Summary: If ever there were a developer that truly paid attention to both fans and the critical response to its games, it’s BioWare. Case in point: Dragon Age 2, the follow-up to the beefy, hardcore RPG that unfurls in the Canadian-born studio’s ode to Tolkien’s Middle Earth. While the core makeup of Dragon Age remains the same, numerous elements have been streamlined in favour of a leaner and meaner experience.
Conclusion: The Short Version: It's Dragon Age, but not quite as we remember it. It has the makings of a great game but falls short when it truly counts. The streamlining of certain features will either help your experience or hinder your enjoyment, but overall it's worthwhile return to Thedas for fans of the franchise. It's just a shame, because with a bit more time to develop it we could have had something great.
Pros: The combat is fluid, looks great, and is as bloody as ever., With all the content, there’s plenty to keep you busy., When it gets it right, DA II is wonderfully entertaining…
Cons: … but this is balanced out by missing the mark at other key moments., The linear nature of the game reduces the feeling of freedom., Traditionalist RPG-ers may find the streamlining changes border on patronising
Excerpt: Verdict: Dragons love AMD As good as Dragon Age 2 is, it’s a wee bit broken in its implementation of the DirectX 11 API. AMD cards have just about gotten over their crashy-crashy mentality, but NVIDIA cards are still stuttering and struggling. At home I’ve been playing Dragon Age 2 for the last week, since Phil told us all that it was the best game ever. And to be fair it is pretty bloody good. Actually very bloody, spatteringly good.
Excerpt: You’ll be in for a treat with Dragon Age II if you’re running DirectX 11 hardware, Bioware were good enough to take us through a complete run down of the enhanced Dragon Age 2 effects that make full use of the latest DirectX 11 hardware. There’s also a high-resolution texture pack already available, which you can grab it from here . Details of all the features are after the jump.
Summary: It may make a terrible first impression, but I grew to love it.
Pros: Excellent writing; story delivers in the end; some refinements to the leveling up system make character building easier; much of what made the first game great is still present; tons of replay value
Cons: Numerous nuisance-level bugs; the explorable world is much smaller; story starts very slow, a lot of Mass Effect influence makes the franchise seem less unique.
Excerpt: Much of Dragon Age II 's appeal had to do with its emotional impact. As protagonist Hawke's circle of friends grew, so did your connection to the ensemble cast--but it was a connection the game earned over the long haul. A two-hour add-on doesn't have the luxury of a long-form structure, so it must make an impact in other ways. Dragon Age II: Legacy makes a valiant attempt to strengthen your bond with Hawke, but ultimately it makes little impression.
Pros: New, roomier environments to explore, Combat remains entertaining, Some nice story moments
Cons: Annoying sound glitches, Some enemy encounters are bugged, Final boss is broken in multiple ways