Monday, December 1, 2014

Calling the Inquisition

And so, this marks the first time I have pre-ordered a game; for it was quite evident from early on, having watched hours of pre-release footage, that Bioware had come back with a vengeance, to deliver the goods, with Dragon Age Inquisition. The package comes with a few extra weapons, which are quite welcome, since even while Dragon Age: Origins is my favorite game, period, I was never extremely good at it. So, without further ado, let us delve into the Gen 7, or previous console version, while others debate for or against, the newer consoles' versions.

The story kicks in with Cassandra and Leliana from the religious Chantry, both from the previous two games, who wish to close the dangerous Breach in the sky, and it's your task to help them, based on your newfound power to seal rifts; this much is explained in the prologue. This time around, the developers got it right even with save-games or lack thereof; with the use of the web-based Dragon Age Keep, the player can review and export decisions from past games, similar to how the Mass Effect comic-book was used for the initial release of the ps3 version of Mass Effect 2.

On to the character creation screen; in which I chose to play as an Elf, as I had in DAO; perhaps looking a bit like a wimpy Geralt of Rivia. Add a taste of elf-haters, and the civil unrest in a world-building so well depicted, as has become usual in the developer's history, putting the player in the middle of a racial conflict. Herald of Andraste, is the title given to your character due to his powers, and authorities aren't too content with it. But you can convince people, town after town, that you are there for help.  Also, many players will wonder whether to play as male of female, later realizing that, given the quality and breadth of the game, it makes sense to to play as both eventually.

And the hours tick by, and you realize you haven't even seen one third of Thedas, with wide expanses, reminiscent of Skyrim.  All the while, you are sealing these mysterious rifts, which really remind me of Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, from such classic books as The Golden Compass, in which multiverse-travel are a reality, specifically through them. And the woods and the constructions here, look majestic and colorful. Thus, we find the main weak link of the game; namely the characters aren't too interesting. Sera is a rebellious and quirky elven rogue, though the Bull is also quite well-rounded. In fact, the romance options cover various possibilities, hence people from all walks of life will feel at home.

Visually, the game is a throwback, in the best sense possible, to DA: Origins, though also considering the new character designs from DAII, one thing that changes is the vastness, the scope of the levels. I thought it was of great use, that on the upper-right hand, quests are shown, when they upgrade to a considerate percentile. You also establish camps, which you can automatically travel to, and rest in order to restore potions, which becomes of important strategic value. Meanwhile, in the war room, you can delegate missions, which are completed by npcs later on. Powers, on the other hand, are gained mostly by closing rifts and building encampments, and are needed to unlock new areas.

As it happens, I bought a larger hd in order to play this game; and it was most certainly worth it. While it is true that the visuals, while nice and shiny, aren't as advanced as those on the pc, there seem to be some textures and perhaps a filter missing, still the game's adventures remain intact. It all reminds me of The Witcher 2 port for the xbox 360, in that it may not rival the pc, yet it's more than adequate. Despite some questionable game decisions by the developers, the Inquisition marches on.