Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Review

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Review

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition is a game developed by BioWare and produced by EA, the same duo that brought us the previous two titles. Although I still find Dragon Age Origins to be the best game form the series, Inquisition comes very close to it, certainly closer that Awakening ever did.

I think that if you had to describe Dragon Age 3: Inquisition in just one word, the best one would be enormous. It is absolutely huge, packed with content, quests to complete and mysteries to uncover. It will keep you busy for more than 100 hours, but that also means that the main story line will get a little boring. You can rush the game and do the bare minimum in order to progress through the story line and complete everything else afterwards, but it doesn’t seem that the game was meant to be played that way, and you will have a hard time.

As I said the main story is not very good and some of the side quests are also very tedious, but the game shines because of its combat. Before we get into all of that let us talk about the technical requirements of the game to see if you can run the game.

Technical Requirements

On my mid-tier rig, the game rarely dropped under 70 frames per second on high detail and with a resolution of 1920 x 1080p. On top of that it also looks very good, with bright colorful and creepy dark environments. Actually, now that I think about it, I never stopped to worry about FPS throughout the game. Also forget that nonsense you might of heard, saying that the DRM will ruin your SSD. Finished the game twice and my Samsung  SSD works just as good as it did the first day I bought it. My MSI GTX 980 graphics card was more than up to the task and so was my Intel Core i5-4690K processor.

These are the system requirements provided by the game developers:

Minimum System Requirements

CPU: AMD quad core CPU at 2.5 GHz or Intel quad core CPU at 2.0 GHz

Graphics Card: 512 MB, AMD Radeon HD 4870, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

RAM: 4 GB

OS: Windows 7 or 8.1 64-bit

HDD: 26 GB

Recommended System Requirements

CPU: AMD six core CPU at 3.2 GHz or Intel quad core CPU at 3.0 GHz

Graphics Card: 2 GB, AMD Radeon HD 7870 or R9 270, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660

RAM: 8 GB

OS: Windows 7 or 8.1 64-bit

HDD: 26 GB

The game will run just fine on slower computers, but you will have to reduce the visuals a little bit. The best thing that you can do to improve performance, is to reduce the shadow quality and the graphics detail. Don’t worry, the game will still look great.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Review

The Main Dragon Age 3 Inquisition Story and the Side Quests

The main story starts out very impressive, but gets rather boring by the end. Everything begins where the previous game left off. The war between mages and Templars rages on, and the leaders are summoned to “Haven” (the little town where you find the Ashes of Andraste in Dragon Age Origins) so they can reach a peaceful solution to the conflict. Everything goes to Hell when a big explosion occurs, ripping the sky open and demons stat to pour out of the crack. On top of that the Divine (leader of the Chantry) disappears, while every other person that was present at the meeting dies. Our hero (or heroine, depending on your choice) emerges from the rift and gets arrested by the Seekers of the Chantry. He has absolutely no recollection about what has occurred, and discovers a small sign on his left palm, capable of closing rifts.

The only one that believes you are innocent is Cassandra Pentaghast, a human warrior, member of the royal Pentaghast family of Nevarra, Seeker of the Chantry and the Right Hand of the Divine. The two of you race over to close the rift in the sky and in no time you will meet two other companions, the elven mage Solas and the dwarf rogue Varric (you should already be familiar with him from DA Awakening). Now that the party is full, you are ready to close that dreadful rift that threatens the life of everybody on that mountain, but not before you fight a few demos. When you reach the rift, you’ll have to fight the first boss, and I must admit that I was “caught me with my pants down”. I totally underestimated the fight and failed miserably. The second time, I was more careful and didn’t charge in like an idiot. Instead, I carefully had my warrior (Cassandra) tank the boss, while the ranged characters (Solas and Varric) provided support from afar. My little stabby rogue, took care of the ads and damaged the portal as soon as it became attackable (be careful that you would need to sometimes step back in order to use the rift). Needless to say that this time around I was successful.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Review

After that is done, you wake up in a hut in Haven. When you go to the chantry, Cassandra reinstates the Inquisition and the game begins.

In order to unlock new areas, you’ll have to conduct exploratory missions, but the game does a pretty good job of explaining everything you need to know. Try to look throughout Heaven for items, plants and crafting materials. You will be able to craft yourself a better weapon (or in my case two) before you set off for the Hinterlands. Also complete the side quests here, for they will show you the mechanics of the game, including the crafting system.

When you reach the Hinterlands, head straight to the stable master in order to get yourself a horse. Also, once you are there, you can complete three racing challenges for extra XP. They are very easy and quick, so I see no reason why you shouldn’t do them. Once you have your horse, the world is your oyster. You can do whatever you want, provided you finish the main story quest in the Hinterlands, but it takes little time to complete.

Something you should know, is that when you come back from Val Royeaux, you will be presented with a decision ,but the game doesn’t make it exactly clear that it should be one way or another. You will have two main quests. The first one, named Champions of the Just, will tell you to go and meet the Templars in Therinfal Redoubt and convince them to join you. The second one, called In Hushed Whispers, says that you have to go to near the Redcliffe castle in order to form an alliance with the apostate mages. Be advised that once you start either of these quests, the other one becomes unavailable, so choose carefully.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Review

Siding with the Templars:

In order to progress through the Champion of the Just quest, you must first acquire 15 power points, but that shouldn’t be a problem. If you lack the necessary points, then I recommend you go back to the Hinterlands and complete a few side quests. When you have the necessary amount of points, return to Heaven and choose the “Champions of the Just” operation in your war room. The game also states that you must have at least level 4 in order to succeed, but again, if you have the required power points you’ll have the appropriate level too. I suggest that you don’t to this quest until you reach level 6, because the final boss is a bit tough, but if you think you can manage, then go right ahead. Once you defeat the Envy Demon, you will get the support of the Templars and the quest will be over. Don’t forget to loot the body, because you’ll get a legendary weapon.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Review

Siding with the Mages:

The quest becomes available after you first come into contact with Fiona, the leader of the apostates. You will meet her when you attempt to leave Val Royeaux, so the quest cannot be missed. The enchantress wants to convince you that you should join forces and she invites you for another meeting in the village of Redcliffe. You must first go back to Haven and consult with your advisors. Some of them will tell you to side with the mages, while others, namely your commander Cullen, will want you to take the Templar’s path. Luckily, the decision is all yours.

You need to travel to the Hinterlands and make your way up north until you reach the gate near Redcliffe village. Fight a few demons, close a rift and proceed towards the village. Enter the tavern at the end of it and you will meet with Magister Alexius, that will tell you he wants to join forces with the Inquisition. You will also meet another mage, named Dorian (one of your followers), that will casually pass you a small note, telling you to go to the nearby chantry.

AS soon as you enter the chantry, yet another rift will open and you will have to fight demons. Because of the limited space, try and keep your mage and your archer in the back, and be careful they won’t get cornered. The fight if very tough, but if you take your opportunities to disrupt the rift, you will succeed.

If you decide to continue this quest, the Templar’s one will become unavailable. Just like before you will need 15 power points in order to progress. Here you’ll actually go into the future (a grim one, where you have failed and the forces of darkness conquered the world), and you must find a way to return to your own time. Follow the instructions and you will reach the boss, Alexius. He uses traps, so be careful when approaching him. Also, he is resistant to frost damage and cannot be frozen, but he can be knocked back. Position your troops accordingly and use your rogue/rogues (melee or range) to take care of the ads. He will open two rifts, that you need to close with your main character.

After the battle, remember to loot his body for an amulet and a mage’s staff. A new conversation between the characters will commence and you can choose the mages fate: alliance or imprisonment. Either way, they will now belong to the Inquisition.

This is but one example of the hard choices you’ll have to make throughout the game. The idea is, that you’ll have to bring order to the chaos, one way or another. There is no bad choice, there is only your choice.

You will become the Inquisitor, with your own fortress, army and political influence, and you will shape the fate of the world.

The side quests aren’t very interesting, with a few exceptions of course. Most of the time you will be asked to gather that, or bring me that, or go kill that guy, which gets so boring after a while. My personal “favorite” was the quest I got from the healer near Redcliffe castle. He asked me to deliver two Spindleweed and four Elfroot plants, so he can treat the nearby refugees. Guess what, the plants were just outside his hut, making me wonder why couldn’t he just walk a couple of feet and pick the plants up himself. This is just one example, but trust me, it’s not the only one.

The Combat System

The game features a hot-key tactical combat. You can pause it anytime you want, and trust me when I say that you will. On the normal difficulty it’s not that hard, but if you crank it up to hard, the Spacebar will be your new best friend.

The combat in Dragon Age 3: Inquisition combines the oversimplified combat of Dragon Age 2 with the tactical combat of DA Origins. The melee combat makes the game feel  like an action-RPG at times, while the range combat is fast-paced and fun (I did enjoy the ranged rogue more than I did the mage because of the mobility). You will no longer have to use injury-kits, because characters that fall in battle don’t become injured anymore.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition Review

There is are no healing spells in this game, which I must admit it’s a bold move by the developers. Instead you can buff your chars with different shields and protections. The only way you can heal during combat is by using potions (they can be upgraded). The game encourages a  blend of aggression and caution that really works.

The tactical view is also really good. You must only let go of a button, after you give your orders, in order to advance time, while pressing it again will re-pause it. This removes the constant frantic pausing and unpausing present throughout DA Origins, making a cautiously played battle feel like a classic turn-based RPG.

If you’re having issues defeating all of the dragons in the game, check out our comprehensive Dragon Age Inquisition strategy guide!

I did notice that I can leave my melee character do their own thing, for the most part. The rogue will try to go stabby , while the warriors will go for the big guys. You can also customize the behavior of your followers. You can tell them when to attack ,what spells to cast and where to stand. You can even tell them what to do when they come in direct contact with the enemy. For example, you can customize your mage, so when he’s attacked by a melee enemy, he’ll freeze the target and blink away.

It is by far my favorite combat system out of the three games.

The companion system is also a huge plus for Dragon Age 3: Inquisition. They all have their very own specific quest, likes and dislikes and you can become romantically involved with one of them. You get to chose their skills and roles, as well as equip them with powerful gear. At some point of the game, you might get tired of your character and maybe want to play as a different class, well the game lets you use any of your companions at any given time. This is why I tried to build them as different as possible. For example, I build Solas as a healer/control mage, while Dorian was my go to guy when fire magic was needed. There is also a tome that will let you re-spec any character, including yours, any time you want.

Conclusion

Although not as good as DA Origins, story wise, Inquisition does manage to deliver a decent experience. The dialogue is nicely written, while the voice acting is well delivered. I already said that the combat system is very strong, but you’ll have to get through the weak story and annoying side quests. To be honest, the story isn’t that weak after all, but after DA Origins I was expecting something more.

You can buy Dragon Age 3: Inquisition at Amazon.com for $39,99, or you can pay a bit more, $99,95, for the deluxe edition.

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