If anyone asked me what game I had been waiting for and anticipating the most for last year, it was definitely Dragon Age: Inquisition. I have a history with the Dragon Age franchise and can easily say that it’s my all time favorite game franchise. I don’t only buy into the games, but I also read the books and graphic novels. I just can’t get enough. So did this latest addition to the Dragon Age franchise live up to my expectations? After months and months of playing and discovering as many in and outs of the game as possible, here’s what I thought.
Like in the two previous games before, you’re character some how gets thrown into a role. In Dragon Age: Origins it was Warden and in Dragon Age II it was Champion. Dragon Age: Inquisition puts you in the role of Inquisitor. As Inquisitor, you’ll have to basically save the world from a familiar enemy who wants to claim the world for his own and become a living God. The decisions that you make throughout the game will shape the Dragon Age world for the good or maybe for the not so good. The choice is up to you on how you play.
As always, BioWare totally delivers on the story and it makes the game amazing story wise. Though it seems like a simple and clichéd concept of saving the world from an enemy, heavy is the head that wears the crown and for the Inquisitor saving the world is no easy task. There are hard decisions that have to be made and sometimes it won’t make your companions happy, sometimes it will but you’re going to have to make these decisions on your own. Almost everything you do has an impact on the game and how people react to you in the process. What this game also does is tie in the previous two games and make some things that happened in the other two games make a bit more sense. Although not the closure some people were looking for, you’ll be able to see what your Warden has been up to all this time and see what Hawke has been doing as well.
What really made me play this game as much as I did wasn’t necessarily the main story,but the stories that happen outside of the main story. I’m talking about the interactions with the many different companions this time around. Some of them will be familiar, while others will be new and exciting to learn about. Each character has their own strengths and weakness and not everyone is there for the reason of helping the Inquisitor save the world. Some are there for their own benefit so you’ll have to see who you trust this time and who you don’t.
Kudos: I can’t stress enough on how much the interactions with the other characters are really what makes this game and will make you keep coming back for more. You can develop friendships or rivalries with your companions and even romances with certain ones. Unlike the other two games, there isn’t a way to tell if the other character is your friend or your rival and you can’t bribe them with gifts. When you think about it, it’s an interesting concept and more real as you’ll be judged solely on the decisions you make throughout the game. While the game isn’t as diverse as Dragon Age II with each companion available for a romance being Bi, Cassandra rejected me time and time again…sigh and yet to this day I still try, the two romance options that I did get, Sera and Josephine, were well thought out. Each of them had a story of their own which I thought was fitting for their personalities making the romances feel more real. I loved how the Josephine romance was very old worldish in its way and was more about the whole courtship thing then anything else while the Sera romance was much more modern. Each of the relationships with the Inquisitor had their ups and downs and it wasn’t them just falling into bed and then going off to live happily ever after. Throughout the course of the game each relationship could be broken off for different reasons giving the whole relationship thing a new perspective.
Whenever I played this game, and believe me I played a lot as each of my 4 different playthroughs went about 100+ hours each, I was totally immersed in the game and the world that is Dragon Age. BioWare really delivered this time around bringing back some things that were wanted from Dragon Age: Origins such as races and more companion time, as well as keeping some of the features of Dragon Age II. What really kept me playing and kept me interested in the game were the little tidbits here and there that came from the information that I entered into Dragon Age Keep. The decisions that I made felt like they actually mattered to the world state of the game. I enjoyed hearing how my Warden and Leliana fared throughout the years and what Hawke and her companions were up to now that everything was over in Kirkwall. It’s the little things like that mixed with a really well done story that will make me continue to play this game even though I can now proudly say that I have the platinum trophy.
I was more then happy that the combat system was similar to that of Dragon Age II making this game run smoothly and the combat flow very nicely. Some say it was the only thing that Dragon Age II got right, even though I loved the entire game, but it was nice to see it’s return in Dragon Age: Inquisition. I really don’t know what I would have done if the combat went back to what it was during Dragon Age: Origins. There would be no way that I would have gotten through anything more difficult then casual.
The new addition of the “war room table” added a new different aspect of gameplay as well making the game even more interesting. Advisers could be sent out on missions of their own now, each running in real time, and help or hurt the inquisition depending on who you picked to handled the situation. I liked the addition of this sort of micro-management mini game and hope to see more of this type of gameplay in the future.
Boo: As much as I hate saying this because this game got so many things right, I have to take points off for the various different bugs and glitches that seem to plague some BioWare games. These aren’t just basic ones either, they’re game breaking bugs that will shut down your game and corrupt your data. The struggle goes back and forth on who’s fault this is. Some say that it’s the PS4’s fault while others say it’s the games fault so I really don’t know who to believe, but it’s super annoying when the game shuts down for no reason and corrupts your whole save. Other minor bugs include the game not loading right during certain times or while playing on harder difficulties. Twice I had the problem of the final battle not loading properly while playing on Hard and Nightmare, but not when playing on Casual. Having to reload a save before the final battle and start the whole final battle over again when I was right in the middle of the battle because of a loading problem became frustrating. Then there’s the problem with the voices going in and out during cut scenes which is nothing new, but still just as annoying. It’s been months now since the game originally came out and while I can see these bugs in the initial release, they shouldn’t go ignored for this long.
On to the graphics which are just…wow. I mean seriously I thought I saw some beautiful games on the PS4, but these are by far the best graphics that I have seen for the PS4 showing off not only what the PS4 is capable of but also showing that making the switch to Frostbite was the way to go for this franchise. The characters looked very real as did the beautiful landscapes around them. I don’t know how many times I stopped actually playing the game just to admire and enjoy the beautiful scenery in each open world area of the game.
There are a total of 51 trophies for this game and while most revolve around the story, there are some that require some work and exploration, and ones that require you to play on the higher levels of difficulty. I’m not really a fan of the trophies that force you to play the game on the harder difficulties. I’m not afraid to admit that I enjoy playing BioWare games on Casual so that I can get more out of the game since they are highly story based. I also don’t think the game needs these types of trophies just to get people to play more. I was going to play over and over again anyway, you don’t have to force me to play on a higher level of difficulty just to get me to play again. I will say this though, even though there are 51 trophies, the span of getting them are few and far between so if you’re looking at this game for trophies only, you should really look somewhere else.
Now for the multiplayer that is tacked on to almost every single game now. It’s not bad and it’s not great either. This is the first time Dragon Age has dipped its toes into the multiplayer water and it’s basically an exact copy of the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. You and team of 3 different people will go on a mission and hopefully survive. It’s basically the same thing over and over again. I didn’t particularly enjoy it since I could never find a team that actually stuck around after one battle, but I didn’t hate it either. If it was up to me, I would have much rather had Dragon Age stay a full blown single player experience since the game is generally about how you shape the world.
Overall I give this game a 4.5 out of 5
+ Very strong game story wise in the Dragon Age franchise.
+ The most open world Dragon Age game that you can find giving you 100’s of hours of things to do.
+ Dragon Age Keep works nicely to create decisions from Origins and II so that the story is familiar to you.
+ Stunning graphics that are top notch.
+ A nice mix between Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II bringing back more companion time, races, and better combat.
What’s Not So Great:
– Game breaking bugs and glitches really ruins this game at times taking away from the overall Dragon Age experience.
I know it’s been said that anyone can pick up this edition of Dragon Age and play if they haven’t played a Dragon Age game before, but I’m not so sure about that. This game is very lore heavy and with the addition of familiar characters, it helps to know what’s been going on with the game since the beginning as well as having some knowledge of the books. Other then that I would say that this is a solid edition in the Dragon Age franchise leaving the door open for DLC as well as another game. The epilogue will kind of blow your mind in a good way and make you crave more Dragon Age. If you’re a fan of Origins or Dragon Age II, you can’t pass this game up. It’s one of the stronger entries in the series and it will bring a lot of things together and close up some loose ends.