Dragon Age Inquisition Review – “Two steps forward, one step back”

Dragon Age Inquisition is quite good. I’m currently about 2/3 through the story after about 50 or so hours and that is having skipped several major dialogues with my companion characters. It’s a pretty game for the most part, runs very well and is fun a lot yet it’s a bit of a slog to get through. If you are familiar with BioWare games and especially Baldurs Gate II : Shadows of Amn you might know why. Anyway, on with the thoughts and review.

Story

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Despite being the third game in the series, Inquisition is still very much a standalone story. You don’t play as your Hero of Ferelden from Origins or even your Champion of Kirkwall from II, you play as a brand new character. Your character wakes up in prison – RPG Trope No.1 – and is told that a tear has opened up in the sky, apparently as a result of your interference, the Dragon Age version of the Pope has been assassinated, demons are pouring through the tear and everyone blames you because of a mysterious mark on your hand.

After convincing the people who matter that you are innocent, you discover that the people who found you saw you come through a tear between reality and the Fade, essentially the spirit realm. They also saw you being helped by God, and a religion starts building around you as the Herald. The Inquisition is formed and you travel around Ferelden and Orlais/Fantasy France to unite forces and gain power so you can deal with the mountain sized tear in the sky. You can make major decisions such as choosing to side with either the Mages or Templars who have been in open war with each other since the climax of II but eventually you gather your forces and go to the breach to close it.

It happens. Then the big bad reveals themselves as Corypheus – the antagonist from II’s Legacy DLC – and promptly unleashes Cthulu on a leash to annihilate your forces and obliterate your base of operations. Corypheus claims to be part of the original group of mages who invaded Heaven over a thousand years ago but he claims that God had already abandoned it and the world, so he will storm Heaven once more and become the God we so sorely need. Apparently. If it sounds like I’ve revealed most of the plot…I really haven’t. This all happens within the first 10 hours or so of the game and the game really starts after this when you move to Skyhold, a customize-able fortress in the mountains, and gain access to many more game-play features and areas.

From a narrative point of view I feel that the game is glacially paced. It’s not that interesting things don’t happen but the game just feels like it takes far too long to get there. I found myself skipping cut-scenes when I’d got the point of whatever they were trying to convey and kept talking which is odd because typically I love RPGs and cut-scene heavy games like MGS but occasionally Inquisition just takes too much time for things to happen.

However if you are a fan of Dragon Age it is certainly worth poring over every detail as the game features some incredibly deep cuts of lore to the series and basically reveals two of the biggest mysteries in the series so far in it’s final moments. The Codex is also dripping with detail and world building and I would certainly recommend reading over it every now and again just to discover the plot they couldn’t convey in dialogue.

It has twists and turns but the plot just takes too long to get to the good stuff and for game-play reasons by the time you get to fight Corypheus and his Cthulu you may have forgotten what you were fighting for in the first place.

Gameplay

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