[OOC] Dragon Age: Inquisition – 20 Hours In

Right, well I know I said I wasn’t buying this game, but flush with Christmas money and at 33% off, I decided that it was worth $40. Plus, if you buy it through Origin (as I did), it comes with a 7-day refund policy. Good enough.

So here are my impressions from the roughly 20-hour mark. I’m well aware that they could change later on, so I’ll probably update again then. But I’ll address the points I brought up in my last post:

This is my Inquisitor. She always has this baffled and/or pissed off look.

This is my Inquisitor. She always has this baffled and/or pissed off look.

The controls. Oh god, the controls. You can’t click to move to things, there’s no area looting (so you have to scoot into range of everything in order to pick it up). The tactical camera is terrible. The menus are awkward and take ages to navigate. I don’t really know how to describe it other than clunky. A UI should be intuitive and unobtrusive. As of right now, it’s not. Hopefully some of this stuff is patched in later. And this is just me, but I miss the space bar to pause. I could re-bind the keys, but meh.

Mindlessly wandering around the wilderness. I get it, exploring is fun — to a degree. But a lot of the quests feel like pointless busywork. Collect 10 of this flower, bring it back to some healer. Your “power” goes up by one. What does that mean? I have no idea. It’s an arbitrary gating mechanic to keep you from doing the main storyline quests whenever you want to.

The story feels contrived and “gamey”. I kind of touched on this in the last point, but it just really feels like you’re doing things for game purposes rather than story purposes. Especially in the case of my Inquisitor, who happens to be a Dalish elf and a mage. At one point, her advisors tell her to go and meet with someone to sway them over to their cause. For some reason, a Dalish elf who’s probably had zero contact with any humans until this point, and a MAGE who is hated and feared by just about everyone — is considered the best choice for this task. I have a feeling that the story probably works a bit better if you play as a human, but that’s really no excuse. DA:O was able to pull off the different stories and tie them in together.

Not healing. This is still stupid. Healing is replaced by barrier spam, which is effectively the same thing. I really don’t understand this change at all. The 8 potion limit is annoying, too.

Not a fan of most of the characters. This will likely change as I get further in and get more opportunity to interact with them, but I pretty much can’t stand any of my actual party members. The ones I like are my council or advisors or whatever they are: Cullen, Josephine, Cassandra and Leliana. Why can’t they go out with me! (I mean, Cassandra can, but the others.) My poor Inquisitor is just rolling her eyes at the others all of the time, although Dorian is kind of amusing. If I ever do another play-through I’ll have to be a guy so I can flirt with him. The character I expected to like — the elf, because me and elves — comes off as creepy and insufferable to my Inquisitor. I still hate Varric, if you wondered.

Did my choices even matter? Sure, Hawke shows up but there’s been hardly a word of my Warden. Leliana mentions him once very briefly in passing, but she’s more upset over another character’s death than his. Why don’t other mages ever mention him? He did save the world, after all. Even dead, I feel like he should have a bit more influence than he does. Hopefully there’s more later on.

Missions. Like I don’t get enough of this crap in WoW? Follower missions aren’t fun there, and they aren’t fun here either. Seriously. Waiting 3 hours for someone to do a task for me is not compelling gameplay.

Now for the stuff I do kinda like:

Scenery. The world looks great, I love the swaying trees, rain, and the ocean. Which is good as you see a lot of the world while you wander aimlessly around.

Skyhold. It’s a big castle to run around in, and you can actually customize it to a degree. You can find materials to upgrade parts (I made a garden), change the flags, the furniture in your room, etc. It’s funny that I can play house more here than I can in my WoW garrison. Even though I can’t actually invite anyone over.

Storyline. The story that I have got so far is interesting enough to make me want to see what’s next. I just wish it took past choices and my race more into account. But who knows, maybe it will later on. I do like seeing and recognizing characters and things from the other games, such as Connor in Redcliffe. I just recently initiated a romance (woo!) so that’s always fun to follow as well.

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