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Dragon Age Inquisition: My Review and Game Log (With Progress Updates)

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A thoroughly detailed (eventually) article regarding my playthrough, world state, settings, opinion and review of Dragon Age Inquisition. Also, some helpful hints for newcomers. Spoilers are clearly marked.

Article will be updated periodically as I complete more of the game. Please no spoilers in the comment section unless the spoiler has been covered in the article. (Last updated 1/8/15)

My Playthrough

Platform: PC; high end custom system; highest game settings possible
World State: Follows Izen Cousland, and a female rogue Hawke
Difficulty Level: Nightmare Friendly fire is ON
Chose Templars
Chose unity between Celene, Gaspard, and Briala.
Current Location: Skyhold after Crestwood and meeting Stroud.

My character

Name: Jonathan Trevelyan
Age: 40ish (Will decide a name-day later)
History: Formerly a Senior Enchanter of the Ostwick Circle (Aequitarian Fraternity); member of the Trevelyan noble family of Ostwick; well educated. Endured abuse from Templars when he was in his late teens and 20s until reforms were made in the Ostwick Circle, due largely to Trevelyan family influence.
Personality: Diplomatic. Seeks the truth in all things. Believes in the Maker, Andraste, and follows the Chant. Wants to believe Andraste is with him, but is uncertain. As Inquisitor, he will set an example for mages everywhere.
Current title: The Herald of Andraste (Unofficial title), Inquisitor.
Battle Method: Broad range of attacks in all elements, some barrier support, Fade Step for evasion and attack.
Level: 13

Companions and Relationship Status

Cassandra: Close Friends
Varric: Friends
Solas: Friends
Sera: Some differences of opinion, but still friends
Vivienne: Friends
Blackwall: Good Friends
Dorian: On good terms
The Iron Bull: Becoming friends
Cole: Friends

Advisors and Relationship Status

Leliana: On good terms
Cullen: Comrades
Jospehine: Friends
Morrigan: Good acquaintances

Impressions Thus Far

DAI-Poster.jpg

A poster I threw together in Photoshop for that movie poster contest BioWare had, but ended up not submitting it.

Dragon Age Inquisition finally drops, just in time for the holidays... and holiday work hours. I play it whenever I have time, which is a few hours every night or every other night. I'm getting little sleep. -_-

As of 11-29-14 I had logged about 40 hours, though actually less than that in play time because I read all the codex entries and messages and take my time with everything.

I paid about $64 for Inquisition, and after completing almost everything in The Hinterlands, I can honestly say that I have already gotten my money's worth out of this game. So as long as it doesn't massively screw things up later regarding storyline, characters, or player choice, then this is well on it's way to being a great video game in my opinion.

Most of the bugs are tolerable, and easy to look past. I have not run into anything major yet.

Hitting "reset" in the controls menu sets the difficulty level in the gameplay menu to "Normal"! BAD GLITCH!!! VERY ANGERY!!!

Connor's bugged. My Hero and Anora are the monarchs, but Connor refers to "King Alistair". I assume this is a bug. Ironic really. Connor's storyline was bugged in Origins, and he's one of the major reasons they made the Keep, to ensure his story carried over accurately. And yet in the end he contradicts one of the most major plot decisions of Origins; who rules Ferelden. The codex on the Hero does note his marriage to Anora, so I assume this bug is with Connor. But in that case, is it also true that Eamon stayed in Denerim? He would have no reason to in the case of my Hero being king. But again, this is tolerable. I was able to skip the part where he referred to Alistair and fill it with my own canon.

I replaced it with, "I can't believe Queen Anora thought Redcliffe would be the best place for the rebel mages. I mean, her husband, the king, must have told her about all that transpired here... and what I did to them."

This I could see, but Anora's choice of Redcliffe is pretty confusing. I would think she would rather they go to Gwaren since it is so remote and easily defended. King Izen would approve of that, but then again, under him the Ferelden Circle wouldn't have dissolved. But, oh well.

The party banter works just fine for me. The game has crashed twice. Once after defeating the Pride Demon, which really pissed me off, but the next time I fought him I beat him easily; and the second time was when fast traveling in The Hinterlands, but I had saved before hand so it wasn't that bad.

The controls were terrible. Whoever set the keys should be fired... out of a cannon. Good thing they let us reconfigure the key bindings. I set mine to be more like Origins.

The Tactical View is counter-intuitive. It should be more like Origins, but I have gotten used to it.

There are also times when the characters won't follow the commands I give them in battle, which is irritating. The tactics menu is little help in this regard. BioWare should patch this and expand that.

Also, some of the directional paths that the characters can be told to move through are... stupid... at times...

(Pictures coming later)

Also... I will never say that a game is at fault for having too much content, but... Inquisition has too much content at too early a juncture. I feel that The Hinterlands should have only a quarter of the quests that it did, ending with building the watch towers (which you need to go back to Haven to complete). Then after THAT and the next phase of the story you should be able to go back to The Hinterlands and do all those other quests. I just think that having that many quests distracts from the main storyline of the game.

I like almost everything about this game. Great graphics, great music, great maps, really good attacks and abilities, great characters, fun and challenging enemies. The only complaint I would have on companions is that I wish party banter would include the Inquisitor more often. This happened once in the Frostbacks between him and Varric, but that was it.

There was a little more in Val Royeaux between my Inquiz and Cass. Which is good.

Storyline

In this section I talk about the plot up to the point I have played. This will be broken up into parts. A new paragraph will likely refer to a different plot within the game.

I like the storyline up to the plot of the mages at Redcliffe, which I detest. I like how Cassandra was ready to kill my mage right off the rip, but she restrained herself. It wasn't five minutes before she was actually helping my character get off the ground after being hurt by the mark or to fight off demons. My mage was cooperative with her, and they have much of the same viewpoints, so I like to think that had a lot to do with it. I found the interactions rather intimate for them having just met, which I also like. Though it probably just seemed that way to me.

Varric is okay, but I personally find him annoying most times. He and my Inquiz get along fine.

Solas is interesting. My Inquiz is grateful to him for saving his life. I see them discussing a lot of things related to life and magic and philosophy.

Most of the Hinterlands quests I could have done without. Or at least they should have appeared later in the game. It was distracting from the main plot.

The Val Royeaux plot was really good. The Revered Mother's condemnation was good, the head punch was surprising, and the confrontation was nice and tense. I also had my mage talk to the RM afterward, and the two seemed to settle things between them. Some trust was built, I think.

I almost didn't recruit Sera. Was not expecting to have to translate crazy talk. When she said, "I'm Sera, this is cuva, get 'round it" I thought, "Who? Carver? Is that her imaginary friend?" Took a few reloads to figure out she was referring to the damn crates as "cover". My mage would realistically reject her help. He made great points about her and her "Friends". His logic for rejecting her was also sound, that the Friends weren't a good match for the Inquisition. He's totally right. Also, Sera just looked REALLY ugly in that scene for some reason. But for he sake of having every party member possible I rationalized it as my mage wasn't sure about her, but decided to let her join to see where it goes, thinking that joining real friends might do her good.

Vivienne was an easy choice. She knows the game. She has connections. She's a powerful mage. She and my Inquiz have much the same views.

Cullen, Josephine, and Leliana? Good, okay, annoying. In that order. What I like most about them, and all the conversations really, is that they provide opportunities for my Inquisitor to show who he is as a character. So far I have established him as an Andrastian who seeks truth above all else, who does not make statements without knowing the facts (such as if he was blessed by Andraste in the rift), who respects the idea of the circles, who does so even in spite of templar abuse (seen second and firsthand), and who is still in touch with his noble parents.

Blackwall is humorous. When I asked what a Warden could do, and his response of "Save the fucking world, if pressed" made me laugh. It was a nice reference to Dragon Age Origins, I thought. He seems honorable. He and my Inquiz talked about the breach. I have customized some armor for him that looks awesome. But now I have him in Warden armor, and I suspect he'll remain that way for a while.

I was disgusted with Fiona. She spent all that time and energy getting mage freedom, caused all that chaos, and she just throws it all away by bowing to actual slave masters. There should have been a way to convince the mages to abandon her and join the Inquisition. I killed her at Haven, but knowing BioWare they will say that the Fiona killed during the attack was actually the "imposter" Fiona we met in Orlais.

The introduction scene with Alexius doesn't make sense. In theory, the Inquiz should be able to just kill him there and that would end the whole Tevinter plan right there.

I played ahead to see the mage and templar storylines, and I have to say the mage storyline is crap and makes no sense whatsoever!

I tried to go to Redcliffe alone. The game loaded in Cass and Varric automatically! They just appeared from out of nowhere in the Redcliffe Castle scene! I mean, come on BioWare, what happened to player choice? Also... am I really to believe that Alexius kept my companions confined for a year? He didn't... I don't know... kill them? He didn't... at least take their weapons and armor away? Just... put them in a cell with red lyrium, full weapons and armor, for a year... which means he fed them. Fed them well in fact. They weren't malnourished. Came out just as strong as ever. And he kept them this way for a year... knowing that my Inquisitor and Dorian would eventually show up again to stop him? Never thought to eliminate all forms of help? Never thought to turn them into red lyrium as he did with Fiona? That's the story you're going with BioWare? Is that right? Yeah no. Stick it back up your ass where it came from BioWare.

And let me tell you another thing! This basically means that the Hero of Ferelden failed too. That stomps on our custom characters from Origins. That's just unacceptable. This also means that the world lost against the Elder One and suffered for... a few months at least, or maybe the full year? That's Game Over. And going back in time to stop it, is "Reload from last save". That's what it is. Bullshit!

Also, what was the deal with Felix? He had the Darkspawn taint, right? Well... why couldn't they just make him a Grey Warden? I'm sure with his magic he could have ensured that he would survive the Joining.

The templar storyline on the other hand looks really awesome. A demon attacks you, and you go to the Fade. The Fade looks GREAT. Really abstract, like it should be. Then you overcome the demon. You beat it. You win. Then you go on to help the templars and show them that you are the best hope for the world. The Elder One's plan utterly fails. There is no victory for it, not even a temporary one.

Another bad thing I found regarding storyline is that if you side with templars Anora contacts you by letter about Venatori spies, but she signs it as "Queen Anora Theirin", not Cousland. This had better be an oversight on BioWare's part, and I hope they correct it soon.

Exciting News

Exposed Florianne and took her alive.

I figured out the mystery in Crestwood before reading the note from the mayor. Good plot. Sent word to Denerim for his arrest. Will turn him over to the crown eventually.

Doing some Chore Table missions. When I get enough of them done I will go finish the quest with Stroud and Hawke.

The three trainers arrived. Don't know which one I will pick yet, but I am leaning toward Necromancer.

Hints

Save your game as soon as you can. Save often. Make new saves before every side quest, cave, etc. Delete those annoying AutoSaves!

When you spec your characters, get as many attack abilities/spells as you can, then go for the upgrades later. You need multiple attacks early in the game.

If you are a mage, skip that Chain Lightning spell. It SUCKS! Minor damage to enemies, high mana cost, backfire damage to you and allies if they are close to the target (friendly fire on).

The enhanced version of Winter's Grasp also does friendly fire damage. Only use this spell when the enemy is not near a companion. Otherwise, stick to the basic version of the spell.

DO NOT HIT "RESET" ON ANY OF THE GAME MENUES!!! I hit reset on the controls menu and it set the difficulty from Nightmare to Normal. Huge inconvenience. Hopefully it doesn't screw me out of my Inquisitor achievement.

That's all for now (1-8-15). I will update this as I progress through the game and have time to post. Leave a comment if you want to. Thanks.

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