|With an accent like that, you've got to be from Lon- I mean Denerim
Well I've managed to play a good 15 hours of Dragon Age Inquisition and I've hardly made a dent in terms of the things I can do in this game (it's that large compared to its predecessors). I'm only level 7 and haven't actually completed any of the areas you're able to unlock after the introductory area called Haven. Anyway, now is a good a time as any to give a rundown about what I like and dislike about Bioware's latest RPG.
What I like
- Rich backstory: It wouldn't be a Bioware RPG without a rich backstory and once again Dragon Age doesn't disappoint in that department - although it's had two games in order to build upon right? In this Dragon Age you finally get to visit the kingdom of Orlais and learn more about the world of Thedas and its inhabitants.
- Voice acting: Once again you've got top quality voice acting here with the likes of Claudia Black, Kate Mulgrew, Brian Bloom, Ali Hillis (who played Liara in Mass Effect) and Freddie Prinze Jr. (who played James in Mass Effect 3), just to name a few.
- Music: I kind of miss the original Dragon Age theme and the Hawke Family Theme from Dragon Age 2. I think I still have a preference for Inon Zur's compositions but Trevor Morris, composer for Dragon Age Inquisition is no slouch either and while I haven't warmed to his soundtrack yet, it definitely has that epic quality befitting a series like Dragon Age Inquisition
- Beautiful vistas: There are some definitely beautiful places to visit in Dragon Age such as the cliffs of the Storm Coast or the many majestic waterfalls you'll come across on your journey.
What I dislike
- Buggy: The game is still pretty buggy. One such bug is disappearing NPCs which wouldn't normally be a problem but one particular NPC is an advisor on your War Council - so he's not exactly a minor character.
- Keep seems to have little effect on story: At least this seems to be the case so far - and this is 15 hours into the game. Sure, there's the line or two from NPCs that are directly impacted by the history you develop in the Keep but it doesn't seem like it has much impact on the current world. It might also just seem this way since in a game like Mass Effect, you're Commander Shepard in all games whereas in Dragon Age, you portray different characters. Consequently you're always starting off as a nobody again which means it's unlikely people will simply approach you and talk about how awesome you are - except for being the Herald of Andraste of course.
- Microstutter: I knew that using the Frostbite engine would have consequences. Just like in Battlefield 4 it seems that I am receiving microstutter during cutscenes (or framerate drops) and I'm not the only one. Thankfully, BioWare have been made aware of this and are investigating the issue for its next patch.
- Dragon Age: Skyrim: While Skyrim is a good game, I always felt it was way too large or diluted when compared to the rich storytelling in games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age or Knights of the Old Republic. Traditionally you weren't able to travel to as many places as you could in an Elder Scrolls game, nor would you be able to complete as many quests. But I always felt that this was more of a quality vs quantity trade-off. By focusing on less areas, Bioware could invest more into the story and especially characters of the game. While they still seem to have managed that in Dragon Age Inquisition there are a lot of boring fetch quests that don't really seem to do much except give you the opportunity to gain more loot - just like Skyrim. To add further insult you're even able to ride a horse - just because.
VerdictI'm a bit annoyed by the framerate drops during cutscenes but the game runs well enough during normal gameplay. While I don't like the fact the game is so huge now, it so far hasn't really come to a detriment to the overall story, so it seems like Bioware are saying you can have your cake and eat it too by accommodating for two kinds of fans. Dragon Age Inquisition has still got that Dragon Age charm (or classic Bioware RPG charm) that makes me want to play the thing non-stop - however unlike previous Dragon Age games, a lot of that time is spent collecting materials and crafting things rather than focusing on the plot.
[ LINK: Official Dragon Age Inquisition website ]