Dragon Age Inquisition is an Action, Adventure RPG game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts. It is the third instalment of the series after Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. This game however runs on a completely new engine under Frostbite 3 and has been completely overhauled to make a free roaming, open world adventure to rival even the expansive vastness of Skyrim.
I set out on my adventure with some trepidation as I had played the last instalment of this game on my Xbox 360 five years previously and had enjoyed them both immensely. Inquisition is the first game that will give my PC a true run for its money. As I’m loading the four discs onto my system I’m positively itching to get my claws into the gameplay and with all this anticipation it literally seems to take a Dragon’s Age. There is also, the now standard day one patch and a few extras you can get with the game to download before you get to press that ever alluring Play button.
Before the game begins you must pick your Race and Class, Human’s are the most powerful and widespread race and bonuses are given in the form of an ability point at the start which is used in the levelling up process. Dwarf’s are the underground exiled and have no connection to the fade, as such they can not be mages but have a 25% bonus to manic defence. Qunari’s are horned giants, beasts with great strength so utilise a bonus to physical damage resistance by 10%. Then there is the race I decided upon, Elf an outcast and oppressive race with a 25% bonus to ranged defence.
There are three classes to choose but all except mage have variants, the rogue has dual wield and carries a pair of daggers or (my selection) archer who has a bow. The warrior charges into combat with either two-handed or the traditional sword and shield option and the mage (but not for Dwarfs) has no variant but can train in a variety of different schools of magic via their skill tree.
You are then asked your preferred difficulty from a casual walk in the park up to a bed wetting nightmare. I decided to go down the middle route as usual and stuck to normal which should offer a blend of story and challenging combat scenarios. With all my decisions locked into place and with no save to carry forward I was given Danish Hunter and placed into the default world state. A cut scene erupts showing a tear in reality, a rift, a demon portal and known in the game as the breach.
Once the game starts you are given what every RPG fan loves, the character customisation screen and one you’ll be on for a while. The sheer level of detail, options and variety is overwhelming and unlike previous Dragon Age’s you character has centre stage. He or she will interact in all the cut scenes and talk in a voice you select so getting this bit right is very essential. This is the last step before the game truly begins and it will not disappoint.
You start as a prisoner and not in high regards by your captors, there is a strange green aura pulsating from your shackled hands and they believe you are solely responsible for the previously mentioned breach. The leader of the group, Cassandra eventually explains you are to be taken to the event in question to see what you can do to help. Your first encounter happens when a bridge your stood on is destroyed by a pulse in the rift, spewing a few enemy shades out in the process and your first taste at combat, a seamless transition between intro and gameplay that leaves you stunned for a split second.
Combat is dealt with in a simplistic left mouse press/hold with the skills being assigned to numbers 1-8 with 9 and 0 left free for quick healing and potions. The main thing that hits you is the vast world and the incredible graphics. Simply stunning snow, rocks, frozen tundras, backdrops and fire and the sounds and music are fantastic as you go about searching bodies revealing loot, quest items and a hand full of coins.
Eventually you’ll team up a group of inquisitors who you can take control of. Pressing F1-4, selects a member as you fight your way up the side of the craggy mountain or you can bring up a tactical view, pause combat to really take control of any situation. You start to really feel part of a team, especially as they interact by telling story’s and asking questions, that prompt you to answer. However ponder too long and they take it as silence which can lead to negativity within the group.
Progressing towards the rift is a great experience and only a fraction of what’s to come, you’ll level up which automatically increases you health and stats and grants you an ability point which is used to upgrade abilities and for the first time opens your character record and is used for the games skill tree system. As an Archer provides, Dagger for a Melee option, Archery for a bow related skills, Sabotage a skill used for poisons, traps and a host of dirty tricks and Subterfuge to become a master at misdirection/stealth or disappearing into the shadows. As the game plays out you get more immersed in an incredible yet vast storyline and world, even the opening quest to get to the rift which acts as a tutorial and prologue is a good hour of gameplay, after you get to the rift and the story plays out, you realise the true magnitude of this game, graphics, story, hundred hours of gameplay, is truly breathtaking and jaw dropping.
Your path on this inquisition is going to be long but very enjoyable, your snowy base of operations (Haven) is a vibrant hustle of merchants to buy/sell wares or equipment, blacksmiths to craft and improve weapons and armour which has a whole host of options including renaming whatever you’ve created. The apothecary is the place you’ll take the herbs you find in the wilderness to upgrade you potions, tonics and even grenades. The quartermaster is used to upgrade the fortifications and troops within the inquisition camp, something that will really help in rekindling the spark, and the power of the inquisition.
Using Haven as your headquarters and base of operation you can help to rebuild it, acquiring materials and items from your adventure, inviting npc’s from side quest to help your plight, calling war room meetings and sending members off on diplomatic, feudal and scouting missions or even head out yourself. Once on these missions you open new areas, all with side quests, materials to gather or mine, enemy’s to kill, animals to hunt and finding the odd clearing or ruin to use as an inquisition camp.
This game fully immerses you in an ever growing, vibrant, beautiful world that you have full control over. It’s going to be one of those great games that offers hundreds of hours of enjoyable gameplay that in my opinion can rival for this years game of the year. As a massive RPG fan this game is a must in the collection, i can’t find fault in it and it has me completely hooked and there is still so much for me to see and explore. This game is without question 10/10 so go out and grab a copy and join the inquisition.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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