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Dragon Age II Demo

The Dragon Age Website now offers downloads of the promised playable demo for Dragon Age II, BioWare's RPG sequel. The demo is available in three varieties, an English demo which includes Espa˝ol, Italiano, Polski, and Русский subtitles, which is mirrored on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, Gamer's Hell, WorthPlaying; a Deutsch demo, which is mirrored on Gamer's Hell; and a demo en Franšais, which is mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell. They also remind us of the previously announced promotion that will provide players with two in-game items if the demo achieves one million downloads and logins by March 1st, and word is that all players who complete the demo by May 31st will receive and additional in-game item. Here's word:

In the demo, players will venture through the game's prologue, choosing from three different character classes. They'll also learn more about Hawke and hone their skills and abilities that will make them the ultimate hero. After finishing the prologue, players will enter a key new location in the world of Dragon Age, Kirkwall, befriending Isabela, a romantic interest in the game who is also a deadly smuggler. Upon completion of the demo, players will unlock a special weapon, Hayder's Razor, an ancient dwarven blade which increases health, mana, and combat abilities, in the full release of Dragon Age 2.

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154. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 28, 2011, 19:48 finga
 
Easily could have been an internal name given to the sequel back from when they were talking about the project but gave it an obscure name just in case it got out to the public pre-announcement. Developers do this often.  
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153. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 28, 2011, 16:25 Verno
 
Oh incidentally, someone was taking apart the games files and discovered it's internal build code:

dae_publicdemo_nightlybuild_win32

DAO was Dragon Age: Origins so I can only imagine DAE is Dragon Age English except that someone managed to pull the same thing from the leaked German build. Expansion perhaps? Either way, a bit embarrassing.
 
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152. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 28, 2011, 10:14 Verno
 
Yeah it's so bad they had the voice actors announce the arrival of waves which makes it even more glaring. "Another wave!!!" x 10 is much worse than scripted layouts.  
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151. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 28, 2011, 07:19 Eldaron Imotholin
 
I played the demo again, this time finishing in because I had the time.

I'm not feeling it. It just leaves me completely cold. Somehow you can feel/experience the passion developers have put in their project. I felt it with DAO. I especially felt it with that flawed game, The Witcher, which allowed it to become such a succes. With DA2 I felt nothing. The dialogue was so freaking crap that literally nothing my hero said came out the way I fucking wanted it. Very frustrating and unsatisfying. The combat got so dumbed down that I laugh at the fact they use it to promote the game. It's boring, and 10 minutes into my first playthrough.. I was already thinking "BOOORIINNG!!" during the 15th wave of Darkspawn.

I'm not going to buy this game. I did a "mark my words" on this game last year, and it turned out exactly the way I expected it.
 
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150. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 27, 2011, 08:03 SmyTTor
 
Okay, I just finished a play-through of DAO on a rogue. These games are night and day. I emphatically prefer the DAO style as opposed to DA2's version.


Afterwards I played the demo as an archer, then a rogue, and then yet again as a mage. It is pretty laughable to say these games are remotely similar in combat situations. Never having to position myself, just spamming backstab and auto porting was pretty jarring; how in the world could they dumb it down that much? And every other kill is a multiple limb separating explosion? Yeeesh.

Oh, and the mage play through... I never touched the tactics options and never switched to an NPC. I played the entire demo. While my idiot brother died to the ogre, I still finished the demo without EVER moving my mage in combat after the encounter was et up, just spamming fireballs, frost, and blowing anything that got near me away. I am guessing nightmare will be the way to go, but it's disheartening to think how low normal difficulty has sunk now-a-days.

I am reassured that the decision to cancel my pre-order was a good one. I no doubt will enjoy casually playing DA2 after it goes on sale for around $20. I am glad so many people like this game and I hope it's everything they hope it can be, but it is not even close to a spiritual successor to DAO.
 
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149. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 23:15 Verno
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Feb 26, 2011, 16:59:
Why the fuck are you so on my case about it?

Uhm, you were the one who accused me twice about implying you were stupid and saying the game was dumbed down, neither of which I did in the first place. I'm not on your case about anything, I responded to what you posted. As for your opinion, there doesn't seem to be a lot of substance behind it which is the difference between it and what other people have posted about their specific problems with the demo.

It's a tactical RPG. It is not at all a Diablo style RPG or a God of War game with stats and dialogue like Mass Effect is a shooter with stats and dialogue. Maybe it is a worse tactical RPG, that is all opinion, but it is not an action game or even an hybrid with an action game, not at all.

Bioware themselves said it can be played as an "action RPG".
 
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148. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 19:55 Jerykk
 
How can it be dumbed down when on normal mode I needed to pause and manage my units to beat a battle so early in the game? I had nothing that hard in Origins until the top of the tower at Ostagar.

Eh? It sounds like we're playing completely different games here. For me, the DA2 demo was insanely easy. I never came close to dying and never had to manage my party or use any tactics. Conversely, DAO required me to do those things right off the bat. I don't really understand how we could have such completely different experiences, unless you played DAO on consoles or something.

All I said is that the negative comments seem to be focused on the small amount of things they did change rather than look at the fact that the game is demonstrably the same kind of game as the last one.

In the vaguest sense, sure. DA2 is still a story-driven, combat-heavy party-based RPG where you have control over your entire party. However, many of the details have changed and these details are pretty important to others and myself. I don't really like any of the changes that have been made. I don't like the voiced protagonist, I don't like the dialogue wheel with paraphrased choices and tone icons, I don't like the new visual style, I don't like the reduced party loadout customization, I don't like the limited tactical camera, I don't like the new animations, I don't like the limited interaction you have with your party members, I don't like the removal of injuries, I don't like the new loyalty system, I don't like the removal of the skill system, I don't like the new crafting system, I don't like the new UI, etc.

All of those complaints may seem minor to you but they add up and have a significantly detrimental impact on the game to me.

This comment was edited on Feb 26, 2011, 20:11.
 
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147. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 16:59 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Feb 26, 2011, 14:40:
You are the one talking about universal truths, evidence below:

The simple fact is there is a lot of bitter-sounding comments and intense negativity about this game from CRPGers, more so than other titles. Shit man, there's more hate over this than Gothic 4 basically being a kid's game. It baffles me.

That's not a fact, that's your interpretation. Maybe it's true of this particular discussion but I don't feel it's a fair representation of the comments. Some people have been negative but many have listed their opinion and broken down why they feel that way quite reasonably.

How is "there is a lot of negativity around this game" not an obervable fact? Why the fuck are you so on my case about it? There IS a lot of negativity, on here and on RPG forums and even on general forums, there is a lot of negativity. I am not making it up, it's right there for all to see.

I... don't... get... your... issue.

People have opinion A or B or C that this game is worse. I have opinion D that it is as good or better, and I am stating my position. I am remarking "boy a lot of people have negative opinions" when they do. "A lot" is not an exact number, I could mean 5 or 10 or 20, I just mean "a lot." I notice a lot of negative opinions. How is that me forcing my universal truth onto you? Why are you being so fucking sensitive?

I... don't... get... your... issue.

Actually Bioware has made reference to it as an action game more than once. I think it's obvious the game is something of a genre bender in many respects. It having action elements in and of itself isn't a bad thing, it's how they are being implemented.

It's a tactical RPG. It is not at all a Diablo style RPG or a God of War game with stats and dialogue like Mass Effect is a shooter with stats and dialogue. Maybe it is a worse tactical RPG, that is all opinion, but it is not an action game or even an hybrid with an action game, not at all.
 
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146. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 14:40 Verno
 
You're acting like it is some kind of universal truth that this game is dumbed-down and radically different and I think that's condescending. I don't consider it either of those things, I would actually say DA2 is a perfect example of how streamlining is not always dumbing a game down.

I'm not acting like anything is a universal truth, I am referring to this topic alone and I've never used the words dumbed down either nor have I implied that in any way. You are the one talking about universal truths, evidence below:

The simple fact is there is a lot of bitter-sounding comments and intense negativity about this game from CRPGers, more so than other titles. Shit man, there's more hate over this than Gothic 4 basically being a kid's game. It baffles me.

That's not a fact, that's your interpretation. Maybe it's true of this particular discussion but I don't feel it's a fair representation of the comments. Some people have been negative but many have listed their opinion and broken down why they feel that way quite reasonably.

When DA2 was announced I thought it was going to be like Mass Effect, an action game (in that case a shooter) with RPG elements. It is not that AT ALL

Actually Bioware has made reference to it as an action game more than once. I think it's obvious the game is something of a genre bender in many respects. It having action elements in and of itself isn't a bad thing, it's how they are being implemented.

Lying about what?

About the two demo builds.

They have been pretty honest and blunt about the changes if you ask me. The game plays pretty much exactly as Laidlaw described months ago when we were all begging for gameplay video and he would explain how it played rather than show anything. I think a lot of people, myself included, assumes he was making it sound more tactical than it was, and that it would be an action game, but it ends up he was being honest.

Subjective. I don't find it to be particularly tactical, in fact I find it quite difficult to play in a tactical manner. The limited camera view and the camera auto-swapping heavily imply the game is not balanced around tactical combat. It's also considerably difficult to co-ordinate party members positioning as a result. I don't find those to be minor elements of combat either, they are major factors that influence how the combat is balanced and flows.

Anyway I have more to add but unfortunately I have to head out for a bit but I'll check back on Monday.
 
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145. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 14:21 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Feb 26, 2011, 13:40:
I've never even used the word stupid in this topic nor have I made you out to be anything. I wasn't the one demanding everyone else qualify their opinion either. Anyway, I think we've stretched this as far as it can go without rehashing everything.

I did not mean you called me stupid, I was more saying you are acting like I do not know how to write my opinion down on a forum. I do, and that is all I have done. Your insistence that I am wrong in some way for stating my opinion and then continuing to argue for my opinion baffles me.

You're acting like it is some kind of universal truth that this game is dumbed-down and radically different and I think that's condescending. I don't consider it either of those things, I would actually say DA2 is a perfect example of how streamlining is not always dumbing a game down.

You've made your opinion well known already. For what it's worth I do respect your opinion, I simply don't agree with it nor the conclusions you've made about everyone elses.

The simple fact is there is a lot of bitter-sounding comments and intense negativity about this game from CRPGers, more so than other titles. Shit man, there's more hate over this than Gothic 4 basically being a kid's game. It baffles me.

I don't think I ever drew any firm conclusions though. All I said is that the negative comments seem to be focused on the small amount of things they did change rather than look at the fact that the game is demonstrably the same kind of game as the last one. When DA2 was announced I thought it was going to be like Mass Effect, an action game (in that case a shooter) with RPG elements. It is not that AT ALL, yet comments on here and RPG forums seem to be pretending it is. That's confusing to me.

Maybe but they were caught lying about it once already so I guess I'm just not inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. I'd be happy to be wrong, what would I lose? If I'm wrong then I get a game out of it and have to post a mea culpa, whoop de doo. Unfortunately everything I've seen and read from following the game's development pretty closely leads me in the other direction.

Lying about what? They have been pretty honest and blunt about the changes if you ask me. The game plays pretty much exactly as Laidlaw described months ago when we were all begging for gameplay video and he would explain how it played rather than show anything. I think a lot of people, myself included, assumes he was making it sound more tactical than it was, and that it would be an action game, but it ends up he was being honest.
 
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144. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 13:40 Verno
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Feb 26, 2011, 12:44:
Again, I don't know what you want from me. You say I am intent on making myself feel superior but I say you are intent on making me out to be stupid.

I've never even used the word stupid in this topic nor have I made you out to be anything. I wasn't the one demanding everyone else qualify their opinion either. Anyway, I think we've stretched this as far as it can go without rehashing everything.

I liked the demo, it played like the same game to me, the issues others are focusing on are things I consider minor or not even bad changes.

You've made your opinion well known already. For what it's worth I do respect your opinion, I simply don't agree with it nor the conclusions you've made about everyone elses.

Well the new AoE camera is on youtube, and I don't think they would ship a game with broken settings in the options menu. The other more minor stuff I guess we shall see.

Maybe but they were caught lying about it once already so I guess I'm just not inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. I'd be happy to be wrong, what would I lose? If I'm wrong then I get a game out of it and have to post a mea culpa, whoop de doo. Unfortunately everything I've seen and read from following the game's development pretty closely leads me in the other direction.

This comment was edited on Feb 26, 2011, 13:53.
 
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143. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 12:44 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Feb 26, 2011, 10:33:
You seem incapable of seeing anyone elses point of view, you keep making silly posts like this. It isn't minor just because you decide it is and even if it were there sure are a shitload of "minor" problems, I'm not sure why it's so difficult to imagine that they would add up to an unenjoyable experience for fans of the first game in particular. You keep digging in further but I suspect it's because you're so invested in appearing to be right and making everyone else seem petty. You don't have to do anything to make me happy, I'm fairly content with the long list of items that have gone unaddressed and secure in my opinion.

Verno I consider them minor. What the fuck language do you want me to use? What would satisfy you? If I think something is minor I am going to refer to it as minor, just like if I think something is tasty I will call it tasty, even though someone somewhere thinks it tastes like shit.

Again, I don't know what you want from me. You say I am intent on making myself feel superior but I say you are intent on making me out to be stupid. I liked the demo, it played like the same game to me, the issues others are focusing on are things I consider minor or not even bad changes. I don't know what the fuck else to say.

That's amusing because Bioware claimed that the demo was based on near retail gold code in response to the leaked German demo from a week prior. I'm not sure we can take Bioware's word for it when it was a press demo from months previous that they claimed was near retail code. The whole oh there is a magical build that fixes all problems is a hilarious trope at this point anyway, companies have used it ad nauseum and it rarely turns out to be true.

Well the new AoE camera is on youtube, and I don't think they would ship a game with broken settings in the options menu. The other more minor stuff I guess we shall see.
 
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142. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 10:33 Verno
 
It's unfortunate that Bioware released a demo in that state when some people are... ahem... sensitive to minor issues like that. I can only guess they really wanted to get the demos out before release to try and show PC players it's still a tactical game

You seem incapable of seeing anyone elses point of view, you keep making silly posts like this. It isn't minor just because you decide it is and even if it were there sure are a shitload of "minor" problems, I'm not sure why it's so difficult to imagine that they would add up to an unenjoyable experience for fans of the first game in particular. You keep digging in further but I suspect it's because you're so invested in appearing to be right and making everyone else seem petty. You don't have to do anything to make me happy, I'm fairly content with the long list of items that have gone unaddressed and secure in my opinion.

As for the demo I actually agree. It seems that the demo was basically an alpha build and a lot of things were changed and improved upon after the fact

That's amusing because Bioware claimed that the demo was based on near retail gold code in response to the leaked German demo from a week prior. I'm not sure we can take Bioware's word for it when it was a press demo from months previous that they claimed was near retail code. The whole oh there is a magical build that fixes all problems is a hilarious trope at this point anyway, companies have used it ad nauseum and it rarely turns out to be true.

This comment was edited on Feb 26, 2011, 11:04.
 
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141. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 09:17 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Feb 25, 2011, 17:12:
The core game, 95% of the game, is the exact same thing as the last one.

People have been patient and pointed out multiple reasons why this isn't the case so obviously we're at an impasse here if you still can't understand where everyone is coming from. Either way, I think Bioware could have done a lot better in terms of a demo for this game.

And I've answered a lot of those points by either disagreeing or saying I consider them minor issues. I don't know what else to do to make you happy, you seem to require I give in and say "you're right, it is a lot different" but the fact is I just don't feel that way.

As for the demo I actually agree. It seems that the demo was basically an alpha build and a lot of things were changed and improved upon after the fact (DX11, AoE camera, better menus, etc.). It's unfortunate that Bioware released a demo in that state when some people are... ahem... sensitive to minor issues like that. I can only guess they really wanted to get the demos out before release to try and show PC players it's still a tactical game and to show console players it works better on a console than Origins.

Sales for this game will be really interesting to see. Shame the PC version won't get accurate results.
 
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140. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 26, 2011, 09:11 StingingVelvet
 
RollinThundr wrote on Feb 25, 2011, 19:18:
I dunno, I find things like completely removing party armor and gear customization in a party based CRPG more than minor,

They didn't do that, you can't change their core outfit but you can change everything else, weapons, rings, amulets and I think boots. I do disagree with that change though, but at the end of the day I consider it pretty minor.

along with the art direction actually being worse rather than better more than minor as well.

That's an opinion, not a fact. I much prefer the look of this game, Origins looked very generic.

Thats not even mentioning how flat out terrible it is to navigate the tactics menu in comparison to Origins.

True, but every other menu works well and honestly it would not surprise me if the tactics menu works better in the final release, considering all the other things Bioware have said were in alpha state in the demo.

Also I just turn tactics off anyway.

The ME2 voice over treatment that has led to simpler dialog (at least in the demo) and on and on.

I skipped the story in the demo, but I doubt this is true.

Sure some of the complaints may very well be minor, but when you add them all together, being a huge fan of the first game, its really just frustrating and disappointing to get the feeling that the game was streamlined for the sake of the console players and then ported back to PC with the only major difference being support for DX11 lighting/shadowing/tessilation effects for those with the capable hardware.

And I'm saying I don't feel like that, I'm not sure how else to say it. The second ogre fight really required that I use tactics to beat it and the party control, tactical planning and gameplay all felt exactly the same to me as Origins. The animations were faster (and cooler if you ask me) but everything else played the same. How can it be dumbed down when on normal mode I needed to pause and manage my units to beat a battle so early in the game? I had nothing that hard in Origins until the top of the tower at Ostagar.

The lack of any sort of tactical camera just kills me though, since the second you move a character, the camera resets on it's own, kinda difficult to manage 4 party members when you're fighting with the asstastic camera the whole time.

I said from the start that the camera is a major change and that I consider the game to be 95% the same thing outside of the camera and main character method. I know for some people the loss of that pseudo-isometric camera is a big deal. For me it's not, I rarely used it in Origins and I feel the current method works fine, but I know for some it is.

If it makes you feel better some youtube videos and Bioware dev posts on their forum have shown that there is an overhead mode when casting an AoE spell that was not in the demo.
 
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139. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 25, 2011, 19:18 RollinThundr
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Feb 25, 2011, 17:02:
Verno wrote on Feb 25, 2011, 16:56:
You were the one who asked everyone to list their problems, no one is trying to change your opinion. We're just discussing the games numerous failings, many of us were big fans of the first game so it's not like we have some big bias against this particular title.

And I haven't seen one list of problems that really seems like a big deal to me. For the combat anyway... I can understand people being annoyed at the story method changes. The combat though... I again say this, despite knowing you will just be annoyed... the combat is like the same damn game to me. I was literally shocked at how exactly the same it was considering all the hype about changing it.

Anyway, we're going in circles. I was in a pissy mood yesterday, feeling like I am drowning in negativity does that and I should really just take breaks from the internet. My core opinion is the same though, I don't get why all these little changes are a big deal for people, they are so minor to me as to be completely arbitrary as to whether it's a good game or not. The core game, 95% of the game, is the exact same thing as the last one.

In my opinion.

I dunno, I find things like completely removing party armor and gear customization in a party based CRPG more than minor, along with the art direction actually being worse rather than better more than minor as well. Thats not even mentioning how flat out terrible it is to navigate the tactics menu in comparison to Origins. The ME2 voice over treatment that has led to simpler dialog (at least in the demo) and on and on.

Sure some of the complaints may very well be minor, but when you add them all together, being a huge fan of the first game, its really just frustrating and disappointing to get the feeling that the game was streamlined for the sake of the console players and then ported back to PC with the only major difference being support for DX11 lighting/shadowing/tessilation effects for those with the capable hardware.

The lack of any sort of tactical camera just kills me though, since the second you move a character, the camera resets on it's own, kinda difficult to manage 4 party members when you're fighting with the asstastic camera the whole time.
 
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138. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 25, 2011, 19:10 RollinThundr
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 25, 2011, 15:55:
But to argue that many are wrong for not liking DA2, the lead designers quit the team because he didn't like the direction, which I can say that puzzles me "How can the lead designer not love the direction", LEAD?

It's not that puzzling. Lead designers still have to answer to production and the publisher. If they want the game to be one way and the lead designer strongly disagrees, it's perfectly reasonable for him to leave the project. Given the fairly drastic changes in DA2's direction (making it more like Mass Effect than a traditional CRPG), I can understand his sentiment.

Just for the record they actually lost both leads on Origins, Brent Knowles and Dan Tudge because neither liked the direction the sequel was taking, which I'm sure made the devs pushing for the Mass Effect 2 treatment like Mike Laidlaw and his crusade against the "shuffle" that ironically is still very much present in the demo, giddy that they got their way.
 
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137. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 25, 2011, 17:12 Verno
 
The core game, 95% of the game, is the exact same thing as the last one.

People have been patient and pointed out multiple reasons why this isn't the case so obviously we're at an impasse here if you still can't understand where everyone is coming from. Either way, I think Bioware could have done a lot better in terms of a demo for this game.
 
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136. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 25, 2011, 17:02 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Feb 25, 2011, 16:56:
You were the one who asked everyone to list their problems, no one is trying to change your opinion. We're just discussing the games numerous failings, many of us were big fans of the first game so it's not like we have some big bias against this particular title.

And I haven't seen one list of problems that really seems like a big deal to me. For the combat anyway... I can understand people being annoyed at the story method changes. The combat though... I again say this, despite knowing you will just be annoyed... the combat is like the same damn game to me. I was literally shocked at how exactly the same it was considering all the hype about changing it.

Anyway, we're going in circles. I was in a pissy mood yesterday, feeling like I am drowning in negativity does that and I should really just take breaks from the internet. My core opinion is the same though, I don't get why all these little changes are a big deal for people, they are so minor to me as to be completely arbitrary as to whether it's a good game or not. The core game, 95% of the game, is the exact same thing as the last one.

In my opinion.
 
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135. Re: Dragon Age II Demo Feb 25, 2011, 16:56 Verno
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Feb 25, 2011, 15:37:
I think the core issues is that the line between "okay" and "awesome" is thinner for some than others. I'm not saying DA2 is "okay" so you should all buy it, I am saying I think it's "awesome" and I don't agree with the complaints. I don't think the changes are all negative and the ones that are negative I don't think are a big deal.

And of course that is my opinion.

You were the one who asked everyone to list their problems, no one is trying to change your opinion. We're just discussing the games numerous failings, many of us were big fans of the first game so it's not like we have some big bias against this particular title.
 
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