(General discussion & reception. Some spoilers)
So... what do we think?
I've completed the game now and I'm a little torn. Someone said it extremely well in another thread on another website and I'll paraphrase here:
"Dragon Age 2 is very fun and addicting but ultimately disappointing."
They've clearly refined the formula, a lot of the story elements (both minor and major) appear to be more streamlined and overall tighter, mechanically speaking. Whenever the game tried, it could tug heartstrings and excite you by offering and promising a weaving and subtle plot along with grand new adventures. The trouble? There's no payoff. We don't ever get the exciting story that seems to have all the parts necessary to build up to.
It's unfortunate that the most anticipated part of the story (the deep roads expedition) ends way too suddenly, being a simple mission rather then a grand expedition, and the exciting plot points discovered during the expedition? Well, let's just say that they had the potential for a great story to follow but they never chased after it, instead letting it simply linger and punch the clock at the end of the game.
I won't even get into the re-use of maps which thousands of others have complained about already, but as far as I'm concerned even though it was a poor thing to do, at least they tried to do a decent job of changing doorways and passages so it wasn't so obvious that you were running through the same dungeon for the dozenth time.
The best thing I could say about the game is that it needed another year of development and another Act, with proper plot resolution and development. The trouble is, unlike a game like Oblivion where you can mod the ever-living crap out of it, you can't 'fix' the main story of a game like this since that's pretty much the whole point and they dropped the ball.