RPGreats now has a Discord! Come on in to talk about game music, games in general, submit reviews or just hang out!

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Dragon Age 2

As if the original Dragon Age wasn't enough of a letdown to anyone looking for a decent RPG experience, they released Dragon Age 2 less than a year-and-a-half later.  Which is right out of the Electronic Arts playbook - shovel crap out as quickly and voluminously as possible and pay your hack game journo buddies to hype it up as the Best Thing Ever so your fanboys never have the time or inclination to try anything else; if that ever happens, they might just learn just how shoddy your products really are!  And boy is DA2 shoddy.  Its combat moves slightly faster but is just as shallow and monotonous as the first game's, throwing hordes of the same one enemy at you over and over again for 30+ minutes at a time.  Character interactions are still the same trite "be stoic/make stupid jokes/be an asshole" choices that never change a damn thing outside of cutscenes, and the world design is lazier than ever, copy-pasting assets wholesale from the previous game and even reusing the same exact rooms multiple times in a row just to pad out the dungeons.  Basically it's just a cut-rate Diablo 1 in terms of gameplay design and premise, with a toe-curlingly bad story set in and around a single locale so they can make as few new assets and characters as possible.  But what truly pushes it into being irredeemable is BioWare and EA's attitude toward their audience.  After two of the game's developers got caught posting glowing reviews for their own game on Metacritic, EA's official response was a flippant "who cares just buy it anyway lol", which just proves they don't have the slightest care about ethical behavior from their employees, the quality of their products, their own reputation or even the reputation of gaming in general; as long as they can make a quick buck off you and yours, anything is fair play.  If selling heroin was legal I'm sure they'd happily quit the video game business entirely to do that instead; it isn't, though, so they'll just have to settle for foisting subpar garbage at premium prices and letting their cult of employees, journo shills and fanboys spread pro-EA propaganda all over the internet instead. Fucking shysters.  

While this is technically a half-Star game for making at least a few improvements to the dragging combat of the original, there's no way I'm rewarding Electronic Arts or BioWare for showing such flagrant contempt for their audience and the credibility of gaming as a whole. Dragon Age 2 gets a whopping zero Stars, and BioWare, EA and every one of their disgusting enablers get two raised middle fingers apiece.  Now please, go support a developer that has some scruples, pushes genuine quality in their products and values the medium of gaming beyond how many pennies they can shake out of consumers' wallets this week; I promise there's plenty to be found.

Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: 2011
Platforms: XBox 360, PC, PlayStation 3