Dragon Age: Inquisition is an illustration of the best things Bioware can offer to the video game industry. Bioware is the company known for large stories with personal choices that affect the future of the world and characters in it. Dragon Age: Inquisition has multiple layers in all categories: characters, combat and story alike. As you progress through the game, you will begin to meet new characters that can join your group. Some characters are met by playing through the main story, but a great handful of characters are off the beaten path. When you start a game, not only does the choice of your species matter in context to the game, but also your class, and that is all before you even interact with any non-player characters (NPCs). For example, I chose a Qunari (Minotaur-type species) and the class of mage. For choosing the Qunari, I gained different bonuses than selecting humans or elves. Qunari are treated as sub-citizens in the world and I was frequently looked at differently because of my choice in species; because I chose mage, people in the world who did not trust mages would outright not trust me, either.
Once you determine who you want to be and which class you would like, you begin your journey with a default group until you reach a party size of more than four, and then you can begin to customize who is in your party on quests. The party system in Dragon Age: Inquisition can be as simple, or as complicated as you would like. Each time you take characters out on a quest they will speak their minds on any situations that are currently happening in the storyline or just action occurring on screen. Characters in your group also communicate amongst themselves and this can cause infighting. For example, character A does not like character B because that character’s race of people persecuted theirs. The more these opposing characters go out on missions, the more their attitude towards each other changes, and the more you communicate with your party members the more they change. You will interact with other characters via a text prompt, and you will see this quite often.
The combat in Dragon Age: Inquisition has two modes: a real-time combat system and a tactical system. Thankfully, Inquisition does not force you to use either, and I happily ignored the tactical combat system for a large portion of the game. The combat depth is both extreme and rewarding once you understand the best approach to take in different situations.
The main storyline is the focal point of the game, and the side missions only play into the impact of the main storyline. As a result, neither side missions nor main-story missions feel like filler. I haven’t had a story make my hair stand up on my arm in a long time, and the immediacy of all the choices I made, and the impact of the choices I made in my story shaped my entire experience. Many games tend to break a game down into several different experiences with side missions and minigames that don’t contribute to the main storyline. Dragon Age: Inquisition has side missions like any other RPG, but instead of just moving a horse from A to B for experience points, you also gain someone to train your inquisition and more horses provided for the inquisition in the upcoming war.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is as much about your character as it is about every other character. Every quest, every person and every minor interaction folds into the overarching story, and no two stories/characters are the same. You will build your inquisition, you will acquire the items needed to stop the world from being ripped apart and you will stop the end from occurring. You will move the main story along via the War Room in Skyhold. Your choices leading up to using the War Room to further the story will determine the fate of your character and everyone else’s, and Dragon Age: Inquisition does a marvelous job making the player feel every mission’s impact.
The multiplayer is the only slight, feeling tacked on and not fleshed out in the least. It includes micro-transactions for more gold and then is used to buy a random chest of differing values. (The inclusion of multiplayer was disingenuous of Bioware, as it seemed like more of an attempt to find a way to include micro-transactions than to build upon their wonderful game, and although it is a small thing, it bears mentioning.) Gold can be earned through playing the dungeons, which change each time it is entered, but in very small quantities. The amount of gold received feels as if it was intended to ease players into buying gold instead, and it feels out of place with the well-intentioned feel of the single player.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is truly an excellent game that knows what it wants to do and how to make every task and quest work towards achieving this goal. If you haven’t played it yet, I would recommend playing it. If you have already played it, maybe it is time to try a different race and class to see what differences will unfold for your character.