I previously wrote what I thought about Dragon Age: Origins. Now I’m going to proceed to tell you what I thought about Dragon Age 2.
Thing 1: Dragon Age 2 was far less sexist than its predecessor. From what I can tell, there were equally terrible romance options for all involved.
It was interesting that most or all of the NPCs had pretty fierce opinions, and they didn’t waver. Those opinions had enormous consequences. Although this was interesting, it didn’t do much for anyone who wanted Hawke to have satisfying relationships with allies, both in the realm of romance or in friendship. I spent most of the game worries about what my allies kept trying to get me to help them do… Anders wanted me to help him start a war, I pissed Carver off pretty early on and he left our party, Fenris kept wanting me to punish mages (even though I was playing as a mage), and Merrill wanted to use blood magic to put a mirror back together. Varric and Aveline were the only two who didn’t make me feel like I was babysitting.
Thing 2: Visually, DA2 was a vast improvement. It was super different stylistically than the first game was. Hawke was a fun character to play, partly because of the look. She was BA, appealing, and unique.
Thing 3: The game is set up as a story within a story. There’s a dwarf, who is being interrogated, and he’s telling the story of what occurred. It felt a little contrived to me. It felt like the writers realized they had set the entire story inside one city, and players were going to crave a wider world. Problem, the videos of Varric being interrogated didn’t show ANY of the wider world. It felt like a cop-out… a device… It didn’t feel like an honest story.
Thing 4: Speaking of the world-building, it sucked. Half of the fun in playing an RPG is exploring the world. However, DA2 was all set within one city, minus a short scene at the beginning and a quick expedition into the Dark Roads. The side quests all occurred in repetitive locations. The maps for all of the side quests were repetitive. All I can think is, “Really? This is all you came up with?”
Thing 5: I liked some of the changes they made to game play, but I went ahead and started playing Inquisition only to discover they completely changed everything again. I understand the need to appeal to a wider audience and having attacks triggered, by, well the trigger… makes sense, but come on, I’ve been faithful to the series and I don’t really want to have to relearn the whole thing.
Thing 6: Most of the side quests were stupid. I felt pretty irritated at the tedium of playing the same maps again and again, but it also was just a long, long game. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief because the story never transcended the formula. Side quest to gain XP. Another side quest to gain XP. Another side quest to gain XP. Main storyline. Another side quest to gain XP… and on, and on, and on….
Overall, not the worst game I’ve ever played, but pretty bad. As far as RPGs go, I’d actually recommend that you skip this series entirely. Maybe my opinion will change as I play Inquisition, but my hopes aren’t high. 😦