Dragon Age: Inquisition
Ages and ages and ages
Release Date: OUT NOW!
Format reviewed: PS4 Also available on: PS3, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC Publisher: EA
with the obligatory amnesia after the sky tore open and killed everyone in your vicinity, your hero or heroine in the third part of Bioware’s RPG series finds themself in a game that seems out of ideas before it even begins. The green portals through which wraiths and demons are spilling out are essentially The Elder Scrolls’ Oblivion Gates, and for the first hour you can almost say each character’s next line before they do, such is the well- travelled narrative path on which the story begins. Game Of Thrones it ain’t.
The bigger problem with Dragon Age: Inquisition’s opening, though, is how poorly it explains its myriad systems, and how little incentive you’re given to explore them. Our first ten hours were spent almost exclusively hoarding iron, elfroot and leather simply because the barrage of collectable- based quests told us to. Occasionally we’d gain + 1 power, or some influence points, and not know what to do with them other than collecting more. Back to strip- mining the area of resources, then.
When you finally satisfy Bioware’s demand that you play dress- up as an Assassin’s Creed level- janitor tidying up the mini- map of detritus for a few hours, DA: I improves exponentially. The meters and gauges that once baffled now form an interesting strategic layer, power being a kind of currency used to perform operations in person, or via agents on your behalf. You are the leader of the Inquisition, after all, and you’re the only one with the power to close the Fade Rift portals – you’re kind of a big deal.
Less jovial and colourful than Dragon Age II’s cast, the supporting roles of the Inquisition don’t really emerge as engaging characters until a couple of wonderful story missions that take sudden diversions into uncharted territory. These are built upon by increasingly focused primary quests that do the near- impossible and make you care about the people who previously only seemed to exist to get you digging for herbs and collecting shards.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is almost a masterful RPG. With time your early frustrations seem almost insignificant, but they can’t be forgotten entirely. Phil Iwaniuk
Miranda Raison, voice of Cassandra Pentaghast, played Tallulah in Doctor Who two- parter “Daleks In Manhattan”.
Our first ten hours were spent hoarding iron
This dragon would like you to collect ten pieces of iron. Or else.