My feelings towards Dragon Age 2 could best be described as highly ambivalent. After finishing Dragon Age: Origins I decided to hold off on buying the second installment mostly out of budgeting then anything else. However in the interim complaints and grumbles began to emerge that further caused a delay in purchasing. Once it was below $8 I could see no harm in giving the game a chance.
For the first few hours I was in love. Jacqueline Hawk was adorable and a smart ass, sometimes she combined the two, and I found myself far more attached to her than my mute, philandering, elf mage. Not to say the latter wasn’t adorable in her own way, but a voice really does make a difference.
The combat felt snappier, although I can’t make a direct comparison since I went with the rogue class this time around. Not to say combat is perfect with teammates doing god knows what half the time and the camera getting in the way the rest of it. Further along in the game I found the stats progression to be a touch too restrictive and not in a logical sense; a mage who can’t wield a two ton ax, ok, a rogue who can’t use a bow and arrow? Eh, strange. But in the beginning I was still in awe of a hero who speaks, could kick ass, and woo the sexy pirate.
Getting Isabela to fall in love was easy, getting her to admit it and fully commit was a mini game into itself. But it was fun! And unlike Origins I had no temptation to have my hero fool around with everyone (thanks PC mods!). Now, is this because Isabela is just that well written or because everyone else is lacking? I’d probably have to do another play through to see which side I’d fall on, but I think it has more to do with Isabelle striking all the right cords for me, which admittitly Bioware male love interests seem to rarely do with me. But I digress.
Around a quarter of the way into the game the shine had worn off. I had now entered the same dungeon five or more times, and was starting to see the same “grand hall” and dilapidated mansion environments being abused. This is a decently sized game in terms of length, but when you can count on one hand the amount of unique environments you encounter it gets very annoying very fast.
The ending had a mild “wtf” moment for me but not even remotely close to the mess that was Mass Effect. It had more to do with a character going all militant crazy than anything to do with the plot. I was left with a feeling of wanting to know what happened next.
But those environments…! It was repeative enough to negate a lot of the goodwill the characters/story had managed to create.
I refuse to get excited about Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy it. I’m just hoping it’ll be worth more than $8, but we’ll see.