Dragon Age: Inquisition, or Bioware’s Fantasy Dating Simulator 3 as it should be known in my opinion, is the newest addition to the Dragon Age franchise. Now I have adored the Dragon Age series since buying Dragon Age 2 on launch, so to say I was hyped to have a new installment in the series was an understatement. So did I enjoy the game after waiting with bated breath for its release? Let’s take a look shall we?
In Dragon Age: Inquisition, your character really gets thrown in the deep end from the get-go. You’re accused of killing a religious figure, think like the Dragon Age equivalent of the Pope, you get to live another day because you are the only means of saving the world from the massive tear in the sky that is dropping demons everywhere. After closing a massive rift, you start getting heralded as a religious figure in your own right, then later being named the Inquisitor and leader of the Inquisition as you battle against the reason behind the tear in the sky… whilst also stopping a civil war, helping stop the mage rebellion and helping all the little people caught in the middle of it. No problem right? All in all, the story isn’t awful. It’s not the most interesting I’ve played story wise but it does have it moments every now and then.
Now the thing that makes the game great is the characters. They’re the thing that make the story interesting and what made the game stick with me. The characters have their own motivations to why they want to join the Inquisition and how they would like to help shape the world around them. They want different things, have their own fears and personalities, have backstories that helped shape them into the character you end up with. Depending on what you do in the story, your companions will either agree or disagree with your decision making, and react to you accordingly. This leads you to think about your choices your making about the world around, something I found the story failed to do for me to the level the characters did. I found they were the driving force behind my decision making in the end instead of caring about the impact it would have on the rest of my story line.
Now the game looks good on practically anything you can get it on, even on the previous generation of consoles. So if you’re part of the PC Master Race or have never touched an Xbox in your life, there’s probably a way for you to play. What I will say about playing on the previous generation of consoles is that the textures in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are a lot flatter and there’s not much detail as you would get on a newer console, and it is noticeable. Whilst it doesn’t make the game unplayable, seeing the settings and varied locations in high detail graphics really adds to the immersion of the game’s setting.
The character animations are nice and fluid, with the occasional bug like a character’s legs suddenly disappearing through the ground and so on. The animations really shine when you get into combat. Whilst all the different playable classes are well animated, I found it was with the faster classes, rogues and mages that the fluidity of the character animations really stood out. The acrobatics performed by duel wielding rogues and the staff twirling and combat are easily one of the things that stood out to me most. All the spell and combat moves are nicely animated too, all weaving together with the auto attacks.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is massive. One of the first zones you go to, The Hinterlands (just the name gives me flashbacks), is monstrously big. The zones all feel open- but also give you clear markers on where things where and to give you a rough idea of where to go so you don’t have to wander aimlessly hoping to stumble into a new quest or location.
The game controls well, both using a controller or using keyboard and mouse. You can also configure a controller to use on the PC version if that’s more your style. The game controls how you would expect, basically like any other RPG, and most games out. It’s also got some more unique gameplay elements so it doesn’t just feel like you’re playing just another generic fantasy RPG.
Inquisition uses a similar mechanic to the other games in the Dragon Age series called Tactical Camera and that gives you the ability to pause the game and switch to an overheard view to allow you more control over your party. So when your party is being decimated repeatedly by that one dragon that bounces around like he’s a small child high on lemonade, you can go into tactical camera mode and have a lot more control over your entire party, rather than just controlling one and hoping the AI isn’t its usual lobotomized self and standing directly in line of the dragon’s elemental breath.
There are some glitches in the gameplay that I found during my playthroughs, some more annoying than others. Sometimes you’ll be jumping up a mountain, having a grand ole time, and then you get thrown halfway across the map and wondering what on earth just happened. Sometimes characters would spawn from the sky, drop down to the ground and nearly die which is always fun. One glitch that plagued me was during combat; one of my party members would just stand there stuck on the spot, unmoving. I’d have to go and control that character and get them moving again and hope that my mage Inquisitor wasn’t trying to fist fight the dragon. Again.
I love this soundtrack a lot. The music is suited to a tee to each scene, making you feel anything Bioware wanted you to feel. One of the best moments in the game is The Dawn Will Come scene just after the second story quest. You’ll know the scene I’m talking about when you see it. And one of my favourite things in all the soundtrack of the game? The tavern songs. Each one has their own feel and mood. I sing ‘Sera Never Was’ almost daily now. The sound effects used are good and are what you’d expect for what is happening at the time.
All the characters are voice acted, even background ones. One of the reasons I didn’t like using my mount despite it making travelling through the large zones easier was the fact that it meant my other party members weren’t around, which meant no banter between them. And considering that was one of the best parts of the game was unacceptable.
Is it fun?
You can get Inquisition on the Origin store on PC for around £30 and a similar price for physical copies or digital downloads to a specific console. That price is for the Game of the Year edition, so it includes everything: All 3 of the DLCs, the bonus item packs, the soundtrack (did I mention how much I love the soundtrack?) and added bit of stuff for you lovers of multiplayer out there. So you get a fair amount for your money. I spent a minimum of around 30 hours per character so it’s a decent length.
Does it have replayability? You bet it does! There are many ways of creating a new character that changes how the game works. You could change your race, changing how others in the world react to you. You could play as a different class or specialization to change how you play and whom you take with you in your party on your journey. You could side with the opposite to whom you did the first time round or romance someone different.
Some of the boss fights can be quite underwhelming, I especially found the end boss Corypheus, who is bigged up throughout the entire series as the big bad to be easier than some of the normal enemies throughout the game.
Dragon Age: Inquisition feels a lot more like Dragon Age Origins than Dragon Age 2, with the ability to change your race, an open world to explore, and a far direr situation to solve. This game probably had some of my favourite companions in not only the entire Dragon Age series but includes some of my favourite characters of all time.
So is it worth picking up? I’d say so! The setting of the game is expansive with tons to do, the characters are fun and diverse and despite some of the enemies being lacklustre which is disappointing, you get a lot for your money here. I was pleased with the game when it came out even if it did mean I almost missed some university deadlines, and I’m still playing it to this day.
Overall Rating: 9/10
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