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.