Monday, March 02, 2015

Inquisition Confiscated 56 Hours Of My Life

I have finished Dragon Age: Inquisition.

By “finished” I mean completed the primary story-line. After 56 hours and some-odd minutes, my journey as an Inquisitor was completed, and yet it was not.

I came to a point in the game where I wanted to challenge myself. Because of my OCD needs to complete each region before moving forward, I was overpowered. Over leveled. Overstocked with gear and crafting materials. I was plowing through zones without a care and it left me feeling empty that I had removed the difficulty on my own terms. So I sucked it up, ignored the twitch, and went through the remaining story.

And it was good.

I’m not a fan of the ending being so blaze. It felt more of a throw-away and less of the harrowing epic conclusion of a long-fought journey.

Here’s the Spoiler Alert. I realize it’s been a few months since release, but there are a lot of people, such as myself, who have delayed finishing the game in order to achieve that 100% ranking.

The fights leading up the final battle against Corypheus  and his dragon were great. Full of action and energy, I felt they lived up to the expectations that a glorious match was ahead. The man/demon/thing moved an entire castle to create the battleground. It was meant to be epic! And then, it turned out to be just okay. The tiered boss fights are a bit tiring. RPG makers, I’m sure we can come up with something more original at this point. You start out facing Corypheus when his dragon flies in. As he readies to pounce on you, Morrigan sweeps in to save you its wrath by having turned into a dragon herself. (I should point out that I had Morrigan absorb the Well of Sorrows. Apparently if you allow the Inquisitor to drink, you have to tame a dragon to bring into the final fight.)

So while Morrigan and the dragon are having fun, you get to beat up Corypheus. All is well and good, and he has a hefty amount of HP. But halfway through and the dragon fight comes back into play. Morrigan gets knocked out and you get to deal with a 50% HP dragon. Cool. The fight was way too easy. If you have taken the time to defeat one dragon out in the wild, you already know how this works: go for the legs first, avoid the head, stick close and you’re less likely to get hit by AOE.

After that’s done you get to run through the castle to catch up to Corypheus. Used up all your health potions? No problem! There’s a cache just after the dragon fight. And…that’s it. There’s nothing special or amazingly difficult. I think the one time where I got aggravated was the fault of Cassandra. She pushed my Inquisitor off the stairs and I fell long enough to hurt myself and waste a potion. Beyond that, I wasn’t impressed. The tact and quality of the proceeding events in the maze to the Well of Sorrows was much more harrowing by comparison.

I say all that to lead to this: While the epilogue drew some gasps and we are all desperately awaiting DA4, the ending felt lack-luster. To the level of Mass Effect 1 where your Shepard walked off into the galactic sunset. What…that’s it? My Inquisitor gets a pat on the back. Good job kid, and you stare off into the setting sun with your romantic interest (if he/she is still around at that point). Yes. There is another sunset. I wish I were kidding.

I feel a tad bit cheated that the time I’ve invested in this game didn’t reap the rewards of an ending worthy of it’s praise.

But that’s my biggest concern. As for the events leading up to the end, the quests, the bantering, the technical prowess, the livelihood of the world, all of these aspects make playing the game worth-while. In fact, immediately when it all ended I started working on another character to try out a different race and job and compare the dialogues when not faced with a Human Mage. It’s a world worth exploring.

I did find out that you can continue to play and close Rifts after completing the game. The closing Rifts part confused me considering that you just stopped the big one in the sky…but okay! We’ll roll with it. So it’s good to know that your time spent is not all lost when the credits roll. If there are any quests or missions you wish to partake at the war table, you can. My one hope was to have additional dialogue trees open up with your comrades that remain with the Inquisition. Similar to Mass Effect 2, you get a one liner or two and that’s about it. Sad face, but I can deal with it if it means I can continue my journey and reach my 100% goal.

Spoiler End. Overall I’d say that if you are a fan of the DA universe, you’ll love the game. There are twists and turns littered throughout Thedas. And if you adore Morrigan, you’re going to love the insanity that ensues. If you are new to the franchise, this is a good game to jump into. You’ll miss a few in-game references, but a quick DA Wikipedia search will set you straight. In truth, as someone who is still fairly new to all things Dragon Age, I didn’t find it an issue following the story. Even if you disregard the references, the game can stand well on its own. And there are plenty of places to pick up the DA lore to teach yourself the history of the world while you’re playing the game.

Inquisition is worth the play-through, even if you have OCD and the ending may not be as grand as one would hope.


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