Microsoft have revealed the second batch of daily deals in its ongoing Xbox 360 Ultimate Games Sale., and it looks like the Chief is leading the charge of the cheap in towards roster of savings:
|Content Title||Content Type||Discount %|
|Halo 4||Games on Demand||50%|
|ArcaniA||Games on Demand||75%|
|WWE 2K14||Games on Demand||50%|
|Dragon Age II||Games on Demand||75%|
|Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate||Arcade||50%|
Lord knows I'm not the biggest fan of Dragon Age II, but £3 is a good price for BioWare relatively mediocre follow up to the stunning Dragon Age: Origins. The combat's better than in the original, though the tactical view is gone, and there's not much variety, and there are cookie cutter dungeons, and Kirkwall is ever so boring, and Hawke is kinda balls, and...
It's cheap. That's the message to take away from this. Nice spot by oUkTuRkEyIII.
To this day, Carl will occasionally drop the words "Dragon Age II" into conversation just to send me off on a ten-minute rampage about how bitterly disappointing and shoddily constructed that game was.
It's all relative, of course. Dragon Age II is not a dreadful game. One would actually struggle to describe it as bad. But in comparison to the past glories of a company I grew up adoring for their mature, choice-stuffed RPGs, BioWare screwed the pooch with Dragon Age II. They abandoned the expansive approach that made Origins a modern classic, threw away the narratives we'd all spent hours constructing in that first game, and gave us a boring city surrounded by cookie-cutter dungeons and endlessly repetitive quests for a story that offered little bite.
I'm still annoyed by Mass Effect 3's ending (that's a whole other can of worms), but Dragon Age II exhibited warning signs long before the Reaper starchild showed up to retcon everyone's favourite interactive space opera. The lazy design is undeniable and was never fully addressed in the post-mortems after the game released. Accusations of rushing the game to completion, which would've explained an awful lot, were laughed off, as were suggestions that EA's high pressure corporate culture had negatively influenced the game.
We never got answers, but the results spoke for themselves. Something had gone wrong: BioWare were making games that looked better than ever, but had lost something underneath the surface.Click here to read more...
To say a number of people were not exactly happy with the way BioWare handled the reveal for Tali’s appearance in Mass Effect 3 is a bit of an understatement, but some recently released concept art from BioWare artist Matt Rhodes gives us an idea of what Tali could have looked like had BioWare not gone with a stock photo of a model. In a post on his official blog, Rhodes shows how he evolved the design for many of the iconic characters from BioWare’s most recent franchises, giving us insight into his design process and allowing us to see some of the ideas that ultimately didn’t make it into the final product. A word of warning though – the blog is incredibly spoiler heavy to both Mass Effect and Dragon Age games.Click here to read more...
So, it's cheap. Dragon Age II was solid, but definitely a disappointment for some players, featuring a new character that we had trouble caring much about and a setting that makes you feel like a city janitor rather than epic hero. That said, there's some excellent combat and a lengthy storyline to enjoy here. For £4, it might finally be worth giving this a go before Dragon Age III releases later this year.
BioWare have weathered major backlash from fans following Mass Effect 3's controversial ending and the roundly disappointing Dragon Age II. Though the studio still looks to its community for feedback, Dragon Age's lead writer has spoken out to suggest that the BioWare Social Network forums are becoming "increasingly toxic" and needlessly negative.Click here to read more...
Not to be outdone, Origin have started their own Summer Sale by halving the price on several of their games. Not every title listed is a bargain (Mass Effect 3 can be found cheaper elsewhere) but we’ve got the highlights of the offerings below.
Although the single player campaign was par-for-the-course in many respects, DICE’s heavyweight FPS provides one of the best online experiences around, especially in the case of the PC version. Discounted “Shortcut” booster packs are also available if you don’t want to catch up the old fashioned way.
While I couldn’t recommend this at full price, this is definitely worth a look now it has fallen below the £10 mark. While it didn’t quite hit the mark in its execution, the main campaign is a fun if fairly short experience, with the co-op providing some lasting appeal.
It looks highly unlikely that we won’t be getting any form of sequel, but Amalur is worth a look if you want an action-packed RPG. With plenty of content and things to do in this, it could be a tenner well spent.
While it certainly wasn’t a sequel worthy of its predecessor, Dragon Age II managed to get the combat right (on PC at least.) Sadly, everything else was a clearly rushed affair that dragged the experience down. For the current price though, it could be an opportunity for you to continue your adventures in Thedas.
You have up until August 18th to grab any of these if they take your fancy. To check out the full list of current offers head over to Origin by clicking on the link here.
You’ll be pardoned if you decided to skip this one until now, but for those wishing to indulge their curiosity GAME currently have the best price. A saving of over £6 separates the deal from the next cheapest retailer.
That said, let me state this bluntly; chances are you’ll only give it one play through due to the lack of variation in the content, and you’ll probably not be blown away by the storyline. However, the action is visually impressive and doing everything will clock up at least 40+ hours, which for less than a tenner is pretty good going these days. I would suggest checking out my review and Matt’s rant to help you decide. Thanks to Syzable @ HUKD!
Oh Dragon Age II. For many, this was the disappointment of 2011, but there have been staunch defenders of this sequel's charms. Zavvi's under-£8 price is the cheapest around on Xbox 360, but being a Monday you can bet that it won't last long so get in there quick. Carl's review is relatively favourable, although sceptics might want a peek at my rant for balance's sake. Nice one missgem @ HUKD.
It would be easy to think that there was never any doubt as to which game would take home the trophy, but that wouldn't be doing Bethesda's phenomenal achievement justice. This year saw Valve release a full-length sequel to Portal, Epic bring Marcus Fenix and co's story to a close, and Adam Jensen fail to ask for things. None of these were quite able to inspire the same sense of awe and appreciation I experienced while wandering the land of Skyrim. The world Bethesda have created is believable, and full to bursting with sidequests and dungeons ready to devour any time you may once have dared label 'spare'. Expansive vistas, epic dragon vs mammoth battles, and the ability to literally talk an opponent to death are just some of the reasons that Bethesda have managed not just to better Oblivion, but in my opinion better any other game released this year.Click here to read more...
2011 is now at an end, and looking back it’s been quite the year for gamers of all interests. There have been plenty of titles from different genres to choose from, and although some of the big heavy hitters didn’t pack the punches we were expecting, there were others that knocked us for the count across all systems and that is what matters. So enough of me attempting to sound all meaningful and whatnot, you’re here to see what caught my eye over the last twelve months, so let’s get to it.
Oh come on, did you honestly think I was going to pick anything else? I’m still playing through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at the moment, and even though there are gravity-defying horses, NPCs that occasionally like to submerge themselves in the ground, and Lydia being as stupid as she is useful at being a pack mule, I’ve enjoyed every second of it because the overall experience is sublime. No other game this year has had me put in so many hours so effortlessly than Skyrim has (and I play MMOs, so take from that what you will) and I’m already planning for a second playthrough next year. I stand by what I stated at the end of my review; Skyrim is the pinnacle of the RPG genre.
Also, right, you can catch salmon with your bare hands.Click here to read more...
A year is a long time in this industry and Dead Space 2 suddenly seems an age away, but it's only been eleven months since that game hit. I was also quite surprised to find that Dragon Age II came out this year, hunting through the archives for earlier releases to make sure I hadn't skipped over any gems; but then again I'm pretty sure I'd attempted to erase it from my memory after I vented my disappointment at that game upon this very site. Such is the nature of Silly Season. The effect of having triple-A games coming out of the industry ears every week makes for an enormous backlog.
Thankfully, that's what December is for.
Depending on who you talk to, it's either been a great year for the industry or a frankly worrying one. The range of blockbuster titles has been enormous, but we've seen the middle ground suffer a lot, with studios closing left, right and centre, industry luminaries abandoning their grand sweeping legacies for smaller, less risky ventures where they can unleash their creativity without fear of publisher backlash. New IPs have been scarce, with quotes rolling in week after week regarding how dangerous it can be to dump a completely new game onto shelves in the middle of a recession.
It's certainly been an odd year, that's for sure, one I'll cover in more detail in my retrospective editorial at the end of the month, but review scores have been going up. 8 is the new 7, which was the new 5. Content is king these days, alongside production values, with bang for your buck being a crucial consideration. Gamers have aguably never had it so good, with a slew of AAA titles to choose from this year (too many?) and a wealth of creativity to be found in the indie scene. That said, publishers have been looking for sustainable franchises above all else, multiplayer is to be found in nigh on every game, shooters are everywhere and you'd better have a zombie mode...people will bitch and moan if you don't.
The slew of sequels means choosing the lists this year has been easy, but picking a winner less so. We'll be running our revised annual awards later this month, but for now let me kick off a week of staff highlights and personal accounts from the last year.Click here to read more...
Whilst we might not have been over the moon with joy at Dragon Age II, we're not churlish enough to think that there aren't some people out there eager to continue Hawke's adventuring with some tasty DLC. To those people we say 'Huzzah' and 'Congratulations!', for they have infinitely more patience and a greater capacity for overlooking faults than we do. Oh, and we have three newly released screenshots for you.Check them out after the jump...
The party line appears again. Dr. Ray has spoken to Xbox World, with BioWare admitting once again that they were rather taken by surprise by the polarised reaction to Dragon Age II.
'Our goal is to take all the feedback we get on any of our franchises and use it to make the next game in the franchise better,' said co-founder Muzyka. 'Dragon Age 2 was incredibly polarising and it caught us off-guard, honestly. It appealed to a new fanbase and we were delighted by that, but we've heard fans who wanted more of the Origins experience. We have to take all that feedback and find a way to marry those together, so we can bring everyone on the journey with us.'
We weren't especially happy with Dragon Age II and we can't help but feel that, considering BioWare made a big show of removing cookie-cutter levels for Mass Effect 2, sticking them back in for their high fantasy sequel and hoping no-one would notice was a bit naive.
Bioware is facing its toughest challenge yet; convincing fans that Dragon Age 2 was just a bump in the road towards further RPG glory. Long considered one of the finest proponents of the Western role-playing model, their acquisition by EA prompted many fears the quality of their output would decline, and Dragon Age 2's mixed reception did nothing to quell such concerns. In a chat with OXM today, Bioware explained their vision for Dragon Age 3, and how they'd like to strike a "nice balance" between Origins and its much-maligned sequel.Click here for more
Mike Laidlaw, Dragon Age II's lead designer, posted a response to fan criticism on the BioWare forums earlier this week, acknowledging some areas of the game that weren't perceived as being up to scratch, thanking fans for their patience and support and standing by the sequel's movement of the series into a 'space that has more potential'.Click here to read more...
It's time for a little DLC roundup. I know you're excited; after all, because what could be better than throwing our hard earned cash at EA long after we've bought a supposedly-complete game experience? The inevitable deluge of crappy aftermarket DLC content has officially begun for Dragon Age II and is now available on XBLA... and Valve have also outed plans to deploy major new DLC for Portal 2 this summer. Full details below.Click here to read more...
The price continues to fall for the PC version of the greatly debated RPG. Play have now lowered their price below a tenner, netting you a saving of almost £7 over the next best with stock over at ShopTo. However, some may question whether, even at this price, this title is worth the purchase. Let me state it bluntly; chances are you’ll only give it one play through due to the lack of variation in the content, and you’ll probably not be blown away by the storyline, but the action is visually impressive and doing everything will clock up at least 40+ hours, which for a tenner is pretty good going these days. I would suggest checking out my review and Matt’s rant to help you decide. Thanks to Martinconroy @ HUKD for the tip!
It’s also worth pointing out; if you order this before the end of the month, you’ll be given a free PC copy of Mass Effect 2 straight from EA’s download service as well. Thanks to topsup for the heads-up!
The recently greatly debated RPG sequel has had its PC version price slide dramatically, with Game slicing off almost £9 from the next best offer from CoolShop. However, some may question whether, even at this price, this title is worth the purchase. Let me state it bluntly; chances are you’ll only give it one play through due to the lack of variation in the content, and you’ll probably not be blown away by the storyline, but the action is visually impressive and doing everything will clock up at least 40+ hours, which for less than £15 isn’t too shabby these days. I would suggest checking out my review and Matt’s rant to help you decide. Thanks to Macdory @ HUKD!
It’s also worth pointing out; if you order this before the end of the month, you’ll be given a free PC copy of Mass Effect 2 straight from EA’s download service as well. Thanks to Whirley for the heads-up!
Dragon Age II has been receiving an interesting reception of late. It's been slammed by some critics for its weak story and bizarrely limited scope, but has garnered perfect scores from... well... BioWare engineers. Our own Matt Gardner has recently written a damning testimony about how disappointing it is for BioWare fans, but just in case you're still in, Amazon are the cheapest retailer around now that the GAME group have upped their prices.