Being so new to the Dragon Age franchise meant that I felt more than a little intimidated when I started the game and hoped to explore the world as a relatively unknown character even after so many gamers have established Bioware’s fantasy series as something-to-get-just-as-angry-about-when-compared-to-Mass-Effect.
Seriously, the outrage following Dragon Age 2‘s release practically turned me away from a video game franchise I would have easily fallen for, particularly given the studio’s range of well-written content and the beautiful world I had seen in demonstrations and heard described online. People have somehow proven their ability to clog up social media feeds with all their own garbage, so escaping into the world of Dragon Age: Inquisition really shouldn’t be that hard.
In truth, the only hurdle between yourself and adventure comes from an extremely deep and potentially disruptive character creator. Be extremely careful as you develop your digital facade because you’ll have to look at it in dialog, gameplay ,and in third-person combat that will largely please any type of role-playing gamer out there since it hits on a few different levels. More on combat in another review log.
Where Dragon Age‘s supporting cast looks convincing and fits with every guild, backstory, and new environment, you’ll absolutely notice when your own character’s nose looks funny in a certain light. Thankfully, there are a few voices to choose from, and if creating a monster is exactly what you set out to do, you can do so here.
Thankfully, leaping into action with either an established Dragon Age story or setting forth with a new character doesn’t take long after you’ve finalized the aesthetics. For most gamers without previous saves, Electronic Arts will allow you to design and download your chosen path through the first two games via DragonAgeKeep.com.
Even for someone without the time or care to develop my choices through Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, Inquisition hooked me with its mysterious opening and almost immediate thrust of narrative responsibility on the player. BioWare does this incredibly by setting your own expectations of heroism and the very world of Dragon Age against you, either for the purpose of the relationships you’ll form with new faces or to get you on the road to action.
In fact, I burned through the first 15 hours of gameplay without a care in the world and excited for nearly every new quest I stumbled on. In the first five, there are certainly moments of exposition, particularly in dialogue with random quest-givers and the odd party member where you have to explain that you’re once again the only person in the world capable of stopping this rift madness, spewing zombies and demons onto the landscape. Indeed, your character is the key to stopping monsters from entering the world through sickly green portals.
I also hated being asked to kill 10 of anything. Dragon Age: Inquisition borders so closely on feeling like an MMO that it actually tips the player’s choices one way or another. You’ll soon start to dedicatedly hunt down missions that advance the story or you’ll fall into a mop-up mindset where you have to clear out one massive forest area… before getting to the cool castle you get to customize.
I’ll have at least two more review logs for GameRevolution’s readers before we publish our final score. Stick with us all week for livestreaming gameplay and impressions of multiplayer, combat, sound design, and art design.