Every now and again, a game will come out that claims to be the spiritual successor to one that came before it. Usually, they fall short of the claim. I am here to report that once again, contrary to claims made elsewhere, Dragon Age 2 is no Baldur’s Gate 2. It isn’t even in the same league. Hit the break to view our verdict.
I do see where there might be some small amounts of confusion though, since I noticed many of the same plot elements in Dragon Age 2 that were in Baldur’s Gate series. They both take place in a city. You have to amass a large amount of gold to go to the next level of quests, and your companions are useless in combat. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh… no, this game is lacking in all respects.
I tend to hold Bioware to a higher standard than maybe they deserve. They’re the big dogs on the block, and I suppose they are entitled to the occasional clunker of a game. Unfortunately, with the reputation, comes a responsibility to turn out a quality product and this piece of offal should have been sent back to the design team while it was still in development. I have averaged one game freeze per hour of playing time since opening the package for this disaster of a game. Someone please explain to me how a company can send out a product that just freezes as soon as a player makes a transition to a new area. This didn’t happen once; so far it’s happened eleven times. My son has taken to wandering over and asking, “Has it happened again.” This is a serious quality control issue and should have been caught by the QA team. It’s been suggested that my disk might be defective; the PS3 is having problems, a Sony system that senses that I’m a 360 gamer on a different system. Whatever… the disk is fine; the system works on everything else, and as far as I know PS3 doesn’t read minds yet.
The graphics for Dragon Age 2 are lacking as well. I’m reminded of a slightly upgraded version of Knights of the Old Republic 1 as I played. You would think with all of Bioware’s resources, they could come with something a bit more exciting. The music score is non intrusive, but also not memorable either. It neither adds nor subtracts anything to a rather bland environmental playing experience.
The story and characters is what determines a winning game for me. If this is the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate 2 then where are the memorable lines from the supporting cast of NPC’s? At no time do I hear, “Go for the eyes Boo. Go for the eyes.” Instead, I’m subjected to the whining of a moody male elf that would be more appropriate in the Twilight movies. A girl elf that looks and talks like she escaped from the anime cartoon Sailor Moon. A Grey Warden that is a rip off character from Jade Empire. A love struck Guard Captain, and the list just goes on. What the hell were you thinking Bioware? There isn’t a likable character in the bunch. To say that I would gladly leave this bunch to be eaten by a dragon would be an understatement. The only good NPC is one that I have to engage in a fight to the death.
As for the story, it’s average and predictable. The quests seem to come up randomly, and there are some that are perfectly ridiculous. Do we really need to take a person’s pants back to them? Really? I guess what I’m saying is that about half of the quests in this game made no sense to the overall plot other than to act as time fillers. They advance nothing, they appear without rhyme or reason and generally were just plain trite. After a short time, they run together. I will also point out that the random encounters at night in the city bear an uncanny resemblance to Baldur’s Gate 2. I’ll leave it to other players to see if they think that Bioware took the whole spiritual successor aspect of this game a bit too far.
Frankly, while I think this game could have been great, it’s drowned out in its mediocre visuals, story, characterizations, and game play. If a game is supposed to be an epic experience, it should play in a way to make me anxious to come back to play it. Dragon Age 2 makes me want to cut on myself instead. Maybe the fantasy RPG type game is becoming stale as a genre and I need to spend more time playing RTS’s games until some young game development company comes up with a fresh new angle for players to explore. Until then I encourage Bioware to stop making a piece of crap like this.
For more information on how we review games check out our criteria here.