“Dragon Age: Origins” (DAO) was one of the best fantasy role playing games (RPG) to hit the PC and console market in the last 10 years. With very good graphics and sound, a deep and immersive plot, decent game mechanics and plenty of scope to replay the game, it set the standard for modern RPG games.
Thus it was with great anticipation that I acquired “Dragon Age 2.” I perhaps should have been wary right from the beginning as I was forced to pay an extra $10 for special add-ons that I really didn’t use throughout the game. Bioware really abused my trust by doing this, and although I could have waited a few days to get the lower priced version, it was simply a must-have game; Bioware knew this and cashed in on it.
As I began to play the game, enjoying the concept of the story being told during an interview, and noticing the improved graphics, I began to get excited. The player screen was a lot more intuitive and clean, and the game mechanics were definitely aimed at the casual gamer. Initially I thought this was a good change, but as I began to really get into the game, I found that I lacked the control that I had in the original, and it became more of an arcade type experience rather than a true role playing game. Even minor points like not being able to change my party’s armor were annoying.
As I began to play the game, the sense of excitement slowly diminished to be replaced by a sense of disappointment and, at times, anger. Somehow I feel that Bioware has simply regurgitated “Dragon Age: Origins” rather than giving us a true sequel.
While the graphics are better, there is not the sort of jump in quality that I expected. The sound was good, but the voice acting was atrocious — some of the voices sounded childlike.
Bioware simply was very lazy with this game and relied on the reputation of “DAO” to ensure sales. I was surprised and very disappointed when maps kept on repeating themselves — there are perhaps a dozen or fewer original maps aside from the main city maps, and they keep on reappearing over and over again; this is not only lazy but very amateurish in my opinion.
More disappointing than this laziness though was the plot; “DAO” had a very immersive and intelligent plot, with plenty of intrigue and a lot of moral choices that really affected the outcome of the game. This level of complexity meant that you could replay the game many times, making different choices as you went along.
“Dragon Age 2” had a very simple plot, and to be honest, it didn’t really grab my interest, it simply existed there as part of the game. There weren’t that many twists and turns, and the choices I was given. It just was not the same level as “DAO.”
While the game is good, it doesn’t have the wow factor I expected. Bioware used the reputation of “DAO” to create a sequel that was at times amateurish, and just seemed to be a way of producing more cash for them. I for one will not be looking for “Dragon Age 3.”