Wot I Think: Dragon Age – Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition might just be my favourite game released this year. Considering my expectations and relationship with recent BioWare games, that’s about as likely as Saturday night’s soggy kebab being my favourite meal of the year. I’ve spent almost sixty hours uncovering as much of Inquisition’s enormous open world and intricate story as possible, and as soon as I have a few days free, I’ll be spending another sixty or eighty hours seeing it all through new eyes.

Before digging into the details, here’s an overview of what Inquisition does. What is the base of the game that I’m so enthusiastic about. It’s a sprawling, well-crafted story, with an intelligent approach to its world-building and the inclusion of player choice in the deconstruction and reconstruction of that world. A comparison to Shadow of Mordor is relevant – a game with which Inquisition shares mostly surface detail, and one striking approach to its treatment of questing and discovery. Both games have maps that sometimes look to be cluttered with the UBIquitous icons that overcrowd some of their contemporaries, but both ensure that the player doesn’t feel like a janitor, cleaning up collectibles.

Mordor engages by means of a world in motion, with the nemesis system at its heart. Monolith’s mechanical overhaul of open world conventions is precisely the sort of innovative leap that I hope to see fine-tuned and translated into new settings. It’ll be odd playing Far Cry 4 next week and realising that a specific elephant in the world will never become my sworn enemy, cropping up three hours after our first encounter with an attitude problem and a proposterous name. Babar the Bruiser, with a voice like a week-old Irish whiskey. I want the families of GTA NPCs who I mow down during a chaotic chase to seek vengeance and hunt me down where I live, or make entire city blocks a no-go area for my careless carjacker.

DA:I’s approach will be much harder to replicate. It’s a game thick with merits and while there is no single innovative idea that stands out like Mordor’s implementation of the nemesis system, instead almost every feature and piece of content is delivered at the highest level of quality. It’s as much an embarassment of riches as the invaluable collection of Count Duckula erotica that you stand to inherit from that one elusive uncle.

That’s not to say Inquisition is anything more than an excellent piece of genre fiction. It’s a fantasy RPG, with clever embellishments, and the good work that its developers have done is very much contained within recognisable parameters. BioWare have pushed the boat out but it remains within chartered waters, navigating them with an enviable apparent ease that can only be achieved by a crew working with intensity and precision behind the scenes. It’s that intensity and precision that will be difficult to replicate rather than the particular course taken.

Inquisition’s regions are open for exploration and are (mostly) enormous and thick with quests, monuments, collectibles, characters, campsites, eye-catching details, roaming enemies, snippets of history, shards, crafting materials and wildlife. There’s a preposterous amount of things to do, many of them seeming to be little more than distractions from the storyline, but the majority are interesting. It’s almost as simple as that – make the content interesting and the proliferation of icons isn’t distracting or overwhelming – it’s promising.

Not quite that simple though. The game’s strongest moments are tied to the main quest line, which is the usual story of a world in crisis, but with the added intrigue of an agency undergoing a difficult reincarnation. The Inquisition of the title is a new entity based on an organisation with a dubious historical legacy and as well as spending your time gallivanting around the wild arts of the world, you’ll be convening with your war council at the snowy outpost of Haven to plan your actions on the grander stage.

The war council is made up of characters with their own personalities and stories. They’re not quite like the allies who hurl spells and wave axes in your adventuring party, but you’ll grow to like/love/loathe them as much as any close companion. Initially, their purpose seemed slightly obscure – they can undertake missions by directing them toward points of interest on a world map, but these take place unseen, with a textual result delivered the next time you check in at the council.

A certain amount of time (real time) must pass before a mission concludes, which led me to believe they might be optional means to accrue bonus gold and equipment rather than a core part of the game. That’s sort of true, although as the story progresses, decisions to deal with characters and events through diplomacy, espionage or military means have consequences beyond binary success or failure.

The War Council isn’t a particularly complex addition but it ties in to Inquisition’s broader themes so neatly that it takes on a significance beyond its nuts and bolts implementation. While you do get to play the hero in DA:I, you’re responsible for the reputation and operations of the Inquisition rather than a simple party of adventurers – there are political, social and religious rifts to ponder, as well as the slightly more pressing matter of physical rifts that open up onto the demon-infested Fade.

Let’s talk about the heroics first. Your character is chosen from four races and three classes, and after a brief slog through the preliminary necessaries (tutorial, prologue, swift exposition dump) you find that you may be The Last Hope for the peoples of the world. A breach has opened in the sky and threatens to devour the entire world. With a mysterious mark on your hand and a groan-inducing spot of amnesia, you find that only you have the power to slow the growth of the breach, and to close the many rifts that have opened around the world, like scars in the fabric of reality.

Simple, right? You’re a sort of olde world ghostbuster, zapping demons and closing portals to the nether regions. Well, quite, but things are complicated by the rebellion of the mages and the dogmatic brutality of the Templars. There’s a war brewing and the fallout is terrible – refugees, slaughter, starvation. It’s a miserable world that you wake up in after your encounter at the Breach and, worst of all, the Breach itself was a major catalyst for all of the animosity.

It opened, you see, during a meeting between mages and Templars, a peace summit led by the Chantry, the world’s most powerful religious organisation. The Breach blew it up – the peace summit that is. And most of the Chantry, including its leader. As the sole survivor and someone with a peculiar ability to influence the rifts and Breach alike, you’re considered a villain by some and a sort of Messiah by others. You are the Herald, a legendary figure that most people seem reluctant to believe in, particularly if you happen to be (as I was) in the form of a dwarf, a creature born and raised outside the society and belief systems that the Herald is integral to.

By making the player character a figure tied to religion, history and politics – through his/her nomination as the Herald and the Inquisition – BioWare rephrase the usual hero’s story. In the politest possible terms, fuck your character arc. Or, at least, relegate it to the background. Nobody gives a crap if you want to be gritty and renegade-y, or if you’re the most virtuous, dimple-chinned bloke in existence. You are trying to save the world from going to hell and the decisions you make, the big ones at least, will be difficult because everyone seems to be in conflict with everyone else.

Most people seem to lack respect for what you’re trying to do and then there are those who do respect you but have inflated expectations. You’re the Herald after all, right, so why aren’t you getting things done? The brilliance of your personal story is that it happens as a backdrop to the events you’re caught up in. There are friendships to forge and romantic relationships to kindle, but they flow more naturally from the higher level decisions and observations you make.

Yes, there’s the occasional awkward dialogue choice popping up seemingly from nowhere – “Let’s get to know one another better. Are you seeing anyone?” – but even the occasionally daft sexy chatter usually serves as more than fanservice. For all of its conflict, the world of Dragon Age has a far broader range of social norms than many places on Earth and there’s a gracefulness in the handling of that which I haven’t noticed in previous BioWare games. Inquisition explicitly states characters’ preferences and prejudices in a way that can feel empowering or crushing, and there are far bolder and subtler approaches to sexuality, discrimination and religious faith than I expected.

As I write that, I can’t help thinking that, yes, at one level it is a game about dwarves and elves bumping uglies. Sure. But it’s a bloody good one and finds wit, charm, excitement and smarts in the conflicts of its setting.

I haven’t explored every romance in the game because I’m in a committed and stable relationship, and would probably need an extra 100 hours to play with, but there’s barely a dialogue option, quest or scene that doesn’t add to the understanding of an individual or culture. Everything happens for a reason, even the ‘collect 15 pieces of meat’ quests.

There are fetch quests of that sort but the beauty of the game’s structure is that they are what happens while you’re doing more important things. You can’t walk for a minute in any direction without finding something to do, which means if you don’t like whatever’s currently on your plate, you can head to the next buffet table just over the crest of a hill. And that thing you didn’t feel like doing? Maybe you’ll end up completing the task in passing, while concentrating on other things.

The basic flow of the game is to build up the Inquisition’s power by completing important quests – gathering allies, solving regional problems and the like – so that new areas can be explored on the world map. Once you step into a fresh region with your party, the process of gathering power begins again and completing a couple of big story missions should be enough to unlock the next area.

In reality, the flow is disrupted by the many distractions on each map. If I head north to recruit the horsemaster I’m likely to end up exploring the area around his farms to flush out some rebel outposts and then, oh, let’s track down the source of the wolf problem, which happens to be next to a rift that I could seal while I’m hereabouts and, hey, is that a mysterious ruin, I wonder what’s inside…

You could probably spend thirty hours on the first major region alone and it wouldn’t be time wasted. Even when details are incidental, they’re well-crafted. The Codex is a delight, containing oodles of lore in all manner of forms. There are poems, songs, pornographic pamphlets, letters, speeches, manifestoes and chapters from books of Demonology. Not all of it is particularly exciting but like almost every part of the game, down to the finest detail, the texts feel like a legitimate figment of the world, contributing to a cohesive and fascinating whole.

The writing is supremely confident with only the smallest spattering of fantasy bullshit. Mostly, it’s relatable social and political topics, religion and rebellion, faith and failure. With a chosen one who doesn’t necessarily know if or why he/she IS the chosen one, and becomes as much a point of division as of togetherness, there’s a tantalising sense of the unknown. While all the elements of the story might be familiar, the whole thing, from start to finish, has its surprises and stings in the tale.

It’s often complicated, deliciously so, and there’s enough freedom in how to handle it that the world feels more open than even its vast geography might suggest. There are flaws, of course, and I reckon some people will have a much more critical view of the combat. On easy mode, most of Inquisition can be approached as a hybrid RPG-action game, with only minimal prods needed to direct party members while you hammer away at special skills and basic strikes in the thick of the action.

On normal difficulty or higher, the tactical mode is necessary for fights against dragons and demons alike, and even bands of rebels can be a pain in the backside (they love to flank and strike at unprotected rears). With a camera that refuses to zoom out much higher than a dwarf on a stepladder, it’s not the most useful tactical mode in existence. Sure, it pauses combat, allows you to set orders (though not to queue a string of commands) and inch time forward with the push of a button, but it’s functional at best.

The lack of a full overhead view, showing every combatant at the same time, is baffling and flicking between targets is frustrating and occasionally confusing. It’s a shame because in terms of class abilities and resource management, there’s a neat squad-based skirmish game here, but it’s somewhat obscured. Despite that, I smiled from ear to ear every now and again when I paused the fray and felt as if I were looking at models in the world’s most lavish tabletop RPG.

Even though it doesn’t fully explore the full extent of its own somewhat limited tactical options, Inquisition never quite allows its combat to become an afterthought, although if your main interest is in the narrative adventure rather than the hacking, slashing and spell-flinging, the easy mode is your friend.

It’s impossible to cover everything. Crafting will absorb hours of some players’ lives, with different types of several materials available to mix together, creating new weapons, armour and potions. I never deliberately went on harvesting trips but still ended up with enough loot to make a few swords and sets of armour, although they were often slightly creaky and crap because I wasn’t paying enough attention to all of the numbers. I was too busy trying to snog an elf.

I haven’t enjoyed a BioWare game this much since Baldur’s Gate II and I haven’t enjoyed an RPG this much since…well, Divinity: Original Sin. Ask me to choose between them though and I’d throw sand in your eyes and run a for the hills clutching them both to my chest.

Is this really a Dragon Age game? I didn’t manage to finish the first, despite liking it well enough for a good few hours, and I’ve only spent a couple of hours with the second. Nothing had prepared me to expect a game so richly realised and solidly built, but here it is. One of the worst things about it is that hair sometimes looks like a hat and almost every moustache and beard resembles a comedy prop. I can live with that and have even learned to find it amusing.

Knowledge of the previous games will let you in on some inside whisperings and jokes, but there is nothing in the lore or the narrative that Inquisition doesn’t take the time to explain. And most of the exposition is kept to optional dialogue branches and written entries in the Codex, so you won’t be pummelled by it.

It’s self-contained, despite drawing on so much history that has already been written – much of which is affected by player choices in the previous games. Those who aren’t up to date with the series or have lost data can make all those choices before they begin. And everyone with the slightest interest in dungeons, dragons or dialogue should begin. With Inquisition, BioWare have handled the narrative and consequence of conversation and action with more assurance and depth than Telltale, while also constructing one of the finest and most forward-looking CRPGs ever made.

And I’m as delighted and surprised as anyone.

Dragon Age: Inquisition releases tomorrow in North American, the 20th in Europe, and the 21st in the UK. And later for Japan, for some reason. They have to wait.

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  1. OliverM says:

    Well, this is a nice surprise. I enjoyed DAII, though I never bothered playing out the final scene. It’s great to see Bioware reach the heights of Baldur’s Gate 2 again, something I’d been looking to Pillars of Eternity & Tides of Numenera to accomplish.

    • MisterFurious says:

      This is just one guy’s opinion.

      • Buuurr says:

        Maybe so….but if I’ve come to know something from reading RPS its that it is usually an accurate opinion.

        • tur1n says:

          Should I supply you with a link to the Fallout New Vegas WIT?

          • Buuurr says:

            “Buuurr says:

            Maybe so….but if I’ve come to know something from reading RPS its that it is usually an accurate opinion.”

            Grammar Joe says, ‘Always re-read, Kids!’

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            Actually, please do!

          • Astroman says:

            Some one requested this.
            link to rockpapershotgun.com

            The screen shots look nothing like my copy of New Vegas, made me wonder if he reviewed the console version.

        • Hex says:

          Not to mention Banished.

          And the Banner Saga.

          • Buuurr says:

            “Buuurr says:

            Maybe so….but if I’ve come to know something from reading RPS its that it is usually an accurate opinion.”

            Grammar Joe says, ‘Always re-read, Kids.

            The word ‘usually’ is what’s known as an adverb. Placed before another word, it makes the sentence more restrictive in its meaning.

          • Hex says:

            We’re just continuing the conversation, don’t take it personally….

      • welverin says:

        This is just one man’s opinion, but it’s one shared by many others. It’s doing quite well review wise.

        • chargen says:

          Not really. The review scores are averaging out to a middling score, one of BW’s lowest. Many people find the MMOish combat and fetch quests tedious and the vaunted graphics to be not much better than the last console generation. And in PC land, the keyboard controls and camera suck.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        That’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  2. Zallgrin says:

    First things first: did you try to snog the bald or the short elf?

  3. Robert Post's Child says:

    Well this is certainly a pleasant thing to wake up to. Sounds as if Bioware are finally putting their prior experience with these games to good use, which is perhaps more than many people expected but is certainly welcome news. Glad for the line about Original Sin, too, as I was struggling over which of these two I’d tackle. Seems like this one will take a good chunk out of the new year, for me.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    “Adam Smith says that ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ might be his favourite game released this year” might be my favorite gaming news released this year. I wanted this game to be good so badly.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Agreed, now I just need to fight the urge to buy this game and ignore my exams…

    • ubik says:

      Yeah, I got burned badly when I pre-ordered DA2, not just because it sucked but because of the anticipation and let-down. Didn’t preorder DA:I and tried to mostly ignore its development with a “if it’s good I’ll buy it but until then I’m not going to care” attitude. Well, many positive reviews and the RPS stamp of approval, looks like it’s good! I don’t mind paying full price for a good game.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Except no one in India can play it because it’s not going to be released here (retail or Origin), due to some “illegal content”.

      No clarification from EA yet on what that is, afaik. All we’ve been able to guess so far is that it’s homosexuality, which is still considered a criminal offence here.

      EDIT: Yup, confirmed, something related to “Indian Culture” and homosexuality. Fucking stupid.

  5. noodlecake says:

    A positive review of a Bioware game!? GAMERGATE!!! GAAAAAMEEEEERGAAAAAAAAATE!!!! Time to send a tirade of sexist abuse to indie developers in response.

    Looks cool. I am one of the few people who enjoyed DA2 and Mass Effect 3, so if this one is actually getting positive reviews then I am even more interested than I was before. Thanks mr rockpapershotgun Adam person.

    • SirMonkeyWrench says:

      I see nobody but you trying to crowbar that garbage into an unrelated conversation.

      • chargen says:

        Almost like some people were enjoying themselves and miss the silly, inconsequential conflict.

    • Orija says:

      Yes, derail the thread with shit no one even brought up so far. That will work.

      • Zamn10210 says:

        The wild-eyed terror at the thought of even having to talk about it kind of makes his point

        • gwathdring says:

          Wild-eyed terror? I see bored annoyance …

          • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

            I see stuck up, elitist mumbo jumbo, walla walla wash and kalamazoo.

    • JimmyG says:

      JK, you guys! I gotcha, noodlecake. You and me; let’s be cronies.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Perhaps a [/sarcasm] tag might be needed for that joke in future.

  6. Katar says:

    I’m going to wait for this to drop in price despite the decent review because I have hardware concerns on top of the DA2 concerns. Sounds as if this might be Bioware back on good form.

    “The lack of a full overhead view, showing every combatant at the same time, is baffling and flicking between targets is frustrating and occasionally confusing.”

    You can’t have a proper overhead view because some idiot at Bioware thinks it’s more important to have pretty looking ceilings that no one ever looks at then an a useful camera. I keep banging on about it and people might be bored of it but it’s moronic design.

    • Frosty840 says:

      Ah, well it’s a shame you’re intending to wait, because it’s first-week sales that really matter to the marketing department, so the fact that the marketing department demanded a rushed and rather tiresome game for the previous entry in the series, and the whole fuss about Mass Effect 3’s writers taking a big shit all over its ending, means that the developers will all be burned at the stake if you, personally, fail to shell out for at least six copies on the opening weekend.

      • Steve Catens says:

        So be it. I want top-down, full party tactical control like the original game in the series, and I don’t want anything to do with EA’s Origin service. Nothing short of that gets my money, or my sympathy if it underperfoms. Unlike some points in the past, there is no shortage of quality RPGs with superior traditional genre mechanics available now, and on the near horizon. I can afford to be picky, support other developers that produce work I enjoy more, and still let people who don’t value the same things I value be satisfied with this. It’s a great time to be a CRPG fan.

        • SomeRandomGuy says:

          I’ve been playing this game non stop. It’s great, absolutely wonderful. It brings the combat greatness we saw in 2 to the world we saw in 1. The exception is this world is MUCH MUCH bigger. There are things to do all over the place, and you never feel like you’re chasing that mini map icon to get to the next thing, because you’ll always run into something to do and it flows well. It doesn’t have a pre-setup feel to it, it feels like a natural living world that you are adventuring in.

          Here’s the cool thing, if you enjoyed Origins then you’ll love this one. If you enjoyed DA 2 more than Origins (which would be odd, but I don’t judge) then you’ll love this game. It has literally the absolute best elements from both pulled in. On top of that you’ve got many new elements that add immersion and expansion to the game. It’s spectacular.

          • NotToBeLiked says:

            I enjoyed Origins because it had complex tactical battles with a proper overview and characters that had a large number of abilities, and even allowed for some non-PEWPEWDPS members of your party (aka healers). This doesn’t have any of those and seems tailored to console gamers.
            Will I enjoy DA:I?

          • Steve Catens says:


            You must be replying to someone else’s comment, because in my opening sentence I stated why I *won’t* enjoy it, and won’t be buying it. It’s good that you are able to find things to enjoy about it.

            I, however, find the Dragon Age series bland and unremarkable in most respects, but at least the first game had a top down, full party control tactical game of a style I generally enjoy, which was something of a rarity at the time it came out. That is no longer the case, and I can afford to be pickier with the current wealth of options better suited to my personal standards in RPG design, that aren’t Origin exclusives.

          • Arren says:

            …the combat greatness we saw in 2…


            Too bad about the lackluster overhead cam in Inquisition. Disappointing, but this WIT is still encouraging.

        • Myrdinn says:

          So much this.

          After waiting several years for Origins it was kind of a let down. They advertised it as the ‘spiritual successor to BGII’ which made me almost cream my pants with anticipation. Once the game was released it was okayish… it had decent mechanics even though the engine and characters made me think of the Aurora Engine (Neverwinter Nights, Jade Empire, KotOR) which I loathe. The world was fairly bland, which isn’t that strange considering BG2 could draw from decades of lore ( the extraplanar dimensional travel in the sphere, the huge pantheon, etc). Also not using AD&D rules meant several limitation on character customization and a heckuvalot less spells. But again, the game could be played as a tactical RtwP ‘IE engine style’ cRPG.

          Now this game is lauded as ‘going back to it’s roots’ and it leaves every tactical RPG fan in the dirt. “There is a sh1tload of content!” they tell me, “the story is epic!” they tell me, but every mention of the combat says it’s “okay” at best and urges -not- to use the tactical camera as it is clearly dysfunctional.

          But alas, there is Pillars of Eternity and Torment: ToN..

          • Gunstar Zero says:

            it’s a great console RPG and a lacklustre PC one. The interface doesnt work for keyboard / mouse and it follows the tradition of dumbing down games with each iteration.

            I’d love more expansions for origins more than anything

      • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

        I smell sarcastic irony. Sssshhhh, don’t let them hear you. The walls have ears. Sssshhhh.

  7. RedViv says:

    Uch. WHY must there be digital oceans so I can not have this game TOMORROW, and WHY do these silly humans that created me just HAVE to have their Ruby anniversary on this weekend?
    This is TERRIBLE. It’s tearing me apaht.

    • Archonsod says:

      The really annoying thing is EA stick to territorial editions, otherwise it’d be easy to bypass them. That said Gamersgate doesn’t usually tie your account in to a territory nor does it have proxy protection, so it may theoretically be possible to buy the US digital edition there.

    • JimmyG says:

      I read “Ruby anniversary” and thought you were talking about the new Pokemon game, which comes out Friday. And that Japanese game developers had created you. And that maybe you were a mecha. And … oops.

      • RedViv says:

        Well, I *am* a tiny red monkey controlling a humongous Viking mecha, so you’re not wrong.

    • Edlennion says:

      Once you’ve got your Origin key, you can use a VPN to activate the game early, apparently (that’s what I’m hoping to do tonight, since it’s out in Korea).

      I managed to pre-load it on Saturday using a VPN, so I know that works at least. I hear that EA are OK with using a VPN to activate a game (*not* buy it) but obviously I’m not EA so I can’t guarantee that it’s completely risk-free

      • TormDK says:

        I visited South Korea virtually yesterday, and the game unlocked fine and plays fine.

        Only got about an hour and a half in, but the game kicked my arse (I started on Hard) twice already.

        So good times ahead I wager!

    • Solgarmr says:

      I hereby declare war on the Atlantic ocean. Now to get the allegiance of Cthulu, and I’ll win this fight . . . that or I could just bother with that VPN thing and silently protest.

  8. Melody says:

    Wow, what a surprise. Never thought I’d see Bioware’s name associated with “consequences beyond binary success or failure.”, “more depth than Telltale”, “relatable social and political topics, religion and rebellion, faith and failure.” Usually Bioware games end up feeling more restrictive than linear narratives on account of how unsatisfying their purported freedom is.

    It’s as much an embarassment of riches as the invaluable collection of Count Duckula erotica that you stand to inherit from that one elusive uncle.
    Where did THAT come from?

    • Robert Post's Child says:

      Count Chocula was first created in 1971, so presumably the uncle collected it all himself. His methods are best left unquestioned.

      • pepperfez says:

        No no, Count Duckula.

        • Robert Post's Child says:

          Oh man. We really shouldn’t read into the fact that I misread that. Certainly wasn’t wishful substitution on my part. No sir.

    • foop says:

      The elusive uncle’s elusive uncle?

      “To my only nephew I leave my collection of Count Duckula Porn, left to me by my uncle and his uncle before him.”

    • malkav11 says:

      I dunno. I think most of those words would apply to Dragon Age: Origins as well. People don’t seem to give it its deserved credit for being virtually the only Bioware game not to have a tracked morality meter and for often offering difficult, no-clearly-right-path decisions throughout.

    • totem42 says:

      Great line

  9. Eight Rooks says:

    Happy to see you/RPS liked it, and it’s not a bad review, but… firstly the comparisons to Shadow of Mordor reassure me I’m perhaps not missing out as much as I feared – I totally, totally feel like a janitor cleaning up SoM’s map. Significantly more so than AC: Unity, to be honest. I barely give a crap about anything in SoM’s world, exploring it is a chore and enemies are bland, interchangeable annoyances, whereas Unity’s Paris is spectacular, achingly beautiful and I’m hoovering up collectibles for the pleasure of drinking in the visuals – far more than seeing a number tick upwards. So the idea Inquisition is drawing from the former (intentionally or otherwise) doesn’t really sell me.

    Secondly, given I hated Origins and adored DA II, it’s a little disappointing this didn’t go to someone on the RPS Hivemind who’d played both. I would have liked to see someone make a convincing argument that said “Yay! It’s the Origins sequel I always wanted, and now I can forget DA II ever existed!”, since then I could safely ignore the game and never purchase it.

    • Raztaman says:

      I agree with you on SoM but I think you’re exaggerating a bit (if I compare to other AssCreed games seeing as I haven’t played Unity yet); enemies can be bland and annoying but I’d say it makes you feel like MUCH less of a janitor than AC does but still has that kind of impression. And collecting for visuals is an absolute horrible reason to enjoy cleaning up a map T_T

      And the fact that you “hated” Origins and “loved” DAII says a lot about your opinion is worth, sorry to say.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Nope, SoM finding the collectibles barely offers anything to interest me in any way. I think the level design is dull, the scenery’s bland, and I don’t find navigating the map to be challenging or engaging in the slightest. The collectibles get me piddling amounts of money I don’t need in the slightest (whereas Unity, at least to begin with, even the tiny amounts from chests let me refill my ammo/consumables) or a few lines of mildly diverting flavour text that’s then never referred to again. Unity leads me up, down and all over one of the best virtual environments I’ve ever seen, constantly throwing new details at me, challenging me with little environmental puzzles – sure, I don’t need that cockade over there, it does absolutely nothing in-game, but without it I might never have thought to climb that tower, worked out how to get up there and seen the view from the top. Ho noes! Handholding! Take away mah PC Master Race card! *eyeroll*

        Oh, and Origin’s plot was a dull mish-mash of recycled high fantasy tropes without the slightest bit of subtlety or grounding to make me want to care about them, and the cast were grating archetypes that only the insanely dedicated could love. Morrigan is an awful, awful character, as is Alistair, and their tired, cliched yammering on was like nails down a chalkboard to me. I like what I’ve seen of Inquisition’s world, and Adam says some useful things in his review, but I am wary of anyone’s opinion who actually thinks Thedas was an interesting place or Origins’ laughably hamfisted Political Intrigue For Dummies was worth revisiting.

      • mukuste says:

        Huh? How is enjoying the virtual scenery a “horrible” reason to explore the map? Is it more honorable to just want to watch your “X out of Y” counter go up?

      • Melody says:

        “And the fact that you “hated” Origins and “loved” DAII says that we have different taste in games.”

        There, fixed that for you.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Agreed it would have been better it went to someone who had played both previous games, but just checked Twitter and John is off selfishly having a baby (congrats John!) so I guess that explains it.

    • MisterFurious says:

      “Happy to see you/RPS liked it, and it’s not a bad review”

      Why? Did you work on the game?

      • green frog says:

        Some people like it when games turn out well, because they enjoy playing good games more than they enjoy hating on bad ones.

        Some people disagree, obviously, judging by how upset they get when a game they had convinced themselves would be terrible gets good reviews.

      • Hex says:

        Can’t he just be happy they’re happy?

  10. Anthile says:

    How companions this time around? Are they still “have I mentioned my views on politics today” or are they a bit more nuanced?
    Also, there are actually hair mods for the first Dragon Age so it doesn’t quite look like lego any more. Irrelevant but I wanted to point it out.
    -> link to steamcommunity.com

  11. Premium User Badge

    Muppetizer says:

    How does the dialogue turn out? I know they’re still using the Mass Effect wheel of fun, but have you noticed any inconsistencies with what’s written and what your character ends up saying? One of Dragon Age 2’s defining moments for me was in the first five minutes having the written word ‘no’ read by Hawke as a three sentence lollygagging tirade.

    Reading between the lines a little this review reads to me like a combination of Dragon Age Origins in regards to world building, Dragon Age 2 in combat, Mass Effect 1 in scope, and Mass Effect 3 in terms of roleplaying. I’m not quite sure it’s the Bioware culmination I could hope for but the detail within the context of the scope and world building seem lovely.

    • Zallgrin says:

      Re: Dialogue Wheel.

      If you hold your mouse a bit longer highlighting an option, it will show the full text of your response above. It’s a rather handy change. I also think you can tweak that in the options.

      • Wulfram says:

        I think that only applies to the choices where you’re actually doing something, not your regular dialogue options

  12. sonofsanta says:

    I very much want to play this game. But between a job, a house, and three children, I reckon it’s about 9 months of investment. Particularly a trad-fantasy RPG, where the tendency is to need decent length play sessions to really get anywhere and to really get absorbed into the world.

    Does the game suit half-hour to an hour sessions, with the odd longer weekend evening, or will such small snippets drain it of its fun?

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      No different to watching a serialised show over a movie, surely?

      • wtfmates says:

        For some reason, there is a difference. I think it’s just that video games are more time consuming and require more play time to really get the plot moving at all. A television show is built to be perfectly suited to 22 minute or 47 minute runtimes. The plot usually moves along substantially in that time and ends at a decent resolution or cliffhanger. Playing a game for an hour could mean just knocking out a sidequest or two in a game like this. You don’t really get immersed and then you forget what happened the next time you start it up. That happened to me all the time in Skyrim. At least, I thought that was what was happening, but really it was just that the plot was completely forgettable.

        That’s why I always like to set aside gaming sessions of 24 solid, uninterrupted hours. I have the time to do that because my sister showed me this one job that lets me net $42,424 a week from home only working 20 hours a week!

      • twaitsfan says:

        You clearly do not have children

      • sonofsanta says:

        Very different, I’m afraid.

        45 minutes a week to watch Breaking Bad: it opens with a recap, and I don’t need to remember how to do anything beyond “keep head pointed at TV with eyes open”. I also know that in those 45 minutes there will be a sense of progress and a sense of forward motion in the story.

        45 minutes a week with a game: I forget where I was, and may well end up walking five minutes in the wrong direction before I realise it looks familiar. I can’t remember what I had to do next, unless there’s a good quest log. But I can’t remember what the button to bring up the quest log is, so I have to stop and look through the options screen. By the time I finally get going, I get maybe halfway through a quest/level before I have to stop, probably having been interrupted halfway through by a crying child upstairs, and end up with no sense of progress made. Playing games like this is mostly an exercise in frustration with no payoff in satisfaction.

        TV shows are designed for consumption in 45 minute sections – indeed, some are designed around 15 minute sections between adverts. A lot of games are still designed around being able to sit for 4 or 5 hours at a time in regular sessions.

  13. udat says:

    ooh, I played the first one and thought it reasonable, if clichéd and ultimately forgettable, and then ignored the sequel. I had no plans to buy this but this review might sway me.

    Is EA’s Oranges platform the only way to buy this though?

    • Wulfram says:

      You can buy it in a variety of places, generally for cheaper, but Origin is the only way to play it

    • Raztaman says:

      Using hola unblocker, I managed to get the Digital Deluxe from Origin Mexico for around £27, pretty decent deal considering it’s more than twice that normally..

      Speaking of which, my Origin says that it unlocks on the 21st… And I’ve seen other places as well as this article saying that it’s 20th for everyone but NA and JP. What is the actual UK release date?

      • Silith321 says:

        I’m pretty sure that I read that Nov 21st is the release date in the UK, the Nov 20th is for the rest of Europe. Amazon.co.uk seems to agree with me.

      • kael13 says:

        Today, my friend. Today. Connect to a Korean VPN and play, play, play!

    • Emeraude says:

      Origin and some new DRM scheme added on top it seems. Still need to check on that.

      I just love that Amazon don’t even bother to tell you about the mandatory online registration on retail copies.

  14. Jim Rossignol says:

    I am going to play this right up. *Puts on marigolds.*

  15. Orija says:

    What the… you have praised it for the exact same stuff that Eurogamer lambasted it for.

    • Emeraude says:

      That’s one of the reasons why reviews are better than scores. One’s person tedious is another’s great fun.

      From all I’ve read, I don’t have much faith in that game, but I know some people who are probably going to enjoy it very much.
      To each their own.

    • WibbsterVan says:

      RPS exposed in ‘one person liking something another doesn’t shocker’!!!

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      A mostly positive review that mentions a few flaws disclaimed as minor hardly means the game got “lambasted.”

  16. PsychoWedge says:

    Well, this is a surprise. This kinda makes me want to buy the game now instead of in a year when it’s cheap. That doesn’t happen that often, to be honest… xD

  17. Veto says:

    Is it true that you can no longer move your character by clicking the ground? I prefered to play DAO and DA2 by clicking somewhere at the horizon, lean back and then wait until your party arrived at the destination.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      I seriously doubt click-to-move is enabled. Too much effort for something mostly inconsequential to ninety-nine percent of players, and there’s no true Baldur’s Gate-level tactical view, so much as a consolized half-measure.


    • Wulfram says:

      You can click to move in tactical AIUI

    • Enkinan says:

      No, but you can auto run.

  18. Jimbot says:

    Having watched a lot of the pre-release footage for the game, it does look pretty decent. But I have to say that the walk animation for the women characters is pretty ridiculous. Why are my professional warriors walking as if they’re moving down a ramp at a fashion show? I think Bioware took things a little too far with that silliness and it just looks out of place to me.

  19. Skeletor68 says:

    I loved DA1 and played it on easy. Currently playing DA2 and got to the Deep Roads. I can see the criticisms of 2 so far with re-used assets etc. but still having lots of fun.

    I’ll have to go check the specs for DA3 before I buy sadly.

    An aside:
    What companions did people use for DA2.

    • Robert Post's Child says:

      I usually went all ladies, just because for some reason all the male party members (Varric aside) had ‘complains’ as their defining character trait.

      • Skeletor68 says:

        Haha, yeah I tend to keep Varric by my side. Followed by Bethany and then some rotation. I went with Merrill for the cute Welsh accent for a while. Fenriss is ok but a bit dour. No interest in Anders. I don’t want to take Aveline from her job (she feels more like my equal than a follower) and pirate lady is entertaining so far.

        Just wondering who people found the most fun/useful. Nobody feels like an absolute no-brainer the way Alistair did :)

        • Robert Post's Child says:

          The only reason to have Anders is he’s the most well-rounded mage, and mages are crucial (the key to DA2 is to never not have something be exploding during combat, and magic explodes quite nicely). He’s just so miserable it’s not usually worth it. Aveline is fun to have around because every time someone gives you shit, she’s all “yo I’m the top cop, just tell us what we need to know’. Makes your butt-insky-ness make a lot more sense in context, even if it’s a little weird that she’s following you around.

          • malkav11 says:

            Anders is the best character in Dragon Age: Awakening and the worst character in the entire game in Dragon Age II. It’s sad. They even took away Ser Pounce-a-Lot.

            I typically ran with Aveline, Varric and Merrill. Aveline’s probably my favorite character, Varric next best, and Merrill I was romancing. Also she’s kind of adorable (until act 3, but then almost everyone suffers abrupt failure of any sort of plot coherency in act 3).

          • jezcentral says:

            Yes, my three were also Aveline, Merrill and Varric. Although Aveline and Isabella have some great conversations.

            EDIT: ninja-ed by forddent, dammit.

        • forddent says:

          Isabella is the only companion I always made sure to have along, because she’s the best–especially if you bring Aveline along too (they have good dialogue with one another).

        • Premium User Badge

          ffordesoon says:

          People REALLY like Alistair, don’t they? I seem to be the only one who thought he was a bit… Well, I did grow to like him, but he’s kind of the worst of the best, IMHO.

          Taking Aveline and Isabela along leads to some delightful ambient conversations, by the way.

          • strangeloup says:

            Alistair is made a lot better if you do his personal side quest in a particular way and he then stops whining about everything and kicks arse instead.

            It’s pretty fun to have Morrigan in the party too though, given that she constantly takes the piss out of him. I like to imagine that in a tabletop RP group, Morrigan would be the player who doesn’t really like anyone else there but is a great roleplayer so they keep her around.

    • katinkabot says:

      I rotated them as best as I could. As much criticism gets leveled at the game, the ambient discussions really do shine – much better than DA:O(IMO). Over the decade of your life, you get a sense that your companions have lives outside of your adventures. They form their own friendships and relationships and talk about them when you’re together. So try to rotate as best you can. If you have the Legacy DLC(which I recommend) make sure you bring Anders. That would be the only specific recommendation I can give.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      In order of use:

      1. Isabela
      2. Varric
      3. Aveline
      4. Anders
      5. Fenris
      6. Merrill
      7. Sebastian
      8. Bethany

      In order of how much I liked them:

      1. Isabela
      2. Varric
      3. Aveline
      4. Merrill
      5. Fenris
      6. Sebastian
      7. Bethany
      1,000,000,000,000. Anders

      It was a damn good cast, all in all. Shame they weren’t in a better game.

      Awakening, for example, AKA the secret best Dragon Age game (a forty-hour expansion completely separate from the main story is a whole new game in my book) I’ve played. Which also had Anders in it, except not the same Anders, because this one had a personality and was fun to be around. And don’t give me the “Well, Justice possessed him!” excuse – even Justice was interesting.

      Also Ser Pounce-A-Lot was in it. AKA the best nominally useless item in any RPG ever.

      • jezcentral says:

        Ser Pounce-a-lot had nothing on Schmooples.

        It is a joy to me that this little conversation exists.

  20. Drake Sigar says:

    When it comes to race selection, you made the right choice.

  21. Silith321 says:

    This makes me happy. :) I really like Bioware so I really hope the game does well.

    Thursday can’t come soon enough. Btw, Glad to hear that you really enjoyed the story, Adam, all worries laid to rest there.

  22. Phantasma says:

    Hmmm, cautiously optimistic now but still not convinced enough to put it out of my “wait for the GOTY edition” heap.

    Combat got a mention, but my biggest disappointments with DA2’s system were sadly not examined.

    Are enemies placed in believable places like in Origins or is it whole legions popping out of thin air (as in Dragon Age 2) again?
    With the added insult of several waves, that make it impossible to take on a strategical approach for encounters?
    This very arcadey “You think you won, didn’t you? Here, have another wave, it’s on the house” nonsense was one of the major dealbreakers for me.

    This and the almost comical speediness.
    Every minor skill looked like a finishing move in a fighting game.

    Could someone elaborate on these points, please?

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      Seconded. We demand answers!

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      I haven’t played the game, but based on what I’ve seen and read, the only “waves” happen during boss battles, where they’re contextualized as reinforcements. This was also true in DA:O, so one assumes they’re not noticeable in the way DA2’s were.

      The speediness does seem to be back somewhat, though the combat appears to be a little slower in general than DA2’s. Well, based on what I remember about that game, anyway. Putting it another way, they appear to have toned down the cartoonish speediness of the animations, but kept the responsiveness lacking in Origins. As that was one thing I actually liked about DA2, I’m pleased, but YMMV.

    • lumenadducere says:

      The “wave” combat only happens when you’re closing the rifts. Each rift has a couple waves of demons that come out of it before it’s weakened enough for you to seal it. Everything else, from the open zones to other scripted battles (at least so far from what I’ve played) doesn’t have waves and makes sense in terms of where the enemies are.

      The speed of the combat certainly isn’t as exaggerated as it was in DA 2, but it is faster than it was in Origins. But that’s mitigated with the fact that you can actually pause and give commands. The tactical cam isn’t as good as it was in Origins either, but it’s functional and you get used to it barring a few minor issues (it can run into some geometry instead of phasing through it, and there’s currently a small bug where it locks onto party members when you select them but the devs have said that’ll be fixed in the upcoming patch).

      Personally I’m finding it to be a marked improvement over DA 2 in almost every way, from combat to story to the world itself. I’d actually go as far as saying it’s the best game in the series, although it and Origins succeed in different things so that’s definitely a matter of preference/opinion.

      • Turbowombat says:

        What’s your source on the tactical cam bug where it centers on your characters? This bug is making the game unplayable to me as the tac cam is 100% of why I bought this game and having to pan back and forth and back and forth for everything is making combat take 10x longer than it should.

  23. Serenegoose says:

    Yeah, but is anywhere actually selling it for a reasonable-ish amount of money? I’m not even asking for £20 on launch, that’d be lovely but I’m OK. But even oh so cheap as £30? The game can be great, but so long as they’re wanting £50 for it they can bugger off. That’s a mad amount of cash to put down on something I might find crap. Hell, I couldn’t afford that if I was guaranteed to be my GOTY.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the review, but sometimes the fact that something’s cheap comes up to offset an otherwise damned with faint praise review. Should maybe the opposite also be in play? Obviously you can’t tailor to everyones financial capacity, but I do think it might be something to note. They are asking an awful lot.

    • Skhalt says:

      You can check out various resellers. I’ve found it at 28.50£ on G2A.com or 28.66£ on g2play.net, for example.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Use Hola unblocker to access Origin from Mexico, you can get the digital deluxe for £28

  24. Laurentius says:

    An honest question about combat though ? How much of it is in game really ? I liked DA:O for many things but probably even before reaching middle point I’ve had enough of it, then came Deep Roads and I just knew that it was last time I’m playing this game because I will not be able to play through this slog again. I soldiered on and finished DA:O but that was it, fortunately DA2 had a demo and this demo was clear that that game will be again way too much combat heavy for my tastes. So is DA:I this type of cRPG that just going from the Inn to the privy at night will result with 30 thives killed, same number of bandits, pack of wolves and four angry bears ?

  25. jamborambo says:

    Any Euro guys hoping to play earlier and cheaper than you should be (teehee) then download a VPN client, buy from the Mexican Origin store and then once you’re pre-loaded, point your VPN to South Korea and you’ll be able to play now. Have fun.

    • amateurviking says:

      Thanks! Happy to wait for the weekend but €60 was a bit steep.

  26. Jamesworkshop says:

    Sounding good, open world with what sounds like a proper amount of density, open world to me normally equates to TES oblivion, large fields of nothing.

    Hopefully I don’t run into my major issue which is any character you don’t date runs out of dialogue options tremendously quickly.

  27. ChairmanYang says:

    Is the choice and consequence in DAI real, or is it mostly Telltale-style cosmetics that have little real impact? I’ve read contradictory reports.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      Haven’t played it, but based on Bioware’s track record, I’m going to assume it’s a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

    • acoff001 says:

      It’s a legitimate question as the last few games from Bioware were heavily criticized for the illusion of choice, especially with the endings of DA2 and ME3. I’m actually cautiously optimistic from what I’ve read and my expectations, but I’ll probably wait until later reviewers have made it through more of the story to decide on whether to purchase it soon or once it goes on sale.

  28. Tepelklemmetje says:

    Just got myself a copy :D

    link to gamescoon.net

  29. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    A welcome surprise. Maybe I’ll even get it. I’d first have to finish Dragon Age Origins, though. And perhaps 2 as well.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      Don’t bother with 2. You really don’t even have to finish Origins, either, though I’d recommend it. Also, Awakening.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Well, I’m a big one for story and continuity. And it’s bound to be a lot cheaper these days, so maybe if the time comes why not give it a bash, I figure? I mean, I’m not expecting it to be a masterpiece or even good, but enough people like it that it’s not as if I’m considering buying Aliens: Colonial Marines.

        • Premium User Badge

          ffordesoon says:

          To be fair to you, it isn’t a bad game so much as a severely disappointing and clearly rushed one. It’s mostly a decent hack ‘n slash with talky bits, with some interesting ideas, damn fine characters, a few excellent side quests, a neat Bakshi-in-3D art style, and a great second act. Absent the crushing combined weight of dashed hopes, a sixty-dollar price tag, and the need to wait three years to find out what happens next, it may be a good time.

          If you do get it, play on Casual, though. Due to some baffling design decisons, almost every combat encounter is both painfully uninteresting and takes ages longer than it should, to the point that completing the game starts to feel more like a sentence than a goal. Playing on Casual doesn’t stop the pain, but it does minimize it.

  30. McB says:

    Anyone know how the performance is on PC?

    • Creeping Death says:

      An 8800 GT is the minimum card, so I’m expecting it to be quite scalable.

  31. Rizlar says:

    I can’t help thinking that, yes, at one level it is a game about dwarves and elves bumping uglies.

    Where the uglies = badly designed player characters and ‘bumping’ = you know where this is headed.

    Seriously though, this is pretty exciting. Was deliberately critical of everything we have seen of DA:I leading up to release but it sounds like they have pulled off something pretty spectacular. Cannot wait to play it now!

  32. Premium User Badge

    cpt_freakout says:

    Wow, really didn’t expect this. I’ve played the other two DA and liked them, even if they are full of terrible writing. I used to mind more, at least because there were, well, almost no well-written RPGs out there, but I think we’re getting there, and from this review it seems I might just enjoy this more than the last two. So that’s goodbye to the coming Christmas break… I just hope I can finish Wasteland 2 before that, heh.

    Edit: Will there be a Lords of Xulima WIT? :D

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I had buckets of fun with Lords of Xulima a few months back. I need to go back to that one.

  33. Themadcow says:

    “The Codex is a delight”

    Thats something I never thought I’d read here.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Bioware have never been able to do hair, facial or otherwise.

    • green frog says:

      BioWare video games

      Although, I hear that TressFX stuff in Tomb Raider was pretty decent even if it did ruin your framerate.

  35. AlwaysRight says:

    WOO! I’m more excited for this than any other game this year.
    How come there is no news of the multiplayer? it seems like alot more than just a tagged on extra but no review I have seen mentions it.

    • strangeloup says:

      I imagine it’s difficult to judge the multiplayer from a review copy; sometimes it’s completely disabled, other times the only other people playing are also reviewing it so it’s difficult if not impossible to get a decent game together.

      From what I’ve seen, though, it looks like it’s fairly similar to a fantasy version of the multiplayer in Mass Effect 3, but refined and expanded; iirc there’s claim of more variety in terms of missions and not so much fighting off waves of increasingly tough baddies. So I’d hazard a guess that some people will get really hooked on it, but for most it’ll be an occasional dalliance away from the main campaign.

  36. Hex says:

    Well this sucks. This is pretty much the direction I was hoping the series would move in for Dragon Age II. Sadly, since the series didn’t move in that direction at that time, my enthusiasm has waned.

    Probably most importantly, instead of a new Inquisition, this could just as easily have been a return to the rebuilding of the Gray Wardens, with your DA:O character at the helm. (The Chosen One thing would probably have then been an NPC companion you have to shepherd through the whole game, which I would argue would probably allow for a more compelling narrative.)

    For some I can’t bring myself to care about any Dragon Age stuff which doesn’t involve the hero I created in the first one. I became really attached to that little bugger.

    • lumenadducere says:

      The problem is, lore-wise that hero should basically be dead. The corruption spreading, making them sick, and then having them leave for their final “die in a blaze of glory” thing that Wardens do in the Deep Roads.

  37. Themadcow says:

    Holy bejeezus, I’ve just seen the full extent of the tactical camera in operation and… they might as well not have bothered. I hope to god someone releases a mod that makes it actually tactical rather than what appears to be a top down view of your character and about 5 feet around him.

    Considering the removal of the tactical view was my main issue with DA2, I think I’ll wait till this one hits the bargain bins.

  38. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    UBIquitous! Count Duckula erotica! Portals to nether regions! There are negatives: the hair looks like hats!

    You are on fire with this one Adam, superb WIT. Always a little alarmed when reviewers get gushy but you weren’t wrong about Alien Isolation (if anything you should have gushed more). Bioware are back in the family, hooray!

    • jaheira says:

      “UBIquitous” is awesome. With this one stroke Adam jumps seventeen rungs up the ladder of games journos.

    • NimbusTLD says:

      Hahaha UBIquitous! You made me LOL at work! Thanks :D

  39. Wisq says:

    Heh. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to take it seriously after seeing it get the Yir Auld Da treatment: link to youtube.com

  40. FullMetalMonkey says:

    If Bioware had set a Review Embargo until release day i wouldn’t have pre-ordered this game. When the reviews/impressions started hitting the interwebs and YouTube my mind was made up to pre-order. I have been HUGELY skeptical of Inquisition despite seeing it shown off at trade shows.

    • SomeRandomGuy says:

      Don’t be skeptical. I was skeptical and have been playing it through EA Access for XBone. It really is an awesome game. The only issue I could see is in tactical combat view you have to move your cursor around the battlefield to see all the elements there is no super zoomed out view, like you had in Origins. Other than that the combat is phenomenal, and the world feels so immersive and real.

  41. equatorian says:

    Been out for a couple of hours now and I’m having a blast through it, although the combat…..is somewhat jarring. I’ll get used to it, probably, but there’s something sad about not being to lay AOEs on the ground and the rather sorry tactical camera height.

    Sometimes there are perks to living in a developing country in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes somehow your release dates got magically faster for some reason.

  42. Latro says:

    I’m waiting for it to cross the ocean and generally hopefully given most reviews are positive like this one.

    Except one of the captures: mages still dress like idiots, right?

  43. green frog says:

    That’s great to hear. I can’t really say I’m “surprised” at this WIT, because most of the reviews have been out for a week now and have almost unanimously said Inquisition is excellent. But nonetheless, it’s nice to see this game get the official RPS Seal of Approval.

    Hopefully the warm reception of this game can help quench the flames of negativity that have been surrounding BioWare in recent times. Every studio that’s been around long enough has their ups and downs and it’s good to see that BioWare seems to be rising back into good graces.

  44. NotToBeLiked says:

    Well, it seems to be a pretty decent ACTIONrpg, tailored for console gamers in the same way Diablo 3 was. The tactical camera is borderline useless, there seems to be no option to make custom and complex AI routines for you party members, and characters can only select a few abilities (thanks to the limited number of buttons on a controller). Also, no healer characters, because no one likes a character that isn’t all about killing stuff I guess?

    Maybe it’s a pretty good game at what it does, but it doesn’t seem to live up to DA:O gameplay-wise. It just feels dumbed down by comparison. That fact, combined with Origin of course, will stop me from buying this game. I might have bought it if it wasn’t a DA game with the expectations that came along with that. Because it does seem to be Mass Effect: Fantasy, and I loved ME immensely.

    • green frog says:

      Well, it depends what’s important to you. If you demand pure oldest school, hardest core mechanics then yeah, you should probably look to indies because this IS still a AAA multiplatform game, after all, no matter how well executed.

      But considering you like the Mass Effect series, none of which are any more old-school than this game is, your reasons don’t seem too compelling to me. But I’m not you, so to each his own.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      I would argue that the removal of healing magic was just a recognition that the Dragon Age games have always favored offense-heavy characters and sidelined non-combat and support characters, which makes playing as a healer dull. I don’t think there’s any shame in maximizing the strengths of a game design. Also, it creates an interesting tactical choice that works well with an open-world design – namely, “Should I press on and potentially get slaughtered, or fall back to the nearest outpost and replenish my potions?”

      Then again, I don’t play as healers, so.

      As to your complaint regarding the consolization of the series… Well, yeah. Though I don’t think it was unreasonable to expect the tactical view and AI customization to be a bit more flexible than it is, it was always wishful thinking to expect a return to the PC-centric design of Origins, let alone Baldur’s Gate. It doesn’t make financial sense for a game with this amount of money behind it to ignore that multiplat cheddar, no matter how much a certain subset of players (including me, sometimes) might want it. But that’s no reason to ignore a game if it sounds like a good time to you. Especially since the market for old-school cRPGs is far healthier than it was when DA:O came out. You can now have your cake and eat it too, so why not do so?

      I sympathize with regard to Origin, but the reality is that it works, unlike uPlay, and it’s never going to be a legitimate challenger to Steam or GOG. I think anyone boycotting it has by now made their point. No reason to keep doing so, IMHO. Even if it does make me feel gross every time I use it.

  45. Jimbo says:

    I’m happy enough that they went in a no-healers / no regen health direction.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that they brought back Tac Cam (albeit poorly) and then ripped the guts out of the Tactics system. I can see this being micromanagement hell on any of the non-joke difficulty settings.

  46. Xantonze says:

    As a counterpoint, interesting review by R. Cobbett on Eurogamer:
    link to eurogamer.net

    • green frog says:

      Not that much of a counterpoint overall considering he still gave it an 8/10.

      Some people do think an 8 is a bad score though, which boggles my mind.

      • Xantonze says:

        I don’t care much about scores, but the other review points at some problems this one ignores, so I guess it’s a useful read. It sobered me up at least.

    • Hex says:

      I really, really want to play the game that just focuses on the “control your agents and send them out to do the stuff” aspects as described, here, and gets it right.

      I’ve wanted this ever since Final Fantasy Tactics (the original!) let you send out your extra dudes on quests. I wanted an entire game that was just that, but more fleshed out.

      Please, somebody. Make it so!

    • Horg says:

      ”When asked if a situation calls for diplomacy, spies or military strength, any of them will work”

      ”BioWare games usually do a great job of making your group feel like family. Here, they were assets”

      I think those are the two points which will stop me from buying it. I don’t like false choice in games, and it sounds like BioWare didn’t achieve the standard of character building they set in DA:O. Combined with the tactics lite combat, I don’t think this is for me.

  47. Buuurr says:

    This is great to hear, as I pre-ordered it hoping it would harken back to the first in the series for me. The only reason I don’t like DA:I right now is that I cannot get Farcry 4 for a week or so… dang it!

  48. Monggerel says:

    Yes but do I get to throw soggy cake at my unfortunate sl-companions?

  49. Seraphithan says:

    How does the game handle friendships with the romancable characters? I found it quite annoying how you missed out on your crewmates backstory if you couldn’t romance them in ME 2 or had to pull out at the last minute (heh) if you could but didn’t actually want to. Worst as far as I remember in the case of Thane.

  50. Michael Fogg says:

    ‘collect 15 pieces of meat’

    I hope you’re not refering to the relationships options here.