This week’s WeView sees us heading off to Thedas as we explore Dragon Age: Inquisition. I’ll be completely honest here, I don’t really know all that much about the Dragon Age series. RPGs don’t really interest me, and ones of the scale of Dragon Age seem more intimidating than anything else. There’s just so much to do that I feel like I’d never get anywhere.
Fortunately, it seems Sam is more a fan of BioWare’s epics, having reviewed the game for us back in November. The first difference from the earlier games in the series he picked up on was the impact that choices now make in Inquisition. While choices in previous Dragon Age titles felt futile due to the “inescapable linearity of [the] plot”, your decisions in Inquisition “slightly, and immediately, alter the world around you”. Although the choices you make “do not transform the game beyond recognition”, Sam still praised the way they help to give a “feeling of accomplishment at each milestone” while still “following the tracks of a pre-existing plot”.
The game’s “expansive maps” earned even more praise from Sam, saying they are “where its true majesty lies”. Impressively the game’s first area, The Hinterlands, is larger than the entire playable area of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 combined, an achievement that certainly deserves to be recognised.
More than the sheer size of the maps in the game, it was the fact each area features “its own characters and conflicts, territorial struggles and area-specific enemies” that Sam really loved, leading him to the belief that a single map could be an entire game by itself. He also highlighted the way that each area of the game has its own “visual and mechanical design”, saying that the variety helps to flesh out “a world that we’ve only had glimpses into until now”.
The game’s combat also drew praise, particularly in the way that it forces you to focus more on strategy. Limiting elements like potions and healing spells means that “defence and support in combat play a much larger role than before”, giving it an MMO like feeling, which is only heightened by “downed teammates now being revivable by adjacent allies”, something that particularly useful in the game’s multiplayer.
On the more negative side of thing, Sam bemoaned the way the game’s story eventually “becomes somewhat predictable”, and also felt that some mechanical elements of gameplay were frustrating. For example, the fact that “your character no longer moves to where you click the mouse (on the PC version), and will only interact with objects they are facing and are immediately next to” drew his ire, although he did note that the latter element of his complaint was useful during combat.
However, in the grand scheme of things these were relatively minor niggles, and Sam gave the game a 9/10, wrapping up his review with the following:
Dragon Age: Inquisition is incredible. It’s formidably long – around 40-50 hours for the main story, and hundreds more for absolute completion; it has a great cast of characters and, despite its predictable plot after the end of the first act, it makes some nice touches on the overarching themes of the series, and pays more respect to your decisions than any BioWare game before it.
As is the custom with WeView, I’ll conclude by asking you what you thought of the game. If you feel like sharing your opinion, be it positive or negative, then all you need to do is drop us a comment below. Remember to include a rating for the game from the Buy It, Sale It, Plus It, Avoid It scale so we can summarise the community’s opinion in Monday’s WeView Verdict, where we’ll also highlight a few of your comments.