Dragon Age: Inquisition

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a game by BioWare Edmonton
Platforms: XBox 360, XBox One, PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 3
Editor Rating: 7.8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Dragon Age, Games Where Choices Matter, Tactical RPG, Love and Romance Games
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Gorgeous visuals and an impressive map to explore turn Dragon Age: Inquisition into one of the best RPGs of recent times. Developed by BioWare and using EA DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine, Inquisition is also quite the looker. Using the best elements from previous titles, this game manages to find a sweet spot between complexity and action.

For fans of tactical RPGs and grand adventures alike, there are lots of interesting things to see in the world of Dragon Age: Inquisition. BioWare seems to have taken the negative response to some of its previous titles seriously, but is Inquisition enough of a step forward to redeem the studio? Let’s find out.

Expanding horizons

For the first time, the land of Thedas is rendered as a truly open world. This eliminates some of the obnoxious linearity introduced in Dragon Age II, while it also introduces a couple of new problems to the mix. The open world is undeniably rich and visually impressive, but it takes some elements from MMOs that aren’t compatible with the single-player-focused experience that is Inquisition.

As you explore the map, you’ll come across dozens of sidequests that look straight out of World of Warcraft. These include eliminating X number of enemies or doing some other type of fetch quest. These tasks can become a nuisance for some players, but they’re not a must to continue the game’s fascinating story, so they act more like padding for players that want to keep having adventures in the world of Thedas.

Inquisition’s plot relies on some of the world-building from previous Dragon Age games. That said, Inquisition’s story is very self-contained, meaning that players can enjoy this game, even if they’ve never played a Dragon Age game before.

Brains and brawn

A common complaint that Dragon Age II received was that the game focused more on action rather than being a traditional RPG. The team behind Inquisition’s development seems to have taken that criticism to heart, and the game has returned to a more tactical RPG experience.

Tactical view makes a comeback to the series, allowing players to pause the action to plan out their tactics. They can also assign commands and scout locations for their characters, making the combat feel similar to what we’ve seen in Divinity: Original Sin.

Players can customize their character to fit into one of three classes: warriors, rogues, or mages. Each class functions like you’d expect them to be in any classic RPG, with warriors focusing on strength, rogues on dexterity, and mages on spells. Along with stamina or mana, players must also pay close attention to their Focus meter, which will allow them to unleash special attacks.

Final thoughts

While the exploration and combat are thankfully better than Dragon Age II’s, some of the most important elements of storytelling seem to be lacking in Inquisition. For example, most of your party members have little connection with each other, reducing the amount of banter between and, consequently, your immersion in the game’s world.

It’s these little things that make Inquisition feel like a safer bet than other classic BioWare games. Yet, it would be disingenuous to call this a bad game due to such tiny nitpicks. As it is, Inquisition is a step in the right direction for BioWare.

8.5

Dragon Age: Inquisition relives the glory days of BioWare, delivering an impressive world to explore and a solid gameplay experience. While some of its plot and characters might feel uninspired, there’s still lots to see and experience in this captivating game.

Pros:

  • Solid combat
  • Vast world to explore
  • Nice visuals

Cons:

  • Uninteresting characters
  • Mediocre plot and villains

Download Dragon Age: Inquisition

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

XBox One

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 4

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

In BioWare RPGs, players get most excited for the story--and Dragon Age: Inquisition is no exception. This third game in the series weaves a tale that capitalizes on the dramatic buildup seen across the first two titles.

Inquisition starts by sticking players in the middle of not one, but two civil wars. The first is localized to Orlais, one of five regions of Thedas, where the ruling Empress is in conflict with another noble faction who aims to overthrow her. Meanwhile, the seeds of distrust and contempt planted in Origins and Dragon Age II between the Templar Order and Circle of Magi look to finally bear fruit as the Circle goes rogue and the Order breaks off from the Chantry to wage war with them. This is easily the largest Dragon Age yet, and players will travel across all five of Thedas' regions for this second war, including those seen in the first two games, in order to restore order and save the people of Thedas from themselves.

It's not just about the story, though. Gameplay elements from the first two titles have been sewn together to create the definitive Dragon Age experience. Returning from Origins is the ability to fully customize your own character, with the Qunari debuting as a selectable race to go along with Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. Of course, which race you choose will affect much of the game, since different people have different prejudices--especially toward the Qunari, who are as polarizing as the Mages and Templars. The game will also offer two forms of combat for players to choose from: one inspired by Origins, the other by Dragon Age II's system.

Then there's the new Keep system, which allows players to control the forces of the Inquisition and gain more troops by conquering more Keeps, unlocking more sidequests and giving various resources over time. The romance interface has also been overhauled so that your actions on missions and during events--not gifts and dialogue--will be the key factor in determining what your party members think of you. Whether you're conquering keeps or capturing hearts. Dragon Age: Inquisition looks to take the franchise back to its roots while propelling it onto a new generation of consoles.

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