The Grand Inquisition

Written by Jon Sutton on Fri, Nov 28, 2014 3:15 PM
Where does Dragon Age 3: Inquisition rank in the list of the most demanding games?
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Ah BioWare my old friend, we meet again. After that Mass Effect 3 ending and the disappointment that was Dragon Age 2, it appeared that almost all enthusiasm for BioWare’s projects had ebbed away, never to be seen again. It would be fair to say not many expected great things from Dragon Age: Inquisition, with more than a few keeping their eyes firmly fixed on the imminent arrival of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Well, I hope you didn't blow your cash on something else in anticipation of DA:I not being all it was cracked up to be, because BioWare is back with a bang, delivering one of the most engrossing RPGs of our time.

 

The polar opposites that were the last two Dragon Age titles have been slung out the window, and in its place Dragon Age: Inquisition stands apart. It’s a sprawling, deep, and fascinating return to form that epitomises the spirit of adventure, for many of us the reason we fell in love with role-playing games in the first place.

 

The opening of Dragon Age: Inquisition is an imposing one. You’d best hope you’ve been brushing up on your Dragon Age knowledge because within a matter of seconds you’re spiraling down a deep, deep, rabbit hole of lore, a place where not knowing your Hurlocks from your Armored Ogres can result in a swift death. It can be overwhelming, but the Dragon Age Keep can help you no end, while the 100+ hour adventure will have you spouting fluent Tevene in no time.

 

The Never Ending Story

 

Dragon Age: Inquisition is set just a few short weeks after the events of Dragon Age 2, and the Mages and the Templars are busting each other up in a civil war, all the while a massive explosion tears a rift in the multiverse and has demonspawn flooding in. The player, as Inquisitor, must rally the troops of Thedas and explore the vast lands of Ferelden and Orlais, beating off an ancient force that has made its way into the world, gaining additional allies and growing in strength.

 

 

 

Ultimately its overblown plot is just the window dressing for the real nitty gritty, which is the adventures you’ll have and the eccentric characters you’ll meet, spinning yarns of distant lands and dark secrets. BioWare’s impeccable characterisation rings true here once more, whether having a chat with the brutish Iron Bull about his spy-hunting past or a chinwag with Solas, the self-taught mage with a wicked wit. Meandering your way through these characters can open all new questions and missions, bringing in new companions and earning upgrades that makes for a ridiculously addictive gameplay loop. It’s not long before hour upon hour has been whiled away in a single area, as you prod and probe at all the secrets contained in the world around you.

 

While out and about everything you do has a distinct purpose and offers practical advantages, whether its exclusive weapons or armour, upgrades for the Inquisition, new allies, mounts, or unlocking entirely new areas. Every single corner of the world is filled with things to do, and everything there has a place and and a reason for being. A simple quest can see you sidetracked for hours as you stumble upon fascinating landmarks and hidden caves, urging you to have a peek around just one more corner. The sheer amount of stuff you have to do ensures you’ll never quite know where to head next, as Dragon Age: Inquisition gets its claws into you from several directions simultaneously.

 

Worlds Apart

 

Stretching across many varied landscapes such as the searing deserts of Orlais, the rain-lashed coastline and the tranquil woods of the Hinterlands, Dragon Age Inquisition has both a huge and incredibly dense world. Not dense in the sense of Ubisoft: The Game, but packed with varied and viable content that you will want to do off your own back. There are about a dozen huge areas to explore, with many smaller areas contained within. The first area alone can occupy you for upwards of 6 or 7 hours, and there’s many more like it, putting Dragon Age: Inquisition in the same ballpark as Skyrim in terms of sheer landmass.

 

 

If Dragon Age 2's small-scale was the antithesis of everything you love then you're in luck here. It's easy to get carried away but everywhere you turn there's things you just can't wait to do. The side-quests for the most part are top notch, and can lead you down treacherous new paths and reveal secrets in areas you previously though conquered. Many are capped off with those all-important moral choices, and most are designed to show you something new. Sadly there are a few that verge on MMO-like, asking you to collect 10 pelts or to go and fetch something, but thankfully there's so much else to do that these can be easily passed over in favour of something else.

 

That's Fighting Talk

 

So the world’s great and BioWare is most definitely back in its groove, but the combat is also shining here. While a slight improvement on Dragon Age 2, you are limited to a choice of just four races and three classes. Luckily my ever-reliable pick of a Dwarf Rogue is available which made things pretty straightforward, but it’s certainly lacking a little bit of flexibility. The three classes on offer are Mage, Rogue and Warrior, which is about as straightforward as it gets, although multiple skill trees allow you to specialise them further. Who you choose matters little in the end, because you’ll inevitably have all your bases covered by your various party members. 

 

Combat operates much like Dragon Age: Origins, granting you a tactical overhead view as well as the standard third-person action camera. The overhead view's going to be your friend here, and it’s here where you’ll be able to try out your more advanced tactics and dish out orders to all of your party members effectively. It’s slightly simplified over the previous titles, giving you less control over advanced party tactics, but it does speed the process up somewhat and keep things ticking along. BioWare has also taken the bold decision to remove any healing magic altogether, relying instead on a shared pool of potions that will need constant restocking. Characters don’t even regenerate health between fights, so it can really upend the dynamics when you’re forced to place such a huge focus on limiting damage.

 

 

There's so much to go into in terms of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s world, characters and content that ultimately boggles the mind. It’s a wonderful experience that deserves to be experienced as freshly as possible, so we won’t spoil too much of what it entails. It’s a grand adventure in the truest sense, and a great comeback for the blockbuster RPG, delivering upwards of 50 hours of content for the main campaign alone, and it feels like we’ve barely managed to scratch the surface of everything there is to offer in this world. Fans of BioWare and RPGs in general can do no wrong with this, one of the most outstanding games this year.

Pros

  • Awe-inspiring world
  • Sense of adventure
  • Great writing

Cons

  • Fetch quests
Score

9.5

Exceptional

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00:27 Dec-26-2014

Great game! I do have some random crashes but overhaul, easily top 10 RPG's for me.

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17:06 Dec-08-2014

Easy GOTY for myself. Loved Origins, didn't mind DA2 (it was meh, not terrible like people would make you believe; the negativity came from disappointment as a sequel) and I'm so glad I decided to take a plunge and pre-order DA:I. LOVE IT!

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13:26 Nov-29-2014

this review makes me wanna play the game! :D
is it that good? worth a buy?

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08:38 Dec-30-2014

worth it!!!!

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21:52 Nov-28-2014

hmmm.... thats it, must order ASAP!!

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19:36 Nov-28-2014

I'm just now really getting into this. I was switching between this and Far Cry 4 (which is hard to step away from because it's so damn fun), but now I feel more immersed in Inquisition, so I think I'll finish it first, or at least get to a good point where I can pause, and then step back into Kyrat again. Now that Assassin's Creed Unity has been patched again, I might give it another shot, but it probably needs more patching, so I might give it a while longer.

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13:48 Dec-02-2014

Hey is far cry 4 worth buying?I loved far cry 3.I have read far cry 3 was better then far cry 4.So should I go for far cry 4 or Dragon age Inquisition?

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08:43 Dec-30-2014

that's depend on how u wanna spend time for playing...
for me personally i choose DA:I instead FC4..been 30 hours but just found Skyhold (the HQ of inquisitor) the side quest really makes me busy here :)

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19:03 Nov-28-2014

Games amazing level 11 only 42 hours played not even done max level is 27 !! just got to the part where u unlock the Inquisition mark power and omg new cut scene lands just omg you guys are going to love this game 10/10 from me can't wait to continue it.

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17:24 Nov-28-2014

Up until my 10th hour I wasn't so sure but ...... the game is just dragging me in now, the world and all the possibilities seem to be endless .... control system still needs work but I heard BioWare are already sorting out a patch due to the complaints, Game Of The Year .... could be :D

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19:11 Nov-28-2014

True, the first area can seem a bit dull with the fetch quests (like saving that Drufallo that gets stuck everytime :P). However ones you are in your new base you get you much more options and acces to a quite a bit big and fun side quests ;)


I'm at 75 hours, maybe half way now :P


Definitely GOTY for me ;)

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19:21 Nov-28-2014

Wish I weren't working away so much so I could actually get stuck in like yourself haha

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21:07 Nov-28-2014

Haha, lucky that I had two weeks with nothing :D

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21:09 Nov-28-2014

I'm waiting for Xmas, 3 weeks off, do some serious grinding then :D ..... No spoilers in the mean time thanks haha :P

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17:13 Nov-28-2014

Never had played any of the dragon ages, just because had never heard about it. After the release of DA:I i bought the DA origins ultimate pack and DA 2, just to play the whole story line. when i finish the game and my new rig i'll buy DA:I

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16:44 Nov-28-2014

Possible game of the year??

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16:42 Nov-28-2014

46 hours and still haven't finished the game..

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15:53 Nov-28-2014

9.5??
Damn, I definitely need to take a look at this game!

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15:51 Nov-28-2014

Awesome! At least I know it's going to be great when I win it on Monday! ;)

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11:05 Dec-01-2014

Haha, I like your confidence :D

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15:50 Nov-28-2014

Its banned in my country,but ive been watching every single youtube gameplay video of this game...and its still amazing to just watch,thats how awesome this game is.But sadly this is my fate,never to play DAI,but spectate :),btw CSGO DREAMHACK IS GOING ON TILL 30th,u can watch all matches in game for free,im doing that

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16:23 Nov-28-2014

Which country do you live in ?

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18:23 Nov-28-2014

India

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10:33 Nov-29-2014

It's because of gay/lesbian scenes, right? What a shame...

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12:42 Nov-29-2014

Ahahaha yeah i cant believe how this is a problem, sure i despise homoseksual but thankfully bioware give the player options to choose to do it or not, if the player doesnt like it just choose otherwise, noo need to curse the devs for adding that to the game just ignore it if you dont like it

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