Dragon Age: Inquisition Review

An experience of dynamic magnificence with plenty to do.

Posted By | On 01st, Dec. 2014 Under Article, Reviews | Follow This Author @DanteandSpardaX


I

nter-dimensional rifts, thousands of people slaughtered, and stuck in the middle of a civil war in which you’re being held accountable for. Dragon Age: Inquisition literally starts off with a bang, and it waste no time whatsoever in getting the player up and running and making meaningful decisions that will have an affect on the rest of the game.

Tied down in chains, awaiting execution all because you bear a supernatural scar on your hand that emits a neon aura, identical to that of the explosions and the dimensional rifts plaguing the lands. It’s not even been ten minutes into the game and you’re already sweet talking your way out of a bad situation.

It doesn’t help much either since your character has no recognition of what just happened and can’t remember anything prior to that day. After a few short words and a disagreement here and there the player is left to explore the game’s world and learn how to play, as they interact with their party members and participate within the game’s main missions.

Playing as the leader of a team rather than taking the game on solo is mandatory. And the game’s mission structure, mechanics, story arc, and character progression system, all make excellent use of this feature.The fact that my party members nominated my character to leader status with no knowledge of she (or he) really was, in order to solve the problems and troubles of the evils that now sweep the land just because she wears its symbol, didn’t really make much sense.

DragonAgeInquisition PC 5

"As entertaining as the story is and how it partly succeeds in blending player choice with the overall narrative of the game, this isn't to say the game's perfect and doesn't fall off at times."

Twenty minutes prior to freedom my character was the prime suspect for it all and was fined with a death penalty. But because of the fancy green light show swarming from her wrist she’s now been appointed as leader?

Looking at the situation from a rational point of view and it’s clear this would have never happened, but in the context of giving the player choice as to how the game will play out as he or she makes decisions that will influence the story, which is largely what the game’s about, I can see where this fits in.

As the game’s story continues to progress you eventually see where this starts to mend itself in regards to the grand scale of things, as well as how the rest of the game plays out upon finishing the first hour of the game. This leads in to an element of power and awareness in regards to the main character and what he or she does within the game’s world. Both of which grow dynamically as the player roams across the land and participates in the game’s missions.

As entertaining as the story is and how it partly succeeds in blending player choice with the overall narrative of the game, this isn’t to say the game’s perfect and doesn’t fall off at times. Certain events that take place in regards to the game’s use of cut-scenes did fell contradictory at times. And because the game has a story that’s it’s desperately trying to get across, the player’s decision can sometimes feel invalid, although this is usually just a rare case.

Dragon Age Inquisition PC

"Dragon Age: Inquisition lends itself well to both fans of RPGs and for those who dislike. Taking on combat mechanics similar to that of a hack 'n' slash game, players can engage in battle just by hammering away at their opponents, while at the same time being given enough weapons and items to make use off, without feeling too overwhelmed."

Dragon Age: Inquisition takes itself seriously and the character personalities in the game reflect this. The use of dialogue and immersive landscapes filled with it’s marvellous sights and expressive civilians that populate it, all do well in creating the atmosphere for what the game is trying to communicate towards the player.

Everything feels well placed and well designed, making it easy to just sit back and explore appreciating the game for all it’s entirety and it’s emphasis on detail and creativity. This is also where the RPG roots that the series was born from kicks in to play.

As players engage in story missions and side quests they’ll soon find just how much relevance they have to one another, due to the the game’s management system and player progression rooting from the player’s interaction. In short, the more the player does the more becomes available to discover and engage with. Although Dragon Age: Inquisition holds itself more to the genre of a tactical RPG, which means for those not too keen on the genre will most likely give the game a pass. I highly urge them to rethink.

Dragon Age: Inquisition lends itself well to both fans of RPGs and for those who dislike. Taking on combat mechanics similar to that of a hack ‘n’ slash game, players can engage in battle just by hammering away at their opponents, while at the same time being given enough weapons and items to make use off, without feeling too overwhelmed.

Dragon Age Inquisition PC

"Playing through the majority of the game in it's action-centric perspective, I found the game to be more enjoyable. Experiencing the game using the top-down perspective and it's clear this feature is catered to the use of a mouse and keyboard, rather than to that of a gamepad, which I suspect veterans of the series will be proud to see."

While there is a character levelling system in place the game also makes use of an auto-upgrade feature that can save players the need to manually do so. For those who prefer a much more strategic approach to battle, players are able to switch between the game’s alternative viewing mode on the fly.

This switches things around in to a top-down perspective so that players are able engage through turn-based actions, while switching through each of their party members and sending out commands. This adds a nice touch to the game and keeps things feeling fresh and dynamic that will cater towards two different audiences.

Playing through the majority of the game in it’s action-centric perspective, I found the game to be more enjoyable. Experiencing the game using the top-down perspective and it’s clear this feature is catered to the use of a mouse and keyboard, rather than to that of a gamepad, which I suspect veterans of the series will be proud to see.

Using a gamepad in this mode is by all means possible but it’s not something I would like to recommend as it can become somewhat frustrating. It feels as if you’re not meant to either, even if the console ports utilise this feature as well.

Dragon Age Inquisition

"Another interesting feature that the game incorporates into its combat mechanics is the assignment of item usage and actions, that the player's party will adhere too given a certain situation. This is known as as AI Tactics and it can be applied to all members of the party."

Another interesting feature that the game incorporates into its combat mechanics is the assignment of item usage and actions, that the player’s party will adhere too given a certain situation. This is known as as AI Tactics and it can be applied to all members of the party. An example of this would be the way in which health potions are managed.

Ordering one of your party members when to use them and how many to carry is fine. But taking this one step further as to set-up a tolerance level for how much damage they can take before they automatically use it on their own, as well as how many should be distributed to each of these characters is another level of depth entirely.

This allows the characters to take care of themselves rather than being needy and having to be resourced managed just so they can keep up with the player’s main character. This also makes its way into the combat mechanics as well, as the player is able to prioritize the team members actions as to who they should target during a battle in order to help each other out.

Dragon Age Inquisition

"Characters respond, interact, and change their ways, based in relation to the player's own choices. And this is evident within their facial expressions, attitudes towards the player, and other options and thoughts that they'll point out in regards to the objective at hand."

All of this adds a real sense of dynamic behaviour to the game and doesn’t have the player worrying about poorly functioning A.I. behaving incompetently. The characters that players will come across within the game as well as those within their own party all  play a convincing enough role in appearing important to the game’s main story, as they seem relatable when interacting with the player’s main character.

Everything these characters say and do comes across as believable and justified within the context of the game and within their own motivations and personalities. Interacting with characters takes place through a scroll wheel identical to that of Bioware’s past titles, most popular of which being Mass Effect.

Characters respond, interact, and change their ways, based in relation to the player’s own choices. And this is evident within their facial expressions, attitudes towards the player, and other options and thoughts that they’ll point out in regards to the objective at hand.

This directly affects the way players can go about their missions as it provides choices and attempts to adapt to the player’s style of play, while still remaining in reference to the mission at hand. Every greeting, activity, and bond that forms with these characters are a joy to experience and make everything you do within the world seem meaningful and worthwhile.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

"The player is rewarded in the form of skill points and item looting that can be used for crafting goods and raising the stats and abilities of the group."

Safe to say that player choice is everywhere in this game, and given the large amount of things to do within its world a linear mission structure would’ve been a plague upon it’s gameplay mechanics. Within the game’s gigantic and highly detailed world there’s plenty of locations to visit, objectives to fulfill, and quests to complete for the NPCs that populate.

Engaging in these missions can take anywhere from up to ten minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the task at hand as well as the requirements that the character may need to meet in order to interact with it. Working alongside these characters as they battle of hordes of enemies, both human and mythical alike proves to be another rewarding experience.

The player is rewarded in the form of skill points and item looting that can be used for crafting goods and raising the stats and abilities of the group. Free to customize weapons, armour, clothing, and gear, the only thing that’s limited in this respect is the player’s starting class which is decided from the beginning of the game during the character creation screen.

These range from saving family members, locating items, dispatching off higher powered enemies that threaten others, hunting wild animals, and raising your reputation throughout the different lands in the world. While some of these side quests are available from the get-go, others will be unlocked the further the player progresses along the game’s main story arc, met certain requirements, or completed side missions prior.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

"Engaging in these missions can take anywhere from up to ten minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the task at hand as well as the requirements that the character may need to meet in order to interact with it."

While some of these quests and challenges do play a role within the game’s main story arc and do a brilliant job at keeping things in reference to the overall goal. There will be a few missions that players will sadly come across that are nothing more than boring unwanted fetch quests, that do little to nothing other than overstaying their welcome.

Quests of this nature aren’t too frequent however and the majority do well in keeping the player entertained and immersed within it’s world. Thankfully the game’s characters have a real sense of life and personality to them and play a decent enough role in convincing the player of their troubles and the threats that befall the game’s world.

Given four choices of human, elf, dwarf, and qunari, each race has their own background story that plays a role in how they’re perceived by others within the game. Further along the aspects of creation include character classes, which is something rather standard to RPGs of this theme, the player can decide from an archer, warrior, mage, or a rogue. Each with their own different sets of abilities and specialties for taking on enemies within the game.

Along with a fistful of choices for character appearance ranging from eyes to nose, mouth to ears, jaw structure and hair colour, the only thing I was restricted from really changing was the character’s height and weight. But since the game does such a terrific job for allowing the player to customize almost every other aspect of their character, those two variables did not mattered.

Dragon Age Inquisition

"Exploring a large and magnificently designed world filled with mythical creatures and immersive environments has never looked quite so amazing."

Players can expect to find themselves in this menu from anywhere to ten minutes or even up to an hour, if they’re that specific about creating their ideal character. Spending around thirty minutes down to my own curiosity of how far I could push the game’s insanity, and to see what crazy combinations I could come up with, I settled on red-haired elven warrior. Pretty with her eyes, but merciless with an axe.

Weapon variety comes in the form of blades, bows, staffs, axes, daggers and the like, with each weapon type requiring different character levels, money, skill points and so on. The game delivers enough choice here and the player should have no problem finding a weapon suited to their liking. Crafting items in conjunction with weapon choices that give rise to character perks and abilities that can stun, freeze, and disrupt enemies, make every battle enjoyable.

Due to the large variety of weapons and variations in the game almost every enemy encounter has the possibility of feeling new and refreshing. Depending on what character class the player decides to go with is something of the obvious as to how their character will mostly behave within the game, and what types of weapons they’ll be better geared towards. But since the player has control of the entire party they’re sure to experience everything the combat has to offer.

Exploring a large and magnificently designed world filled with mythical creatures and immersive environments has never looked quite so amazing. Using a colourful tone of deep saturated colours that pop and glisten, while giving the player something new to experience throughout a large variety of settings and landscapes makes Dragon Age: Inquisition something of a spectacle masterpiece.

DragonAgeInquisition PC Graphical Settings

"Dragon Age: Inquisition summed up in a word is best described as massive. Every aspect the game delivers to the player is packed with depth and choice."

Ranging from bright windy deserts, wet and rocky beaches, deeply vegetated forests, and icy mountains cliffs are just small example of the highly immersive world that players will find themselves travelling through. Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition on the PC with it’s graphical settings dialled to the maximum and running at a sweet sixty frames per second in 1920 x 1080, the game looks beautiful.

Fortunately for those with lower-end systems the game is highly scalable and provides enough graphical options to tweak with, allowing players to tailor the game to their own personal preference. Texture quality, shadow quality, tessellation, and mesh, are just a few to what the game has to offer. Along with an internal resolution scaler and support for AMD’s mantle API, this is clearly a game that’s been paying attention to it’s audience and for what PC gamers desire and expect above the console counterparts.

Dragon Age: Inquisition summed up in a word is best described as massive. Every aspect the game delivers to the player is packed with depth and choice. The world is is large in scope and there’s plenty of people, enemies, and creatures to interact with. And best of all character progression never seems to be on pause. The game is immensely dynamic and the amount of activities to become involved within is near infinite. Dragon Age Inquisition is amazing.

This game was reviewed on the PC.

THE GOOD

Plenty to discover, enough to keep you busy, and visuals that make your mouth water.

THE BAD

The story falls short at times and given it's explosive introduction, I hoped the game would keep this momentum.

Final Verdict

Dragon Age: Inquisition is the game fans have been asking for having feeling displeased with Dragon Age 2. The amount of depth the game entails is best experienced through hands-on hibernation in which you never leave your room, ever, ever, again. Massive!

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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