Dragon Age Inquisition is the “third” entry in Biowares hit generic fantasy RPG that breaks new ground by putting you as an Elf Dwarf or Human who must go around rescue maidens, punch trolls, stab goblins, battle Dragons and vanquish demons. However when the series went from a standard fantasy epic to a small character focused piece, stuck in one grimy medieval city people began to complain. However the new game is here stretched across hardware both old and new.
Thus the two questions we need to answer are: is this one any good and is it any good on the outdated hardware us peasants are still struggling with. For I shall be reviewing, as you can tell by the title the PS3, version which I assume to be much the same as the Xbox360 version now that we are not arguing over a few megs or pixels in face of the next step in gaming evolution.
Okay so the basic plot of this game reads like many other fantasy tales to come before. A huge hole has opened up in the sky killing the head of the holy order and causing rifts all over the world through which monsters are pouring out. Somehow when this happened you ended up with a slight case of amnesia and a glowing crack on your hand. It seems that you are the world’s best hope and thus find yourself drafted to fight alongside a stoic elf, angry Templar and friendly dwarf to make your way back up the mountain and chuck things into the hole to see what happens.
Like a J Michael Stazinzky storyline however what started out as the main goal is tackled well before the end as the story grows beyond your expectations with twists I won’t spoil. Well except to say that holes in the sky didn’t just make themselves.
You can customize your character to reflect your race, gender and preferred fighting style though this doesn’t alter things too much. Consider it more like Mass Effect 1 where you will trigger a few extra words and phrases on your run through rather than Dragon Age 1 where you got a whole different intro to play through and were limited by what endings you could achieve.
Now I feel I need to state that I didn’t hate Dragon Age 2, in fact I would go as far as to say I liked it, oh I know all the complaints people had about it and I agree with most of them though I still hold that the idea of setting all the action in one city and following temporally instead of by location still sounds like a good idea. For those that didn’t like Dragon Age 2 though they will be glad to know that Inquisition does almost everything in its power to avoid being anything like that game and that leads to a few complaints from me. Now while Dragon Age 2 was a bugger for repeating dungeons and locations Inquisition spreads you out over an area that I will guess to be bigger than either of the first two games. In fact a lot of people are stating that the starting area for Inquisition “The HinterLands” is bigger than all of Dragon Age 2 combined. In fairness I will say that while I haven’t measured it I will say that I think this could be at least a slight exaggeration. Though that means it isn’t much of an exaggeration and I can easily see why people are claiming that which means that for all intents and purposes it’s a as good as true. And the ‘HinterLands’ are not barren by any stretch of the imagination, there is much to do from quests both big and small and a load of games of hide and seek with shards and mysteries dotted about. This also isn’t done in a Grand Theft Auto kind of way meaning that you either have to hunt high and low or roll the dice on whether you find them but instead the map is covered like a lego game showing you where most of it is from the off so that you can try and plot your route from one side of the map to the other to tick as many off as possible. That isn’t to say that there aren’t a few more quests hidden around or some random drops of loot and temporary camps for you to pillage. This leads me not on to the complaint I said I was going to make several lines ago but another plus point for the game at least over the Mass Effect series which always alerted you to an upcoming battle by removing all the NPCs and leading you into a wide open warehouse where a number of chest high walls stand between you and the end. This time combat can come at any point both on the roads and off and as I said before there is typically a small camp nearby that gives the game a nice organic feel as though the bandits were not placed there merely to give you something to do.
The other maps you come across are notably not as big or as cluttered as the Hinterlands map though they do offer you a bit more in the way of plot and character. Yet you still can’t help but feel that it leaves the game somewhat front loaded and not in a good way with the notion that you have to plod through this entire area without much rhyme or reason presented. That isn’t too say that the game locks you down here until it says otherwise just that for many the natural belief will be to cover it all before getting distracted by something else down the road. Not that it is as easy as that, something I shall come back to but I have touched upon the plot and characters and feel that I should say a bit more.
However due to the size of the review and the fact that I always want more hits I shall be breaking this down into two parts with the link for the second going HERE.