Release Date: 11/18/2014
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The Good: Fantastic visuals and foliage (especially the foliage and lighting), one of the best musical scores since Skyrim, deep dialog choices and engrossing story, fantastic characters that are memorable, plenty of side quests to last you 100 hours
The Bad: Story missions take a back seat to side quests, most side quests are fetch or gather quests, many maps are hard to navigate or devoid of life, combat is a little shallow and requires little strategy, many glitches and AI issues
Bioware has a knack for creating D&D style games that are memorable years down the road. Dragon Age is one such series. Origins helped push forward the way stories are told in Western RPGs. This was with dialog choices that would impact your relationship with fellow party members and the overall story. The game was also well known for its huge amount of lore that filled hundreds of Wiki pages online. Inquisition helps to mainly wash the sour taste of Dragon Age II out of our mouths by bringing back the original feeling of Origins.
Inquisition has a lot of politics involved in its story, more so than the previous two. I say this because the entirety of Thedas is on the brink of being wiped out due to a powerful ancient being ripping a hole in the fade and unleashing chaos. You play as a brand new character (your choices don’t carry over here from DA2 it’s set several years into the future). You play as a nobody, just some guard serving Divine Justinia when all of a sudden you walk into this ancient being, Corypheus, attacking the Divine. You try to help stop him but something terrible happens to you. You take on part of the powers he is trying to acquire. This foils his plans and also weakens him leaving then entire land accusing you of killing the Divine.
This is where the story starts off with several of your companions. Many dialog choices are brought to you to ease you into how this is done. It’s actually quite easier to understand over the last two games. Symbols will easily tell you what your choice will do. A heart will advance a romance, branching arrows could lead to anything, a question mark is an investigation, etc. While dialog and story is a hue part of Dragon Age so is combat and exploration.
Inquisition is huge. Twice the size of Origins and DA2 combined. There are several areas you can explore but these are large map that take hours to completely explore. There are hundreds of side quests on top of the dozen story missions. The meat of the game is actually the side quests. If you skip these you are missing 80% of the game. Of course not all side missions can be blown through. Some require accessing new areas which require being cleared or accessed through the War Table missions. The War Table allows you to send either Josyphene, Cullen, or Liliana on missions to open up new areas in maps or acquire items.
There are two major hub areas you will have with Skyhold being the main one. Here you advance relationships with character through dialog, upgrade your castle, and try prisoners that you captured throughout the game. Inquisition has so much going on that it will take you a good 100 hours to complete every missions and see everything. I can’t do this game’s sheer size justice just by explaining it. Outside of exploration is the combat. It is a mix of DA1 and 2 with more control over companions by freezing time like DA1 but it’s completely optional. You can also just wail on people like DA2 but this time you aren’t just standing in one spot while fighting. However, despite this change I felt something was missing from combat. There wasn’t much strategy to it and it was just a button mashing fest outside of learning what each skills cooldown times are and planning accordingly.
I do commend BioWare for the interesting enemy designs and wildlife. The game just has so much detail and is one of the best looking games available right now. I mainly love the lighting in this game and foliage placement, it’s just so beautiful however, there are issues with pathfinding. Many missions are hard to get to and some maps are just poorly laid out. The Forbidden Oasis is the worst offender with huge cliffs and gaps and hidden caves to everything in the map. It’s a chore to navigate and most maps are pretty barren with not much to do besides these fetch quests.
And that’s where I will wrap this up at. Inquisition is a fine game, it looks amazing, has extremely deep dialog choices and there’s so much to do here from creating armor and weapons from blueprints, to deciding what kind of drapes you want in your castle. However, it is all filler content. By hour 80 I really started getting annoyed with the game and bored. I said screw it to the rest of the romance options and any companion quests that were becoming a chore to complete and just did the final story mission. Will I come back to Inquisition to complete it 100%? Sure, but not for a while. Inquisition over stays its welcome by about 30 hours with fetch quests and item gathering. If you loved the previous games you will love Inquisition, but haters from the past will find even more to hate here.