I've been playing Bioware games ever since Baldur's Gate II, and have enjoyed every one since. I got Dragon Age II with my usual expectations of an excellent game of fairly over-the-top action involving great combat, hilarious dialogue, tightly-plotted story, engaging setting, and flawed, intriguing, well-rounded characters. I was not disappointed. ....wait, what? You mean I'm not allowed to like Dragon Age II? Maybe it's just that I refuse to wear rosy shades when looking at the first game or at Baldur's Gate. Dragon Age II has flaws, just as Dragon Age Origins did, and just like Baldur's Gate did, but those flaws are relatively minor; some graphical clipping issues were my biggest annoyances, and maybe a too-limited range of abilities for tanks. I know a lot of people complained about re-used interiors, but those didn't bother me terribly much in Mass Effect and they don't bother me much here either. I'm not playing it to remark on the wide range of interior designs in Kirkwall, I'm playing it because Fenris just scythed through twelve badguys at once and threw limbs everywhere, Anders flooded an entire room with raining fireballs, Varric snapped off some witty commentary with Snark!Hawke, and Merrill is being Merrill. There were a number of bugs in the initial release which were also annoying as hell, but have since been patched. Some people complained about combat, but I found it superior in most ways to Dragon Age: Origins'. It's faster and simpler, attributes are more relevant, warriors and rogues are better balance, and the large numbers of tactics slots allows for far greater automation. Probably my favorite element is how, like in Real Life more often than not, the characters' conflicts are driven less by forces of evil and more by the circumstances that the flaws in society forced on them. There's horribly evil villains, but these guys are small potatoes compared with forces of society and belief that cause the various conflicts between the Qunari and Kirkwall, or the mages and Templars. it makes for a far more realistic, interesting, and engaging story that embeds itself within the setting's lore so much more effectively. So there you have it. Dragon Age II is a fun, satisfying game. Have fun with it.
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