BioWare offers Mass Effect 2 download for Dragon Age 2 buyers

BioWare is rewarding purchases of Dragon Age 2 with a free PC download of Mass Effect 2, the company announced today.

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BioWare is rewarding purchases of Dragon Age 2 with a free PC download of Mass Effect 2, the company announced today. The offer extends to anyone who buys the game and follows a few steps before April 30, 2011 at 11:59 PST, and that includes those who have already bought Dragon Age 2. The steps from BioWare are as follows:

1. Purchase your copy of Dragon Age II (if you do not already own one).

2. Activate the Online Pass content that came with your copy of Dragon Age II (The Black Emporium)

3. Start the game and log in using your EA Account or create a new EA Account

4. Visit http://social.bioware.com/me2offer and log in with that EA Account

5. Enter your Online Pass code and click "Submit". You will then be provided the code for Mass Effect 2.

6. Open the EA Download Manager and enter the code to commence download (if you don't have the EA Download Manager installed, it can be found here: http://eastore.ea.com/eadm)

The offer does come with a few caveats. The free Mass Effect 2 copy is only available via PC download, so you can't get it on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. You need to have activated The Black Emporium to access the free download, so if you bought a used copy of Dragon Age 2 you'll need to buy the The Black Emporium DLC separately. And finally, the Mass Effect 2 download doesn't include the Cerberus Network or its associated content, so you'll have to buy it separately if you want the extra missions.

Check out BioWare's Sequel Celebration site for more details on the offer and to get started on registering for your copy.

Editor-In-Chief
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 5, 2011 11:45 AM

    Comment on BioWare offers Mass Effect 2 download for Dragon Age 2 buyers, by Steve Watts.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 11:57 AM

      Is this a "We're sorry"?

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 12:00 PM

        with a side of "buy ME2 DLC"

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 12:02 PM

        They're hoping to get people hooked on ME2 in preparation for ME3. If you like the free content, it might lead you to purchase the DLC (which requires the $15 Cerberus network) too.

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 12:04 PM

          Also it gets people to use their new downloader.

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 12:02 PM

        Definitely a "mea maxima culpa."
        Shame that even a free copy Mass Effect 2 won't get me to buy this game.

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 12:25 PM

          why would you buy a free game

          • reply
            April 5, 2011 12:36 PM

            as in I wouldn't buy Dragon Age 2 even with Mass Effect 2 given away with it

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 12:04 PM

        What would they be sorry for?

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 12:06 PM

        It does come off that way, hahha.

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        April 5, 2011 12:18 PM

        I think it's a brilliant marketing move. The vast majority of people who were going to buy ME2 have already got it, so they can give it away at little loss with the hopes of 1: people buying DLC, 2: people enjoying it enough (which they should!) to buy ME3 when it's out.

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        April 5, 2011 12:20 PM

        I don't understand the hate on DA2. I liked it. :(

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 12:25 PM

          i really enjoyed it.

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            April 5, 2011 1:16 PM

            the writing, voice acting, character banter and cinematic presentation are all great. tell me at least one tear was shed during 'all that remains' in act 2 or you're a robot!

            • reply
              April 5, 2011 1:47 PM

              I wanted to talk about the voice acting but I keep forgetting. Is it me or did the voice of Alistar do every male voice in the entire game?

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 1:13 PM

          It wasn't an improvement over DA:O like people expected. Doesn't mean it was a terrible game though.

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          April 5, 2011 1:43 PM

          We wanted a sequel to DA:O. We didn't get one.

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        April 5, 2011 2:07 PM

        I think it's a way to say "Hey look DA2 sold a lot despite the criticism" it's just trying to fluff their numbers trying to get people to buy it to receive a free game.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 12:12 PM

      Well. It worked. Downloading now. I'll take a free game for the obvious screw up Dragon Age 2 is.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 12:14 PM

      Sweet pc game collection +1.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 12:21 PM

      Summary: BioWare is rewarding purchases of Dragon Age 2 with a free PC download of Mass Effect 2, the company announced today.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 12:23 PM

      Um...free game? Why would you complain about that and what would they have to apologize for anyway? The game is selling great so they have to complain to the "hard core" who wanted Baulder's Gate Redux? This is a great offer and if you never buy the DLC for ME2 or do anything with it other than play the game on the PC then who cares? Its nice that they are offering a free game for people who bought or will buy the game. I bought DA2 with no expectations of a free game being offered later so good for them.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 12:30 PM

      I continue to laugh at all those who complain about DA2 but love ME2. They suffered from the same problems, but also made huge improvements to the original games. I think a lot of people aren't giving DA2 a chance because of reading some of the negative comments - but it is superior to Origins in just about every way minus the story, and the repeating locals for dungeons / caves.

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        April 5, 2011 12:47 PM

        umm no not really. The art design is bland, the quests are cookie cutter and half of them are just go fetch me this or "hey I found this" quests. The entire equipment system is a step backwards and I'm not just talking the no armor except for your main char but the whole accessories thing. The entire junk system for items is useless and should have just been replaced by gold drops instead of "random torn loin cloth". And the fact there are only like 10 different locations that are reused over and over again. And combat is dumbed down to no longer be about properly controlling your team and using heals/potions but instead is just ok kill wave after wave that spawn out of thin air.

        And that is without mentioning the story.

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 1:51 PM

          Can we get a motherfucking INF up in here please?

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 2:12 PM

          Totally agree about the trash loot, it was totally pointless. I would have expected the trash to be much more valuable near the latter part of the game but it was not... it was a joke to make a few silver and the quests are paying 5-10 sovereigns a piece.

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          April 5, 2011 4:58 PM

          To be so wrong you'd have to have not played the game. Or just have bad taste.

          The art direction is simpler now but also less busy. A lot of times DA:O suffered from NWN2 syndrome. So many quests in DA:O were fetch this / kill that quests. Not having your party look like mental patients that just raided a thrift store is bad? There's not a lot of variety in the costumes now per character, but it was a good step forward nonetheless.
          If you truly think combat has been dumbed down... it's like arguing with creationists at this point. No fucking sense in doing it.

          BioWare continue to innovate and push forward the craft of interactive stories, which have been traditionally embedded inside "roleplaying games". Turns out that genre isn't the best to convey these stories anymore - BioWare's shift in focus to interactive narratives mixed with direct control action will be rough and risky. It also doesn't help that asking 10 people on what constitutes an RPG you'd get 12 different definitions.
          Under the pressure that EA gave them to ship Dragon Age 2 in just 18 months, they turned out a rushed and in many ways repetitive game that nonetheless quite effortlessly manages to be better than many of its peers. A shame it still doesn't touch The Witcher though.

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            April 5, 2011 5:54 PM

            I blasted through the game in about 4 days. And did every quest except for a few in act 3 which I couldn't do because the quest npc's never showed up or just stood around and didn't let me talk to them.

            They simplified the look of the game but the simplification wasn't done well and ended up with bland lifeless environments. And a city that is supposed to be a giant slum/fortress turned out to just look like a big grey box with brown floors. And the outdoors areas all looked like muddy mounds of brown and green.

            In terms of characters looks yes I enjoyed how they looked, but it should have been handled either more like Morrigan in DA:O where they keep her unique look by giving her tailored robes. But the character look isn't what I was talking about the entire equipment inventory system was atrocious. In DA:O there was a simple progression of gear depending on what it was made out of. Dragon Bone was better than Grey Iron. In DA2, instead of just that there were quality stars and uniqueness in addition to the material it was made of so there was a lot of ambiguity. Also 99% of the gear drops you go were wasted because either they were worse than what you had or weren't for your class. And in terms of accessories there was no easy way of differentiating rings/belts/amulets and without going through each item you couldn't see if "Demonic Ring A" was better than "Demonic Ring B". It wouldn't have mattered if they just took equipment out entirely because it was mostly meaningless in the game except for weapons and your characters act specific tailored armor.

            And yes the combat was dumbed down. Instead of being, ok here is this group of enemies I am approaching. Let's move so and so over here and cast fireball over here. It was ok run in cast spells kill all the guys on the screen wait 2 seconds and another wave of fodder enemies will drop down from the walls or run out a door and die. I can't even count how many enemies just died immediately from appearing inside a still active static field, or fire storm. They simplified combat. Yes it is more responsive when you hit a button it does something but with that one step forward they took 2 steps back with lazy encounter design. BTW there were only 3 memorable fights in the game in terms of interesting combat. In Act 1 The elemental dude at the end of Act 1 because you needed to use terrain to your advantage In Act 3 The High Dragon, and Meredith because of the statues and fighting with everyone, although leading up to that fight was meaningless and boring with just wave after wave of 1 hit kill shades and blood mages

            And Bioware is moving away from making RPG's because they feel that the market won't support them as more than niche titles. So Bioware is making them more like Action games with a small RPG elements which sucks but it has nothing to do with storytelling. You can tell a great story regardless of what genre the game is you look at Deus Ex or Half-Life 2 you have 2 great FPS stories told in 2 different ways which play to that games strengths. Then you look at Diablo 2, or Planescape:Torment again 2 great stories told in a way that befits the games they are told in.

            Dragon Age 2 had elements of a great story but really suffers from a lack of focus, being rushed, and that "omg check out all this cool lore shit"-itis where they wanted to expand on the world but in turn pulled the game in too many different directions.

            I enjoyed the game, it was not as good as Origins and was about the level of Awakenings. But to say the game didn't have giant flaws is kind of laughable.

            • reply
              April 5, 2011 6:54 PM

              Wow, thanks for the huge reply.

              I get what you're saying and you're not wrong with many of your observations. It's just that many of these little gripes and nags feels so insubstantial and come with just as many improvements that largely balance it out for me. I guess we're just going to have to disagree on combat being simpler, the shift from setting up a million predictable fights in boxy environs to largely dynamic and fluid encounters in (sadly repetitive) more organic areas is what most people complain about around here and to me that's just not dumbed down. In DA:O you had many fights that spawned new waves from nowhere but since you had a very linear fight progression otherwise, managing your parties abilities became a matter of dumping dps onto every encounter until you had nuked the whole place clean. Dragon Age II has a more cyclic feel to it. Less abilities and a focus on sustaining loops is a refreshing change. The whole enemy waves thing makes the encounters shifty and chaotic in a way the first game never managed - and most likely not wanted, to convey. You're not supposed to be the omniscient commander like in the olden days. Much like in KotOR, your perspective is rooted deep in the battlefield now.

              And I don't get your inventory argument. Are you telling me you could, just by name, tell that Lifegiver was better than the Dawn Ring in DA:O? So the stars are now worse because in addition to material, they take attributes and their usefulness to the respective character's class into consideration? Material tiers in DA:O were just an excuse to have generic daggers not stay 1d4 the whole game. It's no different in DA2.
              I wouldn't even say equipment was meaningless. If you start like that, then any equip in every game is essentially meaningless because who need +1 AC or +20 health or +43 attack...

              Maybe you misunderstood my comment about interactive stories and such. It was strictly related to BioWare and their philosophy. Notice the core themes throughout their games and how they're recycling tightly focusing on them with every new game. They're not in the business of crafting traditional RPGs, it's only that they started out with traditional RPGs to embed their stories in. I'm not in the mood to elaborate, this post won't change anyone's mind and frankly I don't feel like white knighting them. The products speak for themselves.

              I never said it was without flaws, the game is rushed and loose in all the wrong places but compare it to its peers and it's still a good game. My problem is with everyone shitting on it like it's NWN2 when it's quite a bit better than KotOR.

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 7:33 PM

        That's ridiculous if you consider their pedigree.

        Mass Effect started out as an action-oriented RPG.

        Dragon Age started out as a tactical-oriented RPG.

        When DAII moves toward action-oriented RPG, it's a non sequitur.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 12:32 PM

      Aw... I own both, now what?

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 12:39 PM

        You can give away the key, once you go through the steps to get it, to a deserving shacker.

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 12:40 PM

          Which I will do later tonight as I've already got ME2 as well.

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 12:49 PM

          I'll probably do this once my copy has arrived (dragon age 2 is still in the mail)

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 1:41 PM

          I'm deserving. Just saying.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 12:45 PM

      WTF people there is nothing wrong with DA2! FFS!

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 12:48 PM

        It was a decent game with some big flaws and a bunch of smaller issues. If Dragon Age: Origins was a 9 DA2 would be a 7.

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 1:31 PM

        nothing wrong? there was plenty wrong

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 1:36 PM

          quick list

          - recycled environments
          - ruining anders
          - requiring anders since no one else could be a healer other than yourself being a mage
          - fuck anders
          - choices were meaningless
          - lived in kirkwall for 10 years, nothing changed in kirkwall in 10 years
          - lived in kirkwall for 10 years, never left kirkwall
          - no way to alter companion appearance
          - very very loose story
          - respawning enemies killed strategery
          - best loot was for sale from vendors but no way to effectively make gold in the game to buy it. finished the game with 150 gold but a single good ring was 110 gold? ok...

          • reply
            April 5, 2011 1:48 PM

            recycled environments and loot are the only two valid complaints, really. Story was fine, Anders was fine. Choices are always meaningless, but the illusion of choice was worse in this game then the first one.

            It's been said before and will be said again. This should not have been called Dragon Age 2, but rather Dragon Age: Kirkwall or something.

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              April 5, 2011 2:00 PM

              Anders was ruined. They took a great character from DA:O - Awakenings and completely neutered him and made him a whiny fucknut with a monotone voice actor. How they managed to fuck up a merge of 2 of the best characters in Awakenings is beyond me.

              • reply
                April 5, 2011 2:03 PM

                Also the story basically resulted in you realizing the following: Mages are dicks and crazy. Templars are dicks and crazy. Qunari are dicks and crazy. Dwarves are also dicks and crazy. There wasn't any one to root for or likeable in the whole damn game.

                • reply
                  April 5, 2011 2:11 PM

                  Not to mention there was really no overarching story. Act 1 is just go to deep roads get idol, promptly ignore idol. Act 2 is Qunari, ohh hey isabella stole this book ok fight fight kill leader done Act 3 is Templars and Mages are dicks, hrmm apparently every mage in the world is a blood mage and none of them are worth anything and die immediately and pose no threat. ohh yeah we forgot that idol and let's use that to kill the knight commander. Ohh and anders blows up the chantry out of nowhere

                  • reply
                    April 5, 2011 6:36 PM

                    In Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware created a legitimately compelling original fantasy world. It was full of interesting conflicts and unique social dynamics. Bioware proceeded to undermine much of that potential by shoehorning the player into a relatively cookie-cutter retelling of everyone's favorite classic fantasy epic, "Unite the various peoples of the land to defeat the Evil Archdemon."

                    In Dragon Age 2, the development team altered the formula by forgoing the world-trekking and overbearing antagonists of every other RPG ever made to instead rely on the things that actually make the Dragon Age world unique. And for their gall, they are continually raked over the coals by fans who think that social tension and the constant threat of war are just too boring.

                    I can understand some of the other complaints leveled against this game, but stories like this are sorely lacking in this industry. If nothing else, Bioware deserves credit for having the guts to break the mold and give us a narrative that doesn't rely on overused good vs. evil conventions to create conflict.

                    • reply
                      April 5, 2011 6:59 PM

                      They can do the latter while still having a compelling story from start to finish. This game is essentially 3 DLC expansion packs crammed into 1 game with very little to no correlation between the 3 acts.

                      I didn't see this "social tension" or "constant threat of war" you speak of. By social tension do you mean how everyone hates mages? Ok. By constant threat of war do you mean the Qunari sitting in their little camp doing nothing until they decided to do nothing? Act 2 was the only remotely compelling act in the whole game and even that fizzled out way too quickly.

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                      April 5, 2011 7:01 PM

                      Go away with your reason and observations. Did you not hear the man? No overarching story.

                      Your life just isn't story enough. Your companions aren't story enough. A city isn't story enough. Why couldn't they have an untold evil try to take over the whole world? No one tells stories like this, man. That'd be epic, imagine the whole world, like, in your hands. You get to save them all! Awesome.

                    • reply
                      April 5, 2011 7:07 PM

                      I've seen a lot of people giving them credit for trying to do an interesting political story in a more novel location - the problem wasn't the concept, it was the poor execution

                      Not to mention in the end they fell into the classic trap of throwing it all way with the awful deus-ex-the-magical-evil-idol-did-it which severely undermines an interesting political plot and instead made much of the story feel cheap and meaningless

                      • reply
                        April 5, 2011 7:23 PM

                        I can't speak for your version of the events, but to me it was clear that Meredith was a very draconian and power hungry leader. It is one of the first things you learn about her once you arrive in Kirkwall! The idol pushed her further into extremism, but she brought that willingly onto her and very much embraced it. It wasn't so much desu ex machina as it was generally unnecessary, it only served to further the point that without Hawke, none of this would've happened the way it did.

                        • reply
                          April 5, 2011 7:49 PM

                          I didn't see her as power hungry at all. She had a very specific history with mages going wrong (i.e her sister being a mage, turning into an abomination and killing her whole family) and shaped how she was around anyone magical. Her attempts to control the Circle and the directives she gave the Templars were direct results of that. And I actually agreed with her that Mages were fucking nutter. How many blood mages went insane in the game? 95% of the mages went bonkers? I think she was just doing what was needed and the game tried to shoe horn her as the villan by giving her a lame magical idol.

                          • reply
                            April 5, 2011 7:58 PM

                            So you'd agree with her that making every mage tranquil is necessary and justified? And that the Right of Annulment should've been carried out on the Circle because of an outsider's actions?

                            • reply
                              April 5, 2011 8:10 PM

                              Ser Alrik acted alone in the "Tranquil Solution" and Meridith (and the Chantry) disagreed. If you looted his body, you would have seen that. Also, the Right of Annulment was only enacted because of stupid dumb fuck Anders while Meridith was under the influence of the Idol and obviously already deemed Evil by the solid writing.

                              • reply
                                April 5, 2011 8:16 PM

                                Yeah sorry it's late. I'm misremembering but remain adamant that between Orsino and her, his arguments were just better. Of course that doesn't include his last scenes where he does a 180 and becomes a Blood Mage demon boss thing. That made me go wtf so hard.

                                • reply
                                  April 5, 2011 8:23 PM

                                  You mean acted the way that 95% of the mages acted? The point I made awhile ago was really that there was no good choice. You either had a concocted bad guy in Meridith or bat shit crazy mages. I played out both outcomes and nothing changed really and both of them sucked. There was no deep story, no political intrigue, it was all skin deep and forced.

                                  • reply
                                    April 5, 2011 9:14 PM

                                    But I will concede that the best story elements came from the companion quests and not the main story line.

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                        April 5, 2011 7:47 PM

                        I'd agree with this. I like DA2's narrative ideas a lot more than I liked any of Origins', but its execution was all over the place. Its use of the idol was a mistake for sure. The worst failure, though, is how meaningless your choices are in the endgame.

                        It's a shame. DA2 could've been fantastic if it hadn't been so rushed.

                • reply
                  April 5, 2011 2:12 PM

                  Qunari aren't crazy, just dicks.

                  • reply
                    April 5, 2011 2:13 PM

                    From a design perspective the Qunari re-design is so much more awesome than their lameness in DA:O.

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                      April 5, 2011 4:29 PM

                      they were a lot better. i wish i could have had that mage qunari join my SQUAD

                      • reply
                        April 5, 2011 7:16 PM

                        I seriously thought that this was going to happen and was excited because I desperately wanted to get rid of Anders/Merrill.

              • reply
                April 5, 2011 3:27 PM

                He was awesome in Awakening, especially if you got his kitten, Ser Pounce-a-lot.

            • reply
              April 5, 2011 3:58 PM

              My problem was the tactics menu being so small on large screens. The DA:O tactics screen had at least 10 options visible at once, whereas DA2 had 4. And this is on the PC.

              Also, agreed on the environment overuse. Much more constricted and they weren't varied enough.

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                April 5, 2011 4:28 PM

                that was also shitty. forgot about that.

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 3:24 PM

        I don't understand how people can honestly say there was nothing wrong with DA2 with a straight face. The problems that game has are obvious and have been listed billions of times by numerous people.

        The stupid ass excuse that "Everyone that hates this game didn't really give it a try" is fucking bullshit. Many people including myself played through over 2/3rds of the fucking game, if not the entire thing and were desperately hoping that there would be some form of salvation from the boring world that this game takes place in.

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        April 5, 2011 3:29 PM

        There's quite a lot wrong with it, actually.

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        April 5, 2011 3:47 PM

        I liked the game a lot and was still disappointed by things in it. I really think they fucked up by calling it DA:2. It wasn't much of a sequel to DA:O and Awakenings. It should have been DA:The Kirkwall Konnection or something.

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 5:01 PM

          I just can't get into it. I just took the disk out and played some Reach instead :(

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 1:04 PM

      OK here is the important question. Can you activate this copy of ME2 on Steam?

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 1:19 PM

        No, EA Downloader only. But it is free, so who cares.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 1:57 PM

      If we already own Mass Effect 2 can we give this copy away?

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 3:16 PM

      I assume it cant be added to steam?

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 3:20 PM

      can we give the key to other people?

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 5:07 PM

      Well I think this makes up for the Issac armor DLC problem I had. ME2 for the PC was pretty nice I heard.

    • reply
      April 5, 2011 6:20 PM

      Alright...anyone want a ME2 key? I was finally able to sit down and get it so now I'm ready to give it away.

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 6:27 PM

        No one?

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 6:29 PM

          shit I'll take it

        • reply
          April 5, 2011 6:29 PM

          I, too, expected replies already. I do not have it, but if someone ACTIVELY wants it, I'd step aside.

      • reply
        April 5, 2011 7:00 PM

        I would love one, I really want to play it on a PC. But only if any of you have one to spare.

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        April 5, 2011 7:21 PM

        I've had my finger on the Steam buy button a few times this month. Now thinking about just getting DA2 to get ME2 in the backlog. Hrm.