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Hi everyone, have any of you played the demo that released today? What do you think?

I'll put down some issues that I have, and they're as follows:

- The gameplay is just bad. The combat is faster paced, though it doesn't have a 1:1 feel. I know that Dragon Age Origins didn't have this either, but it seems worse in Dragon Age II. It looks as if you should have full control of your character, but the combat is dull, boring, and I can hardly tell what's going on. On top of that, I hate that control still isn't 1:1, as I was fighting a large group of enemies and one enemy started to run away, so I was trying to attack the enemy closest to me, yet I couldn't attack the enemy because my character kept running after the enemy who was running away from me. Why don't I have the control? Why is my character like a magnet to the other enemy that's further away? So they took away the more strategic combat, yet they still left these issues. Do note that I've only played the Xbox 360 version so far.

- The graphics are super ugly. I'm not a graphics whore. I think Divinity II is a beautiful game. However, Dragon Age II has piss poor art direction, bland and muddy textures for environments, armor, etc. I like how expressive your main character can be, though. He doesn't look too bad, I guess.

- Linear point A to point B gameplay. This is supposedly an RPG, but there's like no exploration. The first one was linear, yes, which was one of my main complaints with that game, but this one seems like it holds your hand way too much. It's almost like they took the Final Fantasy XIII level design and copy & pasted it. Disappointing, to say the least.

Well, those are just a few of my concerns. Of course, though, this is just a demo and could change, but it's disappointing nonetheless.


Last edited by Libertarian; 23/02/11 01:00 AM.

My Favorite RPGs: Divinity franchise, Gothic franchise (including Arcania, so I think I'm alone...), Venetica, Risen, Two Worlds II, The Witcher, Sacred franchise, Fallout franchise, Mass Effect 1, Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Drakensang, KOTOR 1 & 2, etc.
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From what I've seen, it's basically just running down a very narrow corridor while waves of enemies spawn every ten steps. Combat, combat, cutscene, combat, combat, etc. After DA:O, I won't deal with offline MMO **** like this anymore.

The game as a whole might (will) suck, but will still get 90+ reviews across the globe while other better (and real) RPGs like Drakensang: River of Time fall under the radar.

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I fired up my Xbox, but the demo is only available to gold accounts. I suppose I could create a new account to get the 30 day gold membership trial, but it doesn't sound like it would be worth the effort. Maybe I'll try the PC demo after I find a job and can justify building a new computer.

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Virumor,

PC Gamer give it 88, IIRC, which in the bizarre world of game magazine reviews is 'mediocre'. Anything under 90 is less than stellar. Don't even ask me how that works...


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Non of the Dragon Age games can hold my attention ! wink Just me.

Give me a Larian RPG and I'm busy for years !! biggrin


On 7th of february 2015 : I start a new adventure in the Divinity world of Original Sin,
it's a Fantastic Freaking Fabulous Funny ... it's my All Time Favorite One !
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At RPGWatch there are already two discussions regarding the demo :

1 http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12732

2 http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12740

In the first one there is my impression as well ... Well, it's a little bit emotional ... wink

Personally, I found the demo super-ugly - for me as a fan of Drakensang 2. These are two games which stand on the far opposite sides of the genre right now ...


Another discussion is on the development of Dragon Age 2. Here's a snippet that instantly created one of those "facepalm" pictures inside of my head, because that - in my opinion - I just couldn't believe it they were SO STUPID !!! Sorry, but I still can't believe it :

Quote
"We saw a lot of people disengaging at hour one, hour two. Not pursuing it, right?" explains Laidlaw. The Dragon Age team might have chalked some of those lost players up to rentals, but the statistics didn't back it up: a significant number of people simply stopped playing Dragon Age: Origins after a few hours.

"I think what it really spoke to is something RPGs have been wrestling with for a long time: that first impression," says Laidlaw.

So they fixed it.

"You get to an RPG and fire it up, and ... it hits you in the face with a thousand stats. Those stats are very cool, but you may not be mentally or emotionally prepared to deal with them as your first thing to do in the game," he says.


Source : http://www.destructoid.com/building-a-better-rpg-hands-on-dragon-age-ii-s-intro-194232.phtml

Personally - and I must restrain myself from not becoming emotional in this point - I just believe that they just used the WRONG conclusions.

I really don't think the players gave up because of the narrative, and that they didn't like the stats ... But instead I rather believe that Rampant Coyote might be much, much more right :

Quote
I've talked to a lot of people who quit playing Dragon Age within a few hours.

Every single one of them quit because OSTAGAR WAS BORING.


Source : http://whineaboutgames.blogspot.com/2011/02/miming-overhead-whoosh.html

Both quotes were taken from the RPGWatch Newsbit : http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/newsbit?newsbit=16819

But - there are several points towards which I pointed out at another post there :

Quote
And, we have to keep a few things in mind :

- what is a demo trying to achieve ?
- what kind of "image" or impression on the player is it designated to create ?
- what parts of the full game were actually chosen for the full game ?
- why did they chose THESE parts and not others ?
- there was another thing I wanted to add, but I suddenly forgot it

IF a demo is designated to make an impression on player who is trying out a demo (I'm explicitely *not* saying "this demo" !!!), THEn the question is, WHICH kind of impression should the player have ?

To just put an example into the discussion : It would imho be just nonsense to have an dialog-heavy game, and release combat-only sections of the game s a demo.

But on the other had, this could also be part of the what i call "Black Marketing" : Tricking people into believe that certain parts of a game were more important within the full game than they actually are …

This is an interesting thought. Could the maklers of the Dragon Age 2 demo do this kind of marketing as well ? Use combat-heavy portions of the game, but the game has much more dialog instead ? Kind of "luring" gamers who love combat into a game that has in fact not so much of it in it ?

We are just presented a demo. Full stop. We can only speculate on which approach was used by the "makers" of this demo :

- the "traditional approach" = the demo is actually meant to be typical for the full game
- the "Black Marketing" approach : what the demo presents will not be typical for the full game, or even rather the opposite

And this is quite a bunch of unsolved variables, imho.

Me, I don't think - trying to put the overall marketing regarding the game which I've seen this far into the context of the demo - that the people at BiowEAre use the so-called "Black Marketing" approach. Given what I've read and heard about this game so far, I'm rather leaning towards believing that the demo will be rather typical for the rest of the game.


This is the current state of my mind regarding the demo.


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If the demo didnt go out before the game i would surely buy dragon age 2 on launch day. But thankfully i've played the demo and unfortunately I hated it, so i realy realy dougt i'll give DA2 a second chance.


One of those cases that I can say the demo does more harm than good to the game.


The voice acting is terrible, the UI is terrible, the pace is a hybrid mess between Action/RPG and Action/action, the graphics are non-apealing to me, its too linear, the text is simplistic, i could go on...


I'm not person who likes to bash things for no purpose but honestly they seem to have killed DA with their simplistic console approach, i hope i'm wrong.

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These reactions are what I'm watching rather than running out to buy the game when it comes out. I played Origins from day one of its release and managed to beat it twice before losing all interest. Haven't had the desire to try any of the DLCs/expansions since.

I've noticed a trend in my gaming library where so-called 'sandbox' RPGs and games from the adventure genre are replacing mainstream 'RPGS' which really are little more than interactive movies. I love exploring and spelunking, with OCCASIONAL cutscenes at pivotal story moments. Not cutscenes every five minutes and claustrophobic maps.

Heck, FPS games give me more exploration than a modern Bioware RPG. I love DKS and FoV but I've been replaying the FEAR games lately because I'm burned out on RPGs. Looking forward to F3AR and Skyrim, and I'm sure Larian's upcoming projects will be interesting.

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The demo created almost flame wars - but very heated discussions anyway - on RPGWatch.

Most don't like the direction of Dragon Age at all - especially compared to the first game.

A recent interview revealed that Dragon Age 2 is just single installment in a huge franchise. So ... xpect many more and many diverse ( ! ) games to come from this. I think Legends etc. are nothing but hints at what is to come.

I played the German-language demo, and I fond 2 oddiities :

- the voice of the female magician is the same as Fayris of Drakensang 2 (German version)
- crossbow users of the "Cloned Army Of The Blight Republic" suddenly wear helmet ... of the same kind as archers wear in Drakensang 1 & 2

And - another interview revealed that Dragon Age 2 will hve only 1 major area : KIrkwall. This looks to me as if they had copied the concept of Venetica as well (only 1 major area).

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that they actually borrowed much mre from these games - and the conspiracy theorist inside of me thinks that they might have adapted the Microsoft philosophy : Copy from other (preferrably smaller) companies, but so that they can't be sued, and stomp them down (read : destroy them) by offering essentially the same experience, only free or in another surrounding.



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"Interplay.some zombiefied unlife thing going on there" - skavenhorde at RPGWatch
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I think the real 'conspiracy', as far as there is one, is 'Let's dumb down the PC version so that console gamers don't get a vastly inferior game this time'.

I find it truly depressing that rather than trying to lift the console game to the heights of the PC version with DA2, they seem to have instead decided that the lowesr standards should prevail.

Just a bad, bad decision on every level. Add the ludicrous DRM to the mix, and you have to wonder if Bioware's real goal is to shift their customers over to console then abandon the PC altogether.


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I think the worst part of it all is the whole DLC business. People are supposed to be paying for an incomplete game... a DLC for additional companions, a DLC for high-res textures, and who knows what else.

Last edited by virumor; 06/03/11 07:37 PM.
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Businessmen have taken over the industry.

And the mass of the people proves them to be right, that's the worst part, the part I really hate - but who am I to jusify what the greatest amount of people wants ? I guess that I'm rathr the minority.

But ... - In my opinion ... Just following the mass' taste just leads to stagntion. No evolution anymore. No change from a "perfect formula".

Stagnation. Death.

Therefore - in my opinion, we just NEED those people (and games) that re DIFFERENT than the norm is ... Just look at the movie of "how to train your dragon". It's a story, yes, but it proves me to 100% to be right ... we NEED those who are DIFFERENT ... We need them like ...

... like Fresh Air.



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I don't think most people WANT the massive flood of DLC, Alrik. I think they're prepared to put up with it, though, and for as long as that's so, businesses will continue to make money off it.

I think Virumor has it pretty much right. When the companies have a flood of DLC ready for the day the game is released, that's just bad.

The worst part is that you just know that the newly released game will need a ton of patches, and the time that should have been spent on testing was in all probability at least partly spent on developing DLC instead.

But gamers will seemingly put up with a LOT of crap, from appalling DRM to seriously buggy games to a seeming tsunami of DLC, much of which is not worth even a quarter of what they are charging for it.

I'm not opposed to DLC in principle, don't get me wrong. I think it's a good way to put out mini-adventures or new maps or other things that are not large enough to warrant a full expansion pack release. But when you end up with enough DLC to double the size of the game, and half of it is ready before the game is released (OK, slight exaggeration, but you get my point, right?) then there's clearly a problem, IMO.


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I see - and I can understand it.

In my opinion, DLCs are bad because they're just - in my opinion - rather and rather becoming tools of indirect DRM : You can combine DLCs only with legal specimens of a game, I guess (this is just a guess, though), AND they are there to exploit the second-hand markets :

1 game
1-3 players (selling as a used game)
= 1-3 DLCs sold

That's just a tool for an additional income, from that perspective.


When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
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"Interplay.some zombiefied unlife thing going on there" - skavenhorde at RPGWatch
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Yes, I find it laughable that they only have one area (Kirkwall) in the game. Bioware couldn't even make that one area feel lively. At least Venetica had areas that felt more alive with pedestrians. Same with Two Worlds II and other RPGs of this variety. It's a shame these games get bashed in the states for every little thing, yet Bioware gets away with the lazy work gone into Dragon Age II. Kirkwall feels so "game-y". It feels like I'm in a game cubicle designed for me to move within, not a living and breathing environment that makes me feel like I'm actually there. Europeans RPGs are very good with atmosphere, but Bioware is not. Well, I'd argue that Mass Effect has good atmosphere, but the Dragon Age team at Bioware need schooled on level design and art direction. It feels so lifeless and uninspired.

Last edited by Libertarian; 07/03/11 07:28 PM.

My Favorite RPGs: Divinity franchise, Gothic franchise (including Arcania, so I think I'm alone...), Venetica, Risen, Two Worlds II, The Witcher, Sacred franchise, Fallout franchise, Mass Effect 1, Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Drakensang, KOTOR 1 & 2, etc.
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Last BioWare game with a lively, atmospheric city where one could interact with everyone (even kill them) was Neverwinter Nights.

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I don't need to interact with everything. I want the illusion of a living and breathing world. Mass Effect did this very well. However, like I said, Dragon Age II's environments feel so "game-y". There's no illusion here, I'm playing a game.


My Favorite RPGs: Divinity franchise, Gothic franchise (including Arcania, so I think I'm alone...), Venetica, Risen, Two Worlds II, The Witcher, Sacred franchise, Fallout franchise, Mass Effect 1, Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Drakensang, KOTOR 1 & 2, etc.
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Even the Citadel in ME was pretty disappointing, once you noticed that the same NPCs remained rooted in the same spots and in the same conversation with other NPCs forever.

I'll be watching a Let's Play of DA2, it will be more entertaining than actually playing it myself... I'll be getting Arkham City if I want to play a game where something awesome really happens after pushing a button.

At this point, the only remaining BioWare franchise I'm interested in is Mass Effect. It seems at this point only Obsidian is left to make AAA classic RPGs.

Last edited by virumor; 08/03/11 11:08 AM.
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Sorry to double-post, but I was struck by a French jeuxvideo review of DA2 where the following was mentioned at the end:

The simplification of the gameplay system was expected, but it was supposed to enable a more epic adventure, served with a fascinating history and spectacular staging, which is not really the case. Between the little care given to quest, incessant fighting in recycled environments, inability to negotiate out of strategic clashes and the mediocrity of the French localization, it isn't even at the level of Awakening, but a big, uninspired DLC. Fans of role playing tactics should turn with no hesitation to the latest Drakensang, rather than endorse this debacle, which is in serious competition with Gothic 4 for worst butchering of a franchise that we've seen in recent years
This makes me even sadder about how Drakensang 2 fared.

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Here's why I avoid Gamefaqs:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/988966-dragon-age-ii/58380834

It takes these people a few months to realize when something is a serious disappointment. They live off of that brand new game smell. Once the high wears off, they'll come to their senses.


My Favorite RPGs: Divinity franchise, Gothic franchise (including Arcania, so I think I'm alone...), Venetica, Risen, Two Worlds II, The Witcher, Sacred franchise, Fallout franchise, Mass Effect 1, Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Drakensang, KOTOR 1 & 2, etc.
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