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I’ll admit it, I was a little wary about picking up Dragon Age Inquisition. While Origins was one of my favorite times of (semi) recent times, the second one was a huge disappointment. My initial reservations proved completely unwarranted because the latest installment in the Dragon Age franchise delivers, and has restored my faith in Bioware.
The game play is solid, and relatively seamless. I did have a few graphical crashes that were a but frustrating, but the game auto saves so frequently that it never cost me more than a conversation, or single fight. Speaking of fighting, while I still prefer the slower paced more turn based style of the first one, and this one more resembles the second, it’s still fun. The system itself is much more polished than in the last game, and while I’d say it’s the weakest part of the game, it’s entertaining enough that it doesn’t take away from the game’s other strengths.
Let’s talk about those strengths for a minute here. Storytelling, it’s what Bioware games were famous for in the late 90’s and early 2000’s (yes, computers existed back than, we had the internet and everything!) and they really stepped up in this foray into the Dragon Age universe. From the super cool Dragon Age Tapestry which lets you import world states from previous games, too a compelling and sometimes surprising main storyline, Dragon Age Inquisition delivers. Without spoilers I’ll say that old friends, and enemies make an appearance throughout the game. Some act as recurring companions, villains, plot devices, and simple fun Easter eggs. A fair number being from the second installment true, but the ones that popped in from the first game, really made the Dragon Age universe feel connected throughout the three games in a way that few franchises that follow different protagonists ever do.
Another place where this game hits a home run is in the little things. Ok, so the graphics are a big thing, and they are astounding but coming from someone who spends most of his time playing fifteen year old games, I won’t spend too much time commenting on them. The music score is wonderful, from the map music, tavern scores, and a full on musical number at a crucial moment in the story, the music does what it’s supposed too. It inspires, and lends real life to a fictional world. Like the previous two installments there is a wealth of background lore that staggers, you could probably spend months searching for, picking up and reading the tidbits of history, customs and art.
Finally in the plus column is the voice acting, which is no less than superb in most cases. Each region’s people have distinct and believable accents (Though the main “empire” being French seems a bit silly, I kid, I kid) that add to the credence of the world. Each character has a distinct personality and wonderful dialogue. As someone who has great trouble writing the latter, I am always impressed by such.
Now that I’ve been ranting about the games strong points I suppose I should touch upon it’s few weaknesses as well. I had a few issues from crashes in the PC version, but these happen in every game old to new, and they weren’t so frequent as to make me rage quit, though occasionally they did pick inopportune times to rear their ugly heads. Like I said earlier, the combat system is in my opinion the weakest link in the game. It’s repetitive, and a little boring at times, but the flashy graphics, and ease of use make up for it in the end. And finally, some of the side quests, as side quests often are, are repetitive, boring and at times terribly frustrating (no I don’t want to run around picking any more blasted elfroot damn it!).
Overall I have to give the game a resounding positive review, and if you have the money I suggest spending the extra ten dollars on the deluxe edition if not for the cool starting armor and weapons alone. If you have the cash Dragon Age Inquisition is a must buy for RPG enthusiasts, and action gamers alike. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be off losing another month to this game.