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Disclaimer: Welcome to GameAcide. Here we take everyone’s favorite and most hyped games and tear them down. What follows is a comical examination of the game depicted. Liberal doses of sarcasm, satire, exaggeration, and  a pinch of toilet-humor have been employed.

So, Dragon Age: Inquisition won Game of the Year in the all-so-prestigious Video Game Awards recently. How could it not? I mean, it was a AAA Bioware/EA title. Oh the depth, oh the diversity! Truly, you know that gay-rights are totally no longer a problem when Dragon Age Inquisition seems to have more gay and bi characters than black ones. Such a pity they forgot to add a black-bisexual! But I’ll forgive them, ’cause honestly, Bioware knows what’s important to me. They know that above all else, I’m just not going to be happy unless I can have sex with a giant male Qunari. Come on, the horns alone make that just too tempting, and quit looking at me like that… I can share.

ironbull

Who doesn’t want to ride the bull?

While we’re unzipping our Bioware holiday treats, let us not be heathens. Dragon Age: Inquisition has so much more to offer us than naughty delights. Indeed, she has a great personality too! It’s not all about looks and horns… horns…mmm. Anyhow, if you want to know how this latest installment of Fantasy Commander Shepherd feels, all you have to do is ask. She’ll tell you… Oh God she’ll tell you.

In fact, if you ever want to tap Josephine’s fine booty, you’ll first have to ask all about her encyclopedic knowledge of Orlesian politics and business practices. But come on, it’s because you really wanted to know right? Not because those bedazzling golden shoulder-pads are somehow hypnotic. It’s not that she’s high-maintenance, it’s just that she needs you to rescue her family’s failing business and clear her tarnished name. I mean usually, to get a little companionship it just takes a back-rub in a dimly lit bar and an invitation to “watch a movie” at my place, but I guess saving someone from generations of bad decisions and legions of angry nobles is totally cool too.

warcouncil3

Ah well, let’s forget for a moment that most of the main character’s dialogue options consist of asking other people about their lives. I suppose such behavior is fitting of someone titled “The Inquisitor.”  We can instead focus on graphics. My my, it really is a beautiful game, so detailed, so colorful. Bioware even saw fit to bless us with magical armor and clothing that, thanks to some unknown enchantment, is able to completely ignore the laws of physics.

Watch in amazement as your chin and neck pass effortlessly through your collar in cut-scenes! While shields are obviously very effective at deflecting arrows and causing one’s self to move needlessly slow, Dragon Age: Inquisition showcases their little-known ability to allow your own legs and weapons to pass right through them! No, this couldn’t be the manifestation of some lazy programming — it is all too clear that this is an artful effort to depict just how magical the world of Dragon Age is.

Oh the magic! Yer really going to be feeling it after you’ve painstakingly harvested your 312th Blood Lotus! Lord knows why this is the only ingredient used for crafting a jar of bees, but it is. Yup, by the time you are turning your nose up at other more provocative sounding harvestables, such as Serpent’s Stone and Paragon’s Luster — a patch of Blood-Lotus will still send you greedily to your knees like a fat kid who just witnessed the final blow to a pinata. Seriously, if the world of Dragon Age was ever to experience a shortage of Blood-Lotus, civilization would come to a screeching halt. It is doubtful that The Inquisitor could even make Kool-Aid without it.

OMG Blood Lotus Commemorative Keychains are a real thing!

OMG Blood Lotus Keychains are a real thing!

The folks at Bioware know that gamers really appreciate quality voice acting, so they’ve provided over 9000 hours of it! Rest assured that if your Inquisitor so much as takes a dump, Varick will have something to say about it. Yeah, you may have to badger him with 20 questions you’ve already asked just to get to that singular line of new dialog, but this is what the folks at Bioware like to refer to as “interactive.” A total noob might ask, Why not just spread some of this dialog out between exciting quests and battle? To which I reply: Because dummy, then there wouldn’t be a need to spend three hours of our time meandering about our keep after missions! Except, maybe to create more Blood-Lotus commemorative key-chains.

How can one appreciate the splendor of their home base, the custom thrones, drapes, and banners!? (Banners that often don’t actually appear physically when you change them, but are definitely/maybe there in spirit). How can you appreciate such decorative splendor if you are not needlessly running from one end of the keep to the other just so you can get the deets on Varic’s murder-boner for Red Lyrium, or Cassandra’s disdain for smiles. Hell, I don’t think I’d even know what my keep looked like if I wasn’t always checking to see if Vivienne or Iron Bull were ready to have sex with me yet. Spoiler alert: They aren’t!

DA_Vivienne

In the end, I really enjoyed my time with Dragon Age: Inquisition. The ability to stand in judgment over a distressed father that tried to save his sickly son at all costs, and then deciding to lobotomize him… Well that ladies and gentlemen, that is a singular experience that you just won’t get anywhere else. Add to this an orgy of romance options, and a patented Blood-Lotus crafting system, and well, there’s just no way anyone could say no to this game.

More About This Game

Benjamin Jeanotte

Hi, I’m Ben. I am a 35 year old gaming veteran. My first console was a Mattel Intellivision(released 1981, purchased 1983) and I have owned at least one major console from every generation since. With thousands of titles behind me, I am a harsh and critical gamer who enjoys hating on games as much as loving them. — I am not just a writer for Techraptor, but a huge fan of it as well. You will probably see my comments on many articles, not just on MY articles, but others too. I look forward to having some glorious discussions and debates with you all.



  • Guest

    Just wanted to point out that if you check out MetaCritic, the community score for DA:I is at 5.5 with over 2000 reviews. Played it, hated it, all my friends that played it hated it. Definitely not Game of the Year material in my opinion.

  • PossiblyCthulhu

    I laughed too hard at this…. Blood lotus keychains and special edition elfroot garden side quests – just need to find 3 quarries so I can build a small permanent barbecue outside for when the weather gets better in Skyhold.

  • BeholdMyPower

    “Ah well, let’s forget for a moment that most of the main character’s dialogue options consist of asking other people about their lives. I suppose such behavior is fitting of someone titled “The Inquisitor.””

    My sides look forward to future GameAcides.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    This is actually the 3rd article I’ve written about this game! So in addition to playing the sh*t out of it, I also researched it a ton! I read many of the user reviews for this game, and it seems to me a lot of people didn’t give it enough time, or they were simply very upset at the mouse and keyboard controls. I wrote a review that addresses these issues on another site and I invite you to read it, and tell me if maybe you think that helps you understand how someone could like the game? While it wasn’t my game of the year, it was very very close.

    http://wtbfun.com/dragon-age-inquistion-addictive-and-grand/

  • Arbitrary

    Played it, was not too bothered about the controls, fucking hated it.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Well I’m not saying I wouldn’t change anything about it, while many of my complaints in the article are exaggerated, they still exist. Hate though? Why did you hate it? What were you hoping for?

  • Wisdomcube2000

    This was pretty funny lol. My personal stance on what I’ve played so far:

    Aside from a few visual glitches/armor clipping, I’ve been enjoying it. I came in expecting absolute garbage from what I’ve heard, and it is nowhere near that bad (imo) lol.

    Suggestion to EA tho: Fix the issue where if you swing at an enemy with the sword and shield (and you go over a rock or something in the process of doing said swing) that launches you into the air. I’ve been killed after smokey moon jumping a couple hundred feet in the air (straight up and also flung across the map). Funny stuff, but annoying after the 3rd or so time in under five mins lol.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    LOL oh wow, I haven’t even had that happen to me yet, thanks for your comment!

  • Death Saved

    To me the game felt that it lacked detail, i mean requisition that seemed to affect the game doesn’t actually do anything other than give you power i remember how disappointed i was when the first one didn’t actually give my troops a new sword model.

    Camps don’t really feel like camps (other than the first one in the hinterlands, which seemed misleading to me) i mean they only have two soldiers in them, when you claim one of them (or all of them) they dont really affect the area in anyway, hell those two soldiers will sit there while you get mauled by a bear in the middle of the camp!

    Skyholds “upgrades”… seriously!?, also i have a big ass castle and yet i can only have a max of 90 items?

    The mounts are only somewhat faster than you and they cost you party dialogues, the ability to collect items and fight, And the variations (mostly pallete swaps) dont provide any benefits.

    the armor is dull and uninspired i mean some of the endgame stuff is basically what you had at the start with a couple of trinkets attached to it, and the upgrade/attachment system seems to have been only added in to help reduce the equipments similarity’s to a degree.

    The game just looks like a poorly cut and unpolished gem, and quite honestly i regret purchasing it at full price and i haven’t finished in the hopes that the “free” content patches will polish this game up a bit, though by the look of it those seem to be mostly for MP.

  • Marvus

    To be fair, if a game doesn’t catch you in the first 10 hours, how much time do you really want to invest in the hope, that maybe there will be major changes later? I played it for that time when I called quit, never looking back.
    I do understand how can someone like this game, but I do understand how can someone dislike or even hate it (although I don’t hate it, I’m just disappointed).
    Here are some of my problems with it in that time:
    -Contradictions: in the prologue Varric mentions that Solas kept you alive with healing magic. The kind of magic he forgets everything about when you meet with him. Or how Adan says that ‘they are fine with raw labor and you have more important things to do’ so he does not ask you that kind of jobs. Except if you want to make or upgrade anything. Then you have to collect everything for it because fuck logic.
    -Fetch’em all: to the previous point I should mention that fetch quests are bad and anyone who thought that they are a nice fit in the game should feel bad. It’s not a F2P MMO, where it is acceptable. On the other side, there are some nice side quests, so it feels like there were two group who put in sidequests and only one group got creative minds.
    -Skills: for me Origins was from this aspect a somewhat mixed bag. It was simple, occasionally not so logical, but you had options, where you want to go. In the second game you actually got skill trees which were quite logically stuctured, and you had choices to be made and everyone had something unique. It was IMO the best of the three, followed by a dumbed down version, which is the most painful if you wanted to enjoy a mage main character and you realize that the only option you have is to choose the color of the fancy spell you cast. No healing, no meaningful control, no buff/debuff. And no unique spells/tree based on the character’s race/backstory which is a big missed point, especially after two games praising both the elven and the qunary magic, how different and special they are from the magic taught in the circle.
    -Level gating: My first thought about this was the Tale of brave Sir Robin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYFefppqEtE . It’s somewhat a painful experience to realize, you are not free to go anywhere but rather you have to experiment where you can go in the same region via trial and error which is, for me, rather frustrating after in both previous games if I was stuck somewhere it felt like it was my fault, not some kind of artifical “you can’t go there now”.

    -Tactics: it became from a nice aspect of team management automation to a barely non-existent thing with the only option to decide is to when to drink a health potion and barely affect who your companions should attack.
    -Camps: they are rather annoying when you feel like the removal if healing and the level gating are parts of the plan to make the camps somewhat relevant, and that system works just because of that.

    -Controls: it doesn’t bothered me too much except for two things: at first it was a bit annoying, that there is no hard lock on target and it randomly changes which is not so optimal. But the frustrating thing was the tactics/isometric view. For whoever thought it is adequate, there should be a special place in hell. Right next to the one, who thought auto-movement is a bad thing and you shouldn’t just click on an object and let your character go there on their own.

    To summarize, this game isn’t junk, it’s just radiates that it was designed to be played on consoles (which, to some extent, I felt about the previous title too) and for an audience that they thought not comfortable with the complexity of the previous titles. As a PC gamer, without the constraints of a console and a love for min-maxing and exploring everything, it felt annoying to the point where I had to stop. So, as I said, I don’t feel hate or disgust, I’m just disappointed the they chose this path and I know now that this game is not for me.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Great review, I too noticed many of the issues you pointed out, and while I still long to go back to Dragon Age Origins, I liked this game despite some of it’s wonky choices to be excessively actiony, but certainly not because of them. I think for someone like you or me, this game would be pretty meh if one doesn’t play on hard or nightmare, which is what I started out on.

    There were too many quests and collectables, and it really distracted a player from the good quests.

    Back to combat, yeah I wish they would just stop trying to make action RPGS that include multiple party members. The only time this really worked well for me was in Dragon’s Dogma. I found strategic mode to be fun when battles got hard though, I didn’t really have any problems with it, though if you play on normal, battles never really get hard, so dipping into tactical mode will seem very awkward since you never had any need to get used to it.

    The choice to remove healing magic from combat was a dismal one, but I don’t think that it was intended to negate the fact that there is healing magic in the world. With a little imagination, it is not too hard to come to the realization that Solas was probably using slow incantations or charms that are not suitable for combat. It’s not like he was casting Cure III on you while you were sleeping and instantly repairing horrendous wounds. Regardless though, in just about every RPG ever in existence there are huge differences in the power of healing magic and potions in combat, and healing magic and potions in the story, so I’m not sure if your quibble here is fair.

    Level gating is a matter of preference, myself, I prefer to have to feel out where the dangers are. I have always enjoyed getting my butt kicked and then coming back once I’ve become more powerful. It breeds a bit of familiarity with ones environment, makes things more memorable.

    Honestly when you said Level Gating, I thought you were talking about how weapons and gear have level requirements attached to them, a convention that I have always thought was nonsense.

    Anyhow, really, the both of us could probably go on for many pages finding all the faults in Dragon Age: Inquisition, but eh, everything has faults. What makes a good game isn’t a lack of faults, perse. It’s the inclusion of strengths. Big world, beautiful graphics, better story than most games, a lot of player agency, loot, crafting, and some cool characters. Our quibbles here don’t delete the game’s strengths, just distract from them a bit. I do admit that having to play a game for 10-20 hours before it starts to really get fun is a bit extreme, but you know what they say about patience being a virtue and all that.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    LOL, uh but did you think the article was funny? Obviously there is some great need in the gaming community to vent our hatred for Dragon Age: Inquisition, but this is just a funny article! I wonder what about this article inspired people to give these large reviews of the game. I did like DA:I but you do realize that most of the gushing about this game for this article is sarcasm right? My opening and ending statements concerning it were pretty much dripping with venomous sarcasm! We won’t even get into the fact that I think the VGAs were a corrupt and overblown marketing tool and had very little to do with actually awarding games based on critical review.

    Of course, I could argue the pros and cons of this game all day, but at the end of the day, I just wrote this article to be funny! It was absolutely, in no way, supposed to be some kind of review to be taken seriously.

  • Death Saved

    Oh i was well aware of that i just wanted to vent, sorry if i bothered you with this.

  • Fenrir007

    Is this an accurate showcase of DA:I?

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Oh don’t be sorry, comment away, that is your internet-god-given-right! I just wondered if folks were getting the wrong impression.

  • Marvus

    I was going to write a longer response, but in the end your last paragraph is ultimately true, every game has its flaws and most of them got their strengths too. This game got a lot of things right, as you said the graphics are great, the characters so far were on the level of previous titles which is a remarkable feat, the story seemed interesting and as I understand I didn’t even scratch the surface of it. I feel a bit guilty on fixating on the bad sides because I don’t like being the one who ruins the fun (although I do tend to notice imperfections, and have a desire for optimalization, so sometimes this is rather difficult :)). It’s maybe that I played too much of the previous titles to go with tabula rasa, and purely enjoy what the game has to offer without expectations. Just one example for that is I could totally agree with not having any healing magic whatsoever if I didn’t play two games in the same world where every single mage (or at least the ones that I saw the possible skills for) was capable of healing during combat. Knowing that gave me the impression of some kind of artifical restriction, and, although it’s just technical thing, it was somewhat immersion breaking for me.

    So, all in all, it’s a good game, it’s just not a perfect fit for my expectations.

    Oh, and on the notion of going for hard/nightmare, I was going for hard for the first time and if I will ever go back, I think I will go back on easy, because that way I can minimize the required fetching, the tactical view entirely and still got the story smoothly. Although I do like challenges, I like the tools for the challenges adequate too, so the only thing I can be frustrated about is my own skill. And anyway, I do like roleplaying that much, if a character is only fitting in the party for his/her personality but not for his/her skillset, I’d like to afford to bring him/her along, not considering stats and synergies and anything. I’m not saying that I don’t like that aspect but I played Diablo 2 for 3 years straight and still play Diablo 3 occasionally for that kind of thing alongside with thinking about trying out something from the Dark Souls.

    And one last thing: as I read through your response, at the item level requirement thing and the thought that it does not make sense (with wich I agree completely), I remembered, although it was before christmas when I tried the game out and I already forget about it 🙂 but I got some nostalgic memories from this, that time came back when we played some tabletop RPG where was, for some items, stat requirements, and for some of us it didn’t make sense that you can’t lift a sword at X strength but if you have X+1 strength, you can fight with it like you were some one-man-sharknado. So we made a house-rule: every item could be used by anyone, but if you don’t fulfill the requirements, every use of the item carries a chance of failure (the chance based on the difference, and there was a possibility of 100%) and the nature of the failure is to be decided by the storyteller (of GM if you like). This resulted in nicely balanced, more immersive and sometimes hilarious games 🙂

    ps: yes, I know I was intented to write less, but I’m too lazy to cut it shorter 🙂

  • Ben Jeanotte

    First well different difficulties are made so that the game can be played by different people with different levels of skill/or patience. No shame in playing a game on easy, though my pride often prevents me from doing so, that’s my problem.

    Yeah, I love your house rule. I can understand some limitations on equipment for balance, but I do believe everyone should be able to equip everything. Let’s just say you equip a sword that is super powerful before you are high enough level to really make use of its subtle superiority… it’d still be a good weapon for you, because it’s an awesome rare weapons, but certain stats and techniques should become unlocked from it after you’ve gained more fighting experience… that’s how I wish they’d handle such things. Equipment should basically have two stats… the power of the weapon as it would be wielded by someone with little or no skill, and the power of the weapon as it would be wielded by a master.

    Write as much as you want, obviously I enjoy responding to folks in comments, probably more than I should!

  • It was good game but still lacking in gameplay. Compared to the rest of the new games that came out in ’14 it certainly was one of the best. Took me some 100hr to complete it.

  • Marvus

    I think that it’s not a problem, rather a trait if you have the time and enjoying the challenge 🙂

    And for me it’s less about patience (at least all of my padawans said that I was very patient with them :)) and more about that I have rather limited time for gaming so I want to optimize it so the minimal parts go for being frustrated about the clunky controls or wasting time collecting flowers on the field. Problably, if I could afford the time, I’d go for more challenging gameplay but as it stands, I’m still abandoning too much games because I too rarely got the time to play with them.

    And about the requirements, I think Torchlight 2 made something similar, although it’s rather just a step to the right direction, because it still had the level and stat requirements, but you only had to fulfill one of them and it got augmented stats which unlocked if you used it enough. I think that system could be expanded to the level what you described, except for the techniques, but that I think is rather character then weapon related.
    In DA, I think Bianca is the only example of this and although it was a nice touch, I could live with a system where every item works similar or should be leveled up or something like that, so I think I’m with you about that. Altough I’m thinking about that min/max power thing and one thought came to my mind: why not a base power and a modifier from the character using it?

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Well here’s my thinking on certain weapons having select techniques.

    Many weapons in history, but we’ll say swords for example — they had interesting little design choices to allow them to perform very specific tasks. Notched swords were designed to help someone disarm an opponent, jagged or curved blades were designed to make them bleed. So that is why I think it’d be cool that at a certain skill-level a character could use 1 or 2 select techniques, unique to the weapon they have.

    The other question you ask: “Why not a base power and a modifier from the character using it?” That is typically done already, and I have no complaints about that. You see things adding to power like Strength stats and even skill level all the time, I would use that system along with my other one. In my imagination, my system allows for a little more elegance. Think of the following scenario~ You have this guy, he is a newb with swords. There are 2 weapons in front of him. One is a heavy ended newb-sword, and the other is a very high level, balanced, lightweight and refined sword.

    He’s going to do more damage with the newbsword, because his skill level doesn’t yet know how to make use of exceptional balance and lightness. But the heavier end is great for doing higher damage with unrefined blows. For him, he’s little more than swinging at whatever threat is in front of him. Say the heavy-ended sword would have like a damage range of 20-30, based on how close to maxed out his sword skill level was, however, the expert sword would have a damage range of 10-60 because it’s superior balance and weight allow for more complex techniques and faster movement, but ONLY if someone has the skills to make use of it. You can imagine how an expert swordsman would be hindered by the awkwardly weighted newb-weapon, so it’s max damage can only go so high. Does that sound reasonable or cool?

  • Marvus

    At first glance it seems reasonable, but as I’ve given some thought for it, it’s a bit odd to me. Of course, it’s rather difficult to inflict bleed with a chair leg, but I’d imagine that it would be more realistic if the techniques would be related to the character rather then to the weapon they use because as you said, the weapons were designed to help certain techniques and that means to me that in a translation to technical aspects it’s rather a modifier to the technique than a restriction that certain techniques only can be used with certain weapons. For example, you mentioned that notched swords were designed to help disarm an opponent, but a character could you a chair leg or a wide range of weapons for that job too even if it is not ideal for it. I think it depends rather on the characters knowledge about how to disarm an opponent than on the weapon.

    On the other question: alright, I get it now, at first I thought it was about item leveling and I didn’t understand how that could fit in. But as you described, I like this idea very much and it seems a great complementer to weapon proficiency skills. At least that’s what I think you was aiming for with it 🙂

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Thanks, I don’t have my heart set on the Technique thing anyhow, but I would really like that second part to end up in games.

  • Brian Hall

    These bioware games have became incredibly pretentious. It’s like playing a poor soap opera at times.