I received the signature edition, unpackaged and had a huge grin on my face when installing this game.
I admit, I was expecting great things since Dragon Age Origins was one of my favourite games when it came out.
Dragon Age 2 firstly seemed it was going to escalate what Origins had created, the combat seemed alot more fluid, the interface had major face changes, improved graphical changes and all seemed for the better.
All was fine and dandy up untill about four hours into the game, yawning as to when I would eventually finish all the side quests
When I begin a Bioware game, I like to complete everything.
I go through all of the side quests, and all of the extra passages in area's to find the hidden items.
This is where Dragon Age 2 feels mundane, and boring.
I played Origins on Normal, and I found myself preparing nearly every fight. No fight ever turned out the same way.
You couldnt walk into a bunch of Hurlocks and not encounter some trouble.
On Dragon Age 2 you could walk into 20 Hurlocks and they might take your health down slightly, but thats about it.
That might of been my own fault for starting Dragon Age 2 on Normal and believing it would be alike to Origins.
So be prepared for easy battles.
The first dragon I encountered just seemed way too easy to beat, even ogres are a piece of cake.
I loved the combat at first, but now it just seems to arcade-like.
Almost like a Dynasty Warriors game that actually has a storyline.
Which brings me to the storyline.
The story is told over a ten year period.
The dwarf gets interrogated by a woman at the start, and he tells the story, and you play it.
This is probably Bioware's biggest mistake in my opinion.
You NEVER feel like a hero.
When anyone mentions the 'Grey Warden - Hero Of Ferelden' you always feel inferior to the Grey Warden's story, and you also think 'Yeah, I was that dude...... I kinda wish I was him again'.
The Morrigan story in the first had me captured from the word Hello.
I havent come across anything that has peaked my interest in the story of this game apart from Flemeth.
Even though there is a death at the beginning, I have never, not once, felt close to 'my mother' in the game. She just comes across as annoying more than anything. The main hero's voice is also a little too.... posh for my liking.
Its a bit of a put off when you have long hair, a beard, and then you hear a high posh voice coming from the Champion.
It just doesnt gel.
Everyone has their favourite party characters from Origins.
But there's just something not quite the same about DA2, I cant quite put my finger on it, but none of the new party characters truly feel 'epic' like they did in Origins.
You get stuck in Kirkwall, and it gets very tiresome, very quickly. The same area's, even when you get a random quest, it puts you in the same copy and pasted place near enough everytime.
Thats only after four hours of being in the game (and I have got even further now with it being completely the same).
My conclusion to this is I think Bioware have generally improved the gameplay overall, but the story just doesnt quite hit the grand scale as it did with Origins. The Champion will always feel second best to the Grey Warden in Origins, and Dragon Age 2 will remind you of it, over and over.
The combat is getting near the right direction, but it does get tiresome fast, and the difficulty is alot easier than the first.
The talents have been improved greatly, and the interface in general, talking with other plays works alot better now too.
But the general feeling I get when playing this game, is that there's just nothing to draw you in.
There's not enough substance, and you never feel like the hero.