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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.