I was one of those people who was both impressed and disappointed with Dragon Age: Origins, the combat was intuitive and deep but the story and levels got incredibly boring and at times annoying (I still dream of the slog through the Circle Tower and cringe), but I was invested enough in it to be interested in the sequel, Dragon Age 2, I played it, and overall found it made SOME improvements over the first game, but overall it's blunders outweighed it's successes. Combat has overall been simplified, with specializations being limited to the player character and each other party member being restricted to one type of weapon (Varric can only use crossbows, Aveline can only use sword/shield, etc) and the option to equip/change armor on them being removed. While this simplifies item-management and avoids extensive micro-management, it also seems to remove a degree of personification from the first game which made the stradegizing so fun. At the same time, battle animations have been thoroughly revised with much more extravagant and fluid movements, which help to make combat look and feel far more fast-paced. The level design, however, is to put it bluntly, embarrassing. The first dungeon you'll find yourself running into is this generic underground cavern/mine, which is visually and atmospherically unremarkable. 'But things will surely improve from here!' you may think as you run out to eagerly dive into the next dungeon...only to find it's the exact same one. Sure they've blocked off a few entrances and exits, and there's new loot in the nooks and crannys, but it is still the exact same damn dungeon. This repeats for nearly *every* damn area in the game outside of major areas in Kirkwall and the ONE village outside it. It's bloody ridiculous. Now I know that Bioware was rushed by EA in order to release this game, so they had to cut a few corners to meet expectations, but this is still bloody jarring enough to severely detract from the game experience. You'll constantly be running through the same entrance in the lower-city to go through the same bloody sewer systems to get to the same damn beach all the bloody time. cont.
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