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Dragon Age II Reviews @ RPS

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Dragon Age II Reviews @ RPS

Review - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Fri 18 March 2011, 10:07:52

Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age II

Rock, Paper, Shotgun have been immersing themselves into the intricate world of Dragon Age II. Let's have a look at their initial impressions:

It’s safe to say that for the first chunk of the game, a good eight hours or more, I’ve not enjoyed it at all. Which astonishes me, after Dragon Age: Origins gripped me from the opening moment and became an all-time favourite straight away. It has felt more like playing the beginnings of a tiresome MMO – just walking between quest markers because it will increase XP, barely interested in the story behind why. (If indeed it’s divulged at all.)

It’s beginning to improve, which is why I’m writing this now. I’m so delighted Anders is back (even if he’s minus Ser Pouncealot), and Merrill is beyond adorable. It’s about time there was a decent Welsh character in a game! I hope in a few days time to be raving about the story once it kicks in, and the adventures I’m having. Those ahead of me in the game tell me great things are on their way – emotional moments, epic situations, gripping tales. I really can’t wait. But this is a terrible opening – a disjointed, ambiguous, emotionless start.
And a bit on quests:

I strongly dispute all those claiming all the quests make sense. They absolutely all do not – you find letters you can’t read that contain information you’re not told that cause people to change their minds about things they don’t share. If you’re lucky. Most of the time you run to a yellow marker and find out it had something to do with that thing you stumbled on earlier.
Even a fair number of main quests are of that quality.
Additionally, they inflicted the Dragon Age: Legends facebook game experience upon themselves. They know no pain.

Essentially, it’s turn-based roleplaying in the Final Fantasy style. Two opposing squads of fighters line up against each other and take turns to stab/shoot/magick their enemies, with a spot of potion-glugging in between. There’s an inventory, there’s a skill tree, there’s a store, there’s even a surprising element of base-building – essentially a means of generating potions and the like. All well, all good, all a whole lot more than Facebook games generally offer.
Except you can’t achieve a god-damned thing without spending some sort of virtual currency. It’s the sheer levels of dependence built in, from all directions the tightening noose of prevented play: Crowns for potions, Crowns for energy to move to the next fight, Crowns to buy new loot, gold to upgrade your castle… And worst, worst of all, Crowns to buy a single-use horn that summons fighting companions.
You play as one character, but you cannot solo the game. You need allies. Allies will only ally with you once, then they bog off for a few real-time hours. Within 20 minutes of play, I’d run out of guys to summon, and had to dip into my very meagre assignment of free Crowns to summon a couple back. That lasted about 10 more minutes. Then I was stuck, either by running out of the Energy required to move or by butting into a fight that required strong companions and strong potions to survive. Stuck. Unless I’d spend.
Thanks to <span class="postbody">felipepepe and </span><span class="postbody">phanboy_iv.</span>

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