Something just really prevented me from really getting invested in this game. I’ve played the first two Dragon Age games, but never beat them. After about 15 hours or so I moved on to another game. With only a handful of fantasy games out for the next gen consoles I decided to give Inquisition a chance. Sadly the third one wasn’t much of a charm.
The main story lacks originality, but this might be due to the fact I’m so enthralled into the fantasy culture. The player is the chosen one who has the power to close “rifts” that spout Darkspawn. Eventually we meet the main villain who had a cool design, but little personality. His goal of course is to enslave humanity. There are several party members that aid the player and each one has their own backstory. This was a high point in the game as there are some cool storylines to explore. The player is also given a choice on how to reply during conversation, which can affect the future outcome of certain plots. Inquisition introduces several homosexual characters, and gives the player the ability to flirt and even couple with members of the same sex. As disappointing as this game was, I commend the developers with giving players this choice. It isn’t too often we get a “progressive” video game, so props to them for that.
Gameplay was probably my biggest issue. Inquisition has a “tactical view” that can be accessed at any time. Essentially you can pause the fight and give specialized instructions to each of your party members. I found myself not utilizing this feature much because it tended to bore me. Some people might enjoy this, but I thought that it killed the pace and excitement of combat. The only real time that I used the tactical view was during dragon fights. For the most part you can auto-lock onto an enemy and hold down your swing/fire button. There are several attacks to choose from and each one has a “cool-down” effect, which I’m not a huge fan of. Initially I thought that perhaps I had chosen a class that just wasn’t much fun. I created a rogue character that specialized in archery and poison. The player can switch between characters at any point, but sadly I didn’t find any more excitement playing with the other combat styles.
In terms of the environment this is undoubtedly Inquisition’s strongest feature. There are some really gorgeous places to explore and the PS4 graphics were top-notch, especially compared to the 360 that I played on previously. Landscapes range from snow covered mountain fortresses to mysterious barren deserts. There were a couple of areas that were similar in design (looking at you green forests) but for the most part they each had their own personalities. There are multiple zones that you can fast travel to and after beating the main storyline I was sitting at about 70 hours, which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a lengthy game worth the 50-60 bucks.
Enemies are repeated and recycled all to often, and I found myself disappointed with the relatively small bestiary. Demons, dragons, giants, spiders, mages, and soldiers are really all that you run into. I think that the developers could have come up with something a bit more original instead of the standard fantasy fare. While the dragon fights took some strategy, I didn’t feel nervous or hesitant to explore the world.
Look at the end of the day a video game has to be fun to PLAY. No matter how gorgeous the surroundings may be, I still want to have fun exploring and fighting. With a lackluster main story, disappointing combat system, and repetitive quest-lines I’m left to wonder how this game garnered so many rave reviews. I think that it speaks to the fact that we just don’t have many next-gen games to compare it to yet.
Interestingly enough Dragon Age Origins was the first game I bought for my XBOX 360, and Dragon Age Inquisition was the first game I purchased for my PS4. There have been a handful of people online that have said that this game feels like an MMORPG without any other players. I couldn’t agree more. The world just feels empty and after giving Bioware 3 chances to woo me, I think it’s safe to say that the Dragon Age franchise just isn’t for me.