250+ Hours of Dragon Age: Inquisition & How It Could Have Delivered On Promises

250+ Hours of Dragon Age: Inquisition & How It Could Have Delivered On Promises

The following post is this author’s opinion and does not reflect the thoughts and feelings of Fextralife as a whole nor the individual content creators associated with the site. Any link that goes outside of Fextralife, are owned by their respective authors.

Editor’s Note: For a different perspective, check out our Dragon Age: Inquisition Fextralife Review.

I have been playing Bioware games since 2003. I grew to love their company and how much thought they put into games. In 2010 I was given a copy of a friends Dragon Age: Origins to play. I loved the game. I ended up buying my own copy of GOTY when it was released. The one thing that floored me the most about Dragon Age: Origins was the story. I tried out all of the Origin stories and found I really liked the Couslands. The Dwarves were too political, the Elves were too racist and the Mages were depressing. At least with the Couslands I felt like my becoming a Warden was as much of a choice as a necessity. And that is what made the game great and why I loved the story: My personal opinion would not affect anyone else’s choice or how they played the game.

Premise of the Game and Promises that Failed to Deliver

Let us skip forward to the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition. This game was highly anticipated from the Dragon Age community and other gamers as well. We were told it would be a more “open” world with “real choices” and previous choices would be “mentioned” and have “impact.” Let’s look at each element of the game where these promises fell short, and how they could be rectified for future installments.

HoursDAI

World Design

  • Each “zone” is 100% static. Other than one zone the weather or time of day does not change.
  • 90% of each zone is not necessary for quest progression, the rest is fluff.
  • If you ride a mount your companions disappear which means no banter
  • Banter is so few and far in between it is a wonder they are even there- people have to download a cheat module just to hear it
  • There is so much quiet and almost no music that it becomes grating and boring- in fact, most sound files are less than 20 seconds long
  • There are no unique monsters or enemies– you get bandits, darkspawn and bears…oh my? What about scorpions in the desert? Lobsters at the coast? Birds that attack, because you know… swooping is bad. What about other animals in forest lands, wolverines, skunks (rather than attack they could give a funny debuff until you wash off), you know -something- or -anything- that adds to the feel of an actual living, breathing world.

So again I ask: How is this world “open?” It is not even dynamic. There are no changes; not one person, or area, seems to get better or worse or anything of the sort, everything is the same. It is a bunch of trees and open fields with very little meaning or substance. You find a hut in the middle of nothing except a widow who is bemoaning the loss of a wedding ring. Really? The loss of a wedding ring? In the middle of a war zone? Jeez lady. You do not even have a garden or herd of animals; how the hell do you survive here? What are you doing? Her response should be “I am here to fill up time for you. I actually mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.” A lot of empty, large and wasted spaces. Almost every enemy in the Hinterlands is a bandit or a bear. All of the rift monsters are the same. In fact, closing a rift is probably one of the most boring aspects and yet the whole game is centered around it. Why boring? It is tedious and just there to show off your shiny hand. The monsters do not even DO anything but sift around their tiny area waiting for someone to come near. They aren’t rampaging the country side, they aren’t inhabiting bodies. They just hop around waiting for.. you know, whatever it is rift monsters wait for. Hint: You can not close 90% of the rifts and still beat the game and no one cares.

Choices

Real choices? Do not make me laugh. What choices are there really? You are either mean to a person or you are nice. There are no “hard” choices besides Mages vs Templars. And who picks the Templars anyway? That whole quest is so obnoxious and filled with drivel and “blah blah mages are so evil” I would be bald had I pulled out my hair in frustration. And Cole was some weird typical emo kid that everyone loved and was really just a spirit who got stuck in the real world. Ho hum. His “foreshadowing” was obnoxious at best and meta-gaming at worst. There was no mystery to him, no depth, no anything. Glad I made him human, though, after my second play-through as his spirit side was ingratiating.

If I learned anything from DA:I in regards to choices it is this: It only matters who you slept with and who you did not kill. Nothing more, nothing less. In a game that should have something more dynamic it is static and cliche. It was a sad disappointment for this DA veteran. What is more, is that the game has set zones based on level, so you cannot even make the choices to go where you want, you are stuck going to the zone that is your level. Tell me how that is open? The game is even designed around an arbitrary “War Table” that makes you spend time waiting for someone to fetch you some minerals. Please. I modded that right after the first play through. I want to play the game, not wait around for 3 silver ore. I do not want to get started on anymore fetch quests than I have for fear of causing myself a brain aneurysm. Putting flowers on a grave of someone who died is a giant slap in the face from the game devs. I can only imagine them laughing as all the people scramble to help some elf. Tell me in what elven lore do they put flowers on graves? Is that not a human tradition? It was the most ridiculous fetch quest to include. Hint: Zero fetch quests do anything worthwhile or dynamic in your game. It is filler for you to scramble about doing the bidding of arbitrary characters that won’t remember you later.

How about choices from DA:O? Redcliffe made me quit the game for a week because of how poorly it was handled. If Connor lives you see him at Redcliffe and that is it. He is very sad and boohoo, poor me blah blah blah. No chance to recruit him, no chance to interact with him more. No talk about his father or mother or anything else. That was another disappointment to add to my list. And Redcliffe itself was a poorly designed town. Even with the Blight the town was changed in such a way that Bella was not at her tavern if you had chosen to give it to her as a choice in DA:O. So thanks for recognizing that choice, real awesome. Keeping Lloyd alive in DA:O was near impossible and yet…no Bella, no story about what happened to Lloyd, nothing. At least keep the tavern name the way it should have been!

Furthermore, why is the physical landscape so different than before? I really miss the coastal-hilled town from DA:O. What about Kaitly and Bevin? In my playthrough Bevin becomes a great adventurer. I would have loved to see him again, all grown up. Think about being able to romance a grown up Bevin, wielding his grandfather’s sword, tales of adventures that would shame Varric, interesting insights to the Hero of Fereldan… Some really missed chances  and opportunity in that story arc. How sad.

But do not worry, at the VERY end of the game when you talk to Morrigan you can find out what happened to Alistair’s or the HoF’s son. Get some closure there. So everyone can find out what happened to Morrigan but who cares? The child-thing didn’t even matter in the end because its power is taken away by Flemeth. So for all you people who romanced Alistair in DA:O do not worry, his one night stand turned out to have created a bastard son that did not cause the end of days or the rise of an arch-demon. What a great story that could have turned into rather than, “OMFG ELVES!!!”

So now that brings us to the races of DA:I. Since DA: 2 the entire series has been focused on elves. Nothing but elves. All of the forum posts I read were about elves and how superior they were and poor elven racism. I kind of understood it in the first game and hoped that by granting them some peace in the alienage it would help. Nope. Can’t have that choice. We need to make sure Solas stands sure and pristine in his hatred of all things not-elven. The elves hate humans, they hate each other, they use blood (in the form of tattoos) to mark themselves, they are distrustful, and constantly complain about how their life is crap. There is little to no change in all of Thedas’ history regarding the elves. By the time I got to DA:I I had begun to wonder if they didn’t actually enjoy their pity party. Both Solas and Sera act like their poo does not stink. One hates everything conventional, the others swears to have all the answers. And both hate each other and both hate anyone who disagrees with them. Sera would leave you, but Solas needs you; so he stays to the bitter end… out of pure spite and misery. How very “metal” of him. 

Dear Solas: You made the mess, got mad that no one else fixed it, came back to fix it, messed it up more and now you act like your own gift of salvation. Kindly piss off.

Flemeth’s end was sad and probably the only thing that made sense in the game if you want to believe that a bunch of Elven dieties had been running and ruining everything from the beginning. The story had potential but it fell flat and it fell cliche, again. So…great. Both Solas and Flemeth were once living beings and now they are possessed by lunatic spirits and technically abominations. Thanks. Glad that Thedas makes sense now. While Flemeth’s story made sense because of her Black Grimoire in DA:O, and the Asha’belanar bit in DA:2, I feel like she deserved more in the end. But whatever, this has to be about the elves right? Funny side note: at the start of creating DA:I the original hero was supposed to be human but fans were discontent over that so at the very last minute they changed it. You can tell by the choices and how people react in game that their push-back of 1 year was to accommodate fans while giving them no real substance. “Oh you play elf? We hate you. You play dwarf? We hate you. You play Qunari? We really hate you.” Insert facepalm here.

Combat

Combat in DA:I would be made more pleasurable if someone was pulling out my fingernails at the same time. At least then I would not have to facedesk for how clunky the controls are. I have always loved being melee in every game I pick up but this one. The sheer amount of clumsy targeting and movement is so frustrating that I have only played a ranged rogue. I refuse to play mages because I find that mages are made of silly. Throw a fireball, throw some ice or heal someone. It is boring. But I digress. The whole combat system is flawed in several ways. In order to melee hit someone you have to move around like a jack rabbit and constantly press shift, or was it control? To keep ON the damn target, not to mention how horrible the tactical camera is. Sticking with a bow I can at least stick to my target without worrying that I am not spam pressing a button just to hit something. To top it off: there is no challenge in any fight whatsoever. There is no rolling around to dodge something. Just move to the side. There is no charging or stuns or anything difficult. Even on the highest level of difficulty taking down a high dragon was as challenging as sneezing into a tissue.

Visuals

Maybe I could have forgiven the limitations of combat, if not for the horrible and ungodly visuals and armor meshes and deplorable hats in the game. Why is every single Chantry member wearing a phallic symbol on their head? Will someone explain who the hell thought that was a good idea?

hatsforeveryone

And why is every piece of my gear stuck with an eyeball metal chestpiece? I do not want an eyeball on my armour.

ProwlerArmorInquisitor

Cassandra is in stitches. Are you kidding me?!  Cullen is wearing raven feathers…what?! Shouldn’t that be on Leliana with her crow obsession? Varic always looks like Varric. Thanks for the chest hair peeping out.  And Josephine is wearing a cotton candy shiny puffy dress. Just gross. Sera, well, who cares. Sera is Sera, Sera wears what she wants. How about Vivienne’s hat? That woman is damn awful, I hate even mentioning her. I talk to her once in the entire game if I have to. Iron Bull is wearing Clown Pants and Blackwall has the only outfit worth mentioning that looks decent…but mostly looks like a pillow is strapped to his chunky frame. Cole has a giant flappy hat and looks like a zombie. Good job. Dorian has some great fashion sense. Tevinter is all about putting on the Ritz. Too bad I cannot get his outfit to be used on everyone. Sigh.

Hair? Hair in this game looks like painted leather over a head. Nice to know that the fans have made better hair. And they did it for free.

Faces…okay they got some nice skin textures and you can have fun with lip sizes. Too bad they hit Iron Bull with an iron bat of ugly and then took it to Vivienne’s cheekbones and then dropped a dead squirrel onto Blackwall’s face.

And what about the Nutcracker outfits the Inquisition members are forced to wear at the ball? And why is Morrigan still in the same outfit as DA:O? I just can’t go on anymore with the visuals in this game. The ONE shining factor of Inquisition graphics: You get pretty trees. Hint: You get better looking trees in games that are 5 years older.

NUTCRACKERSLOL

Storyline Villains 

Well, perhaps the main antagonist is interesting. Nope. The main antagonist is a character from a DLC in DA: 2. Wow. Way to drop the ball. Thanks for bringing in Corypheus as the most uninteresting bad guy since Dr. Evil. At least Dr. Evil had a dwarf sidekick. But no, Corypheus includes every villain cliche since the dawn of humanity’s writing. Maniacal laughter: Check. “Lets” the good guy escape: Check. Talks about misery and woe and how he will bring about the End of Days?: Check. The bad guy is dead but not really? Check and check. There is nothing new or exciting here. Big giant yawn.

thewholegroup

Skyhold

No, I do not want to spend the game adding arbitary designs and a garden. Nothing is functional, it is all aesthetic. I am also so very glad my arbitrary mount collection is able to house one mount at a time in the stables. Why even have mounts again? Bonus: If you are on a mount and want to drop off a cliff you will not die. WHEE FLYING NUGMOUNT!… sigh.

Other than Dagna’s room there is nothing to Skyhold that tells me “Personal housing.” Adding bits of banners does not a home make. Skyhold was boring at best and annoying at worst. I did fall through the floor once and I found a pumpkin there. That was funny but also annoying.

DLC

What about the DLC? Surely some of it is..interesting? The best of the additional content is Jaws of Hakkon. Jaws of Hakkon brings back the RPG wonder of discovering new foes, an intriguing storyline and puzzle pieces to figure out the story. No weird foreshadowing from half-spirit people, no maniacal laughing, no one bemoaning the use of magic. Just a straight up mystery with a lot of in-depth character content. I have a particular save intended for me to jump into playing that when I feel like staring at pretty trees and talking to the Hair-on-Fire lady.

Descent is okay. It is just a bunch of Dwarven lore which is not so bad, it has some interesting elements but you are stuck with another war table and a really stupid cog finding quest. The ending barely made sense. So Dwarves are magical, too. But only some and only in certain ways and the whole entire Thedas planet is probably twice the size of earth. Yay physics!

And of course, Trespasser, by which we can see what Solas really is: Not an elf at all, just some higher being who planted himself in an elf to take away your hand mark and do bad things to the world because he messed it up, didn’t like how it turned out and now wants the world to burn so he can start again. Yawn.

What Could Have Been

Jeez, is there anything that would make this player happy? For starters, the combat controls need to be reworked. The fun part about DA:O was the various options and choices and yes the combat camera to position your party. In DA:2, the quick combat made fights more interesting. If DA:I could revert something to a previous game, DA:O with the outlandish amount of choices with the quicker movement of DA:2 it would have felt a lot better. In addition to a refined combat system, here are some targeted points that could be focused on for future installments of the series:

  • More Customizing!: Weapons and armour need to be updated and given choices in what to wear. The tinting system, while interesting, only recoloured the same 6 outfits in game, there is room for improvement. And seriously, create some better freakin’ hair.
  • Mounts: Either we can all mount or no one mounts.
  • Characters: Stop dressing them like clowns, allow them to be who they are not who we think they should be. Dorian is a fantastic example of a character with more shades of colour than any other character since DA:O. He has a genuine want to help the people, all the people, and his sexuality is a side note. Make more characters rich and believable.
  • Choices and Story: No matter what kind of graphics are in a game, RPG gamers want a story. They want something that leaves them hanging, makes them think, even shed a tear or bust out a laugh. Modders are great at shelling out graphics, but what we need is a good story. Shooter games and adventure games are a dime a dozen, but RPG’ers come back for the story. In DA:O we saw several different beginnings with tonnes of outcomes. If EA brings anything back I hope it is that.

What are your thoughts on Dragon Age: Inquisition? For all the content it has, so much of it is polarizing for players. Have I been too harsh? Too forgiving even? Let me know your opinions in the comments!


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Not just a gamer, but also a wife, mother and modder. I cook like a mad scientist and read books like they are candy.

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65 comments on “250+ Hours of Dragon Age: Inquisition & How It Could Have Delivered On Promises”

  1. Solaris68B says:

    :) It`s been a while since a laughed so much reading a review! I cannot comment about Dragon Age: Inquisition, since I never played it. And probably I will never try it. The first reviews about the combat system turned me away. I read a few user reviews since DAI was launched, but yours gave me a better perspective about what Bioware is considering "the future of RPGs". Well, this future is a borefest.

    The storyline seems idiotic from the start. When BW first described the general idea for DAI I was skeptical, since Inquisition was associated with persecution and mass torture in Europe, and has a similar negative meaning for Thedas: mage-killing gangs "cleaning" Thedas and making it a "better" world. Of course, when the Chantry realized that new mages will continue to be born all around Thedas, not just in Tevinter they enlisted the killers and made them prison guardians and occasional raiders / assassins. What sane person with even a hint of rationality would consider a mage child some punishment for their sins when they are as likely to be born in any family without regard of belief, social status or morality is beyond me. How was the Chantry able to balance the contradiction between their view about the Maker and the fundamental "sin" of mages is another wonder.
    Fast forward and BW introduced us to another Inquisition. Can anyone explain me who in the game was hit hard in the head to come up with the name "Inquisition" for the ad hoc organization tasked to close the Veil and get rid of Corypheus? And just how hard that blow in the head needed to be? I understand that a human raised with the Chantry teaching has a chance to accept it, but an elf, dwarf or even worse a qunari? I really don`t get it. How any mage will accept an alliance with something named Inquisition and supported by the Chantry is beyond me. And in the end all this mess leads to another Divine, and long live the New Chantry…
    That for me is a fundamental flaw from Bioware.

    Compare this with the original Grey Warden order. They wanted to end the Blight and nothing else. They freed themselves from any bonds of status, religion or race. Finished the job, and that was it. When they realized that darkspawn did not disappeared completely but the rest of the world did not cared about this, they carried on in maintenance mode, ready for any new crisis.

  2. Avatar AngryFrozenWater says:

    Pouring 250+ hours in a game that you don’t like seems odd to me. You should really have invested your time into some other game.

    You have an extreme negative opinion about DA:I, which doesn’t invite me to raise another opinion. I will compare DA:I shortly to the other two games, though. I’ve given my thoughts about DA:I somewhere else. I saw some flaws too, but I also saw many improvements over the other two games. For me it is even hard to go back to DA:O, because it didn’t age well. DA2 is my least favorite in the franchise for a long list of reasons.

    The only points I like to repeat are the ones that affect BW as a whole: The writers seem to have lost their magic more in each new title and there is no consistency in a given franchise. The company wants each franchise to have its own identity, but fails to do so, because it gets most of its influences from other games, with which it wants to compete. They’ll add MP not to add a great experience, but it’s main purpose is that it allows a hidden form of DRM. This results in games following trends and not into innovative games that push the market into new experiences. It is again a sign of a corporate culture driven by fear and insecurity, which is visible in their games and in their relation to gamers.

    Edit: I think you have too many disclaimers. It is your opinion, don’t apologize for it. Even Fexelea has her own opinions, which she ventilates without any disclaimer. I would also object to any editor’s note, no matter how innocent or objective. It is you who writes the article and not the editor. But if you agreed to that then more power to you.

  3. Avatar Elhanan says:

    I have invested 1100+ hrs in three full campaigns, and have a fourth session currently underway. I do not consider it wasted, as I have enjoyed the entire series, though none of them are perfect.

  4. Avatar Tarshana says:

    – thank you for noticing my tongue in cheek comments. I meant the post to be entertaining and different than the usual "well the game sucks.." I do not think the game just "sucked" but rather I could not enjoy it and felt it did not live up to what the game devs had given expectations for .. which brings me to … I put in those hours because I was so sure I was missing something to the game. The only thing I knew before buying it was what the game devs, aka Bioware, had stated about the game. I did not read any reviews and I had not read the forums. I wanted to have my own experience without prejudice. I figured "maybe I am playing the wrong class?" "Maybe the wrong race?" and realized to my dismay, no.. I just could not enjoy the game.

    good! I am glad you are enjoying the game. Part of my post is "I really hope other people do enjoy this game.. I do not fault them for enjoying it." While it was not what I wanted in a game, I did get 265 hours out of it lol .. well and more now that I am updating the wiki :)

  5. Avatar Tarshana says:

    Edit: to AngryFrozenWater – I like to be diplomatic about my opinions and foster an environment where if someone disagrees they will not feel invalidated by posting their own point of view. I want to be as balanced as possible and give fair consideration. It is just my way :)

  6. Avatar AngryFrozenWater says:

    250+ hours is a large time investment. Going through that in a game you don’t enjoy does not compute to me.

    BW is a company that sells their games mostly based on hype and most of the time what they promise will not come true. You’ll often hear that you shouldn’t judge a game until it is released or on what others have to say about it. I think that’s nonsense. As a customer you have to get your information from some source, because you cannot buy any game out there. You have to make choices. Slowly the simple thought that this is true for BW games as well is making progress under the BW fans. By now BW actively needs to seek a new audience, because a lot of the old fans have jumped ship.

    I bought DA:I because I saw that some of DA2’s DLCs improved upon the game. Based on that, I wanted to give the franchise one more chance, but I had very low expectations. To my surprise I liked the game and invested a silly amount of time in it. That doesn’t mean I think the game is flawless, though. It could use a lot of improvements, but I enjoyed what was there.

  7. Avatar Tarshana says:

    Sometimes I do read reviews but not often.. I want to be surprised :D I figure that I could always just refund the game but I was determined to find a redeeming quality. I do not find it illogical. I once spent 3 years learning how to Fence and I fail at it like crazy, but I really wanted to learn. For me, I like to try things over and over just to get all the angles and really make sure I do not like something rather than dismissing it.

  8. Solaris68B says:

    I understand perfectly your viewpoint:)
    It happened also to me with the first Witcher game. I read Andrzej Sapkowski`s books (quite good and humorous, borrowing a lot from Stanislaw Lem`s style) and I liked the story. But I did not enjoyed playing it. Tried it several times then I gave up. I`ve spent maybe 1/10 of your time investment but it`s the same thing.

    For me a combat RPG needs a good balance between the world building (including lore, politics, interactions), the overall story, quests, development of PC/NPC`s and combat. If any one of these is elements is really weak I`ll quit playing. But most important is immersion.
    DA:O shined because of the personalized story (the 6 origins were an amazing idea) and good world building. The important quests were good, some excellent. The rest not so. Development and combat was good with some problems.
    What made DA:O unique were the special events – your origin, the Fade quest in the Circle, Redcliffe siege, Urn of Sacred Ashes Gauntlet, Landsraad, Battle at Denerim, killing the Archdemon and even the final celebration. And a few more.
    These events are what we remember after finishing a game, not the 538th fight in the upper left corner of Dungeon 37. Now, what have all these events in common? Deep personal / emotional involvement. Deep game immersion.

    This is why I liked also DA2, even if was weaker than DA:O. How many such events exists in DA:I? How important these are for the overall story?

  9. Solaris68B says:

    About relevant in-game choices: There are two types of such ones used in DA trilogy.
    (1) The decisions / choices you make that have future consequences in the game
    (2) Consequences carried over to the next game.

    The first type is limited. The second has no real meaning other than a clever device to increase sales.
    Let`s discuss the first type for DA:O. The extent of your decisions is: who will join you against the Archdemon. You can have elves or werewolfes, Legionaries and Golems. Your second GW can be Alistair or Loghain. And that`s it. You cannot kill both Harrowmont and Bhelen as a dwarven prince and take the throne. You cannot let Eamon to die and replace him with Teagan. The game won`t let you. More importantly, you cannot mess up the entire campaign, gaining no allies and facing the entire horde only with your companions, and die. BW did not designed the game this way, because it means making several games instead of one, and probably only a few doom-seeking players would have played it to the end.
    Compare this to strategy games like Civilization or Heroes of Might and Magic. In these games you can lose in many ways. But I never played a RPG as such. Of course your hero can die randomly in a fight. But not as a result of a failed/doomed campaign.
    The rest of your choices has no consequences. For instance, you can save both Isolde and Connor, or just one of them. Eamon will not refuse to aid you. All these decisions are for emotional involvement (immersion).

    What about the consequences carried over to next games? These have no real effect in your campaign. You can encounter a Harrowmont noble, Amaranthine conspirators, Danyla, Zevran, Nathaniel. Or not. You can meet Alistair as a drunk or as a king. Or not. But DA2 main plot and every important quest will stay the same. In Awakening you don`t have Royal Guards if you are the HoF compared to an Orlesian GW. The dwarfs are the same regardless who is King in Orzamar, and you don`t have a company of dwarves or legionaries at the Vigil Keep. Nor a company of Elves if you are a Dalish GW and the Dalish were gifted Brecilian Forest.
    All these carry-overs are meant for new players to buy the previous games (let`s see what`s the story behind these conspirators). Or on a lesser extent to appease loyal players.
    If you have played IWD and IWD2, you can encounter some former NPC in IWD2. But the developers made the right decision to make the two games a generation apart.

  10. Avatar mentalbutsafe says:

    Spoilers abound

    I agree with your assessment almost completely, Inquisition may be one of the poorest attempts at a sequel to a beloved RPG series since Fable 3. At no point in time did I enjoy playing the game in my 100+ hours of playing it.

    You see, I am one of 22 who actually liked Dragon Age 2 and felt it was a more enjoyable game than the original. While the original had an epic story with great design, its combat was just not up to snuff no matter how many options they gave you (my preferred RPG combat being Dragon’s Dogma). 2 had a personal story (extraordinarily rare in a fantasy RPG) with mediocre design but fun and fast-paced combat, which resonated far more with me. I wanted Bioware to take the design and complexity of origins and mix it with the story and combat of 2 in order to make a truly legendary game, but what I got was a greatly watered down origin’s story with no hint of its design along with a mockery of 2’s combat and strengthening of its simplicity.

    First off, the story is trash: why is the inquisition more like a freaking school club than an actual military force? Its like "hey, I know you’re the inquisitor and should only be doing administrative and political work, but can you fetch some stuff for me?". Heck No! Do I look like an errand boy to you? Why don’t I get one of my companions to do it? Apparently I can’t because they’re all too moody, fricking ingrates. Fine then, just point me to the bad guy and let me go ham on him. What’s that, I can’t because I don’t have a large enough military force? How big of a military force is needed to take on some old guy with a terribly weak dragon? The game forces me to ask all these questions and many, many more because its not a story made to be experienced, its one made to distract. Compare that to 2 where everything you do, for the most part, makes sense. "I’m going to take on jobs to make money in order to keep my family safe." "I’m going to kill the Arishok right now because he is a threat to my livelihood." "I’m going to side with whoever in order to survive the city wide cleansing going on."

    Secondly, the design is bad. While there are many examples that could be brought up, I feel the most significant offender here are the choices; they don’t really matter for anything. None of the choices from the previous game nor even this one have a significant impact on the world at all. 2 had this problem as well, but at least it didn’t lie to you with stuff like the tapestry and war table. Even one of the most important choices in the game, to drink from the well or not, is rendered inconsequential by the end.

    Third, the combat. I’ll just repeat what my cousin said: "They have MMORPG combat for a single-player game."

    Fourth, and lastly, the presentation is flawed. While the game world looks good, the characters just don’t. Quinari don’t look scary enough, dwarves not tough enough, and especially elves not majestic enough. All the humans look like they are wearing poorly made wigs and the monsters, and I don’t know how they managed to pull this off, don’t look as good as they did in the previous games. Why does every character from this game look unattractive yet the characters from the old ones that show up here do. Its a mess.

    To conclude, just play the Witcher 3.

  11. Avatar Elhanan says:

    Right, because TW3 does not have Geralt act like an errand boy doing minor tasks. Plus, he seemingly is already a moody ingrate; no need for such companions.

    :rolling eyes:

    Personally love that Bioware chose to have Cory appear again after Legacy; my top choice going into DAI. And this old man with his Corrupted Dragon seems to kick around most of Ferelden and Orlais for a suitable period of time before the final encounter. As for choices, while it was fairly easy for me to leave Stroud behind in the Fade, apparently some had to choose between Hawke and Alistair; a much more difficult decision.

    Combat speed is much better then the previous titles; faster than the sluggish 2H warrior of DAO, but slower than the plastic looking 2H swings of DA2. And while I have only played one MMO, combat was much different. Setting up combos as a Mage was quite pleasing; a reason they are my fave class in DAI. Plus the versatility in design also seen in DA2 remained, so choosing a Mage again felt like wearing a fave tee.

    As for presentation, the characters look so much nicer than the glassy eyed characters of DA2; a title I also enjoy, but admit it has flaws. But since most of this is subjective, and our opinions, I prefer to let others decide, like the ones that made this the GOTY for 2014.

  12. Avatar vometia says:

    As much as I loved Inquisition, I can’t really quibble with much of what you say! It’s a great game, but it certainly has, erm, its own personality, let’s say.

    And those bloody shards. D:

  13. Solaris68B says:

    This is high degree manipulation. To state "I prefer to let others decide, like the ones that made this the GOTY for 2014" means to me: "only those who voted for GOTY 2014 has any right to judge DA:I".

    When you make a decision to buy a product, like a phone, computer, car you are implicitly making a judgment, comparing the offer with your needs or preferences. No matter how many awards a product has won, I won`t buy it for this reason. That`s only publicity for me.

    DA:I is not a game for everyone. Many RPG players like Inquisition, many don`t. For Bioware it`s good thing to have a large pool of enthusiastic and satisfied DA:I players. For me it doesn`t matter. For instance, I never play 1st view shooters. Those games are simply not for me. I prefer to play strategy games instead. The same about the Whitcher series or Skyrim. I like team based combat RPG`s because planning battles and thinking through them is what keeps me interested. I won`t torture myself with 50-60 hours of combat for 3-4 hours of story. I`ll read a fantasy book instead.

    I skipped DA:I, Witcher 3 and played Pillars of Eternity for many hours. PoE it`s not better than the other two, just different. But it has those elements which makes me interested.
    The main problem Bioware faced by changing Dragon Age concepts with each new game is: fans of previous game(s) wanted to play the new one(s). Many of those unhappy with DA2 were DA:O fans. The same for DA:I. Bioware has to live with this reaction.

  14. Avatar Elhanan says:

    No manipulation required; said this was my own GOTY in my review at the time on Amazon, and also included the flaws I saw at that time. I skipped PoE because I am not a fan of isometric party games (eg; still have yet to play the BG series, though I own them). And while there are many that did not care for DA2 or DAI, same can be said for DAO, which is my fave title after NWN1.

    My opinion does not carry any more or less weight than anyone else, but I will include my voice with those awarding DAI the GOTY award.

  15. Solaris68B says:

    I understand. I never owned a GOTY edition of any game. Are these different from the standard ones?

    I played both NWN games, but never finished BW`s NWN1. I`ve got bored halfway through the original campaign because of the lack of a proper party. The henchmen were no substitute.

    PoE is not perfect. Has a good story, looks great for an isometric game (hand-made background, nice light effects). Combat and gameplay is improved after the last patches. But very slow compared to even DA:O – think about 3 times slower. Heavy armor slows your attack speed by 50%, crossbows and firearms have to be reloaded… It drove me nuts until I figured out how to change this. It`s possible to make it almost as fast as DA2 with some weapon improvements and talents. But it`s not for everyone. No video cutscenes, only text. And a lot to read.

    It can be nice to be able to enjoy DA:I. I don`t feel any worse by not playing it. I can understand DA:O fans complaining about DA:I because they wanted to enjoy the entire trilogy. BW designed it this way in order to be in line with other contemporary games. Maybe it`s marketing strategy, maybe this is the kind of game the new BW team likes to play.

  16. Avatar Tarshana says:

    I am with you on enjoying DA:2 because of the combat system and I really loved the storytelling part. I did not need 100% new landscapes everywhere because it was a story and I was reliving it, making some choices for Hawke’s personality. I always thought DA:2 must have been an expansion for DA:O, like "Dragon Age: The refugees" but it was put into a second part of the game because BW had been absorbed by EA at that point. The combat was a lot easier to deal with. And I am in agreement with the visuals on the people of DA:I. Everyone was drooling over the trees and landscape while the people looked like as you described them. And I had not thought about the Inquisition as more of a social club but yeah, sounds about right. You know what zone I really did enjoy in DA:I.. The Fallow Mire. It was short, to the point, zombies, but with a tonne of clues to find and side stories of the people. It was breathtaking.

    Funny note here: I have not played much the Witcher games but I own them all and all the DLC’s and stuff because I love the company :D

    The year 2014 the only nominess for GOTY was Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls II, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hearthstone, and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Hearthstone is a card game, how is that going to compete? Dark Souls II should have won imo but most people cannot handle how difficult the Dark Souls games are. It will be hard pressed to win a GOTY because of the amount of dying involved lol. So there was no competition for 2014, unfortunately. Or rather, not strong enough competition.

    Bayonetta2: Hack and Slash Game
    Dark Souls II: Action game with RPG elements
    Hearthstone: Card game, akin to Magic: The Gathering
    Middle-earth: Shadow of Modor : action game

    There were no other RPG’s up for GOTY.

    I did buy the GOTY edition because it came out when I finally had time to play the game. the GOTY had all the DLC included for a smaller price than buying individually. None of the armour packs, I do not remember, though, and some extra mounts. OF WHICH NO ONE BUT ME COULD RIDE.

    Just to reiterate: I am glad people found use for the game, or enjoyment. I sometimes believe that humans will go to any length to justify certain decisions. I bought the game and I put in a LOT of hours to make my purchase worth it. Unfortunately I did not like it. C’est la vie!

  17. Avatar Tarshana says:

    But he really did not do anything. Most of the issues were Mages vs Templars and he did not come in until the end. His manipulation never hurt any of the general public he only affected mages or templars depending on who you pick and some Tevinter fanatics. And Tevinter always has magic issues does it not? And what of Orlais? Pfft. They have been killing each other for decades and love playing The Game. His little interference only delayed the inevitable. He was very cliche in every movie villain out there :( I could forgive that if Coryphius had been a non paid for character. That is just a low blow to the people who do not want to fork out another x amount of bucks for a game they already paid 60$ to play. I still have no idea who the hell Sebastian is and I think Felicia Day has the most obnoxious voice ever so I would never buy that DLC either. So anyone who did not pay for Coriphyius..(I can never remember his spelling) were thrown into DA:I thinking.. who is this guy? So basically a person has to pay the 15$ in order to have a story on him and know who he is without getting spoiled by reading guides or wiki’s. That is not cool :( The in-game story by Varric is very thin and not very well spoken.

    Again, I do not fault you, or anyone from enjoying the game, nor do I want to invalidate your perspective on the game, but this part here was especially important in my personal game play and an addition to my disappointment in DA:I.

  18. Avatar Elhanan says:

    Depending on the location, Cory did a lot. And the Mage & Templar war was brought mostly to a halt early, before the events at Skyhold, I believe.

    Cory and crew took slaves and used them as fuel, aided Darkspawn and Tevinter, released demons and undead on the populace, planned world domination, killed the head of the Chantry, ransacked populated areas for artifacts, etc. All these kinds of things were done in most areas, but were especially seen in The Lion, Emerald Graves, and The Exalted Plains in Orlais.

    Sebastian is not key to DA2, but the cameo from Leliana in that DLC is helpful. But MotA and Legacy were both worthy of the costs, at least for my many playthroughs. But all that was revealed was the background of Cory, which is repeated in DAI, so one did not miss anything, other than some specific details; certainly nothing of key value.

    Plus I admire Ms Day as possibly the hardest working female gamer in entertainment, though we differ on non-game issues. I think her series as tallis was fun and informative; glad to see her as a temp companion.

  19. Solaris68B says:

    This is the most hilarious moment from Mark of the Assassin:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOJ6V3Urxdo” rel=”nofollow

    Only available for a clever (sarcastic) Hawke. That Hawke has some other crazy comments in MOTA. The only part that sets MOTA apart is the stealthy infiltration of the castle. I kind of missed stealth in DA2…

    There are such scenes in DA:I ? I am curious if BW kept the humor angle. It was good since BG.

  20. Avatar Elhanan says:

    As an aside, the OC’s from NWN1 are not the main draw, though Hordes of the Underdark is quite good; tis the mods, on-line campaigns, and Persistent Worlds made available with the included Toolkit, and DM & Player’s Clients. I was part of an on-going campaign for five years, played scores of mods, and visited PW’s up until recently, though I still visit the forums. That is quite a lot of content and longevity for a game released near the start of the new Century.

  21. Avatar Tarshana says:

    You could not pay me to listen to Felicia Day’s voice. I would rather punch her.

    >.>

    Edit: there are some humour elements in DA:I. Notably when you tell Solas to suck a lemon and punch him. There is also a really stupid "funny" sex part with the smushed face of Iron Bull. Your war table team catches you guys having sex in a room with no roof and broken furniture (seriously?) and then laugh at his penis.

  22. Avatar Elhanan says:

    The banter between the Mage companions is amusing, as are some of the insights from Cole.

  23. Solaris68B says:

    pointed me to an interview with BW founders from 2011, describing their vision about RPG. Emotional experience was very important for them. For a successful RPG the most important thing is the impact of that FIRST play-through. When every part of the story is brand new, and every twist of the plot leave its mark. This is when we decide: "I like this game!"
    BW knew how to deliver high emotional impact in the first hour of gameplay. Think back to BG1. In every game they made this happened in the Prologue: the main character was subject to a traumatic experience that set the course of the game. I liked this idea. This is what made DA2 memorable for some players. An event with a high emotional impact has deep consequences in our mind. There is a little book "Paranoia" by Daniel and Jason Freeman describing how such an event can make us change our worldview.

    I don`t know how well it was done in DA:I. I remember some comments and player reviews considering DA:I prologue as dull. It is true?

  24. Avatar Tarshana says:

    There is no prologue. It a character creator and "hey, here you are, we have to figure out why a mark is on your hand."

    I have to disagree about Cole. He meta-games he does not give insights.

  25. Solaris68B says:

    I don`t like Felicia Day’s voice either. Her choice for MOTA was a minus for me also. I knew nothing about her previously, so I bought MOTA…
    But Hawke`s reaction was crazy. Aveline also has a comment like: we usually kill only about 95% of the things we encounter…


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