It has now been 3 years since the Dragon Age 3( DA:I ) was released. Although eclipsed by the releases of Fallout 4 and Witcher 3, DA:I still was a formidable and much anticipated game. I live in a country with a very low max download limit (60gb per month), purchasing this game near fruitless as it simply could not be downloaded. And although it is easier to buy pirated copies of the at one-tenth the actual price, I did not want to do it, simply because this i do not want to rob the hard work of the devs of their just due.
So when finally the net download limit expanded, I bought the game and played it. And while my copy of the game arrived, I replayed all the previous parts of the game. So i couldn't help but compare the the game with its predecessors. Graphically, it is exception and beautiful. The return of the massive, massive game map present in the first part of just too good for me. I spent a good amount of time exploring The Hinterlands (the first area unlocked), captivated by the volume of stuff that could be done.
And I was pleasantly surprised by the manner in which side quests appeared. Taking a leaf from Bethesda, in this game too, the more you explore, the more quests and secrets you witness. But i was a bit letdown on one aspect early. In the 2nd game, the mage characters basic attacks had the graphics designed to reflect the type of damage down ( which was here as well ) but also was a unique graphic that was exclusive tot that kind of damage. E.g, a spirit damaging staff, would sprout ghost claws and the combo end would have a fist. But in DA:I the combo graphics remain the same regardless, you shoot balls of corresponding element with a finisher of 3 orbs shot simultaneously. I loved that part of DA2 and missed it sorely in this game.
Thus over time, due to the sheer volume of stuff to do and things to happen, the combat can get tedious. So the the later quest of Orlesian throne was an excellent change of pace. An entire quest with barely any combat. Reminded me a lot of the Landsmeet in DA:O, the stakes, the two-faced politics and the quips. One of the most interesting additions to this game was the repetitive quest Sit in Judgement, where as the name implies, you sit in judgement of some being who tried to attack your group. One of the most hilarious points in the game, happen during this quest.
The story was excellent in this one as well. Bioware remains, for me, the best story teller in gaming world. Across all their games, each had a gripping and exciting story. But while its story was better than DA2, it didn't quite have the same impact as DA:O, but then again, barely any game does match to that gold standard. Only games that enthralled the whole of the gaming world could match it. But even though it wasnt quite at the same caliber of DA:O, it was still quite good. Plenty of humorous moments sprinkled across, as well as several serious moments to make you pause and weigh the various options.
The options of crafting weapons and armour as well as modifying them was an excellent addition to this franchise. Through crafting it was possible to craft end game weapons or armour well before the endgame. E.g, I acquired a bow schematic and crafted one when I had done less than half. The weapon lasted till the end, allowing me to acquire rare bows and sell them for money since these could not match the sheer damage output nor the stat bonuses of the crafted weapon. (For those wondering, it dealt 203 DPS and gave me 14% heal on kill)
Overall, the game was excellent, it had everything any DA fan would want, politics, quips, darkspawn, dragons, difficulty, party banter and of course, the option of being a qunari, A QUNARI!!!!!. You can even romance a Qunari companion!!!!. Only thing lacking, was the lack of connection to the previous games. Morrigan and Leliana both are in-game and even confront each other multiple times, but there was no reference at all towards each other. Like wise if you get Loghain or Alistair, there is no quip ( i know im saying that alot but its the most apt word) between the former companions of the Hero of Ferelden.