The newest installment of Bioware’s Dragon Age series hit the shelves last week and I promptly bought it and threw it into my Xbox One. I suffer slight hesitation, however. In the past, I loved Dragon Age: Origins, but absolutely despised Dragon Age II so, afraid that Inquisition would follow the path of it’s Ginger-haired step-predecessor, I reluctantly picked the game up on Launch day to tackle the beast head on. Now normally. I finally completed the game Friday night. After almost 2 weeks since launch and 117 hours clocked in my first playthrough. Dragon Age: Inquisition strikes back with a vengeance.
You take the reigns of your personally created Inquisitor who struggles to remember the events leading up to an absolutely massive hole in the sky threatening to swallow Thedas. Bummer…
Without spoiling anything the size and scope of Dragon Age: Inquisition is breathe taking, and should you decide to tackle the many side quests that Bioware provides, you’ll be in the Starting area for near 15 hours. But to first understand Dragon Age’s new side quests, you have to understand that Dragon Age completely re-writes the formula. Yes, many of these quests are retrievals or area investigations, but each quest feels important, it feels like I’m accomplishing something relevant because each quest offers a certain degree of urgency towards your main goal. Each quest you complete gives you the satisfaction that you’re aiding your developing Inquisition and helping it grow in different ways. You’re influencing people through your actions and every activity makes you feel like you’re progressing.
Though through all the advances that Side quests offer you, there is one serious draw back. I found that there was so much to do in Dragon Age: Inquisition that wasn’t narrative related that I often lost the sense of looming danger that would have pushed me to do more large scripted events. I lost the sense of urgency that I felt I needed that said “Hey, Cody! The world is ending man, and you’re the only one who can save it!” To which I replied “Alright, Dragon Age, I get it! Just let me find this guy’s Druffalo and bring Ms. McKormic back her prize winning Horse first!”
Speaking of Horses, inquisition brings two new (among others) very awesome features to the Dragon Age Franchise. The ability to jump and Mounts! Allow me to explain Mounts like a Vacuum Salesman would. “Tired of treking the desert? Wolves giving you a hard time? Worry not! Put down your woe and wolves and whistle for your noble steed! Jump atop your new found friend and lunge forward with the mighty Hoof device!” Translation: Unlocking mounts will help you traverse the truly enormous world of Inquisition with speed and ease! Just how big is it you ask? Imagine Grand Theft Auto 5′s map spread across eight different areas all with unique whether conditions, environments, enemies and locales spanning from Deserts, to lush forests to ice-capped snowy mountains to get a general idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into!
Now one of the most important points, and quite possibly one of the most controversial is as follows “If I haven’t played Dragon Age before, is Inquisition an appropriate place to start?” Bioware addressed this question and to my surprise, their answer holds true YES you can start with inquisition if you truly don’t want to play the originals, you can start with Inquisition. There are numerous but vaguely relevant references to both of the previous games that old time fans will go crazy over that new players won’t understand along with a few run-ins and blasts from the past of previous games that are indeed relevant to the story, but these references are very bold and prominent, even if you haven’t played the old games, you’ll be able to put the pieces together very quickly!
Remember I mentioned that Inquisition brings a lot of new content to the Dragon Age universe? Did I mention it has Multiplayer? No!? Well, it does and you should be excited about it.
You and up to 3 other friends can form up as Inquisition Agents diving through Dungeon-Like levels to complete certain objectives for the Inquisition’s Spy-Master, these levels are chalk full of Chests and loot and you receive bonus gold for completing objectives. Gold can be spent on chests which offer varying items and potions. Any items you don’t need can be broken up into crafting materials that go toward upgrading your character and unlocking new heroes to play as. The Multiplayer has no effect on your single player campaign, and Vice-Versa but be warned, the Multiplayer is notoriously difficult and is made much more enjoyable when coordinating with a team. This ensures that you always have the right Characters for the job which translate to better loot and more gold!
Every game needs some polish, and Dragon Age is no exception. Due to the size and scope of the game, players may experience crashes, Frame-rate issues, UI Bugs and Freezing dialogue which will ultimately effect your experience in a negative way but if you chip away at the rock, the gold manages to shine through.