Dragon Age II has already hit the US and it releases to the rest of the world on Friday and now that the embargoes have lifted, we get to see what other critics are saying.
We recently had our resident Dragon’s Age expert Geoff write up his impressions of the demo, with the major reason being that Bioware has made some changes to the original Dragon Age formula. Some sacrifices have been made to streamline the experience, as well as news arriving that the campaign will be significantly shorter than the first.
We are waiting for our review copy to arrive so that we can deliver our full review to you, but for now, let’s take a look at what the critics are saying.
Rounding up the reviews on Metacritic, Dragon Age II has at the time of writing has a meta-score of 84/100 on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 with only a slight difference of 85/100 on the PC.
A quick look at the top, middle and bottom give us a glimpse of the ups and downs of Dragon Age II, starting with a 100/100 rating from The Escapist who had the following to say:
The advancements in RPG mechanics would be enough to set it apart, but the real achievement of Dragon Age II is in the story-telling. I could point out the improved combat and graphics till there’s blood covering my face, but BioWare is one of the few companies that uses the advanced computing power available to modern game designers to let you actually play a role.
Jumping to the middle we have a score of 85/100 from IGN, saying:
The combat is more responsive and bloody, you don’t need to fight the inventory system anymore, and conversations are more engaging thanks to the adapted Mass Effect wheel. There are downsides though; the semi-linear story and repetitive environments have a negative effect on what is otherwise a great role-playing game.
Then dropping right to the bottom we have a 60/100 from French site Gameblog that said that it had some technical problems, but I was more interested in Videogamer’s 70/100 review which says:
Despite the way narrative has been re-structured and the combat made meatier, this sequel follows the old conventions of the genre too literally to develop an individuality beyond them. Two entries down the pipe, and Dragon Age is still experiencing the growing pains of a series that’s more dedicated to studying fantasy games than developing its own personality in the genre.
So… I think that what we can take from this, is that Dragon Age 2 has its merits but it still seems like Bioware isn’t entirely sure what it’s doing with it. This, especially when you consider how amazing the shift was from Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2, where it felt like Bioware took a step back and just knew what to do to make the game even better.
We will have our own complete and comprehensive review of Dragon Age II out as soon as we have it and are ready to release it, so keep your eye out for it over the next week.
Last Updated: March 9, 2011