Its not origins, but its still good
erikpkoskela wrote this review on .
Right from the beginning, it is very clear that this is a completely different game. It starts with a framed narrative, and its quite obvious that combat and the visuals have been changed drastically. I disagree with some of the visual changes (eg. Hurlocks look nothing like they did before) but the new combat system is nice. Yes, it has been dumbed down, but after around 6 playthroughs of origins between my PC and 360 copies, the change is nice to see. It provides a different experience, and im sure many gamers will think the same way. Yes, it is not an old school RPG, but it is 2011 after all, and the (sad) reality of the gaming industry is that not many people still play old school RPG's.
Also, although im still early in the game, the character development isnt nearly as good as it was in origins. When Bethany (or Carver) died at the beginning, I really could care less. Ive began referring to Hawkes siblings as "redshirts" for that reason. Also, I feel with many of these characters, I have no desire to just go and talk to them, unlike in origins, where i spent hours conversing with my characters in the party camp.
In addition, I understand why Bioware made the decision to make the game this way, but I still do not like how mainstream it has become. It seems as if the developers saw the success of Mass Effect 2, and decided that DA2 would be equally successful if they followed the same formula. This may be true, but I still do miss many elements of the origins game. The voiced character is nice, but I dont like the indicators in the middle of the dialogue wheel, stating whether decisions are peaceful, hostile, greedy, etc. Id prefer not knowing, because i feel that this would give a much more realistic role playing experience. It seems as if they're trying to railroad players into playing either good, bad, or neutral, and I personally dont really like that. I liked in origins how there were so many ways something could play out, and that you didnt always know what the consequences of what you said would be. Ive played mass effect, and this really feels like they just gave shepherd a sword and brought him to Thedas.
It also seems like they took a lot out of the game for no good reason. I really dont understand why companions have static armor, I dont understand why they simplified the talent tree, and im sure there will be much more that I do not understand
Furthermore, I have read/heard alot of complaints about the first day DLC, but if people had preordered the game before a certain date, this DLC would have been free. Bioware simply wanted to reward their faithful gamers, and I can respect that.
Regardless, this game is still solid. It seems like it will be fun in the end, I enjoy my time playing it, and I dont think it deserves anything lower than an 8, because there really is nothing wrong with the game itself. Yes, ive criticized it heavily, but it still deserves a good review. Games such as Risen got a 7.5, and i feel that this game is truly superior to that. Moreover, the story will probably still turn out to be interesting, and it is still a Bioware game, and no Bioware games have failed me to this date. Also, I love the lore of Dragon Age, and being able to experience this world a whole lot more is rather nice. In the end, many players will dislike this game, but it is still worth playing. Plus, if you are like me, and often find yourself bored, this will definatly allow for a good amount of enjoyment for quite a long time.