EA: We “Lost Some Fans” with Dragon Age II, Won't Make Same Mistake with DA III



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Well I personally harken back to the days of the UK Game Mag ZZap64! for the Commodore64. Every game review, had the opinions of at least 3 off the staff working at the mag at the time as well as the main review. That way you could make an objective decision if the game was good or not.  

I usually had the same tastes as one of them, and in general if that person liked it I would pretty much like it too, but you would also see what the others hated/liked about the game too. It was a great format and was also used in thier sister magazine Crash!. I think it should be used in todays modern gaming reviews as well..




Haven't played it yet... waiting until the price drops allows for more relaxed expectations. However, I bought Witcher 2 right off at full price to support their DRM stance. Vote with your wallet... it's all you got.



I'm sorry, I've seen publishers and developers say this type of thing all the time and we still get the same crappy watered down games the next time.



Would like to remind everyone that there isn't just a single writer at this magazine. There are different people, with different opinions. Dragon Age II was for the non-hardcore RPG crowd. They tried to appeal to too many people, and that's where it failed. I *loved* the original--and hated the second, and apparently this writer speaks the same opinion as I--and most regular RPGers--do. Just because they got a more casual gamer to review the "official" article, doesn't mean everyone on the staff came to a consensus.

I wanted an actual RPG, a continuation of the original Dragon Age system in DAII. I didn't get it. So I hated it. Thus, I agree with this reevaluation.



I quit caring about EA games along time ago. I have found, as a general rule, that the majority of games are rushed out the door so quick that they are still in beta form. (extremely buggy)



I like how people see one person's review of the game, then use it on the magazine as a whole when another disagrees. If anything, this gives a second opnion of the game (Which Game Informer does anyway... even if the scores tend to float similarly).

Now when MPC has a reviewer that pulls off the same thing like that one reviewer did with Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess at GameSpot, then we can say their credibility has taken a dive.



These columnists are writing for MPC.  There are no disclaimers on these articles stating the views and expressions do not reflect those of MPC.  As its being written by the MPC folks and presented on the MPC site, I'd say it reflects MP's opinion as a whole.



I agree. While I fully understand each article is written by separate individuals that likely have very different opinions, those opinions still to some extent reflect the publication as a whole. So when MPC gives a huge thumbs up review, and then comes back and writes something like this it does come off a bit like backpedaling.



I also agree. I don't understand how MPC went from proclaiming it the best RPG of the Year (so far), to saying it was a jumble of half-baked ideas, good and bad. What is published in the magazine, which I pay cash money for, should be the party-line. If this has changed, as the use of "WE don't mean..." suggests, then a retraction in the next issue would seem appropriate. If there isn't one, then I suggest that Mr. Grayson become better acquainted with 'I' statements. Otherwise, it is lazy writing all around.



MPC's credibility is now in question thanks to this flip flopping.  and here I thought this crap was limited to elected officials...



I thought the game was decent.  I liked the combat system, and the story was OK....but the environments were really what killed me.  The game was held back in my opinion by the fact that you played through the exact same environments a multitude of times.  You had the one cave in the wounded coast, the one cave in Sundermount, the one cave in the Bone Pit (which by the way, were all pretty much identical), the two different High Town "mansions," the docks warehouse, and the Deep Roads.  I don't really count the different areas of Kirkwall as being true playable areas...they were sort of just areas you passed through to get to the different re-iterated generic quest areas where the enemies always appeared in the same places each time you rolled through.

Now don't get me wrong, I liked the story and the gameplay mechanics were solid and fairly fluid....but I certainly hope the maps improve in DA3.



I agree, most of the game wasn't all that bad. They did improve quite a few things from Origins that really got overlooked. The environments weren't bad, it just killed the game when the same ones were used for each act. I thought they did a much better job with the new skill system and combat. The difference between DA2 combat and Origins was a little extreme though, nobody can swing a 2H sword that fast or leap across the area to attack enemies. I think they could tone it down a little so it was more realistic but not as slow paced as Origins. Graphics and main character voice was pretty good too.



"Really Maximum PC?  Dragon Age II was a mess?  I'm pretty sure you gave it a 9 out of 10 and Kick-Ass award, in addition to asking "Is this the best RPG of this decade? Nine more years will tell, but for now, yes."

I had to laugh when I saw this; thought the same thing.  MPC wasn't alone; every review site for the first two weeks post-launch was ladling heavy praise on the game.  It wasn't until later that some negative comments started percolating.

This seems to be a trend lately that's disturbing -- non-critical reviews that are perhaps pushed out too fast, and lean heavily towards "what everyone else is saying" -- echoing the hype.

Noticed this most recently with Witcher 2 ("best RPG evah" initially, now we find out it's buggy, too short, and has an unsatisfying third chapter).




Let's face it, it was just one of a bunch of console games, held back by the ancient technology of todays generation of consoles. It played fair, it's scope was fair, it's graphics were fair, it was just OK. EA tends to do that to a good franchise, dumb it down for the masses. I played the demo and then went Meh and never bought it. How could MPC rate it at anything but "just OK"?  If they want many of us back they have to make an expansive game that uses DX-11 well and that is not console dumed down. Sure make a console version for the large number of people that have and use them but many of the console crowd buy games after hearing good comments from the PC gamers. First make a high end version for higher end PC's. I would even pay more for such a version but I am not interested in a dumed down console game that also happens to play on a PC, not interested at any price even cheap.



It's really not the number of enviroments as much as the lack of area to explore in each. The Witcher 2 only had a few enviroments but each was huge and very explorable. Dragon Age 2 felt more like Final Fantasy when navigating its world. 



Really Maximum PC?  Dragon Age II was a mess?  I'm pretty sure you gave it a 9 out of 10 and Kick-Ass award, in addition to asking "Is this the best RPG of this decade? Nine more years will tell, but for now, yes."


Maximum PC lost all credibility for me after you gave Dragon Age II such a good review.  Where is this coming from/why did you do that?


Hg Dragon

The review was done by another writer, Rich McCormick anfd this article is written by Nathan Grayson. It's entirely possible that Rich loved the game to pieces, Nathan not so much.

Most review mags and sites (MaxPC included) state that the opinions in reviews are those solely of the reviewer and not the site/mag as a whole. They do stand behind the review and reviewer and support those views.

I actually think it increases their credibility in my eyes when they disagree on points like this.



The problem with this IMO is that it removes any accountability from the publication and cheapens Maximum PCs ratings as a whole.  I appreciate that each person within Maximum PC can have a different opinion on a product but if they give a product a certain grade then either stand by it or post a follow up up explaining the reasoning behind the change in opinion. 

It really makes me question the credibility of their reviews when on one hand their magazine claims that a game is the best RPG ever and then a few months later the same magazine claims that the game was a mess.  True these quotes may be from different writers withing the magazine but it's still ultimately the magazine that's publishing these quotes.  Many readers don't even pay attention to which editor is writing an article. 

Another thought is that if opinions on a single product varies so much within a single office (best RPG ever vs a total mess, big difference there) then wouldn't it make sense to have two different reviews for the product in the same issue?  At the very least this would allow readers to know that perhaps this isn't the no brainer that one editor thinks it is and that they should read both opinions before shelling out their hard earned $50

I just think that this should have been handled better than it was. 



Well put, Scatter.  I was thinking the exact same thing as I saw the trash talking in this article while distinctly remembering the 9 grade "Kick Ass" award of the original review.

I don't care whether it's two different people talking.  One of the reasons I come to Maximum PC (and subscribe to the magazine) is the consistency in it's reviews of all products.  And there sure as hell isn't any consistency on this one.  I've seen this with other game reviews from Maximum PC as well.

Maybe they should just repost the reviews from their sister magazine, PC Gamer and be done with it.



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