Dragon Age Inquisition or Bioware’s Redemption

A few years ago, many of us vowed never to buy a Bioware game again. After the flawed Mass Effect 3 and the utterly broken Dragon Age 2, it seemed evident Bioware was yet another studio swallowed by the behemoth EA, swallowed and then spit out to die and rot.

Thankfully, we were wrong. Dragon Age Inquisition is proof our assumptions are not entirely true and the swansongs were premature. Granted, there’s the tacked-on multiplayer, which is too unstable if not even broken to be judged by now – but Mass Effect 3’s awesome multiplayer aside, who gives a shit about multiplayer in a Bioware game? Granted, the fighting system is miles better than the “action button” themed arena battles with enemies respawning for no apparent reason in DA2, but still lacking the depth of the “last real Bioware RPG” Dragon Age Origins (e.g. no more penalties for dying).

But Inquisition truly feels like a Bioware game, a Bioware game for the old fans and the new ones alike. The battle system is slower and more tactical (we can finally zoom out properly on consoles), there are more dialogues than ever before it seems, there’s a deep customisation system, and there are also additions: The war table where you can get different results from sending different people to deal with things ranging from diplomatic missions to assassinations, the much-talked Skyrim influence which shows in the huge areals littered with things to do (some are waaaaay too obvious, but there is still lots of room for exploration), and there are various new activities to discover everywhere.

Dragon Age Inquisition has one problem though, one problem that might discourage some: After the prologue, you get thrown into the Hinterlands – a massive open area with dozens of quests and lots of things to explore. Problem there is most quests feel rather like a MMO: “Kill these wolves!”, “Gather then pieces of meat!” or “Go there!” But do not fret, fellow Inquisitor, for as soon as you can proceed, proceed. Afterwards, Inquisition opens up and the story picks up pace and gets better and better.

In any possible way, Dragon Age Inquisition is a great RPG and a great game – and last but not least, also a great Bioware game. Bioware pushes all necessary buttons: Tactical fights where the party composition can make a huge difference, expansive talking sessions to your companions, choices en masse, and above all, a story where even most villains have their reasons. Yes, Inquisition doesn’t allow you to destroy the world (at least not in the first 30 hours), but it is up to you if you want to be a benevolent and democratic Herald of Andraste or rather an egoistic and vengeful angel of fear.

Some sentences about the love life of the companions in Dragon Age Inquisition: As long as we actually talk about the whatever-sexuality of virtual fictional characters, we have not reached the level of tolerance we pretend to have reached. If you really care if Dorian is exclusively gay, or that you can only romance two chicks as a hetero Inquisitor … well, why do you fucking care in the first place? As long as there’s even talk about it, we’re not there yet.

Mind you, Rabidgames has only played Inquisition for 30 hours, and it feels he has barely scratched the surface. Yes, this game is a proper RPG behemoth – as it should be. For once, the claims it might take 100 hours to complete a game might be true. Good news for most of us, bad news for our social lives …

Rabidgames is enchanted: From the ashes of Dragon Age 2 and that infamous Mass Effect 3 ending, the phoenix has arisen – just as the Inquistion arose out of the destruction of the conclave. Bioware redeems itself, and let’s hope the days of EA indoctrination and the action button are over for good. Welcome back, Bioware. It feels good to be friends again!

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