Dragon Age: Origins is a good RPG, not one of the best and probably a little over glorified, but for sure one of the most notable titles of the genre in the last decade. But for me the game represents so much more, than a good title from Bioware’s golden age. Despite my pretentious and perfectionist nature when it comes to games (and everything else for that matter), I could overlook many of the flaws in Origins because of the extremely emotional impact it had on me. I poured my heart into this game and in the relationship with its characters and it was a sad moment for me when I had to part ways with most of them. After everything we have been through in this virtual world, the game had to end at a point and with it every connection with these complex characters was gone.
The moment when I found out my character was supposed to die in order to destroy the Archdemon forever was unreal. I don’t care that much for happy endings, not every story should be about heroes overcoming every challenge, beating the evil and coming back home victorious. Heroes die, battles are lost, life can be cruel even in fictional stories, but I hoped this time it wouldn’t be the case.
When Morrigan came and offered me the chance to survive, things took an even stranger turning. The woman my character loved and worked so hard to reach her heart was the salvation, but at what price, never seeing her again or the child that the two of them could have. I had to part away with so many loved characters and an amazing universe, but this decision was worse than any other. But was there any other option for my character (me)?
Dragon Age: Origins reminded me why I got into RPGs and remained a huge fan of the genre for almost two decades. I like to read literature, it satisfies my constant need for captivating stories. But at some points books weren’t enough, I wanted more and video games offered me the chance to take part in the story so I started gaming (this didn’t stop me from continuing to read books). In video games my character could be a representation of myself and the decisions made were mine. At first I thought I might be crazy and I’m asking for too much, but RPGs have shown me that when the chips are down and I have to take a difficult decision I could feel the impact and this was a bitter- sweet feeling.
No one should lose themself in a fictional world (don’t laugh, the danger of this exists), but it’s not a bad thing to wonder in one from time to time.
The Dragon Age universe is one of my favorite ones, despite the unfortunate accident called Dragon Age 2. So if a chance was given to me to be reunited again with some of my beloved characters (Morrigan!!!) from this universe, I had to take that chance. Even with the risk of exposing myself to another disappointment like the second installment in the series was or the terrifying idea that the ending of this new game could be as saddening as the one in Origins was.
Dragon Age is one of Bioware’s finest works serialized under EA’s command with a lowering standard for quality after almost each release, DLC or full size game, a thing that happened for the most part with the Mass Effect series as well. The only difference between Mass Effect and Dragon Age is that the latter took a much harder blow with the release of the second game, which was consolized and dumbed down badly, pushing away many of the fans or turning them into extreme skeptics or haters.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is Bioware’s chance to make things right towards the fans. The reviews from professional journalists look extremely good, but so did the ones for the second game. So how much of this can be believed and how much does Inquisition turn back to its original roots?
The story starts with dragonagekeep.com, where players can create a default world state for their game (it is not mandatory and there is a preset world). This website allows setting some of the most important choices made throughout the series the way every player wants and these choices would be reflected in the game in a way or another. There are many options and some cancel others, as expected, but with a little effort put into this nice feature, the final result will look like a summary version of the previous games. At character creation the default world state from dragonagekeep.com is imported and the real game begins.
Set in Thedas, eleven years after the events from Origins and one year after the ending of Dragon Age 2, with the south of Thedas caught in a war between templars and mages, Orlais is in the middle of a political civil war and the kingdom of Ferelden tries desperately to recover from the Fifth Blight. Inquisition’s story begins with the sky shattering forming the Breach, a massive tear in the Veil which is growing by the hour. Small Veil rifts appeared all over Orlais and Ferelden allowing demons to freely enter the world (Oblivion anyone?!).
The hero was found in the middle of this mess, bearing a strange mark on his left hand which interacts with the Veil rifts. Suffering from amnesia and being accused of heresy by the Chantry and threaten by the Seeker Cassandra, the hero is forced to go at the Temple of Sacred Ashes, where everything started, and see if somehow the strange mark on his hand can close the Breach. Using the power of the mark, the hero stops the Breach from growing, but is unable to close it and to everyone’s surprise, memories of the past are revealed through the veil proving the hero’s innocence.
With Divine Justinia V dead and the Breach still on the sky, Cassandra calls for forming of the Inquisiton, an order with the goal to restore the balance in a broken world. Cassandra was unable to find the Hero of Ferelden (if he lived) or the Champion of Kirkwall for one of them to become Inquisitor. The order is formed without a main leader, for now, but with three characters to control each division and the hero to help as a field agent.
The ex-templar Cullen takes the role of a military leader and tactician, leading the Inquisition military operations in Orlais and Ferelden. The noble woman from Antiva, Josephine Montilyet, takes the diplomatic responsibilities as an ambassador. While the ex-bard and left hand of the Divine, Leliana, is the spymaster leading the clandestine division, responsible for espionage and assassinations.
Because of his miraculous power and incredible actions, people start to call the hero as the Herald of Andraste and because of this the controversial order receives more and more support from the people.
From this point the game’s story is about expanding the Inquisition and finding out who’s behind the rift in the sky and the death of Divine Jusitinia V and finding allies that could help with closing the Breach.
My biggest complaint with the story is about the villain himself, not only that it ties to a Dragon Age 2 DLC (which I didn’t play) and I find this extremely annoying. But also the villain is so uninteresting, he shows himself too early in the game and ruins most of the mystery behind the plot providing too much information and he proves to be so inadequate that it made me wonder how he got so powerful (yet he has an awesome wicked voice!).
Luckily the Dragon Age series was never about one story and there are many sub stories which offer much more depth to the game and immense possibilities for future expansions and games (I can’t wait!). All these without making the player feel cheated with this game, as the story here does come to a conclusion.
|Oh damn! End of the world again!|
|My one and only virtual love!|
The story progresses at a good enough pace, allowing the players to sink into the world, exploring and doing secondary quests, yet they still remain fully aware of the dire situation at hand. The effects of the Breach and other further events in the story can be felt on every map, making exploration not just a waste of time when the world needs to be saved.
The world of Dragon Age: Inquisition is huge, the first map is bigger than all maps of Origins put together and that says a lot. So exploration has become a big part of the game, which wasn’t the case with the previous titles. To ensure faster and smoother transportation, mounts have been added and a fast travel option is available to any of the Inquisition camps or important quest areas discovered on each map.
There is jumping in the game to make going over obstacles easier, but is not always working really well especially when platformer precision is required.
The questing has changed, a bigger world needs to be filled with something and this obviously means not all content on a map is going to have the highest quality (an understandable compromise). While in Origins (this would be used a lot as a term of comparison) some of the quests were trivial, this could easily be hidden behind the area story and conflict, in Inquisition this thing would be way harder to achieve and Bioware didn’t try it. Instead, the game has many exploration related activities, like finding astrariums which offer some small but challenging puzzles to find out constellations or searching for various lost shards on the map that could be later on used in a bigger quest. There are fewer NPCs on a map and usually they offer the more important and intriguing tasks, but most of the quests are taken from various texts found while exploring. These texts are either parts of journals or various lost notes or books that provide information that could lead to something, finding them triggers all kind of quests, from easy and repetitive grinding quests to more interesting ones that require much more complex activities.
It would have been great if Bioware didn’t take the players by hand showing them the location for almost each secondary quest in an excessive spoon feeding typical to console games (and Ubisoft games). I would have needed many more hours for carefully reading the texts and searching the map in order to complete these various tasks, but the experience would be much more rewarding (probably a little frustrating as well).
This questing system is connected with the lore and even completes it, adding so much information that it takes several hours to go through it all. This is part of the game magic, lore was always a big factor in the Dragon Age series, especially because this universe is so mysterious and Inquisition comes to turn things upside down with its new additions to the lore.
I have to say that after exploring the first two areas I was worried that the game turned into a streamlined Ubisoft-like title and this would have been a tragedy for the Dragon Age series (I’m not saying that Ubisoft’s repetitive style used in every game is bad, but we’ve seen enough of that). But after moving forward I came to realize that probably those first two areas are just remnants of a different kind of game that Inquisition could have become (maybe an MMO?!). So follow my advice and many other players’ advice and don’t get tricked by the Hinterlands and Forbidden Oasis areas and try to move forward, the game has so much more to offer.
|The curse of Hinterlands.|
There is a huge world to explore and so much to do in it that it would get lonely if the hero had to do all of this by himself. That’s why companions exist, because nobody can win a war by himself (not even The One should be able to do so) and company is always welcomed. There are nine companions in the game, many of them recruited as the game’s story moves forward, not all of them are mandatory, but it is nice to have a bigger and more varied team.
I have to say that the companions in Dragon Age: Inquisition are some of the best I’ve seen in an RPG, the team is much better than what Origins had to offer, except Morrigan which is David Gaider’s unbeatable work.
Each character has a different personality, a hidden background and goals. Every companion joins the Inquisition seeking something more personal from the order and hoping that they will find it here.
Based on the influence gained with each companion, new dialogues will open up and even quests that will show some of their motives and what drives them forward. Finding their story, their sorrows and moments of joy makes these characters so real and easy to attach to. The romances are done with taste and with amusing factors for each character and they left me with a smile on my face.
Creating great party characters was Bioware’s writing team strongest suit and I’m glad to see they didn’t lose it.
I had a blast talking with my Inquisition friends and listening to their chats and disputes while in party, there were many moments of pure comedy or true sadness and this made the experience of this game emotional, I felt it. Sera versus Vivienne moments are hilarious, in fact, almost every party combination with Sera in it has incredibly fun dialogues. By the end of the game I was stalling just to enjoy their company a little longer, a thing that happened when I played Origins as well.
I didn’t connect with my character as much as I did with my warden back in the day, but there was a big plus for me to see that Morrigan is in the game (and she’s not alone, at least not in my world!) and plays quite an important role in the story as well. I hoped the Hero of Ferelden will show up to aid me in my upcoming battles, but well, you have to see for yourself.
The incredible voice acting helped immensely, there is a lot of dialogue in the game and everything is fully voiced. Most of the dialogues are extremely well written and suit well the personality of each character involved, I’ve spent hours reading every line and answering the way I felt it’s the best. Sadly Bioware’s Mass Effect dialogue wheel is back, but at least there is an option to remove the icons describing each dialogue if one so desires.
Overall, the party experience was one of the greatest I had in an RPG and not just because of the companions, but the other leaders of the Inquisition and lower members of the order as well. Each had something to say and a story to listen to and that’s one of the reasons I’m playing RPGs.
|Always look at the bright side!|
|Who would have thought?|
This game puts a big focus on choices and they are everywhere, even if not all of them are so important or their impact can’t be felt that much, the decisions are there to make the player always think about what is right and wrong. The choices system is not painted in black and white, as we are usually used to from most of the games. The Inquisition is an order made to restore balance, but this can’t be done without sacrifices, which sometimes means looking at the bigger picture while stepping on the morals and ignoring justice. The sentence given to a prisoner or getting involved in politics might get some people upset, but most importantly, picking allies also means making enemies. The game lets the player’s be fully aware of the effect of their decisions when they have to choose between templars or mages, not very far into the story. This is one of the defining moments in the game which changes the course of the entire playthrough by offering different quests, enemies and characters based on this one choice.
It is fair to say that I felt like I was forced into decisions I didn’t want to make or the options offered to me were not satisfying, but such is a leader’s burden after all. Even so, there are maybe a little too many decisions to be made, especially when some of them are in the game only for the sake of being there. It seems like Bioware got carried away and because of this the whole choices system seems to be losing some of its value.
The game has a heavy religious tinge, which is understandable considering the story events. But what I liked about this is that it doesn’t matter if the hero is called the Herald of Andraste, the player can always act uncertain, pious or an agnostic.
What bothered me the most about this whole concept was the underlining of every moment when I had to make a decision. The game went out of its way to make me realize that if I choose this, things will never be the same and a character might die because of me. I didn’t need a summary of my actions, I wanted to see for myself what amazing or stupid thing I did. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes and the game’s warnings were there to make sure I fully realize this. Reality doesn’t give any warnings and the result of one’s actions is part of sweetness and bitterness of life. I wanted to be left alone to hit myself over the head because I didn’t realize in time what terrible thing could happen because of what decision I’ve made.
Overall the choices system is great and combines very well with those made in past games. With the help of dragonagekeep.com some characters make cameo or full appearances just because of the player’s past actions and this was an amazing feeling. Hearing stories about old characters I controlled or helped in previous games and meeting some of them in person was so nostalgic and at times emotional. Sadly I didn’t really get to see all the characters I hoped to see from Origins, but it is possible that I wanted too much.
|I'm in charge!|
Another tool meant to offer more choices, but also missions and to help with the strategic management of the Inquisition while better linking the game to previous titles, is the War Table.
The War Table has a system of operations, which are strategical missions on the map of Orlais and Ferelden which can be resolved usually in three different ways. The three leaders under the Inquisitor command offer their help to resolve any operation the way they know best. It is up to the player to choose the way they want to solve an operation and the outcome is different based on that choice.
Cullen can offer military and tactical support, Josephine attempts to solve problems through negotiations or using political trickery and Leliana’s ways are grimmer and involve assassinations and stealing. That being said, the solution is not always based on their field of expertise, the three leaders have all kind of connections and knowledge about what is going on in the area and the help is always different based on the operation goal and the people involved. The leader not only affects the way an operation is executed but also its efficiency, every operation has a set time for solving based on the chosen way to sort the problem. The time required for an operation to complete is equivalent with real time and works even if the game is not running.
In order to access anything on the War Table power has to be spent, which is a resource of the Inquisition gains by solving any tasks in the world. There is also an influence system which acts as a leveling system for the order, allowing with each level up to pick one perk that will benefit the party. Influence is gained by completing missions and operations.
Each operation has a story and different lore characters involved and the outcome varies a lot, the order can easily gain allies and resources and further operations by doing the things right or a rushed decision can easily screw up everything.
The War Table is a tool that gives a better insight in the world of Dragon Age and allows seeing the bigger picture, not only the problems that the main characters have. Many characters from previous games will make an appearance here asking for help or offering their assistance and while not all are physically in the game it is still nice to hear from them even like this.
I found this mechanic very inspired and I absolutely loved it, the War Table made me feel like a leader and the Inquisition, a mechanism that has to be carefully taken care of in order to function better. This feature also adds a big plus to replayability, as there are many decisions to be made and different outcomes based on them and they can’t all be experienced in one playthrough.
|Allies from the past.|
|Back to the kingdom of mabari.|
No order can be taken seriously without a proper base of operation. Skyhold is a forgotten fortress in the middle of the mountains between Orlais and Ferelden which is taken by the Inquisition after a few missions into the main story. This keep was abandoned and some of it is in ruin and it is up to the player to find the resources necessary to repair it and get it ready for battle (…). There are various customization options, from the vanity ones like drapes, ornaments, etc. to more important ones like dedicating a wing of the fortress to a certain faction.
With Skyhold taken, the Inquisition expands not only as a religious and influential force with the Herald of Andraste in it, but as a military power as well. New keeps can be taken from the wrong hands and reestablished as Inquisition bases, offering all sorts of quests in the area and new operations for the War Table.
All these features put together really give the feeling of being part of an order that would change things. The only downside is the fact that so much time is spent on managing the Inquisition and strengthening it, but the game never gives that expected moment when all this work is put to good use and this is a real shame.
Character customization is good enough and offers enough choices to make a balanced character to fit any playstyle. There are four races to pick from in the game each with access to the same three classes. At first this doesn’t sound enough, but each class has its own four trees which help specialize a character better. Each tree has both passive and active skills and to reach some of the wanted skills sometimes the player has to go through some useless ones, but there is nothing to worry about, because enough skill points can be gained so a character turns the way it was desired.
Specializations are back and they are unlocked at some point in the main story, offering a new skill tree to use. There are three specializations per class, but only one can be picked and it will remain for the entirety of the game. Each specialization has a powerful ability that requires a different resource (focus) to use in order to unleash its devastating effects.
The healing is gone from the game and now it is done through a fixed number of consumable potions, which can be replenished in towns or Inquisition camps. Some people complain about this, because it made the gameplay less tactical, to some degree I can agree with this, but I don’t think the impact was that bad. A limited number of potions can make the players calculate the odds better before engaging in combat and don’t allow for mistakes that much, otherwise it will be either a wipe or going back to base all the time to replenish (and this is terrible if you don’t have an SSD!). But for those who are willing to faceroll through the game, the potions system will probably make their job even easier.
The action bar allows only for eight useable abilities, which means every build has to be carefully planned. I always loved the Guild Wars system and I’m glad when more games embrace it, because it makes out for great builds with no useless abilities to be there just to fill space on the action bar.
Compared with Origins, I found the melee and ranger classes much more enjoyable and full of useful abilities. I wasn’t stuck anymore with the three abilities that I used every now and then when I had energy.
Classes complete each other and I could go for full combos with my warrior using two hander weapons and taking advantage of the spells casted by mages in my party.
To complement the classes well, itemization and especially the crafting system received much attention in this game. There are many items to use for each class all with balanced stats and focused for different builds. The loot system is rewarding enough to make players go search for more challenging enemies that could offer greater rewards if defeated. And for those that didn’t get to those reward fights yet or like to mix and match materials, crafting is the right thing to do (by the end, the right thing for everybody).
The crafting offers a great variety of patterns and the end result of an item differ every time based on the materials used in order to create it. Each material gives different stats based on the crafting slot they are put into, the item created not only reflects the materials in stats, but in color as well, which is a nice little touch.
Crafting materials can be gathered from all over the world, each area having different types of plants and metals, some being quite rare and hard to find. In the case of leather, it has to be looted from killed creatures.
To better spot these materials and any useable items, there is a scan implemented in the game, which searches the area for any item every time the key is pushed (a spam fest). For those that don’t enjoy walking around picking everything they find, there are specific operations on the War Table for gathering materials.
Weapons or armors can be upgraded with runes and different parts to improve them and everything scales on quality.
The one problem with the crafting system and itemization is related to artistic design, the weapons do have a larger variety of models, but the armors are so repetitive, that many of the characters in my party were looking exactly the same for a long period of the game (not to mention my armor was pink).
|Hard to match the crafted gear.|
The combat system in Dragon Age: Inquisition takes full advantage of the 3rd person camera while attempting to make users of all platforms happy by combining action combat elements which are well received on console with tactical elements that add to the complexity of PC gaming. In theory this sounds delicious, but in practice it didn’t work out so well. It’s not like this can’t be pulled off, but Bioware showed laziness in this matter and much ignorance to the PC version of the game.
The action part is well done for the most part, with a dynamic combat using acrobatic moves and flashy animations. It is enjoyable to look at, even if some of the spells’s graphical effects are way to exaggerated, like out of an MMO. But when it comes to PC controls everything goes downhill. The camera is hard to control with the mouse and goes crazy sometimes and the mouse is always on the screen (like in a MMO) and this makes the camera control even worse. I had to keep the RMB pressed most of the time, my right hand got totally numbed after playing this game for few hours.
On top of everything, there is no auto-attack and for each normal attack the LMB has to be pressed repeatedly (like in an action MMO), which becomes extremely frustrating and tiring during some intense combat moments.
But maybe all of this could have been saved if the tactical part of the game was done right, but it isn’t. The tactical view is a total mess, it cannot even be used in areas with lower ceilings because the camera falls over the characters and the perspective it offers can’t really be adjusted properly, rendering it completely useless at times. After a few hours into the game I stopped bothering with it and I continued slashing through my enemies while taking full advantage of the pause mode, which I used to switch between my characters to reposition them.
The AI tactical commands are so few I haven’t even changed them after looking at them once or twice. The good thing is that the AI can do its job pretty well in combat except from moving out of dangerous stuff which has to be done manually.
The combat isn’t as bad as it sounds, there are few features that function horribly, but most of them can be fixed through patches. Adding options for auto-attack and toggle mouse cursor on/off is going to make the life of PC gamers much easier. The tactical view I think is a waste of time and can’t be salvaged anymore, it just doesn’t work well with this open world environment, maybe if the perspective could be changed it would make it better.
Despite all these issues I did have fun with the combat in Inquisition, it has weight behind hits (something I didn’t think it will have after seeing the videos) and the attacks and special moves animations are fluent and enjoyable. Some of the fights are challenging and require tactics and good control of all characters, but much of the game can be facerolled (I played on hard) mostly because exploration can give too much of a level advantage.
The monster variety helps a lot and is something that many open world RPGs overlook nowadays. Inquisition has sixty different creatures to fight most of them with different abilities and behavior and the dragon fights in particular are absolutely epic!
With a couple of fixes and tweaks the second playthrough will go smoothly!
|Working as intended...|
The combat system is not the only thing that was influenced by consoles, another feature of the game that suffered terribly is the UI. On PC the game has an action bar for abilities, which is great, but the UI design looks out of context and is sometimes difficult to access. Going from the usual grid inventory to a tedious list one is not very pleasant and the skill tree navigation is so awkward and frustrating it reminded me of Skyrim.
The functionality is not the only problem, but the artistic design seems way off. It doesn’t capture the world and the universe at all, seems something digitalized and futuristic put on screen for a fantasy game.
When it comes to the technical part, Bioware tops the game. Using the Frostbyte 3 engine (used in the Battlefield franchise) the game has beautiful graphics and some of the most vivid landscapes I’ve seen in a while. The foliage in particular is great and it really did make me feel like I was in open nature with all kind of fauna running around me it was incredibly immersive.
The animation and particle effects are very well done and the game uses physics that can be noticed during some of the events or fights.
Some character models didn’t receive enough love and look like they lack an entire set of textures, there are some flying objects or creatures without wings and some of the graphical effects could use some improvements, but other than that I was really impressed with what Bioware managed to pull off.
If the game didn’t have such huge loading screens, didn’t freeze for a few milliseconds from time to time and the textures didn’t pop up here and there it would be even better.
|These orlesian nobles!|
To immerse the player even better in the world created with detailed graphical fidelity, Inquisition’s sound effects are absolutely top notch. From weapons and spells sounds to the sound of nature and the roar of flying dragons, everything sounds natural.
The voice acting is done almost perfectly with some of the previous actors reprising their character roles and the lips sync is good, making characters feel as alive as possible.
The music is in theme with the game, even if it wasn’t composed by Inon Zur (maybe EA didn’t hire him anymore after saying he was rushed in DA2?), I liked it. I would have preferred something a little more dramatic, but considering the villain, I’m good with this.
So Bioware didn’t really screw up so far (at least not badly), but this is EA we are talking about, so the game had to have something to get gamers pissed off.
Dragon Age: Inquisition has a multiplayer mode, which is very similar to the one in Mass Effect 3 or the Warframe game. It resumes at going through different levels and killing enemies and reaching the end of the level alive (some sort of Hack&Slash). It has some small missions here and there and it is integrated well with the story, as the party of players is part of the Inquisition and they are completing an operation for the order.
There is a crafting system which can be used to combine various materials to make better items and a currency system that allows purchasing chests with random items in them and here starts the problem. While the smaller chest can be bought with gold which is received during missions, the bigger chests which offer more rewards require on top of the gold a premium currency which can be bought only with money. Why would a game that costs 70$ on Origin require premium currency? And this is not even for vanity items, it is extremely hard to enjoy the multiplayer without using the cash shop (the funny thing is that the multiplayer has leaderboards). The progress is so slow and the increasing difficulty makes the game so much harder that players won’t be able to keep up unless they spend money or grind like crazy. This is such a mischievous move that really ruins everything.
The multiplayer is clearly rushed and has only three randomizable maps and can become tedious quite fast, especially if someone doesn’t like this game style. To make matters worse, the lag sometimes is intolerable making characters move in spasms because of it.
There is only voice chat integration which makes communication hell in a game that really requires coordination. Most of the time I ended up in groups, that got split or had no tactics and got wiped instantly because of this or we were so outgeared for the challenge and we had no chance in succeeding.
Bioware promised free DLCs for multiplayer (why not, it has a cash shop…) and more attention to it in the near future and it might get better. The combat system really does work well with this type of multiplayer mode and it will be interesting to see what becomes of it in the future.
Looking back on this review, this is the longest one I wrote so far (I feel sorry for my editor!), I still I don’t think I managed to cover everything, but it makes me wonder why I wrote so much. Probably because I enjoyed Origins so much and loved my character and the universe that I was always hoping for more Dragon Age games like that first one. The second game didn’t deliver, in fact made me stay away from the franchise and be scared thinking about it. Even purchasing this game was a hard decision to make (but Morrigan!).
Dragon Age: Inquisition is a vast game, that can’t be criticized after playing a few hours (like many do after getting stuck in Hinterlands). It has some interesting mechanics behind it and offers a high level of open world exploration that almost no singleplayer game managed to pull off since times almost forgotten even by old school gamers. The combination of graphics, sound effects, good level design and the variety of everything makes for one of the most immersive exploration experiences, showing how things should be done (developers shouldn’t need community mods!).
Inquisition didn’t forget about the roots (at least some of them). Having compelling characters, mystery (those elves!), a tone of lore and choices, it made me want to stop playing so I don’t finish the game and leave this captivating world, something similar to what happened when I played Origins.
It has some issues, both technical and gameplay related, but many can be fixed, others can be overlooked and there are some that we will have to move forward with (Bioware should reconsider using some of the gameplay mechanics in the future games). It is quite visible that at some point this might have been an MMO project that was turned around into a singleplayer game and the residues of that project can still be seen in the game.
It was a wild ride this game, with moments of joy and sorrow, but after finishing it I can say that I’m looking forward for more Dragon Age games. I hope this one will receive an expansion and (or) a couple of good DLCs, there are so many ties to put together and I don’t think I can wait three more years for another game set in this universe.
+ Great graphics and aesthetics
+ Top notch sound effects and voice acting
+ The lore
+ Good dialogues
+ Great level design with beautiful open world areas
+ A large variety of everything (locations, monsters, etc.)
+ Side stories that open up all kind of possibilities for future games
+ dragonagekeep.com and the impact of the choices from previous games
+ The War Table
+ 90+ hours of gameplay
- Too many filler quests
- Some console and arcade elements
- Terrible looking UI
- Extremely annoying PC controls
- Broken tactical camera
- Broken tactical camera
- The spoon feeding is excessive and makes completing side quests too easy
- Some of the choices are forced on the player
- Many of the choices made have no impact in the game
- Multiplayer requires money for better progression and enjoyment
- Various bugs and glitches