Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: November 2014
First thing I have to say is that it is a LONG ASS GAME, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I loved that it was so long, it allowed me to discover so much of a region, and there was plenty of it to discover and delve into.
Okay, I have not been waiting as long as some other people for Inquisition to release, hell, I only started obsessing over the Dragon Age series for about a year, and I am glad for that, the wait could’ve killed me. But enough of that, lets get into the actual review.
Dragon Age: Origins (2009) had it’s story about the Fifth Blight and the Grey Wardens, Dragon Age II (2011) had a storyline that focused on the tensions between the mages and templars. While Dragon Age II had a better connection, as it acted like a prologue to this game specifically, Dragon Age: Origins was blended into the mix fairly well because of returning characters, and a section dedicated to what happened to the Grey Wardens 10 years after the Fifth Blight.
If you have not played any of the Dragon Age games before, you are thrown into a world full of rich lore, so it may be daunting at first, but you will soon understand and love it. Your character is a survivor of a massive explosion at the Conclave – where the Chantry (similar to our own Church) were acting as mediators for the war between the mages and templars. The explosion left a massive tear in the sky (called the Breach) which leads into the Fade (a kind of dream/nightmare-ish realm where demons and spirits reside). You see how much stuff you need to get before you get what in the world is happening. If you want a fast paced history lesson, head to Dragon Age Keep and make your own world state, where you can alter decisions made in previous games so that there is a continuation. Well, from there, you character has a magical mark on their hand which is connected to the Breach and allows you to close the tears.
The main plot was a bit long winded at the start, the first third of the story missions were pretty much just a long prologue, but as soon as you reach Skyhold, that’s where everything opens up and you can truly see how expansive the world of Thedas is. A lot of the story depends on what happens at the War Table, the place where you and your advisors stand around and talk about the important stuff. The War Table is much more useful than it initially seems, you can send your advisors on little time-based missions that can be of great use; you can use them to gather resources, or open up new maps, or negotiate terms with nobles or merchants. I suggest you utilize this feature to the fullest, always having one of your advisors on a mission.
Like with other Bioware games, they keep the cutscenes dynamic via the decision wheel, which pop-up in cutscenes and allow you to choose what to say, and your voiced protagonist will portray what you want. This adds a nice subtle layer of depth in the conversations because you can either go straight to the point, or go in depth and find out about the world, the history, and background of the world or your friends.
Hours of Customization
You are able to choose from four races: Human, Elf, Dwarf, and Qunari. Each have their own unique race perk; Humans have an extra skill point to use at the start of the game, Elves are more resistant to ranged damage, Dwarves are more resistant to magic damage, and Qunari are more resistant to melee damage. And all races can become any class expect for the Dwarf, as they have no magic affinity, they cannot become mages. What I found really interesting was the addition of the Qunari, I love these horned giants, and Inquisition was the first game which allowed you to choose the race (or religion considering all the follow the Qun are considered Qunari) as a character.
During the customization screen, while some customizable features keep the traditional slide bar, others use a square grid which I think is just great, plus there was an eye colour feature that allowed you to use any colour in the palette to change the inner AND outer irises. So imagine you could have a pink and blue eye for example.
Some characters make a return such as: Morrigan, Varric, Cassandra, Leliana, and a certain Champion. And each character gets their own tarot card in the party selection menu, which I think is a nice touch, And the tarot cards of your party change depending on whether you complete missions with them involved.
I suggest that you always talk to your companions as it opens up that character, one instance that surprised me was Blackwall. In your Journal, look for the quests under the category “The Inner Circle”.
The banter is back, the lovely banter between your party members. Though at some points, I found it lacking, and when you are stuck with boring people, you get boring banter. For some of the more interesting talks, you should have Sera, Iron Bull, or Dorian in your party at all times.
And in continuation with finding this lacking in this game, I found that there wasn’t much combat customization. In previous games, you can set up tactic slots and make your dumb A.I. do [this] when [this happened], but now all you can say is whether or not the character uses or prefers a skill, and when to use potions. It left me feeling unneeded as a tactical commander, so I was rarely using the tactical cam.
Now, I have usually played Dragon Age on PC, so when I started playing on console, it felt different. It wasn’t better or worse, it was just different. You can either play from a third person view, or a tactical cam/birds eye view. Both are good in my opinion; third person allows more streamlined action oriented experience, while I pretty much only used tactical camera for the harder portions of the game. The tactical camera deserves some praise, although not a lot of people use it, they have made it perfect for Dragon Age, most specifically in the way you can fast forward time while in tactical mode so you don’t have to leave it.
+ Many different regions to explore
+ Dragon Age Keep
– Lack of individual character tactics
– Some characters have really boring banter