A game truly made for the fans. BioWare learned it’s lesson well.

It’s no secret that I love the Dragon Age games. So no one should be surprised that I loved THIS game. I was stoked for it, and rightly so. I loved the game, but not for the reasons I would have thought…


Before I go into the game itself, Dragons Keep works. It loads seamlessly and is quick. If you don’t have an Origin account, and haven’t messed with Dragons Keep, I suggest doing so before diving into Inquisition. It’s not required by any means, as there is a default world state that you will play, but it certainly adds a lot to the Heralds world if you’ve never touched any of the other DA games.

The story has always been the biggest driving factor for me in my love of any game in a BioWare series. Dragon Age Inquisition has a story, one that was well done, but also a bit generic. No spoilers, I promise, but it’s not until you get to the end of the game that things really pick up and leave you wanting more. Unfortunately, I, and thousands of others will have to wait for the NEXT DA game to get back into the groove of what was turning into a very intriguing tale. That being said, the story isn’t BAD, it just...is. PLUS there is SO much that you can do in the game, if you choose to explore too much, you’ll forget what the main quest was, and it will take more time for you to get back into the mood of what is happening in the Heralds world. 

With that in mind, I chose to spend 90 or so hours in very detailed, side story driven game, and have since started a new game in which I’m solely completing main story quests, and any possible side quest in which I need to earn power enough to advance the story. Ah, power. In completing any of the numerous side missions, you gain power. Power is needed to advance the main story and further a handful of side missions. At final boss time, I had in excess of over 320 power points. Utterly useless to me, but fun to earn. SO, the story was okay, but surprisingly, that alone doesn’t make or break THIS BioWare game.

This game has some truly amazing vistas.

The graphics compel you to explore. In many ways the game acts like an Elder Scrolls game. Open world exploration, tons of hidden things to find and random side quests to complete. Like the Elder Scrolls games, each quest you uncover or scroll that you read adds detail to the world and greater depth to the story. Facial animations (I will come back to this in a moment), general movement, combat abilities and mount animations have been so much improved it’s hard to remember the glaring faults the other two DA games had. Inquisition acts as a cure all. The scenery is mind blowing, and I added many hours of my first play through just looking at the background and the sky.

The armor was visually interesting and fun to equip/view, as well. It was all different, and it changes depending on what crafting things you do to it. Crafting was fun for me. Armor changes color depending on materials used to craft it, runes used to upgrade, and parts attached to items. In an easier level game, the crafting isn’t super important, it’s fun, but you can get many good items from chest and drops and don’t necessarily NEED to craft better gear. I left a lot of my mod/rune slots empty, simply because I didn’t need to bother filling them or care enough to stop back at the blacksmith to make the pieces to add on. On the hardest level, as I am now attempting, it seems much more important. All the little buffs and base stat improvements are required in the tougher battles

The battles are much easier to control in this game than in previous DA games. With a touch on the touch pad (PS4) I can pause the battle, and in a top down view, control and command each of my characters separately. They respond much better in Inquisition then in the first two games, and it’s nice to see that BioWare improved on the fighting mechanics that they began to develop in DA2. The potions and skills menu still acts as a pause as well, and is easy to navigate if you, out of old habit, forget that you can access your characters in a different, more thorough manner. While your party members actions aren’t always perfect, they do respond much better than in the Mass Effect games.

The companions in DAI were, as expected, very fleshed out characters. They all have back story missions and engage wonderfully well with each other. It made me want to change up my party now and again, just so I could hear the interactions they would have with each other. In case you were wondering, I romanced Cullen. As a character who was not available to use in combat or take with you into any event, being only accessible in your main town, his romance, while sweet, wasn’t very fulfilling. I mean he didn’t even ask about spoiler, when spoiler, happened. C’mon man! Regardless, I fell in love, mostly because his smirk... The motion capture they performed for the faces gives all the characters, not just the one(s) you are romancing, so much more life and depth. It was hard NOT to fall for him, though I didn’t fall as hard as I did with Alistair… Speaking of older DA characters...BioWare did an AMAZING job at story continuity. Nearly EVERY decision you made in your older games carries over in some way to DA Inquisition. As long as you have set it up in Dragons Keep, you can import any world into Inquisition and things WILL change. It’s is SO beyond cool.

Another thing that was beyond cool? The tavern songs. I purchased the Inquisitors edition of the game and as such was able to download the soundtrack for free. (The same for anyone else who purchase the Deluxe Edition)

The soundtrack is stunning, I love it! I have two complaints though. The first is that there is little to no music playing in the game while exploring the world, and what does come on, is rather intermittent and sometimes out of place. Secondly, I LOVE the tavern songs both in English AND in French, and was super bummed when they weren’t on the soundtrack. Check out Sara’s song, it’s my favorite.

Kind of tacked on here towards the end, as it is in the game, is my experience with DAI multiplayer. Apparently DAI was originally a multiplayer game. If it wasn’t for there being only 3 levels to choose, I’d say the multiplayer was an ace, and a very solid ‘addition’ to the game. As it is, leveling up a character to 20, on only three tedious levels with no different gameplay types (hunted, survival, mega boss, horde mode ect) I can’t say I really enjoyed the multiplayer very much. Initially I loved it, thinking there would be more than just 3 levels as I changed difficulties, but even with the levels sometimes changing slightly when replayed, there is just too much repetitiveness for me to thoroughly enjoy the MP as much as I wanted too. I feel bad about it as I wanted to dive into MP a lot more after my 1st play through, but after playing Destiny's same levels over and over again, I just CAN’T do it here. Hopefully there will be more levels available for DLC in the future!

SO, if you’ve never played a DA game, this one wouldn’t be a bad place to start as you don’t need to have played others in order to enjoy this one, but it sure is hell is satisfying when you can relate all your giddy fangirling (in my case) back to the older games you ‘wasted’ much of your time on. Its a good game, easy to play, fun to explore and simple to work. Well rounded, fleshed out, and highly replayable, if it wasn’t for the Hero of Ferelden and Alistair...I’d say this was by far my favorite one!

CLOSING

I can’t even begin to explain how absolutely DELIGHTED I am at the effort BioWare put into this game. Yes, the story was a LITTLE flat, but it sets up the next game SO well. Yes, there was almost TOO much to do, but you didn’t NEED to do it, unless you are a completionist. The fact that EVERY single part of my DA experience up till now was acknowledge just blew me away. The graphics are amazing, the soundtrack is inspired, and the gameplay is fun and far more hands on. Well done BioWare, well done.

5/5

"Dragon Age Inqusition is the next great story in the Dragon Age arc. A rich story, almost endless exploring, crisp graphics and battle improvements make this one of the best Dragon Age games."

RELEASED: November 18 2014 | SYSTEM: XBOXONE | SINGLE PLAYER: 95:00 | MULTIPLAYER: 5:00

OTHER POINTS
Romance Options - 5/5
Visuals - 5/5
Battle Mechanics - 4/5
Total Content- 5/5
Story - 5/5
FINAL THOUGHTS
- I NEED a CD of the tavern songs, the music in this game is stunning.
- Facial animations, character interactions are much improved upon, they almost seem real.
- The graphics will have you staring off into the distance, watching the fog or cloud effects change the landscape.
- There is SO much to do in this game, my 1st play-through was 90 hours!
- BioWare cares about it’s fans and understands the emotional impact these games have on people.