I am in love with Dragon Age: Inquisition right now. It was worth standing outside Gamestop at midnight in the freezing cold for. And more. Of course, no game is flawless, so I will just list some pros and cons. I will keep them spoiler-free ’til the ‘read more’ section. You have been warned~
- Bioware promised more exploration, and they were not lying. Each area is massive. It can be overwhelming at times, in a good way. You can either travel by foot or on horseback, gather materials, fight baddies, and tackle some other collection-type side quests along the way. The world is pretty much a meticulous RPG player’s wet dream. There is never too little things to collect or perfect. Seriously, I’m about about 35 hours in and I’m not even close to tackling all the sidequests.
- The story so far is well-written. I find myself spending a good deal of time in the codex because I actually want to research everything and get to know everything about Thedas and its mythos. The thing that stands out to me is how often DA:I makes you question your own views. In the beginning, I was a hardcore mage rebellion supporter who pretty much rolled her eyes at every religious zealot I ran into. Now, I am actually questioning if the circles are actually a good thing, and witnessing how powerful faith truly is. Strange, huh? Characters like Vivienne (fierce queen!), for example, have rigid beliefs that can annoy anyone who disagrees; however, Bioware does a great job at making characters like Vivienne reasonable and passionate about their cause rather than some “Hey, just jump the bandwagon and hate this person” type of character. She is the reason why I am considering the benefits of the circle over complete mage freedom because her arguments are both valid and well-researched. I love that! IRL and in RPGs, I love characters who are able to change my mind without lashing out, hurling insults, being an all-out asshole, etc. It really pays to keep an open mind, and allow the characters around you to offer their valuable input. After all, this is their world too, right? As someone shaping history, it is only right to take in the things you want to hear as well as the things you do not want to hear. The writers at Bioware are…excellent. Seriously.
- While I’m on the topic of characters, I really love every single character. Even the ones I thought I would not care for ended up surprising me in the end. Solas comes to mind. The more I spoke to him about, the more I realized he was the type of person I like: full of knowledge and mostly eager to share it. Even someone like Sera who barely makes sense most of the time is interesting once you get a hang of her way of speaking.
- The world is beautiful! My actual reaction to one place (Val Royeaux) was: “Oh hell yes.” LOL. It’s one of those you-have-to-see-it type of things, but it is definitely up there with Skyrim.
- The customization system is great. I have no complaints. Being able to craft and modify my own gear is a much needed touch.
- The battle system takes the good things from DA:O and DA2, and really works with them. Once more, no complaints.
- The perks I received from the deluxe edition were nice (but somewhat troublesome. Will discuss below), especially the Bog Unicorn. And the Red Hart. I think the latter was a part of it. Not sure. Either way, it is really cute. Makes me feel like Princess Mononoke. LOL
- Glitches, glitches everywhere. I can handle it when it’s just some missing limbs or choppy voices, but there was a moment or two when I had to restart the game because it got stuck. And they always happen during conversations too. Thankfully, I am one of those gamers who saves like every 15-20 minutes. So… I am thankful for that.
- This is less of a game issue, and more of an EA issue. I purchased the deluxe edition of DA:I which comes with a bunch of in-game perks plus a soundtrack. Well, first of all, EA dropped the ball of the soundtrack thing. Many people are without a soundtrack because their website is fucking up, and I am one of those people. It sucks because I actually like the music in this game. A lot. Furthermore, the perks were…disappointing. On top of glitches teamed with bad luck that caused me to be without my special gear for the first 7-8 hours of the game (until I eventually found a way to fix it), the armor and staff itself were weak. I am finding it better to just use the schematics offered to customize my own gear. Then again, giving a high-powered weapon and armor at the start of the game would make things too easy so…it is just a minor yet understandable complaint. At least they offered the schematics, right? Overall, the biggest issue with the deluxe edition was the soundtrack, but they’re supposedly working on it. I’ll just have to wait.
- More of a personal issue, but I hate having to hold and select dialogue choices rather than highlighting and selecting like other Bioware games. I did mess around with some stuff in the options menu in hopes of fixing it…to no avail. I could be missing something, so do not pay too much attention to this. I have been reading about a few complaints over the ‘voice not directly quoting written text’ thing, but it has not been a major issue for me. There was one time when I choose what I believed was a laid-back choice, and my inquisitor went into full asshole mode (which lead to some disapproval). Nothing a reload couldn’t fix. LOL
Overall, if I had to give this game a score, it would be a 9/10. Which is pretty much the score most reviews gave. Then again, I am not a picky person. I always look for three things in an RPG: moving story, interesting characters, and decent mechanics. DA:I delivers all of those things, and more. If you have the funds and you’ve been debating about playing it, go play it. Just know that it will steal a lot of your time without your knowing. Seriously, hours just disappear when I play DA:I, and that is a good thing. No video game should leave you scoffing and wishing for the next checkpoint so you can stop playing. Horrible feeling as a gamer, I know.
One more (crappy) photo to share. It contains spoilers BTW. I will also discuss some spoilers too, so proceed with caution.
I was hoping that she would bring Anders with her, but it’s understandable that he is in hiding. Plus I think Varric would have been a little pissed about ‘Blondie’ showing up. LOL. I was also laughing when Cassandra kept saying: “If Varric brings Hawke here I’m going to hurt him”, and Hawke is just chilling at some remote location in Skyhold. I wonder what will happen if Cassandra takes a stroll and bumps into Hawke. Awkward…
Slightly OT (since I can’t discuss this in the spoiler-free section): Is romancing Iron Bull supposed to be this hard? I know he gets around or whatever, but all of this flirting is leading to nowhere but platonic dialogue. I hope I didn’t do something wrong. It’s possible that he is just one of those dense people who can’t really tell if someone likes them unless they slap a love letter on his forehead. LOL. Oh well. Romance or not, Iron Bull is still great. It’s nice having another qunari around who isn’t rigid, and is also tolerant of other races.
Ok. I’m off. Just earned Skyhold, so I’m going to do some grinding, farming, and such. It looks terrible right now. I hope if I customize it enough it will look like a true fort, as beautiful as the location where it is standing. Let’s hope.