an email address and you do not have to be online to play. However, you are required to create an EA/Origin screename and join the BioWAre social network if you want to login. You must use BioWare credits to buy things. Bioware points are worth nothing but cost you an additional 25 cents on the dollar. You can use real money to buy the discs or software elsewhere.
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on February 22, 2015
So, with the new release of dragon age I wanted to play through the whole series. The first dragon age was great even if it has some camera angle issues and such. I rate it about 4 stars it is not one of my all time favorites, but I definitely enjoyed it. This second part it was horrible comparatively, who though gee lets give him companions that you cannot give them better armor that you find while exploring? I mean that is like 50% of my inventory strategy in games is to keep shoving the good stuff on my companions so I can keep it around if I want to use it. Anyway, I have to say playing this version has totally put me off the series and I am not even that interesting in continuing to the new one.
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on November 1, 2011
I consider myself a casual gamer at this point in my life.....

I enjoyed the first game. I have also enjoyed the Mass Effect games.

Once I got over the fact that the results of the first game did not seem to transfer into the second in a tangible manner I assume they set some of the story line, but I could not really tell,) I found the game enjoyable.

The game play is fine. But hings do get repetitive fairly quickly. While I enjoyed the game overall once I got into it, I would have to agree that it seemed rushed. Many of the maps/dungeons are used over and over. Unlike the first game, and the ME games, the game does not get bigger as you go. If anything it feels like it gets smaller and rushed to the finish. The world does not really expand as you progress. The number of quests goes down as you move through the acts. This was disappointing. By the end of Act 1 I was enjoying things, but by the end of Act 2, I was kind of bored. Act 3 was kind of a chore.

I did not love the way the companion like/hate scale worked. I found it hard to reach the extremes of either end of the spectrum with the way things were set up. Not sure why, either there were not enough opportunities or things were too ambiguous. This actually has some consequences that I did not like.

Overall, it is worth a play through when purchased at a discount if you enjoyed the first game. But it is not near as good as the first game or the ME games.

I hope they don't rush any others through in this manner, after this one, I would probably be out on a 3rd unless it rave reviews across the boards.
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on June 29, 2012
I really enjoyed Dragon Age Origins but didn't get DA2 when it came out because of the bad reviews. An alarmingly high percentage of reviewers were overtly upset about how DA2 ruined a masterpiece, some going so far as to describe it as terrible. In the PC version, for example, over 100 of the 260 reviews are 1 or 2 stars. I finally bought it at the discounted price of $5. I haven't finished the game, but here is a quick review while the sale is going on.

Strengths:
-This game is fun. I really enjoy the team based mechanic and pausing the game to assign different characters skills.
- The story is engaging.
- For an average player this is still Dragon Age. The things that defined the game for me are still all in this game. I think there were elements of DAO that certain types of gamers really liked that were removed from DA2. For me personally the world, the combat system, and feel of the game are consistent and remind me of what I liked about DAO.
- Nice graphics and cut scenes with a cinematic feel.
- Dialogue choices are interesting (emoticons and wheel selection don't in any way bother me as they do some reviewers).

Weaknesses:
- There are fewer companions (than DA)). Also, the first few you encounter are quite bland. Still, this is only a weakness in that the companions aren't as good as DAO. Judged on their own merit they are still quite engaging.
- Very linear level design.
- There are better "loot games" available. Weapon selection is interesting but not amazing (OK, the mage staff with a blade is actually somewhat amazing) and you can't equip armor you find on your companions.

Value:
At the $19.99 going price I'd say DA is a good solid 3 or 4 star game. At $5 it is an amazing game that can't be missed.
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on July 1, 2012
Unfortunately, the digital download of this game would not install for me. I downloaded the game from Amazon twice before searching online for a reason why it would not install.

I discovered that it was a common issue, and that in order to install and play the game, you must install the Origin downloader from [...] - Origin/Electronic Arts/Bioware are under the same umbrella. You can then create an account on Origin and use the CD Key that Amazon gives you in order to claim your copy of the game through Origin. You can then use the Origin downloader program to download and install the valid copy of the game.

This was a huge hassle, and should at the very least be something that is told up front from Amazon. It would be ideal if Amazon were allowed to host a working copy of the game to prevent having to work around the problem, though.

The game itself is much like Dragon Age Origins, so if you liked that one, you'll probably like this game. I have only recently purchased DA2, so I have only spent an hour or two in it, and my only complaint is that it seems like there are cut scenes all the time. I haven't even been able to finish a fight on my own before the computer takes over, killing the last few bad guys during a cut-scene. I'm all for cut-scenes and story, but so far, it feels like a bit of overkill!

Despite the install workaround annoyance and an over-abundance of cut-scenes (so far), I'm glad I was able to get the game. I'd been wanting to play it for quite some time, and now I am able to enjoy it!
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