Notice: This entry was published 5 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.

I finished Dragon Age: Inquisition last night, clocking in at 56 hours. That’s a fair amount of game time for my first playthrough considering I always power through my first to finish the story. I was overall satisfied but not without a few gripes. There will be some mild spoilers in this review, so if you haven’t finished yet or plan on playing in the future, you should turn away now and come back later.

Dragon Age Inquisition

Comparison

First off, I consider Inquisition to be the true sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. You feel the consequences of your choices in Origins in this game, as opposed to some one-off mentions in Dragon Age 2. Significant characters from Origins return, and while the Hero of Ferelden isn’t present, s/he remains an important figure that everyone seeks out. Questions left in Origins are also addressed in Inquisition.

If you consider the big picture history of the Dragon Age, the transition from Fifth Blight to Inquisition is a lot more fitting back to back than if Kirkwall was included in between. Dragon Age 2 feels more like a side story in comparison. Not to say it’s a bad thing, I enjoyed DA2 a lot, but its scope makes it the odd man out between the three. DA2 was about Hawke. Origins and Inquisition was about saving the world.

The inconsistency with DA2 becomes even more obvious when you can make a damning decision with Hawke and have no real impact to the story, which begs the question of just how pivotal Hawke is. And besides Varric, none of DA2’s companions return either. You could play Origins and go straight to Inquisition without missing much. It’s like Bioware wanted to make a clean slate. DA2 is a good game though, and you should definitely give it a run.

Dragon Age Inquisition Screencap

Plot

The main questline was good, but it suffered a bit from the open world aspect. Everyone seemed to be have been trapped in the Hinterlands in the beginning with all the side quests, myself included. The game maintains the pace by requiring a set amount of Powers before you can proceed to the next main quest, which you obtain by completing side quests. The zones are huge, and there’s so much to do. From the first two games, you sort of assume that you have to do everything, so you get trapped.

It’s all too easy to get caught up, even if it doesn’t have the same charm as Skyrim. You’re still fenced in one zone. There’s no real wandering and no sense of getting lost. A tight storyline demands a linear path, so I can see why Bioware made the compromise.

I did like how my decisions affected the Inquisition. I sentenced Alexius to Tranquility, and I had mages holding protests in Redcliffe. I sent the Grey Wardens to do all my bidding, and I inadvertently killed off most of them, so much that the remaining Wardens decided to return to Weisshaupt.

As for the main questline itself, it was very good. I honestly couldn’t wait to see what happened next, once I got over my side quest obsession. The Winter Palace was the biggest highlight for me. I did feel like the last couple of quests ended on an abrupt note, but it answered questions that lingered from the first game, and I was satisfied.

Plus, the ending was cute and a nice throwback to the Origins ending. I have to say though, I didn’t feel melancholy to see Inquisition end the way I did with Origins. Perhaps because my Inquisition companions decided to stay with me a bit longer, compared to Origins where everyone was going their separate ways after the Blight’s been defeated. It felt like goodbye.

Dragon Age Inquisition screencap

Combat

I play on a PC, and the default controls have been changed up. I wasn’t crazy about it. I ended up spending my first two days reconfiguring my key bindings over and over until I was comfortable. In the old games, you ran with your mouse, and you used the number row for your abilities. This worked great. Now you move with the WSAD keys, but the number rows still held your abilities. So you’d have to be running and using your abilities with one hand, which is not as user-friendly as the old controls.

I don’t know why they did that. I played a mage, and by instinct, I’d always kite an enemy that I’d aggro’d. The new controls make kiting awkward, but I might just be too accustomed to the old controls. I did get used to it over time, but it still doesn’t make sense to have movements and abilities on one side of the keyboard.

Tactics work differently now as well, and it takes adjustment. You can’t assign a Defender or a Scrapper like you could before, neither can you set them to Aggressive. Instead, you have your party members Defend or Follow an assigned character. For example, if I had Blackwall on Defend the Controlled Character, he’d presumably taunt any mobs that are on me. But again, I was a mage. I’m not supposed to have anyone hitting me, so if I didn’t aggro anyone at all, he’d just be standing there.

The other option is Follow, where your party members will attack whomever you’re targeting. You can focus fire mobs, but you will have to pull them yourselves. Otherwise your party members will just stand there.

I believe the idea with the new tactics are there isn’t a tank or even a healer. You manage your own health and aggro. You have a limited number of potions until you can reach the next camp or supply cache, so you have to plan when to use them. It’s a different way of handling combat for sure. If you had the idea of tank/DPS/healer roles like I did, these tactics will challenge that.

Cassandra wants you to deal with it

Companions

I love them all, I really do. Cassandra is endearing, Josephine is adorable, hell, I even like Vivienne even though we disagreed all the time and she always threw shade my way. I understand and appreciate her views as a character. I’d say Sera is the exception, but still I wouldn’t say I hate her. She’s an impulsive, immature shithead, is all.

I enjoyed Blackwall’s romance. He’s so sweet, sometimes adorably awkward, and so damn ANGSTY. It hurt so good. I sure love him and his silly mattress armor. Since romance adds to the replayability, I’m definitely rolling alts to woo my other companions.

I’m so HAPPY that some of the old gang came back! I didn’t know how much I missed them until I saw them again. Alistair looks younger now though, Leliana hasn’t aged a day, and dang Morrigan is even more beautiful now. I took so many screenshots of her face. What kind of goddess. I wish Zevran made an appearance. My poor Thedas boyfriend, where have you gone?

I’m disappointed that there wasn’t much interaction between Leliana and Morrigan, if at all. They spent a year fighting the Blight, they both knew the Hero of Ferelden, and now they share the war table. You’d think they’d at least mention the old days, especially now that they’ve gone to do even bigger things. Morrigan a mommy? Leliana might be the next Divine? Where the hell is Solona? You have got to talk about those over tea.

Also, I asked about Morrigan’s baby daddy. A w k w a r d.

allofthehorses umareyou

Bugs

This game has a lot of bugs. I mean A LOT. Some of them are hilarious, others not so much. There’s a known party banter bug and Dorian’s personal quest is also bugged which really sucks. I wanted him to be my bro 4 lyfe. Bioware’s working on the game-breaking ones. I hope they fix them soon. I’m planing on another playthrough to cover ground I missed as well as romance Solas. He looks like my next mistake.

Final Thoughts

Origins remains my favorite Dragon Age game, but Inquisition is enjoyable and I’m happy with it as the third installment. Well worth the $70 (I got the Deluxe Edition), and there’s tons of replay value.

To close this entry, here are a few more screenshots. Enjoy. :)

ScreenshotWin32_0311_Final ScreenshotWin32_1291_Final ScreenshotWin32_1501_Final ScreenshotWin32_1492_Final ScreenshotWin32_1670_Final

Comments

  1. I only played a little bit of Dragon Age: Origins, and what little bit I played, I really liked, especially of Alistair. I only wish I was better at these type of RPGs. Real-time action gameplay and I do not get along.

    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed Inquisition, though! The graphics do look sweet, and I’m glad Alistair is back in this one :D
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    1. I pause a lot in combat to issue commands, but generally I have a rotation for real-time combat. It’s usually about managing aggro and not standing in fire.

      This game actually ripped my heart in two. Some were very difficult decisions to make. I love it, haha.

  2. I skipped over the plot and combat parts but I have to say this game looks amazing! The screenshots are beautiful! They are unrealistic enough for me to feel like a video game (unlike stuff like The Witcher).

    56 hours isn’t that bad in my book since I clock in 60+ on Zelda. But I’m starting to get the feeling most games are shorter than Zelda ones. This game is definitely on my list but I definitely do need to play Origins first if there are returning characters and elements to compare.
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    1. I was amazed at how good the characters looked, but at the same time they didn’t go into Uncanny Valley territory. Props to Bioware for that.

      Last I checked, Origins is on sale! :D I hope you like it once you do get to play it. I’d love to know what you think.

  3. when i saw this at your sidebar’s recent post, i just knew i had to comment right away haha *massive bioware fan*

    origins was so much better than DA2. judging from the storyline to the setting, origins win so much more. DA2 is so limited though i do love the interaction we can have (ahem, purple Hawke, yeah? i always go for purple Hawke) towards our companions but yea, setting-wise, it’s too cramped.

    i’m actually so happy that you’re playing this on pc haha i’m a pc gamer too (consoles are too expensive for me and they die pretty fast) so it’s nice to read this review from pc perspective. hm, i don’t think using WSAD to move is a new thing though? i mean, we can use WSAD in origins to move too. i never used the mouse click to move; it’s troublesome and WSAD have been the default move control for every pc game ever….except for DA2 i guess where the default was WSQE i think and AD were used for camera control. yea, had to change that one.

    i’m really curious about their new take on the open world. bioware said they’re inspired by skyrim though Inquisition isn’t gonna be LIKE skyrim. despite having so many stupid bugs where my horse caught fire and my character went through a boulder once in skyrim, i suppose bethesda made such an influence towards other games haha

    ah so you picked Blackwall~ *wolf whistles* i’d probably pick cullen first and then when i replay the game, i’d probably choose someone else. at least Inquisition’s romance options are better than DA2. geez, i hate DA2’s romance options; i always end up choosing fenris because i’m not interested in the others. and when you mentioned how sera’s a little shit, i remember merrill and how i felt like abandoning her for good :)) i just don’t like how whiny she is? i don’t know. it’s the same for anders; i find him annoying too. i think in DA2, my favorite companions would be varric and fenris, that’s all.

    i’d probably scream when alistair shows up on my screen in Inquisition. i miss his stupid humor :)) he was hilarious with morrigan. i wish i can ask him how’s the warden pfft (i was human warden in origins) xD

    i’ve never tried romancing zevran hmm maybe i should….but eh, after i’m bored with alistair, i guess (which will happen….. not anytime soon)

    56 hours of dragon age is pretty cool, ya know. RPG gets really tiring and i think 56 hours is pretty … fast, i suppose. all i need now is bioware talking about mass effect 4 because damn it i need the new mass effect (even though shepard is no more and i’m gonna be forever sad about that)
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    1. OMG GIRL BRACE YOURSELF. This game will tear you apart. XD

      Haha yeah, I love PC gaming! It’s a lot better for me since I do everything on my computer anyway. I don’t even have a TV anymore. I’m cool with WSAD controls. I just thought it was weird that they used that and then the number action bar? Felt cumbersome for me. Like in Bethesda games, there wasn’t an abilities bar so WSAD was okay and then you can just attack and block with the mouse. It’s a minor thing that’s really just me nitpicking.

      I have so many bugged stories about Skyrim! Do you watch Skyrim videos on Youtube? They’re hilarious.

      I actually liked Blackwall’s romance. Very angsty. It hurt so good. :’D I haven’t started a new playthrough yet coz while I was making a new character, my game crashed and I got mad. This game is full of bugs too. I had multiple mounts, and I got the frozen stance a few times. My game crashed often too. Thank goodness for autosave!

      Oh yes, you can ask about the Warden! Everyone talks about him/her. :D I love both Alistair and Zevran to be honest. They’re both different romances but very satisfying in their own ways. I call Zevran my boyfriend because he doesn’t nearly get enough love, haha.

      I finished Mass Effect in 14 hours once! I missed out on a lot of side content, but I was anxious to get to the end coz I loved the main quest. I’m still bitter about ME3 so I don’t know if I’m gonna get ME4. I’m waiting on Fallout 4. :’D

      1. i think i’m used to bioware tearing me apart. look at mass effect 3!! i can’t get over that crap. ugh. bioware and ubisoft have managed to tear me apart with how they handle their games (and this can refer to so many different aspects at once haha)

        yay pc gaming for eternity! i like to laugh and tease my friends who are on consoles when they complain about how their anticipated games are meant for ps4 etc. i’m like “well yeah but most times, they’re available for windows so i’m chill” haha
        ah yeah, skyrim controls are pretty alright. i like the simplicity of left and right click mouse function.

        nah, i don’t like to feed myself with videos of how people play unless it’s a walkthrough i need because i’m stuck in some stages – this usually applies for stealth games and assassin’s creed because i suck so bad and i don’t have the patience for stealth 90% of the time.

        i think newer games nowadays tend to have lots of bugs. it’s like, okay yeah great CGI and everything but technical-wise, it’s kind of a downfall. i’m not surprise anymore since bioware and ubisoft tend to have weird bugs. the latest assassin’s creed unity have amazing bugs haha even though they’ve downgraded the graphics quality especially for console version. they downgraded and deleted few features from AC 3 because there weren’t enough RAMs or something in the end so yeah..and the bugs and graphics quality for consoles were blah compared to PC version.

        i’d be pissed when my game crashed during character creation. i take character creation seriously and can spend hours just to make one haha it’s the reason why RPG is awesome anyway, right.. xD

        zevran came into the party pretty…late so i never actually felt anything towards him :P i see that people like him for his smooth talk and um, maybe playful personality? not sure. but yeah, i was just normal with him (or i’m just too occupied with alistair’s humor and dorkiness)…sometimes i have this imagination where alistair is actually the warden’s secret fan or something and that he’s so proud (my) warden is his queen ….idk anymore :))

        HAHA WOW. OMG. HOW. i’m not sure why but finishing RPG in a matter of hours doesn’t really…appeal to me. it’s like, it’s too much work since i don’t like leaving side missions abandoned, etc. i’m pretty detailed when it comes to rpg so i don’t even wanna make an effort of finishing it that fast. i did use 14 hours to finish one call of duty though *bricked* but i guess that’s not even something i should be proud of. i think anyone can finish call of duty solo campaign that fast.

        i still have fallout 3 waiting for me. haven’t continued it. i consider fallout the filthy version of skyrim :)) and maybe that’s why i’m not keen on finishing it as soon as possible. i don’t even continue skyrim anymore. it’s too much of an open conclusion kind of game so it bores me. have you played the fallout new vegas? friend said it sucks and i shouldn’t play it :P
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        1. I have a few choice words to tell your friend because Fallout: New Vegas is my favorite game ever. XD It’s set in the west coast where the original Fallout and Fallout 2 take place, and I consider it the real sequel to those games (really, it is). Bethesda did a sort of reboot/remake with Fallout 3. They took plenty of elements from the original Fallout and created their own storyline in the east coast. I’ve blogged about it before, haha.

          Comparing FO3 and FNV is always a hot debate that comes up in the fandom every so often. FO3 is usually the gateway to Fallout, and I like it a lot too. I think FNV has the edge story-wise, but it’s more spaghetti Western than straight-up 50’s style futuristic science fiction. I can see why it doesn’t appeal to someone who’s played FO3.

          Fallout has a lot of history. It was actually acquired by Bethesda after the original company Black Isle went under. That’s why FO3 was a huge shift from the first two games. They wanted to give it a more open-world style. It’s patterened a lot after Oblivion (don’t know if you’ve played the earlier Elder Scrolls games, but they’re awesome too). FNV was developed by Obsidian, where a lot of Black Isle devs moved on to.

          I have a lot of Fallout feelings obviously haha. It has a ton of merits independent of the Elder Scrolls, even though I feel like it’s been placed in the back burner because I’m sure Bethesda considers the Elder Scrolls as their darling. Come on man, I’m begging you to take my money. Give me Fallout 4! XD

          Re: Zevran. He is smooth haha. He starts out emotionally unavailable, and that becomes a plot point for his romance later on. His is a lot grittier than Alistair’s. I think I appreciate Zevran’s romance more the older I get.

          1. sometimes i believe in my friend, sometimes i don’t. i can’t say that we like the same kind of story; he likes stories that are less complicated, that are more…linear instead of going in circles and having lots of layers. for instance, he refused to play bioshock no matter how i try to make him play at least one bioshock game. he said it’s too “mindf-cking and confusing” that he’d probably end up getting lost in limbo before actually finishing the game. once, i couldn’t decide whether to start bioshock or play ME3 first and he was like “ME3 duh. bioshock’s confusing” so i end up going for bioshock haha so there you go. and so far, bioshock remains as one of the best for me while he still refused to play it :P

            (he doesn’t even want to play silent hill. not even once. i tried forcing him, blackmailing him but he still said no haha he’s scared)

            maybe if i get around to finishing FNV, maybe i’d end up liking it. maybe i will remark it differently than he does, who knows… judging from how you’re gonna defend FNV, i can see you like fallout series so much ;) that’s cool. since i haven’t really worked on FO3, all i can say now is that i like the pipboy and i hate how everything is just radiation poison in disguise haha

            i didn’t play oblivion, to be honest. i started skyrim instantly because i was attracted to the environment – i thought they’re pretty. they still are, but i never realized how buggy the game is haha the bugs are awesome though. bethesda is awesome.

            TES is obviously bethesda’s golden child, no doubt about it. then again i realized i was never really a huge bethesda fan. i guess i’m more towards uh.. ubisoft and EA even though ubisoft is ubishit like…most of the time :))

            the first time i met zevran i could already feel how much sass he got in him LOL he and morrigan can sass out alistair to death :)) that’d be hilarious.
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  4. I have not been here before – but I promise you, I will be coming back because it’s SO refreshing seeing a female (not in the gaming industry… I think? haha) review games. I haven’t read all of this (I mainly wanted to say HI! I DIG WHAT YOU’RE DOING!) but I did see your opening lines and I wanted to say that I am 101 hours into DA:I so far and I’ve still… I JUST finished Cole and Varric’s personal questions >.< I'm unfortunately a completionist HAha
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    1. Hi Anna. Thank you for dropping by!

      I’m not in the gaming industry, just a slave to Bioware and Bethesda, haha! I’m excited to hear the reviews on the upcoming DLC! So far, what I’ve heard about it has been mixed but I might get it anyway. I’ll definitely be blogging about it if I do!

      I’m planning on replaying DA:I. I was actually on character creation and then it crashed on me just as I was almost done. I was so upset, I haven’t gone back on since. :’D

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