By Alaistair J D’ Souza
Dragon Age: Inquisition at its core is a race to unify a nation torn between its religious and political beliefs just in time to stop a common enemy that threatens the existence of all. Players assume the character bearing ‘the mark’ only to find out that are equally feared as respected by others in the community. Main story progression along with the abundance of side quests makes DA:I possibly one of the most entertaining games till date, players can easily spend over 100 hours if intending to complete the game along with side quests. From the studio that brought us titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the old republic and the Mass Effect series, Bioware delivered big time with regards to DA:I.
Is 100+ hours of playtime worth it for a game these days? (considering about 70 per cent are side quests),I’ll let the following help you decide if such a time investment is worth it or not, a robust yet easy to handle combat system which can be played out; either action rpg oriented or with an overview tactical layout, main story line of epic proportions, more than enough side quests to distract you from the main quest lines, tons and tons of lore in form of areas to discover, notes and NPC dialogues also unique dialogues available with the companions in your party. For any fan of the series Inquisition is a game which is an improvement over Dragon Age 2 and seems to go back towards gameplay like the first in the series, Dragon Age: Origins.
Simply put there Inquisition is a lot to cover in one sitting. It’s not odd to walk a few steps in-game and stumble upon either another quest or a treasure. The game has a crafting system which allows the player to make potions and other consumables that have varying effects from heals over time, poison status, aoe effects and much more. Various herbs and ores can be gathered during your travels in the land. There are also crafting formulas of armour and weapons to be found which when having the required materials allows players to make new gear and even rename it to suit their liking. NPC dialogue is well written and brings an interesting yet fun experience whether it’s meeting new people or getting re-acquainted. The choices made during a conversation can affect the way the story progresses in many ways. Players can meet with their advisors at the war room and set mission objectives to be handled in secrecy, the diplomatic route or rough it up with a group of soldiers. These segments can only be done by acquiring power points which in turn can be gotten by playing the game completing various quests.
Combat as mentioned can be either player as an action rpg which a button mash for the default attack pattern and abilities or pull up a tactical overview for the more strategic players giving options such as getting the party members to flank enemies to get the bonus damages associated with the move. I’ll admit button mashing is always more fun.
Classes in the game are the following, 1 and 2 handed warrior, rogue dual wielding daggers or rogue archer and mage. There are 4 races to choose from, them being, Human, Dwarf, Elf and Quanri. All the races have both male and female versions difference between the sexes being only cosmetic and have no change in the class/race abilities.
The visuals are absolutely stunning within the game. The vast environment in which the player spends ample time exploring or gathering resources beautifully constructed and hardly seem dull and repetitive at all. Even the npc’s at the various towns and villages are detailed and don’t seem generic. The various companions’ a player can gather and include in their party are all unique and quite detailed. Although player customisation seems a bit limited, it is yet sufficiently enough. Spells and explosions look even better especially if the game is run on ‘ultra’ settings. Sounds in the game are set at a high standard, voice acting for not only the main character as well as for the NPCs are quite decent.
This review has been based on the PC release of the game. Although DA:I has been in general a pleasurable experience it also has its share of bugs and annoyances some seem game breaking others seem to be fixed with a simple re-boot. Fortunately during the course of this review there wasn’t any game-breaking bugs, general practise is to always update to the latest patch releases of the game as the bugs will be ironed out.
Inquisition in short is definitive must buy for both fans and newcomers to the Dragon Age universe. Rated 7/10 for the PC version.