Don't fix it if it isn't broken, right? Bioware again messes up a perfectly good franchise.

User Rating: 7 | Dragon Age II PC
It's time to start questioning the sanity of the folks at Bioware. Or is it that they have fallen under the spell of EA? Dragon Age: Origins was a game of unusually high quality, introducing a combat system that I felt was an excellent balance between faster paced action and fairly deep strategy. It was also a game that was -fun- to play, enjoyable in a way that Blizzard Entertainment tends to nail so well.

No so with Dragon Age II. The worst part however isn't the more simplified RPG elements (you cannot change your teammates armor), it is the story and level design. While the story starts off rather well, after a while you'll start asking yourself when the story will get any deeper, if there is anything more in the world besides the city Kirkwall. The answer to that sadly, is no. The events that transpire become positively bizarre and nonsensical too.

The level design also is rather lacking. You'll be sent through each area in Kirkwall essentially 6 times: 3 chapters, during day and night. It gets old, is all I'm saying. Nor do the environment graphics look particularly interesting, and there are invisible absolutely everywhere.

Another problem is the combat and its difficulty. I haven't tried anything easier than hard, but on hard and nightmare the difficulty is all over the place. Many of the fights are perfunctory, quite a few are very tough only because wave after wave of new enemies materialize out of thin air. Some fights are as good as impossible on hard. However, only on nightmare do you get the (in principle welcome!) added complexity of friendly-fire. But friendly-fire now also includes your warrior's swipes, besides the area of effect spells we were expecting. Get used to being eviscerated by your pal-with-the-big-sword.

All in all this game is rather poorly conceived and feels under tested. I'm not impressed.