Sky is torn asunder. Greenish light pouring out of The Breach makes sky reminiscent of the dead flesh. Madness, chaos and death are crawling their way into the lands of Thedas corrupting the souls and minds all over the land. Mages open their hearts to demons, Templars look away from the Chantry and clerics forget Maker’s law using their power and influence for petty ambitions. Grey Wardens left Ferelden and nobles of Orlais are waging a civil war against each other. Even the stone of the Deep Roads is trembling violently; the Lyrium mines are crumbling. The Elder One is rising and only one power is standing against him: an Inquisition – ancient order, resurrected from the ashes of history. And you - The Inquisitor, Herald of Andraste, the bringer of Order, the shield that guards the realms of men (whops, wrong franchise). Help the people, raise a mighty army, bring peace and salvation to a world bleeding of red Lyrium! Also, find landmarks. Lots of landmarks. And shards – someone threw them around every location. Quarries and sawmills – we need those. Books. I Love books. Hey! Also, songs, open rifts, thrones, mosaics, bottles, astrariums (wait what?), mounts, seeds and agents. Did I mention that you suck if you won’t visit every region in the game? Even if there is nothing in that region. Why? Just because.
I had really high hopes for Dragon Age Inquisition. I enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins. Dragon Age 2 turned out to be something completely different, but it was still worth it (at least for me). Dragon Age: Inquisition? I’m not sure. There are many things done right in that game, but it has a huge flaw that makes playing Dragon Age Inquisition an ambivalent experience (for me it was almost unbearable at times).
What did they do right?
- Graphics and art style. Both are stunning, making world of Thedas alive. Really looking forward to play this game in VR (if it ever gets a support).
- Main storyline – short (around 40-50 hours), but good.
- Companions – diverse company of interesting characters. All of them with their own stories and quest lines, distinctive look and personality.
- Inquisition system – war table, operations and special quests. If one is into reading, they will feel that Inquisition is much more than party of heroes. Abovementioned organization is actually influencing the lives of the whole continent and player is the one pulling the strings.
- Dragon Age Keep system – world of Thedas is shaped by decisions taken in 2 previous games. I played my own version of DAI and I’m really curious how my decisions will influence a next Dragon Age game.
- Dragons. Fighting dragons is epic.
So why am I not happy with the game?
- Grand amounts of useless, dull, generic semi-content. Find all landmarks. Collect all bottles. Read all books. Collect all shards. Close all rifts. Move to another region. Repeat. 10 times. More with DLCs. It felt worse than grinding. Let’s say, main story + side quests (including DLCs) is 70 hours rough. I finished the game in 121 hours and 27 minutes. Meaning that I wandered the locations doing almost nothing enjoyable for more than 2 real time days and nights. Why did I do it? It promised to give me something – nice loot, cool abilities, a piece of story - something! When I realized that I was mistaken, it was too late. The loot was underpowered for my level, no special quests were unlocked, no secret characters, additional hideouts or flying mounts. Just going from one place on the map to another. For a long, long time. I didn’t complete everything. At some point I just decided to finish the story. Still need to find few bottles, regions, mosaic pieces, seeds, mounts, shards, songs, etc. Probably another 10 hours or so…
Should I bother?
Yes. But, by all means, just follow the main quest line and Inner Circle Quests. Do some side quests from time to time if you need more experience/influence/money, but don’t even start on collectibles. They will take lots of your time and won’t give you anything in terms of gameplay or story. And if you miss collectible lore you can always read codex entries online.
P.S.: Except the dragons. Hunt all dragons.
8/10 – main quest line + inner circle quests.
6/10 – game experience as whole.