Bioware has returned with one of the studio’s biggest, most ambitious titles yet.
Let’s be honest here, Dragon Age 2 was a completely different direction that no fan of the original liked. It presented itself more as an action focused title than the hardcore RPG focus Dragon Age Origin had. With Bioware returning to the series once again with Dragon Age Inquisition – it seems they have finely crafted a perfect blend of the original’s RPG with the action of Dragon Age 2.
Situated right after Dragon Age 2, the world of Dragon Age: Inquisition sees the Templars and Mages in a full-blown conflict between one another. When a meeting was being established to negotiate peace between the two sides, a massive green explosion disrupts the situation sending demons into the world through multiple rifts. This is where you come in, a mysterious character with no memory of who or what they are but one thing is for certain – you harness the power to close these ‘rifts’ which appear around the world and possibly stop this new threat.
While the premise of the story seems quite the standard for any RPG: bad guys, save the world scenarios – Dragon Age Inquisitions wraps it’s story on self discovery and exploring. Hearing the ramblings of your Inquisition party as you pause to take a gander at the beautifully crafted world to the epic songs you’ll find NPCs performing in-game – every nook and cranny of Dragon Age Inquisition has something to discover and it’s this immersive world that really makes you dive in for hours long.
“…every nook and cranny of Dragon Age Inquisition has something to discover and it’s this immersive world that really makes you dive in for hours long.”
It’s not a RPG (or Bioware) title without the incredibly rich character creation at the start of the game. You’ll be lucky to spend less than an hour here as you sculpt and mold your character looks. The other part is choosing the class you’ll play in Dragon Age Inquisition. There’s three main classes in Dragon Age Inquisition – Warrior, Mage and Rogue. Furthermore, there are specializations you can tap into for each class to give your character more advanced abilities.
Like it’s predecessors, Dragon Age Inquisition world builds around your character’s decisions through the narrative of the game. As the supposedly chosen one, your role within the game world is to build your Inquisition. You’ll meet new characters as you progress through the game and also have the option of them joining your party. You can even straight out refuse them (which is probably not wise) because hey, the more variety of characters within your party – the better!
Unlike previous Dragon Age titles, you feel like you’re play as a team (your party of Inquisitors) than actually playing as one character. Yes your character is the main protagonist and decision maker but the best parts of the game is learning about each member within your party. Social interaction is a big factor of Dragon Age Inquisition. Casually talking to your party members, discovering their purpose and stories. Everyone has a background and it’s amazing the amount of time you spend just talking to a fellow Inquisitor.
The world of Thedas is relatively huge and if players are not careful, 30+ hours of your first initial playthrough will be sunk into the game’s first location – cough Hinterlands cough. At first, I assumed the Hinterlands was the only open world segment of the game because of it’s size packed full of side-quests. However I was wrong and I feared many people fell into the trap of sinking way too many hours into this segment of the game. Dragon Age: Inquisition opens up to many different locations and each territory offers it’s own unique wildlife and scenery giving players a fresh palette of things to do.
The combat in Dragon Age Inquisition takes the same proven formula as previous titles and brings back the tactical camera which was missing from Dragon Age 2. While the tactical camera makes scoping out the situation easier – checking enemy stats etc. The amount of things you can do is quite basic and you can’t really get into the depth of tactical play without stacking commands. You’ll be using your tactical camera quite a lot when you progress further into the game and encounter higher level enemies but because of it’s limitations, you will still be required to babysit your party.
The other minor issue which I have no idea why it wasn’t implemented was quick swapping your weapons. Dragon Age Inquisition doesn’t allow you to quick swap your weapons which makes it quite a pain when you engage in combat trying to swap out from ranged to melee. As this was a feature in Dragon Age Origins, I was quite surprised it wasn’t implemented in Dragon Age Inquisition. Players will have to disengage in combat (to swap weapons) which is quite annoying plus it makes AI look bad getting engaged in melee combat as he or she is pounding the enemy with arrows from one centimeter away.
Combat does have some flaws but it functions as it should be. Just don’t expect depth to the tactical side of the game serving more for the casual audience. There’s obviously a variety of style you can play depending on your character’s abilities and because of this single element – Dragon Age Inquisition really offers replayability when you decide to tackle a different class next. Whether it’s raiding caves to fighting dragons – which I highly don’t recommend until you beef up your character, Dragon Age Inquisition has plenty of things for you to kill.
Bioware has a great record of making amazing worlds and characters within video games and Dragon Age Inquisition has further solidify their status within this space. While a great title, most of Dragon Age Inquisition’s flaws come from the technical side of things. At times, my copy of Dragon Age Inquisition lags and once, hard crashed the console. In some interactions, I can’t see the dialogue wheel and the game skips forwards crucial moments because of that. It hasn’t been a stable run but my addiction to the world, lore and characters forces me to push forward.
If you can look past these issues while the team is working on the fixes, Dragon Age Inquisition is a must play title of 2014. I simply can’t put this down. with the amount of replayability and content to pursue – it will one of the titles I’ll continue playing into the new year and beyond.
While exceptionally well crafted taking the Dragon Age series to the next level, it did suffer from technical issues. However, with a title so content rich with amazing characters and lore – you’ll forgive the makers with this one.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.