As a sequel, this game adds some welcome and interesting changes to the DA setting, along with some pretty severe drawbacks. I found the story and pacing of the game to be overall superior to DA:O; while there is no large, overarching threat, there are a number of antagonists that are both colorful and well characterized that I found to be a welcome change from the faceless, voiceless monsters of Origins. The companions are also a bit more nuanced this time around— mainly due to the extended time period in which the game takes place. This leads to some noticable issues, however, and while its nice to see them develop more long-term relationships with the main character, it also tends to be a bit confusing that they'd take so long to bother getting to know each other. Not to mention that, after each of the time skips, a character is given the token phrase "Remember what happened X years ago? That sure was something," or, at least, something to that effect. Combat is over-the-top and bloody, which hardly seems appropriate with the setting. Enemies bursting into chunky bits is something I'd expect to see in Team Fortress 2, not so much an RPG that takes itself seriously. It seems inevitable that boredom with combat sets in after your fifth or sixth time plowing through a dozen more angry gang members, not to mention trying to whittle down the health of one of the game's bosses. They tend to be immune to most negative effects, meaning most fights will consist of pouring on damage and healing party members, making it seem a bit like a mini-raid for (insert-mmo-here). That said, the final boss is a rather tense conflict that plays out very well, and when taken in smaller doses it is sometimes fun to squash bandits into paste. In the end, however, what will ultimately make-or-break this game for most people is whether or not they're willing to put up with the liberties taken with the lore from the original. If you're like me, say, and describe that sort of thing as "Liberties" rather than "Total lore rape," then you'll probably like this game. If not, then we'll see what's to come in terms of DLC, Expansions, and patches. And, in one final note: There are bugs. Not glaring, but they're there, and a few can be very disruptive. We can only hope they'll be fixed soon.
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