Hi folks, I’m filling in for Jaybird this week, and I’d like to talk about a game I’m really fond of, though it’s not without flaws – Dragon Age Inquisition.
Inquisition is a game about being thrust into the middle of an emergency and having to deal with it because, as usual, everyone else is too busy bickering to do anything useful about it. Well, not exactly because a few other people have noticed that this is a Serious Problem, and after an unfortunate misunderstanding you decide to band together to form the eponymous Inquisition and try to try and put the world to rights.
I’m a fan of the Dragon Age series in general, and Inquisition is my favourite of the three. In addition to several interesting and complex main characters (the best thing about Bioware games are the characters), it also has an element of build up an institution, not just running around on your own. My biggest issue with the game (apart from the fact the controls are not properly optimised for PC) is that it doesn’t do enough to explore this.
You acquire power for the Inquisition, and can even upgrade your stronghold to some extent, but most of these upgrades are cosmetic. Your base looks more formidable and better populated at the end of the game, but you still find yourself running around doing odd jobs. And how many odd jobs there are. I get that sometimes you want to expand a game’s length by adding a few side missions, but my first playthrough of Inquistion took 90 hours; a game that long doesn’t need padding out with MMO-style busywork. Sure you don’t have to do most of it, but the completionist in me gets really bothered if I don’t do the quests in front of me.
I think this was a missed opportunity. What I’d have liked to see is a mechanic that let you use the growing resources of the Inquisition to deal with this stuff. In the early stages of the game, you’d have to do petty side-quests yourself if you wanted them done, but once the Inquisition was more powerful you could just send your followers to deal with the minor stuff and only take care of the important things yourself. That would shorten the game by removing low-value content while giving you a better appreciation for this organisation you are building.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been playing while I wait for Civilization VI to be released. What have you been playing this week?
(Picture is Scene from an Inquisition by Francisco Goya, a faithful reproduction of a Public Domain work of art)