As someone who is slightly embarrassed by two unfinished false starts of Skyrim, I am thoroughly enjoying Dragon Age Inquisition. It wasn’t Skyrim’s fault, and it may not be Dragon Age’s fault either if I fail to land the plane of their monstrous release. I’m far enough in the game, however, to praise the praiseworthy and give criticism to a few shortcomings.
The fighting mechanics are instantly accessible with an easily visible arcade style action button HUD. Your first few engagements are easily manageable, especially with the “pause & assign” method of fighting. However, I don’t use this method of engaging the enemy, and I’m in good company with Angry Joe as someone who does not enjoy the action halting, somewhat ineffective, and seemingly unnecessary tedious mode of fighting. So while this option for fighting makes the game accessible because it slows things down, many players will quickly abandon it as you notice how well your AI comrades handle themselves. After a few missions you learn how to craft and modify weapons. It is at this point that the depth of the game may overwhelm you. The menus and mission tracking quickly fill with items, crafting materials, and side missions. It took me a few sessions to finally settle in and feel adept enough to really enjoy the game and have a sense of movement within the world and story. So if you’re feeling daunted or confused, keep at it, watch some YouTube videos if you’re stuck, because the game is very, very worth it.
Hold my hand… just a little…
I’ve already written about how too much freedom can hurt the quality of a game, and that rings true for Dragon Age in the early areas. Most games in this genre have a massive amount of side missions, and that is certainly the case in this game. It was, however, incredibly frustrating to have lots of side missions that I wasn’t even close enough in level to do. I have never played a game that fills your quest log with side missions that are 10 levels above you and then doesn’t let you know until you show up and get obliterated. So it was incredibly confusing and irritating to have numerous side missions that I couldn’t even attempt. Then I wandered into two different areas with high level enemies and one area with a dragon where I quickly died. I honestly almost walked away from the game because I just kept shouting as I died, “What am I supposed to be doing?!” It was only after my buddy told me to skip any side missions with higher level enemies until I leveled up enough by moving the main story along through the war room. So learn from my mistakes and missteps and just skip areas or side missions if you aren’t strong enough and focus on advancing things through the war room and any side missions at your level, because seriously this game is worth it.
Co-op Cop Out
I won’t spill too much blood and ink ranting about the lack luster and completely stupid co-op in this game. I’ve already outlined the best and worst types of co-op, and this game squarely falls into the “worst” category. It is completely unfathomable why developers even bother with this quarantined, repetitious, non-story-impacting garbage. Seriously, just stop wasting time and energy on these uninteresting tack-on-after-thoughts. And the thing that really irritates me about this is that first, they were cryptic in all the pre-release talks about how the game offered “4 player co-op”, and only finally gave exhaustive information after numerous interviews. But also because the fighting mechanics and layout would be an absolute blast with 4 players when moving through the story. And just a sidenote rant: Side content non-campaign missions are NOT co-op, it’s arcade game nonsense. Co-op is short for cooperative which assumes players are working together on missions or quests in the actual game, not sequestered narrow boring content. End rant, the game is still good.
Get the game, and be patient
If you enjoyed Skyrim or others like it, I would be surprised if you haven’t snagged this title yet. But if this one has somehow slipped past you, get it, take your time, and be patient as you get your footing.
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