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Dragon Age II back to reviews
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Unfinished—but still worthwhile.
Overall? Dragon Age II is an unfinished game. And it shows. Is it still worth playing? Yes, it is, and it even has replay value. For an unfinished game that's pretty darn impressive.

The bad stuff first.
  • The environments are repetitive. It's really rather maddeningly clear that most of the "cave" and "tunnel" dungeons are really just one big map with the parts the developers didn't want you to go into walled off/separated via unopenable doors. The house and warehouse environments are all re-used to death. Since a vast part of the game is essentially dungeon crawling, you at least want to be entertained between fights. Some levels, namely the Wounded Coast and the Deep Roads, are pretty nice to look at, which serves only to make it even more painful when you realize what they could have done.
  • The main plot—more specifically, the choices you make involving the main plot. Without spoilers, the best I can say is that nothing you do bar some interactions with your companions has any effect on anything.
  • Side quests are usually not worth anyone's time.
  • When playing on the harder difficulties, the fights randomly swing from ridiculously easy to nigh impossible.
  • In the third act, nobody warns you when you're going past the Point of No Return, which is especially irritating as the game warns you of it in the previous two acts. I was caught by surprise and was very unhappy about it. All I can say is, don't read your mail.

Good stuff.
  • Despite the frustrating sense of the player's unimportance, the main plot is quite good and there are plenty of "wow, did that just happen?" moments.
  • The companions are a delight; they all have their own fatal flaws, and the Friendship/Rivalry bar is marvelous, as it gives players a reason to interact with them (bonuses are granted). At first glance, Friendship might seem at first to be the way to go, but Rivalry is in fact what tends to make the characters realize their issues and make efforts to get over them. Good Stuff.
  • Hawke himself. He's very well fleshed-out; you can even give him a set personality by choosing a type of dialogue (Diplomatic, Witty, or Aggressive) often enough.
  • Lots of humor, quite a number of tearjerkers, and a few Crowning Moments of Awesome.

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