Monday, July 20, 2015

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Bioware had a lot riding on Dragon Age: Inquisition. The third installment of the Dragon Age series, Inquisition had to make up the lost sales of Dragon Age 2 and get the franchise back on track. It mostly succeeded.

Personally, I never had been a great fan of the series. I thought Dragon Age: Origins was a good game but was overrated. It wasn’t anywhere near as great as many would have you believe. Dragon Age 2 had a great story, but the gameplay wasn’t as good and it didn’t allow you to have as many choices as Origins. Bioware obviously took into account fans’ complaints during the production of Inquisition and the result was a game that’s the sum of its predecessors. 

The story takes place after the events of Dragon Age 2 with the Mages and Templers in all-out war. The Chantry is trying to de-escalate the situation and holds a peace summit. You took part in the summit when things go badly wrong.

Once you recovered, you discovered that a big blast killed everyone at the summit except you. Not only that, there’s now a big hole in the sky and demons from the Fade are using it to enter your world. Your job is to stop the demons, closed the hole in the sky, and find out who targeted the summit.

At its heart, Dragon Age: Inquisition is an action role-playing game and in many ways it is superior to its predecessors. The behind-the-back combat view took a little time for me to get use to but once I did, the action flows. I also like the fact that the Qunari race is playable for the first time, and considering the number of Youtube videos out there showing Qunaris in-game, I’m not the only one.

The idea that you’re not just the leader of a bunch of adventurers, but the leader of a movement that aims to reform the world and bring order to it was very well executed. Your inquisition will sent followers to scout regions, undertake missions, require power, play politics, do investigations; and all these actions are tied, some loosely I admit, to the story. This allows you to have a sense of epicness; that you are truly playing for the world.

However in many ways, it is the little things that Dragon Age: Inquisition really shines. The small pieces of lore scattered all over the place, the small details in the elf temple, the decisions you make in the throne room; these are what ultimately set this game apart from the first two.

Of course the game is not perfect. I found the tactical view to be terrible. It is almost useless especially when you encounter multiple enemies standing close to each other. Some of the specialization classes are also overpowered, some even say the Knight-Enchanter class is unkillable. It’s an exaggeration, but only just.  

I also find the Dragon Age Keep to be a stupid. In theory, Dragon Age Keep allows players to have an ability to import their save files from the first two games into Dragon Age: Inquisition. If players of the previous games do not have access to their save files, they can go to a website, Dragon Age Keep, in which they can detail the major plots of the previous two Dragon Age games. In theory, this allows players to customize their games without having to replay of the initial games.

In practice however, Dragon Age Keep can mess up because it does not save the files onto the game. Everytime you enter Inquistion, the game will go to Dragon Age Keep to get the files. I actually went and change the info on my Dragon Age Keep because I wanted to start a second game. Once I done that however, the info on my first game got change so I got a game whose world history was changed halfway into the game. Talk about breaking world immersion.

On the whole however, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a good game. An epic story (that admitting loses steam halfway), detailed environments, excellent combat, good voice acting, makes Dragon Age: Inquisition the best game of the Dragon Age series. 

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