Dragon Age 2 - Bioware Signature Edition - PlayStation 3
- Enjoy the game's atypical, story-within-a-story nonlinear narrative style
- Platform: PlayStation 3
- ESRB Rating: Mature
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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Platform for Display: PlayStation 3 | Edition: Signature
Amazon.ca Product Description
Experience the epic sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year from the critically acclaimed makers of Dragon Age: Origins. You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.
Dragon Age II is a single player role-playing game (RPG) for play on the PlayStation 3. Epic sequel to the BioWare developed 2009 Game of the Year, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II continues the adventure with a new hero, Hawke, and utilizes the choices made by the player to affect a story that spans ten years worth of time in-game. Additional game features include: the ability to choose your character's class and sex, a new cinematic in-game experience, a nonlinear narrative and the ability to import saved information from earlier Dragon Age games.
The Dragon Age II BioWare Signature Edition is only available before January 11, 2011 as an upgrade for pre-orders of the standard Dragon Age II game. This special edition contains loads of additional content, exclusives, and other perks. See the full list of content below.
About Dragon Age II
Embark on an all-new adventure spread across a ten-year span of years with an all-new hero in the multiple award-winning Dragon Age saga. In Dragon Age II you are Hawke, said to have been one of the few to survive the destruction of your homeland. Forced to fight for survival, you gathered the deadliest of allies, amassed fame and fortune and sealed your place in history, eventually becoming in effect a legend in your own time. But legends are all in the telling.
Dragon Age II utilizes a nonlinear narrative, taking the form of a story-within-a-story that hinges upon your exploits as told by the storyteller, Varick. Yet like any good storyteller, Varick tends to exaggerate from time to time. When questioned on events related to Hawke, Varick may present a different scenario in which Hawke's exploits play out. It is within these replays that the decisions of the players hold sway, as their particular versions of Hawke relive these events. Is the player's particular version of Hawke, male or female? A warrior, a rogue, or a mage? Is Hawke good-natured or something less than a salt-of-the-Earth type? Is romance in the air amongst characters he/she associates with? These choices are all the player's to make and each affect the the outcome of the story at all levels.
The Dragon Age II BioWare Signature Edition
Pre-order Dragon Age II before January 11, 2011 and receive an automatic upgrade to the BioWare Signature Edition - a special, collector's edition version of the game that contains loads of additional content, exclusives, and other perks. This special edition version of Dragon Age II is only available for pre-order before January 11, so pre-order now. The full BioWare Signature Edition contents include:
- Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make
- Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land
- Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior
- Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go
- Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style
- Story-within-a-story nonlinear narrative style
10 years of gameplay.
Cinematic quality experience.
Completely updated graphics.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
- Combat, while stripped down and requiring little strategy, is quite enjoyable. It's fast and every battle truly feels vicious.
- The Mass Effect 2-based communication system is very intuitive, and the expressions of your characters and voice acting are a significant upgrade.
- The storyline. Well, if you're expecting anything remotely as epic as the first game, get used to disappointment. There is very little character development and interaction with your team. I found myself not caring one bit about any of my squad members because none of them had a compelling background. And while I won't give away the ending, I had no interest in playing the game again after completing it - a first for a Bioware game.
- The game world is, well, small and repetitive. Get used to the architecture in Kirkwall, because with a few exceptions you'll be visiting the same places over and over again to accomplish your quests.
- The inventory system is a step back. Let's say you're playing as a rogue. Found a cool piece of armor for a warrior? Well, you're out of luck because with the exception of weapons and accessories, only the main character can equip armor upgrades.
- Much of the depth has been taken away. The original game allowed you to customize your character's abilities in survivalism, trap making, stealth, etc - all of it gone.
Even with the disappointments, in the end it was a fun game to play in its own right - just by no means a worthy successor to the original. If you're looking for a fast-paced RPG with a very simple, streamlined character management system, you'll love it. If you prefer some more steak with your sizzle, you'll probably still enjoy it as I did, but constantly wonder why they decided to fix things that weren't broken. Overall a good game that leaves me wondering what could have been.
What happened? How is it possible for a gaming company to take such a nosedive in one year?
It would have been UNFATHOMABLE to even consider that the average community score for a Dragon Age sequel would be less than 60/100 but here we are.
How is it that in almost every single installment before Dragon Age 2 we had the ability to impact the world around us and the ending of the game would change depending on our choices? But now it doesn't matter who you support, not one bit. One tragedy after another isn't the core problem here but that you can't do anything about it.
What's the replay value people? Really, what is it? What can I do differently? Have sex with Merrill instead of Isabela and change my tone of voice while speaking during pre-determined events?
And how is it that romances have devolved into *press heart symbol to have h0t s3x*
What happened to gameplay? What happened to stealing, creating potions, collecting resources and having a connection with the world around us?
Where is the possibility to lie, intimidate and charm during conversations? Isn't that what roleplaying has been all about in your previous releases? You dont even need to read your own lines in DA2 (nor can you). Just choose one option from *calm*, *joke* or *angry*. Talking yourself out from a bad spot isn't really an option if the game has already decided what is going to happen.
What happened to being able to choose your own race. What's the point of having racism towards elves if you cant even play one anymore?
Customizing the armor of your companions might not seem like a big deal to many people since we are forced to use the best armor sets anyway and sell all the junk. But it does look completely stupid to have some pirate woman in a prostitute uniform fighting against a high-dragon. This is something I expect to see from square and Final Fantasy, not Bioware.
And the worst thing is that after investing over 40 hours of gameplay, there is no real ending or closure. So what's the idea behind this? Rip us off with DLC's?
And people really need to stop being naive. I hardly doubt this is going to be a prequel to some epic tale. Why should I believe that a savegame import would matter now when it has never had a major impact in the past? It's just going to be another set of cameos, letters from the people you saved and a couple of mentions about what happened in the past.
This game does its job as a linear adventure hack'n'slasher but that's it.
Just one year ago Bioware put square on blast by stating that "Final Fantasy XIII is not an RPG yadayada". And here we are now....I hope CD Projekt stays silent and walks the walk with Witcher 2, because you guys need a reality check.
On a scale from 1 to pretzel, I'm mad salty lol. I guess it's time to go back to hyping the upcoming Mass Effect 2 DLC, because atleast you still have dev-teams that know what the hell they are doing.
I give this one a 2.5/5
Bioware, I am dissapoint :(
That being said I love Dragon Age 2. I've seen a lot of 'original fans' hating on this game so I thought I'd give another opinion of it.
First let me start with the cons:
The story isn't as epic as the first one. There's no setting a goal and running through the whole game to get that. The story isn't bad but it isn't as deep as Origins.
Second you can import your game over from Origins but it really doesn't affect too much. You might hear someone mention something that you did last game or about someone you saved last game but it really doesn't have a huge impact on this game. I would have liked for it to have affected it a little bit more.
Thirdly the main thing I personally think of as a con is you can no longer talk to your party members at any time. In origins you could turn and talk to them and have a conversation about what just happened or about their personal life or their opinions. In this game you still hear them talk but you have to wait until certain points in the story/time has passed before having to go to their 'base' and actually speak with them. When you do speak with them the conversations aren't nearly as long or as revealing about them. If they make a DA3 I really hope that they bring back the ability to talk to your party members whenever you want and not just when the developers thought you should. The characters are suppose to be your friends but the fact that you have to wait long periods of time to speak with them kind of kills that feeling.
Now the pros:
The battle system has been accused of becoming a button masher. You have to hit the X button every normal attack you do. While that does sound like some of the action games that have come out it really does have a different feel to it. Last game I played a bow using rogue. Let me tell you as that character there was a whole lot of doing the exact same thing as this game. So yes you are hitting X a lot but with all the abilities and jumping around to other characters it really is a lot deeper than just hitting X over and over. Personally the battle system feels a lot more smooth to me.
The characters are pretty interesting in this game. I was worried I wouldn't like them as much as I liked my party in Origins but I really have enjoyed 'talking' to and 'getting to know' my party members. While I do still miss my party from Origins I really do like the newer characters that are now travelling with me. Another thing is that now Hawke *the player's character* is voiced. I was not excited when that was announced and even during the demo I didn't really like how conversations were going. I missed the conversations and choices like I had on Origins. But now that I am playing I really do like talking to people and I do like Hawke a lot more than my voiceless character from Origins.
I really like how the graphics have been updated. There are still times when people look stiff but overall the environments and people look a lot better than they did in Dragon Age Origins. There are a few times when the frame rate dropped. But it was mainly when the game was saving and I ran into a story part. But it didn't happen every time and isn't really noticeable. I'm not listing this in the cons because it doesn't really happen often in my game and when my friends played I didn't see it happen at all.
The main update I liked in this game is the quests feel a little more real. In origins a lot of the quests were, go here kill this guy come back and reward. While that is still the same overall structure for this game they have made the quests a lot more interesting. For example you speak with someone and they mention they need help finding someone who has gone missing. Now instead of just being told where they are you are given places to talk to other people for more information and when you find that person it isn't just hey they're looking for you come on. A lot of times there's conversations thrown in there and you have a lot more of a choice of how you are going to help. While Origins had that in some of the main quests there seems to be a lot more freedom in how you handle all quests in this game.
The story is different and so are some of the gameplay dynamics. I do still prefer Origins but this is a great game in it's own right. You will not enjoy it if you go in wanting to play more Origins but if you go with an open mind ready for a well made fun game you should enjoy it. So if you are on the edge about this game but aren't sure because the Dragon Age fans have talked it down so much I'd say go ahead and try it. The game is fun and will keep you busy and interested for hours!
The gameplay for DAII was an immense improvement. The battle is more fluid and realistic. And there are many options to personalize battle style in the options menu (including, but not limited to, enabling damage points above enemy head, enabling color circles according under enemy/ally/friendly characters, etc). You really have the ability to personlize the battle system and make it your own.
I also thought I would hate the fact that you HAVE to be Hawk. and you HAVE to play as a human, but honestly it didn't bother me once I started playing. You can still be a rouge, mage, or warrior. And the leveling up system for the DAII classes are far superior to Origins.
All in all, this is an amazing game. I have already played through once and have started a new game. It is just as addicting and fun as its predecessor. I would recommend this game to anyone! Play it!
For one thing, it is even worse on the PS3 platform than the original was. Why they have not mastered threads or how to do a disk file index by now, I cannot say, but they have not. The game pauses interminably when you first create a character, if you have any saved games from DA:O on your disk, and does not even give you a polite 'please wait'. Once you do get started, you will find the game completely locks up the console; you will consult the forums, turn off auto-save, and notice that reduces only the probability of a lock-up. When asked to import DA:O history, you will not be offered all the available saved games, and there will be complaint when you pick from those choices, and the game was not finished -- the finished games were not on offer. Although there is an arrow, you cannot scroll down to pick more.
As to the game itself, it follows the trend of dumbing down the game and splashing up the graphics. There are far too many quests that are meaningless -- you find an object, you take it to the place indicated on the map, you get some repetitive one-liner from the npc, and the quest is over. Things flagged as significant choices in character dialog turn out not to affect the story or the game at all. It is buggy -- a character will start remarking on events which have yet to transpire. You will discover directions to lairs that need to be destroyed, only to find there are not directions, the quest never shows over a particular zone, and never appears on the map. Did you enjoy switching weapon sets so you could use a bow at range and a sword up close? Forget it, gone. Did you enjoy automatic continuation of combat? That's gone, too, you will be wearing out the X button. But you will have lots more tactics slots -- sure hope you enjoy setting those and resetting those.
The game designers could not be bothered to come up with new maps. They reuse a tiny number of maps to represent different locations and time. You will notice. There are no visits to other great cities, it all takes place in one location with a local outdoors, which location is not all that interesting, despite its many sub-zones.
Interested in Bioware's signature romance options? Forget it, every npc in this game has 'easy' tattooed on their forehead. Not just Isabela. Speaking of which, you get cameo appearances from half the npcs in the original, some of which try to remove your fond memories of them. You also get characters telling you 'we must go do X', and then as you go off to do it, you notice your rivalry with them just increased (you lose faction), how consistent.
You will also find yourself forced to take certain characters with you at certain times. Let's say you play a ranged rogue because you like the bow weapons. You'll be in the Deep Roads with another ranged rogue, and really wishing you'd played a mage. Or you got the premium content, and have to take the exiled archer prince. The most meaningful choice you make in this game is probably your character class, because that decides which of your siblings will live or die in the opening.
I found the ending horribly unsatisfying. Again, your choices seem not to matter much. You can choose side A or side B, and you will end up having to kill both of them. I am betting if you find a way to choose neither, you still end up killing both of them. And in the epilog, doesn't matter who you decided to romance, the one you kept runs off, the one that ran off becomes your companion in exile. How much more can your choices not matter? At the moment of exaltation at the end, when you should feel happy about your experience, you are muttering 'WTF?!'.
They give you a key to unlock a digital download of the soundtrack -- but the music in this game is just lame. More so when compared with the original. The foley and the surround sound are good, and the voice acting is good, but this could be scored for a 1st grade holiday pageant -- bland.
There are some very challenging fights (they have a lot of dragons popping up here and there). There are some graphically interesting scenes. But I had more frustration and disappointment with this game than I had fun. I think the rule from here on with EA/Bioware should be wait for the review, pre-order nothing. I expect the price of this title will fall rapidly.