Saturday, November 7, 2015

"It's a Video Game!" - Dragon Age: Inquisition

Well, I’m back with the next game in the Dragon Age series, Dragon Age: Inquisition. The game was released during November of 2014 on current-gen consoles, next-gen consoles, and PC. I ended up getting the game in 2015. I guess it was during July or August, I’m not sure. I do know one thing: man, this game’s long! The world has been expanded in a big way. I put in over 80 hours of gameplay on it. I haven’t played any of the DLCs yet. I can’t play two of them since EA decided to be money-grubbing idiots and have them exclusive to next-gen consoles and PC. Leaving my PS3 out... yes, I’m still bitter on that!

DAI takes place sometime after the events of Dragon Age 2. Mages and Templars went to war with each other in the land of Thedas.  The game starts out during a botched attempt at a truce between the warring parties. Something happens that causes a Rift in the Fade and demons begin to show up in the real world. You play as the Inquisitor (in my case, Michelangelo… yeah, I named my guys after the TMNT), the only survivor of the truce. You are marked with a piece of the Fade so you are able to close the portals. You get drafted by the Inquisition, a long-dead group that has been reformed by different and familiar faces in Thedas. The main goal is to find out what has caused the Rift to appear in the sky and to help heal the land from the various wars that have cropped up.

Michelangelo, I do have to say that you look pretty neat. My dude actually looks like he came off the street!

After playing this game for 80 hours, you know I had to like this. While it has some noticeable flaws, I think this is a good game. It feels like the creators took the good elements of the first two games to create this new one. Your character can be customized greatly. My dude actually looks somewhat normal. I will say that the facial hair does look weird with some styles which is why I’m not sporting a goatee. You can be any race again and they also threw the Qunari in as well. The styles are still the same as before with the choice of a mage, warrior, or rogue.

The story is pretty good for the most part. You have to go all around Thedas (Ferelden and Orlais) to stop the main villain of the game, Corypheus. Corypheus, an ancient darkspawn from the Tentiver Imperieum, wants to gain access to the Fade in order to gain godhood. During the game, you’ll make companions, allies, and enemies along the way as before. Your decisions also have major consequences on your relationships, your status, and the land overall. Basically, every institution in the land needs the pimp hand of the Inquisitor (you had to see my hat) to get them back in shape.

The companions were pretty good for the most part. They are usually the best part of every game. They are well-defined and make for good fighters as well. My favorites from the game were Cassandra, Iron Bull, Sera, Varric, Dorian, and Cole. You also have other non-playable characters you get to interact with in length like your War Council. We also get a lot of returning faces from the previous games. You’ll probably see a lot of your companions here if they’re still alive. You’ll even see Hawke and hear about the Warden from the first game.
Yeah, I went with the warrior. She was cool.

The gameplay is pretty extensive. They did some rework to the leveling system that took some time to get used to but I did like it. The combat system also had some good reworking as well. I think there’s a move that perfectly mimics Scorpion’s “Get Over Here” move (I don’t know what it’s called) in there. You also have the War Table to play with. It’s basically where you stratagize with your War Council and carry out different jobs. It’s quite different from the other games and was pretty cool overall.

The visuals look pretty good for the most part. Everything looked pretty detailed in the world. You have a big open world to play in with each province being a big open area. You have a lot of stuff to look for and a lot of missions to carry out. The music was also pretty good. It’s not as memorable as the first game but it has some good things to it. The main theme and some of the other tracks were pretty good and fit the world.

While I had a lot of good to say, I unfortunately had some issues with the game. One big negative about the game is that the text is pretty small and can’t be seen easily. You really can’t see the text on an older TV. While the text shows fine on HD TVs, it still feels small at times. I also ran into some loading issues with the game’s graphics. Sometimes, the visuals would look off. One moment, they’d look undefined and the next, they would be fine. I don’t know if it was my PS3 though I could be wrong since it doesn’t wig out on most games. I also ran into some glitches in the game. It even wigged out on me a couple of times and I had to restart the game.
Cole, you're cool but you're also a bit weird... nice hat though.

Corypheus was a bland villain overall. There really wasn’t much to him other than his weird look. He just wanted godhood and that was it. Other villains from the franchise (Loghain, Meredith, and others) had a bit more to them than that. His final boss battle was also a bit lackluster. Also, there were a couple of companions I wasn’t a big fan of. They didn’t get too unlikable like that Fenris idiot, but a couple of them just weren’t that interesting to me. Solas was one of them though something does happen that makes him a bit interesting at the end. Too bad I can’t play it on my PS3, EA. 

Then, there’s the big scope of the game. The game is so big that it feels a bit too big at times. I get that they wanted to make up for what they did with DA2, but I do think they went a little overboard with the broadness. A lot of missions require you to find something and that can get taxing after a while. I know I got tired of looking for those shards after a while. Lastly, it sucks that you can’t import your saves from the previous games here. You have to use an online app (Dragon Age Keep) in order to get the world you want. I kind of understand why they did it this way but it just felt too tedious.

Overall, this was a good game even though I had some issues with it. I can’t comment on the multiplayer section since I haven’t played it yet. It’s probably good since EA is good with their multiplayer stuff. I don’t know how I would rank the games since they all were good to me. I’d probably say that DAO is still my favorite since it did suck me in to the series. I don’t know what’s next for the franchise, but I hope it’ll be of quality like the first three games. Well, I’m outta here. Peace, God Bless, don’t tick off the Herald of Andastre... their title, not mine. Mine would have been "The Demon-Slapping, Rift-Closing, Woman-Liking Herald of Andastre."

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